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And not only does the practical life of a true Christian afford the very best possible answer to the sceptic and the infidel, but it also meets, in a most satisfactory manner, the objections of those who talk about works, and insist upon putting Christians under the law, in order to teach them how to live. When people challenge us as to our not preaching up works, we simply ask them, “For what should we preach works ?” The unconverted man cannot do any works,

" wicked works," or “ dead works." There is not a single thought of his heart, not a single word of his lips, not a single act of his life, for which he does not righteously deserve the flames of an everlasting hell. “They that are in the flesh” unconverted people—“cannot please God.” Of what possible use can it be to preach works to such ? It can only cast dust in their eyes, blind their minds, deceive their hearts, and send them down to hell with a lie in their right hand.

There must be genuine conversion to God. This is a divine work, from first to last. And what has the converted man got to do? He certainly has not to work for life, because he has it, even life eternal, as God's free gift, through Jesus Christ our Lord. He has not to work for salvation, because he is saved already- ?

those early days of the church's history, occupied the place of a slave. The Holy Ghost took special pains to instruct such an one as to how he was to carry himself in his most interesting sphere of work. The poor slave might think himself shut out from the service of God. So far from this, he is sweetly taught that by simply doing his duty, as in the sight of God, he could adorn the doctrine of God his Saviour, and bring glory to the Name of Jesus. Nothing can exceed the grace that shines in this.

"saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation." What, then, is he called to do? “ To serve the living and true God.” How? When ? Where? In everything; at all times, and in all places. The converted man has nothing else to do but to serve God. If he does anything else, he is positively untrue, unfaithful to that blessed Lord and Master, who, ere ever He called him to serve, endowed him with the life, and the grace, and the power, whereby alone the service can be rendered. Yes, reader, the Christian is called to serve.

Let us never forget this. He is privileged to "present his body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is his reasonable, his intelligent service.” This settles the whole question. It removes all difficulties; it silences all objections; it puts everything in its right place. It is not a question of what I am doing, but how I do itnot where I am, but how I conduct myself. Christianity, as displayed in the New Testament, is the outcome of the life of Christ in the believer; it is Christ reproduced in the Christian's daily life, by the power of the Holy Ghost. Everything the Christian touches, everything he does, everything he says, his whole practical life, from Lord's day morning till Saturday night, should bear the impress, and breathe the spirit, of that great practical clause on which we have been dwelling—"serving the living and true God." May it be so more and more! May all the Lord's beloved people, everywhere, be really stirred up to seek more earnest, out-and-out, whole-hearted devotedness to Christ and His precious service!

(To be concluded in our next, if the Lord will.)

177

JERICHO AND ACHOR.

PART II.

We must ever remember the grand practical truth that, in the history of God's ways with His people, privilege and responsibility are intimately bound up to gether. To talk of privilege, or think of enjoying iting while neglecting the responsibility, is the very grossest delusion possible. No true lover of holiness could think for a moment of separating them-nay, he must ever delight in strengthening and perpetuating the precious link.

Thus, for example, in Israel's case, who could estimate aright the high privilege of having Jehovak dwelling in their midst ? By day and by night, there He was, to guide and guard, shield and shelter them; to meet their every need, to give them bread from heaven, and bring them forth water out of the flinty rock. His presence was a safeguard against every foe; no weapon formed against them could prosper ; not a dog might move his tongue against them; they were at once invulnerable and invincible; with God in their midst they had nothing whatever to fear. He charged Himself with all their wants, whether great or small He looked after their garments, that they might not wax old; He looked after their feet, that they might not swell; He covered them with the shield of His favour, so that no arrow might touch them; He stood between them and every foe, and flung back in the enemy's face every accusation.

Thus much as to the high privilege. But mark the

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corresponding and connected responsibility. See how both are indissolubly bound up together in the following weighty words: "For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give

thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy; that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Precious privilege! Blessed responsibility! Who would dare to dissolve the hallowed connection ? Had Jehovah deigned to come down into their midst, and walk with them, and tabernacle amongst them? Had He, in infinite grace, condescended to be their travelling companion? Was He there for exigence of every hour ? Yes; blessed be His holy Name. If so, then what did His presence demand? We have seen something of what His presence secured; but what did it demand ? Holiness! Israel's whole conduct was to be regulated by the great fact of the Divine Presence in their midst. Not only their great public national institutions, but their most private habits, were to be brought under the controlling influence of Jehovah's presence with them. He regulated what they were to eat, what they were to wear, how they were to carry themselves, in all the scenes, circumstances, and relationships of daily life. By night and by day, sleeping and waking, sitting in the house or walking by the way, alone or in company, He looked after them. No. thing was to be allowed in any wise inconsistent with the holiness and purity which became the presence of the Holy One of Israel.

Was all this irksome? Were the privileges irksome? Was it irksome to be fed, clothed, guided, guarded, and cared for, in every possible way? Was it irksome to repose beneath the overshadowing wings of the God of Israel ? Surely not. Why, then, should it be irksome to keep their persons, their habits, and their dwellings clean ? Must not every true heart, every upright mind, every tender conscience delight as thoroughly in the responsibility which the Divine Presence necessarily involves, as in the privileges which it infallibly secures? Yea, rather, must we not rank the very responsibility itself amongst our richest and rarest privileges ? Unquestionably. Every true lover of holiness will esteem it a signal mercy-a very high order of blessing—to walk in company with One whose presence detects and condemns every form of evil. “ Thy testimonies are very sure; holiness becometh thy house, O Lord, for ever.”

The foregoing train of thought will enable us in some measure to understand the history of Achan, in Joshua vii.-a history solemn and impressive in the very highest degree—a history which utters in our hearing, with deepest emphasis, words which our careless hearts are only too ready to forget,“ God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of his saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him." Had Achan remembered this, it would have taught him the holy necessity of nipping in the very bud the covetousness of his heart, and thus have spared the whole assembly the humiliating defeat at Ai, and all the consequent sorrow and discipline. How terrible to think of one man, for the sake of a little personal gain, which, at best, could last but for a moment, plunging a whole congregation into the deepest trouble! And, what was

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