January 9

THEN AND NOW
“At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”— Ephesians 2:12

CHRISTLESS I was in the old time. I had heard of Jesus with the hearing of the ear, but I did not know Him. He was not my Saviour, my Teacher, my King, my Friend—the Necessity of my life, to whom I turned perpetually and gladly. I was separate from Christ.

Homeless I was in the old time. I was frequently within the walls of the church, but I found no heartjoy in it. It was not the Palace Beautiful to me ; it was not my spiritual birthplace, my resort, my delight. I was alienated from the commonwealth of Israel.

Messageless I was in the old time. The Bible was often in my hands—no book so often. But its warnings did not move me, its precepts did not command me, its good news did not rejoice me. I was a stranger from the covenants of promise.

Hopeless I was in the old time. Probably I professed to believe in my immortality. But the belief, whenever I looked it fairly in the face, brought me alarm. I would have preferred to ” have drunken of Lethe at last, to have eaten of lotus.” For I had no hope.

Godless I was in the old time. Not an atheist in theory and by profession, but practically an atheist. Not governed by the thought of His presence who fills all heaven and earth. Not rejoicing in His fellowship. Not seeking His glory. Nay, I was without God in the world which God’s fingers made.

My Lord, who hast changed all this, I will look back to-day to the pit whence Thou hast digged me. It will deepen my humility. It will heighten my praise.

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