« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Minister of Grove Chapel, Camberwell.
* I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."-Acts xx. 27.
100. aa .
“Change is our portion here !
Yet midst our changing lot,
There is that changes not ;
He is graciously delivered from that fearful state described by David: “ Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God” (Psalm lv. 19). He has his changes in body, mind, circumstances, and experiences. These are the means in the hand of God to shut him up to the guidance and guardianship of the Unchangeable. The earthly house, the body, dissolves; but JEHOVAH, the dwelling-place of His people, is eternally the same. The human mind wavers and wanders; “But JEHOVAH is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and wbat His soul desireth, even that He doeth” (Job xxiii. 13). Circumstances are ever changing, and the child of God finds himself never long at one stay ; but the place and portion provided for him in Christ know nothing of mutability. Experiences vary, while the safety and security of the heir of glory are not affected by them. The God-sent and God-fearing minister of the New Testament is ever witnessing changes among his hearers. Some of these are taken from the evil which surrounded them to the glory which awaited them. Others are seen occupied with Christ, with spiritual and eternal realities, and are changed into His image from glory to glory as of the Lord the Spirit (2 Cor. iv. 18); while others, occupied with self, who were once fulsome in their expressions of attachment to the preacher and his preaching, are changed to murmurers and malcontents. With the experience of this the faithful minister is ready to say with Paul, * Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. iv. 15, 16.) Concerning such as these, during the past year, I have no reason to complain. It has been my lot during the delivery of these discourses to have respect to the
tried and tempted, broken-hearted and humble followers of the Lamb, being fully assured that the fleshly free-willer, the proud professor, and the cold critic would find no pleasure in them.
It is my gracious privilege to say with the Psalmist and Paul: “I have believed, and therefore have I spoken ” (Psalm cxvi. 10; 2 Cor. iv. 13); and in speaking I have declared all the counsel of God as it has been given to me for the good of His elect; and my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Ghost that I have not kept back anything that was profitable to them (Acts xx. 20 and 27). The glory of the Father in His purposes of love to His people, has been my chief aim. The exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ in the heart's affections of His redeemed people is my delight. The honour of the blessed Spirit in an unadulterated and undiluted testimony I love to maintain. The comfort and encouragement of the brethren and sisters of my Lord form a great portion of the burden of His Word with me. I have tried to use great plainness of speech and to avoid appearing amongst those of whom it may be truly said, “ so they wrap it up” (Micah vii. 3). Compromise with a legalised Gospel and a carnalised Christianity is foreign to the spririt which God has graciously given me. Confederacy with “nice, dear, good men who hold errors most pernicious, who love those whom God hates, and hate those whom God loves, is not agreeable to that new nature which God has given me in oneness with an almost universally hated and despised Christ. I am fully conscious that a spirit of separation, though accompanied with a broken heart before God, will be set down as sour and censorious. Well, let
God will be glorified, and He will teach His separated ones to be satisfied with all that He graciously lays upon them.
And now I must say again, “ In these discourses I have nothing to offer and no invitations to make. It is mine to preach Christ as I know and feel Him to be precious to my own soul, and to the souls of His eternally-loved and dearly-bought people, begging of the Holy Ghost to do His own work, so well expressed in ” those precious words of Joseph Irons,
it be so.
“ 'Tis by Thy Divine Anointing,
Ransom'd sinners know the Lord ;
When Thine unction
Rests upon the preached Word." “And now, readers, I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts xx. 32).
Grove Chapel, Camberwell.