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CHAPTER IX.

JUDGES.

THE FAILURE OF THE REDEEMED IN HEAVENLY PLACES.

Keynote: I Cor. iii. 1-4.

THE book of Judges is a book of failure. We see God's redeemed people here, living in the land of their inheritance, with all their enemies subdued before them, and yet continually overcome and enslaved by the inhabitants of the land. It seems to me to be in type the story of the dangers and temptations which beset the soul that is seated in heavenly places in Christ, and the enemies they are likely to meet there; and is a book of warning written for our admonition "to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted."

The whole story of this book may be given in a few verses out of the second chapter. "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were 134 round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so. And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them."

This state of things went on from bad to worse. Each restoration was followed by a long season of backsliding, until finally we find nothing but confusion and failure on every hand, with no hope of deliverance, and the book closes with this sad record of the utter absence of rule or control. "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." xxi. 25.

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And this history of Israel is too often found to be the history of the Church, or of individual souls. The failures and the restorations correspond to the times of deadness and wandering in the church, or in the Christian, and the seasons of revival which for a little while deliver them from this backsliding. The church, or the individual Christian, is carried captive by the world, the flesh, or the devil; old and apparently conquered forms of evil are continually reappearing on the scene, which mightily oppress the children of God, as Israel was oppressed under their enemies; and they cry unto the Lord, as Israel did, and the Lord raises up a deliverer in the form of some great leader, such as Luther, or some fresh revelation of a neglected and forgotten truth; such as justification by faith, or the second coming of Christ, and for a time the land has rest again and is in quietness, until the enemies afresh rise up to enslave and overcome.

Two causes lay at the root of Israel's backsliding, and I believe they are the very causes that lie at the root of all Christian backsliding also. They compromised with evil, and they worshipped idols. The whole land of Canaan had been given to the children of Israel, "from the wilderness and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea, toward the going down of the sun." And the command of the Lord to them concerning it was, "When ye are passed over Jordan, into the land of Canaan, then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants 136 of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. * * * But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which yet remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell." Num. xxxiii. 51-56. "They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee." Ex. xxiii. 33.

Moreover He also promised them a sure possession of it, saying, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you. * * * There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee. I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." Josh. i. 3, 5.

The land of promise was therefore all theirs in the purpose of God, and all they had to do was to step upon it and claim it for their own. But we see, even in Joshua, that in spite of all this there yet remained very much land to be possessed, and the people were "slack to go up and possess it." xiii. 1, and xviii. 3. And here in the first chapter of Judges we find, that they seem to have given up entirely all hope or expectation of driving out the inhabitants of the land, or even in many cases of dispossessing them from their dwelling-places. We read over 137 and over, "And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem." i. 21. "Neither did Manasseh drive out tile inhabitants of Beth-shean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns; * * * but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. * * Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer. * * Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron. * * * Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, * * but the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out." And it is all summed up in this, "And it came to pass when Israel was strong that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out," i. 28. They might have done it but they did not. And as a consequence we find in the second chapter that the triumphant experience of Gilgal is exchanged for the weeping of Bochim. Comp . Josh. v. 9-12 with Judges ii. 1-5. And the Lord who had said concerning their enemies in Joshua., "and the Lord your God, He shall expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the Lord your God hath promised unto you;" now says, "I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you."

Because they would not drive out their enemies when they were strong and could have done it, the Lord now refuses to enable them to do it any more; and from henceforth throughout the whole story of the book of 138 Judges, although we have many records of victories over their enemies, we read of no more being driven out; but find instead, that, as they had been warned, so it resulted, and these very enemies who had been made tribute in the days of their strength, rose up in the days of their weakness and enslaved and oppressed them.

The lesson of all this for us is, that since the command of our Lord to us as Christians is that we should drive out every enemy from our hearts and lives, and should permit none to dwell among us, if we refuse to do this, and, instead of utterly driving them out, seek merely to make them tribute to us, we shall find ourselves continually enslaved and oppressed by those very enemies whom we have suffered to remain. The promise to Israel was that not a man should be able to stand before them all the days of their life, because the Lord would be with them and His strength would always give them the victory. And the promise to us is that we shall be delivered by the power of our Lord from the hands of all our enemies, and shall be enabled always to triumph in every contest with our foe. But if we, as they, refuse to avail ourselves fully of this promised strength, and use it only to make our enemies tribute, instead of driving them out utterly, we shall suffer the same results. This accounts for the condition of so many Christians, who and themselves enslaved and oppressed continually by their inward enemies, and whose victories, even when they cry to the Lord and are victorious, are yet followed by ever recurring defeats. They groan under it and cannot understand 139 it. But the secret lies in this, that they have not utterly driven out their enemies. They have thought perhaps that they could not. They have said, it may be, "My circumstances are so peculiar, or my temperament is so sensitive, or my temptations are so great;" and excusing themselves on these accounts, they have not even expected to be entirely delivered from their irritable tempers, or their roots of bitterness, or their seasons of discouragement, or their sharp tongues, but have felt themselves very successful if they have been able to make these things tributary, as it were, and have managed to keep them under by constant watchfulness and prayer. And so they compromise with the enemy, instead of utterly driving him out. In this way many Christians compromise with doubt, or with the disobedience of timidity, or with a shrinking from saying "Thy will be done," or with anxiety, or with a hundred other forms of evil, against which God's commands of utter renunciation and death have plainly gone forth. And as a consequence He no longer drives out the enemies we have consented shall remain, and they are indeed snares and traps unto us, and scourges in our sides, and thorns in our eyes.

Dear reader, this is exceedingly practical to thee. Hast thou permitted any of thy enemies to dwell in thy midst? Art thou seeking only to put them to tribute, and hesitating to utterly drive them out? If so, do not wonder at the enslavement and misery that oppress thee. Be sure that in the Lord's order it could not be otherwise, 140 and that he alone who reckons himself dead, not to a few only of his sins, but to every sin, can gain the continual victories, and live the life of uniform triumph. And I think it is just in this that the great difference arises in the experiences of those who enter into the land of promise now. With some, self seems to be swallowed up at once by the revelation of Christ, and to lift up its head no more; while with others the death of self is accomplished only by slow degrees and through great conflicts. The triumphant experience under Joshua is a type of the first, and the failing experience of Judges is a type of the second. Through death to life is always God's way, and there is no other. If we would live, we must first die. We must lose our own life, if we would find the life that is hid with Christ in God. We must reckon ourselves dead before we can reckon ourselves to be alive. And the more thorough and wide-reaching is the death, the more all-pervading and victorious will be the life. Is it not a grand proposal of the gospel then that we should put off at once and always the old man, and put on forever the new man? And shall we hesitate to do it?

For to us the declaration is as sure as to them, that every place that the foot of our faith shall tread upon, that shall be ours. "What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark xi. 22-24. "Believing" is to us what "stepping the foot upon" was to them. The land of promise lies spread out before us, and in the purpose of 141 the Lord is already ours. We are responsible therefore for actually taking possession of it. And our Lord has promised that He will be with us all the days of our life, and that we shall be made more than conquerors through Him. Let us then, in the power of the Holy Ghost, step out on each promise as it is made known to us, and confidently claim it as ours. And let us drive out every inhabitant of the land and make no league with any, but "cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit," let us "perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord."

I knew a poor Christian woman whose life was made bitter to her through the sufferings and remorse caused by the combination of an exceedingly irritable temper and circumstances of peculiar trial. She had struggled against it, and sought to keep it tributary with all her might during many years, but was continually finding it rising up and oppressing her, until she was almost in despair. Among other things she was obliged every morning to have a late breakfast for a son whose work kept him out late at night, and who therefore slept long in the morning. She was a tidy woman who liked to get her work done and things cleaned up, and this daily recurrence of a late and uncertain breakfast hour, which kept her pots and pans standing around, and her stove uncleaned, was a source of continual provocation. She knew it was not only unchristian, but unreasonable as well, and each day she resolved that the next morning she would control herself and be sweet, but the fresh provocation always overcame her, and her life was a 142 burden to her. She even longed for death to set her free. But she heard at last of another sort of death that would deliver her. She was told of the glorious possibilities of being made dead to sin by faith in Christ, and the command was brought home to her to "reckon herself dead." In great weakness, but in simple faith, she obeyed this command, and began thus to reckon. Peace and rest flowed into her heart, and when the temptations came next she found herself possessed of an inward sweetness that made all the old annoyances matters of perfect indifference to her. Her son who had been used to cross looks and words during his late breakfasts watched her in amazement the first morning, and at last said, "Why, mother, what is the matter with you? Has anything happened to you?" "Yes, Albert," she replied, "something has happened. Your mother is dead." "Dead!" he exclaimed, "Why mother what do you mean?" The mother explained it to him as well as she could; and he listened in amazement. Morning after morning he watched her, and finally he said "Well, mother, if you are going to be dead every morning, it makes you so lovely, that I am going to try to get to bed earlier, so as to come down early in the morning and see you."

Let us die then. "He that is dead is freed from sin," the Bible tells us, and we know it must be so. And I believe it is the only freedom that is really effectual or lasting.

But a worse evil than enslavement came from these 143 enemies left in the land. Idolatry swiftly followed in the train. As we read in chapter ii. 7-10, iii. 7, "And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord that He did for Israel. And Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, * * * also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves."

The typical teaching of this sin of idolatry, is, I think, very much misunderstood. Many think it means only loving some dear one too much, or being too fond of some earthly comfort or pleasure. But to my mind idolatry means a far graver sin. It meant among the Israelites worshipping a false god, and it means the same now among Christians. And it matters little whether this god is one carved out of wood or stone, or carved out of our own imaginings. If our thought or idea of Him is in any way different from the Lord whom the Bible reveals, we are as really in so far worshipping an idol, as though we had built up for ourselves a god of wood. And in this sense idolatry is a far more common sin in these days than some of you have been used to think. Let me illustrate what I mean by a most common occurrence. How many people say to their children continually all through their childhood, "the Lord 144 does not love naughty children, and now that you are naughty, He does not love you." Nothing more directly contrary to the Bible, nor more untrue of the God of the Bible, could be taught; for there we are told that "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son" to die for it; and that on account of "His great love wherewith He loved us; even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, "He quickened us; and that He commendeth His love toward us, in that even while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." Surely then to teach the innocent little children such a sad untruth as this, is to set up an idol for them to worship. And when they grow older and are compelled to learn that the God of the Bible is other and different from what they have been taught; that He hates only the sin but loves the sinner, and that even when they are naughty, His forgiving love is calling upon them to come to Him and be saved, is it to be wondered at that they are so wedded to their false idea of Him, as to find it very difficult and often almost impossible to believe that He can really be what the Bible declares Him to be, and to worship Him as He is there revealed? My heart aches at the thought of the idols being fashioned in so many nurseries at this very day for the little ones to worship; and I feel that the heathen mother who leads her child to the heathen temple and makes it bow down before the image of wood or of stone, is hardly so responsible as these Christian mothers, who, with the Bible in their hands, can yet fashion such a false God for the imaginings of their children. 145 I speak strongly for I feel strongly. I believe many a soul has thus been burdened, even in the nursery, with such false ideas of God, as never to be able in this life to shake off the doubts and discouragements they have caused. And I am convinced that the amount of this sort of idolatry in the Church to-day would be appalling, if we could but see it in all its magnitude and deformity.

And for each of us personally, dear friends, it is a solemn question, as to how far we are guilty of this sin. Are we sure we are worshipping, and trusting, and loving, just the God whom Christ reveals, or have we let in some false notions concerning Him, which have made Him appear to us other than He really is? Do we for instance really believe that He loves us individually? Do we believe that He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, and that He will freely give us all things? Do we believe that He has actually made with every temptation a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it? Do we believe that He does truly care for us in all the little affairs of our lives, even to the very numbering of the hairs of our heads, and that He will carry every burden and bear every sorrow for us, if we will but let Him? Or does He seem to us like a hard task master, too far off and too grand to take much note of our petty personal trials or needs, and giving us impossible commands which He knows we are not able to obey?

I entreat of you, dear friends, to search and see how 146 it is with you in this matter. For sure I am that idolatry of any sort, whether of outward fashioning or inward, is most grievous to our Lord, and most disastrous to us.

The children of Israel it appears served the true God as long as any were alive who remembered the wonderful deliverance out of Egypt, but when Joshua died and all the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord that He did for Israel, then they soon forgot him and served other gods. And I think this is significant of one form of idolatry which perhaps is peculiar to the higher stages of Christian experience. The soul, becoming absorbed in the deeper truths of our religion, is apt to lose sight of the fundamental doctrine of coming out of Egypt, or of justification by faith, and to speak and to think so exclusively of the fruits of the Spirit, and the life and walk of the believer, as almost or even quite to forget the necessity of pressing the foundation truths of salvation, and the way of entrance into the spiritual life. This leads to a onesided statement of truth, that may become very dangerous, especially to the soul which has had no clear teaching on the other side; and may end in very false views of God. May the lessons of warning contained in our book save us each one from such mistakes.

Chapter iii. gives us the story of the three first captivities, and the deliverers who were raised up in answer to the people's cry. iii. 9, 15, 31. Whenever they cried the Lord delivered them. Let their sin against Him 147 have been ever so great, or their slavery to their enemies ever so hopeless, still we always read that when they cried, then He delivered them. A beautiful type of the truth taught in I John i. 9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." When we confess, then He forgives and cleanses. At once, without any delay. And we must believe that He does, and rejoice in our deliverance.

Chapters iv. and v. give us the story of Deborah, and her song of victory. I cannot but think that all these deliverers are types of some especial forms of the revivals the Lord sends when His people cry. But I do not feel prepared to enter upon this. To me however Deborah seems to set forth most strikingly the lesson of God's strength made perfect in our weakness. A woman here leads the armies of the Lord against a captain who had nine hundred chariots of iron, and who for twenty years mightily oppressed the children of Israel; and even Barak, whose name means thunder, the strong captain in Israel, dared not go without her. "If thou wilt go with me," he said, "then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me then I will not go." iv, 8. A picture it seems to me of Paul's teaching in 2 Cor. xii. 7-10, "when I am weak then I am strong." And a striking illustration of the truth that God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty, that no flesh might glory in his presence. For Deborah said, "I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou 148 takest shall not be for thine honor; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." iv. 9.

Chapters vi., vii. and viii. give us the story of the captivity under Midian and the deliverance wrought out for them by Gideon. So low had the Israelites fallen by their repeated failures, that at first one man only is found faithful enough to be called into the work. Gideon's first thought is of his own weakness, vi. 15, and he said, "O my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house?" But the Lord's answer shows him the secret of strength, "Surely I will be with thee." And the whole story reveals to us this one grand fact that in was the Lord who worked, and He alone. "And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me." And Gideon finally learns the lesson the Lord was seeking to teach by means of all His dealings with him, and is willing to trust Him with entire confidence, so that with only three hundred men armed with trumpets, and empty pitchers, with lamps within the pitchers, he was not afraid to attack the mighty host that "lay all along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude;" and whose camels were "without number as the sand by the sea side for multitude." vii. 12, 16. And so mighty was the influence of this display of overcoming faith upon the children of Israel, and so complete was the rout of their enemies, that for forty 149 years afterward their country was in quietness, and they served the Lord. viii. 28.

But no sooner was Gideon dead, than we read that the "children of Israel turned again and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god." viii. 33. And in chapter ix. we have a sad scene of confusion and sin caused by divisions among themselves. Faith had failed, and contention and strife entered.

Chapter x. shows us the increasingly sad results of Israel's repeated failures. Ashen they cried to the Lord here He could not at once grant them the deliverance they sought. He had first to deal with their consciences to make them know the depth of their backsliding and of their need. "Ye have forsaken me," He said "and served other gods; wherefore I wilt deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen: let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation." x. 13, 14. But he could not long delay His goodness, for "His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel." And in chapter xi. He raised up another deliverer, Jephthah, who again subdued their enemies and set them free. But although this was a real deliverance, yet the instrument used, the captain of a band of vain men, and the results in Jephthah's own sorrow, and the quarrel with Ephraim, chap. xii., show how low Israel had fallen, that even their recovery was of so poor a sort.

Chapter xiii. opens with the sad and oft repeated words, "And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord." And now, so repeated had been their failures 150 and so weakening had been the effect, that none but a Nazarite can be used as the deliverer. xiii. 5. Nazariteship is a type of entire separation to God. See Num. iv. And in this case the enemy who had assumed dominion over Israel were the Philistines, who were not a scourge sent from without, but a plague dwelling within their own territory; and against an evil within, nothing but the spirit of entire separation to God can give victory. xiii, 24-25. Therefore to Samson, the one Nazarite in all Israel, as far as appears, it is given to plague and harass the Philistines continually, and to keep them in check. But he alone could not entirely conquer them, much less extirpate them; and from this time forward, until the time of David, they remained to be Israel's bitterest foes. And even Samson himself, Nazarite though he was, had a walk of only intermittent faithfulness, and brought himself into great trouble, by disobedience to the Lord's express command against inter-marriages with the nations who dwelt in the land, in taking one of the daughters of the Philistines for his wife, xiv. 1-2. The Lord, however, who can and does, make all things, even our mishaps, work together for good to them who love Him, used this connection to punish the Philistines. xiv. 4.

Again, after the death of his wife, another connection with the Philistines brought him into even greater trouble, leading him to betray the Lord's secret, xvi. 5-20, and is the occasion in the end of his losing his life; although this too God used to punish the Philistines, and help Israel, xvi. 30.

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From this time forward no deliverer was raised up for Israel, nor does it appear that they even cried for one. So hardened had they become by the long course of sin and idolatry, that they no longer felt the yoke of their enemy. Mind and conscience had become defiled, and to them was fulfilled what Paul described as being characteristic of the latter times, in I Tim. iv. 1-2, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." And the remaining chapters of our book lift the veil from the inner life of the Israelites, and show us to what length this apostasy had really gone. Heretofore they had forsaken the Lord and worshipped idols, but now they turn the very worship of God Himself into idolatry; chapter xvii. and xviii., "every man doing that which was right in his own eyes," xvii. 6. "And the children of Dan set up the graven image; and Jonathan the son of Gershon, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he had made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh." xviii. 30-31.

The book closes in the final chapters on a scene of sin and confusion, and strife, almost unparalleled in the history of Israel. Their continual backsliding of heart had at last produced its legitimate outward results in the lives of the people, and self-will and license seemed to 152 have nothing to restrain them, and the book ends, as I have remarked before, with the ominous words, "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." xxi. 25.

The lessons of this book are sad and painful, but deeply needed, I am sure. No position in grace, no height of Christian attainment can keep the soul from failing. Only the present power of an indwelling Holy Ghost can do this, and nothing but continual faithfulness to the Lord can secure His abiding presence. We never, at any stage of our experience reach a place where we may relax in our obedience, or become indifferent in our trust. Obedience must keep pace with knowledge, and our trust must be daily and hourly fixed on our keeping Saviour, or all will go wrong. Sanctification is not a state so much as a walk, and every moment of that walk we need the Spirit's power and the Spirit's presence as much as we did at first. Not even after dwelling in the land of promise for many years, are we strong enough to do without this. Always from the beginning to the end of our Christian life, obedience and trust are the two essential conditions of our triumph. We must make no more compromise with evil at the end than at the beginning. And failure, if it comes, will always arise from one or the other of these two causes, either want of consecration or want of trust. It is never the strength of our enemies, nor our own weakness that causes us to fall. While the Lord continues to be with us, no man can stand before us all the days of our life; and if we will 153 only steadfastly abide in Him, we need not be in the least discouraged at the thought of the temptations that surround us on every hand.

But, let me repeat it, there must be no compromise with sin. By faith we must put to death every one of our enemies, every day of our lives. And this death is a real thing. Our faith reckons it, and the Lord makes it real. The faith is our part, but the process is His, And the faith is a very different thing from the process. As the Rev. Andrew Jukes of England once wrote to a friend here, "The faith that you can come to Europe in ten days, and that if you take a ticket all is done for you, is a very different thing from the voyage itself, and the actual experience of crossing the Atlantic; and just so the joy of faith that in Christ you are already perfect, is not the same thing as the experience of being made perfect through suffering, even as He was. But this and this only is the royal road."

I mean therefore, a reality in all that I say. And realities are what we want. We cannot put up with any thing merely judicial here. We must have our enemies actually to die, and our souls to be actually delivered from them, or there is no peace or security. Always "bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus," is the sole pathway to having His divine life of sweetness and power, manifested in our mortal flesh. But who would shrink with such an end in view? Who would not gladly cut off hand or foot or eye, if by so doing the death to self and the life in Christ could be practically reached?

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Consent then to die. Let the Lord send crosses or afflictions or pain, if only by these He will but rid us of pride, and self-will, and anger, and all others of our inward enemies, and will conform us in every thing to the image of Christ. Let us, if Israel did not, obey the command of our Lord to drive out every enemy from our land, and then we need have no fear that the sad and God dishonoring experience of the book of Judges will be ours.


A chain of texts illustrating the lesson of Judges :--

OLD TESTAMENT.

Ex.  xxiii. 27-33; xxxiv. 11-16Num. xxxiii. 51-56Deut. vii. 1-6; xii. 1-3. xx. 16-18.  Deut. vii. 16-24; ix. 1-4; xx. 1-4. xxxi. 3--8.  Josh. i. 2-9; vi. 2; x . 8-10, 24, 25, 42. xi. 6-8, 16, 23. xiii. 1; xviii. 1-9. xxiii. 5-13.

NEW TESTAMENT.

Rom. vi. 6, 11, 12, 13Eph. iv. 21-24Gal. ii. 20Col. ii. 12. iii. 1-4.  Gal. v. 242 Cor. iv. 10-11Col. ii. 20. 2 Cor. vi. 16-18. vii. l .  Rom. vii. 1-6Rom. viii. 2-4, 10.

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