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"A PERFECT MAN."
“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?
shall I then take the members of Christ and make the members (Eph. iv.)
of an harlot ?" (1 Cor. vi.) We have been led to the following article through “ Which is (now) his body." (Eph. i.) some of our readers expressing a difficulty in re
“That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs and of the same
| body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel.” ceiving the exposition entitled-—“That which is
“Edifying of the body.” “ Increase of the body, unto the Perfect is Come." That difficulty we have taken to edifying of itself in love." (üi. and iv.) the Lord for ourselves, and put the result before our "He is the saviour of the body [nourisher and cherisher of readers.]
the church. Just as a man cherishes his own flesh] .. even
so the Lord the church; for we are members of his body, of “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the
his flesh, and of his bones.” (v.) measure of the gift of Christ. . . . . And he gave some, apostles ; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and But the emblem used in the Word to set forth some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the relationship of the Church to Christ, when glori.
fied together, is "The Bride, the Lamb's Wife." Not till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto A Perfect Man, unto the measure of the
the Body. stature of the fulness of Christ. That we, henceforth, be no This meets the difficulty which many of us have more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every had in holding together the two "mysteries." * And wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, some have endeavoured to show that the Church is whereby they lie in wait to deceive. But speaking the truth in
not the Bride, but the Body, and that saved Israel is love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together
the Bride. and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according We regard the emblem, therefore, of Head and to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh Members as expressing present, NOT future, increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
union and action through us (believers) on earth. Some have interpreted the phrase"unto a perfect Indeed, it is a higher emblem of the more wonderful man"-in the above scripture, to mean
union of Christ and believers under THIS dispenUnto the Church glorified with Christ,
sation as compared with the union which existed arguing that the Church is to look for Gifts till then.
under the Old. Then, it was Vine and Branches : For ourselves, we have several difficulties in re
now, it is that—and something more. ceiving this interpretation, which we desire, in much
When the Lord Jesus gave his disciples the Vine
emblem, He was still on earth ; the Root and Stem love, to humbly submit to our brethren. Ist. The language used by the Holy Ghost is not
were still in the earth. But now, in bodily presence, The perfect man, but “a perfect man." We under
the Lord is withdrawn; and the more appropriate
emblem is, not the Vine below, but the Head above. stand it as having, not a future, but a present meaning. Paul, writing to the Ephesian saints, says the Gifts
We are called to abide, not in the Vine Visible, but
in the Head Invisible. were given—"Till we [Paul and them] all,” indivi
All the members enumerated in the 1st Corinthians dually, “come unto... A PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the full stature (morally and spiritually)
express action and ACTION only; none are indispen.
sable to the VITALITY of the Body-ear, eye, smell, of Christ," "walking even as He walked.” (1 John
foot, hand. The mouth, for instance, as receiving ii.) Paul adds—“That we be no more CHILDREN,” so
food, is indispensable to the vitality of the body. that some, with himself, had already arrived at the perfectness to which he alludes, and when ALL had,
To speak of a reputed spiritually gifted brother as a then the Gifts would be no more needful, believers
“mouth” (as has been done in our hearing) is simply simply “speaking the truth to each other in love."
untenable. For suppose a so-called “teacher's." 2nd difficulty. As scripture must interpret scripture,
ministrations are not possessed, then, how would what other scripture speaks of the Church hereafter
: the members fare without a mouth? But let those
testify to the grace of Christ who, in faithfulness to with Christ as â glorified Man? Is it not rather the Lamb and the BRIDE ?
Him, have had to walk apart. 3. But, (perhaps says a brother,)-Does not the
· We press this figure of the “Body," therefore, as Scripture reveal the mystery of the Church being
setting forth an earthly aspect only, the Body, as well as the Bride, and may not this
“Our life is hid with Christ in God.” mystery of the Head and the One Body be referred
The Church is not manifested apart from Christ. to in the above expression-"to a perfect man"? The true and only Church is not seen and known.
We think not. First, because we cannot find that The Church is now like Eve, before her separate the emblem of Head and Members or Body is ever existence; she was in the Man, and was taken out of used with reference to the Lord Jesus Christ and the
ord Jesus Christ and the the Man. Of us it is written, “WE ARE members of Church as glorified together.
his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” This latter emblem is only used when reference “ But, when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall is made to the Divine union and co-action of Christ we appear With Him in glory.” and believers NOW-DOWN HERE-teaching, as this
NOWDOWN TERR-teaching as this “ So shall we be for ever With the Lord.” precious emblem does, the duty of subjection, the As a visible fact no longer in Him, but as the fact of dependence, the blessedness of vital union and Church the Woman, one-for ever one— With Him. of being the objects of ceaseless care.
. The word “mystery,” as used in the Scriptures, does But let the beloved reader prove whether this not mean something hid, but something that was hid but now emblem is used in a temporary, earthward sense only. revealed.
He will, indeed (our dear and blessed Lord), remain things which work together” for that special good, the HEAD, but in the same sense that
(see Rom. viii.); or, as in Eph. iv., (which we are " THE HEAD OF THE WOMAN IS THE MAN."
looking at,) he is “a perfect man, unto the measure But now, while believers are down here, Christ is
of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
The Lord Jesus was indeed “perfect." Now HE the Head of the Church, “which is His body."
IS OUR STANDARD. To the Jew it was said "Be ve 4. Thus we feel difficulty in harmonising
perfect, (teleios), even as your Father in heaven is OTHER Scriptures with the interpretation that the
perfect." But to us who believe in Jesus it is said, phrase "A PERFECT MAN," means the glorified
“He that saith he abideth in Him OUGHT HIMSELP 80 TO assembly of God in union with the Lord Christ.
WALK, EVEN AS HE WALKED.” (1 John ii.) But a special difficulty arises out of the PASSAGE
To this perfectness, the Gifts, as the Lord has ITSELF.
shown us, were given to bring up believers from It is this. James uses the same phrase, and he
heathenism and Judaism. TWICE uses it with regard to practical walk : and “Be ye followers (or imitators) of me, even as I am of Christ." he gives it most clearly the simple meaning which
“Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom,
that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, where we say it has in the above passage in the Ephesians.
unto I also labour, striving according to his working which Now, why should the phrase when used by Paul | worketh in me mightily." (Col. i.) . mean something very different ?
Paul does not say, "present to Christ,” but “pre"Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect sent perfect in Christ Jesus"- perfect as followers and entire, wanting nothing." (i. 4.)
of Christ-in all the moral perfectness of Jesus ? “If any man offend not in word, the same is A PERFECT MAN, and able also to bridle the whole body."
Christ. It does not mean that Paul might present (James üii.)
believers “ perfect” in the glory. The Lord Jesus In the original, the phrase is the same-TELEIOS
will present the Church unto himself; (Eph. v. 27.) ANDROS. We must press this fact upon the beloved
Paul strove that he might then present-at that time reader; the Spirit of TRUTH speaks to us by both. ' But further, teleios we cannot find ever used with
-every man as apprehending the faith in its unity,
or entirety, and as possessing a knowledge of the Son reference to the Church glorified, but always to
of God, and practically conformed to Him. Think of MORAL PERFECTNESS.' The Lord Jesus thus uses it twice
the newly-converted Philippian jailer and the proud
Jew but recently going about to establish his own “Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
righteousness, brought to believe in Jesús—and ! “If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell that thou hast," &c. (Matt.)
having no New Testament! They needed “Gifts," Paul uses it in this sense a number of times—
indeed, to bring them to the understanding of the “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect.” |
mystery of Christ and the Church, and to the know(1 Cor. ii. 6.) “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth
ledge of the Son of God, and to conformity to the you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye
Man Christ Jesus. may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Col.) . This is the simple meaning of the above passage
"Not' as though I had already attained, or were already in the Ephesians. This perfectness of believers was perfect, but I follow,” &c. 1..Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect.”
the aim and OBJECT of the Gifts, Christ being their
(Phil. iii.) “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age
STANDARD. (teleios, perfect).” (Heb. v.)
But now that “that which is perfect is come," Fe Thus we see that is a perfect man," was con- are each responsible to know all the mind and will templated as possible now, down here.
of God, having the Scriptures in our hands and the We find the word sometimes applied to principles, | Holy Ghost to unfold them. Spiritual Gifts, being facts, and things: but never to glorification, thus- no longer needed, have “vanished away." “Perfect will of God.” “When that which is perfect is
| We are each responsible, not only to know the come.” “Perfect law of liberty.” “Perfect love."
truth, but to “speak the truth in love," so that we all : One of the most important places where this word may be “knit together in love,” and “grow up into is used is 1 Cor. xiv. This passage conclusively | Christ in all things.” settles its simple application to moral perfection down
| The Apostle John, who, writing last of all, regards here :
the Church as having no further need of Gifts, also “ Brethren, by not children in understanding; howbeit, in
takes it for granted that believers “walk even as malice be ye children (or rather, babes] ; but in understanding
Christ walked," " who hath left us an example that be men (teleios, that is to say, perfect.)"
we should follow his steps," and who, at all times, James's “ perfect man" is simply a self-controlled spake the truth, and oh, with what love ! man, able to bridle his tongue-more . especially in | *We conclude with passages from the 1st Epistle of the assembly, occurring, as it does, directly after John, and humbly exhort our brethren to seek to be the exhortation, "Be not many masters" or teachers, * | frequently led of the Spirit into this valuable, lastas the word in the original is rendered in Acts xiii. written, and very precious epistle:1; 1 Tim. ü. 7; 2 Tim. i. 11.
“Every man that hath this hopo in him purifieth himself, Paul's “perfect man” is one who has "put on
| even as He is pure."
“ Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not." the Lord Jesus Christ,"'-one who is being con " Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin ; for his formed to the image of God's dear Son” by the “ all / seed remaineth in him : and he cannot sin, boca use he is bora 1 * James wrote before " that which is perfect had come." ' of God.”
"SERVE GOD Å OO EPTABLY.”
Brethren, Let Cæsár tako tribute, and Cæsar only...,
But some may say-Oh, if we left it wholly to consciences "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let we should not get enough to meet our liabilities.” . us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence
Ah, is that it? You take such heavy expenses upon you
that you cannot walk by faith in regard to meeting them! and godly fear : for our God is a consuming fire."
Oh, let us commit our affairs to the Lord, and He will meet 1.--ATTENDANCE.
the assembly's needs in His own way. “My God shall supply This Scripture is specially suitable as the basis of an exhor
all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." tation to an attendance at meetings at the times appointed.
Then, let us “ walk by faith, not by sight" in this matter, For our own souls' sake, it is better to be a little earlier than
and “serve God acceptably." the time for coming together, in order to engage in silent prayer and communion with the Lord. And, let it be remembered, that for the assembly's sake, every member is bound to
BOOKS RECEIVED. take every care to be in the Spirit on coming together, in order to be really helpers, and not hinderors, one of another.
"A Second WORD of WARNING to the recent Converts in Is it needful to give up anything, in order to be in good Ireland on the peculiar doctrines of Mr Darby and Mr NEWTON. time? Then let our willingness to give up be quickened by Paul, Paternoster-row. 4d."—With this pamphlet we have remembering what we have received
received a letter from the author. Neither of the conductors of "A kingdom which cannot be moved."
PRECIOUS TRUTH has any personal acquaintance with, or
experience of, the “Brethren's" troubles, and we feel that the Then we may well desire to “have [hold fast] grace whereby late Editor dealt sufficiently with the subject. we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear."
Our own souls, we may say, have been refreshed by certain Now, coming late is neither “acceptable " to God nor man. I of our brother's remarks on the inconceivable magnitude of Neither is it "reverent;" acting so with respect to an earthly the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross-remarks whicb personage would be felt to be very ir-reverent.
we may be led to transfer to our columns. Then we see that we are to serve God, not only “acceptably and with reverence," but with “godly fear." And that because
“ THE RIVER OF LIFE.”-A series of papers utterly mystic, “Our God is a consuming fire.”
based on fanciful interpretations of Old Testament Scripture
most grievous. Though we have come to Mount Sion (not Mount Sinai), yet, as regards the flesh in us, God is ever the same-a con
"LIGHT IN THE DARK VALLEY." S. W. Partridge. 20.-A zuming fire! If anything of the flesh is upon us, the presence of God will be felt to have a burning effect-burning off from
truthful tract, eloquent; rather too eloquent, The power of
truth is weakened when we attempt to assist it by a stream of 18 all that is of the flesh.
rhetoric. The attention is apt to be caught by our beauty, Now, indolence is of the flesh, and if it be allowed in us, I rather than its force.. we must feel the consequences. But if we be going on with
We regret the writer does not seem to be quite clear that the hat which is according to God-then there is nothing about
Christian's “living hope" is the “appearing of the great God, is that is consumable. Happy are we, then, when our hearts our Saviour Jesus Christ." He who is waiting for the Lord condemn us not. .
from Heaven is indeed delivered from the bondage of the fear But let us not judge one another in regard to this matter : L of death. he Lord knows all unavoidable hindrances.
It is blessed to think of Jesus in this respect. As He was "ELECTION AND EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT.”-On this latter Font, “ He went early to the temple.” Let us hold fast grace, subject we think we shall do well to simply hold in its natural eloved, to "walk as dear children unto all well-pleasing.' | meaning the text-"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlast
ing fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels ...... These 11.- GIVING.
shall go away into everlasting (AIONI08) punishment, but the 2. How UNACCEPTABLE, also, is the practice of sending, or
righteous into life eternal (AIONIOS).”
“The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses king round a box, after the breaking of bread, to every
in the rocks.' We “are but a feeble folk," and take shelter in cember of the church! The thought which leads to this
the rocks and fortresses of God's Word, which endureth for ractice is, doubtless, this—“Everyone in fellowship ought to
ever. ve something; 80 let us afford every member an opportunity so doing."
"Is IT HONEST TO ABIDE A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF Very true; but if the box for the church's offerings be | ENGLAND P" Macintosh. 18.--A laborious attempt of a true aced at the door, so that all who come in and out must see it, partisan of the English Establishment to justify its liturgies and e needful opportunity will be given.
practices. We require Scripture for everything; this writer But passing a box round a meeting says more than-" You gives us logic. Take, for instance, the following ht to give. It says, practically, “ We expect you to give.”
“The Bible is truth; the Articles accord with the Bible; ed everyone feels that if he did not give those who sit next
therefore, the Articles are truth." -uld know it. Thus, an element of constraint is introduced.
“The Articles are truth; the Prayer-book accords with the The consequence is—The freeness of giving that beautiful
Articles; therefore, the Prayer-book is truth.” ng-is sadly marred. "Giving" is a fruit unto God; but wwe, mar the delicate bloom on the fruit by our rude
By this logic, the Bible, the Articles, and the Prayer-book aling with it don't we?
are proved of equal weight and value as standards of truth! By this practice, “giving ” as a duty is pressed at the
Are they? Dense of freedom. Where this is the case, payments re
May the writer learn with us that “That which is perfect is able taxes more than freewill offerings, and the church is
come." de a place for the payment of taxes-- Poll-taxos ; that is,
“ SIGNS OF OUR TIMES."--First article very good. We do " ething per head!
| not fall in with the interpretation put forth in this pamphlet, The principle is true,That we ought to give according to
that the sixth vial is now being poured forth. And think this ability. But who can tell the ability,” or pecuniary
pamphlet is one of a class whose tendency is to work ans, of his neighbour? There may be no “ability,” at the
up a morbid wistfulness concerning dates--an excitement e, where we little think it. Suppose the Lord has recently
| that may result in a disastrous re-action., = may be on the way to the meeting-made a special call our means. In such a case-and many others--a certain ing of shame may press a gift-no, (we should rather say,) - ERROR.--In our last, page 242, col.1, ten lines from bottom, ax, or Tribute.
for “ past disappearing,'' read “ fast disappearing."
GATH ERING TO THE LORD.
H. L. R.-We thank you, dear brother, but cannot use your " 10. E_ Row. London. | kind communication. We are refreshed at the evident jovful. “ DEAR BROTHER, — Perhaps it will be cheering to my
ness with which you contemplate the Coming of the Lord. brethren who meet in the name of the Lord to know that a few
J.S.—The days are indeed, as you say, “dark, pitchy dark," Christians have lately come out from the systems of the present
with regard to the World and the Professing Woman, But day, and meet in a brother's house. We are about eight in for this we are prepared by that word which tells us things will number. We believe we are led of the Holy Spirit, and if we
wax worse and worse, “deceiving and being deceived." We are to meet elsewhere, the Lord will open a door.
long, more and more, to see the dear Lord, face to face. We meet on Lord's Day morning for reading the Scriptures,
And we feel a confidence that it is so with dear ones generally. and in the evening for Worship and Breaking of Bread; and
But what we do also long for is, that the Real Church, the on Tuesday evenings for reading the Scriptures. We can,
True Woman, may be found blameless at His Coming, ceasing indeed, say the Lord has greatly blessed us. If it was ever
to be wilful, to prefer Her own will to the Lord's. Wilful. needful that Christians should come out from the apostate
ness in turning away from the Word, when ministered, is very systems, it is now. God bless all who are honouring Him, and painful; if so to us, how much more to the Lord ! Yet His who are jealous for His Word and Truth. May we be firm, is love changes not! let not ours, towards those that are His. the prayer of yours truly in the Blessed Lord, rs truly in the Blessed Lord. " G
G. C. G."
C G " We are called to fellowship with Him “in enduring all things." [Conductors? Note. It is very natural, Dear Brother, to
He never ceases, either, in washing the Church with the water desire a larger place to meet in. Our views have been fully of the Word ; in this respect, also, may we have fellowship expressed recently on that point. We indeed regard the fol
with Him, with all patience and longsuffering. But it is Hi lowing things as desirable
work, not ours. If He uses you or us, in any measure, to the 1st. That the room should be easily accessible from the
blessing of saints, to Him be all the glory. If our efforts at street.
any time fail, or rather seem to fail-nevertheless, He is glori 2nd. That the outer door should remain open during the
fied in us. To Him be all glory for ever and ever. Amen. meeting
T. C.--Very dear brother, the Lord is pleased and is glorified 3rd. That a simple bill or tablet should announce to passers
when dear ones hold fast grace under affliction. “ Many are by the times of meeting.
the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out 4th. That the brethren would do well to seek to be led to a of them all.” “No chastening for the present seemeth joyous, spot near at hand, at which to preach the Gospel and invite
but grievous, nevertheless afterward it worketh the peaceable Christians to the Scripture meetings.
fruits of righteousness to them who are exercised thereby." Desiring simply the glory of the Lord, we may well desire,
Our afflictions are often blessed to others also. We join in you: earnestly and confidently, & room sufficiently suitable. Two
prayers that blessing may abound towards the dear children of parlours with folding doors, in a brother's house, is what
God, and that all may be brought into a patient waiting for most naturally directly suggests itself to the mind.
the Morning Star. Amen to that prayer, doubtless says evtry We do well, indeed, to desire not to shut ourselves up to
reader. ourselves. At the same time, we can do nothing of ourselves;
READER, Torquay.--"The Link Broken " is published by but must wait upon the Lord, to be GUIDED and helped of Him.
Houlston and Wright, 3d. We should like to hear from you Until He gives us what we think to be better, we must “ be
J. C. A., J. H., °C. R. still postponed. content with such things as we have." And thankful, too.
Notice.--In regard to our suggestion that one of the During the winter season. more especially, it would be a larger and better kind of biscuits would be found a readily. I most suitable arrangement, if you, and other small Christian l available form of unfermented bread for a small gatherine, fellowships, meeting like yourselves in your neighbourhood. | a remark has reached us, that almost all biscuits are fermented, were to hire a schoolroom or hall, say, for one preaching
Upon enquiry, however, we find that this is not the case: meeting a week. Then, if souls are converted, receiving them
But anyone can tell for himself. If the body of the biscuits into fellowship in your own houses. Hired halls and large spongy and light, then ferment has been used. But if it be places, we remain convinced, are not the safest and best for a close solid character, even though there be “air-blisters" oL fellowship of saints, however useful they may be for occasional
the surface, then it is unfermented. UNITED TESTIMONY to the world in PREACHING the Gospel with TINFOLDINGS OF THE WORD OF TRUTH.-Being the power of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.
lected contributions to “ Precious Truth." ls. Cloth. 16 The dear Lord glorify Himself in you, in us, in all. Amen] | pp. A Neat Gift Book. CONTENTS
1.- A Scene near Bethany. . . . . . . . . OUR CORRESPONDENTS AND OURSELVES.
2.-Ninerch and Modern Nations . . . . . Address Letters for the Conductors to 335a, Strand, London, W.C 3.-Barabbas and Simon the Cyrenian . . . . .
4.- Mary that Anointed the Lord . . . . . J. B.-Dear brother, If we WILL refer our difficulties to our
5.-John the Baptist's Failure . . . . brethren, instead of taking them to the Lord aud searchingithe
6.-Eve and the Bride of Christ. . Word for ourselves, do we not deserve to remain in doubt and
7.- A Prefiguration of the Testimonies to Christ
8.-Words of Warning-(blank verse) · · · ·:. darkness? How often, when we have been consulting our
9,-The Five Thousand Fed .. brethren, has the Lord allowed us to come away, with our 10.-The Church's Path and the Church's Hope . difficulties quite unsettled! We have been thus obliged to 11.--The Four Thousand Fed. take them to Him, and have found, to our sweet experience, 12.- The Feast of Pentecost and the Hour of Prayer where our strength lieth-even in the HEAD, kept unshorn of 13.- The Lord Jesus Christ in the Sphere of Brotherhood 83 of the glory due to Him, He, "of God, is made unto us 14.--The Judgment Seat of Christ . .. . . WISDOM,” &c. (1 Cor. i.) Do let us hold this Practically. 15.- Words of Warning, (Part II.), ....99 We know a man in Christ who had a difficulty of a social
16.-James, the Son of Alpheus . . . . . . . 104 nature like your own-only last week. Remembering the
17.-Can Faith Save Him?.. ..... . 110
18.- The Church the Woman-i. Dependent, 2. Veilen, precious assurance of the Lord, “If two of you shall agree on
3. Modestly Attired. ........... earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done
21.-The First and Second Lores. . . . . . for them of my Father which is in heaven," this brother went
22,- The Vine and Branches i . . . . . to another dear brother in fellowship, and interested him
23.- The Church which was at Jerusalem. . in his case. The two knelt down and asked the Lord to 24.- Kept by the Power of God . . graciously give light from His Word. They arose, and after a | BATEMAN, PATERNOSTÉR ROW. HEYWOOD, STRA" little patient waiting the perplexed one was led to a passage.
Published for the Proprietor, byThis was read, and, during its reading, light was poured upon J. B. BATEMAN, 22, Paternoster-row, entrance in Ivy-lace the perplexed one's mind like a flood, that met his case in all
West End-HEYwood & Co., 335, Strand, London, wo.
City Agents-ARTHUR HALL, 25. Paternoster-row, London, 2 its bearings. Oh, the blessedness of walking according to the
SMART & ALLEN, 2, Londonhouse-yard, Paternoster Res. Word! The Lord bless you. “Yo have no need that any Dublin Agents-“ MCGLASHAN & GILL, 50, Upper Sackrillex MAN teach you."
Printed by JOHN EVANS, 335a, Strand, London,
"He that is Spiritual judgeth all things.” (1 Cor. il.)
DECEMBER 1, 1867.
" THE SEVEN STARS ARE THE ANGELS."
« Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and
“ The Seven Stars are the Angels of the Seven Churches : Shen, and called the name of it Ebon-ezer, saying, Hitherto
and the Seven Candlesticks which thou sawest are the Seven
Churches." bath the Lord helped us.” (1 Sam, vii.)
DEAR Christian Reader,—What thought have you With this number is finished a volume of this hiti
18 hitherto held as to what is the meant by the Stars or Journal, consisting of 33 numbers.
Angels? Have you received any one of the current It was with no desire of ours that the conducting
doctrines ? They are, all of them, unsatisfactory. of PRECIOUS TRUTH came into our hands. But as
Let us look at each of them, before we present that that has occurred, we hope to continually look to
which, we are confident, is the true interpretation. the Lord to help us, as He has hitherto.
1. First, then, the most common doctrine is, that "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the “ angels" of the churches are “the ministers of principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness the churches." This is the meaning which the transof this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
lators have themselves supplied, and inserted in the (Eph. vi. 12.)
italic chapter-head or contents of Rev. ii. But while We are not teachers. We should be sorry any | thankful to them. (but chiefly to the Lord the Head more to speak of the need of teachers, as though the l of the Church.) for their labours in rendering the Holy Ghost needed the helping out of man!
Scriptures into the common tongue, it becomes us to We are only responsible to speak our simple con
remember that there are things “hidden from the victions before the Lord, and pray you to read our
wise and prudent, but revealed unto babes." And pages simply as the testimony as a brother.
this may be one of them. Recently the dear Lord has given us much man
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you leveling truth. Unto the dust must man be brought
seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that before God can be exalted.
he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness
with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
craftiness. And again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the
wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men." N.B.- Copies of the Title Page and Contents of Vol. I. can (1. Cor. iii.) shortly be had for binding up, gratuitously, by Subscribers, on Now this first interpretation—that the “ angels" application to Brother Bateman or Messrs Heywood & Co.
are “ministers"- necessarily leads to glorying in men. It is impossible to have the idea that we have an
“angel ” among us without glorying in him. “WAITING.”
But, again, this custom of having one man as The Church is waiting for the Lord from heaven a "minister" in each church, is nowhere to be (1 Thess. i.) Saints departed are sleeping, resting in recognised in the Acts of the Apostles or the Epistles Jesus. waiting for us. (1 Thess. iv.) Saints of old, to the various churches. This practice may have Bleeping with their fathers (1 Kingsii. 10), are waiting nay, must have-arisen very early after the apostles' for a “better country, that is, a heavenly,” (Heb. / time; but the fact is denied by none, that no such xi. 16.) After the withdrawal of the Church, practice as a one-man ministry was set up, and recognia contrite remnant of Israel, believing that Jesus
sed, and its perpetuation provided for, by the was and is the King of the Jews, will wait His
Apostles. return (Zech. xii.) Yea, even now the whole 1 On the contrary, what is seen is plurality of earth is waiting and groaning to be delivered from elders and liberty of ministry. Saints should, the evils resulting from Satan's sway (Rom.viii.22, 23) | therefore (being desirous of acting according to the In a very different sense, lost souls, “spirits in
blessed Word of God) gather to the Lord-gather prison,” are awaiting the judgment of the “great together in His name and depend upon Him to white throne" (1 Pet. iii. 19; Rev. xx. 12). Lost minister to them by the Holy Ghost through whom. angels, having sinned, and being “cast down to hell, soever He will. This is " walking by faith, not and delivered into chains of darkness," are waiting,
by sight.” « being reserved unto judgment ” (2 Pet. ii. 4). This way of meeting simply in the name of Jesus, This place seems to be the “deep,” into which the in full confidence in His assured presence, had been “ Legion" craved not to be sent.
utterly lost to the Church many centuries before the