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faithful servant ; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Surely My thanks shall be sufficient for thee.
And the last meaning of that word is love. We speak of charity, which is from the same word Xápís.
"My love is sufficient for thee." Oh, Christian, bask in these fivefold rays. See there now the joy, the beauty, the free favour, the thanks, and the love, are all sufficient for thee, all coming to thee. Grace be multiplied in every one in this fivefold meaning, through the knowledge of God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ. And then following upon grace there comes peace.
Grace is the food upon which the Christian life lives; peace is the atmosphere in which the Christian life is to be lived. Having grace we may now go on into peace, and this peace comes from the knowledge of our God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I dare say many of you have heard the story of the little child who, amidst the creaking of the tempest and the howling of the winds and the rising of the storm, was perfectly peaceful and perfectly happy; and when she was asked by one of the frightened passengers how it was that she was enabled to be so calm when every one else was so perturbed, she gave that answer, “ Because my father is at the helm.” She knew her father. Oh, Christian, the Father is at the helm. If you know God, then you may have perfect peace, knowing in whatsoever direction He may
it will all be well. All things work together for good to them that love Him. You have doubtless seen ofttimes written or engraven upon some paddle steamer the words, "Passengers are requested not to speak to the man at the wheel.” Oh, Christians, do not speak to the Man at the wheel, do not speak to the Man at the wheel in this sense, by continually worrying into His secrets, by wondering which way He is going to steer. Do not speak to the Man at the wheel as the disciples did. You may remember in that fourth chapter of Mark, “Master, carest Thou not that we perish?” I should think He did care. He had just said, “Let us go over to the other side ; and if He said, 6. Let us go over,” He is not going to leave them half way. He will bring them over. Master, carest Thou not? Ay, indeed. Oh, Christian, if thou knowest thy God, rest quietly, peacefully in the hand of God; and then remember this, that this peace is a peace which you may have even unto death. Look in the Epistle of St. Paul to Timothy i. 12. This is his last Epistle. He is about to go forth to his death, but he is perfectly peaceful, perfectly happy.
He is now ready to be offered. The time of his departure is at hand, the Blue Peter is at the masthead. What gives him his peace? "I know Him whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
Then hurry on for a moment to the third verse. You see the further blessing granted unto us through the knowledge of God. Christ, with His Divine power, has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us to His glory. We dare not stop to speak upon that subject, but I would just like to say thisthat all things you need for life and godliness are granted unto you through the knowledge of Him that has called you. If He has called you, He will surely perfect that which concerneth you.
But remember this, that needs are a very different thing to wants. He does not promise to supply the wants. He does promise to supply the needs, all that is necessary for life and godliness. Now what do we need? We need a great many things. We are very needy creatures. When we were listening to Dr. Pentecost this morning, when he was speaking about power, I have not the slightest doubt that every heart in this assembly cried out, "O God, give me power; if Thou canst entrust me with power, give me that power.” But, alas ! we are too often like servants, purloining and turning the power to our own aggrandisement. I know that he was speaking of power not only for service. We need power for many other things. We need pɔver for suffering, power for daily life amongst our companions, power for witnessing, not only with our lips, but in our lives. No, whatever may be the need, Paul tells us, Phil. iv. 19,"My God is able to supply all your need according to His riches in glory through Jesus Christ.” If you try to fathom these words before us, “ according to His riches,” how untold they are ! But where are the riches? The riches are in the glory, and the glory is given in Jesus, and He supplies all our needs in Jesus through the knowledge of Jesus.
For one moment turn to the eighth verse of the same chapter. You see there that we are neither to be idle nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I dare not go into the subject, because it would be trespassing upon the subject for to-morrow, but it would be necessary just to bring out as a counterpoise to what we have been already saying that this knowledge of God is to be carried out into action. We are not to be idle, nor barren, nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Him. Turn on again to ii. 20. After we have escaped the pollutions of the world, then the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I suppose the first thing that is necessary to be said, even in a Christian congregation, is that there are pollutions in the world. Oh, that Christians would understand it, that the only way of dealing with these pollutions is, as the apostle here says, fleeing from them; not striving to fight against them, not praying to be cleansed from them, but fleeing right away from them. And, Christians, this is a very difficult thing, to escape from the pollutions which are in the world. I shall never forget what my good bishop told me when I was first ordained. He said to me, “There is one question which will be continually coming up to you, doubtless in your own life, as well as in your own pastoral work. You will be frequently asked, “How are we to keep out of the world ?' And, dear friend," he said, “the question is not so much as to how you are to keep out of the world as to how to keep the world out of you." It is the world within that we have most to fear. There is pollution there. A Christian in the world is a very grand sight, just like a ship in the water; but when the water is in the ship, then it is indeed in an evil plight. Now, Christian, you want to escape the pollutions in the world through the knowledge of God. Do you wonder then that the apostle at the close of the Epistle says, "Grow in grace and in the knowledge of God.'
And here I have to leave the subject for the brother who shall follow me; but I feel it somehow or other laid upon my heart to-day that I cannot sit down without speaking a word to those who as yet know not God. We always feel in these Mildmay assemblies that there are, of course, a vast number of the Lord's own children, but I believe it has been the constant, I may almost say the invariable, experience that souls have been turned again even in these assemblies of Christians, and I do not wonder at it, because I think the position of an unconverted man in our gathering to-day must be a very strange one. As he sees this assembly stand to sing its praises to God, as he hears this assembly give forth its notes of worship and adoration to the Lamb, surely the question will often be forced upon that
man, Art not thou also one of this Man's disciples ? Art not thou also one of this Man's disciples ? :) Ah, friend, if you knew Christ, you would be:
“ If all the world my Saviour knew,
Then all the world must love Him too." And if
you did, my dear brother, then you would live for Him instead of for the world. He must have a lodgment in your heart. Turn with me only a moment to John vi. 21. You see the disciples there were in trouble, in turmoil; but notice why the disciples received Jesus, just for these two reasons, and they are the very reasons which led many of you to receive Jesus. In the first place they recognised that they were in an evil, a very evil plight. They saw this; they had toiled all the night, and got no further than twenty-five furlongs. They heard the winds roaring; they saw the sea rising ; they were distressed. And ah, brethren, if you only experience that distress, if you only experience the utterly futile toil of toiling on, toiling on, then you would be willing to receive Christ. But there is another thing that is necessary. Their mistake with regard to the Lord Jesus Christ was corrected. They thought He was a spirit, they thought He was an unreality, they thought He was a mere phantom ; but when they found Christ as a reality, and that Christ was actually walking on the water, then, when He said, " It is I," they willingly received Him into the ship. And, brother, if you have found out to-day your own want, if you have found out here that you are still outside the camp, and if only the Holy Spirit of God bring home to you this conviction that Jesus Christ is a reality, really present with us here to-day, really standing by my side as I am speaking, really going forth with you to your daily work, then I am sure the Holy Spirit opening up your heart, you will gladly, willingly receive Him into the ship. May God grant that we may know that love of Christ which passeth knowledge !
Mr. J. E. MATHIESON `read a large number of requests for prayer, which were laid before the Lord by the Rev. H. GRATTAN GUINNESS. The following address was then given by
JAMES STEPHENS, M.A.
The believer is one who knows God already. It is not merely that he holds in his hand the Book which God has given, and in which God reveals Himself. It is not merely that God speaks through the Word to him. But, further, God
has shined into his heart to give him the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus. God has revealed His Son in him. As we heard yesterday, God has both expressed Himself, and given to the believer the power to apprehend the expression and to know Him. While the believer is one who knows God already, it is yet his to press on to know God—to increase in the knowledge of God. The apostle says in one passage, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, and do count them but dung
that I may know Him." He in whom Christ had been revealed made it the great object of his life to know Christ more and more. His words seem to suggest that the whole of the Christian life might be summed up in this: “That I may know Him.” If it is life eternal to know God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent, will there not be increase of life through increase of knowledge of God and of His Son ?
Let us consider this for a few moments. As the believer, by the Spirit, knows God more, there arises increasingly before him the adorableness of God. The wonders of God's character, the wonders of His heart, the wonders of His purposes and counsels, His thoughts and ways, open up before him as a great height and a great deep. The more he looks up, and the more he penetrates down, the more is he constrained to fall in worship and adoration before God. He gets to take increasingly the place of lowliness. John lay on the Lord's breast at supper, but when he knew more of Christ, when he beheld Him in His majesty and glory, he fell at His feet as dead. Adoration and worship grow with the growing knowledge of God.
Further, is it not in knowing God that the believer becomes like God? “ That I may know Him "opens out into “ That I may be like Him.” “ Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord we are changed into the same image.” It is through following on to know the Lord that we are able increasingly to apply the exhortation-"Walk worthily of God:” and this is the path of practical holiness. It is as we know Him that the end of His working in us (according to His purpose to conform us to the image of His dear Son) gets clearness and distinctness to our minds, and we are thus enabled intelligently to work out our own salvation.
Again, in knowing God increasingly there opens up increasingly what God is able and willing to be to them that trust