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Strength and Riches in Christ.

Strength and Riches in Christ.

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Published by glennpease

J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.




** I can do all things IN CHRIST which streugtheneth me." —
Phil. iv. 13.

*' But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches
in glory IN Christ Jesus."— Phil. iv. 19.

J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.




** I can do all things IN CHRIST which streugtheneth me." —
Phil. iv. 13.

*' But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches
in glory IN Christ Jesus."— Phil. iv. 19.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 02, 2013
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STREGTH AD RICHES I CHRIST.J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.** I can do all things I CHRIST which streugtheneth me." — Phil. iv. 13.*' But my God shall supply all your need according to His richesin glory I Christ Jesus."— Phil. iv. 19.I the verse which formed the subject of ourlast meditation, we found that our excel-lent Bible translators had unaccountably em-ployed the preposition " through," instead of the moreliteral one of " in."In the above two verses which foUow in the samepostscript-chapter, there is a similar departure from thetranslation of other passages. In both cases, however,we have ventured to restore the rendering, so that eachmay take its place, as it ought, among the monogram-mottoes of the Great Apostle/They both occur in connection with a tribute of ^ Phil. iv. 13. Udm-a lax^^ ^^ TV {^^ Him). The Xpiart^ in theReceived text is not found in versions of highest authority. * * Butthe reference is unmistakeable ; and the omission of the name ^ves apeculiar point to the starting declaration. " — Dr. Eadie in loco.M178 I CHRISTO.grateful acknowledgment paid to the beloved PhilippianChurch, for what they had done on his behalf in aseason of constrained silence and inactivity. By the
 
hands, too, of the faithful Epaphroditus, they had senthim substantial tokens of their sympathy 'and affec-tion. He received these, as he received everything," I Christ." " I rejoiced m the Lord greatly " (ver.lo). 1% the Lord the gift was given. In, the Lordthe gift, with a thankful heart, is accepted. Withthe courtesy and delicacy of a noble mind, he is fearful,lest in the very act of acknowledgment, his wordsand feelings may have been misapprehended. Hemay have conveyed the impression of indulging ina querulous and complaining spirit, hinting at wants,and chafing under penury. To have done so wouldhave been alien to his nature, k sufficient and amplerefutation truly was his whole past disinterested life.He takes, however, the special opportunity of assuringthem that he was not one thus to repine under straitsand fret under discouragements. His new 'life inChrist' had enabled him, with calm and cheerfulequanimity, to rise superior to the mere 'accidents' of existence. Whether it be * abasement or abounding,'indigence or fulness, an embittered lot or outwardprosperity, he was alike content in the sovereign, all-gracious will of Him who regulated his chequeredhistory. His, at the same time, was no sullen, stoicalacquiescence in a hard, but hopeless fate. Indeed, evenin the very conveyance of this assurance of his content-STREGTH AD RICHES I CHRIST. 179ment, we may note a beautiful testimony to his humi-lity : " I have learned," he says, " in whatsoever state Iam, therewith to be content." It is a frank avowal thathe had, by nature, a mind as prone to impatience asothers ; ^ that it was with struggle and self-discipline hehad schooled himself into this "calm and heavenlyframe." In a word, that its root and secret were notin himself. His In Christo solves it all. * I can faceall things, and do all things, and suffer all things, inChrist, who strengthenetJi me.' ^That ' fortress ' (to recur to the symbol of the pre-vious meditation) was full of all manner of store. Itcontained the * panoply of God.' He was " strong in theLord, and in the power of His might." He was strongfor duty ; he was strong for (what to him was perhaps
 
more difficult than duty) restraint and inaction. Hehad " learned " that hardest lesson of strength. " Their^ Barnes.* Tije same Greek word is employed several times by him, as inI Tim. i. 12 — 'I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me," in-fused strength into me, " inspired me with strength." (See Lightfooton Philippians, p. 164.) As the Apostle's monogram has suggestedmany references to the Roman Catacombs, it may be worth while, inconnection with this verse, to refer to another frequent hieroglyph therefound, and one which seems to have shared mth the chrism a specialfavouritism with the early Christians. Indeed, the two are often com-bined. It is the symbol of the fish : — and this, at first sight singularpartiality, is readily understood and accounted for from the explana-tion given by Augustine. The initial letters of the Greek word forfish (IX0T2) read as an acrostic — Irjffovs Xpi<xToi Geou Tios "Zur-qp, — "Jesus Christ God's Son Saviour." Thus, to use the words of thatancient Father, *• the name of Christ is mystically designated."Moreover, this symbol is sometimes still further significantly con-i8o 7iV CJIRISTO.strength is to sit still " (Isa. xxx. 7). A noble testimony-he adds, in a succeeding verse, to this same content-ment in Christ. To others, what must he have ap-peared to be ? Indeed, what was he ? A prisoner ; hisliberty curtailed ; his energies cramped. o longer per-mitted, as the freeman, to bound at will over the wavesof the Great Sea, or to foot the passages of the PisidianAlps ; to join the Sabbath prayer-meeting by the Phi-lippian river-side ; to grapple with subtle intellectsin the bazaars of Corinth, or in the Athenian Agora.ow, even when he tells the cherished story of thecross, he is subjected to jealous espionage. The clank of the chain mingles with the silvery accents of his voice.Yet, what is his testimony and avowal ? what themanifesto of one who never spoke but in words of truth and soberness ? "/ have all and abound " (Phil,iv. 1 8). A beautiful and succinct comment on these,

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