THE COMPESATIOS OF THE GOSPEL.

BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A.,
'THE Peter began to say unto Him, Lo, we have left all,
and have followed Thee. And Jesus answered and said,
Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house,
or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or
children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel's, but he shall
receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and
brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands,
with persecutions ; and in the world to come eternal life.'
Mark x. 28-30.
PETER'S true, but rather boastful utterance, gave
occasion for these striking words of our blessed
Lord. His * all,' and that of those who were with
him, was but a few boats and nets; and yet,
measured by what they possessed, it was everything.
Like the widow's two mites, it was more than the
great wealth of others. Our Lord most graciously
accepts the tribute by His answer to Peter, ' Verily,
I say unto you, there is no man that hath left
house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother,
or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake and the
178 WELL-SPIUGS OF LIFE.
gospel's, but he shall receive an hundred-fold, now
in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and
mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions;
and in the world to come, eternal life.'
' For My sake and the Gospel's.' This is always
the right order — Christ first, and then the Gospel
which leads up to Him — and this Gospel, not the
ew Testament only, but also the Old, for ' unto us
was the Gospel preached as well as unto them '
(Heb. iv. 2). In other words, it is the whole of
God's Word. Israel saw only a great stone Eock
before them, but that Eock was Christ. They saw
only water gushing from it, but this water was the
living waters of eternal life in Christ. Everything
around them — the tabernacle, its boards, sockets,
pins ; its priests, their dress, their names, their
services — in fact everything the eye fell upon, spoke
of Christ. They did not see it, but they might
have seen it. Had they obeyed the commands of
God, which Moses gave them, their eyes would have
been opened to see something of the Gospel which
was. being preached to them on every side, and
which was the gate which led up to Christ. Thus
the Lord couples with Himself the Gospel which
THE COMPESATIOS OF THE GOSPEL. 179
leads to Him. The two are inseparable. And this
word ' Gospel ' confirms this. Its meaning is ' God-
spell ' — the spelling out of God's character, ' glad
tidings ' to sinners.
And let us not forget ; Christ puts this ' Gospel '
— this Old Testament as well as ew — on the same
level with Himself, — ' for My sake and the Gospel's.'
Men in this day are striving to weaken its authority
and power over men. Christ, on the contrary, on
every occasion in which He refers to the Old
Testament, exalts it. He even intimates that if
they do not believe the Pentateuch they cannot
receive His words, and says, ' Moses wrote of Me '
(John vii. 46-47). Is not this a conclusive answer
to much of the destructive criticism of the day ?
But what does our Lord mean by saying that
' houses and lands,' and so on, left for His sake
and the Gospel's, shall all be given back to us
'now, in this present time,' and given back 'an
hundred-fold ' ? When we receive Christ ourselves,
everything we have in this world becomes enriched
by Him. Christ touched the water, and it became
wine. The knowledge of Christ elevates man, and
all he possesses. At our conversion to God we giv^e
180 WELL-SPRIGS OF LIFE.
ourselves, and all we have, to Him ; and He, in
this way, give us all back a ' hundred-fold.'
But the Lord adds one gift to them all — ' with
persecutions.' Yes, and these are a precious gift,
though we do not think so. ' To you it is given
on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him,
but also to suffer for His sake.' These trials keep
us from setting our hearts on the things of this life.
The Lord uses them to wean us from attachment
to them, and to keep us near to Himself.
But another gift is added : and ' in the world to
come, eternal life.' Has not the true Christian
eternal life now? Yes, but this means eternal
life in all its fulness and completeness. We are
looking forward to this blessed and glorious con
summation. Who would not say, 'Come, Lord
Jesus ; come quickly ! '
We are listening in the gloaming,
For the coming of His feet,
Pausing, 'mid the dusty vineyard,
For His message true and sweet.
'Till He come' He bids us tarry,
Bids us watch and wait and pray ;
ever resting, never idling,
Scattering -seed along the way.
THE COMPESATIOS OF THE GOSPEL. 181
' Till He come ! ' And then the ending,
Weariness and pain all past,
Mist and shadows all forgotten,
In the brightening Sun at last.
Onward, upward, fellow-pilgrim,
erve your heart, and clear your brow !
He is coming ! Home is nearing,
Almost reached it may be now.
E.B.
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