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JAMES E. HAWKINS, 36 BAKER STREET, W., AND 12 PATERNOSTER SQUARE, E.C.
DUBLIN DUBLIN TRACT REPOSITORY, 10 D'OLIER STREET.
A HOLY GHOST MINISTRY.
2 COR. ii. 14 to vii. 3.
THIS is indeed a precious outflow of Paul's pen
on the subject of a Holy Ghost ministry by and through the saints, both in the Church and amidst the outside world. The special endowments of some, such as these of Paul himself and Timothy (the writers of the Epistle) are, or should be, the more prominent illustrations of these blessed features of a Christ-like ministry; but they are here set forth in an epistle to the whole Church because all God's children are likewise His servants, and are all to be perfected "for the work of the ministry, for (unto) the edifying of the body of Christ". (Eph. iv. 12.) Hence the joy and the profit with which all believers read this precious passage, as well as those who are specially called by God as evangelists, or as pastors and teachers.
In it there seem to be four allusions to Old Testament subjects. The first is to that of the incense of the sanctuary. This seems alluded to in 2 Cor. ii. 14-17, especially in the words, "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ". The point here is the surrender of our WILL in our service to our God. It points to the state of our mind while engaged in that service, viz., no will of our own. We swell the triumphs of Christ as we are led about by Him as willing captives, says Paul, at the chariot wheels of His onward march just as He pleases; and thus, and only thus, is the savour of His knowledge (that is, the knowledge of Him) made manifest by us in every place. (See verse 14.) No will or planning of ours makes it manifest; nothing does but HIS will being done in us, and that too even to the extent of our being
made " a savour of death unto death" to some, as well as a savour of life unto life to others. Our selfpleasing human nature would like to be always acceptable to men, and to be made a blessing to all to whom we speak. But even our Master was not; He had to say of Capernaum, where most of His mighty works. were done" Thou shalt be brought down to hell;" and "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee". Solemn and terrible words, and not easy for the loving and gentle Lord Jesus to speak; yet far from murmuring at His painful task, it is added-" At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent Even so, Father, for so it
seemed good in Thy sight".
What blessed surrender of His will, because what submission on His part to being made a savour of death to these amongst whom He preached, as well as a savour of life. Surely the very mind and spirit of
Jesus in such utterances was like that incense of God's altar, every ingredient of which was of God's prescrib ing, and the whole of which was to be beaten "very small" ere it could be put "before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation," and then "it shall be unto you most holy". (See Exod. xxx. 34-38.) And it was of this same incense-like savour to God that Paul and Timothy sought also to be, and endeavoured that the service of all their fellow-saints should be similarly acceptable. Their one desire was that they and others should be "to God a sweet savour of Christ," no matter which savour they were to men, whether of life or of death. But feeling their prone