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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Lesser Epistles

Chapter 49 - Hebrews 6:19 - The Divine Anchor and the Soul's Anchorage Light & Truth: The Lesser Epistles by Bonar, Horatius




The Divine Anchor And The Soul's Anchorage.


"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil."-Hebrews 6:19.



     The 'hope,' or 'thing hoped for,' is the promised glory, the inheritance of the saints in light. Of this hope God has given us the 'full assurance;' and this full assurance we are to hold fast unto the end; that is, until the things hoped for become the things possessed. This 'hope' is to us what Canaan was to Abraham; only it is heavenly. God has assured us of it by word and oath, 'two immutable things;' and thus we have strong consolation (or cheer), having fled out of all false hopes, to take refuge in this, which is true, divine, and infallible; a hope presented and secured (as Canaan to Israel) to all who will trust God for it. Let us see, then, what this 'hope' is, and what it does for us.

     I. It is an anchor.-The apostle assumes that something is needed to hold us fast. That which holds us, and that to which it is fastened, must be firm. Anchor and anchorage ground must be immoveable. The need of an anchor reminds us of an unstable element on which the vessel floats; it reminds us of winds and waves and tides; it reminds us of that stormy night in which Paul's sailors cast four anchors out of the stern and wished for day. This hope is all we need to keep us steadfast; it is both anchor and anchor ground, for both thoughts may be here combined; the things hoped for, and God's true testimony concerning them, on which our hoping rests.

     II. It is the soul's anchor.-It is not merely the Church's anchor, or the saint's anchor, but specially the anchor of the soul-that by which the soul is just now kept safe and immoveable. For it is our inner man that is tossed by the warring winds of this present evil world. Satan, the prince of the power of the air, lets loose these upon it. Darkness, doubting, unbelief; infidelity, superstition, pantheism, with errors of every kind; tribulation, danger, reproach, opposition, inducing fear, and doubt, and weariness, and depression,-all these beat upon the human spirit, labouring to set it adrift or wreck it utterly. What, in such a case, can stay it? Not innate strength, nor human appliances, nor the wisdom of this world; not science, nor reason, nor creeds, nor churches. These are all impotent before such storms as Satan often raises within. Nothing can keep our vessel from drifting or wrecking but a divinely provided anchor; and God has given us that in the glory set before us, and in His sure testimony regarding that glory. For the truth of that testimony we have His word and His oath; making us doubly sure; putting us beyond the possibility of uncertainty. We are made to feel that whatever the present may be, the future is calm and blessed.

     III. It is a sure anchor.-It is safe, firmly fixed; it will not drag. The ground on which it is fixed is firm; of that it has strong hold; and everything connected with its fixture tends to increase the security. What are the winds of earth or hell to an anchor thus fastened!

     IV. It is a steadfast anchor.-It is strong in itself, as well as firmly fixed. No fear of its giving way or breaking. It will stand every strain. God's testimony cannot give way; and no attack of man upon it, or on the Bible which contains it, can affect it.

     V. It entereth into that within the veil.-The vessel is outside, upon the stormy sea; the cable is also outside; but the anchor itself is within. It is attached to the interior, the innermost part of the sanctuary, where all is calm and sure. And the vessel, whose cable is attached to that anchor, will ere long enter full sail into that blessed haven. Its being fixed within is not merely our assurance of its immoveableness, but our pledge that we shall ere long enter where it is fixed.

     Thus, then, the soul is the vessel; this life is the stormy sea; the cable is faith, our belief of God's testimony; the anchor is the testimony of God; the anchor ground is that which is within the veil, the glory to be revealed.

     It is, then, on truth we rest; divine truth, confirmed by the oath of God; truth concerning things to come. That truth is immoveable. Nothing can shake it. The vessel and the cable are still outside, exposed to wind and wave; that is to say, we are still in this evil world, and our faith is assailed on every side. But the truth, the testimony, the inheritance are beyond the reach of change. Let us recur to this in all our doubts: we know these things are true; we know the gospel is true; we know the report is true; we know that the glory is true. All these things are true; on the truth of them our faith rests.

     The anchorage ground was formed by Him who made heaven and earth. The anchor has been forged upon no earthly anvil. The cable is the creation of an almighty hand. We know the certainty of these things. They are absolutely sure. Heaven and earth may pass; they cannot.

     Yet the cry arises on every side of us, What is truth? Where is it to be found? and is there such a. thing as absolute certainty? Few seem content with the old answers which have satisfied the Church of God in other days; and each must have something new. One fool says there is no Bible; another, there is no judgment; another, there is no Christ; another, there is no God. Men's hearts are shaken, and the thoughts of many wander hither and thither without a resting place. Nevertheless the foundation of the Lord standeth sure; and all the questionings raised by modern progress, and culture, and science, and sentimentalism will avail nothing. God has answered them long ago in His Book; and if men will not take these old answers, there are no others. Will God write a new Bible for the scoffers of the last days,-for our men of thought and criticism? 'He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision.'

     Let us then be at rest; calm, untroubled, without carefulness; keeping our eye on that point where our anchor is,-looking towards the veil. This will steady us, elevate us, comfort us. We cannot see within it; but we can see up to it. Let our faith, then, be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.