* His mouth is most sweet.'* — Song of Solomon y. 16. I God*8 good providence we are gathered together engsm to meditate upon the personal beauties of our Lord Jesui Christ. As He is revealed to the heart b^ the graoe and indwelling of the Holy Ghosts the adoring saint, the admiring bride cries out in tones of joj and gladness : ^* Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee *' (Psalm Ixxiii. 25). In the exercise of His own indisputable sovereignty, He is pleased sometimes to hide Himself, from the gaze of those who are near and dear unto Him, behind the strange visitations of His providenoe. He thus brings them to experience spirituid desires and longings after Him, as expressed in those words at the commencement of this precious Son^ : *^ Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth." The bride mentions no name, but says, **Let Ein^^^ as though all the persons to whom ebe speaks must of necessity know the person of whom she is speaking, and possess the same regard for Him with herself. She does not say. Let Jesus, Christ, my Husband, or my Saviour, but '' Let Him kiss me." In the expression of this desire there is evidently a felt distance from Him whom her soul truly loves. Yet, in a moment there is a transition from His absence to His presence, as denoted in the last clause of the verse : ** Thy love is better than wine." From a seeming distance she is brought into His sacred company. From desires for His communications she is brought to the delights of His embrace, or, which is still better. He comes with ail His love and grace to the very place of her weakness, ignorance, and necessity, and graciously reveals Himself to her. Blessed with sweet draughts of the wine of His love, and favOuted with a 14e.-Piioi Om PimiT. Digfe,^ by GoOglc


communion with Him, she says, ^* Thj love is better than wine." Tou will find this to be the experience of all God's children whose spiritual histories are recorded in this blessed Book. They were not always indulged to sit at the feet of Jesus, neither were they faToured with uninterrupted revelations of His person y offices, and work to their heart; they were not privileged to sit continually at the King's table, hearing Him say, "Eat, friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, beloved;** they were not always dandled upon the knees of eternal affection, nor unceasingly reposing upon the bosom of everlasting love. The mere professor Knows nothing of those experiences recorded in God's vnitten Word. Abraham went through a horror of great darkness (G^n. xv. 12) olb well as rejoiced in His light whose day he saw and wa« glad (John viii. 56); Jacob, who was blessed with many manifestations of JEHOVAHJESUS' love, and with the wrestling, support, and strength of the covenant Angel, when left to himself, and to his own f;loomy surmisings, exclaimed, ^'All these things are agpainst me'* Gen. xlii. 36) ; David, who was ofttimes blessed with access and introduction into the presence of his God, frequently mourned His absence, and with longings known only to those who are experimentally one with Him, could thus express himself: "0 God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee : my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and. thirsty land, where no water is. To see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary " (Psalm Ixiii. 1, 2^. otice the true nature of this experience : " My God, early will I seek." What would he seek? Simply a manifestation or evidence of an interest in covenant verities t o. Simply for a token for good? o; but ^'I will seek Thee." A living person alone can satisfy a loving heart. Search through the ew Testament, and you will find the same experience recorded there. The whole of the epistles by Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude were written for those who know that in themselves they are but vile and base, and are brought into a true understanding of that experience recorded by Paul in Rom. vii. The first part of this chapter describes a convinced sinner bowed down uncler the galling yoke of the law, and the

weight of sin discovered by the convincing power of the Holy Ghost. The law demands a perfect obedience, reveals the inability of the creature to give it, and imparts no strength to comply with its demands. The second part of the chapter portrays the state of a child of God delivered from the curse of the law, but distressed with the discovery of a law of sin in his members bringing him into captivity thereto. All such are taught that there can be no true dehverance from the body of death, until it pleases God in the riches of His grace to divest the spirit of the burden of the fleshy and land it safe in everlasting joy and felicity up yonder. Digitized by LjOOQ IC

OHBIST'S MOUTH* 501 It 18 onr priTiIege this morning to look at the preoiona description g^ven of her Husband bv the bride, and, in hnmble dependence upon the leading of God the eyer-blessed Spirit, endeayour to find out the spuitual meaning of the words for our comfort and edification. " His mouth is most sweet." This is a very blessed and precious declaration to tliose who have been brought into personal contact and communion with the great and glorious Head of the Church. The bride passes from admiring the commanding appearance of her loving Bridegroom, which we have considered in connection with the latter part of the previous verse. We now find her particularising that part ot the face which Ood has ordained to be the means of communicating the mind, desire, love, and affection of one person to another, especially where true love and affection dwell. Some of you may be ready to say. We have had all this before from the words, " His lips like Ulies dropping sweet smelling myrrh." Ah I my dear fnends, you may rest assured of this, that the two portions are not given to express exactly the same truth. There is something different and disrinct in

each to open up some precious treasure of Divine life and love. When the words — **-aw mouth^^ — ^flow from the lips of the loving bride, or from the exercised heart of a sinner saved by sovereign g^ace, a deeper depth of spiritual meaning, and a greater fulness of Divine truth than we have hitherto found, will most assuredly be revealed by the blessed Spirit's grace for our spiritual instruction and edi6cation. ^^H%8 maiUh.^* In considering that precious metaphor — "J3t« lips *' — we found they referred to the Words of grace, life, and Sower which flowed from the lips of our Lord and Saviour esus Christ — words of rest, refreshment, and consolation to those for whom they were spoken. They expressed personal communication with Him. Thev are not communications from a distance, conveyed in a book or letter, but words spoken directly home, begetting personal intercourse and communion. All this is conveyed in the words of JEHOVAH by the prophet: ** So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth (Isaiah Iv. 11). Do notice that. It is not the word going forth out of the mouth of Isaiah, Peter, Paul, or any of His own sent servants, for oftentimes we find that the words of God's gracious servants are not conveyed by the power of the Holy Spirit to our hearts ; but the words which go forth from the mouth of our great and gracious Saviour are carried by His almighty power to the hearts of those for whom they were designed, who shall be abundantly profited and refreshed thereby. This reminds me of those precious words of Hart's : — ** Thongh God's election is a truth, Snutll comfort there I see, Till I am told bj Qod*8 own month That He has chosen me.** r^^^^T^ Digitized by VjOOQ IC "


A redeemed Ginner who can sing that 'witli the epmt and with tibe understanding) will never contend for liie oare^ abstract theory of election, but for the living, q)iriiaal reality wrought in fa^ heart's experience by the grace and indwelling of God the Holy Ohost. In meditating upon the words of our text, we will endeavour to notice, — I. — His oobimanos. IL— His oommunioations. UL — His comforts. I.— His commands. We rejdce in the dedaratioQ of the apostle, ^< His commandments are not grievous " (1 John v. 3). The commandments of a covenant Ood in Christ are not grievous. But mark I When God's commands sounded forth from Sinai and came home with convincing power to our hearts, destitute of the knowledge of our grace-union to the Lord Jesus Christ, we considered them to be grievous indeed. They demanded full, perfect, unsinning obedience to every jot and tittle of the Divine law, and revealed to us our utter weakness and inability to fulfil it. The denunciation went forth, *' Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them " (Gal. iii. 10) ; and we discovered the painful fact that we had not continued in one thing written therein. But this was not all, we found our carnal minds to be enmity against God, and that if we had the power to obey Him, such is the perverseness of our will, we would not. Yes, such is the depravity, enmity, and incorrigibility of the natural mind of man, that if it has not a way made ready to hand of sinning against God, it will invent one. This is truth, not only written in this Book, but also in the experience of every Uving child of God. But we are privileged to know and contemplate the blessed fact that the commandments of a covenant God and Father in Christ are not grievous. What are His commandments t Where do they appear in this Bookt When are they spoken home to the heart by the power, grace, and operation of God the ever-blessed Spirit ? They are spoken home, and are exceeding precious at such times as those I have

been describing to you. in times of want, weakness, weariness, and woe, His commandments are not ^evous. He gives His Kople to experience the truthfulness of those words spoken by m as recorded in John xiv. 21 : " He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me : and he that loyeth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.'' With so glorious a declaration as this sounding m his ears, Judas, not Iscariot, might well adc. '' Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world ? Jesus answered and said unto him. If a man will love Me, he mil keep My words : and My Father will love him, and We will come unto Him, and make our abode with him.'^ See I '*ffe will keep My words. He hath My command-

CHRIST'S MOUTH. 503 fnenta and keepeth them,** These are words of grace and power BpK)ken home to the heart of elect, redeemed, and i*ejj;enerate sinners — ^words sweetly whispered in the ear and communicated by the grace and indwelling of Christ's own Spirit. Can he keep them? I ask you, Are you able to keep them? You answer me at once, o, I am not. either am I. Yet I do keep them ; but it is by His grace and power working in me. It is not because He has simply put me in trust with them, but because He has been pleasea to bum them into me as so many gracious brands which declare whose 1 am and whom I serve, and show forth in the face of all my enmity, rebelliousness, and base declensions, that I am a sinner saved by sovereign grace. '* I claim no meiit of my own, But self condemned before Thy throue, My hopes on Jesns place ; In heart, in lip, in life depraved. ' My theme shall be a sinner saved, And praise redeeming grace."

Precious and blessed are Christ*s commandments to those who are brought into spots of spiritual necessity known only to the living in Jerusalem. As sin is revealed in its true nature to my awakened soul, as I see it in God's light and according to God's estimate, ^' exceeding sinful," I am convinced that my old nature is nothing else but sin» my actions are all sin, and in everything that springs from my vile nature nothing but sin is seen. ow, I sing not as once I did, " Sin is mix'd with all I do," for all that I do is sin, and the spiritual knowledge of this brin^ me as a poor, weary, labouring, and heavy-laden sinner to seek for that deliverance and rest which comes alone from a covenant God in Christ. What commandment will suit me in such a pliffht as this? One that bids me behave myself? One that insists upon my circumspection and obedience ? o ! Such commandments would surely drive me mad. I speak honestly in the presence of His sacred Majesty. But this precious new covenant commandment will do for me, " Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest " (Matt xi. 28). Some are pleased to style this an invitation of the Gospel, but mere invitations will never do for incorrigibles, nor for those who know their own vileness, the enmity of their carnal minds, and, like Daniel, whose comeliness is turned into corruption. Know ye anything of such an experience as this ? Even now my heart melts within me as I remember the heartfelt confession of one who said, *^ I have taken a little comfoil to myself as I have heard you quote those words, — " * *Tis a point I long to know (Oft it cames anxious thought), Do I lore the Lord, or no ? Am I His, or am I not V (^ ] Digitized by LjOOQ IC

504 GROVE CHAPEL PULPIT. But the devil has set upon me, and I am forced to the oonclusion that I have been gratifying my own fleshly feelings while I have no part or lot in the matter of His grace." My dear friends, those who are brought into such spots of spiritual desolation, and have come to the end of the appointed time of their spiritual captivity, will gladly welcome tnis covenant commana when spoken home from the mouth of a precious Christ, '* Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." What rest is this ? It is rest from all legal endeavours, typified in the rest the children ot Israel enjoyed from the brick-kilns, the furnace, and the task-masters of Egypt. But the trials and temptations of the wilderness must be encountered and endured; hence the Lord Jesus, in His loving omniscience, continues His commanding, ** Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me ; for I am meek and lowly in heart ; and ye shall find rest unto your souls'^ otice the two rests, '* / will aive you rest,' and ''ye shall find restJ^ '' I will give you rest " from all labouring on legal ground, from all distress through the law's demands. But as you experience rest from the law's exactions and execrations, you shall experience restlessness from your restless flesh and from the seemingly untoward circumstances surrounding you. Yet here, again and again, ''you shall find rest unto your souls.''' This rest lies in the glorious fact that a precious (^hrist has not only performed all legal things for me on the ground of law, but that He performs all spiritual things in me on the ground of grace. All that I have to take into the presence of my God for my acceptance with Him, is not of my own fleshly E reduction, but wholly in Christ, and that revealed to my heart y the grace, indwelling, and power of God the ever-blessed Spirit. For this I bless, praise, and adore Him, and glory in the fact that **His commandments are not grievous.*' On new covenant ground they are exceeding precious and comforting to my soul. Ofttimes the children of God are cast down because of the repeated discovery of guilt, corruption, and depravity in their daily walk through the wilderness. Their pilgrim feet are ofttimes soiled with the mud and mire of this world, yet the

glorious truth holds good, *^ If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John i. 7). Mark you 1 it does not say hath cleansed us from all sin. That is a glorious truth. We are cleansed and shall never appear in the presence of an all-holy God anything else but pure, white, and clean in the person of Jesus, but day by day we realise the painful fact that in our joumeyings our feet are soiled and our garments are filthy, which cause our joys to decline and our comforts to fade away. Instead of the righteousness of Jesus, the unrighteousness of self is presented to our view ; instead of the enjoyment of His love, our own enmity is experienced; instead of His consolations, our own misery is felt. We write ..tized by Google

CHRIST'S MOUTH. 505 bitter things against onreelves, and almost cut ourselves off from all hope when the covenant command comes forth from the mouth of our adorable Lord, " Come, now, and let us reasou together, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow ; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool " (Isaiah i. 18). The sense and realisation of what we are- in ourselves is frequently a terrible burden to us ; but even here He comes with His gracious command, " Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee " (Psalm Iv. 22). Why, say some of yon, I believe I have been enabled to cast my burden upon Him again and again, but it seems to return as weighty and heavy as ever. 1 appear not to get rid of it at all. either will you while you are in the flesh. This casting will continue all your journey through. If your burden is cast upon your gracious LORD, who has lovingly commanded you to do so, you cannot be in a spot of His creation, but there you will know that He is one with you and you are one with Him. If He is in you and you are in Him, you can never be rid of that which you roll upon Him while here below. It is like Simon of Cyrene bearing the cross of Jesus. Did Simon bear the cross alone? He did

not. Spiritual fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ in His sufferings must be experienced by all the regenerate children of God, who shall, and must, be taught the preciousness of that wonderful declaration in 1 Cor. x. 13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man : but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." That is a strange escaping, unknown to all out of Christ. Escaping temptations, yet bearing them all the time. Again, the tried and tempted pilgrim is often hungering and thirsting, not after mere services, institutions, ordinances, tokens, or evidences, which are all very well in their place ; professors, hypocrites, and make-believes seek after these with avidity ; but the living child of God seeks for something more, even God Himself. This you will see in the experience of David, as recorded in Psalm xlii. 1, 2 : '* As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God ; when shall I come and appear before God?" To all such, gracious covenant commands shall never be wanting. Where are they ? Look at that blessed one in Isaiah Iv. 1 : ** Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money ; come ye, buy, and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." But, say you, according to the preface to the chapter, these words form an exhortation of the prophet's. To this, I answer, A true prophet of the Lord sounds forth that which the Lord communicates. If this is not sufficient, turn to John vii. 37, where you read : " In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any ..tized by Google

506 GROVE CHAPEL PULPIT. man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that belie veth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." This is a covenant command from the mouth of a precious Christ, in which both grace and power

combine to draw forth willing obedience from the hearts of His thirsting disciples. In these commands we have some opening up of that sweet metaphor — *' His mouthJ' II.— His COMMU ICATIO S. His words and commands, however sweet and pleasant they may be, do not fully meet the deep and inexpressible cravings of the Divine nature in the living children of God. Tell me, will words, though they be expressions of love and affection, satisfy the heart of a fond and faithful wife ? You know very well they will not. What more is needed ? Loving communications. You have these sweetly expressed in chap. i. 2 : " Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth." Here we see the mouth of the heavenly Bridegroom en^ged in communicating His everlasting love. His untold and unutterable aff*ection to His Church and people. Mark! Affection unutterable! Love untold! Yet both graciously communicated by unmistakable signs. The kiss of the mouth in Scripture is a token of 1. Affection, 2. Reconciliation. 3. Acceptance, 4. Approbation, 1. Affection. In turning to a few portions of God's Word we shall see what a kiss really and truly denotes. Turn with me to Gen. xxix. 9 — 11 : "And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep : for she kept them. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daugnter of Laban, his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. And Jacob kissed Rackety and lifted up his voicCy and wept.** What was all that kissing and crying about ? Something which words could never express, which mere articulations could not convey. I do not think Rachel ever forgot that kiss as long as she lived, and you may rest assured that in it the affection of Jacob's whole soul went forth to the one

object of his love. But where is the spiritual truth ? It is in the revelation of a precious Christ to our hearts by the Holy Ghost, giving us to know the glorious fact, that He has loved us with an everlasting love. Look at that precious communication made to the weeping prophet in Jer. xxxi. 3 : •' The LORD hath appeared of old,'* OTjfrom afavj "unto me." The prophet did not realise a present God : but He revealed Himself to him in a moment. The word " saying " ought not to be there. It is an interpolation. "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Or, **have T extended Umngldndness unto thee** How does He extend lovingkindness

CHRIST'S MOUTH. 807 onto His bride, the Ohnroh 1 By the sweet klaseB of His month, which are the exceeding great and precious promises of a oorenant God in Himself conveyed and applied to the heart by the power of the Holy Ghost. 2. Seeoneiliation. If yon will turn to Gen. xxxiii. 1 — 4, you will find Jacob fall of trouble and anxiety for the safety of his wives and httle ones. Esau, whom he expects to meet full of rag^ and fury with him, to take vengeance upon him for taking away his blessing and birthright, is dfrawin^ nigh. Jacob fears that all things are against him, and, with his usual tact, divides his family into companies. He puts the handmaidens and their children first, then Leah and her children, *'and Rachel and

Joseph hindermost.'' In this we see his youthful love cropping up. ^^And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother. And

Esau ran to meet Mm, and embraced him, and fell on his neei, and . kissed him, and they wept" Here we see the kiss to be a token of

reconciliation. And is it not a marvellous fact, only apprehended by the gracious teaching of the Holv Ghost, that, " when we were enemies we were reconciled to (S-od by the death of His Son," and, " much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life? " (Rom. v. 10.) In every portion of the ew Testament Scriptures where the words reconciliationj reconciling^ or reconciled occur, the reconciliation is always on the part of the creature, for God in His nature and attributes knows nothing of mutation ot change. He is a God of everlasting love. In the pan^ of the new birth, the poor sinner with his God is like Jacoo with Esau, he expects to meet a God all frowns, but he sees a God all smiles. He beholds a God full of compassion. He enjoys the companionship of a God full of love. God*s love in Christ Jesus is ever overaowing, but inexpressible, unspeakable, unutterable. It is sweetlv described by Paul in Eph. iii. 17—19 : " That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith ; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and len^h, and depth, and height ; and to know the love of Christ which passeth Imowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." 8. Acceptance. ow turn to that precious portion in Luke XV. 11—32. The young prodigal in a far country comes to himself, thinks of his father s house and of his father's love. He says, '< I will arise and go to my father, and will sav unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before tnee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose and came to his father. Bat when he was yet a ^reat way off, his father saw Atm." You may depend upon it, when we were a great way off in our unregeneracy, and now ofttimes when we are a great way off in our experience, feelings, and judgment, He sees us and knows $31 about us. '*And had compassion, and fan, and &U on his Digitized by LjOOQ L^


neok, and kissed him." As the Yaliast but now glorified William Parks once said, '* The father stopped his legal and blubbering mouth with his own sweet kiss of acceptance.'' The son could say nothing concerning service while the father hung upon his neck. He could not say, "Make me as one of thy hired servants.*' What is there so precious, so blessed, so sweet as the communications of covenant love from the lips of our gracious Husband and Head ? 4. Appreciation and approbation. These we shall see revealed in this precious metaphor. Turn to Prov. xxiv. 26 : ** Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer." Look at this according to the margin, ** Every man shall kiss his lips thcU anmoereth right wordsJ" Who giveth a right answer? Who answereth right words t one but the Lord Jesus Christ, and every man loved with an everlasting love, elect of God, redeemed b^ His most precious blood, and regenerated by the grace and mdwelUnj^ of God the Holy Ghost, shall kiss His Jips. But look at it in this light. Lips that give a right answer shall be kissed. The sinner who has been brought and taught by the Holy Ghost to know and confess himself a sinner vile and base, and who makes a clean breast of all that he is and all that he has in the sight of infinite excellency, shall be kissed bv the lips of a precious Christ, by which he shall know, that in the face of all his sin, enmity, and incorrigibility, he is a loved one in the house of the Father, approved in Christ, and appreciated for His sake by Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Before dismissing this part of the subject let me ask you to notice that sweet incident in the life of Joseph, recorded in Gen. xlv. 14. His brethren hesitated to come near to him, until he made himself known to them. Then *' he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept ; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them : and after that his brethren talked with him." Enow ye aught of the Sdritual truth couched beneath this precious portion of God's most oly Word ? Have you been favoured with the kisses of His mouth t In them are expressed the Father's unchanging affection to His children, their reconciliation to Him, tneir acceptance before Him, and His approbation and appreciation of

them in all their failings. Have you experienced aught of this? Then you may rest assured that that last clause will be true in your experience, "After that his brethren talked with Idnu' You will never be satisfied with anything short of a little bit of talk with Jesus, that you may communicate to Him in your confessions, desires, and longings, your helplessness, that He may impart unto you His strength. You Jove to make known to Him your necessity, that He may open up to vou that all-fulness which the Father has treaaured up in Himself. You acknowledge to Him your foolishness, while He reveals Himself to you as your Wisdom. You seek occasions to breathe to Him the tale <^ Digitized by LjOOQ IC

CHRIST'S MOUTH. 509 your sins and iniquities, while He sweetly whispers to your anxious eonl, "/ am thy aalvationJ^ III.— His C50B1F0RTS. ^*Hi8 mouth!^ Consult the margin of your Bible, and you will find these words rendered, "i3t« palate.^* This is that part of the mouth whioh tastes, tests, and proves the purity and sweetness of Zion's provisions. We have a glorious truth in this. Here it is. All that, we spiritually receive and retain, and which we shall carry home to glory with us, comes directly from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ. All spiritual blessings communicated to Him before the worlds were framed, every word of comfort, life, light, and liberty, every design of covenant mercy, must be spoken home to the heart from the mouth of the infallible Taster and Tester. He will not allow us to taste and try for ourselves before He has graciously gone before us. We are composite creatures — nature and grace — flesh and spirit — and it is marvellous how the flesh ofttimes seems to prevail over the spirit. We come to fleshly conclusions in reference to spiritual things, but the glorious fact holds good that in the Lord Jesus Christ purity and perfection reign. He could say, *• The prince of this world cometh and

hatfi nothing in Me " (John xiv. 30). Everything communicated by Him to His people is pure, holy, just, and good. Everything that He Himself tasted in the school of human suffering, as the Surety of the covenant, the Father s righteous Servant, and the elder Brother of His people to be bestowed upon them, He graciously communicates to them, and gives the blessed assurance that they shall stand the test of the world's conflagration, when He shall say to all hypocrites and fleshly professors, ** 1 never knew you ; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity " (Matt. vii. 21—23). " Hi8 mouth.*^ This may mean His breath. His Spirit. You know the plaintive cry of Job in His affliction : " My breath is strange to my wife " (Job xix. 17). Was there ever a time when the Lord could say the same concerning those in covenant relationship with Him 1 I answer. Yes. You will find proof of this in eh. ix. ; Psalm Ixxviii., cvi. ; Isaiah Ux. ; Jer. lii., and the whole of the prophecy of Hosea. In each of these portions you will see the bride, the Church, God's Ephraim, God*s Israel, wandering after other lovers. The blessings of His providing become nauseous to her. The communications of His mouth contain no sweetness for her. Yet for all this, " His i8 love that never falters. Always to its object true.** The breath of His mouth in Scripture means His Spirit. " By the Word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the Breath of His mouth " (Psalm xxxiii. 6). In creation, and in the new creation, all things are produced and Digitized by LjOOQ IC

no GROVB OBUPSL FUXiFIT. presenred by tho Spirit of Christ. Elihn said, ** The Spirit of God hath made me, and Uie Breath of the Almighty hath given me life " (Job xxxiii. 4). This is precious indeed. The com-

mnnications of God the Holy Ghost are the life and preservation of our spirits (Job x. 12). See how the Lord Jesus Christ states this in His last address to His disdoles before His death : " And I willpray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, bec€tuse it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him : but ye know Him : for He dwelleth with Su, and shall be in you ^ (John xiv. 16, 17). Again, ** But the mforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you " (ver. 26). However forgetful we may be, one with Christ and blessed with the teaching of His Spirit, we can never perish for lack of knowledge. Look at chap. xv. 26: ''But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." Where ? In our heart's experience, when sin seems to deluge every spiritual faculty of the soul, and corruptions seethe and surge within us. He then graciously directs our minds from self to Christ, from mn to salvation, and from our miseries to His covenant mercies. Look also at chap. xvL 13 : ^' Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth : for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come." His breath is most sweet. His Spirit s communications are most precious. *^ His mouthJ* His intercession. Blessings on His name, **He ever lives to make intercession for us" (Heb. vii. 25). ^ And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said. Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always" (John xi. 41, 42). He opens His mouth for His poor dumb people. He pleads the cause of the afflicted. He maintains tne right of the poor. His intercession consists not in pleas and desires, but in demands and commands. See John xvii. 24 : " Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am ; that thev mav behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; tor Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. Look at this in. the light of

the preceding verse : ^^ I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one ; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me." Here we may well exclaim, *^ His mouth is most sweet** Every command, communication, or comfort flowing from Hie mouth to His people, when enjoyed by them, is inexpressibly and inconceivably sweet. If tmsis true in time, what will it be in eternity



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