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Title: God's Plan with Men
Author: Martin, T. T. (Thomas Theodore), 1862-1939
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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GOD'S PLAN WITH MEN

by

T. T. MARTIN, Evangelist

    "For every sentence, clause and word,
    That's not inlaid with thee, my Lord,
    Forgive me, God! and blot each line
    Out of my book that is not thine.
    But if, 'mongst all, thou find'st here one
    Worthy thy benediction,
    That one of all the rest shall be
    The glory of my work and me."



New York Chicago Toronto
Fleming H. Revell Company
London and Edinburgh

Copyright, 1912, by
Fleming H. Revell Company

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 17 N. Wabash Ave.
Toronto: 25 Richmond St., W.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street



PREFACE


Not new truths, but old truths properly emphasized, is one of the
great needs of our times and of all times. The object of this book is
not to start something new, but to specially emphasize some old truths
and their relations to each other. The aim of the book is to help two
classes: those who are seeking to be saved, and those who are already
saved; the one, by showing simply and plainly God's way of salvation;
the other, by showing simply God's way of dealing with men after they
are saved. The author hopes, moreover, that the book may be of some
special help to honest sceptics. For this purpose, the Introduction is
addressed to them; and the hope is cherished that Chapter I will aid
in disarming prejudice against God and the Bible; for while the
Bible's teaching of degrees of punishment in Hell does not detract
from the horrors of future punishment, but rather adds thereto, it
effectually does away with the charge of the injustice of future
punishment.

The enquirer and young convert may omit the parts marked "For Further
Study" at the close of each chapter and not lose connection. These are
added for Bible students who wish to go further into the subject
treated.

And now, the author lays the book at the Master's feet and prays His
blessings upon it, that it may be a blessing to those who read it.

T. T. Martin.

Blue Mountain, Miss.



CONTENTS


   I. Sin and Its Punishment--God's Justice--Degrees In Hell      17

  II. Sins Not Excused, nor the Penalty Ever Remitted Without
      Redemption                                                  32

 III. Jesus the Christ as Sin-bearer--God's Justice and Love      38

  IV. The New Relation--The New Motive                            60

   V. The Sins of God's Children--Forgiveness--Chastisements      86

  VI. Rewards--Degrees in Heaven                                 101

 VII. How to be Saved--Repentance and Faith                      125

VIII. The Meaning of "Believe On" or "Believe In" Christ         135

  IX. Eternal Life the Present Possession of the Believer        158

   X. Development of Character in the Redeemed                   175



INTRODUCTION

     "Come now and let us _reason together_, saith the Lord."--Isaiah.

     "If any man willeth to do his will, _he shall know_ of the
     teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from my
     self."--Jesus.

     "And ye shall seek me and find me _when ye shall search for me with
     all your heart_."--Jeremiah.

     "Then _shall we know_ if we follow on to know the Lord."--Hosea.


This work is not written for sceptics; yet while preparing to write
for the benefit of others than sceptics, the author's heart has gone
out toward that large class of his fellow-men who are sceptical; who,
from different causes, have been led to doubt or deny the Bible's
being a revelation from God; and he has yearned to say something that
would at least arouse the attention of this class sufficiently to
cause them to give an earnest investigation, or re-investigation, to
the question. The _bare possibilities_ that there is a Hell and a
Heaven, that the soul can never cease to exist, and that Jesus is the
real Saviour, are enough to cause every doubting one to give the most
earnest consideration to any evidence bearing on these questions, and
to undertake the most careful investigation of anything that promises
to lead to certainty. It will be admitted by every honest disbeliever
that no writer has ever made it _certain_ that there is no future
existence; that there is no Heaven; that there is no Hell; that Jesus
was not the Saviour. The most that such writers have been able to
produce is doubts. If, now, there is _the possibility_ of reaching
_certainty_ on the other side, surely the reader should be willing
and anxious to undertake a calm, searching examination, or
re-examination, of the question. If there is no Heaven or Hell, no
future existence, no one will ever find it out, before or after death;
and there would be but little, if anything, gained if one could find
it out. But if there is a Heaven and a Hell, and Jesus is the Saviour,
then there is everything to be gained by finding it out and everything
to be lost by neglecting to find it out. So important are the issues
at stake that you, reader, should be willing to take years, if need
be, to make a thorough investigation of the matter; you should be
willing to read and study many books, and there are many that would
help you; but I wish to urge you to read _two books only_, before
reading this book. Surely your eternal destiny and the destinies of
those over whom you have an influence (for "none of us liveth to
himself") are enough to cause you to give earnest attention to the
reading of three small books. The bare possibility that the reading of
the three books may lead to your making sure of Heaven as your eternal
home, is enough to prompt you to read them and to read them most
carefully and prayerfully. The first is "The Wonders of Prophecy," by
John Urquhart. The second is "The Philosophy of the Plan of
Salvation," by J. B. Walker (American Edition). Having read these two
books prayerfully and carefully, then give this book a careful
reading.

But let the reader consider God's plan for investigating. It is often
said by a certain class of sceptics that the Bible is against honest
investigation, that it shuts off the use of one's reason. Let the
word of God speak for itself, "Come now and let us _reason_ together,
saith the Lord."--Is. 1:18. The trouble with many sceptics is that
they are not willing to "reason _together_," to reason to get with
God, but that they reason _against_ God and to _get away from God_.
Jesus said, "Take heed _how_ ye hear." Watch your heart's attitude
when you hear. The attitude of being against God will warp your
reasoning when you hear. God's promise is plain to the earnest, honest
seeker after God. "And ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall
search for me _with all your heart_."--Jer. 29:13. One who is
half-hearted, indifferent, prejudiced against God or against truth,
has no right to expect to find God or to find truth. But the promise
is positive that the one who seeks with all the heart shall find. Let
the reader put God to the test. How can an earnest, honest man refuse
to make an earnest, honest investigation?

It was against those who would not make such an investigation that
Jesus spoke, Matt. 12:42, "The queen of the south shall rise up in the
judgement with this generation and shall condemn it: for she came from
the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold a
greater than Solomon is here." The heathen woman who went to so much
trouble and expense, and took so much time to make a thorough, honest
investigation for the truth, will condemn those who do not make an
earnest persevering investigation; "And behold a greater than Solomon
is here," with His promise, "If any man willeth to do his will _he
shall know_."

Reader, will you carelessly refuse to take the time and to go to the
trouble and expense of getting and reading earnestly _two books_ that
_may_ lead you to the truth? Oh, reader, outstrip the heathen queen in
search of light. Give your life-time, if need be, to an earnest
investigation of this matter. Picture two men, one giving his
life-time to earnest, honest, searching for the truth concerning sin
and salvation through Christ; the other, from indifference, or pride,
or prejudice, or love of the world, or secret sin, never making an
earnest, honest investigation; the one dying and going to Heaven; the
other dying and going to Hell. Which shall it be in your case, reader?
There is absolutely no uncertainty as to the result _if only_ you will
be honest, and earnest and persevering in your search for the truth.
Listen to Jesus: John 7:17, "If any man _willeth_ to do his will, he
_shall know_ of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak
from myself." Whether you, reader, are ignorant or learned cuts
absolutely no figure in this case. Jesus throws the assurance open to
_any man_. The one condition is if he "_willeth to do his will_." No
man wills to do God's will who will not go to the extreme of earnest,
honest, prayerful investigation. If you do, then the veracity, the
very character, of Jesus is at stake. Consider, then, reader, the
awful responsibility that rests upon you, if you do not give attention
to a thorough, earnest, honest, prayerful investigation for the truth.

Another promise of equal certainty comes from the Old Testament: Hosea
6:3, "Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord." Many make
a slight search and cease. The promise is not to them, but to those
who persevere. If we use the light as we receive it, and follow it up,
_we shall know_. Again certainty is promised. Does not God, because He
is God, deserve such earnest consideration from you, reader? Have you
any right to expect anything from Him if you approach Him in a
half-hearted, indifferent way?

The following cases in point may encourage the reader: Two learned men
decided to prove that the Bible was not from God, and that Jesus
Christ was not the Saviour; but they were in earnest and they were
honest. They had vast libraries at their service. They gave months to
investigation. They were both convinced and accepted the Saviour and
wrote their books in defence of the Bible, instead of against it.

Second, one of the greatest scholars of Europe, probably the greatest,
stated in a public lecture in America, that, of the thirty leading
sceptics of the nineteenth century, men who had written brilliant
books in their young manhood against the Bible, he knew twenty-eight
in their old age, and that every one of the twenty-eight, after mature
investigation, had accepted the Lord Jesus as Saviour.

Again, in one of the prominent smaller cities of America, a club of
sceptics, leading business and professional men, had held weekly
meetings for many years. They challenged any one to meet one of their
widely known lecturers in a public debate on Christianity and
Infidelity. A preacher accepted the challenge. During the debate some
of the sceptics became Christians. The president of the debate, a
sceptic, is now an earnest follower of the Lord Jesus, having been
convinced and having accepted Him as Saviour. The debate was held
years ago. So convincing, so overwhelming, was the evidence produced
by the defender of Christianity, that the club of sceptics has never
held a meeting since the debate.

Similar facts could be produced indefinitely, but these three are
sufficient to show the most discouraged, the most hopeless sceptical
reader, that there is at least a possibility of his yet finding the
truth. Is not a bare possibility, where there are so tremendously
important eternal issues at stake, sufficient to cause him to at once
begin a thorough, prayerful, honest investigation?

A reflection before closing the Introduction: one hundred years from
now, and you, reader, will not be among the living. Where will you be?
God has given you a will and the power of choice. Will you will, will
you choose, to make an honest, persistent investigation? Tremendous
consequences turn on your decision,--your own future destiny, the
destinies of others over whom you have an influence. Do not dally with
delay. Begin now an honest, earnest, painstaking, prayerful
investigation. Get and read the two books suggested, and then finish
reading this book. If this course does not settle your difficulties,
read on, study on, pray on, and God's promise is sure, that you shall
find, that you "shall know"!

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_: A brief list is here given of books that will be
helpful to sceptical readers: "Why Is Christianity True?" by E. Y.
Mullins. (One of the most learned Presbyterian theological professors
in America, asked to give the names of six of the best books to
convince sceptics, replied, "I shall not do it; I shall give
one,--'Why Is Christianity True?' by President Mullins of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary; that is sufficient"); "The Fact of
Christ," by Simpson; "The Meaning and Message of the Cross," by H. C.
Mabie; "The Resurrection of Our Lord," by W. Milligan; "Many
Infallible Proofs," by A. T. Pierson; "The Cause and Cure of
Infidelity," by Nelson; "The Word and Works of God," by Bailey; "The
Character of Jesus," by Bushnell; "Hours with a Sceptic," by Faunce;
"The Miracles of Unbelief," by Ballard; "Creation," by Arnold Guyot;
"The Collapse of Evolution," by Townsend; "The Problem of the Old
Testament," by James Orr; "Did Jesus Rise?" by J. H. Brookes; "Reasons
for Faith in Christianity," by Leavitt; "The Gospel of John;" "The
Young Professor," by E. B. Hatcher; "The Resurrection of Jesus," by
James Orr.



I

SIN AND ITS PUNISHMENT--GOD'S JUSTICE--DEGREES IN HELL

     "All have _sinned_."--Rom. 3:23.

     "Every transgression and disobedience received a _just_ recompense
     of reward."--Heb. 2:2.

     "A _just_ God."--Is. 45:21.

     "It shall be _more tolerable_ for the land of Sodom in the day of
     judgement, than for thee."--Matt. 11:24.


Reader, what you and I need to know concerning God's plan with the
sinner, the lost, is not what some people think, nor what some teach,
nor what some desire; but what God teaches. God is _just_. Fasten that
in your mind; never lose sight of it. Over and over again is this fact
impressed in the Scriptures. Yet lurking in the minds of multitudes is
a vague suspicion or dread that God will be unjust in sending some to
Hell, and that He will be unjust in the way He will punish. Many who
are thus disturbed lose sight of the fact that God is just; that
whatever God does in regard to the lost, one thing is certain,--_He
will do no injustice_. With my loved ones, with your loved ones, with
the most obscure, worthless creature, with the most refined, delicate
nature, with the most cruel, debased creature that ever lived, God
will do no wrong. Many have turned away to infidelity, not on account
of the Bible's complete teaching as to future punishment, but because
they have taken some one passage of Scripture and warped it or gotten
from it a distorted idea of the Bible's teachings as to Hell; or they
have taken some preacher's views as to the Bible's teachings on the
subject. For example, here is a boy fifteen years of age, whose mother
died when he was an infant, whose father is a drunkard and gambler and
infidel, who has given the boy but little moral training; and here is
a man seventy years of age who had a noble father and mother, who gave
their boy every advantage, the best of training, under the best of
influences; yet he when a boy turned away from all these influences
and spent his life in sin and debauchery, and in leading others into
sin. These two, the unfortunate boy and the old hardened sinner, die.
With many the idea is that God consigns them to a common punishment in
Hell. But, reader, remember that _God is just_; and if that is
justice, what would injustice be? They were different in light and in
opportunity and in sins, and yet punished alike? _The Bible does not
teach it._

But let us go back and consider this question of sin. "All have
sinned." That includes you, reader. "To him that knoweth to do good
and doeth it not, to him it is sin."--James 4:17. All have done this,
have failed to live up to the light they have had; hence, "All have
sinned." Two questions arise: first, ought sin to be punished? Second,
ought all sin to be punished, or only the coarser, grosser, more
offensive sins? As to the first, ought sin to be punished? There is a
strong drift toward the teaching that sin ought to be punished only
for the purpose of reforming the sinner. Intelligent men endorse this
teaching without realizing that it is spiritual anarchy and absolutely
horrible and detestable. A woman and four little children are
murdered in cold blood by three robbers for the purpose of robbing the
home. When the three are arrested, the first is found to be thoroughly
penitent, thoroughly reformed, broken-hearted, over his horrible
crime. If sin should be punished only to reform the sinner, this man
should not be punished at all, though he murdered five people in cold
blood; for he is already reformed. The second is such a hardened
criminal that he never can be reformed, and the more he is punished
the more hardened he will become. Then if sin is punished only to
reform the sinner, he should not be punished at all, though guilty of
the murder of five people in cold blood. The third is tender-hearted
and easily influenced, and by sending him to prison for thirty days,
he will be thoroughly reformed, though guilty of five cold-blooded
murders. On this principle of punishing sin only to reform the sinner,
all a sinner would have to do to make sure of Heaven would be to
become such a hardened sinner that he could never be reformed, and
then he would go to Heaven without any punishment at all.

People need to call a halt and realize that sin ought to be punished
because it is right to punish it, because it is just. But this means
the punishment of all sins, the sins of the refined as surely as the
sins of the debased, the smaller sins as surely as the greater sins.
Hence the teaching of God's word, Rom. 1:18, "The wrath of God[1] is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of
men," But we need to keep in mind that it is discriminating wrath, and
God's word makes this plain, Heb. 2:2, "Every transgression and
disobedience received a _just recompense of reward_." "A just
God."--Is. 45:21.

    [1] Many sneer at a "God of wrath" and say they believe in a "God of
    all love." God is love, but He is just as surely a God of wrath; and
    were He not a God of wrath, He would not be God, but a fiend. He who
    loves purity and chastity and has no wrath against impurity and
    unchastity, but loves them, too, is a moral leper. He who loves the
    defence of the poor and the helpless, but has no wrath against the
    cold-blooded murderer, the one crushing the defenceless, but loves
    him, too, is a fiend. Character, from God to Devil, can only be
    told by what one loves and what one hates.

Notice how clearly the Saviour teaches this same great truth, Matt.
11:20-24, "Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his
mighty works were done, because they repented not. Woe unto thee,
Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been
done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have
repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, _It
shall be more tolerable_ for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgement
than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt
be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done
in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I say unto you that _it shall be more tolerable_ for the land of
Sodom in the day of judgement, than for thee." Notice, "more
tolerable," difference in punishment.

The same teaching Jesus gives in Mark 12:40. "These shall receive
_greater condemnation_" Jesus revealed to Pilate God's judgment of a
difference in sin, John 19:11, "He that delivered me unto thee hath
the _greater sin_."

And Paul teaches the same, Gal. 6:7, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that
shall he also reap," the reaping according to the sowing.

Let the reader notice the clear teaching: the punishment of sin will
be graded, first, according to light and opportunity. A writer, a
great scientist, held that heredity and environment largely determine
one's destiny. That is what Jesus taught. The people of Sodom were
more wicked than those of Capernaum; but heredity and environment were
against them. The people of Capernaum had not sinned so terribly as
the people of Sodom, but they had more light and opportunity; they had
better heredity, better environment; Jesus says that therefore the
people of Capernaum shall be punished more severely than the people of
Sodom. And that is right; that is just.

Those to whom Jesus spoke were born under better conditions than those
of Sodom; they grew up under more favorable surroundings; hence, they
were more responsible; hence, they are to receive greater punishment
at the judgment. Apply to your own case, reader: for every added ray
of light, for every added opportunity, there will be that much added
punishment for your sins. And that is just; that is right. The
opportunities that wealth brings, the light that education and culture
bring, will but add to the punishment at the judgment. The most highly
educated, the most refined, the most wealthy, those who have lived
under the most favorable influences, will suffer most at the judgment.

But punishment will be further graded by the number of the
sins,--"_Every_ transgression received a just recompense." Hence, the
more one sins, the greater the punishment. If one knew that he was
going to Hell, corrupt human nature would say, "Sin and enjoy while
you live," but reason and Scripture would say, "Stop! add no more to
the degree of Hell."

Punishment for sin will be further graded by the character of the sin.
"He that betrayed me to thee hath the greater sin." While a small sin
is just as surely sin as a great sin, yet God recognizes degrees in
sin, and as a consequence, there are degrees in the punishment of sin.
Following from degrees in the punishment of sin comes inevitably the
fact that no wrong will be done any one at the judgment; that no one
will be treated wrong in Hell. _He who fears only injustice and wrong,
has nothing to fear from the judgment or in Hell._

Two reflections for the reader:--If you have heretofore rebelled
against the idea of future punishment, what can you say when now you
see that God will make all just allowance for surroundings and
conditions, and will take into consideration the number and kinds of
sins? God has a right to have laws; His laws are right; a law without
a penalty amounts to no law; the penalty, God assures us, will be
absolutely just. _What can you say when you stand before such a judge
and receive such a sentence?_

The other reflection for the reader: Let not this teaching of the
Bible lead you into thinking that Hell, then, will not be so terrible
after all, and that you need not fear it. Instead of letting it allay
all dread of the future, it is enough to make the blood run cold
through your veins; for those who will have the most terrible
suffering will be the most enlightened, the most cultured.

Another thought: not some far distant, cold, harsh, unsympathetic God
will be the judge at the Judgment Day, but the Lord Jesus, "touched
with the feeling of our infirmities," will be the one who will judge
you and condemn you and give you your just degree of punishment in
Hell. Hear Him: John 5:22, "Neither doth the Father judge any man, but
he hath given all judgement to the Son." Peter reveals the same fact,
Acts 10:42, "He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify
that this is he who hath been ordained of God to be the judge of
living and dead." Remember, that he whom the world praises as so good,
so just, so discriminating, so loving, so tender, will be the judge at
the Great Day, who will pronounce each sentence. Oh, reader, the very
fact that the Lord Jesus will be the judge is absolute proof that no
one will be treated wrong, that no one will be punished unjustly in
Hell; and the bare possibility that He may pronounce your eternal doom
is enough to cause you to turn to-day. "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will
ye die?"

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_: The fear of Abraham is the fear of the human
race, Gen. 18:25, "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" As
soon as God revealed to Abraham that he was going to deal with Sodom
and Gomorrah because of their sin, Abraham at once suspects that God
may do wrong in punishing sin. It has been so down the ages, that we
suspect that God will do wrong in punishing sin. Great denominations
have been formed to keep God from doing wrong in punishing sin. Men
have proven untrue to their denominations and turned traitors to God's
word, because they have, Abraham-like, suspected God of wrongdoing in
the punishment of sin. It is not that the proof is not ample that the
Bible is God's word, _but the hatred of the human heart for the Bible
teaching about Hell_, that has brought in so much of modern religious
vagaries and New Theology and Higher Criticism. As Abraham presses his
plea for God to do right, God by degrees reveals Himself as a God who
will do right. It must have been a marvellous revelation to Abraham.
And so God's plan for the punishment of sin will be to the honest
seeker for truth when he perceives the real teaching of God's word. As
God's doing right with Sodom and Gomorrah went far beyond where
Abraham's sense of right halted; so God's doing right with sinners in
Hell will go far beyond what we would ask.

But there are other objectors to Hell. They began by pressing the
teaching of God's mercy without any reference to His justice; and in
order to get rid of the teaching as to Hell, which they thought
unjust, they rejected the Scriptures as God's word; and finally ended
in rejecting the teaching that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor.
15:3); that He "his own self bare our sins in his own body upon the
tree" (1 Peter 2:24). As a result of their fighting against God's
punishing sin, they have become so blinded as to right principle, and
so morally corrupt, as to be supported in pulpits, college
professorships and seminary professorships by the hard-earned money of
earnest believers in God's word, while they are undermining the faith
of the children of their supporters.

The Heaven that such men teach is the Hell of the Bible. Rejecting
complete redemption through Christ dying for our sins as our
substitute, they teach salvation by character, or that one's destiny
beyond the grave will be according to the way he has lived here. That
is their Heaven, but that is the Bible's Hell, exactly, absolutely.
Infidelity, Judaism, Christian Science, Universalism, Unitarianism,
Higher Criticism, New Theology and all who reject Christ dying for our
sins, as our substitute, as our complete Redeemer, because of their
hatred of God's punishing sinners in Hell, have made their Heaven to
be the result of their life here on earth; and as a consequence, have
made their Heaven the Bible's Hell; for Hell will be exactly the
result of the life here on earth; and, as a result, they have in
theory, and, alas! will have in fact, the Bible's Hell which they
label Heaven, without any real Heaven at all. As an example, consider
Mr. R. G. Ingersoll's words, "I believe in the gospel of justice, that
we must reap what we sow (Bible's Hell without any Heaven). I do not
believe in forgiveness (Bible's Hell without any Heaven). If I rob
Smith and God forgives me, how does that help Smith? If I cover some
poor girl with the leprosy of some imputed crime and she withers away
like a blighted flower and afterward I get forgiveness, how does that
help her? If there is another world, we have got to settle (admitting
that we do not settle in this life), and for every crime you commit
here (hence, the more the crimes, the more you must suffer, exactly
the Bible's teaching), you must answer to yourself and to the one you
injure. And if you have ever clothed another as with a garment of
pain, you will never be quite as happy as though you had not done that
thing." "No forgiveness; eternal, inexorable, everlasting justice,
that is what I believe in." Any Christian would be willing to take Mr.
Ingersoll's place, or the place of any one else, in Hell, if God
varies one pang from what Mr. Ingersoll himself calls for. But it is
the Bible's Hell, pure and simple, without any Heaven.

But the objector who rejects the teaching of Hell, and also Christ
dying for our sins as our substitute, may say that he does not agree
with Mr. Ingersoll, as to no forgiveness; that he believes in
forgiveness. To reject Christ's dying for our sins as our substitute,
as our Redeemer from all iniquity, and yet, in order to avoid
believing in Hell, to profess to believe in the forgiveness of sins,
makes one far worse than Mr. Ingersoll, a spiritual anarchist. Mr.
Ingersoll at least believed in law, but to believe in forgiveness,
without substitution, without redemption through Christ, means to down
with law and to become an anarchist in principle. As to the justice of
substitution, the reader is referred to Chapter III.

Concerning the objection to the Bible's teaching of eternal punishment
in Hell, a mistranslation has misled many, and before the correct
translation, as given by the Revised Version, all objections fall to
the ground. The old version of Rev. 22:11 reads, "He that is unjust
let him be unjust still"; but the Revised Version gives what the
Greek says, "He that is unrighteous let him _do unrighteousness
still_!" And that inevitably means eternal punishment. It is God's
last sentence on the sinner. The objector may say that it is horrible
to let men sin beyond the grave, in Hell. Not one particle more
horrible is it than to let them sin in this life and continue in sin
in this life. A reflection for the unsaved reader: what will your
moral character be one thousand years after you die, with no holy
Spirit, no Bible, no Christians, no churches, to restrain you?

Again, this passage, Rev. 22:11 (R. V.), can have no meaning if the
wicked are to be blotted out, cease to exist.

Another objection that is pressed, is that the Bible teaches a Hell of
literal fire, and is therefore wrong. The denominations that reject
the Bible's teachings as to Hell, without exception, try to force on
the Bible language the meaning of literal fire. Yet they do not try to
force on the language of the Bible concerning Hell, that it means
literal worm when it says "to be cast into Hell where their worm dieth
not and the fire is not quenched." They do not try to force the
literal meaning on language when Jesus said, "I am the door"; "I am
the vine"; or the Scriptures state, "That rock was Christ." One thing
is true, that, the language being figurative, the reality must be
terrible.

Men sneer at the thought of becoming Christians from fear of Hell.
Such men are not honest with God, and are simply trying to browbeat
God on the subject of Hell. Proof: the same men will flee to safety
from fear of smallpox, from fear of yellow fever, etc. Shall men be
looked upon as sensible when they flee to safety for their bodies, and
be scorned for fleeing to safety for their souls?

People are ever asking, "Will the heathen be lost without the gospel?"
Let God's word answer, Rom. 2:12, 14, "As many as have sinned without
the law shall also perish without the law"; "For when Gentiles that
have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these not having
the law are the law unto themselves, in that they show the work of the
law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness
therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else
excusing themselves." But the objector says, "Will God condemn a man
when he has no light?" There never lived such a man. Listen to God:
John 1:19, "That was the true light that lighteth every man coming
into the world." Again, Rom. 1:20, "The invisible things of him since
the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through
the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; so
that they are without excuse." But the objection is raised that they
have never heard of Christ, and that it is wrong for people to be
lost, condemned, who never heard of Christ. They are not condemned for
not believing in Christ when they have never heard of Him; they are
condemned for their sins, for doing what, from their light, they knew
was wrong. It is not the lack of the remedy that kills, but the
disease. They have not as much light as others, and their punishment
will be accordingly. The man who dies in his sins in a Christian land
will be punished far, far more than the one who dies a heathen. Their
punishments will be almost as far apart as the east is from the west.

The Scripture, "There is no difference," Rom. 3:22, has often been
pressed to mean that all sinners are alike before God, or will suffer
alike in Hell. By close attention to the passage the reader will see
that the expression "there is no difference" has reference to what
goes before, for it is connected by the word "for," pointing back to
what had just been said, that there is a "righteousness of God through
faith in Jesus Christ unto all that have faith: _for_ there is no
difference," that all that have faith are equally certain of
salvation, "for there is no difference." To join the expression,
"there is no difference," with what follows makes it clearly
contradict our Saviour, who said plainly that there is a
difference,--"He that delivered me unto thee hath the greater
sin,"--there is a difference in sin, says the Saviour.

The teaching of James 2:10, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law
and yet offend in one point is guilty of all," must not be made to
contradict the plain teaching of the Saviour that there is a
difference in sinners, and different degrees in their punishment. The
meaning is that the law is a unit, and that he that offends in one
point has broken the law as a whole. A chain of ten links is as surely
broken when one link is broken as when all ten links are broken.

In accord with this are the words of the great American scholar,
theologian, teacher, preacher, Jno. A. Broadus: "Especially notice
Luke 12:47 f. (R. V.), 'And that servant which knew his lord's will,
and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten
with many stripes; but he that knew not, and did things worthy of
stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.' This teaching has been in
many cases grievously overlooked. Taking images literally, men have
found that the 'Gehenna of fire' (Matt. 5:22) will be the same place
and the same degree of punishment for all. But the above passage and
many others show that there will be differences. The degrees of
punishment must be as remote as the east is from the west. All
inherited proclivities, 'taints of blood,' all differences of
environment, every privilege and every disadvantage, will be taken
into account. It is the Divine Judge that will apportion punishment,
with perfect knowledge and perfect justice and perfect goodness. This
great fact, that there will be _degrees_ in future punishment--as well
as future rewards--ought to be more prominent in religious
instruction. It gives some relief in contemplating the awful fate of
those who perish. It might save many from going away into
Universalism; and others from dreaming of a 'second probation' in
eternity (comp. on 12:32); and yet others from unjustly assailing and
rejecting, to their own ruin, the gospel of salvation."

On the other hand, many a sermon on Hell (and there are too few on the
subject), it could possibly be said the average sermon on the subject,
is a slander on a just and holy God. The sermon is drawn largely from
Dante's Inferno or the distorted imagination of the preacher, with no
reference to the fact that God will punish sinners differently
according to their light and their sins, but only justly.

The trouble is not with the Bible teaching as to Hell, but with
modern inadequate conceptions of the evil and guilt of sin, and with
many, the almost lost sense of justice, and of "stern moral
indignation against wrong." (Broadus.)



II

SINS NOT EXCUSED, NOR THE PENALTY EVER REMITTED WITHOUT REDEMPTION

     "Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no
     wise pass away from the law."--Jesus.

     "Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission."--Heb. 9:22.

     "For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to
     you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the
     blood that maketh atonement."--Lev. 17:11.

     "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take
     away sins."--Heb. 10:4.

     "Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of
     reward."--Heb. 2:2.


When one faces the question of his sins, and realizes that they
deserve just punishment, one of the first impulses is to pray and beg
of God to be let off, to be forgiven; and, alas! much of the religious
instruction to the sinner is to the same effect. Jesus to Nicodemus
gave no such instruction (John 3:14-16); Philip to the Eunuch gave no
such instruction (Acts 8:29-39); Paul and Silas to the jailer gave no
such instruction (Acts 16:30, 31); Peter to the household of Cornelius
gave no such instruction (Acts 10:42, 43); the gospel of John, the one
book specially given to lead a sinner to be saved (John 20:30, 31),
gives no such instruction.

But the objection is at once brought up that in the Lord's Prayer we
are taught to pray, "Forgive us our sins." That prayer begins "Our
Father," and God is not the Father of sinners ("Ye are all the
children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."--Gal. 3:26); and the
prayer was given by the Saviour to disciples (Luke 11:1, 2), and not
to sinners.

But the objection is further raised that the Bible says, "If we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins."
That is from the first epistle of John, and was not written to
sinners, but to believers. John says (1 John 5:13), "These things have
I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even
_unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God_." (R. V.) God
can and does forgive the believer on confession, because the believer
is a child of God. With the sinner it is a question of law, of
justice, of right. Hence, the Lord Jesus said, "Till heaven and earth
pass away, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law"
(Matt. 5:18). "Every transgression and disobedience received _a just
recompense of reward_" (Heb. 2:2); but there is no "_just recompense
of reward_" at all, if God lets the sinner off from the just penalty
of his sins because he prays and begs and cries to be let off, or
because priests or preachers pray and beg for him to be let off. "It
is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin"
(Heb. 10:4), because there is no "just recompense of reward" in such
cases. Much less can the sins be taken away when there is no
recompense of reward at all in the case, but simply the praying and
begging of the sinner to be forgiven, to be let off, and the praying
and begging of some priest or preacher that the sinner be forgiven,
let off. God has given a plain warning, "Apart from shedding of blood
there is no remission."--Heb. 9:22. Among what are called evangelical
denominations it would be looked upon as worse than folly for a Jew,
a Unitarian or a Universalist, who had asked God to forgive his sins,
or had confessed the sins, to claim that therefore he was forgiven and
was sure to go to Heaven. But it is just as fatal a delusion among
others as among Jews, Unitarians and Universalists. Every
transgression must have "_a just recompense of reward_," however sorry
the sinner may be, however much he may pray and beg to be forgiven,
let off; however much the priest or preacher or friends may pray for
him to be forgiven, to be let off. A man who has violated the state
law falls on his knees before the judge, confesses his sin and begs
the judge to forgive him, to let him off; and he calls men from the
audience to come and help him beg. The judge replies, "If I should
yield to these petitions I would be a perjurer; I would trample on
law. Every transgression must receive a just recompense of reward."
Would that all could realize that every prayer from sinner, priest, or
preacher, for a sinner to be forgiven, let off, is a prayer to God to
become a perjurer. If sinners could realize that, after all their
kneeling every night and confessing their sins, and praying to be
forgiven, to be let off, every sin ever committed is still there, and
that "Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission," they would
then realize their real need of a Saviour, a Redeemer.

One question for the reader: If God forgives, lets a sinner off,
simply because he is sorry and cries and prays and begs to be let off,
or because the priest or preacher cries, prays and begs for him to be
forgiven, to be let off, _why did Jesus die_?

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_: The word translated forgiveness in the Bible
means simply to send away, without reference to how the sin is sent
away; but God's word states plainly that sins are forgiven, sent away,
by Christ bearing them. "Behold the lamb of God that taketh away the
sin of the world."--John 1:29. "Who his own self bare our sins in his
own body on the tree."--1 Peter 2:24; "Christ died for our sins."--1
Cor. 15:3. Concerning the justice of Christ dying for our sins, see
the next chapter.

The prayer of the publican in the old version, "God be merciful to me
the sinner," Luke 18:13, has misled many. If that was really the
prayer of the publican, how _could_ the Saviour have said, "This man
went down to his house _justified_"? The margin of the Revised Version
gives what the Greek says, "Be thou propitiated." It is the same Greek
word that in Heb. 2:17 is translated, "to make reconciliation for the
sins of the people." President Strong of Rochester Theological
Seminary gives the exact meaning of it when he renders it, "Be thou
propitiated to me the sinner by the sacrifice whose smoke was then
ascending in the presence of the publican while he prayed." And Jesus
shows what the publican said when He added, "This man went down to his
house _justified_."

It is said that a young man ran away from his widowed mother and was
gone for years. One stormy night sitting near the window sewing, while
the rain was beating against the window pane, she thought she heard a
noise. Looking up she saw the shaggy, bearded face of a ragged tramp
pressed against the window pane, but it faded back into the storm as
she looked up. Faint lines in the face aroused memory. As the needle
was plied the mind was busy. Again a slight noise caused her to look
up, and again the shaggy, bearded face of the tramp faded back into
the storm. This time she knew that she was not mistaken. The shaggy
beard could not hide the lines in the face of her long-lost boy.
Throwing up the window she cried, "Come in, William, oh, come in."
Stepping to where the light fell full in his face, while the tears
coursed down his cheeks, he said, "Mother, I can't come in till my sin
has been put out of the way." There was honor left in the tramp yet.
There ought to be honor enough in every human being not to wish to go
to Heaven, not to try to go to Heaven, at the expense of God's
justice. Jesus said, John 10:1, 7, "He that entereth not by the door
into the fold of the sheep, but climbeth up some other way, the same
is a thief and a robber." "Verily, verily I say unto you, I am the
door." Jesus says, then, that those who confess their sins, and pray
for forgiveness and claim it, and yet reject Him as the door, are
thieves and robbers. God does forgive the redeemed, for they are His
children (Gal. 4:4-7), on confession (1 John 1:9); but for those who
are under the law, His word is plain, "Apart from shedding of blood
there is no remission."--Heb. 9:22.

God's word states plainly how our sins are put away; not by, or
because of, the praying and weeping and confession of the sinner, nor
the praying and weeping and interceding of others for the sinner, for
God to forgive him; "but now once in the end of the world hath he
appeared to put away sin by the _sacrifice of himself_."--Heb. 9:26.
Concerning the justice of putting away sin in this way, see next
chapter. On this point Walker well says, "If the holiness of the law
was not maintained, that sense of guilt and danger could not be
produced which is necessary in order that man may have a spiritual
Saviour."--_Walker, in "The Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."_

Again he says, "When He reveals His perfect law, that law cannot, from
the nature of its author, allow the commission of a single
sin."--_Walker, in "The Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."_

Further, he says, "God ought not to allow one sin; if He did, the law
would not be holy, nor adapted to make men holy."--_Walker, in "The
Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."_

Equally to the point are the words of James Denny, "It is an immediate
inference, then, from all that we have seen in the New Testament, that
where there is no atonement there is no gospel. To preach the love of
God out of relation to the death of Christ, or to preach the love of
God in the death of Christ, but without being able to relate it to
sin, or to preach that forgiveness of sins as the free gift of God's
love while the death of Christ has no special significance assigned to
it, is not, if the New Testament is the rule and standard of
Christianity, to preach the gospel at all."--_Denny, in "The Death of
Christ."_



III

JESUS THE CHRIST AS SIN-BEARER--GOD'S JUSTICE AND LOVE

     "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that
     whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal
     life."--John 3:16.

     "That he might himself be just and the justifier of him that hath
     faith in Jesus."--Rom. 3:26.

     "He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our
     iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with
     his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we
     have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him
     the iniquity of us all."--Is. 53:5, 6.

     "Christ died for our sins."--1 Cor. 15:3.

     "Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins."--Gal. 1:3,
     4.

     "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree."--1
     Peter 2:24.

     "Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the
     unrighteous."--1 Peter 3:18.

     "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
     minister and to give His life a ransom for many."--Matt. 20:28.

     "There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
     who gave himself a ransom for all."--1 Tim. 2:5, 6.

     "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a
     curse for us."--Gal. 3:13.

     "Our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might
     redeem us from all iniquity."--Titus 2:13, 14.

     "By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the
     body of Jesus Christ once for all."--Heb. 10:10.

     "For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are
     sanctified."--Heb. 10:14.

     "Nor yet by the blood of goats and bulls, but through his own blood
     entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained
     eternal redemption."--Heb. 9:12.

     "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many
     unto the remission of sins."--Matt. 26:28.

     "And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book
     and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and didst
     purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe and tongue and
     people and nation."--Rev. 5:9.

     "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and
     sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."--1 John 4:10.

     "The Son of God who loved me, and gave himself up for me."--Gal.
     2:20.


Reader, God's justice and love are both shown in the Saviour dying for
our sins. Substitution is the _only way_ of salvation when justice and
love are both considered. It was God's justice that made it necessary
for Christ to die for our sins. "Even so _must_ the Son of man be
lifted up,"--John 3:14;--"that he might himself be _just_ and the
_justifier_ of him that hath faith in Jesus."--Rom. 3:26. And it was
God's love that let Him die for our sins, "for God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten Son."--John 3:16. What you, reader,
ought to desire to know, is simply God's way. The Scriptures at the
beginning of the chapter, if language can make anything plain, show
clearly that the sinner's only escape from the just punishment of his
sins lies in Jesus dying in his place to set him free from the just
penalty due his sins; and they make it plain that this settles the
_full_ penalty for _all sins_.

But the objection is raised and pressed with all the force of human
ingenuity and scholarship, backed by the prestige of some occupying
the highest positions in literary and theological institutions, that
it is morally wrong for the innocent to suffer the penalty of the
guilty. With a zeal deserving a better cause, many who stand high as
professed Christians and teachers join hands with the rankest, most
blatant infidels, and press this, to them, unanswerable objection to
Christ dying for our sins as our substitute. This friendship between
infidelity and professed Christian teachers reminds one of another
occasion when our Saviour was set at naught and two became friends
with each other that very day (Luke 23:11, 12). Let us face this
objection honestly and earnestly, for our eternal destiny turns on
this one point. _Is it morally wrong for the innocent to bear the sins
of the guilty?_ In the first place it is _not_ morally wrong, because
God would not do morally wrong, and God _did_ let the innocent suffer
the penalty of the guilty. The language of Scripture teaching that
Jesus suffered the penalty of our sins for us is plain and simple, and
all efforts to take from the Scripture language its simple, plain,
natural meaning are pitiable, and if contempt were ever justifiable,
would deserve the contempt of all honest men. Let the reader turn back
and read the Scriptures at the head of this chapter and decide for
himself as to their obvious, intended meaning.

Now, because God's word tells us plainly that God gave His only
begotten Son, that He might be just, and thus the justifier of him who
believes in Jesus, that Christ died for our sins, that He gave Himself
for our sins, the just for the unjust,--it is right for the innocent
to suffer the penalty of the guilty. To any honest, candid man, which
is the correct way to reason? This thing is wrong; God did this thing;
therefore, God did wrong? or, God does right; God did let Christ, the
innocent, suffer and die for our sins, to _redeem_ from _all
iniquity_; therefore it is right for the innocent to suffer the
penalty of the guilty?

Nor is Christ suffering as our substitute the Great Exception, as some
timid ones have granted. It is in line with _God's Plan with Men_; it
is in line with the best and noblest there is in man; and the opposite
teaching, that it is wrong to let the innocent bear the penalty of the
guilty, is not only wrong, but horrible and the extreme of
heartlessness. Two men passing along the street at night hear groaning
in the gutter; striking a match, they see two men lying in the gutter
with their faces all gashed and bleeding. In a drunken street fight
they have almost killed each other. Who did the sinning? Those two men
lying in the gutter; they deserve to suffer the penalty of their
sinning. But these other two men join hands, pay for a physician, a
nurse and the hospital bill. In principle that is the innocent paying
the penalty of the guilty. To say that this is wrong would mean to
condemn the community to pass by day after day and see those ghastly,
festering wounds, those parched lips and bloodshot eyes, and to listen
to those dying groans. And yet in principle that is exactly what those
demand for this sinful, sin-injured human race, when they say that it
is morally wrong for Jesus the Saviour to suffer the penalty of our
sins. A son becomes a drunkard; his drunkenness and debauchery utterly
wreck his health. Some night the father finds his drunken son down in
the street, a helpless invalid. The son did the sinning; he deserves
to suffer the penalty of his sins; but the father takes him to his
home and cares for him and supports him. In principle that is the
innocent bearing the penalty of the guilty. To say that this is
morally wrong would be to condemn that father to pass by day after day
and see his son suffering the just consequences of his sin, to see him
slowly starving to death, to see him gasping in death, and not be
allowed to come to the rescue. Yet when men object to Christ bearing
the penalty of the sinner's sins they are, in principle, taking that
stand; for in principle Jesus, dying for our sins, did what the father
did with the son. A prominent woman in America was dying from lack of
blood; back of it somewhere was violation of some law of God, some
law of health. Her noble husband had the surgeon join their arteries,
and every beat of his noble heart drove his well blood into the body
of his dying wife, and he saved her life. These objectors praise that
act; they see nothing morally wrong in it. Yet when Jesus, in
principle, did the same thing for sinners in order to save them, these
same men, with a haughty, scornful tone, say that it is morally wrong
for the innocent to suffer in place of the guilty. "Nay but, O man,
who art thou that repliest against God?"--Rom. 9:20. Had the objectors
said that it was wrong to _force_ the innocent to suffer the penalty
of the guilty, that would have been true, but Jesus was not forced.
Listen to Him, John 10:17, 18, "Therefore doth the Father love me,
because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one taketh it
away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down
and I have power to take it again."

Nor is Christ dying for our sins, as taught by the Scriptures, a
makeshift, but, rather, a real, full _redemption, ransom_. Just as a
captain can honorably, honestly be given as a ransom for a number of
private soldiers in an exchange of prisoners; just as a diamond can
redeem a debt of many dollars; just as one man is allowed to pay
another's debt; just as one man is allowed to pay another's fine in a
courtroom; so our Lord and Saviour "gave himself for us, that he might
_redeem_ us from _all iniquity_." All illustrations of Deity fall
short, but just as a man could ransom all the ants that crawl upon the
earth, were they under moral law and had violated it; just as a man
could, on account of the vast difference in the scale of being, suffer
in his own body all that all the ants upon earth could suffer; so
Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, redeemed us from "all iniquity." It was
not merely the nails driven through His quivering flesh, nor the
physical pangs, but "the Lord hath laid on him _the iniquity_ of us
all." Hence, that awful cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken
me?" He was in the sinner's place, suffering the sinner's penalty for
sin. "He hath made him to be sin for us."--2 Cor. 6:21.

Instead of proudly cavilling and warping and trying to avoid the
simple, plain meaning of God's word, should you not rather, reader,
bow in reverence before such love, realize that it was for you, yes,
_you_, and that through His suffering and in no other way, you may
escape the just punishment of your sins and spend eternity in Heaven?
The world weeps over the story of the noble fireman who gave his life
to rescue a little girl from a burning building, but it coldly scorns
and proudly rejects salvation through the redemption of Jesus the
Christ. Oh, the pride and wickedness of the human heart! Be not you,
reader, of those who sit in the seat of the scornful, but the rather
of those who at the last day will sing, Rev. 5:9, "Worthy art thou to
take the book and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and
didst purchase unto God with thy blood, men of every tribe and tongue
and people and nation."

Let us consider carefully what it really means when we are told that
"Christ died _for our sins_,"--1 Cor. 15:3, that He "gave himself _for
our sins_,"--Gal. 1:4; that "his own self bare our sins in his own
body upon the tree,"--1 Peter 2:24; that "Christ also suffered for
sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous."--1 Peter 3:18. God's
word explains it clearly: "That he might himself be _just_ and the
_justifier_ of him that hath faith in Jesus."--Rom. 3:26. "_That he
might be just._" Notice it carefully, "_That he might be just._" Take
it in its full meaning, "That he might be just." A question: How
_could_ God be _just_ and _justify_ any sinner apart from the fact
that "Christ died for our sins," that "the Lord hath laid on him the
iniquity of us all"? Reader, no man, however learned, will ever answer
that question. He may sneer; he may cavil; he may warp; he may try to
confuse; but he will never come out in the open and answer that
question. He may say that it is morally wrong for the innocent to bear
the penalty of the guilty, but that objection is met and answered
above in this chapter.

Let us face a trilemma; three, and only three plans, were possible for
God with man:--

First, To have been just with man, without any love or mercy; hence,
for every sinner to have suffered the just penalty for his sins,
without any redemption. That would have meant Hell for every
responsible human being, without any Heaven at all.

Second, To have been all mercy and all love and no justice. That would
have meant no moral laws; for why have moral laws, if there would be
no penalty, no justice? That would have meant a premium on crime. That
would have meant the debased, the debauched, the immoral, the drunken,
the fiend, on a level with the chaste, the pure, the upright, the
true. That would have meant unbridled rein to passion and lust and
every other evil inclination, and no penalty following. That would
have meant Hell in trying to get rid of Hell.

Third, There was left but one other possible plan, to be just and at
the same time extend love to the sinners. In the nature of the case,
real redemption, without any makeshift, was the only way this _could_
be done. "Even so _must_ the Son of man be lifted up,"--John 3:14;
"that he himself might be _just_ and the _justifier_ of him that hath
faith in Jesus,"--Rom. 3:26; "God so _loved_ the world that he gave
his only begotten Son,"--John 3:16; "Herein is love, not that we loved
God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be _the propitiation
for our sins_."--1 John 4:10.

This leads to another question: How can God be _just_ and _not_
justify "him that hath faith in Jesus"? Again men may quibble and
warp, and ridicule, but no one will ever answer the question. And the
reason why this question will never be answered leads to another
question:

From how many of his sins is the one "that hath faith in Jesus"
_justified_? We have now gotten to the very centre of the whole
problem of salvation. Let us give it most careful consideration.

In not one of the Scriptures cited at the head of this chapter is
there one word that limits the number of sins for which Christ died,
or from which the believer is justified. That of itself is sufficient
warrant for us to conclude that Christ died for _all_ of the sins of
the believer, that when He "gave himself for our sins" (Gal. 1:4), it
included _all_ of our sins, and that the believer is justified from
_all_ of his sins. One man promises another that he will pay his
debts. That of itself means all of his debts, unless the one making
the promise was simply juggling with words. While this of itself would
be sufficient, God in His word has made it positive and absolute as to
how many of the believer's sins were laid on Christ ("the Lord hath
laid on him the iniquity of us all."--Is. 53:6); for how many of our
sins Christ gave Himself ("Who gave himself for our sins."--Gal. 1:4);
for how many of our sins Christ died (1 Cor. 15:3); from how many of
his sins the believer is _justified_, ("that he might himself be
_just_ and the _justifier_ of him that hath faith in Jesus."--Rom.
3:26). In Lev. 16:21, 22, God gives us a picture, foreshadowing the
Saviour, of laying the sins on the substitute: "And Aaron shall lay
both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him
_all_ the iniquity of the children of Israel, and _all_ their
transgressions, even _all_ their sins; and he shall put them upon the
head of the goat and shall send him away by the hand of a man that is
in readiness into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him
_all_ their iniquities." "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh [or
beareth] away the sins of the world."--John 1:29. _But how many_ of
our sins? Let God's word answer: Titus 2:13, 14, "Our Saviour Jesus
Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might _redeem_ us from _all
iniquity_." Look at it again, reader; grasp its full meaning; let it
be impressed indelibly upon your soul: "Our Saviour Jesus Christ; who
gave himself for us, that he might _redeem_ us from _all_ iniquity."
Then as certainly as the believer is redeemed by Him, he is redeemed
from _all_ iniquity; and as certainly as he is redeemed from all
iniquity, that certainly the believer is going to Heaven, for there is
nothing left that can cause him to be lost. Hence God, through Paul,
has told us "By him every one that believeth is _justified_ from _all_
things."--Acts 13:39.

If our Saviour Jesus Christ gave Himself for us that he might _redeem_
us from _all_ iniquity (Titus 2:13, 14), how can God be _just_ and
_not_ justify every one that believes from _all_ things (Acts 13:39)?
And if the believer is _justified_ from _all_ things (Acts 13:39), he
is certain to go to Heaven. This is _God's plan_; this is God's will;
"by the which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the
body of Jesus Christ _once for all_."--Heb. 10:10. "_For by one_
offering he hath _perfected forever_ them that are sanctified."--Heb.
10:14. "Nor yet by the blood of goats and calves, but through his own
blood entered in _once for all_ into the holy place, having obtained
_eternal redemption_."--Heb. 9:12. Hence Jesus said, "Verily, verily I
say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent
me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is
passed from death to life."--John 5:24.

While thus is manifested God's justice, and the _only_ way that God
_could_ be "just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus"
(Rom. 3:26), for Jesus Himself said it ("Even so _must_ the Son of man
be lifted up."--John 3:14); let the reader not forget that it equally
manifests God's love, and the Saviour's love. "Herein is love, not
that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins."--1 John 4:10. "The Son of God who loved me
and gave himself for me."--Gal. 2:20. If God's love is amazing in
sending His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10), if
the Saviour's love is amazing in loving us and giving Himself for us
(Gal. 2:20), how infinitely more amazing is this love when we see that
it has obtained _eternal redemption_ for us (Heb. 9:12); that it has
redeemed us from _all_ iniquity (Titus 2:14), and that every one that
believes is _justified_ from _all_ things (Acts 13:39)?

Reader, the greatest crime that is ever committed on this earth is to
reject this "so great salvation" (Heb. 2:3); this redemption from all
iniquity (Titus 2:14), and to trifle with the amazing love that
provided a way by which He Himself might be just and the justifier of
him that hath faith in Jesus (Rom. 3:26). We shudder at the horrible
crimes reported in the daily papers, at those recorded in history; but
far greater, far blacker, more terrible, is the crime of a human being
rejecting this great provision of God's love. Only intellectual pride,
religious prejudice, family or race ties, love of the world, or secret
sin, can be the cause of the reader taking such a fatal step; and
fearful will be the consequences of letting any one of these cause the
rejection of the only salvation that God's love and justice could
provide. The reader cannot plead that God has not given sufficient
proof that He has given us a revelation in His word (let the reader go
back and read again the Introduction and the reference for further
study); nor can he plead that God's word does not make the message
plain (let the reader go back and study the Scriptures at the
beginning of this chapter). It is a solemn and awful step, reader, one
never to be retraced, to decide to reject this salvation, and to go
out into the dark, unending future beyond the grave, unredeemed from
iniquity, with no certain hope, when God has warned you, "Apart from
shedding of blood there is no remission,"--Heb. 9:22. It is an awful,
eternal crisis, when you see God's only provision for you, so
complete, so perfect, so sure, and then face His warning, "I call
heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set
before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore
choose _life_."

_FOR FURTHER STUDY._--There are those who deny God's justice in Christ
dying for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), in Christ giving Himself for our
sins (Gal. 1:4), in Christ redeeming us from all iniquity (Titus
2:14). Expressions from the two most prominent rejecters will show the
principal reasons given by all other rejecters of redemption through
Christ:--

"Moral justice cannot take the innocent for the guilty, even if the
innocent would offer itself."--_The "Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine._
"The outrage offered to the moral justice of God, by supposing Him to
make the innocent suffer for the guilty."--_The "Age of Reason," by
Thomas Paine._

"An execution is an object for gratitude; the preachers daub
themselves with the blood, like a troop of assassins, and pretend to
admire the brilliancy it gives them."--_The "Age of Reason," by Thomas
Paine._

The other is Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy in her "Science and Health, with
Key to the Scriptures": "One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient
to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires constant
self-immolation on the sinner's part." Again, "Another's suffering
cannot lessen our own liability." Again, "The time is not distant when
the ordinary theological views of atonement will undergo a great
change,--a change as radical as that which has come over popular
opinions in regard to predestination and future punishment. Does
erudite theology regard the crucifixion of Jesus chiefly as providing
a ready pardon for all sinners who ask for it and are willing to be
forgiven? Does spiritualism find Jesus's death necessary only for the
presentation, after death, of the material Jesus, as a proof that
spirits can return to earth? Then we must differ from them both." It
is not to be wondered at that she takes her stand with Thomas Paine in
rejecting the teaching that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3),
and that He redeemed us from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), when she says,
"Does divine love commit a fraud on humanity by making man inclined to
sin and then punishing him for it?" Again, "In common justice we must
admit that God will not punish man for doing what He created man
capable of doing, and knew from the outset that man would do." Again,
"The destruction of sin is the divine method of pardon. Being
destroyed, sin needs no other pardon." There is one vast difference
between these two who reject Jesus as our sin-bearer, our
Redeemer,--Thomas Paine does not masquerade under the name
"Christian." Why should others who stand with him in rejecting
complete redemption through Christ?

Catholics by the sacrifice of the mass, the unbloody sacrifice, the
elevation of the host, teach that the wafer is changed into the real
"body, blood, soul and divinity" of Jesus Christ, and that it is then
offered as a sacrifice. They thereby reject the complete redemption
through Christ dying for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), redeeming us from all
iniquity (Titus 2:14). They thereby deny that He "offered one
sacrifice for sin forever,"--Heb. 10:12, and that "by one offering he
hath perfected forever them that are sanctified."--Heb. 10:14. Having
rejected Him as complete Redeemer, they have no real Saviour at all.
But those who make salvation dependent on moral character, or baptism,
or church membership, just as surely as the Catholics reject the
completeness of the redemption.

There are some who sneer at this teaching as the "commercial view" of
redemption, in the face of God's word that declares, "ye were _bought
with a price,"_--1 Cor. 6:20; "worthy art thou to take the book and to
open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and didst _purchase_ unto
God with thy blood men of every tribe and tongue and people and
nation."--Rev. 5:9. (R. V.)

Consider the testimony of three over against the two quoted against
this teaching of God's word:--

"I saw that if Jesus suffered in my stead, I could not suffer, too;
and that if He bore all my sin, I had no more sin to bear. My iniquity
must be blotted out if Jesus bore it in my stead and suffered all its
penalty."--_C. H. Spurgeon._

"If you believe on him, I tell you you cannot go to Hell; for that
were to make the sacrifice of Christ of none effect. It cannot be
that a sacrifice should be accepted and yet the soul should die for
whom that sacrifice had been received. If the believing soul could be
condemned, then why a sacrifice? Every believer can claim that the
sacrifice was actually made for him: by faith he has laid his hands on
it, and made it his own, and therefore he may rest assured that he can
never perish. The Lord would not receive this offering on our behalf
and then condemn us to die."--_C. H. Spurgeon._

"The law of God was more vindicated by the death of Christ than it
would have been had all the transgressors been sent to Hell. For the
Son of God to suffer for sin was a more glorious establishment of the
government of God than for the whole race to suffer."--_C. H.
Spurgeon._

"It is the obvious implication of these words (the Righteous One for
the unrighteous ones) that the death on which such stress is laid was
something to which the unrighteous were liable because of their sins,
and that in their interest the Righteous One took it on
Himself."--_Denny, in "The Death of Christ."_

"This is his gospel, that a Righteous One has once for all faced and
taken up and in death exhausted the responsibilities of the
unrighteous, so that they no more stand between them and
God."--_Denny, in "The Death of Christ."_

"If Christ died the death in which sin had involved us, if in His
death He took the responsibility of our sins upon Himself, no word is
equal to this which falls short of what is meant by calling Him our
substitute."_--Denny, in "The Death of Christ."_

"I do not know any word that conveys the truth of this if 'vicarious'
or 'substitutionary' does not; nor do I know any interpretation of
Christ's death which enables us to regard it as a demonstration of
love to sinners, if this vicarious or substitutionary character is
denied. There is much preaching _about_ Christ's death which fails to
be a preaching _of_ Christ's death, and therefore to be in the full
sense of the term Gospel Preaching, because it ignores this. The
simplest hearer feels that there is something irrational in saying
that the death of Christ is a great proof of love to the sinful unless
there is shown at the same time a rational connection between that
death and the responsibilities which sin involves, and from which that
death delivers. Perhaps one should beg pardon for using so simple an
illustration, but the point is a vital one, and it is necessary to be
clear. If I were sitting on the end of a pier on a summer day,
enjoying the sunshine and the air, and some one came along and jumped
into the water and got drowned to prove his love to me, I should find
it quite unintelligible. I might be much in need of love, but an act
in no relation to any of my necessities could not prove it. But if I
had fallen over the pier and were drowning and some one sprang into
the water and at the cost of making my peril, or what but for him
would be my fate, his own, saved me from death, then I should say,
'Greater love hath no man than this.' I should say it intelligently,
because there would be an intelligible relation between the sacrifice
which love made and the necessity from which it redeemed."--_Denny, in
"The Death of Christ."_

"Christ died for sins once for all, and the man who believes in
Christ and in His death has his relation to God _once for all
determined not by sin but by the atonement_."--_Denny, in "The Death
of Christ."_

"One who knew no sin had, in obedience to the Father, to take on Him
the responsibility, the doom, the curse, the death of the sinful.
And if any one says that this was morally impossible, may we not
ask again, What is the alternative? Is it not that the sinful
should be left alone with their responsibility, doom, curse, and
death?"--_Denny, in "The Death of Christ."_

"Redemption, it may be said, springs from love, yet love is only a
word of which we do not know the meaning till it is interpreted for us
by redemption."--_Denny, in "The Death of Christ."_

"Unless we can preach a finished work of Christ in relation to sin, a
reconciliation or peace which has been achieved independently of us at
infinite cost, and to which we are called in a word of ministry of
reconciliation, we have no real gospel for sinful men at
all."--_Denny, in "The Death of Christ."_

"If the evangelist has not something to preach of which he can say,
'If any man makes it his business to subvert this, let him be
anathema,' he has no gospel at all."--_Denny, in "The Death of
Christ."_

"_As there is only one God, so there can be only one Gospel. If God
has really done something in Christ on which the salvation of the
world depends, and if He has made it known, then it is a Christian
duty to be intolerant of everything which ignores, denies, or explains
it away. The man who perverts it is the worst enemy of God and
men._"--_Denny, in "The Death of Christ."_

"We should remember, also, that it is not always intellectual
sensitiveness, nor care for the moral interests involved, which sets
the mind to criticise statements of the Atonement. There _is_ such a
thing as pride, the last form of which is unwillingness to become
debtors even to Christ for forgiveness of sins."--_Denny, in "The
Death of Christ."_

But the Saviour could not have been a _Redeemer_, if He had not been
God manifest in the flesh, for two reasons:--

First, if He had not been Deity, God manifest in the flesh, His dying
for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3) would not have been _Redemption_, but a
mere makeshift. "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats
should take away sins."--Heb. 10:4. Why not? Because in that case
there would have been no real _redemption_, but only a makeshift.
Second, had the Saviour been anything other than God manifest in the
flesh, He would have _won_ men _from_ God and alienated them from God.
On this point let the reader consider well the following from Walker,
in "The Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation":--"As God was the author
of the law, and as He is the only Proper Object both of supreme love
and obedience; and as man could not be happy in obeying the law
without loving its Author, it follows that the thing now necessary, in
order that man's affections might be fixed upon the proper object of
love and obedience, was, that the Supreme God should, by self-denying
kindness, manifest spiritual mercy to those who felt their spiritual
wants, and thus draw to Himself the love and worship of mankind. _If
any other being should supply the need, that being would receive the
love_; it was therefore necessary that _God Himself_ should do it, in
order that the affections of believers might centre upon the proper
object." "Now, suppose Jesus Christ was not God, nor a true
manifestation of the Godhead in human nature, but a man, or angel,
authorized by God to accomplish the redemption of the human race from
sin and misery. In doing this, it appears, from the nature of the
thing, and from the Scriptures, that He did what was adapted to, and
what does, draw the heart of every true believer, as in the case of
the apostles and the early Christians, to Himself as the supreme or
governing object of affection. Their will is governed by the will of
Christ; and love to Him moves their heart and hands. _Now, if it be
true that Jesus Christ is not God, then He has devised and executed a
plan by which the supreme affections of the human heart are drawn to
Himself, and alienated from God_, the proper object of love and
worship: and God, having authorized this plan, _He has devised means
to make man love Christ, the creature, more than the creator_, who is
God over all, blessed for evermore.

"But it is said that Christ having taught and suffered by the will and
authority of God, we are under obligation to love God for what Christ
has done for us. It is answered, that this is impossible. We cannot
love one being for what another does or suffers on our behalf. We can
love no being for labors and self-denials on our behalf, but that
being who valiantly labors and denies himself. It is the kindness and
mercy exhibited in the self-denial that move the affections; and the
affections can move to no being but the one that makes the
self-denial, because it is the self-denial that draws out the love of
the heart.

"It is said, that Christ was sent by God to do His will and not His
own; and therefore we ought to love God, as the being to whom
gratitude and love are due for what Christ said and suffered.

"Then it is answered: If God willed that Christ, as a creature of His,
should come, and by His suffering and death redeem sinners, we ought
not to love Christ for it, because He did it as a creature in
obedience to the commands of God, and was not self-moved nor
meritorious in the work; and we cannot love God for it, for the labor
and self-denial were not borne by Him. And further: If one being, by
an act of his authority, should cause another innocent being to
suffer, in order that he might be loved who had imposed the suffering,
but not borne it, it would render him unworthy of love. If God had
caused Jesus Christ, being His creature, to suffer, that He might be
loved Himself for Christ's sufferings, while He had no connection with
them, instead of such an exhibition, on the part of God, producing
love to Him, it would procure pity for Christ and aversion towards
God. So that, neither God, nor Christ, nor any other being, can be
loved for mercy extended by self-denials to the needy, unless those
self-denials were produced by a voluntary act of mercy upon the part
of the being who suffers them; and no being, but the one who made the
sacrifice, could be meritorious in the case. It follows, therefore,
incontrovertibly, that if Christ was a creature--no matter of how
exalted worth--and not God; and if God approved of His work in saving
sinners, _He approved of treason against His own government_; because,
in that case, the work of Christ was adapted to draw, and did
necessarily draw, the affections of the human soul to Himself, as its
Spiritual Saviour and thus alienated them from God, their rightful
object. And Jesus Christ Himself had the design of drawing men's
affections to Himself in view, by His crucifixion; says He, 'And I, if
I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.' This He
said signifying what death He should die: thus distinctly stating that
it was the self-denials and mercy exhibited in the crucifixion that
would draw out the affections of the human soul, and that those
affections would be drawn to Himself as the suffering Saviour. But
that God would sanction a scheme which would involve treason against
Himself, and that Christ should participate in it, is absurd and
impossible, and therefore cannot be true. But if the Divine Nature was
united with the human in the teaching and work of Christ, if God was
in Christ (drawing the affections of men, or) 'reconciling the world
unto himself'--if, when Christ was lifted up, as Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, He drew, as He said He would, the
affections of all believers unto Himself; and then, if He ascended, as
the Second Person of the Trinity, into the bosom of the Eternal
Godhead--He thereby, after He had engaged, by His work on earth, the
affections of the human soul, bore them up to the bosom of the Father,
from whence they had fallen. Thus the ruins of the Fall were rebuilt,
and the affections of the human soul again restored to God, the
Creator, and proper Object of Supreme love."

Finally, let the reader give most earnest thought to the inevitable
conclusion drawn by the same author:

"How, then, could God manifest that mercy to sinners by which love to
Himself and to His law would be produced, while His infinite holiness
and justice would be maintained? We answer, in no way possible, but by
some expedient by which His justice and mercy would both be exalted.
If, in the wisdom of the Godhead, such a way could be devised by which
God Himself could save the soul from the consequences of its
guilt,--by which He Himself could, in some way, suffer and make
self-denials for its good; and by His own interposition open a way for
the soul to recover from its lost and condemned condition, then the
result would follow inevitably, that every one of the human family who
had been led to see and feel his guilty condition before God, and who
believed in God thus manifesting Himself to rescue his soul from
spiritual death, every one thus believing would, from the necessities
of his nature, be led to love God his Saviour; and mark, the greater
the self-denial and the suffering on the part of the Saviour in
ransoming the soul, the stronger would be the affection felt for
Him."--_Walker, in "The Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."_



IV

THE NEW RELATION--THE NEW MOTIVE

     "What things soever the law saith, it saith _to them who are under
     the law_; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may
     become guilty before God."--Rom. 3:19.

     "Ye are not under the law."--Rom. 6:14.

     "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we
     might be justified by faith, but _after that faith is come we are
     no longer under a schoolmaster_. For ye are all the children of God
     by faith in Jesus Christ."--Gal. 3:24-26.

     "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son born of
     a woman, born under the law, to redeem them that were under the
     law, _that we might receive the adoption of sons_. And because ye
     are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your
     hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant,
     but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."--Gal.
     4:4-7.

     "Having in love predestinated us for adoption as sons through Jesus
     Christ to himself."--Eph. 1:5.

     "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if
     one died for all, then all died; and he died for all, that they who
     live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who
     died for them and rose again."--2 Cor. 5:14, 15.

     "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors; the one owed
     five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing
     to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore which of
     them will love him most?"--Luke 7:41, 42.

     "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not
     love, I am become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And
     though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
     and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could
     remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I
     bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to
     be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing."--1 Cor.
     13:1-3.


_In God's plan with men_, His purpose in giving the law has been sadly
misunderstood. To the Jews the law was given on tablets of stone and
copied in their sacred writings; to the Gentiles the law was written
in their hearts. The one class had more light than the other, and
therefore will be judged differently.

"As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and
as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the
law."--Rom. 2:12. "For when the Gentiles, who have no law, do by
nature the things of the law, these, having no law, are a law unto
themselves; who show the works of the law written in their hearts,
their conscience also bearing witness, and their reasonings mutually
accusing or even excusing them."--Rom. 2:14. Whether Jew or Gentile,
God had one purpose in giving the law, "Now we know that what things
soever the law saith, it saith to those who are under the law, that
_every_ mouth may be stopped and _all the world_ be under judgement to
God." God's plan with the law includes "every mouth," "all the world,"
whether the law was written in their hearts or in sacred writings; and
His purpose is, not that they should be saved by keeping the law, for
then no one would be saved, for "all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God,"--Rom. 3:23; but that they might be brought under
judgment to God, every mouth stopped, guilty, and thus be brought to
realize their need of a Redeemer. On this point God's word makes His
purpose very plain: "The Scripture hath shut up all under sin, that
the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to them that
believe. But before faith, we were confined under law, shut up unto
the faith about to be revealed. Wherefore the law was our tutor [or
schoolmaster] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But
after that faith is come we are no longer under a tutor [or
schoolmaster]."--Gal. 3:23-25.

God's word is plain, that God put men under the law, not that they
should be saved by keeping it, but that they might be led to see their
need of a Saviour, one to redeem them from the curse of the law:
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse
for us,"--Gal 3:13; and then, having redeemed them from the curse of
the law, and from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), to adopt them as His own
children, "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ."--Rom. 8:17. So
wonderful is the plan that it is hard for a human being to grasp it.
_God's plan with men_ is not simply to save them, but to put them
above all other created beings. "Unto which of the angels said he at
any time, Thou art my Son?"--Heb. 1:5. Yet, "having in love
predestinated us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to
himself,"--Eph. 1:5 (1911 Bible), "heirs of God and joint heirs with
Christ,"--Rom. 8:17, He puts us far above angels; "for ye are all sons
of God through faith in Christ Jesus."--Gal. 3:26. But men can only
come into this higher relation to God as sons by being redeemed from
under the lower relation, under the law. Hear God's word: "When the
fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman,
born under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, _that we
might receive the adoption of sons_."--Gal. 4:4, 5. This higher
relation as sons of God can be attained only by men coming out from
under the law; and men can come out from under the law only by being
redeemed from under the law.

God's word teaches clearly, then, that when one is redeemed, he is no
longer under the law. "Ye are not under the law,"--Rom. 6:14; "What
things soever the law saith, it saith to _those who are under the
law_."--Rom. 3:19. Then some are under the law and some are not under
the law; "Wherefore the law was our tutor unto Christ that we might be
justified by faith. But after the faith is come, _we are no longer
under a tutor_."--Gal. 3:24, 25. Pause, reader, and try to grasp the
meaning of this. If the believer is redeemed from all iniquity (Titus
2:14), and is not under the law, (Rom. 6:14), then he is sure of
Heaven; for "sin is not reckoned when there is no law."--Rom. 5:13. It
is not reckoned or imputed because it has all been reckoned or imputed
to Christ (Is. 53:6, Titus 2:14). Why, then, serve God? Not from fear
of the law; not from fear of Hell; but from love to Him who redeemed
us from the curse of the law, having been made a curse for us (Gal.
3:13).

Just as clearly God's word teaches that those who are redeemed from
the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), from all iniquity (Titus 2:14),
become the sons of God; for that purpose "God sent forth his Son, born
of a woman, born under the law, to redeem them that were under the law
that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons,
God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts crying,
Abba, Father."--Gal. 4:4-6. "For ye are all the sons of God through
faith in Christ Jesus."--Gal. 3:26.

But there is, in _God's plan with men_, beyond this a still more
blessed, wonderful teaching: "Wherefore, thou art no more a servant,
but a son."--Gal. 4:7. The one who is redeemed from under the law
(Gal. 3:13) never gets back under the law again,--"Wherefore thou art
no more a servant, but a son." That means, then, certainty of going to
Heaven, certainty of being a son of God forever. And this new
relation, and this certainty of Heaven are settled for men, not when
they die, nor when they have united with some church, or have been
baptised, but the moment men repent from their sins and accept the
Saviour as their Redeemer from all iniquity; for God's word says, "He
that believeth on the son _hath_ everlasting life."--John 3:36; and
"Ye _are_ all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."--Gal.
3:26.

This new relation with God gives men a new motive. Under the law,
guilty, condemned by it, the motive was fear. But when men have been
redeemed from under the law and adopted as sons of God, the motive of
fear is no more the motive of life. "Ye have not received the spirit
of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

The motive of the son towards the father is not fear, but love. And
this love is produced by the fact that God, in love, provided this
great, wonderful plan for men, "having in love predestinated us for
adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself,"--Eph. 1:5, and the
fact that the Saviour loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20).
Hence, Paul tells us, "The love of Christ [not the fear of the law,
nor the fear of Hell] constrains us; because we thus judge, that if
one died for all, then all died; and he died for all, that they who
live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died
for them, and rose again." Our Saviour, the night before His
crucifixion, made clear that this was to be the motive in the life of
God's children. In instituting the Lord's supper He said, "This is my
blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of
sins."--Matt. 26:28; then, following this, before leaving the supper
room, He said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments,"--John 14:15,
not, "if ye are afraid of the law, keep my commandments"; not, "if ye
are afraid of going to Hell, keep my commandments"; not, "if ye wish
to make sure of going to Heaven, keep my commandments"; but, "if ye
love me." But why love Him? Because "this is my blood of the new
covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins." That this
love, and that _this kind of love_ is clearly the motive power of the
real Christian life, notice the teaching of the Saviour in Luke 7:41,
43, "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors; the one owed
five hundred pence and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to
pay he frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them
will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom
he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou has rightly judged." This
is no mere theory, that love _ought_ to be the controlling motive, but
it _is_ the controlling motive. And it is not a mere theory that love
_ought_ to constrain the real Christian, the real believer, but the
love of Christ _does_ constrain us (2 Cor. 5:14).

One may be moral, of deep piety, and yet if the motive power of his
life is not this love, he is lost, not a real Christian. God's word
makes this plain, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of
angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a
clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and
understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am
nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though
I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me
nothing."--1 Cor. 13:1-3. Two of the mightiest preachers of all times,
men whose tongues were those nearest to angels in preaching, Chalmers
and Wesley, after years of most powerful preaching, came out and
stated that during all those years they were lost, not Christians.
Why? They had not been really redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14);
they had not been forgiven most; the motive had not been the motive of
him who is forgiven most,--"Though I speak with the tongues of men and
of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a
clanging cymbal." Why? Because eloquent, powerful preaching cannot
redeem from iniquity, and God has said plainly, "Apart from shedding
of blood there is no remission."--Heb. 9:22. Men may write great books
explaining the mysteries of God's word, commentaries, Sunday-school
lesson helps, instructions to Christians; yet if the motive power of
their lives is not love based on the fact that they are forgiven most
(Luke 7:43), redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), they are lost,
not real Christians,--"though I have the gift of prophecy, and
understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am
nothing." Why? Because there is nothing in understanding all
mysteries, and all knowledge, in writing commentaries and other
helpful books, to redeem from all iniquity. And God has said plainly,
"Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission." The great
capitalist, the multi-millionaire, may turn philanthropist, and spend
all his wealth in building schools, or libraries, or houses for the
poor, or in feeding hundreds of thousands in times of widespread
drouth; the Catholic nun or Protestant or Baptist nurse may give her
life in the epidemic in nursing the sick; and the heroic fireman give
his life in rescuing others from the flames; yet they are all lost,
unless the motive power of life is love, produced by the fact that
they are forgiven most, redeemed from all iniquity,--"Though I bestow
all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,
and have not love, it profiteth me nothing." Why? Because there is
nothing in giving away money to care for the poor, nor in giving up
life for others, to redeem from iniquity. And God has said plainly,
"Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission."--Heb. 9:22.

When God, "That he might be just and the justifier of him that hath
faith in Jesus,"--Rom. 3:26, "so loved the world that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life,"--John 3:16, men must not, they _must not_,
from intellectual pride, religious prejudice, family or race ties, nor
from any other motive, trifle with God and presume to dictate terms to
the Most High. Were it one poor, obscure man who presumed to do this,
men would say that he deserved to be left to answer for his own sins
before God at last. But vast numbers, whole religious denominations
and university titles cannot change the Most High. God does not go by
majorities. Earth's respectability does not pass current in Heaven.
"The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."--1 Cor. 3:19.

Who is this being to whom puny men in their pride and prejudice
presume to dictate terms as to how they may escape the just penalty
for their sins, as to how their sins should be taken away? "Who hath
measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven
with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who
hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath
taught him? With whom took he counsel? And who instructed him, and
taught him in the path of judgement, and taught him knowledge, and
showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a
drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance;
behold, he taketh up the hills as a little thing." "All nations before
him are as nothing, and they are counted by him less than nothing, and
vanity." "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the
inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the
heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in;
that bringeth the princes to nothing; that maketh the judges of the
earth as vanity."--Is. 40:12-15, 17, 22, 23.

A professor in a great university has recently said that to the
"modern mind," untrained, as the Jews, to daily sacrifices, unused, as
those of ancient times, to blood-atonement,--remission of sins by
blood,--substitution does not commend itself. If he and those who
think like him do not care enough as to their eternal destiny to
strive to become acquainted with blood-atonement, to realize their
need of it, and to see that God, in love, has provided it, complete
and eternal, then there is nothing left but for them to go out into
eternity to meet the just penalty of their sins; for even then God
will be just to them. No one, barbarian or civilized, will ever be
treated unjustly by the Most High.

But it is objected that, if men are taught and believe that they have
been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), that they are not
after that under the law (Rom. 6:14), that they have been adopted as
God's sons (Gal. 4:4, 5), and that they are no more servants, but sons
(Gal. 4:7), they will not serve God from love of Christ for dying for
them (2 Cor. 5:14, 15), but that they will become careless and not try
to live Christian lives. That is true with hypocrites; they will
profess to believe that they are thus redeemed, saved, and will live
careless, worldly lives. But really redeemed men _will_ love most
(Luke 7:43), and live better lives from love. The Saviour said, "If a
man love me he _will_ keep my words,"--John 14:23; "If God were your
father ye _would_ love me."--John 8:42. And John, writing to believers
only (1 John 5:13), says: "Behold what manner of love the Father hath
bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such
we are. Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it doth not yet appear
what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear we shall be
like him, for we shall see him as he is. And _every one_ that hath
this hope on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."--1 John
3:1-3.

The one who is thus redeemed and adopted as a son of God not only
purifies himself because prompted by love to the Saviour for redeeming
him from all iniquity, but because he is born again, and this new
nature leads him to hate sin and to love holiness. "Whosoever
believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."--1 John 5:1.
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by
the word of God which liveth and abideth forever."--1 Peter 1:23. This
is no mere theory, no mere theological dogma. Cases innumerable
throughout the Christian era could be cited, where the most wicked men
and women in a moment have been completely changed by simply being led
to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, as their Redeemer from all
iniquity.

In the author's work as an evangelist he has seen the most debased,
hopeless men and women revolutionized morally, not by gradual
processes, but in a moment, by leading them to repentance and faith in
the Saviour as their complete Redeemer from all iniquity. And the
moral revolution was not temporary, but permanent. Science cannot
account for these moral revolutions brought about in a moment.
Infidelity cannot account for them. God's word does account for them,
that they have been born again, born of God, and have been taken from
under the law and have been given a new relation to God and placed
under a new motive power. In a city a great mass-meeting for infidels
was widely advertised; a large audience assembled. The leader asked
all the men in the audience who had once been down in the depths of
sin, everything gone, hopeless, and had been led to accept the Saviour
as their Redeemer from sin, please to arise. Between three hundred and
four hundred well-dressed business men and workingmen arose. The
leader then asked all who had been down in the depths of sin,
everything gone, hopeless, and they had then been led to believe in
infidelity and it had made better men of them, please to arise. One
lone man staggered to his feet and he was drunk! Science and
infidelity cannot explain this difference. God's word does explain it.
There is no other explanation.

It may be objected that many who profess to be thus redeemed from all
iniquities, to be born again, do not continue to live better lives.
God's word explains every one of these cases: "They went out from us,
but they were _not of us_; for if they had been of us, they would have
continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest;
because not all are of us."--1 John 2:19.

In closing this chapter, reader, pause and consider:--are you yet
under the law? Have you been redeemed from the curse of the law? Have
you been adopted as a child of God? It is one thing to _say_ "Our
Father"; it is quite a different thing to be really a child of God,
and heir of God and joint heir with Christ.

Is the motive of your life love of Christ because He has redeemed you
from all iniquities? Do not be deceived by calling the motive love
when really it is not love. If you have been trying to serve God,
thinking that if you continued to serve Him, continued to try to do
your Christian duty, you would go to Heaven after this life, but that
if you failed to serve Him and do your Christian duty, you would not
be saved, then your motive has not been love, and you are lost. If you
have been trying to serve God and do your Christian duty, fearing
that if you failed you would be lost, then your motive has not been
love, and you have never been redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14),
and adopted as the child of God (Gal. 4:4, 5). Let not pride nor
prejudice prevent your coming out from under the law and becoming
really a child of God. "My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel
is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have
a _zeal of God_, but not _according to knowledge_. For being
_ignorant of God's righteousness_, and _going about to establish
their own righteousness_, they have not submitted themselves unto
the righteousness of God. For Christ is _the end of the law for
righteousness to every one that believeth._"--Rom. 10:1-4. "As many as
_received him_, to them gave he power to become the children of God,
even to them that believe on his name."--John 1:12.

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_: Men are prone to mix the law and redemption
through Christ. They are separate and distinct. They are two separate
roads to Heaven. If a man keeps the law from birth to death he will go
to Heaven without any redemption; he needs no redemption. "Moses
describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man that
doeth those things shall live _by them_,"--Rom. 10:5; not by Christ as
the Redeemer; he needs no redemption. "And the law is not of faith;
but the man that doeth them shall live in them."--Gal. 3:12. There is
no Christ in this; there is no need of Christ if a man "doeth them,"
the law. Such a man cannot trust Christ to save him; for if he has
never broken the law, there is nothing from which he needs to be
redeemed. "The soul that sinneth, _it_ shall die"; but if one has kept
the law, there is no penalty, no redemption is needed. "The doers of
the law _shall be justified_."--Rom. 2:13. But "all have sinned and
come short of the glory of God,"--Rom. 3:23; hence, there is need of
redemption; for "apart from shedding of blood there is no
remission."--Heb. 9:22. The other road to Heaven, therefore, is that
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse
for us."--Gal. 3:13. The Saviour, as well as the Apostle Paul, taught
clearly the two roads; the first, when "One came and said unto him,
Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but
one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the
commandments."--Matt. 19:16, 17. The question was what good thing the
enquirer should do in order to have eternal life as the result of what
he did. The answer was exactly what Paul taught afterwards,--"The man
that doeth them, shall live in them."--Gal. 3:12. On the other hand,
to the penitent woman in Simon's house the Saviour said, "Thy faith
hath saved thee; go in peace."--Luke 7:50. The trouble is that many
men try to make a third road to Heaven, partly by obeying the law and
partly by redemption through Christ; or rather, they try to combine
the two separate and distinct ways and make them one. But this is
fatal. "If by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is
no more grace. But if it is of works, then it is no more grace;
otherwise work is no more work."--Rom. 11:6. Jesus said, "Come unto
me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest."--Matt. 11:28. And God's word declares plainly, "He that hath
entered into his rest himself also hath rested from his own works, as
God did from his."--Heb. 4:10. No one has rested, ceased, from his own
works who thinks that keeping the law or trying to keep the law is a
part of the salvation through Christ as Redeemer. One _must_ cease
from his own works, from looking to obeying the law to help in
salvation, before he _can_ be saved through Christ as Redeemer. "To
him that worketh not, but believeth on him that _justifieth_ the
ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."--Rom. 4:5. Hence,
all who are trying to get to Heaven by obedience, are under the law,
are yet unredeemed, unsaved, not real Christians. "As many as are of
the works of the law [obeying the law to be saved] are under the
curse,"--Gal. 3:10; they have not been really redeemed.

Of this class are all those who believe and teach "Salvation by
character,"--they are yet under the law; they are yet under the
curse.--Gal. 3:10. Further, they fly in the face of the Lord Jesus,
who said to men who had character, "The publicans and the harlots go
into the kingdom of God before you."--Matt. 21:31. They fail to see
that the Saviour takes men without character, justifies them from all
things (Acts 13:39), redeems them from the curse of the law (Gal.
3:13), redeems them from all iniquities (Titus 2:14), and then
develops in them a character that will stand the test of the ages;
that He takes a Jerry McAuley, an S. H. Hadley, a Harry Monroe, and a
Melville Trotter and makes of them four of the most useful men of
modern times. They fail to see that character is formed by deeds; that
the character of the deed can be determined _only_ by the motive
prompting the deed; that the controlling motive for the deed must, in
the sight of God, be love (1 Cor. 13:1-3); that the motive of love is
produced by being forgiven most (Luke 7:42, 43); that the forgiveness
comes from the Saviour having given Himself for our sins (Gal. 1:4),
to redeem us from all iniquity (Titus 2:14).

Because of this failure to consider the motive back of the deed, many
books on morals and ethics are absolutely pernicious. In comparing the
morals and ethics of Christianity with the morals and ethics of
heathen religions, they fail to take into consideration the _motive
back of the deed_. Two young men are trying to win a young woman in
marriage; their deeds, outwardly, are the same; the one is prompted by
pure, manly love for the young woman; the other has his eye on her
father's bank account. You drop your handkerchief as you are passing
along the street; a man from pure kindness picks it up and hands it to
you. Again you drop it, and another picks it up and hands it to you,
but his motive is that he may win your confidence and pick your
pocket. Four sons are equally dutiful, in outward deed, toward their
fathers; one, that he may get all the money he wishes from his
father; the second, from a cold sense of duty; the third, from fear
that his father might kill him or disinherit him if he were not
dutiful; the fourth, from tender love for the father. In these four,
many authors see no difference, or make no distinction, and yet they
profess to be teachers of morals and ethics! Four men, outwardly, are
living the same moral lives; one, hoping to get to Heaven by it; the
second, from a cold sense of duty; the third, from fear of Hell; the
fourth, from love because One died for him (2 Cor. 5:14, 15), and
redeemed him from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), from all iniquity
(Titus 2:14). Only the last one will ever enter Heaven; only the last
one is really a Christian, redeemed (Heb. 9:12), saved (Eph. 2:8).

As men are prone to mix law and redemption through Christ, so they are
prone to mix law and sonship. They fail to see that redemption from
the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), redemption from all iniquity (Titus
2:14), redemption from under the law (Rom. 6:14), means to be placed
in a higher, more sacred relationship to God. Even in nature God has
two grades of existence, a lower and a higher, for some insects, even;
the mosquito, first in the water; then by a simple process it rises
into the higher kingdom; the caterpillar, a creeping worm, then the
butterfly. But were there no analogies in nature, God has clearly
revealed a higher relation for those who are redeemed from the curse
of the law (Gal. 3:13), "God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born
under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might
receive the adoption of sons,"--Gal. 4:4, 5; "Having in love
predestinated us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to
himself."--Eph. 1:5. Where is man in the scale of being? "Thou hast
made him a little lower than the angels."--Ps. 8:5. But even the
angels, who are above man in the scale of being, are not the sons of
God. "Unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my
son?"--Heb. 1:5. But to _every man_ who has been redeemed from the
curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), from under the law (Gal. 4:5), God says,
"Ye are _all_ the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."--Gal.
3:26. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his
Son into your hearts crying, Abba, Father."--Gal. 4:6. "Ye have
received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."--Rom.
8:15.

Much of the confusion concerning the higher relationship of the
redeemed with God has been caused by teaching the redeemed and the
unredeemed to pray what is called the Lord's Prayer. The Saviour did
not teach the unredeemed to pray in this manner. They cannot pray it
truthfully, honestly, for they are not the children of God. "They that
are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of
God."--Rom. 9:5. If they are not, then they cannot truthfully say "Our
Father," "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every son
whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as
with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if
ye be without chastening, whereof all are partakers, then are ye
bastards, and not sons."--Heb. 12:6-8. The language, "bastards and not
sons," has some meaning, but it can have no meaning if God is the
Father of all human beings, and all have a right to say "Our Father."
It is true, that in the Old Testament God is referred to as a Father,
but it is only as Father of Israel, the redeemed. "Have we not all
one father? Hath not one God created us?"--Mal. 2:10. But who are
the "we"? "The burden of the word of the Lord to _Israel_ by
Malachi,"--Mal. 1:1;--Israel, God's redeemed people.

God's word makes it plain that what is called the Lord's Prayer was
not taught by the Saviour to the unsaved. "As he was praying in a
certain place, when he ceased, _one of his disciples_ said unto him,
Lord, teach _us_ to pray as John also taught his disciples, and he
said unto _them_ [His disciples], When ye [His disciples] pray, say,
'Our Father.'" How did they become disciples? "As many as received
him, to them gave he power _to become_ the children of God, even to
them that believe on his name."--John 1:12. "Ye are all the sons of
God by faith in Christ Jesus."--Gal. 3:26. Concerning this prayer the
_Southern Baptist Sunday School Teacher_ says, "It is a special gift
to believers only." "We cannot too earnestly insist that the Lord's
Prayer is beyond the use of mere worldlings. They have no heart for
it. It is the possession and badge of the disciples of Christ. It
belongs to those who can offer it in humble and hearty faith." The
_Sunday School Teacher_, published by the American Baptist Publication
Society, says: "This is a prayer that befits only Christian lips and
was given to the disciples only, and so it is addressed to 'Our
Father.'" D. L. Moody, in "The Way Home," "But who may use this
prayer, 'Our Father which art in Heaven'? Examine the context. The
disciples when alone with Jesus said, 'Lord, teach us to pray,' and
this was the answer they got; they were taught this precious prayer:
'In this manner pray ye: Our Father, which art in Heaven.' It was
taught by Jesus to His chosen disciples; then it is only for
Christians. No man who is unconverted can or has a right to pray thus.
Christ taught _His disciples_, not all men, not the multitude, to pray
like this. A man must be born again before he has any right to breathe
this prayer. What right has any man living in sin and in open enmity
with God, to lift up his voice and say, Our or My Father? It is a lie
and nothing else for him to say this."

The Saviour was very explicit on this point: "Ye do the deeds of your
father. Then said they to him, We are not born of fornication; we have
one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father,
ye would love me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither
came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech?
Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the
devil."--John 8:41-44. Here are the unredeemed calling God their
Father. If He is their Father, here was the time for the Great Teacher
to make it plain. If He is their Father, _in any sense_, here was the
opportunity to make it plain. The Saviour does not reply, "Yes, He is
your Father in one sense, but I am speaking of another and a higher
sense." His answer is plain and unequivocal.

There are those who fly in the face of the Saviour's plain teaching.
Hear two of them:--Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, in "Science and Health,"
"God is the Father of All." "Man is the offspring of Spirit." "Spirit
is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father and
Life is the law of his being." "He recognized Spirit, God, as the only
creator, and therefore as the Father of all"; "demonstrating God as
the Father of men." Another makes his meaning just as plain: "He
[Jesus] was the son of God in like manner that every other person is;
for _the Creator is the father of all_."--_Thomas Paine, in "The Age
of Reason."_

The issue is joined between these two on the one side and the Lord
Jesus and Paul on the other, and men are lining up on one side or the
other, and many of them will spend eternity with the ones whose
teaching they are following _now_, with whom they are lining up; and
the reader may as well face the fact that many of them will not spend
eternity in the same place with the Saviour and Paul. With many the
question as to whether the Saviour, when He said, "Ye are of your
father the devil," told the truth, or was a wilful liar and deceiver,
or a deluded fanatic and ignoramus, is merely a matter of taste, or
preference, or opinion. It may be claimed by some that "Ye are of your
father the devil," grates on refined ears and finer sensibilities. But
it is more than a question whether it is pride, or religious
prejudice, or refined sensibilities, when the sensibilities and
feelings are so coarse and hardened that without indignation, often
with complacency, they see Him who "spake as never man spake," God's
"only begotten Son," branded as a liar and deceiver. Such scholarship
and finer sensibilities and such refinement will fill their
possessors with horror and remorse in that day when the sun shall
become black as sackcloth of hair, and the full moon shall become as
blood, and the heavens shall depart as a scroll when it is rolled
together; and every mountain and island shall be moved out of their
places, and the kings of the earth, and the great men and the rich men
and the chief captains and the mighty men and every bondman and every
freeman shall hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the
mountains and say to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us
from the face of him who sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of
the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be
able to stand?"--Rev. 6:12-17; "for the Father judgeth no man, but
hath committed all judgement unto the Son, that all men should honor
the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son
honoreth not the Father who sent him."--John 5:22, 23. "And he
commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he
who hath been ordained of God to be the judge of living and
dead."--Acts 10:42.

If all men who are unredeemed would just stop and realize their real
position in the scale of being, and that they really have no Heavenly
Father, and that "as many as received him to them gave he power to
become the children of God, even to them that believe on his
name,"--John 1:12, there would fall upon this world such a feeling of
orphanage as it has never known since the Saviour hung on the cross.
But in their pride or religious prejudice, or love of the world, or
secret sin, blinded by "Our Father," they go on through life
repeating it, and die, never having been redeemed from the curse of
the law (Gal. 3:13), and adopted as God's sons (Gal. 4:4-7).

Teaching the unredeemed that God is their Father, and to say "Our
Father" is the incubator of religious error and the hot-bed of
infidelity. Many religious denominations that are fundamentally in
error, that really have no Redeemer, and therefore no Saviour, have as
their foundation teaching that God is the Father of the human race;
and there is scarcely an infidel but that was taught "Our Father."
Teach a person that God is his Father, that his Heavenly Father is far
better than his earthly father, and then teach him that his Heavenly
Father is going to send him to an eternal Hell, and, if he thinks, he
is far on the road to infidelity, or he is ready for some modern
church that denies that there is any Hell.

It is said that a missionary to one of the heathen lands, after
laboring for some time among the people, employed a learned heathen to
help him translate the New Testament into the heathen language. The
missionary would read and the heathen would translate and write it
down. They finally came to the first epistle of John. One morning as
they began their work, having finished the second chapter, the
missionary read, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us." The heathen translated and wrote it down. The missionary
read, "that we should be called the children of God." The heathen
bowed his head upon the table and began weeping. Gaining control of
his feelings, he said, "Teacher, don't make me put it that way; I know
our people; that is too good for us; we don't deserve it. Put it this
way, 'That we may be allowed to kiss his feet,' That is good enough
for our people." He had listened to the story of God giving His Son
for us; of His life, of His teachings, of His death for our sins; and
the thought that, beyond this, God makes the redeemed His children,
was too much for him. But in enlightened, so-called Christian lands,
many who have never even claimed to have been born of God ridicule the
teaching that God is the Father of the redeemed only, and they
blatantly proclaim God to be the Father of all human beings, of the
drunkard, of the thief, the murderer, whereas, even the angels do not
call Him Father. "Unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou
art my son?" But when men are redeemed (Heb. 9:12), and born again of
the Spirit (John 3:8; 1 John 5:1), they are really God's children
(Gal. 3:26). Then they are above angels in the scale of being, "heirs
of God and joint heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17),--the highest, most
exalted of all beings in the universe. Oh, that men would put their
heels upon their pride, be redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal.
3:13), and become God's real children (Gal. 4:4-7).

But just as many mix and confuse the teachings as to two roads to
Heaven, and as to law and sonship, so they mix and confuse the old
motive of fear under the law (Rom. 8:15), and of love as sons. _The
new motive of love could be produced in no other way than by real
Redemption._ Let the reader give close study to the following
principles laid down in Walker's "Philosophy of the Plan of
Salvation":

"1, The affections of the soul move in view of certain objects or in
view of certain qualities believed to exist in those objects. The
affections never move, in familiar words, the heart never loves,
unless love be produced by seeing, or by believing that we see, some
lovely and excellent qualities in the object. When the soul believes
those good qualities to be possessed by another, and especially when
they are exercised towards us, the affections, like a magnetized
needle, tremble with life, and turn towards their object.

"2, The affections are not subject to the will; neither our own will
nor any other will can directly control them.... An effect could as
easily exist without a cause as affection in the bosom of any human
being which was not produced by goodness or excellence seen, or
believed to exist, in some other being.

"3, The affections, although not governed by the will, do themselves
greatly influence the will. All acts of will produced entirely by pure
affection for another are disinterested.... So soon as the affections
move towards an object, the will is proportionally influenced to
please and benefit that object, or, if a superior being, to obey his
will.

"4, All happy obedience must arise from affection. Affectionate
obedience blesses the spirit which yields it, if the conscience
approve the object loved and obeyed.

"5. When the affections of two beings are reciprocally fixed upon each
other they constitute a band of union and sympathy peculiarly strong
and tender,--those things that affect the one affecting the other in
proportion to the strength of affection existing between them. One
conforms to the will of the other, not from a sense of obligation
merely, but from choice; and the constitution of the soul is such that
the sweetest enjoyment of which it is capable rises from the exercise
of reciprocal affections.

"6. When the circumstances of an individual are such that he is
exposed to constant suffering and great danger, the more afflictive
his situation the more grateful love will he feel for affection and
benefits received under such circumstances. If his circumstances were
such that he could not relieve himself, and such that he must suffer
greatly or perish, and while in this condition, if another, moved by
benevolent regard for him, should come to aid and save him, his
affection for his deliverer would be increased by a sense of the
danger from which he was rescued.

"The greater the kindness and self-denial of a benefactor manifested
in our behalf, the warmer and the stronger will be the affection which
his goodness will produce in the human heart."

And this further statement by Walker will be at once accepted by all
honest seekers after truth:--

"Here, then, are two facts growing out of the constitution of human
nature. First, the soul must feel its evil and lost state, as the
prerequisite condition upon which alone it can love a deliverer;
secondly, the degree of kindness and self-denial in a benefactor,
temporal or spiritual, graduates the degree of affection and gratitude
that will be awakened for him."--_Walker, in "The Philosophy of the
Plan of Salvation."_



V

THE SINS OF GOD'S CHILDREN--FORGIVENESS--CHASTISEMENTS

     "Our Father who art in Heaven ... forgive us our sins."--Luke
     11:1-4.

     "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our
     sins."--1 John 1:9.

     "Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto
     sons. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor
     faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he
     chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure
     chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he
     whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastening,
     whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
     Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and
     we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection
     under the Father of spirits and live? For they verily for a few
     days chastened us as seemed right to them; but he for our profit,
     that we might be partakers of his holiness."--Heb. 12:5-10.

     "Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the
     earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant
     shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure
     forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children
     forsake my law and walk not in my judgements; if they break my
     statutes and keep not my commandments, then will I visit their
     transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes.
     Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him,
     nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break,
     nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn
     by my holiness that I will not lie unto David."--Ps. 89:27-35.


In coming to the question of God's plan concerning the lives of men
redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), redeemed from all
iniquity (Titus 2:14), from under the law (Rom. 6:14), and adopted as
God's sons (Gal. 4:4-7), let the reader keep in mind that it is not
concerning the sins of unredeemed men, whether professing Christians
or not. God's plan with the sins of unredeemed men has been shown in
Chapter I. Hence it is not a question of the sins of hypocrites, or
other professing Christians who are not really God's children.

It has been shown in Chapter IV that when men are redeemed from the
curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), they are
no longer under the law; "Ye are not under the law."--Rom. 6:14. God's
word lays down a principle recognized and endorsed by all enlightened
nations,--"Sin is not reckoned [imputed] when there is no law."--Rom.
5:13. Those who have been redeemed from under the law are adopted as
God's children,--"God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under
the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive
the adoption of sons."--Gal. 4:4, 5. God thenceforth deals with them
as father with children, and not as judge with transgressors of law.
Earthly children commit two kinds of sins against their earthly
fathers; they sin under temptation and are penitent, and confess their
sins and are forgiven. Second, they sin wilfully and are chastised.
God's children sin in like manner; they sin under temptation, are
penitent, confess their sins and are forgiven. Second, they become
backsliders, sin wilfully and are chastised. Let us consider the two
classes of sins of God's children and _God's plan with men_ for them.

Our Saviour taught His disciples, God's children, to pray "Our Father
... forgive us our sins,"--Luke 11:1-4; Paul and Silas taught the
jailer, a man under the law, unredeemed, not a child of God, "Believe
on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved."--Acts 16:31. John
taught the believers (1 John 5:13), those who were redeemed from the
curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), and were God's children (1 John 3:1, 2),
"If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins,"--1 John 1:9; Paul taught the unredeemed, those who were
not God's children, "To him that worketh not, but believeth on
him that _justifieth the ungodly_, his faith is counted for
righteousness."--Rom. 4:5.

Many believe and teach that if any one, the unredeemed man as well as
the son of God, confesses his sins, God will be faithful and just to
forgive his sins. A Mohammedan, a Jew, a Christian Scientist, a
Unitarian, a Universalist, confess their sins,--are they forgiven? To
these and all others under the law, God has said, "Apart from shedding
of blood there is no remission."--Heb. 9:22. "Till heaven and earth
pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till
all be fulfilled."--Matt. 5:18. John is writing to believers only (1
John 5:13), to those who are God's children (1 John 3:1, 2), and to
_them_ he says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins."--1 John 1:9. Men unredeemed, under the law, can
never get rid of their sins by confession. To them God has one
message,--"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even
so _must_ the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him
should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him
should not perish, but have everlasting life."--John 3:14-16.

The Saviour taught the _disciples_ to pray, "Our Father, ... forgive
us our sins"; but so widespread is the misconception that it applies
to all, redeemed and unredeemed, that all over the world vast
multitudes of the unredeemed kneel down every night and say, "Our
Father, ... forgive us our sins," and lie down to sleep deluded with
the thought that they are forgiven. If they are forgiven, why was
there any need of Christ dying for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3)? But the
real child of God can pray, "Our Father, ... forgive us our sins," and
he is really forgiven. Why the difference? With the unredeemed, those
yet under the law (Rom. 3:19), God is dealing as judge with violators
of law, and law knows no forgiveness. With the redeemed, those who
have been adopted as God's children (Gal. 4:4-7), God is dealing as
father with son. Let those who are redeemed, who are really God's
children, realize the blessed fact that "If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins."--1 John 1:9.

But there is another class of sins committed by God's children, "If
his children _forsake_ my law" (Ps. 89:30), wilful sins. For these God
chastises His children, just as an earthly father chastises his wilful
and disobedient children. "Ye have forgotten the exhortation which
speaketh unto you as unto sons, My son, despise not thou the
chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he
receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons,
for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be
without chastening, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards
and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh who
corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be
in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live? For they verily for
a few days chastened us as seemed right to them; but he for our
profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness."--Heb. 12:5-10.

Chastisement or punishment of God's children is for correction; "for
our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Heb. 12:10);
punishment of the unredeemed is to carry out law, for justice: "that
he might be _just_" (Rom. 3:26); "every transgression received a
_just_ recompense of reward."--Heb. 2:2. The unredeemed, those under
the law (Rom. 3:19), are punished beyond this life, in the Day of
Judgment,--"verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the
land of Sodom and Gomorrah _in the day of judgment_, than for that
city."--Matt. 10:15; God's children receive their chastisements in
this life,--"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with
sons."--Heb. 12:7. Professing Christians who are not redeemed, not
really God's children, do not receive chastisements; hence, they are
punished in the day of judgment with the other unredeemed. "But if ye
be without chastening, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards
and not sons."--Heb. 12:8.

He has observed to little purpose who has not noticed that redeemed
people, God's children, suffer more in this life than the unredeemed.
God says that His children endure chastenings and others who are not
His children do not. The difference can be easily seen by any one who
will observe closely. The Psalmist observed it and was greatly
disturbed by it until he understood the cause of the difference.
"Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh
slipped. For I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of
the wicked. For there are no bands in their death, but their strength
is firm. _They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they
plagued like other men._ Therefore pride compasseth them about as a
chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with
fatness, they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and
speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. They set
their mouths against the heavens and their tongue walketh through the
earth. Therefore, his people return hither, and waters of a full cup
are wrung out to them. And they say, How doth God know? And is there
knowledge in the Most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper
in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart
in vain and washed my hands in innocency. For _all the day long have I
been plagued, and chastened every morning_. If I say, I will speak
thus: behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; _until I went
into the sanctuary of God: then understood I their end_. Surely, thou
didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into
destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment?
They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh;
so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. For my
heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I,
and ignorant; I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless, I am
continually with thee; thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou
shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to
glory."--Ps. 73:1-24.

That chastisement in this life for wilful sins is God's plan with
redeemed men, His real children, is clearly revealed even in the Old
Testament. God swore by His holiness to David that this would be His
plan with redeemed men:--"Also, I will make him my firstborn, higher
than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him forevermore,
and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make
to endure forever and his throne as the days of Heaven. If his
children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break
my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their
transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor
suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor
alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my
holiness that I will not lie unto David."--Ps. 89:27-35. David himself
was a case in point. After his terrible sin, God sent word to him by
the prophet Nathan, "Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of
the Lord, to do evil in his sight? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite
with the sword and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain
him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword
shall never depart from thine house."--2 Sam. 12:9, 10. "And David
said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said
unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not
die."--2 Sam. 12:13. God has but one way of putting away sin. "Apart
from shedding of blood is no remission."--Heb. 9:22. "For the life of
the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar
to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh
an atonement for the soul."--Lev. 17:11. But God does not stop there.
"Howbeit because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the
enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto
thee shall surely die."--1 Sam. 12:14. (Let the reader notice that
God, foreseeing that people would ridicule the idea of God saving
David, calls it blasphemy and calls those who do it "the enemies of
the Lord.") David fasted and prayed for the child. On the seventh day
the child died, "But when David saw that his servants whispered, David
perceived that the child was dead; therefore David said unto his
servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David
arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself, and changed his
apparel, and came into the house of the Lord and worshipped: then he
came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him
and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this
that thou hast done? Thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it
was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I
said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child
may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring
him back again? _I shall go to him._"--2 Sam. 12:19-23. How could
David be thus sure? He had God's word on which to rest, "The life of
the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it upon the altar to make
atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh atonement
for the soul."--Lev. 17:11. But because of his sin God chastened him
as long as he lived. "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from
thine house."

Solomon is another case in point. Concerning Solomon God said to
David, "I will be his father and he shall be my son. If he commit
iniquity, I will chastise him with the rod of men, and with the
stripes of the children of men; but my mercy shall not depart away
from him."--2 Sam. 7:14, 15.

In chastening, God uses as a rod loss of loved ones (2 Sam. 12:14;
Amos 4:10), loss of property (Amos 4:6-9), loss of health (1 Cor.
11:30), death (1 Cor. 11:30; Amos 4:11; Deut. 32:48-52). Consider the
case of Moses and Aaron: God told them to speak to the rock that it
might bring forth water for the children of Israel. But they wilfully
disobeyed, and instead of speaking to the rock, struck it in anger.
For this wilful sin, as a chastisement, God said to Moses, "Get thee
up into this mountain Abarim, unto Mt. Nebo, which is in the land of
Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan,
which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: and die in
the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as
Aaron thy brother died in Mt. Hor, and was gathered unto his people:
_because ye trespassed against me_ among the children of Israel at
the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin."--Deut.
32:49-52. Though Moses was thus severely chastened for his wilful sin,
he was not lost, for he was with Elijah on the mountain at the
transfiguration of the Saviour (Matt. 17:1-3).

The lesson needs to be learned by God's children that as certainly as
a redeemed man sins wilfully, whether the sin be great or small, the
chastening rod is sure to fall. "If his children _forsake my law ...
then will_ I visit their transgressions with the rod and their
iniquity with stripes."--Ps. 89:30-32. But God does not send the
chastening in wrath, nor in justice. "Whom the Lord _loveth_ he
chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."--Heb. 12:6.

There are many who profess to be redeemed, to be God's children,
professed Christians, church members, who sin wilfully, and God never
sends chastisements to them; but God explains about them, "But if ye
be without chastening, whereof all are partakers, then are ye
bastards, and not sons."--Heb. 12:8. He does not chasten this class;
in Hell they will receive their punishment, but it will be just. God
will treat no human being wrong. With some it may seem severe that God
should chasten and scourge His children. That is not as severe as to
send them to Hell for their wilful disobedience after they become His
children, and that is the belief of many. There are but three plans
that God could have for those who have been redeemed from the curse of
law (Gal. 3:13) and adopted as His children (Gal. 4:4-7), and
afterward sin wilfully:--

First, beyond this life punish them in the judgment (Matt. 10:15) for
their sins, send them to Hell. That would mean, (1) if Christ redeemed
them from _all_ iniquity (Titus 2:14), that God would force the same
debt to be paid twice. "Shall not the judge of all the earth do
right?" (2) That would mean that God would punish, by law, those who
have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), and who are
not under the law (Rom. 6:14), and would violate God's own principle,
"Sin is not reckoned [imputed] when there is no law" (Rom. 5:13). (3)
That would mean a child of God, redeemed and adopted (Gal. 4:4-7), and
born again (1 Peter 1:23), born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8), sent to
Hell. (4) That would mean to make the Saviour unreliable and
untruthful in His statements. "Many will say unto me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have
cast out demons? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then
will I profess unto them, I _never_ knew you."--Matt. 7:22, 23. These
are the professing Christians at the judgment who are lost, and Jesus
says, "I never knew you," that not one of them was ever really
redeemed and adopted as a child of God. (5) It would mean for God to
violate His own oath (Ps. 89: 27-35).

Second, the second plan possible to God in dealing with those who sin
wilfully after they have been redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14),
from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), and adopted as God's children
(Gal. 4:4-7), would be to let them continue to sin wilfully, and
neither punish them beyond this life, at the judgment, in Hell, nor
chastise them in this life. That would mean for some of them to
eventually develop characters most fearfully warped by sin.

Third, there is but one other possible plan left for God with redeemed
men, redeemed from the law and adopted as His children (Gal. 4:7), who
sin wilfully; and that is to chasten, chastise them in this life. That
is God's plan with the redeemed, His own children; and however severe
the chastening, He does it in love. In love He planned to adopt us as
His children. "Having _in love_ predestinated us for the adoption as
sons through Jesus Christ to himself."--Eph. 1:5 (1911 Bible), and in
love He chastises. "Whom the Lord _loveth_, he chasteneth and
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."--Heb. 12:6.

Reader, the issue is before you: shall you remain under the law (Rom.
3:19) to be punished justly in the judgment (Matt. 11:22-24) and to
continue to sin in Hell (Rev. 22:11, R. V.), or will you accept
redemption through Christ the Saviour from the curse of the law (Gal.
3:13), be adopted as a child of God forever (Gal. 4:4-7), to be
forgiven when you sin against your Father in Heaven and confess your
sin (1 John 1:9); to be chastened when you sin wilfully (Ps.
89:27-34), and to spend eternity in Heaven with Him who loved you and
gave Himself for you (John 14:1-3; Gal. 2:20), free forever from sin
(Rev. 21:24-27; Rev. 22:3)? You do not intend, reader, to be wrapped
in a Christless shroud, to be laid away in a Christless grave, to
spend eternity in a Christless Hell. Decide _now_.

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_:--The teaching that God interposes in human
affairs to chastise His disobedient children (Heb. 12:5-8; Ps.
89:27-34), to chasten with the rod of the children of men (2 Sam.
7:14, 15; 1 Cor. 11:30), will frighten, or arouse the contempt of,
"the modern mind" with its self-inflated wisdom, which _just knows_
that "the laws of nature are immutable laws." Is there a being called
"Nature" who made these laws? Who revealed to "the modern mind" that
these laws were immutable? Where did "the modern mind" get its
authority (it takes for granted that it has the power) to drive God
from His universe, or to make Him powerless, or inactive? Can "the
modern mind" prove absolutely that because God's law of gravitation
causes objects to fall toward the earth, He has no right and no power
to make Elijah's body go up instead of down (2 Kings 2:11)? Does "the
modern mind" absolutely know that God is now inactive and must remain
inactive? "Dr. Mason Goode observes that worlds and systems of worlds
are perpetually disappearing, that within the period of the last
century no less than thirteen in different constellations seem to have
perished and _ten new ones have been created_."--_"Origin of the
Globe."_ If God is active out in space, who shall deny Him the right
or the power to be active on this planet? And if active on this planet
at all, then in the individual lives of His children? And in His word,
backed up by fulfilled prophecies, to prove that He _is_ dealing with
us, He tells us that He is. Is "the modern mind" too scholarly, too
self-opinionated, to consider the following words from Prof. James Orr
in his "The Resurrection of Jesus" ("the modern mind" is very careful
not to attempt a thorough reply to Professor Orr's "Problem of the
Old Testament," nor his "Resurrection of Jesus"--for obvious reasons)?
"The question is not, Do natural causes operate uniformly? But _are
natural causes the only causes that exist or operate_? For miracle, as
has frequently been pointed out, is precisely the assertion of the
interposition of a _new_ cause; one, besides, which the theist must
admit to be a _vera causa_."

If when we become God's children, we are no longer under the law (Rom.
6:14), we are redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), we are no more
servants but sons (Gal. 4:7), the question arises, why pray to Our
Father in Heaven to be forgiven? The child does not ask his father's
forgiveness in order to be his child, but to have the disturbed
fellowship restored. The unforgiven child is still a child, but will
be chastened. It is fellowship of the Heavenly Father with the child
that is restored by forgiveness, and is sought in forgiveness, and not
a destroyed relationship. On this point hear James Denny in his "The
Death of Christ": "Christ died for sins once for all, and the man who
believes in Christ and in His death has his relations to God once for
all determined not by sin but by the Atonement. The sin for which a
Christian has daily to seek forgiveness is not sin which annuls his
acceptance with God."

There needs to be kept in mind, in considering that God chastens His
children, the distinction that while chastenings are sufferings, all
sufferings are not chastisements. The expression, "whom the Lord
loveth he chasteneth" (Heb. 12:6), has been widely misused and sadly
misapplied. Because David's babe was taken from him as a chastisement
(2 Sam. 12:14), many thoughtlessly conclude that every babe's death is
meant for a chastisement for the father and mother; and many apply
"Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" to all of the sorrows and
sufferings of God's children. But there is another purpose
accomplished by some sufferings, in "that the trial of your faith
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be
tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the
appearing of Jesus Christ."--1 Peter 1:7. "And he shall sit as a
purifier and refiner of silver."--Matt. 3:3. The silver is not to
blame for the dross; nevertheless, it needs to be burned out. A child
stole a piece of bread; the father chastised the child for it. That
chastening was suffering. But the same child was born a cripple. In
straightening the foot, the father forced many weeks of fearful
suffering on the child, but the suffering was not chastisement.
Chastisements are sufferings of God's children for wrongdoing to
correct them; but there are sufferings that are not chastisements for
wrongdoing, but are to take out of us defects, or to develop us.
Hence, to say to some one who is suffering from sorrow or affliction,
"Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth," is often cruel and untrue.



VI

REWARDS--DEGREES IN HEAVEN

     "I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish."--John
     10:28.--"Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."--Matt. 6:20.

     "By grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of
     yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any one
     should boast."--Eph. 2:8, 9.--"Each man shall receive his own
     reward _according to his own labor_."--1 Cor. 3:8.

     "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus
     Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver,
     costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made
     manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be
     revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what
     sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon,
     he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he
     shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through
     fire."--1 Cor. 3:11-15.

     "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be
     required of thee; then whose shall those things be, which thou hast
     provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not
     _rich_ toward God."--Luke 12:20, 21.

     "Whosoever would save his life shall lose _it_; and whosoever shall
     lose his life for my sake shall find _it_. For what shall a man be
     profited if he shall gain the whole world and forfeit his life, or
     what shall a man give in exchange for his life? For the Son of man
     shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then
     shall he render unto every man _according to his deeds_."--Matt.
     16:25-27 (R. V.)

     "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give each one
     _according as his work shall be_."--Rev. 22:12.


The teaching of God's word of degrees in future punishment ("These
shall receive greater condemnation,"--Mark 12:40) according to
heredity and environment ("It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and
Sidon at the day of judgment than for you;" "it shall be more
tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for
thee,"--Matt. 11:22, 24), and according to sin ("Every transgression
and disobedience received a just recompense of reward,"--Heb. 2:2),
commends itself to the judgment, to the conscience, of every honest
man. The companion teaching to this in God's word is that there will
be different degrees, or rewards, in Heaven. Just as the degree of
man's punishment in Hell will be determined by his life here; so the
degree of a man's reward in Heaven will be determined by his life
here. The dividing line is redemption.

With many, salvation and rewards mean the same thing, but the Saviour
made a clear distinction. "I give unto them eternal life, and they
shall never perish."--John 10:28 ("He that believeth on me hath
everlasting life."--John 6:47);--"Lay up for yourselves treasures in
Heaven."--Matt. 6:20. Our salvation is a gift and depends upon the
Saviour; our treasures in Heaven must be laid up by ourselves. Paul
makes the distinction equally clear. "By grace have ye been saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not
of works, lest any man should boast."--Eph. 2:8, 9 (R. V.).--"Each man
shall receive his own reward according to his own labor."--1 Cor. 3:8.
But by rewards for service God's word does not mean God's blessings on
the faithful Christians in this life. It means rewards beyond this
life. Jesus said, "When thou makest a dinner or a supper call not thy
friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen nor thy rich neighbors,
lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when
thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind;
and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee, for thou
shalt be recompensed _at the resurrection of the just_."--Luke
14:12-14.

If "each man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor"
(1 Cor. 3:8), there will, then, be different rewards or degrees in
Heaven; for doubtless no two redeemed people ever served God in
exactly the same degree of faithfulness. Paul makes this distinction
clear, as well as the difference between salvation and rewards. He
uses the illustration of building houses out of different material. He
has been speaking of preachers and their work, and then seems to turn
and apply his teaching to every one, for he says, "Let every man take
heed how he buildeth thereupon."--1 Cor. 3:10. Whether he is speaking
only of preachers and their work, or applies it to every man; whether
he is speaking of building in the lives of others by what we teach or
do, or whether he makes a turn and applies it to every man and his
building in his own life, he draws the clear distinction between the
foundation on which the building rests and the building built
thereupon, between salvation alone through Christ, and rewards for
service: "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which
is Jesus Christ. Now, if any man build upon this foundation gold,
silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be
made manifest; for the day shall declare it; because it shall be
revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort
it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall
receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned he shall suffer
loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."--1 Cor.
3:11-15. Why is he saved? Because he has been redeemed from the curse
of the law, Christ having been made a curse for him (Gal. 3:13);
because he has been redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14); because
he has been redeemed from under the law (Rom. 6:14); and God means His
promise, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved" (Acts
16:31), and he means the promise of the Saviour, "Verily, verily I say
unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me
hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life."

But when the redeemed man's works shall be burned, though he himself
shall be saved (1 Cor. 3:15), he shall suffer loss (1 Cor. 3:15), and
the loss shall be irreparable, eternal, and so great that no human
being in this age can fully realize it. Here the old translation, the
King James' version, has misled us. The oft-quoted sentence, "What is
a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul? or
what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" is a mistranslation.
The Revised Version translates it correctly: "What shall a man be
profited, if he shall gain the whole world and forfeit his life, or
what shall a man give in exchange for his life?"--Matt. 16:26. By
noticing verse 25, and verse 27 the reader can see what the Saviour
meant: "whosoever would save his life shall lose _it_," not his soul,
but his life, "and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall
find _it_," his life not his soul; "whosoever shall lose his life for
my sake,"--men do lose their lives for His sake, but no one loses his
soul for the Saviour's sake. Following immediately He says, verse 26,
"For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his
life?" In verse 27 the Saviour makes plain how a man who would save
his life, loses it, and how the one who shall lose his life for the
Saviour's sake shall find it,--in the rewards that he loses by trying
to save his life, or gains by losing his life for the Saviour's sake,
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his
angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his
deeds." What deeds? Deeds of losing his life for the Saviour's sake.
For all eternity he will have no reward for the life he lived here--he
has lost his life. Now, the Saviour says that if a man "shall gain the
whole world," and in doing so shall "forfeit his life,"--shall have no
reward in eternity as a result of his life (the principle laid down by
Paul, whether of preachers or of all, "if any man's work shall be
burned he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved."--1 Cor.
3:15), he has made a fearful mistake. But if the one who "shall gain
the whole world" and in doing so "shall forfeit his life," shall have
no reward for it, makes a fearful mistake, how much greater mistake
does the one make who forfeits his life to have no reward throughout
eternity, in order to gain a very small part of the world, as so many
are doing? But if the one who "shall forfeit his life,"--have no
reward in eternity,--in order to gain but a very small part of the
world, makes such a fearful, such a great mistake, far worse is the
bargain made by the unredeemed man who loses not only his life but
also loses his soul in order to gain a very small part of "the whole
world"; and yet this is what the vast majority of men are doing. We
cannot grasp it, we cannot realize it, but Jesus says that the
rewards (not salvation--1 Cor. 3:15) that men are losing are more than
"the whole world."

Another teaching of the Saviour along this line has been widely
misapplied: "He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a
certain rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought within
himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to
bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my
barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my
goods, and I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up
for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God
said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of
thee; then whose shall those things be, which thou hast
provided?"--Luke 12:16-20. At once many rush to the conclusion that he
was lost, that he went to Hell; and they proceed to warn men against
laying up treasures in this life and losing their souls. But God said,
"This night thy soul shall be required of thee," not "this night thy
soul shall go to Hell." Let the Saviour make His own application: "So
is he that layeth up treasures for himself and _is not rich toward
God_."--Luke 12:21. "If any man's work abide which he hath built
thereupon he shall receive a reward" (1 Cor. 3:14), he is rich toward
God; "if any man's work shall be burned he shall suffer loss" (1 Cor.
3:15), he is a fool; he spent a life here on earth and has no reward
in eternity as a result of it;--"but he himself shall be saved, yet so
as through fire."--1 Cor. 3:15. (If in the passage 1 Cor. 3:11-15,
Paul is speaking only of preachers and their work in building on the
foundation of Christ in the lives of others by their teaching, he yet
shows that some whose work abides will be rewarded, and that others
whose work shall be burned shall suffer loss and yet shall be saved;
so that the principle applies with all Christians). Two cases in
point:--

A great American statesman was told by his physician that in a few
days he must die. That afternoon a minister called to see the dying
statesman and asked as to his hope beyond the grave. The dying
statesman replied, "Mr. Blank, I am going to Heaven when I die." The
minister asked the dying man on what he based his hope. He replied:
"Mr. Blank, I am ashamed to say that I am a Christian; but now that
the time has come, I must not deny my Saviour. When I am dead tell
your people that days before I died, when my mind was calm and clear,
I gave my dying testimony that I was going to Heaven, redeemed by the
blood of Christ." The minister pressed the question, why he thought he
was a Christian. The statesman said to the negro man who was nursing
him, "Jack, go into my library and bring me my Bible." Turning to the
minister he said, "Mr. Blank, as I said to you, I am ashamed to say
that I am a Christian, but now that the time has come, I must not deny
my Saviour. Long years ago, back in the old red hills of Georgia, when
I was a young man, one Sunday in an old country church I heard a
Baptist preacher preach, and I understood him. He showed that God
honestly loves this world, that Jesus Christ, God's Son, died for our
sins, and that He died for all of our sins; and that every one who
would repent and trust Christ to save him was certain to go to Heaven.
Out there in that old country church in the red hills of Georgia I
accepted Jesus Christ as my Redeemer and Saviour that Sunday morning,
and trusted Him to save me. I came west and became overwhelmed in
business and politics. I have wasted my life." Just then the negro man
returned and handed the Bible to the dying statesman. He turned the
leaves and finally stopped, and turning to the minister he said, "Mr.
Blank, I am ashamed to say it, but I don't know much about this book;
but I do know that this is God's word; and I do know that out in the
old country church in the red hills of Georgia that Sunday morning,
when I heard and understood the country preacher, I did, as a guilty,
lost, justly condemned sinner, accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour and
Redeemer and trust Him to save me. Listen, Mr. Blank: 'He that
believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.' Mr. Blank, God says I
have everlasting life, and I am going to Heaven when I die." And
turning, the great statesman buried his face in his pillow and sobbed
out his grief and remorse. He did go to Heaven, "but God said unto
him, Thou fool ... so is he that layeth up treasures for himself and
is not rich toward God."--Luke 12:20, 21.

The second case in point:--

A rich banker in the West a few weeks before Christmas sent a check
for three hundred and fifty dollars to his brother in the East, a poor
country preacher, telling him to come and bring all of his family and
spend Christmas with him. They had not seen each other since boyhood.
The preacher and family arrived Christmas eve morning. That afternoon
in carriages the two families drove over the banker's beautiful farm
of a thousand acres of rich land. Coming in late in the afternoon,
they came by the pasture and saw the beautiful herd of blooded cattle.
After a sumptuous supper the banker's daughters gave them some
splendid music and the two families went upstairs to sleep. The two
white-haired brothers, the banker and the poor country preacher,
remained downstairs, and for hours talked of boyhood days in the old
country home in the East. At last the conversation, like the fire in
the fireplace, had about died out. Finally the banker turned and said,
"Brother John, may I say something to you and you not get angry?" Said
the preacher, "Why, brother James, you can say anything you wish to me
and I will not get angry." Said the banker, "Brother John, you and I
were poor boys back in the old country home in the East and we agreed
to be partners for life. One day you came to me and told me that you
were called to preach. I told you then that you were a fool. What a
fool you have been! Do you remember that rich farm of a thousand acres
you saw this afternoon? Paid for with honest money, John. This
comfortable home for my old age, paid for with honest money, John. The
fifty thousand dollars I have in the bank in the city where I am
president of the bank, every dollar of it honest money, John. John,
you could have had as much as I have. What a fool you have been! Why,
I had to send you the three hundred and fifty dollars to bring you and
your family that I might see them before I die. And look at your
daughters; they are dressed in such a shabby way that I am ashamed for
my neighbors to see my children's cousins. And look at you with your
old seedy, worn suit and your patched shoes; I am ashamed to take you
to town day after to-morrow and introduce you to my business
associates. What a fool you have been! Now, John, I am not saying this
to wound your feelings; for I love you, John. But I don't want you to
let any of your boys be such fools as you have been. You know you have
been a fool, John." Then there was silence for some time. The tears
were trickling down the cheeks of the old country preacher. At last he
broke the silence, "Brother James, may I say something to you and you
not get angry?" "Why, certainly, John, I did not say what I did to
make you angry, but to keep you from letting any of your boys be such
fools as you have been, for you know you have been a fool, John." "I
know," replied the old preacher, "that it looks like I have been a
fool from this end of the line, brother James. But, brother James, we
are both old men and we must soon go. Don't be angry with me, brother
James, but what have you got up yonder?" Again there was silence,
which was suddenly broken by the banker sobbing, "Oh, John, I am a
pauper at the judgment bar of God." "So is he that layeth up treasures
for himself and is not rich toward God." They are dying all over the
world, men who are redeemed, going to Heaven, but paupers. "If any
man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall
be saved, yet so as through fire,"--1 Cor. 3:15. But far better be a
pauper, and saved without any reward, than be a rich man in Hell (Luke
16:22, 23): for they are dying all over the world who not only lived
for this life, but from pride, or religious prejudice, or love of the
world, or secret sin, would not repent and be redeemed from the curse
of the law (Gal. 3:13) and be saved (Acts 16:31).

With this teaching, that there are rewards in Heaven, there is another
most helpful teaching and blessed fact, that the poorest, most
ignorant and obscure can have just as great rewards as the richest,
most learned, most applauded. "Each man shall receive his own reward
_according to his own labor_,"--1 Cor. 3:8, not according to what he
accomplishes. "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to
give each one _according as his work shall be_,"--Rev. 22:12; not
according as his success shall be. "And Jesus sat over against the
treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury; and
many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow,
and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto
him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That
this poor widow hath cast in more than all they that have cast into
the treasury."--Mark 12:41-43. The wealthy, the mighty, the renowned
who serve faithfully after they were redeemed from the curse of the
law (Gal. 3:13), from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), shall receive their
reward. But the poor, the weak, the obscure who serve faithfully after
they are redeemed shall receive equally as great rewards; and if they
have been more faithful, however small their sphere, they shall
receive even greater rewards. "Two mites that make a farthing," but it
was all she could do; "Verily I say unto you that this poor widow hath
cast in more than all they that have cast into the treasury."--Mark
12:42, 43. In an American city, one morning a man apparently sixty or
seventy years of age, dressed as a plain business man, walked into the
dining-room of one of the leading hotels and sat down to breakfast.
Some men at the adjoining table were talking of a sad case of
suffering, as reported in the morning paper; a poor widow with five
children was very sick, who had, since her husband's death a few years
before, struggled and made a living for herself and children; but now,
having been down sick for some time, everything was gone and they were
suffering. The stranger listened to the sad story; and, having
finished breakfast, he called a newsboy and bought a paper. The
account gave the street address of the poor widow. He went to the
street address, a street of poor cottages, and, knocking at the door,
was led into the sick room by a child. He saw the condition of affairs
and heard the widow's story. Sitting by the bedside, he talked in a
fatherly, cheerful way and tried to encourage the poor widow; and
quietly slipping something under the pillow, as he was talking, he
told the widow to use that as she needed it. Then taking out a little
book from his pocket, he wrote something and tore the paper out of the
little book and slipped the paper under a book and told the widow to
use that when she needed it. Then calling down God's blessings upon
the widow and her fatherless children, he bade them good-bye. As the
door closed, the widow slipped her hand under the pillow and drew out
a roll of money, to her a large sum. Then she reached for the piece of
paper under the book on the table. There was a check for a goodly sum,
signed by one of America's Christian millionaires. The glow in his
soul as he walked away from the widow's cottage was not the only
reward--"thou shalt be _recompensed at the resurrection of the
just_."--Luke 14:14. But the following Sunday a poor widow working in
a sweatshop to make a living for her fatherless children, listened to
an appeal for foreign missions, to get the gospel to those who have
never heard, and she threw in ten cents, all she could give, "two
mites that make a farthing."--"Verily I say unto you, That this poor
widow hath cast in more than all they that have cast into the
treasury."--Mark 12:42, 43. All over the world, by the multiplied
millions, there are graves where lie sleeping the bodies of those who,
down the ages, because they were redeemed, gave their lives in
service. They went down to their graves, their praises unsung by the
world. Many of them went down to their graves, never realizing that
there were rewards for them; simply rejoicing in their salvation
through Him who loved them and gave Himself for them (Gal. 2:20).

    "The desert rose, though never seen by man;
      Is nurtured with a care divinely good;
    The ocean pearl, though 'neath the rolling main,
      Is ever brilliant in the eyes of God.

    "Think not thy worth and work are all unknown
      Because no partial pensman paint thy praise;
    Man may not see nor care, but God will own
      Thy worth and work; thy thoughts and deeds and ways."

Riding along a lonely country road one Sunday afternoon, many years
ago, returning from a country church, a young preacher was talking to
his companion, a young man eighteen years of age, telling him of God's
love and of _God's plan with men_. The conversation had ended, and for
some minutes they had been riding along in silence, when suddenly the
young man spurred his horse up to the young preacher's horse, and
seizing the reins, stopped both horses. Dropping the reins, he threw
both arms around the preacher's neck, and as he began sobbing said,
"Oh, R----, how good God is!" How little men consider God's goodness.
How good God is to have ever brought us into being! How good God is,
though we have all sinned against Him (Rom. 3:23), "that he might be
just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26),
to have provided complete redemption for us from all iniquity (Titus
2:14)! How good God is to have "in love predestinated us for adoption
as sons through Jesus Christ to himself"!--Eph. 1:5. How good God is
to chastise us in love (Heb. 12:5, 6) instead of punishing us in Hell
for our sins after we become His children (Ps. 89:27-34)! How good God
is to place us where we will serve Him from love, and not from fear of
punishment (2 Cor. 5:14, 15)! How good God is, in addition to our
salvation, to provide rewards in Heaven for the services we render
here (Matt. 6:20)! How good God is to provide that the poor, the
ignorant, the obscure, can have just as great rewards as the more
fortunate ones (Mark 1:41, 42)! How good God is to say, "if any man's
work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be
saved, yet so as through fire"!--1 Cor. 3:15.

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_:--The objection that the teaching of rewards in
Heaven makes Christianity too matter-of-fact is not well taken.
Punishments or rewards last through all eternity; with the unredeemed,
in added degrees to the punishment in Hell; with the redeemed, in
added rewards in Heaven. And they need to realize that with both
classes this applies to the smallest deeds: "But I say unto you, That
every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account
thereof in the day of judgment."--Matt. 12:36. "And whosoever shall
give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only
in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise
lose his reward."--Matt. 10:42.

Neither is the objection well taken that to teach men to aim to have
rewards in Heaven is appealing to an unworthy motive. Jesus taught it
(Matt. 6:20), Paul taught it (1 Cor. 3:11-15), Moses endorsed it (Heb.
11:26), and the objector himself prays for God's blessings here in
this life.

Nor is the objection well founded, that for people to aim to have
rewards will destroy the motive of love. Rather, it adds to the motive
of love. A father gives his son, yet not of age, a fine farm. That
arouses the boy's love. The father tells the boy that, though not of
age, he may have the full reward of his labor on the farm, beginning
at once. This does not destroy the motive of love. So, the Saviour,
having died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), and given us eternal life
(John 10:28, 29), arouses our love; to give us the privilege of having
rewards in addition to salvation (Matt. 6:20), does not destroy our
love, but increases it.

There is one limitation God's word makes to our deeds being rewarded:
"Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men to be seen of
them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in Heaven. When
therefore thou doest alms, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have
glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have received their reward.
But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right
hand doeth; that thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth
in secret shall recompense thee."--Matt. 6:1-4. If a redeemed man does
his righteous deeds in order to get glory as reward here, he gets it,
but none in Heaven,--the wrong motive prevents his receiving rewards
in Heaven. _God rewards according to the motive._

There seems to be one other limitation to receiving rewards in Heaven
for the deeds of this life: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of
these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called
the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach
them the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven."--Matt.
5:19. The teaching seems to be that for one to deliberately break even
the least commandment, while he will be saved ("The least _in the
kingdom of Heaven_") yet he will have no reward ("_The least_ in the
kingdom of Heaven").

There is one passage of Scripture that some have thought contradicts
the teaching of different rewards in Heaven: "The kingdom of Heaven is
like unto a man, an householder, who went out early in the morning to
hire laborers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the
laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he
went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the
market place, and said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard and
whatsoever is right I will give you, and they went their way. Again he
went out about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, and did likewise.
And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing
idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They
say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye
also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye
receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto
his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning
from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about
the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first
came, they supposed that they should have received more, and they
likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it,
they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last
have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, who
have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them
and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst not thou agree with me for
a penny? Take that thine is and go thy way; _I will give unto this
last even as unto thee_."--Matt. 20:1-14. From this the conclusion is
drawn that there are no different rewards in Heaven; that all are
rewarded alike. But not only does God's word elsewhere teach different
rewards in Heaven, but the Saviour made His teaching on this point
very plain. In the parable of the pounds, the servant who with one
pound gained ten pounds is rewarded with authority over ten cities.
But the one who with one pound gained only five pounds is rewarded
with only five cities (Luke 19:16-19). This shows clearly a difference
in rewards. If, now, this passage in Matthew teaches no difference in
rewards, then we have a positive contradiction. But consider the two
parables: the parable of the pounds is where men have the same
opportunity, each one a pound; then they are rewarded according to
what they accomplish. The parable of the vineyard is where the
laborers work different lengths of time; in the morning, boys and
girls, six, eight, ten, twelve years of age, becoming Christians and
going into the vineyard; the third hour, young people, fifteen,
eighteen, twenty years of age, becoming Christians and going into the
vineyard; the sixth hour, young men and young women, twenty-five,
thirty, thirty-five years of age, becoming Christians and going into
the vineyard; the ninth hour, men and women past middle life, forty,
forty-five, fifty years of age, becoming Christians and going into
the vineyard; the eleventh hour, old men and women, sixty, seventy,
eighty years of age, becoming Christians and going into the vineyard.
But does the Saviour mean all old men and women who become Christians
in old age and begin working in the vineyard? No, for He limits it to
those in old age who can say, "_No man hath hired us_." Then the
Saviour means by the eleventh hour laborers in the parable those who
in old age had never before had the opportunity of going into the
vineyard; who had never before heard or understood the way to be
saved, and enter God's service. With these, the Saviour reserves the
sovereign right to give them just as great rewards as though they had
entered the vineyard "early in the morning"; not that those who "have
borne the burden and heat of the day" shall receive less, but that
those who did not have the opportunity of entering the vineyard
sooner, shall not lose because of it. Some one may think that there
are no old men and women who do not know the way to be saved and enter
the vineyard. Even in professedly Christian lands there are many old
men and women who, because of wrong religious teaching, have never
seen the real way to be saved; and in China and Africa there are vast
numbers who can say, "No man hath hired us." To take a case: a mere
child becomes a Christian and serves in the vineyard for seventy
years; an old Chinaman eighty years of age hears the gospel for the
first time, and becomes a Christian and works in the vineyard only one
year and dies. He will receive as great a reward as the one who served
God seventy years. Apply this principle to the redeemed who died in
early life: if those who entered at the eleventh hour, "because no man
hath hired us" receive for one hour as much as those who have labored
throughout the day, then those who entered the third hour and the Lord
of the vineyard himself took them out the fourth hour, will receive as
great rewards as though they had been left to bear the burden and heat
of the day. Blessed consolation to those who have lost loved ones who
were taken early in life.

Three of the Saviour's parables are closely connected in their
teaching concerning rewards: The parable of the pounds, where each
servant has a pound and one gains ten pounds and another five; one
receives authority over ten cities, the other receives authority over
five cities, just half the reward of the other, because he was just
half as faithful (Luke 19:16-19). This parable represents that class
of men who have equal opportunity in life (each one a pound) and
teaches that their reward will be in proportion to what they
accomplish. The second is the parable of the vineyard, representing
the length of time of service when the laborers were not to blame for
not entering the vineyard earlier; showing that they shall not lose
because they could not get into the vineyard to work earlier. The
third is the parable of the talents, where the one with five talents
gained five other talents and the one with two talents gained two
other talents, and they both received the same commendation, the same
reward, "I will make thee ruler over many things" (Matt. 25:20-23);
teaching that the one with small opportunity (two talents) if he uses
it faithfully, will receive as great reward as the one with great
opportunity (five talents) who uses it faithfully.

A widely misunderstood passage of Scripture bearing on the subject of
rewards is 1 Cor. 9:24-27: "Know ye not that they that run in a race
run all, but only one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.
And every contestant in the games is temperate in all things. They,
indeed, do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that
beateth the air; but I buffet my body and bring it into subjection;
lest that by any means, after having preached to others, I myself
should be disapproved."--The 1911 Bible. The Authorized Version reads
"a castaway"; the Revised Version reads "rejected." Many have thought
that Paul was striving that he might not be a castaway (or rejected)
from salvation. But notice the passage; he was striving not to be a
castaway (or rejected) from something that is secured as a result of
one's own efforts, "so run that ye may obtain." Salvation is not
secured as a result of one's efforts; "to him that _worketh not_ but
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
righteousness."--Rom. 4:5. Rewards are secured as a result of one's
own efforts; "each man shall receive his own reward according to his
own labor."--1 Cor. 3:8. Again, what Paul was striving not to be a
castaway (or rejected) from, is something that one receives after the
race is finished; but salvation comes at the beginning of the race
course, "He that believeth on the Son _hath_ everlasting life,"--John
3:36; "by grace _have ye been_ saved."--Eph. 2:8. Rewards do come
after the race is finished;--"thou shalt be recompensed _at the
resurrection of the just_."--Luke 14:14. Again, in saying "I buffet my
body," he has no reference to buffeting his body to keep it from sin,
but from _comforts and privileges that are not sinful_. In the entire
chapter he has referred only to his not eating and drinking; not
leading about a wife as well as other apostles and the brethren of the
Lord and Cephas; not being supported by those to whom he preached (1
Cor. 9:4-14); and in each case he says that he has a right to these
things. Was Paul buffeting his body against having a wife lest he
should be a castaway (or rejected) from salvation? Then only the Roman
Catholic priests, among the preachers, will be saved. Was Paul
buffeting his body against being supported by those to whom he
preached, and working with his own hands for his living, lest he
should be a castaway (or rejected) from salvation? Then the Roman
Catholic priests and almost all of the Protestant and Baptists
preachers will be lost. Will a man be a castaway (or rejected) from
salvation for enjoying comforts and privileges that are not sinful and
to which he has a right? But let Paul state for himself what he means:
"For if I do this thing willingly _I have a reward_."--1 Cor. 9:17. He
then urges the Corinthian Christians to run in the race that they may
receive the prize. "I buffet my body and bring it into subjection
(from enjoying these sinless comforts and privileges); lest that by
any means, after having preached (R. V. margin "have been a herald")
to others (preaching or heralding to run in the race and so run as to
obtain the prize, the reward) I myself should be disapproved" (a
castaway, rejected,--from the prize, the reward). "If any man's work
abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any
man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall
be saved, yet so as through fire."--1 Cor. 3:14, 15.

But does Paul teach that there are rewards for bodily sufferings and
self-denials? Let him explain: "Though I am free from all men, yet
have I made myself servant unto all, _that I might gain the more_."--1
Cor. 9:19. That, by giving up these comforts and privileges he might
win more people to be saved (1 Cor. 9:20-22).

There is the prize, there are rewards, for those who bring their
bodies under from comforts and privileges that they may thereby win
others to be saved. With the coppers in the foreign mission envelope
from an orphan newsboy was found a note written in a child's awkward
handwriting, "Starved a meal to give a meal." He would not have been a
castaway from salvation had he bought and eaten his lunch that day;
but there will be, at the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14), the
prize for having brought his body into subjection that he might gain
the more.

During a collection for foreign missions, a poor, ragged, one-legged
negro hobbled down the aisle and laid three packages of money on the
table: "Dat's fur my wife; dat's fur my boy; dat's fur me." When the
collector saw the amount, he protested, saying that it was too much
for a poor crippled man to give. As a matter of fact, it meant weeks
of sacrificing, sometimes with no meat on the table. As the tears
trickled down the black cheeks, the negro said, "Oh, Boss, de Lord's
cause must go on, and I may soon be dead"; and turning he hobbled back
to his seat. He was only a poor, ignorant, one-legged negro, but he
ran in the race, and at the resurrection of the just he will receive
the prize.

A Christian Chinaman sold himself to some mine owners that he might go
down in the mines and while working lead his fellow-Chinamen to be
saved. He had no support from those to whom he preached, but worked
with his own hands. He ran in the race, and will receive the prize.

If the young Catholic priest was redeemed who turned from the comforts
and privileges of a wife and home and gave himself for the lepers,
there will be the prize at the resurrection of the just.

The world says that a man is a fool to make such sacrifices; Jesus
said: "Thou fool ... so is he that layeth up treasures for himself and
is not rich toward God."--Luke 12:20, 21. "If any man's work abide
which he hath built thereupon he shall receive a reward. If any man's
work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be
saved, yet so as through fire."--1 Cor. 3:14, 15.



VII

HOW TO BE SAVED--REPENTANCE AND FAITH

     "Repent ye and believe the gospel."--Mark 1:15.

     "Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus
     Christ."--Acts 20:21.

     "And ye when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might
     believe him."--Matt. 21:32.

     "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."--Luke 13:3.

     "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
     the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should
     not perish, but have eternal life."--John 3:14,15.

     "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the
     Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved."--Acts 16:30, 31.


Wherever repentance and faith are mentioned in God's word without one
exception, repentance comes before faith. There is a faith that comes
before repentance; but it is pure historical faith, and does not
result in salvation. "He that cometh to God must believe that he
is,"--Heb. 11:26; the demons believe in God's existence, that He is;
Thomas Paine believed in God's existence, that He is. But the faith
that results in salvation invariably comes after repentance; "And ye
when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, _that ye_ might believe
him."--Matt. 21:32. If, therefore, the faith that saves must come
after repentance, then those who have no saving faith after
repentance, have no salvation, are not really redeemed. Not only so,
but if saving faith must come after repentance, then those who place
the only faith they claim, before repentance, do not understand what
saving faith is.

Jesus preached, "Repent ye and believe the gospel."--Mark 1:15. Paul
preached "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus
Christ."--Acts 20:21. What does "repent" or "repentance" mean?

God's word teaches that one must repent _in order to believe_. "And ye
when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, _that ye might believe
him_."--Matt. 21:32. "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish."--Luke 13:3. Then whatever "repentance" or "repent" means, it
is something that must take place before one can be saved, before he
can "believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15); before he can have "faith toward
our Lord Jesus Christ."--Acts 20:21. The Saviour gives a complete,
perfect picture of salvation, and in that picture we can find what
repentance means: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in
him should not perish, but have eternal life."--John 3:14, 15. Jesus
says "As," "even so"; then in the case of the serpent in the
wilderness we have a complete, perfect picture of the way of
salvation. By seeing what came back there before the lifting up of the
serpent, we can see what comes before believing in Him, or "faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Notice the incident to which the
Saviour referred as showing the complete picture of the way of
salvation: "And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red
Sea, to compass the land of Edom: And the soul of the people was much
discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and
against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in
the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and
our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents
among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel
died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned,
for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the
Lord that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the
people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and
set it upon a pole, and it shall come to pass, that every one that is
bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent
of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a
serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he
lived."--Num. 21:4-9. These people realized that they had sinned
against God; that their sins deserved punishment; that they were
justly condemned--"we have sinned";--that they were helpless, "Pray
unto the Lord that _he_ take away the serpents from us"; and in their
helpless condition they turned from their sins and turned to God.
There had been, then, an entire change of mind and purpose, or they
would never have turned from their sins to God. When they faced the
fact that they had sinned and were justly condemned, there resulted
sorrow, and their sorrow led to the change of mind and purpose to turn
from their sins to God. Had there been no conviction of sin, no
realization that they had sinned and were justly condemned, there
would have been no change of mind, or purpose to turn from sin to
God. Here, then, we have what repentance is,--a conviction of sin,
such a realization of the fact that one has sinned and is justly
condemned that it produces such sorrow as leads to an entire change of
mind and purpose to turn from sin and turn to God. God then provided
the easiest way for them, "every one that is bitten, when he looketh
upon it [the brazen serpent] shall live."--Num. 21:8. The Saviour
says, "Even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."--John
3:15.

Notice the case of the jailor, Acts 16:22-34. When the jailor fell
down before Paul and Silas and brought them out and said, "Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?" (Verse 30), they did not say, "Repent"; they
said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved."--Verse 31.
But God's word teaches plainly that we must repent in order to believe
(Matt. 21:32; Luke 13:3). Then repentance must have already taken
place,--he must have already repented,--or they would have taught him
"repentance toward God" as well as "faith toward our Lord Jesus
Christ."--Acts 20:21. Go back and notice the jailor's case: the night
before, he had taken Paul and Silas with their backs bloody from the
beating they had received, and had not washed their stripes (Verse
33), had given them no supper (Verse 34), and had thrust them into the
inner prison and made their feet fast in the stocks. He was utterly
hardened. The praying and singing hymns to God by Paul and Silas, the
sudden earthquake, Paul's crying out against his committing suicide,
had convicted him of sin, such a conviction as had produced sorrow,
for he came trembling and fell down before them; and the sorrow had
led to an entire change of mind and purpose, and he said, "Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?"--"what," anything God would have me do I am
ready to do,--he had turned from his sins and had turned to God. Hence
they did not say "Repent," for he had repented; but they said,
"Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved."--Acts 16:31.

Having seen what the Saviour meant by repentance, let us go to the
meaning of the word translated "repent." "This word," says J. P.
Boyce, the great theologian, in his systematic theology, "means to
reconsider, perceive afterwards and to change one's view, mind or
purpose, or even judgment, implying disapproval and abandonment of
past opinions and purposes, and the adoption of others which are
different." B. H. Carroll, President Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary: "We may therefore give as the one invariable definition of
New Testament repentance that it is a change of mind." B. H. Carroll,
again, "Repentance is a change of mind toward God concerning a course
of sin leading rapidly down to death and eternal ruin." Once more from
B. H. Carroll: "If in one moment the soul is contrite enough to turn
in abhorrence of sin against God from all self-help to our Lord Jesus
Christ by faith, it is sufficient." John A. Broadus, the great
American scholar and teacher: "To repent, then, as a religious term of
the New Testament, is to change the mind, thought or purpose as
regards sin and the service of God--a change naturally accompanied by
deep sorrow for past sins, and naturally leading to a change of
outward life."

As the Bible teaches that no man can be saved who has not repented
("Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."--Luke 13:3), and as
no one has repented who has not been convicted of sin, who has not
seen himself a guilty, justly condemned sinner, it follows that no one
is saved, no one can be saved, who does not believe that God will and
ought to punish sin. But to those who have repented, the way to be
saved is simple, easy, sure: "Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt
be saved."--Acts 16:31.

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_:--There has been much misunderstanding about
repentance. Some men, as Moody, Harry Moorehouse, J. H. Brookes, etc.,
have been charged with not preaching enough repentance, simply because
they did not use the words "repent" and "repentance" as much as
others; whereas, others who use the words often, and tell touching
incidents, are said to preach "old-fashioned repentance." It is not
the word repentance that God requires, but the thing repentance, and a
sinner must repent or he cannot believe (Matt. 21:32) and he will
perish (Luke 13:3). The gospel of John is the only book of the Bible
given specifically to sinners to lead them to be saved. The way of
salvation can be found in many of the books of the Bible, and is
taught in them; but the gospel of John is the only book of the Bible
given for the special, specific purpose of leading a sinner to be
saved. "Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his
disciples which are not written in this book: but these are written
that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
that believing ye might have life through his name."--John 20:30, 31.
In this book, given specifically to lead a sinner to be saved, the
word "repentance" or "repent" does not occur, but the thing repentance
does (John 3:14, 15).

On the difference between the thing repentance and the word
repentance, give attention to the words of John A. Broadus, the great
American scholar and teacher already quoted: "Great difficulty has
been found in translating this Greek word 'metanoein' into languages.
The Syriac version, unable to give the precise meaning, falls back
upon 'turn,' the same word as the Hebrew. The Latin version gives
'Exercise penitence' (poenitentiam agere). But this Latin penitence,
apparently connected by etymology with _pain_, signifies grief or
distress, and is rarely extended to a change of purpose, thus
corresponding to the Hebrew word which we render 'repent,' but _not_
corresponding to the terms employed in Old Testament and New Testament
exhortations. Hence a subtle and pernicious error, pervading the whole
sphere of Latin Christianity, by which the exhortation of the New
Testament is understood to be an exhortation to _grief_ over sin, as
the primary and principal idea of the term. One step farther and
penitence was contracted into _penance_, and associated with mediæval
ideas unknown to the New Testament, and the English Version made by
Romanists now represents John and Jesus and Peter as saying
(poenitentiam agere) do penance. From a late Latin compound
(repoenitere) comes our English word 'repent,' which inherits the
fault of the Latin; making grief the prominent element, and change of
purpose secondary, if expressed at all. Thus our English word
corresponds exactly to the second Greek word (metamelesthai), and to
the Hebrew word rendered repent, but sadly fails to translate the
exhortation of the New Testament."

Repentance is not a price that the sinner pays for salvation; neither
is the sorrow that leads to repentance a price that he pays for
salvation. And repentance does not make the sinner a fit subject for
salvation; nor does the sorrow that leads to repentance make him a fit
subject for salvation. No one can see that he has violated God's just
and holy law and is guilty, justly condemned, helpless, without its
producing sorrow and this sorrow will lead to repentance, to an entire
change of mind and purpose, to turning from sin, and, as B. H. Carroll
expressed it, from all self-help ("repentance from dead works,"--Heb.
6:1) to God.

Some are sometimes troubled as to how much sorrow there must be. There
are different degrees of sorrow in different people, but there must be
enough sorrow to lead to repentance, to an entire change of mind and
purpose.

"In both the Old Testament and the New Testament exhortation the
element of grief for sin is left in the background, neither word
directly expressing grief at all, though it must in the nature of
things be present."--_Jno. A. Broadus._

"To repent is to change your mind about sin and Christ and all the
good things of God. There is sorrow implied in this; but the main
point is the turning of the heart from sin to Christ. If there be this
turning you have the essence of the repentance, even though no alarm
and no despair should ever have cast their shadow upon your
mind."--_C. H. Spurgeon._

"Conviction of sin is just the sinner seeing himself as he is and as
God has all along seen him."--_H. Bonar, in "God's Way of Peace."_

"The object of the Holy Spirit's work in convincing of sin is to alter
the sinner's opinion of himself and so to reduce his estimate of his
own character, that he shall think of himself as God does, and so
cease to suppose it possible that he can be justified by any
excellence of his own. Having altered the sinner's good opinion of
himself, the Spirit then alters his evil opinion of God, so as to make
him see that the God with whom he has to deal is really the God of all
grace."--_Bonar._

"It is impossible, therefore, in the nature of things, for a sinful
being to appreciate God's mercy unless he first feels His justice as
manifest in the holy law."--_Walker, in "Philosophy of the Plan of
Salvation."_

"Man cannot repent and turn from sin till he is convicted of sin in
himself."--_Walker, in "Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."_

"The more we feel the want of a benefactor, temporal or spiritual, and
the more we feel our inability to rescue ourselves from existing
difficulties and impending dangers, the more grateful love will the
heart feel for the being who, moved by, and in despite of, personal
sacrifices, interposes to assist and save us."--_Walker, in
"Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."_

"As a feeling of want was necessary in order that the soul might love
the being that supplied that want, and as Jesus came to bestow
spiritual mercies upon mankind, _how could men be brought to feel the
want of a spiritual Benefactor and Saviour?_"... "According to the
constitution which God has given the soul, it must feel the want of
the spiritual mercies before it can feel love for the giver of those
mercies. And just in proportion as the soul feels its lost, guilty,
and dangerous condition, in the same proportion will it exercise love
to the being who grants spiritual favor and salvation. How then could
the spiritual want be produced in the souls of men in order that they
might love the spiritual benefactor?"... "The only possible way by
which man could be made to hope for and appreciate spiritual mercies
and to love a spiritual deliverer would be to produce a conviction in
the soul itself of its evil condition, its danger as a spiritual
being, and its inability, unaided, to satisfy the requirements of a
_spiritual law_, or to escape its just and spiritual penalty.
If man could be made to perceive that he was guilty and needy; that
his soul was under the condemnation of the holy law of the holy God,
he would then, necessarily, feel the need of a deliverance from
sin and its consequences; and in this way only, could the soul of
man be led to appreciate spiritual mercies, or love a spiritual
benefactor."--_Walker, in "Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation."_



VIII

THE MEANING OF "BELIEVE ON" OR "BELIEVE IN" CHRIST

     "God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son, that
     whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal
     life."--John 3:16 (R. V.).

     "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath
     sent."--John 6:27.

     "He that believeth on me shall never thirst."--John 6:35.

     "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name
     whosoever believeth on him shall receive remission of sins."--Acts
     10:43.

     "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved."--Acts 16:31.

     "John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto
     the people that they should believe on him that should come after
     him, that is, on Jesus."--Acts 19:4.

     "To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the
     ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness."--Rom. 4:5.

     "Whosoever liveth and believeth in [into] me shall never die.
     Believest thou this?"--John 11:26.

     "We have believed in [into] Jesus Christ, that we might be
     justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the
     law."--Gal. 2:16 (R. V.).

     "I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is
     able to guard that which I have committed unto him against that
     day."--2 Tim. 1:12 (R. V.).


If language can be made plain, if it can be used to express a fact
clearly, then God's word teaches clearly, unmistakably, that the one
who believes on Christ is going to Heaven. One may think it to be too
good to be true, when he reads what God's word says along this line;
he may be honestly tempted to suspect that there must be many hidden,
suppressed conditions, which, if expressed, would make the meaning
different; or from religious prejudice, he may warp the meaning or
bring in other conditions;--but God's word is plain.

"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal
life."--John 3:16.

It does not say, whosoever believeth on him and unites with the right
church, or is baptized the right way, or lives the right kind of a
life; it simply says, "whosoever believeth on him"; and then the
promise is plain and absolute, "should not perish."

Jesus said, "he that believeth on me shall never thirst."--John 6:35.
He did not say, he that believeth on me and unites with the right
church, or is baptized the right way, or lives the right kind of a
life; he said plainly, simply, "he that believeth on me," and then
added "shall never thirst."

Peter to the household of Cornelius said, "To him give all the
prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth on him
shall receive remission of sins."--Acts 10:43. He did not say,
whosoever believeth on him and unites with the right church, or is
baptized the right way, or lives the right kind of a life; but simply,
"whosoever believeth on him," and then adds the plain promise, "shall
receive remission of sins."

When the jailor came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas and
brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" they
answered, simply, plainly, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt
be saved."--Acts 16:31. They did not say, believe on the Lord Jesus
and unite with the right church, or be baptized the right way, or live
the right kind of a life; they said simply, "Believe on the Lord
Jesus, and thou shalt be saved."

When Paul wrote to the Romans, "To him that worketh not, but
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned
for righteousness,"--Rom. 4:5, he did not say, believeth on him that
justifieth the ungodly and unites with the right church, or is
baptized the right way, or lives the right kind of a life; but simply,
"To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness."

Jesus to the grief-stricken sister of Lazarus said, "Whosoever liveth
and believeth in [into] me shall never die."--John 11:26. He did not
say, whosoever liveth and believeth in me and unites with the right
church, or is baptized the right way, or lives the right kind of life;
but simply and plainly, "whosoever liveth and believeth in me," and
then He adds His plain promise, "shall never die."

When Paul said to the Galatians, "we have believed in [into] Jesus
Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,"--Gal.
2:16, he did not say, we have believed in Jesus Christ and united with
the right church and been baptized the right way, that we might be
justified by faith of Christ and not by the works of the law. Instead
of this, he puts it in simple, plain language.

In all of these cases, these conditions could have been expressed just
as easily by the Saviour and Peter and Paul as they are expressed by
religious teachers to-day. Why did not the Saviour and Peter and Paul
express these conditions? There can be but one answer,--because they
are not conditions of salvation. How could the Saviour and Peter and
Paul have left out these conditions if they are conditions of
salvation?

But the question arises, if being baptized the right way and living
the right kind of a life are not conditions of salvation, why do these
things? Not from fear of Hell; God desires no service from that
motive. Let the Saviour tell why. When He instituted the Lord's
supper, He said, "This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed
for many, for the remission of sins,"--Matt. 26:28; and then before
leaving the upper room He said to His disciples: "if ye love me, keep
my commandments."--John 14:15. Why love Him? Love Him because He shed
His blood for the remission of their sins. Let Paul tell us why serve
Him: "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge that
if one died for all, then all died; and he died for all, that they who
live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died
for them, and rose again."--2 Cor. 5:14, 15.

Now comes the all-important question, what do these parallel
expressions, "believe on Christ" or "believe in [into] Christ" mean?
Many, when they see how simple and plain is the teaching, say, "Why,
almost every one believes on Christ." No; they believe _about_ Christ,
but not _on_ Christ. A wealthy man deposits a large sum of money in
the bank and promises to pay the debts of all the poor people who will
trust him to pay their debts. They all may believe him, may believe
about him; but only those who believe on him, depend on him, rely on
him to pay their debts, will have their debts paid. So Christ died
for all our sins (1 Cor. 15:3); He gave Himself for us that He might
redeem us from all iniquity (Titus 2:14); but only those who _believe
on_ Him, _depend on_ Him, _rely on_ Him to save them, will ever be
saved. The man who is depending on Christ and his baptism or Christ
and his church, or Christ and his good life to save him, will be lost;
for he is not believing on, depending on, relying on, Christ to save
him; but only partly on Christ and partly on something else; and
_there is no promise in God's word that those who partly believe on
Christ shall be saved_. The very fact that a man depends partly on
Christ and partly on something else to save him, shows that he has
never believed that the Saviour "gave himself for us that he might
redeem us from all iniquity" (Titus 2:13, 14); the Saviour he is
depending on is not the Saviour God's word reveals; and hence he has
no Saviour at all.

Notice Paul's instruction to the Romans concerning believing on
Christ: "To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth
the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness."--Rom. 4:5.
Consider the simple but vital teaching of this passage: He justifieth
the ungodly. How? "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation
through faith in his blood ... to declare, I say, at this time his
righteousness, that he might be _just_ and the _justifier_ of him that
believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:25, 26); "being now justified by his
blood."--Rom. 5:9. And He justifies us from all sin, "Our Saviour
Jesus Christ who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from
_all_ iniquity" (Titus 2:13, 14); redeems us from the curse of the
law (Gal. 3:13), redeems us from under the law (Rom. 6:14), and this
makes us God's children (Gal. 4:4-7).

Consider further: He justifies _the ungodly_. If He justifies the
ungodly then all efforts to become godly _in order to be saved_, are
worse than wasted and are in rebellion against _God's plan for men_.
"When we were yet without strength in due time Christ died for the
_ungodly_."--Rom. 5:6. "God commendeth his own love toward us, in that
_while we were yet sinners_, Christ died for us."--Rom. 5:8. "_When we
were enemies_ we were reconciled to God by the death of his
Son."--Rom. 5:10. Why? Because Christ justifies the ungodly. The
Saviour did not say to Nicodemus, "Whosoever becomes godly should not
perish," but "Whosoever believeth on him." Why? Because He justifies
_the ungodly_. Paul and Silas did not say to the jailor, a hardened
sinner, "Become godly and thou shalt be saved"; but "Believe on the
Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved." Why? Because He justifies _the
ungodly_. On what condition does He justify the ungodly? "To him that
_worketh_ not, but _believeth_ on him." Here is the work of the soul
to be saved; Paul says to cease working at the task, and believe on,
depend on, Him--He justifies the ungodly. God gave men ten
commandments to keep. God's word says, "The man that doeth them shall
live by them."--Gal. 3:12. But all men have failed to keep them; "all
have sinned and come short of the glory of God."--Rom. 3:23. To
illustrate: A father gives a little boy ten rows of corn to work out
and says to him, "Willie, if you will work out the ten rows of corn
to-day, I will pay you five dollars; but it will take steady work all
day." About nine o'clock some boys persuade Willie to play, and he
plays with them for two hours. Now he cannot get the task done, and so
is sure to lose the five dollars. His grown brother comes to him and
says, "Willie, I saw the trouble you were getting into, and had a talk
with father. Father says that the work must be done or you will lose
the five dollars. But father agreed to let me do the work for you. Now
if you will quit working at the task and trust me, depend on me, I
will see that the work is done, and that you get the five dollars."
The little brother quits working at the task, and gets out of the
field. He believes on, depends on, trusts, his big brother. If, now,
there is any failure, it will be the big brother's failure, and not
the little brother's. So, "To him that worketh not, but believeth on
him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for
righteousness." If, then, the sinner will quit working at the task of
his salvation and believe on, depend on Christ, trust the whole work
of salvation to Him, He will "justify the ungodly" from "all iniquity"
(Titus 2:14). If, then, there should be any failure of being saved, it
would be Christ's failure, for He said, "Him that cometh unto me, I
will in no wise cast out."--John 6:37. Why, then, should the one who
has thus trusted Christ ever be baptized, or live a faithful, godly
life? Go back to the illustration: As the little brother quits working
at the task in the field and believes on, depends on, trusts, the big
brother to have the task done, a man meets him and says, "Willie,
your brother was good to you. But to do your work for you, that you
might not lose the five dollars, he left his field, and it needs work
badly. If I were in your place, from love to my big brother, I would
go and work in his field for him." The little brother says, "I will do
it, sir." He goes over into his big brother's field and works harder
than ever, not from fear of losing the five dollars, but from love to
his big brother. So the Saviour, after we have believed on Him,
trusted Him to save, justify us, says, "If ye love me, keep my
commandments."--John 14:15. "Go work to-day in _my_ vineyard,"--Matt.
21:28; not "in _your own_." All the work that the redeemed, the saved,
man does is not in his own field, to get the task done, that he may be
saved; but in the big brother's field, from love to the big brother
for having relieved him of the entire responsibility for the task.

To follow up the illustration: The big brother sees the little brother
working in the big brother's field and he goes to him and says,
"Willie, I appreciate this, for you are doing it from love to me. If
you were doing it from fear lest I might not keep my promise, it would
hurt me; for that would show that you did not trust me. But you cannot
work for me for nothing. I will pay you fifty cents for every hour you
work in my field. Now, work hard and have a large reward for your
labor." So the Saviour says, "Whosoever shall give to drink unto one
of these little ones a cup of water only in the name of a disciple,
verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."--Matt.
10:42. And he says, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in
Heaven."--Matt. 6:20. "He shall reward every man according to his
works."--Matt. 16:27. The reward of fifty cents for every hour's work
does not destroy the motive of love that moves the little brother; it
only increases the motive of love.

But do not redeemed people, God's children, sometimes become
backsliders? Yes. Go back to the illustration of the little brother
and his task. As he is working from love to his big brother, in the
big brother's field, the bad boys follow him and tempt him, and
prevail on him to leave the big brother's field and to mistreat the
big brother. The father sees it all; goes and takes the little brother
out into the forest and reproves him for his wrong to his big brother,
and then chastises him and sends him back to the big brother's field.
So, when God's redeemed, saved children backslide, do wrong wilfully,
He chastises them. "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the
Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth
he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."--Heb. 12:5,
6. "Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the
earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant
shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure
forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake
my law and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and
keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with
the rod and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving
kindness will I not utterly take from him nor suffer my faithfulness
to fail."--Ps. 89:27-33.

Reader, which field are you working in? Are you working in your own
field? trying to accomplish a task, now that you have sinned, you can
never accomplish?--Meet _all_ of God's just laws and requirements, and
develop a character that will entitle you to a home in Heaven? Heed
the message, "To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that
justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness."
Believe on Him, depend on Him, to justify you from all iniquity (Titus
2:14). The moment you do, your eternal destiny is settled, "Verily,
verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on him
that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into
condemnation, but is passed from death unto life."--John 5:24. Then,
from love to the big brother, go into his field and work till the day
is done.

In telling of his own salvation, Paul again makes plain what "believe
on the Lord Jesus" means: "I know him whom I have believed and am
persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him
against that day." Notice this declaration as to the apostle's
salvation: "I know him." A man must "know him" or he cannot "believe
on" Christ. He can _risk_ Him without knowing Him, but he cannot
_believe on_ Him, cannot _trust_ Him for salvation. It does not mean,
know Him in every respect, as to how His divine and human nature could
be united; as to how He could have had eternal existence; as to how
His resurrected body could appear and disappear, etc., but to know Him
in His character as Saviour. In trusting money to a bank one does not
need to know how much German or French or English blood there is in
the bank officials. In trusting one's case to a physician, one does
not need to know the different nationalities from which he is
descended, but he needs to know him in his character as physician. So
men must know Jesus in His character as Saviour, or they cannot
believe on, trust Him to save them. They must, then, know Him as the
Messiah, the promised Saviour, the complete sin-bearer, or they cannot
believe on Him. But after one knows the bank, he must commit his money
to the bank, else the bank is not responsible for it. After one knows
the physician, he must commit his case to the physician, else the
physician is not responsible. And so Paul says, "I am persuaded that
he is able to keep that which I _have committed unto him against that
day_." No one, then, is redeemed, is saved, who has not committed his
salvation to Christ against that day. Let the reader get clearly the
meaning of "commit." No one has committed money to the bank who yet
holds to the money; no one has committed a package to the express
company who yet holds to the package; no one has committed a letter to
the post-office for delivery who yet holds to the letter. So no one
has committed his salvation to Christ, no one is redeemed, is saved,
who yet holds to the work of his salvation. He must _commit_ it to
Christ.

Further, no one has _committed_ his money to the bank who has not left
the entire responsibility for the money's safety to the bank, leaving
no further responsibility whatever upon himself for the safety of the
money. No one has _committed_ a package to the express company, who
has not left the whole responsibility for the delivery of the package
entirely to the company, leaving no responsibility whatever upon
himself for its safe delivery. No one has _committed_ a letter to the
post-office who has not left the entire responsibility for its safe
delivery to the government, leaving no responsibility whatever upon
himself for its safe delivery. Even so, no one has _committed_ his
salvation to Christ, no one is redeemed, is saved, who has not left
the entire responsibility of his salvation to Christ, leaving no
responsibility whatever for his salvation upon himself.

But one may have committed his money to the bank and yet not really
have trusted the bank, but only _risked_ the bank; one may have
committed a package to the express company and yet not really have
trusted the express company, but only _risked_ it; one may have
committed a letter to the post-office and yet not really have trusted
the post-office, but only _risked_ it. So, one may have committed his
salvation to Christ, and yet be unredeemed, unsaved, because he only
_risked_ Christ and did not _trust_ Him. Hence Paul says, "I know him
whom I have _believed_," _trusted, taken at His word_.

One other fact needs to be considered as to what believing on Christ
means in Paul's case. He says, "I am persuaded that he is able to keep
that which I have committed to him _against that day_." It is not a
committal of one's salvation to Christ a moment at a time, nor till
one can see how he will afterwards feel; nor till one can see whether
he is going to be able to live a Christian life. It is to commit one's
salvation to Christ "_against that day_." And the moment one does
what Paul did, commits his salvation to Christ against that day, God's
word says he is saved, redeemed: "Verily, verily I say unto you, He
that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me, hath
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed
from death unto life."--John 5:24.

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_:--When Paul says, "To him that worketh not, but
believeth on him that justifieth _the ungodly_, his faith is counted
for righteousness,"--Rom. 4:5, he is in line with the teaching of the
Saviour when He said, "The publicans and the harlots go into the
kingdom of God before you,"--Matt. 21:31; and if the teaching of the
Saviour and Paul on this point is true, then there is not left one
square inch of ground on which the teachers of "salvation by
character" may stand. They are not in agreement with the Saviour and
Paul on this point, but there is one with whom they are here in strict
agreement; "I hope for happiness beyond this life"; "I believe that
religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and
endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy"; "The only true
religion is deism, by which I then meant and now mean the belief of
one God, and an imitation of his moral character, or the practice of
what are called moral virtues; and that _it was upon this only_ (so
far as religion is concerned) _that I rested my hopes of happiness
hereafter_. So say I now, and so help me God." These are exact
quotations from "The Age of Reason," by Thomas Paine. And those who
preach "salvation by character" thus line up with Paine against the
Saviour and Paul. They fail to see that there can be no proper
character without proper motive, and that there can, in the sight of
God, be no proper motive till one is redeemed, saved, and thus placed
where the motive will be love, the purest motive possible to human
beings. And they fail to see that _God's plan with men_ is to save
irrespective of character, and then to develop in the redeemed man the
real character for all eternity.

God has not two ways of salvation; He has not two ways of believing on
Christ. What is essential to one man's salvation is essential to the
salvation of every man. What is "believing on Christ" for one man, is
believing on Christ for every man. When Paul says "I know him whom I
have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I
have committed to him against that day,"--2 Tim. 1:12 (R. V.), he has
given the pattern of saving faith. "I know him." Man _must_ know Him
in His real character as Saviour or he cannot commit to Him against
that day the matter of his eternal destiny, cannot believe on Him.
What are the essential things, then, that must be included in "I know
him" in His character as Saviour, in order that one can believe on
Him, be saved by Him, be a real Christian? First, one must know Him as
the promised Messiah, in order to really believe on Him, to be really
a Christian. The high priest asked, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of
the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am."--Mark 14:61, 62. The woman at the
well said, "I know that Messiah cometh, who is called Christ: When he
is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that
speak unto thee, am he."--John 4:25, 26. As Ballard, in "The Miracles
of Unbelief," has clearly pointed out, either (1) He was the Messiah;
or (2) He was the illegitimate son of a fallen woman and the vilest
deceiver the world has ever known, or (3) He was the illegitimate son
of a fallen woman, and a poor, simple-minded ignoramus, who claimed to
be the Messiah and honestly thought He was, but was simply ignorant
and deluded. Men in their intellectual pride or religious prejudice
may sneer and try to avoid this issue, but every honest thinking man
will see and confess that only these three conclusions are possible,
that one of the three is inevitable: and every honest man will take
one of the three positions. Voltaire said "curse the wretch." He is to
be commended as compared with the man who tries to avoid the issue.

Second, one must know Him as complete Redeemer in order to believe on
Him, in order to commit one's salvation to Him against that day. There
is no middle ground. He was either no redeemer at all, or He "gave
himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity."--Titus
2:14. To try to avoid the issue here is as fatal as to try to avoid
the issue as to His being the Messiah. To believe on, to commit one's
salvation to, a partial Redeemer, is to have no redeemer at all, to be
left unredeemed, unsaved.

Third, to know Him in order to believe on Him, to commit one's
salvation to Him against that day, one must know Him as having been
really raised from the dead. _Belief in the real resurrection of the
Saviour is essential to salvation._ For one to be heralded abroad as a
great preacher and theologian who yet denies the literal, real
resurrection of the Saviour, cannot change God's word that all such
are yet unredeemed, lost, not real Christians. God's word is plain on
this point: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and
_shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead_,
thou shalt be saved."--Rom. 10:9. "If Christ hath not been raised your
faith is vain; _ye are yet in your sins_."--1 Cor. 15:17.

Chalmers, the great Scotch preacher, in a letter to a friend made
plain what believing on Christ means: "I must say that I never had so
close and satisfactory a view of the gospel salvation, as when I have
been led to contemplate it in the light of a simple offer on the one
side, and a simple acceptance on the other. It is just saying to one
and all of us, There is forgiveness through the blood of My Son: Take
it, and whoever believes the reality of the offer takes it.... We are
apt to stagger at the greatness of the unmerited offer and cannot
attach faith to it till we have made up some title of our own. This
leads to two mischievous consequences: It keeps alive the presumption
of one class who will still be thinking that it is something in
themselves and of themselves which confers upon them a right of
salvation; and it confirms the melancholy of another class, who look
into their own hearts and their own lives, and find that they cannot
make out a shadow of a title to the divine favor. The error of both
lies in their looking to themselves when they should be looking to the
Saviour. 'Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the
earth.'--Is. 45:22. The Son of man was so lifted up that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John
3:14, 15). It is your part simply to lay hold of the proffered boon.
You are invited to do so; and you are entreated to do so; nay, what is
more, you are commanded to do so. It is true, you are unworthy, and
without holiness no man can see God; but be not afraid, only believe.
You cannot get holiness of yourself, but Christ has undertaken to
provide it for you. It is one of those spiritual blessings of which He
has the dispensation, and which He has promised to all who believe in
Him. God has promised that with His Son He will freely give you all
things (Rom. 8:32); that He will walk in you, and dwell in you (2 Cor.
6:16); that He will purify your heart by faith (Acts 15:9); that He
will put His law in your mind and write it in your heart (Heb. 8:10).
These are the effects of your believing in Christ, and not the
services by which you become entitled to believe in Him. Make a clear
outset in the business, and understand that your first step is simply
confiding acceptance of an offer that is most free, most frank, most
generous, and most unconditional. If I were to come as an accredited
agent from the upper sanctuary with a letter of invitation to you,
with your name and address on it, you would not doubt your warrant to
accept it. Well, here is the Bible, your invitation to come to Christ.
It does not bear your name and address, but it says 'Whosoever,' that
takes you in; it says 'all,' that takes you in; it says 'if any,' that
takes you in. What can be surer or freer than that?"

Equally helpful are the words of Horatius Bonar in "Words for the
Inquiring":--"If you object that you cannot believe, then this
indicates that you are proceeding quite in a wrong direction. You are
still laboring under the idea that this believing is a work to be done
by you, and not the acknowledgment of a work done by another. You
would fain do something in order to get peace, and you think that if
you could do this great thing 'believing,' if you could but perform
this great act called faith, God would at once reward you by giving
you peace. Thus faith is reckoned by you to be the price, in the
sinner's hand, by which he buys peace, and not the mere holding out of
the hand to get a peace which has already been bought by another. So
long as you are attaching any meritorious importance to faith, however
unconsciously, you are moving in a wrong direction--a direction from
which no peace can come. Surely faith is not a work. On the contrary,
it is a ceasing from work. It is not a climbing of the mountain, but a
ceasing to attempt it, and allowing Christ to carry you up in His own
arms. You seem to think that it is your act of faith that is to save
you, and not the object of your faith, without which your act, however
well performed, is nothing. Accordingly, you bethink yourself, and
say, 'What a mighty work is this believing--what an effort does it
require on my part--how am I to perform it?' Herein you sadly err, and
your mistake lies chiefly here, in supposing that your peace is to
come from the proper performance on your part of an act of faith;
whereas, it is to come entirely from the proper perception of Him to
whom the Father is pointing your eyes, and in regard to whom He is
saying, 'Behold my servant whom I have chosen, look at Him, forget
everything else--everything about yourself, your own faith, your own
repentance, your own feelings--and look at Him! It is in Him, not out
of your poor act of faith, that salvation lies; and out of Him, not
out of your own act of faith, is peace to come.' Thus mistaking the
meaning of faith and the way which faith saves you, you get into
confusion, and mistake everything else connected with your peace: you
mistake the real nature of that very inability to believe of which you
complain so sadly. For that inability does not lie, as you fancy it
does, in the impossibility of your performing aright the great act of
faith, but of ceasing from all such self-righteous attempts to perform
any act, or do any work whatsoever in order to your being saved. So
that the real truth is, that you have not yet seen such a sufficiency
in the one great work of the Son of God upon the cross, as to lead you
utterly to discontinue your mistaken and aimless efforts to work out
something of your own.

"But perhaps you may object further, that you are not satisfied with
your faith. No, truly, nor are you ever likely to be. If you wait for
this before you take peace, you will wait till life is done. Not
satisfaction with your own faith, but satisfaction with Jesus and His
work, this is what God presses on you. You say, 'I am satisfied with
Christ.' Are you? What more, then, do you wish? Is not satisfaction
with Christ enough for you, or for every sinner? Nay, and is not this
the truest kind of faith? To be _satisfied with Christ_, that is faith
in Christ. To be satisfied with His blood, that is faith. What more
could you have? Can your faith give you something which Christ cannot?
Or will Christ give you nothing till you can produce faith of a
certain kind and quality, whose excellences will entitle you to
blessing? Do not bewilder yourself. Do not suppose that your faith is
a price, or a bribe, or a merit. Is not the very essence of real faith
just your being satisfied with Christ? Are you really satisfied with
Him and with what He has done? Then do not puzzle yourself about your
faith, but go on your way rejoicing, having thus been brought to be
satisfied with Him who to know is peace, and life, and salvation....
Faith, however perfect, has of itself nothing to give you either of
pardon or of life. Its finger points you to Jesus. Its voice bids you
look straight to Him. Its object is to turn away from itself and from
yourself altogether, that you may behold Him, and in beholding Him be
satisfied with Him and in being satisfied with Him have joy and
peace."

Likewise James Denny, in "The Death of Christ," teaches the same
lesson: "It is this great Gospel which is the gospel to win
souls--this message of a sin-bearing, sin-expiating love which pleads
for acceptance, which takes the whole responsibility of the sinner,
unconditionally, with no preliminaries, if only he abandon himself to
it."

A young person who felt that his time in this world was short, wrote
to an eminent English preacher to write and tell a sinner what he must
do to prepare to die--what is the preparation required by God--and
when he is fit to die. The preacher wrote: "I urge you to cast
yourself at once, in the simplest faith, upon the Lord Jesus Christ
and you shall be saved. All your true preparation for death is
entirely out of yourself and in the Lord Jesus. Washed in His blood,
and clothed upon with His righteousness, you may appear before God
divinely, fully, freely and forever accepted. The salvation of the
chief of sinners is all prepared, finished and complete in Christ
(Eph. 1:6; Col. 2:10). Again I repeat, your eye of faith must now be
directed entirely out of and from yourself, to Jesus. Beware of
looking for any preparation to meet death _in yourself_. It is _all in
Christ_. God does not accept you on the ground of a broken heart, or a
clean heart, or a praying heart, or a believing heart. He accepts you
wholly and entirely on the ground of the atonement of His blessed Son.
Cast yourself in child-like faith upon that atonement--'Christ dying
for the ungodly' (Rom. 5:6)--and you are saved! Justification is this,
a poor law-condemned, self-condemned, self-destroyed sinner, wrapping
himself by faith in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, which
is unto all them that believe (Rom. 3:22). He, then, is justified and
is prepared to die, and he only, who casts from him the garment of his
own righteousness and runs unto this blessed city of Refuge--the Lord
Jesus--and hides himself there--exclaiming, 'There is therefore now no
condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus' (Rom. 8:1). God is
prepared to accept you in His blessed Son, and for His sake He will
cast all your sins behind His back, and take you to glory when you
die. Never was Jesus known to reject a poor sinner that came to Him
empty and with nothing to pay. God will glorify His free grace by your
salvation, and will therefore save you just as you are, without money
and without price (Is. 55:1). I close with Paul's reply to the anxious
jailor, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved' (Acts
16:31). No matter what you have been, or what you are, plunged into
the fountain opened for sin, and for uncleanness (Zech. 13:1), and you
shall be clean, 'washed whiter than snow' (Ps. 51:7). Heed no
suggestion of Satan, or of unbelief; cast yourself at the feet of
Jesus, and if you perish, perish there! Oh, no! Perish you never will,
for He hath said, 'Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out'
(John 6:37). 'Come unto me' (Matt. 11:28) is His blessed invitation;
let your reply be, 'Lord, I come! I come! I come! I entwine my feeble,
trembling arms of faith around Thy cross, around Thyself, and if I
die, I will die cleaving, clinging, looking unto Thee!' So act and
believe and you need not fear to die. Looking at the Saviour in the
face, you can look at death in the face, exclaiming with good old
Simeon, 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace; for mine
eyes have seen thy salvation' (Luke 2:29). May we through rich, free
and sovereign grace, meet in Heaven, and unite in exclaiming, 'worthy
is the Lamb, for he was slain for us' (Rev. 5:12)."

    "Until I saw the blood 'twas Hell my soul was fearing;
    And dark and dreary in my eyes the future was appearing,
    While conscience told its tale of sin
    And caused a weight of woe within.

    "But when I saw the blood, and looked at Him who shed it,
    My right to peace was seen at once, and I with transport read it,
    I found myself to God brought nigh
    And 'Victory' became my cry.

    "My joy was in the blood, the news of which had told me,
    That spotless as the lamb of God, my Father could behold me.
    And all my boast was in His name
    Through whom this great salvation came."



IX

ETERNAL LIFE THE PRESENT POSSESSION OF THE BELIEVER

     "Ye are not under the law."--Rom. 6:14.

     "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."--Gal.
     3:26.

     "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."--1
     John 5:1.

     "By grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of
     yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any one
     should boast."--Eph. 2:8, 9 (1911 Bible and R. V.)

     "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life."--John 3:36.

     "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word and
     believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not
     come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life."--John
     5:24.

     "God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He
     that hath the Son hath the life."--1 John 5:11, 12.


It is an awe-inspiring thought, a wonderful, blessed reality, that
every real believer on the Lord Jesus has, here and now, _eternal
life_, not simply the promise of it, but the eternal life itself. The
human mind cannot fully take it in, that every man, the moment he is
redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), redeemed from all
iniquity (Titus 2:14), redeemed from under the law (Rom. 6:14), and
adopted as a child of God (Gal. 4:4-7), has then and there
_everlasting life_ (John 5:24), a new life that is never, never to
end; a life that will outlast the stars; a life that he will be
consciously enjoying when all the stars shall have burnt out. And yet
when such a life is offered as a gift ("I give unto them eternal life,
and they shall never perish,"--John 10:28) many men will not repent
and accept the gift. Religious prejudice, pride, secret sin, love of
the world,--for what puny trifles do men turn from the greatest of all
gifts, the greatest of all blessings, eternal life! Reader, will you
be among the number who make this foolish, this fatal mistake?

But with some the greatness of this gift, and its blessed reality, are
obscured by the teaching that the believer on Christ has not
everlasting life _now_, but only the _promise_ of it. When God's word
tells us that the redeemed one, the believer on Christ, is not under
the law (Rom. 6:14), is a child of God (Gal. 3:26), _has been_ saved
(Eph. 2:8, 9, 1911 Bible and R. V.), not _will be_ saved, it would be
strange that, after all, the believer should have only a promise for
the beyond and no reality here and now. But God's word goes further
and says, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ _is born of
God_."--1 John 5:1. _There cannot be birth without new life._ It is
not the old life; that would mean no birth. If, then, the new life is
not _eternal_ life, _what life is it_?

If language can be made to mean anything, God's word makes it plain
that every redeemed man, every believer on Christ, has _here and now_,
eternal life; for God's word tells us, not only that "by grace _have
ye been saved_" (Eph. 2:8, 9, 1911 Bible and R. V.), but it states
plainly, "he that believeth on the Son _hath_ everlasting life" (John
3:36); "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word and
believeth on him that sent me, _hath_ everlasting life and shall not
come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life."--John
5:24. That God's word does not mean that the believer on Christ has
simply the _promise_ of everlasting life, but that he really has the
everlasting life, notice John 5:24, "_Hath_ everlasting life and shall
not come into condemnation, but _is passed_ [here and now] from death
unto life." The Revised Version (the more exact translation) makes it
much stronger,--"_hath passed_ out of death _into life_." What life,
if not eternal life? Before this plain, positive statement of God's
word, the mere promise of eternal life theory cannot stand. But the
fact that the believer on Christ really has now eternal life, is made
plain by other Scriptures. "Whosoever hateth his brother is a
murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life _abiding in
him_."--1 John 3:15. Here we are shown that when one "hath eternal
life" it is "eternal life _abiding in him_"; for there would be no
meaning to the language if no one has eternal life abiding in him.
Again, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the
Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth
my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life."--John 6:53, 54.
The Saviour had just taught in verse 35 what eating His flesh and
drinking His blood meant: "I am the bread of life; he that cometh to
me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never
thirst." Here in verses 53, 54, the Saviour shows clearly that the
eternal life that the believer on Him "_hath_" is "_in_" you--here and
now.

Let the unredeemed reader pause: in a moment, here and now, he can
have _everlasting life_ with God's assurance that he "shall never
perish" ("I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never
perish."--John 10:28). It is a tremendous decision, and it may prove
to be a fatal one, to turn away and not believe on Christ and have as
a present possession eternal life. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he
that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, _hath
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed
from death unto life_."--John 5:24.

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_:--Some who believe that the redeemed have only the
_promise_ of eternal life, but that they have not eternal life, as a
real present possession, base this belief on such Scriptures as, "In
hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the
world began" (Titus 1:2), in connection with, "Hope that is seen is
not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we
hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."--Rom.
8:24, 25. Their thought is, if we live "in hope of eternal life," then
we have not really eternal life as a present possession; that we
cannot hope for what we already have. But Jesus said positively that
the believer "_hath passed out_ of death _into_ life" (John 5:24, R.
V.), and He contrasts the one who "_hath_ eternal life" with those to
whom He says, "Ye have no life _in you_." A man can have eternal life
here, and at the same time hope for it beyond the grave. A man has his
wife and children _now_, and _hopes_ to have them next year; a man
away from wife and children has his life _now_; and yet he lives in
hope of his life (the same life, that part of it not yet lived) with
his wife and children a month from now; an exile from home has his
life now; yet lives in hope of his life (the same life, that part of
it not yet lived) in his native land a year from now. So, the child
of God's, the redeemed man's, citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20);
he lives in hope of eternal life there; yet it is the same eternal
life (that part of it not lived) that he has here and now.

Another cause of stumbling at eternal life being now the actual
possession of the redeemed man, is that many who claimed to have had
eternal life, also claim to have lost it; and if it had been actually
_eternal_ life it could not have stopped; for then eternal would not
be really eternal; hence, it must have been simply the _promise_ of
eternal life that they had, and they therefore only lost the _promise_
and not really eternal life itself. But Jesus, foreseeing this class
of professing Christians, said that they were never really redeemed,
never really had eternal life: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast
out demons? and in thy name done many wonderful works? and then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you,"--Matt. 7:22, 23, not "you were
redeemed, you did have eternal life, but you lost it; it stopped"; but
"I never knew you," and John teaches the same thing in 1 John 2:19,
"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been
of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they
might be made manifest that they all are not of us." (R. V.)

"There is no such thing as partly saved and partly lost; partly
justified and partly guilty; partly alive and partly dead; partly born
of God and partly not. There are but two states, and we must be in
either the one or the other."--_Wm. Reid, in "The Blood of Jesus."_

To many earnest men it seems dangerous to teach men that when they are
redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), and adopted as God's
children (Gal. 4:3-7), they then really have as an actual possession
_eternal_ life, and that they shall never perish, "_hath_ everlasting
life, and shall not come unto condemnation,"--John 5:24; "I give unto
them _eternal_ life, and they shall never perish,"--John 10:28; they
think that such a belief will be a temptation to sin; that it is
liable to lead to presumptuous, wilful sinning. They think it much
safer for men to believe that they have not really the eternal life
itself as an actual present possession, but only the promise of it;
and that by their sinning hereafter they may forfeit that promise and
be lost. They think that this fear of being lost will act as a check,
a safeguard, a restraining power. To the extent that it does, it
produces service from the motive of fear of Hell, fear of losing
Heaven, and not from the motive of love to Christ for having redeemed
them from all iniquity (Titus 2:14). But God's word on this point is
clear: "The love of Christ [_not_ the fear of Hell, nor the fear of
losing Heaven] constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one
died for all, then all died; and he died for all that they who live
should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for
them, and rose again."--2 Cor. 5:14, 15.

The teaching that the redeemed, saved man has now eternal life and
shall never perish, will lead to wilful, presumptuous sinning on the
part of hypocrites, and may lead to indifference and sin on the part
of those who honestly think they are redeemed, saved, but who really
are not; for such are not born again (1 Peter 1:23), and have not the
motive power of love, because really redeemed, prompting their action.

Those who think it is dangerous to teach a redeemed (1 Peter 1:18,
19), saved (Eph. 2:8, R. V.) man, a child of God (Gal. 4:4-7), that he
has here and now, as an actual possession, eternal life, and shall
never perish (John 10:28), shall not come into condemnation (John
5:24), lose sight of five facts in _God's plan with men_:--

First, the redeemed man is born again, born of God, "Whosoever
believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."--1 John 5:1.
"Therefore if any one is in Christ he is a new creature."--2 Cor.
5:17. This is not a mere theory. All down the centuries since the
Saviour came, there have been multitudes of notable cases where
hardened men and women, deep down in sin, have actually become new
creatures by being redeemed and being born again. Many are now living,
whose names could be given, who are widely known, who were once
notorious in sin, and they are now willingly and gladly wearing out
their lives in God's service, and are living godly lives: and this
change came in their lives, not by a gradual process, but in a moment.
God's word says it is a new birth. There is no other explanation. But
every one who is redeemed is thus born of God (1 John 5:1), and this
new nature will lead one to hate sin, and prompt to a godly life.

Second, the redeemed man is under the new motive of love to Christ
("if ye love me, keep my commandments,"--John 14:15) to prompt him to
a faithful Christian life. On this point James Denny in "The Death of
Christ" says, "The love which is the motive of it acts immediately
upon the sinful; gratitude exerts an irresistible constraint; His
responsibility means our emancipation; His death, our life; His
bleeding wound, our healing. Whoever says, 'He bore our sins,' says
substitution; and to say substitution is to say something which
involves an immeasurable obligation to Christ, and _has therefore in
it an incalculable motive power_." Let the reader note well, that the
purpose of God in saving men through Christ dying of their sins (1
Cor. 15:3) is to _purify the motive power_ and _make it effective_.
"He died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live _unto
themselves_, but _unto him_."--2 Cor. 5:15.

When men live in order that they may retain the promise of eternal
life, that they may attain eternal life hereafter, from fear lest they
should forfeit the promise and not attain eternal life hereafter, they
"live unto themselves." When men live because they already have as an
actual possession, eternal life, and realize that it is eternal, they
live from love, and not unto themselves but "_unto Him_."

And God's plan is effective. "The love of Christ constraineth us" (2
Cor. 5:14), _it does constrain_. Hence, Jesus says, "if a man love me,
_he will_ keep my words."--John 14:23. Again, "If God were your Father
_ye would_ love me."--John 8:42. So important is this fact of the new
motive power and its effectiveness, that the reader's attention will
now be directed to the words of James Denny in "The Death of Christ"
on this subject. That the reader may the better appreciate these
words, his attention is first called to the estimates of Denny's great
work by two of the leading religious editors of the world. The
_Pittsburg Christian Advocate_: "To thoughtful students 'The Death of
Christ' came as one of the most stirring books of the decade if not of
the generation." The _New York Examiner_: "The most important
contribution to the all-important doctrine of the atonement since the
appearance of Dr. Dale's epoch-making book.... Exegetically
considered, it is the most important book published within the memory
of the younger generation of preachers." On the death of Christ for
our sins (1 Cor. 15:3) being the motive power in the Christian life,
and its being effective, Denny says: "The problem before us is to
discover what it is in the death of Christ which gives it its power to
generate such experience, to exercise on human hearts the constraining
influence of which the apostle speaks; and this is precisely what we
discover, in the inferential clause; 'so then all died.' This clause
puts as plainly as it can be put the idea that His death was
equivalent to the death of all; in other words, it was the death of
all men which was died by Him."... "Their relation to God is not
determined now _in the very least by sin or law_: it is determined by
Christ, the propitiation, and by faith. The position of the believer
is not that of one trembling at the judgment seat, or of one for whom
everything remains somehow in a condition of suspense; it is that of
one who has the assurance of a Divine love which has gone deeper than
all his sins, and has taken on itself the _responsibility of them_,
and _the responsibility of delivering him from them_."... "Take away
the certainty of it and the New Testament temper expires. Joy in this
certainty is not presumption; on the contrary, it is joy in the Lord,
and such joy is the Christian's strength. It is the impulse and the
hope of sanctification; and to deprecate it, and the assurance from
which it springs, is no true evangelical humility, but a failure to
believe in the infinite goodness of God who in Christ removes our sins
from us as far as the east is from the west, and plants our life in
His eternal reconciling love."... "An absolute justification is needed
to give the sinner a start. He must have the certainty of 'no
condemnation' of being, without reserve or drawback, right with God
through God's gracious act in Christ, before he can begin to live the
new life."... "_It is not by denying the gospel outright, from the
very beginning, that we are to guard against the possible abuse of
it._"... "To try to take some preliminary security from the sinner's
future morality before you make the gospel available for him, is not
only to strike at the root of assurance, it is to pay a very poor
tribute to the power of the gospel. The truth is, morality is best
guaranteed by Christ, and not by any precautions we can take before
Christ gets a chance, or by any virtue that is in faith except as it
unites the soul to Him."... "If it is our death that Christ died on
the cross, there is in the cross the constraint of an infinite love;
but if it is not our death at all--if it is not our burden and doom
that He has taken on Himself there, then what is it to us?"... "He
who has done so tremendous a thing as to take our death to Himself has
established a claim upon our life. We are not in the sphere of
mystical union, of dying with Christ and living with Him; but in that
of love transcendently shown, and of gratitude profoundly felt."...
"But this can only come on the foundation of the other; it is the
discharge from the responsibilities of sin involved in Christ's death
and appropriated in faith, which is the motive power in the daily
ethical dying to sin."... "The new life springs out of the sense of
debt to Christ."... "It is the knowledge that we have been bought with
a price which makes us cease to be our own, and live for Him who so
dearly bought us."... "But when its certainty, completeness, and
freeness are so qualified or disguised that assurance becomes suspect
and joy is quenched, the Christian religion has ceased to be."...
"This is why St. Paul is not afraid to trust the new life to its own
resources, and why he objects equally to supplanting it by legal
regulations afterwards, or by what are supposed to be ethical
securities beforehand. It does not need them, and is bound to repel
them as dishonoring to Christ. To demand moral guarantees from a
sinner before you give him the benefit of the atonement, or to impose
legal restrictions on him after he has yielded to its appeal, and
received it through faith, is to make the atonement itself of no
effect."... "In any case, I do not hesitate to say that the sense of
debt to Christ is the most profound and pervasive of all emotions in
the New Testament, and that only a gospel which evokes this, as the
gospel of atonement does, is true to primitive and normal
Christianity."

Let the reader consider two statements just here from another great
work, concerning the effectiveness of love as the motive power in the
redeemed man's life (in the writer's judgment no greater work,
excepting the gospel of John [John 20:30, 31], has ever been written
for honest sceptics, than Walker's "Philosophy of the Plan of
Salvation"). "Just in proportion as the soul feels its lost, guilty
and dangerous condition, in the same proportion will it exercise love
to the being who grants spiritual favor and salvation."... "It may be
affirmed, without hesitancy, that it would be impossible for the human
soul to exercise full faith in the testimony that it was a guilty and
needy creature, condemned by the holy law of a holy God, and that from
this condition of spiritual guilt and danger Jesus Christ suffered and
died to accomplish its ransom,--we say, a human being could not
exercise full faith in these truths and not love the Saviour."

Third, those who fear that if redeemed men, God's children, are taught
that they have, here and now, eternal life as an actual present
possession, and that it is eternal, it will be liable to lead them
into presumptuous, wilful sin, lose sight of a third fact. The
redeemed man, the real child of God, can be tempted, can be led into
sin, and some of them do become backsliders, but God's word teaches
that they will be chastised in this life. Let the reader turn back and
read Chapter V. Two Scriptures there quoted make plain the chastening
of God's disobedient children: "Also I will make him my firstborn,
higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him
forevermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also
will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments, if they
break my statutes and keep not my commandments, then will I visit
their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes.
Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor
suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor
alter the thing that is gone out of my lips."--Ps. 89:27-34. Equally
explicit is the New Testament: "Ye have forgotten the exhortation
which speaketh unto you as unto sons. My son, despise not thou the
chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he
receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons;
for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be
without chastening, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards
and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, who
corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be
in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they verily for a
few days chastened us as seemed right to them; but he for our profit,
_that we might be partakers of his holiness_. Now no chastening for
the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless
afterwards it _yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness_ unto
them that are exercised thereby."--Heb. 12:5-11. So that, the
disobedient child of God will suffer for his sins, not in Hell, but in
this life; and not as a just penalty for violated law, for he is not
under the law ("Ye are not under the law,"--Rom. 6:14), but as
chastening, for correction. It is not a theory merely, for God's word
declares that God's plan works--"It yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness."

Fourth, those who fear that teaching redeemed men, God's children,
that they have, as a present possession, eternal life and not simply
the promise of it, and who think that the safer course is to teach
them that they have only the promise of eternal life and may forfeit
it by unfaithfulness, lose sight of another fact, that the unfaithful
redeemed one will lose his reward. Let the reader turn back and read
Chapter VI. The Scripture teaching is plain, "If any man's work abide
which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's
work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be
saved, yet so as through fire."--1 Cor. 3:14, 15. He loses his reward
who is unfaithful, but not his eternal life, because it is eternal,
and because he has been redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14).

Fifth, those who, knowing that the redeemed man could not lose his
eternal life, if he has it as a present possession, because it is
eternal, believe that the redeemed have not really eternal life but
only the promise of it and may forfeit the promise by unfaithfulness,
and that it is dangerous to teach the redeemed that they really have
eternal life because it might lead to wilful, presumptuous sin, lose
sight of a fifth fact, that the child of God is not only redeemed
from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), redeemed from under the law
(Rom. 6:14), adopted as a child of God because redeemed from the law
(Gal. 4:4-7), but that being redeemed, he is redeemed _from all
iniquity_ ("Our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us that he
might _redeem us from all iniquity_."--Titus 2:13, 14). How can God,
because He is just, let the redeemed man, if he is redeemed _from all
iniquity_, be lost? "A young minister was in the habit of visiting an
aged Scotch woman in his congregation who was familiarly called 'Old
Nanny.' She was bed-ridden and rapidly approaching the end of her
'long and weary pilgrimage,' but she rested with undisturbed composure
and full assurance of faith upon the finished work of Christ. One day
he said to her, 'Now, Nanny, what if, after all your confidence in the
Saviour and your watching and waiting, God should suffer your soul to
be lost?' Raising herself on her elbow, and turning to him with a look
of grief and pain, she laid her hand on the open Bible before her, and
quietly replied, 'Ah, dearie me, is that the length you hae got yet,
mon? God,' she continued earnestly, 'would hae the greatest loss. Poor
Nannie would lose her soul, and that would be a great loss indeed; but
God would lose His _honor_ and His _character_. Haven't I hung my soul
upon His "exceeding great and precious promise"? and if He would break
His word He would make Himself a liar, _and a' the universe would rush
into confusion_.' This anecdote reveals the true ground of the
believer's safety. It is as high as the honor of God; it is as
trustworthy as His character; it is as immutable as His promises; it
is as broad as the infinite merit of His Son's atoning blood."--_J. H.
Brookes, in "The Way Made Plain."_

If God, "that he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth
in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26), set forth Jesus Christ as a propitiation
through faith in his blood (Rom. 3:25), and then should let one be
lost who had been redeemed from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), would He
not be as unjust in so doing as He would have been had He justified
sinners without Christ dying for their sins (1 Cor. 15:3)?

The blessed fact that the redeemed have as a present possession, here
and now, eternal life, and that it is eternal, makes manifest another
fact, that the redeemed are not unconscious, virtually out of
existence, from death till the resurrection. The new life is eternal;
it continues without cessation or intermission. Their bodies fall
asleep; but their souls are still in conscious existence; it is
_eternal life_. Paul makes this fact clear: "Whilst present in the
body, we are absent from the Lord." "We are confident, I say, and well
pleased rather to be absent from the body, and present with the
Lord."--2 Cor. 5:6, 8. The same conscious life continues; it is
eternal life. Again he makes it clear: "I am in a strait betwixt the
two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far
better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful on your
account."--Phil. 1:23, 24. The same conscious life continues, the
eternal life. To depart and to be with Christ he says "_is far
better_." But even this is not the perfect state. It is the soul
without the body, enjoying eternal life with Christ. But God's
perfect being is a being of redeemed soul and redeemed body enjoying
the reward of its labor. The body will not be redeemed until the
resurrection (Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:42); and the soul, though enjoying
eternal life and with Christ (Phil. 1:23) will receive no reward until
the resurrection,--"Thou shalt be _recompensed at the resurrection of
the just_."--Luke 14:14.

Paul further makes clear the distinction between the body sleeping and
the soul not sleeping, because it has eternal life and is with Christ:
"If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that
sleep in Jesus _will God bring with him_."--1 Thess. 4:14. Their
bodies are asleep; their souls are "absent from the body and present
with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8); but at the resurrection of their bodies,
these "will God bring with him." Then, "at the resurrection of the
just" (Luke 14:14) will "each man receive his own reward according to
his own labor."--1 Cor. 3:8. Let this blessed teaching be a comfort to
some hearts: the redeemed loved ones who have died are "present with
the Lord" which "is far better." Then it is cruel selfishness to wish
them back.



X

DEVELOPMENT OF CHARACTER IN THE REDEEMED

     "_The God of Jacob_ is our refuge."--Ps. 46:7.

     "Happy is he that hath _the God of Jacob_ for his help."--Ps.
     146:5.

     "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of
     gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found
     unto praise, and honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus
     Christ."--1 Peter 1:7.

     "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and
     entire, wanting nothing."--James 1:14.

     "And we know that _all things_ work together for good to them that
     love God, to those who are the called according to his
     purpose."--Rom. 8:28.


"The God of Jacob!" Not the God of Israel. Wonderful God! Blessed
assurance, that "_the God of Jacob_ is our refuge,"--the God who saves
the man without character, irrespective of character,--makes of
him,--Israel. Jacob, the supplanter, the trickster, the weak
character, the warped character, the sinner, God takes, and through
trials, tests, develops him and makes of him Israel,--a prince of God.
That is _God's plan with men_. Consider it.

There are two theories, the poles apart. The one is, salvation by
character; that by acquiring a suitable character, by developing the
right kind of a character, man can be saved, can go to Heaven; that
one's character, if of the proper kind, entitles him to Heaven; that
if one has lived right, he will go to Heaven. The other theory is,
that God by grace, pure unmerited favor, saves irrespective of
character. It is a tremendous issue. It is vital; one or the other is
fatal. If those who hold one theory go to Heaven, all who hold to the
other will be lost, will go to Hell. We would as well face the issue.
They are two widely different ways of salvation, and God has but one.
Jesus said, "_I am the way_" (John 14:6), not one way, _The Way_. And
He leaves no possible ground for misunderstanding the meaning, "No man
cometh unto the Father, but by me."--John 14:6. Either, then, He is
_the only way_, or He was the vilest deceiver the world ever knew, or
He was a simple-minded, ignorant fanatic, who honestly thought Himself
"The Way" when He was not.

Against this theory of salvation by character there are four serious,
fatal charges:--

First, it is utterly cruel, heartless and selfish. It is cruel,
because to the weakest, most needy, most helpless class, the vast body
of men, born of vicious, debased parents, reared amidst vice and sin,
weakened by appetite and tied by habit, it does not give one-millionth
the chance to be saved, to go to Heaven, that men have who were born
of noble, godly parents, reared amidst moral, uplifting surroundings,
and strengthened by noble aspirations and splendid training. Stand
before you two young men representing these two classes, and tell them
of life beyond this life, and of Heaven; and then tell them of
salvation by character. To the one it would mean a bright, hopeful
anticipation; to the other, it would mean but taunting him with his
hopeless condition and prodding him with despair.

The theory of salvation by character is heartless, because, wrapt in
the robe of its own self-righteousness, it coolly condemns to hopeless
despair a vast body of the human race. Go stand by the helpless,
hopeless drunkard, and the drunken, sinful woman, and tell them of
salvation by character, and hear the sob of despair or see the jeering
look on their faces at the thought of salvation by character for such
as they! Before a pastors' conference, the polished, brilliant, highly
educated pastor of a wealthy, refined, intellectual congregation read
a seemingly learned paper on "Salvation by Character." When he had
finished reading the paper, some of his fellow-pastors endorsed the
paper and gave it high praise. Finally, the pastor of a people who had
been unfortunate in life, many of whom had gone far down in sin, and
were fettered by habit, arose and said, "Brother Moderator, the
brother has given us his wonderful paper on salvation by character. I
would like to ask him, what would he preach if he were the pastor of a
people who have no character?" The author of the paper arose and made
the heartless reply, "Brother Moderator, my brother and I have been
raised in such different intellectual atmospheres, that I don't
suppose I could make it plain to my brother." The other replied, "That
is doubtless true, Brother Moderator; but the trouble is, that he can
never make it plain to any one else."

It is selfish, because those who teach this theory are generally men
of intelligence, refinement, and are considered, and they consider
themselves, men of moral character. They thus provide for themselves
by their theory, but leave a vast body of the race with a very slight
hope or with no hope whatever.

The second charge against those who hold this theory is that by their
own theory none will be saved. If salvation is by character, by what
kind of character, a perfect character, or an imperfect character? If
by a perfect character, no one has it; no one even claims it. If by an
imperfect character, how imperfect may it be and the man yet be saved?
Where is the standard? If a man's character, in order to be saved by
it, must be the best he can make it, no one has even that
character,--no one's character is the best he could have made it.
Hence, salvation by character is a chimera.

The third charge against salvation by character is, that even if a
man's character were perfect from man's standpoint, in the sight of
God his character would still be corrupt. "All our righteousnesses are
as filthy rags."--Is. 64:6. Why? Because motive is the measure of the
character. "They that are in the flesh cannot please God."--Rom. 8:8.
Why? Because they have not, and cannot have, the right motive. "Though
I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am
become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the
gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and
though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have
not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the
poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it
profiteth me nothing."--1 Cor. 13:1-3. And no man has this love, no
man can have this love, until he is saved by Christ dying for his
sins (1 Cor. 15:3). "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we
thus judge, that if one died for all, then all died; and he died for
all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves,
but unto him who died for them, and rose again."--2 Cor. 5:14, 15.

The fourth serious, fatal charge against the theory of salvation by
character is that it is contrary to the teaching of the Saviour.
"Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and
the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you."--Matt. 21:31.
Certain it is that the publicans and the harlots had worse characters
than those to whom the Saviour was speaking; the fact is therefore
evident that Jesus taught salvation without character, irrespective of
character.

Let the reader consider two cases that will show conclusively that the
teaching of salvation by character is absolutely contrary to the
teaching of the Saviour. "The chief priest, mocking him, with the
scribes and elders, said: He saved others; himself he cannot save. If
he is the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we
will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he
will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also that
were with him, cast the same in his teeth."--Matt. 27:41-44. Let the
reader notice that both the thieves "that were with him, cast the same
in his teeth." Then "one of the malefactors that were hanged railed on
him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other
answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou
art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the
due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he
said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be
with me in Paradise."--Luke 23:39-43. From the time that both thieves
"cast the same in his teeth," to the time the one made his earnest
plea, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom," there had
been no time in which this thief could have formed, developed a
character that merited salvation. Hence, when Jesus said, "To-day
shalt thou be with me in Paradise," to this thief, He branded the
teaching of salvation by character as not from Heaven. The one who
does not see from this case that the cruel, heartless, selfish
teaching of salvation by character contradicts the Lord Jesus, will
never see anything contrary to his own preferences and preconceived
opinions.

The second case is just as conclusive. As the Saviour was reclining at
meat in the house of Simon the Pharisee, a woman, noted as a sinner,
came in and stood behind him weeping. "And he said to the woman, Thy
faith hath saved thee; go in peace."--Luke 7:50. The Saviour said the
woman was saved, yet she was of notorious character,--she had no
character.

That the Saviour saved irrespective of character is shown by two cases
in the book of Acts. We have the accounts of the salvation of two men
of opposite characters. One was "A devout man, and one that feared
God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people and prayed to
God always,"--Acts 10:2, a man of most excellent character. Among all
the unredeemed men of the earth, not one could show a better
character. If any man could be saved by character, here is the man.
God sends word to him, "Send to Joppa and call for Simon, whose
surname is Peter, who shall tell the words whereby thou and all thy
house shalt be saved."--Acts 11:13. Notwithstanding his noble, unusual
character, God tells him that he is unsaved. If he, with his character
unexcelled among unredeemed men, was yet unsaved, how can any other
unredeemed man hope for salvation by character? Peter's message to
this man of irreproachable character was, "To him give all the
prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth on him
shall receive remission of sins."--Acts 10:43. Why is it necessary for
this man of character to believe on Christ in order to be saved?
Because, though of unusual character, he had sinned, "for all have
sinned" (Rom. 3:23); and sin once committed can only be atoned for by
blood, "apart from shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb.
9:22), and there is no blood of atonement in a noble character.

Over against this case is that of the Philippian jailor, a man of
hardened character; for he took two helpless, bleeding preachers who
had been beaten by a mob, and "thrust them into the inner prison, and
made their feet fast in the stocks" (Acts 16:24), and left them with
their backs bloody and gave them no supper. When the earthquake came
and the doors were opened, the hardened jailor started to commit
suicide. Paul having called to him and prevented the suicide, the
jailor "came trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas and brought
them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"--Acts 16:30. If
ever a man should be told of salvation by character, here was the
opportunity, that he might at once begin the tremendous and all but
hopeless task of changing, so late in life, a hardened character into
one that would enable him to merit Heaven. Instead, they said,
"Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved."--Acts 16:31. How
similar the answer to the instructions of Peter to Cornelius, and yet
how widely different the characters of the two men! Why this
similarity? Because God has but one way of salvation, and that is
irrespective of character. "He gathereth together _the outcasts_ of
Israel" (Ps. 147:2), the God of Jacob.

While the Saviour saves without character, and irrespective of
character, God the Father does not leave them without character, but
develops in them the right kind of a character. The man redeemed,
saved, without character, does not remain without character. "And such
_were_ some of you" (1 Cor. 6:11), but they did not remain such
characters,--but "sanctified, called to be saints."--1 Cor. 1:2.
_God's plan with men_, then, is to save irrespective of character, and
then develop in the redeemed, saved man a character that shall "be
found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus
Christ."--1 Peter 1:7.

Three ways in which God develops character in the redeemed are:

First, by purifying the _motive_ of the life. Character is not formed
by deeds, but by the motives prompting the deeds. Two men flag the
night express train on two railroads; the deeds are the same, but one
flags the train that he may warn, and save the lives of the people,
because a bridge has been destroyed; the other flags the train that he
may rob it. While the deeds are the same, the character of the deeds
is different, and that difference is in the motive prompting the deed,
and that motive affects, moulds the character of the one who performs
the deed. No deed is right in the sight of God that is not performed
from the motive of love (1 Cor. 13:1-3); hence, no character can be
right in the sight of God if the deeds that formed that character were
not prompted by the motive of love. All deeds performed from simply
the motive of duty, or from the desire to be saved, to go to Heaven
after this life, or from fear of Hell, are, in the sight of God,
unworthy deeds, and the characters formed by such deeds are unworthy
characters. And the Saviour defines clearly what love is: "There was a
certain creditor who had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence,
and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay he frankly
forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him
most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave
most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged."--Luke 7:41-43.
And John likewise defines love: "Herein is love, not that we loved
God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for
our sins."--1 John 4:10. This explains why God says: "They that are
in the flesh cannot please God."--Rom. 8:8. Their motive is wrong and
they cannot have the right motive, because they have not been
"forgiven most." Hence all characters are wrong in the sight of God
that were formed by deeds whose prompting motive was a simple sense of
duty, a desire to be saved, to go to Heaven, or from fear of Hell. And
all who have such a character are lost, have never been redeemed, are
not real Christians.

Second, God develops character in the redeemed, His real children, by
chastisements. Our earthly fathers "verily for a few days chastened us
as seemed right to them; but he for our profit, that we might be
partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth
to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterwards it yieldeth the
peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised
thereby."--Heb. 12:10, 11.

Third, God moulds the character of the redeemed by afflictions,
burdens, sorrows, etc. "Our light affliction, which is but for a
moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of
glory."--2 Cor. 4:17. "Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may
be mature and complete, lacking in nothing."--James 1:14.

The shallow conception of _God's plan with men_ that makes it His
ultimate purpose simply to save men, leaves the life of the redeemed
man here on earth an unsolved riddle, often an inexplicable tragedy.
The heartaches, the disasters, the burdens, the afflictions, the
sorrows,--what of all these, when God assures us that "all things work
together for good to those that love God, to those who are the called
according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28), if the ultimate purpose is
simply salvation? "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
The silver has been mined, digged from the earth, but there is dross
in it. The redeemed have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal.
3:13); have had the spirit sent into their hearts ("because ye are
sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts,
crying, Abba, Father,"--Gal. 4:6); but there are defects from
heredity, from environment. The purifying process, the development of
character, comes, not in order to be saved, but after we are saved,
because we are saved.

With God as the Father of the redeemed, many of the afflictions, and
sorrows of real Christians can be accounted for as chastisements; many
of the severe, heavy afflictions in the lives of real Christians can
be accounted for in this way. "Ye have forgotten the exhortation which
speaketh unto you as unto sons, My son, despise not thou the
chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and _scourgeth every son_ whom he
receiveth."--Heb. 12:5, 6. Scourging is severe, yet God says it is for
_every son_.

But there are many, many trials, afflictions, burdens, sorrows, which
cannot be explained by chastisements; for chastisements are for wilful
sins of God's children: "If his children _forsake_ my law ... then
will I visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with
stripes."--Ps. 89:30-32. In the lives of many of the redeemed who are
living obedient lives there are some of the most severe trials and
afflictions. If God is their Father and loves them, what can these
severe trials and afflictions mean?

    "One adequate support
    For the calamities of mortal life
    Exists, one only,--an assured belief
    That the procession of our fate, however
    Sad or disturbed, is ordered by a being
    Of Infinite benevolence and power,
    Whose everlasting purposes embrace
    All accidents, converting them into good."

    Wordsworth.

God Himself hath said it, "All things work together for good to those
that love God, to those who are the called according to his
purpose."--Rom. 8:28. Had God said, "Some things," what confusion
would have come to many of God's children! What enigmas would many
things in the lives of many of the redeemed have been! But when God
said "All things," He placed a key in the hands of every redeemed man,
every real child of His, with which to unlock the door of every
mystery; that every trial, every disaster, every accident, every
burden, every humiliation, every disappointment, every affliction,
every sorrow,--"All things work together for good to those that love
God, to those who are the called according to his purpose";--"that the
trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that
perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise,
and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ."--1 Peter 1:7.

Muscles are developed by trials; minds are developed by trials; God's
redeemed people are developed by trials. To murmur against one's
trials after being redeemed, means to murmur against being developed
for one's eternal destiny. To give the muscles no trials, means for
the body never to be developed; to give the mind no trials, means for
the mind never to be developed; to give the redeemed man no trials,
means for his character never to be developed. Two children are born
into the world. The father and mother of one decide that he shall
never be required to do any unpleasant things; that he shall never
have any hardships. The father and mother of the other decide to give
their child every unpleasant thing to do, every hardship and burden to
bear, that will best develop him in body and mind. Often the redeemed
plead with their Father in Heaven to give them only pleasant things,
and He, the All-wise, All-powerful, in love gives them--trials.

The trials of life for the redeemed are so various. If the muscles
have only one trial, the body will never be fully developed. The
muscles need various trials. If the mind has only one trial, it will
never be fully developed. If the mind studies only one thing, it will
never be trained, developed, educated. If the soul has only one kind
of trial, it will never be developed. "Count it all joy, my brethren,
when ye fall into manifold temptations."--James 1:2 (R. V. Margin,
trials).

But the redeemed, the children of God, often complain that their
trials are so hard. Easy trials do not develop. The one who takes only
light exercises for his muscles will never be fully developed
physically. The boy who works the easy examples and skips the hard
ones, will never be an educated man; he will be only a "hewer of wood
and drawer of water." It takes hard trials to develop the body
properly. It takes hard trials of the mind to develop it properly. It
takes hard trials to develop the soul properly; "That the trial of
your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
_though it be tried with fire_." He who asks for only easy trials of
his muscles, asks to remain undeveloped physically; he who asks for
easy trials of his mind, asks to remain undeveloped mentally; he who
asks, yearns, to have no hard trials spiritually, yearns to remain
undeveloped in real character, in his spiritual nature. The hard
trials are the ones that develop. And the more one's muscles have been
developed, the harder should be the trials for those muscles; the more
one's mind is developed, the harder should be the trials for the mind;
the more the redeemed man's spiritual nature is developed, the harder
his trials will be.

That would be an unwise educator who, after training the pupil's mind
up through geometry, would then put him back to studying the simple
branches of mathematics, instead of taking him on into higher
mathematics. Likewise the Heavenly Father does not, after partly
developing the redeemed, His children, by hard trials, return them to
lives of easy trials, but He leads them into yet harder trials. Take
Elijah as an example (see F. B. Meyer's "Elijah"). He is sent to
pronounce God's sentence against Ahab (1 Kings 17:1); he is then sent
into obscurity (17:2, 3); he is left dependent on the ravens for food
(17:4-6); he sees the brook dry up, his only hope for water, for life
(17:7); he is submitted to the humiliation of being supported by a
poor widow (17:8, 9); God delays answering his prayer (17:17-22); God
requires him to expose himself to danger by showing himself to Ahab
(18:1); he is led to face popular religious error, and in doing so is
left to stand alone (18:19-38); God delays answer to his prayer till
he prays seven times (18:42-45); he suffers the further humiliation of
Elisha being anointed prophet in his room (19:15, 16); he is taken up
by a whirlwind to Heaven (2 Kings 2:11). A study of these trials will
show that they were all hard trials, and that they increased in
severity. God tells us that Elijah was a man subject to like passions
as we are (James 5:17); but by trials, hardships, burdens, God
developed him into one of the noblest characters of all ages. God's
redeemed people may expect, then, trials through their lives, and that
the trials shall be increasingly severe, as they advance in the
Christian life.

Often God's children are discouraged because they cannot see any
purpose in their trials. But God assures us that there is a purpose.
The child cannot understand the purpose of the lessons at school, but
the father has the purpose. Elijah, possibly filled with apprehension,
sitting by the drying brook Cherith, did not see any purpose, but God,
who makes all things work together for good to His people, had the
purpose and accomplished it in the development of Elijah's character;
and so, as F. B. Meyer has so aptly put it, the redeemed, sitting by
the drying brook of health, of property, of reputation, of family
happiness, may not see the purpose, but the Heavenly Father will
work, in His plan for each, every trial into the warp or woof of each
life. The Saviour said to Peter, "What I do thou knowest not now, but
thou shalt know hereafter."--John 13:7.

    "Behind our life the Weaver stands
      And works His wondrous will;
    We leave it all in His wise hands
      And trust His perfect skill.
    Should mystery enshroud His plan,
      And our short sight be dim,
    We will not try the whole to scan,
      But leave each thread to Him."

Who knows the defects, the weaknesses, of each character? Only God.
Who knows what each character ought to be? Only God. Who knows how to
develop each character properly? Only God. Who is able to so shape the
circumstances of each life as to properly develop each character? Only
God. And He has promised that He will. "We know that all things work
together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called
according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28); "that the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be
tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory at
the appearing of Jesus Christ."--1 Peter 1:7. This is _the only_
explanation of the many harassments of life.

God has revealed that the standard by which character is measured is
patience, endurance. "Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may
be mature and complete, lacking in nothing."--James 1:4. If there
were no harassments, no afflictions, no burdens, no sorrows, no
disappointments, no sufferings, there could be no patience, endurance;
and if there were no patience, no endurance, there could be no
maturity and completeness of character. As to what trials are needed,
and are best in each case, only God can decide. In our dimsightedness
we think that many things are mistakes in God's plans, and that He
cannot bring good out of them; but He will. A boy was born with a
badly deformed foot. When he was eight years of age his father had two
surgeons to operate and try to straighten the foot, but they failed.
After a second operation, the foot was placed in a brace which was
worn for months. But the foot remained as badly deformed as ever. The
surgeons then informed the father that the foot could never be
straightened. The father studied the deformed foot for many days, and
then had a strange-looking box made with screws, felt taps and iron
rods in different parts of it. He had the surgeons to operate again on
the boy's foot, cutting the muscles and tendons in different places.
The foot was then placed in the strange box; a screw was turned till
the felt tap pressed against the foot at one place, almost breaking
the bones; then another screw and felt tap were brought to bear on
another deformed part of the foot, straightening the foot and almost
breaking the bones in that part of the foot; then the iron rod was
used to straighten another part. For months the boy's foot was kept in
that box. The suffering, day and night for months, was indescribable.
The child would weep for hours, the pain being all but unbearable;
and when the father would come home the child would beg piteously for
the box to be taken off and to be left a cripple. The father, mingling
his tears with the tears of the suffering child, would turn the screws
tighter than before, and the child would shriek in fearful agony.
During those weeks and months of suffering he looked upon his father
as being harsh and cruel and without love for him. Finally the father
loosened all the screws and said, "Son, stand up," and for the first
time in his life the boy stood erect. Often has that son, now a
gray-haired man, stood over the grave of that father, long since dead,
and bedewed the grave with his tears, and thanked God that he had a
father who was true enough to continue the suffering until the
terrible deformity was corrected. The father may have turned the
screws one thread too much, but the Father in Heaven makes no
mistakes, and far beyond the grave many of the redeemed will praise
Him, when they understand, for the sufferings and afflictions and
burdens they were led to endure here.

    "Choose for us, Lord, nor let our weak preferring
      Cheat us of good Thou hast for us designed.
    Choose for us, Lord; Thy wisdom is unerring,
      And we are fools and blind."

With the reader this may seem mere theory; he may feel that it cannot
explain all the seemingly unfathomable mystery of suffering in the
lives of many of the redeemed, the real children of God. Let the
reader consider two things: first, that as a juror, he would not form
a judgment till all the evidence had been placed before the jury.
God's purpose in each case, and what God actually accomplishes in each
case, in the development of character,--these have not yet been placed
before the jury; but, backed up by many fulfilled prophecies, by the
character of Jesus Christ, by His resurrection, by what He has
accomplished in the world, we have God's solemn assurance that _He
will yet place this evidence before the jury_.

Second, let the reader remember that with God character counts more
than comfort. What father would prefer his son to be a brutal,
ignorant pugilist, enjoying food and drink, physical life,--to a
useful, noble, highly educated, refined, learned son who could "listen
in the orange groves of Verona to the sweet vows of Juliet, or to the
blind bard's harp as he strikes the chords but seldom struck
harmonious with the morning stars, or to the music of the spheres as
they hymn His praises around their Creator's throne"? Far more than
the earthly father would choose the latter for his son, does the
Heavenly Father value the soul and its development above that of the
body.

Could God's redeemed people only learn that perfection of character
comes only through suffering, that as certain as God is true, a
blessing will come from every sorrow, every burden, every affliction,
every pang, every heartache!

    "The ills we see--
    The mystery of sorrow deep and long,
    The dark enigmas of permitted wrong,
    Have all one key--
    This strange, sad world is but our Father's school;
    All chance and change His love shall grandly overrule."

Rarely has the author been stirred, thrilled, as he was while
listening to an audience of a thousand colored people of the South
sing the following hymn. Some of them had been slaves; many were poor;
many uneducated; some Greek scholars; some were destitute; some were
half-invalids; some were aged and infirm; but few had the comforts of
life; all were heavy burden-bearers. White people from New York and
Texas, from Mississippi and Kansas, were moved to tears, as that
audience sang with such rhythm, such cadence, such pathos, such
sweetness, such soul-power, as only they can sing:--

    "We are tossed and driven
    On the restless sea of time,
    Sombre skies and howling tempest
    Oft succeed the bright sunshine.
    In that land of perfect day
    When the mists have rolled away,
    We will understand it better by and by.

    "By and by when the morning comes
    And all the saints of God are gathered home,
    We'll tell the story, how we've overcome,
    For we'll understand it better by and by.

    "We are often destitute
    Of the things that life demands,
    Want of shelter and of food
    Thirsty hills and barren lands.
    We are trusting in the Lord,
    And according to His word,
    We will understand it better by and by.

    "Trials dark on every hand,
    And we cannot understand
    All the ways that God would lead us
    To the blessed promised land,
    But He guides us with His eye
    And we'll follow till we die,
    For we'll understand it better by and by.

    "Temptations, hidden snares,
    Often take us unawares,
    And our hearts are made to bleed
    For a thoughtless word or deed,
    And we wonder why the test
    When we try to do our best,
    But we'll understand it better by and by."

But they are not the only ones who

    "Wonder why the test
    When we try to do our best."

They are not the only ones who can say,

    "Trials dark on every hand
    And we cannot understand,"

But they and all the redeemed, God's real children, can say,

    "We will understand it better by and by."

Till then they can rest upon His word, that "the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be
tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the
appearing of Jesus Christ,"--1 Peter 1:7; for "we know that all things
work together for good to those that love God, to those who are the
called according to his purpose."--Rom. 8:28.

    "Thou art as much His care as if beside,
    Nor man nor angel lived in Heaven or Earth."

_FOR FURTHER STUDY_:--Some readers may conclude, because trials come
to the lives of the unredeemed as well as the redeemed, to those who
are not God's children, as well as to those who are God's children,
that, therefore, their characters are likewise developed by trials.
Let such readers consider two facts:--

First, it is a creature of God being developed in one case; in the
other, it is one who has been redeemed and adopted as a child of God
(Gal. 4:4-7), and born of the Spirit (John 3:8), that is being
developed.

Second, the characters being developed in the two classes, while they
may appear to men as similar, in the sight of God are as different as
light and darkness are to men, as different as Heaven and Hell. Let
it be remembered that character is dependent, not on the deed, but
_on the motive back of the deed_ (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

No unredeemed man can have that motive, because it springs from
complete redemption through Christ (2 Cor. 5:14, 15). Hence, "they
that are in the flesh cannot please God."--Rom. 8:8. Their motive
power is all wrong and cannot be otherwise; hence their characters,
however they may be developed, are all wrong in the sight of God.
Jesus said, "Cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter,
that the outside may be clean also."--Matt. 23:26. The child who, from
love, bears trials and burdens placed upon him by the father, the
slave who, from fear of the lash, bears trials and burdens placed upon
him by the master, the hireling who, from desire for the wages, bears
trials and burdens, and the stoic who, from sheer force of will, or
from a cold sense of duty, bears trials and burdens, because he
must,--are developing altogether different characters. Even so, the
child of God, redeemed and adopted, who, from love, bears the trials
and burdens of life, the unredeemed one who, from fear of the law,
from fear of Hell, bears the trials and burdens of life; the
unredeemed one who, from what he hopes to gain thereby, a home in
Heaven (as the hireling his wages), bears the trials and burdens of
life, and the unredeemed one who, from a cold sense of duty, bears the
trials and burdens of life, are developing widely different characters
for eternity. Which shall it be in your case, reader?


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