2 Timothy 1:12
For this reason, even though I suffer as I do, I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.
A Funeral SermonJ. E. Good.2 Timothy 1:12
A Safe DepositS. Martin.2 Timothy 1:12
Acquaintance with Christ the Christian's StrengthG. Jeans, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
AssuranceJ. Irons.2 Timothy 1:12
AssuranceW. Hay Aitken, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
Assured Security in ChristC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 1:12
Character Entrusted to God2 Timothy 1:12
Christian ConfidenceC. Molyneux, B. A.2 Timothy 1:12
Christian FaithH. Bushnell.2 Timothy 1:12
Christian FaithJ. Ruskin.2 Timothy 1:12
Confidence and ConcernC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 1:12
Confidence in ChristB. D. Johns.2 Timothy 1:12
FaithE. Bersier, D. D.2 Timothy 1:12
Faith a Personal Relation to ChristA. Maclaren, D. D.2 Timothy 1:12
Faith and FeelingT. de Witt Talmage.2 Timothy 1:12
Faith IllustratedC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 1:12
God a Good Keeper2 Timothy 1:12
Grounds of Confidence in the Saviour's AbilityR. Hall, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
I Know Whom I have BelievedC. H. Parkhurst.2 Timothy 1:12
It's All RealSword and Trowel.2 Timothy 1:12
Jesus SufficientT. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 1:12
Knowing ChristJ. Vaughan, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
Knowledge Conducive of AssuranceJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:12
Nothing Between the Soul and its Saviour2 Timothy 1:12
Nothing to Hold ByAnon.2 Timothy 1:12
Pride in the Profane Causeth Good Men to Suffer for Well-DoingJr. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:12
The Believer's Confidence in the Prospect of EternityW. Jay.2 Timothy 1:12
The Certainty of SalvationJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:12
The Christian's Confidence in ChristW. B. Collyer, D. D.2 Timothy 1:12
The Confidence of St. PaulC. J. Hoore, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
The Folly of not Trusting Christ2 Timothy 1:12
The Foundation of the Christian's HopeE. Cooper.2 Timothy 1:12
The Grounds of His Joyful Confidence Under All His SufferingsT. Croskery 2 Timothy 1:12
The Grounds of the Believer's ConfidenceD. Moore, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
The Internal Evidence of ExperienceH. W. McGrath, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
The Love of Christ Stronger than the Terrors of DeathT.Brown, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
The Safety of BelieversD. Black.2 Timothy 1:12
The Soul Entrusted to ChristRichard Newton.2 Timothy 1:12
The Use and Abuse of DogmaD. J. Vaughan, M. A.2 Timothy 1:12
Trust in Christ Supported by Cumulative EvidenceH. Wace, D. D.2 Timothy 1:12
Trusting Christ EntirelyH. W. Childs.2 Timothy 1:12
Venturing on Christ2 Timothy 1:12
Address and SalutationR. Finlayson 2 Timothy 1:1-14

I. HIS APOSTLESHIP WAS THE CAUSE OF HIS SUFFERINGS. "For which cause I also am suffering these things" - imprisonment, solitude, the hatred of Jew and Gentile. He estranged the Jews by preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, and he offended the Gentiles by denouncing their idolatries and undermining their lucrative superstitions.

II. HE OWNS NO SHAME IN THE GOSPEL. It may be an offence to the Greek and a stumbling block to the Jew; but he is not ashamed of it, because he is not ashamed:

1. Of its Author.

2. Of its truths and ordinances.

3. Of his own faith in it.

4. Of his sufferings for it.

III. THE REASON WHY HE IS NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL. "For I know whom. I have trusted, and am persuaded that he is able to keep my deposit till that day."

1. He knows his Redeemer through faith and love and experience. It is "eternal life" to know him (John 17:3). It is not that he merely knows of him, but he knows him - what he is, what he can do, what he has promised to do - and therefore he can trust him.

2. His trust is in a known Person.

(1) The apostle would have been very foolish to trust an unknown person. We distrust strangers. We will only entrust that which is dear to us - our children or our money - to those known to us.

(2) There are foolish people who think it a wiser, as well as a more meritorious thing, to believe without knowledge; like the Spanish Jesuit who said, "I believe in this doctrine, not in spite of its impossibility, but because it is impossible." The apostle held a very different view.

(3) There are some people of whom we may say that the mere they are known the less are they trusted. A fuller experience discovers flaws in their character forbidding confidence. But our Saviour is One who is trusted the more he is known, in all the various circumstances of human life.

3. The apostle has placed his soul, as a precious deposit, in the hands of Christ, with the assurance of its perfect safety. "I am persuaded that he is able to keep my deposit till that day." Several circumstances enhance the significance of this act of the apostle.

(1) The value of the deposit. What can be more precious than the soul? (Mark 8:37).

(2) The danger of its loss. The soul is a lost thing, and but for grace eternally so.

(3) The sinner feels the deposit is not safe with himself. Man cannot, any more than man's brother, save his own soul.

(4) Who will take charge of this deposit? Many shrink from responsibility in cases of a difficult and delicate nature. But Jesus Christ has undertaken for us; he will take us completely in charge; he will keep our deposit till the day of judgment.

(5) Mark the limit of time as to the safety of the deposit - "till that day." No day short of that - not even the day of death; for the completed glory is reserved for the day of judgment. That will be the day for the bestowal of the crown of life.

4. Mark the assurance of the apostle as to the safety of his deposit. "I am persuaded that he is able to keep my deposit." This shows

(1) that assurance is a possible attainment (1 John 5:13);

(2) that it is a cheering and sustaining experience. - T.C.

I also suffer these things.
The Pharisees were zealous for the law and ceremonies, and Paul preached the gospel, called them beggarly and impotent rudiments; told that if they were circumcised Christ profited them nothing. Why, this so took down the pride of man, that he should not be justified by his own works, but by another's, that Paul was persecuted, and hardly intreated of his own countrymen. If a skilful tailor take measure of a crooked and misshapen person, and fit the garment proportionable to the pattern, a proud piece of flesh will pout, swell, and wrangle with the workmen; so let the ministers and men of God do good, divide the Word aright, high and lofty spirits will be muttering, for they cannot endure the light, or to be told of their deformities. Thus Paul was reputed aa enemy for telling them the truth. A counterfeit and false glass is the fittest for old, withered, and wrinkled curtizans to view themselves in; for if it should show them their right shapes, all things to nothing, they split it against the walls.

(Jr. Barlow, D. D.)

For I know whom I have believed

1. It is implied that Christ is able to bring the soul into a state of salvation.

2. This persuasion of the apostle implied that Christ is able also to preserve the soul in a state of salvation. He added, as the other ground of his assurance —

II. A CONSCIOUSNESS THAT HE HAD HIMSELF COMMITTED UNTO CHRIST HIS OWN SOUL. However firmly he might be persuaded of Christ's ability to save the souls committed to Him, he yet could not be assured that He would save his soul unless he felt conscious of the fact, that it was really committed unto Him. Let us now see what things this consciousness also implied.

1. It implied that he had knowingly given up all thoughts and hopes of saving himself by his own merits and doings.

2. It was further implied in it, that he now knowingly placed all his hopes and dependence on the sacrifice and mediation of Jesus Christ alone.

3. But it was also implied in it that, from the time in which he had thus renounced his own righteousness, and by faith had hoped in the righteousness of Christ, he had lived and acted consistently with such a faith and hope.

(E. Cooper.)

The faith of the Christian is here seen.

I. In its OBJECT "I know whom I have believed."

II. In its CHARACTER. It is seen in many noble qualities and bearings, inseparably connected with each other in the triumphant profession made by the apostle.

1. Knowledge is here the foundation of faith "I know whom I have believed." Yes, he knew by irresistible demonstration — such as extracted the venom of his heart against Jesus of Nazareth, and filled it with inextinguishable love and fervent devotedness to Him.

2. As knowledge is the foundation of faith, so faith is the reposing of an absolute trust — "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him."

III. In its CONSUMMATION — "against that day." There is to be a consummation — when we shall receive "the end of our faith, even the salvation of our soul." The province of faith is but for a season, and it shall give place to the vision and fruition of God.

(W. B. Collyer, D. D.)

The evidences for revelation have been commonly divided under two heads, external and internal. Under the head of external evidence, we may class all those proofs, which, though relating to what is found in the Scriptures, are nevertheless exterior to the Word of God; such, for instance, as the authenticity of the Books of Scripture, and the genuineness of their authorship, the miracles by which the truths that the apostles delivered were attested, and the sufferings and persecution which they underwent. But then the internal evidence is not less important. We might, first, take the internal evidence of Scripture which we gather from the Word of God itself — the harmony of one portion of it with another, and the circumstance that in our investigation of its bright and blessed pages, they seem at once to commend themselves, as what we might expect to come from the God of truth. And then there is the internal evidence, which may be gathered from the Christian's own experience — the attestation, so to speak, of a Christian's own experience to the truths which he finds revealed in the Scriptures of God. Now we believe that it is to evidence partaking of this character that the apostle alludes in our text. There was no confounding of his principles; there was no putting down of the truth which he maintained; nothing was able to terrify him out of what he had embraced as the truth of God. "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." Now this class of evidence, we believe, will, more or less, be the evidence of every believer in the Lord Jesus.

I. The first point which is presented for our consideration is THAT THE APOSTLE BELIEVED THE GOSPEL. This is the first act of the sinner with respect to Jesus.

II. But the believer goes further. He does not rest with dependence upon the promise, that the Lord will be with him unto the end of the world; but he is assured of this, because he finds THAT SO FAR AS HE HAD TRUSTED THE PROMISE, GOD HAS ACTUALLY BEEN WITH HIM. He has found Him true to His word by positive experience.


(H. W. McGrath, M. A.)

I. THE AWFUL PERIOD. It is not mentioned by name; but the apostle only calls it "that day." What day? The day of death, when "the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns unto God who gave it"? Or the day of judgment? Doubtless the day of judgment. This is often in the Scripture called "that day," in order to show us that it is a very important, a very remarkable, a very distinguished day.

II. WHAT THE APOSTLE DID in the prospect of this period. He deposited something in the Redeemer's hands; "that which I have committed unto Him against that day." What, now, was this deposit? You evidently see it was something personal, in which he acted as a believer. And it is not necessary, as far as I know, to exclude anything from the transaction; but principally we are to understand the eternal concerns of his soul. And if this required any confirmation, it may be derived from the example of poor Stephen, who, when he was dying, said, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit" — and from the experience of David, who in an hour of danger said, "Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth!" It means, therefore, simply believing. The apostle's representation of faith here will remind us of several things.

1. The committing our eternal all into His bands implies conviction. The man before was deluded by error and blinded by ignorance; but now "the eyes of his understanding" are opened.

(1)Now he is convinced of the value of his soul.

(2)He is now convinced of the danger of the soul.

(3)And now, too, he is convinced of his inability to save his soul.

2. And this act implies also a concern for its security and welfare.

3. The act of committing the soul to Christ also implies application to the Redeemer for the purpose of salvation.

4. It implies submission,

III. THE SATISFACTION FELT in the review of the transaction.

1. You see what the satisfaction is derived from: and, generally considered, you observe that it takes in the apostle's acquaintance with the great Depository himself — "I know whom I have believed."

2. You have seen the satisfaction generally expressed; but here is a particular reference with regard to it. "And I am persuaded," says he, "that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day."

(W. Jay.)

Since the same source from whence Paul had all his high attainments is as open in all its fulness to each of us, as it was to him, let us consider the way in which that inexhaustible fountain was made available to him to draw supplies according to all his need, whether for support under the discouragement of his trials, or for direction under the perplexity of his difficulties. One word of the text will open the whole of this to us: "I know"; — "I know whom I have believed," says he. Knowledge was the substance of his power. Nay, then, says the unlearned Christian, it is too difficult for me. Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent. It is high, I cannot attain unto it. It is not for me. How discouraging! will the poor and busy man say. I have neither the leisure nor the means and opportunity of gaining it. How heartless the attempt, then, will the weak-minded and humble Christian say, conscious of his weakness. How can I ever hope to reach even a measure of that, when I feel my weakness and inability every step I take. But to the most unlearned, to the busiest, to the most feebleminded, I say, that this knowledge and all the power it contains is for you. Mark the text. The apostle does not say, I know the support I shall receive, or the direction that will be given me, for I am wise and experienced, but, "I know whom I have believed." His knowledge was not of things, but of a person, and that but one.

I. Here is mentioned HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUSTEE. Let us consider some particulars of the more obvious but important kind, wherein the apostle knew, and we should know Him.

1. He knew that He was faithful, therefore he believed Him.

2. He knew Him to be able.

3. He knew Him to be willing.

4. He knew Him to be all-wise, both to see his trouble, and the best way to get him out of it.

5. Nay, though clouds and darkness surrounded him, Paul staggered not at this, for he knew the ways of the Lord, that this is His method of dealing with His children. In a word he knew Him to be the sum of all happiness, the source of all strength, the pledge and faithfulness of all the promises, the depository of all power, the ruler of all events, the head over all things to His people, the Saviour both of soul and body.

II. WHAT WAS IT THAT THE APOSTLE COMMITTED TO HIM? What was that deposit (as it is in the original), he was persuaded He was able to keep? I answer in one word, his treasure. But that would assume many forms under different circumstances.

1. When the guilt of sin would come upon his conscience, it would be the salvation of his soul.

2. When the power of temptation would come over him, it would be his integrity in serving God.

3. When personal dangers surrounded him, and left him no way of escape, it would be his self-preservation.

4. When assailed by the malicious insinuations of false apostles, and attacks upon his motives, as at Corinth, it would be his character.

5. When he heard of the entering in of grievous wolves into the flock he had fed so carefully, it would be the care of all the churches. Whatever it was, in short, that at the moment most occupied his thoughts and attention, that was what he had deposited for safe-keeping in the hands of Christ, and which he was persuaded He was able to keep against all assaults until that day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed, and every man shall have his praise of God.

(G. Jeans, M. A.)

We have here a strong expression of his confidence in the Saviour: let us consider, first, the nature, and then the ground of this confidence.

I. ITS NATURE. Some suppose the deposit, which the apostle mentions as committed to him, to denote the gospel trust in general: and this view is favoured by the similar expression in the context, "that good thing, which was committed to thee, keep — hold fast the form of sound words." But it seems more probable that he refers in the text to the interest of his salvation, the trust of his whole being, his body, soul, and spirit, which he had confidently committed to Christ, as Him who had "abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light." In the near view of martyrdom, dissolution, and eternity, his confidence remained unshaken. This is a trust unfit to be reposed in any created arm. No potentate can hold back his own spirit, much less another's, a moment from death no angel could under take such a trust; he would abjure it. Some portion of our interests we commit to others, but never think of committing our whole spirit to a creature. Hence we infer that Jesus Christ is truly God: else it were highly improper, and indeed accursed, thus to trust Him.

II. THE GROUNDS ON WHICH THE APOSTLE TRUSTS THE SAVIOUR. He saw that in His character which warranted such confidence, and he had a conviction of His ability. There was some peculiarity in Paul's case, to which we may advert, but which we need not anxiously separate from the general case of Christians.

1. The first ground, peculiar to Paul, is his vision of Christ at Damascus: this penetrated him with reverence and attachment for the glorious person then revealed: his heart was melted like wax, and he cried, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"

2. He was confirmed in his trust by his subsequent experience of the favour and power of Christ. His eyes were opened by Ananias at Christ's command. Miraculous powers of great variety were conferred on himself; so that he did perhaps even greater wonders than Christ had done. He was inspired to preach with power and boldness: "the power of Christ rested on him." In his soul such a renovation took place, as only Divine power could have effected: he was purified with humility and enlarged with love; his prospects were extended far beyond time: and all this was the effect of Christ's ascension, and His gift of the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus Christ had wrought the great salvation, and reconciled it with all the attributes of God.

4. The rank which Jesus Christ holds in heaven assures us that He "is able to keep that which is committed to Him."

5. As Jesus Christ is the appointed Judge of all, so eternal life is at His disposal in His judicial character.

(R. Hall, M. A.)

I. THE SACRED DEPOSIT WHICH THE APOSTLE HAD MADE. All that concerned his soul, his hopes and his desires, his deliverance from guilt, and the enjoyment of the eternal favour of his God, comprised the whole amount of that deposit he had committed to the custody of his Redeemer. Now this transaction intimates —

1. The perfect consciousness of a separate and immortal existence.

2. A deep sense of the supreme value of the soul.

3. A powerful conviction of the awful nature of death.


1. He knew Him in the power of His arm.

2. He knew Him in His sacred relation to the Church, as Prophet, Priest, and King.

3. He knew Him, in all the promises of His Word.

4. This persuasion was founded upon the certain return of the Saviour as the Judge of all. Hence he speaks of his soul being kept in safety against that day.

(J. E. Good.)

I. HIS KNOWLEDGE EXPRESSED — he knew whom he believed. It was not in himself he trusted, nor on his own foundation that he built; he staked nothing on his own reason or imagination or self-begotten opinions; nor had he any reliance on his own merits, or a high notion of the worth of his exertions, even for the cause of his fellow-creatures, or for the glory of God. It was not the world or the world's opinion that he trusted or followed, or any human judgment or conclusion that he rested upon, as apart from God's revelation.

1. He knew Him as the revealed Saviour spoken of and promised from age to age.

2. He knew Him as the Almighty Saviour, the eternal Son of the Father, fully sufficient for the wants of fallen man, and entirely adapted to the very work of redemption which He came from heaven to fulfil.

3. And he knew and believed this on the personal experience of that power in his own heart; the presence of the Spirit of Christ in his own soul, having already revived and quickened him from the death of his former corrupt and blinded state.

II. THE TRUST he reposed in the object of his faith — "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day." There was a persuasion, or, as the original describes it, a full reliance and settled repose in his mind on the object of his faith — the Saviour whom he believed. It is perhaps here a question, whether the apostle meant to say in these words, that Christ could and would keep that which he had committed to Christ; or, that which Christ had committed to him. Doubtless there is an interchange, as it were, an intercommunion between Christ and the soul of the believer; so that something is committed from Christ to the soul of His servant, and something also committed from the soul to Christ; and both are kept by the power of Christ alone. Christ committed His truth, His word, His gospel to the apostle, to be received in the heart and proclaimed throughout the world; and the apostle committed himself, his all, to Christ. By His grace alone could the purity and perpetuity of Divine truth be upheld in the world; and by His Spirit alone could the apostle be himself upheld amidst the shocks of temptation and the inroads of time and the world, and conducted surely forward unto that day. It was in the former sense perhaps that, in a following verse, the apostle said to Timothy — "That good thing which was committed to thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." But take the text rather in the view given to us by our own translation, and we shall find that apostle had been persuaded, and not in vain, to entrust to Christ and His grace, his credit, his peace, his soul for ever.

1. His credit. He had to go forth truly, to Jew and Gentile, to preach what might seem a new religion — the one truth of God, hidden from ages and generations, and new made manifest by the gospel; and he had to pledge himself that it was true, and worthy their acceptance. He was persuaded Christ could keep the word he had given, and fulfil the promises he had made,

2. He committed to Christ his peace. Peace, such as the world valued and sought after, the apostle was not very likely ever to ensure: he had to meet danger and want, to face enemies and bear insult. Happiness under such circumstances must have been very different from what the world calls happiness: but it was not the less so for that, nor could he the less confidently trust his inward peace and even outward circumstances to Him who judged and maintained his cause, and who had said "Peace I leave with you; not as the world giveth give I unto you."

3. To Him, in fine, the apostle committed, doubtless, his soul, his all, for time and eternity. He acted here in the full spirit of his fellow-apostle St. Peter (1 Peter 4:19).

(C. J. Hoore, M. A.)

I. THE GRANDEST ACTION OF THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE. The apostle says, he committed himself into the hands of Christ. I saw the other day a remarkable picture, which I shall use as an illustration of the way of salvation by faith in Jesus. An offender had committed a crime for which he must die, but it was in the olden time when churches were considered to be sanctuaries in which criminals might hide themselves and so escape. See the transgressor — he rushes towards the church, the guards pursue him with their drawn swords, all athirst for his blood, they pursue him even to the church door. He rushes up the steps, and just as they are about to overtake him and hew him in pieces on the threshold of the church, out comes the bishop, and holding up the crucifix he cries, "Back, back! stain not the precincts of God's house with blood! stand back!" and the guards at once respect the emblem and stand back, while the poor fugitive hides himself behind the robes of the priest. It is even so with Christ. The guilty sinner flies to the cross — flies straight away to Jesus, and though Justice pursues him, Christ lifts up His wounded hands and cries to Justice, "Stand back! stand back! I shelter this sinner; in the secret place of My tabernacle do I hide him; I will not suffer him to perish, for he puts his trust in Me." The apostle meant that he did make a full and free surrender of himself to Christ, to be Christ's property, and Christ's servant for ever. I must add, however, that this act of faith must not be performed once only, but it must be continued as long as you live. As long as you live you must have no other confidence but "Jesus only." You may take Him now to-day, to have and to hold through life and in death, in tempest and in sunshine, in poverty and in wealth, never to part or sunder from Him. You must take Him to be your only prop, your only pillar from this day forth and for ever.

II. THE JUSTIFICATION OF THIS GRAND ACT OF TRUST. Confidence is sometimes folly; trusting in man is always so. When I exhort you, then, to put your entire confidence in Christ, am I justified in so doing? "I have not trusted to an unknown and untried pretender. I have not relied upon one whose character I could suspect. I have confidence in one whose power, whose willingness, whose love, whose truthfulness I know. I know whom I have believed." Paul not only knew these things by faith, but he knew much of them by experience. Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little; the mountain itself appears to be but one half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the base of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go up higher, and higher still, till you stand upon the summit of one of the great roots that start out as spurs from the sides of the mountain, you see the country for sonic four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. But go onward, and onward, and onward, and how the scene enlarges, till at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant country, perhaps two hundred miles away, and yonder the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or there the masts of the ships in some well-known port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, "I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation." Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we discover of His excellencies and His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Paul now grown old, sitting, grey hair'd, shivering in a dungeon in Rome — he could say, with greater power than we can, "I know whom I have believed!" — for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like the ascending to another summit, and his death seemed like the gaining of the very top of the mountain from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul.

III. THE APOSTLE'S CONFIDENCE. "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." See this man. He is sure he shall be saved. But why? Paul! art thou sure that thou canst keep thyself? "No," says he, "I have nothing to do with that": and yet thou art sure of thy salvation! "Yes," saith he, "I am!" How is it, then? "Why, I am persuaded that He is able to keep me. Christ, to whom I commit myself, I know hath power enough to hold me to the end." Martin Luther was bold enough to exclaim, "Let Him that died for my soul, see to the salvation of it."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE OBJECT OF FAITH — "I know whom I have believed." Well, now, whom have you believed? Have you believed Juggernaut? Have you believed the Hindoo Brahmins? The glorious covenant Head of His Church — I have believed Him. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not hath not life." Where there is no believing of a saving description upon the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no salvation. It is in vain to tell me of all the excellencies of the creature, of all the attainments of moral philosophy, and of all the pride of superstition, it only just makes a pious road to hell for those who pretend to pursue it. There is no such thing as salvation, no such thing as safety, for time or for eternity, but by believing on the Son of God. "I know." I beseech you to mark the positive nature of the assertion. It is not, "I hope, or trust"; it is not, "I can, or shall, or may, believe in Him"; but, "I know whom I have believed." I do not like anything less than "I know," even in things temporal. If I were to ask my servant whether such and such a matter is safe, or right, or done properly, and I were to receive for an answer, "I think so," or "Probably it may be so"; "Do not tell me that," I should say, perhaps somewhat angrily; "Do you know it? is it really so?" Surely, then, if I should require this in temporal matters, what should I look for in things spiritual You tell me God is merciful, and I shall do as well as others in the end. "I know whom I have believed." The question might be put to the persons who make such an assertion, "What do you know of Him?" "Well, I will tell you. I know very well that He is truly, properly, essentially, eternally God. I know enough of Him to be quite sure that He is truly, and properly, and sinlessly man. I know for certain of Him, that He is, in His complex character, as God and man, Mediator, Surety, Daysman for His Church, in official standing." Do you know all this? Do you know Him personally? Can you say, "I know that in His office He has accomplished all that is requisite for the salvation of His Church." Look at the word "believe" before we quit this part of our subject. "I know whom I have believed." What is believing? In the margin of our Bible we read "trusted." Well, believing is trusting, and trusting is believing.

II. THE NATURE OF FAITH'S ACTINGS — "that which I have committed to Him." There is something about this which enters at once into the daily experience of a child of God, and I think if it were more extensively practised in our experience, we should be happier Christians — the committing of everything to Him. I have committed to Him my soul's concerns; I have committed to Him the affairs of time; and I committed to Him His visible Church, which neither legislators nor monarchs care anything about, but to distract and to destroy. Look at these things for a few moments. I have committed to Him my soul's concerns. And these are of two descriptions; my soul's concerns for security, salvation, eternal life; and my soul's concerns in regard to spiritual existence, and spiritual prosperity, in my way to glory. I commit both to Him. Now the nature of faith's actings is to commit all to Jesus, in both these respects. If the filthy effluvia of human nature's risings annoy me, I shall cry, "Lord, subdue all my iniquity." I commit them all to Him; cannot do anything without Him, and I am sure it is no good talking about it. "Lord, conquer my depravity. Lord, fulfil Thy promises, that 'sin shall not have dominion.'" Then go on to mark, that it is faith's province to commit the affairs of this life to Him. They are not too little, they are not too mean for Him to notice, nor for Him to manage, and it may be viewed as the peculiar privilege of the Christian to carry to the throne of grace, and commit to Christ, every arrangement He may make, every bargain into which He may enter, every association He may form, and every companion He may choose. So with all His successes — to commit them all to Him, remembering that it is He who giveth power to get wealth. So, again, with regard to losses and crosses, painful events.

III. THE EXPECTATION OF FAITH. "He is able to keep "it; and that is the point which fixes upon my attention. Blessings on His name, that He is as willing as He is able! He is interested in it. But this statement implies great danger or difficulty, or the Divine keeping would not be necessary. It implies that our beloved Zion is surrounded with every description of enemies and dangers, or it would not be said that it needs Divine keeping. Moreover, there seems in this expectation of faith enough to nourish assurance itself. "He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." Well, then, assurance may lift up its head, and say, "If it be the soul's concerns, I have nothing to doubt — I trust it all in His hands. If it be the affairs of my family, or my business, I have nothing to harass me concerning them." One word more. "Against that day." We might mention the day of the termination of that trouble, the day of the accomplishment of that desire, the day of the consummation of a certain purpose or scheme in God's providence, relative to our spiritual or temporal affairs; but I must hasten to that day the apostle had immediately in view, "that day" when Christ shall claim His own; "that day" when all the election of grace shall appear before Him, and be presented to the Father "a perfect Church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing."

(J. Irons.)

What a noble picture have we here! Elsewhere we are told that the apostle was "in presence weak, and in speech contemptible"; but he does not appear so now. We see in him a courage and calmness more than human. "What though my departure from this world be marked by infamy, and violence, and scorn — what though friends forsake, and the world revile, and foes pursue me with unresting hatred, I have one treasure of which they cannot rob me, one refuge to which I can always fly, one Friend who 'having loved me, will love me unto the end.'"

I. THE TERMS IN WHICH THE APOSTLE MAKES THIS NOBLE DECLARATION OF HIS CONFIDENCE. The apostle does not say, "what I have believed," as if his hope stood in his creed, which might be very exact — or in his Church, which might be Very true — or in his labours, which were incessant and self-denying — or in his life, which was without reproach and blameless; but he says, "The proper object of my confidence is a Person; my religion consists in having found a Friend — A Friend with whom all my interests for time and for eternity may be entrusted. I cleave to a living, infallible, Divine Protector. 'I know whom I have believed.'" The expression, as you perceive, is in true keeping with the entire spirit of New Testament theology. When a sinner awakes to the first sight of his danger, the first words to be addressed to him are, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." This is a principle of the Divine procedure which would commend itself were it only for its beautiful and pure simplicity. When pressed with the terrors of a guilty conscience, when despair and fear seem to be coming in upon me like a flood, I want something to fly to at once; I want to he directed immediately to an altar of safety. Tell me not of things to be believed, or learned, or sought for, or done, but tell me of one simple act which shall bring me within reach of mercy. Do not lose time in considering how "life and immortality are to be brought to light" — take Him as "the life." A convinced sinner cannot do better than embrace a theology of one article — "I know whom I bare believed." Again, let us look at the word "believed." In the writings of St. Paul the expression stands for the highest form of moral persuasion. It implies the strength of an all-pervading practical conviction — the reposing of a loving, perfect, and confiding trust. The advance of this upon a mere intellectual faith you will perceive — for not only is it believed that Christ came for man's salvation, but that this salvation has become individually applied to ourselves. "I know whom I have believed." My faith rests upon my knowledge, just as my knowledge reacts upon my faith. I am not making a plunge into eternity in the dark. I have looked to the soundness of my Rock to see whether it will bear me; I have "tasted that the Lord is gracious," and therefore am "confident of this very thing, that He that hath begun a good work in me, will perform it unto the day of Christ." The word points out to us the danger of taking our religion on trust; the duty of subjecting our opinions to a diligent and inquiring search. An uninvestigated faith can never be a happy faith. Christ's work for us must be believed, but Christ's work in us must be proved. Let us take the next words, showing to us the nature of the Christian's deposit — "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." To the trust here spoken of we can place no limit. How great the privilege of having this treasure locked up in safe Custody, feeling that whatever else is taken from us, our souls are enclosed in the sanctuary of heaven — that our Jesus puts His hand upon these and says, "These souls are Mine" — "Mine to be kept, Mine to be watched over, Mine to be purged from all dross and defilement, and to be rendered back each to his own," at that day!" And the apostle mentions this day, in preference to the day of his death, because although the earlier period would abundantly vindicate the Saviour's faithfulness, yet the other is the day when Christ shall formally give up His great trust — when, in the presence of all the intelligences of heaven, He shall show how carefully He has watched over souls, through the conflicts of life, through the terrors of death, through the tong repose of the grave, now to hold them up as His jewels, and reward, and crown at "that day."

II. THE GROUNDS ON WHICH THE APOSTLE RESTS HIS CONFIDENCE. These, as we should suppose, must consist in the personal qualifications of Him who was the subject of such trust, in the attributes of His holy nature, in the efficacy of His atoning work, in the virtue of His meritorious obedience, in the continued exertions of His resumed Divinity now that He is seated at the right hand of God. Thus, let us look at the attributes of His nature — at His power, for example; does He not say, "All things are delivered into My hand"; "all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth"; "I open, and no man shutteth; I shut, and no man openeth!" Who, then, can harm us, if we have secured such a Friend as this? But, further, we know Paul would have a ground of persuasion in the work of Christ, in the sufficiency of His obedience, in the infinite reach of His atonement. The apostle was one who felt painfully the greatness of his own deficiencies. His language ever was "'In the Lord Jehovah have I righteousness and strength' My only trust is 'that I may be found in Him.'" But once more, the apostle would find a comforting ground of persuasion in the thought that the Saviour in whom he believed, lived for ever. It is a sad reflection with regard to our earthly friends, that however cherished or however tried, death will soon take them away.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

We sometimes believe in men whom we do not know. We think we know them; but we are mistaken. We may inquire; we may observe; we may ask for testimony and receive it: we may even put men to severe test: still we are sometimes mistaken and deceived, and we have to confess, "I did not know the man whom I trusted." The case presented by the text is the opposite of that. In this instance we have trust leading to increased and enlarged knowledge — knowledge strengthening trust, and both producing the expression of full assurance. You observe that the language of the text is somewhat metaphorical. We have certain facts in the Christian life put before us here under the figure of a deposit — A depositor — A depositary, and the confidence of the depositor.

I. WHAT IS THIS DEPOSIT? Was it the soul of the writer? Was it the well-being of Paul in his persecution, the getting good out of his sorrow (1 Peter 4:19). Was it the work of his salvation — that work to which he himself refers, when, addressing some of his converts, he says, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it"? Was it his future crown — the crown of righteousness? Was it his converts, for whom he was perpetually praying? Was it his apostolate? Was it the welfare of the Churches? Was it the truth, and the proclamation of the truth? The great care of a man on a dying bed is himself, and this should be our great care in life; yet to take charge of himself no man is capable. Whatever capacity a man may have had, or human nature may have had before the fall, the loss of capacity which sinfulness and transgression have occasioned is immense; and there is a fearful loss of position. The soul is guilty, and needs pardon, righteousness, and restoration. The spirit is polluted, and it is dark, dim, dull, and deathly, through its pollution — it wants light and life. A physician is needed to whom this soul, conscious of its guilt and of the disease of sin, may commit itself. A priest is needed, who can undertake the work of atonement; and an advocate, who can make intercession. Such an advocate, such a priest, such a physician, Paul had found in Jesus Christ; and to Him, who unites in His own person all that a sinner needs to find in a Saviour, Paul had given up himself.

II. THE DEPOSITOR. This is Saul of Tarsus. Did Gamaliel teach him this? Some of Gamaliel's strongest and most prominent lessons were self-reliance. The tendency of his teaching was to lead the young Saul to depend upon himself, and he had, as we know, from the story of his life, an immense amount of self-confidence. There is nothing committed to God to keep — the man only talks of his own virtues and good deeds, comparing himself with another. This is not Saul the Pharisee, it is Saul the Christian. It is Saul, but it is Saul born again, it is Saul born from above, it is Saul a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new! New, this confidence in another; old, that self-confidence. "I can take care of myself," would have been his language a few years ago; "my prayers and alms-giving, and good works will save me," he would then have said; now, he is entirely changed, and he represents the state of his heart in writing, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." Saul of Tarsus took charge of himself, but Saul the Christian committed himself to another. And who is that other?

III. THE DEPOSITARY. Does Paul here refer to God, whose name he mentions in the eighth verse, or to our Saviour, Jesus Christ, whom he introduces to us in the tenth verse? We think he refers to our Saviour, Jesus Christ — not, of course, that we can separate God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ — because "God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." The depositary, mark, is Christ; the anointed Keeper of souls; one upon whom the unction of the Holy Ghost was poured out without measure, that He might take charge of souls; Christ — observe, Jesus Christ, the divine and devoted Keeper of souls. Now, to "Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light"; to the "Word made flesh," "God manifest in flesh," "God over all blessed for evermore," to Him did Paul commit himself. It is in vain that you try to mingle these things — taking the responsibility of life upon your shoulders and committing yourself to another. You cannot do this; you must either madly and vainly try to bear the burden alone, or you must commit the whole to your Saviour, and all then that you are responsible for is, doing what He tells you, and not doing that which He forbids you. But, as to the charge, the charge is His; and as to the responsibility, the responsibility is His; and as to the care, all the care is His. Is there any danger of your abusing these truths? Is it possible that any of you can say, "Well, if this be the case, I have certainly asked Christ to take the charge of my soul, and I may be as careless as I please." When you put yourself into the hands of a physician, you feel that you are accountable for obedience to his instructions, and that his resources are made available to you just as you are submissive to his treatment. Just so with our Saviour Jesus Christ.

IV. THE CONFIDENCE OF THE DEPOSITOR. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." The confidence of Paul relates to four objects: —

1. The general character of the depositary. "I know what He is, and what He can do; I see and I appreciate all the attributes of His nature; I know that He has an eye that never slumbers nor sleeps, an arm that is never weary, a working hand that is stretched out still, a heart of love — the extent and energy of which surpass knowledge.

2. Then it rests in the ability of the depositary with respect to this particular trust. "He is able to keep" — ABLE to keep. Few men had so seen the dangers of this world as Paul. God keeps some souls in a blissful, childish ignorance of their dangers, and they go through life with an amount of simplicity which is extraordinary, and which we cannot account for except upon the principle that God does literally hide them as in His pavilion. But there are others whose spiritual senses are so quickened, that they see almost every thing relating to their religious life — at least the many of the spiritual and evil influences to which they are exposed.

3. This confidence relates to the continuousness of the present assurance. "He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day." The fires of that day shall burn the wood, hay, stubble, and shall develop in grand contrast the gold, and the silver, and the precious stones. "Against that day. 'He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him.' He knows what the test of that day will be, and against that day He is able to guard my trust, and nothing that I have committed to His hands, shall even in that day be lost."

4. Further, you observe, the apostle rests very much in the accuracy, and in the soundness of his own experience. "I know," he says, "whom I have believed." And how did he know? Did he know through having received the testimony of the prophets, who all bore witness to the Saviour? Did he know simply through having listened to Christian teaching, or to the teaching of such an one as Ananias? No; from these sources he did derive information, but he knew through following Christ, that He was able to keep that which he had committed to Him — he knew through taking advantage of Christ, that He was able — just as you know what a physician can do, by his attendance at your sick bed, or as you may know what a legal adviser is able to do, by the counsel he gives you in some time of temporal perplexity, or just as you may know a friend by his aid in the hour of adversity. He had, again and again, put Jesus Christ to the proof, and the proof had shown that not even God's words had fully described the Saviour.

(S. Martin.)

Let us look, first of all, at this persuasion, which I want you to be the subject of; and then we will see the ground on which it rested; and then the consequences of which it was productive.

1. "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." You see, it amounts to a perfect persuasion of security here; here is absolute safety, and the experience of it. The word "persuaded" is as strong as possible. It was the deep inwrought conviction of his soul; it was not liable to be disturbed; it was a settled fact, as you dispose of a thing, and say, That is done, it is settled. It was the persuasion of his mind, that all was safe for eternity. Observe the remarkable use in this text of the word that by the apostle, which is very instructive. He says, "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." He uses the word, you see, twice, with no antecedent in either case exactly, and no specific object mentioned to which it refers. There is something very striking about that. He takes for granted, that all will understand it; that no mistake can possibly exist about it; that no man will read the verse, and not at once interpret to what the word "that" refers in both instances. "Keep that!" Why, no child here doubts what he means. "My soul." "Against that day!" No child can doubt what day — the great day of His own coming. They are the two things in comparison with which everything else sinks into absolute, utter insignificance. The beauty of this passage, I think, is in that word "commit." As expressive and explanatory of the meaning of the word faith, I do not know any more beautiful term. People seem at a less to understand what is meant at last by faith. The best interpretation, I think, is to be found in the idea which that word "commit" conveys. You commit your goods to a person you can trust; you commit your body, your life, all you have got, exactly in proportion as you have grounds for trusting a man — your welfare, your character, your reputation, your honour. You say, "I can leave my honour in your hands." That is exactly the meaning of the word here: "I have committed." There is something very beautiful in it, and it seems practically to be this. I have put the matter out of my hands into His." Now, I wish you would quietly enter into that idea, and thoroughly understand it. I do not know anything that could positively give real comfort to a man, like the certainty that he has put his soul's interests out of his own hands into safe keeping. I think this word "commit" implies not only the apostle's sense of the value of the soul, but a man's practical inability to keep his own soul. Why do you commit your property to some one to keep? Because you feel that you cannot keep it yourself, for some reason — never mind what. Why do you commit your health into the hands of a physician? Because you feel that you cannot cure yourself. And so on with regard to anything else. You commit your child to an instructor, because you feel that you have more confidence in the instructor. So that the fact of committing anything to another supposes some inability on our part to do the thing. Just so with the soul. I dwell on that with unspeakable comfort. There is a relief to my soul in this idea, that with its tremendous responsibilities, with the awful destinies before it, I can hand it over into Jesus Christ's keeping, and that He will keep that which I commit unto Him.

2. But on what ground did the apostle arrive at this supposition — because there must be some ground for it? For instance: if I were to say to you to-morrow, "Go and commit your property and your interests into the hands of some man," you would say, "Why that man? On what grounds? I know nothing about that man." But if I were to say, "That man that you know thoroughly well," and you were thoroughly alive to his capability and power, what would you say? You would say, "Yes, I know whom you call upon me to believe; I am persuaded that he is able to keep that, if I do commit it to him." You see, it would altogether depend upon the knowledge you have of the man. So Paul says here: "I know whom I believe; therefore I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." Now, then, what do we know about Him? What kind of knowledge is it that would warrant Paul, or that will warrant you and me, that we can commit all to Jesus Christ? There might be, of course, endless particulars specified. This is the reason why I call upon you so much to study the whole work and character of Christ. It is, depend upon it, being thoroughly acquainted with the work of Jesus Christ, it is having an intelligent understanding of all that He has done, that gives this kind of unqualified assurance and happy confidence. Therefore we read, "This is eternal life, to know Thee." It is not just a sort of glimpse; it is not merely saying, "I believed Christ died"; but it is understanding and knowing these things. I often tell you, and I am persuaded of it, that throughout eternity our study will be the cross of Christ. "Against that day" — that is, right on from the present moment till that day comes. You will observe, that implies the state after death, as well as our present state. I have nothing to suffer in the intermediate state — no purgatory — no difficulties of any kind. He has kept me through life; He will keep me afterwards, for He will keep that which I have committed unto Him to that day. It runs on from the moment a man commits his soul to Christ. The expression is very striking here. It seems to teach us, and to prove by implication, that after that day there is no danger. Then security will not be a matter merely of promise, but of circumstances. When I am perfected in body and soul, where will be my danger? When I am in mansions where there is a gulf betwixt the mansions and hell where Satan is, and he cannot ferry it, all will be perfectly safe. Therefore we are to be as pillars in the temple of God, and to go no more out for ever.

3. Now, then, what was the consequence of it? "I am not ashamed." Why was he not ashamed? Because he was the subject of that glorious persuasion that all was safe. And I want you to believe, that there is the closest connection between boldness in a Christian's career and assurance in a Christian's heart; that no man will take the walk of a Christian, and occupy the path as he ought to do, boldly and consistently and in a straightforward way, unless he feels that all is safe with regard to his everlasting state. He says, "For which cause I suffer." For what cause? Because "I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles; for the which cause I suffer." When Paul was first brought to God, what did the Lord say about him? He said, "I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake." It is very remarkable, He did not say, "I will show him what great things he shall do," but "what great things he shall suffer." If we are consistent followers of God, we must be sufferers. Having alluded to his sufferings, he says, "I suffer"; but he adds, "I am not ashamed." "I stand manfully forward and confess Him." Now, what is the ground? I have already mentioned it. It is because of that persuasion. That is the antidote.

(C. Molyneux, B. A.)

A good man at the present day, writing a letter, with death staring him in the face, to an intimate friend, would be likely to write, not, "I know whom I have believed," but, "I know what I have believed." It comes more natural to us to express our religious convictions so — to think more of the "what" than of the "whom" — to cling rather to the creed, or doctrinal system, than to the Living Person, to whom system and creed bear witness. Of course, the doctrinal system implies the Living Person; but the system is nearer to our thoughts than the Person. With St. Paul it was otherwise. To him the Living Person — God our Father, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour — was everything, was all in all; the system was nothing — nay, we may say, had no existence. Therefore it is, that, in view of death and judgment, and all that is most trying to human faith and courage, he writes, "Nevertheless I am not ashamed" — I feel no fear for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day." Now this is a matter which both requires and deserves the most careful elucidation. It has a very important hearing upon present difficulties and pressing questions of the day. St. Paul was trained up, as a boy and a young man, m an elaborate religious system, of which the Scribes were the expositors, and the Pharisees the devoted adherents. He was at one time, as he tells us, an enthusiastic votary of finis system himself. But the moment came at last when he found himself compelled to renounce this system utterly, to cast himself at the foot of the cross, and to consecrate his whole life to the love and the service of Jesus Christ. From that moment Christ was everything to him. Strictly speaking, he no longer had anything that could be called a religious system. All was Christ. Take one or two of his most expressive phrases, and you will feel how true this is: "To me to live is Christ." "I am crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me." We, too, have been trained up, more or less carefully, in an elaborate religious system. Must we break with this system, as St. Paul broke with the religious system in which he had been educated, in order to find, as he found Christ? Must we learn to say with him, in the sense in which he said it, "What things were gain to me, these I counted loss for Christ"? Or is it given to us to travel by a road which was denied to him — to preserve unbroken the continuity of religious thought. Here we are in fact touching what I have called one of the most pressing questions of the day, the use and abuse of dogma. And here we find ourselves in presence of two conflicting tendencies — two tendencies which run absolutely counter, the one to the other; one, an impatience, a fierce intolerance of dogma; the other, an equally fierce insistance upon dogma, as almost the one thing needful for these latter days, and the sole antidote for their disorders. You know the battle-cries of the two contending parties; one, demanding definite, distinctive, dogmatic, Church teaching; the other, demanding not dogma, but religion. Observe, then, first of all, that it is impossible for us to put ourselves exactly in St. Paul's position, or to get at his result precisely in his way. Eighteen centuries lie between us and him — eighteen centuries of controversy, of division, of development. Dogma is an inevitable growth of time, as every one may learn from his own experience. The opinions of any person who thinks at all, and in proportion as he thinks, pass with lapse of time out of a semi-fluid state into one that is fixed and solid. Such conclusions are to the individual thinker what dogmas are to the Christian Church. St. Paul had never formulated to himself the dogma of the Trinity in Unity: but in the lapse of centuries that dogma became a necessity of Christian thought. But then, this development of dogma — necessary as it is, beneficial as it may be — must never be confounded with the reality of spiritual worship — the worship of the Father in spirit and in truth. It moves along a lower level altogether — the level of the understanding, not of the spirit or of the soul. Herein lies the peril of that vehement insistance upon dogmatic teaching, which is so common in these days. Unless it be most carefully guarded, it leads straight to the conclusion that to hold the right dogmas is to be in the way of life. The light of life, the light which quickens, the light which is life, can be ours only on condition that we follow Christ. Dogmatic developments, then, are one thing; the religious or spiritual life of the soul is another thing. And the former may, certainly, be so handled and used, as to give no help to the latter. Yet there is, undoubtedly, a relation between the two; and the former may be made to minister to the latter, it we will. And the question is, What is this relation? and, How may the dogmatic development be made subservient to the spiritual life? Christ says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Life, eternal life, salvation, redemption, righteousness: such words as these express the first and the last thought of the gospel of Christ, the aim of which is ever to touch and quicken and heal the souls of men. First in the historical order, and first in the order of thought, comes the spiritual reality, "the word of life"; afterwards the dogmatic form and framework. The latter is, as it were, the body, of which the former is the soul. The words of Jesus are, as we should expect they would be, the purest conceivable expression of spiritual truth, with the slightest possible admixture of anything extraneous and unessential. For this very reason it is often exceedingly difficult to grasp their import — always quite impossible to exhaust their fulness. When we pass from the words of Jesus to the words of His apostles, we trace the first beginnings of that inevitable action of the human intellect upon spiritual truth, of which the growth of dogma is the result. It could not be other wise. The disciple could not be altogether as the Master. But though we may thus trace in the Epistles of the New Testament the development of the first "organic filaments," out of which in time would be constructed the full-grown body of Christian dogma — the shooting of the little spikes of ice across the waters of life and salvation, which would eventually lead on to the fixity and rigidity of the whole; — yet are they so full of light, from proximity to the Fountain of all light, that the spiritual always predominates over the intellectual, and the spiritual elements of their teaching are visible on the surface, or scarcely below the surface, of the words in which it is couched. But, as time went on, the intellectual form began more and more to predominate over the spiritual substance; until, at last, it has come to be often no slight task to disentangle the one from the other, and so to get at that which is spiritual; and which, being spiritual, can be made food and refreshment and life to the soul. So far we have been dealing with the questions: "What is the relation of dogma to religion?" and "How may the dogmatic development be made to minister to the religious life?" And our answer to these questions may be summed up thus: Christ's own words, first and before all, go straight to the springs of the religious life, that is, the life of faith and hope and love, of aspiration and endeavour; and, after these, the words of His apostles. Christian dogma grows out of the unavoidable action of the human intellect upon these words, and upon the thoughts which they express. In order to minister to the soul's true life, such dogma must be translated back, by the aid of the Holy Scriptures, into the spiritual elements out of which it has sprung. When it becomes the question of the truth or falsehood of any particular dogmatic develop ment, the testing process with reference to it will take two forms. We shall ascertain whether, or no, it can be resolved or translated back into any spiritual elements — into any rays of that light, of which it is said, "I am the light of the world." And, again, we shall ascertain, if possible, what are its direct effects upon human conduct and character. Does it tend, or not, to produce that new life, of which Jesus Christ is the pattern? If it does; then, unquestionably, there are in it rays of the true light, though mixed, it may be, with much error, and crossed by many bands of darkness. It must be our endeavour to disengage the rays of light from the darkness which accompanies them. Each generation of Christendom in turn has seen something of those riches, which was hidden from others. No one generation has yet seen the whole. Now, that this should be so, has many lessons for us; one or two of which we will set down, and so bring our subject to a conclusion. First of all, it devolves upon each generation in turn a grave responsibility; for each in turn may be put to the necessity of revising the work of its predecessors — such revision being rendered necessary by the peculiar circumstances of the generation in and for which the work is done. And whilst saying this, and claiming this our lawful liberty, we can also do full justice to the generations which have preceded us, and recognise the immense debt of gratitude which we owe to them. They have registered, for their own benefit and for ours, that aspect of the "unsearchable riches," which it was given to them to see. Every succeeding generation is bound to take full and reverent account of the labours of its predecessors, on pain of forfeiting something — some aspect of truth — which it would be most perilous and damaging to lose. And this, last of all, teaches us a much-needed lesson of humility, charity, and tolerance.

(D. J. Vaughan, M. A.)

In analysing those words I find three distinct ideas: — The faith of St. Paul expressed by the words, "I have believed"; the object of his faith which he recalls by saying whom he has believed; the certainty of his faith marked with so much strength and serenity by this expression, "I know whom I have believed."

I. WHAT IS FAITH? Consult, on this subject the most widely spread opinion of this time and country. You will be told that faith is an act of intellectual submission by which man accepts as certain the teachings of religious authority. Faith would thus be to the intellectual sphere what obedience is to the practical. This idea early appears in the Church with the decline of Christian spirituality. Faith being thus understood, it resulted that the more numerous were the articles of faith which the believer admitted the stronger seemed his faith, and that the more difficult those articles were to admit it was the more meritorious. According to this way of seeing, he would be pre-eminently the man of faith who, refusing to know anything, to wish anything, to judge anything of himself, could say, "I believe what the Church believes," and he would have no other rule but absolute submission, without reserve, to the authority speaking by the voice of his spiritual director. I ask you if you there recognise the teaching of Scripture, if that is the idea which it gives us of faith? You have read those admirable pages in which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews passes in review all the believers of the ancient covenant, all those men of whom the world was not worthy. Now, in all those examples, is faith ever presented to you as an abdication of the intelligence, as the passive acceptation of a certain number of truths? Never. I know, however, and God preserve me from forgetting, that there is an element of submission and of obedience in faith, but at the same time I affirm that all of faith is not included therein. Faith, according to Scripture, is the impulse of the soul grasping the invisible God, and, in its highest sense, the faith which saves is the impulse of the trusting soul apprehending in Jesus Christ the Saviour and the Son of God. Why talk to us of abdication? In the impulse of faith there is all the soul — the soul that loves and thinks, the soul with all its spiritual energies. It is said to us, one must be weak in order to believe. Are you quite sure? Take, if you will, one of the most elementary acts of faith, such as every honest man has performed in his life. Before you is easy enjoyment, but selfish and guilty; it is the pleasure which attracts you — go on, it is yours. But, just on the point of yielding, the cry of your conscience rouses you, you recover yourself and you assert your duty... What are you doing then? An act of faith, for you assert the invisible; for duty neither is weighed nor is touched, for, to him who denies it, there is no demonstration that can prove it. Well! is that always an easy victory? Is it promised to the feeble? Is it necessary to abdicate to obtain it? In this example faith is not raised above moral evidence; but do you penetrate beyond, into the sphere of spiritual realities? Imagine a life entirely filled with the thoughts of God, entirely illuminated with His light, wholly inspired with His love, in one word, the life of St. Paul; when you contemplate it, are you not struck by the heroism it contains? Is there in the faith which is the moving spring of it only a passive submission, an intellectual belief in a certain number of truths? No; in this assertion of the invisible world there is a force and a greatness which lays hold on you; never, perhaps, does the human soul wrest from you a sincerer admiration than when you see it taking flight into the unknown, with no other support than its faith in the living God. In showing what it is we also answer those who say, "Of what good is faith?"

II. WHOM SHALT I BELIEVE? To this question I reply with St. Paul, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ? and why? To believe, I have said, is to trust. The question is to know to where I shall trust the destinies of my soul. It is my whole future which I am to suspend on the word of a man; it is the inmost life of my heart, it is my eternal hopes. And if I am deceived, if it is found that I have built on the sand, if one day all this inward edifice of my life should fall to pieces! We must see clearly here. No illusion, no over-exciting of the imagination, no effervescence. Why? I will try and say it again in a few words. I will repeat what those millions of adorers, for eighteen centuries, have confessed, who have been able to say with St. Paul, "I know whom I have believed." Whom shall I believe? I have said it in the depth of my darkness, and have seen rising up before me the Son of Man. Alone amongst all He said, "I know whence I come, and I know whither I go." Alone, without hesitation, with sovereign authority, He showed the way which leads to God. He spoke of heaven as one who descended from it. Everywhere and always He gave Himself out to be the Sent of the Father, His only Son, the Master of souls. I have listened to His voice, it had a strange accent which recalled no other human voice; beautiful with a simplicity which nothing approaches, it exercised a power to which nothing can be compared. What gave it that power? It was not reasoning, nor human eloquence, but the radiance of truth penetrating the heart and conscience; in listening to it, I felt my heart taken possession of; I yielded to that authority so strong and sweet; in proportion as He spoke it seemed as if heaven opened and displayed itself to my eyes; I beheld God as He is, I saw man as he ought to be. An irresistible adhesion to that teaching rose from my heart to my lips, and with Simon Peter I cried" To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Was it only my soul which vibrated at that speech? I looked, and, around me, hanging on the lips of Christ, I saw an ever-growing multitude assembled from all places, coming out from all conditions on the earth; there were poor and rich, ignorant and wise, children and old men, pure spirits and defiled spirits, and, like me, all were impressed with that word, all found, as I did, light, certainty, and peace. Can I let my whole destiny depend on a word of man, and have I not the right to ask Him who thus leads me on in His steps what entitles Him to my confidence, and how He can prove to me that He comes from God? "O Thou who callest Thyself the witness of God, Thou who speakest of heaven as if it had been Thy dwelling-place, Thou who enlightenest the mystery of death to our gaze, Thou who pardonest sin, show us that Thou art He who should come." Jesus Christ has replied to this demand of our soul. We ask Him if He comes from God, and He has done before us the works of God; I do not speak of His miracles, although they are still unexplained in their simple grandeur, in their sublime spirituality, in that indescribable truth which marks them with an inimitable seal. Jesus has done more than miracles, He has revealed God in His person; He has given the proof of His Divine mission in His life. It is holiness before which conscience perceives itself accused and judged. The more I contemplate it, the more I experience a feeling of adoration and of deep humiliation; and when at last men come and try to explain this life, and to show me in it an invention of mankind, I protest, I feel that the explanations are miserable, I feel that the reality breaks all that framework. Then, by an irresistible logic, I feel that if Christ is holy, He must have spoken truly, and ought to be believed. Is that all? Yes, if I only needed light and certainty; but there is a still deeper, more ardent, more irresistible instinct in my soul: I feel myself guilty, I thirst for pardon and for salvation. St. Paul felt himself a sinner, condemned by his conscience; he sought salvation in his works, he was exhausted in that sorrowful strife; he found salvation only on the cross. There he saw, according to his own words, the Just One offering Himself for the unjust; the Holy One bearing the curse of the sinner. In that redeeming sacrifice, St. Paul found assuagement for his conscience; the love of God as he recognised it in Jesus Christ penetrated his heart and life; is it not that which overflows in all his epistles, in all his apostolate? Is it not that which inspires, which inflames all his life? Is it not that which dictated to him these words, "I know whom I have believed"? It is also that which makes the foundation of Christian faith; it is that which millions of souls, led, like Paul, to the foot of the cross by their feeling of misery, have found in Jesus Christ; it is that which has transformed them, taken them out of themselves, conquered for ever by Jesus Christ.

III. THE CERTAINTY OF FAITH! Do not these words rouse a painful sentiment in you? No one will contradict me if I affirm, that there is in our epoch a kind of instinctive neglect of all that is firm and exact in points of belief and Christian life. Let us examine it. We are passing through a time of grave crisis where all the elements of our religious faith are submitted to the most penetrating analysis, and whatever may be our degree of culture we cannot escape from it. So, something analogous to the artistic sentiment is made for the religious sentiment. In music, for example, no one, assuredly, preoccupies himself with truth. The most varied, the most opposed styles are allowed, provided that some inspiration and some genius are felt in them. One day, people will applaud a sombre and dreamy symphony; others will prefer a composition brilliant with force and brightness; others, again, the softened charm of a melody full of grace: as many various tastes as art can satisfy. Now, it is just so that to-day it is claimed religion should be treated. It is wished that man should be religious; it is said that he who is not so is destitute of one sense, as he to whom painting or music is a matter of indifference; but this religious sense should, it is said, seek its satisfaction there where it finds it. To some a stately worship is necessary, to others an austere worship; to some the gentleness of an indulgent God, to others the holiness of the God of the Bible; to some an entirely moral religion, to others dogmas and curious mysteries. Do I need to ask, what becomes with that manner of looking, of the certainty of faith and religious truth? Hence that sad sight of souls always seeking and never reaching to the possession of truth, always in quest of religious emotions, but incapable of affirming their faith, and, above all, of changing their life. Nothing is more contrary to St. Paul's certitude, to that firm assurance which makes him say, "I know whom I have believed." Can we be astonished that such a religion should be without real force and without real action? It could not be otherwise. It might be able, I acknowledge, to produce fleeting movements, vivid emotions, and sincere outbursts, but lasting effects never. I affirm, first, that it will convert nobody. And why? Because conversion is the most deep-seated Change in the affections and life of man, and he will never exchange the known for the unknown, real life with its passions, its pleasures, however senseless they appear, for the pale and cola abstractions of a belief with no precise object and for the worship of a vague and problematic God. To fight against passions and lusts and refuse the compensation of satisfied pride, to bend the will, to conquer the flesh, and to submit life to the austere discipline of obedience, that is a work which a vague, indecisive religion will never accomplish. Without religious certainty there is no holiness and, I add also, no consolation. Let us also add that a religion without a certainty is a religion without action, without progressive force. How can it advance? Will it lay the foundations of lasting works, will it know how to conquer, will it send its missionaries afar? Missionaries, and why? Is it with vague reveries and floating opinions that they set out, like the apostles, to conquer the world? The life of St. Paul is the best explanation of his faith. Supported by his example, and by the experience of all Christians, I would say to you, "Do you wish to possess that strong immovable faith which alone can sustain and console? Fulfil the works of faith. Serve the truth, and the truth shall illuminate you; follow Jesus Christ, and you will believe in Christ." "There is no royal road to science," said an ancient philosopher to a prince who was irritated at finding study so difficult; so in my turn I would say, "There is no demonstration of Christianity, no apology which dispenses with obeying the truth, and with passing through humiliation and inward renunciation, without which faith is only a vain theory." The best proof of the truth of Christianity will always be a proof of experience; nothing will outvalue that irrefutable argument of St. Paul.

(E. Bersier, D. D.)

In the style of these apostolic words there is a positiveness most refreshing in this age of doubt. "I know," says he. And that is not enough — "I am persuaded." He speaks like one who cannot tolerate a doubt. There is no question about whether he has believed or not. "I know whom I have believed." There is no question as to whether he was right in so believing. "I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." There is no suspicion as to the future; he is as positive for years to come as he is for this present moment. "He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day." Where positiveness is the result of knowledge and of meditation, it becomes sublime, as it was in the apostle's case; and being sublime it becomes influential; in this case, it certainly must have been influential over the heart of Timothy, and over the minds of the tens of thousands who have during these nineteen centuries perused this epistle. It encourages the timid when they see others preserved; it confirms the wavering when they see others steadfast. The apostle's confidence was that Christ was an able guardian.

1. So he meant that Jesus is able to keep the soul from falling into damning sin.

2. But the apostle did not merely trust Christ thus to keep him from sin, he relied upon the same arm to preserve him from despair.

3. Doubtless the apostle meant, too, that Christ was able to keep him from the power of death.

4. The apostle is also certain that Christ is able to preserve his soul in another world.

5. Paul believed, lastly, that Christ was able to preserve his body. "I cannot talk like that," saith one; "I cannot say, 'I know and I am persuaded,' I am very thankful that I can say, I hope, I trust, I think.'"In order to help you to advance, we will notice how the apostle Paul attained to such assurance.

1. One main help to him was his habit, as seen in this text, of always making faith the most prominent point of consideration. Faith is twice mentioned in the few lines before us. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." Paul knew what faith was, namely, a committal of his precious things into the custody of Christ. He does not say, "I have served Christ." No; he does not say, "I am growing like Christ, therefore I am persuaded I shall be kept." No; he makes most prominent in his thought the fact that he believed, and so had committed himself to Christ.

2. The next help to assurance, as I gather from the text, is this; the apostle maintained most clearly his view of a personal Christ. Observe how three times he mentioned his Lord. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him." He does not say, "I know the doctrines I believe." Surely he did, but this was not the main point. No mere doctrines can ever be the stay of the soul. What can a dogma do? These are like medicines, but you need a hand to give you them; you want the physician to administer them to you; otherwise you may die with all these precious medicines close at hand. We want a person to trust to.

3. The apostle attained this full assurance through growing knowledge. He did not say "I am persuaded that Christ will save me, apart from anything I know about Him"; but he begins by saying, "I know." Let no Christian among us neglect the means provided for obtaining a fuller knowledge of the gospel of Christ. I would that this age produced more thoughtful and studious Christians.

4. Once, again, the apostle, it appears from the text, gained his assurance from close consideration as well as from knowledge. "I know and am persuaded." As I have already said, persuasion is the result of argument. The apostle had turned this matter over in his mind; he had meditated on the pros and cons; he had carefully weighed each difficulty, and he felt the preponderating force of truth which swept each difficulty nut of the way. How many Christians are like the miser who never feels sure about the safety of his money, even though he has locked up the iron safe, and secured the room in which he keeps it, and locked up the house, and bolted and barred every door! In the dead of night he thinks he hears a footstep, and tremblingly he goes down to inspect his strong-room. Having searched the room, and tested all the iron bars in the window, and discovered no thief, he fears that the robber may have come and gone, and stolen his precious charge. So he opens the door of his iron safe, he looks and pries, he finds his bag of gold all safe. and those deeds, those bonds, they are safe too. He puts them away, shuts the door, locks it, bolts and bars the room in which is the safe and all its contents; but even as he goes to bed, he fancies that a thief has just now broken in. So he scarcely ever enjoys sound, refreshing sleep. The safety of the Christian's treasure is of quite another sort. His soul, not under bolt and bar, or under lock and key of his own securing, but he has transferred his all to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, our Saviour — and such is his security that he enjoys the sleep of the beloved, calmly resting, for all is welt. Now to close, what is the influence of this assurance when it penetrates the mind? It enables us to bear all the obloquy which we may incur in serving the Lord. They said Paul was a fool. "Well," replied the apostle, "I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed; I am willing to be thought a fool."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

It surely is evident that while justification is all that is necessary for safety, an assured knowledge of our justification on our own part must be necessary to give us the comfort and the joy of safety. Further, it is clear that the character of all our subsequent experiences must very largely depend upon such an assured knowledge; for I cannot feel, or speak, or act as a justified man unless I not only am justified, but know that I am justified. Nor can I claim my proper privileges, and enjoy the blessed results of my new relationship with God, unless I know certainly that this relationship exists. For our position is, that, though it be possible that you may be safe in God's sight, and yet not be safe in your own, you cannot lead the life that God intends you to lead unless you know of this your safety. First, you cannot draw near to Him with the filial confidence which should characterise all true Christian experience, and enter into the closest relations of true and trustful love. Next, you cannot learn from the happy results of this first act of faith the great life-lesson of faith. Then again you lose those mighty motives of grateful, joyous love which should be the incentives to a truly spiritual life, and instead of these there is certain to be an element of servile bondage even in your very devotion, and you must forfeit the glorious liberty of the child of God; and last, but not least, there can be no power in your testimony; for how can you induce others to accept a benefit of the personal effects of which you yourself know nothing? If your religion leaves you only in a state of uncertainty, how is it ever likely that you will have weight with others in inducing them to turn their backs upon those "pleasures of sin for a season" which, although they may be fleeting and unsatisfactory, are nevertheless a certainty while they do last. On the other side, let me point out that this knowledge of salvation is the effect and not the condition of justification. It would be absurd to teach that men are justified by knowing that they are justified. Of course they can only know it when it has happened, and to make such knowledge the condition of justification would involve a palpable contradiction. Indeed it would be equivalent to saying you must believe what is false in order to make it true. Look at these words of St. Paul; they sound bold and strong; yet just reflect for a moment. Would anything less than such a confidence as is indicated here have been sufficient to enable him to lead the life that he did? Would he ever have been fit for his life's work if his assurance of his own personal relations with God through Christ had been more dubious, and his standing more precarious? Would anything less than this settled conviction have enabled him fearlessly to face all the odds that were against him, and have borne him on through many a shock of battle towards the victor's crown? But now let us look more closely into this pregnant saying, and endeavour to analyse its meaning. On looking carefully at the words you will find that in stating one thing St. Paul really states three. FIRST, HE TELLS US THAT HE HAS ASSUMED A DISTINCT MORAL ATTITUDE, AN ATTITUDE OF TRUST TOWARDS A PARTICULAR PERSON. NEXT, THAT THE ASSUMPTION AND MAINTENANCE OF THIS ATTITUDE IS WITH HIM A MATTER OF PERSONAL CONSCIOUSNESS; AND NEXT, THAT HE IS ACQUAINTED WITH AND THOROUGHLY SATISFIED WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE PERSON THUS TRUSTED. Let us consider each of these statements severally; and turning to the first, we notice that St. Paul represents his confidence as being reposed not in a doctrine, or a fact, but a person. "I know whom I have believed." Many go wrong here. I have heard some speak as if we were to be justified by believing in the doctrine of justification by faith. Let me say to such what common-sense should have let them to conclude without its being necessary to say it, that we are no more justified by believing in the doctrine of justification by faith than we are carried from London to Edinburgh by believing in the expansive force of steam. Knowledge of the laws of the expansion of vapour may induce me to enter a railway train, and similarly, knowledge of the doctrine of justification may induce me to trust myself to Him who justifies; but I am no more justified by believing this doctrine than I am transported from place to place by believing in the laws of dynamics. Others seem to believe that our faith is to be reposed upon the doctrine of the Atonement, and not a few upon certain particular theories which are supposed to attach to that doctrine. But surely it is clear that our views of doctrine may be never so orthodox and correct, and yet our hearts may not have found rest in Him to whom the doctrine witnesses. Once again, some seem to regard our salvation as dependent upon belief in a fact; but surely it is possible to accept the fact, and yet come no nearer to Him who was the principal actor in that fact. Faith rests on a person, not a doctrine, or a fact; but when we believe in the person, this undoubtedly involves faith in the doctrine (so far as it is necessary for us to understand it) and in the fact. For if I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in Him as God's express provision to meet the case of fallen humanity, and this involves the doctrine. Once again, if I believe in Christ, I believe in Him as having accomplished all that was necessary to meet the case of fallen humanity, and this involves the fact. The doctrine and the fact both meet in Him; but apart from Him neither is of any real spiritual value to me. Nay, I will go so far as to say that my apprehension of the doctrine, and even of the fact, may be very inadequate and incomplete, yet if with all my heart I rest upon the person, my confidence can never be disappointed. Now let us consider this statement that St. Paul makes as to his moral attitude towards Christ. He tells us that he knows whom he has believed. The phrase is especially deserving of attention, and yet, curiously enough, it is generally misquoted. How commonly do we hear it quoted as if the words were, "I know in whom I have believed." I fear that the frequency of the misquotation arises from the fact that men do not clearly discern the point to which the words of the apostle as they stand were specially designed to bear witness. The phrase, as St. Paul wrote it, points to a distinctly personal relation, and the words might, with strict accuracy, be rendered, "I know whom I have trusted." The words, as they are misquoted, may be destitute of this clement of personal relation altogether. If I were to affirm of some distinguished commercial house in this city that I believed in it, that would not necessarily mean that I had left all my money in its hands. If I were to say that I believed in a well-known physician, that would not lead you to conclude that he had cured, or even that I had applied to him to cure, any disease from which I might be suffering. But if I stated that I had trusted that firm or that physician, then you would know that a certain actual personal relation was established between me and the man or the company of men of whom I thus spoke. How many there are who believe in Christ just as we believe in a bank where we have no account, or a physician whose skill we have never proved, and our belief does us as much good in the one case as in the other. But perhaps the true character of trust is, if possible, still more strikingly brought out by the word which St. Paul here employs in the original Greek. It is the word that would be used by any Greek to indicate the sum of money deposited, in trust, in the hands of a commercial agent, or, as we should say, a banker; in fact, the words used here simply mean "my deposit." If you carry about a largo sum of money on your person, or if you keep it in your house, you run a certain risk of losing it. In order to ensure the safety of your property you make it over into the hands of a banker; and if you have perfect confidence in the firm to which you commit it, you no longer have an anxious thought about it. There it is safe in the bank. Even so there had come a time when St. Paul's eyes were opened to find that he was in danger of losing that beside which all worldly wealth is a mere trifle — his own soul; for what indeed "is a man profited, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" Nay, it was not only that his soul was in danger amongst the robbers, it was actually forfeited to the destroyer, and then it was that, in his helpless despair, he made it over into another's hands — that other who had a right to preserve it and keep it alive, because He had ransomed it from the destroyer, and from that time forward there he had left it safe and secure, because He to whom he had entrusted it was trustworthy. Now have you done the same? Have you not only believed in Jesus, but have you trusted Him? Then this must lead us to the second of the three things that we saw St. Paul here affirms. Evidently St. Paul knew, and was perfectly sure, of his own moral attitude towards God; and here he explicitly asserts that his faith was a matter of distinct moral consciousness, for "I know whom I have believed" certainly contains within itself "I know that I have believed." Now turn this over in your mind. Surely it is reasonable enough when we come to think of it; for if we have something weighing on our minds that seems a thing of great importance, surely if we make it over into the hands of another, and leave it with him, we can hardly fail to be conscious of having done so. The question sometimes may be asked — and indeed it often is asked — "How am I to know that I have believed?" I confess that it is not easy to answer such an inquiry; but there are a good many similar questions which it would be equally hard to answer if people ever asked them, which, however, as a matter of fact, they never do. If I were to ask you to-night, "How do you know that you hear me speaking to you?" the only answer you could return would be — one that may sound very unphilosophical, but for all that one that is perfectly sufficient — "Because I do." If you answer, "Ah! but then that is a matter of sense," I reply, "Yes, but is it otherwise with matters that don't belong to the region of sense-perception at all?" If I were to ask you, "How do you know that you remember, or that you imagine, or that you think, or that you perform any mental process?" your answer must still be, "Because I do." You do not feel either able or desirous to give any further proof of these experiences; it is enough that they are experiences — matters of direct consciousness. But we need not in order to illustrate this point go beyond this question that we are at present considering. You ask, "How may I know that I believe?" This question sounds to you reasonable when you are speaking of Christ as the object of faith. Does it sound equally reasonable when you speak in the same terms of your fellow-man? How do you know, my dear child, that you believe in your own mother? How do you know, you, my brother, who are engaged in commerce, that you believe in your own banker? You can only answer in each case, "Because I do"; but surely that answer is sufficient, and you do not feel seriously exercised about the reality of your confidence, because you have no other proof of it excepting an appeal to your own personal consciousness. Let us now notice, further, that he knew well, and was perfectly satisfied with, the character of the person whom he did believe. Herein lay the secret of his calm, the full assurance of his faith. You may have your money invested in a concern which, on the whole, you regard as a safe and satis factory one, yet when panics are prevailing in the city, and well-known houses are failing, you may be conscious of some little anxiety, some passing misgiving. You have faith in the firm, but perhaps not full assurance of faith. It is otherwise with the money that you have invested in the funds of the nation; that must be safe as long as Great Britain holds her place amongst the nations of the world. Clearly our sense of comfort in trusting, our full assurance of confidence lies in our knowledge of, and is developed by, our contemplation of the object upon which our trust is reposed — if indeed that object be worthy of it — and feelings of peace and calm will necessarily flow from this.

(W. Hay Aitken, M. A.)

"Whom" Paul says. Quite another thing from "what." "I know what I have believed"; that is good. "I know whom I have believed"; that is better — best. Such believing has easily its advantages, several of them. When the thing we believe is a person, our believing, creed, becomes simple and coherent; the lines of our thinking all gather at a point, our creed is made one, like grapes growing in one cluster from one stem. I am interested on occasion to ask Christian people what their Christian belief is. It is instructive to note the wide divergence of answer. One believes one thing, another, another thing. "I know whom I have believed." To be a Christian is to believe in Christ. And what is it to believe in Christ? We reach too high for our answers; necessary truth grows on low branches. The boy says — "I believe in my father." All is told that needs to be told. Another thing about this creed with a person in it is, that it gives something for all our faculties to do. "I know what I believe." Such a creed is only intellectual; it is an affair of thinking, reasoning, inference. Theological thought and discussion works so far only on the same lines as scientific. Mind only works; no heart, nothing volitional. A creed that gathers directly about person yields keen thinking, but yields much beside. It starts feeling, sets the affections in play, draws out the will and puts it to work. We each of us have one or more men that we believe in, with all our mind, heart and strength — men that are so far forth our creed; and they stir and stimulate us in every way, clearing our ideas, to be sure, but firing our hearts and making our resolutions sinewy and nervy. Christ made Paul a man of profound thinking, but a man of fervid passion and giant purpose — gave every faculty in him something to do. He was great all over. A third and consequent advantage in a personal creed is that it is the only kind that can produce effects, and work within us substantial alteration. I am not criticising creeds. It is an excellent thing to know what we believe, and to be able with conciseness and effect to state it. Paul does not say 1 know what I believe, but I know whom I believe, which goes wider and higher. Such a creed is not one that Paul holds, but one that holds Paul, and can do something with him therefore. No quantity of correct idea about the sun can take the place of standing and living where the sun shines; and standing and living where the sun shines will save from fatal results a vast amount of incorrect ideas about the sun. Belief in person works back upon me as an energy, alters me, builds me up or tears me down — at any rate never leaves me alone; it works as gravity does among the stars; keeps everything on the move. Such belief is not mental attitude, but moral appropriation; it is the bee clinging to the clover-blossom and sucking out the sweet. It is regulative and constructive. We are determined by thee person we believe in. Belief makes him my possession. Belief breaks down his walls and widens him out till he contains me. His thoughts reappear as my thoughts; his ways, manners, feelings, hopes, impulses, motives, become mine. I know whom I have believed. We make our ordinary creeds, and revise and amend and repeal them. Personal creeds make us, and revise, amend and repeal us. No picture of a friend can be accurate enough to begin to take the friend's place or do the friend's work. No idea of a person can ever be enough like the person to serve as substitute. Knowing what God is to perfection would never become the equivalent of knowing God. If we bring this to the level of common life, its workings are simple and manifest. It is in the home. The mother is the child's first creed. He believes in her .before he believes what she says, and it is by his belief in her that he grows and ripens. If we cannot tell it all out in words what this believing in a mother or father means, we feel the meaning of it, and the deep sense is worth more than the wordy paragraph, any time. Education is an affair of person — person meeting person. Pupils do not become wise by being told things. Wisdom is not the accumulation of specific cognitions. It is men that educate. Person is the true schoolmaster. Even an encyclopaedia does not become an educator by being dressed in gentlemen's clothes. What best helps a boy to become a man is to have somebody to look up to; which is like our text — "I know whom I have believed." And out on the broader fields of social and national life we encounter the same principle over again. The present wealth of a people depends largely upon its commerce and productive industries. The stability of a people and its promise for the future, depends quite as much upon the quality of the men upon whom the masses allow their regards to fix and their loyalty to fasten. "I know whom I have believed." And believing in Christ in this way to begin with, issued in Paul's believing a host of particular facts in regard to Christ, and Paul's theology is his blossomed piety. No amount of faith in Christ's words will add up into faith in Him. You must have noticed bow full all Christ's teachings are of the personal pronoun "I." Paul's Christianity began on the road to Damascus. The only man that can truly inform me is the man that can form himself in me; that is what information means — immensely personal again, you see, as everything of much account is. And it is so everywhere. Religious matters, in this respect, step in the same ranks with other matters. The grandest convictions that we receive from other people are not constructed in us by their logic, but created in us by their personal inspiration. The gospel is not the Divine book, but the Divine Man, and a great many miniature copies of that gospel are around us, working still effects along personal lines. We make Christianity hard by crumbling it up into impersonal propositions. It is no part of our genius to like a truth apart from its flesh and blood incarnation in some live man. It is a hard and awkward thing for me to believe in the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, for instance. I do not like the doctrine; my intellect abhors it. No logic could persuade me of its truth, and I should never think of trying to syllogise anybody else into a possession of it. But my father is immortal and I know it. Your mother is immortal, and you cannot start in your mind a suspicion to the contrary. From all this we gather that a man who gets called an unbeliever, and even calls himself such, may believe a great deal more than he suspects. Unconscious orthodoxy is a factor of the times that needs to be taken into earnest account. There are quantities of unutilised and unsuspected faith. You do not believe in immortality. Did you ever see anybody that you had some little idea had about him something or other that death could not touch? Let alone the abstract and come close to the concrete and personal, and let it work. You reject the doctrine of a change of heart; and it is a doctrine repugnant to our natures and a conundrum to our intelligence. Did you ever see anybody who stopped being what he had been and commenced being what he had not been? If you find it hard work to square your opinions with the catechism, see whether you do not draw into a little closer coincidence with men and women whose lives transparently embody the gospel, and then draw your inference. To another class of uncertain hearers I want to add, Do not try to get your religious ideas all arranged and your doctrinal notions balanced. There is a great deal of that kind that is best taken care of when it is left to take care of itself. There is no advantage in borrowing some one's else opinion and no use in hurrying your own opinion. Begin with what is personal, as he did — "I know whom I have believed." Try to know the Lord. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." There is no other way of beginning to be a Christian but the old way — "Come unto Me." And you and I, fellow Christians, owe it to these unsettled people among us and about us to help them to strong anchorage upon Christ; and our qualifications for the work will be our own thorough rest in and establishment upon Christ and an ineffable commixture of love and tact, and fact considered not as a natural talent, but as a heavenly grace. In our relations to these people, there is another thing fur us to remember of a more positive character, which is, as we have seen, that there is nothing that tells upon men and their convictions like life. Men believe in the personal. Truth pure and simple goes but a little way, except as it is lived. Abstractions are not current outside of the schools. The best preaching of a change of heart is a heart that is changed. These people are not going to he touched by anything that has not breath and a pulse. Living is the best teaching. So that if you and I are going to help these people to be conscious and pronounced Christians, we are not going to accomplish it by merely telling them about Christ and compounding before them feeble dilutions of Divine biography, but by being ourselves so personally charged with the personal Spirit of God in Christ that in our words they shall hear Him, in our love they shall feel Him, in our behaviour they shall be witnesses of Him, and in this way He become to them the Way, Truth and Life, all-invigorating power, all-comprehensive creed.

(C. H. Parkhurst.)

An infidel was dying, and his infidelity beginning to give way, was rallied by. his friends, who surrounded his dying bed. "Hold out," they all cried, "don't give way." "Ah!" said the dying man, "I would hold out if I had anything to hold by, but what have I?"



1. It is his greatest treasure.

2. At his own disposal.

3. Involves his whole welfare for ever.


1. It is in danger of being lost.

2. Man cannot secure its safety himself.

3. Christ is the only Preserver.


1. Power.

2. Promises.

3. Prestige.


1. Because the greatest interest is secured.

2. Because trials will farther this interest.

3. Because trials will soon end.

(B. D. Johns.)

This must move us all to get knowledge of God, if we would have faith in Him, yea, the best must grow herein; for the better we know Him the more confidently shall we believe in Him. For it is so in all other things. When I know the firmness of the land I will the better rest my foot on it; the strength of my staff, the rather lean my whole body upon it, and the faithfulness of a friend, put and repose my confidence in him. And we must know God. First, in His power, how that He is able to do whatsoever He will. This confirmed Abraham's faith, and moved him to offer his son. Secondly, we must know Him in His truth and justice. Thirdly, we are to know God in His stability. How that time changeth not His nature, neither altereth His purpose. Fourthly, we are to understand that God is Sovereign Lord, that there is none higher than He; for if we should trust in an inferior we might be deceived. Fifthly, We must know God in Christ.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

A Bible class convert, who subsequently became a teacher, accidentally injured himself through lifting a heavy weight, and his sufferings in consequence were very severe. Yet, notwithstanding his pain and poverty, he was extremely happy, and clung to Christ with a triumphant faith. This poor fellow's dying testimony was very striking, and one of his last desires has never been forgotten. When just about crossing the river of death, he broke out into this expression, "Oh, Mr. Orsman, I would like to get well again, if only for one day, just to go round to my old companions, and tell them it's all real."

(Sword and Trowel.)

At the conclusion of an evening service in a fishing village, a young man stood up, and with great earnestness began to address his fellows. He said, "You all remember Johnnie Greengrass?" There was a murmur of assent all over the gathering. "You know that he was drowned last year. I was his comrade on board our boat. As we were changing the vessel's course one night, off the Old Head of Kinsale, he was struck by the lower part of the mainsail and swept overboard. He was a good swimmer, but had been so disabled by the blow that he could only struggle in the water. We made all haste to try and save him. Before we got seated in the punt, we heard Johnnie's voice, over the waves beyond the stern, singing the last line of his favourite hymn, "If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.' We made every effort to find him, but in vain. He was drowned; but the last words which we had heard from his lips assured us that the love of Christ had proved stronger 'than the terrors of death. He knew that neither death nor life could separate him from the love of Christ, and so he sank beneath the waves, singing, 'If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.'"

(T.Brown, M. A.)

The Rev. Dr. Simpson was for many years tutor in the college at Hoxton, and while he stood very low in his own esteem, he ranked high in that of others. After a long life spent in the service of Christ, he approached his latter end with holy joy. Among other ex pressions which indicated his love to the Redeemer, and his interest in the favour of God, he spoke with disapprobation of a phrase often used by some pious people, "Venturing on Christ." "When," said he, "I consider the infinite dignity and all-sufficiency of Christ, I am ashamed to talk of venturing on Him. Oh, had I ten thousand souls, I would, at this moment, cast them all into His hands with the utmost confidence." A few hours before his dissolution, he addressed himself to the last enemy, in a strain like that of the apostle, when he exclaimed, "O death, where is thy sting?" Displaying his characteristic fervour, as though he saw the tyrant approaching, he said, "What art thou? I am not afraid of thee. Thou art a vanquished enemy through the blood of the Cross."

I have sometimes used the following experience as an illustration of salvation. For fifteen years I lived by the seaside, and was a frequent bather, and yet never learned to swim. I would persist in keeping one foot upon the bottom, for then I felt safe. But one day, in a rough sea, a great wave fairly picked me off my feet, and I struck out for dear life. I awoke to the fact that I could swim, that the waves would bear me up if I trusted them entirely, and I no longer clung to my own way of self-help. Even so does Christ save. How often the trying to help one's self keeps from peace and rest! and when the soul first abandons all to Christ, ventures wholly on Him, that soul finds, to its own astonishment, that Christ indeed bears up and saves him.

(H. W. Childs.)

An old lady who lately died in Melbourne said to her minister, "Do you think my faith will hold out?" "Well, I don't know much about that," replied the man of God, "but I am sure that Jesus Christ will hold out, and that is enough for you. 'Looking,' not to our faith, but 'unto Jesus.'"

(T. Spurgeon.)



1. The knowledge of Christ, which is necessary to produce and promote the comfortable persuasion expressed in the text, is partly derived from testimony.(1) God the Father has in all ages borne witness to the power and faithfulness of His own beloved Son, our blessed Saviour. This He did of old time by visions and voices, by prophecies and typical ordinances.(2) Christ Himself likewise thus testifies concerning His own power and readiness to save (Matthew 11:28).(3) Nor must the testimony of the Holy Spirit be forgotten. "It is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth."(4) All the saints who lived in former times, the whole company of the faithful, all the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, bear testimony to this interesting fact. They all died in the faith of its comforting truth.(5) Our fellow-Christians, likewise, in the present day, may be produced as witnesses to the power and faithfulness of the Redeemer. They live in different and distant places; their cases are various, and their attainments unequal; but they all will unite in declaring that ever since they were enabled to commit their souls to Christ, they have found a peace and joy to which they were strangers before, and that not one word of all that He hath spoken hath failed to be accomplished.

2. That this knowledge is likewise in part derived from the believer's own experience (see John 4:42).Concluding reflections:

1. How much are they to be pitied, who have no interest in the Saviour, who have never been thoroughly convinced of their wretched condition as sinners, and who, consequently, have not committed the momentous concerns of their souls into the hands of Christ.

2. That we may abound more and more in this hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost, let us study to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Have we committed our immortal interests into the hands of Christ, and shall we not trust Him with all our lesser concerns?

4. Let us look forward with believing expectation to the day when it will appear with Divine evidence, how faithfully Jesus has kept all that has been committed unto Him.

(D. Black.)

When Dr. Alexander, one of the professors of theology in Princeton University, was dying, he was visited by a former student. After briefly exchanging two or three questions as to health, the dying divine requested his old disciple to recite a verse of the Bible to be a comfort to him in his death struggles. After a moment's reflection the student repeated from memory that verse — "I know in whom I have believed, and that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him unto that day." "No, no," replied the dying saint, "that is not the verse: it is not 'I know in whom I have believed.' but 'I know whom I have believed.' I cannot allow the little word 'in' to intervene between me and my Saviour to-day, I cannot allow the smallest word in the English language to go between me and my Saviour in the floods of Jordan."

I was busy at work during the deep, still hush of a hot July noon, when my attention was suddenly drawn to a fluttering sound in the room where I was sitting. A little bird from the neighbouring woods had entered by the open window, and was dashing wildly to and fro in its frantic efforts to escape again. I did not move at first, unwilling to increase its alarm, and hoping it would soon find its way out. But when after a little I again looked up, I saw that the little creature was circling round and round in desperate alarm; and, moreover, that the low, whitewashed ceiling was being streaked all over with blood from its poor head, which it grazed incessantly in its endeavours to get farther away from me. I thought it was time for me now to come to its help, but all my endeavours only made matters worse. The more I tried to aid its escape, the more blindly and swiftly did it dash itself against the walls and ceiling. I could but sit down and wait till it fell helpless and exhausted at my feet. The water stood in my eyes as I took it up and laid it in a safe place, from which, when recovered, it could fly safely away. "Poor foolish thing," I said, "how much alarm and suffering you would have been spared could you only have trusted me, and suffered me to set you at liberty long ago. But you have been to me a lively picture of the way in which we sinners of mankind treat a loving and compassionate Saviour."

God hath all the properties of a good keeper. First, He is wise. Secondly, powerful. Thirdly, watchful. Fourthly, faithful. He hath given laws to be faithful, and then shall not He?

When the soul is settled that person will be resolute in every good course. A faint-hearted soldier, were he resolved beforehand that he should escape death and danger, conquer his foes, and win the field, would he not put on his armour, gird his sword upon his thigh, and march furiously against his adversaries? And shall not then the Christian soldier, who is persuaded of victory, to have the spoil, and possess a crown of righteousness and glory, go on with an undaunted courage in the face of the devil, death, and hell? This doctrine reproveth those that for the most part never mind this duty. We see many who settle their houses on a good foundation, establish their trees that the wind shake them not, and by a staff to underprop their feeble bodies that they catch not a fall, the which we in its kind commend. But how few spend any time to have their souls settled in the certainty of salvation.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

Dr. Archibald Alexander, eminent for learning and for consecration, when asked by one of his students at Princeton whether he always had full assurance of faith, replied, "Yes, except when the wind blows from the east."

(T. de Witt Talmage.)

Christian faith is the faith of a transaction; it is not the committing of one's thought in assent to a preposition, but it is the trusting of one's being to another Being, there to be rested, kept, guided, moulded, governed, and possessed for ever.

(H. Bushnell.)

is a grand cathedral with divinely-pictured windows. Standing without, you see no glory, nor can possibly imagine any. Nothing is visible but the merest outline of dusky shapes. Standing within, all is clear and defined, every ray of light reveals an array of unspeakable splendours.

(J. Ruskin.)

If the object of faith were certain truths, the assent of the understanding would be enough. If the object of faith were unseen things, the confident persuasion of them would be sufficient. If the object of faith were promises of future good, the hope rising to certainty of the possession of these would be sufficient. But if the object be more than truths, more than unseen realities, more than promises; if the object be a living Person, then there follows inseparably this, that faith is not merely the assent of the understanding, that faith is not merely the persuasion of the reality of unseen things, that faith is not merely the confident expectation of future good; but that faith is the personal relation of him that believes to the living Person its object, the relation which is expressed not more clearly, but perhaps a little more forcibly to us by substituting another word, and saying, Faith is trust.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

I do not pretend to have a scientific knowledge of Divine things, or to rest my convictions upon a scientific demonstration; but I can venture to say that "I know whom I have believed." Such a belief will be supported by collateral evidence, acquiring from age to age a cumulative and converging force; but its essential virtue will in all ages be derived from the vital sources of personal love and trust.

(H. Wace, D. D.)

When John Wesley was going over all the country proclaiming a crucified Saviour for sinners, the magazines and papers of the day slandered him as those of our day do God's servants still, in one paper there was an article so abusive and slanderous that a friend determined to contradict it. He laid the article and its reply before Wesley, who said, "When I gave my soul to Jesus, I gave Him my character to keep as well. I have to do my work and have no time to attend to it." Christians who are doing the Lord's work should go on with it, leaving themselves and their character in His hands.

St. Paul says, "that which I have committed unto Him." This meant his soul. Suppose you have a precious jewel worth fifty or a hundred thousand dollars. It is so valuable that you are afraid you may lose it, or that some one may steal it from you. And suppose you have a friend who has a safe that is fire-proof and robber-proof. You take your jewel to this friend, and say to him: "Please take charge of this jewel, and keep it for me in your fire-proof." He takes it and locks it up there. And now you feel comfortable about that jewel. You know your friend is faithful, and your jewel is safe. Yen do not worry about it any more. You are ready to say about your jewel what St. Paul said about his soul, because you feel sure that it is safe.

(Richard Newton.)

There are two ways in which we are used to know persons. Sometimes it means to know them through some other person. Sometimes it means to know them ourselves. There is evidently a world-wide difference between the two. Let me illustrate it thus: We all know our Sovereign, her character, her state, her prerogative, her powers. But very few know the Queen. Yet it is very evident that those who have been admitted to her presence, and who have actually spoken and conversed in friendship with her, will have very different feelings towards her, and repose in her, and that their whole hearts will go out to her immensely more than those who know her only at a distance, and through the ordinary public channels. It is so with Christ. Some of you know Christ by the education of your childhood; some by the testimony of others; some by the reading of your Bible. Others have felt His presence. They have communed with Him. They have presented petitions, and they have had their answers from Himself. They have laid burdens at His feet, and He has taken them up. He has accepted their little gifts and smiled at their small services. They have proved Him. Isn't He another Being, isn't He another Christ to that man? They know Him. And what do they know of Thee, O blessed Jesus? They know Thee as the most loving and the loveliest of all — all grace, full of tenderness and sympathy, stooping to the meanest, and kind to the very worst. Our Brother, our Light, our Life, our Joy — who has taken away all our sins and carried all our load. That knowledge can never begin but in one way — by a certain inner life, by a walk of holiness, by the teaching of sorrow, in the school of discipline, from heavy leanings, by acts of self-abandonment, by goings down into the dust, by the grand influence of the Spirit, by Jesus revealing Himself. But once known — and from that moment it will be as hard not to trust as it is now difficult to do; as impossible for the heart to doubt as it is to that poor, prone heart now to question everything. If you really know, you cannot help believing. "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, 'Give Me to drink,' thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water." But there is a truth in St. Paul's words which I am very anxious to press upon you. See where the great apostle, the aged believer, the ripe saint, found all his argument and all his stand, as it were. Not — and if any man might he might — not in anything which had been worked by him; not in anything in him; not in his acts; not in his feelings; not in his faith; not in his conversion, however remarkable; not in his sanctification, however complete; but simply and absolutely and only in God. "I know" — as if he cared to know nothing else, all other knowledge being unsatisfactory or worse — "I know Him whom I have trusted."' It may seem a strange thing to say, but it is really easier to know God than it is to know ourselves. It is remarkable that the Bible tells us a great deal more about God than it does about our own hearts. The great end of reading the Bible is to know God.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

I. First, observe WHAT PAUL HAD DONE.

1. He had trusted a person — "I know whom I have believed."

2. Paul had gone farther, and had practically carried out his confidence, for he had deposited everything with this person. A poor idiot, who had been instructed by an earnest Christian man, somewhat alarmed him by a strange remark, for he feared that all his teaching had been in vain. He said to this poor creature, "You know that you have a soul, John?" "No," said he, "I have no soul." "No soul!" thought the teacher, "this is dreadful ignorance." All his fears were rolled away when his half-witted pupil added, "I had a soul once, and I lost it, and Jesus found it; and so I have let Him keep it."

II. The next thing is, WHAT DID PAUL KNOW? He tells us plainly, "I know whom I have believed."

1. We are to understand by this that Paul looked steadily at the object of his confidence, and knew that he relied upon God in Christ Jesus. He did not rest in a vague hope that he would be saved; nor in an indefinite reliance upon the Christian religion; nor in a sanguine expectation that all things would, somehow, turn out right at the end. He did not hold the theory of our modern divines, that our Lord Jesus Christ did something or other, which, in one way or another, is more or less remotely connected with the forgiveness of sin; but he knew the Lord Jesus Christ as a person, and he deliberately placed himself in His keeping, knowing Him to be the Saviour.

2. Paul also knew the character of Jesus whom he trusted. His perfect character abundantly justified the apostle's implicit trust. Paul could have said, "I know that I trust in One who is no mere man, but very God of very God. I have not put my soul into the keeping of a priest, like unto the sons of Aaron, who must die; but I have rested myself in One whose priesthood is according to the law of an endless life — A Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. He upon whom I confide is He without whom was not anything made that was made, who sustaineth all things by the Word of His power, and who at His coming shall shake both the heavens and the earth, for all fulness of Divine energy dwells in Him."

3. But how did Paul come to know Christ? Every page of Scripture, as the apostle perused it, revealed Jesus to him. This book is a royal pavilion, within which the Prince of peace is to be met with by believers who look for Him. In this celestial mirror Jesus is reflected. Paul also knew Jesus in another way than this. He had personal acquaintance with Him; he knew Him as "the Lord Jesus, who appeared unto him in the way." He knew the Lord also by practical experience and trial of Him. Paul had tested Jesus amidst furious mobs, when stones fell about him, and in prison, when the death-damp chilled him to the bone. He had known Christ far out at sea, when Euroclydon drove him up and down in the Adriatic; and he had known Christ when the rough blasts of unbrotherly suspicion had beaten upon him on the land. All that he knew increased his confidence. He knew the Lord Jesus because He had delivered him out of the mouth of the lion.

III. Thirdly, let us inquire — WHAT WAS THE APOSTLE PERSUADED OF?

1. Implicitly Paul declares his faith in our Lord's willingness and faithfulness.

2. But the point which the apostle expressly mentions is the power of Christ — "I am persuaded that He is able." He that goes on board a great Atlantic liner does not say, "I venture the weight of my body upon this vessel. I trust it to bear my ponderous frame." Yet your body is more of a load to the vessel than your soul is to the Lord Jesus. Did you ever hear of the gnat on the horn of the ex which feared that it might be an inconvenience to the huge creature? Oh, friend! you are but a gnat in comparison with the Lord Jesus, nay, you are not so heavy to the ascended Saviour as the gnat to the ox. You were a weight to Him once, but having borne that load once for all, your salvation is no burden to Him now. Well may you say, "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him."

3. What was this which Paul had committed to Christ? He committed to Him everything that he had for time and for eternity; his body, his soul, his spirit; all fears, cares, dangers, sins, doubts, hopes, joys: he just made a clean removal of his all from himself to his Lord. Those of you who are acquainted with the original will follow me while I forge a link between my third division and my fourth. If I were to read the text thus it would be quite correct — "I am persuaded that He is able to keep my deposit against that day." Here we have a glimpse of a second meaning. If you have the Revised Version, you will find in the margin "that which He has committed to me"; and the original allows us to read the verse whichever way we choose — "He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him" — or "that which He has committed unto me." This last expression, though I could not endorse it as giving the full sense of the text, does seem to me to be a part of its meaning. It is noteworthy that, in the fourteenth verse, the original has the same phrase as in this verse. It runs thus — "That good deposit guard by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." Inasmuch as the words are the same — the apostle speaking of "my deposit" in the twelfth verse, and in the fourteenth verse speaking of "that good deposit" — I cannot help thinking that one thought dominated his mind. His soul and the gospel were so united as to be in his thought but one deposit; and this he believed that Jesus was able to keep. He seemed to say, "I have preached the gospel which was committed to my trust; and now, for having preached it, I am put in prison, and am likely to die; but the gospel is safe in better hands than mine." The demon of distrust might have whispered to him, "Paul, you are now silenced, and your gospel will be silenced with you; the Church will die out; truth will become extinct." "No, no," saith Paul, "I am not ashamed; for I know that He is able to guard my deposit against that day."

IV. This leads me on to this fourth point — WHAT THE APOSTLE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT. The matter about which he was concerned was this deposit of his — this everlasting gospel of the blessed God. He expresses his concern in the following words — "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."

1. He is concerned for the steadfastness of Timothy, and as I think for that of all young Christians, and especially of all young preachers. What does he say? "Hold fast the form of sound words." I hear an objector murmur, "There is not much in words, surely." Sometimes there is very much in words. Vital truth may hinge upon a single word. The whole Church of Christ once fought a tremendous battle over a syllable; but it was necessary to fight it for the conservation of the truth. When people rail at creeds as having no vitality, I suppose that I hear one say that there is no life in egg-shells. Just so; there is no life in egg-shells, they are just so much lime, void of sensation. "Pray, my dear sir, do not put yourself out to defend a mere shell." Truly, good friend, I am no trifler, nor so litigious as to fight for a mere shell. But hearken! I have discovered that when you break egg-shells you spoil eggs; and I have learned that eggs do not hatch and produce life when shells are cracked.

2. The apostle was anxious, not only that the men should stand, but that the everlasting gospel itself should be guarded. "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." It were better for us that the sun were quenched than that the gospel were gone. I believe that the moralities, the liberties, and peradventure the very existence of a nation depend upon the proclamation of the gospel in its midst. How are we to keep the faith? There is only one way. It is of little use trying to guard the gospel by writing it down in a trust-deed; it is of small service to ask men to subscribe to a creed: we must go to work in a more effectual way. How is the gospel to be guarded? "By the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." If the Holy Spirit dwells in you, and you obey His monitions, and are moulded by His influences, and exhibit the result of His work in the holiness of your lives, then the faith will be kept. A holy people are the true body-guard of the gospel.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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