Obrazy na stronie

cious and more essential, than either air, or light, the complaint stands written, that It is not valued, not desired. "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Base and perishing things are coveted, but God's unspeakable Gift is proposed to unwilling hearts. "Ye will not come to Me that ye might have Life.”

XII. Our souls can no more live by any mere thoughts, reasonings, or convictions about "the Bread of God," than our bodies can live by merely thinking about natural bread. If man had only intelligent powers, but not natural appetites, he might analyze bodily bread, reason and talk about it, but he could not appropriate it, digest it, and convert it into his living flesh and bones. The bread of this world only nourishes and builds up the man who eats it. "The Bread of God," likewise, gives eternal life to those only who appropriate It. Eating may, or may not, be associated with the rational apprehension of the thing eaten. It is essential to eat it is not essential to understand the elementary properties of food. Many have a keen appetite for the Bread of Life

who know very little about it. On the other hand, many, I fear, have knowledge, but very little hunger.

Mediate, between our natural and our spiritual appetites, are the reasoning powers. We can bring these powers to bear on either earthly or heavenly things. But mere thought, or conception, appropriates neither. It is hunger that eats; and eating saves the body. Spiritual illumination is good, but spiritual hunger is better. Spiritual hunger eats the Bread of God. Nothing short of eating It saves the soul. "He that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me." The knowledge of doctrines about Christ is a miserable, and indeed, fatal substitute, for the reception of Christ. "The Bread of God!" "Eat ye all of It." "He that eateth of this Bread

shall live for ever."

"This do in remembrance

of Me." "I am the Bread of Life." Herein is that Divine Spirit, Which being drawn inward, by spiritual hunger, changes the soul into the Divine Image from glory to glory. Now the Lord is that Spirit."

[ocr errors]


The Lord." If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." Jno. vii. 37.

The Creature.-And what shall I drink, my Lord, if I come unto Thee for drink?

The Lord.-Thou shalt drink Life, my creature, if thou comest to Me. Jno. iv. 10. Rev. xxii. 17.

The Creature.-O my Saviour, all that a man hath he will give for his life. But what Life is that which Thou wilt give me to drink, if I come to Thee?

The Lord. I will give thee to drink none other than My Own Life, My child, even that very Eternal Life, which I had with My Father, before the world was. And know this, that the Life

that was from everlasting, rejoicing before God, will

rejoice before Him, when the world is no more. It is the sweet, innocent, unmixed life of Eternity. It rises in God, and flows through Me, unto all

creatures. Rev. xxii. 2. Prov. viii. 30, 35.

The Creature.-O my Blessed Saviour, this is indeed "good news of great joy."

But it

The Lord.-Truly it is "good news." is God's "good news;" and while it is exactly what "every creature" needs, it is too good for the many. All that a man hath will he give for his life; but few are willing to renounce their own life for My Life. Isa. liii. 3. Jno. v. 40.

The Creature-My Lord, how can the "good news" of God, be too good?

The Lord.-God's own Eternal Life is not too good for Him to give, but it is too good to be well received by the fallen creature. It is more than he desires; it is too good for his depraved appetite. Rom. viii. 5–7. 1 Cor. ii. 14. without desire, and even puts Fountain, he will not get Life.

If one comes his mouth to the Therefore said I


"If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink." Yea, the thirst must be in the very inmost of the

soul; for My Life must be drawn in thither, but how can it be indrawn by one who thirsts not?

The Creature-O my Lord, I thirst, and I come to Thee, blessing Thee, not only for the Fountain of Life, but for my thirst.

The Lord.-Thou dost well to bless God for His grace: thy thirst is His grace in thee. Eph. ii. 8. The river of Life might flow through thy mouth and through thy soul, and yet if thou didst not thirst, it would neither comfort, nor save thee. Matt. v. 6.

The Creature-O my Lord, explain to me how it is, that the Water of Life might flow through my soul, and yet not save me.

The Lord.-Is it not written, that, Christ is very nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart? Rom. x. 6-8. The river of Life is none other than My Presence with every creature. But the soul that thirsts after the spirit of the world, and drinks the same into its being, cannot also drink in My Spirit. James iv. 4. 1 Jno. ii. 15. No one can drink My Life into his life, unless his life thirsts for It. Salvation is "Life to life." If the creature does not draw My Life into his deepest life, his deepest

« PoprzedniaDalej »