BLTC Press Titles

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Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Light and truth: or, Bible thoughts and themes

by Horatius Bonar


The departure of the Galatians from the truth was a peculiar one.1 They did not deny Christ or His gospel, His blood, or cross, or righteousness. They simply added a little bit of the law to Christ's gospel. They wished to append circumcision to the gospel. This was subverting the whole gospel, says the apostle. This little addition was the transformation of gospel into law; of grace into work.

Are not many perversions of the gospel like this? We say, 'The gospel is not of itself enough to give us peace; we must have feelings, evidences, convictions, experiences; not only faith, but a consciousness of faith; nay, a consciousness that our faith is of the right kind.' All these additions are subversions. Jesus Only. That is our resting-place. Not feeling, nor prayers, nor convictions; but Christ alone!' Nothing in our hands we bring,' either at first or any after time. We take the cross just as we find it; ourselves just as we are. Thus, taking as true the good news of the finished sacrifice, we rest there. We need nothing else. All beyond this is Galatian error; the subversion of the cross ; the stoppage of the race.

1 In the 8th verse the apostle adds, 'This persuasion is not of Him that calleth you.' The rur/un of this verse is suggested by the rut» ('obey' or 'believe'). This new direction of the rulu (i.e. the viirfiovn) is not of Christ (ch. i. 6). 'This new faith into which you have been drawn or persuaded, is not your old and original faith or gospel.'



- 'He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; tut he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.'Gal Vi. 8. 'They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.'—Hos. VIIi. 7.

EVERYTHING said or done by man is a seed,—good or bad,—the product of something past, and the parent of something future; the end of one series, and the beginning of another.

It is not merely that judgment and recompense are in store for us; but, apart from the judicial aspect of the thing said or done, there is the inherent nature flowing out of something, and flowing into something else corresponding to itself; like produced by and producing like. This is the law of the universe; the seed produced by and producing a tree, or a flower, according to its nature. (Gen. i. 11.) In the case of the murderer, there are the inward remorse and wretchedness, as well as the sentence of condemnation.

But our two texts teach us more than this. There is a higher law. Not merely does the good produce the good, but it produces something better than itself,—the seed, the tree with all its fruit. The bad not merely produces the bad, but something worse than itself,—the bad seed, the worse fruit. This is the awful truth taught in the two passages above: 'He that soweth to the JlesA, shall of the flesh reap (not merely what is fleshly, but) corruption]— flesh in its worst and most loathsome state. Again,'They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.' Thus nothing comes up exactly as it is sown, but either better or worse. We sow not that body that shall be, but bare grain; and that bare grain bears something corresponding in nature, but very much greater in all respects than itself. It reproduces itself on a larger and completer scale.

Men seldom count on this. They may admit that their sin will find them out, though not always; or that bad may lead to bad; but they refuse to recognise this as a universal rule and law. They don't see why, though they have sown the wind, they might not reap the calm; why, though they have sown war, they might not reap peace; why, though they have sown disease, they might not reap health; why, though they have sown darkness, they might not reap light. But God's law will stand; the progress of evil is downward, not upward; the conflagration is the effect of the spark. God, we know, does step in to arrest this; He interferes in grace to stay the development of the evil, and to bring good out of it. But this only confirms the law, just as pardon confirms the law: 'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.'

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