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The Testimony of the Church

By J.B. Stoney

      I see nothing of any avail now but well-trimmed lamps - going forth to meet the Bridegroom.

      It was the devotedness, not the intelligence of the earlier brethren which awakened inquiry at the first.

      Now the effort has been to persuade souls by much light on scripture, and this even when effectual produces a very different type of testimony from what devotedness produces.

      I feel that separation from system has been regarded as the testimony to which we are called, instead of the introduction in marked lines and colours of the life and ways of the blessed One who is rejected from this scene where His body is left in order to express Him and to maintain His name.

      While adhering to the service and usefulness which commends us to men, we have disregarded too much the weightier matters of unworldliness and devotedness. There has been often a convulsive activity without a vigorous constitution.

      I feel we must be sifted. The Lord cannot continue His light to us unless we use it. The laxity must be repudiated.

      The more simply we accept that we are here for Christ, and to suffer for Him, the more brightly we shall get on.

      If we be reproached for Him, happy are we! The nearer we keep to the Lord the more encouraged we shall be. When he gives the word, who can stay it?

      I see everywhere that men to whom the Lord has given anything for the church are right and clear as to God's mind in matters around us. How could they be otherwise?

      The mixed multitude may wander, but the Lord will preserve the faithful. Nothing will stand but faith.

      I am quite certain that there must be, at any rate, a moral separation everywhere, between the ten spies and the two; or the two and a half tribes and the nine and a half.

      But there is this immense difference with us, who are members of the body of Christ, that any advance that any member or members of the body make must now conduce to the help and encouragement of every other member.

      What is good and right for one member, is good and right for all the other members, and the one who takes the step in advance should take it with the sense that he is not a unit, but part of a great whole.

      I believe it is of immense importance to seize by faith the intention of the Lord in giving back to brethren the truth as to the church of God.

      Do we accept the truth with the conviction that a fresh energy of the Spirit of God is connected with it - that it is not to be held as an abstract truth, but that every one who truly receives it is in communion with the present energy of the Spirit?

      The energy of the Spirit was always connected with that truth; but now, in the close of the church period, He has enlightened souls anew respecting it, and every one so enlightened is in a very favoured and responsible position, for if he truly answers to the light of it he is enabled to be in the testimony in power.

      Do you feel that you are called of God to be in this new and great and, I believe, last revival? I am sure you do, and the more you feel it the more you will encourage and help others to be there also.

      "Thou ... hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name", Revelation 3: 8. It is not enough to come out of Egypt; you have to come into the land, and to stand there for God.

      If we do not know our vocation we are not only blundering, but we cannot avail ourselves of the power and resources given of God to maintain the testimony.

      The captain of the Lord's host is only in the land, is only connected with the testimony, for our vocation is according to it.

      The Lord keep you doing His pleasure that the light of His countenance may be so the cheer of your heart, that you will be immediately conscious whenever you have in any measure stepped aside.

      May you go on side by side with Him.

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