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.