<< previous (3:164) next (3:166) >>

p205 [To the same.] J Dunlop, Paul says, "Among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God." The commission in Matthew was only to Gentiles. The remnant were associated with Christ risen, not glorified. I do not doubt Jews were baptised, but there was no direction to do it. Not being baptised was a refusal to own Christ when they believed (I have met the case with a Jew), and "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Paul starts from a glorified Christ when the last enmity of man's heart had been brought out, and a messenger, so to speak, sent off to heaven, that they would not have this Man to reign over them. Paul only goes to the root of things (save John): Peter, "he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin:" Paul, he that is "dead to sin." Peter though with accomplished redemption and the new birth, goes on with the Jewish system - never the church as the body of Christ. Peter is the fact and effect on men here. Peter looks for the inheritance above as a hope: Paul recognises it as such (Col. 1), but looks at us also as a new creation, sitting in heavenly places in Christ, and the inheritance is all things, Christ being heir, and we joint-heirs with Him. Besides personal justification, he deals with the ways and dispensations of God, His counsels, and ways experimentally. John is always individual and brings us into the revelation of the nature of God, and our being in God and God in us according to that nature. It is nature, not counsels. …

Though I believe the children of Christians have certain rights and privileges, as a general principle with outside souls it is to try to get them converted and then make professors as you say. There is in scripture a reference to households which I do not understand. The truth is, when I have to do with souls I do not think of theories nor of brethren, but of what that soul wants, and so speak to it. But there is one thing we have to remember; at the beginning power was at the centre, and acted from it, and gathered. Now a great corrupt body being in existence, power (assuming conversion) is shewn in separation; gathering may follow: not that they leave their profession, but practically power acts from outside, and draws from the existing centre.

God is working. … He exercises and sifts. He has been most gracious with brethren, and will maintain His testimony. I counted on Him to do it.

December, 1881.