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is held responsible for the evil. " A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Unbelief may inquire how all are involved in the sin of one; but the word of God definitively settles the question. Israel hath sinned”_" they have taken"-"they have stolen"" they have dissembled.” The assembly was one; one in privilege, one in responsibility. The sin of one was the sin of all, and all were called upon to clear themselves thoroughly by putting away the accursed thing from among them. There was not a single member of that large congregation who was not affected by Achan's sin. This may seem strange to mere nature, but such is the solemn and weighty truth of God. It was true in the assembly of Israel of old, and assuredly it is not less true in the church of God now. No one could take independent ground in the assembly of Israel; how much less can he take it in the church of God! There were over six hundred thousand people who, to speak after the manner of men, were wholly ignorant of what Achan had done; and yet God's word to Joshua was, “ Israel hath sinned." All were involved; all were affected; all were defiled, and all had to clear themselves, ere Jehovah could again lead them on to victory. The presence of God in the midst of the assembly formed the unity of all; and the presence of the Holy Ghost in the church of God, the body of Christ now on the earth, binds all up in one divine indissoluble unity. Hence, to talk of independency is to deny the very foundation truth of the church of God, and to prove, beyond all question, that we understand neither its nature nor its unity, as set forth on the page of inspiration.

But if evil creeps into an assembly, how is it to be met? Here it is: “Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow; for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” Were they one in privilege ? Were they one in the enjoyment of the glory and strength which the Divine Presence secured ?

Were they one in the splendid triumph at Jericho ? Who would deny all this ? Who would wish to? Why, then, seek to question their oneness in responsibilitytheir oneness in respect to the evil in their midst, and all its humbling consequences ? Surely, if there was unity in anything, there was unity in everything. If Jehovah was the God of Israel, He was the God of all, the God of each; and this grand and glorious fact was the solid basis both of their high privileges, and their holy responsibilities. How could evil exist in such an assembly, and a single member be unaffected by it ? How could there be an accursed thing in their very midst, and a single member not be defiled ? Impossible. We may reason and argue about it until the tongue cleaves to the roof of the mouth, but all the reasoning and argument in the world cannot touch the truth of God, and that truth declares that “ leaven leaveneth the whole lump."

But how is the evil to be discovered ? The presence of God reveals it. The selfsame power that had levelled the walls of Jericho, detected, revealed, and judged the sin of Achan. It was the double effect of the same Blessed Presence, and Israel was called to

a little

share in the one as well as in the other. To attempt to separate the two is folly, ignorance, or wickedness. It cannot be done, and ought not to be attempted.

(To be continued, if the Lord will.)

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WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD, WHAT a wonderful moment it is for a sinner when he finds himself in the presence of God !-when he is conscious that God has spoken to him. Have you, reader, ever thought to inquire what it was that brought the Philippian jailor, a pagan sinner, without God in the world, to the feet of Paul and Silas, and constrained him to cry out, “ Sirs, what must I do to be saved ?"

Why,” you will perhaps say, " there was enough to alarm him ; for at midnight there was a great earth

l quake, and the foundations of the prison were shaken, and every one's bands were loosed.” It certainly must have been a tremendous shaking, when such buildings as the ancients used to erect, the massive ruins of which still testify, in many places, to their ponderous strength, rocked to the very foundations, those foundations being commonly of stones of such immense size and weight, that modern architects are often puzzled to know how they were lifted, carried, and put into their destined situations without injury.

The shaking must have been something terrible, when stocks too, and other means of confining and torturing the poor prisoners, were all so knocked about, that every man was set free, while the massive doors (made often of one enormous stone, folding in grooves, without hinges, and fitting like a leaf), barred, chained, and bolted, were burst open by the mere concussion produced by the earthquake. “Enough," you will say,

" " to make the jailor tremble.”

No doubt of it; but if the earthquake made him tremble (though I do not read that it did), the supposed results made him seek to kill himself. Now selfmurder is a widely different thing from wanting to be saved; and clearly the very first thing the jailor did, when awakened out of his sleep by the tremendous and really awful shaking produced by the earthquake, was, that “he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself." Terror-stricken, no doubt, he was, but not so much from the earthquake itself, as from what he supposed it had effected, namely, the escape of all the prisoners.

Under Roman government and laws, the jailor or sentinel who allowed prisoners to escape was dishonoured, and forfeited his life. Herod had the sentinels or keepers of Peter's prison first examined by torture, and then put to death. It was for this reason also that the soldiers who had charge of Paul and other prisoners, on their way to Rome, wanted to kill them all, lest they should escape.

Now, the jailor appears to have set little store by his life, for he was going to take that with his own hand. It was not so much the fear of death as of dishonour that terrified him. His proud heart could not brook that shame and obloquy should rest on his name.

But what has that to do with wanting to be saved ? Nothing at all,” you will say ; “ the two conditions are totally different, in fact diametrically opposed to each other." Of course they are. The pride of heart God.

that would rather commit self-murder than brook dishonour, is assuredly quite opposed to the brokenness of spirit that cries out for salvation.

But we read of a far more terrible earthquake in Revelation vi., and whether we understand it figuratively or literally, it makes no difference as to this point, namely, that neither judgments, nor what are called natural phenomena, work “repentance toward

Their effect is rather to drive the sinner to desire to be saved from God, not to Him.

“ Hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."

Grace alone brings to God-never judgment. The men of Jericho (Josh. ii.) sought to destroy Jehovah's servants, they saw only judgment: the harlot Rahab saw that too, but she saw something beyond, and that was grace, or at the least “ kindness." “ Shew kindness unto my father's house;" yes, not to me alone, but " to my father's house ;" she saw kindness enough for that! A poor harlot too. How beautiful !

Saul does not repent towards God, even when told he would be in hades the very next day. It is judgment, deserved judgment, and nothing else. And he “fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid because of the words of Samuel.” And that is all; no repentance toward God, no crying out, “ What must I do to be saved ?"

The rich man in hades itself, suffering the just judgment of God, has no thought of Him. His own torment, his father's house, his past life and present awful cireumstances, fill his cup of misery to overflowing; but his heart, harder than the nether millstone, grows harder

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