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something of Him. When, through exercise of heart, we are weaned from all other springs, this joy remains in all its purity, and our concern for others partakes of this same purity. Nothing, moreover, troubles this joy, because Christ never changes. The better we know Him, the better are we able to enjoy that which is ever enlarging through knowing Him. But he exhorts Christians to rejoice: it is a testimony to the worth of Christ, it is their true portion.

Now this same thing will make them moderate and meek; their passions will not be excited by other things, if Christ is enjoyed. Moreover, He is at hand, A little while, and all for which men strive, will give place to Him whose presence bridles the will (or rather puts it aside) and fills the heart. We are not to be moved by things here below until He shall come. When He comes, we shall be fully occupied with other things.

Not only are the will and the passions to be bridled and silenced, but anxieties also. We are in relationship with God, in all things He is our refuge; and events do not disturb Him, He knows the end from the beginning. He knows everything, He knows it beforehand; events shake neither is throne nor His heart; they always accomplish His purposes. But to us He is Love; we are through grace, the objects of His tender care. He listens to us and bows down His ar to hear us. In all things, therefore, instead of disquieting ourselves, and weighing everything in our own hearts, we ought to present our requests to God with prayer, with supplication, with a heart that makes itself known, for we are human beings, but with a knowledge of the heart of God, for He loves us perfectly; so that even while making our petition to Him, we can already give thanks, because we are sure of the answer of His grace, be it what it may; and it is our requests that we are to present to Him. This is trust- and His peace, the peace of God Himself, shall keep our hearts. It does not say

that our hearts shall keep the peace of God, but having cast our burthen on Him, whose peace nothing can disturb, His peace keeps our hearts. Our trouble is before Him, and the constant peace of the God of love who takes charge of everything and knows all beforehand, quiets our unburthened hearts, and imparts to us the peace which is in Himself and which is above all understanding, even as He Himself is above all the circumstances that can disquiet us, and above the poor human heart that is troubled by them. Oh, what grace! that even our anxieties are a means of our being filled with this marvellous peace, if we know how to bring them to God, and How true He is. May we learn, indeed, to maintain this intercourse with God, and its reality, in order that we may converse with Him, and understand His ways with believers.

Moreover, the Christian, although walking, as we have seen, in the midst of evil and of trial, is to occupy himself with all that is good, to live in this atmosphere, so that it shall pervade his heart, that he shall be habitually where God is to be found. This is an all-important command; we may be occupied with evil, in order to condemn it; we may be right, but this is not communion with God in that which is good. But if occupied, through His grace, with that which is good, with that which comes from Himself, the God of peace is with us. In trouble, we shall have the peace of God; in our ordinary life, if it be of this nature, we shall have the God of peace. Paul was the practical example of this: with regard to their walk, by following him in that which they had learnt and heard from him, and seen in him, they should find that God was with them.

Nevertheless, although such was his experience, he rejoiced greatly that their loving care of him had flourished again. He could indeed take refuge in God, but it was sweet to him in the Lord to have this testimony on their part. It is evident that he had been in need, but it was the occasion of more entire trust in God. We can easily gather this from his language; but, he delicately adds, he would not, by saying that their care of him had now at last flourished again, imply that they had forgotten him. The care for him was in their hearts; but they had not the opportunity of giving expression to their love. Neither did he speak in regard of want: he had learnt-for it is practical experience and its blessed result we find here-to be content under

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all circumstances, and thus to depend on no one. He knew how to be abased; he knew how to abound; in every way he was instructed both to be full, and to be hungry; to be in abundance, and to suffer want. He could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. Sweet and precious experience: not only because it gives ability to meet all circumstances which is of great price, but because the Lord is known the constant, faithful, mighty friend of the heart. It is not “I can do all things,” but “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me. It is a strength which continually flows from a relationship with Christ; a connection with Him maintained in the heart. Neither is it only,“ one can do all things." This is true; but Paul had learnt it practically. He knew what he could be assured of and reckon on what ground he stood on.

Christ had always been faithful to him; had brought him through so many difficulties, and through so many seasons of prosperity, that he had learnt to trust in Him, and not in circum

And Christ was the same ever. Still the Philippians had done well, and it was not forgotten. From the first, God had bestowed this grace upon them, and they had supplied his need, even when he was not with them. He remembered it with affection, not that he desired a gift, but fruit to their own account.

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· But," he says, “ I have all;" his heart turning back to the simple expression of its love. He was in abundance, having received by Epaphroditus that which they had sent him, an acceptable sacrifice of sweet odour, wellpleasing to God.

His heart rested in God: his assurance with regard to the Philippians expresses it. My God, he says, shall richly supply all your need. He does not express a wish that God

He had learnt what his God was, may by his own experience. My God, he says, He whom I have learnt to know in all the circumstances through which I have passed, shall fill you with all good things. And here he returns to His character as he had known Him. God would do it according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. There he had learnt to know Him at the beginning; and such he had known Him all along

stances.

do so.

his varied path, so full of trials here, and of joys from above. Accordingly he thus concludes: “ Now unto our God and Father”—for such he was to the Philippians also—“ be glory for ever and ever.” He applies his own experience of that which God was to him, and his experience of the faithfulness of Christ to the Philippians. This satisfied his love, and gave him rest with regard to them. It is a comfort when we think of the Church.

He sends the greeting of the brethren who were with him, and of the saints in general, especially those of Cæsar's household; for even there God had found some who, through grace, had listened to His voice of love.

He ends with the salutation which was a token in all his epistles, that they were from himself.

The present state of the Church, of the children of God, dispersed anew, and often as sheep without a shepherd, is a very different condition of ruin from that in which the apostle wrote; but this only adds more value to the experience of the apostle which God has been pleased to give us; the experience of a heart which trusted in God alone, and which applies this experience to the condition of those who are deprived of the natural resources that belonged to the organized body, to the body of Christ as God had formed it on earth.

SCRAPS.

THE TURN OF TIME.—“ WHEN things come to the worst, then they begin to mend. And now at the worst they assuredly were; so this was the turning-point - the cold hour before the dawn.”

HOME.—“I wonder shall I ever see you all again! In my thoughts I dwe with you ; in my dreams I tread the green fields of home, and pluck those flowers that too soon wither in my grasp ; — for I wake and find myself in a foreign land.”

142

No. VIII.

ON FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST.

PART V.

ON 66 LIFE WITH HIM.”

In the last article on this subject (p. 1), we looked at some of the testimony, given by the Holy Ghost in Scripture, as to the believer having been quickened together with Christ. By the passages then cited we found ourselves more especially led to consider the act and moment of the Christ's taking His life again, as the act and moment in the which the birth-place (as it were) of that life which we, believers, have, in and from Christ, is marked out for us. Indeed, the wording of those passages does, in measure, limit the thoughts of the mind to the taking-up of the life. But there are other

passages which refer to that same life, passages in which there is no limitation of thought to the taking-up of the life, — passages in which reference is made rather to the possession of the life itself, than to the taking of it up.

What I mean will appear, at once, to the most simple minds, if the difference of the two verbs in Greek, συζωοποιεω and συζαω, which are correctly rendered in English by their equivalents “ to quicken (or make alive) together with,” and “to live together with,” be considered.

God quickened us (or made us alive) together with Christ, is what we saw in Eph. ii. 3 and Col. ii. 13: God was the gracious actor; His Christ, the one in whom it was formally wrought for us, when He took His life again. Such was the teaching of our last article. We do possess life already in Christ—and shall shortly be manifested as ourselves possessing that life when He is manifested in life; such is the teaching of the passages to which we now turn. Not only quickened together

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