Page images

Gospel to please men on whom they think themselves dependent. Reader, your reputation is not too good to give to the Lord Jesus. Paul's self-surrender included his popularity. “If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

It is true, also, that far more of consecration succeeds the act of perfect faith and realized sanctification than precedes it. Under the full blaze of the Spirit's illumination, we see much more to consecrate than we did before.

But,” says one, “I cannot see God's hand ; how, then, can I know that He accepts the offering of my heart?" You are not required to know, but

, to believe.

“How can I believe when I feel no change?' The ground of your faith must not be your feelings, but the Word of God. When you make a legal tender of yourself to Him, it is your duty to believe that He accepts you according to His promise. This is simple faith. When it pleases God He will give to your soul a joyful realization of your acceptance. This is knowledge. The Divine order, both in nature and in grace, is faith, the stepping-stone to knowledge.

If the blessing of conscious completeness in Christ, and the abiding Comforter and Sanctifier is by faith only, why not now? To-day is the day of salvation. Full salvation surrounds you like a shoreless ocean. Appropriate to your utmost capacity to-day. You will gain nothing by waiting. There is no lack for God to supplement, and there is no particular in which you can im


prove yourself and make yourself more acceptable to Him.

Neither sanctification or justification is by works. Works involve the element of time: but faith says, “Now, this instant, Thou, oh, God, wilt receive

my offering."

“But,” says doubt, “Suppose that I feel just the same after I thus believe, what then?”

Keep on believing the promise, and insisting that God is true. He may delay for days and weeks the declaration of your complete acceptance, in order to develop and test your faith. The longer the delay, if you trust unwaveringly, the more marvellous the manifestation of Christ to your soul as your complete Saviour, when the Comforter takes the things of Christ, and shows them unto you. The Syrophenician woman lost nothing by pressing her suit against chilling discouragements. Faint not. Just here thousands have failed. They did not grasp the prize because they did not persistently believe.

Others fail through a subtle legality. They trust in their consecration, and not in Jesus only. They take a commercial view of the matter, and present the offering of their hearts as the meritorious ground of receiving the fulness of the Spirit. This is a piece of folly and presumption which finds its parallel in the way-side beggar, who insists that the act of stretching out his upturned palm earns the alms which the passer-by may giv

After you have laid your gift upon the altar, look away from the gift, that is now God's, towards the skies, whence the fire shall come down to consume the sacrifice, in token of its acceptance. Thus, in all our approaches to God there are three things requisite-Belief, Faith, Trust. “ For He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."

I sat me down on earth's benighted vale,

And had no courage and no strength to rise,
ad to the passing breeze I told my tale,

And bowed my head and drained my weeping eyes.
But faith came by and took me by the hand

And now the valleys rise and mountains fall ;
Welcome the stormy sea, the boisterous land,

With faith to aid me I can conquer all.

The War Cry, No. 122.—APRIL 20, 1882.

[blocks in formation]

WHILST listening to Major Howard, to-night, I was examining myself, and I am thankful to be able to testify now, that my will is in complete submission to the will of God; that I have a conscience void of offence towards God and man, and my heart seems filled with love alone. Of all the different aspects of Sanctification, I love to think especially of entire Purity. Oh, it is glorious to know that Christ is able to keep us blameless, and to present us before the Father without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Last Thursday, one of the Soldiers at Chalk Farm was describing how, when his heart was cleansed from sin, he gave up smoking, and so determined was he to have done with it for ever, that he would not even wear one of his coats which smelt of tobacco till his wife had washed it. Not satisfied with that, he gave it a good rinsing himself to make sure that there was no trace of smell left about it. And I thought, yes, that is Scriptural. We are taught to hate even the garment spotted by the flesh. But alas! alas! this is just where so many fail. Their garments are tainted with the world. It may be that they have only a few streaks of worldliness, but there it is. It may be that they have gone further and have got a fringe of the spirit of the world, or even a broad band, whilst others are spotted and speckled all over. Thank God it is our privilege—it is God's command that we should have and keep our garments unspotted by the flesh, and if the Spirit of God has been showing us that such is not our state, we may have the blood applied, and be cleansed from all our filthiness to-night.

When the Israelites were entering the Promised Land, God commanded them to exterminate all the inhabitants, and expressly forbade them ever to make a league with them. God never commands impossibilities, and, in this case, He promised them special help to enable them to destroy their enemies. He said that He would send His hornets before them, so that they would be able to win an easy victory wherever they went. Of course hornets are much more common in the East than they are in our country, and some of my friends have told me of the narrow escapes that they have had, where a nest was accidently disturbed.

Well, I can imagine I see a band of the Israelite soldiers, set in array, down at the foot of some steep hill. Look, there at the top are the Anakites

« PreviousContinue »