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which called forth so precious a greeting from the Lord. No—but he had faith and truth. He was a true child of Abraham, the father of the faithful—and he was without guile. He could confess his sins and shortcomings to God, and in faith count upon his promise of a Saviour. Philip tells him the Messiah is now revealed, and he forthwith goe9 to Jesus. How many precious thoughts are suggested by this narrative of the various ways and instrumentalities by which sinners are brought to "The Truth." But however devious the means, and diverse their characters the one result must be, personal communion with Jesus. Nothing short of that will do. The sinner must by faith know Jesus personally, as his own Saviour, "the Lamb of God."
48.—" Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him. Before that Philip called thee, when tbou wast under the figtree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel!"
Nathanael found himself in the presence of Him who is "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," and he was not slow to believe aud confess Jesus of Nazareth, the contemned and lowly one, as son of God and King of Israel! Precious testimony! a sample of that which shall be offered by many "an Israelite indeed" when Jesus comes to earth again. As representing Israel in those days, the name Nathaniel does not occur among the Twelve.
CO.—"Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou 1 Thou shalt see greater things than these."—Thus it is ever with our blessed Lord. If we but believe, according to the revelation he has made of himself, there is no end of his goodness in unfolding more and more of himself, as the way, the truth, and the life ; and he will unveil to faith the glory which shall soon be revealed to sight.
51.—" And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending aud descending upon the Son of Man."— Thus shall it be in the days of Earth's millennium. Jesus shall reign over his earthly people, Israel, ''the gift of God" —and they shall see heaven opon, and angelic communication, from the heights above to earth beneath, as iu the vision of Jacob's ladder.
ITS PLACE, AND MEANING,
(A8 GIVEN IN THE SCRIPTURES.)
We turn to Acts viii. 12. The preceding verses give an account of Philip's preaching in Samaria. Wo then read— "But when they believed Philip preaching tho things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women." Then follows the narrative of Simon the sorcerer. Ho believed and was baptised: but afterwards manifesting a corrupt heart in offering money that he might obtain the a]K>stolic gift of imparting thb Holy Ghost, he was immediately denounced by Peter. The end of this Simon is not recorded; it is evident, however, that baptism had not kept out this erring one, whose heart was " not right towards God." But did that lead tho Apostles to adjudge baptism to be of no avail, or to set it aside as Christians havo sinco done f Never. It was reserved for later days to bring forth thoso who in this matter think themselves wiser than their Master.
Next wo come to the conversion of the Eunuch by Philip, (in the same chapter,) "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and tho Eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to bo baptised t And ho commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both into tho water, both Philip and tho Eunuch, aud ho baptized (immersed) him."
Now, if in any case, the right of baptism could have been
dispensed with, as many assert it can, surely, it might havo bten in the instanco before us. There are thoso who tell us baptism was intended only as a mark of separation between such as owned Christ and thoso who rejected Him; and that as it is no longer regarded in this way, its observanco may be discontinued. But here was a man converted as it were in secret, and not intending to settle down among Christians, but returning to a heathen land, where tho inhabitants would know nothing of Christianity or immersion except as he might tell them. Of what use was baptism to him? Of what significance was it as a witness or mark of separation? The Eunuch asked no such questions; enough for him that his Saviour had ordained it. He might or might not havo understood that he was " buried with Christ by baptism." He knew he was performing an act of obedience to the Ono ho had just owned as Lord, and ho eagerly seized tho first opportunity of manifesting faith and love by keeping His commandment.
Turn we now to chapter Nine, in which is recorded the conversion of Saul. Ananias is sent to him to restore his sight— "And immediately (verse 18) there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and ho received sight forthwith, and arose and was baptized. And when ho had received meat ho was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway ho proached Christ in tho synagogues, that ho is the Son of God." Hero wo find the same order of things as in the second chapter, but with something added. Look how unchangeable is the mind of God - belief, baptism, fellowship, (undoubtedly including breaking of bread,) then service (ministry).
Now we come to the caso of Cornelius and his household (chap x. 47). Peter says, "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which havo received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And ho commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days."
Baptism is hero presented both as a primleqe and a command. He commanded them in the name of the Lord to bo baptized— and fellowship with the apostle was immediately fought thereupon. [The phrase used here and elsewhere—" in tho name of the Lord" doubtless means—on the authority of the Lord, and is not an alteration of the words of the commission given by our Lord Jesus Christ to his apostles, to baptize "in the name of tho Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." It is evident, it was a question of authority with Peter: "Can any man forbid'r"]
Chapter xvi. 14-16, gives us the conversion of Lydia—"And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purplo, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us, whose heart tho Lord opened, that she attended unto tho things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized and her household," (not until she was baptized,) "sho besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained us."
This is another instance of baptism following immediately upon faith, and of fellowship succeeding baptism.
Look now at the caso of the Philippian jailor (in tho same chapter). In answer to the question of this man "What must I do to be saved':" (ver 30) Paul and Silas said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt bo saved and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of tho Lord, and to all that were in the house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washod their stripes, [they having been beaten,] and was baptized, he and all his straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, ho set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house."
Observe again, the order already pointed out as that which should always follow upon conviction—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, baptism, fellowship, praise or worship. It is, however, precious to notice that the Holy Ghost, in giving the record Wore us, has graciously guarded against tho possibility of permitting such a fearful error as that water baptism might bo considered essential to salvation ; (of course the samo remark is true of all other scriptures which take up the subject, but hero it is very marked). Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is distinctly stated as the only requisite for salvation; but water baptism followed as immediately consequent thereupon, as tho Lord had ordained.
The next instance given in " the Word," of baptism taught practically, is in chapter xviii 8-—" And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on tho Lord with all his house, and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized."
Here we have Jews and Gentiles alike submitting to the rite of baptism; "the middle wulLof partition" being broken down, all are laid in the waters of death, and raised in resurrectionlife.
In the 19th chapter is given a most interesting account of certain believers submitting to immersion a second time ; though in the first instance, baptised as believers; but it was not the baptism of tho Lord Jesus Christ. As soon as they hear of this perfect baptism, they make no question of what course they are to adopt. How much argument they might have used to show they had done all that was really necessary! But they seem to have had no such thought. The way in which baptism is introduced in this narrative is most remarkable. Paul finds in Ephesus certain disciples, and enquires of them whether they have received the Holy Ghost. They reply they have not even heard "whether there be any Holy (Hiost." Whereupon the apostle asks (not whether they had been baptised, evidontly considering it a matter of course that being believers they had been immersed) unto what were ye baptized r "He said unto them (verse 3), Unto what then were ye baptized'; And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him which should come after him,— that is, on Jesus Christ. When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Is not this a complete answer to all the sophistries of those who contend that any kind of baptism- wilt r/of Neither sprinkling in infancy, nor other humanly devised practice will do, when we find even the baptism of John, to which the Lord himself submitted (because, as He said, it became him to fulfil all righteousness, and he would thoroughly recognise John's divine mission,) had now to be superseded by the baptism of faith in Jesus Christ. May Christians be led in these last days to act as these Ephesians, to conform in all things to divinely appointed ways, and " have no confidence in the flesh." (To be continued, D.V.)
"UNLEARNED QUESTIONS AVOID."
Dear Stu,—I write not for the sake of controversy, but for the truth, and the benefit of others. Being satisfied in my own mind I wish to put a few questions, if you or your readers will be so kind as to pay attention to the same.
1st.—Does salvation depend on condition? Is that condition faith? If so, who supplies it, God or the sinner?
2nd.—Does Christ stand as the surety of all men, or only the elect?
3rd.—Did God elect some because He foreknew they would bo so good as to believe, or the contrary f
4th.—Can a believer become an apostate or child of the devil, and be eternally lost f
oth.'—Can a sinner resist the regenerating work of the Holy Ghost so as to make it non-effectual': Did the Holy Spirit want to regenerate the antediluvians, when His Spirit is said to "strive" with them? Did the Jows resist the said work when Stephen charged them with that sin i
6th.—Does God love all men alike f If so, how is it that His wrath abideth on some i If He loved all men with the Bamo love as He loved Christ, how is it that any are lost? Yours truly in Jesus,
Latimer-road, Netting Hill.
ANSWERS TO THE ABOVE.
We will answer your questions in order :—
Ans. 1.—Take an illustration, many persons who have never travelled out of England yet believe there is a place called Australia. Who supplies their belief?
Ans. 2.—Your second query must be treated in a similar way.—Suppose you were to make it known among your neighbours that you were willing to be surety for any who might need suretyship. If some of them took you at your word, faithfulness would require you to be surety for them. But for those who had no faith in you, you would not be surety.
Ans. 3.—" Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be runformril to the image of his Son." (Rom. viii. 29.) "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God." (1 Pet. i. 2.)
Ans. -1.—"He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, Hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John v. 24.)
Ans. G. —" Ye will not come to me that ye might have life.'' (John v. HO "llou: often would I have gathered thy children together, even as the hen a itliereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." (Matt, xxiii. 37.) Read also Gen. vi, 3, and Acts vii. ol.
Ans. ti.—"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that w/msoeort bclievetli in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John iii. hi.)
P.S.—Every true Christian must be grieved at witnessing the spirit in which your questions are propounded. Remember our Lord rebuked Peter with these solemn words, " Get thee behind me, Satan (i.e. Adversary)."
OUR CORRESPONDENTS AND OURSELVES.
SAVED THROUGH FAITH ALONE.
W. L., Milton Hall.—Glal are we that you manifest so sincere a desire to be guided only by the " Divine Word." In this, at any rate, we arc agreed. But you still think something more than faith is needful to salvation. Let us look, then, at a few more Scriptures. Of course, all who have obtained salvation are saved by Jesus Christ our Lord. He is our Saviour. Ho has saved us from sin, death, and judgment. The efficacy of his work, however, is brought to us through faith; it would be better to say " the faith," for it is faith unqualified, and that not of the head, but of the heart. In this sense it is that we are said to be saved by or through faith. "By grace [undeserved mercy] ye are saved through faith ; and that not of \ ourselves—the gift of God [i.e. salvation is the gift of God]; Not of works, lest any man should boast."(Eph.ii.) Nothing can be more conclusive. But take a living example. When the Lord Jesus Christ was yet on earth, R certain Pharisee, Simon by name, invited him to his table. While sitting at meat, a poor sinner woman found her way to his feet. She came as she was, just what she was, a known sinner. As such she came by faith into the presence of the Saviour. She had faith in him before she came there; for she brought her box of ointment, and (what was better) a heart full of love. She did not know her sins were forgiven, but they were, and the result of forgiveness had taken possession of her; there she was, pouring out the tears of gratitude, the ointment of worship, and the love of her soul. She uttered not a word, but silently manifested the humility and homage of a saved sinner. Simon might question in his heart whether Jesus were a prophet or no; but the sinner-woman worshipped him as her Saviour and Lord. And Jesus accepted all she brought him. She was not saved on account of anything she had done. All her manifestations of love were the results, not the cause, of salvation. And no* her loving Redeemer would not let her go out of his presence unrewarded. She should Know her sins forgiven, and also the reason why, and the happy consequence. "And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven; Thy Faith Hath Saved Thee ; go
in peace." (Luke vii. 36—50.) It seems almost a pity to
add anything to the above; yet, for the sake of general application we quote our Lord's words from John iii. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son or Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." No other condition but belief in Him! But further—(like God confirming his promise I with an oath, that his poor doubting people might be sure)— our gracious Lord in the very next verse repeats his plain dcclaration, with the additional assurance that salvation is thus provided and obtained, for the simple reason that God so wondrously loved the world. "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Bon, that whosoever betieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"! The word goes even beyond this, for Jesus adds, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned ; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God"! Thus, then, not only are we assured that faith in the Lord Jesus is that alone by which salvation is brought to mankind but that lack of faith seals condemnation
upon them who believe not on Him. Who, then, are saved?
All who believe in the Lord Jesus. Who are lost? All who believe not in Him. If any other Scriptures teem at all contrary to the foregoing, we will willingly examine them one by one.
J. K., Charles-stbeet, Edinburgh.—Scripture does not, we think, teach, as a doctrine, natural immortality. Yet nil through the Bible it seems to be assumed as understood by man universally, that his being does Not cease with the death of his body. In a certain sense (Scripturally) all mankind are, as naturally born into this world, already dead. The thousands we meet with daily who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are before God actually dead, as much dead as though their bodies had been laid in the grave. Mere continuity of being in a condition of sin is, in the word of God, frequently called death. This is shown in the person of the first man, Adam. God brought the beasts into being, and gave them animal life by the power of his word; but he formed man out of the dust of the ground, in his own likeness, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. A very different order of being! Then God gave his innocent creature an earthly paradise. In the midst of this paradise, however, there was one tree of which Adam was commanded not to cat; for, said God, in the day thou eatest thereof thou Bhalt surely die. Adam ate of it,—and death was stamped upon him that very day. His existence in the world was continued for hundreds of years ; but as regards real life, that which God values and speaks of as Life, tho father of our race was a dead man as soon as he became a transgressor. And death has passed upon all. We inherit death from Adam, both bodily and spiritual, just as we do our present being. God's remedy for
this awtul condition of things, is the gift of Sew lite
"^ e must be born again." These were the words of Jesus. This new life he gives to all who believe, according to his word. Those who do not obtain this gift, are but death-stricki n souls while in this world, and retain the same deathly existence when their earthly tabernucles have fallen to decay. A day will come when their wretched bodies will be restored to them. Then the dead, small and great, [not any who have received the gift of Life.] will stand before God to be judged according to what is written in the Books. All whose names are not written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of flic— the place prepared for the devil and his angels. "This is the Second death." Not a death which terminates existence, but which places lost man in a condition where the sufferings of death never end; "where their worm dieth not, and the fire
is not quenched." Our souls may well recoil from such an
unspeakably awful doom. In view of it many have sought to explain away Scripture. These latter say that " ever and ever" ought to be rendered "ages and ages." We have a pamphlet before us entitled " The Second Death, or ultimate destruction after Ages of Torment." The writer, evidently a dear Christian, contends very cleverly for his hypothesis. We think all the evidence is against him. But the best hope he can express is, that the existence of the damned will terminate after incalculable ages of torment 1 However kind the desire to tone down God's threatenings touching the fearful consequences of man's wilful rejection of mercy, His decrees cannot be altered one jot. We fear there is no palliative, for " their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark ix. 44.) In other words, existence and endurance pf torment by unsaved man seem to be declared in Scripture as never-ending.
W. L., Felix Terrace, Islington.—We quite apprehend your meaning, and appreciate your desire to honour God, and to ascribe all tho glory of salvation to Him. This is quite right. Your statements, however, are not so. You cannot cite a single passage of Scripture in support of your theory. If you will accept God's teaching on tho subject, it is this— "We are begotten with the Word." (Jas. i. 18.) "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." "The Words which I speak arc spirit and are life." "Go forth and speak in the temple all the Words of this life." Any doctrine set up in contradiction of these plain statements, would render the preaching of the Gospel of Salvation a delusion—and docs, in fact, charge the Holy Spirit of God with unwillingness to save souls. If men cannot believe, how can they be condemned by a righteous God on the ground of unbelief P "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believfd on the only begotten Son of God." The explanation of the difficulty is simply this :—Regeneration is a profound mystery. God declares it is effected by hearing and receiving His word. Instead of accepting this in simplicity, as little children, men desire to analyse the subject; but finding it above and beyond their reasoning powers, they have invented a modus operandi which comes within the grasp of the mind! But, alas! in their infatuation, they shut their eyes to the fact that they are in opposition to many declarations of Scripture, and, moreover, they lay upon God the responsibility of the condemnation which rests upon them that believe not. This, notwithstanding the declaration of the Saviour of sinners—" God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Bear with us, dear brother, if we offer as a piece of profound wisdom, what at first sight may appear but a truism. It is this Tho Word of God means' what it says.
CHARITY AND TRUTH.
J. L., Tjppek Seymour-street.—Wo entirely approve of the charitable and loving tone of your letter. But let us ask you, Is not divine truth absolute? Can it admit of any qualifications? For our own part, we judge no man to condemnation. But we warn all. If, on comparing the written words and </octrines of Christ with the practice of Christians, we find them at variance, shall we be silent? Surely our Lord was not undecided as to the way in which ho would have believers to hold water Baptism? Far bo it from any Christian to have such a thought. Indeed, our Master has given us his mind very fully on the subject. Bespeeting this, as almost all other divine truths, great numbers of saved souls are ignorant— not because of any real ground for difficulty—but because they will not Search the scriptures. You say, "Many dear Christians consider that Infant Baptism is God's ordinance." Alas, they do think so. But why? Simply because they are taught of men, preferring the traditions of the fathers to the word of God! We spoke advisedly when wo expressed our belief that the regenerate cannot scripturally claim full Christian fellowship until baptized. We are convinced that, in the first days of the Church no believer was received until he or she had been passed through the water. Who could have icfuscd that sublime figure of burial with Christ? It is almost entirely through the unfaithfulness of teachers in not laying tho Lord's charge upon those who receive the new birth, that the rito is so shamefully neglected. But, as we said, the responsibility of receiving is another question. Whero two or three (or more) baptized Christians are meeting together in the namo of Jesus, and others offer to join such a fellowship, the first thing they, as servants of the Lord, should require to be satisfied about, would be, as to whether such were in the faith. If so, then follows the question, "Have you been buried with Christ in baptism f" Should the answer be "No," you have but to say, "It is the Saviour's command. He has told his servants to baptizo; we, therefore, make known to you his will in this respect, and shall bo happy to immerse you." Should tho rejoinder on tho applicants' part be, "We do not see tho need of it," or "We do not understand the meaning of it." Tho answer is still very obvious, "The Lord gives you no choice in the matter. Show us a single scripture leaving it at your option whether you will be baptized or no, and we will say no
more about it." What you say, dear brother, about the
Head of the Church having received you into fellowship before you were baptized, does not affect the question in the least. Of course ho did, else you could not have been baptized with His baptism. Does His faithfulness justify our unfaithfulness'; To press such an argumont, is to revive that old atrocity, " Let
us sin, that grace may abound." You cite the case of A polios,
and wish us to consider that, because the 19th of Acts dues not tell us that Aquila and Priscilla spoke to him about the necessity of being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, therefore, it was not needful. But the record says no more about the Lord's Supper, and a thousand other important things, than it does about baptism! Will you on that account discard the bread
and wine? Next, you take us to the Old Testament Scriptures,
andshow us the failure of the Israelites in the Wilderness, to keep the commandment of Circumcision, until Joshua became their leader! Well, let us all become Joshuas, and preach faithfulness to the Lord. May past failures suffice; henceforth, let us bo earnest in seeking to bring Christians into conformity to the mind of Christ. When Moses separated from the people, and pitched tho Tabernacle outside the camp, he did not cease to bo of Israel. Neither do those who seek to follow the Lord Jesus and keep His commandments, cease to be in spiritual fellowship with the whole body of Christ. That is not the point. The real issue is very simple. Those who hold to tho things of Christ just as He has given Them, associate together. On the other hand, those who prefer the traditions of men, band themselves together according to their own thoughts and devices. But ought it to be said of Christians, as of Israel under tho Judges—" In those' dayo there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes " f Ought not one King to reign without a rival in every Christian soul?
J. S. J., Crewe.—Your quotation from Rom. 14, "Let evory man be fully persuaded in his own mind" has been thrown at us of late, we know not how many times. Just think of tho confusion which would follow if that were adopted as tho principle of christian life! It would justify every heresy which has disgraced the name we bear—for all would tell you they were " f 1/Ity convinced in their own minds.'' It applies only to the theme of Horn, xiv, which is a question of meats and days. Look at tho passage. "One believeth that he may eat all things : another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; andlet not him that eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant 'r to his own master he standcth or falleth. Yea, he shall be taken up: for Ood is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another man osteemeth every day. Let every man bo fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth unto tho Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to tho Lord ho doth not regard. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks ; and he that eateth not, to tho Lord ho eateth not, and giveth God thanks," &c. What has this to do with tho substitution of men's superstitions for tho direct command of the Saviour. The misuse of Scripture is one of the most sorrowful facts incidental to these last days. —Your communications are always welcome.
W. H. H., Debiiy, writes as follows :— "Please send me 30 copies, back numbers, as per list, of Precious Truth, for which I enclose Is. 3d. Stamps. The number of those who take in your paper through my hands monthly, has increased to about Forty. I seo you freely point out your brethren's faults. May you havo wisdom and grace to do this in the right way—in such a manner as to carry conviction home. To do it
even in tho spirit of meekness, considering thyself."
It is cheering to find our labour of lovo taken up and forwarded by such dear brethren in the Lord as W. n. H. Thank God, thero are many now seeking to make Precious Truth known. Wo still ask our readers to help in that way, not for our Bake, but for love of souls who may be profited through their efforts ; and for the truth's sake. We thank the Lord for laying it u]K>n our hearts to issue our little seiial at so trifling a charge, and though frequently urged to alter the price to a
penny, wo havo now no intention of making any change. Wo have no desire to realize any pecuniary gain. The circulation has, of late, sufficiently increased to make the return nearly equal to the cost of issue. In that respret we are therefore content. The price, however, being so very small, it does not pay the booksellers and newsvendors to take any trouble in extending tho circulation, und in many cases they will not even supply the demand. We shall }>'■ glad, therefore, if dear brethren and sisters will take the trouble to get christian friends to give them their names for a regular supply. If ten numbers are ordered to be sent to one address, the publisher will forward them post free. So that ten christians in any one place can receive Puecious Thi'th for One Half-penny each, the price they would havo to pay in London. To tho prayer of W. U. H., wo fervently say. Amen!
"SURELY, I COME QUICKLY." Some may say, " How can this bo true': ovor 1800 years have passed since it was written." To such we reply. This sweet and precious promise was only given to believers; and they only can understand how it is literally true. First, concerning believers who have " fallen asleep" ; as present in the spirit with the Lord, doubtless the lapse of time is not noticed, it follows that whenever thoy are awoko by the shout of our coming Lord, it will indeed bo felt to have been "quickly." Then, with respect to "us who are alive and remain," what 15 our life? "it is even as a vapour which appeartth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.'' To look back upon, it is but "a moment." Paul says, our light afflictions are but for a momont. So that the word of the Lord is strictly true to faith—"Surely, T come quickly," and all will acknowledge it when the evout is past.
To Olh Fhiends.—We should like to occasionally publish Ja List of Agents for Precious Truth in large towns, and aak our friends to acquaint us with the names of Booksellers who are likely to help our sale in each large town.
To Correspondents.—We invite enquiries tending to the elucidation of scriptui al truth. Controversial questions should be avoided entirely, if possible. Letters must be sent before the 15th.
Communications Received Prom—A. Z.; J. P.; G. H., Duke-street; A. G., Birmingham; G. W., Ludlow; S. C. H., Highgatc; F. H., Inverness; J. H. D.; J. G., Edinburgh.
Books And Pamphlets.—" The Nature and Construction of a Christian Church," bv W. It., Derby. "Summary of tho Christianity revealed in tho Bible," Dr Thomas. "Man's Philanthropy Antagonistic^ Vital Christianity," by Philologoa.
Poetry, by W. H., respectfully declined.
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Published in a Tract form, 10pp. t rpiIE CITY OF CONFUSION, and the Way out ot It.' A Faithful _L V. ord for Christians. Id. Caudwcll, Strand, and Smart & Alien, 2, LondonhouFC-yard, PaUrnoster-row.
Printed by JOHN EVANS, 334 a, Strand, and published for him by
LETTER TO A TRUE-HEARTED CHRISTIAN. Dear Child of God,—It is a great thing to have the afftctions centred on one grand object. The object of your desire is Christ. It may be your thoughts have wandered from him; that the world has from time to time betrayed you into unfaithfulness, that you have experimentally proved the deep deceitfulness of vour own heart. But when you come back to the faith —when you come under the power of the inspired word—when you think of Jesus, and say "he loved me and gave himself for me,"—then He is again installed in your heart, and is the object of your desire. If at such a time an angel came to make known to you — " The Lord is at hand; he is here ;" — how gladly you would welcome the message! How quickly you would forget all else! When Martha announced to her sister Mary "the Master is come, and calleth for thee," she rose up hastily and went out to meet him. What a spring of joy was in her heart even in that moment of deep sorrow! Jesus had come. She had waited and longed for his coming; and now he was there waiting for her. She knew His love; her heart was full of it. How touching are those words—"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."
Beloved, it is the same Jesus, and he loves you. You scarcely realise the fact, — but he loves you, and he is coming ;—no longer the despised Nazarene, bat the risen, glorified Jt.ms, to whom all power is given in heaven and earth. Yes, He is coming; the Mighty One, yet gentle as ever. He is still the Lamb, though Lord of all. When you think of his coming in glory, you have need to remember his deep, deep love. It is not a question of your love to Him. When you see Him as He is, you will love Him as you ought. Oh, my brother, my sister, what an unspeakable joy it is to say to one's soul—" Jesus loves me." Do you ask why he loves you? You see there is nothing in you to attract His love. Why does He love you? Because He is Jesus, because He has saved you, because He is God—and God is love. Oh, I want you to rejoice in His love, for He is coming. Ho expects you to be waiting and watching. You will never know the time till the moment arrives, and then you will be with him in glory. "Behold, I show you a mystery; ne shall not allsleep—but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead [ in Christ] -hall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." Into what shall we be changed? Not into angels, not disembodied spirits, but into the likeness of the risen Jesus! Oh, bow beautifuL how glorious we shall be,
beloved. "We know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is." Can you not weep for joy at the thought of it? Wpii may the announcement break in upon us with " Behold, I show you a mystery!" Who can grasp it fully? But we know it is true. Even in this visible creation, God has given us a figure of that wondrous change. Look at the caterpillar; what an unlovely thing it is, as it crawls on the earth ;—presently it is changed into a chrysalis, and appears like a dead thing: but, anon, there is another metamorphosis: the once unsightly, earth-bound crawler is transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
We are but little like Jesus now. Oh, how we shall sing His praise when His " mighty power " and love shall have conformed us wholly to himself! And this will come to pass in a moment—in the brief space of time required to twinkle the eye!
Beloved, are you looking for Jesus? He is the bright and Morning Star. He is the only hope of the church. Your only hope and mine.
Lord Jesna, when I think of Thoe,
Of all Thy love and grace,
Thy beauty face to face.
While you cherish this hope you can hold all things loosely here. You can stand apart from evil. This is what the Lord would have you to do. "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as He is pure."
May your constant enquiry be—What hath the Lord said? What would He have me to do? May you be satisfied with no answers to these questions but such as you find in Scripture. Accept no man's doctrines; but whatsoever the Lord commands you—Do it. We are left to prove our faith and love. The time is short. A moment, and we may be with Jesus in glory.
Rejoice, beloved, in this hope, with
The Editor of Pkecious Tbuth.
A FEW OF THS MASTEIl'8 WORDS ABOUT PRBACHUiO.
We speak as being ourselves of your number— preachers of the glorious Gospel of Christ. Our Lord said, "This Gospel of the kingdom shall he preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Anything like universal, or even national, conversion during this dispensation, is utterly hopeless. When the end of the present age has come, and our Saviour-God has taken us, and