Fragments

 

1866 14 There must be love and purpose in God's revelations and in revelations to man, that love and that purpose must refer to man, while it reveals God; and this the first of Genesis does admirably. It seems to me, as, indeed, I do not doubt it is, perfect in this respect. And the question between us and the rationalist is, not whether the Scripture gives scientific knowledge (most surely it does not), but whether its contents are God's thoughts or man's thoughts of the subjects it treats of. It does give us man's thoughts when man stands responsible (and that, of course, it must do to have a full moral picture); but God's view and thoughts of all this scene, with the perfection of man in Christ, but a Second man. In the case before us, in this most simple account, we have all the needed phenomena, on which man speculated, ascribed to the right source, and put in their place, and all man's thoughts met. Elsewhere we have man's thoughts, schemes of emanations, personifications, and theories. One little chapter answers them all divinely.

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16 In Matthew 11 we have this character of grace that Christ invites to Himself, not only when sin was there and the law broken, but when the warning testimony had been given and, as far as man's heart went, rejected. They must now come and find goodness in Him, as there was none in them.

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Fragments Gathered Up.

1866 32

John xi — Jesus as the God of life enters the house of death. He had done so ever since sin had worked. (See Gen. iii., Gen. vi., Gen. xviii., Ex. xii., Joshua ii.) Faith has thus always talked of life in the midst, of death, as we see in the same chapters. Nature is not equal to this: witness the disciples Thomas, Martha, Mary, and her friends in this chapter. So the experience of all our hearts, and even of our religion.

Peter talked of life in Matthew xvi., and Jesus said, Flesh and blood had not given him that power, which all in this chapter proves. The Rock-life (Matt. xvi. 18.) is the victorious, infallible life of the Son; and He speaks of it here. (Ver. 25, 26.) It is such life the Son communicates: death touches it not.

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Philippians iii. 9, 10 are different in this: verse 9 looks to having Christ in glory, to be found in Him before God, accepted and glorified; verse 10 is what was wanted of Christ for down here. This is what answers in the path to the place of verse 9 in the presence of God.

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1 Cor. xiv. 16 is a positive proof of what is indeed very clear in other passages — that "blessing" means giving thanks. The two words are used for the same act elsewhere. (Cp. Matt. xiv., Matt. xv., Luke ix., John vi) Here they are positively identified.

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Popery attaches Christ to unity, and hence may and does legalize with His name every corruption and evil. Christianity attaches unity to Christ, and therefore gives it all the character of grace and truth that is in Him — gives it all His excellence.

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1866 35 The Christianity of the closet, and the Christianity of busy life, are not, as is often fancied, conflicting things. The man who has fellowship with Jesus in his solitude knows how to carry the savour of the fellowship even into the most common affairs. There is need of prayer in this matter. For though we be convinced that there is but one thing needful, we are easily led away, like Martha, to busy and trouble ourselves about "many things." Many things we must needs do and care about, while we are in the flesh; but the work to which Christ calls us is to do and care about these things in such a spirit as to make them part and parcel of our great work — the work of keeping close to Jesus, and of following Him whithersoever He goeth. If only willing to leave all and follow Christ, He would make the cross not heavy to be borne but a delight, more pleasant than to the miser is his load of gold, or to the earthly monarch are his insignia of power. "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

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1866 48 If we have Christ, we have all — without Christ we have nothing. You can be happy without money, without liberty, without parents, and without friends, if Christ is yours. If you have not Christ, neither money, nor liberty, nor parents, nor friends can make you happy. Christ, with a chain, is liberty; liberty without Christ is a chain. Christ without anything is riches — all things, without Christ, is poverty indeed.

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1866 50 Christ dwelling in us — that is light, life, fragrance, holiness. Many seek Christ within before finding Christ without, and so cannot attain to peace; many, after finding Christ without, do not seek diligently to have Christ within. To have both Christ without and Christ within is peace and purity.

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It is the nature of the grace of God, not merely to be gracious, but to produce abundant blessings toward, and in, and for, those for whom it is active and works.

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1866 62 The person of Christ is the object of faith; but he who believes has his part in the righteousness of God, which is revealed as the portion of the believer.

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Fragments Gathered Up.

1866 64 Your comfort and enlargement of heart in walking with God, will depend not a little on your rightly distinguishing between your sins and your sorrows. To take all your natural, it may be sometimes your Christ-like, sorrows to the blood of atonement, as if they were altogether sinful, would have the effect, not of softening your heart, but of hardening it; of bringing not light, but darkness into your soul; not of augmenting, but of diminishing, your love to Jesus. O how Satan strives to make us believe that our Lord is an austere man! How he labours to give us false views and impressions of the character of our Lord! Believe nothing about Christ which the word of God does not warrant. You know well what Christ is, you have been in His company, you have tasted that He is gracious, your experience has taught you that He does sympathize with you in all your afflictions. Come then to Him with all your sorrows, and, oh! you will have good cause to say that He who wept at the grave of Lazarus is still the same, no less God-like in His power to comfort, and no less man-like in the flowing forth of His compassions.

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1866 111 What matter that the sea is rough, if Christ is there to make us walk on it? what good that it is calm and smooth, if He be not?

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1866 120 Rectitude of heart and the truth always go together. This is seen in Christ, who was Himself the Truth — it was in Him, and He was it; but we must always know in part. In Christ alone was there perfect reality, sincerity; and we have sincerity in so far as we have Him. Where Christ is not there is no sincerity — that is reality. There may be what men call sincerity, where the heart is dark, and has been badly taught; but in this case there cannot be reality, for the truth only is real.