TWO LEGENDS ON THE ONE FOUNDATION.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure” – 2 Tim.ii.19.
St. Paul as well as St. John had his vision of the foundation-stone of the City of God. He saw that it had impressed on it two seals, each bearing its own legend and inscription.
One of these seals I must read, before I am permitted to gather the comfort and assurance of the other. Its message is the preface to the message of its neighbour.
It is the seal with this motto: Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. To that touchstone I have to bring myself. By that standard I have to try my thought and my life. Is my dearest, best known, most intimate sin losing its charm for me? Am I crucifying the flesh, my own familiar flesh, with its affections and lusts? Is my deepest desire the passionate desire to be holy? Do I covet the beatitude of the pure in heart?
Then I may pass round to the farther and inner side of the foundation-stone, and I may read and appropriate the strong consolation which is graven there: The Lord knoweth them that are His. It is for me—this marvellous and blessed word. He knows me. He cares for me. He loves me with an unchangeable love. He will allow no one to snatch me out of His hand. I am His now, and through life, and in death, and for ever and ever. I have lived in His soul through unthinkable years of the past, and through innumerable ages of the future I shall dwell in the same peaceable habitation.
First let me make my calling sure—my calling to discipleship and sainthood and purity. Then I am permitted to make God’s election sure, beyond gainsaying and beyond doubt.
Dr. Alexander Smellie.