Charles Henry Mackintosh
 

The Christian:
His Position and His Work

C. H. Mackintosh

Scripture is clear and explicit.  It tells us to "offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name".  How simple!  "The fruit of our lips".  This is what our God delights in.  It is His joy to be surrounded with the praises of hearts filled to overflowing with His abounding goodness.  Thus it will be throughout eternity, in that bright home of love and glory to which we are so rapidly hastening.

Specially note the words, "By Him".  We are to offer our sacrifice of praise by the hand of our Great High Priest, who is ever in the presence of God for us.  This is most consolatory and assuring to our hearts.  Jesus presents our sacrifice of praise to God.  It must therefore be ever acceptable, coming thus by the priestly hand of the Great Minister of the sanctuary.  It goes up to God, not as it proceeds from us, but as it is presented by Him.  Divested of all the imperfection and failure attaching to us, it ascends to God in all the fragrance and acceptancy belonging to Him.  The feeblest note of praise, the simple "Thank God"! is perfumed with the incense of Christ's infinite preciousness.  This is unspeakably precious:  and it should greatly encourage us to cultivate a spirit of praise.  We should be "continually" praising and blessing God.  A murmuring or fretful word should never cross the lips of one who has Christ for his portion, and who stands identified with that blessed One in His position and His destiny.

But we must draw this paper to a close by a rapid glance at the other side of the Christian's work.  If it is our privilege to be continually praising and blessing God, it is also our privilege to be doing good to man.  "But to do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased".  We are passing through a world of misery, of sin and death and sorrow.  We are surrounded by broken hearts and crushed spirits, if we would only look them out.

Yes; this is the point; if we would only look them out.  It is easy for us to close our eyes to such things, to turn away from them, to forget that there are such things always within reach of us.  We can sit in our easy chair, and speculate about truth, doctrines, and the letter of Scripture; we can discuss the theories of Christianity, and split hairs about prophecy and dispensational truth, and, all the while, be shamefully failing in the discharge of our grand responsibility as Christians.

We are in imminent danger of forgetting that Christianity is a living reality.  It is not a set of dogmas, a number of principles strung together on a thread of systematized divinity, which unconverted people can have at their fingers' ends.  Neither is it a set of ordinances to be gone through, in dreary formality, by lifeless, heartless professors.  No; it is life — life eternal — life implanted by the Holy Ghost, and expressing itself in those two lovely forms on which we have been dwelling, namely, praise to God and doing good to man.  Such was the life of Jesus when He trod this earth of ours.  He lived in the atmosphere of praise; and He went about doing good.

He is our life, and He is our model on which the life is to be formed.  The Christian should be the living expression of Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  It is not a mere question of leading what is called a religious life, which very often resolves itself into a tiresome round of duties which neither yield "praise" to God nor one atom of "good" to man.  There must be life, or it is perfectly worthless.  "The kingdom of God is not meat or drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.  For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men" (Romans 14:17-18).

Let us earnestly apply our hearts to the consideration of these great practical truths.  Let us seek to be Christians not merely in name but in reality.  Let us not be distinguished as the mere vendors of peculiar "views".  Oh how worthless are views!  How utterly profitless is discussion!  How wearisome are theological hair-splittings!  Let us have life, light, and love.  These are heavenly, eternal, divine.  All else is vanity.  How we do long for reality in this world of sham — for deep thinkers and earnest workers in this day of shallow talkers!

Extract from Miscellaneous Writings, by C. H. Mackintosh.


The Christian