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did, but their intention was to prevent the people from owning that it was God's hand, by their doing the like. It is not easy to point out at the present hour a form of opposition which fully answers to this, though no doubt it does exist. Plainly, any who teach that by one's own works and penances, man can procure his salvation, withstand the truth, and set up a power which is opposed to God's power. But there is a more subtle form than this ; where a measure of evangelical truth is received, and with it is supplemented the doctrine that one can attain to perfection or holiness by an exercise apart from the Spirit of God; or where there is any expectation or effort to sway the hearts of men by human eloquence or man's wisdom. In fine, where there is any attempt to arrive at anything similar to what God's power effects, there is a resort to the enemy's power to withstand the truth of God. There cannot be a more effectual way of withstanding the truth than to seek to produce something similar to its effects by a hostile power. It would hardly be credited that any sensible man could be thus deceived, but scripture warns us of it; and alas ! we see it in our own day, often coupled with true light in the soul. The design of the enemy is very evident, , even to defeat the truth; and when he cannot prevent the soul from accepting the gospel in part, he, because of his unremitting hostility, pursues each of us unceasingly, to see, if possibly, he can at any stage, thwart the work of God. It is remarkable that it is Paul's doctrine and example which are given to us as the preservation from this opposition. It will be remembered that magicians were defeated when it came to a question of producing life (Ex. viii. 16-18), and hence, the sure and true way of controverting this opposition, is by setting forth the height and greatness of God's calling in our life. Naturally, one would have supposed that the course to be adopted in order to expose an imitation, would be by instituting a comparison between the real and the spurious; but that is not the way enjoined here. It is by insisting on the greatness of the positive truth as practically exhibited. "Thou hast fully known my doctrine,” &c. ; and, “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” The more fully I am acquainted with the scriptures, the more am I formed and swayed by them ; as one has said, “I not only get thoughts from scripture, but scripture forms my thoughts ;” and thus in a very blessed way I am kept from man's ways and devisings, and adhere simply and truly to God's ways and manner of acting.
When one is not proof to this part of the opposition, the second is sure to prevail, namely, as is described in 2 Timothy iv. 3, 4. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. It is not now trying to neutralise the truth by seeking to produce an action similar to what God's power produces; and it is not only the deliberate turning away their ears from the truth, but there is the turning of them to fables, myths, things that never had any existence, false creations of the mind, by a power foreign to God; it is an entire surrender of the truth for myths. But the servant of God must not yield. “Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” And the apostle himself is the example of the solitary unit suffering for the truth of God; an encouragement to us, that if through faithfulness to Christ, we are reduced to the same isolation, we shall find the same consolation and succour from the Lord that he found. “Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the
mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever.
THE JUDGMENT-SEAT OF
CHRIST. PEOPLE say,
“Ah! but after all we must appear before the judgment-seat" very true; and how perfect, how blessed are God's ways in His word, in all! I ask you now (I am supposing that you have full peace through the blood-otherwise you cannot thus look on it), in looking back from your youth-well! we see heaps of flesh, a quantity of evil things every day. Does it trouble or distress you ? Not a bit ! I look back, and oh! it is to see the unwearied grace which has dealt with me, led me, borne with me, come in so marvellously, touching my heart, and making me weep with the sense of His love and gracious tenderness, where I had looked for chastening. But if it is thus in looking back now, how much