"Since from His bounty I receive

Such proofs of love divine,

Had I a thousand hearts to give,

Lord, they should all be Thine."


"Must Jesus hear the cross alone,

And all the world go free?

No! there's a cross for every one,

And there's a cross for me.

"The consecrated cross I'll bear,

Till death shall set me free,

And then go home my crown to wear;

For there's a crown for me."


"Salvation! O the joyful sound!

'Tis pleasure to our ears,

A sovereign balm for every wound,

A cordial for our fears."

"Well," I said to myself, "this will do. 'The set time to favour Zion has come.' Let 'the light go forth as brightness, and the salvation as a lamp that shineth.' Blessed be God! He has 'loosened our bonds,' and as 'His sons and daughters, we are free.'"

I will give an example or two of the testimonies to the power of Christ as a Saviour from "the bondage of corruption," examples among the many of similar interest that I might give. The subject of the first was a young man from Scotland, who was studying as a candidate for the ministry, and in all his conduct was very circumspect and conscientious. Yet he was one of the most unhappy believers I ever knew. His inner life, as we found it, was literally a continued succession of groanings. A Christian lady once said in my presence, that up to a recent period "she had just religion enough to make her as miserable as she could be." This was strictly true of this young man. He almost wearied Professor Finney and myself in his perpetual details of his inward wretchedness, and in his inquiries after deliverance. At length the light, the marvellous light of God, dawned upon "the midnight of his soul." In giving an account in the prayer-meeting of his great deliverance, he remarked that he could not better illustrate his own case than by first stating a fact of his early life. When in Scotland, he and a number of his young associates went down to the ocean to fish. "The waters were so disturbed that we could do nothing there, and we determined to go to a lake that was located at a long distance up amid the hills above us. The way was long and wearisome under the burning sun that blazed down upon us. At length we came to a moor and searched there for water. What we found was so brackish that we could not drink it, and we were all in great anguish. At length I looked down, and saw a little stream issuing from a fountain that was bubbling up right at my feet. I stooped down and tasted of those waters, and found them perfectly pure, sweet, cool, and refreshing. I drank until my thirst was quenched. So did all my associates, and we went on our way rejoicing. You know, some of you," he continued, "the bondage, and gloom, and groanings of my religious life for years," -- he having been with several of those young men in an institution in the State of New York, then at Lane Seminary, and now at Oberlin. "When in this place I was told that there was liberty in Christ for all who would believe in Him, I grasped at the truth with the earnestness of almost blank despair. As I inquired and inquired, however, without finding 'the living waters,' I began to think that they existed for others and not for me. I did not, however, 'restrain prayer' or cease inquiry. All at once I saw, with unutterable wonder that I had not seen it before -- all at once, I say, I saw 'the fountain of the waters of life' rise up just at my feet. As I stooped down and drank, my agonising thirst was for ever quenched. As I continued to drink, however, the volume of those waters increased more and more, until they swelled out into a vast river, upon the surface of which my spirit was born onward and onward, until I was carried out into an ocean of light and love, an ocean the shores of which I have never been able to discern, and the depths of which I have never been able to sound. Here I have been 'comprehending the length, and breadth, and depth, and height,' 'knowing the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,' and being 'filled with all the fulness of God.' When standing upon the topmost wave of that ocean, I made a vow to God that I would spend my life in making known to saints and sinners this 'great salvation."' That vow he fully redeemed. To the end of his very useful life his light never grew dim, but brightened more and more, until he took his departure to shine as a fixed star in the firmament of heaven. His graduating address was one of memorable interest on "the baptism of the Holy Ghost."

Another of the theological students, after be had come into the light, came to Professor Finney and remarked to him, that he thought that the time had come when there ought to be something preached to the people on the subject of faith. Professor Finney was at a loss to understand what his pupil meant, that very subject having been the leading theme of all our teachings. In a prayer-meeting not long after this, the whole matter was explained by the young man himself. When he came into the light, his views of truth and his whole internal experience were so entirely new, and so unlike anything which he had experienced before, that he most sincerely supposed that no one among us had had any such experience as his, and that nothing had been preached upon the subject to the people. "Faith, when I came to exercise it," he remarked, "was so unlike my former apprehensions of it, that I really supposed that it had not been preached to us at all. For this reason I went to Professor Finney, and, with perfect sincerity, told him that I thought that the people should be told what faith is. I had no idea but that, as soon my new experience came to be known, Professor Finney, President Mahan, and all of you, would come to me to be taught the secret of this new and divine life. To my surprise and humiliation I found at length, as I compared my own experience with yours, that I had simply emerged into the light in which you had been walking for months," "The sealing and earnest of the Spirit" is to every believer, when the baptism comes upon him, "a new white stone, which no man knoweth but him that receiveth it."

General Influence upon the Churches, and in the Experience of Individuals.

A few facts will distinctly reveal the attitude of all evangelical denominations in the United States -- the Methodist excepted -- in regard to this subject, when the views of Brother Finney and myself were made known. In a council of Congregational ministers and churches, held in the city of Boston, about thirty years since, to ordain and install a young minister over one of the churches in the city, this question was put to the candidate, namely, "If you should be installed as pastor over this church, would you allow either President Mahan or Professor Finney to preach in your pulpit?" The candidate replied in the affirmative. The council spent about half a day in discussing the question whether, in view of this one fact, no other objections to the candidate existing, the services should proceed any further.

Three years ago last summer, during the sessions of the General Conference for all the Congregational churches in the United States, the Conference meeting at Oberlin, Ohio, my old associate, Brother Finney, was requested by a unanimous vote of the Conference to deliver a special discourse before them on the baptism of the Holy Ghost. At a similar Conference held in New Haven, Connecticut, the past summer, the theme of a special discourse was "the baptism of the Holy Ghost," as received at the Pentecost, as the hope of the Church.

About thirty years since, the authorities of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, it being then the organ of the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches of the United States, dismissed from its service two able missionaries in Siam for no other reason than the fact that they had embraced these views. Now, individuals holding these views are as readily employed as any others by this same Board. Near the same period, the Presbytery of Poughkeepsie, by a special order from the Synod of New York, deposed from the ministry two of its members, Messrs Hill and Belden, for no other cause than the one fact that they had embraced the Oberlin error. While the subject was before the Synod, the Moderator of the Presbytery referred to testified that the two brethren on trial were universally regarded as the most useful and godly ministers in their body, and that if Christ should appear in any of their meetings and put the question, "Which of you shall betray me?" the last individual that any one would think of would be either of these brethren. Brother Belden, his associate having died in the faith years ago, has lived to see his name and influence "as ointment poured forth" in this Synod. Dr. Boardman recently stated to me, that when he published his work on "The Higher Life," he did so with the distinct apprehension that he should be deposed from the ministry for what he had done, he being a minister of the Presbyterian Church. An open door, however, is everywhere before him and his works and doctrines, even in that denomination.

An indication of the state of Christian sentiment on this subject is quite manifest by means of the conferences like that at Oxford, which are being held in various parts of the United States, for the specific purpose of promoting personal holiness, conferences attended by ministers and members of all evangelical denominations in common. The following account of one of these conferences -- an account given in a recent number of the Pathway of Power -- will indicate the character and power of such meetings:--

"Among many instances of the special display of the power of God, was one at a recent meeting in Maine, near the borders of Canada, where a great company of Christians assembled for ten days, for purposes very similar to those of the late Oxford meeting. The railway companies reported forty thousand special tickets sold to perhaps twenty or thirty thousand individuals.

"At one of the meetings, the Rev. Dr Steele, whose papers in this periodical have excited so much interest, preached the afternoon sermon about two o'clock. The text was, 'For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.' He dwelt especially on the believer's privilege of being 'filled with all the fulness of God,' and with solemn joy told us of his own experience of the baptism of the Spirit, and of the marvellous possibilities of faith which had opened to his soul since he had realised in power that the Comforter had come: an experience beyond simple consecration and faith's victory over sin; the incoming of the Holy Spirit filling the entire capacities of his being.

At the close of this remarkable discourse, the President of the Conference rose and said, 'Our brother, Dr Steele, has something which I have not received. I know that I am all the Lord's, but I want to be "filled with the Spirit." We have heard that God is "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us;" I shall, therefore, now kneel here, and stay upon my knees till what God has done for my brother He also does for me. Let all who desire it do the same.' Above four hundred kneeled, while the thousands in the congregation bowed reverently before the Lord. Then commenced a season of entirely silent prayer; which continued for three hours. As the time passed on, the place became, to the spiritual consciousness, awfully glorious. No words can describe the solemn overpowering sense of the presence of God. Any expression in prayer or singing seemed an intrusion, and persons who commenced instinctively stopped. God was Himself speaking to them in their inmost hearts. None dared break the solemn silence of soul before Him. They were now learning what the worship of the whole being to its Creator and God is. As they saw the holiness of God, they gained new views of their own sinfulness in themselves; and with this they saw with equal distinctness the full provision in Christ for all their need.

"At length the tea-bell sounded, and the immense spell bound surrounding crowd slowly and silently left the scene. Many of those who kneeled continued on in silent prayer. Throughout the vicinity, and at the tea-tables, no one seemed able to speak but in subdued tones. The time came for another meeting to be commenced, at another place, but it was found impossible to sing aloud. Nothing could be done but to dismiss the meeting, and join once more the circle of silent prayer. They approached the place softly, as to holy ground, and found a dense mass of people surrounding the spot where these ministers and others still kneeled in silent awful communion with God. Never can the sweet and solemn restfulness of that hour and spot be forgotten.

"When the time for the evening service approached, the President lifted up his hands and said solemnly to the crowd, 'Bow down before the Lord your Maker!' Saints and sinners knelt together. Not another word was said, or hymn sung, but when we gathered in the evening meeting in the immense tent, then we knew what God had done for His people in their waiting before Him. The President said that God had given to him all that he had asked for, and many testified that the words of the prayer for the Ephesians had been answered in their own souls. That evening the conversion of over a hundred persons took place as the result of this wonderful silent meeting before the Lord.

"'Oh, that salvation were come out of Zion!' is the cry of many a discouraged, down-hearted saint. Remember, dear child of God, that 'salvation' in Scripture is not limited to pardon. It means also deliverance from sin. When, in this more full sense, salvation is in Zion, 'when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of His people,' delivering them from their bondage to the world, and to partial unbelief, 'Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.'"

I would by no means be understood as intimating that all the changes of religious sentiment above indicated resulted directly from the great baptism at Oberlin. God had for years been preparing the way in all the churches for the reception of the views under consideration, and some outside the Methodist denomination had "entered into rest," before we did. None will question the fact that the movement at Oberlin was one of the main causes of this change.

Facts of Individual Experience.

Before dismissing the topic now under consideration, I will refer to a few facts of individual experience. Dr B., a physician of a very wide practice in one of our large cities, has for quite thirty years been walking in this light. When two Christian gentlemen who had for a long period known him very intimately were once together, one of them put to the other this question, "What do you think of Dr B.?" "When that man dies," was the reply, "he will find the gate of heaven wide open before him. He will go directly in through that gate into the city, and will be at home there." All believers should thus "shine as lights in the world." How is it with you, reader?

A sister in Christ, whom I knew very intimately for upwards of fifteen years prior to her death, was, when I first saw her, so far from Christ that she had merely, as she herself often said, "a name to live." She immediately sought and obtained "the sealing and earnest of the Spirit." From that time until she was called home, "her sun did not go down, neither did her moon withdraw itself." Her own family, and all who new her most intimately, testified that they never witnessed in her a single un-Christ-like act or utterance. In every circle in which she appeared her single aim was to lead sinners to Christ, or believers "out of darkness into the marvellous light of God," and she had "power with God and with man." At home she was, as a farmer's wife, a model housekeeper, and at home and in the community her influence was "as ointment poured forth." All who knew her will testify to the strictest accuracy of the above statements. At one time her husband employed as a help in his labours a very bigoted but profane Irish Catholic, who had been taught from infancy that out of the Catholic Church salvation is impossible. His attention was soon arrested, however, by the wondrous serenity and sweetness of that woman's spirit and conversation. At the table he would listen with the intensest interest to her conversation upon the love of Christ and the beauty of holiness. He would frequently tarry after meals to speak to the woman on the subject. As he had been listening for some time to her conversation one day, he exclaimed with deep earnestness, "Madame, you will get to heaven before you die." When the membership of the Church shall become such "shining lights" as that, then indeed "will the Gentiles come to her light, and kings to the brightness of her rising." And why, reader, should not you thus shine?

As our writings spread abroad in all directions over the country, we often received letters from persons of whom we had never before heard -- letters giving an account of "the rest of faith" into which the writers had entered. In one of these letters a lady from one of the most Eastern States, after detailing the darkness in which she had walked for many years previous, and of the semi-faith which she had had in Christ, and of her prayers and searchings after "the light of life," thus spoke of the love and glory of Christ, which were at length manifested unto her : -- "It was all light," she said, "and its essence love." From that hour, as she went on to say, her vision of that light and of that love had never grown dim, and her "joy had been full." Years passed on, when I received a letter from the husband of that woman -- a letter giving an account of her subsequent life and death. From the time in which she entered into that light, her light had shined on with a mild, all-attractive, and ever-increasing lustre. In the family, in the church, and community around, all wondered at the deep and undisturbed serenity of her spirit, at the spotless purity of her conversation and example, and at her undying love to Christ and to all who bore His image, and for whom He died. Like her divine Master, she "went about doing good." All who witnessed her last sickness and death felt themselves as near heaven as it is possible for creatures in this world to be.

Another lady from another State gave an account, not only of her former Christian experience and of her entrance into "the everlasting light," but of her inner life for the five years which had transpired since the period last referred to. During these years "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, had kept her heart and mind by Christ Jesus," and that without interruption. "In no single instance," she remarked, "had she during these years closed her eyes to sleep at night without the absolute assurance that no cloud intervened between her spirit and the face of God." Years after this I received a letter from the husband of this woman also, giving an account of her subsequent life and final departure, an account of which that above given is a perfect transcript.

When Brother Finney came to Oberlin, he brought with him, as their housekeeper, an individual who had been a member of his church in the city of New York. After she had been in his family about a year, he remarked to me that they should be compelled to dismiss the woman, though she was the best help they had ever had. The reason was, that her terrible temper was a constant disturbance to the peace of the family, and was exerting a ruinous influence upon their children. The least temptation would kindle her temper into a blaze, and then it was as violent, and ungovernable, and implacable as a conflagration. During the great revival she became distinctly conscious of her moral and spiritual state, and, "with all her heart and soul," sought deliverance. After she received "the anointing," she continued for several years in the place she then occupied, until she was sent as a missionary teacher among the coloured fugitives in Canada. Such was her influence in her new sphere, that the superintendent of those schools spoke of her in a letter in these words : -- "She is a host." Wishing to learn the effect of faith in Christ in such an extreme case as that, I made inquiries of Brother Finney in respect to her spirit and deportment after her "enduement of power from on high." He assured me that, from the time of the change referred to until she left, there had not been the remotest manifestation of that old temper. Her entire spirit, on the other hand, had been ineffably sweet, and neither he, his wife, or any member of their family had noticed a word or act in her which was not in the strictest conformity to Christian character. I give the testimony of Brother Finney in his own words, as nearly as I can recall them, and in no respect exaggerate that testimony. Is not "Christ able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him"?

More than thirty years since, I spent a short period in protracted labours in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, a great revival resulting from those meetings. The leading member of the Congregational church where I preached was a man of wealth, much intelligence, and of the most unblemished moral and religious reputation; so his pastor assured me. Yet, the religious experience of this individual had taken on a pensive, and often despairing hue. Before I left, he had a long conversation with me, detailing his inward desolation, and expressing the apprehension that he had committed "the unpardonable sin." On inquiry, I found that he was conscious of no form of sin which could be the rational ground of any such apprehension. I assured him that his desire and will to seek and find Jesus was an absolute proof that salvation from doubt and darkness into "the marvellous light of God" was with absolute certainty for him. He had but one thing to do, and that was to look away from all else to Christ, to seek Christ, until he should find himself standing in "the light of God." This my friend promised to do. After I had been in Boston two or three weeks, preaching Christ there, this friend called upon me, and told me that he had come from Lowell for no other purpose but to "tell me what the Lord had done for his soul." All gloom and doubt had departed, and his "cup was running over." I found that once despondent believer in the most perfect enjoyment of "the full assurance of faith," "the full assurance of hope," and "the full assurance of understanding." What, among other considerations, gives me the most absolute assurance that the gospel, as I hold and teach it, is Christ's rock of truth, is the fact that, under its influence, those who are in the deepest darkness emerge into the most enduring and marvellous light, that those who are in the most desponding bondage attain to the most perfect liberty, and that those who are under the heaviest burdens and sorrows find the most enduring rest.

The spiritual writings of the late Professor Upham, of Bodoin College, in the State of Maine, U. S., are "known and read of all men." The manner in which he became such a fruitful writer on such a theme was on this wise. When the peculiar views advocated at Oberlin were spread before the public, he took it for granted that they were wrong, and gave them no examination. Mrs Upham, however, was induced by a lady friend, then residing in the family of the former, to give our writings a careful examination -- her husband, in the kindest manner possible, often expressing his utter incredulity in respect to the subject. Mrs. Upham at length became fully convinced, and sought and obtained "the sealing and earnest of the Spirit." The new life to which she had attained, and that in connection with the manifest divineness of the change wrought in her, soon arrested the attention of the husband, and induced him also to inquire, until he was brought fully to accept the views which the wife had embraced. It was the example of the wife, as an epistle of Christ, that rendered the husband "the man of God" and the spiritual writer which he afterwards became. When believers generally shall become such epistles, then will the prayer of our Saviour, in the following words, be fully answered : -- "I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou has sent me, and hast loved them as Thou hast loved me."

The divineness of these views is very strikingly manifest in their perfect adaptation to the conscious moral and spiritual necessities of all classes of believers in common, the most learned and the most ignorant. When I was at Oberlin, for example, there came to the place an elderly coloured woman from a state of servitude in the Southern States. Of course, she could neither read nor write; yet was at once at home with the gospel as we were teaching it; and such was the purity of her life, and the fulness of her knowledge of Christ, as her "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," that not a few even learned persons went to her for instruction in regard to the secret of the divine life which she was leading.

A company of coloured people were once together for conversation and prayer about the higher life. The meeting became quite noisy. One young woman especially leaped, and shouted, and prayed at the top of her voice, and threw her body into almost convulsive contortions. At length an aged coloured saint came up, and laying her hand gently upon her young friend, said, "Honey, dis is not de way. Shoutin' is not de way to obtain de blessin' Why, honey, if you should ebber get de Lamb in your arms and de Dove in your heart, you would feel as if you were in de stable in Bedlehem, and de bressed Mudder had given you de sleepin' Baby to hold." How divine must have been that inner life, and how deeply must a soul have been taught of the Spirit, that could give utterance to such wisdom as that!

At the close of the late war in America, the Confederate States were, for a time, divided out into military districts., over each of which one of our Generals was located, that of Alabama being assigned to General Saxon. As himself and family one day were seated in the verandah of their residence, they saw an aged and infirm coloured woman walking slowly up the path before them. After ascending the steps she bowed to them, with the salutation, "How de ye?" On receiving their expressions in reply, she thus addressed them: "It 'pears dat I shan't live but a little while, and I want to go to de meetins, it does me so much good. Yet it 'pears I habn't any close suitable to go dare, dis ere dress being all the close I has," The dress referred to was a coarse cotton garment, which extended about half way down from her knees to her feet -- a garment furnished her when a slave. "Come in and take a seat," said Mrs Saxon, "and my daughters will prepare some dresses for you." "Oh, no," she replied, "it won't do for me to go into dose fine rooms in dare."

While the dresses were being prepared, she said to them, with a sweet smile, "I knows you are Christians." "I sometimes hope I am," replied Mrs S., "but I have so many dark hours that I often doubt whether I am a Christian at all." "Oh, honey!" exclaimed the coloured visitant, "you habn't gibben up de world. Dat is de difficulty. It cost me a great struggle to gib up de world." "What had she to give up?" thought Mrs S. in her own mind. Every individual, reader, has his or her world, and no one gives up that world without a struggle. "But, honey," continued the speaker, "don't you mind dem dark hours. You look right to Jesus, and keep fast hold ob Him, and He will take all dose dark hours from you, and dey will nebber come to you any more. Oh, how lobing Jesus is!" she went on to say. "De bressed Fader said to him: Jesus, my Son, you go down into dat dark and wicked world down dare, and if you find any poor sinners dat want to be sabed, you take from dem dar sins, and den bring dem up here and lay dem in my bosom." Here she began to reel to and fro, her apprehensions of the love of Christ lying with such weight upon her mind as almost to make her stagger.

At length she exclaimed, "Won't you sing some of de sweet songs about Jesus?" "Just go into the parlour," replied Mrs S., "and one of our daughters will play upon the piano and sing for you." "Oh, no!" she exclaimed, "it won't do for me to go in dare. But I can hear de music and singing out here." As the music and the songs proceeded, however, she kept drawing nearer and nearer, until she at last looked into the room, and finally entered and kneeled near the instrument. The glow upon her countenance and her frequent ejaculations clearly indicated that her "joy was full." When the garments were ready and were delivered to her, "Tank you, tank you! Jesus bress you!" she exclaimed. When Mrs Saxon told her that, if ever she should again be in want, to call upon them, and they would do what they could for her, "Oh, no!" she replied, "dat will nebber do. I hab got so many tings now, dat I must nebber come again for anyting more. But, honey," she said, addressing Mrs S., "don't you mind dem dark hours. You look right to Jesus, and keep fast hold upon Him, and you will nebber more see dem dark hours." Thus she took her leave. After she had been gone a while, she was seen again coming slowly up the path and the steps of the verandah. Approaching Mrs Saxon, she said, with an ineffable sweetness of voice and manner, "Honey! don't you mind dem dark hours. You look right to Jesus, and keep fast hold ob Him, and you will nebber, nebber again see any of dem dark hours." So she finally passed from sight.

General Saxon, in his long account of the transaction -- an account published years ago in the independent of New York -- says that himself and family felt as if they had been visited by a messenger from heaven -- a messenger sent to impart to them higher wisdom in respect to the supreme concern of the divine life than they had ever received before.

I will allude to one other case, taken from the same class as the above. Quite thirty years since, I became acquainted in the city of New York with a coloured woman, whom I never heard designated by any other name than Aunt Dinah. She was then upwards of threescore and ten years of age. Up to her fortieth year she had lived a slave, and had received no religious instruction whatever. On attaining to her freedom she came to the city designated, and was, not long afterwards, converted. As soon as she heard of the views taught at Oberlin, she sought, with all her heart and with all her soul, for "the liberty of the children of God," and entered most fully into all the light and blessedness of the higher life. As her faith, or rather unbelief, did not limit the power, love, and grace of Christ through the Spirit, her whole character and life seemed to be moulded into the divine likeness. All wondered at the beautiful simplicity, symmetry, and completeness of her whole character and life, and at the wondrous wisdom of her conversation. She had very special power in leading believers into the rest of faith, and sinners to Christ. Whenever an impenitent person came under her influence her conversation and prayers were centred in one fixed purpose -- his conversion -- and very seldom did she fail of her object. Few persons in that city were the means of the conversion of so many individuals as she. Prior to her last sickness, one young man had been with her an object of special effort and prayer, and she earnestly besought the Lord not to call her home until she could be assured of the salvation of that friend. When it was announced to her that he had been converted, she exclaimed, "I am ready now. Let the Master come when He will." What was peculiar about this woman was the fact, that her person was by no means comely, that her dress was always very plain, though neat, while her face was as black as midnight. What gave her free access to. all classes, the rich and the poor alike, was the wondrous sanctity of her character and wisdom of her discourse. Nobody repelled her.

While, for example, she was once on board a steamboat between New York and Albany, she found that the celebrated statesman, the Hon. De Wit Clinton was among the passengers. Approaching the man and addressing him, while many gathered round, she spoke to him in reverential earnestness in regard to his immortal interests, warning him of the dangers which encircled him in the midst of the pursuits of ambition, the maze of politics, and the floods of worldly cares, and closed with a solemn admonition that he should make the salvation of his soul the first and supreme object of his regard. Mr Clinton listened to her discourse with deepest attention and respect, thanked her for her concern for his eternal welfare, and for her wise admonitions. Such was the respect which her discourse commanded from all. After listening to my preaching, she uniformly met me near the pulpit-stairs, and taking me by the hand, she would say, "My son, 'be thou faithful unto death, and He shall give thee a crown of life.' I solemnly charge you never to cease, while you live, proclaiming this full redemption." There were few persons whose blessing and admonition I more deeply valued than hers.

A minister of the gospel, who had been a member of the same church with her while a student of theology in the city, told me that, on returning to the city after years of absence, on meeting his old friend, he thus addressed her: "Well, Aunt Dinah, how are you getting along?" "' The lines,"' she replied, "'have fallen unto me in pleasant places, and I have a goodly heritage.' I do not know what want is. When I feel that I need anything, I look right up to my Father in heaven, who always bends His ear quite down to where I am, and says,' Daughter, what is now thy petition? Tell me.' I always speak directly into His ear, and tell Him just what I need, and I always get what I ask." After her death, as her pastor was passing down Broadway to make arrangements for her funeral, he was met by one of the very wealthy merchants of the city. "I understand," remarked the merchant, "that Aunt Dinah is dead. Have you made arrangements for her funeral?" "I was on that business now," replied the pastor. "I will bear the entire expense of that funeral," replied the merchant. "A grave will be prepared for her in my own family burying-place in Greenwood Cemetery. She will be buried there by the side of a very dear brother of mine. That brother had been an officer in the English army. In this city he providentially became acquainted with Aunt Dinah, and, through her influence and prayers, became a Christian, and died in the Lord. I desire that she shall stand by his side and in the midst of my family in the morning of the resurrection." She thus "made her grave with the rich in her death." It was but seldom that so large a funeral was gathered to pay public respect to departed worth as was gathered at the burial of that woman. Reader, your Christian life ought to be as hallowed as was the one above described.



IN the Word of Truth we read, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee." In the same Word we have the following admonition and promise : -- "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus." "These things," said our Saviour, "have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." In the midst of all earth's tribulations -- and none have more of them than believers -- "the redeemed of the Lord" are privileged to "return and come to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads." Everywhere, and under all circumstances, they are expected to "obtain joy and gladness," while "sorrow and sighing flee away," and "the days of their mourning are ended." In the experience of Paul, all the above declarations and promises were fully verified. Let us listen to his testimony: -- "Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." "And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake for when I am weak, then am I strong." "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. It is the revealed privilege of the saints of God to "glory in tribulation." Paul not only had such an experience, but has also clearly revealed to us the secret by which we may attain to the same experience. "We also believe, and therefore speak." "I live, and yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Let us give our special attention to this subject for a few moments.

It is a fixed law of our nature that, when the mind is strongly exercised with some one engrossing subject, other and different objects have no power to reach and disturb the sensibilities and activities of our being. For several years prior to his death, for example, the celebrated President Dwight of Yale College suffered beyond measure from rheumatic and gout affections. As he sat, in excessive agony, before a fire one day, a live-coal fell upon his hand and burned into his flesh without his noticing the fact at all. The reason is obvious. All the sensibilities of his nature were so completely occupied by the causes of pain referred to, that the burning of his flesh even could not reach the sensitive department of his nature. This same principle holds true universally. Now, when "Christ dwells in the heart by faith," and is "formed within, the hope of glory," and "God dwells in us, and walks in us" as His conscious "sons and daughters," all our affections and activities come so completely under the divine control, and all our susceptibilities are so perfectly filled with "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding," that "things seen and temporal" have no power so to reach those susceptibilities as to disturb the fixed content of the mind, which has found its resting-place in the centre of the sweet will of God.

Tertullian and other of the early Christian fathers affirm that the minds of the martyrs, when subjected to the most terrible tortures which their tormentors could inflict, were so completely occupied with the manifested love and glory of Christ, that they did not seem to be affected at all by bodily suffering. When we are out of Christ, all our susceptibilities lie open and exposed to the assaults of worldly tribulations, cares, and perplexities, and we are, of necessity, "like the troubled sea when it cannot rest," and are "weary, tossed with tempests, and not comforted." When we "are in Christ," and "Christ in us," however, "the world, the flesh, and the devil" have no more power over us than they had over Him. His peace is our peace; His rest is our rest; His content is our content; and our "quietness and assurance" are as undisturbed as His was. He overcame the world, that is, destroyed its power to draw the mind into sin or to disturb its rest and peace, through the indwelling presence of the Father in His heart and mind. So we can "overcome the world" by having Christ dwell in us as the Father dwelt in Him. "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."

In the varied conditions and states of our earthly life, we cannot be content with the divine allotments, by resolving upon an acquiescence in the same, nor can we obey the command, "Be careful for nothing," by determining to "take no thought for the morrow;" nor have we any power of will to banish from our hearts the cares which may now pain and agitate us, or to prevent others coming in and disturbing our peace. If, on the other hand, we will, "by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make known our requests unto God," if we will open our hearts, and let Christ and the Father come to us, and "make their abode with us," and if we will wait for "the promise of the Spirit," that "we may know the things which are freely given us of God," then we shall be so "filled with all the fulness of God" that it will be impossible for us to be "careful and troubled" about anything. "The love of Christ," "open visions of His glory," "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace," "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding," "joy in the Holy Ghost," and the repose of our wills in the sweet will of God, will then so completely control all our activities, and occupy all the susceptibilities of our nature, that worldly tribulations and cares will have no power over any department of our mental being, so as to interrupt our joys or disturb the rest into which our immortal spirits have entered. As darkness cannot abide the face of the sun, so "sorrow and sighing," discontent, and fear of what may happen, take their quick departure when "the Sun of Righteousness rises in our hearts with healing in His wings." "If Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of (or in respect to) sin;" that is, all our evil propensities and tendencies, and all internal causes which disturb our peace, lie dead in His presence, and void of power to draw us from our allegiance to Him, or to disquiet our spirits, or shut the peace of God out of our hearts; while "the Spirit is life, because of (or in respect to) righteousness;" that is, all our moral and spiritual activities are quickened into active obedience to the will of God and the law of righteousness.

So, also, when Christ is in you, reader, external tribulations will have no more power to approach your sensibilities and disturb the deep rest of your spirits in Him, than the hosts of the Syrians had to break through the fiery circle which surrounded the prophet of God. But if Christ be not in us, the world without, with its tribulations and "fiery trials," and the world within, with its warring lusts, carking cares, and bewildering perplexities, will make our sensitive nature their perpetual prey, and "sin will reign in our mortal bodies."

Permit me here to allude to some experiences of a personal nature, experiences illustrative of the power of Christ to gird the mind with enduring strength, and to "keep the heart and mind in perfect peace" in the midst of the greatest external embarrassments and perplexities. After I had been between two and three years President of Oberlin College, I found myself at the head of an institution endowed with a fund amounting to quite eighty thousand dollars, a larger endowment than any other college in the Western States was then possessed of. I had co-operating with me a very able Faculty of instruction, while our pupils amounted to from five to eight hundred individuals. We had also what was then regarded as a very unusual subscription for the general purposes of the College, a subscription which was rapidly approaching one hundred thousand dollars. No other college west of New England, and very few there, had before it a more quiet or brighter future. I was in the very condition in which, above all others, I would have desired to be. Then each of us felt that he had good reason to say, "I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand. My root shall spread out by the waters, and the dew shall lie all night upon my branch. My glory shall be fresh in me, and my bow shall be renewed in my hand."

Just at this time a fearful conflagration occurred in the business centre of the city of New York, a conflagration which, in a single night and day, destroyed property amounting to about fifteen millions of dollars. Within that circle of fire lay the business places of the wealthy merchants who held almost every dollar of our endowment funds, and those funds sank with the fortunes of those men. This calamity was immediately followed by a national one, the sudden failure of almost all our banks west of the State of New York, and not a few east of that line; and this was attended with the bankruptcy of a large majority, it is believed, of the men of business throughout the nation, and the utter disarrangement of all our business relations. When we took an account of the pecuniary condition of the College, after the effects of these calamities had become manifest, we found our endowment wholly gone, and of the subscription for general purposes, that not twenty thousand dollars of it would ever be of use to us, while the College was encumbered with a debt amounting to upwards of fifty thousand dollars. No calamity could hardly have fallen more suddenly, and, to all human appearance, no ruin could have been more complete and remediless. "As a snare," the general bankruptcy had fallen upon the nation, and "in one hour" the ruin of the College was apparently consummated, and the life-hopes of no individual appeared to be so hopelessly wrecked as my own.

I shall now speak with perfect freedom of the mental, moral, and spiritual state in which I was preserved, by the "power of Christ resting upon me," in the midst of the circumstances referred to. This I do, leaving it to "Him whom I serve, and whose I am," to judge of motives. To the honour of His dear name, and as illustrative of the power of His sustaining grace, I would say, that the events under consideration never, unless my consciousness utterly misled me, had the power for a single moment to disquiet my spirit, to induce the least motion of internal discontent, to interrupt the onward flow of my peace and joy in God, to induce a moment's despair of the future of the College, or the "batement of one jot of hope" in respect to its ultimate success.

The calamity, as we and the public well knew, had come upon us by no mismanagement on our part. This fact rendered it plain that, in the judgment of God, it was not best that the funds referred to should go for the benefit of the Institution, and my whole being joyfully acquiesced in the divine will upon the subject. In my own mind, I distinctly and specifically reasoned thus -- If it is the will of God that the Institution shall die, I have no wish or desire that it shall live. If; on the other hand, God wills that it shall live, and I felt sure that He did thus will, then He will furnish the means to repair these ruins, and perpetuate the life of the College; and this He will do, "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord," God's Spirit moving upon the hearts of those who have the means, and inducing them to give what is requisite to accomplish the divine purpose. With these sentiments in my mind, I commended the great interests before me to the divine care and keeping, and did so with the utmost peace, quietness, and assurance of hope. I cannot now understand how my peace could have been more undisturbed, my joy more full, or my hope more assured, than they were during all that dark period of my own life and of the life of the Institution. During all that period, I can truly say that there was in my inner life a full realisation of all that the following words of the prophet can mean : -- "The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."

The reader may be interested to know what were the dispensations of Providence towards us under the circumstances. As none of my associates were accustomed to agencies, action in this direction at first fell mainly upon me. Knowing that Professor Finney's health and circumstances would not permit him to continue with us unless his salary was promptly paid, and knowing that the large fortune of a mutual friend of his and my own had not suffered in the national calamities, I visited him, and, after full consultation, he agreed to pay regularly the salary under consideration. As far as myself was concerned, I concluded that, by labours in protracted meetings during our vacations among churches who would call for my services, I could secure a large portion of my own salary; and I determined to devote the income thus obtained to that end, and thus relieve the college from the burden of another salary. Thus two of the main pillars of the Institution were securely fixed. Just at this time the late Hon. Gerrit Smith sent us a draft of two thousand dollars on a sound Eastern bank, and, what was more, a deed of some twenty thousand acres of land in Western Virginia. This great gift, prompted by no agency on our part, though the land was not immediately saleable, reassured home and public confidence in the future of the Institution.

At this juncture, also, a wealthy merchant, whose fortune had not suffered at all --William Dawes, Esq. -- a merchant living some fifty miles distant from us, visited us; and, after acquainting himself with the facts presented, determined, upon a self-moved agency, to raise some ready means to meet existing exigencies. He soon returned with a reliable subscription of quite two thousand dollars, himself having subscribed five hundred or a thousand dollars of the same. While with us on this second visit, "the Spirit of the Lord God came upon him," and he determined to return home, close up a very lucrative business, move his family to Oberlin, and devote all his energies to the interests of the College. This he did, labouring for us without a salary, and taking nothing but his necessary personal expenses while in our service. Through an agency to England, in company with the Rev. John Keep, he sent over to us from philanthropists here, in addition to all the expenses of the mission, upwards of thirty thousand dollars to help to pay off the debt referred to. Thus all our wants were met, and in a few years all that debt was paid, to the full satisfaction of all parties concerned; and the College was started anew on a line of gradually increasing prosperity which renders its future as cloudless as that of any of our institutions. In Mr Dawes, by a wonderful concurrence of circumstances, God gave us, as it seems, the only man in the world who could instrumentally have saved the College from destruction, and assured for it a permanent prosperity. When I think of such facts, I can only exclaim, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"

The reader will call to mind the statement formerly made of the excruciating pain which I had once experienced at the thought, and in view of the fact, of adopting sentiments and assuming positions which would render one the object of deep reprobation, and occasion his separation from the fellowship of those with whom he had in former years been in intimate association, and on terms of open good-will. Few individuals could have had a more sensitive nature in respect to such relations than I had; and the pain which I experienced under such circumstances was but little diminished by the inward assurance that I had parted company with my brethren because I had found truth which they rejected, and was separated from them because I was moving on the line of absolute duty.

When passing through the crisis of the College, the crisis above described, in addition to the odium attached to me as representing the only Anti-Slavery College in the United States, and of a principle of liberal education -- a principle never before adopted in any other such institution since the world began -- that of the education of mind irrespective of race, colour, or sex, a principle then generally held in the deepest reprobation, -- in addition to all this, I stood before the public as a leading representative and uncompromising advocate of what was generally regarded in all Calvinistic denominations, with whom I had been exclusively associated from childhood up, as the most odious and subversive doctrine known in the churches. As a necessary consequence, my separation and isolation from old associations and fellowships were complete.

The following fact will give the reader a distinct apprehension of the sentiment with which Brother Finney and myself were then regarded. When spending several months in the city of Boston, during one of our vacations, I received an invitation from an influential member of Park Street (Congregational) Church to dine with him in company with his pastor. When I came into the presence of that pastor, I was at once made distinctly conscious that my presence was an offence to him. So marked was the disrespect with which he treated me, and so painful, as I saw, was my presence to him, that, as soon as the formalities of the occasion would permit, I took leave. Between fifteen and twenty years after that, I met that pastor again. As we came into each other's presence, he grasped my hand, saying, "Brother Mahan, I have desired for years to have an opportunity to make a confession to you. You remember the time when I dined with you at the house of Brother F. in Boston. On that occasion your presence was perfectly odious to me, and I felt deeply ashamed to sit, as an invited guest, at the same table with you. I now assure you that I have for years felt as deeply ashamed of my then self as I then did of you. Permit me to say to you, that you are now in my heart as a very highly-esteemed servant of Jesus Christ." The sentiment entertained by that individual on the occasion referred to perfectly represents the regard in which we were then held by the mass of the ministry and membership of the denominations designated. No persons could have been more deeply odious to the churches than we were at that time.

But what was my experience under these circumstances? The exact opposite to what it ever had been before in similar relations. Walking, as I consciously did, in "the light of God," and in the path which Christ had made plain before me, and with His smile consciously resting upon the face of my soul, it was to me a very small matter truly to be "judged of man's judgment." I then clearly understood what the Saviour meant when He said, "Your joy no man taketh from you." I was straitened in my brethren, but they were not straitened in me. I cannot recall a throb of pain, or a feeling of unkindness or bitterness, that had place in my mind during all these years. With Christ in our hearts, and in communion and fellowship with Him, we shall breathe the same Spirit towards the Church and the world that He does. I was under the uninterrupted consciousness that, in the relations then existing, I was called upon, in my interior spirit and visible life, to represent the heart and life of Christ, and consequently that "anger, wrath, malice," must never have place in my heart, words, or acts; that when "reviled, I must bless," and when "persecuted, I must endure it." Nor did I find it difficult to "possess the soul in patience" then. I was conscious of no internal struggle with sentiments or emotions of bitterness. Christ was too near, and my joy in Him was too full, to allow a place in my heart for any such feelings.

One of the special objects which I have in view in recording the above facts is, to bring to light a very common and dangerous error. When individuals, members of "the household of faith," receive injuries and provocations, they too commonly regard themselves as delivered to allow any roots of bitterness whatever to spring up in their hearts, to trouble their spirits, and to defile their character. No, my brother; "you do not well to be angry" when wronged, injured, or provoked by your brethren or the men of the world. Your character, on the other hand, should then and there take on, not the spirit of anger or vengeance, but the divinest form of virtue known in the kingdom of grace -- "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price." "Let no man take thy crown." This you always do when you allow any man to anger you. The final conclusion which I deduce from the experiences above presented is this: We are "complete in Christ," "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us," and in all circumstances of our earthly existence can be "more than conquerors through Him that hath loved us."

Chapter 25


In reference to all temptations and "trials of faith" which await believers while journeying towards the heavenly country, this specific promise remains for us: "God is faithful (worthy to be trusted), who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." This promise should be omnipresent to our faith everywhere and under all circumstances, and with a firm and fixed trust for the grace here specifically promised, we should face every temptation which may fall upon us. There is one feature of this subject, however -- a form of grace which I do not recollect ever to have heard discourses upon, or known to have been written about -- a form of grace which I deem it of special importance that all should be fully instructed about. I refer to what may be called anticipatory grace -- a form of grace by which we are prepared beforehand for any great and special duties or trials which await us.

I will illustrate my meaning by an allusion to some special events in the experience of Paul. Aside from the visible and audible revelation of Christ to him at the time of his conversion, there are four recorded instances in which Christ revealed Himself to the apostle in a similar form, and in each instance for the specific purpose of preparing him beforehand for his great life-mission, for special and perilous duties, or for great trials and tribulations. The first of these special manifestations occurred when he was in Jerusalem, and was then in the full expectation of devoting his life to the salvation of his countrymen, and was intended to prepare him for a mission of which he had never thought of before, and which was unlike that to which any other individual had ever been called in the history of the race. Without such a manifestation, and the special revelation which accompanied it, Paul never would have become "the apostle of the Gentiles," and never could have been prepared for such a mission.

Of this mission Paul gives the following account: "And it came to pass that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance: and saw Him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on Thee: and when the blood of Thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles." This revelation was only preparatory for the special one which he subsequently received while at Antioch, and when "the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." With what absolute assurance did the first revelation prepare his mind to go forth in obedience to the second!

The next revelation of the kind occurred during the early part of his ministry at Corinth. He had "fought with the beasts at Ephesus," had been "scourged, imprisoned, and put in the stocks at Philippi," had fled for his life from Thessalonica and Berea, had encountered the derision of the philosophers at Athens, and was then in such "peril from the lying in wait of the Jews "in Corinth, that he would unquestionably have left the city but for the following special vision of Christ which he then had : -- "Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee : for I have much people in this city." No wonder that, "for a whole year and six months" after he had received that vision, he continued to preach the gospel to that people, and that without fear.

The special vision next vouchsafed was when he was in the castle in Jerusalem, and was then in the midst of the greatest possible perils, with years of gloomy imprisonment in prospect. Of this vision we have the following tenderly impressive account : -- "And the night following, the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." Little power, after that, had chains and prison walls to confine the boundless freedom of that soul.

When in the midst of that fearful tempest in which "neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay upon them, and all hope that any of them should be saved was taken away," then Christ did not Himself appear, but sent His angel with a special message of cheer, hope, and assurance. Let us read the inspired account of this vision : -- "But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo! God bath given thee all them that sail with thee: Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me." Thus, by such anticipatory revelations was the apostle prepared for the great exigencies, and trials, and tribulations of his eventful life.

Grace superabundant is provided for and promised to all believers for every "time of need," and special grace for all special necessities. This also we may all expect, that for new and overpowering trials we shall be prepared by anticipatory grace, which will render us more than conquerors when the evil day comes upon us. It does not appear that such grace is now vouchsafed in the specific form in which it was to Paul. Yet we may rest assured that "the Great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls" will not only come to us and walk with us after we have been put into the furnace, but will anticipate our trials of fire by special and gracious preparations. In my own experience there have been periods not a few, periods in which for a long time all providential occurrences combined their influence as very severe trials of faith. During each of these I have been not only sustained by special and all-sufficient grace, but each of them was anticipated by special promises, on which the mind was made to repose, and by special divine influences -- promises and influences all tending to one specific result, to prepare the mind for the peculiar trials which were to follow. I will refer to a few facts of the character under consideration.

Prior to the occurrence of the calamitous events in the history of the College, the events above described, this passage was brought home with inexpressible sweetness and power to my heart: -- "Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." The portions of the passage most deeply impressed upon my mind were the two following, the first especially : -- "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength." Why these promises were brought home with such power upon my mind and heart I could not tell. They consciously girded me, however, "with everlasting strength" for any providences which God might see fit to send. But when the sudden and crushing avalanche did descend upon us, I then understood fully why its descent had been so specifically provided for by anticipating grace.

The calamities, and the new duties thence arising, found me standing immovably upon a rock of strength, where the former could bring no disquietude, and "endued with power from on high" for the latter. In connection with the quietness and assurance which those promises inspired, and while feeling myself as self-helpless as a feeble worm surrounded with a circle of fire, with what ineffable interest did I read such promises and admonitions as the following: -- "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel: I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." "Fear thou not: for I am with thee: be not dismayed for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." I knew well that the Spirit of God would not, with such undying interest and life-imparting power, bring home to my heart these and kindred promises, if He did not intend that I should rest upon them. Then, when the conscious object of the neglect and reprobation of my brethren and former associates, and when consciously regarded by the ministry and churches generally with whom I had been in full fellowship as "a troubler of Israel," how can I express the almost agonising joy with which I would read such passages as the following -- "I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man, which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, aud laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: the Lord of Hosts is His name. And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand."

How could calamities disturb my peace or awaken fear when they always found me thus encircled with such "exceeding great and precious promises.," God's "horses of fire and chariots of fire"? Why should we fear the descent of an avalanche when it must bring down with it, and that "from God out of heaven," such "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace"? How and why should man's neglect anger and disquiet us when it brings directly to our heart "the smile of the Lord" as "the feast of our souls"? Often, when made most deeply conscious of the intended neglect of brethren with whom I had once "taken sweet counsel, and gone to the house of God in company," have I turned aside and wept for overflowing joy of heart as the above passage would lift its divine form before my mind. I have long ceased to wonder at the words of Paul. Permit me to cite his words once more -- "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

While the events above referred to were passing, I was called, under circumstances of peculiar embarrassment, to spend our winter vacation of three months in Boston. The church which finally engaged my services had negotiated with Brother Finney to secure his. These negotiations were carried on to within a few days before I left home, he having finally declined to go. In the communications from the church, he was assured that expectation had become so fully centred in him that I, who was a perfect stranger to all but a very few individuals, would be able to do but a very little in the city. Under such circumstances I went there, and, of course, found things as might have been anticipated.

My first evening (week-day) lecture was attended by not more than forty individuals, and these seemed to have come together from a consciousness of duty rather than an expectation of spiritual profit. Weeks before I left home, and while all were expecting that Brother Finney would spend the winter in Boston, my mind became most intensely interested in the declaration of Christ, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened." I was led to reflect upon the manner of His ministry, and the principles in conformity to which He laid the foundations of His eternal kingdom. "He went about everywhere doing good," proclaiming the Word of Life, conferring upon all who would receive Him ''power to become the sons of God," banding them together as "a little flock," and yet as the sacramental host of God; and as soon as He was glorified, "enduing them with power from on high" for the great world-work to which He had called them. "This," I said, "is the leaven which Christ cast in amid the elements of the world of mind for the world's moral renovation."

In view of that fact, my life-mission was made perfectly manifest to my mind. I was to do all I possibly could to induce every mind that I could draw under my influence to "receive, in the love of it, the truth" which Christ had made known to me, and to be "baptized with the Holy Ghost" for the exemplification and propagation of that full redemption in the world and among believers. These believers, "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," and everywhere, by precept and example, "holding forth the Word of Life," would act as Christ's leaven in the churches until the whole were leavened. Never for a moment, after that passage thus opened upon my mind, did a shadow of doubt cross my mind in respect to the nature of my divinely-designated mission and work, or in respect to the ultimate result. The truth presented thrilled through my whole intellectual, moral, and spiritual being, and endued me with immortal courage and strength for the work before me.

When I arrived in Boston, the facts presented might have rendered me utterly despondent, and induced me to go to some other field, but for the anticipatory grace and preparation above presented. As it was, with that truth in my heart "as a burning fire shut up in my bones," I contemplated these facts with absolute "assurance of hope." Nor was I disappointed in respect to the results. Those few who listened to that first discourse went home to think, to pray, to "speak often one to another" and to their brethren upon the subject; and in a few weeks I found myself addressing, from Sabbath to Sabbath and on the evenings of the week, the most crowded audiences that could be collected anywhere in the city. The immediate result was, that many sinners were converted, and many believers "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb," and found God as "their everlasting light," while "the days of their mourning were ended." The permanent result has been, that the leaven thus cast in has remained as a perpetually assimilating and sanctifying power in the churches.

As indicative of these results, I will refer to a single fact. Some two or three years after the above-stated occurrences, Dr Channing inquired of the celebrated seamen's chaplain in the city, Dr Taylor, whether the latter could designate any individuals, or class of individuals, whose inner and visible lives accorded with the revelations of the New Testament in respect to what believers are privileged to become. "There are many such," Dr Taylor replied. At Dr Channing's special request, Dr Taylor designated a lady whom he well knew, and who had for two or three years "walked in the light of God." At Dr C.'s written request, that lady called upon him. As soon as they met, the Doctor said to her, with much feeling, I desire to hear from you about this full redemption of which so much is said in the churches in the city and country." The lady then detailed to him her own personal experience on the subject, telling him how Christ had been presented to her mind; how she had, by faith, received Him; how He had "endued her with power from on high," and what the results had been in her inner and outer life. Dr Channing wept like a child while listening to that narrative, and said, as the lady took her leave, that he should take an opportunity to converse with her again on this subject. Immediately after this the Doctor left the city on his summer vacation, and died while absent. In an address which he delivered just before he died, on the subject of slavery, he made a devout reference to Christ as having made atonement for our sins, as living in the world as "God manifest in the flesh," and as the foundation of all our hopes.

The facts above stated -- facts connected with Dr Taylor and the lady referred to -- I give as given personally to me by these individuals themselves. The power under which I spoke, of this, I absolutely know, that that power was not my own. All that I can say of it is, that I consciously stood "in the light of God," and spoke "as the Spirit gave me utterance." Nor can I conceive how it was possible for me thus to have spoken but for the anticipatory baptism of light and power which I received before it was determined that I should visit the city at all. When will ministers, and believers universally, recognise their absolute dependence upon the Spirit of God for real Christian thought and utterance? Can any man "say that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost"? When will Christians admit the fulness and adequacy of the grace of God in Christ, and of that grace as distributed to us by the Holy Ghost for all our necessities? Are we, or are we not, "complete in Christ"?

While a gracious Providence was thus caring for all my interests, a very singular event occurred an event unlike any other which I have ever experienced, either before or since that time. I had been engaged for some time in excessive labours in New England. The result of these labours was a very depressing and almost shattering effect upon my nervous system. Any sudden calamitous event occurring at that time, or any unexpected intelligence of such an event, might have utterly prostrated my system. I was on my way from Boston, through New York, to the city of Poughkeepsie, where I had an appointment for protracted labours for a considerable period. In the city of New York, intelligence awaited me of an event of the most afflictive and startling character that could have occurred -- an event in respect to which I had had no agency or responsibility whatever -- an event which I had not the remotest reason to anticipate, and the thought of which had never approached my mind. While sitting in the cars alone by myself, and engaged in quiet meditation, a question in these exact words was directly put to my mind: "How would you feel if, on your arrival in New York, intelligence of "-- such an event -- "should meet you"? the event being specifically designated. I was never in my life more distinctly conscious that a question was put to me by another mind than my own than I was on that occasion; nor by any facts of experience, or any of the known laws of association, have I been able to account for the fact under consideration on any other supposition.

The first acquaintance that I met with, on my arrival in the city of New York, gave me information of the occurrence of that event. The question put to me in the cars, however, had induced such specific reflections, and moral and spiritual preparations, that the intelligence had no disturbing effect whatever upon my mental or physical system. For myself, I can give but one account of the facts before us. That question was put to me by another mind than my own, and was put for the specific purpose of insuring a needful preparation for the intelligence which I did receive, and this as a means to a higher end, namely, that I might have strength for the accomplishment of the great work which was accomplished through my instrumentality in the city towards which I was journeying. The inference which I drew from such occurrences is this: -- Another mind than our own has the care of all our interests as "believers in Jesus," a mind that understands all our needs, and who is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," a mind whose ever wakeful and watchful presence always encircles us as a "munition of rocks," and who will not fail to anticipate all our great emergencies by needful preparations. I write these things, reader, that, by an entrance into the same rest of faith, your heart with mine may ever inwardly sing --

"Safe in the arms of Jesus,

Safe on His gentle breast."

I refer but to one additional case of the kind now under consideration, and that pertains to the darkest and most trying period of my Christian life. I left Oberlin to take charge of a new university. The basis of the endowment of this institution was a tract of land of two hundred and seventy-five acres, most propitiously located in the immediate vicinity of the city of Cleveland, Ohio. This property, which promised to render the university a better endowed institution by far than any other in any of the Western States, was obtained, and by written covenant was held, by myself and two other individuals in trust, for the purposes named. By the trustees of the university, and by the trustees in trust, a power of attorney was given to one of the latter to lay out this property into city lots, and sell the same for the benefit of the institution. After matters had proceeded for a time, the trusters and community were utterly astounded by the disclosure of the fact, that, under that power of attorney, all this property had been disposed of for private speculation, the house which I had built, and in which my family was residing, being included in the sale, no deed having been yet conveyed to me. By a bogus. settlement, against which I recorded a written protest, and for which the trustees afterwards expressed the deepest regret, the ruin of the university was consummated. Standing in the midst of these ruins, with the little property I had put beyond my control, with a large family upon my hands, and with no visible means for their support, I found myself more completely insulated from former associations than I had ever been before, and under the darkest cloud with which I could be overshadowed.

Yet for what I was here called to endure I had been most fully prepared by influences and "enduements of power from on high," -- influences and enduements specifically anticipatory of what did come upon me. Some months prior to my leaving Oberlin my mind had been intensely occupied -- I could not conjecture why -- with the utterance made by our Saviour in view of His approaching sufferings at Jerusalem, namely, "Verily, verily, I say unto you. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Here, I saw, is the immutable condition of fruitfulness in the kingdom of God. What that condition is, is made manifest by the circumstances in which those words were uttered. Christ had distinctly before His mind the entire sufferings and the terrible death which awaited Him. All this He could have avoided had He chosen to do so. "No man took His life from Him; He laid it down of Himself." Had He spoken the word, His persecutors would an have fallen dead before Him. Had He "prayed the Father," "twelve legions of angels" would have appeared for His rescue. That He should surrender Himself to the baptism with which He was to be baptized, that was His Father's will. When Christ, from simple respect to the Father's will, and in view of the eternal fruits thence to result, thus voluntarily "became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," then "the corn of wheat fell into the ground and died."

So when our wills fall so absolutely into the will of God that we fully and unreservedly consent to do, to be, to become, and to suffer all that God may appoint us, asking nothing and choosing nothing but as He may will for us, then the condition required is perfected on our part, and the promise contained in the words, "If it die, it bringeth forth much fruit," is ours. Under the most distinct, deep, and impressive apprehension of this condition and promise, that black cloud came over me, and for several years shut me in on every side. "Now," I exclaimed, "is the period of my existence when 'the corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die!' While the cloud shall remain, not a murmur, nor sentiment of discontent, must for a moment have place in my mind. Not a wish or choice must be entertained that the 'trial of fire' shall be less severe or less protracted than God wills. Not a movement of anger or ill-will must enter my heart, to whatever injuries or provocations I may be subject. In no single instance must I speak unadvisedly with my lips, and absolute integrity must be maintained, whatever the losses may be which I may suffer thereby." I have no idea but that I should have fallen in that evil day, but for the anticipatory grace and strength which had been previously vouchsafed to me. Had I failed in any particular to fulfil the condition under consideration, I might have been saved from death, but should have failed, I doubt not, of the fruitfulness which has followed, and may yet follow.

Sitting, as I did, under the shadow of that dark cloud, absolutely losing myself in the sweet will of God there, and thus "learning obedience from the things which I suffered," and being -- because I was through all that period consciously sustained by a power not my own -- "more than a conqueror through Him that hath loved us," I now, as a witness for Christ, have an absolute assurance of the all-sufficiency of divine grace, an assurance otherwise impossible to me. When God at length very unexpectedly took me by the hand, and led me out from under that cloud, and set me again in "a large place," I very soon understood why God had afflicted me. There is one grace -- the most valuable of almost all others -- one grace in which we can be disciplined and perfected but in "the furnace of affliction." When "patience has had her perfect work" there, then the mind becomes possessed, as it otherwise could not be, of "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace," of "assurances of hope," "assurances of faith," and "assurances of understanding," of divine fellowships and fruitions, and of "fulness of joy."

Reader, "despise not thou the chastening (parental discipline) of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him." Remember, also, that they only are blessed, and counted happy, "who endure temptation;" that when the hour of trial comes, then and there is the time and place when and where the "corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die."

The final conclusion to which all the above facts and elucidations conduct us is, the absolute assurance with which we may intrust all our mortal and immortal cares and interests to Christ. "Because I live, ye shall live also." When intrusted to Him by an unwavering faith, our well-being is just as safe as His. There is not a condition of existence in which we can be placed in which there is any necessity that we should be anything less than "more than conquerors through Him that hath loved us." When Christ is in us, and we in Him, as He is in the Father, and the Father in Him, we shall be as secure and blessed in Him as He was in the Father, and temptations, in whatever forms they may come upon us, will have no more power over us than they had over Him. "He that abideth in Him sinneth not." In this relation to Christ, into which all may, and all are absolutely bound to enter, we can have nothing less than an "all-sufficiency for all things," and cannot but be "abundantly furnished for every good work," and can do nothing less than "all things through Christ which strengtheneth us." "Great fights of affliction," "divers temptations," "fiery trials," and "resistance unto blood, striving against sin," are eras in "the hidden life," not for inglorious defeats, but for glorious victories and triumphs, "through the blood of the Lamb and the Word of His testimony."

The reason, and the only reason, why any believer, the feeblest as well as the strongest, does not "stand in the evil day," is that he expects to fall, and hence "casts away his confidence." The reason, and the only reason, why I, as above stated, "remained steadfast and immovable" during the long years in which that dark cloud hung over me, was that I expected Christ would "keep me from falling," and held to Him as with a death-grasp. In my absolute and unlimited consecration of myself to Christ, the "corn of wheat had fallen into the ground;" and now, I said to myself; "the hour is come" for it to remain and die there, and by the grace and power of Christ it shall thus remain and die. During all that dark period my faith heard the voice of Him, for whose sake I regard it as an infinite privilege to suffer all that He wills, calling to me as from heaven, "Hold the fort, for I am coming;" and my whole inner being, with all the "little strength" I had, responded, "By grace I will."

And now, reader, having not only "counted," but found, "Him faithful that hath promised," I say to you, and Christ also authorises me to say, that you need not fall when you are tempted. On the other hand, "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried in the fire, may be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." "If thou wilt believe, thou shalt see the glory of God." "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might;" and at all times, and under all circumstances, expect to be "more than a conqueror through Him that hath loved you." Then shall you be "as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abideth forever."

Chapter 26


In I John ii. 1, Christ is revealed as our "Advocate with the Father." "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." In John xiv. 16, 26, xv. 26,and xvi. 17, the same original word that is rendered Advocate in the passage above cited, is rendered Comforter, and is applied exclusively to the Holy Spirit. In a very important sense, therefore, we have two Advocates with the Father; each to act in His own special sphere -- two Advocates, namely, Jesus Christ the Righteous on the one hand, and the Holy Spirit on the other. In Rom. viii. 26, 27, we have a revelation of the nature of this peculiar function of the Holy Spirit. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." As I have never yet heard this subject satisfactorily explained to my own mind, I will dwell upon it for a few moments. In the promises, two things are absolutely pledged to the faith of the believer -- perfect security against all real evil on the one hand, and the possession of all real good on the other.

As examples of the first class of promise; I need only cite the following : -- "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." "I pray not that Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil." That prayer is an absolute promise to our faith. Of the other class of promises, the following will suffice : -- "No good thing will He withhold from them who walk uprightly." "But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus." "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" The promises to prayer have but one limit -- our capacities to receive. "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." So far the will of God is distinctly and absolutely revealed to us. So far we may ask, knowing assuredly that what we ask is "agreeable to the will of God," and that, ''asking in faith,'' "we shall have the petitions that we desired of Him." And here we have the real meaning of our Saviour in the words, "Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." What every true believer wills and asks for when he prays is that he may be kept from all that would be to him an evil, and not a good; that he may receive everything which would be to him not an evil, but a good; and that "God will supply all his need," until "his joy is full."

Now, when we come to particulars, and would specify this or that particular object, here come in "our infirmities," and we do not "know what we should pray for as we ought," because we do not know whether particular objects would be to us a good or an evil. Here, also, the Spirit is present to "help our infirmities," and becomes our intercessor for "things which are agreeable to the will of God." What we may not know at all the Spirit knows perfectly, namely, what particular objects would be good, and what objects would be evil to us, and knows, consequently, what objects God wills that we should, or should not, receive at His hands in answer to prayer. The Spirit becomes our Intercessor or Advocate by drawing out our hearts, and working in us to pray "fervently," "earnestly," and with "groanings which cannot be uttered," for those blessings which are "agreeable to the will of God," -- that is, those blessings which He wills that we should receive when we pray for them.

When the reception of the blessings referred to depends upon human instrumentality, the Spirit not only intercedes with and in us, by inducing in us a spirit of prayer for such blessing, but also moves upon the hearts of those through whom the answer is to come to us, to induce them to do in accordance with our prayers. When the blessing is to come through the operations of nature, the Spirit makes intercession for us as before, and, at the same time, works in nature, our bodies in cases of disease, or in nature around, as the case may be, to produce those changes and arrangements which accord with our petitions. When the Spirit "makes intercession for us" by influencing us to pray for specific spiritual blessings which must come to us directly from God, then the same Spirit, who leads and constrains us thus to pray, answers our prayers by "shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts," "revealing Christ in us," bringing us into "fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ," granting "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace," "rendering us strong in weakness," "giving a tongue and wisdom" in proclaiming the truth, filling us with all the fulness of God," and "blessing us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," just according to the nature of the blessing in respect to which He draws out our hearts in prayer. Let us consider some facts pertaining to answers to prayer in the different relations above indicated.

Agency of the Spirit in Inducing a Spirit of Prayer,

and then Securing an Answer through Human Agency.

I have already, in another connection, referred to the case of the building of the second Temple. The building of the first Temple had been, in deed and truth, "by might and by power." Before the work was commenced, the means for its full completion were all furnished, and the civil and military resources of kingdoms were devoted to the accomplishment of the work. The foundations of the second Temple were laid by a small, poor, weak, and despised people, and all this with no visible means to perfect the work begun. Yet the people were commanded to go trustfully forward with the work. The erection of this house was to be, not the work of might nor power, but of God's Spirit. How was the Spirit to do this? Not directly, by a miraculous furnishment of means, but indirectly, through human agency. While the people were to go prayerfully and trustfully forward, the Spirit of God was not only to "help their infirmities" when praying, but to move upon the hearts of kings and princes, and of men who had gold and silver, to induce them, of their own free will, to furnish the means as needed, until "the top-stone of the edifice should be laid with shoutings, Grace, grace unto it!"

When Nehemiah, saddened by the intelligence which he had received in respect to the condition of his countrymen in "the place of his fathers' sepulchres," was inquired of by the King of Persia, the queen sitting by him, in regard to the cause of the sorrow which was too great to be concealed, the sacred writer tells us that "he prayed to the God of heaven" while answering the question put to him. Here we have a striking example of what may be called the double function of the Spirit -- inducing prayer in the first instance, and then influencing the heart of the royal sovereign to act in accordance with the prayer previously induced.

Permit me now to adduce some examples in common life and experience -- examples illustrative of the same great truth. During one of the pecuniary crises in America, a crisis in which almost all building operations were suspended in the city of New York, a Christian mechanic found himself entirely out of work. The only resource for the support of his family was derived from what was received from a few boarders kept by his wife. This woman had exhausted every possible means to keep up this supply. At length she found herself in this condition: She had been enabled to get a satisfactory breakfast for her boarders and family. Not an article of provision remained in her house, and her money and credit were perfectly exhausted. When her children expressed their apprehensions in regard to the future, she replied that their Father in heaven would give them that day, as He had done in the past, "their daily bread," and retired to her chamber for prayer. Some time after she came down singing for joy of heart, and said to her children, "God will supply the means in time for our next meal. I know He will." Immediately after this, a member of the same church with this woman, the wife of a very wealthy citizen, called, and as soon as they were alone in the parlour, exclaimed with tears, "Sister, you must he in distress about something; do tell me what it is. I have not been able to keep you out of my mind for a moment all this forenoon. I have been impressed with the idea that I should come here and give you money. Here, take my purse and do what you desire with it. But do tell me what has happened to you." When shown the empty cupboard in that house, the visitant exclaimed, "I understand it now. Well, have no concern for the future. As long as my wants are met, yours shall be." And so it was. How manifest is the fact that, while the Spirit directed and helped the one individual to pray, He moved upon the heart of the other to do what was requisite to met the petition presented to a throne of grace!

A city missionary in the city of Brooklyn, New York, having failed to receive his usual stipend during the week, found himself on Saturday evening totally destitute of means to supply his family with food for the approaching Sabbath. The matter was presented at a throne of grace. As the family were about to retire to their beds, in answer to the ring of the bell, the missionary found a wealthy merchant standing at his door. "As I was about to retire to bed," said the merchant, "you was so distinctly and impressively presented to my mind, that I dared not sleep without calling and inquiring whether you have any want that I can meet." Before retiring to rest that night, the family of that missionary sat down to a table bountifully supplied with full provisions for days following, and did retire with the sweet assurance that He who inspires and hears prayer, knows also how to secure the answer, and is equally trustworthy to do so.

The only other case to which I would refer is that of the Rev. David Ingraham, who laid the foundation of the American missions among the freedmen in Jamaica, West Indies. This individual was the first fruit of my ministry after I was settled as pastor. He followed me to Oberlin to study there for the ministry, and early became as "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost" as any person I ever knew. After he had been in the Institution several years, physicians assured him that, on account of the asthma with which he was affected, he must spend the then approaching winter in some warm climate, such as the West Indies, or he must die. Under this conviction, he left the home of his parents in the State of Michigan, and left with means insufficient to pay his passage to the city of New York. Yet he left with a fixed determination, if possible, to get to the place he desired to reach, and did so with a fixed trust that God would furnish the means, if in no other way, from help obtained from a wealthy uncle living in the State of New York.

One of the most interesting and impressive tracts published by the American Tract Society contains an account given by a fellow-passenger, a total stranger to our friend, of the influence exerted by the latter in the vessel in which they passed from Detroit to Buffalo, and on board the packet on the canal for about one hundred and fifty miles. Through the influence of that one young man both those vessels became floating Bethels. Stepping off the packet to spend the Sabbath, our friend spoke twice in one of the churches whose pastor was absent at the time, and on taking leave on Monday morning, received an unsolicited gift of twenty-five dollars from some brethren in Christ. From his uncle he received a similar gift, and then came to the city of New York, where Professor Finney and myself were labouring at the time. I shall never forget the quiet and peaceful aspect of that countenance, or the words he uttered, when that young man met me there. "I have no will or choice of my own," he said : "I am as ready to die here as anywhere else, and now as at any other time, if such is the will of my God. I have a deep conviction, however, that it is His will that I should put forth every possible effort to get to the West Indies. If I shall fail in this, then I shall know that the time has come for me to die, and shall most joyfully accept the will of Him 'whose I am, and whom I serve.'"

Being able to hear of but one vessel which was about to sail to the West Indies, and learning that it was in the harbour at Boston, our friend, having received from Brother Finney and myself what we were able to give him, and taking with him from Brother Finney a letter of introduction to some friends there, left for that city. On visiting the vessel referred to, he was told by the captain most positively that no passengers whatever could be received on board his ship, even the cabin being engaged for goods. Returning to his room, our friend carried his case to a throne of grace, praying that God, by the Holy Spirit, would induce a change of purpose in the mind of that captain. Going down to the harbour the next day, and renewing his request, he received the same positive refusal as before. On returning to his room, "and bowing his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," "the Spirit itself made intercession" for our brother "with groanings which cannot be uttered." On the third day he rose from his knees, and went down to the harbour with absolute assurance that then his request would be granted. As soon as he met the captain, the latter asked in the kindest words, "Will you step with me down into the cabin?" As soon as they were seated there, the captain continued, "Are you not, my young friend, out of health, and desirous for that reason to sail to the West Indies?" "Yes, sir." "Well, you can have a place on board my ship." "What will you charge me for the passage, captain?" "Sixteen dollars." The regular price was sixty dollars.

Was that young man wrong in the conclusion that it was the same Spirit that gave him such fervency, faith, and assurance in prayer, that moved also upon the heart of the captain to induce such a change in the spirit and purpose of his mind? Do not the express teachings of the Bible, as well as facts such as we are now considering, teach us most absolutely, that while the Spirit intercedes within our hearts by drawing them out in "effectual fervent prayer," that He also has power to turn the hearts of men as the rivers of water are turned, when answers to prayer depend upon human instrumentality?

The following facts, though not bearing directly upon our present inquiries, will be read with interest. On the voyage, the vessel in which our young friend sailed did indeed become a floating Bethel. On their arrival at Havana, the captain offered to take him, without charge, to all the places whither the vessel was to sail. Finding an opportunity to labour with high wages at his trade, that of a cabinetmaker, in a great manufactory of the kind in the city, our friend determined to stop there, the captain becoming responsible to the authorities for his good conduct. The overseer of the establishment was an American, and was the only individual by whom Mr. Ingraham could be understood, all the hands being slaves. Our friend soon understood, however, that all his fellow-workmen were horridly profane in their language. Whenever such an oath would be uttered, the offender would receive from our friend such a look of surprise, sorrow, and rebuke, that in a few weeks not an oath was heard in the establishment. The last evening which he spent in the city, he spent in prayer and conversation with one of those slaves, who had become an inquirer after the great salvation. Gaining needful information about the English islands, our friend returned to us, received ordination, and, with some associates, went to Jamaica, and there laid the foundation of the missions above referred to.

As an illustration of the character of the converts thus gathered in, I will refer to a single example. One of their early converts was an aged coloured man who had long been a beastly drunkard. Knowing that total abstinence was a necessary condition of saving the man from his former habits, one of the missionaries spoke to him on the subject. "Do Massa Jesus," replied the convert, "no wish me to drink any more liquor?" On being convinced that this was the case, he replied, "Well, since Massa Jesus no wish me to drink any more, me will nebber again taste a drop of liquor." The missionary then referred to the man's servitude to tobacco. "Why," replied the convert, "do Massa Jesus no wish me to use any more tobacca?" On being convinced that this was also true, the convert replied, "Well den, me nebber taste tobacca any more." Meeting the aged convert after this, the missionary found him very happy. "How have you got along without liquor and tobacco?" asked the missionary. "Oh, me nebber tich dem any more." "How do you keep down your appetite?" "Me pray Massa Jesus all de time." Here is wisdom! When will believers learn that "this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith"?

The Intercession and Agency of the Spirit relatively to

Physical Wants.

If anything is revealed in the Bible, this is revealed there, that prayer has great efficacy relatively to diseases, to rain and sunshine, and events in the physical world around us. "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." Nothing is said here about the subjective influence of prayer in preparing us to receive blessings, or in inducing us to labour diligently to secure them, and thus procure an answer to our own prayers. We are simply informed of what we may expect God to do when we pray to Him. Events, also, in respect to which prayer is affirmed to have great avail on those over which none but God has any control whatever. Such, also, are the teachings of Scripture everywhere on this subject. The individual who repeats the words, "Give us this day our daily bread," and does so, saying in his heart, under the prattle of an infidel philosophy about the laws of nature, that God will do nothing more or less in nature in consequence of our prayers, offers a direct insult to the Almighty. We ask Him, in all such cases, to do for us what we affirm He never will do for us or for anybody else. This dogma, that prayer can have, in our temporal concerns, nothing but a subjective influence, is as unscientific and unreasonable as it is unchristian.

If the Spirit of God is in and over nature, as a free and voluntary determining activity, then, if we are the sons and daughters of the Almighty, it would be, not reason, but unreason, in us not to believe that the Eternal Spirit will determine events around us in accordance with our varying necessities and Spirit inspired prayers. The Spirit is just as able to turn the currents of physical events, as He is to turn the king's heart or the heart of men "as the rivers of water are turned," and no law of nature is violated in one case any more than in the other. It as absolutely accords with the known nature and laws of matter to be influenced and controlled by the free activity of mind, as it does with those of one spirit to be influenced, and even controlled, by the thoughts, feelings, and wills of other spirits. We must deny the living God, or admit and affirm that His free will is the universal law of nature. If God is in and over nature, as a free and rational activity, then it is no more a violation of any law of nature for Him so to direct and control the current of events around us, that He shall be ever manifested to His children as a hearer and answerer of their prayers in respect to their temporal and spiritual interests alike, than it is for an earthly parent to sustain similar relations to his offspring.

If God is not in nature as a Hearer of prayer in the sense now under consideration, then we may say with truth, not only that revelation, but nature itself, as far as rational mind is concerned, is a lie. There is no conviction more intuitive and universal, and no instinct more strictly common to the race, than is the principle of prayer to God in time of need. In times of sudden calamity, and of great and pressing exigencies, it is just as natural to us to pray to God for deliverance and relief, as it is to breathe. Heathen authors of ancient times notice this fact that, in the relations under consideration, all men in common pray, and pray to one and the same God, the Creator and Governor of the universe. Here we have a law of nature, or none such is known to us. The infidelity in the world and the unbelief in the Church, which deny or ignore the "physical value of prayer," is as openly and undeniably opposed to known facts and the deductions of true science as they are to the Bible.

The facts of prayer-cure, "known and read of all men" throughout Christendom, are as absolutely verified as any scientific facts can be, and the deductions based upon the former are as strictly scientific as are those based upon the latter. Take the following fact, stated by Professor Finney under his own name in the Indpendent of New York, and, from personal knowledge, affirmed as real by all the people in Oberlin. A woman in that place had, from a complete paralysis of her system, been confined to her bed for upwards of ten years. In that place lives a sister in the Church who has absolute faith in the efficacy of prayer to procure immediate healing of the sick, whenever the Spirit draws out the heart to prayer for such persons. Having had her heart drawn in a very special manner towards this sad case, she went to the sick woman and convinced her from the Bible that she might receive immediate healing in answer to "the prayer of faith." Having gained this end, the visitant invited several of the female members of the Church, individuals of a common faith with her on the subject. She invited, I say, several of her female friends to meet her in that sick-room. While they were all bowed in prayer, and this woman was praying, the sick one rose up as fully recovered as was the mother-in-law of Peter when Christ touched her hand. From that time to the present, that woman has gone out and in before the people of Oberlin, a living and moving demonstration of the truth of the divine testimony, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up."

I now give two cases which were made public through the religious and secular papers of Chicago, and that by eye-witnesses of known intelligence and credibility, no hint ever appearing that the cases were not real. A daughter of a Congregational pastor in Kansas, a child some ten or twelve years of age, had been confined to her bed as a very great sufferer from a rheumatic affection for upwards of three years. One of her limbs had become perfectly helpless by being drawn up and her knee becoming callous. This child having, as she lay upon her bed, read of the healing in Oberlin, said to her mother, "I can be cured as that woman was, and I want you to pray that I may be healed." The mother having expressed doubt, the child found the promises and declarations of the Bible on the subject, and read them to her mother. The physician having prepared a special application, saying it might be of some use, the child refused, affirming that she desired that Christ might have all the honour of her restoration, and the application was laid aside. At length the child called the mother to her bedside, and said, "Mother, I now have faith to be healed. Will you not kneel down at once and pray for me?" The mother did kneel, and, as she testified, prayed as she never was conscious of being able to pray before. While thus employed, the child left her bed, and laying her hand upon the mother, exclaimed, "Wake up, mother! I am cured;" and "she was cured from that very hour." A clergyman who had called a week after this to see, with his own eyes, what had occurred, stated in the public papers, that he found the child out with other children sliding on the ice, and that with limbs as well and strong as theirs.

A physician whose "praise is in all the churches" in the State of Illinois gives this account of his own case -- he had been for years afflicted with a disease of the eyes, a disease which utterly baffled the skill of himself and all the physicians around him. At length he went to the city of New York, and had his case examined by a council of the best physicians and oculists of that city. All with one consent pronounced his case a perfectly hopeless one, and affirmed that within three months he would be totally blind, and that for life. On returning home, he stated the facts to his wife and two daughters, all in common with himself having faith in God. To them he observed, that one, and but one, hope remained. God, in answer to "the prayer of faith," might restore his sight. Without further speaking, the wife and daughters retired each to a separate room for prayer. The husband and father kneeled where he was, and said, "If thou, Lord, seest it best that I should become blind, I freely consent to be thus afflicted. But if I can better serve Thee with my eyes restored, grant Lord, that I may receive my sight." While thus praying, he distinctly felt each eye touched as with the end of a finger, and knew in himself that a perfect cure was effected. Rising from his knees, he passed into the hall to go to his wife's room to tell her the glad tidings. In the hall, it being totally dark, the lamps not having been lighted up, he met his wife, who threw her arms around him with the exclamation, "Husband, your eyes are cured. I know that God has heard my prayer for that blessing." While she was thus speaking, each daughter came from her room, and throwing her arms around her parents, gave utterance to the same assurance that the mother had done. When the house was lighted up, the eyes of the husband and father were found to be in as sound a state as were those of any individual present, or were those of any individual in the community. So they have remained to this day.

I must here just allude to a statement made to me, many years ago, by Dr Cleveland, then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan. While I was at his house, a lady of the city, a member of his church, made a call upon her pastor and his family. After she had left, Dr. Cleveland said to me, "That is one of the holiest women I ever knew in my life, and such power in prayer! Her influence is felt throughout the city. Our wicked men of the highest standing are often heard to say, that if 'all Christians were like that woman, we should not be as wicked as we are.'" Her husband, then impenitent, was sick of the cholera years ago. His case utterly baffled the skill of all physicians, until he descended into the lowest state of collapse, a state from which no individual was ever before known to recover. While the physicians and others stood by expecting that each breath would be his last, the wife, looking upon the unconscious face of her husband, said very calmly, "He will not die now." "Why, madam," said one of the physicians, "he is dying, and must be dead in a very few moments." "If that man dies," said the wife, "I am not a Christian. If I have ever had faith at all, I have prayed in faith for his recovery, and if my prayer fails here, I have no hold at all upon God." The man did recover, and no physician, or any other person, could give any account of the fact but this, that in this case, at least, "the prayer of faith did save the sick, and the Lord did raise him up."

For myself I would say, that I have great heaviness and continued sorrow in my heart that the Church, instead of listening to God, has opened her ear to the senseless "twaddle" of infidelity about the fixedness of the laws of nature, until she has experienced a deep eclipse of faith in respect to her solemn duties and high privileges in respect to the subject now under consideration. If you will not believe God's positive testimony here, reader, your faith will be feeble, if you have any at all, everywhere else.

Let us now contemplate the available influence of prayer relatively to events in nature around us. "Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field." The command and promise here recorded were inspired by One who understands His own relations to the movements, arrangements, and events of the world around us, and God's relations to us as a Hearer of prayer, quite as well as do those infidel scientists to whose godless teachings our religious instructors, and the flocks they lead, have so lamentably opened their ears. In the New Testament we are positively taught that prayer, relatively to the subject under consideration, and to all our temporal concerns, has all the power that it had in the days of Elias. We are required to "cast all our cares upon the Lord;" and that for this reason, "that He careth for us." To assure us of the universality and particularity of the divine care and superintendence of all our interests, our Saviour tells us. that "the hairs of our head are all numbered," and that not "one of them shall perish," and that God is so omnipresent to us as a Hearer of prayer, and so able and ready to give when we "always pray and do not faint," that "our God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus," and render "our joy full."

Now, suppose that, in our godless unbelief we entertain the sentiment that, mere subjective influence excepted, prayer has no efficacy in respect to our temporal concerns and to the events which are passing in nature around us, we shall, as a necessary result, insulate ourselves from communion and fellowship with our Father in heaven, and put an impenetrable veil between our hearts and the face of our God in all the ordinary relations and concerns of life, and shall, consequently, find God nowhere. What is still worse, we shall become "mockers," and render our "bonds strong," by continuing to utter the words, "'Give us this day our daily bread,' give us rain, and sunshine, and fruitful seasons; heal our diseases, supply all our wants, provide for the widow and orphan, and be the Guardian of all our cares and interests," and all this while we say in our hearts, "God will change nothing and give nothing in answer to our prayers," our words thus becoming nothing but lies in the ear of God. Let me say this to you, reader, that if God shall ever "dwell with you and walk in you," He will do so in the midst of all your temporalities and relations to the world around you and as the ever-trusted Guardian of those temporalities and relations. Separate the superintendence of God from these concernments, and deny to prayer all "physical value," and your heavenly Father will not "lift upon you the light of His countenance," but will "send leanness into your soul."

Permit me to allude to a few facts bearing upon the aspect of the subject now under consideration. Here I would say in general, that I never in my life knew a single individual who had found God as his "everlasting light," and who did not, both theoretically and practically, hold the view of prayer above presented. At one period, when I was a pastor in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, out of a population of about forty thousand, upwards of twenty-five hundred persons died of one disease, the cholera. When the pestilence was impending over us I preached to my people very earnestly upon the subject, giving them special advice as to means, and urging them to make their own preservation and that of their families the subject of special and believing prayer. We held two separate days of fasting and prayer upon the subject As the result, not a single individual in my congregation, nor in any family of the same, died of that disease; one man excepted, who openly ridiculed the preaching and measures adopted in respect to the subject, and one little infant, of the real cause of whose death the physician was uncertain. The facts convinced us that it is not "a vain thing to call upon God."

The region of Northern Ohio, the portion of the State which lies immediately south of Lake Erie, is peculiarly subject to excessive rains on the one hand, and desolating droughts on the other. From the time when I became President of Oberlin College I preached much to the Church on the efficacy of prayer in all our temporal concernments, and especially in respect to the evils resulting from excessive rains and drought, and my teachings were most cordially received. Hence it was that, in times of need from the causes under consideration, special prayer was offered and days of fasting and prayer were held. When these fasts became known, we were made the subjects of open ridicule among the population a few miles distant all around us.

In a few years, however, the tone of sentiment among all these people became totally changed. In all periods of drought especially, our people, when they went into the country, would be stopped by this same people, and asked with deep concern whether Christians in Oberlin were praying about the weather, and especially whether we had appointed a day of fasting and prayer in reference to the subject. This one thing we knew, and the people around us knew, that no relation of antecedence and consequence seemed more fixed than that between the ascent of "effectual and fervent prayer" and the descent of the blessing prayed for. One year the drought was so fearful, that but few of the farmers cut any hay at all, and all the late crops failed. The churches of all denominations in two towns lying side by side in Portage County, some sixty miles from Oberlin, came together "with one accord in one place," and spent a day in fasting and fervent prayer to the God of heaven that He would give them rain. Immediately after a thick cloud overshadowed those towns, and poured down upon them all the rain that was needed. What was peculiar in this case was the fact, that the boundaries of that cloud corresponded everywhere with the borders of those two towns. There, and nowhere else in all that region, the rain fell. The people of all that county were witnesses to the strictest truth of the statement now made.

Christians, several years since, had gathered in Central Ohio for a camp-meeting of ten days' continuance, the special object of the meeting being the promotion of personal holiness among believers in Jesus. At the time when the meetings commenced, excessive rains were falling, and for some time had been falling, all over that part of the State. One half day was spent at the beginning of the meetings in united and earnest prayer that God would give them a clear sky under which they might worship Him. Immediately the sky became cloudless over their heads, and during the remainder of the ten days so continued there, and for miles all around; while outside of that circle, and that in every direction, the rains continued to fall as before. From ten to twenty thousand persons attended that camp-meeting, and all bear witness to the facts as I have stated them, and believe that God's Eternal Spirit has power, not only over the hearts of men, but equally so over the elements of nature around us, and that God is a Hearer of prayer in respect to all our cares and necessities alike.

I will, at the hazard of being regarded as "speaking as a fool," refer to an example of a personal nature. I had an appointment, during a season of afflictive drought, to preach in one of the churches of the city where I live one Sabbath morning. As we came out to our carriage, I said to my wife "There is not the remotest probability that it will rain today. I will, therefore, carry in the robe which we usually take with us," and did so. When I kneeled to pray before that congregation, I had no more expectation that it would rain that day outside than inside that house of God. When I began to pray about the drought, however, a power came upon me which rendered that prayer a wonder to myself and the congregation. The Monday's issue of our daily paper contained this statement: "The preacher in one of our churches prayed very fervently yesterday morning that it might rain, and his congregation were drenched with rain on going home at the close of that service." I can never tell when "the spirit of grace and of supplications," in that form, shall be poured upon me. Nor do I feel under obligation to have such experience whenever I pray. All that I can do, or feel bound to do, is to leave my heart open, and let the Spirit intercede in it as and when He chooses.

This I do say, however, that when the Spirit does thus intercede, I always obtain the specific object for which I pray. Nor can any one pray under the intercessory power of the Spirit without the hearer, as well as himself, marking the peculiarity of the prayer. Hence it is that, for many years past, my students, in times of drought, for example, have been accustomed to say, "We shall have rain now. Did you mark our President's prayer?" Nor were they ever disappointed.

The facts that I have stated above accord fully with the unvarying experience of believers in all ages -- believers who have credited God's testimony, and have availed themselves of their revealed privileges at the throne of grace. God is "the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him," and has never said to the seed of Jacob, "Seek ye my face in vain," or taught or required us to pray for what He is not ready to give. It is a fearful thing to "cast off fear, and to restrain prayer before God." We had better not pray at all, however, than to make ourselves "mockers" by approaching the throne of grace with formal requests for blessings which we say in our hearts God will never confer.

A pastor of one of the churches in the city of New York sent to his Sabbath-school, years ago, a tenderly beautiful little poem, containing an account of a visit he had just made to the residence of a poor widow of his church. As he rose in the morning, he felt strangely drawn to visit that lonely habitation. Our Father knows how to meet the wants of His children. On entering, he noticed a very young lad on his knees in prayer in a corner of the room, and heard him say with much fervency, ''Our Father which art in heaven, give us this day our daily bread." Rising from his knees, and bowing to the pastor, the child said, "Our mother told us that she had no food for us today, and did not know where to get it. I told her that I could get food for us all. I would ask our Father in heaven for it. I did not think that our Saviour Jesus Christ would have taught us to pray to our heavenly Father to 'give us, day by day, our daily bread,' unless He would give it, if we should ask Him for it. For this reason I told our mother that I would ask our Father to 'give us this day our daily bread,' and He would give it to us." The pastor left that house at once. He soon returned, however, with a bountiful supply for the wants of all that family. The last stanza of the poem reads thus:

"'I thought God heard me,' said the lad;

I answered with a nod.

I could not speak; but much I thought

Of that child's faith in God."

I can say, without boasting, that I have sounded the depths of the philosophies of all ages, and I have never found in any or all of them a form of wisdom more deep or divine than was manifested by that child. This I also affirm, that that philosopher has been "spoiled by philosophy" whose heart and mind science has not imbued with the identical form of faith in God which dwelt in that child's breast.

Intercessory Functions and Agency of the Spirit in the wide Realm of the Kingdom of Grace.

All evangelical Christians believe that, while the Holy Spirit moves upon our hearts to pray for spiritual blessings in all their forms, He also employs His agency to secure for us the blessings for which we pray. The Spirit, for example, induces in us "the spirit of grace and of supplication" for the salvation of sinners. While He thus intercedes in us for this end, He moves upon the hearts of the persons prayed for, convincing them of sin, and leading them to Christ.

I will give a single example in illustration of the double functions of the Spirit now under consideration. Rev. D. Nash was, prior to the time when he received "the baptism of the Holy Ghost," one of the dullest preachers that ever ascended a pulpit in the United States. Brother Finney once said of him in a public discourse, that that man always, prior to the event referred to, "prayed with his eyes open, and preached with them shut." After his "enduement of power from on high," he became one of the mightiest men in prayer that the world ever knew, and had an almost resistless power in the utterance of divine truth. Wherever he went, "the hearts of the people were moved" by his prayers and preaching "as the trees of the forest are moved by the wind."

At length he was found, upon his knees in his closet, dead before the Lord. He was accustomed, from time to time, to pray with the map of the world before him, and the localities of the various missionary stations marked down on the map. Each station in succession he would make the special object of prayer for a single day or more. In his journal which he kept, his friends found, after his death, such records as the following : -- "I think I have had this day," the date being given, "a spirit of prayer for mission," the name of the mission being also designated. At a subsequent date, a similar record was found in record to another mission, and so on through all the stations. On turning to the pages of the Missionary Herald, the organ of the American Board of Commission of Foreign Missions, it was found that revivals of religion did occur in all those missions revivals occurring in the identical order, and commencing at the very date, of the various records above referred to.

Reader, if at a throne of grace you have not princely "power with God and with men," and if you have not wisdom and utterance to speak for Christ to "edification, exhortation, and comfort," it must be that unbelief has, in your mind, limited the sphere of availing prayer to a very narrow circle, or because you have not "received the Holy Ghost since you believed." Had the Spirit been thus given to you, He would be in you as an interceding presence, drawing out your heart in "effectual fervent prayer" for things which accord with the divine will, and God's Word would be in you "as burning fire shut up in your bones." On this subject I need not enlarge, but will close this chapter with some brief reflections.

General Reflections.

1. We can now understand the power which we have in prayer when we are "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." The Spirit, who understands perfectly all our need, on the one hand, and the good-will of God on the other, will not fail to "make intercession for us," that is, to draw out our hearts in prayer for every blessing requisite to our perfect fulness of joy, or every form of good, temporal and spiritual, which God wills that we should receive and enjoy. All our petitions will come before One whose paternal heart yearns to meet every want of our mortal and immortal natures, and who has bound Himself; by absolute promise, to suffer "no evil to befall us," and to "withhold no good thing from us," when we thus pray to Him. All our petitions, also, will be presented in the name of Christ, who has absolutely assured us that "whatsoever we shall ask the Father in His name, He will give it us." The Father, therefore, cannot deny our requests without dishonouring His only Son. Finally, in all our petitions, God will hear the voice of His own Spirit "making intercessions for us with groanings which cannot be uttered," and whom He has commissioned to energise with almighty power in the world of nature and the world of grace, to insure for us "the petitions which we desire of Him." "Praying always with all prayer in the Spirit," "nothing will be impossible unto us." These, reader, are the sort of persons we all ought to be. Shall unbelief veil your heart from the face of God, and shut you out from the promise, "Thou shalt call upon me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and wonderful things that thou knowest not of"?

2. We may also clearly understand why it is that God makes the bestowment of His most precious gifts, temporal and spiritual, conditional upon our prayers for the same. How else, I may inquire, could He be so distinctly and impressively present to our hearts, and known to us as our omnipresent, all-loving, and all-sympathising Father and watchful Guardian of all our interests, the small and the great alike? We call upon Him, and He answers us "in all that we call upon Him for," and that both in respect to ourselves and others, and both in respect to temporal and spiritual interests, concerns, and relations alike, and in every case in which we "cast our cares upon Him," we receive some special and recognisable token of His paternal sympathy and regard. It then becomes omnipresently real to us that God is "our everlasting dwelling-place," and at all times, and under all circumstances, we are the direct objects of His love, sympathy, and care; that "in all our afflictions He is afflicted," while "the angel of His presence saves us;" and that whatever evil "touches us touches the apple of His eye." The main good which we receive through prayer does not consist chiefly in the specific blessings which we obtain, but in the assurance which each answer brings to our hearts that "God is our Father, and we are His sons and daughters." The former may be but a temporary good, of comparatively little value; the latter brings to us an infinite and eternal good, a blessedness as enduring as the eternal years of God, and as blissful as His everlasting smile. It is thus that, while at "the throne of grace," we "obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need," and God thus "grants us all things richly to enjoy," all things temporal and spiritual in connection with the specific gifts obtained --

"Heaven comes down our souls to greet,

And glory crowns the mercy-seat"

We never can know God as our "everlasting light" until He shall be omnipresent to our hearts as a Hearer and Answerer of prayer, "the Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" in respect to all our interests, concerns, and relations alike, "we casting ALL our cares upon Him," and that for the revealed reason, "that He careth for us."

3. We notice, finally, the important error of those who limit the operations and power of the Spirit to the revealed truth of God. As our Instructor and Teacher, it is, of course, the revealed office of the Spirit to "lead us into all truth ;" and this function is an infinitely important one. It is nowhere revealed, however, that this is His exclusive function, but it is distinctly revealed that this is not the case.

The same Spirit under whose power Christ, on going out of the wilderness, "came into Galilee," worked also in Christ "in raising Him from the dead." By the same Spirit which "fell upon the disciples at the beginning," God is to "quicken our mortal bodies." The same Spirit which moved Elias to "pray fervently that it might not rain," closed the windows of heaven, so that "it rained not on the earth for the space of three years and six months." The same Spirit which moved him to pray again "that it might rain," caused "the heavens to give rain," and "the earth to bring forth her increase." The same Spirit which moved the Church to "pray day and night for Peter in prison," caused the chains to fall from his limbs, put his keepers to sleep, opened the prison doors, and "the iron gate which led into the city," while the angel of God led the apostle forth in safety.

While the Spirit is in us as the light of God, "leading us into all truth," He may act directly upon other departments of our natures besides our intelligence, and, by acting thus, may change our propensities, and correct evil tendencies within us. While He rests upon us as a baptism of power, He may intercede within for things which accord with the will of God, and may then energise with Omnipotent energy in the world of mind and matter around us, to bring to us from God answers of peace "in all that we call upon Him for." Let us not in any direction "limit the Holy One," but, in reference to all our revealed privileges, "be strong in the faith, giving glory unto God."

Chapter 27


The forms of expression by which the provisions and promises of the new covenant, of which Christ is our Mediator, are set before us are quite various and peculiar, and require special consideration on the part of all who would understand the secrets of the hidden life. In Jer. xxxi. 31-33, the provisions and promises of this covenant are set forth in the following language: -- "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." In Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27, these same provisions and promises are expressed in the following words: -- 'Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shalt be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

Under the old dispensation, there was a promise to believers quite analogous to those above presented (Deut. xxx. 6) -- "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." The conditions on which God will do all these things for us are stated with perfect definiteness in the Scriptures. In Ezek. xxxvi. 37, these conditions are thus expressed: "Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them." Again we read, "Then shall ye seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." Under the old dispensation, the condition of the promise, as then presented, is thus expressed. The people were to "return unto the Lord, and obey His voice, with all their heart and with all their soul."

Near the close of his life, Moses complains of the people, and charges it upon them as a great crime on their part, that God "had not yet given them an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto that day." In other words, they had not only neglected present obedience, but had not sought of God a "heart to perceive, eyes to see, and ears to hear;" in other words, they had neglected to seek from God circumcised hearts, that they might continuously "love the Lord their God, with all their heart and with all their soul." What does God complain of in respect to His Church to-day, and charge upon her as the sin which is the main cause of all her weaknesses, lapses, and backslidings? Is it not this, that she is living in content outside of the provisions and promises of the new covenant, the covenant which, according to the express teachings of the prophet Joel, and, I may add, of all the prophets, includes "the promise of the Spirit"?

Why is it, reader, if such is your state, that God has not "circumcised your heart to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul"? Why has He not "put His law in your inward parts, and written it in your heart"? Why has He not "sprinkled clean water upon you," and rendered you "clean"? Why has He not "cleansed you from all your filthiness, and from all your idols"? Why has He not "taken the stony heart out of your flesh, and given you a heart of flesh," and "caused you to walk in His statutes," and to "keep His judgments, and do them"? Why has He not "sanctified and cleansed you," so that when your iniquities shall be searched for, there shall be none, and your sins, and they shall not be found"? Why has not God "put His Spirit within you," "endued you with power from on high," and thus "filled you with all the fulness of God"? But one answer can be given to these questions, provided you have not yet thus attained. The Lord your God has not "for this been inquired of by you to do it for you;" you have riot "hearkened unto the voice of the Lord your God," obeyed His will, believed His Word, "laid hold of His covenant," and "searched for Him with all your heart and with all your soul." This is your sin, on account of which you "walk in darkness and have no light," groan in "bondage under the law of sin and death," and are shut out from "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." If now you will believe God's word, trust His grace, "lay hold of His covenant," "inquire of Him to do these things for you," and "search for Him with all your heart and with all your soul," "He will be found of you," and you will find all His "exceeding great and precious promises" fulfilled in your experience, and He will do exceeding abundantly for you above all that you ask or think." "But if you will not believe, you will not be established."

The Nature of the Blessings Proffered to our Faith in this

New Covenant.

It is perfectly evident that two forms of genuine Christian experience are presented to our consideration in the subject before us; that the element of supreme obedience, hearkening to the voice of God, obeying His will, and seeking Him "with all the heart, and with all the soul," characterise each state alike, and that the one is conditional and preparatory to the other. When we "return unto the Lord, and obey His voice with all our heart and with all our soul," we are in one state. When the Lord our God has circumcised our hearts to love the Lord "with all our heart and with all our soul," we must be in another and different state, or the promise is without meaning. We are surely in one state and relation to God when we are "searching for Him with all our hearts," and in another and different state and relation to Him when we have "found Him," He coming to us, and "dwelling in us, and walking in us," as our God, and we having fellowship with Him as "His sons and daughters." When we are "inquiring of God" to do for us what is promised in the new covenant, we are in one state. We are certainly in quite another and different state when God, in fulfilment of the provisions and promises of that covenant, has "put His law in our inward parts, and has written it in our hearts," has "cleansed us from all our filthiness and all our idols," has "taken away the stony heart out of our flesh and given us an heart of flesh," and has "put His Spirit within us" that is, "baptized us with the Holy Ghost." No candid mind will question the truth of the above statements.

But what are the provisions and promises of this new covenant? As far as they include "the promise of the Spirit" the most essential element of the covenant -- on this part of the subject I shall not now speak, having said already all that is needful here. What, then, do the words, "take the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you an heart of flesh," mean? What can they mean but a fundamental change and a renewal of our propensities? We are "by nature children of wrath," "prone to evil as the sparks are to fly upward." When God does for us what is provided for and promised to us in the new covenant, we have "a new heart" and "a new spirit," "a divine nature, which impels us to love and obedience, just as our old nature impelled us to sin.

As preparatory to a clear understanding of this subject, let us consider the following statements of the apostle. "Now, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Behind all these forms of sin, "works of the flesh," lie certain propensities, dispositions, and tempers, which, when touched by corresponding temptations, set on fire burning and "warring lusts" and evil passions, and these induce the sins and crimes above designated. Suppose, now, that these old propensities, dispositions, and tempers are taken away, and, in this state, new ones of an opposite nature are given; in other words, that "the heart of stone is taken out of our flesh," and in its stead there is "given us heart of flesh." Under our renovated propensities, and new dispositions, tendencies, and tempers, or "divine nature," it becomes just as easy and natural for us to bear "the fruits of the Spirit," as it was, under our old ones, to work "the works of the flesh." Here, then, we perceive clearly what is pr~ vided for, and promised to, our faith in the new covenant, what Christ, as the Mediator of that covenant, promises to do for us when He is "inquired of by us to do it for us," and what He will commission the Spirit to work in us when He shall "baptize us with the Holy Ghost"

With the above exposition accords all the teachings of the New Testament upon this subject. The "exceeding great and precious promises" are given us for the revealed purpose that "by these" -- that is, by embracing these promises by faith -- we "might be partakers of the DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." "By nature" -- that is, under the influence of our old nature, or propensities, dispositions, and tempers,"we are "children of wrath," and "bring forth fruit unto death." Under the dispositions, tempers, and tendencies of our new or "divine nature," we are just as naturally "children of God," and "have our fruit unto holiness," while "the end is everlasting life." Why are we called upon to "reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord"? Because "our old man," our old propensities, dispositions, and tempers, is crucified, "put to death" with Him, that the "body of sin," our old and evil nature, "might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Our old nature, or propensities, dispositions, and tempers, the apostle calls "the body of this death," and thanks God, as we all should, that, "through Jesus Christ our Lord," we are delivered from this "body of sin and death"

One special design of the apostle in the sixth, seventh, and eighth chapters of Romans is to elucidate this great truth. While the old nature remains, fight against its tendencies and promptings as we will, and form what good resolutions we may, "the good which we would we shall not do, but the evil which we would not, that shall we do." The reason, as the apostle affirms, is obvious. "The law in our members will war against the law of our mind, and bring us into captivity to the law of sin which is in our members." From "this law of sin and death" Christ sets us free, putting within us, in place of that law, "the law of the Spirit of life." The same doctrine the apostle obviously teaches in the following passage: -- "So, then, they that are in the flesh (under the dominion of their natural propensities) cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh (under its control), but in the Spirit (under His control), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. But if Christ be in you, the body," that is, the body of sin of which the apostle has been exclusively speaking thus far, "is dead, because of sin; but the Spirit," that is, the new nature or spirit which Christ gives, "is life," lives and reigns within us, "because of righteousness."

Now mark the inference which the apostle draws from his previous reasonings "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live after the flesh." In other words, because that, through the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us, "the body of sin," our old and evil propensities," may he destroyed," and "the old man may be crucified with Him," and we may, "through the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," be "made free from the law of sin and death," we should indeed cease to "live after the flesh," should be "not in the flesh, but in the Spirit;" and should "reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Just such teaching runs through all Paul's epistles, and, I may add, as the reader will perceive in the light of these suggestions, through the whole New Testament. Paul, for example, says of himself, "I am Crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Again he says, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." To Christians he says, "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Such language implies more than this, that his old propensities, "the body of sin," "the old man," is yet living and warring in the soul, but, by the grace of Christ, are held in subjection. Mere subjection is not death. What the apostle undeniably intended to teach is this: that his propensities, dispositions, and temper had been so renovated that the world, with its affections and lusts, had no more power over him than they have over the dead. Christ, on the other hand, lived in him, and occupied all his affections, and held undisputed control over all his activities. Some important suggestions and reflections here present themselves.

Forms of Christian Experience before and after we have entered into the Privileges of the New Covenant.

We can now understand clearly the difference in the conditions and relations of the believer before and after the promises of the new covenant have been fulfilled in his experience. An individual, we will suppose, has, through the Spirit, been convicted of sin, and has exercised genuine "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." As far as his voluntary activities are concerned, he is now in a state of supreme obedience to the will of God. His old propensities, dispositions, temper, and tendencies, however, remain as they were, and remain to war against this new-born purpose of obedience. If the convert is left here, just where the mass of them are left under the teachings they commonly receive -- if the convert is left here, what, I ask, will be his future experience? Nothing, I answer, but the loss of his first love, the dying out of his primal joys, and sad falls and lapses, with periods of rejoicing and victories few and far between. It is infinite presumption to expect better results under such circumstances. And this is just what we do witness in the general experience of the Church. Open and gross immoralities excepted, the convert carries with him into the Christian life the same propensities, dispositions, and temper that he had before his conversion, and these, when strongly excited, overcome him as they did before. How absurd for a believer, in such circumstances, to "reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Suppose, on the other hand, that the convert, instead of being left in this perilous position, is fully taught the provisions and promises of the new covenant, and is led to apprehend Christ as the Mediator of that covenant. The convert now, in the exercise of a strong faith, "inquires of Christ to do this for him." What does Christ do? First of all, "He baptizes the convert with the Holy Ghost," and "endues him with power from on high" for the exigencies of his new life. The Spirit, in the fulfilment of His mission, enters upon the work of universal renovation. He accordingly "takes the heart of stone out of the convert's flesh, and gives him an heart of flesh," -- "gives him a new heart and a new spirit," "writes the law upon his inward parts, and puts it in his heart," "circumcises his heart to love the Lord his God with all his heart and with all his soul," renders him a "partaker of the divine nature," "takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto him," "reveals Christ in him," so that "he beholds with open face the glory of the Lord, and is changed into the same image from glory to glory," and is "filled with all the fulness of God," consummates a vital union between him and Christ, so that Christ is in him, as the Father is in the Son, and thus "blesses him with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," and "abundantly furnishes him for every good work."

This all-cleansing, all-renovating, and all-vitalising process the apostle calls "the renewing of the Holy Ghost." Our salvation is commenced with "the washing of regeneration," and is consummated by "the renewing of the Holy Ghost." Into what new relations does the convert enter when he has passed through the first state, and entered into all the light, and privileges, and enduements of power of the second? He is now "delivered from his enemies," and may "serve God without fear, in righteousness and holiness before Him, all the days of his life." With "the old man crucified," imbued with a new and "divine nature," "filled with the Holy Ghost," and with "the power of Christ resting upon him," he may, with all assurance, "reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ His Lord." When Christ, as "'the Mediator of the new covenant," comes to believers, He says to the old propensities, dispositions, tempers, and lusts, the old man which once held them in bondage, "Let my people go, that they may serve me." When that "old man," with his hosts of affections and lusts, pursues after God's people to bring them back into their former bondage, that old tyrant, with all his armed host, is overwhelmed and lost in the Red Sea of Christ's blood. "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." What a melancholy reflection it is that most believers advance no further in the Christian life than "the washing of regeneration," are ignorant of Christ as the Mediator of the new covenant, and, consequently, have no experience of "the renewing of the Holy Ghost"!

Fundamental Misapprehension of the Christian Warfare.

The common idea of the Christian warfare seems to be this -- In regeneration, the Christian is brought into a state of voluntary obedience to the will of God, and his sincere purpose is to obey the divine will in all things. His old propensities, dispositions, and tendencies remain, and rise in rebellion against this new law of the mind -- this purpose of obedience. The Christian warfare consists in fighting these rebel forces, and holding them in subjection. We shall search in vain for any such idea of this warfare in the New Testament or the Old either. "We wrestle," says the apostle, "not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Every believer is "called to be a soldier in the army of the Lord." As the great Captain of our salvation, Christ has organised and disciplined His army to accomplish the purposes for which He. was sent into the world, namely, to "make an end of sin, and to bring in everlasting righteousness." Believers are in the world as Christ was in the world. "As Thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world." "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain."

Christ was not sent into the world to fight rebel propensities, dispositions, and tendencies in Himself, but to make war upon the sin and evil that is in the world, and thus to bring the world back to God. The proper warfare of every believer is identical with that of Christ. Hence, "the weapons of our warfare," the apostle tells us, "are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Again, the apostle says, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." That we may, as soldiers of the cross, be perfectly free to serve Christ, and fight His battles against sin and the evils that are in the world, He Himself takes charge of our inward foes, putting them to death, and not suffering them to weaken our energies in His service. In warring upon the powers of sin, we, of course, meet with resistance, and are subject to assaults from our great adversary. Hence our furnishment with divine weapons and armour for defensive as well as offensive purposes. All this furnishment, as presented in the New Testament, has reference to enemies without, and not within the soul. In "fighting against sin," ancient saints "resisted unto blood." Though we may not be, as they were, called upon thus to resist, our warfare is identical with theirs; and in this warfare we, as well as they, are called upon to "endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ." The dogma that the Christian warfare is with foes within, and not with the enemies of God and man without the soul, utterly misleads the mind in respect to the fundamental end and aim of our sacred calling. Christ does not intend that those who serve Him and fight His battles against the kingdom of darkness shall have two enemies to fight at the same time, and the strongest in the citadel of their own souls. In His people, He designs that His reign shall be absolute. Then, indeed, will the sacramental host be "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners."

With the views now under consideration accord the experience of believers in all generations -- believers who know Christ and trust in Him as the Mediator of the new covenant. As a witness for Christ, I would say that, were there a perfect oblivion of the facts of my life prior to the time when I thus knew my Saviour, I should not, from present experiences, ever suspect that these old dispositions, which once tyrannised over me, had ever existed. Those who have known me most intimately for the last twenty or thirty years, and had not known my former life, often, as stated before, say to me, "We could be as quiet under injuries and provocations, and as peaceful and contented under afflictive providences as your are, if we only had your temperament." My reply to all such is: I once had a more fiery temper, and a more easily disquieted and restless spirit than you now have; and you can be as I am if you will inquire of Christ as I did. Of all that I have written about the new covenant, I can truly say, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you. that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full,"

Entire Sanctification.

We may now attain to a somewhat distinct understanding of the following words of the apostle: -- "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." The original word rendered wholly, I would observe, is one of the strongest words known in the Greek or any other language. It is made up of two words, olos, or all, and telos, everywhere in the New Testament translated perfect. The word made up of pantos, all, and telos, and rendered uttermost in the passage "He is able to save unto the uttermost," is a word of the same strength of meaning. In the passage above cited, the words "sanctify you wholly," from their original meaning, namely, sanctify you entirely in all respects, and in the connection in which they here stand, can mean nothing less than this -- a total renovation and purification of all our propensities, dispositions, temperaments, and activities, mental, moral, spiritual, and physical. The words, "I pray God, your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless," also impart to the phrase "sanctify you wholly" this full breadth of meaning. When we are in this state, we then become partakers of just what is provided for and promised to us in the new covenant. Sanctification, in this form, is also absolutely promised to our faith in connection with the prayer of the apostle under consideration. "Faithful (worthy to be trusted) is He that calleth you, who also will do it."

When thus Sanctified, we are not Free from Temptation.

How often do we hear it said, that if we were once thus sanctified we should never more be tempted! Christ, during His whole life, was thus sanctified; "yet He was tempted in all points like as we are." Our first parents, prior to the fall, were totally free from all evil propensities, dispositions, and temperaments, yet they were tempted and fell. Angels, from their creation, had a divine nature; yet, through temptation, they failed to "keep their first estate." Temptation is incidental to finite natures, it may be, in all conditions of existence. Suppose all our propensities, dispositions, and temperaments are, as they may be, restored to a perfectly normal state. We shall still be subject to tribulation from hunger, thirst, cold, nakedness, disease, the sundering of domestic ties, and from man's inhumanity to man. In "fighting against sin," we shall meet with resistance, and shall need "the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord." Christ was tempted, and so shall we be tempted. With our old nature crucified, and a divine nature given in the stead of the former, with "Christ formed within us the hope of glory," and the power of His Spirit resting upon us, we shall be in very different relations to temptations and "trials of faith" from what we once were. Here we were taken captive when assaulted with temptation; now, in the same circumstances, we are "more than conquerors through Him that loved us."

In what Sense may all Believers accept Christ as their Present Sanctification.

I hear much said, and much is written, about receiving Christ as our present sanctification -- much which, as it appears to me, should be received with great caution and self-reflection. When we look to Christ to save us from actual sin, of course we should expect Him to do it now. But when we inquire of Him, as the Mediator of the new covenant, to do for us all that is promised in that covenant, the case is different. Heart-searching may precede the final cleansing, searching for God with all the heart must precede the finding of Him, and waiting and praying may precede, we cannot tell how long, the baptism of power. Here "the vision may tarry;" and if it tarries, we must "wait for it," and watch and pray for its coming with "full assurance of faith," "full assurance of hope," and "full assurance of understanding." The disciples had to tarry for "the promise of the Spirit," and so may we.

Christ, I frequently hear it said, is in us. When we admit the fact that He is thus present in our hearts, then "we enter, at once, into the rest of faith," and become possessed with fulness of joy. I never make such statements myself, and I always listen with regret and apprehension when I hear them made by others. For me to admit that Christ is thus present, and that I am "complete in Him," and to trust Him accordingly, is one thing, and is an essential condition of my entering into rest. For Christ to "manifest Himself to me," and, with the Father, to "come to me, and make His abode with me," is quite another. Faith on our part does not of itself give us rest. The rest of faith is what Christ gives "after we have believed." "Come unto me, and I will give you rest." I believe, for example, that Christ is present "in my mouth and in my heart," and I trust Him to "supply all my needs." If, now, the Spirit should not "take of the things of Christ, and show them unto me," if He should not "enlighten the eyes of my understanding, that I might know the things which are freely given us of the Lord," I should not "enter into rest," nor would "my joy be full." We believe Christ's word, trust His grace, dedicate our whole selves to Him, and yield our wills to His. This is our part of the covenant. Christ now "prays the Father for us," and He gives us "the Comforter," the Holy Ghost "to abide with us for ever." The Spirt "reveals Christ in us," enables us to "behold with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord," and brings us into "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." We thus "enter into rest," "the rest of faith," and become possessed with "fulness of joy," while, with ineffable sweetness, our hearts sing --

"Safe in the arms of Jesus,

Safe on His gentle breast"

"He that believeth in me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this He spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." "The Holy Ghost is now given," and you can have this blessed experience, because that when you shall "inquire of Christ to do it for you," He will "baptize you with the Holy Ghost," and do for you all that is promised in the new covenant.

Chapter 28


The Terms Defined.

The revealed plan of God in regard to His children, while He continues them in the world, is to develop and perfect in them every form of virtue possible to their nature. Every form of such virtue has its specific conditions of growth and development, and we must be subjected to these conditions, or we cannot become possessed of the corresponding virtues. Subjecting believers to these conditions, for the purpose designated, is called in the New Testament the paidela, or child-discipline of the sons of God. To this subject the apostle refers with most impressive interest in the twelfth chapter of Hebrews. He there refers particularly, not to afflictions which come upon us in consequence of our own sins, but to the contradictions and tribulations to which we are subject in consequence of our testimony against the sins of others. He calls upon believers to "consider Him who endured such contradictions of sinners" against Himself, lest they, in consequence of meeting with similar trials, "should be wearied and faint in their mind." They, as Christ had done before them, "had not resisted unto blood, striving against sin."

The apostle then goes on to specify God's plan and purpose in permitting His people to be subject to such tribulations, and to afflictions in all their forms, whether they descend upon us in the arrangements of Providence or as reproofs for sin. All in common come upon us for one and the same purpose, child-discipline -- the discipline of virtue. Such discipline, therefore, should be patiently endured. Christ "learned obedience from the things which He suffered." So should we. Our parents subjected us to child-discipline, and we gave them reverence. "Shall we not rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us" (subjected us to child-discipline, the literal rendering of the original) "after their own pleasure: but He" (subjects us to such discipline) "for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness." Such is the light in which all afflictive providences, from whatever immediate causes they may descend upon us, should by us be regarded -- that is, as forms of necessary child-discipline, forms of discipline in virtue, which, when patiently endured, will not fail to "yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness" -- "peace, quietness, and assurance for ever." All who do not thus regard and improve such providences, the apostle assures us, "are bastards, and not sons." In all our afflictions we may have, and should have, this life-imparting assurance -- namely, we are the sons of God, and He is dealing with us, even when He seems severe, "as sons." With what infinite reason does the apostle bring home the exhortation to our hearts, "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees"!

What it is to Endure Chastening or Child-Discipline

"If ye endure chastening" (child~discipline), says the apostle, "God dealeth with you as with sons." "My brethren," says another apostle, "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing that the trial," or discipline, "of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." Again he says, "Blessed is he that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (endurance) of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord" -- that is, the blissful consummation to which He conducts those who endure -- "how that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." All the sacred writers speak thus of God's discipline of His sons and daughters, the words, "temptation," "trials of faith," "fiery trials which are to try you," and "chastening," or child-discipline, being frequently employed by them as synonymous terms.

In reflecting upon this subject, we should ever bear this in mind, that to be merely subject to afflictive providences, and to endure "chastening," "temptation," "trials of faith," or child-discipline, are very different things. To endure is to maintain our fidelity while under discipline -- that is, during the time while the pressure of the trial is upon us. He that blesses at the time when he is reviled, remains meek, quiet, and unangered at the time when heavy provocations are heaped upon him -- "whose spirit lies down and is still," lies down in quiet submission in the centre of the sweet will of God at the very time when great afflictions press upon him -- that "chooses rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season," "enduring as seeing Him who is invisible,"- and replies to every temptation to sin, "I cannot do this great wickedness, and sin against God," -- these, and these only, "endure chastening," "endure temptation," and. "endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ."

Remember this, reader, that if, at the moment when you are under the trial, your faith fails you, you may, by subsequent repentance, escape condemnation, but that you suffered an irreparable loss by missing the golden opportunity then presented to become disciplined in virtues, which would have insured to you an "eternal weight of glory," over and above what you will now receive. At the time when tribulations encircle us, then and there is the time and opportunity for you to "wash your garments, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb."

Special and Peculiar Characteristics of the Child-Discipline of the Son of God.

"No chastening" -- that is, no form of child-discipline, says the apostle, "for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous." "Wherein," says the apostle Peter, "ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations." God is able, we should bear in mind, to keep His people, at all times and under all circumstances, so full of joy and gladness that no providence would "seem to be grievous," and they should never be "in heaviness" at all. It is only "if need be" -- that is, if the discipline of their virtues require it -- that they should ever be possessed of less than perfect fulness of joy. When the discipline of virtue requires, on the other hand, then the Spirit will, for the time, shed no more of the love of God abroad in our hearts, grant us no more of present peace and joy, and suffer to descend upon us just the degree of heaviness, and no more than is requisite, to develop and perfect that virtue in its divinest form. The grace of patience, for example, can be developed and perfected but under the pressure of tribulation. That "patience may have her perfect work," we must have grace to endure, but not the fulness of joy, which would cause the affliction to seem, for the time being, not "grievous," but "joyous."

"Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord." God designed that this, His servant, should not only be possessed, in a preeminent degree, of this divine virtue, but that he should be to the world, in all coming time, an example of patience, as Abraham is of faith. As a means to this end, Job was, first of all, overwhelmed with unexampled calamities, and this under circumstances which for a time shut him out from the sympathy of all his friends, even the mother of his children being estranged from him. Under these circumstances the man of God was sustained by the most distinct inward assurance of the genuineness of his piety, of the divine approval, and that, after he should be tried, God would lead him out of the furnace, and more than restore to him all that he had lost. To render the discipline perfect for the work intended, however, God withheld, for the time being, the light of His countenance from the afflicted one, and "left him to tread the wine-press alone." This was requisite that "patience might have her perfect work," and that the sufferer might become "perfect and entire, wanting nothing." Suffering having fully accomplished its sacred mission, God more than restored "the light of His countenance" as formerly enjoyed, became to the sufferer, as He never could have been before, "an everlasting light," placed him on high as among "the foremost of the sons of light," and all the world, and heaven too, now regard him as one of the happiest of men.

I will now allude, in further illustration of the great truth before us, to an important fact of my own experience. During the dark period of my life, the period in which I dwelt amid the ruins of the great university which I began to found, I was for the time about as completely isolated from former friendships and associations as was Job when God "chose him in the furnace of affliction." With one or two exceptions, "no man stood with me," but "all forsook me." At the same time, "the light of the divine countenance" was so far withdrawn that all my afflictions pressed with great "heaviness" upon all my susceptibilities, providential disappointments defeating all my plans and efforts for relief. Such were the temptations, trials of faith, and chastening to which I was subject. Such, on the other hand, were the divine helps and strengthening by which I was sustained during all that period. God gave me the most absolute inward assurance that my interior and outward life was fully approved by Him, that these sufferings were for an end of infinite moment to me, and were preparatory to greater fruitfulness in the kingdom of grace than was otherwise possible; that the immutable condition of ensuring this personal good and divine fruitfulness was that "the corn of wheat" must at that very time "fall into the ground and die;" in other words, that until God, in His own time and way, should send deliverance, I must remain in absolute submission and content in the centre of the divine will, entertaining no desire or choice that the pressure of affliction should be less severe or of shorter continuance than God should choose.

At times Christ directly manifested Himself to me, not in a manner to fill me with rapture, but to assure me of His deep and abiding sympathy, of the divine results which were being worked out in my interior life, of the fruits that were to follow, and of "the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory", which lay in reserve in the great hereafter. At other times, the Spirit would open upon my mind a vision of Christ Himself in Gethsemane, in the judgment-hall, or on the cross, and everywhere so meekly submissive to His Father's will, and so patiently enduring when His "soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." Tribulation, affliction, and sorrow, even unto "great heaviness," now became sacred in the mind's regard; and one desire and choice possessed the whole being -- namely, to have nothing occur but as God willed. I knew well what Paul meant when he said, "Unto you it is given, in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake."

When my will had come into this sweet and absolute acquiescence in the divine will, and was rooted and grounded in that acquiescence; and when all the sensibilities had also become disciplined to similar subjection, so that there was nothing in the heart or soul to dispute the absolute reign of Christ over the whole being, then the paideia, "patience, having had her perfect work," had consummated its mission, and "heaviness" and "great tribulation" could do no more for the discipline of virtue. Deliverance accordingly came; and when "the Sun of Righteousness" passed out from that temporary eclipse, and I stood in the broad sunlight of the face of God, I well knew why I had been thus disciplined in the school of sorrow -- namely, that I might become possessed of the great and enduring joys, "the everlasting consolations and good hope through grace," amid which I am now permitted to have my present dwelling-place.

Do you ask me, reader, why it is that I affirm, with such absolute assurance, that "we are complete in Him," that "we can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth us," and that "we may learn in whatever state we are, therewith to be content"? I should refer, as one of the main reasons, to the paideia of which I have been speaking, and to other like seasons in which God put me into "the furnace of affliction," subjected me to great "heaviness," but put strength into me to endure, and disciplined my whole being into sweet acquiescence in His holy will, and thus did for me there in that sacred place.

Do you ask me why it is that what the prophet meant in the following wondrous words are so real in my experience? "The sun shall no more be thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee, but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; but the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." I should still, as one of the main reasons, refer you to the paideia, in which Christ taught me "obedience from the things which I suffered." The "endurance of temptation" not only disciplines the will to subjection to the will of God, but also capacitates the whole mental being for fellowships, intercommunings, and fruitions, for which nothing else can so fully prepare us.

My object in writing these things, reader, is this -- that you "may know your God, understand His way, and find grace in His sight." When you put yourself under the will of God, and do it "with all your heart, and with all your soul," remember this, that you have His absolute word of promise that He "will instruct you, and teach you the way you should go, and guide you by His eye." Do not, therefore, mark out for yourself any particular and specific forms of experience through which you must be led. Let this be your only concern, to keep your hand in the hand of God, and your will in absolute subjection to His. While conscious of this relation to Him, do not be disturbed by any providences which may encircle you, or any "heavinesses which for a time, if need be," may be laid upon you. While you shall "keep the faith," "endure as seeing Him who is invisible;" and "shall cry, My Father, my Father," "not as I will, but as thou wilt," remember this, that God will deal with you but as His son or daughter, all of whose interests are as dear to Him as the apple of His eye. If His parental discipline may sometimes seem severe, bear this in mind, that it is all "for your profit, that you may be a partaker of His holiness." Thus "following on to know the Lord," "your peace," at length, "will be as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea," and your deepest sorrows will be found to be but birth-throes of joys and consolations as great as your mental being can receive, and as enduring as "the eternal years of God."

Chapter 29



The apostle Paul puts up this wonderful prayer in behalf of his converts at Thessalonica: -- "Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolations and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work." One of the most wondrous and memorable characteristics of the hidden life is the fact that our greatest and most enduring joys well out of our deepest sorrows, and those who in heaven stand nearest the eternal throne, and behold with the deepest bliss the face of God, are "they who came out of great tribulation," "endured great fights of affliction," "learned obedience from the things which they suffered," and thus "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." "Ye now, therefore," says our Saviour to His disciples, "have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." The joy which the disciples experienced after the Saviour appeared among them, "as they mourned and wept," was incomparably greater than it could have been but for the great sorrow by which their new-born joy had been preceded, and into which the former blended and was lost. The joy which succeeds, supersedes, and takes up into itself sorrow, is called "consolation;" and because the joy which thus supersedes sorrow in Christian experience is eternally enduring, it is called "everlasting consolation."

Let us see if we cannot attain to some adequate apprehension of this most important subject. Consolation, as I have intimated, is what, for the want of better terms, I would denominate a blended state of mind -- a state resulting from the blending of two other mutually genial states, sorrow on the one hand, and a genial form of joy on the other; the former sweetly blending into and losing itself in the latter, the new form of joy thus induced becoming a permanent well-spring of life in the mind.

I will give an illustrative fact which occurred in my own family. As I came down from my study and entered our parlour one day, I found our second child, a little daughter about three years of age, alone there, the mother, with the elder daughter, having gone out and left this one in the care of the kitchenmaid. I found this child, from some cause -- I never knew what -- in a state of mental agony such as I had never witnessed before. Her grief had reached a stage wholly past weeping, and which rendered her utterly unable to speak a single word. As she turned her face to me, there was the look of death in her eyes. Of course I was deeply alarmed. I did not attempt to allay her grief by words. Grief asks our sympathy, not words. I said to her at once, "My dear precious daughter, come to your father and sit here upon his knee, laying your head upon his bosom close to his heart." As she came to me, I took her tenderly up, placed her upon my knee, and pressed her head very gently to my heart. At every sigh I apprehended that the thread of life would break. I spoke not a word; but at each paroxysm I pressed her more closely to my heart, I soon perceived that those sighs became gradually less and less severe. At length they wholly ceased. A little while after, she looked up with a happy smile, and asked me if I recollected a certain event which had given her great pleasure. I entered at once into her new-born joy, enlarging very affectionately and smilingly upon that pleasing event. In a short time we were sweetly conversing together there, the happiest child and the happiest father I ever knew. My manifested sympathy and love had gently drawn from the heart of that child that great sorrow, and had induced in its place a form of joy unlike, and greater than, any she had ever experienced before, and which never could have been generated but in circumstances like those above detailed.

Nor did that joy ever pass away. From that moment onward I became to that child a new being. Whenever ir was possible, she would be with me, sitting by me in my study, and walking with me, and seeking every practicable opportunity to exchange words with me. Now and then she would fix her eyes upon me, as if she could not take them away. Some three or four years after the occurrence above stated, while she was sitting with her mother in our parlour in Oberlin, I being absent for the long vacation, she took her pencil and paper, and after studying and writing awhile, handed to her mother a beautiful little poem, a poem that would have honoured a young Tennyson. The measure was peculiar, each stanza being composed of three lines. The subject of the poem was the great void in her heart, the void occasioned by the absence of her father, and her intense desire for his return.

When she was on a visit to our house, at the time when she was quite forty years of age, she being herself a parent then, I related to her the incident of her childhood given above, a fact which she had of course forgotten. Then she understood the cause of the mysterious bond which had so linked her being with mine, and rendered her father such a form of sunlight to her heart. Here we have the true idea of consolation, a peculiar and special kind of joy, which takes form in the soul only in seasons of special sorrow -- a form of sacred joy "that is born, like the rainbow, in tears," but which never, like the rainbow. passes away.

Now, one of the most distinguished and special peculiarities of the gospel. that which separates and peculiarises it from all other religions or any other forms of belief, is the fact that for every form of sorrow with which the heart can be smitten this gospel brings to the believing, trustful, and enduring spirit "everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace," changing such sorrows into forms of joy which are ineffably blissful and eternally enduring. Examine all other religions the earth has ever known, sound the depths of every system of philosophy which unbelief has ever developed, and you will fail utterly to find in any one of them, or in all of them together, a single ray or element of consolation, a single element of power to bring joy and gladness to a broken heart or a wounded spirit.

"I do wish," said a widowed daughter of a very wealthy citizen of the city of New York, as the family had returned one Sabbath from their place of worship, their minister being a celebrated preacher of the Broad Church, -- "I do wish that our pastor would say something to bring consolation to a bereaved heart such as I have." "Why," said a friend of ours who had accompanied the family to their place of worship that day, "the God your pastor preaches is a mere force, utterly void of all feeling or emotion of any kind, and is, therefore, wholly void, and incapable of any kind of sympathy with human joy or sorrow." The next time my friend visited that family, he found them worshipping in an Evangelical congregation, where an incarnate Saviour is preached, a Saviour who has been anointed by the Eternal Father to "bind up the broken-hearted." What absolutely evinces the gospel as, like the New Jerusalem, coming down to us from "God out of heaven," is this power to bring to every sin-blighted and sorrow-smitten heart such "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace."

All the world have read with admiration and wonder the beauteous scene which transpired at the house of Simon the leper, the scene in which Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed both the head and feet of Jesus with precious ointment. Having been informed by our Saviour of His approaching death, she had purchased the ointment, and had "kept it against the day of His burying." Seeing Jesus sitting with her brother at the feast, her love and gratitude induced her to change her purpose, and to anoint that sacred body "beforehand to the burying." What so deeply moved the gratitude of that sister, and brought such "everlasting consolation" to her heart, was not the mere fact that her brother had been raised from the dead, but the melting scene which preceded that event. Let us read it. "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto him, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him!" All heaven must have looked with silent, if not with tearful, wonder at that spectacle.

It was not the mere fact, I repeat, of the resurrection of that brother, but the ineffable compassion, sympathy, and love, manifested in connection with the bestowment of the gift that ever after made such eternal sunlight in the hearts of that brother and his two sisters. In the event, the sisters received a temporary good of great value. In the love revealed in the manner of the gift "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace" came to their hearts. As the perfections and glory of Christ shall unfold more and more, through eternal ages, before their mind, the fact represented in the words, "Jesus wept," will be a central light through which that glory shall be seen. So it will be with all the universe. In like manner, when the sanctified mind is smitten with any form or degree of sorrow whatever, let the Spirit unveil to that mind the face of Christ looking with ineffable love upon the face of that soul, and all its sorrow will sweetly blend into a form of joy and consolation eternally enduring. Just such power has Christ over all our sorrows.

Let us now turn our thoughts to another scene. "But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say Master."

I have often enquired with myself as to the tone and manner in which that name was then uttered, and have asked myself "How shall I utter it when I read the passage?" On some former occasion, perhaps at the time when He restored her to her right mind, or immediately after that event, He must have uttered her name in a tone and manner which thrilled through her whole being, and made the utterance one of the memorable facts of her existence. No wonder that when Jesus now pronounced that name with the same tone and manner as on that, to her, eternally memorable occasion, no wonder, I say, that she instantly exclaimed "Rabboni." She intuitively apprehended that no being but Christ could thus pronounce that name. As she heard that name thus pronounced, how instantly did the deep midnight of her soul change into eternal sunlight! how instantly did her great sorrow blend and lose itself in "everlasting consolation and good hope through grace"! But for that great sorrow, Christ could not have become to her what He afterwards was, and ever will be to eternity. The new-born joy which then filled her whole being is in her yet, and there it will remain, deepening and expanding for ever and ever. The word "Mary," as Jesus then pronounced it, will ever cause her heart-strings to vibrate with a music that "will make melody in the ear of God."

Few people seem at all to understand the full meaning of the apostle John in the words, "Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord." The last evening which He spent with them before He suffered, He thus spoke of the sorrow which then filled their hearts: -- "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." After their hearts were filled, and even burdened, with "joy unspeakable and full of glory" at the reappearing of Christ in their midst, John, calling to mind the words of our Saviour, the words above cited, says, "Then," that is, just as Christ said it should be, "WERE the disciples glad when they saw the Lord." Jesus said, "I will see you again,, and your heart shall rejoice," and so we found it. Jesus also said, "Your joy no man taketh from you," and "neither tribulation, nor distress, nor persecution, nor famine, nor peril, nor sword, nor death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature," hath been able, nor ever will be able, to take that joy out of their hearts. So it ever is. The joy which wells out of sorrow in the true believer's heart can take on but one form, that of "everlasting consolation and good hope through grace."

I must refer to one additional illustration taken from Scripture -- the manifestation of Christ to John when the Saviour appeared in glory to the apostle at the opening of the vision of the Apocalypse. The following passage presents the fact to which I refer: -- "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the First and the Last: and I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." The beauty and impressiveness of the original is almost wholly darkened by the above translation. The object of our Saviour in the words addressed to John was to allay his dread, and impart to him such an assurance that he could calmly receive the message which Christ was to send to the Churches through His disciple. The words, "Fear not; I am the First and the Last," would have tended but to deepen and perfect the death-terror which Christ's appearance had induced.

Literaly rendered, the passage reads thus:-- "Fear not; it is I, the First and the Last: and I am alive; and I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever more, Amen : and have the keys of hell and of death." The original words which I have translated "It is I," had been, in the exact form here repeated, twice uttered in the hearing of John, and that under circumstances of most memorable and tenderly impressive interest: first when our Saviour came "walking upon the water," during the night-tempest on the Sea of Galilee, and allayed their fears by saying, "It is I; be not afraid;" and secondly, when He first appeared in their midst after His resurrection, and again allayed their fears by saying to them, "Be not affrighted; handle me, and see that it is I myself." Now, when Christ so gently laid His right hand upon the apostle, who was almost dead with terror, and so tenderly repeated those ever-memorable words in his ears, at the same time recalling those wonderful memories which had made such melody in the apostle's mind, how adapted all this was to revive his spirits, put strength into him, and to "assure his heart" in the presence of his glorified Redeemer! It is no wonder that, from that moment onward, all dread and terror of Christ departed for ever from the. heart of the apostle, and he became possessed with but one sentiment in view of every form of the coming of his Lord: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen."

My object in presenting such facts is to assure the reader of this great truth, that when we are in Christ, He will turn all our sorrows into everlasting joy and gladness, gird us with immortal strength in all our weaknesses, impart to us in our darkest hours the everlasting light of God, and in all our necessities do for us "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."

I will now allude to a case which came to my knowledge since my present sojourn in this city. While in attendance at a meeting for the promotion of personal holiness, a lady, giving me her hand, inquired if I did not recollect her? My reply was, that I did recollect her countenance, but could not designate her name, or the circumstances in which we had met. "Do you not recollect that, when you were in London, some twenty-five years ago, a Mrs N., a lady friend of yours from America, introduced you to the family of a Mr M.?" "I well recollect that family," I replied. "I often spoke of it in my own country, and have inquired after it since my late arrival in London." "I am Mrs M. My husband is also present, and will rejoice to take you by the hand. You will recollect how great was my peace and joy in believing when you first saw us. I had been greatly blessed in reading your work on 'Christian Perfection.'" Mrs M., an influential member of one of the churches of the Establishment in this city, was among the happiest believers I ever met with. "Well," she continued, "the joy that then dwelt in my heart has never departed nor grown less, but has increased more and more. Do you remember our children?" "I recollect that you had children about you then, but that is all." "Well, our eldest, our only son, grew to be twenty-three years of age. Christ called for him then, and we gave him up. Our daughter, next in age, grew to twenty-five. Christ asked for her also, and we replied, 'As Thou wilt, Lord only give us more of Thyself.' We had one lamb left, 'a little one,' a daughter ten and a half years of age. Christ called for her too, and our reply was, 'The cup which our Father giveth us, shall we not drink it?' Thus 'we were written childless.' But it is all the same. Our light has never gone out or grown dim, but shineth more and more as the perfect day dawns on." This, I said in my heart, is the consolation. Surely "we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us." With what unspeakable interest have I listened to the rich testimony for Christ which that husband and wife have given in conferences which I have attended!

A poor slave, after he had been, for no reason for which slaves are usually beaten, scourged till he barely had the breath of life in him, crept away to his lonely hut, and lay groaning there. The Spirit of God soon brought heaven so near to the sufferer's mind, and made his sufferings appear so momentary to him, that he sat up and began to sing for joy of heart --

"My suffering time will soon be o'er;

I soon shall weep and sigh no more.

My ransomed soul shall soar away,

And sing God's praise in endless day."

The master, who had been listening outside, now rushed in, and implored the forgiveness and prayers of the sufferer. From that moment suffering and toil were other things than they had been to that slave's mind -- the suffering and toil appearing so short, and the glory to follow so infinite and endless, that the former had no power to disturb his peace. This, I repeat, is the consolation. So were "the sufferings of this present time" to the mind of Paul. God's Spirit made them appear to him as they are in themselves, and as they are in their endless consequences, to all who "endure temptation," and "learn obedience from the things which they suffer." Over such minds afflictions have no power but to discipline and perfect virtue, and induce new forms of "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace" They consequently "glory in tribulation."

The reader may be inclined to ask, How is it possible that pain, suffering, and sorrow can induce such joyful experiences? Take a single case in illustration. Many years since, a young man of a very wealthy family in Charleston, S.C., came to the city of New York and submitted his case to a council of physicians. As the result of the examination, he was informed that his case was indeed a sad one, that a hard substance was forming about one of the orifices of his heart, and would soon close it up and cause his death. In answer to the inquiry whether the substance could be removed by a surgical operation, he was told that the event was possible, but that the probabilities appeared as a hundred to one against him. "But death is certain if this tumour is not removed?" "Yes." "Then I take the risk," replied the youth. The surgeons refused to do anything about it until they had sent to the parents a written statement of the perils of the operation, and had received from them a written request to undertake it.

When the operation was commenced, the young man was told that if at any time the operators should stop cutting his flesh, he might know that death must ensue. At length, contrary to all prior calculations, a suspension for a few moments became necessary. No one spoke or whispered. What a moment of suspense to the young man! Was it death? At length the experience of an acute pain indicated that the operation had been recommenced. "That pain," said the young man afterwards, the operation proving a success, -- "that pain was to me the most blissful feeling I ever experienced in my life." The reason is manifest. The pain stood connected in his mind with a promise of life, and the absence of pain with the assurance of death. Now the Spirit of God can so connect with every pain and affliction and form of sorrow we may experience a promise of life eternal, that suffering shall seem blissful rather than distressing, while the promise shall induce forms of fulness of joy eternally enduring. This is the consolation reserved for the believer in all "the sufferings of this present time."

As far as my own case is concerned, I would say, that sorrow and suffering, bereavement, disappointment, and "hope deferred," seem to have but one mission -- to develop, refine, and enlarge the susceptibilities, and to new capacitate the mind for the reception of new and higher forms of blessedness than were before possible. Each special form of sorrow is attended with some special and correlative manifestation of the character, love, or grace of Christ, a manifestation which ever after remains in the mind as a source of everlasting consolation and "joy unspeakable and full of glory." Among the aspects of Christ's character and grace -- aspects which induce the fullest and most abiding blessedness -- are those which the Spirit has unveiled to the mind when some great sorrow lay upon the heart. Hence it is that afflictions, tribulations, and great heavinesses become almost sacred in the mind's regard, followed as they all are, and that so soon, with such "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace." The mind does not desire or pray for such providences. When they are sent, however --

As clouds of glory do they come,

From God, who is our home."

Since that great paideia, that sacred heaven-descended paideia, sorrow and affliction sustain different relations to the mind from what they ever did before. They have power to melt the soul, but not so to affect the sensibilities as to produce mental pain or agony. Simultaneously with the sorrow comes the joy of the Lord, with such fullness that the former blends into the latter without paining the soul at all. Under the severest bodily suffering the mind lies in perfect quietness and assurance.

I may refer in illustration to one scene. During the late war in the United States, our only son entered the army. On occasion of the first great battle where he was present, he rose from a sick-bed, and, contrary to the absolute prohibition of his physician, as first lieutenant led his company into the scene, and remained with them during the day, leading fifty-six men into the battle, and sixteen out of it. In the next great battle into which, as captain, he led his company, he himself received a fatal injury, from which he died some six months afterwards. And such a death. He seemed to "see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God," the Son of Man holding out to the dying one "a crown of life." From the grave of our son, the wife of my youth went home with me to die, she having fataly overtaxed her strength in caring for him during the last months of his sickness. A blooming daughter, twenty-two years of age, whose being had ever been strangely linked with that mother and brother, drooped under the bereavement, and, despite all our efforts to sustain and save her, "dropped into the lap of God," her death being not so rapturous, but as peaceful, as that of her brother. Under these bereavements my whole soul was melted and flowed out like water. At the same time, the peace of God was so full, pervading, and so ineffable in my heart, that I could not tell what was the chief cause of my tears -- the great sorrow on the one hand, or the unspeakable joy of the Lord on the other.

Such, reader, is the real experience of those who are in the world and in Christ while here. If they have sorrow -- and "in the world they will have tribulation" -- their sorrows are but momentary birth-throes of joys ineffable and eternally enduring. The deepest shades with which earth's tribulations can darken their horizon are but the shadows which the Sun of Righteousness casts before Him when He is about to rise in our hearts "with healings in His wings." When walking with God --

"Take this thought with you as you go abroad,

That shade is the creation of light,

And light is the shadow of God."

Chapter 30


"The things of God," we are taught in the Sacred Word, "knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." "The things of God," when revealed to us, are called "the things of the Spirit of God," because "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit." Now, of "the things of the Spirit of God," that is, of "the things which God hath revealed to us by His Spirit," the Scriptures contain the exclusive and all authoritative record. Outside of the Sacred Word, we have no authoritative record or standard of revealed truth. "The things which are revealed" in "this dearest of Books, that excels every other," "belong unto us and to our children." "Things of God" not herein revealed, those excepted "which are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made," are "secret things which belong unto God." One of the most important questions which any believer can put to himself is this, How may I know "the things of the Spirit of God," "the things which are freely given us of God"?

There are two classes of individuals who, as the apostle informs us, do not, and cannot, know these things -- "the natural man," the man who, in the pride of self-sufficiency, relies upon his own unaided powers of inquiry, and, consequently, repudiates as folly the idea of being taught of God, and as foolishness "the things revealed by the Spirit of God;" and the believer who is yet under the influence of a carnal spirit, of carnal principles, and carnal apprehensions. "He that is spiritual," on the other hand, does know "the things of God," the things which "God has revealed to us by His Spirit." The reason why he knows these things is the fact that the Spirit so "strengtheneth him with might in the inner man," and so "enlightens the eyes of his understanding," that he "discerns" or apprehends these things as they are in themselves. "The natural man cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned;" that is, they are, and must be, as the immutable condition of our apprehending them, presented to the mind by the Spirit.

Let us see if we cannot understand, clearly and distinctly, the real relations of the three individuals under consideration to the revealed truth of God -- the three individuals, namely, "the natural man," the believer who is yet carnal or a babe in Christ, and "the spiritual man." We will take as the basis of our elucidation the account which we find in 2 Kings vi 15 -17: -- "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." Let us suppose that, at the time when these events transpired, there had been present with the prophet, in addition to his servant, two other individuals, corresponding to "the natural man" on the one hand, and the unspiritual believer on the other, and that to these the prophet had stated the facts just as his servant afterwards saw them. How would his utterances have affected these three individuals, the eyes of the servant, and his only, being opened to see what was before and around them?

The natural man would have promptly replied thus, "I don't believe a word of it. I see the hosts of the Syrians; but I don't see, and nobody can see, 'the chariots of fire' or 'the horses of fire' to which this man refers. It is all superstition and delusion." "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned."

The unspiritual believer, on the other hand, would say, "What the prophet says is unquestionably true, and it gives me a degree of inward joy and peace to think so. Yet I cannot make his statements seem real. I see the hosts of the Syrians; but do not see ' the chariots of fire' or ' the horses of fire.' Hence it is that I cannot wholly expel the sentiment of fear and apprehension from my mind. I wish I could feel as the prophet and his servant do; but I cannot do it."

Ask the servant, now that "his eyes have been opened," if he believes what the prophet has uttered, and his reply would be, "I know that what he says is true. Why, the mountain is full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. I see them as plainly as I see the hosts of the Syrians, and 'they that be with us are more than they that be with them.'" The conscious security and peace of the prophet and of his servant could not but be absolute.

Let us now apply the above illustration to the three classes of individuals under consideration, "the natural man, the believer who is yet carnal, and "the spiritual man. In the same sense in which all could have understood the statements which we have supposed the prophet to have made, all of common intelligence can understand the Bible. Without special divine illumination, learned men may understand the facts and doctrines of this Book, and systematise the same, just as they can determine and interpret the teachings of any other book. Some of the ablest commentaries upon the Scriptures that have ever appeared have been composed by individuals who utterly repudiate the inspiration of these writings. Individuals of the same class have also correctly stated and systematised the doctrines of Scripture, and have proved beyond dispute that the Bible does, in fact, teach all the doctrines and principles of the evangelical faith. Nor are correct interpretations of the Scriptures or true presentations of its doctrines to be undervalued, and last of all will they be undervalued by really spiritually-minded believers.

In what sense, then, is it true that neither the "natural man," nor the believer who is yet carnal, or "a babe in Christ," can "know the things of the Spirit of God"? In what sense is it true that these things are "spiritually discerned"? -- that is, can be apprehended as they are but by special illumination of the Spirit? A ready answer to these questions can now be given. The servant of the prophet, had the latter stated the facts to the former, could have understood that there was a celestial host with "horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." Until the eyes of that servant were opened, however, and he saw that host for himself, he could by no possibility have formed real apprehensions of that host. So I may correctly understand what inspiration affirms of "the things of the Spirit of God." I can apprehend the things themselves, and know them as they are, but upon the condition that, by the Spirit of God, "the eyes of my understanding are enlightened," so that I see these things, that is, mentally apprehend them, as they are in themselves.

Moses, for example, knew well that the glory of God was infinite. He was equally well aware; however, that no finite mind could know that glory -- that is, could apprehend it as it is -- but upon the exclusive condition that God Himself should show His glory to the creature. Hence the prayer of that man of God, "I beseech Thee show me Thy glory." To all eternity an impenetrable veil would have remained between that man and the divine glory, had not God fulfilled in the experience of His servant the promise, "I will cause all my goodness to pass before thee."

The same great truth is implied in the prayer of the psalmist, "Open Thou mine eyes, and I shall behold wondrous things out of Thy law." The psalmist well knew that wondrous things were revealed in the Word of God. He was equally aware of the fact that he could behold these things but upon the condition that God Himself should open the eyes of his understanding to apprehend them, just as the eyes of the servant were opened to behold the flaming hosts that were "round about Elisha." So of all the eternal verities revealed to our faith in the Scriptures. We can understand what is written about these realities. The realities themselves, however, we can apprehend as they are but upon the condition that the Spirit of God shall Him self "take of these things and show them unto us," we thus "beholding with open face as in a glass" (as we behold our own selves in a mirror) "the glory of the Lord," "the love of Christ," and all "the things which are freely given us of God."

We have before us, we will suppose, to use another illustration, a correct map and a full and true delineation of the entire scenery of the Alps. Careful study will enable us to understand fully the map and the writings in our possession. We afterwards visit that scenery and behold it with open vision. On comparing the apprehensions obtained by reading and study with those received through a direct beholding of the scenery itself, we should find that the former apprehensions very imperfectly represent the latter. Suppose now that, while we are studying the documents and map referred to, God should enable us to form the same apprehensions of that scenery that we do when beholding it with direct and open vision. He would then do for us relatively to this scenery what the Spirit does relatively to the eternal verities revealed in the Scriptures. In the study of the Scriptures the Spirit of God so "enlightens the eyes of the understanding" of "the spiritual man," that he beholds, as with direct and open vision, "the wondrous things" of which he reads.

The relations of the three individuals under consideration to "the things of the Spirit of God," now admit of a ready explanation. "The natural man" does not apprehend these things for two reasons. They are "foolishness unto him" in the first place, and he does not endeavour to understand them. Then, in the next place, "they are spiritually discerned," and he "has not the Spirit of God."

The believer who is "yet carnal" may understand and believe what is written about these things. Of the things themselves, however, he has no divinely-illumined apprehensions. He believes them to be eternal verities. Yet they do not seem real to him, and he cannot make them seem thus. According to the Scriptures, Christ is at the door calling and knocking for admittance. The man understands what is written, and confesses that it must be so of a truth. To him, however, Christ does not seem to be thus near, thus loving, and ready to save and to bless; but afar off in heaven, afar off where He cannot be found. The love of Christ to us, according to the Scriptures "passeth knowledge." The man understands what is written, and admits its truth. To his mind, however, it is not, and he cannot make it seem, a present and heart-moving and transforming reality that "Christ loved him, and gave Himself for him," and loves him now.

To "the spiritual man," on the other hand, nothing seems so real, and of such ready and all-impressive apprehension, as "the things of the Spirit of God." He not only understands and believes what is written about the love of Christ, but inwardly "beholds with open face" Christ Himself as a personal presence in the actual exercise of a love towards the believer "that passeth knowledge." The Spirit "takes of the things of Christ," and shows them to this individual, and "shows him plainly of the Father." Such a believer, consequently, "knows the things which are freely given us of God." To his mind "the things of the Spirit of God," -- "things unseen and eternal," "revealed to us by the Spirit of God," -- are realities as palpable as was the fiery host round about Elisha to the servant of the prophet after "the Lord had opened the eyes of that servant." In the same sense in which the Spirit of God opened the eyes of that servant to behold the "horses and chariots of fire" referred to, does the same Spirit "enlighten the eyes of the understanding" of "the spiritual man" to "behold the glory of the Lord," to "comprehend the breadth, and depth, and length, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge."

We are now prepared to understand clearly the meaning of the apostle in the following passage: -- "He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." The obvious meaning of the passage is this: "The spiritual man" understands, and appreciates as they are, the views and experiences of all other men, not, like himself, under divine illumination. Those who have not received this illumination, however, cannot judge the spiritual man -- that is, understand his views and experiences -- because they have never become possessed of such views and experiences. They can, if they will, know that he has views and experiences which they have not, and which they imperiously need to possess, and they may and can inquire of God, as he did, that the Lord may open the eyes of their understanding, as He did those of his, that they may thus "know God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent," as he knows them; that they with him may "have fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ," and, like him, "be filled with all the fulness of God." All these things they may inquire after, and "will know if they follow on to know the Lord." Until they do thus inquire, and God, by His Spirit, "shall give them light," they will walk in darkness, while he "has the light of life," and his divine and blissful views and experiences will be veiled even from their apprehensions.

I am here reminded of a very melancholy fact which we often meet with among professing Christians. I refer to those who persistently shut themselves out from "the liberty of the sons of God," and veil from their hearts "the light of God," in which it is their blood-bought privilege to walk. Before I speak particularly of this class, however, let me refer to another class who are in darkness, but are seeking "the light of life." By special request, I once, for example, visited the room of a theological student who was spiritually in "a horror of great darkness." Before him lay an open Bible, with his eyes resting upon some of its most soul-moving revelations.

"President Mahan," he said, "what is here revealed is all real to you. No wonder, therefore, that you are one of the happiest of men. To me, however, they don't seem real at all. I read that 'Christ tasted death for every man,' and Paul says of Him, 'He loved me, and gave Himself for me.' It don't seem to me that I have any interest at all in Christ's death, or that He has any love for me whatever. I can understand Job when he cried out, 'Oh, that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come near even to His seat. Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: on the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand that I cannot see Him.' Is there any hope for me?"

As I took my seat by the side of that young man, I said to him, "My brother, you are now in the most hopeful condition possible. If you will 'only believe,' your next step will be upon the pinnacle of the delectable mountains, where 'the Lord shall be to you for an everlasting light, and your God your glory.' 'Only believe,' and you will find the darkness around you to be that which precedes the brightness of the divine rising."

"But how shall I believe, when nothing seems real to me?"

"God says, in His own Word, does He not, that 'Christ did taste death for every man,' and consequently for you; that He loves the world, and consequently loves you; that if you will 'confess your sins,' He 'will forgive you your sins, and cleanse you from all unrighteousness;' that He 'will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him,' and that none that 'follow Christ shall walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'"

"I know that God says these things, and I suppose they are realities in themselves. To me, however, they are not realities, and I cannot make them appear so."

"Cease for ever now all efforts to make these realities seem real to your mind. Admit them to be such, and that on the simple testimony of God. Confess your sins to God, trusting Christ, for the reason that He says He will do it when you thus confess, to 'take away your sins.' Having done this, and having surrendered your whole being to the divine will, ask your Father in heaven, simply because He has promised to do so to all who ask, to give you the Holy Spirit of promise, that you may realise and 'know the things which are freely given you of God.' Do this, my young brother, and your darkness will soon pass away, and you will wonder, with unutterable wonder, at the marvellous light of God which shall shine upon you."

I have, during the last forty years, met with very many individuals, as that young man was, in the deepest spiritual darkness, and have never yet met with one who has followed such simple counsels, and who did not soon find him self "sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," and "rejoicing there with joy unspeakable, and full of glory."

I will here give a single example in illustration of the above statements. Several months since, I met at the house of a mutual friend in this city a physician and his wife, both from my own country, and both influential members of a leading Presbyterian church in the city of New York. Mrs S. was in a very peculiar and self-dissatisfied state of mind. She had read, as she stated, the productions of the leading writers on the higher life, had honestly endeavoured to follow the directions given therein, and had supposed that she had attained to the state of which such authors and teachers speak; yet she had found herself mistaken. What was called salvation from sin, she had found to be nothing but the substitution of one form of sin for another still more hateful in the sight of God spiritual pride. She had, accordingly, repudiated wholly this whole doctrine of the higher life.

Such had been her spiritual darkness, however, that when they were in Rome she had inquired of the highest authorities there whether there was for her any way out into "the light of God." Their answers were, of course, wholly unsatisfactory and she was in a state of almost utter hopelessness in regard to any escape from "the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God," of which the Bible says so much. I assured her that the Bible was a lie throughout, or this liberty, in all its fulness, was in reserve for her. Christ had prayed for her that she might be one with Him, as He is one with the Father, and that the Father might, consequently, love her as He loves His only begotten Son; and that prayer would be fulfilled in her experience, provided she would "lay hold on the hope set before her."

The oneness with Christ referred to is called in the Bible "the union and fellowship of the Spirit." We "are builded for an habitation of God through the Spirit." It is through the Spirit that "God dwells in us and walks in us," and "reveals His Son in us." We must be "strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man," or Christ cannot "dwell in our hearts by faith," and be "formed within us the hope of glory." "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;" and there is, and can be, this liberty nowhere else. Such, and only such, do or can behold "with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord." "In that day," the day when "the Comforter shall come unto you," says our Saviour, "ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you." "The promise of the Spirit" is before you. If you desire this vital union with Christ, and with the Father through Him, having committed your whole being to Christ, ask Him, and trust Him, first of all, "to pray the Father for you, that He may "give you the Comforter," that "He may abide with you forever," and, as God is true, He will "endue you with power from on high," and "fill you with His Spirit," as He did "the disciples at the beginning;" and then, as they were, you "shall be filled with all the fulness of God."

"The mistake, as it seems to me," I remarked, "of very many who teach the doctrine of the higher life, is the fact that they do not set forth, as the immutable condition of entering into and continuing in that life, that we must receive 'the promise of the Spirit in our hearts.'" I then told her how that, having sought and obtained "the promise of the Father," I had for forty years "walked with God," and known Him as my "everlasting light." "Among 'the sons and daughters of the Lord,'" I remarked, "I am no specially privileged believer. What I have obtained and enjoyed, you may obtain and enjoy."

Such is the substance of my statements to this individual. After a season of prayer we separated, she with a fixed "purpose of heart" never to rest until she had obtained the promised baptism, and I with a fervent inward prayer that God would grant her what she desired, and, through the power of His indwelling Spirit, "do for her exceeding abundantly above all that she might ask or think." The following extracts from this lady's letter, received by the wife of the mutual friend referred to, will indicate the results of that conversation: -- "Within three days of our return," she says, "the Doctor's father was brought down to our house very feeble, and suffering with heart disease. For five weeks I nursed him night and day. . . . . December 6, he went home. . . . . Before I had any time to rest, I came here Philadelphia, to my mother to spend Christmas, and to help to cheer her through this, to her, sad part of the year; for a year ago, last night, my own father entered into glory. Two more peaceful death-beds than the two I have stood beside this year could never be, and heaven seems nearer and more real from the lessons I have been taught by them."

Out of sorrow into "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace" is the fixed order of true Christian experience. "Never shall I forget," she goes on to say, "that Sabbath evening which I spent with Dr. Mahan. I wonder if he is yet in London? If so, will you give my love to him, and tell him Jesus has been making plain to me what I so vainly tried to comprehend during that conversation. Never in my life have I seen what a soul-union there might be between the believer and his Saviour as the Lord has shown me of late. 'One with Christ' does not seem too strong language now. I am so glad that I am one of the weak foolish ones of the earth; for I have not had the trouble which I should have in trying to come to an intellectual comprehension of how this could be. I cannot tell the 'how' even now but I do know that Christ has taken me in a sense He never did before, and is keeping me very close to Himself. Oh, how my very heart goes out for you to know this great treasure, my dear sister! It seems as though, if I could cross the ocean that divides us and sit by your side, I could show you from the Word how much more Jesus has for us than either you or I imagined last September. I begin to have a little taste of that 'love which passeth knowledge,' and it makes my heart bound and ache with the longing I have that others should know it too. . . . . I owe so much to you for your kindness in regard to Dr Mahan. I have never been satisfied since the talk we had in your parlour. I saw, and you did also, that he had a secret we did not possess."

She then states that she soon became conscious of the defects I had stated in the very common teachings in regard to the higher life, and then adds, -- "A strong faith is not enough; there must be a filling with love. I do not know how to express it except as a conscious 'oneness with Christ.' I cannot tell you as I would like to of this dear Jesus; but if you look into your Bible, you will find what I mean on almost every page of the Acts and Epistles. Now that I really believe every promise, just as I would promises from any reliable, loving friend, the whole thing seems plain and unmistakable. I did not intend to write as I have done when I began, but what was in my heart has dropped off from my pen." All who thus seek, find; and of all who do thus seek and find, "there is not a weak nor sickly one among them." All in common are "more than conquerors through Him that hath loved them."

How do individuals shut themselves out from this "everlasting light," and from all this "glorious liberty of the sons of God"? When they are spoken to about "the promise of the Spirit," and of "the glory which follows" this "enduement of power from on high," their reply is, "that all Christians receive the promised 'baptism of the Holy Ghost,' at the time of their conversion, and no such promise as you speak of is in reserve for us now." While they reply thus, they will not deny that they are in darkness, and walk in darkness, and have lost "the blessedness they knew when first they saw the Lord." Whatever the past may have been, do they not now need to be "baptized with the Holy Ghost"? They admit that they "can neither fly nor go to reach eternal joys." Do they not need the "enduement of power," by which they can "mount up on wings as eagles," and "run and not be weary, and walk and not faint "? Still their reply is, "All believers were 'baptized with the Holy Ghost' at the time of their conversion, and they now 'have the Spirit of Christ,' and their 'bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost.'"

But does not Christ make prior obedience the express condition of the reception of "the Comforter," and does not the Bible as expressly teach that God "gives the Holy Ghost to them that obey Him"? Does not inspiration speak expressly of two classes of converted persons, -- of the one class as "spiritual," and the other as "yet carnal," -- the one as made, and the other as not yet made, "perfect in love, -- the one as having, and the other as not having, "fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, -- the one as having received, and the other as not having received, the Holy Ghost since they believed -- and of the "joy" of the one class as being, and of the other as not being, "full"? Still the reply is, "All believers do receive 'the baptism of the Holy Ghost' at the time of their conversion, and no such promise as you speak of is in reserve for us." Thus individuals plead and argue for their blindness, and darkness, and feebleness, their bondage under the law of sin and death, and their barrenness of spiritual joy and power, as if they were certain that "life eternal" is to be found in these things and nowhere else. How can they find the light of life when they thus turn away from God's "exceeding great and precious promises," and will not accept the testimony of God, on the one hand, and that of those who have believed, and "have entered into rest," on the other!

Chapter 31


The sacred writers speak of "the letter and the Spirit" on the one hand, and of "the flesh and the Spirit" on the other. Paul, affirming himself and associates to have been made by God Himself "able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit," says that "the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." On the distinction between "the flesh and the Spirit" our Saviour thus speaks: "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." Let us see if we cannot understand this great subject.

Our Saviour, having spoken of Himself in distinction from natural food, flesh, and from the manna, as "the living bread which came down from heaven," told the people that that bread was His "flesh, which He would give for the life of the world." When the Jews strove among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat"? Jesus assured them that they "must eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood," or they could "have no life in them."

At such utterances even some of His disciples took offence, they, in common with other Jews, understanding His words in their literal sense. Christ now informs His disciples that soon He should "ascend up where He was before," and where, consequently, they could not approach His body; that could they do this, and even in the literal or fleshly sense, "eat His flesh and drink His blood," they would thus receive from Him no profit at all. That the words which He had employed symbolised a great and all-vitalising spiritual truth, a fixed relation which must obtain between Him personally and their spirits, or "they could have no life in them;" and that when, and only when, they should apprehend and believe in Him in that relation, would they understand the real import of the words He had employed.

He Himself was to their spirits what food was to their bodies. When they should apprehend and know Him in this relation, they would receive eternal life through Him, just as their natural lives were sustained by the food which they ate. As symbolising this all-vitalising relation, "His words were spirit, and they were life." As, in the literal sense, "eating His flesh and drinking His blood" would "profit them nothing," so His words, not understood and received in their true spiritual import, would be of no benefit to them. The immutable condition of our knowing Christ in this all-vitalising relation is, as our Saviour affirms in this connection, that we are "taught of God," that is, by the Spirit of God, and thus "drawn to Him by the Father." This knowledge we can by no possibility receive but through the illumination of the Spirit in His special office as the promised Comforter.

The same distinction the apostle Paul represents by the terms "letter" and "spirit." When we apprehend the real meaning of the language of Scripture, we are in "the letter." When we have a direct, immediate, and all-transforming apprehension of the realities symbolised by that language, then we are in "the Spirit." While we are in "the letter," truth is to us as "a dead letter," and exerts very little, and commonly no vitalising power at all. When in "the Spirit," every truth apprehended has a life-imparting power over our whole moral and spiritual nature. "The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." Here again we apprehend the special functions of the Comforter. "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." Such is the revealed distinction between "the flesh and the Spirit" on the one hand, and "the letter and the Spirit" on the other.

In illustration of the above distinctions, permit me to adduce a fact which occurred in my own family. When my elder children were small about me, and when I had begun to experience the life-imparting power of an apprehension of "the glory of the Lord" upon my own inner life, I made this a specific and special object of prayer, that I might be enabled to get the character of Christ before the minds of my children, so that, as the beauty, and grace, and perfection of the Lord should take form in their apprehensions, their spirit, and character, and life should be drawn and moulded into conformity to His. After I had been praying thus for some time, I found myself in our family circle, at the time of evening prayer, in circumstances most favourable to the end for which I had been praying. I accordingly remarked to my children, that I would read and talk to them about Jesus Christ, and particularly of His love to children.

As I began to read the wonderful account pertaining to this subject, our little son, just upwards of three years of age, came to me, and putting his elbows upon my knee, looked me intently in the face. As I read on, and commented upon what I read, "Oh!" he exclaimed, while the most affectionate wonder sat upon his countenance. Such exclamations were repeated as every new feature of Christ's character lifted its divine form before that child's mind. Perceiving that I was beginning to receive what I had been praying for, I remarked, that the next evening we would read and talk again about the dear Jesus. On this occasion our little son was at my knee as before, and listened with the same expressions of wonder and surprise. From that time onward for a long period, these apprehensions of Christ remained, and visibly moulded his whole moral being. Often would he come into my study, and say to me, "Pa, won't you talk to me about the dear Jesus?" As I would speak to him upon the subject, "Oh!" he would exclaim. As I would tell him how happy it made me to think about Christ, "It makes me happy too," he would reply. When I think of the wonderful death of that son, I have, to account for the fact, to go back to the event" in his childhood-life above presented.

I spoke formerly of the peaceful death of a daughter. At her funeral, her pastor remarked, that he had never in his life received such benefit in visiting a sick-room as he had in visiting that of that young woman. The reason was, that she had known not about Christ, but Christ Himself as her life. How did these dear ones thus know Christ? Because "the Spirit took of the things of Christ and showed them unto them," Communications from my home in my own country have just brought me intelligence of the death of another beloved daughter. She also "died in the Lord," and when I would account for the manner of her death, I must refer back to the knowledge of Christ which she received when a little child.

To show early spiritual discernment may arise in the minds of the very young, I will refer to a single fact given in the religious papers by one of our female teachers years ago. In the school taught by this young lady was a little boy of wondrous brightness of intellect and purity of mind, a child so young as to be unable to speak many of his words plainly, and so sprightly, that he was the sunbeam of the school. At the close of the school each day, he would come to his instructress and ask; "Teacer, is I a good boy to-day?" At the close of the school one day, the teacher read the account of Christ's blessing children, and told her school how He loved little children. After dismissing the school, and while seated at her table adjusting her papers, with no thought that any one but herself was in the room, this little child put his hand gently upon her shoulder, and with the deepest interest said, "Teacer,who is Quist et loved little children?" "I had an appointment after school, and was in a hurry to be gone, and, as Christians too often do, neglected the present opportunity, and put this child off by promising to tell him about Christ the next day.

The next day I was startled at not hearing the ringing voice of that child among my scholars, and all day my conscience smote me on account of that neglected opportunity. As soon as my school was dismissed, I started for the house of the child's father, who was not a Christian man. On the way I was met by the child's sister, who came running, and saying, 'Do hasten to our house; my little brother is very sick, and is constantly calling for his teacher, to tell him who is Christ that loved little children.' As I stood by his side, he said to me, 'Teacer, who is Quist et loved little children?' I attempted now to convey to his mind the knowledge he desire. The fever was on him, however, and his mind wandered, so that he could not understand what I told him. At the father's request we kneeled in prayer, and I prayed that God by His Spirit would impart the knowledge which I was now unable to communicate. As we rose from out knees, the little one exclaimed, 'Do, do, tell me who is Quist et loved little children? ' -- ' Will not somebody tell me who is Quist et loved little children'? 'Won't you pray again for the child?' said the weeping father. Then I prayed as I never did before in my life. As we rose from prayer and looked upon the form before us, his countenance suddenly brightened, and extending his hands, he exclaimed, 'There, there is Quist et loved little children!' and his spirit departed to the everlasting arms of the divine Lover of little children."

The lessons which such facts as the above teach us are to my mind such as these: that it is the Spirit, and He only, that can "reveal Christ in us," so that we shall know, not merely about Him, but Christ Himself; in His personal beauty, glory, and perfection; that the Spirit can make this revelation even to our children; that religious instruction in all its forms, in the family, the Sabbath-school, and everywhere else, is blindly directed when the fixed aim of such instruction is not to communicate this knowledge of Christ; and that when the Spirit does "take of the things of Christ and show them unto us," and imparts to the mind a direct and open vision, or "beholding" of Christ Himself in His personal beauty, glory, and perfection, one fixed desire will possess the mind, the desire to know Him, to be like Him, and for ever to "abide in His love."

I also take from such facts as the above my apprehension of the entrance of our babes and little children into the kingdom of light. I think that the Spirit of God will, first of all, impart to the minds of such little ones direct and immediate apprehensions of Christ in His personal beauty, glory, and love -- love to such little ones -- and that the opening of this vision upon their minds will be the beginning and starting point of their intellectual, moral, and spiritual development and growth for an eternity to come.

Some fifteen or sixteen years after the death of our infant son, "I had a vision in my sleep," -- a vision the remembrance of which no earthly considerations would induce me to part with. I supposed myself to have left the body, and to be in the precincts of the celestial city. I was slowly advancing towards the eternal throne, which was just visible in the distance. If the blessedness of the soul in heaven can be more perfect than mine was then, I can form no conception of what that blessedness can be. "The glory of the Lord did lighten the place, and the Lamb was the light thereof." Infinite quietude and bliss was all about me, and every capacity of my nature was filled with the light, and peace, and blessedness of God. As I was thus slowly advancing towards the throne, there appeared directly before me a youth in all the freshness and bloom of immortality -- a youth who approached very near, and, with intense inquiry, looked me in the face. Suddenly his whole countenance lighted up with a smile of joyful recognition "It is my father come at last." Thus may we expect to meet our little ones who have gone before us, provided we ourselves shall be permitted to "pass through the gates into the city." The effect of that smile of recognition upon me was such that I suddenly awoke. Since I had the vision, however, heaven has appeared more like home to me than it could otherwise have done. I have wandered from my subject, namely, being not in "the flesh," nor in "the letter," but in "the Spirit."

Reader, do you desire to possess this all-renovating and all vitalising knowledge? Go to your Father in heaven and say unto Him that you desire to "know Him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent," and that, as a means to this end, you ask that He will "baptize you with the Holy Ghost," that the Spirit may "take of the things of Christ and show them unto you," and "show you plainly of the Father," and thus "lead you into all truth." Do this, and you will "receive the promise of the Father," and, having thus received, you will "behold with open face as in a glass the glory of the Lord," will "know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," will be "made perfect in love," and will be "filled with all the fulness of God." Neglect to do this, and you will ever remain in "the flesh" and in "the letter," and all this, while you might have walked in the light as God is in the light"

Chapter 32


We sometimes meet with utterances which, on account of their wonderful adaptation and comprehensiveness, obtain a permanent and influential place in our minds. Such an utterance we met with, when in Edinburgh twenty-five years ago last summer. "Some months since," said a gentleman to us, "I had occasion when in Aberdeen to call upon an Italian artist. After completing my business arrangements, the artist inquired of me in respect to the state of religion in the Protestant Churches. On being told that it was very low, the stranger replied that it was so in the Catholic Church, of which he was a member. 'My house,' he added, 'is the home of our Catholic priests. I not unfrequently find them so vulgar and vile in their conversation that I rise up and drive them out of my residence.' This the man said with tears, and then added, 'The sum of the gospel, sir, is this -- Christ in us, and Christ for us.' -- This, I said, is an utterance to be held in perpetual remembrance, as it fully represents all the relations which do exist, or can exist, between Christ and the believer.

When we think of all our necessities as creatures, and above all, as sinners, Christ appears as our security in respect to them all. There is not one of them that He has overlooked, and not one for the supply of which He has not made full and abundant provision. We think of our sins, and of the infinitude of our guilt as sinners, and even here Christ, "who is our life," appears for us as having "borne our sins in His own body on the tree," and as our "Advocate with the Father," "making intercession for the transgressors." "Sinners may hope," since "Christ has died, yea, rather, has risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." We think of our hopeless ruin and bondage under "the law of sin and death," of the number and strength of the evil principles and propensities by which we have been so long held in abject and powerless servitude, and of the resistless powers wielded by our great enemy in the world around us to perfect and perpetuate our bondage. Here again Christ is for us, to take away our sins, to break the power of all evil principles and propensities, to render us "more than conquerors" in every conflict "with the world, the flesh, and the devil," to "sprinkle clean water upon us that we may be clean," to "cleanse us from all our filthiness, and from all our idols," to "wash us, and make us whiter than snow," that we may be "without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing," that we may "be holy and without blemish."

In respect to the temptations that beset us, Christ is with us and for us, never to "suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but with the temptation to make a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it," Yes, Christ is ever with us and for us, as "able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him." In reference to our many and great infirmities, He is for us to "render God's strength perfect in our weakness," so that "when we are weak we shall be strong." In regard to our cares great and small, our tribulations and "fiery trials," our afflictions and sorrows, Christ is for us, to "teach us in every state in which we are therewith to be content," to "keep us in perfect peace," to fill us with "everlasting consolation and good hope through grace," to enable us to "learn obedience from the things which we suffer," and to cause "our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, to work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. When we approach "a throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," He is for us there, interceding with the Father, that He will "do for us exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."

We have a mission and a work appointed for us here. "As Thou has sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world." "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain." When we reflect upon our own insufficiency, and on the magnitude of the work assigned us, we naturally cry out, "Who is sufficient for these things?" When we think again, and call to mind the fact that Christ is with us and for us in "all our work and labour of love," we rest in the assurance that we, having in Christ "all-sufficiency for all things, shall be abundantly furnished unto every good work." In regard to what awaits us after death, Christ is for us here also, preparing, amid the many mansions in His Father's house, "a place for us," and ready, when we have "finished the work which He has given us to do," to "come to us, and take us to Himself; that where He is, there we may be also." And, finally, at the eternal judgment, He will be for us then and there, not to condemn, but to justify us, and to "welcome us, as the blessed of His Father," to "inherit the kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world." Then, reader, take this thought with you when you go forth to meet coming events, that whatever necessity may come upon you, Christ is for you for the supply of that want, and with the supply to bring to your heart the assurance that "no evil shall befall you," and that "no good thing shall He withhold from you."

But, reader, in all the relations in which Christ is for us, He is for us as a means to a still higher end, that He may be in us, and live, and dwell, and reign within us for ever and ever. The heart of the creature is the home of God, the proper dwelling-place of every person of the sacred Trinity. Sin has banished God from His own house, and rendered it the abode of every foul and unclean thing. Christ has come, and is for us, for the cleansing of this, His own sanctuary, and to rebuild it "for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Christ will never "see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied," in respect to you or me, until He shall take up "His abode in us," and shall dwell in us as the father dwells in Him.

With what impressive language is this great truth of an indwelling Christ expressed in the Bible! -- as, for example -- "Christ in you the hope of glory;" "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith ;" "Till Christ be formed in you;" "Abide in me, and I in you;" "I in them, and Thou in me;" "Christ liveth in me;" and "I will dwell in them and walk in them;" "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him;" and "In whom ye also are builded for an habitation of God through the Spirit." When Christ shall be "formed within us," and shall be "in us the hope of glory," His indwelling will be attended with that of each of the other Persons of the Trinity, and He will bring with Him, when He shall enter the sanctuary of our hearts, "all the fulness of God," and we shall be filled with the same. Then shall we "behold with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord," and shall be "changed into the same image from glory to glory," and shall become possessed, in our measure, of every virtue and grace, and form of moral beauty and perfection, which adorn the character of Christ. Then shall we "comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and shall know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," and in "knowing and believing the love that God hath unto us, our love will be made perfect." Then shall "our fellowship be with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ," and "God shall become our everlasting light, and the days of our mourning shall be ended."

Then, I remark again, shall we fully understand and know all that our Saviour meant in the following utterances : -- "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word ; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me. And the glory which Thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved me." When Christ shall be in you, reader, I would add still further, prayer will be to you a new service. "Moses spake to God face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend." So you, in prayer, will address God not merely as your "Father in heaven," but as directly and immediately before and within you, with a present Christ before and in you to intercede for you, and you will know that "God hears you, and that you have the petitions that you desired of Him."

You will literally "read your Bible with new eyes." The great realities of which it speaks will be as mentally visible to you as to the servant of the prophet, after the Lord had opened his eyes, was the celestial host "round about Elisha." Nothing will be more real to you than Christ as a personal presence directly and immediately before you, and "in you the hope of glory;" nothing will be beheld with such open-faced distinctness and impressiveness as "the glory of the Lord ; nothing will be so comprehensible as 'the love of Christ which passeth knowledge;" and nothing so receivable as "all the fulness of God." This is very strong language. But what else do the words of Christ permit us to write? ' We will come to him, and make our abode with him." "I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." "I will dwell in them, and will walk in them, and be their God, and they shall be my sons and daughters."

If any one should ask us to explain in what sense, and in what form, Christ dwells and lives in believers, I would reply, that those who have not had an experimental knowledge of that indwelling can have no more apprehensions of it than we can now have of heaven, and of what we shall be when we are there. We know that in heaven our "bodies will be fashioned after the likeness of Christ's glorified body," and that we shall be morally and spiritually "like Him, because we shall see Him as He is." So we know also that when "Christ shall be in us, and we in Him," our union, fellowship, and intercommunion with Him, and His with us, will be the same in kind as mutually obtain between Christ and the Father. "As Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also maybe one in us." "I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." In that union we know still further that Christ will so completely control and determine our mental and moral states and activities, and so completely transform our whole moral characters after His own image, that the Father will love us as He does Christ. "That the love wherewith Thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them," "That the world may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved me."

In this indwelling of Christ in us, our love to Him will, in our measure, be rendered as perfect as His is to us. "Herein is our love made perfect." When Christ is in us, He will render our content under all the allotments of Providence as perfect, our submission to the divine will as absolute, and our peace and joy as constant and full as were His. "That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves." When Christ shall thus dwell in a number of believers, their "fellowship one with another" will be the same in kind as that which exists between Christ and the Father. "That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee." The final result will be this: The world, seeing "how believers love one another," perceiving them, all in common, "walking in the light of God," "kept in perfect peace," and "rejoicing with joy unspeakable, and full of glory," will "believe" and "know" that "the Father has sent Christ into the world," and "has loved believers as He has loved Christ." "I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as Thou hast loved me." Thus we can designate some of the results of the union between Christ and believers -- the union represented by the words, "I in them, and Thou in me;" and this is all the explanation we can give of the subject.

If any one should inquire after the condition on which our experience can accord with the union, fellowship, and intercommunion represented by the words, "I in them, and Thou in me," a twofold answer must be given to such an inquiry. We must, in the first place, through faith in Christ, in the varied relations in which He is for us, as a Saviour from sin, be brought into a state of full present consecration to Christ, and obedience to His commandments. On this subject the words of our Saviour are perfectly plain and explicit. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto Him (not Iscariot), Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Before Christ will "manifest Himself unto us," and before "He and the Father will come unto us, and make their abode with us," we must first "love Christ" and "keep His words." With loving hearts and obedient spirits, with these, and these only, will Christ and the Father make their abode.

Before this indwelling can arise, even then another condition must be fulfilled, namely, "the Comforter" must be sent to us, to enlarge our capacities to receive Christ and the Father, and to "enlighten the eyes of our understanding," that we may "behold the glory of the Lord," and "comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." "If ye love me," says our Saviour, "keep my commandments; and I will pray the Father for you, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth." "At that day," the Saviour adds, the day when the Comforter shall come unto you, "ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." Christ and the Father can dwell in us but upon the condition that the Spirit shall first "strengthen us with might in the inner man;" shall "take of the things of Christ, and show them unto us," and shall "show us plainly of the Father." Christ and the Father are, at all times, very near to us. We shall never find them, however, until the Spirit shall open our eyes to "beheld with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord." "In whom ye also are builded for an habitation of God through the Spirit." It is "the Spirit whom Christ sends unto us from the Father" that brings us into "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." Hence this fellowship is called "the communion and fellowship of the Spirit." It is when, and only when, we have "received the promise of the Spirit," and are thus "filled with the Holy Ghost," that we can "know the love of Christ," "beheld the glory of the Lord," and "God become our everlasting light, and the days of our mourning be ended."

Read often and ponder deeply, reader, the words of inspiration: -- "He that believeth on me, as the Scripture bath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." Remember this, that this promise can be fulfilled in your experience but upon the condition that you shall love and obey Christ, as the disciples did, and "the Holy Ghost shall fall upon you as He did upon them at the beginning." Then, and only then, "will Christ be in you the hope of glory."

A question of very great practical importance here presents itself; a question which each believer should, with deep and solemn interest, put to his own heart and conscience, namely, In what relations, and to what extent, do I really and truly know my Saviour? "This," He tells us, "is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." "This is life eternal" is ours in possession, in exact accordance with the extent and limits of the knowledge referred to.

In regard to the mass of professing Christians, it is no slander to affirm that they in reality know no more of Christ as a manifested indwelling presence than they do of heaven. In the relations in which Christ is for us, their real knowledge of Him is circumscribed almost wholly within the sphere of our justification, the sphere in which "we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." As a consequence, as soon as the freshness of the consciousness of "sins forgiven" has passed away, their primal joys fade out, leaving in the centre of the heart "an aching void the world can never fill." As long as these circumscribed views of the relations in which Christ is for us continue, that void will not only remain unfilled, but new and higher joys will not well out in the soul, none of the conditions of Christ's manifesting Himself to, and living in, the believer being fulfilled. What a fearful error it is to teach such believers that they have received "the promised baptism of the Holy Ghost;" that they are "in Christ, and Christ in them;" that "their bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost;" that "God dwells in them and walks in them;" and that they are "beholding with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord," and are being "changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord ," -- all of which is absolutely affirmed of all who have received "the promise of the Spirit."

Must we suppose that all that such language really imports is what is realised in the common experience of the mass of professing Christians, whom Christian charity requires us to regard as converted persons? "He that believeth on me," says our Saviour, "as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Does this mean nothing more than the experience of which we are speaking? All this, as the Saviour absolutely affirms, is, and shall be, true of all who shall receive "the promise of the Spirit." "But this He spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." If what Christ then promised has not been made real in your experience, reader, you do yourself infinite wrong if you entertain the idea that you have been "baptized with the Holy Ghost."

We also understand the conditions of the possibility of our receiving what the inspiration means in the following wonderful words, namely, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to," or through, "the power (of the Holy Ghost) that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Before we can come into such relations to Christ, relations in which what is here referred to can become real in our experience, we must pass through the process to which the apostle refers in the preceding parts of the epistle, and especially in the verses which immediately precede that under consideration.

First of all, we must be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise," and "the eyes of our understanding must thus be enlightened, that we may know what is the hope on His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." Then we must "be strengthened with might by the Spirit in the inner man," and this as a means to this end, "that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith," "that we," by such indwelling, "being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fulness of God." When we shall have received "the promise of the Father," "the baptism of the Holy Ghost," and when the Spirit shall have led us on through all these enlightenments and experiences, then we shall have been brought into such relations to and fellowships "with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ," that all that "we ask or think" will fall infinitely short of what the Spirit will ever after evince Himself as able to do for us. On no other conditions are the experiences and fulnesses under consideration possible to us, and they are, in all their "lengths, and breadths, and depths, and heights," possible to all who will "follow on to know the Lord," as He has made known to us the way.

Chapter 33


In the Scriptures we are told that "the joy of the Lord is our strength," that "the fruit of righteousness shall be. peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." Religious joy is also positively required of us in the Word of God. "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice." We are required and admonished by our Saviour to "ask and receive, until our joy is full." One of His special petitions to "His Father and our Father," to "His God and our God," was that we "might have His joy fulfilled in ourselves." What He promises to all that come unto Him, however burdened they may be, is that He "will give them rest," and that "they shall find rest unto their souls." "Peace," says our Lord, "I leave with you; my peace I give unto you." "These things," says the inspired writer, "write I unto you, that your joy may be full." The angels of God heralded the advent of Christ on earth as "glad tidings of great joy." While all the world "weep for sorrow of heart," all believers in Jesus are expected to "sing for joy of heart." Among the revealed "fruits of the Spirit" are "joy, peace." All the promises come to us '' heavily laden" with "the peace of God which passeth all understanding," "joy unspeakable and full of glory," and everlasting consolations and good hope through grace."

Peace and joy, ever full and eternally enduring, are also represented as one of the special and peculiar characteristics of the new dispensation, that under which we now live. "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." "Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be their everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." Such being the revealed facts of the case, we should not undervalue or avoid to seek religious joy as a supreme good of our immortal natures. Every believer owes it to his God and Saviour, to himself, to the Church, and to the world, to verify in his inward experience and visible life the truth that "the fruit of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever," and that "whosoever believeth in Christ, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly do flow rivers of living water," "the Spirit now being given, because Jesus has been glorified."

If you, reader, affirm yourself "a believer in Jesus," and your experience and life do not accord with the above revelations, then your testimony and influence before the Church and the world are not for the truth, but against the truth. How and why the ministry and the churches do and can expect "that the Gentiles shall come to the light of Zion, and kings to the brightness of her rising," while the sacramental host is moving on very much as a funeral procession, singing their dirge songs, and testifying one to another of the loss of the blessedness each knew "when first he saw the Lord," of his utter impotence to "fly or go to reach eternal joys," is a mystery to me. Neither you nor I have a right to testify before the Church and world that you have found Christ, unless you can also testify that in Christ you have found God as "the everlasting light" of your soul. If you have not yet thus found Christ, He is yet to be found by you, and "you will seek Him and find Him" when, and only when, "you shall search for Him with all your heart." Be assured of this, reader, that if "your peace is not as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea," and "the peace of God" and "joy of the Holy Ghost" do not abide in your heart, your "heart is not right with God," and your relations to Him must be newly and rightly adjusted, or your immortal interests are imperilled.

When I, for example, became conscious that my primal Christian joy had faded out, leaving "an aching void" within, that God was not "my everlasting light," nor "the days of my mourning ended," and that my faith in Christ did not induce in my heart "joy unspeakable and full of glory," and that "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, did not keep my heart and mind through Christ Jesus," I said to myself, as I have before stated, "I know that I have missed my way, and that my inner life is not rightly adjusted relatively to Christ and His salvation. I know that I have essentially erred somewhere, and I will never rest, and will give my God no rest, until the error is discovered and corrected. I will never rest, nor faint in prayer, until I am conscious in myself of all the forms of moral purification, ' fruits of the Spirit,' 'rest of faith,' ' fulness of joy,' arid immortal fruitions revealed in the Scriptures as the blood bought privileges and immunities of the sons of God." It was because I thus reasoned and acted, and did not, as most believers do, content myself to "walk in darkness and have no light," that I was, at length, "led out of darkness into light," the marvellous light of God; and for these forty years, have had such divine fellowships, such endurances, such victories of faith, such enduring peace, quietness, assurance, and fulness of joy. All this, reader, is in reserve for you. You will become possessed of it, however, on this condition, that, with all sincerity, earnestness, and tireless perseverance, "God shall for this be inquired of by you to do it for you." If you do not value "the joy of the Lord" sufficiently to induce you to "search for it as for hid treasures," to inquire after it, pray for it, and rest not until you possess it, you, in all probability, will never find it in this world or the next. Nothing but the love and joy of the Lord in your heart, and filling it, will keep the world and "its affections and lusts" out of your heart. If the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding, does not keep your heart and mind by Christ Jesus," care and trouble, and discontent and worldly vexations, and fearful lookings for what may come upon you, will occupy them. You must "obtain joy and gladness," or "sorrow and sighing will not flee away."

When you are told not to make any efforts to banish your cares or sorrows, or to induce religious peace and joy, you receive wise and healthful advice. The tempest of trouble and care and discontent dies within us, and the calmness of peace and holy joy reigns in our hearts, not at the bidding of our wills, but at the bidding of Christ. The rest which we cannot induce in ourselves, Christ gives us when we come unto Him for it. "God," and not we ourselves, "keeps us in perfect peace when we stay ourselves upon Him, because we trust in Him." Pardon, sanctification, and peace are all in common and alike "gifts of God through Jesus Christ our Lord," and are available to us, each on the same condition, namely, that "God for this be inquired of by us to do it for us."

When inquirers are told, however, as they frequently are, not to think anything about their feelings, nor to give themselves any concern about them one way or the other, then advice is given which divine wisdom admonishes us not to heed. Moses prayed not unwisely, nor undirected by the Spirit of God, when he sent up the following petition: "Oh, satisfy us early with Thy mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou has afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil." Nor was David undirected by the Spirit when he thus prayed, "Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto Thee."

If Christ has been anointed to "bind up the broken-hearted," and to "set at liberty them that are bruised," broken hearts and bruised spirits should be taken to Him for healing. When He says to us, "Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full," He specifically directs us to make religious joy a special object of thought and prayer. When the presence and love of Christ, and the power of His Spirit, fail to move and to melt our sensibilities, kindle emotion, and to stir up the great deep of the soul, then is a time for special heart-searching and prayer. "Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay himself upon his God."

When I was once sitting in a circle of Christian friends, prayer was proposed, in which all were to lead in succession, one after the other. The prayer of a lady in that circle I shall never forget. It was to this effect, and nearly in these words: "Lord, when Thou didst take from me my only child, and all hope of its place being supplied by another, I said to Thee that Thou hadst made a great vacancy in my soul, a void which nothing but Thyself could fill, and that I trusted Thee so to fill that void with Thine own fulness, that I should never more feel the absence of that child. I told Thee that I must now have far more of Thyself than I had ever had before. I bless Thee that that prayer was heard, and that Thou didst so occupy my whole being with Thy manifested presence and love, that the absence of that dear one occasions no sense of loneliness at all. I joy to think of it now as in Thine everlasting arms, where I expect myself soon to be."

The special form of the prayer was occasioned, I doubt not, by the peculiar tone of the conversation immediately preceding, the burden of which was the power of Christ to take away our sorrows as well as our sins, to perfect our joys as well as our virtues and graces, and to meet fully every want of our being as it arises. The lesson which we learn from such examples, as well as from the express teachings of the Word of God, is the great truth that our emotions, as well as our moral states, should be the objects of reflection, faith, and prayer. The divine direction is this: -- "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds by Christ Jesus." The promises pertaining to our peace are as really the objects of faith and prayer as those pertaining to our justification or sanctification. We should not, of course, expect that our emotive states shall be always of an ecstatic character, heaven having its seasons of silence as well as of singing and shouting. We should expect, however, to be "kept in perfect peace," and should trust God to render our "peace as a river, as well our "righteousness as the waves of the sea." When "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding," does not "keep our hearts and minds by Christ Jesus," and "our joy is not full," we should conclude that our faith, prayer, or obedience "has been hindered."

Paul considered religious joy as an immutable condition of his "making full proof of his ministry." Let us carefully weigh his words: -- "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." When God shall become "the everlasting light" of His people, and "the days of their mourning shall be ended," then, as inspiration informs us, "will the Gentiles come to their light, and kings to the brightness of their rising." That which peculiarises the gospel, and distinguishes it from all other religions and forms of belief; is its sovereign power to "take away sin," and to bring in its stead "everlasting righteousness," on the one hand, and, on the other, to "take away" sorrow in all its forms, and to induce in its place "everlasting consolations and good hope through grace." You must know this gospel, reader, not only in theory, but in full experience, as possessed of these two forms of sovereign power, or you fail essentially in fundamental qualifications to serve Christ effectively in any department of your divine and holy calling as a believer in Jesus.

Chapter 34


There are certain general questions of a miscellaneous character -- questions which require special consideration before I close this treatise. I place them together, not because they are naturally connected, but because neither would demand a separate chapter.

Section A -- Giving Testimony in respect to Facts of Personal Experience.

In many minds there is a strong prejudice against public testimony to facts of personal Christian experience. Such testimony, it is said, reveals pride of heart in the first instance, and tends to increase the evil in the next. Perhaps those who entertain such sentiments need a word of caution and admonition here. We should be very careful about impugning motives, "judging a brother, and setting at naught a brother." Let us for a moment contemplate the impeachment under consideration. I have been sick, apparently unto death, we will suppose, and have found a sovereign remedy in the use of a certain medicine, and have found by observation that the same medicine has had the same efficacy in all similar cases to which it has been applied. To commend the use of the medicine on the part of all who need it as I did, I state the fact of its efficacy in my own case and that of others. Is there good ground to impeach motives, and affirm a tendency to promote pride, on account of such testimony?

I become conscious of a spiritual necessity, a disease of the mind -- a want for which no remedy exists in myself; or in any finite objects in the universe around. I look to Christ as the great Physician of the soul, and that all-overshadowing want is perfectly met. As a means of commending this "precious faith" to all others, I tell them of "the great things which God hath done for me," how, when I sought unto Him, "He had mercy on me." I tell them, also, how it is that "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeps the hearts and minds, by Christ Jesus," of all who, "by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make known their requests unto God." Why is the motive to be impeached in such case any more than in that first presented? Why is a tendency to induce pride affirmed in one case any more than in the other?

Those who object to such testimony do, in fact, condemn the example of Christ, of the prophets, apostles, and all the sacred writers. Why did Christ testify to the fact of the saving power that resided in Him, and that the Father always heard when the Son prayed to Him? That men might "believe that Jesus is the Christ, and, believing, might have life through His name." Why did He direct the demoniac of Gadara to "go home to his kindred and friends and tell them how great things the Lord had done for him, and how He had mercy on him?" That, hearing, "they might believe, and that, believing, they might have life through His name.

Let us see if we cannot find an example of inspired wisdom -- an example bearing directly upon the subject before us. "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." "That which we have seen and heard," says the apostle John, "declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." Here is personal testimony to the fact of the highest attainment that can be made by a creature of God, "fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

The reasons which justify such professions are obvious. The testimony was true, in the first instance, and was requisite to induce all believers to seek and attain the same divine fellowship and fulness of joy of which the apostle was possessed. Paul gives this testimony to his own attainments through the faith of Christ: "I am crucified with Christ" -- "By whom I am crucified to the world, and the world to me" "I thank my God, whom I serve with a pure conscience" I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content," and "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." His motive in giving such testimony to his own personal attainments is undeniable -- that "we may believe, and therefore speak," as he did. Those who question the propriety, expediency, and necessity of such testimony, have not, it is quite evident, taken their views on this subject from the Word of God. All depends upon the validity of the testimony, and the motive which prompted it. If I, for example, in what I have written of my own inner life, have consciously misstated facts, or "have sought my own glory," then Christ will put me to shame before Him at His coming. But if my single purpose has been to make known to you, reader, facts as they are, and to secure in you a full understanding and appreciation of your privileges and immunities as one of "the sons or daughters of the Lord, the Almighty," and as "a believer in Jesus," then I may reasonably expect the everlasting "smile of the Lord as the feast of my soul," on account of what I have written. "These things I have written, that your joy might be full."

Section B -- Proposed Remedies for Pride of Heart.

Pride of heart on the one hand, and subjection to appetite on the other, constitute the primal sins of human nature, and are the main sources of sin in all its forms. "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat." If the grace of Christ were not adequate to save us from these primal sins, our salvation would be an impossibility. The remedy which the gospel prescribes for pride, for example, is very simple and of ready application -- namely, that we consider the spirit of pride, in all its forms and manifestations, as morally criminal in itself, and a great sin before God; that we sincerely repent of, and confess it as such; that we look to Christ to be saved from the penalty, and delivered from the spirit and power of the sin, and to perfect us in the opposite virtues, meekness and humbleness of mind.

In the Scriptures, permit me to add here, self-ignorance is never represented as an element of humility, or as promotive of the same; nor is self-knowledge prohibited, or referred to as an element of pride, or as conducive to the same. On all subjects in common, believers are represented as "children of the light and of the day," and as living and acting "according to knowledge." While we are prohibited "thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think" -- that is, to think ourselves better than we really are -- we are positively required "to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" that is, to understand our moral states, gifts, and adaptations as they are. Nothing is more particularly required of us than self-knowledge in the widest acceptation of the term. Nor does pride, according to the Bible, consist in our holding in high regard the virtues of which we, as believers in Jesus, become possessed. When our characters, through faith in Christ, take on "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit," they take on adornings "which, in the sight of God, are of great price," adornings on account of which "Christ is glorified in us," and "God is not ashamed to be called our God." "Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our consciences, that, in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have our conversation in the world." When our Saviour uttered these words, "Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother," He intended to impress our minds with the conviction of the infinite importance and worth of such obedience.

It is equally manifest, also, that just commendation for moral excellence, in all its forms and manifestations, meets with the divine approval. In the Sermon on the Mount, our Saviour told the young converts before Him that they were "the salt of the earth," and "the light of the world." In the presence of Mary and the company assembled at the house of Simon, the Saviour affirmed that "she had done a good work upon Him," and that what she had done should "in all the world, wherever His gospel should be preached, be told as a memorial of her." "O woman! great is thy faith." "I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel." Such was the conduct of our Saviour everywhere, and such also are the examples and teachings of the Bible throughout. One of its most striking peculiarities, that which most especially manifests the divine integrity of its writers, is the fact that men and things are set before us, with their good and bad qualities, just as they are. Commending goodness and good men is as absolutely required of us as is testifying against sin and bad men.

Nor, let me add once more, is the fact that we receive with gratitude and joy the approbation of our own consciences, and the approval and manifested favour of God, and of all the good in heaven and on earth, any evidence at all of pride in us. All this is the revealed reward of righteousness, and it would be no reward at all if we did not enjoy it. The perfection of Christian character, and the best evidence of true humbleness of mind, is a just and righteous appreciation and treatment of all objects of thought, both in relation to ourselves and others. Pride, on the other hand, makes self its centre, and the exaltation of self its supreme aim, and thus becomes the source and fountain of envy, detraction, defamation, self-boasting, and flattery, when commending others will secure personal ends. You meet an individual who always keeps himself; and only the bright sides of his character, before you. You know very well that pride is at the bottom of such representations. You meet with another individual, who manifests a just regard for persons and things, speaks of them as they are, and of himself but as a means of doing good. Here is "the honest man," and here too is the truly humble man.

The reader will naturally infer from the above, that I do not approve of not a few of the representations we have in respect to pride and its remedies and preventions. In a very important article, one written by an individual who has great wisdom in teaching the essentials of the life of faith, I find the following statement and advice, which, of course, I do not approve: --

"Years ago I came across this sentence in an old book: 'Never indulge at the close of an action in any self-reflective acts of any kind, whether of self-congratulation or of self-despair. Forget the things that are behind the moment they are past, leaving them with God.' It has been of unspeakable value to me. When the temptation comes, as it always does, to indulge in these reflections, either of one sort or the other, I turn from them at once, and positively refuse to think about my work at all, leaving it with the Lord to overrule the mistakes, and to bless it as He chooses."

In another Book, "that dearest of Books, that excels every other," we find this precept: "Let every man prove" (determine the real character of) "his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another." If we have spoken or acted in any form for Christ, we are required absolutely to reflect upon what we have done, and know its character as it is. If we have spoken or acted well, we should thank God for the grace given to us. If not well, we should humble ourselves before the Lord, and seek grace and wisdom for the future. The whole life of the believer should be one of self-reflective activity. We should know what we have done, what we are doing, and what we ought to do in the future.

It is quite common with individuals to suppose it conducive to humility, and a sure preventive of pride, for Christians to hold a low estimate, of the Christian virtues of which they may be possessed. Because the prophet confessed that all "the righteousnesses" of a "disobedient and gainsaying people," were "as filthy rags," not a few believers suppose that humility requires that they employ the same language to represent the divine virtues with which Christ has adorned their character. If Christ, reader, has saved you from your sins, and has adorned your character and life with any form of Christian virtue -- and you are not His at all unless He has done so -- you do injustice to truth and to the honour of your Saviour when, in such confessions as the above, you represent Him as having put upon you a mass of "filthy rags." If; on the other hand, you do not place an infinite value upon those virtues, and do not seek to be perfected in the same, you will be certain to lose what you have received.

Not a few individuals fail utterly to distinguish between flattery, which is a grievous sin, and a just appreciation and commendation of excellence wherever, and in whomsoever, it appears. A flatterer is one who idolises self and particular individuals, and appreciates excellence nowhere else, or who, for personal gain, and irrespective of truth, praises all he meets, and generally decries them behind their backs. Such an individual is "a spot in our feasts of charity," and "a cloud without water" everywhere. Christian integrity, on the other hand, judges and speaks truthfully of all men, and approves and commends goodness, and reprobates and reproves wrong, wherever they appear. The personal commendation of such persons has no tendency to promote pride, but everywhere conduces to "love and good works." Christ helped the special gifts of James and John by naming them "sons of thunder," and of Peter by naming him "a rock," and rendered permanent the integrity of Nathaniel by calling him an "Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile." Just commendation is one of the divinely-appointed means by which we are to "support the weak, comfort the feeble-minded," and encourage the timid. Should any desire to understand what kind of encouragement and commendation young converts should receive "for their work and labour of love," let them read the Epistles to the Thessalonians. Take the following as an example: -- "And ye became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything." How such commendations tended to strengthen and encourage those converts to persevere and endure unto the end! Not a few of my pupils remind me, when I meet them, of the life-benefits which they received from words of encouragement and commendation at particular crises of their student-lives. The prejudice which exists in the Churches against true and just commendation of virtuous deeds and manifestations has no foundation in Scripture teaching or example.

Section C -- Confessing Sin.

If you, reader, have sinned against God, by doing what you ought not, or omitting to do what you ought, if you are living below your known and acknowledged privileges, "an evil thing and a bitter" is written against you in the book of God. Careless and general confessions, my brother, will not meet your case. Your humiliation must be deep and unfeigned, or those sins will stand against you at the eternal judgment. If; with "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," you shall "confess your sins," you will be "forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness." If you fail to do this, your expectation of being "saved from death" will be "as the giving up of the ghost." God will not accept at our hands, as the condition of pardon, any general, formal, and unheart-felt confessions of sin. "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Are you thus, my brother, really and truly repenting of the sins which you admit to characterise your daily life? I refer to such as admit this to be the fact in their case.

We are now prepared to understand and appreciate one of the most offensive and alarming features of ordinary religious service. In such services, the Church publicly acknowledges herself, and that before God and the world, guilty of sins of the most inexcusable and aggravating character, of "doing many things which ought not to be done, and of leaving undone many things which ought to be done." Yet those sins are confessed with a manner and spirit which clearly indicate that said sins are very little, if at all, cared about, and the absence of all serious intention to abandon them. No custom whatever can have a stronger tendency to "sear the conscience," harden the heart, and "render our bands strong." In all such confessions, we say to men of the world, If you are anxious about your sins, you concern yourselves about that of which we have very little regard. By such confessions, young disciples are schooled into hardened indifference to their covenant vows. Yet, perhaps most professing Christians seem quite satisfied with a prayer, however cold and formal it may be, if it contains a confession of daily sin, and greatly dissatisfied with one, however fervent, if it wants such confession. For one, I never gratify such a prejudice, and, as I view the subject, I should peril my immortal interests by so doing. That of sinners I am one of the chief, I well know, and confess this fact most sincerely. Hence I am always at home in the utterance of the Lord's Prayer. Sins of "this present time" I publicly confess when my conscience convicts me of the same, when such sins are publicly known, and I am conscious of unfeigned repentance for what I confess. Secret sins, when convicted of them, I adjust between conscience and God. I do not feel authorised, but prohibited by the Word of God, to make confession before a congregation that all believers present are living in the daily commission of known sin. I should "judge my brethren, and set at nought my brethren" by so doing. If we should be solemnly sincere anywhere, it should be in our confessions of sin. The fearful influence of the habit of making heartless confessions is manifest in this, that those who are most zealous about their general confessions will not allow you to admonish them in the most gentle manner for any specific sin, nor even for a common fault. "Thus saith the Lord, Be ye not mockers, lest your hands be made strong."

Section D -- Important Misapprehension.

In his work entitled "The Higher Life," one of the most valuable publications of the class that has yet appeared, Dr Boardman makes a statement to this effect: "The brethren at Oberlin had made most important attainments in the divine life. For what they had attained, they sought a name, asking, 'Is it manna?' They at length designated these attainments by the words 'Christian perfection,' or 'entire sanctification.' In doing this," as Dr B. infers, "they greatly erred. They should have gone forward preaching Christ without giving a name to the attainments they had made." In this our brother is fully right, supposing him to have been correctly informed of the real facts of the case. Through misinformation, however, he has most essentially erred in his statement of facts. No question like this ever arose among us, namely, What shall we call this state to which we have attained?

In the term "Higher Life," Dr Boardman does not, as I understand him, merely present a name for personal attainments consciously made, but a revealed privilege to which "believers in Jesus" are authorised to expect to attain. So with us in the use of the terms above designated. In all our writings, such terms are employed exclusively to represent what we regard as revealed privileges of the sons of God, and never in any instance to represent mere personal attainments. The question, what attainments we have made, lies wholly between our consciences and our God. The question, what are our revealed privileges, is to be settled, not by an appeal to the conscious or visible attainments of any individual or class of individuals, but wholly and exclusively by reference "to the law and to the testimony." The Spirit of the Lord does know, and He only can know, what "things are possible with God" on the one hand, and what "things are possible to him that believeth" on the other. In determining the possibilities of faith, we must refer exclusively to what God, by His Spirit, has taught us on the subject.

In my endeavours to find the true revealed answer to such inquiries, I judge, that I may truly say, that I proceeded with the greatest care and circumspection. I at once perceived that if God, as many suppose He has, has absolutely revealed the fact that no believer in Christ ever has been, or ever will be, in this life, saved from all sin, that settles for ever the whole question. My first inquiry therefore, was directed to all those passages which, as I had supposed, and many do suppose, do teach the doctrine of Christian Imperfection, that is, of the continued sinfulness of all believers in Jesus. In my examinations, I determined to take each passage by itself; and, in the clear light of the known and acknowledged laws of interpretation, determine its real meaning, and then its bearing upon the inquiry before us. This I did, and, to my surprise, found that not one of these passages presented the remotest evidence in favour of the doctrine it had been supposed to teach. In the work on "Christian Perfection," all these passages are fully explained, and the explanation there given has never yet been replied to.

I then turned to the inquiry, What do the Scriptures directly and positively teach in respect to the privileges of "the sons of God" in this life? On this subject, as I found, the teachings of the Bible are of the plainest and most absolute character possible. In regard to what is revealed respecting Christ's power to save from sin, let this one passage suffice: "Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him." The original word rendered uttermost is, as I have said, and as every Greek scholar knows, one of the strongest words that can be found in the Greek or any other language, being compounded of two words, pantos, which means a1l, and telos, uniformly translated in our New Testament perfection. That Christ, in the most absolute sense, is able to save us from all sin, is undeniable. What can be the object of revealing this fact in this absolute form, but to induce us to trust Christ thus to save us? Any other supposition affirms that His grace and love are limited, while His revealed power to save is unlimited.

Equally explicit are the teachings of inspiration in respect to the provisions of grace for our present salvation from sin. "Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish;" "who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Hence we are told that "we are complete in Him," and "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us," and that "all things are possible to him that believeth." If such revelations do not authorise us to look to Christ to be saved from all sin, expecting to receive nothing less from Him, they do not authorise us thus to trust Him for anything at all.

But what of the promises which are given unto us for the revealed purpose that "by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust"? Take one of these as an example of the rest. "Faithful (trustworthy) is He that calleth you, who also will do it." No promise can be more explicit and positive than is this. In regard to the nature of the blessing promised, no candid inquirer after the true meaning of the Word will err in judgment "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." The original term rendered wholly, like that rendered uttermost in the passage above cited, is compounded of two words -- one olos, meaning all and the other telos, meaning perfection. The promise before us presents to our faith sanctification in this utter fulness, or it authorises us to expect nothing at all.

In the remaining portion of the verse, preservation in this entirely sanctified state is also designated. Nothing less can be implied by the words, "your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," To limit such promises is to "limit the Holy One of Israel" in a form which does peril to our immortal interests. In the midst of such revelations, which abound everywhere in the Scriptures, stands this as the crowning glory of the whole: -- "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen." I accordingly hold and teach "Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God unto salvation to every one that believeth," and as a Saviour from sin as fully and perfectly in the sphere of our sanctification, as in that of our justification. I dare not limit His grace in the one sphere any more than in the other. If I am asked, "Do you, as Paul did, serve God with a pure conscience?" I answer, as Paul did, "Yes." But do you never commit a sin? I answer such a question in the words of Paul, "I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord."

But is it not well, since people are so much prejudiced against the word perfection and kindred terms, to avoid, their use? To such questions my reply is ready. "I give place by subjection" to such prejudice, "no not for an hour." Since these terms are most frequent in the teachings of our Saviour and of His inspired apostles, and represent their most important and impressive truths, I should convict myself of being "ashamed of the gospel of Christ," if I should avoid presenting that gospel in "the words which the Holy Ghost teacheth." We should more than suspect our doctrines, when they induce in us prejudice against words employed under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, as Christ and all inspired writers employ those under consideration. A prejudice which, as this undeniably does, tenders wholly inoperative upon the heart and conscience large portions of the most important teachings of Christ and of His inspired apostles, is a prejudice to be repented of, and not gratified. Who does not know that, when very many ministers and members of our churches meet with a passage containing any of the words under consideration, they pass such passage by without reflecting upon it at all? Such relations to the Word of God are most perilous to our highest spiritual interests. It was by no inadvertence that the Spirit of God put such words into the New Testament, and it is no indication of veneration in us for the wisdom of that Spirit, when we become prejudiced against words and forms of language which He so frequently employs, and that to represent the most important truths of God.

Section E -- Great and Little Faith

Much is said, by our Saviour especially, about great and little faith. The latter considers the difficulties to be overcome in the accomplishment of needed and required ends, and becomes appalled and doubtful in view of the same. The former thinks of the power of Christ to do all that we need, and "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think," and of His absolute fidelity to His promises, and consequently "rejoices in the hope of the glory of the Lord." The latter thinks of the vastness of our necessities, and of the absence of all visible means to meet them, and thus becomes "careful and troubled about many things." The former thinks of the wealth and. resources of our Father in heaven, and of His omnipresent "help in trouble," and "by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, makes known its requests unto God," and, as a consequence, is "kept by the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." The language of the latter is, "If thou canst do anything, help us, and have mercy on us." The language of the former is, "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean," and "Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." The former takes a feeble hold of the love and promises of Christ, and with doubting expectation approaches the throne of grace." The former magnifies the love of Christ, and laying hold, with a death-grasp, upon the promised help, replies to every difficulty and seeming repulse, "Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their master's table." The latter, consequently, receives rebuke when it obtains the blessing sought, while the former receives both the blessing and the divine commendation, "O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee as thou wilt;" "I will; be thou clean;" and "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel."

Had the disciples been possessed of great faith, they would have reasoned thus amidst the terrors of that night-tempest, namely: "We are just as safe here as Christ is. The Father will not suffer Him, nor a hair of His head, to perish here, and Christ will care for us as the Father does for Him. He will live, and because He shall live, we shall live also." Thus their quietness and assurance would have been absolute under those very circumstances.

Remember this, reader, that Christ is most pleased with you and with me, when He sees in us this great faith which counts it a very small and easy thing for Him, with His infinite power and boundless love, grace, and resources, to meet all the necessities of creatures so small as we are, and which never doubts or questions His absolute fidelity to His promises. The firmer our grasp upon His plighted word, the more ineffable is His delight in us, and the more deeply is His heart moved towards us. Nothing will be impossible to us if our faith does not fail.

There is still another equally essential particular in which great and little faith differ the one from the other. The latter is not only staggered by things vast and difficult, really counting these as "too hard for God," but equally so at the minute, counting our daily and momentary cares and perplexities as of such a trifling character as to be beneath the notice of the Almighty, and thus, failing alike in respect to the vast and the minute, finds true rest and peace nowhere. Great faith counts nothing that concerns us as God's sons and daughters as above the power or beneath the notice and care of our heavenly Father, and thus in a "universal trust and confidence, and continued prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving""in all things" alike, finds peace, quietness, assurance, and deliverance everywhere. Little faith opens its ear to "the prattle of infidelity" against the physical value of prayer," loses all confidence in regard to God's control of physical events, and in regard to all His promises in respect to our temporal concerns. Great faith, on the other hand, "looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein," and rests with absolute assurance upon the testimony and promise of the Author of the universe, regarding Him as better informed in respect to His relations to His own works than creatures of yesterday can be.

We often hear about "trusting Christ in the dark" that is, counting Him faithful that hath "promised," when we have nothing but God's naked word to lean upon, and all is darkness and tempest around us. Permit me to give a single fact here in illustration of this great truth. In the early settlements in America, people are accustomed to dig their cellars beneath their rude habitations, and to enter those cellars through trap-doors in the centre of the main room of the house. An a father, without a light, was in his cellar one day, a little child looked over the brink into the palpable darkness beneath. "Do you see me, my child?" asked the father. "No, pa; it is all dark down where you are, and I can't see anything there." "Well, I see you, and my arms are right beneath you. Step right off now, and you will drop into my arms. Don't be afraid at all. I won't let you fall." Thinking a moment, the child said, "Pa, I will do as you tell me," and stepping off, found itself safe and happy in those arms. How lovingly did that father receive that trusting child to his embrace! So reader, beneath every one of "the promises are "the everlasting arms." With God's promise to receive you, do not fear to let go every hold, and drop into those "everlasting arms," however dark all but the naked promise may appear. When you shall become thus trustful, you will "enter into rest."

Section F -- When the Gospel will Exert its Full Power over our Hearts and Character.

One question more demands our special attention before closing this chapter. The question is this -- When, and upon what conditions, will the gospel exert its full power upon our hearts and character? My method of attaining this high end is this: -- My desire and aim is, that each truth, each precept and promise of the divine Word, shall exert its own distinct and utmost influence upon my mind. When I meet with any such truth, promise, or precept, I place myself before it, and abide in its presence until, through the Spirit, it sheds its full influence upon my mind. I read, for example, the following absolute command of Christ: - "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." I do not turn away from this precept, saying obedience to it is not expected of creatures. I read the prayer, on the other hand, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is done in heaven," and I thus understand clearly the meaning of the precept.

I read still further the solemn asseveration, "Whosoever, therefore, heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man that built his house upon a rock;" and "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man that built his house upon the sand." I hence conclude that Christ was in earnest when He uttered this command, and expects me to heed it; to regard myself as without excuse for not rendering the obedience required, or for resting at all when consciously coming short of that obedience. I accordingly look to Christ, as the Mediator of the new covenant, to have Him put this, His own precept, "in my heart, and write it in my inward parts," and cause me to keep it.

So when I read of Christ's power to save, and of the provisions and promises of His grace, I conclude that God is in earnest in such revelations, and means what He says. Without limiting the meaning of what is written, without adding to or taking from the sacred Word of God, "counting Him faithful that hath promised," and not saying to myself; "Christ will not do this, and will not do that," I look to Him to "save me unto the uttermost," as He is able to do; to render His own provisions of grace fully effective in my experience; to render real in me, in all their fulness, every one of "the exceeding great and precious promises;" and, finally, to do in and for me "exceeding abundantly above all that I ask or think." Thus to believe, and thus to trust, I recognise my obligation as absolutely infinite, and I do thus believe and trust.

In the same manner do I treat the admonitions of the gospel, such, for example, as the following: -- "Fear Him who, after He hath killed the body, hath power to cast into hell;" "Be sober, be vigilant;" "Watch unto prayer;" "Hold fast till I come;" "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;" "We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast even unto the end;" and "Let no man take thy crown." While, with "full assurance of faith," "full assurance of hope," and "full assurance of understanding," I sit under the canopy of God's "exceeding great and precious promises," I desire to have all such admonitions throw their full and solemn shadows over my mind. Thus trusting, thus believing, and thus heeding all that is written, we shall "walk in the light, as God is in the light," and our "feet shall never stumble." Heeding a part, and disregarding a part, of what God has written for our instruction, consolation, and admonition, we shall "walk in darkness and have no light," and shall very likely be rejected at last as "reprobate silver."

And now, reader, "I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." "These things have I written unto you, that you may believe, and that believing you may have life through His name."