(Extracts from W. T. Turpin, 1879).
No one exercised as to present conditions can doubt the low state on every side. The present distress afford abundant cause for sorrow. There are other causes than spiritual boasting; e.g., who can deny that open worldliness is not only allowed, but contended for. The families, houses, appearance of many tell a mournful tale. Such are the strongest opponents of the truth that our commonwealth is in the heavens! There is a very insidious retention of that element of the world which suits us, and branding as legal and morbid those who perceive that there is a manner of life suitable to the Apostles' doctrine. Legal effort and spiritual pride are not the fruits of the Spirit of God! Yet neither is "minding earthly things," (i.e., enmity to the cross of Christ), nor is worldliness (i.e., enmity against God). Many disparage divine teaching! After the truth is refused, the power for practice is gone. We admit it is quite possible to have correct doctrine and defective practice; still it would be a false line to disparage the truth in our zeal to expose defective practice. In Scripture we never find practice treated so as to weaken the truth; e.g.,what could be more deplorable than the state of the assembly at Corinth. They were carnal, envying and contentious, yet the Apostle says, "I thank my God always on your behalf, etc. (1 Cor. 1:4-9) again "Purge out therefore the old leaven" (v. 7). Notwithstanding all that, they were the epistles of Christ. (2 Cor. 3:3). So it is true now that a Christian is in standing and destiny heavenly; hence he ought to be in practice, what he is by sovereign grace in Christ before God. The same truth underlies all the teaching to the Galatians. Satan sought to intrude false doctrine. At Corinth, it was bad practice or morals. The position in which sovereign grace has set us in Christ divinely known judges all that is contrary to it in our ways and enables us to use humbly the power which God has given in Christ. It is vain to insist on princely ways without princely position. If a man thinks himself to be what he is not, he is either deluded or deranged! If he be careful to be what he is, he is consistent and wise. This is not all in respect to the future. If a Christian is heavenly, then we expect a manner of life expressive of heavenly origin and destiny. The secret of our low walk is due to the reckoning and realisation of faith not being sufficiently prominent in our thoughts. "The bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus" is the only way to express practically what we are in Christ. There must always be circumcision, as both positional and practical (Col. 2:11; Col. 3:5). Some foolish person may say that certain parts of service are considered unsuited to the heavenly atmosphere. None would be more ready to serve in any practical act of Christianity than those conscious of their place in Christ, but they will seek His sending, His glory and His mind in regard to it. The Lord grant to His beloved saints in these last days more true apprehension of their origin and destiny so as to present it practically in ways and service!