Fragments Gathered up.

[04 1862 064] When the question of redemption is a perfectly settled thing, then government begins. The government of God, as regards His saints, only begins when they are saved, and then the saint goes through all the process of conflict between good and evil. Having got the good as his possession, he goes through all the question between good and evil, to ascertain the faithful love which maintains him and keeps him from evil. There are two ways of knowing good and evil. We know that we have got the knowledge of it first by sin; but the question of good and evil must also be brought to a complete issue in ourselves. We cannot be innocent again. As Christians we acquire the knowledge of good and evil by the possession of the good and being above the evil. I cannot learn it by merely finding the power of evil that I cannot get the better of — that is, as under the law. This is what we find in Romans 7. It is there a man discovering that when he ought to be this, he is the other thing — "sold under sin." I hate and detest evil and yet I do it; I love good and yet, alas! I do it not. But when I get hold of redemption, I have now perfect good; I am made perfect righteousness in Christ; I have eternal life. Then, this flesh being in us, the conflict comes. This does not cease, but it is carried on with the conscious possession of good, and of being perfect in Christ. It is not I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.

[04 1862 064] Rev. 3:14. — In the case of Laodicea, the inscription differs from the rest, inasmuch as it is the character of Christ in Himself, apart from the saints, instead of His relationship to them. Christ remains the same, although the Church is gone to ruin. God could put His Amen on Him, if the Church fail ever so. And He is available for every opened ear. There is nothing owned, but He rebukes and chastens. He is outside, standing at the door, yet ready for anyone who has ears to hear. All good is shut up in Him. As for the professing church, there is entire, definite, final rejection: not a hope of restoration is held out as a whole, but positive judgment is threatened, however love may work still, as with Israel of old, towards individuals.

[04 1862 064] The divine attributes have been made the basis of idolatry. Men embodied the attributes and left God out. So Scripture history was perverted, as the ark of Noah and his three sons; or earlier still, the serpent, woman, and tree; in nature, the sun, moon, and stars — in short, the creature, generally, served more than the Creator.

[04 1862 064] Let us take a lesson from Saul as to overcoming. He vanquished the Ammonites; but the Philistines whom he was raised up to overcome, he never did. If people do not discharge the duty given them, it matters little how much else they do.

[04 1862 072] "Let brotherly love continue." The wear and tear of circumstances makes this often a matter of difficulty. The very closeness of relationship among the saints causes it to be so. There is only continuance in what is of God.

[04 1862 083 - 2nd ed.] The heart rebels more against God than man. Even Job complained of God more than of the Sabeans, etc. It is because God touches the conscience. It is a sorrowful thing when His voice is not heard in chastening.

[04 1862 099 - 2nd ed.] No man can ever get liberty, joy, blessing and clearness of the truth unless he is acting upon it.

[04 1862 099 - 2nd ed.] God, in the person of Christ, came into the world to put sin out.

[04 1862 117 - 2nd ed.] We should ever bear this in mind, that present result of labour is a small thing compared with the fruit that will stand before the throne of Christ. Result, whether great or small in the eyes of others, is little compared with doing the Lord's will, and cleaving to Him at any cost, And wherever there is an ear to hear, there will be the knowledge of the Lord's will in the long run, though it may be through waves and storms. What we want is power to live above present appearances and present judgment.

[04 1862 134 ] Let us not seek to weaken the force of a single Scripture, if it press us ever so hard. The foundations of our faith are so sure that we may boldly, unhesitatingly deny the suggestions of the enemy: and God will show us, in due time, its meaning, if for His glory. The security of the soul depends much on this, whether it condemn oneself, or seem to destroy one's doctrine, or show one to have fallen into a pitfall; still to hold to it as the truth. If the word of God be avoided, all that gives, and secures the soul in, the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, which is life eternal, is gone for ever; while, on the other hand, holding to this, however tried, God will reveal mercy to oneself, correct or purge one's doctrine, or so fill up the measure of it as to clear one's mind from the dread of that which Satan would use to distract or disturb the soul.

[04 1862 160] We hardly realize what a dreadful thing it is to have a will. To have none will not make us the less decided. On the contrary, it is when we see a thing to be the Lord's will that there is true and thorough decision. But we are often weak when it is a question of the Lord's glory, and strong when it concerns ourselves.

[04 1862 192 - 1st ed. 4 – 191 - 2nd ed.]

"If we walk in the light," etc. (1 John 1), refers to our standing, not to our practical ways. It is not how but where you walk; i.e., not in the world nor in Jewish shadows, but "in the light."

[04 1863 235] 2 Cor. 4:10, 11; 2 Cor. 5:10. — The "body" has an important place in the exhortations of the word of God. The outward man, as well as the inward, is to be a witness for Christ. A person may say, If I display the world, my heart is not in it. Whereas the truth is, if Christ is enjoyed, things unlike Him drop off like fading leaves. So with the mode of life, furniture, habits, etc., as well as external appearance. Only we must be patient to others and give the truth time to expand and work.

[04 1863 301 - 2nd ed.] The Holy Ghost suggests thoughts, supplies courage, and gives wisdom as to what is to be done; and this is power.

[04 1863 304] Christian forbearance, we must remember, is never forbearance with evil, and faithful testimony against it is always blessed. Priestly discernment is needed; and the non-allowance of evil far from being inconsistent with love, is rather its genuine expression.

[04 1863 304] This is the time of labour, not of rest; not rest to be looked for here and now, but labouring to enter into that rest. O how blessed the day of its appearing after toil! It is indeed long patience, but patience is the word; and while we are patient, the Lord makes it short.

[04 1863 307 - 2nd ed.] Faith must be fed by the Word, not by anything seen. Ours should be the walk of faith, which, if not nourished by the Word, will fade away. The Word is the only thing that endures for ever.

[04 1863 307 - 2nd ed.] The great point in "discipline" is to get Satan defeated, and the saint to present a whole front for Christ. The action should be righteous, but grace must give the impulse, if we are with Him.

[04 1863 316] We do not remember a glorified Christ. As such we know Him now. But it is the humbled Christ we remember. There is no humbled Christ now, save in the memories of His people; and to them He says, "Do this in remembrance of me."

[04 1863 316] Is the maintenance and improvement of Christendom God's way? or is He calling a remnant to purge themselves from the vessels to dishonour, as well as to personal purity.

[04 1863 322 - 2nd ed.] Attaching importance to opinions is a great evil. A soul lives upon truth, taught by the Holy Ghost; but this is not opinion. I am saved by believing that Jesus died for in and sinners — that He died for me; but that is not an opinion.

[04 1863 336] Where there is spiritually [spirituality?], the heart finds a command in the barest hint and the most remote example of the Word of God; where there is not, all the commands in both Testaments would be in vain to form Christian obedience. Where there is difficulty in the way, and our own will is at work, we often make objections, and cannot say we see things! Christ had the will of God before Him up to death.

[04 1863 336] Christianity speaks of communion. But it is, first of all, the activity of God's love toward them that were perishing by their own fault far from Him, a love exercised toward them though their will was antagonist. It reveals a God of love, who cared for, and thought of, those who did not care for Him who has compassion on sinners that they may become thankful worshippers.

[04 1863 336] If I love a family of children for the parent's sake, I shall love all the children. If, on the contrary, I love some of them, and hate or despise or take no account of the rest, it is evident that my love for those I do love is owing to some congeniality or other personal cause, not from love to the parents. How is it with you and God's children?

[04 1863 338 - 2nd ed.]A saint may have much happy and real communion with the Lord, his affections drawn out towards Him, and yet when the conscience gets exercised in His presence, the Lord dealing with it and giving fresh light, there will be great distress unless there be simple faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

[04 1863 349 - 2nd ed.] The moment I subject truth to the exercise of my own mind or my reason, it is all wrong; for man's mind is finite, and God's infinite. This makes and is infidelity; a flagrant proof of littleness and human folly. God's truth can only be grasped, or rather must be submitted to, by faith.

[04 1863 349 - 2nd ed.] Rom. 5. It is when the saint knows and stands in the grace here revealed, that the very nearness of God makes him sensible of the need of tribulation to keep down the flesh, to break more entirely from the world: then he can glory in them, anticipating the results.