from Memorials of the Ministry of G. V. Wigram. Vol. 1.
[Notes on Scripture; Lectures and Letters.
Second Edition, Broom 1881 (First Edition 1880)]
Part Fourth. LATER MINISTRY.
"Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" Which of us would have said these words when we were twelve years old? His ways had been such, that He would appeal to them as though they ought to have known from the tenor of His life what He was occupied with. Phil. 3 shows how a man of like passions with ourselves may tread the same path, seeing and estimating the beauty of Christ. The effect was first, that he counted all else dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord; and secondly, having the death of the Lord as his substitute, and the resurrection of Christ as his righteousness, he found that every thing was against him. His position like that of Christ Himself, he could say, "Father." As a child his thought becomes, "I want to be like Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings." He had no bag with holes, like Judas, into which he could put the things of earth. They were but dung, and the whole world to him was a place savouring of the murder of Christ, and it produced in him a sort of nauseous disgust of the things in it.
The power of Nazariteship comes from the knowledge of association with Christ. Being crucified with Him, and raised up together with Him, I would like to walk as He did in this world, to have the life He had when raised from the dead manifested in my ways. How few have this as their aim and object! How few seek to track out Christ! What will produce it? If you and I could say, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" we should soon find ourselves in the fellowship of His sufferings. If I am a son, the Father has His business still to be done down here. Does it enter into our souls, sitting round the table, when we commemorate the death of our Lord, that our Father has business to be done? By His Spirit we can find out what part of that business He puts on us, and let us do that, letting self and the world clean go. The extent to which the simple faith of that truth would bring our hearts into treading the same path as Christ trod, and give power to be occupied with the Father's business, is greater than we know. Christ has brought me, put me in the right place — I in one, you in another, where there is suffering or no suffering, but as He likes, and where there is His Father's business to be done. Standing in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, conscious that His Father is our Father, His God our God, and that we have the Spirit of that blessed One at the right hand of God, the purpose of our hearts must be to mind the Father's business. Have you purpose of heart? What is purpose of heart? The needle quivers restlessly till it has turned to the north; there is purpose there. "Whose service is perfect freedom" should be our word. What am I doing? Minding the Father's business, for one thing. What is my confidence as to what lies before me? What would it be if I sought but the Father's will, if I had confidence in His wisdom, and desired nothing but His will? How could I fear if I had no business but the Father's will!