The Fountain of the Water of Life.

E. L. Bevir.

Christian Friend vol. 18, 1891, p. 173.

"I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." Prov. 21:6.

It is blessed to know that every desire produced to us by the Holy Ghost will be eternally satisfied. I do not mean that our hearts are not satisfied already, for through grace we are called to full joy already in communion with the Father and Son; but I should wish if possible to consider this passage, comparing it with one or two other parts of the Word, for the encouragement of our souls.

The subject has been already spoken of, but being so full of blessing, may well be considered again and again.

I suppose that few will doubt that the Lord is awakening us to learn and enter into the moral value of the truths of Christianity at this time. He would have our hearts in the conscious enjoyment of eternal things. The things which are unseen are eternal. In this part of the Word the eternal state is brought before us by the Holy Ghost, and the stability of a new and eternal order of things clearly taught. There shall be no more sea, no fluctuating instability, and God Himself shall wipe away all tears, and there shall be no more death nor sorrow.

I do not wish to dilate upon this, but merely to call attention to the fact that the eternal state is here depicted by the Holy Ghost. Alas! how many people have looked upon heaven as a kind of ultimate haven after a stormy life, and nothing more. What vague and almost pagan dreams of a future Paradise in Christendom, as some old heathen might imagine the happy isles of the bleat. A celebrated picture of the "Plains of Heaven" is a kind of specimen of the idea of what celestial blessing is in man's imagination. But many true believers do not go very much further; and we have all looked too much at heaven as a kind of terminal refuge where all trouble shall have ended. I do not mean that it is not so, but I wish to call attention to this most wonderful promise as to the fountain of the water of life in connection with eternity.

There is not one single desire or thought about Christ in us that shall not be satisfied throughout eternity, and our eternal joy shall be to drink at this fountain. He Himself is the eternal source of our joy and happiness. You will say that we drink of the water of life already. Yes, most certainly, and of that I hope to say a word. But perhaps it would be well to think of the expression fountain,, and I might be able to give an illustration from natural thins.

I recollect many years ago a very hot summer at Malta, and the water becoming very scarce and bad. There are very few springs in the island, and the rainwater has to be collected in tanks, and becomes putrid and worthless in the hot months. I remember having walked along way with a friend, and, being parched with thirst, coming to a place in the north of the island called Ayin Tofficha, where to our surprise and delight we found a spring of water bubbling up from the rocks. We drank without interruption till all our thirst was quenched, and remarked that this (drinking at a source) was a very different thing from buying glasses of water in Valetta.

If my illustration serves my present purpose I shall be satisfied. We shall drink for ever at the source of the water of life. Oh, beloved brethren, do we enter into this a little? Is not God Himself awakening us, so that we might not be content to know that we are on the way to His rest, blessed though that be, but that all the new desires of the new creature shall be eternally satisfied in Christ Himself, and that we shall drink throughout eternity of that ever-flowing Source?

But to notice for a moment that of which I said I would speak-that we drink already of the water of life. I should like very briefly to turn to two well-known scriptures. I freely confess that they are so blessedly profound that I almost fear to say anything upon them, but through the Lord's mercy I would call attention to them. The first is in John 4:10-14, where the giving God in His grace bestows the living water. The blessed Son of God would give the living water, nay, gave it, to the poor Samaritan woman. He has given it to us also, and there is in us a source of water springing up into everlasting life. Our hearts have been satisfied no doubt. We shall not thirst again as those of the world do (oh, may it be practically true!), and the new desires of the new creature spring up towards Aim, the new blessed Object of our souls, and are satisfied in Him and nowhere else. You will say that one must not separate the Holy Spirit's action in us from this active springing up to everlasting life. No, my dear friends, it is just exactly what I do not wish to do. Wonderful and blessed thing-a well (source) of water springing up in the power of the Holy Ghost

This is then clear, that we have drunk already of the water of life, and that we drink of it, and that our joy is full already, if we walk with God. "We write unto you these things that your joy may be full."

Our attention has been called lately to what communion with the Father and Son means. May we be truly in the enjoyment of it! But this does not in any way lessen the force of the word fountain (source) in Revelation 21:6. If we have tasted already of the water of life, if the truth of John 4 is not merely a doctrine but a living reality, if the new desires are felt, new affections produced in the heart by the Holy Ghost, and flowing forth towards the Son who has revealed to us the Father - if, I say, these things be realised, the promise to drink eternally of the fountain of the water of life becomes increasingly precious, for we shall drink of that eternal source beyond all time and dispensation, and never shall there be any distance between us and the Father's heart, fully known in the Son. Eternal bliss!

The other passage to which I wish to allude is John 7:37-39. It has been much spoken of. There is the coming to Christ and drinking, and then the flowing forth of testimony in the power of the Holy Ghost. It is a question here of the glorifying of Jesus, and of the coming of the Holy Chost consequent upon this.

I once read a very striking account of the Dead Sea by an Asiatic traveller, in which he mentioned the fact that in that scene of desolation, where all verdure is destroyed by the salt and bitumen of asphaltites, in that dreary waste a rivulet runs down front Callirshoƫ on the side of Bashan, a fresh, bright spring in the midst of the salt desert; and where this brook runs there is a belt of green-palms, oleanders, and other plants - a picture of what the Christian should be in the desert of this world.

But my object now is not to dwell on the fact of testimony, blessed though it be, but to notice that here too we find the drinking mentioned first of all, the reception of the glorious Jesus, as the Holy Ghost revealed Him at Pentecost, before the Feast of Tabernacles be celebrated.

We know then the glorified Lord. Our life is hid with Christ in God, and when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in glory.

Beloved brethren, are our hearts really seeking the things that are above? our eyes really fixed on the things (invisible but to faith) that are eternal? We shall have no other source of joy during eternity than Him, who has declared the Father's name to us, and is the glorious centre of His eternal counsels. E. L. B.