The Hidden Life Of A Christian - Part IV
Adapted from a Sermon By
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3 ESV
This morning we return one last time to Isaac Watts sermon on the hidden life of a Christian.
To the Christian converts who were at Colosse the apostle makes this strange statement: You have died, and yet I tell you where your life is. You are dead to the world, and dead to sin, but you have a life of another kind than that which belongs to the sinners of this world: your life is spiritual and holy; theirs is sinful, and engaged in the works of the flesh: your life is heavenly, and seeks the things which are above; theirs is derived from the earth, and grovels in the dust: your life is everlasting, for your souls will live for ever in a glorious state, and your bodies will be raised from death into equal immortality, and a partnership of the same glory; but their best life is only a temporal one, and when that is at an end, all their joys and their hopes are forever at an end too, and their eternal sorrows begin.
But this life of a Christian is a hidden life. That was the first doctrine we observed from the text. Both the operations and the springs of it, are a secret to the world.
The second doctrine was that the life of a Christian is hidden with Christ in God. It is hidden in God, as he is the first original and eternal source of it, and entrusted with Christ as a faithful Mediator; it is hid in God, where our Lord Jesus Christ is, and he is appointed to take care of it for us; for he is also in the very next verse, called our life.
From this last doctrine we will draw four inferences for our instruction, and three for our consolation.
The inferences for our instruction are such as these
1st Instruction. What a glorious person is the poorest, meanest Christian! He lives by communion with God the Father and the Son; for his life is hid with Christ in God; 1 John 1. 3.—Indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete; the joy that you may justly derive from so glorious an elevation.
A true Christian, a born-again Christian, does not live upon created things, but upon the infinite and almighty Creator; upon God who created all things by Jesus Christ. Created beings were never designed to be his life and his happiness; they are too unworthy and crude a fare for a Christian to feed upon, in order to support his best life: He interacts with them indeed, and transacts many affairs that relate to them in this lower world: while he lives on this earth, his heavenly Father has appointed these to be a great part of his business; but he does not make them his portion and his life. They possess but the lower degrees of his affection: He rejoices in the possession of them, as though he rejoiced not; and he weeps for the loss of them, as though he wept not: He enjoys the dearest comforts of life, as though he had them not; and buys with such a holy indifference, as though he were not to possess; 1 Cor. 7. 29, 30. for the present form of this world is passing away: but the food of his life is infinite and immortal. It is no wonder that a man of this world lets loose all the powers of his soul in the pursuit and enjoyment of created things, for they are his portion and his life. But it is quite otherwise with a Christian; he has nobler roots, and upholds a higher character: his divine life must have divine food to support it.
Let our thoughts take a turn to some small rural town, or to the side of a wood, and visit the humble Christian there; we will find him cheerful, perhaps, at his simple dinner with all the evidences of poverty around him: but what a glorious life he leads in that humble home, and poor obscurity! The great and merry world shut him out with disdain: He lives, as it were, hidden in a cave of the earth; but the godhead dwells with him there. The high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, comes down to dwell with the humble and contrite soul; Isa. 57. 15. God, who is the source of life, comes down to communicate fresh supplies of this life continually. Whoever abides in love abides in God; 1 John 4. 16. He is not alone, for the Father is with him; John 16. 32. The Father and the Son come and manifest themselves to him, within the walls of that humble dwelling, in so divine a manner, as they never do to the men of this world, in their fine clothes and mansions; John 14. 22, 23. And that he may have the honour of the presence of the blessed Trinity, his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; 1 Cor 3. 16. and 6. 19.
What wonderful condescension of divine grace, and what surprising honours are done to a humble saint! How is this home blessed! Heaven is there, for God and Christ are there; and who knows what heavenly guards surround him? What flights of attending angels? Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? Heb. 1. 14. But our Lord Jesus Christ is now unseen, God and angels are unseen; the Christian’s company belong to the invisible world: he lives a hidden, but a divine life; his life is hid with Christ in God.
2nd Instruction. See how it comes to pass that Christians are capable of doing such wonders, at which the world stands amazed. The source of their life is almighty; it is hid in God. It is by this divine strength they subdue their sinful natures, their stubborn appetites, and their old corrupt affections: it is by the power of God, derived through Jesus Christ, they bend the powers of their souls to conform to all the laws of God and grace; and they yield their bodies as instruments to the same holy service, while the world wonders at them, that they should fight against their own nature, and be able to overcome it too.
And as they deny themselves, in all the alluring instances of sinful pleasure, under the influence of almighty grace, so they endure most difficult sufferings from the hands of God, without murmuring. And when they have laboured night and day, and performed surprising services for God in the world, they are yet contented to submit to painful and heavy trials from the hands of their heavenly Father, without being angry at their God; they know that he loves them, and that under his care, all things work together for their good.
Besides all this, they bear dreadful persecutions, cruel mockings, and lashings, and tortures, from the hands of men, and go through all the sorrows of martyrdom. What noble instances and miracles of this kind did the primitive church leave us, so that their tormentors were amazed! They did not see the secret springs of divine life which supported them; they did not know the grace of God, and the power of Christ, by which the Christians were upheld in all their labours and their sufferings. The source of their life was almighty, but it was hidden from the eyes of men: it was concealed and reserved with Christ in God.
Read of the labours and the sufferings of the apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 11. 23. With … imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death: he was beaten with rods, he was stoned, he suffered shipwreck, in perpetual perils by land and sea, in weariness, in painfulness, in watchings and fastings, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness. One would think his bones were iron, and his flesh were brass. He was invisibly supported by Christ, the source of his life. Read of his extraordinary virtues and self-denial in Phil. 4. 11, 12, 13. I know how to be abased, and how to abound; I can be full, and be hungry; I can possess plenty, and I can suffer want: I can do all things through Christ strengthening me. This was the fountain of his life and strength. I acknowledge, says he, in another place, that I am nothing, I have no sufficiency of myself to think so much as one good thought: But all my sufficiency is of God, in whom my life is hid; 2 Cor. 3. 5. And with what a devout zeal does he ascribe his life to Christ, in that glorious collection of spiritual paradoxes in his letter to the Galatians! Gal. 2. 20. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Therefore I can be delivered to death daily for Jesus Christ's sake; troubled and perplexed, and yet not in despair; be cast down, and not be destroyed; because I believe that the life of Jesus must be made manifest in my mortal flesh, and God who raised up the Lord Jesus, will also raise us up also by Jesus. 2 Cor. 6. 14.
3rd Instruction. See where a dead sinner must go to obtain spiritual and eternal life, and where a decaying dying Christian must go for the reviving of his fainting life also: it is to God by Jesus Christ, for it is all hidden with Christ in God.
In vain will a man who is dead in trespasses and sins, toil and labour, and hope to attain life any other way. God is the spring of all life, and he has entrusted it to the hands of Jesus Christ: I am the way, the truth, and the life, says our Saviour; John 14. 6. No man can have life without coming to the living Father; and no man comes to the Father but by me. The moral lectures, and the writings of human philosophy, may give a man new garments, may make his outward life appear much better than before; they may teach him, in some measure, to govern his passions too, and subdue some of the carnal appetites; but they cannot raise him to the love of God, to the hatred of every sin, to the well-grounded hopes of the favour of God, the blessed expectation of a holy immortality, and a preparation for heaven. They cannot give the man a new life: he must be born again of the Spirit of Christ, or he can never become a living Christian.
And in vain would the poor backsliding Christian, with his weak and failing graces, renew and revive his divine life, without applying himself afresh to Jesus Christ; while he forgets Christ, he must go on lower and lower still. There is nothing in earth or heaven that can make up for the utter absence of our Lord Jesus Christ. When the stream of spiritual life is disturbed or runs low, it can only be revived, recovered, and increased by new supplies from the everlasting fountain. Remember, backsliding Christian, remember from where it was you derived your first life, when you were once dead in trespasses and sins; run to the Saviour in renewed faith and dependence, mourning, in all humility, for your unwatchful walking, and your absence from the Lord. Commit your soul afresh to his care, exert your utmost powers, and beg for the help of the Holy Spirit, that you may once again rejoice in the hope of heaven.
4th Instruction. See the reason why a lively Christian desires and delights to be so much, and so often, where God and Christ are; it is because his life is with them.
This was the divine attitude and practice of the saints under a much darker dispensation than what we enjoy. Hear how the holy soul of David pants and longs for the presence of God, how his whole being is involved in his devotions; Psal.63. 1. My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you. Psal. 84. 2. My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. In such deep and moving language, he breathes after God, who is the strength of his life and his salvation; Psal. 27. 1. The Jewish saints held fast to the Lord, for he was their life, and the length of their days ; Deut 30. 20.
And what deep delight does the apostle Paul take in mentioning the very name of Christ! How does he dwell upon it in long sentences, and loves to repeat the blessed sound! How often does he rejoice in the hope of dwelling with him in the time to come, and persuades the Colossians, in this context, to be much with him here; Col. 3. 1. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is.
Is not a man, whose very soul and life is wrapped up in honour and ambition, wanting ever to be near the halls of power? His life flourishes in the presence of the rulers of this world, and therefore he would fain dwell there. Does not the covetous man love to be acquainted with is investment and bank balances? He has put up his life in these things and he is not willing to be far distant, nor long separated from them. Whatever a man lives upon, he would willingly be ever near it, that so he may have the pleasure of feeding on what is his greatest delight, and be refreshed and nourished by that which he feels gives him support.
Now, what honour is to the ambitious, what money is to the covetous, what all the various delights of sense are to the men of the flesh; that is God to the saint, that is Christ Jesus to the Christian; and therefore he is ever wanting for more manifestations of God and Christ, that may invigorate his spiritual life, and give him the joy of living. Then a man feels that he lives, when he is near to the source of his life, and derives fresh supplies from it every moment.
And so it is, that in every distress or danger, the saints run to God for refuge and relief: He is their great hiding place; Psalm 32 7. And Christ Jesus is represented in prophecy under the same character; Isa. 32.2. This man, in whom the godhead dwells bodily, will be a hiding-place from the wind, and a shelter from the tempest. The name of God in Christ, is a strong tower; the righteous run into it, to hide themselves, and are safe; Prov. 18. 10. Their life is in God, in the keeping of Christ, and they can defy death and dangers, when their faith is strong, and their thoughts are fixed above.
They know the meaning of that merciful and divine language; Isa. 26. 20. Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. In a time of public terror, and spreading desolation, they retire to their secret places and talk with God, and are saved, at least from the terror, if not from the destruction too. When the weapons of war fly around them by day, and the pestilence walks through the streets in darkness, when a thousand fall at their side, and ten thousand at their right-hand, they make the Lord their refuge, even the most high their dwelling place, and are at ease in his secret place. He covers them from evil, or he gives them courage, so that they are not afraid: they place themselves under the protection of his name; they find shelter in his attributes: these are their secret hiding places; they hide within the curtains of his covenant, they wrap their souls, as it were, in a sheet, or rather in a volume of promises; that ancient volume that has comforted the saints in all ages; and though death be near them, they know that their better life is safe: he gives his angels charge over them, to keep them on earth, or to take them up to heaven, where their life is; Psa. 91. 11, 12.
And so it comes to pass that we see Christians, searching after God in ordinances and seeking for the Lord Jesus Christ in sermons, in prayers, in private prayer, and in the sanctuary; because they live upon him. A holy soul pursues after the presence of his God, and his Saviour, with the same zeal of affection and fervent desire, that the men of this world indulge in their pursuit of created things: My soul clings to you; Psalm 63. 8.
Carnal persons are contented to be absent from God, for he is not their life: they can satisfy themselves with a show of religion, without the power of it; and with empty forms of ordinances, without Christ in them, because they are not born again, their life is not spiritual. The sinner lives upon visible creatures, and these awaken his warmest affections. A saint lives upon hidden and invisible things, upon the hopes of eternity, and upon the glories that are concealed in the promises: he lives upon the righteousness and the intercession of Jesus his Mediator, upon the strength and grace of Christ, who is his head in heaven; upon the word, the promise, and the all-sufficiency of God; and therefore these are objects of his meditation and his desire.
We go on now to three inferences for our consolation.
1st Consolation. If our life is hidden with God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, then it is in safe hands. The wisdom and mercy of God have joined together, to appoint, as it were, such a secret hiding place for our spiritual life, that it might be for ever secure. What can we have, or what can we want more for the safety of our best life, than that God himself should undertake to reserve it in himself for us, and appoint his own eternal Son, in our nature, to be the great Trustee and Surety, for his manifesting it in every proper season?
Our original life was hid in the first Adam; it was intrusted with man, poor, feeble, inconstant man, and he lost it: He was of the earth, a man of dust, and our life with him goes down to the dust. Our new life is intrusted with Christ; it is hidden in God, who is almighty and unchangeable: and therefore it can never be lost. The second Adam is the Lord from heaven, a quickening Spirit; 1 Cor. 15. 45, &c. And he that believes in him, though he were dead in nature, yet shall he live by grace, for Christ is the resurrection and the life, John 11. 25, 26: And if he is once made spiritually alive by Christ, he will live forever. This is the language of Christ himself in John chapter 11.
What an unreasonable thing is it then for a Christian to fear what men or devils can do against him, for they cannot hurt his best life! He is out of the reach of all the assaults of earth or hell. Our Lord Jesus teaches us not to be afraid of them who only can kill the body; for the soul is not in their reach; nor is it possible for them to prevent the body from receiving its share, in the glorious life appointed for a Christian at the great rising-day.
We see here upon what firm grounds the doctrine of a Christian's perseverance is built; Christ is his life, Jesus Christ … the same yesterday and today and forever, Heb. 13. 8. The all-sufficient God, and his eternal Son, have guaranteed its security; John 10. 28, 29, 30. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one. God has sworn by his holiness, that the seed of Christ will endure for ever; Psal. 89. 35, 36. and that his steadfast love will not be utterly taken away from his own children: and our Lord Jesus Christ does little less than swear to the perseverance of his disciples, when he says; John 14. 19. Because I live, you also will live: for, as I live, is the oath of God.
Why then, believer, are you cast down, and why is you soul disquieted within you? Hope in God your life, for you shall yet praise him, how many and great soever your adversaries are, and how difficult soever your path and duty may be, and how loud soever your foes threaten your destruction. There may be many things in your travels through this world, that may hurt or hinder the growth of your spiritual life, and may for a season interpose, as it were, between you and your God; but neither life, nor death, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, will ever separate you entirely from him, whose love is secured in Jesus Christ Rom. 8. 38, 39. The disciples were much to blame, that they were overwhelmed with terror in the midst of the storm, while Jesus Christ was with them in the same ship; and you should reprove your own souls, when you feel yourselves under such unbelieving fears as our Lord Jesus Christ reproved in his fearful followers: "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matt. 14. 31.
2nd Consolation. What a comfortable thought must it be to a poor feeble Christian, that God and Christ know all the state of his spiritual life, for it is hid with them. Though the life of a saint is clouded over, though it is entirely hidden from men, and sometimes too much hidden from himself too, yet the Father and the Saviour know every circumstance of it, how low it is, how feeble, what daily obstacles it meets with, what hourly enemies assault it. Christ our Lord well knows when our life is in danger, and what help is needed.
This is very encouraging to a poor trembling believer, when he hardly knows how to bring all his needs, and all his spiritual sorrows and difficulties to God in prayer; but our Lord Jesus Christ, who is a compassionate High-priest, who is our head, and we his members, is perfectly acquainted with our state: And the Christian, mourning under his weak grace, can look up to Christ with hope, he can mingle new exercises of faith and dependence, among his sighs and his groans, and commit his case anew to Jesus his Saviour, with a humble and a holy dependence on him. Christ himself, who is the believer's life, must know, and will take care of all affairs which relate to his spiritual and eternal welfare.
It is a matter of sweet consolation too, when a humble Christian, who walks carefully before God, is reproached by the world for a deceiver and a hypocrite, that he can appeal to God, with whom his life is hid, and say, "My record is on high; though my friends, or my enemies, may scorn, or deride me, yet he knows the way that I take, and the secret exercises of my hidden life; He knows my longings and breathings of soul after him, and that nothing but his love can satisfy me: He knows my diligence and my earnest desire to please him: He knows the wrestlings and the conflicts that I go through every day, to maintain my close walk with my God: He knows that I live, though it is but a feeble life; and the charges of the world against me are false and malicious." It is with a relish of holy pleasure that the Christian sometimes, in secret, appeals to our Lord Jesus Christ, as Peter did, and says, Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you; John 21. 17.
3rd Consolation. It is a matter of unspeakable comfort to a Christian, that the most terrible things to a sinner, are become the greatest blessings to a saint: And these are death and judgment. What can be more dreadful to those who do not know God than those two words are; for they put an eternal end to all their present pleasures, and to all their hopes. But what greater happiness can a saint wish or hope for, than death and judgment will put him in possession of? The one carries his soul upward where his life is, that is, to God and Christ in heaven; the other brings his life down to earth, where his body is, for Christ will then come to raise his dust from the grave.
How then will the gloom which hung around the saint’s hidden life, be all dispelled at that blessed hour; and he who was unknown and despised among men, stand out with honour amongst admiring angels: His hidden way of living will forever be at an end. And the secret and glorious springs of his life, in God and Christ, lead us to the same delightful meditations of the things to come, as we have done previously with respect to his hidden life.
Hear then the consolation which should lead every believer to rejoice.
At the moment of death, the soul may say, "Farewell, forever, sins, and sorrows, and perplexities; farewell, temptations of the alluring, and the intimidating kind: neither the vanities, nor the terrors of this world, will ever reach me anymore; because I will from this moment forever dwell where my joy, my life is. The source of all my joys are in God, and I will be forever with him."—And when the morning of the resurrection dawns upon the world, and the day of judgment appears, the body of a Christian will be called out of the dust, and will bid farewell forever to death and darkness; to disease and pain, to all the fruits of sin, and all the effects of the curse. Christ, who is the resurrection and the life, stands up as a complete conqueror over all the powers of the grave: He commands the dust, arise and live; the dust obeys, and revives; the whole saint appears exulting in life; the date of his immortality then begins, and his life will run on to everlasting ages.
Such bright views of death should really incline us rather to want to depart from the body, that we may dwell with Christ. Death is only the departing of the soul to where its divine life is. Why should we make it a matter of fear then, to be absent from the body, if we are immediately present with the Lord? Rather, under the influence of such meditations of the resurrection, faith should breathe, and long for the last appearance of Christ, and rejoice in the language of holy Job: I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth; Job 19. 25. A Christian should send his hopes and his wishes forward to meet the appearing of our Lord Jesus the Judge; for the day of his appearance is but the display of our life, and the perfection of our blessedness.
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory; Col. 3. 4. What an unspeakably wonderful and blessed promise.
Let us take a few moments to meditate on the sacred conformity of the saints to Christ, first, in their hidden, and then in their glorious life; as he was on earth, so are they; both hated of the world, both unknown in it. The disciples must be trained up for public honours, as their Master was, in this hideous and howling wilderness, in caves of darkness, or rather in a den of savages. They must follow the Captain of their salvation through a thousand dangers and sufferings; and they will receive their crown too, and a glory like that which adorns their divine Leader.
May we never think it hard to follow in the footsteps of our Lord, though it be in a miry, or a thorny way! May we never complain of poverty and lowliness of circumstance in our present pilgrimage! nor think it strange if the world scorn and abuse us, or if Satan, the foul spirit, should assault and try us! Can I hope to appear in glory, when Christ, who is my life, appears; and can I not bear to follow him in sufferings and shame? Am I better than my blessed Lord?
What poor companions had the Son of God, when he first came into our world! How mean was everything that belonged to him on earth! What vile and despicable clothing, unworthy of the Prince of glory! What coarse provision, and sorry furniture, to entertain the incarnate godhead! And how impious was the treatment he found among men, and bold temptations from the same evil spirit! He had snares, sorrows, and temptations, watching all around him: the sorrows of death surrounded him, and the powers of darkness crowded around him with their envious assaults; earth and hell were at once engaged against him; they hung him bleeding on a cursed and infamous cross, lifted on high to be made a more public gazing-stock, and an object of wider scorn! How divine was the patience of our blessed Savior to endure all these indignities, and not call for his Father's legions, nor his own thunder!
But, this was the hour of his appointed combat, the place of his voluntary obscurity, and the season of his hidden life; and his saints must bear his resemblance in both worlds. How unspeakable were his past sorrows! and his present glories all unspeakable! How infinitely different were these dark and mournful scenes, from the joys and honours he has purchased by those very sufferings! Sacred honours and joys without mixture, which he now possesses as their great forerunner, and has made ready for his subjects in his own kingdom!
Sorrow, sin, and temptation, will never be heard of again, unless to triumph over them in immortal songs. The fairest spirits of light, in their own heavenly forms, will be the companions and attendants of the children of God. Jesus, the Lord of glory, is their king and head, the leader of their triumph, and the pattern of their exaltation. Jesus will appear in all his majesty, as the Sun of Righteousness in the noon of heaven; yet the beams of his influence will be gentle as the morning-star. No other sun is needed in that upper world; the Lamb is its the light. Jesus, the ornament of paradise, and the delight of God, will be the eternal and wonderful object of their senses, and their souls; they must be where he is, to behold his glory.
The blessed God will dwell among them, and lay out upon them the riches of his own all-sufficiency; riches of wisdom, grace, and power, all-surprising, and all-infinite. Divine power will then reveal all the glory that has been laid up for them, of old, in the purposes of God, or in the promises of the book of life. But it was fit it should be hidden there, while the time of their probation lasted; it was fit they should live by faith, and under some degrees of darkness, while the ages of sin and temptation were rolling away: it was divinely proper that eternal life should not break out, nor the splendors of the third heaven be made too conspicuous, until the six thousand years of mortality and death had finished their revolutions round the lower skies, and had answered the scheme of divine counsel and judgment, on a world where sin had entered.
But life and heaven will not be hidden for ever. The almighty Word, in that day, will carry out the ancient decree, and the promise will unfold itself in public sight. What new worlds of unseen joy! What scenes of delight, and celestial blessings, never yet revealed to the race of Adam! when the rivers of pleasure, that had run underground from the earth’s foundation, will break out in immortal fountains!
Mercy and truth will lavish out upon men with an unsparing hand all those treasures of life which were hid in God, and in the gospel for them. The All-wise will please himself in making so noble creatures, out of so mean materials, dust and ashes. Glorified saints are masterpieces of divine skill; and the blessed Original, or first example of them, the man Jesus, the perfect image of the invisible God; here he has abounded in all wisdom and prudence.
Then the inhabitants of the heavens will see an illustrious and holy creation, rising out of the ruins of this wretched globe, stained by guilt, and rolling in the fire of judgment. When this scene opens, what sounding acclamations will echo from world to world, and new universal honours be paid to Divine Wisdom! The morning-stars will sing together again, and those holy armies shout for joy. The grace of God descending to earth, in days past, had in some measure prepared his children for glory: but in that day he will enlarge their capacities, both of sense and of mind, to an inconceivable extent, and will fill the powers of their glorified nature with the fruits of his love, new and old.
And what if the limits of our capacity will be for ever stretching themselves on all sides, and for ever drinking in larger measures of glory; what an astonishing state of ever-growing pleasure! What an eternal increase of our heaven! The godhead is an infinite ocean of life and blessedness, and finite vessels may be for ever swelling, and for ever filling in that sea of all-sufficiency.
There must be no tiresome being gratified beyond the point of satisfaction in that everlasting state. God will create the joys of his saints ever fresh: he will throw open his endless stores of blessing, unknown even to the first rank of angels: and feast the sons and daughters of men with pleasures like to those which were prepared for the Son of God.
For in truth he did not take upon himself the nature of angels, but the likeness of sinful flesh: and when he will appear the second time without sin to our salvation, we will then be made like him, for we shall see him as he is.