Complaints and Accusations.

A very common sin among Christians, and the cause of much deadness and spiritual poverty in Assemblies of saints, is this speaking evil of one another. We deplore its existence, with its withering effects. It is utterly un-Christian-like, and thoroughly like Satan who accuses us before God day and night (Rev. 12:10). That “little member,” so sternly denounced by the apostle James (chap. 3 of his epistle), will give many of us a great deal to answer for, when the Lord shall judge His people.

That aged and honoured servant of God, Mr. Robert C. Chapman, stopped an “accuser of the brethren” with the emphasised remark, “My brother, they are beautiful sheep, they are beautiful sheep!” The accusation may have been true, but Mr. Chapman could not lend his ears to tales of the shortcomings of those who, in spite of all, were yet “precious as the blood that bought them,” in God the Father’s sight.

I do not say we should refuse ever to hear an evil report of a fellow-member of Christ; but when “faults” are mentioned between one another, the Scripture is careful to introduce prayer: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed “(Jas. 5:16). Though this does not apply, strictly speaking, to telling tales; the point is that when “faults” are in anywise referred to, prayer ought certainly to follow. How else can fervent love be maintained in the family of God?

Remember what the Lord did to Miriam by the way, after that the people of Israel were come forth out of Egypt. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because he had married an Ethiopian woman, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and He said, “Were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” Miriam became leprous, white as snow. Upon Moses’ intercession for her, the Lord commanded she should be shut out of the camp seven days as unclean, and after that she was received again healed. But we also read that during those seven days Israel journeyed not; reminding us that the sin of evil-speaking had hindered the progress of God’s people. Read Numbers 12:1-16.