The Greatest Trial Often the Greatest Blessing.

"Because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away." John 16:6-7.

The greatest trial, disappointment, and sorrow to the disciples was the Lord's announcing to them His departure from them. And yet it would result in their fullest and deepest blessing; for as the result of Christ's redemption work, and the consequent descent of the Holy Ghost, we know that all our sins are for ever forgiven, and that eternal life in the Son is a present known fact. And more, that Christ's Father and God is our Father and God; that we are temples of the Holy Ghost; and that in receiving the Holy Ghost, we have become members of Christ's body; are "joined to the Lord," and can sing intelligently, "One spirit with the Lord." (1 John 2:12; 5:11; John 20:17; 1 Cor. 6:17, 19; Eph. 5:30.) How often we have been made to prove that the clouds we so dreaded have been big with richest blessing. (Rom. 8:28.)

When God allowed Joseph to be removed from his father Jacob, the latter said, "All these things are against me." But it turned out quite otherwise in the end; for at the time of famine he and his children, and his children's children, and his flocks and his herds, and all that he had, were brought near to Joseph; had a dwelling-place in the land of Goshen, and were there tenderly nourished all the years of famine by Joseph. (Gen. 4:5.) This proved that Jacob's greatest trial was in the end his greatest blessing.

When the Lord Himself was here He said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." (John 1:18.) But now that redemption's work is accomplished, and Christ is gone on high, the Holy Ghost has come down and made known to us the great privileges of Christianity in those words, "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us." (1 John 4:12.) Another blessed proof that the disciples' greatest loss turned out to be their greatest gain. Again we find our blessed Lord saying, in John 14, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall lie do; because I go unto the Father." And "at that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." What magnificent results accrue to us as the consequence of Christ's going to the Father for us, and the Holy Ghost coming from the Father to us!

I do not attempt to develop the Scriptures I have referred to, as they so blessedly and plainly declare the marvellous income of blessing, power, and knowledge which we, who stand upon the finished work of Christ, have now that Christ is seated at the Father's right hand as our Head, and the Holy Ghost dwells in our poor debilitated, but redeemed and soon to be immortal and glorified, bodies. Oh! for more intimacy with Christ where He is, that by the power of the Holy Spirit who is in us we may act and be more distinctly for Him where He is not, until we are for ever with Him where He is. H. M. H.