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p263 [From the French.] Mons. Eynard, I was very much struck, during the last conference, with the character of the Epistle to the Philippians. It does not suppose the existence of the flesh in the practical sense, namely, that of conflict with it; to live is Christ - nothing else. Paul can do all things through Christ, who strengthens him. He has never been ashamed, never will be, of himself as a Christian; but Christ will be always, as in the past, glorified in him. This is the normal life of the Christian; the flesh is held as dead, does not encumber him - as he says elsewhere: "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
The superiority of the christian life, as being untouched by evil or by the enemy, is very striking; this truth has produced a very deep impression upon me, and has rejoiced me. I knew well that a Christian ought thus to walk; but here is one who has done it, and who knows what this life is. This is encouraging; whatever may be the means by which it is produced, be it a messenger of Satan, if necessary, or any other thing, such is the result. We are associated, through it all, with Christ, who can do and does all, and He is in us; so that it is more intimate than any circumstance whatever. What strength, what blessedness of life that gives! in oneself, for we enjoy Christ; in difficulties, for we trust in Him, and rejoice under all circumstances; in cares, for this life, which has Christ for its object, delivers us from them; in real trials, for the peace of God keeps the heart.
August 14th, 1858.