(An Extract from a Letter.)
Words of Faith
“We” are not a remnant, except in the sense in which the character of a “remnant” morally ought to be that of each one of us individually. But it is the truth we are to witness to: and God will allow us to do that in grace until Christ comes. Our place is that of Daniel in Babylon, praying with his window open towards Jerusalem. We can’t get out of the ruin, but we have to testify in heart and life to that which is not ruined, and the power for that is being occupied with things above where Christ sitteth. I feel more and more that what Satan has been attacking, is the presence of the Lord Himself, in the midst of “two or three,” and the effect which His presence should have upon our souls. It is His presence that makes the gathering to be real. But, then, if He is there, every heart who owns Him must be subject, and consequently also subject one to another “in the fear of Christ.” It enlarges the affections, and produces an exercise of conscience which nothing else can in the same way, and a respect for the conscience of others, which is inseparable from a walk in the fear of God. That keeps the soul in peace and quiet, too, in the presence of all the troubles that arise, for our trust is in the “living God.”
I was very much struck, the other day, with the contrast in 2 Kings 6 - the Prophet and the King, Dothan and Samaria. Externally who was the mourner? People talk a good deal now about humiliation. But here we see that the man who wore sackcloth was in enmity against God, and showed the depth of his moral degradation in seeking the prophet’s life, that was really to deprive himself of the only existing link between himself and God in grace. For God was acting in grace, through Elisha, and had been doing so all along. But what made the king a mourner was God’s action towards the people. This is deeply solemn, and explains, I believe, much that we find in these days.
it is not surely a time for exuberant joy, but we are to rejoice in the Lord, and to walk with God in the sense of His grace, and expecting to see good from His hand. That is what Elisha ever did: and he was not disappointed. God used the occasion of weakness, sorrow, and distress, to show forth, to His own glory, the resources of His grace, and Elisha was made the blessed instrument of it. What made the king wear sackcloth, only raised the eyes of Elisha to where he knew the chariots of fire and horses of fire were always to be found: “They that be with us are more than they that be with them.” It will be found the same in these days. Satan’s darkness settles down morally on those who forget to think of those things which are above, where Christ sitteth. Had the king’s mourning been true, he would have thought first of getting rid of his false gods, and of turning in heart to the Lord. But he did not believe in God’s power or will to help, and was obliged to confess, in despair, his own powerlessness. It is a sad picture of man away from God. W. J. Lowe. 1882
Words of Grace
Extracts from recent letters.
“I was struck with the order in Romans 5, ‘patience’ before ‘experience.’ Eliminate the patience, and surely the tribulation would be but the experience of Satan’s power. But with ‘patience’ in its proper place the experience becomes the experience of God’s goodness, and tribulation worketh patience. So in James 1:3 and 5:11 Job’s was a wonderful case in point. For his very failure served to bring God’s faithful goodness more into relief, as Elihu showed him, though he was hardly then in a mood to receive what Elihu said. But he did not resist it. What a character and energy is given to hope, based on God’s love being known in the cross, by the expression of what God is in a path of trial here below. Deuteronomy 8 shows God’s purpose in it.” W. J. Lowe. 1898