22 Safety, Certainty,

Don't imagine, however, that the judgement of God falls a whit more leniently on the believer's sin than on the unbeliever's. He has not two ways of dealing judicially with sin, and He could no more pass by the believer's sin without judging it, than He could pass by the sins of a rejecter of His precious Son. But there is this great difference between the two, namely, that the believer's sins were all known to God, and all laid upon His own provided Lamb when He hung upon the cross at Calvary, and that there and then, once and for ever, the great "criminal question" of his guilt was raised and settled, judgment falling upon the blessed Substitute in the believer's stead, "who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24).

The Christ-rejecter must bear his own sins in his own person in the lake of fire for ever. But, when a genuine believer fails, the "criminal question" of sin cannot be raised against him, the Judge Himself having settled that once for all on the cross; but the communion question is raised within him by the Holy Ghost as often as he grieves the Spirit.

Allow me, in conclusion, to give you another illustration. It is a beautiful moonlight night. The moon is at full, and shining in more than ordinary silver brightness. A man is gazing intently down a deep, still well, where he sees the moon reflected, and thus remarks to a friendly bystander, "How beautifully fair and round she is tonight! How quietly and majestically she rides along!" He has just finished speaking when suddenly his friend drops a small pebble into the well, and he now exclaims, "Why, the moon is all broken to pieces, and the fragments are shaken together in the greatest disorder!"

and Enjoyment 23

"What gross absurdity!" is the astonished rejoinder of his companion. "Look up, man! The moon hasn't changed one jot or tittle. It is the condition of the well that reflects the moon that has changed."

Apply the simple figure yourself. Your heart is the well. When there is no allowance of evil the blessed Spirit of God takes of the glories and preciousness of Christ, and reveals them to you for your comfort and joy. But the moment a wrong motive is cherished in the heart, or an idle word escapes the lips unjudged, the Holy Ghost begins to disturb the well, your happy experiences are smashed to pieces, and you are all restless and disturbed within, until in brokenness of spirit before God you confess your sin (the disturbing thing) and thus get restored once more to the calm, sweet joy of communion.

But when your heart is thus all unrest, need I ask, Has Christ's work changed? No, no. Then your salvation is not altered. Has God's Word changed? Surely not. Then the certainty of your salvation has received no shock. Then, what has changed? Why, the action of the Holy Ghost in you has changed, and instead of taking of the glories of Christ, and filling your heart with the sense of His worthiness, He is grieved at having to turn aside from this delightful office to fill you with the sense of your sin and unworthiness. He takes from you your present comfort and joy until you judge and resist the evil thing that He judges and resists. When this is done communion with God is again restored.

The Lord make us to be increasingly jealous over ourselves lest we grieve "the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30). However weak your faith may