SURREY TABERNACLE PULPIT.

 

ASSURANCE OF LIGHT

 

A SERMON – by Mr. JAMES WELLS

 

PREACHED ON SUNDAY Morning, 7th AUGUST, 1870

 

VOL. XII. - No. 613.

               

“He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John viii. 12.

 

THE Savior has made these declarations on the ground that he is the light of the world. There never was, there is not, and there never will be, any other light by which a sinner can find his way to God, come out from all he is by nature, and enter into all those advantages and blessings which are by the everlasting love of God. And we find in this chapter also the Pharisees very attentive to the Savior, with the hope that they should in some way or another get something out of his mouth by which they could accuse him. He said, in chapter v. 31, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” Therefore, when he said here, “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,” the Pharisees caught this up; they recollected he had just said that if he bore witness of himself his witness was not true; and therefore, they said, “Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.” But Jesus said, “Though I bare record of myself, yet my record is true.” Now here is, beyond all dispute, a perfect verbal contradiction; in the one case he said, “If I bear witness of myself my witness is not true;” in the other case he said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is true.” Here, I say, is a perfect verbal contradiction, and of course the Pharisees were delighted with it. And as it was then, so it is now; if they can find any fault with the Ministry of good men, and plenty also if they can find any fault with the Bible, they will. But the Savior said, “Wisdom is justified of all her children;” and the true Christian sees in a moment, almost, how the two testimonies stand reconciled; for if Christ had borne witness of himself to the exclusion of God the Father, in that case his witness would not have been true; but if he bore witness of himself as the sent one of the Father, then his witness is true. And we may get a little instruction from this; if I bear such a witness of myself as in my testimony to shut out a part of God’s truth, as thousands do, then my witness is not true; but if I bear such a testimony of myself as a sinner as to make way for the receiving of all God's truth, then my testimony is true; then the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are acceptable in his sight who is our strength and our Redeemer. A great deal of instruction may be derived from this representation of things. Hence it is that Saul of Tarsus, if he had been called upon to give his testimony concerning himself before he was called by grace, it would have been that kind of testimony as we see when he enumerates his various distinctions as a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and so of the rest, —it would have been a testimony that would have set the Savior aside, and would have shut out the great truths of the everlasting gospel; therefore, his testimony would not have been true. But when he came to bear testimony of himself that he was a sinner saved by grace, and “by the grace of God I am what I am;” and that “this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief;” then he bore that testimony of himself that made it true. So, the Savior, if he had borne testimony of himself in a way that should have set aside the counsels of the Father, the love or any of the testimonies and decisions of God the Father, his testimony would not have been true. But the Savior did not so bear testimony; but bore testimony of himself as the sent one. Again, and again does he say, “I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me; again, and again does he say, “The words that I speak unto you are not mine, but the words of him that sent me again, he said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Thus, you see the way in which his testimony would not have been true, if he had borne testimony of himself to the exclusion of any of the great truths of the gospel that related to the Father, or to the Holy Spirit, or to the people. Then his testimony would not have been true; when he bore testimony of himself as the sent one of God, there we see his testimony was true. We see then, without any difficulty, how the two testimonies stand reconciled; and the subject might be pursued with much advantage and a great deal of instruction.

 

We have before us this morning a very solemn, a very simple, and a very straightforward subject. I question whether I shall be able, to say a single word that will be at all instructive to you; but though that may be the case, I hope to be able so to speak as to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, and present to you the great truths of the everlasting gospel in that plain, simple and clear way, that you may profit thereby. Our text lies before us in a threefold form. First, the position; — “He that followeth me;” that is a position into which every saved soul must be brought. Secondly, the negation “he shall not walk in darkness.” Thirdly, the promise; “but shall have the light of life.”

 

First, the position; — “he that followeth me.” Now I will remind you first of the end, and secondly of the way, in order that you may understand what it is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ; and then, perhaps, when I have done that, I might go to the Old Testament, and bring a very striking circumstance, with which you are all very familiar, illustrative of this same essential and important truth. Now what is the end? The Savior presents the end, and then he presents the way, after a lovely manner, that will teach us how to follow him. “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” You observe this is all positive; there is no conditionality here. Let this be considered the end. What is the end of our prayers, of our faith, of our profession? what is the prize at which we aim? what is the glory which is set before us? Is it not presented in these beautiful words? We need not enter into anything curious here as to the mansions; all we want to know is that which the Savior has made known, that here is a glorious, a most glorious end to come to, and that is the end we aim at. If we are favored to carry with us only a hope that we shall reach those happy mansions, only a hope that we shall spend with this dear Redeemer eternity, only a hope that when we come to die he will be there to receive us, — “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” and “absent from the body, present with  the Lord;” only a hope by the way of this most glorious end, how it weans us from worldly things; how it weans us from an ungodly world; how it weans us from the things that are seen, and endears to us the things that are not seen; and also, how it mitigates our troubles, burdens, and sorrows, knowing that they must have an end! “Ye shall have tribulation ten days,” —an end to the tribulation, but no end to the consolation. I need not enlarge upon this, but come to that that more concerns you as to your feeling, —not more concerns you as to your understanding and judgment, and the ultimate end at which you aim, but I mean that which most concerns us is to know whether we are so in the right way as to be sure to come at last to these happy, glorious, and wonderful mansions. “We know not whither thou goest,’’ there are so many places between this and heaven; “and how can we know the way?” Well, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life;” “He," then, says my text, “that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.”

 

Now, how is the Lord Jesus Christ the way? I cannot find any scripture that more clearly and beautifully shows to me how he is the way than that of the flaming sword at the garden of Eden; there was a flaming sword that turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life; so that access to the tree of life was literally, physically, mentally, and in every sense utterly impossible. Now this flaming sword you have explained in Zechariah xiii., “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,” and so of the rest. This sword represents the sword of the law, if you please; perhaps you will say, the sword of justice; well, the meaning will be the same, whether you say it is the fiery law or the sword of justice. This turned every way; and when the Lord opened our eyes, to give us to see what sin was, and what we were as sinners, we did in the Lords own time learn that, turn which way we may, the law was against us; that there was no possibility, by anything we could do, of making friends with the law, and we could not see God’s face and live, for we are met with the fiery sword of the law, and must be cut off. But the blest Redeemer comes, and the sword awakes when he comes, and the sword smites him, and he meets the sword, he quenches the fire, he survives the terrible penalty; he was cut off, but not for himself, — it was for us. Then he turns around and says, “I am the way.” Yon could not get into Paradise to the tree of life by your doings; there was the sword; but now I have endured the sword your sins are forgiven, they are atoned for, I have put away their penalty, I have swallowed up death in victory.“ I am the way look unto me, poor sinner; “look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth; I am God, and there is none else.” Thus, he is the way. What an endearing way it is! You can need no pardon, no mercy, no forbearance exercised towards you; you can need no long-suffering, no stability exercised on your behalf, no infallible friendship which is not found in Christ Jesus the Lord. Bless his holy name, he may well therefore say, “I am the way.” Now, are we not going this way? Have not some of us been, for many, many years, looking to God by Christ Jesus? Have we not followed him? Have we not, after he first showed us, always seen that he is thus the way of escape from the wrath to come, the way of access to God? there is another sense in which he is the way, and a very important sense too; —he is the way of formation, he is the way by which we are formed to show forth Jehovah’s praise. Our time would allow us last Lord’s day morning to enlarge upon the latter part of our text, or at least that which stood connected with it, —namely, that we are predestinated to be conformed to his image. Therefore, if I am conformed to his atonement, and his righteousness, and to the order in which he stands, then I am formed aright. I am formed to renounce all confidence in the flesh, I am formed to show forth the praises of him that hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light; and it is indeed a marvelous light, for it brings to light marvelous things, and the Lord hath done, and will yet do, marvelous things. He, therefore, is the way. But not only is he the way for us to follow, but the truth. It is a great comfort to be able to understand what the word “truth” means when taken in the gospel sense, in contrast to the ceremonial, temporal covenant, and to the fiery law of God. “I am the way, and the truth.” What is he the truth of? Well, you will say, he is the truth of all ancient predictions. True, friends; but we cannot grasp in a single sermon, nor in a great many sermons, all the predictions; let us therefore have some one part of truth that will be a sample of all the rest. Now, what is one part of truth that was declared in the Old Testament? What did David say by the Holy Ghost? I have often thought I should have liked to have been with David after he had put that upon record, and have said, David, how did you feel when the Holy Ghost revealed that to you? How did you feel, while  putting that, by the unerring inspiration of the Holy Spirit, upon record? What did you see? Were you not happy, beyond all description? were you not astounded, —were you not overwhelmed? And if he should say, What truth? Why, this truth, “The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” And if the Lord Jesus Christ hath not so atoned for sin, hath not so wrought redemption, hath not so magnified and gone to the end of the law; if the Lord Jesus Christ hath not so swallowed up death in victory as to prove the perfection of his priesthood, and hereby to remain a priest forever, then he could not be the truth. But as he has so wrought the work as to remain a priest forever, he is the truth. “The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever.” Christ carried it out; he is a priest forever, and he reigns by his priesthood; his royalty is kept good by his priesthood, everything is held together by his priesthood. So, the apostle would give us to understand that, being the brightness of the Father’s glory, “and the express image his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Here, then, he is the truth; this makes all the promises yea and amen, to be immersed into this is indeed to be baptized with the Holy Ghost; to be immersed into this is indeed to baptized in the love of God; to be immersed into this is indeed to be baptized in the glory of the blessed God. “He that followeth me.” To follow him is to follow him as the way and the truth. Then again, he is also the life. “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Upon this point I will not enlarge, but make only two remarks. The one is this, —that you are to appear before God at the last not in your life, for your life at the best has many faults in it; you are not to appear in your life at all; all that is given up and done with; he is to be your life; you are to appear in the life that he lived, in the death that he died, in the victory he wrought, in the perfection in which he will present you, — “if ye continue in the faith;” and I am sure those that are brought savingly into the faith will be glad to continue in it. I hope I shall never utter a word irreverently, but I had almost said that I am quite sure I shall never go out of the faith if the lord does not send me out. I have not the least desire to go out, and if I have no desire to go out, that is a proof he has no desire to send me out. He will gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, but poor sinners that have nothing to hang upon but Christ, poor sinners that run to Jesus as the way, and receive his eternal truth, and build their hope here, do they offend? No, they please him. “O woman, great is thy faith.” Wherever there is this decision for him, they shall not be cast out. So, then we are to appear in his life; that is one sense in which he is the life. I often think of it, — what a nice way of making us all equal this will be. The Lord has so ordered things that we have our differences in nature, and mental caliber, and circumstances, and temperaments; but here, in Christ, there is no difference whatever. If I appear in his life, and you appear in his life, you will hardly know one from the other, —everything alike. And you know that John twice made the mistake, — thought it was the Master, and it was only one of the servants; the second time he had to say, “See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant, which have the testimony of Jesus; worship God.” He is the life then in that sense. Secondly, he is not only the life in this imputation sense, but he is also the life vitally or influentially. Take the Lord Jesus Christ away, and I am not speaking a fable or a fancy when I say my hope would give up the ghost that instant; I should have no hope, I should become dead as to hope. But let me have Jesus Christ, then I am by the abundant mercy of God the Father begotten again to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for me; and I am to get there if God Almighty can bring me there; for we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last time. So then take him away, our hope drops directly. If I am speaking to any of my fellow creatures this morning that are not enlightened to see their lost condition, and to see the terrible majesty of God’s law, -that have never seen the sword and fled from it, have never seen Jesus either as the way or as the truth; you have a false hope; -you can hope, but then your hope will prove at last to be a spider’s web and the Lord will reject your confidences, let them be as strong as they may, if they are founded on anything but Christ Jesus the Lord. “This is the will of the Father, that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father.” He is the life, then, imputatively, and he is the life influentially—I do not know that I can use a better word than that—the life influentially. I do desire increasingly to preach in such a way that there shall be a savor and a fragrance rush as it were through the souls of the people. What does it do? How lively it makes you; it takes away your heaviness, and your deadness, your coldness and carelessness, your doubts and fears; and by that blessed name we are favored so to drink of the wine of the kingdom as to forget our poverty, and remember our misery no more, and rejoice in thus being made followers of Jesus Christ. So, then we are to follow him as the way, the truth, and the life; there is no life without him.

 

Now, the Savior said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Our friend not a thousand miles away from here tells us that we shall all know when we get to heaven what an egregious sinner David was. Well, ask David, How did you get here? Oh, I got here by Jesus Christ. How did you get here, sir? I got here that way too. Ah then, you could not do without his atonement. No. You could not do without his righteousness. No. You could not do without his grace and his perfection. No. You could not do without the Holy Spirit. No. You could not do without the immutability of God. No. You could not do without the riches of his grace. No. Well then; you are as badly off as I am. You may depend upon it that man that knows his own heart will never have a stone to throw at another saved sinner, —no, never. When men thus talk about others, it is for want of knowing a little more about themselves. You that are taught the plague of your own heart, your own grief, your own sore, —those atheistical and infidel workings that make you feel yourself to be a very devil sometimes as to your old fallen nature, —your language will be, Of whom I am chief. Now the Savior said, No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” I am so glad of that declaration. Just to go to the paschal lamb again, —there was none good enough not to need the paschal lamb, and there was none so bad that the paschal lamb could not shelter him. Just so; there is none so good as not to need such a Savior, and there is none too bad for him; he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. “He that followeth me.” I meant to have said very much more upon this part, but I think these four points perhaps will be enough first, how he is the way; secondly, how he is the truth; thirdly, how he is the life; and fourthly, the uniqueness of the way—it stands by itself; there is no other way: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

 

Secondly, the negation; — “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.” Let us look at this negative; — “shall not walk in darkness.” Now darkness in relation to the people of God must be understood in two different respects, as I will prove, and I think it is very important to prove it. The word “darkness” here simply means ignorance and enmity; whereas the word “darkness” in some scriptures I shall bring forward presently simply means the absence of spiritual enjoyment. Here the word “darkness” evidently means ignorance and enmity. He shall not walk in ignorance. How true that is. He at all times knows the way. I will bring forward here a circumstance from the Old Testament which will, I think, very clearly illustrate this point. The right-minded Israelite, when he comes out of Egypt, looks at the writings of Moses. Well, I have the promised land in view; how am I to get there? “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed; thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.” I will keep to that. God in his mercy came to me first, brought me out; then here is redemption; and then he has guided me in his strength to where he will dwell, —the mercy-seat and by the priesthood. Well, I will take this with me, —what he has done. But how shall I get through the wilderness, because there are the dukes of Edom? Well, they shall be amazed. Very well; I will keep to that and see whether it shall be so. Then there are the mighty men of Moab. “Trembling shall take hold upon them.” Very well; I will keep to that, and see whether it shall be so or not. But then there are the inhabitants of Canaan. They shall melt away. Very well; I will keep to that, and see whether it is so or not. But will the Lord go with me? Yes; and so, he did, and they lacked nothing. How shall I get through Jordan? “Fear and dread shall fall upon the enemy; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O Lord! till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.” Well, then, I will keep to that; I do not walk in darkness. How did you get out of Egypt? By the mercy and redeeming power and strength of God. How are you going to get through the wilderness? Well, by what the Lord says, he will overcome the enemies; and the dukes of Edom and the mighty men of Moab represent all the enemies, and everything is all right, for it depends upon the Lord. And just as the Lord said it should be, so it was at the last. Well, how shall I get into the land? “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.” Very well, I will keep to that; so that I need not walk in darkness, in ignorance. If I know the Lord has undertaken to do the work, there is an end of it. Just so with us. The dear Savior has marked the path all the way to heaven, and he has told us that nothing shall by any means hurt us, and that he is with us always, even unto the end of the world; and “I will come again and receive you unto myself.” Why, everything is clear; they shall not walk in ignorance. Darkness here, then, means ignorance and enmity. What a mercy, that where we are thus enlightened, this light we have makes us love the Savior. You will feel that, with all your troubles and trials, it is not possible for you now to hate the truth. Why not? Because you know it so as to love it, which Satan doth not. It is impossible for you now to hate the Savior, because you so know him as to love him. And why have the saints been hated and persecuted? Why, said the Savior, because their persecutors know not the Father, nor me. Therefore, the word “darkness” here evidently means ignorance and enmity. Let the world do what they may to us, they cannot put our eyes out spiritually. They may put Samson’s literal eyes out, but they could not put his eyes out spiritually; and even Samson, with all his sufferings, became the victor at the last. It is a great thing, then, to know the right way. But there is another sense in which the word “darkness” is used, and that is, to denote the absence of enjoyment. Now, though the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ do not walk either in ignorance or in enmity, yet they walk in much darkness. Their days of darkness are many: as to the absence of the Lord, and all sorts of adversities in providence, afflictions, and soul-darkness, all these come under the head of darkness. Hence Job, when he was afflicted circumstantially, and physically, and spiritually, he was then in the dark, —not in the darkness of ignorance, but in the darkness of sorrow, grief, and anguish. He looked back and contrasted his past enjoyments with his present position, and said, “O that it were with me as in months past, when God preserved me! Well; but, Job, you are preserved now. Ah, not as I was then; see what desolations surround me. Look at my poor body, my circumstances, my friends all turned against me; see how dark I am in my soul. If I could find him I would come to his seat, I would enjoy his presence; but I cannot find him. “When his candle,” he said, “shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness.” But now all seemed dark, yet not the darkness of ignorance or enmity. Job could not be made to anathematize his Redeemer, his covenant God. He looks back and almost exaggerates his past enjoyments. “When I washed," he says, “my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil.” When the Lord first brought me into liberty, I thought I was to continue just where I was then; but what have I suffered in my soul since that? I have been many times the most miserable creature upon the face of the earth, and yet I have never been in the darkness of ignorance or enmity since the Lord has opened this way to me, and since he has made the truth known to me. In what a variety of ways is the Lord pleased to humble his children. Look at that man of God, Jeremiah 5 read through his first chapter, and then get to his thirty-first and thirty-third chapters; see what wonderful revelations were made to him, and after it all he says, “He hath led me and brought me into darkness, but not into light” Some of you that are followers of Jesus, that know him in the sense I have stated this morning, if you have many days of darkness, it is only what the word of the Lord said; and if you look back to former times, and seem to be but the mere wreck of what you were, and everything seems gone, and you are saying “Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage; there is no cluster to eat; my soul desired the first ripe fruit.” If this be your state, it is nothing new; it is one of the firstlings of the flock; it is that which the people of God in all ages have had to undergo. Let us hear what the word of the Lord says upon this subject. After describing in the most beautiful manner, in Isaiah 1., the mission of the Savior, the beautiful inquiry comes, — “Who is there among yon that feareth Jehovah, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness?” There you see darkness cannot mean ignorance, because they fear Jehovah in contrast to all false gods; and they obey the voice of his servant, — that is, they believe in Christ, —for our obedience is the obedience of faith; if we do not believe in him, then we do not obey him, because it is by faith that we receive him and stand out for him, and follow him; for we walk by faith. “Who is among you that feareth Jehovah, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?” Here you see darkness means the absence of all sensible enjoyment. You no doubt find it hard work to sit in the house of God for an hour sometimes, —the minister is nothing, the sermon nothing, and it is all nothing together, and you go away saying to yourself, What a wretched man is this, that yields us no supply. Well, he cannot yield the supply; the fountain of light is with the Lord himself. And I can tell you, if it is hard work to hear in the dark, it is harder work to preach in the dark. Still we get on somehow or another. The minister says, Well, if I am in the dark, and cannot be seen, I can be heard; it will be a voice in the dark, and some poor sinner may catch a little of the sound, and rejoice therein. “Let him,” then, that thus walks in darkness, and has no light, “trust in the name of Jehovah, and stay upon his Interposer.” “Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” That is what you are to do in the dark—you are to trust in Jehovah, and to lean upon your Interposer, Christ Jesus the Lord; and, if I may so speak, we cannot lean too hard upon him. So, then, be not discouraged, if in reading the Bible things are dark, if in hearing the word and in prayer things are dark; for, as we have said, the days of darkness shall be many; but then, as the Savior said in another place, “Ye shall not abide in darkness.” They may be in darkness, but they shall not always abide in it, for “light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” It may not be unprofitable, perhaps, to trace this matter a little farther. The prophet then reminds us of false doctrine. “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire; that compass yourselves about with sparks” —human inventions. Say some, How do you know it is false doctrine? I get at it this way, that two of the sons of Aaron offered strange fire; and the apostle in Hebrews xiii. said, “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.” So first I get the fire which the Lord does not approve, and then I get the strange doctrine; there I get the meaning of it. “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire”—false doctrine, — “that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” The doctrine of Roman Catholicism is a fire kindled by man. Well, say you, but does not the fire mean also persecution? False doctrine must of necessity lead to false practice, and persecution is devilish practice founded upon a devilish doctrine. It is the doctrine first received, the lie first received, and then the wrong practice pursued. Now do such persons know what it is to walk in darkness? do they mourn the Lord’s absence? They never knew what his presence was. They walk in the light of their fire, and the sparks they have kindled; and the priests are their sparks, and all man-made parsons are sparks, and pretty sparks they are, and they will go out when they come to Jordan. That is what I understand, then, by this false fire. “This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” You have hated my truth, you have hated my Son in what he really is; you have hated my people, and that by these false doctrines. False doctrine always inspires the mind with enmity against God. See then the children of God walking in darkness; see here those that hate him walking in the light; but it is a light which they themselves have kindled.

 

And then my text closes with saying, “he shall have the light of life.” Now if you bring another scripture to this, it will show it up very nicely. It states in the 1st chapter that “in him was life, and the life was the light of men and therefore “the light of life” may read thus, that it is “the life of light,” in which there is no darkness. Christ is the morning without clouds. And now one scripture I close with, and it is this, “If we walk in the light,” that is, if we walk in Christ, for Christ is the light; if we walk in God, in his love and counsels; — “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” And how is this fellowship to be kept up? I do like the next words of John very much. Now, brethren, as though he should say, You have your infirmities and faults; well then, let us walk in the light, and Christ is the light, and God is in Christ, and you are in Christ; and then you will have fellowship one with another; you will see alike in every-thing essential, and you will love your minister, and your minister will love you, and you will have brotherly love one to another, and you will walk along as children of the light, and even death itself will not surprise you, for that day shall not overtake yon as a thief. “We have fellowship one with another.” But then, John, how is this to be kept up? “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Pretty often when I come to chapel I think to myself, Now the people have their trials, and I daresay their faults, and one thing and the other; how shall we get on today? how shall good be done today? how shall mercy be ministered today? how shall grace reign today? how shall the wounds of the people be bound up today? bow shall minister and people be accepted of God today? and how shall this be a good day? and the words have come, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” I have said, Ah, that will do it; that will meet every necessity we have a life, then, in which there is no darkness at all; the darkness is passed away, the true light now shines, and we have the blessed assurance that this light-Christ is the light—shall shine more and more unto the perfect day. Amen.