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Knowing Christ.

Knowing Christ.

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"... FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED." — 2 Tim. i. part 12.

"... FOR I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED." — 2 Tim. i. part 12.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 08, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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KOWIG CHRIST. BY REV. A. L. STOE, D. D., "... FOR I KOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED." — 2 Tim. i. part 12. HOW it is that one who walks with Christ, and whose soul is joined to him in a vital and conscious union knows this Saviour as no other soul knows him, it will be difficult so to explain by any language or imagery which can be employed as to make it intelligible to those who have no experience of it. And yet this is just what many an inquiring spirit desires and waits to comprehend. They stand at a distance and look upon him whom the gospel sets forth as the way of life. They walk round about him without seeing how to approach him, and hav- ing no confidence in any addresses they may ofier to him. He is to them remote, indistinct, almost mythical. Per- haps they have not yet settled it in their thoughts who and what he is. If they attempt communication with him, it is all on their side ; they have only their own voices ; there are no returning accents ; all is silent, mo- tionless, and unresponsive. " Does he reveal himself to those that believe in him ? Does he come to meet them out of this vague and hazy distance ? Does he break his silence so that they hear KOWIG CHRIST. 87 and recognize his voice? Do they know him as their Friend and Eedeemer, and know that they know him, and come into relations of intimacy with him, and exchange with him reciprocities of love, confidence, and sympa- thy ? " So they question.
If now as those to whom Christ is precious, and to whom he has made himself known, we could open to them all the journal of our hearts, introduce them to scenes of an inward personal experience which never can be thrown upon canvas, tell them how it is that we are sure we have seen and felt and touched and embraced him, what it is we know of him, by what process this acquaintance was made and has ripened, and wherein is the daily consciousness of his presence with us, and his power upon us, it would meet perhaps better than any other demonstration the state of mind in which so many now are. True we might answer in the words of Philip to athaniel, "Come and see." But they want to be helped to come, and have their eyes guided to that which is to be seen. We might say, "Here's the guide-book; read and follow the directions." But it is not strano-e that they should feel that it is one thing to look upon a map of an unknown region, or to study a guide-book, and another thing to hear from one who has been a traveller that way what his own lips can say about it. So they say to us, "Tell us how you know Jesus, and know that he is such a Saviour." It may be that if we at- tempt to tell, we shall often break down through poverty of words ; that we shall often seem to them as speakino* without meaning, because the meaning is beyond them ; 88 KOWIG CHRIST. that when we lead them out into our experiences, we shall get them presently beyond their depth. Just as when one listens to two artisans conversing upon the subject of their craft, or a circle of professional men discussing the matters of their profession, he may understand much of what is signified, but every now and then is made to feel that he is off soundings where they easily touch bottom. Still something surely can be said,
and said intelligibly, though it be said out of an expe- rience to which the listener is a stranger, of that exper- imental knowledge of Christ possessed by a renewed heart. 1. We know whom we have believed not simply as an historic personage, — just as we know Washington or Columbus or William Tell. It is not simply that we can say where he was born, and of what parentage, and trace, without the omission of one incident, all the story of his life. This you know as well as we. 2. It is not that we have opinions about him which we entertain with entire confidence. Mere opinions might be shaken by some style of argument, some show of evi- dence, which we have not yet met. But absolute knowl- edge, of course, nothing can overturn. We have opinions concerning apoleon Bonaparte and Oliver Cromwell, but not the sort of intimate, experimental knowledge of which we are now speaking. We have opinions concern- ing our neighbors and acquaintances, the men whom we have seen and mixed with for years, and yet none of these men do we know as we know the Lord Jesus Christ. KjS OWIG CHRIST. 89 3. It is not that we kuow him through the works of his hand as Creator, and can speak thus of the power that heaved up the mountains and hollowed the oceans and arched the starry skies ; of the wisdom that has executed such masterpieces of contrivance, and flows in the countless channels of design ; of the taste that has tinted the air, painted the sunset clouds, shaped the for- est tree, carpeted the meadow with emerald velvet, and starred it with flowers ; of the goodness that shines in the sun, marches in the seasons, lisps down in summer rains, and rolls its great weaves in harvest-time. The mere sen-

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