Brethren Archive
2 Cor. iv. 7

Stray Thoughts Spoken at the Dublin Believers' Meeting

by Henry Dyer



Spoken at the Dublin Believers' Meeting

2 Corinthians iv. 7.

The earthen vessel is frail; everything around us teaches this, and everything makes the vessel feel its own frailty.  We have the Christian ministry running through this chapter from verse 3 to 7.  Gideon's pitcher was only an earthen vessel, but the light was inside.  At the end of chapter ii., we have the powdered incense or communion (verse 14).  We are led about, our will is gone.  I triumph in the leading, for I am always a conqueror.  A dear brother says: "I always get my own way," because he is led about by Him.  "What wouldst Thou have me to do?" was the beginning of incense from Paul.  Though everything about Paul was in confusion, yet He was not confused.  I may be to others sometimes a savour of death unto death, but unto God, I am always the same sweet savour (ii. 15).  Gideon's pitcher is now here to-day, used in ministry, a poor, frail thing; persecuted but not forsaken; troubled on every side; perplexed naturally, for I cannot trust my very tongue.

Your will is subdued in chapter ii., now your frame in chapter iv.  We have, “this treasure."  What treasure?  That divine grace bestowed upon you.  The Spirit cracks the vessel, and makes it feel its own weakness.  The tongue is the last thing to be subdued.  It is not to be used save as you are given words to speak by the Spirit.  It is the most difficult part of the earthen vessel, and yet it is to be used for God.  Paul did not speak until the words were first given him.  People might have said to him, "I thought that you were brought up at the feet of Gamaliel: I thought, Paul, you could speak well: you once spoke Greek on Mars Hill."  He was the aristocrat among the apostles, yet he said, "I only speak five words if given me by the Spirit: you may speak ten thousand to no profit if you will."  Paul says again, "I distrust this earthen vessel: there is nothing I distrust more than this tongue of mine."

I beseech you that the word spoken here to-day may be of God, and that our brethren may only speak as many words as are given them.  I like to think of our adorable Lord Jesus, who could not speak of Himself, "who is blind as My Servant, and deaf as My Messenger that I sent?"  He judged not after the sight of His eyes: He never spoke unless words were given Him by His Father.  Psalm cxvi., refers to our Lord.  Giving up your own will is incense.  Are you prepared to let Him teach and lead you?

It is only a little while; only a few more tears, a few more trials, a few more wearings of my warm cloak, a few more letters to write—" Bring me my cloak and my parchments" (2 Tim. iv. 13).  "The love of Christ constraineth."  It not only urges us onward, but it also binds us up. with all fellow-servants.  1 Sam xxv. gives us Abigail's bundle of life.  We are all bound' up in the bundle of life with Christ.  Cannot you leave out one stick—one crooked stick?  No; not one.  The timber in a luggage-wagon reminds one of this.  The strength of the chain is tested by the crooked sticks, in the bundle.  Are you ready to take in awkward or weak saints? Will you embrace in fellowship all such?  And remember that all things are of God—all things of God.  Grace of God given to all.  We are all His servants.

I must not make too much of myself at fellowship meetings.  Make yourself very small in the bundle, and remember it is only a straight stick that can occupy a small space.  If you meet a crooked stick, try to get it straight again.  "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."  Christ never said much about Himself.  "I am glorified in them."  The earthen vessel must be a clean vessel.  The chief thing of which we must never forget the frailty, is the naturally unsubduable tongue.

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