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James 1:25

Three Types of Dogs

Dr. A. T. Schofield used to point out that there were three sorts of dogs in his city of London: the wild, masterless dog that roamed the streets at will, stole his meals from garbage pails, and often came to an inglorious end in the lethal chamber of the humane society; the chained dog, which could not be trusted for more than a few feet; and the dog that knew and loved his master and responded obediently to his voice. The first of these had liberty but no law; the second had law but no liberty; whereas the last enjoyed the perfect law of liberty.

All men seem to be like one of these three dogs. The masses are utterly lawless when it comes to the authority of God. They are dominated by sin, and “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). And then, there are many who are like the dog on the leash—they have law, but no liberty. These are legalists in the religious realm. The cheerless Pharisee is the representative of thousands who, “being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3). But the Christian who knows the truth of New Testament deliverance is like the third dog. He needs no chain but is guided by his Master’s eye and his Master’s voice.

C. Ernest Tatham, from the book, “How May I.”, in Confident Living, January, 1988, p. 14