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The land is Christ. Canaan is Christ. He is the Land of Promise. "Those mountains are the mountains of His strength. Those valleys are His humility. Those springs are His joy. Those rivers are His Holy Spirit Those treasures are His wealth. That land--look at it! It is all yours. It is Christ in you, and you in Christ--that is Paradise.
That is proved by Heb_3:14 : "We are made partakers of Christ." The third chapter of Hebrews is the wilderness experience. The fourth chapter is the Christ possession; and the Apostle says that we who believe are made to partake of Christ. Christ in us, Christ around us, Christ in the glory! I want to talk to you about that,
The first thing to do is to get to know the land. I remember when I was in Chicago some one told me that a family may purchase, or obtain from your Government, a farm in the far West. Gathering their goods together, a father, mother, and children will travel in the caravan (as we would call it in England), to the far West. They will sit in their house on the edge of their inheritance whilst the father surveys it. Leaving his wife and children, he climbs the mountain, and looks that way and this way, down to the river, away to the mountain; and all that tract is his. He walks to and fro. He says to himself: "It is a good land." He comes back home, and says to his wife:
"Wife, we have got a grand inheritance."
That is the first thing he does.
The second is this. He gets some hurdles, and stakes off a part, and cultivates it. Next year he pushes the hurdles back, and takes more and cultivates that, and year after year he pushes the hurdles further back, until at last in twenty years his hurdles have reached the extent of his territory, and he has brought the whole of it under cultivation.
Now come with me. Come climb this mountain, the mountain of the Holy Ghost's teaching, and (1) see what a Christ we have got; and before I close we will encircle a little bit of Christ, we will (2) take Him. To-morrow we will push the hurdle further out, and take more of Christ, and the day after more, and the week after more, and year after year more. Only in eternity you will never put your fence of occupation on the margin of Christ's fulness, for when you have gone your furthest, still Christ will be eternally more.
Now see what Christ is. Look at 1Co_2:12 : "That we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
They tell me that George Macdonald, wanting to teach his children honor and truth and trust, places on the mantel-shelf of the common room in their house, money enough for the whole use of his family. If the wife wants money she goes for it, if the boys and girls want money they go for it; whatever want there is in that house is supplied from that mantel, shelf deposit. So God put in Jesus everything the soul can want, and He says: "Go and take it. It is all there for you."
Are you in sorrow? In Christ there is joy. Are you tempted? In Christ there is succor. Are you at the end of your strength? In Jesus there is might. I recall those words, however, because you might think that God gives this or that apart from Christ. Let me put it more correctly so: you take Christ to be whatever you want, and He is the supply of your want, your need, so that you are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ in heavenly places. All that you want is in Christ, and I think it is a good thing to want in order to learn what there is in Christ.
I remember when I was a boy my mother never took so much notice of me as when I was disappointed and weak and ill and worn. I think sometimes I used to sham a bit because my mother always did so much for me then. It is when "you are weak and weary, and your faith has gone, and your strength is exhausted, and your hopes are vanishing, and everything around is passing from your grasp,--it is then that God comes and says: "Child, I have put into Jesus everything your spirit wants"; and though, like Madam Guion, you have to spend ten years in jail, Christ will be friends and comfort and strength and society, and all you want.
Would that people might understand what Jesus can be to the soul,--these people who have been going into society, to the play, to the opera, to worldly pleasure, into the old past, thinking that they must obtain peace and joy in them, and they are only disappointed! Would that I could tell them that in Jesus they have mountains and lakes and rivers and streams and treasures and corn-fields and olive yards, and everything a soul can want to make it blessed! Spirit of God, take of the things of Christ and reveal them to every waiting heart!
I now want you to see,