ELEVENTH SECTION.-xii. 1-14.
The Patience of Hope.
LET US RUN WITH PATIENCE THE RACE.
XII.—1. Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a oloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
The Epistle has taught us that one of the greatest dangers in the Christian life is the remaining stationary, and not advancing beyond the beginnings of Christ lt leads almost inevitably to backsliding and sin. The great virtue the Epistle has sought to inculcate, next to faith, is patience, the perseverance and longsuffering that holds fast the beginning firm unto the end, and diligently presses on to perfection. After having shown us, in his wonderful picture gallery, what the fulness of faith is, he now calls us, in view of all the trials life may bring, and with them the temptation to grow disheartened and faint, to patience as the virtue by which faith is to prove its persistence and secure its reward. True religion is not only drawing nigh to God once in the Holiest, but a life to be renewed there every day; it is not only the entrance upon the new and living way, but a continually abiding life and walk in it . lt is running a race with patience. We have seen what life in the Holiest is, in the place where the power of the eternal life enters and possesses us. Let us now look at that life in its visible manifestation as a race we run, and learn what is needed to run well and win the crown.
Therefore, let us, Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, run the race. The first encouragement to run the race with patience is to yield ourselves to the influence of the cloud of witnesses that encompass us, and to follow their example of faith and patience. We had the word "witness" five times in the previous chapter: through faith they received witness. And so they become witnesses to its power and the good pleasure of God it brings to the soul. They all with one accord, Abel and Enoch and Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the prophets, as with one heart and mouth witness to us: Be of good courage, fear not; be strong in faith, and persevere. The victory and the reward are sure and glorious. We are one with them and they with us. They could not be perfected without us; in us is to be perfected what they began. They held fast the promise when all was dark: they plead with us, now the full light has come, to hold fast the faith firm unto the end.
Therefore let us also, even as they, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us. Here is our second lesson. One of the first thoughts connected with a race is the laying aside of everything that can hinder. ln the food he eats and the clothing he wears how resolutely the runner puts aside everything, the most lawful and pleasant, that is not absolutely necessary to his success. Sacrifice, self-denial, giving up, laying aside, is the very first requisite on the course. Alas, it is this that has made the Christian life of our days the very opposite of running a race. The great study is, both in our religious teaching and practical life, to find out how to make the best of both worlds, how to enjoy as much as possible of the wealth and the pleasure and the honour which the world offers. With many Christians, if their conversion ever was an entering through a strait gate, their life since never was, in any sense, a laying aside of everything that might hinder their spiritual growth. They never heeded the word: He that forsaketk not all that he hath cannot be My disciple. But this is what we are called to as indispensable : Laying aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us. Yes, laying aside every sin—however little it seems, however much it be our special weakness—it may not be spared. Sin must be laid aside, if we are to run the race. lt is a race for holiness and perfection, for the will of God and His favour; how could we dream of running the race without laying aside the sin which doth so easily beset us.
Therefore, let us run the race set before us. A race means, this is our third lesson, concentration of purpose and will, strenuous and determined effort. lt means that a man while he is on ihe course gives himself wholly to one thing—running with all his might. lt means that for the time being he forgets everything for the all-absorbing desire — to gain the prize. The Christian course means this all through life: a whole-hearted surrender of oneself, to put aside everything for the sake of God and His favour. The men who enter the course are separated from the crowd of idle spectators: they each of them can say, One thing I do—they run.
Let us run with patience the race. Ye were running well, who did hinder you? This was as true of the Hebrews as of the Galatians: many, many had gone back. Alas, alas, is it not true of multitudes of Christians in our days? They began well, everything was so hopeful; but it would be utterly untrue to say of them to-day that they are running a race for eternal life. And there is no way for us, and those for whom we labour, to be saved this terrible fate but for us to learn the lesson which this word Patience (endurance,1 perseverance), is meant to teach us. Under the inspiring influence of the cloud of witnesses, to lay aside every weight and sin, to enter and begin the race is not enough—we must run with patience. Day by day, our separation from the world and sin, our giving up of every weight and every sin, must be renewed. Day by day our desire and our will to live wholly for God must be reaffirmed. Day by day we must wait on God afresh, to receive grace with all our heart and all our strength ; with undivided purpose and in the boldness of faith, still to run in the race for God. Therefore let us also run the race with patience.
1. Get clear hold of the three elements of success in a race: self-denial, that gives up everything that hinders; decision, that puts the whole heart into the work, and runs; patience, that day by day afresh enters the course.
2. It is the heart of him that runs that is the power that urges him on. Whether it be for a prize or a pleasure—his heart is the drioing power. The Holy Spirit is the only power that can keep our heart daily fresh and bright in the race.
9. The new and living way. The race is but another aspect of lt, to bring out the thought of devotion and earnestness and energy.
1 The word is the same as endured, in vers. 2, 3, 7.
LOOKING UNTO JESUS.
XII.—2. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author1 and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The practical and the contemplative Christian life are often spoken of as if they were at variance. Here we see them in their perfect harmony. Let us run—there we have intense exertion, claiming body and soul; looking to Jesus—there we have the inner life of the spirit, a heart always fixed on Jesus in faith and worship, drawing inspiration and strength from His example and His love. Let us run, looking to Jesus. Let all that we have learnt of Him in the Epistle, all the faith and joy with which we have seen and considered Him, bear this fruit: let us with patience, perseverance, run the race.
Looking unto Jesus, the Leader and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus is the Leader of our salvation (ii. 10), the Forerunner, who hath entered within the veil for us, leaving behind His track and footsteps for us to walk in. This is the new and living way which, through obedience and death, leads to life and to God. And so He is the Leader of our faith, too. He leads in the way of faith, He walked in it Himself, He opened it for us, He draws and helps us in it. The old saints had given
us examples of faith; Jesus is the Leader of our faith, the faith that through death enters into resurrection life and the Holiest of All, that better and perfect thing which God hath provided for us.
The Leader and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus is the Perfecter of our faith. He perfected it in His own person, by acting it out to its fullest possibility, when in the darkness of death He entrusted His Spirit into His Father's hands. He perfected it when He was Himself perfected by it, and proved that faith is the highest perfection, because it gives God room to be all. He perfected it when, having perfected us in Himself, He became the perfect object for our faith. He perfects it in us, because He who is the perfect object of our faith is the living One, who lives and works in us in the power of our endless life. He is the Perfecter of faith—the faith that looks away to Him the perfect One and the Perfecter, is the secret of Christian perfection. He has not only perfected Himself and us, He perfects our faith too. Let us entrust our faith to Him above everything; He will make it His care, the chief and most blessed work of His Spirit. Let us run, looking to Jesus; in His life on earth the Leader, in His glory on the throne the Perfecter, of our faith. Let us look to Jesus. There is life in a look, and power too; the life and the power of a divine transformation, in which, as we behold, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory.
Let us run, looking to Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him. Like Moses, He had respect unto the recompense of the reward. He triumphed over suffering and death by the faith that lived in the future and the unseen. lt was in faith He lived and endured and conquered. Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. Let us look to Jesus in His path on earth, and on His throne in glory. ln His path on earth, as He endured the cross, He is the Leader of our faith, only in the path in which he walked Himself. ln His life of self-denial and humility, of obedience and death, He showed us that there is no way to God but that of sacrifice, resisting the world and self unto death; no way of deliverance from fallen nature but by dying to it. He is the Perfecter of our faith, as He sits on the throne. Looking to Him we see what the sure reward is of dying with Him, what the divine power and glory are to which He invites our trust and the committal of our souls, what the heavenly life is that His Spirit will bring down into our hearts. Let every thought of Him on the throne remind us of the path that brought Him there and brings us too; and every thought again of Him in that path of trial lift our hearts in loving, steady gaze to the throne, where He reigns, to communicate to us, in unbroken continuity, the power of His glorified life, His complete and eternal salvation.
Yes, let us run, looking to Jesus. Looking, not to ourselves or our sins, but to Him who hath put away sin for ever. Not to ourselves or our faith, whether in its weakness or its strength, but to Him whose presence is the life of our faith. Not to the world or its temptations, but to Him who hath said : Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Not to Satan or his threats, but to Him who hath brought him to naught. Not to men, their fear or their favour, but to Jesus, the God-Man, lmmanuel, God with us, our Brother and our King. Looking to Jesus and Jesus alone.
Looking to Him always and in all. In trial and trouble, as in joy and prosperity; in solitude and repose, as in company and business ; in religious worship, as in daily life ;—always, only, looking to Jesus. Looking to Him, to see what He is, to hear what He speaks, to do what He says, to follow where He leads, to trust for all He waits to give. Looking to Him and His love, till my heart burns with that love. Looking to Him, till His eye meets mine, and l know that He watches over me. Looking to Him in the power of His love and Spirit, knowing that He Himself is drawing me to Himself, leading and perfecting my faith. Looking to Him, to be changed into His likeness from glory to glory. Let us run the race with patience, looking to Jesus.
1. "Looking to Jesus, with the look of faith, becavse our salvation is in Him alone; with the look of love, becavse He alone can satisfy our heart; with the look of strong desire, longing to know Him better; with the look of soul devotion, waiting only to know His will; with the look of gladness, becavse we know He loves us; with the look of wonder and admiration, becavse He is the brightness of the Father's glory, our Lord and our God."
2. Let us say lt once again : the whole secret of the Christian life consists in the personal relationship to Jesus. Not what Jesus has done or dves for me can be my salvation, except as He Himself has my heart, and binds me to Himself in dependence and attachment, and trust and love.
3. Let us run. The gospel is intensely practical. lt means for every day, let us live like men who are running a race for life, and laying aside everything that can in the least hinder them. We judge everything by this one standard: can lt help me in the race.
XII.—3. For consider him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against themselves, that ye wax not weary, fainting In your souls.
4. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin:
5. And ye have forgotten the exhortation, which reasoneth with you as with sons,
My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord,
Nor faint when thou art reproved of him;
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,
And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Lt is ever still the danger of discouragement and backsliding that the writer seeks to avert. ln these verses we find the words, Faint not, twice used, and twice the way is pointed out to be kept from it. The first time the word is used in connection with the considering of Jesus, our Example and Leader. The second time, with the teaching, that it is God from whom all affliction comes. In affliction, look to Jesus as our Forerunner, who was Himself so tried; to God as our Father, who has appointed the trial, as the safeguard against fainting.
For consider Him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against Himself, that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls. We have previously had the injunction (iii. i): Consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession— that pointed to the work He did for us. Here it is: Consider Him in His sufferance and patient endurance. The thought that He suffered like you, that you are suffering like Him, will give courage and patience. Consider Him. lt will remind you how necessary suffering is. lf He could not be perfected without it, how much more we. If suffering wrought such blessing in Him, how surely in us too, for whose sake He was made perfect, to whom God has given Him as a Leader in the path that leads through suffering to glory. We may be sure of it, all that is most precious in a Christlike character—the virtues that were perfected in Him through suffering, the meekness and lowliness of heart, the gentleness and patience and submission of the Lamb of God, will come to us too if we will but consider Him. Looking to Jesus, the suffering One, will bring us the comfort of His sympathy, the courage of His victory, the blessed consciousness of conformity to Him. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: the thought of His blood in Gethsemane and on Calvary, and the insignificance of our own suffering, will urge us to endure and resist. And we shall neither wax weary nor faint.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation, which reasoneth with you as with sons, My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord. The words from Proverbs warn against a double danger. On the one hand, we may regard lightly the chastening of the Lord, and think too little of it. We may seek to bear up against it with human wisdom; looking upon it as the lot of all, counting ourselves too manly to bow before it, trusting to time and fortune to bring a change. We fail to recognise the hand of God in it; we do not accept it as indeed God's chastening, and lose all the teaching and the blessing it was meant to bring. My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord.
Neither, here is the other danger—faint when thou art reproved of Him. Be not discouraged or downcast as if the chastening was too heavy, more than you deserved or are able to bear. Beware above everything, in your Christian life, of casting away your boldness, of becoming impatient, of losing courage. It is trial and vexation, care and anxiety, persecution or reproach that often causes this. Learn to-day the secret of never suffering loss in the soul by the sufferings of life—yea, rather, of always making them your greatest gain. Link them to God and to Jesus. lt is God who sends them. He sent them to Jesus and perfected Him through them. He sends them to thee in the same love, and will make them thy highest gain. "Receive every inward and outward trouble, every disappointment, pain, uneasiness, temptation, darkness, desolation, with both thy hands, as a true opportunity and blessed occasion of dying to self, and entering into a fuller fellowship with thy self-denying, suffering Saviour."
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth,
And scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
Sufferings are for chastening. And chastening is from love, a token of God's fatherly care. We live in a world full of trial and suffering. Thousands of God's children have complained that their circumstances were too unfavourable for a life of full devotion, of close intercourse with God, of pressing on unto perfection. The duties and difficulties, the cares and troubles of life, render it impossible, they say, to live a fully consecrated life. Would God that they might learn the lesson of His word! Every trial comes from God as a call to come away from the world to Him, to trust Him, to believe in His love. ln every trial He will give strength and blessing. Let but this truth be accepted, in every trial, small or great: first of all and at once recognise God's hand in it. Say at once: My Father has allowed this to come; I welcome it from Him; my first care is to glorify Him in it; He will make it a blessing. We may be sure of this ; let us by faith rejoice in it. The salvation God has provided for us, the blessed life in the new and living way into the Holiest, through Jesus Christ, has such power that it can enable us amid every trial to be more than conqueror through Him that loved us. "Give up yourself absolutely and entirely to God in Christ Jesus, as into the hands of infinite love; firmly believing this great and infallible truth, that God has no will towards you, but that of infinite love, and infinite desire to make you partaker of His divine nature; and that it is as absolutely impossible for the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to refuse all that good, and life, and salvation which you want, as it is for you to take it by your own power."
7. Consider Him. // Christians would only understand that God's word says, that it is impossible for them to liue the true Christian life unless they keep their eye dally, unceasingly fixed on Jesus. Not a step in the race is safe if they are not looking to Jesus.
2. Consider Him. But is it possible—is it not too great a strain, an unnatural life—to be always looking to Jesus? With men lt is lmpossible; with God all things are possible. And all things are possible to him that believeth. By faith.
3. Yes, but is such a faith possible? Bless God l it is indeed. This is the open secret of the higher Christian life—Jesus revealing Himself so that the soul can as little forget Him as it forgets to breathe or to see—Jesus so taking possession of the soul by the Holy Spirit and so dwelling within it, that faith never ceases going out to Him who is above. Lord, reveal Thyself to us! The soul that, be it amid effort and failure, begins and gioes itself to consider Jesus in separate acts of faith will be led on, and in due time receioe this deeper blessing—a heart in which, by the Holy Spirit, looking to Jesus is its spontanevus and most natural exercise.
CHASTENING AND HOLINESS.
XH.-7. It ls for chastening that ye endure; God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not?
8. But If ye are without chastening, whereof all have been made partakers, then are yc bastards, and not sons.
9. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be In subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10. For they verily for a few days chastened us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.
We live in a world full of suffering. A great part of the daily life of many is made up of little trials and vexations. A sharp word; an unkind judgment; neglect or ingratitude from some one from whom we did not expect it; the carelessness of a servant; the temper of a husband or wife; the loss accruing through the neglect or unfaithfulness of others; the disappointment of our wishes; the accidents that vex us—all these things in daily life often come to us with far greater temptation and danger than times of persecution for the faith brought to the martyrs. By their littleness and their frequency and their suddenness, they surprise and conquer us ere we know. lf Christianity is to be a success, if Christ is to save completely, there must be a provision, sufficient and efficacious, to prevent suffering from causing discouragement or defeat, to transform it into blessing and help.
lf it can enable us to rejoice in tribulation, to glory in infirmities, and to pass unharmed through trial, it will indeed be the religion man needs in a world of suffering. He that has this secret, whereby what have been hindrances become helps, and his very enemies are made to serve him, is on the way to be the Christian God would have him be.
God has made such a provision. First of all, He gives His own Son, as the chief of sufferers, to show us how close the relation is between suffering and His love, suffering and the victory over sin, suffering and perfection of character, suffering and glory. Yea more, to provide us with One, who can sympathise, who can teach us how to suffer, and who, as the Conqueror of sin through suffering, can breathe His own life and strength into us. And thus He comes as our Father, to shed His heavenly light on our afflictions, and to teach us the lessons our portion contains. They are these. Chastening is a part of a father's training, and one of the marks of sonship. Submission to chastening forms and proves the truly childlike character. God's chastening makes us partakers of God's holiness. See how these three thoughts are brought out here.
Chastening is a needful part of a father's training. It is for chastening that ye endure; all suffering is a divine chastening. God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not? Our own childhood and fatherhood teach it us; discipline, chastening, and reproof, in whatever form, is an indispensable part of education; where a child needs it a father may not withhold it. ln the will of God, and in the very nature of things, sin and suffering go together, and even love can cause suffering for the greater good of casting out the sin. Let the child of God learn the lesson—suffering is chastening, the chastening of love. We
ought to spare no pains to learn this lesson well; we ought to repeat and repeat it, until we can say—Now, l know it perfectly: every trial, small or great, I will look upon at once as a messenger of God's love. lf you thus meet it, whether it comes through men or yourself or more directly from above, as God's appointment, you are in the right attitude for bearing and being blessed by it.
Submission to chastening forms and proves the truly childlike spirit. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? When the Lamb of God came to this earth to suffer God's will, it was that He might teach us what the place is that becomes the creature, and the child—absolute subjection to the perfect will of love. He came to show that the thing that makes life worth having is to have it to give up to God, and to prove that humility and resignation are the sacrifices God delights in, and the sure, the only path to God. No religion or worship of God can be acceptable to Him but as He sees in it conformity to the life and spirit of His Son. We can only please Him as we are like-minded to Christ. Learn, O child of God! the unspeakable privilege in suffering, of giving up thy will to God, even as Jesus did, of adoring His wisdom and goodness, and entering deeper into the child's spirit and the child's place —to reverence and submit. Chastening is one of the marks of sonship. If ye are without chastening, then are ye bastards and not sons. Suffering is not in itself a sign of sonship. An enemy or a criminal may be scourged; even a slave chastened as well as a son. But to him who is a son, chastening reminds him of his place, and calls him to meet this part of a son's heritage in the spirit and with the hope of a son—with the assurance that it will draw him nearer and lock him closer to the Father.
Chastening makes us partakers of God's holiness. He chasteneth us for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. What a new light on suffering and chastening! He that maketh ttoly and they that are made holy, are all of one. We have entrance into the Holiest of All. ln the which will we have been made Jwly. He hath made the people holy by His blood. And now comes suffering—shall we not welcome it when He sends it with such a message—to break open our inner being, and waken up our desire, and make us partakers in our inmost life of that holiness Jesus gives, of that holiness into which we enter in God's presence. Yes, welcome suffering, if it leads us, through subjection to God's will and love, into His holiness as our portion.
7. What can teach us to welcome suffering? A heart set upon holiness. Suffering is meant by God to make us holy. No one can welcome suffering except as he welcomes the holiness it brings.
2. "That state is best, which exercises the highest faith in and fullest resignation to God."
3. "Recelve every inward and outward trouble with both thy hands, as a true opportunity of dying to self, and entering into fellowship with thy self-denying Saviour."
XII—11. All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous, but grievous: yet afterward It beareth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness.
12. Wherefore, lift up the hands that hang down, and the palsied knees;
13. And .make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame be not put out of joint, but rather be healed.
He chasteneth us for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. That word was the summing up of all that there was to say of affliction. Suffering was to be God's messenger to lead us into, not a place or a position, but a life and an experience, into fitness for and inner union with the Holiest of All, and the Most Holy One who dwells there. Higher honour have none of God's servants than this one, unwelcome and rejected though it so often be. By all that is sacred and worthy of desire, the word would have us know and believe that affliction is a blessing. And yet it does not ignore the fact that the chastisement causes pain. As an old believer said, when speaking of one of the promises, Yes, it is blessedly true; but still it hurts. Therefore, our writer continues, All chastening for the present seemeth to be grievous: yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness. To the flesh which judges by what is present and by sense, it is distinctly, often terribly, grievous. Faith which lives in the future and unseen, rejoices in the assurance not only of deliverance, but of the heavenly blessing it brings.
For the present—yet afterward. These two expressions contain the great contrast between time and eternity, of the visible and the invisible, of sorrow and of joy, of sense and of faith, of backsliding and of progress to perfection. For the present: to be guided by it, and sacrifice all for its gratification, is the sin and the folly and death in which we live by nature. Yet afterward: to throw eternity into the balance, and judge everything by that: this is what even the patriarchs did; this is what Christ taught us, when, for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross; this is what faith can teach us in every trial. With that yet afterward of the peaceable fruit of righteousness, the light of eternity and its reward shines on the least as on the greatest of our trials, and makes each one the seed of an everlasting harvest, of which we pluck the fruits even here. And so light arises upon the command, Count it alljoy when ye fall into manifold temptations. We read it in the light of what Paul said of himself, As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. When the hurricane is sweeping the ocean into mountain-high waves, down in the deep waters all is serene and quiet—the disturbance is only on the surface. And even so the joy of eternity can keep a soul in perfect peace amid abounding afflictions. For the present is swallowed up in the yet afterward of a living faith.
Now there follows, on the strength of what has been said of God's love and His blessing, the call to the Hebrews to rise up out of their dejection and despair, and gird themselves for the race in the way in which Jesus leads us to God. Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the palsied knees; and make straight paths for your feet. Take courage, he says, and gird yourselves for the race—without it the prize can never be won. Lift up hands and knees, choose the straight path for your feet, rouse your whole being, and with your eye once more on Jesus, and in the faith He inspires, follow Him in the path of endurance. See the mistake you made when you thought your trials were an excuse for despondency; accept God's message, that they are the very proof of His love, the very means of His grace, the very mark of His own Son. Accept them as a part of your Christian manhood and perfection. Rise up and stand forth as men ready for the race.
That that which is lame be not put out of joint, but rather be healed. That which is lame would, if they continued in their desponding state, go from worse to worse and be put entirely out of joint,—far rather let it be healed. As they lifted up the hands and knees, and roused themselves to enter the straight path, the lame would be healed,—the courage of faith would give new strength,—faith in Jesus would give perfect soundness. Yes, to faith in Jesus the blessing still comes as to the man of old: Immediately his feet and his ancle bones received strength. And he, leaping up, stood, and began to walk; and he entered into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
But rather be healed. Is there anyone among my readers who feels that his life is not what it should be, whom the cares and troubles of this life have hindered, and who feels half hopeless as to the possibility of running the race as Jesus the Leader would have—let him learn from this word what he needs. Let him take courage and rouse himself. Lift up the feeble hands and knees, and make straight paths; turn at once boldly to the course, the way Jesus has marked. Yield, surrender, consecrate yourself to be His wholly and for ever. This is the first step. And then, as in the name of Jesus, in the faith of all God has spoken in His Son in this blessed Epistle of a complete salvation and a perfect Saviour, you rise and step on to the course, you too will know what healing is. Leaping and praising God, you too can enter into the temple, the Holiest of All, to praise your God, and abide with Him, your mighty Keeper. Desponding Christian! there is healing—choose it, take it. Looking to Jesus, rise, and run the race.
1. Yet afterward. The great word that hope is ever using, as lt points to what is still hidden, but surely coming. The section of Patience of Hope began with patience, and ends here with this note of abounding hopefulness—Yet afterward.
2. The state of absolute resignation to the will of God, and of a naked faith in His infinite love, is the highest perfection of which the soul is capable. Seek for this with the simplicity of a little child, judging everythlng by the heavenly standard of value, as it helps to bring us nearer to God.
3. Be healed. Let all who complain of hands that hang down and palsied knees, of limbs that are lame or out of joint, hear the voice of Jesus: l say unto thee, Arise, and walk.