header image
Home arrow Writers arrow John R. Respess arrow Commentary On The Book Of Esther--Part 13
Commentary On The Book Of Esther--Part 13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John R. Respess   



The king went forth from the queen’s banquet in a very different spirit from Haman. Haman went forth joyful, but the king with a sad heart; for he loved the queen, and her trouble became his trouble. We can’t help partaking of the trouble of those we love; we weep with them when they weep. If our children are distressed, their distress becomes ours; they may be distressed and we not know it, and we will not be concerned, but when it is made known to us, it irresistibly impresses us. The king drinking Esther’s wine imbibed her spirit and became one with her in spirit as he was before one with her in letter. The cause of her trouble he did not as yet know, only he knew she was troubled. The eyes of love quickly detect trouble in the loved one; how easily and quickly the mother detects trouble in the child even in the presence of others, when no word is said, and when the child is trying to seem unusually cheerful. The very effort to hide it only the more betrays it, and increases the mother’s startled anxiety. So it was with the king and Esther; but it was not so with Haman; he was too self-absorbed to see trouble in others; and if he had seen it, it would not have touched him, because, with all his zeal for the king, and all his professed love for him and the queen, and the empire, he had no heart-love for any person or thing, save himself and his own honor. He had no sympathy for Esther’s troubles; nor could he have, for he had never been troubled as she was; he could have no more sympathy for her and the troubled Jews, than a rich, self-righteous pharisee, in Christ’s day, could have had for a poor publican crying in penitence to God, or for the loathsome beggar lying at his gate. He had but one passion, and that was a love for his own honor; and whatever would get him that, be the creed or religion whatever it might, that he pursued with fiery and persistent zeal. If it would get him honor to affect love and sympathy for the beggar at the gate, he would be foremost in his alms and professions. Judas had more show of sympathy for the poor than Christ or the disciples had who really loved them. But it was deceptive, and not because he loved the poor; and like the pharisees whose alms were given to be seen of men.

And this is the spirit of all worldly religion; it is to be seen and honored of men. Esther could not tell the king today, but would tell him at the banquet tomorrow, so the king went forth troubled—so troubled that on that night he could not sleep. And strangely, too, it was a night on which Haman could not sleep; and yet, the reason why Haman could not sleep was as different from that which caused the sleeplessness of the king, as heaven differs from earth or hell. Haman was troubled because Mordecai would not honor him in the king’s gate, and nothing would give him rest from his trouble but the death of Mordecai; but the king’s trouble, which was Esther’s trouble, was because Mordecai and the Jews were under the doom of death, and nothing would give her rest but their deliverance from death. But Haman’s only need of the king and Esther was for his own honor; he could not feel the need of Esther that Mordecai felt for his own salvation and the salvation of his kindred. And so it was with the pharisees towards Christ; they felt no need of him as the poor publican did; but rather felt he was in their way as one who would not honor them in the gate, and that they could not rest until he was put out of the way. How different the relationship between Esther and Haman to that between Esther and Mordecai. Haman was related to her only in the letter but Mordecai in love stronger than death. And yet like many now who sing O, what a friend I have in Jesus, Haman boasted of how great a friend he had in Esther, and how the king had advanced him above the princes; and that the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet but himself, and that tomorrow he was invited also with the king; but all this avails me nothing with that hateful Mordecai in the gate; whereupon his wife and all his friends, seeing his great power with the king and favor with the queen, advised him, saying: Let a gallows be made fifty cubits high, and tomorrow get the king’s consent to hang Mordicai thereon, and then go thou merrily with the king unto the banquet.

Now Haman was pleased, and he had the gallows made. But the king, who had no doubt retired to his bed of down at his usual hour, could not sleep; Haman was awake also, and at work for one purpose, and the king for another. The struggle was going on during the silent watches of the night. How far spent the night was we do not know, but no doubt it was getting far into the night. But the king could not sleep; though his chamber was guarded by armed men with drawn swords, and he was attended with faithful servitors, gliding noiselessly to and fro at his bidding, yet, sleep that came unbidden to the peasant on his pallet of straw, fled from the wooing of this mighty king. The cry of Mordecai and the stricken Jews had entered through Esther into that guarded chamber and filled it with their woes, so that it drove sleep away. The Jew in the gate, the Jew in his hut on the lonely mountain side, in the lowly cabin in the valley; the aged sire and the broken-hearted mother sobbing over her helpless children, and all the sorrows of all the Jews were concentrated in Esther, and in her had entered into the king’s chamber, and had irresistibly entered into the king’s heart.

So at last he ordered the book of records of the chronicles to be brought and read before him. And it was found written that Mordecai had told of the king’s two chamberlains that kept the door, how they sought to lay hands on the king. And the king was at once arrested, and he said:

What honor and dignity lath been done to Mordecai for this? and the answer was that nothing had been done. Who is in the court? demanded the king. Now Haman was in the outer court to speak to the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows he had made. Let Haman come in said the king; and the king said unto Haman, What shall he done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honor mole than to myself? and he answered, For the man whom the king delighteth to honor, let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head; and let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man whom the king delighteth to honor, and bring him on horseback through the streets of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor. Then said the king to Haman, Make haste and take the apparel and horse as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai, the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate; let nothing fail of all thou hast spoken.

So the faithful act of Mordecai had not perished after all, but had been laid up in store against the time to come, and which had now arrived. Things had seemed to go against him, to go from bad to worse, since his faithful and courageous act in the king’s gate, until he had probably wondered if he had done right, or if, after all, there was any good in faithfully serving the king. Not that he served for reward, but from love to Esther and duty to the king; but he did not look for it to be worse with him; but if it was, he was not sorry, for he could and was willing to suffer for Esther, for he loved her. But it was not in vain, and hard as it was to do, he did it; and now it was to be gathered after many days, for his salvation, and at a time of direful need. He had not served for honor, but honor came unexpectedly, and from the king. How wonderful are the works of God; and how sure he is to bring them to pass in the deliverance of his people. Haman had also been awake all that night, and having finished his wicked work, was on hand at the king’s door. And when it was told the king Haman was there, the king could but admire the zeal, fidelity and love of so vigilant a minister. How faithful and untiring; when other princes are asleep, my faithful Haman is watching; how he loves me, and how glad he will be to honor Mordecai for his fidelity to me! The king had reason, from all the outward conduct of Haman, to believe that he would be delighted, and enraptured with proclaiming the honor of Mordecai. Because Mordecai had shown that he loved the king, and Haman had exceeded all the most noble princes in professions of love for the king, and therefore he would love Mordecai with all his heart for it. He said so in saying, Thus let it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor; nothing too good can be done for him, or nothing too good can be, given him. The same as if Haman had said, O my glorious and gracious master, nothing can be done too great, in my estimation, to the man who serves you in love; I would bow down my neck for him to put his foot upon; I would kiss his feet; I would serve him as an humble lackey, and proclaim in loudest voice in the midst of the city, that this man deserves honor of all men; for he saved our precious master’s life. Oh, what a hypocrite he was! The king, no doubt, felt that he was conferring a great favor on Haman, who loved him so much, to manifest that great love in parading Mordecai upon the king’s horse, clothed in kingly robes, in the city before all people. But in his heart the poor wretch was overwhelmed with shame and grief; and now for the first time he hastened home with his head covered. That which delighted the king and Esther, filled Haman with grief and sorrow. And so it is to this day. That doctrine that delights the poor, penitent sinner, and fills him with joy, stinks in the nostrils of the self-righteous pharisee. Nor did his wife and wise counselors give him any comfort today as they did yesterday. Like rats deserting a sinking ship, so they were ready to desert him today, with his head covered. “If,” said his wife, “Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but thou shalt surely fall before him.” Haman is now nearing his end, and will soon disappear from this history.

On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther the queen; and Mordecai came before the king for Esther had told what he was unto her. And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordicai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Haman’s life had ended, and with it followed the overturning of his evil devices against the Jews, and the coming in of Mordecai to his proper place to which he had been called, and for which he had been qualified by the Lord. Haman’s iniquity had an end; the day in which it was written “exalt him that is low and abase him that is high” had come. “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more until he comes whose right it is, and I will give it to him.”—Ez. xxi. So Haman’s house was given to the queen, and Mordecai was set by the queen over it. As God gives a minister to his people and a pastor to his church; one who loves them, and whom they love. And such is the tie between them that his care for them is prompted by the spirit of love, the same spirit that prompted Christ’s care for them; and his labors and sufferings in their behalf are the promptings of love to them and love to God. The love is mutual between the pastor and flock; it is not the love of one party only, but as the love of the husband and wife, both loving each other, and whose interests are made one by love. In this spirit the minister will have no disposition to tyrannize over the church, nor will the church have a disposition to neglect him. If the flock is poor, he will bear her poverty; and she will share with him in love of all she has. He would no more take from her beyond her ability to give than he would take front himself; nor would she let him suffer any more than she would suffer herself. No other sort of relationship should endure the trials of the world, the flesh and the devil. It is not the tie of a hireling to the flock; a mere dead formalism of so much work for so much money; a dickering for price as for merchandize, as the fleshly Jews got into when the heads thereof judged for reward, and the priests taught for hire and the prophets thereof divined for money; and leaned at the same time upon the Lord, and said “Is not the Lord among us!” (Micah iii.) nor when the fleshly flock robbed God in tithes and offerings and were cursed with a curse (Mal. iii.), and the portions were not given the Levites, and the Levites and singers had fled every one to his field.—Neh. xiii. But it was a tie of mutual love, so that if one member suffered, all suffered with him. It was a heavenly union. It was in this holy spirit that Paul went forth in the early days of the church; when the church was poor, oppressed and despised; and for love of them and love of God he suffered for them; was whipped and beat; was in the deep; amongst false brethren; in peril of robbers, and all sorts of perils; and in cold, nakedness, hunger and thirst, and had no certain dwelling place; and worked with his own hands rather than share their scanty, hard earnings to their own want. Such was his life and love, and love and lives of the early disciples, that even the heathens took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. The heathens could see the marked difference between pure Christianity and the religions of the world; between the self-denying, uncomplaining and suffering ministers of Christ and the greedy, rapacious and oppressive priests of the idolatrous world. The missionaries of modern times are of the Haman stripe, even by their own confession. For the most part, they are men trained in colleges for that profession, as if for law, medicine, or merchandize, and are sent out by missionary societies as a merchant would send out a foreign commercial agent.

“And they are regarded by the heathens, among whom they go as being charitable Englishmen, who keep excellent cheap schools, preaching an European theme of religion; and drive out with their wives and little ones in a pony carriage. The pony carriage is absolutely fatal to the missionary’s influence. If St. Paul, before starting out on one of his missionary journeys, had required St. James and a committee at Jerusalem to guarantee him $1,500 a year, paid quarterly, and had provided himself with a shaded bungalow (a thatched cottage), a punkah (a fan run by machinery to fan him), a pony carriage, and a wife, he would not have changed the history of the world. Mr. Routledge says, if the missionaries would succeed, they must become the brothers of the people. He describes the native catechist (a native who is converted (?) and made a sort of minister to teach the natives by questions and answers); he describes the catechist as walking humbly three or four steps behind the missionary, not daring to walk abreast of him. The modern method is to hire a class of professional missionaries—mercenary armies which, like other mercenary armies, may be admirably disciplined, and may earn its pay, but will never do the work of the real soldiers of the cross. The hireling may be an excellent hireling, but for all that he is only a hireling. It the work is to be done, we must have men influenced by the spirit of St. Paul. They must give up all European comforts and European society, and cast in their lots with the natives, and live as the natives live, counting their lives for naught. As one of the greatest of them has said, the best preachers are not our words, but our lives; and our deaths, if need be, are better preachers still. We must hold up the spectacle of devoted lives to enable the people to understand the first elements of the Christian faith. Gen. Gordon found in China the Protestant missionaries salaries of $1,500 a year, and preferring to stay on the coast, where English comforts and English society could be had. These Christian (?) sects, who have their missionaries among the heathen, have bitter animosities; their rivalries (like rivalries of commercial houses) are well illustrated by the report of Mr. Squires, the local secretary of the Church Missionary Society in the Bombay Presidency, who states that one of the greatest hindrances to missionary effort is the existence of so many Christians who do not belong to any of the Protestant societies. Strange to say; the existence of so many Christians is a great hindrance to the spread of Christianity. Mr. Squires, last year, baptized with his 97 assistants 36 adults and 92 children, at a cost of over $46,000; and the converts made by his society, after 66 years’ labor, do not amount to 2,000. This rivalry amongst the missionary societies is illustrated by the detailed reports of many of the missionaries. Thus, Mr. Hall complains that many of his “inquirers” (a sort of mourner, or seeker after religion,) had been “decoyed” and baptized by a missionary of another society— “inquirers” take advantage of this rivalry, and put themselves up to auction. Mr. Bell writes that an “inquirer.” to whom he was paying a salary of five dollars a month, struck for higher wages (i. e. he must be paid higher to be an “inquirer”), and went off to a rival missionary to “inquire.” In another case, an unusually acute missionary found that one of his “inquirers” had been pursuing the lucrative profession of going round to mission after mission, and getting repeatedly baptized. Of course; after each fresh baptism he reappears in the missionary statistics as a fresh convert. In the missions of Egypt, Persia, Palestine and Arabia, where there are no heathen, the Church Missionary Society employs 119 agents and has spent in the last two years over $111,090, and the results are nil (nothing). In Egypt last year there were two inquirers,” one a negro, and the other an Egyptian. In Arabia a sick robber, who was doctored by a missionary, promised to abstain from rob sing for ten days. In Persia we are told that a “great and wondrous door has been opened for the gospel,” but no converts are mentioned, and the “door” seems to consist of a Persian who reads the Bible. “It is plain,” says the writer, “that these futile missions should be given up.” In reference to the quality of the converts, he says: “Vice Consul Johnston says in many important districts, where the missionaries have been at work for twenty years, they can scarcely number twenty sincere converts. In other places, where large numbers of nominal Christians exist, their religion is discredited by numbering among its adherents all the drunkards, liars, rogues and unclean livers in the colony. In one of the colonies all the unrepentant Magdalenes (lewd women) are professing Christians, and the most notorious one in the place boasts that she never missed going to church on a communion Sunday.”

These extracts are made from a paper written by Canon Isaac Taylor in Fortnightly Review. He is a high dignitary or minister of the Church of England, and is favorable to modern missions, doubtless, as his church is. Should any wish to read it, it can be found in the Eclectic Magazine for December, 1888.

This work and these men are total strangers to the spirit of Paul and Barnabas in their mission work; and the church sending them out devoid of the spirit of the church at Antioch in sending Paul and Barnabas out. Their work and workers are of the spirit of Haman; this is the spirit that rules the religious world of today, whilst the Church of Christ is, so to speak, cast out and sits solitary in the King’s gate. But like Mordecai she has steadily infused to bow to the modern Hamanism, or Missionism, that set the world crazy near seventy years ago. And now, Canon Taylor confesses the failure of modern Missionism after the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars and after a trial of over half a century. Yet the promise was made our fathers that in about thirty years they would have the world converted, and then the millennium! Thus the truth of God is vindicated even by the Jew’s enemies, and Haman is gibbetted on his own gallows, and Mordicai comes in before the King. And the time may be in God’s providence, drawing nigh when the waste places in which some of God’s children may be hidden away, shall be visited by men whom God will send in the spirit of love and self-sacrifice to open their blinded eyes and turn them from darkness to light; and Haman’s house be no longer inhabited with the spirit of Haman, but with the spirit of Mordecai, a spirit of love to God and love to God’s people. That there is in the near future an enlargement we believe to be foreshadowed by the trials and confusion of the present. The travails and sorrows of God’s people and many of Christ’s ministers we cannot believe to be for naught.

And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman, the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.

Haman had been hanged, and Mordecai had been honored by the king, but the mischief devised by Haman against the Jews had not been put away. His decree against the Jews had been written in the king’s name, sealed with the king’s ring, and sent by the king’s posts to the governors and lieutenants in all the king’s provinces to slay, kill, and cause to perish, all Jews, both old and young, on a specified day, and to take the spoil, of them for a prey. The decree was according to the letter of the law, and could not be reversed, and the day appointed for the destruction of the Jews was drawing on. Neither Esther nor Mordecai could save them. Mordecai, though the king’s first minister, and the queen’s minister over Haman’s house, had no power or authority to write in The king’s name and seal it with the king’s ring, only as the king commanded it. Nor did Esther have the power to authorize Mordecai to write in her name; for though she was queen, she was still a subject of the king, and could enact no laws nor issue any decrees any more than the church of Christ can. And hence she was, and Mordecai and the Jews were, as helpless in themselves as they were before Haman was hanged and Mordecai was honored. Their power was not increased by the death of Raman, only in so far as power was given to them by the king; of themselves they could do nothing, for they were servants and subject to the king, their master. Even Christ, as a servant, could do nothing of himself as a servant, only as the Father gave to him as a servant the power or authority to do it. In this way he served the Father. This was the state of Esther, and she realized it as the church does and God’s people have in all ages. Power proceeds from God only, even to do evil as well as good, as in the case of Haman and Mordicai.

“Thou couldst have no power at all against me,” said Jesus to Pilate, “except it were given thee from above.”—John, xix. God’s people receive or partake of this power as the impoverished sick woman partook of the virtue in Christ when she touched the hem of his garment. And this is faith, and does not reverse nature, but overcomes it. And though Christ has been crucified, has been raised from the dead, and has ascended into heaven where he lives for his people, yet the Spirit must do His work, and a work as essential to the salvation of his people as the work of Christ was. The Spirit must regenerate those whom Christ has redeemed; must keep, teach, comfort and preserve them unto the’ heavenly kingdom. By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.—Hos. xii. Their preservation is as necessary as their redemption. They must be regenerated by the Spirit; for “except a man be born again he can not see the kingdom of God,” teaches Christ. There is no more important point of the doctrine of salvation than regeneration, or the new birth; for without this work of the Spirit none can he saved.

The difference between the saint and the sinner is the difference made by the new birth, the work of the Spirit. The difference between Mordecai and Haman was a difference of birth; Mordecai was born a Jew and Haman born an Agagite. Haman was a natural man, with the religion or faith of nature, and Mordecai a spiritual man, with the faith of the Spirit, or one against nature. Haman was but Esau, but Mordecai both Esau and Jacob. And that is the difference between regenerate and unregenerate; the unregenerate are but Esau but the regenerate are both Esau and Jacob; they have the heart or voice of Jacob, but the hands of Esau. They are two in one. This difference is the work of the holy spirit, and can be made by no less power than the power of God, the Spirit. The church, nor minister, nor any body of men, nor all the men of this world, can make a new creature. And the great question of all questions to the Christian is not so much what I believe as what I am; am I born again? for if I have not been born again my faith and knowledge and charity are all nothing, less than nothing, and vanity. I may believe in election and predestination, limited and unlimited, and still not be a Christian; but I cannot be born again and not be a child of God, and if a child, then an heir of God. But if I am born again the doctrine of predestination and election is necessary to my comfort and strength in trials. Because it may be suggested, as it has been a thousand times, that I may have been in unity with God yesterday, cast out from him today, and after all be finally lost. And if it be possible for me to be a child of God today, and be lost afterwards, then my doom is sealed, and I shall certainly be lost, and my regeneration a thing of no worth unless I die in the moment of regeneration. But the child of God can have no peace in believing such a doctrine; nor can he have peace in believing predestination and election only as he is led into it by the Spirit. The letter of this doctrine may be taught to men by the church and ministers, but God, the holy Spirit, only teaches it in the spirit. If I believe these precious points of the doctrine, and I am thankful that I do, I can say that I received the belief of them, not of man, neither was I taught them (in the spirit) of man, but by revelation of Christ; and if, therefore, they are true, and I have been regenerated, I shall be saved. Upon my regeneration, therefore, hangs my eternal destiny; because it is the manifestation of the grace given me in Christ before the world began, of the love wherewith I was loved, even before I was a sinner and the election based upon that love that chose me as a sinner to salvation. And the sign that we are Jews (spiritual) is the sign that Mordecai and the Jews had themselves; that which Haman loved they hated, and that which they loved Haman hated. There was antagonism between them and Haman, as between the flesh and the spirit. This antagonism was not a work of their own, as it is not a work of ours. It is not of my seeking that sin makes me wretched, and that I am wretched lest I do not in spirit love holiness. But sin is a grief to a Jew, and a view of Christ a joy to him; and what stronger evidence can be given of regeneration than for sin to be a plague and grief to the soul; sins unknown to any save God and your own heart. But if I rejoice today, I shall sorrow tomorrow; I change, and my consolation is that God, whose I am, does not change and never has changed, and that, therefore, if he poured his love into my heart when I was a little boy of eight years, he loves me as well today as then, and no better then than before I was born, or than be did before the world began. This is a solid rock to the changed man, but to the unchanged it is nothing, indeed it is a rock of offense. Upon it he rests when Satan assaults him, but he can only do it as it is given him to rest. When it is dark with us it is light with God, for the darkness hideth not from him; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to him; and with faith given us it is light to us.

Haman cast lots from month to month to get his decree against the Jews, but Esther prayed. She fell down at the king’s feet, and besought him with tears to put away Haman’s mischief against the Jews. Haman had no sense of need and helplessness, but relied upon his own wisdom; but Esther besought the king in humility and tears. Haman’s decree was inspired by hatred, but Esther’s prayer was inspired by love for her kindred, and Haman’s house under Mordecai was no longer one of hatred and chance, but a house of prayer and love. It was a house subject to the queen, whose works honored the king, and whose minister was the king’s minister. It was in spirit a gospel house, from which proceeded the message of deliverance at the command of the king. When Esther fell down at the king’s feet, it was hut the outward expression of her heart; it was an unstudied, unconscious act of humility, as genuine humility always is. She fell at the king’s feet, in the king’s spirit, and besought him with tears, and such cries are always heard, because they are according to the king’s will. And the golden sceptre was held out to her. She was strengthened, and she arose, as having liberty to speak, and she said:

If it please the king, and I have found favor in his eyes and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasant in ins eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman which he devised to destroy the Jews; for how can I endure to see the evil that shall come upon any people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

Esther was irresistibly impelled to make this petition to the king, and no doubt in making it her needs were greater than ever before; in this sense, that now it would be a more bitter thing to be destroyed than before the king had hanged Haman, honored Mordecai, and enriched her with Haman’s house; before these manifestations of his love and justice. And as the Jews felt in the wilderness, when they said it would have been better for them to have died in Egypt, before they had known deliverance and the destruction of their enemies, than to die after having known it; for death in Egypt would have been a death in bondage, but to die now would be to die to another life, and would he more intolerable, and be a double death. As it is with us, after we have known Christ, to be separated from him; it would have been no grief before we knew him. As to lose a friend after we have loved him; as David’s grief in the loss of Ahithopel, a friend upon whom he had leaned, and whose treachery was therefore doubly bitter. Esther was not certain that it would seem right to the king; and she knew that unless it did seem right, or was right, that it would not be done, even for her; that however much he might be disposed to gratify her as his wife, that he would not violate his law to do it; nor would she have him to do it. But it had been shown the king that the Jews were faithful to the law and throne; that they were faithful or righteous in Mordecai; that of all, his subjects in the gate that the Jew only of them all was righteous—righteous from principle. That Mordecai had been found faithful, when the king’s own natural born subjects had conspired against the throne; that he was faithful when no earthly interest could have prompted it, and faithful to the very power and law that had impoverished him and his people, and led them into captivity; and justified the power that condemned him and confessed it was just. As the regenerated sinner justifies the law of God that condemns him, saying it is just, and that he is the sinner; as David confessed his sin when convicted of it by Nathan. These are the faithful to the law, and these are the ones who know that if they are saved it is by grace; and none others are, or can be, faithful to the law. So was Christ faithful in justifying the law that condemned him. And when Esther cried for her kindred, it was as if presenting to the king the fidelity, or righteousness, of the Jews in Mordecai; for the king knew that Mordecai’s fidelity or righteousness that withheld him from infidelity to the king for himself would also withhold him from it in behalf of his kindred; in other words, that he would not intercede for the lives of enemies to the throne, or of those unworthy to live—that as he would not do it for himself, so would he not do it for his kindred. So the spirit intercedes in the name of Christ; that as he was obedient unto death to the law in behalf of his people, so would he not intercede for one in violation of law; and that, as he was faithful, so are his people—kindred of his spirit—faithful in Him as the Jews were in Mordecai, whom he represented in the king’s gate. And as Christ was faithful in his work, so is the Holy Ghost faithful in his work; for there is unity in the Trinity, the will of one being the will of the three in one. The spirit intercedes according to the will of the Father, as Esther interceded according to the will of the king. And the spirit in the church intercedes in Christ’s name, for Christ lives in the church, and because he lives she lives. When trouble comes, and mischief is wrought in the church by the spirit of Haman, she is moved to go in before the king, and this she does in doing what the law of Christ commands and in the spirit of Christ, and when she does the mischief is put away.

And then it is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, and sent by the king’s posts unto all the king’s provinces.

Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish all the power of the people and province, that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

This was not a reversal of Haman’s decree; it was not saying that none should rise against the Jews, but it granted them the right and power to resist them, and in the king’s name. Thus there was a conflict, the spirit against the flesh, Mordecai against Haman. This is the grant of faith and the power of faith. We once thought that the law would be reversed, and that the flesh would he made holy, and that there would be no struggle; that there would be no doubt to contend with, no unbelief to struggle with, no depravity to assail us; but we have found it to be that we can do nothing only as God grants us ability; only as we receive it in the king’s name, sealed with the king’s ring, and directed especially to us in person.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 September 2006 )
< Previous   Next >


The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.