Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Kept for the Master's Use
Author: Havergal, Frances Ridley, 1836-1879
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Kept for the Master's Use" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                                Kept for
                              the Master's
                                   Use


                                   By
                             Frances Ridley
                                Havergal

                              Philadelphia
                          Henry Altemus Company

                   Copyrighted 1895, by Henry Altemus.

                      HENRY ALTEMUS, MANUFACTURER,
                              PHILADELPHIA.



                                CONTENTS.



  I. Our Lives kept for Jesus,                                          9
  II. Our Moments kept for Jesus,                                      26
  III. Our Hands kept for Jesus,                                       34
  IV. Our Feet kept for Jesus,                                         46
  V. Our Voices kept for Jesus,                                        51
  VI. Our Lips kept for Jesus,                                         66
  VII. Our Silver and Gold kept for Jesus,                             79
  VIII. Our Intellects kept for Jesus,                                 91
  IX. Our Wills kept for Jesus,                                        96
  X. Our Hearts kept for Jesus,                                       104
  XI. Our Love kept for Jesus,                                        109
  XII. Our Selves kept for Jesus,                                     115
  XIII. Christ for us,                                                122



                             PREFATORY NOTE.


My beloved sister Frances finished revising the proofs of this book
shortly before her death on Whit Tuesday, June 3, 1879, but its
publication was to be deferred till the Autumn.

In appreciation of the deep and general sympathy flowing in to her
relatives, they wish that its publication should not be withheld. Knowing
her intense desire that Christ should be magnified, whether by her life
or in her death, may it be to His glory that in these pages she, being
dead,

                    'Yet speaketh!'

                                               MARIA V. G. HAVERGAL.

Oakhampton, Worchestershire.



                                  KEPT
                                   FOR
                            The Master's Use.


    Take my life, and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

    Take my moments and my days;
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

    Take my hands, and let them move
    At the impulse of Thy love.

    Take my feet, and let them be
    Swift and 'beautiful' for Thee.

    Take my voice, and let me sing
    Always, only, for my King.

    Take my lips and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee.

    Take my silver and my gold;
    Not a mite would I withhold.

    Take my intellect, and use
    Every power as Thou shalt choose.

    Take my will and make it Thine;
    It shall be no longer mine.

    Take my heart; it _is_ Thine own;
    It shall be Thy royal throne.

    Take my love; my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure-store.

    Take myself, and I will be
    Ever, _only_, ALL for Thee.



                               CHAPTER I.
                        Our Lives kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my life, that it may be_
    _Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.'_

Many a heart has echoed the little song:

    'Take my life, and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee!'

And yet those echoes have not been, in every case and at all times, so
clear, and full, and firm, so continuously glad as we would wish, and
perhaps expected. Some of us have said:

    'I launch me forth upon a sea
      Of boundless love and tenderness;'

and after a little we have found, or fancied, that there is a hidden leak
in our barque, and though we are doubtless still afloat, yet we are not
sailing with the same free, exultant confidence as at first. What is it
that has dulled and weakened the echo of our consecration song? what is
the little leak that hinders the swift and buoyant course of our
consecrated life? Holy Father, let Thy loving spirit guide the hand that
writes, and strengthen the heart of every one who reads what shall be
written, for Jesus' sake.

While many a sorrowfully varied answer to these questions may, and
probably will, arise from touched and sensitive consciences, each being
shown by God's faithful Spirit the special sin, the special yielding to
temptation which has hindered and spoiled the blessed life which they
sought to enter and enjoy, it seems to me that one or other of two things
has lain at the outset of the failure and disappointment.


First, it may have arisen from want of the simplest belief in the
simplest fact, as well as want of trust in one of the simplest and
plainest words our gracious Master ever uttered! The unbelieved fact
being simply that He hears us; the untrusted word being one of those
plain, broad foundation-stones on which we rested our whole weight, it
may be many years ago, and which we had no idea we ever doubted, or were
in any danger of doubting now,--'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise
cast out.'

'Take my life!' We have said it or sung it before the Lord, it may be
many times; but if it were only once whispered in His ear with full
purpose of heart, should we not believe that He heard it? And if we know
that He heard it, should we not believe that He has answered it, and
fulfilled this, our heart's desire? For with Him hearing means heeding.
Then why should we doubt that He did verily take our lives when we
offered them--our bodies when we presented them? Have we not been
wronging His faithfulness all this time by practically, even if
unconsciously, doubting whether the prayer ever really reached Him? And
if so, is it any wonder that we have not realized all the power and joy
of full consecration? By some means or other He has to teach us to trust
implicitly at every step of the way. And so, if we did not really trust
in this matter, He has had to let us find out our want of trust by
withholding the sensible part of the blessing, and thus stirring us up to
find out why it is withheld.

An offered gift must be either accepted or refused. Can He have refused
it when He has said, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out'?
If not, then it must have been accepted. It is just the same process as
when we came to Him first of all, with the intolerable burden of our
sins. There was no help for it but to come with them to Him, and take His
word for it that He would not and did not cast us out. And so coming, so
believing, we found rest to our souls; we found that His word was true,
and that His taking away our sins was a reality.

Some give their lives to Him then and there, and go forth to live
thenceforth not at all unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them.
This is as it should be, for conversion and consecration ought to be
simultaneous. But practically it is not very often so, except with those
in whom the bringing out of darkness into marvellous light has been
sudden and dazzling, and full of deepest contrasts. More frequently the
work resembles the case of the Hebrew servant described in Exodus xxi.,
who, after six years' experience of a good master's service, dedicates
himself voluntarily, unreservedly, and irrevocably to it, saying, 'I love
my master; I will not go out free;' the master then accepting and sealing
him to a life-long service, free in law, yet bound in love. This seems to
be a figure of later consecration founded on experience and love.

And yet, as at our first coming, it is less than nothing, worse than
nothing that we have to bring; for our lives, even our redeemed and
pardoned lives, are not only weak and worthless, but defiled and sinful.
But thanks be to God for the Altar that sanctifieth the gift, even our
Lord Jesus Christ Himself! By Him we draw nigh unto God; to Him, as one
with the Father, we offer our living sacrifice; in Him, as the Beloved of
the Father, we know it is accepted. So, dear friends, when once He has
wrought in us the desire to be altogether His own, and put into our
hearts the prayer, 'Take my life,' let us go on our way rejoicing,
believing that He _has_ taken our lives, our hands, our feet, our voices,
our intellects, our wills, our whole selves, to be ever, only, all for
Him. Let us consider that a blessedly settled thing; not because of
anything we have felt, or said, or done, but because we know that He
heareth us, and because we know that He is true to His word.


But suppose our hearts do not condemn us in this matter, our
disappointment may arise from another cause. It may be that we have not
received, because we have not asked a fuller and further blessing.
Suppose that we did believe, thankfully and surely, that the Lord heard
our prayer, and that He did indeed answer and accept us, and set us apart
for Himself; and yet we find that our consecration was not merely
miserably incomplete, but that we have drifted back again almost to where
we were before. Or suppose things are not quite so bad as that, still we
have not quite all we expected; and even if we think we can truly say, 'O
God, my heart is fixed,' we find that, to our daily sorrow, somehow or
other the details of our conduct do not seem to be fixed, something or
other is perpetually slipping through, till we get perplexed and
distressed. Then we are tempted to wonder whether after all there was not
some mistake about it, and the Lord did not really take us at our word,
although we took Him at His word. And then the struggle with one doubt,
and entanglement, and temptation only seems to land us in another. What
is to be done then?

First, I think, very humbly and utterly honestly to search and try our
ways before our God, or rather, as we shall soon realize our helplessness
to make such a search, ask Him to do it for us, praying for His promised
Spirit to show us unmistakably if there is any secret thing with us that
is hindering both the inflow and outflow of His grace to us and through
us. Do not let us shrink from some unexpected flash into a dark corner;
do not let us wince at the sudden touching of a hidden plague-spot. The
Lord always does His own work thoroughly if we will only let Him do it;
if we put our case into His hands, He will search and probe fully and
firmly, though very tenderly. Very painfully, it may be, but only that He
may do the very thing we want,--cleanse us and heal us thoroughly, so
that we may set off to walk in real newness of life. But if we do not put
it unreservedly into His hands, it will be no use thinking or talking
about our lives being consecrated to Him. The heart that is not entrusted
to Him for searching, will not be undertaken by Him for cleansing; the
life that fears to come to the light lest any deed should be reproved,
can never know the blessedness and the privileges of walking in the
light.

But what then? When He has graciously again put a new song in our mouth,
and we are singing,

    'Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
      Who like me His praise should sing?'

and again with fresh earnestness we are saying,

    'Take my life, and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee!'

are we only to look forward to the same disappointing experience over
again? are we always to stand at the threshold? Consecration is not so
much a step as a course; not so much an act, as a position to which a
course of action inseparably belongs. In so far as it is a course and a
position, there must naturally be a definite entrance upon it, and a
time, it may be a moment, when that entrance is made. That is when we
say, 'Take'; but we do not want to go on taking a first step over and
over again. What we want now is to be maintained in that position, and to
fulfil that course. So let us go on to another prayer. Having already
said, 'Take my life, for I cannot give it to Thee,' let us now say, with
deepened conviction, that without Christ we really can do nothing,--'Keep
my life, for I cannot keep it for Thee.'

Let us ask this with the same simple trust to which, in so many other
things, He has so liberally and graciously responded. For this is the
confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His
will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. There can be
no doubt that this petition is according to His will, because it is based
upon many a promise. May I give it to you just as it floats through my
own mind again and again, knowing whom I have believed, and being
persuaded that He is _able to keep_ that which I have committed unto Him?

    Keep my life, that it may be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

    Keep my moments and my days;
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

    Keep my hands, that they may move
    At the impulse of Thy love.

    Keep my feet, that they may be
    Swift and 'beautiful' for Thee.

    Keep my voice, that I may sing
    Always, only, for my King.

    Keep my lips, that they may be
    Filled with messages from Thee.

    Keep my silver and my gold;
    Not a mite would I withhold.

    Keep my intellect, and use
    Every power as Thou shalt choose.

    Keep my will, oh, keep it Thine!
    For it is no longer mine.

    Keep my heart; it _is_ Thine own;
    It is now Thy royal throne.

    Keep my love; my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure-store.

    Keep myself, that I may be
    Ever, _only_, ALL for Thee.

Yes! He who is able and willing to take unto Himself, is no less able and
willing to keep for Himself. Our willing offering has been made by His
enabling grace, and this our King has 'seen with joy.' And now we pray,
'Keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of
Thy people' (1 Chron. xxix. 17, 18).

This blessed 'taking,' once for all, which we may quietly believe as an
accomplished fact, followed by the continual 'keeping,' for which He will
be continually inquired of by us, seems analogous to the great washing by
which we have part in Christ, and the repeated washing of the feet for
which we need to be continually coming to Him. For with the deepest and
sweetest consciousness that He has indeed taken our lives to be His very
own, the need of His active and actual keeping of them in every detail
and at every moment is most fully realized. But then we have the promise
of our faithful God, 'I the Lord _do_ keep it, I will keep it night and
day.' The only question is, will we trust this promise, or will we not?
If we do, we shall find it come true. If not, of course it will not be
realized. For unclaimed promises are like uncashed cheques; they will
keep us from bankruptcy, but not from want. But if not, _why_ not? What
right have we to pick out one of His faithful sayings, and say we don't
expect Him to fulfil that? What defence can we bring, what excuse can we
invent, for so doing?

If you appeal to experience against His faithfulness to His word, I will
appeal to experience too, and ask you, did you ever _really trust_ Jesus
to fulfil any word of His to you, and find your trust deceived? As to the
past experience of the details of your life not being kept for Jesus,
look a little more closely at it, and you will find that though you may
have asked, you did not trust. Whatever you did really trust Him to keep,
He has kept, and the unkept things were never really entrusted.
Scrutinize this past experience as you will, and it will only bear
witness against your unfaithfulness, never against His absolute
faithfulness.

Yet this witness must not be unheeded. We must not forget the things that
are behind till they are confessed and forgiven. Let us now bring all
this unsatisfactory past experience, and, most of all, the want of trust
which has been the poison-spring of its course, to the precious blood of
Christ, which cleanseth us, even us, from all sin, even this sin. Perhaps
we never saw that we were not trusting Jesus as He deserves to be
trusted; if so, let us wonderingly hate ourselves the more that we could
be so trustless to such a Saviour, and so sinfully dark and stupid that
we did not even see it. And oh, let us wonderingly love Him the more that
He has been so patient and gentle with us, upbraiding not, though in our
slow-hearted foolishness we have been grieving Him by this subtle
unbelief, and then, by His grace, may we enter upon a new era of
experience, our lives kept for Him more fully than ever before, because
we trust Him more simply and unreservedly to keep them!


Here we must face a question, and perhaps a difficulty. Does it not
almost seem as if we were at this point led to trusting to our trust,
making everything hinge upon it, and thereby only removing a subtle
dependence upon ourselves one step farther back, disguising instead of
renouncing it? If Christ's keeping depends upon our trusting, and our
continuing to trust depends upon ourselves, we are in no better or safer
position than before, and shall only be landed in a fresh series of
disappointments. The old story, something for the sinner to _do_, crops
up again here, only with the ground shifted from 'works' to trust. Said a
friend to me, 'I see now! I did trust Jesus to do everything else for me,
but I thought that this trusting was something that _I_ had got to do.'
And so, of course, what she 'had got to do' had been a perpetual effort
and frequent failure. We can no more trust and keep on trusting than we
can do anything else of ourselves. Even in this it must be 'Jesus only';
we are not to look to Him only to be the Author and Finisher of our
faith, but we are to look to Him for all the intermediate fulfilment of
the work of faith (2 Thess. i. 11); we must ask Him to go on fulfilling
it in us, committing even this to His power.

      For we both may and must
    Commit our very faith to Him,
      Entrust to him our trust.

What a long time it takes us to come down to the conviction, and still
more to the realization of the fact that without Him we can do _nothing_,
but that He must work _all_ our works in us! This is the work of God,
that ye believe in Him whom He has sent. And no less must it be the work
of God that we go on believing, and that we go on trusting. Then, dear
friends, who are longing to trust Him with unbroken and unwavering trust,
cease the effort and drop the burden, and _now_ entrust your trust to
Him! He is just as well able to keep that as any other part of the
complex lives which we want Him to take and keep for Himself. And oh, do
not pass on content with the thought, 'Yes, that is a good idea; perhaps
I should find that a great help!' But, 'Now, then, _do it_.' It is no
help to the sailor to see a flash of light across a dark sea, if he does
not instantly steer accordingly.


Consecration is not a religiously selfish thing. If it sinks into that,
it ceases to be consecration. We want our lives kept, not that we may
feel happy, and be saved the distress consequent on wandering, and get
the power with God and man, and all the other privileges linked with it.
We shall have all this, because the lower is included in the higher; but
our true aim, if the love of Christ constraineth us, will be far beyond
this. Not for 'me' at all but 'for Jesus'; not for my safety, but for His
glory; not for my comfort, but for His joy; not that I may find rest, but
that He may see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied! Yes, for _Him_
I want to be kept. Kept for His sake; kept for His use; kept to be His
witness; kept for His joy! Kept for Him, that in me He may show forth
some tiny sparkle of His light and beauty; kept to do His will and His
work in His own way; kept, it may be, to suffer for His sake; kept for
Him, that He may do just what seemeth Him good with me; kept, so that no
other lord shall have any more dominion over me, but that Jesus shall
have all there is to have;--little enough, indeed, but not divided or
diminished by any other claim. Is not this, O you who love the Lord--is
not this worth living for, worth asking for, worth trusting for?

This is consecration, and I cannot tell you the blessedness of it. It is
not the least use arguing with one who has had but a taste of its
blessedness, and saying to him, 'How can these things be?' It is not the
least use starting all sorts of difficulties and theoretical suppositions
about it with such a one, any more than it was when the Jews argued with
the man who said, 'One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I
see.' The Lord Jesus does take the life that is offered to Him, and He
does keep the life for Himself that is entrusted to Him; but until the
life is offered we cannot know the taking, and until the life is
entrusted we cannot know or understand the keeping. All we can do is to
say, 'O taste and see!' and bear witness to the reality of Jesus Christ,
and set to our seal that we have found Him true to His every word, and
that we have proved Him able even to do exceeding abundantly above all we
asked or thought. Why should we hesitate to bear this testimony? We have
done nothing at all; we have, in all our efforts, only proved to
ourselves, and perhaps to others, that we had no power either to give or
keep our lives. Why should we not, then, glorify His grace by
acknowledging that we have found Him so wonderfully and tenderly gracious
and faithful in both taking and keeping as we never supposed or imagined?
I shall never forget the smile and emphasis with which a poor working man
bore this witness to his Lord. I said to him, 'Well, H., we have a good
Master, have we not?' 'Ah,' said he, 'a deal better than ever _I_
thought!' That summed up his experience, and so it will sum up the
experience of every one who will but yield their lives wholly to the same
good Master.


I cannot close this chapter without a word with those, especially my
younger friends, who, although they have named the name of Christ, are
saying, 'Yes, this is all very well for some people, or for older people,
but I am not ready for it; I can't say I see my way to this sort of
thing.' I am going to take the lowest ground for a minute, and appeal to
_your_ 'past experience.' Are you satisfied with your experience of the
other 'sort of thing'? Your pleasant pursuits, your harmless recreations,
your nice occupations, even your improving ones, what fruit are you
having from them? Your social intercourse, your daily talks and walks,
your investments of all the time that remains to you over and above the
absolute duties God may have given you, what fruit that shall remain have
you from all this? Day after day passes on, and year after year, and what
shall the harvest be? What is even the present return? Are you getting
any real and lasting satisfaction out of it all? Are you not finding that
things lose their flavour, and that you are spending your strength day
after day for nought? that you are no more satisfied than you were a year
ago--rather less so, if anything? Does not a sense of hollowness and
weariness come over you as you go on in the same round, perpetually
getting through things only to begin again? It cannot be otherwise. Over
even the freshest and purest earthly fountains the Hand that never makes
a mistake has written, 'He that drinketh of this water shall thirst
again.' Look into your own heart and you will find a copy of that
inscription already traced, '_Shall thirst again_.' And the characters
are being deepened with every attempt to quench the inevitable thirst and
weariness in life, which can only be satisfied and rested in full
consecration to God. For 'Thou hast made us _for Thyself_, and the heart
never resteth till it findeth rest in Thee.' To-day I tell you of a
brighter and happier life, whose inscription is, '_Shall never
thirst_,'--a life that is no dull round-and-round in a circle of
unsatisfactorinesses, but a life that has found its true and entirely
satisfactory centre, and set itself towards a shining and entirely
satisfactory goal, whose brightness is cast over every step of the way.
Will you not seek it?

Do not shrink, and suspect, and hang back from what it may involve, with
selfish and unconfiding and ungenerous half-heartedness. Take the word of
any who have willingly offered themselves unto the Lord, that the life of
consecration is 'a deal better than they thought!' Choose this day whom
you will serve with real, thorough-going, whole-hearted service, and He
will receive you; and you will find, as we have found, that He is such a
good Master that you are satisfied with His goodness, and that you will
never want to go out free. Nay, rather take His own word for it; see what
He says: 'If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in
prosperity, and their years in pleasures.' You cannot possibly understand
that till you are really _in_ His service! For He does not give, nor even
show, His wages before you enter it. And He says, 'My servants shall sing
for joy of heart.' But you cannot try over that song to see what it is
like, you cannot even read one bar of it, till your nominal or even
promised service is exchanged for real and undivided consecration. But
when He can call you 'My servant,' then you will find yourself singing
for joy of heart, because He says you shall.

'And who, then, is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the
Lord?'

'Do not startle at the term, or think, because you do not understand all
it may include, you are therefore not qualified for it. I dare say it
comprehends a great deal more than either you or I understand, but we can
both enter into the spirit of it, and the detail will unfold itself as
long as our probation shall last. Christ demands a hearty consecration in
_will_, and He will teach us what that involves in _act_.'

This explains the paradox that 'full consecration' may be in one sense
the act of a moment, and in another the work of a lifetime. It must be
complete to be real, and yet if real, it is always incomplete; a point of
rest, and yet a perpetual progression.

Suppose you make over a piece of ground to another person. You give it
up, then and there, entirely to that other; it is no longer in your own
possession; you no longer dig and sow, plant and reap, at your discretion
or for your own profit. His occupation of it is total; no other has any
right to an inch of it; it is his affair thenceforth what crops to
arrange for and how to make the most of it. But his practical occupation
of it may not appear all at once. There may be waste land which he will
take into full cultivation only by degrees, space wasted for want of
draining or by over fencing, and odd corners lost for want of enclosing;
fields yielding smaller returns than they might because of hedgerows too
wide and shady, and trees too many and spreading, and strips of good soil
trampled into uselessness for want of defined pathways.

Just so is it with our lives. The transaction of, so to speak, making
them over to God is definite and complete. But then begins the practical
development of consecration. And here He leads on 'softly, according as
the children be able to endure.' I do not suppose any one sees anything
like all that it involves at the outset. We have not a notion what an
amount of waste of power there has been in our lives; we never measured
out the odd corners and the undrained bits, and it never occurred to us
what good fruit might be grown in our straggling hedgerows, nor how the
shade of our trees has been keeping the sun from the scanty crops. And
so, season by season, we shall be sometimes not a little startled, yet
always very glad, as we find that bit by bit the Master shows how much
more may be made of our ground, how much more He is able to make of it
than we did; and we shall be willing to work under Him and do exactly
what He points out, even if it comes to cutting down a shady tree, or
clearing out a ditch full of pretty weeds and wild-flowers.

As the seasons pass on, it will seem as if there was always more and more
to be done; the very fact that He is constantly showing us something more
to be done in it, proving that it is really His ground. Only let Him
_have_ the ground, no matter how poor or overgrown the soil may be, and
then 'He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the
garden of the Lord.' Yes, even _our_ 'desert'! And then we shall sing,
'My beloved has gone down into _His_ garden, to the beds of spices, to
feed in the gardens and to gather lilies.'

            Made for Thyself, O God!
    Made for Thy love, Thy service, Thy delight;
    Made to show forth Thy wisdom, grace, and might;
    Made for Thy praise, whom veiled archangels laud:
    Oh, strange and glorious thought, that we may be
            A joy to Thee!

            Yet the heart turns away
    From this grand destiny of bliss, and deems
    'Twas made for its poor self, for passing dreams,
    Chasing illusions melting day by day,
    Till for ourselves we read on this world's best,
            'This is not rest!'



                               CHAPTER II.
                       Our Moments kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my moments and my days;_
    _Let them flow in ceaseless praise.'_

It may be a little help to writer and reader if we consider some of the
practical details of the life which we desire to have 'kept for Jesus' in
the order of the little hymn at the beginning of this book, with the one
word 'take' changed to 'keep.' So we will take a couplet for each
chapter.

The first point that naturally comes up is that which is almost
synonymous with life--our time. And this brings us at once face to face
with one of our past difficulties, and its probable cause.

When we take a wide sweep, we are so apt to be vague. When we are aiming
at generalities we do not hit the practicalities. We forget that
faithfulness to principle is only proved by faithfulness in detail. Has
not this vagueness had something to do with the constant ineffectiveness
of our feeble desire that our time should be devoted to God?

In things spiritual, the greater does not always include the less, but,
paradoxically, the less more often includes the greater. So in this case,
time is entrusted to us to be traded with for our Lord. But we cannot
grasp it as a whole. We instinctively break it up ere we can deal with it
for any purpose. So when a new year comes round, we commit it with
special earnestness to the Lord. But as we do so, are we not conscious of
a feeling that even a year is too much for us to deal with? And does not
this feeling, that we are dealing with a larger thing than we can grasp,
take away from the sense of reality? Thus we are brought to a more
manageable measure; and as the Sunday mornings or the Monday mornings
come round, we thankfully commit the opening week to Him, and the sense
of help and rest is renewed and strengthened. But not even the six or
seven days are close enough to our hand; even to-morrow exceeds our tiny
grasp, and even to-morrow's grace is therefore not given to us. So we
find the need of considering our lives as a matter of day by day, and
that any more general committal and consecration of our time does not
meet the case so truly. Here we have found much comfort and help, and if
results have not been entirely satisfactory, they have, at least, been
more so than before we reached this point of subdivision.

But if we have found help and blessing by going a certain distance in one
direction, is it not probable we shall find more if we go farther in the
same? And so, if we may commit the days to our Lord, why not the hours,
and why not the moments? And may we not expect a fresh and special
blessing in so doing?

We do not realize the importance of moments. Only let us consider those
two sayings of God about them, 'In a moment shall they die,' and, 'We
shall all be changed in a moment,' and we shall think less lightly of
them. Eternal issues may hang upon any one of them, but it has come and
gone before we can even think about it. Nothing seems less within the
possibility of our own keeping, yet nothing is more inclusive of all
other keeping. Therefore let us ask Him to keep them for us.

Are they not the tiny joints in the harness through which the darts of
temptation pierce us? Only give us time, we think, and we should not be
overcome. Only give us time, and we could pray and resist, and the devil
would flee from us! But he comes all in a moment; and in a moment--an
unguarded, unkept one--we utter the hasty or exaggerated word, or think
the un-Christ-like thought, or feel the un-Christ-like impatience or
resentment.

But even if we have gone so far as to say, 'Take my moments,' have we
gone the step farther, and really _let_ Him take them--really entrusted
them to Him? It is no good saying 'take,' when we do not let go. How can
another keep that which we are keeping hold of? So let us, with full
trust in His power, first commit these slippery moments to Him,--put them
right into His hand,--and then we may trustfully and happily say, 'Lord,
keep them for me! Keep every one of the quick series as it arises. I
cannot keep them for Thee; do Thou keep them for Thyself!'


But the sanctified and Christ-loving heart cannot be satisfied with only
negative keeping. We do not want only to be kept from displeasing Him,
but to be kept always pleasing Him. Every 'kept _from_' should have its
corresponding and still more blessed 'kept _for_.' We do not want our
moments to be simply kept from Satan's use, but kept for His use; we want
them to be not only kept from sin, but kept for His praise.

Do you ask, 'But what use can he make of mere moments?' I will not stay
to prove or illustrate the obvious truth that, as are the moments so will
be the hours and the days which they build. You understand that well
enough. I will answer your question as it stands.

Look back through the history of the Church in all ages, and mark how
often a great work and mighty influence grew out of a mere moment in the
life of one of God's servants; a mere moment, but overshadowed and filled
with the fruitful power of the Spirit of God. The moment may have been
spent in uttering five words, but they have fed five thousand, or even
five hundred thousand. Or it may have been lit by the flash of a thought
that has shone into hearts and homes throughout the land, and kindled
torches that have been borne into earth's darkest corners. The rapid
speaker or the lonely thinker little guessed what use his Lord was making
of that single moment. There was no room in it for even a thought of
that. If that moment had not been, though perhaps unconsciously, 'kept
for Jesus,' but had been otherwise occupied, what a harvest to His praise
would have been missed!

The same thing is going on every day. It is generally a moment--either an
opening or a culminating one--that really does the work. It is not so
often a whole sermon as a single short sentence in it that wings God's
arrow to a heart. It is seldom a whole conversation that is the means of
bringing about the desired result, but some sudden turn of thought or
word, which comes with the electric touch of God's power. Sometimes it is
less than that; only a look (and what is more momentary?) has been used
by Him for the pulling down of strongholds. Again, in our own quiet
waiting upon God, as moment after moment glides past in the silence at
His feet, the eye resting upon a page of His Word, or only looking up to
Him through the darkness, have we not found that He can so irradiate one
passing moment with His light that its rays never die away, but shine on
and on through days and years? Are not such moments proved to have been
kept for Him? And if some, why not all?

This view of moments seems to make it clearer that it is impossible to
serve two masters, for it is evident that the service of a moment cannot
be divided. If it is occupied in the service of self, or any other
master, it is not at the Lord's disposal; He cannot make use of what is
already occupied.

Oh, how much we have missed by not placing them at his disposal! What
might He not have done with the moments freighted with self or loaded
with emptiness, which we have carelessly let drift by! Oh, what might
have been if they had all been kept for Jesus! How He might have filled
them with His light and life, enriching our own lives that have been
impoverished by the waste, and using them in far-spreading blessing and
power!


While we have been undervaluing these fractions of eternity, what has our
gracious God been doing in them? How strangely touching are the words,
'What is man, that Thou shouldest set Thine heart upon him, and that Thou
shouldest visit him every morning, and _try him every moment?_' Terribly
solemn and awful would be the thought that He has been trying us every
moment, were it not for the yearning gentleness and love of the Father
revealed in that wonderful expression of wonder, 'What is man, that Thou
shouldest set Thine heart upon him?' Think of that ceaseless setting of
His heart upon us, careless and forgetful children as we have been! And
then think of those other words, none the less literally true because
given under a figure: 'I, the Lord, do keep it; _I will water it every
moment._'

We see something of God's infinite greatness and wisdom when we try to
fix our dazzled gaze on infinite space. But when we turn to the marvels
of the microscope, we gain a clearer view and more definite grasp of
these attributes by gazing on the perfection of His infinitesimal
handiworks. Just so, while we cannot realize the infinite love which
fills eternity, and the infinite vistas of the great future are 'dark
with excess of light' even to the strongest telescopes of faith, we see
that love magnified in the microscope of the moments, brought very close
to us, and revealing its unspeakable perfection of detail to our
wondering sight.

But we do not see this as long as the moments are kept in our own hands.
We are like little children closing our fingers over diamonds. How can
they receive and reflect the rays of light, analyzing them into all the
splendour of their prismatic beauty, while they are kept shut up tight in
the dirty little hands? Give them up; let our Father hold them for us,
and throw His own great light upon them, and then we shall see them full
of fair colours of His manifold loving-kindnesses; and let Him always
keep them for us, and then we shall always see His light and His love
reflected in them.

And then, surely, they shall be filled with praise. Not that we are to be
always singing hymns, and using the expressions of other people's praise,
any more than the saints in glory are always literally singing a new
song. But praise will be the tone, the colour, the atmosphere in which
they flow; none of them away from it or out of it.

Is it a little too much for them all to 'flow in ceaseless praise'? Well,
where will you stop? What proportion of your moments do you think enough
for Jesus? How many for the spirit of praise, and how many for the spirit
of heaviness? Be explicit about it, and come to an understanding. If He
is not to have all, then _how much?_ Calculate, balance, and apportion.
You will not be able to do this in heaven--you know it will be all praise
there; but you are free to halve your service of praise here, or to make
the proportion what you will.

Yet,--He made you for His glory.

Yet,--He chose you that you should be to the praise of His glory.

Yet,--He loves you every moment, waters you every moment, watches you
unslumberingly, cares for you unceasingly.

Yet,--He died for you!

Dear friends, one can hardly write it without tears. Shall you or I
remember all this love, and hesitate to give all our moments up to Him?
Let us entrust Him with them, and ask Him to keep them all, every single
one, for His own beloved self, and fill them _all_ with His praise, and
let them _all_ be to His praise!



                              Chapter III.
                        Our Hands Kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my hands, that they may move_
    _At the impulse of Thy love.'_

When the Lord has said to us, 'Is thine heart right, as My heart is with
thy heart?' the next word seems to be, 'If it be, give Me thine hand.'

What a call to confidence, and love, and free, loyal, happy service is
this! and how different will the result of its acceptance be from the old
lamentation: 'We labour and have no rest; we have given the hand to the
Egyptians and to the Assyrians.' In the service of these 'other lords,'
under whatever shape they have presented themselves, we shall have known
something of the meaning of having 'both the hands full with travail and
vexation of spirit.' How many a thing have we 'taken in hand,' as we say,
which we expected to find an agreeable task, an interest in life, a
something towards filling up that unconfessed 'aching void' which is
often most real when least acknowledged; and after a while we have found
it change under our hands into irksome travail, involving perpetual
vexation of spirit! The thing may have been of the earth and for the
world, and then no wonder it failed to satisfy even the instinct of work,
which comes natural to many of us. Or it may have been right enough in
itself, something for the good of others so far as we understood their
good, and unselfish in all but unravelled motive, and yet we found it
full of tangled vexations, because the hands that held it were not simply
consecrated to God. Well, if so, let us bring these soiled and
tangle-making hands to the Lord, 'Let us lift up our heart with our
hands' to Him, asking Him to clear and cleanse them.

If He says, 'What is that in thine hand?' let us examine honestly whether
it is something which He can use for His glory or not. If not, do not let
us hesitate an instant about dropping it. It may be something we do not
like to part with; but the Lord is able to give thee much more than this,
and the first glimpse of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus
your Lord will enable us to count those things loss which were gain to
us.

But if it is something which He can use, He will make us do ever so much
more with it than before. Moses little thought what the Lord was going to
make him do with that 'rod in his hand'! The first thing he had to do
with it was to 'cast it on the ground,' and see it pass through a
startling change. After this he was commanded to take it up again, hard
and terrifying as it was to do so. But when it became again a rod in his
hand, it was no longer what it was before, the simple rod of a wandering
desert shepherd. Henceforth it was 'the rod of God in his hand' (Ex. iv.
20), wherewith he should do signs, and by which God Himself would do
'marvellous things' (Ps. lxxviii. 12).


If we look at any Old Testament text about consecration, we shall see
that the marginal reading of the word is, 'fill the hand' (_e. g._ Ex.
xxviii. 41; 1 Chron. xxix. 5). Now, if our hands are full of 'other
things,' they cannot be filled with 'the things that are Jesus Christ's';
there must be emptying before there can be any true filling. So if we are
sorrowfully seeing that our hands have not been kept for Jesus, let us
humbly begin at the beginning, and ask Him to empty them thoroughly, that
He may fill them completely.

For they _must_ be emptied. Either we come to our Lord willingly about
it, letting Him unclasp their hold, and gladly dropping the glittering
weights they have been carrying, or, in very love, He will have to force
them open, and wrench from the reluctant grasp the 'earthly things' which
are so occupying them that He cannot have His rightful use of them. There
is only one other alternative, a terrible one,--to be let alone till the
day comes when not a gentle Master, but the relentless king of terrors
shall empty the trembling hands as our feet follow him out of the busy
world into the dark valley, for 'it is certain we can carry nothing out.'


Yet the emptying and the filling are not all that has to be considered.
Before the hands of the priests could be filled with the emblems of
consecration, they had to be laid upon the emblem of atonement (Lev.
viii. 14, etc.). That came first. 'Aaron and his sons laid their hands
upon the head of the bullock for the sin-offering.' So the transference
of guilt to our Substitute, typified by that act, must precede the
dedication of ourselves to God.

    'My faith would lay her hand
      On that dear head of Thine,
    While like a penitent I stand,
      And there confess my sin.'

The blood of that Holy Substitute was shed 'to make reconciliation upon
the altar.' Without that reconciliation we cannot offer and present
ourselves to God; but this being made, Christ Himself presents us. And
you, that were sometime alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked
works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death,
to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight.

Then Moses 'brought the ram for the burnt-offering; and Aaron and his
sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram, and Moses burnt the whole
ram upon the altar; it was a burnt-offering for a sweet savour, and an
offering made by fire unto the Lord.' Thus Christ's offering was indeed a
whole one, body, soul, and spirit, each and all suffering even unto
death. These atoning sufferings, accepted by God for us, are, by our own
free act, accepted by us as the ground of our acceptance.

Then, reconciled and accepted, we are ready for consecration; for then
'he brought the other ram; the ram of consecration; and Aaron and his
sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.' Here we see Christ, 'who
is consecrated for evermore.' We enter by faith into union with Him who
said, 'For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be
sanctified through the truth.'

After all this, their hands were filled with 'consecrations for a sweet
savour,' so, after laying the hand of our faith upon Christ, suffering
and dying for us, we are to lay that very same hand of faith, and in the
very same way, upon Him as consecrated for us, to be the source and life
and power of our consecration. And then our hands shall be filled with
'consecrations,' filled with Christ, and filled with all that is a sweet
savour to God in Him.

'And who then is willing to fill his hand this day unto the Lord?' Do you
want an added motive? Listen again: 'Fill your hands to-day to the Lord,
that He may bestow upon you a blessing this day.' Not a long time hence,
not even to-morrow, but 'this day.' Do you not want a blessing? Is not
your answer to your Father's 'What wilt thou?' the same as Achsah's,
'Give me a blessing!' Here is His promise of just what you so want; will
you not gladly fulfil His condition? A blessing shall immediately follow.
He does not specify what it shall be; He waits to reveal it. You will
find it such a blessing as you had not supposed could be for you--a
blessing that shall verily make you rich, with no sorrow added--a
blessing _this day_.


All that has been said about consecration applies to our literal members.
Stay a minute, and look at your hand, the hand that holds this little
book as you read it. See how wonderfully it is made; how perfectly fitted
for what it has to do; how ingeniously connected with the brain, so as to
yield that instantaneous and instinctive obedience without which its
beautiful mechanism would be very little good to us! _Your_ hand, do you
say? Whether it is soft and fair with an easy life, or rough and strong
with a working one, or white and weak with illness, it is the Lord Jesus
Christ's. It is not your own at all; it belongs to Him. He made it, for
without Him was not anything made that was made, not even your hand. And
He has the added right of purchase--He has bought it that it might be one
of His own instruments. We know this very well, but have we realized it?
Have we really let Him have the use of these hands of ours? and have we
ever simply and sincerely asked Him to keep them for His own use?

Does this mean that we are always to be doing some definitely 'religious'
work, as it is called? No, but that _all that we do_ is to be always
definitely done _for Him_. There is a great difference. If the hands are
indeed moving 'at the impulse of His love,' the simplest little duties
and acts are transfigured into holy service to the Lord.

    'A servant with this clause
      Makes drudgery divine;
    Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
      Makes that and the action fine.'

                             George Herbert.

A Christian school-girl loves Jesus; she wants to please Him all day
long, and so she practices her scales carefully and conscientiously. It
is at the impulse of His love that her fingers move so steadily through
the otherwise tiresome exercises. Some day her Master will find a use for
her music; but meanwhile it may be just as really done unto Him as if it
were Mr. Sankey at his organ, swaying the hearts of thousands. The hand
of a Christian lad traces his Latin verses, or his figures, or his
copying. He is doing his best, because a banner has been given him that
it may be displayed, not so much by talk as by continuance in well-doing.
And so, for Jesus' sake, his hand moves accurately and perseveringly.

A busy wife, or daughter, or servant has a number of little manual duties
to perform. If these are done slowly and leisurely, they may be got
through, but there will not be time left for some little service to the
poor, or some little kindness to a suffering or troubled neighbour, or
for a little quiet time alone with God and His word. And so the hands
move quickly, impelled by the loving desire for service or communion,
kept in busy motion for Jesus' sake. Or it may be that the special aim is
to give no occasion of reproach to some who are watching, but so to adorn
the doctrine that those may be won by the life who will not be won by the
word. Then the hands will have their share to do; they will move
carefully, neatly, perhaps even elegantly, making every thing around as
nice as possible, letting their intelligent touch be seen in the details
of the home, and even of the dress, doing or arranging all the little
things decently and in order for Jesus' sake. And so on with every duty
in every position.

It may seem an odd idea, but a simple glance at one's hand, with the
recollection, 'This hand is not mine; it has been given to Jesus, and it
must be kept for Jesus,' may sometimes turn the scale in a doubtful
matter, and be a safeguard from certain temptations. With that thought
fresh in your mind as you look at your hand, can you let it take up
things which, to say the very least, are not 'for Jesus'? things which
evidently cannot be used, as they most certainly are not used, either for
Him or by Him? Cards, for instance! Can you deliberately hold in it books
of a kind which you know perfectly well, by sadly repeated experience,
lead you farther from instead of nearer to Him? books which must and do
fill your mind with those 'other things' which, entering in, choke the
word? books which you would not care to read at all, if your heart were
burning within you at the coming of His feet to bless you? Next time any
temptation of this sort approaches, just _look at your hand!_

It was of a literal hand that our Lord Jesus spoke when He said, 'Behold,
the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table;' and, 'He that
dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me.' A hand
so near to Jesus, with Him on the table, touching His own hand in the
dish at that hour of sweetest, and closest, and most solemn intercourse,
and yet betraying Him! That same hand taking the thirty pieces of silver!
What a tremendous lesson of the need of keeping for our hands! Oh that
every hand that is with Him at His sacramental table, and that takes the
memorial bread, may be kept from any faithless and loveless motion! And
again, it was by literal 'wicked hands' that our Lord Jesus was crucified
and slain. Does not the thought that human hands have been so treacherous
and cruel to our beloved Lord make us wish the more fervently that our
hands may be totally faithful and devoted to Him?


Danger and temptation to let the hands move at other impulses is every
bit as great to those who have nothing else to do but to render direct
service, and who think they are doing nothing else. Take one practical
instance--our letter-writing. Have we not been tempted (and fallen before
the temptation), according to our various dispositions, to let the hand
that holds the pen move at the impulse to write an unkind thought of
another; or to say a clever and sarcastic thing, or a slightly coloured
and exaggerated thing, which will make our point more telling; or to let
out a grumble or a suspicion; or to let the pen run away with us into
flippant and trifling words, unworthy of our high and holy calling? Have
we not drifted away from the golden reminder, 'Should he reason with
unprofitable talk, and with speeches wherewith he can do no good?' Why
has this been, perhaps again and again? Is it not for want of putting our
hands into our dear Master's hand, and asking and trusting Him to keep
them? He _could_ have kept; He _would_ have kept!

Whatever our work or our special temptations may be, the principle
remains the same, only let us apply it for ourselves.

Perhaps one hardly needs to say that the kept hands will be very gentle
hands. Quick, angry motions of the heart will sometimes force themselves
into expression by the hand, though the tongue may be restrained. The
very way in which we close a door or lay down a book may be a victory or
a defeat, a witness to Christ's keeping or a witness that we are not
truly being kept. How can we expect that God will use this member as an
instrument of righteousness unto Him, if we yield it thus as an
instrument of unrighteousness unto sin? Therefore let us see to it, that
it is at once yielded to Him whose right it is; and let our sorrow that
it should have been even for an instant desecrated to Satan's use, lead
us to entrust it henceforth to our Lord, to be kept by the power of God
through faith 'for the Master's use.'

For when the gentleness of Christ dwells in us, He can use the merest
touch of a finger. Have we not heard of one gentle touch on a wayward
shoulder being the turning-point of a life? I have known a case in which
the Master made use of less than that--only the quiver of a little finger
being made the means of touching a wayward heart.

What must the touch of the Master's own hand have been! One imagines it
very gentle, though so full of power. Can He not communicate both the
power and the gentleness? When He touched the hand of Peter's wife's
mother, she arose and ministered unto them. Do you not think the hand
which Jesus had just touched must have ministered very excellently? As we
ask Him to 'touch our lips with living fire,' so that they may speak
effectively for Him, may we not ask Him to touch our hands, that they may
minister effectively, and excel in all that they find to do for Him? Then
our hands shall be made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob.


It is very pleasant to feel that if our hands are indeed our Lord's, we
may ask Him to guide them, and strengthen them, and teach them. I do not
mean figuratively, but quite literally. In everything they do for Him
(and that should be _everything we ever undertake_) we want to do it
well--better and better. 'Seek that ye may excel.' We are too apt to
think that He has given us certain natural gifts, but has nothing
practically to do with the improvement of them, and leaves us to
ourselves for that. Why not ask him to make these hands of ours more
handy for His service, more skilful in what is indicated as the 'next
thynge' they are to do? The 'kept' hands need not be clumsy hands. If the
Lord taught David's hands to war and his fingers to fight, will He not
teach our hands, and fingers too, to do what He would have them do?

The Spirit of God must have taught Bezaleel's hands as well as his head,
for he was filled with it not only that he might devise cunning works,
but also in cutting of stones and carving of timber. And when all the
women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, the hands must
have been made skilful as well as the hearts made wise to prepare the
beautiful garments and curtains.

There is a very remarkable instance of the hand of the Lord, which I
suppose signifies in that case the power of His Spirit, being upon the
hand of a man. In 1 Chron. xxviii. 19, we read: 'All this, said David,
the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the
works of this pattern.' This cannot well mean that the Lord gave David a
miraculously written scroll, because, a few verses before, it says that
he had it all by the Spirit. So what else can it mean but that as David
wrote, the hand of the Lord was upon his hand, impelling him to trace,
letter by letter, the right words of description for all the details of
the temple that Solomon should build, with its courts and chambers, its
treasuries and vessels? Have we not sometimes sat down to write, feeling
perplexed and ignorant, and wishing some one were there to tell us what
to say? At such a moment, whether it were a mere note for post, or a
sheet for press, it is a great comfort to recollect this mighty laying of
a Divine hand upon a human one, and ask for the same help from the same
Lord. It is sure to be given!


And now, dear friend, what about your own hands? Are they consecrated to
the Lord who loves you? And if they are, are you trusting Him to keep
them, and enjoying all that is involved in that keeping? Do let this be
settled with your Master before you go on to the next chapter.

After all, this question will hinge on another, Do you love Him? If you
really do, there can surely be neither hesitation about yielding them to
Him, nor about entrusting them to Him to be kept. _Does He love you?_
That is the truer way of putting it; for it is not our love to Christ,
but the love of Christ to us which constraineth us. And this is the
impulse of the motion and the mode of the keeping. The steam-engine does
not move when the fire is not kindled, nor when it is gone out; no matter
how complete the machinery and abundant the fuel, cold coals will neither
set it going nor keep it working. Let us ask Him so to shed abroad His
love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us, that it may
be the perpetual and only impulse of every action of our daily life.



                               Chapter IV.
                        Our Feet kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my feet, that they may be_
    _Swift and beautiful for Thee.'_

The figurative keeping of the feet of His saints, with the promise that
when they run they shall not stumble, is a most beautiful and helpful
subject. But it is quite distinct from the literal keeping for Jesus of
our literal feet.

There is a certain homeliness about the idea which helps to make it very
real. These very feet of ours are purchased for Christ's service by the
precious drops which fell from His own torn and pierced feet upon the
cross. They are to be His errand-runners. How can we let the world, the
flesh, and the devil have the use of what has been purchased with such
payment?

Shall 'the world' have the use of them? Shall they carry us where the
world is paramount, and the Master cannot be even named, because the
mention of His Name would be so obviously out of place? I know the
apparent difficulties of a subject which will at once occur in connection
with this, but they all vanish when our bright banner is loyally
unfurled, with its motto, '_All_ for Jesus!' Do you honestly want your
very feet to be 'kept for Jesus'? Let these simple words, '_Kept for
Jesus_,' ring out next time the dancing difficulty or any other
difficulty of the same kind comes up, and I know what the result will be!

Shall 'the flesh' have the use of them? Shall they carry us hither and
thither merely because we like to go, merely because it pleases ourselves
to take this walk or pay this visit? And after all, what a failure it is!
If people only _would_ believe it, self-pleasing is always a failure in
the end. Our good Master gives us a reality and fulness of _pleasure_ in
pleasing Him which we never get out of pleasing ourselves.

Shall 'the devil' have the use of them? Oh no, of course not! We start
back at this, as a highly unnecessary question. Yet if Jesus has not,
Satan has. For as all are serving either the Prince of Life or the prince
of this world, and as no man can serve two masters, it follows that if we
are not serving the one, we are serving the other. And Satan is only too
glad to disguise this service under the less startling form of the world,
or the still less startling one of self. All that is not 'kept for
Jesus,' is left for self or the world, and therefore for Satan.


There is no fear but that our Lord will have many uses for what is kept
by Him for Himself. 'How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad
tidings of good things!' That is the best use of all; and I expect the
angels think those feet beautiful, even if they are cased in muddy boots
or goloshes.

Once the question was asked, 'Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing
that thou hast no tidings ready?' So if we want to have these beautiful
feet, we must have the tidings ready which they are to bear. Let us ask
Him to keep our hearts so freshly full of His good news of salvation,
that our mouths may speak out of their abundance. 'If the clouds be full
of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.' The 'two olive branches
empty the golden oil out of themselves.' May we be so filled with the
Spirit that we may thus have much to pour out for others!

Besides the great privilege of carrying water from the wells of
salvation, there are plenty of cups of cold water to be carried in all
directions; not to the poor only,--ministries of love are often as much
needed by a rich friend. But the feet must be kept for these; they will
be too tired for them if they are tired out for self-pleasing. In such
services we are treading in the blessed steps of His most holy life, who
'went about doing good.'

Then there is literal errand-going,--just to fetch something that is
needed for the household, or something that a tired relative wants,
whether asked or unasked. Such things should come first instead of last,
because these are clearly indicated as our Lord's will for us to do, by
the position in which He has placed us; while what _seems_ more direct
service, may be after all not so directly apportioned by Him. 'I have to
go and buy some soap,' said one with a little sigh. The sigh was waste of
breath, for her feet were going to do her Lord's will for that next
half-hour much more truly than if they had carried her to her well-worked
district, and left the soap to take its chance.

A member of the Young Women's Christian Association wrote a few words on
this subject, which, I think, will be welcome to many more than she
expected them to reach:--

'May it not be a comfort to those of us who feel we have not the mental
or spiritual power that others have, to notice that the living sacrifice
mentioned in Rom. xii. 1 is our "bodies"? Of course, that includes the
mental power, but does it not also include the loving, sympathizing
glance, the kind, encouraging word, _the ready errand for another_, the
work of our hands, opportunities for all of which come oftener in the day
than for the mental power we are often tempted to envy? May we be enabled
to offer willingly that which we have. For if there be first a willing
mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to
that he hath not.'

If our feet are to be kept at His disposal, our eyes must be ever toward
the Lord for guidance. We must look to Him for our orders where to go.
Then He will be sure to give them. 'The steps of a good man are ordered
by the Lord.' Very often we find that they have been so very literally
ordered for us that we are quite astonished,--just as if He had not
promised!

Do not smile at a _very_ homely thought! If our feet are not our own,
ought we not to take care of them for Him whose they are? Is it quite
right to be reckless about 'getting wet feet,' which might be guarded
against either by forethought or afterthought, when there is, at least, a
risk of hindering our service thereby? Does it please the Master when
even in our zeal for His work we annoy anxious friends by carelessness in
little things of this kind?

May every step of our feet be more and more like those of our beloved
Master. Let us continually consider Him in this, and go where He would
have gone, on the errands which He would have done, 'following hard'
after Him. And let us look on to the time when our feet shall stand in
the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem, when holy feet shall tread the
streets of the holy city; no longer pacing any lonely path, for He hath
said, 'They shall walk with Me in white.'

    'And He hath said, "How beautiful the feet!"
      The "feet" so weary, travel-stained, and worn--
      The "feet" that humbly, patiently have borne
    The toilsome way, the pressure, and the heat.

    'The "feet," not hasting on with wingèd might,
      Nor strong to trample down the opposing foe;
      So lowly, and so human, they must go
    By painful steps to scale the mountain height.

    'Not unto all the tuneful lips are given,
      The ready tongue, the words so strong and sweet;
      Yet all may turn, with humble, willing "feet,"
    And bear to darkened souls the light from heaven.

    'And fall they while the goal far distant lies,
      With scarce a word yet spoken for their Lord--
      His sweet approval He doth yet accord;
    Their "feet" are beauteous in the Master's eyes.

    'With weary human "feet" He, day by day,
      Once trod this earth to work His acts of love;
      And every step is chronicled above
    His servants take to follow in His way.'

                         Sarah Geraldina Stock.



                               Chapter V.
                       Our Voices kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my voice, and let me sing_
    _Always, only, for my King.'_

I have wondered a little at being told by an experienced worker, that in
many cases the voice seems the last and hardest thing to yield entirely
to the King; and that many who think and say they have consecrated all to
the Lord and His service, 'revolt' when it comes to be a question of
whether they shall sing 'always, only,' for their King. They do not mind
singing a few general sacred songs, but they do not see their way to
really singing always and only unto and for Him. They want to bargain and
balance a little. They question and argue about what proportion they may
keep for self-pleasing and company-pleasing, and how much they must 'give
up'; and who will and who won't like it; and what they 'really _must_
sing,' and what they 'really must _not_ sing' at certain times and
places; and what 'won't do,' and what they 'can't very well help,' and so
on. And so when the question, 'How much owest thou unto my Lord?' is
applied to this particularly pleasant gift, it is not met with the loyal,
free-hearted, happy response, 'All! yes, _all_ for Jesus!'

I know there are special temptations around this matter. Vain and selfish
ones--whispering how much better a certain song suits your voice, and how
much more likely to be admired. Faithless ones--suggesting doubts whether
you can make the holy song 'go.' Specious ones--asking whether you ought
not to please your neighbours, and hushing up the rest of the precept,
'Let every one of you please his neighbour _for his good to edification_'
(Rom. xv. 2). Cowardly ones--telling you that it is just a little too
much to expect of you, and that you are not called upon to wave your
banner in people's very faces, and provoke surprise and remark, as this
might do. And so the banner is kept furled, the witness for Jesus is not
borne, and you sing for others and not for your King.

The words had passed your lips, 'Take my voice!' And yet you will not let
Him have it; you will not let Him have that which costs you something,
just _because_ it costs you something! And yet He lent you that pleasant
voice that you might use it for Him. And yet He, in the sureness of His
perpetual presence, was beside you all the while, and heard every note as
you sang the songs which were, as your inmost heart knew, _not_ for Him.

Where is your faith? Where is the consecration you have talked about? The
voice has not been kept for Him, because it has not been truly and
unreservedly given to Him. Will you not now say, 'Take my voice, for I
had not given it to Thee; keep my voice, for I cannot keep it for Thee'?

And He will keep it! You cannot tell, till you have tried, how surely all
the temptations flee when it is no longer your battle but the Lord's; nor
how completely and _curiously_ all the difficulties vanish, when you
simply and trustfully go forward in the path of full consecration in this
matter. You will find that the keeping is most wonderfully real. Do not
expect to lay down rules and provide for every sort of contingency. If
you could, you would miss the sweetness of the continual guidance in the
'kept' course. Have only one rule about it--just to look up to your
Master about every single song you are asked or feel inclined to sing. If
you are 'willing and obedient,' you will always meet His guiding eye. He
will always keep the voice that is wholly at His disposal. Soon you will
have such experience of His immediate guidance that you will be utterly
satisfied with it, and only sorrowfully wonder you did not sooner thus
simply lean on it.

I have just received a letter from one who has laid her special gift at
the feet of the Giver, yielding her voice to Him with hearty desire that
it might be kept for His use. She writes: 'I had two lessons on singing
while in Germany from our Master. One was very sweet. A young girl wrote
to me, that when she had heard me sing, "O come, every one that
thirsteth," she went away and prayed that she might come, and she _did_
come, too. Is not He good? The other was: I had been tempted to join the
_Gesang Verein_ in N----. I prayed to be shown whether I was right in so
doing or not. I did not see my way clear, so I went. The singing was all
secular. The very first night I went I caught a bad cold on my chest,
which prevented me from singing again at all till Christmas. Those were
better than any lessons from a singing master!' Does not this illustrate
both the keeping _from_ and the keeping _for?_ In the latter case I
believe she honestly wished to know her Lord's will,--whether the
training and practice were needed for His better service with her music,
and that, therefore, she might take them for His sake; or whether the
concomitants and influence would be such as to hinder the close communion
with Him which she had found so precious, and that, therefore, she was to
trust Him to give her 'much more than this.' And so, at once, He showed
her unmistakeably what He would have her _not_ do, and gave her the sweet
consciousness that He Himself was teaching her and taking her at her
word. I know what her passionate love for music is, and how very real and
great the compensation from Him must have been which could thus make her
right down _glad_ about what would otherwise have been an immense
disappointment. And then, as to the former of these two 'lessons,' the
song she names was one substituted when she said, 'Take my voice,' for
some which were far more effective for her voice. But having freely
chosen to sing what might glorify the Master rather than the singer, see
how, almost immediately, He gave her a reward infinitely outweighing all
the drawing-room compliments or concert-room applause! That one
consecrated song found echoes in heaven, bringing, by its blessed result,
joy to the angels and glory to God. And the memory of that song is
immortal; it will live through ages to come, never lost, never dying
away, when the vocal triumphs of the world's greatest singers are past
and forgotten for ever. Now you who have been taking a half-and-half
course, do _you_ get such rewards as this? You may well envy them! But
why not take the same decided course, and share the same blessed keeping
and its fulness of hidden reward?

If you only knew, dear hesitating friends, what strength and gladness the
Master gives when we loyally 'sing forth the honour of His Name,' you
would not forego it! Oh, if you only knew the difficulties it saves! For
when you sing 'always and only for your King,' you will not get much
entangled by the King's enemies, Singing an out-and-out sacred song often
clears one's path at a stroke as to many other things. If you only knew
the rewards He gives--very often then and there; the recognition that you
are one of the King's friends by some lonely and timid one; the openings
which you quite naturally gain of speaking a word for Jesus to hearts
which, without the song, would never have given you the chance of the
word! If you only knew the joy of believing that His sure promise, 'My
Word shall not return unto Me void,' will be fulfilled as you _sing_ that
word for Him! If you only tasted the solemn happiness of knowing that you
have indeed a royal audience, that the King Himself is listening as you
sing! If you only knew--and why should you not know? Shall not the time
past of your life suffice you for the miserable, double-hearted,
calculating service? Let Him have the _whole_ use of your voice at any
cost, and see if He does not put many a totally unexpected new song into
your mouth!

I am not writing all this to great and finished singers, but to everybody
who can sing at all. Those who think they have only a very small talent,
are often most tempted not to trade with it for their Lord. Whether you
have much or little natural voice, there is reason for its cultivation
and room for its use. Place it at your Lord's disposal, and He will show
you how to make the most of it for Him; for not seldom His multiplying
power is brought to bear on a consecrated voice. A puzzled singing
master, very famous in his profession, said to one who tried to sing for
Jesus, 'Well, you have not much voice; but, mark my words, you will
always beat anybody with four times your voice!' He was right, though he
did not in the least know why.


A great many so-called 'sacred songs' are so plaintive and pathetic that
they help to give a gloomy idea of religion. Now _don't_ sing these; come
out boldly, and sing definitely and unmistakeably for your King, and of
your King, and to your King. You will soon find, and even outsiders will
have to own, that it is a _good_ thing thus to show forth His
loving-kindness and His faithfulness (see Ps. xcii. 1-3).

Here I am usually met by the query, 'But what would you advise me to
sing?' I can only say that I never got any practical help from asking any
one but the Master Himself, and so I would advise you to do the same! He
knows exactly what will best suit your voice and enable you to sing best
for Him; for He made it, and gave it just the pitch and tone He pleased,
so, of course, He is the best counsellor about it. Refer your question in
simplest faith to Him, and I am perfectly sure you will find it answered.
He will direct you, and in some way or other the Lord will provide the
right songs for you to sing. That is the very best advice I can possibly
give you on the subject, and you will prove it to be so if you will act
upon it.

Only one thing I would add: I believe there is nothing like singing His
own words. The preacher claims the promise, 'My word shall not return
unto Me void,' and why should not the singer equally claim it? Why should
we use His own inspired words, with faith in their power, when speaking
or writing, and content ourselves with human words put into rhyme (and
sometimes very feeble rhyme) for our singing?

What a vista of happy work opens out here! What is there to prevent our
using this mightiest of all agencies committed to human agents, the Word,
which is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,
whenever we are asked to sing? By this means, even a young girl may be
privileged to make that Word sound in the ears of many who would not
listen to it otherwise. By this, the incorruptible seed may be sown in
otherwise unreachable ground.

It is a remarkable fact that it is actually the easiest way thus to take
the very highest ground. You will find that singing Bible words does not
excite the prejudice or contempt that any other words, sufficiently
decided to be worth singing, are almost sure to do. For very decency's
sake, a Bible song will be listened to respectfully; and for very shame's
sake, no adverse whisper will be ventured against the words in ordinary
English homes. The singer is placed on a vantage-ground, certain that at
least the words of the song will be outwardly respected, and the possible
ground of unfriendly criticism thus narrowed to begin with.

But there is much more than this. One feels the power of His words for
oneself as one sings. One loves them and rejoices in them, and what can
be greater help to any singer than that? And one knows they are true, and
that they cannot really return void, and what can give greater confidence
than that? God _may_ bless the singing of any words, but He _must_ bless
the singing of His own Word, if that promise means what it says!

The only real difficulty in the matter is that Scripture songs, as a
rule, require a little more practice than others. Then practise them a
little more! You think nothing of the trouble of learning, for instance,
a sonata, which takes you many a good hour's practice before you can
render it perfectly and expressively. But you shrink from a song, the
accompaniment of which you cannot read off without any trouble at all.
And you never think of such a thing as taking one-tenth the pains to
learn that accompaniment that you took to learn that sonata! Very likely,
too, you take the additional pains to learn the sonata off by heart, so
that you may play it more effectively. But you do not take pains to learn
your accompaniment by heart, so that you may throw all your power into
the expression of the words, undistracted by reading the notes and
turning over the leaves. It is far more useful to have half a dozen
Scripture songs thoroughly learnt and made your own, than to have in your
portfolios several dozen easy settings of sacred poetry which you get
through with your eyes fixed on the notes. And every one thus thoroughly
mastered makes it easier to master others.

You will say that all this refers only to drawing-room singing. So it
does, primarily, but then it is the drawing-room singing which has been
so little for Jesus and so much for self and society; and so much less
has been said about it, and so much less _done_. There would not be half
the complaints of the difficulty of witnessing for Christ in even
professedly Christian homes and circles, if every converted singer were
also a consecrated one. For nothing raises or lowers the tone of a whole
evening so much as the character of the music. There are few things which
show more clearly that, as a rule, a very definite step in advance is
needed beyond being a believer or even a worker for Christ. Over how many
grand or cottage pianos could the Irish Society's motto, 'For Jesus' sake
_only_,' be hung, without being either a frequent reproach, or altogether
inappropriate?

But what is learnt will, naturally, be sung. And oh! how many Christian
parents give their daughters the advantage of singing lessons without
troubling themselves in the least about what songs are learnt, provided
they are not exceptionally foolish! Still more pressingly I would say,
how many Christian principals, to whom young lives are entrusted at the
most important time of all for training, do not give themselves the least
concern about this matter! As I write, I turn aside to refer to a list of
songs learnt last term by a fresh young voice which would willingly be
trained for higher work. There is just one 'sacred' song in the whole
long list, and even that hardly such a one as the writer of the letter
above quoted would care to sing in her fervent-spirited service of
Christ. All the rest are harmless and pleasing, but only suggestive of
the things of earth, the things of the world that is passing away; not
one that might lead upward and onward, not one that might touch a
careless heart to seek first the kingdom of God, not one that might show
forth the glory and praise of our King, not one that tells out His grace
and love, not one that carries His comfort to His weary ones or His joy
to His loving ones. She is left to find and learn _such_ songs as best
she may; those which she will sing with all the ease and force gained by
good teaching of them are no help at all, but rather hindrance in
anything like wish or attempt to 'sing _for Jesus_.'

There is not the excuse that the songs of God's kingdom, songs which waft
His own words to the souls around, would not have answered the teacher's
purpose as well. God has taken care of that. He has not left Himself
without witness in this direction. He has given the most perfect melodies
and the richest harmonies to be linked with His own words, and no singer
can be trained beyond His wonderful provision in this way. I pray that
even these poor words of mine may reach the consciences of some of those
who have this responsibility, and lead them to be no longer unfaithful in
this important matter, no longer giving this strangely divided
service--training, as they profess to desire, the souls for God, and yet
allowing the voices to be trained only for the world.


But we must not run away with the idea that singing sacred songs and
singing for Jesus are convertible terms. I know by sorrowful personal
experience that it is very possible to sing a sacred song and _not_ sing
it for Jesus. It is easier to have one's portfolio all right than one's
heart, and the repertory is more easily arranged than the motives. When
we have taken our side, and the difficulties of indecision are
consequently swept away, we have a new set of more subtle temptations to
encounter. And although the Master will keep, the servant must watch and
pray; and it is through the watching and the praying that the keeping
will be effectual. We have, however, rather less excuse here than even
elsewhere. For we never have to sing so very suddenly that we need be
taken unawares. We have to think what to sing, and perhaps find the
music, and the prelude has to be played, and all this gives quite enough
time for us to recollect whose we are and whom we serve, and to arouse to
the watch. Quite enough, too, for quick, trustful prayer that our singing
may be kept free from that wretched self-seeking or even
self-consciousness, and kept entirely for Jesus. Our best and happiest
singing will flow when there is a sweet, silent undercurrent of prayerful
or praiseful communion with our Master all through the song. As for
nervousness, I am quite sure this is the best antidote to that.

On the other hand, it is quite possible to sing for Jesus without singing
a sacred song. Do not take an ell for the inch this seems to give, and
run off with the idea that it does not matter after all what you sing, so
that you sing in a good frame of mind! No such thing! And the admission
needs very careful guarding, and must not be wrested into an excuse for
looking back to the world's songs. But cases may and do arise in which it
may be right to gratify a weary father, or win a wayward brother, by
trying to please them with music to which they will listen when they
would not listen to the songs you would rather sing. There are cases in
which this may be done most truly for the Lord's sake, and clearly under
His guidance.

Sometimes cases arise in which we can only say, 'Neither know we what to
do, but our eyes are upon Thee.' And when we honestly say that, depend
upon it we shall find the promise true, 'I will guide thee with Mine
eye.' For God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above
that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way (Gr.
_the_ way) to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I do not know why it should be so, but it certainly is a much rarer thing
to find a young gentleman singing for Jesus than a young lady,--a _very_
rare thing to find one with a cultivated voice consecrating it to the
Master's use. I have met some who were not ashamed to speak for Him, to
whom it never seemed even to occur to sing for Him. They would go and
teach a Bible class one day, and the next they would be practising or
performing just the same songs as those who care nothing for Christ and
His blood-bought salvation. They had left some things behind, but they
had not left any of their old songs behind. They do not seem to think
that being made new creatures in Christ Jesus had anything to do with
this department of their lives. Nobody could gather whether they were on
the Lord's side or not, as they stood and sang their neutral songs. The
banner that was displayed in the class-room was furled in the
drawing-room. Now, my friends, you who have or may have far greater
opportunities of displaying that banner than we womenkind, why should you
be less brave and loyal than your sisters? We are weak and you are strong
naturally, but recollect that want of decision always involves want of
power, and compromising Christians are always weak Christians. You will
never be mighty to the pulling down of strongholds while you have one
foot in the enemy's camp, or on the supposed neutral ground, if such can
exist (which I doubt), between the camps. You will never be a terror to
the devil till you have enlisted every gift and faculty on the Lord's
side. Here is a thing in which you may practically carry out the splendid
motto, 'All for Jesus.' You cannot be all for Him as long as your voice
is not for Him. Which shall it be? _All_ for Him, or _partly_ for Him?
Answer that to Him whom you call Master and Lord.

When once this drawing-room question is settled, there is not much need
to expatiate about other forms of singing for Jesus. As we have
opportunity we shall be willing to do good with our pleasant gift in any
way or place, and it is wonderful what nice opportunities He makes for
us. Whether to one little sick child or to a thousand listeners,
according to the powers and openings granted, we shall take our happy
position among those who minister with singing (1 Chron. vi. 32). And in
so far as we really do this unto the Lord, I am quite sure He gives the
hundred-fold now in this present time more than all the showy songs or
self-gratifying performances we may have left for His sake. As we
steadily tread this part of the path of consecration, we shall find the
difficulties left behind, and the real pleasantness of the way reached,
and it will be a delight to say to oneself, 'I _cannot_ sing the old
songs;' and though you have thought it quite enough to say, 'With my song
will I please my friends,' especially if they happen to be pleased with a
mildly sacred song or two, you will strike a higher and happier, a richer
and purer note, and say with David, 'With my song will I praise _Him_.'
David said also, 'My lips shall greatly rejoice _when_ I sing unto Thee,
and my soul, which Thou hast redeemed.' And you will find that this comes
true.

    Singing for Jesus, our Saviour and King;
      Singing for Jesus, the Lord whom we love!
    All adoration we joyously bring,
      Longing to praise as they praise Him above.

    Singing for Jesus, our Master and Friend,
      Telling His love and His marvellous grace,--
    Love from eternity, love to the end,
      Love for the loveless, the sinful, and base.

    Singing for Jesus, and trying to win
      Many to love Him, and join in the song;
    Calling the weary and wandering in,
      Rolling the chorus of gladness along.

    Singing for Jesus, our Life and our Light;
      Singing for Him as we press to the mark;
    Singing for Him when the morning is bright;
      Singing, still singing, for Him in the dark!

    Singing for Jesus, our Shepherd and Guide;
      Singing for gladness of heart that He gives;
    Singing for wonder and praise that He died;
      Singing for blessing and joy that He lives!

    Singing for Jesus, oh, singing with joy;
      Thus will we praise Him, and tell out His love,
    Till He shall call us to brighter employ,
      Singing for Jesus for ever above.



                               Chapter VI.
                        Our Lips kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my lips, that they may be_
    _Filled with messages from Thee.'_

The days are past for ever when we said, 'Our lips are our own.' Now we
know that they are not our own.

And yet how many of my readers often have the miserable consciousness
that they have 'spoken unadvisedly with their lips'! How many pray, 'Keep
the door of my lips,' when the very last thing they think of expecting is
that they _will_ be kept! They deliberately make up their minds that
hasty words, or foolish words, or exaggerated words, according to their
respective temptations, must and will slip out of that door, and that it
can't be helped. The extent of the real meaning of their prayer was
merely that not quite so many might slip out. As their faith went no
farther, the answer went no farther, and so the door was not kept.

Do let us look the matter straight in the face. Either we have committed
our lips to our Lord, or we have not. This question must be settled
first. If not, oh, do not let another hour pass! Take them to Jesus, and
ask Him to take them.

But when you _have_ committed them to Him, it comes to this,--is He able
or is He not able to keep that which you have committed to Him? If He is
not able, of course you may as well give up at once, for your own
experience has abundantly proved that _you_ are not able, so there is no
help for you. But if He is able--nay, thank God there is no '_if_' on
this side!--say, rather, _as_ He is able, where was this inevitable
necessity of perpetual failure? You have been fancying yourself virtually
doomed and fated to it, and therefore you have gone on in it, while all
the time His arm was not shortened that it could not save, but you have
been limiting the Holy One of Israel. Honestly, now, have you trusted Him
to keep your lips _this day?_ Trust necessarily implies expectation that
what we have entrusted will be kept. If you have not expected Him to
keep, you have not trusted. You may have tried, and tried very hard, but
you have not _trusted_, and therefore you have not been kept, and your
lips have been the snare of your soul (Prov. xviii. 7).

Once I heard a beautiful prayer which I can never forget; it was this:
'Lord, take my lips, and speak through them; take my mind, and think
through it; take my heart, and set it on fire.' And this is the way the
Master keeps the lips of His servants, by so filling their hearts with
His love that the outflow cannot be unloving, by so filling their
thoughts that the utterance cannot be un-Christ-like. There must be
filling before there _can_ be pouring out; and if there is filling, there
_must_ be pouring out, for He hath said, 'Out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth speaketh.'

But I think we should look for something more direct and definite than
this. We are not all called to be the King's ambassadors, but _all_ who
have heard the messages of salvation for themselves are called to be 'the
Lord's messengers,' and day by day, as He gives us opportunity, we are to
deliver 'the Lord's message unto the people.' That message, as committed
to Haggai, was, 'I am with you, saith the Lord.' Is there not work enough
for any lifetime in unfolding and distributing that one message to His
own people? Then, for those who are still far off, we have that equally
full message from our Lord to give out, which He has condensed for us
into the one word, 'Come!'

It is a specially sweet part of His dealings with His messengers that He
always gives us the message for ourselves first. It is what He has first
told us in darkness--that is, in the secrecy of our own rooms, or at
least of our own hearts--that He bids us speak in light. And so the more
we sit at His feet and watch to see what He has to say to ourselves, the
more we shall have to tell to others. He does not send us out with sealed
despatches, which we know nothing about, and with which we have no
concern.

There seems a seven-fold sequence in His filling the lips of His
messengers. First, they must be purified. The live coal from off the
altar must be laid upon them, and He must say, 'Lo, this hath touched thy
lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged.' Then He
will create the fruit of them, and this seems to be the great message of
peace, 'Peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the
Lord; and I will heal him' (see Isa. lvii. 19). Then comes the prayer, 'O
Lord, open Thou my lips,' and its sure fulfilment. For then come in the
promises, 'Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth,' and, 'They shall
withal be fitted in thy lips.' Then, of course, 'the lips of the
righteous feed many,' for the food is the Lord's own giving. Everything
leads up to praise, and so we come next to 'My mouth shall praise Thee
with joyful lips, when I remember Thee.' And lest we should fancy that
'_when_' rather implies that it is not, or cannot be, exactly _always_,
we find that the meditation of Jesus throws this added light upon it, 'By
_Him_, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God
_continually_, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to' (margin,
confessing) 'His name.'

Does it seem a coming down from the mount to glance at one of our King's
commandments, which is specially needful and applicable to this matter of
our lips being kept for Him? 'Watch and pray, that ye enter not into
temptation.' None of His commands clash with or supersede one another.
Trusting does not supersede watching; it does but complete and effectuate
it. Unwatchful trust is a delusion, and untrustful watching is in vain.
Therefore let us not either wilfully or carelessly _enter_ into
temptation, whether of place, or person, or topic, which has any tendency
to endanger the keeping of our lips for Jesus. Let us pray that grace may
be more and more poured into our lips as it was into His, so that our
speech may be _alway_ with grace. May they be pure, and sweet, and
lovely, even as 'His lips, like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh.'


We can hardly consider the keeping of our lips without recollecting that
upon them, more than all else (though not exclusively of all else),
depends that greatest of our responsibilities, our influence. We have no
choice in the matter; we cannot evade or avoid it; and there is no more
possibility of our limiting it, or even tracing its limits, than there is
of setting a bound to the far-vibrating sound-waves, or watching their
flow through the invisible air. Not one sentence that passes these lips
of ours but must be an invisibly prolonged influence, not dying away into
silence, but living away into the words and deeds of others. The thought
would not be quite so oppressive if we could know what we have done and
shall be continuing to do by what we have said. But we _never_ can, as a
matter of fact. We may trace it a little way, and get a glimpse of some
results for good or evil; but we never can see any more of it than we can
see of a shooting star flashing through the night with a momentary
revelation of one step of its strange path. Even if the next instant
plunges it into apparent annihilation as it strikes the atmosphere of the
earth, we know that it is not really so, but that its mysterious material
and force must be added to the complicated materials and forces with
which it has come in contact, with a modifying power none the less real
because it is beyond our ken. And this is not comparing a great thing
with a small, but a small thing with a great. For what is material force
compared with moral force? what are gases, and vapours, and elements,
compared with souls and the eternity for which they are preparing?

We all know that there is influence exerted by a person's mere presence,
without the utterance of a single word. We are conscious of this every
day. People seem to carry an atmosphere with them, which _must_ be
breathed by those whom they approach. Some carry an atmosphere in which
all unkind thoughts shrivel up and cannot grow into expression. Others
carry one in which 'thoughts of Christ and things divine' never seem able
to flourish. Have you not felt how a happy conversation about the things
we love best is checked, or even strangled, by the entrance of one who is
not in sympathy? Outsiders have not a chance of ever really knowing what
delightful intercourse we have one with another about these things,
because their very presence chills and changes it. On the other hand, how
another person's incoming freshens and develops it and warms us all up,
and seems to give us, without the least conscious effort, a sort of
_lift!_

If even unconscious and involuntary influence is such a power, how much
greater must it be when the recognised power of words is added!

It has often struck me as a matter of observation, that open profession
adds force to this influence, on whichever side it weighs; and also that
it has the effect of making many a word and act, which might in other
hands have been as nearly neutral as anything can be, tell with by no
means neutral tendency on the wrong side. The question of Eliphaz comes
with great force when applied to one who desires or professes to be
consecrated altogether, life _and_ lips: 'Should _he_ reason with
unprofitable talk, and with speeches _wherewith one can do no good?_'
There is our standard! Idle words, which might have fallen comparatively
harmlessly from one who had never named the Name of Christ, may be a
stumbling-block to inquirers, a sanction to thoughtless juniors, and a
grief to thoughtful seniors, when they come from lips which are
professing to feed many. Even intelligent talk on general subjects by
such a one may be a chilling disappointment to some craving heart, which
had indulged the hope of getting help, comfort, or instruction in the
things of God by listening to the conversation. It may be a lost
opportunity of giving and gaining no one knows _how_ much!

How well I recollect this disappointment to myself, again and again, when
a mere child! In those early seeking days I never could understand why,
sometimes, a good man whom I heard preach or speak as if he loved Christ
very much, talked about all sorts of other things when he came back from
church or missionary meeting. I did so wish he would have talked about
the Saviour, whom I wanted, but had not found. It would have been so much
more interesting even to the apparently thoughtless and merry little
girl. How could he help it, I wondered, if he cared for that Pearl of
Great Price as I was sure I should care for it if I could only find it!
And oh, why didn't they ever talk to me about it, instead of about my
lessons or their little girls at home? They did not know how their
conversation was observed and compared with their sermon or speech, and
how a hungry little soul went empty away from the supper table.

The lips of younger Christians may cause, in their turn, no less
disappointment. One sorrowful lesson I can never forget; and I will tell
the story in hope that it may save others from causes of similar regret.
During a summer visit just after I had left school, a class of girls
about my own age came to me a few times for an hour's singing. It was
very pleasant indeed, and the girls were delighted with the hymns. They
listened to all I had to say about time and expression, and not with less
attention to the more shyly-ventured remarks about the words. Sometimes I
accompanied them afterwards down the avenue; and whenever I met any of
them I had smiles and plenty of kindly words for each, which they seemed
to appreciate immensely. A few years afterwards I sat by the bedside of
one of these girls--the most gifted of them all with both heart and head.
She had been led by a wonderful way, and through long and deep suffering,
into far clearer light than I enjoyed, and had witnessed for Christ in
more ways than one, and far more brightly than I had ever done. She told
me how sorrowfully and eagerly she was seeking Jesus at the time of those
singing classes. And I never knew it, because I never asked, and she was
too shy to speak first! But she told me more, and every word was a pang
to me,--how she used to linger in the avenue on those summer evenings,
longing that I would speak to her about the Saviour; how she hoped, week
after week, that I would just stretch out a hand to help her, just say
one little word that might be God's message of peace to her, instead of
the pleasant, general remarks about the nice hymns and tunes. And I never
did! And she went on for months, I think for years, after, without the
light and gladness which it might have been my privilege to bring to her
life. God chose other means, for the souls that He has given to Christ
cannot be lost because of the unfaithfulness of a human instrument. But
she said, and the words often ring in my ears when I am tempted to let an
opportunity slip, 'Ah, Miss F., I ought to have been _yours!_'

Yes, it is true enough that we should show forth His praise not only with
our lips, but in our lives; but with very many Christians the other side
of the prayer wants praying--they want rousing up even to _wish_ to show
it forth not only in their lives but with their lips. I wonder how many,
even of those who read this, really pray, 'O Lord, open Thou _my_ lips,
and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.'

And when opened, oh, how much one _does_ want to have them so kept for
Jesus that He may be free to make the most of them, not letting them
render second-rate and indirect service when they might be doing direct
and first-rate service to His cause and kingdom! It is terrible how much
less is done for Him than _might_ be done, in consequence of the specious
notion that if what we are doing or saying is not bad, we are doing good
in a certain way, and therefore may be quite easy about it. We should
think a man rather foolish if he went on doing work which earned five
shillings a week, when he might just as well do work in the same
establishment and under the same master which would bring him in five
pounds a week. But we should pronounce him shamefully dishonest and
dishonourable if he accepted such handsome wages as the five pounds, and
yet chose to do work worth only five shillings, excusing himself by
saying that it was work all the same, and somebody had better do it. Do
we not act something like this when we take the lower standard, and spend
our strength in just making ourselves agreeable and pleasant, creating a
general good impression in favour of religion, showing that we can be all
things to all men, and that one who is supposed to be a citizen of the
other world can be very well up in all that concerns this world? This may
be good, but is there nothing better? What does it profit if we do make
this favourable impression on an outsider, if we go no farther and do not
use the influence gained to bring him right inside the fold, inside the
only ark of safety? People are not converted by this sort of work; at any
rate, _I_ never met or heard of any one. 'He thinks it better for his
quiet influence to tell!' said an affectionately excusing relative of one
who had plenty of special opportunities of soul-winning, if he had only
used his lips as well as his life for his Master. 'And how many souls
have been converted to God by his "quiet influence" all these years?' was
my reply. And to that there was no answer! For the silent shining was all
very beautiful in theory, but not one of the many souls placed specially
under his influence had been known to be brought out of darkness into
marvellous light. If they had, they must have been known, for such light
can't help being seen.

When one has even a glimmer of the tremendous difference between having
Christ and being without Christ; when one gets but one shuddering glimpse
of what eternity is, and of what it must mean, as well as what it may
mean, without Christ; when one gets but a flash of realization of the
tremendous fact that all these neighbours of ours, rich and poor alike,
will _have_ to spend that eternity either with Him or without Him,--it is
hard, very hard indeed, to understand how a man or woman can believe
these things at all, and make no effort for anything beyond the temporal
elevation of those around, sometimes not even beyond their amusements!
'People must have entertainment,' they urge. I do not find that _must_ in
the Bible, but I do find, 'We _must_ all stand before the judgment-seat
of Christ.' And if you have any sort of belief in that, how can you care
to use those lips of yours, which might be a fountain of life to the
dying souls before you, merely to 'entertain' them at your penny reading
or other entertainment? As you sow, so you reap. The amusing paper is
read, or the lively ballad recited, or the popular song sung, and you
reap your harvest of laughter or applause, and of complacence at your
success in 'entertaining' the people. And there it ends, when you might
have sown words from which you and they should reap fruit unto life
eternal. Is this worthy work for one who has been bought with such a
price that he must say,

    'Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all'?

So far from yielding 'all' to that rightful demand of amazing love, he
does not even yield the fruit of his lips to it, much less the lips
themselves. I cannot refrain from adding, that even this lower aim of
'entertaining' is by no means so appreciated as is supposed. As a
cottager of no more than average sense and intelligence remarked, 'It was
all so _trifling_ at the reading; I wish gentlefolks would believe that
poor people like something better than what's just to make them laugh.'
After all, nothing really pays like direct, straightforward,
uncompromising words about God and His works and word. Nothing else ever
made a man say, as a poor Irishman did when he heard the Good News for
the first time, 'Thank ye, sir; you've taken the hunger off us to-day!'


Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord; what about ours? Well,
they _are_ all uttered before the Lord in one sense, whether we will or
no; for there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, Thou, O Lord, knowest
it altogether! How solemn is this thought, but how sweet does it become
when our words are uttered consciously before the Lord as we walk in the
light of His perpetual presence! Oh that we may so walk, that we may so
speak, with kept feet and kept lips, trustfully praying, 'Let the
meditation of my heart and the words of my mouth be alway acceptable in
Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer!'


Bearing in mind that it is not only the words which pass their
lightly-hinged portal, but our literal lips which are to be kept for
Jesus, it cannot be out of place, before closing this chapter, to suggest
that they open both ways. What passes in should surely be considered as
well as what passes out. And very many of us are beginning to see that
the command, 'Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
glory of God,' is not fully obeyed when we drink, merely because we like
it, what is the very greatest obstacle to that glory in this realm of
England. What matter that we prefer taking it in a more refined form, if
the thing itself is daily and actively and mightily working misery, and
crime, and death, and destruction to thousands, till the cry thereof
seems as if it must pierce the very heavens! And so it does--sooner, a
great deal, than it pierces the walls of our comfortable dining-room! I
only say here, you who have said, 'Take my lips,' stop and repeat that
prayer next time you put that to your lips which is binding men and women
hand and foot, and delivering them over, helpless, to Satan! Let those
words pass once more from your heart _out_ through your lips, and I do
not think you will feel comfortable in letting the means of such infernal
work pass _in_ through them.



                              Chapter VII.
                   Our Silver and Gold Kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my silver and my gold;_
    _Not a mite would I withhold.'_

'The silver and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts.' Yes, every
coin we have is literally our 'Lord's money.' Simple belief of this fact
is the stepping-stone to full consecration of what He has given us,
whether much or little.

'Then you mean to say we are never to spend anything on ourselves?' Not
so. Another fact must be considered,--the fact that our Lord has given us
our bodies as a special personal charge, and that we are responsible for
keeping these bodies, according to the means given and the work required,
in working order for Him. This is part of our 'own work.' A master
entrusts a workman with a delicate machine, with which his appointed work
is to be done. He also provides him with a sum of money with which he is
to procure all that may be necessary for keeping the machine in thorough
repair. Is it not obvious that it is the man's distinct duty to see to
this faithfully? Would he not be failing in duty if he chose to spend it
all on something for somebody else's work, or on a present for his
master, fancying that would please him better, while the machine is
creaking and wearing for want of a little oil, or working badly for want
of a new band or screw? Just so, we are to spend what is really needful
_on_ ourselves, because it is our charge to do so; but not _for_
ourselves, because we are not our own, but our Master's. He who knoweth
our frame, knows its needs of rest and medicine, food and clothing; and
the procuring of these for our own entrusted bodies should be done just
as much 'for Jesus' as the greater pleasure of procuring them for some
one else. Therefore there need be no quibbling over the assertion that
consecration is not real and complete while we are looking upon a single
shilling as our own to do what we like with. Also the principle is
exactly the same, whether we are spending pence or pounds; it is our
Lord's money, and must not be spent without reference to Him.

When we have asked Him to take, and continually trust Him to keep our
money, 'shopping' becomes a different thing. We look up to our Lord for
guidance to lay out His money prudently and rightly, and as He would have
us lay it out. The gift or garment is selected consciously under His eye,
and with conscious reference to Him as our own dear Master, for whose
sake we shall give it, or in whose service we shall wear it, and whose
own silver or gold we shall pay for it, and then it is all right.

But have you found out that it is one of the secrets of the Lord, that
when any of His dear children turn aside a little bit after having once
entered the blessed path of true and conscious consecration, He is sure
to send them some little punishment? He will not let us go back without a
sharp, even if quite secret, reminder. Go and spend ever such a little
without reference to Him after you have once pledged the silver and gold
entirely to Him, and see if you are not in some way rebuked for it! Very
often by being permitted to find that you have made a mistake in your
purchase, or that in some way it does not prosper. If you 'observe these
things,' you will find that the more closely we are walking with our
Lord, the more immediate and unmistakeable will be His gracious rebukes
when we swerve in any detail of the full consecration to which He has
called us. And if you have already experienced and recognised this part
of His personal dealing with us, you will know also how we love and bless
Him for it.


There is always a danger that just because we say 'all,' we may
practically fall shorter than if we had only said 'some,' but said it
very definitely. God recognises this, and provides against it in many
departments. For instance, though our time is to be 'all' for Him, yet He
solemnly sets apart the one day in seven which is to be specially for
Him. Those who think they know better than God, and profess that every
day is a Sabbath, little know what floodgates of temptation they are
opening by being so very wise above what is written. God knows best, and
that should be quite enough for every loyal heart. So, as to money,
though we place it all at our Lord's disposal, and rejoice to spend it
all for Him directly or indirectly, yet I am quite certain it is a great
help and safeguard, and, what is more, a matter of simple obedience to
the spirit of His commands, to set aside a definite and regular
proportion of our income or receipts for His direct service. It is a
great mistake to suppose that the law of giving the tenth to God is
merely Levitical. 'Search and look' for yourselves, and you will find
that it is, like the Sabbath, a far older rule, running all through the
Bible,[footnote: See Gen. xiv. 20, xxviii. 22; Lev. xxvii. 30, 32; Num.
xviii. 21; Deut. xiv. 22; 2 Chron. xxxi. 5, 6, 12; Neh. x. 37, xii. 44,
xiii. 12; Mal. iii. 8, 10; Matt. xxiii. 23; Luke xi. 42; 1 Cor xvi. 2;
Heb. vii. 8.] and endorsed, not abrogated, by Christ Himself. For,
speaking of tithes, He said, 'These _ought_ ye to have done, and not to
leave the other undone.' To dedicate the tenth of whatever we have is
mere duty; charity begins beyond it; free-will offerings and
thank-offerings beyond that again.

First-fruits, also, should be thus specially set apart. This, too, we
find running all through the Bible. There is a tacit appeal to our
gratitude in the suggestion of them,--the very word implies bounty
received and bounty in prospect. Bringing 'the first of the first-fruits
into the house of the Lord thy God,' was like 'saying grace' for all the
plenty He was going to bestow on the faithful Israelite. Something of
gladness, too, seems always implied. 'The day of the first-fruits' was to
be a day of rejoicing (compare Num. xxviii. 26 with Deut. xvi. 10, 11).
There is also an appeal to loyalty: we are commanded to _honour_ the Lord
with the first-fruits of all our increase. And _that_ is the way to
prosper, for the next word is, '_So_ shall thy barns be filled with
plenty.' The friend who first called my attention to this command, said
that the setting apart first-fruits--making a proportion for God's work a
_first charge_ upon the income--always seemed to bring a blessing on the
rest, and that since this had been systematically done, it actually
seemed to go farther than when not thus lessened.

Presenting our first-fruits should be a peculiarly delightful act, as
they are themselves the emblem of our consecrated relationship to God.
For of His own will begat He us by the word of truth, that we should be a
kind of first-fruits of His creatures. How sweet and hallowed and richly
emblematic our little acts of obedience in this matter become, when we
throw this light upon them! And how blessedly they may remind us of the
heavenly company, singing, as it were, a new song before the throne; for
they are the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Perhaps we shall find no better plan of detailed and systematic setting
apart than the New Testament one: 'Upon the first day of the week let
every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.' The
very act of literally fulfilling this apostolic command seems to bring a
blessing with it, as all simple obedience does. I wish, dear friends, you
would try it! You will find it a sweet reminder on His own day of this
part of your consecration. You will find it an immense help in making the
most of your little charities. The regular inflow will guide the outflow,
and ensure your always having _something_ for any sudden call for your
Master's poor or your Master's cause. Do not say you are 'afraid you
could not keep to it.' What has a consecrated life to do with being
'afraid'? Some of us could tell of such sweet and singular lessons of
trust in this matter, that they are written in golden letters of love on
our memories. Of course there will be trials of our faith in this, as
well as in everything else. But every trial of our faith is but a trial
of His faithfulness, and is 'much more precious than gold which
perisheth.'

'What about self-denial?' some reader will say. Consecration does not
supersede this, but transfigures it. Literally, a consecrated life is and
must be a life of denial of self. But all the effort and pain of it is
changed into very delight. We love our Master; we know, surely and
absolutely, that He is listening and watching our every word and way, and
that He has called us to the privilege of walking 'worthy of the Lord
unto all pleasing.' And in so far as this is a reality to us, the
identical things which are still self-_denial_ in one sense, become
actual self-_delight_ in another. It may be self-denial to us to turn
away from something within reach of our purse which it would be very
convenient or pleasant to possess. But if the Master lifted the veil, and
revealed Himself standing at our side, and let us hear His audible voice
asking us to reserve the price of it for His treasury, should we talk
about self-denial then? Should we not be utterly ashamed to think of it?
or rather, should we, for one instant, think about self or self-denial at
all? Would it not be an unimaginable joy to do what He asked us to do
with that money? But as long as His own unchangeable promise stands
written in His word for us, 'Lo, I am with you _alway_,' we may be sure
that He _is_ with us, and that His eye is as certainly on our opened or
half-opened purse as it was on the treasury, when He sat over against it
and saw the two mites cast in. So let us do our shopping 'as seeing Him
who is invisible.'

It is important to remember that there is no much or little in God's
sight, except as relatively to our means and willingness. 'For if there
be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and
not according to that he hath not.' He knows what we have _not_, as well
as what we have. He knows all about the low wages in one sphere, and the
small allowance, or the fixed income with rising prices in another. And
it is not a question of paying to God what can be screwed out of these,
but of giving Him all, and then holding all at His disposal, and taking
His orders about the disposal of all.

But I do not see at all how self-indulgence and needless extravagance can
possibly co-exist with true consecration. If we really never do go
_without_ anything for the Lord's sake, but, just because He has
graciously given us means, always supply for ourselves not only every
need but 'every notion,' I think it is high time we looked into the
matter before God. Why should only those who have limited means have the
privilege of offering to their Lord that which has really cost them
something to offer? Observe, it is not _merely_ going without something
we would naturally like to have or do, but going without it _for Jesus'
sake_. Not, 'I will go without it, because, after all, I can't very well
afford it;' or, 'because I really ought to subscribe to so and so;' or,
'because I daresay I shall be glad I have not spent the money:' but, 'I
will do without it, because I _do_ want to do a little more for Him who
so loves me--just that much more than I could do if I did this other
thing.' I fancy this is more often the heart language of those who _have_
to cut and contrive, than of those who are able to give liberally without
any cutting and contriving at all. The very abundance of God's good gifts
too often hinders from the privilege and delight of really doing without
something superfluous or comfortable or usual, that they may give just
that much more to their Lord. What a pity!

The following quotation may (I hope it will), touch some conscience:--'A
gentleman once told us that his wine bill was £100 a year--more than
enough to keep a Scripture reader always at work in some populous
district. And it is one of the countless advantages of total abstinence
that it at once sets free a certain amount of money for such work.
Smoking, too, is a habit not only injurious to the health in a vast
majority of cases, and, to our mind, very unbecoming in a "temple of the
Holy Ghost," but also one which squanders money which might be used for
the Lord. Expenses in dress might in most people be curtailed; expensive
tastes should be denied; and simplicity in all habits of life should be a
mark of the followers of Him who had not where to lay His head.'

And again: 'The self-indulgence of wealthy Christians, who might largely
support the Lord's work with what they lavish upon their houses, their
tables, or their personal expenditure, is very sad to see.'[footnote:
_Christian Progress_, vol. iii. pp. 25, 26.]

Here the question of jewellery seems to come in. Perhaps it was an
instance of the gradual showing of the details of consecration,
illustrated on page 21, but I will confess that when I wrote 'Take my
silver and my gold,' it never dawned on me that anything was included
beyond the coin of the realm! But the Lord 'leads on softly,' and a good
many of us have been shown some capital bits of unenclosed but easily
enclosable ground, which have yielded 'pleasant fruit.' Yes, _very_
pleasant fruit! It is wonderfully nice to light upon something that we
really never thought of as a possible gift to our Lord, and just to give
it, straight away, to Him. I do not press the matter, but I do ask my
lady friends to give it fair and candid and prayerful consideration.
Which do you really care most about--a diamond on your finger, or a star
in the Redeemer's kingdom, shining for ever and ever? That is what it
comes to, and there I leave it.

On the other hand, it is very possible to be fairly faithful in much, and
yet unfaithful in that which is least. We may have thought about our gold
and silver, and yet have been altogether thoughtless about our rubbish!
Some have a habit of hoarding away old garments, 'pieces,' remnants, and
odds and ends generally, under the idea that they 'will come in useful
some day;' very likely setting it up as a kind of mild virtue, backed by
that noxious old saying, 'Keep it by you seven years, and you'll find a
use for it.' And so the shabby things get shabbier, and moth and dust
doth corrupt, and the drawers and places get choked and crowded; and
meanwhile all this that is sheer rubbish to you might be made useful at
once, to a degree beyond what you would guess, to some poor person.

It would be a nice variety for the clever fingers of a lady's maid to be
set to work to do up old things; or some tidy woman may be found in
almost every locality who knows how to contrive children's things out of
what seems to you only fit for the rag-bag, either for her own little
ones or those of her neighbours.

My sister trimmed 70 or 80 hats every spring for several years with the
contents of friends' rubbish drawers, thus relieving dozens of poor
mothers who liked their children to 'go tidy on Sunday,' and also keeping
down finery in her Sunday school. Those who literally fulfilled her
request for 'rubbish' used to marvel at the results.

Little scraps of carpet, torn old curtains, faded blinds, and all such
gear, go a wonderfully long way towards making poor cottagers and old or
sick people comfortable. I never saw anything in this 'rubbish' line yet
that could not be turned to good account somehow, with a little
_considering_ of the poor and their discomforts.

I wish my lady reader would just leave this book now, and go straight
up-stairs and have a good rummage at once, and see what can be thus
cleared out. If she does not know the right recipients at first hand, let
her send it off to the nearest working clergyman's wife, and see how
gratefully it will be received! For it is a great trial to workers among
the poor not to be able to supply the needs they see. Such supplies are
far more useful than treble their small money value.

Just a word of earnest pleading for needs, closely veiled, but very sore,
which might be wonderfully lightened if this wardrobe over-hauling were
systematic and faithful. There are hundreds of poor clergymen's families
to whom a few old garments or any household oddments are as great a
charity as to any of the poor under their charge. There are two Societies
for aiding these with such gifts, under initials which are explained in
the Reports; the P.P.C. Society--Secretary, Miss Breay, Battenhall Place,
Worcester; and the A.F.D. Society--Secretary, Miss Hinton, 4 York Place,
Clifton. I only ask my lady friends to send for a report to either of
these devoted secretaries; and if their hearts are not so touched by the
cases of brave and bitter need that they go forthwith to wardrobes and
drawers to see what can be spared and sent, they are colder and harder
than I give Englishwomen credit for.


There is no bondage in consecration. The two things are opposites, and
cannot co-exist, much less mingle. We should suspect our consecration,
and come afresh to our great Counsellor about it, directly we have any
sense of bondage. As long as we have an unacknowledged feeling of fidget
about our account-book, and a smothered wondering what and how much we
'_ought_' to give, and a hushed-up wishing the thing had not been put
quite so strongly before us, depend upon it we have not said
unreservedly, 'Take my silver and my gold.' And how can the Lord keep
what He has not been sincerely asked to take?

Ah! if we had stood at the foot of the Cross, and watched the tremendous
payment of our redemption with the precious blood of Christ,--if we had
seen that awful price told out, drop by drop, from His own dear patient
brow and torn hands and feet, till it was ALL paid, and the central word
of eternity was uttered, '_It is finished!_' should we not have been
ready to say, '_Not a mite will I withhold!_'


                               My Jewels.

    'Shall I hold them back--my jewels?
      Time has travelled many a day
    Since I laid them by for ever,
      Safely locking them away;
    And I thought them yielded wholly.
      When I dared no longer wear
    Gems contrasting, oh, so sadly!
      With the adorning I would bear.

    'Shall I keep them still--my jewels?
      Shall I, can I yet withhold
    From that living, loving Saviour
      Aught of silver or of gold?
    Gold so needed, that His gospel
      May resound from sea to sea;
    Can I know Christ's service lacketh,
      Yet forget His "unto Me"!

    'No; I lay them down--my jewels,
      Truly on the altar now.
    Stay! I see a vision passing
      Of a gem-encircled brow:
    Heavenly treasure worn by Jesus,
      Souls won through my gift outpoured;
    Freely, gladly I will offer
      Jewels thus to crown my Lord!'

                          From _Woman's Work._



                              Chapter VIII.
                     Our Intellects kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my intellect, and use_
    _Every power as Thou shalt choose.'_

There are two distinct sets of temptations which assail those who have,
or think they have, rather less, and those who have, or think they have,
rather more than an average share of intellect; while those who have
neither less nor more are generally open in some degree to both. The
refuge and very present help from both is the same. The intellect,
whether great or small, which is committed to the Lord's keeping, will be
kept and will be used by Him.

The former class are tempted to think themselves excused from effort to
cultivate and use their small intellectual gifts; to suppose they cannot
or need not seek to win souls, because they are not so clever and apt in
speech as So-and-so; to attribute to want of gift what is really want of
grace; to hide the one talent because it is not five. Let me throw out a
thought or two for these.

Which is greatest, gifts or grace? _Gifts_ are given 'to every man
according to his several ability.' That is, we have just as much given as
God knows we are able to use, and what He knows we can best use for Him.
'But unto every one of us is given _grace_ according to the measure of
the gift of Christ.' Claiming and using that royal measure of grace, you
may, and can, and will do more for God than the mightiest intellect in
the world without it. For which, in the clear light of His Word, is
likely to be most effectual, the natural ability which at its best and
fullest, without Christ, 'can do _nothing_' (observe and believe that
word!), or the grace of our Almighty God and the power of the Holy Ghost,
which is as free to you as it ever was to any one?

If you are responsible for making use of your limited gift, are you not
equally responsible for making use of the grace and power which are to be
had for the asking, which are already yours in Christ, and which are not
limited?

Also, do you not see that when there are great natural gifts, people give
the credit to _them_, instead of to the grace which alone did the real
work, and thus God is defrauded of the glory? So that, to say it
reverently, God can get more glory out of a feeble instrument, because
then it is more obvious that the excellency of the power is of God and
not of us. Will you not henceforth say, 'Most gladly, therefore, will I
rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon
me'?

Don't you really believe that the Holy Spirit is just as able to draw a
soul to Jesus, if He will, by your whisper of the one word, '_Come_,' as
by an eloquent sermon an hour long? _I_ do! At the same time, as it is
evidently God's way to work through these intellects of ours, we have no
more right to expect Him to use a mind which we are wilfully neglecting,
and taking no pains whatever to fit for His use, than I should have to
expect you to write a beautiful inscription with my pen, if I would not
take the trouble to wipe it and mend it.

The latter class are tempted to rely on their natural gifts, and to act
and speak in their own strength; to go on too fast, without really
looking up at every step, and for every word; to spend their Lord's time
in polishing up their intellects, nominally for the sake of influence and
power, and so forth, while really, down at the bottom, it is for the sake
of the keen enjoyment of the process; and perhaps, most of all, to spend
the strength of these intellects 'for that which doth not profit,' in
yielding to the specious snare of reading clever books 'on both sides,'
and eating deliberately of the tree of the knowledge of good _and evil_.

The mere mention of these temptations should be sufficient appeal to
conscience. If consecration is to be a reality anywhere, should it not be
in the very thing which you own as an extra gift from God, and which is
evidently closest, so to speak, to His direct action, spirit upon spirit?
And if the very strength of your intellect has been your weakness, will
you not entreat Him to keep it henceforth really and entirely for
Himself? It is so good of Him to have given you something to lay at His
feet; shall not this goodness lead you to lay it _all_ there, and never
hanker after taking it back for yourself or the world? Do you not feel
that in very proportion to the gift you need the special keeping of it?
He may lead you by a way you know not in the matter; very likely He will
show you that you must be willing to be a fool for His sake first, before
He will condescend to use you much for His glory. Will you look up into
His face and say, '_Not_ willing'?


He who made every power can use every power--memory, judgment,
imagination, quickness of apprehension or insight; specialties of
musical, poetical, oratorical, or artistic faculty; special tastes for
reasoning, philosophy, history, natural science, or natural history,--all
these may be dedicated to Him, sanctified by Him, and used by Him.
Whatever He has given, He will use, if we will let Him. Often, in the
most unexpected ways, and at the most unexpected turns, something read or
acquired long ago suddenly comes into use. We cannot foresee what will
thus 'come in useful'; but He knew, when He guided us to learn it, what
it would be wanted for in His service. So may we not ask Him to bring His
perfect foreknowledge to bear on all our mental training and storing? to
guide us to read or study exactly what He knows there will be use for in
the work to which He has called or will call us?

Nothing is more practically perplexing to a young Christian, whose
preparation time is not quite over, or perhaps painfully limited, than to
know what is most worth studying, what is really the best investment of
the golden hours, while yet the time is not come for the field of active
work to be fully entered, and the 'thoroughly furnishing' of the mind is
the evident path of present duty. Is not His name called 'Counsellor'?
and will He not be faithful to the promise of His name in this, as well
as in all else?

The same applies to every subsequent stage. Only let us be perfectly
clear about the principle that our intellect is not our own, either to
cultivate, or to use, or to enjoy, and that Jesus Christ is our real and
ever-present Counsellor, and then there will be no more worry about what
to read and how much to read, and whether to keep up one's
accomplishments, or one's languages, or one's '_ologies'!_ If the Master
has need of them, He will show us; and if He has not, what need have we
of them? If we go forward without His leading, we may throw away some
talent, or let it get too rusty for use, which would have been most
valuable when other circumstances arose or different work was given. We
must not think that 'keeping' means not using at all! What we want is to
have all our powers kept for His _use_.

In this they will probably find far higher development than in any other
sort of use. I know cases in which the effect of real consecration on
mere mental development has been obvious and surprising to all around.
Yet it is only a confirmation of what I believe to be a great principle,
viz. that _the Lord makes the most of whatever is unreservedly
surrendered to Him_. There will always be plenty of waste in what we try
to cut out for ourselves. But He wastes no material!



                               Chapter IX.
                        Our Wills kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my will, oh, keep it Thine,_
    _For it is no longer mine.'_

Perhaps there is no point in which expectation has been so limited by
experience as this. We believe God is able to do for us just so much as
He has already done, and no more. We take it for granted a line must be
drawn somewhere; and so we choose to draw it where experience ends, and
faith would have to begin. Even if we have trusted and proved Him as to
keeping our members and our minds, faith fails when we would go deeper
and say, 'Keep my will!' And yet the only reason we have to give is, that
though we have asked Him to take our will, we do not exactly find that it
is altogether His, but that self-will crops up again and again. And
whatever flaw there might be in this argument, we think the matter is
quite settled by the fact that some whom we rightly esteem, and who are
far better than ourselves, have the same experience, and do not even seem
to think it right to hope for anything better. That is conclusive! And
the result of this, as of every other faithless conclusion, is either
discouragement and depression, or, still worse, acquiescence in an
unyielded will, as something that can't be helped.

Now let us turn from our thoughts to God's thoughts. Verily, they are not
as ours! He says He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we
ask or think. Apply this here. We ask Him to take our wills and make them
His. Does He or does He not mean what He says? and if He does, should we
not trust Him to do this thing that we have asked and longed for, and not
less but more? 'Is _anything_ too hard for the Lord?' 'Hath He said, and
shall He not do it?' and if He gives us faith to believe that we have the
petition that we desired of Him, and with it the unspeakable rest of
leaning our will wholly upon His love, what ground have we for imagining
that this is _necessarily_ to be a mere fleeting shadow, which is hardly
to last an hour, but is _necessarily_ to be exhausted ere the next breath
of trial or temptation comes? Does He mock our longing by acting as I
have seen an older person act to a child, by accepting some trifling gift
of no intrinsic value, just to please the little one, and then throwing
it away as soon as the child's attention is diverted? Is not the taking
rather the pledge of the keeping, if we will but entrust Him fearlessly
with it? We give Him no opportunity, so to speak, of proving His
faithfulness to this great promise, because we _will_ not fulfil the
condition of reception, believing it. But we readily enough believe
instead all that we hear of the unsatisfactory experience of others! Or,
start from another word. Job said, 'I know that Thou canst do
everything,' and we turn round and say, 'Oh yes, everything _except_
keeping my will!' Dare we add, 'And I know that Thou canst not do that'?
Yet that is what is said every day, only in other words; and if not said
aloud, it is said in faithless hearts, and God hears it. What _does_
'Almighty' mean, if it does not mean, as we teach our little children,
'able to do _everything'?_

We have asked this great thing many a time, without, perhaps, realizing
how great a petition we were singing, in the old morning hymn, 'Guard my
first springs of thought and will!' That goes to the root of the matter,
only it implies that the will has been already surrendered to Him, that
it may be wholly kept and guarded.

It may be that we have not sufficiently realized the sin of the only
alternative. Our wills belong either to self or to God. It may seem a
small and rather excusable sin in man's sight to be self-willed, but see
in what a category of iniquity God puts it! (2 Pet. ii. 10). And
certainly we are without excuse when we have such a promise to go upon
as, 'It is God that worketh in you both to _will_ and to do of His
pleasure.' How splendidly this meets our very deepest
helplessness,--'worketh in you to _will!_' Oh, let us pray for ourselves
and for each other, that we may know 'what is the exceeding greatness of
His power to usward who believe.' It does not say, 'to usward who fear
and doubt;' for if we will not believe, neither shall we be established.
If we will not believe what God says He can do, we shall see it with our
eyes, but we shall not eat thereof. 'They _could_ not enter in because of
unbelief.'

It is most comforting to remember that the grand promise, 'Thy people
shall be willing in the day of Thy power,' is made by the Father to
Christ Himself. The Lord Jesus holds this promise, and God will fulfil it
to Him. He will make us willing because He has promised Jesus that He
will do so. And what is being made willing, but having our will taken and
kept?

All true surrender of the will is based upon love and knowledge of, and
confidence in, the one to whom it is surrendered. We have the human
analogy so often before our eyes, that it is the more strange we should
be so slow to own even the possibility of it as to God. Is it thought
anything so very extraordinary and high-flown, when a bride deliberately
_prefers_ wearing a colour which was not her own taste or choice, because
her husband likes to see her in it? Is it very unnatural that it is no
distress to her to do what he asks her to do, or to go with him where he
asks her to come, even without question or explanation, instead of doing
what or going where she would undoubtedly have preferred if she did not
know and love him? Is it very surprising if this lasts beyond the wedding
day, and if year after year she still finds it her greatest pleasure to
please him, quite irrespective of what _used_ to be her own ways and
likings? Yet in this case she is not helped by any promise or power on
his part to make her wish what he wishes. But He who so wonderfully
condescends to call Himself the Bridegroom of His church, and who claims
our fullest love and trust, has promised and has power to work in us to
will. Shall we not claim His promise and rely on His mighty power, and
say, not self-confidently, but looking only unto Jesus--

    'Keep my will, for it is Thine;
    It shall be no longer mine!'

Only in proportion as our own will is surrendered, are we able to discern
the splendour of God's will.

    For oh! it is a splendour,
      A glow of majesty,
    A mystery of beauty
      If we will only see;
    A very cloud of glory
      Enfolding you and me.

    A splendour that is lighted
      At one transcendent flame,
    The wondrous Love, the perfect Love,
      Our Father's sweetest name;
    For His Name and very Essence
      And His Will are all the same!

Conversely, in proportion as we see this splendour of His will, we shall
more readily or more fully surrender our own. Not until we have presented
our bodies a living sacrifice can we prove what is that good, and
perfect, and acceptable will of God. But in thus proving it, this
continual presentation will be more and more seen to be our reasonable
service, and becomes more and more a joyful sacrifice of praise.

The connection in Romans xii. 1, 2, between our sacrifice which He so
graciously calls acceptable to Himself, and our finding out that His will
is acceptable to ourselves, is very striking. One reason for this
connection may be that only love can really understand love, and love on
both sides is at the bottom of the whole transaction and its results.
First, He loves us. Then the discovery of this leads us to love Him.
Then, because He loves us, He claims us, and desires to have us wholly
yielded to His will, so that the operations of love in and for us may
find no hindrance. Then, because we love Him we recognise His claim and
yield ourselves. Then, being thus yielded, He draws us nearer to
Him,[footnote: 'Now ye _have_ consecrated yourselves unto the Lord, come
_near_' (2 Chron. xxix. 31).] and admits us, so to speak, into closer
intimacy, so that we gain nearer and truer views of His perfections. Then
the unity of these perfections becomes clearer to us. Now we not only see
His justice and mercy flowing in an undivided stream from the cross of
Christ, but we see that they never were divided, though the strange
distortions of the dark, false glass of sin made them appear so, but that
both are but emanations of God's holy love. Then having known and
believed this holy love, we see further that His will is not a separate
thing, but only love (and therefore all His attributes) in action; love
being the primary essence of His being, and all the other attributes
manifestations and combinations of that ineffable essence, for God _is_
Love. Then this will of God which has seemed in old far-off days a stern
and fateful power, is seen to be only love energized; love saying, 'I
will.' And when once we really grasp this (hardly so much by faith as by
love itself), the will of God cannot be otherwise than acceptable, for it
is no longer a question of trusting that somehow or other there is a
hidden element of love in it, but of understanding that it _is_ love; no
more to be dissociated from it than the power of the sun's rays can be
dissociated from their light and warmth. And love recognised must surely
be love accepted and reciprocated. So, as the fancied sternness of God's
will is lost in His love, the stubbornness of our will becomes melted in
that love, and lost in our acceptance of it.

    'Take Thine own way with me, dear Lord,
      Thou canst not otherwise than bless;
    I launch me forth upon a sea
      Of boundless love and tenderness.

    'I could not choose a larger bliss
      Than to be wholly Thine; and mine
    A will whose highest joy is this,
      To ceaselessly unclasp in Thine.

    'I will not fear Thee, O my God!
      The days to come can only bring
    Their perfect sequences of love,
      Thy larger, deeper comforting.

    'Within the shadow of this love,
      Loss doth transmute itself to gain;
    Faith veils earth's sorrows in its light,
      And straightway lives above her pain.

    'We are not losers thus; we share
      The perfect gladness of the Son,
    Not conquered--for, behold, we reign;
      Conquered and Conqueror are one.

    'Thy wonderful grand will, my God!
      Triumphantly I make it mine;
    And faith shall breathe her glad "Amen"
      To every dear command of Thine.

    'Beneath the splendour of Thy choice,
      Thy perfect choice for me, I rest;
    Outside it now I dare not live,
      Within it I must needs be blest.

    'Meanwhile my spirit anchors calm
      In grander regions still than this;
    The fair, far-shining latitudes
      Of that yet unexplorèd bliss.

    'Then may Thy perfect, glorious will
      Be evermore fulfilled in me,
    And make my life an answ'ring chord
      Of glad, responsive harmony.

    'Oh! it is life indeed to live
      Within this kingdom strangely sweet,
    And yet we fear to enter in,
      And linger with unwilling feet.

    'We fear this wondrous rule of Thine,
      Because we have not reached Thy heart;
    Not venturing our all on Thee,
      We may not know how good Thou art.'

                           Jean Sophia Pigott.



                               Chapter X.
                       Our hearts kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my heart; it is Thine own;_
    _It is now Thy royal throne.'_

'It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace,' and yet
some of us go on as if it were not a good thing even to hope for it to be
so.

We should be ashamed to say that we had behaved treacherously to a
friend; that we had played him false again and again; that we had said
scores of times what we did not really mean; that we had professed and
promised what, all the while, we had no sort of purpose of performing. We
should be ready to go off by next ship to New Zealand rather than calmly
own to all this, or rather than ever face our friends again after we had
owned it. And yet we are not ashamed (some of us) to say that we are
always dealing treacherously with our Lord; nay, more, we own it with an
inexplicable complacency, as if there were a kind of virtue in saying how
fickle and faithless and desperately wicked our hearts are; and we
actually plume ourselves on the easy confession, which we think proves
our humility, and which does not lower us in the eyes of others, nor in
our own eyes, half so much as if we had to say, 'I have told a story,'
or, 'I have broken my promise.' Nay, more, we have not the slightest
hope, and therefore not the smallest intention of aiming at an utterly
different state of things. Well for us if we do not go a step farther,
and call those by hard and false names who do seek to have an established
heart, and who believe that as the Lord meant what He said when He
promised, '_No_ good thing will He withhold from them that walk
uprightly,' so He will not withhold _this_ good thing.

Prayer must be based upon promise, but, thank God, His promises are
always broader than our prayers. No fear of building inverted pyramids
here, for Jesus Christ is the foundation, and this and all the other
'promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God
by us.' So it shall be unto His glory to fulfil this one to us, and to
answer our prayer for a 'kept' or 'established' heart. And its fulfilment
shall work out His glory, not in spite of us, but '_by_ us.'

We find both the means and the result of the keeping in the 112th Psalm:
'His heart is fixed.' Whose heart? An angel? A saint in glory? No! Simply
the heart of the man that feareth the Lord, and delighteth greatly in His
commandments. Therefore yours and mine, as God would have them be; just
the normal idea of a God-fearing heart, nothing extremely and hopelessly
beyond attainment.

'Fixed.' How does that tally with the deceitfulness and waywardness and
fickleness about which we really talk as if we were rather proud of them
than utterly ashamed of them?

Does our heavenly Bridegroom expect nothing more of us? Does His mighty,
all-constraining love intend to do no more for us than to leave us in
this deplorable state, when He is undoubtedly able to heal the
desperately wicked heart (compare verses 9 and 14 of Jeremiah xvii.), to
rule the wayward one with His peace, and to establish the fickle one with
His grace? Are we not 'without excuse'?

'Fixed, trusting in the Lord.' Here is the means of the fixing--trust. He
works the trust in us by sending the Holy Spirit to reveal God in Christ
to us as absolutely, infinitely worthy of our trust. When we 'see Jesus'
by Spirit-wrought faith, we cannot but trust Him; we distrust our hearts
more truly than ever before, but we trust our Lord entirely, because we
trust Him _only_. For, entrusting our trust to Him, we know that He is
able to keep that which we commit (_i. e._ entrust) to Him. It is His own
way of winning and fixing our hearts for Himself. Is it not a beautiful
one? Thus 'his heart is established.' But we have not quite faith enough
to believe that. So what is the very first doubting, and therefore sad
thought that crops up? 'Yes, but I am _afraid_ it will not remain fixed.'

That is _your_ thought. Now see what is God's thought about the case.
'His heart is established, he shall not be afraid.'

Is not that enough? What _is_, if such plain and yet divine words are
not? Well, the Gracious One bears with us, and gives line upon line to
His poor little children. And so He says, 'The peace of God, which
passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds, through
Christ Jesus.' And again, 'Thy thoughts shall be established.' And again,
'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee,
because he trusteth in Thee.'

And to prove to us that these promises can be realized in present
experience, He sends down to us through nearly 3000 years the words of
the man who prayed, 'Create in me a clean heart, O God,' and lets us hear
twice over the new song put by the same Holy Spirit into his mouth: 'My
heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed' (Ps. lvii. 7, cviii. 1).

The heart that is established in Christ is also established for Christ.
It becomes His royal throne, no longer occupied by His foe, no longer
tottering and unstable. And then we see the beauty and preciousness of
the promise, 'He shall be a Priest upon His throne.' Not only reigning,
but atoning. Not only ruling, but cleansing. Thus the throne is
established 'in mercy,' but 'by righteousness.'

I think we lose ground sometimes by parleying with the tempter. We have
no business to parley with an usurper. The throne is no longer his when
we have surrendered it to our Lord Jesus. And why should we allow him to
argue with us for one instant, as if it were still an open question?
Don't listen; simply tell him that Jesus Christ _is_ on the long-disputed
throne, and no more about it, but turn at once to your King and claim the
glorious protection of His sovereignty over you. It is a splendid
reality, and you will find it so. He will not abdicate and leave you
kingless and defenceless. For verily, 'The Lord _is_ our King; He will
save us' (Isa. xxxiii. 22).

  _Our hearts are naturally_--           _God can make them_--
  Evil,                Heb. iii. 12.     Clean,          Ps. li. 10.
  Desperately wicked,  Jer. xvii. 9.     Good,           Luke viii. 15.
  Weak,                Ezek. xvi. 30.    Fixed,          Ps. cxii.  7.
  Deceitful,           Jer. xvii. 9.     Faithful,       Neh. ix. 8.
  Deceived,            Isa. xliv. 20.    Understanding,  1 Kings iii. 9.
  Double,              Ps. xii. 2.       Honest,         Luke viii. 15.
  Impenitent,          Rom. ii. 5.       Contrite,       Ps. li. 17.
  Rebellious,          Jer. v. 23.       True,           Heb. x. 22.
  Hard,                Ezek. iii. 7.     Soft,           Job xxiii. 16.
  Stony,               Ezek. xi. 19.     New,            Ezek. xviii. 31.
  Froward,             Prov. xvii. 20.   Sound,          Ps. cxix. 80.
  Despiteful,          Ezek. xxv. 15.    Glad,           Ps. xvi. 9.
  Stout,               Isa. x. 12.       Established,    Ps. cxii. 8.
  Haughty,             Prov. xviii. 12.  Tender,         Ephes. iv. 32.
  Proud,               Prov. xxi. 4.     Pure,           Matt. v. 8.
  Perverse,            Prov. xii. 8.     Perfect,        1 Chron. xxix. 9.
  Foolish,             Rom. i. 21.       Wise,           Prov. xi. 29.



                               Chapter XI.
                        Our love kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my love; my Lord, I pour_
    _At Thy feet its treasure-store.'_

Not as a mere echo from the morning-gilded shore of Tiberias, but as an
ever new, ever sounding note of divinest power, come the familiar words
to each of us, 'Lovest thou Me?' He says it who has loved us with an
everlasting love. He says it who has died for us. He says it who has
washed us from our sins in His own blood. He says it who has waited for
our love, waited patiently all through our coldness.

And if by His grace we have said, 'Take my love,' which of us has not
felt that part of His very answer has been to make us see how little
there was to take, and how little of that little has been kept for Him?
And yet we _do_ love Him! He knows that! The very mourning and longing to
love Him more proves it. But we want more than that, and so does our
Lord.

He has created us to love. We have a sealed treasure of love, which
either remains sealed, and then gradually dries up and wastes away, or is
unsealed and poured out, and yet is the fuller and not the emptier for
the outpouring. The more love we give, the more we have to give. So far
it is only natural. But when the Holy Spirit reveals the love of Christ,
and sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts, this natural love is
penetrated with a new principle as it discovers a new Object. Everything
that it beholds in that Object gives it new depth and new colours. As it
sees the holiness, the beauty, and the glory, it takes the deep hues of
conscious sinfulness, unworthiness, and nothingness. As it sees even a
glimpse of the love that passeth knowledge, it takes the glow of wonder
and gratitude. And when it sees that love drawing close to its deepest
need with blood-purchased pardon, it is intensified and stirred, and
there is no more time for weighing and measuring; we must pour it out,
all there is of it, with our tears, at the feet that were pierced for
love of us.

And what then? Has the flow grown gradually slower and shallower? Has our
Lord reason to say, 'My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and
as a stream of brooks they pass away'? It is humiliating to have found
that we could not keep on loving Him, as we loved in that remembered hour
when 'Thy time was the time of love.' We have proved that we were not
able. Let this be only the stepping-stone to proving that He is able!

There will have been a cause, as we shall see if we seek it honestly. It
was not that we really poured out all our treasure, and so it naturally
came to an end. We let it be secretly diverted into other channels. We
began keeping back a little part of the price for something else. We
looked away from, instead of looking away unto Jesus. We did not entrust
Him with our love, and ask Him to keep it for Himself.

And what has He to say to us? Ah, He upbraideth not. Listen! 'Thus saith
the Lord, I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine
espousals.' Can any words be more tender, more touching, to you, to me?
Forgetting all the sin, all the backsliding, all the coldness, casting
all that into the unreturning depths of the sea, He says He remembers
that hour when we first said, 'Take my love.' He remembers it now, at
this minute. He has written it for ever on His infinite memory, where the
past is as the present.

His own love is unchangeable, so it could never be His wish or will that
we should thus drift away from Him. Oh, 'Come and let us return unto the
Lord!' But is there any hope that, thus returning, our flickering love
may be kept from again failing? Hear what He says: 'And I will betroth
thee unto Me for ever' And again: 'Thou _shalt_ abide _for Me_ many days;
so will I also be for thee.' Shall we trust His word or not? Is it worthy
of our acceptation or not? Oh, rest on this word of the King, and let Him
from this day have the keeping of your love, and He will keep it!


The love of Christ is not an absorbing, but a radiating love. The more we
love Him, the more we shall most certainly love others. Some have not
much natural power of loving, but the love of Christ will strengthen it.
Some have had the springs of love dried up by some terrible earthquake.
They will find 'fresh springs' in Jesus, and the gentle flow will be
purer and deeper than the old torrent could ever be. Some have been
satisfied that it should rush in a narrow channel, but He will cause it
to overflow into many another, and widen its course of blessing. Some
have spent it all on their God-given dear ones. Now He is come whose
right it is; and yet in the fullest resumption of that right, He is so
gracious that He puts back an even larger measure of the old love into
our hand, sanctified with His own love, and energized with His blessing,
and strengthened with His new commandment, 'That ye love one another, as
I have loved you.'

In that always very interesting part, called a 'Corner for Difficulties,'
of that always very interesting magazine, _Woman's Work_, the question
has been discussed, 'When does love become idolatry? Is it the experience
of Christians that the coming in of a new object of affection interferes
with entire consecration to God?' I should like to quote the many
excellent answers in full, but must only refer my readers to the number
for March 1879. One replies: 'It seems to me that He who is love would
not give us an object for our love unless He saw that our hearts needed
expansion; and if the love is consecrated, and the friendship takes its
stand in Christ, there is no need for the fear that it will become
idolatry. Let the love on both sides _be given to God to keep_, and
however much it may grow, the source from which it springs must yet be
greater.' Perhaps I may be pardoned for giving, at the same writer's
suggestion, a quotation from _Under the Surface_ on this subject. Eleanor
says to Beatrice:--

              'I tremble when I think
    How much I love him; but I turn away
    From thinking of it, just to love him more;--
    Indeed, I fear, too much.'
                          'Dear Eleanor,
    Do you love him as much as Christ loves us?
    Let your lips answer me.'
                          'Why ask me, dear?
    Our hearts are finite, Christ is infinite.'
      'Then, till you reach the standard of that love,
    Let neither fears nor well-meant warning voice
    Distress you with "too much." For He hath said
    _How_ much--and who shall dare to change His measure?
    "_That ye should love as I have loved you._"
    O sweet command, that goes so far beyond
    The mightiest impulse of the tenderest heart!
    A bare permission had been much; but He
    Who knows our yearnings and our fearfulness,
    Chose graciously to _bid_ us do the thing
    That makes our earthly happiness,
    A limit that we need not fear to pass,
    Because we cannot. Oh, the breadth and length,
    And depth and height of love that passeth knowledge!
    Yet Jesus said, "As I have loved you."'
      'O Beatrice, I long to feel the sunshine
    That this should bring; but there are other words
    Which fall in chill eclipse. 'Tis written, "Keep
    Yourselves from idols." How shall I obey?'
      'Oh, not by loving less, but loving more.
    It is not that we love our precious ones
    Too much, but God too little. As the lamp
    A miner bears upon his shadowed brow
    Is only dazzling in the grimy dark,
    And has no glare against the summer sky,
    So, set the tiny torch of our best love
    In the great sunshine of the love of God,
    And, though full fed and fanned, it casts no shade
    And dazzles not, o'erflowed with mightier light.'

There is no love so deep and wide as that which is kept for Jesus. It
flows both fuller and farther when it flows only through Him. Then, too,
it will be a power for Him. It will always be unconsciously working for
Him. In drawing others to ourselves by it, we shall be necessarily
drawing them nearer to the fountain of our love, never drawing them away
from it. It is the great magnet of His love which alone can draw any
heart to Him; but when our own are thoroughly yielded to its mighty
influence, they will be so magnetized that He will condescend to use them
in this way.

Is it not wonderful to think that the Lord Jesus will not only accept and
keep, but actually _use_ our love?

'Of Thine own have we given Thee,' for 'we love Him because He first
loved us.'

              Set apart to love Him,
                And His love to know;
              Not to waste affection
                On a passing show;
        Called to give Him life and heart,
          Called to pour the hidden treasure,
          That none other claims to measure,
    Into His belovèd hand! thrice blessèd 'set apart'!



                              Chapter XII.
                       Our Selves kept for Jesus.


    _'Keep my self, that I may be_
    _Ever, only, all for Thee.'_

'For Thee!' That is the beginning and the end of the whole matter of
consecration.

There was a prelude to its 'endless song,'--a prelude whose theme is
woven into every following harmony in the new anthem of consecrated life:
'The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself _for me_.' Out of the
realized 'for me,' grows the practical 'for Thee!' If the former is a
living root, the latter will be its living fruit.

'For _Thee!_' This makes the difference between forced or formal, and
therefore unreasonable service, and the 'reasonable service' which is the
beginning of the perfect service where they see His face. This makes the
difference between slave work and free work. For Thee, my Redeemer; for
Thee who hast spoken to my heart; for Thee, who hast done for me--_what?_
Let us each pause, and fill up that blank with the great things the Lord
hath done for us. For Thee, who art to me--_what?_ Fill that up too,
before Him! For Thee, my Saviour Jesus, my Lord and my God!

And what is to be for Him? My self. We talk sometimes as if, whatever
else could be subdued unto Him, self could never be. Did St. Paul forget
to mention this important exception to the 'all things' in Phil. iii. 21?
David said: 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, _and all that is within me_,
bless His Holy Name.' Did he, too, unaccountably forget to mention that
he only meant all that was within him, _except_ self? If not, then self
must be among the 'all things' which the Lord Jesus Christ is able to
subdue unto Himself, and which are to 'bless His Holy Name.' It is Self
which, once His most treacherous foe, is now, by full and glad surrender,
His own soldier--coming over from the rebel camp into the royal army. It
is not some one else, some temporarily possessing spirit, which says
within us, 'Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee,' but our true and very
self, only changed and renewed by the power of the Holy Ghost. And when
we do that we would not, we know that 'it is no more _I_ that do it, but
sin that dwelleth in me.' Our true self is the new self, taken and won by
the love of God, and kept by the power of God.

Yes, '_kept!_' There is the promise on which we ground our prayer; or,
rather, one of the promises. For, search and look for your own
strengthening and comfort, and you will find it repeated in every part of
the Bible, from 'I am with thee, and will keep thee,' in Genesis, to 'I
also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,' in Revelation.

And kept _for Him!_ Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you,
when it is only the fulfilling of His own eternal purpose in creating us?
'This people have I formed _for Myself._' Not ultimately only, but
presently and continually; for He says, 'Thou shalt abide _for Me;_' and,
'He that remaineth, even he shall be _for our God_.' Are you one of His
people by faith in Jesus Christ? Then see what you are to Him. You,
personally and individually, are part of the Lord's portion (Deut. xxxii.
9) and of His inheritance (1 Kings viii. 53, and Eph. i. 18). His portion
and inheritance would not be complete without you; you are His peculiar
treasure (Ex. xix. 5); 'a _special_ people' (how warm, and loving, and
natural that expression is!) '_unto Himself_' (Deut. vii. 6). Would you
call it 'keeping,' if you had a 'special' treasure, a darling little
child, for instance, and let it run wild into all sorts of dangers all
day long, sometimes at your side, and sometimes out in the street, with
only the intention of fetching it safe home at night? If ye then, being
evil, would know better, and do better, than that, how much more shall
our Lord's keeping be true, and tender, and continual, and effectual,
when He declares us to be His peculiar treasure, purchased (See 1 Pet.
ii. 9, margin) for Himself at such unknown cost!

    He will keep what thus He sought,
    Safely guard the dearly bought;
    Cherish that which He did choose,
    Always love and never lose.

I know what some of us are thinking. 'Yes; I see it all plainly enough in
theory, but in practice I find I am not kept. Self goes over to the other
camp again and again. If is not all for Jesus, though I have asked and
wished for it to be so.' Dear friends, the 'all' must be sealed with
'only.' Are you willing to be '_only_' for Jesus? You have not given
'all' to Jesus while you are not quite ready to be '_only_' for Him. And
it is no use to talk about 'ever' while we have not settled the 'only'
and the 'all.' You cannot be 'for Him,' in the full and blessed sense,
while you are partly 'for' anything or any one else. For 'the Lord hath
_set apart_ him that is godly for Himself.' You see, the 'for Himself'
hinges upon the 'set apart.' There is no consecration without separation.
If you are mourning over want of realized consecration, will you look
humbly and sincerely into _this_ point? 'A garden _enclosed_ is my
sister, my spouse,' saith the Heavenly Bridegroom.

              Set apart for Jesus!
                Is not this enough,
              Though the desert prospect
                Open wild and rough?
        Set apart for His delight,
          Chosen for His holy pleasure,
          Sealed to be His special treasure!
    Could we choose a nobler joy?--and would we, if we might?[footnote:
              _Loyal Responses_, p. 11.]

But yielding, by His grace, to this blessed setting apart for Himself,
'The Lord shall _establish_ thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath
sworn unto thee.' Can there be a stronger promise? Just obey and trust
His word _now_, and yield yourselves _now_ unto God, 'that He may
establish thee _to-day_ for a people unto Himself.' Commit the keeping of
your souls to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator, being
persuaded that He is able to keep that which you commit to Him.

    Now, Lord, I give myself to Thee,
      I would be wholly Thine,
    As Thou hast given Thyself to me,
      And Thou art wholly mine;
    O take me, seal me for Thine own,
    Thine altogether, Thine alone.

Here comes in once more that immeasurably important subject of our
influence. For it is not what we say or do, so much as what we _are_,
that influences others. We have heard this, and very likely repeated it
again and again, but have we seen it to be inevitably linked with the
great question of this chapter? I do not know anything which,
thoughtfully considered, makes us realize more vividly the need and the
importance of our whole selves being kept for Jesus. Any part not wholly
committed, and not wholly kept, must hinder and neutralize the real
influence for Him of all the rest. If we ourselves are kept all for
Jesus, then our influence will be all kept for Him too. If not, then,
however much we may wish and talk and try, we cannot throw our full
weight into the right scale. And just in so far as it is not in the one
scale, it must be in the other; weighing against the little which we have
tried to put in the right one, and making the short weight still shorter.

So large a proportion of it is entirely involuntary, while yet the
responsibility of it is so enormous, that our helplessness comes out in
exceptionally strong relief, while our past debt in this matter is simply
incalculable. Are we feeling this a little? getting just a glimpse, down
the misty defiles of memory, of the neutral influence, the wasted
influence, the mistaken influence, the actually wrong influence which has
marked the ineffaceable although untraceable course? And all the while we
owed Him all that influence! It _ought_ to have been all for Him! We have
nothing to say. But what has our Lord to say? 'I forgave thee all _that_
debt!'

Then, after that forgiveness which must come first, there comes a thought
of great comfort in our freshly felt helplessness, rising out of the very
thing that makes us realize this helplessness. Just _because_ our
influence is to such a great extent involuntary and unconscious, we may
rest assured that if we ourselves are truly kept for Jesus, this will be,
as a quite natural result, kept for Him also. It cannot be otherwise, for
as is the fountain, so will be the flow; as the spring, so the action; as
the impulse, so the communicated motion. Thus there may be, and in simple
trust there will be, a quiet rest about it, a relief from all sense of
strain and effort, a fulfilling of the words, 'For he that is entered
into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from
His.' It will not be a matter of _trying_ to have good influence, but
just of _having_ it, as naturally and constantly as the magnetized bar.

Another encouraging thought should follow. Of ourselves we may have but
little weight, no particular talents or position or anything else to put
into the scale; but let us remember that again and again God has shown
that the influence of a very average life, when once really consecrated
to Him, may outweigh that of almost any number of merely professing
Christians. Such lives are like Gideon's three hundred, carrying not even
the ordinary weapons of war, but only trumpets and lamps and empty
pitchers, by whom the Lord wrought great deliverance, while He did not
use the others at all. For He hath chosen the weak things of the world to
confound the things which are mighty.

Should not all this be additional motive for desiring that our _whole_
selves should be taken and kept?


I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever. Therefore we may
rejoicingly say 'ever' as well as 'only' and 'all for Thee!' For the Lord
is our Keeper, and He is the Almighty and the Everlasting God, with whom
is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. He will never change His
mind about keeping us, and no man is able to pluck us out of His hand.
Neither will Christ let us pluck ourselves out of His hand, for He says,
'Thou _shalt_ abide for Me many days.' And He that keepeth us will not
slumber. Once having undertaken His vineyard, He will keep it night and
day, till all the days and nights are over, and we know the full meaning
of the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, unto which we are
kept by His power.

And then, for ever for Him! passing from the gracious keeping by faith
for this little while, to the glorious keeping in His presence for all
eternity! For ever fulfilling the object for which He formed us and chose
us, we showing forth His praise, and He showing the exceeding riches of
His grace in His kindness towards us in the ages to come! _He for us, and
we for Him for ever!_ Oh, how little we can grasp this! Yet this is the
fruition of being 'kept for Jesus!'

              Set apart for ever
                For Himself alone!
              Now we see our calling
                Gloriously shown.
        Owning, with no secret dread,
          This our holy separation,
          Now the crown of consecration[footnote: Num. vi. 7.]
    Of the Lord our God shall rest upon our willing head.



                              Chapter XIII.
                             Christ for Us.


_'So will I also be for Thee._'--Hos. iii. 3.

The typical promise, 'Thou shalt abide for Me many days,' is indeed a
marvel of love. For it is given to the most undeserving, described under
the strongest possible figure of utter worthlessness and
treacherousness,--the woman beloved, yet an adulteress.

The depth of the abyss shows the length of the line that has fathomed it,
yet only the length of the line reveals the real depth of the abyss. The
sin shows the love, and the love reveals the sin. The Bible has few words
more touching, though seldom quoted, than those just preceding this
wonderful promise: 'The love of the Lord toward the children of Israel,
who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.' Put that into the
personal application which no doubt underlies it, and say, 'The love of
the Lord toward _me_, who have looked away from Him, with wandering,
faithless eyes, to other helps and hopes, and have loved earthly joys and
sought earthly gratifications,--the love of the Lord toward even me!' And
then hear Him saying in the next verse, 'So I bought her to Me;' stooping
to do _that_ in His unspeakable condescension of love, not with the
typical silver and barley, but with the precious blood of Christ. Then,
having thus loved us, and rescued us, and bought us with a price indeed,
He says, still under the same figure, 'Thou shalt abide for Me many
days.'

This is both a command and a pledge. But the very pledge implies our past
unfaithfulness, and the proved need of even our own part being undertaken
by the ever patient Lord. He Himself has to guarantee our faithfulness,
because there is no other hope of our continuing faithful. Well may such
love win our full and glad surrender, and such a promise win our happy
and confident trust!

But He says more. He says, 'So will I also be for thee!' And this seems
an even greater marvel of love, as we observe how He meets every detail
of our consecration with this wonderful word.[footnote: The remainder of
this chapter is printed in a little penny book, entitled, _I also for
Thee_, by F. R. H., published by Caswell, Birmingham, and by Nisbet &
Co.]


1. _His Life_ 'for thee!' 'The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the
sheep.' Oh, wonderful gift! not promised, but _given_; not to friends,
but to enemies. Given without condition, without reserve, without return.
Himself unknown and unloved, His gift unsought and unasked, He gave His
life for thee; a more than royal bounty--the greatest gift that Deity
could devise. Oh, grandeur of love! 'I lay down My life for the sheep!'
And we for whom He gave it have held back, and hesitated to give our
lives, not even _for_ Him (He has not asked us to do that), but _to_ Him!
But that is past, and He has tenderly pardoned the unloving, ungrateful
reserve, and has graciously accepted the poor little fleeting breath and
speck of dust which was all we had to offer. And now His precious death
and His glorious life are all 'for thee.'


2. _His Eternity_ 'for thee.' All we can ask Him to take are days and
moments--the little span given us as it is given, and of this only the
present in deed and the future in will. As for the past, in so far as we
did not give it to Him, it is too late; we can never give it now! But His
past was given to us, though ours was not given to Him. Oh, what a
tremendous debt does this show us!

Away back in the dim depths of past eternity, 'or ever the earth and the
world were made,' His divine existence in the bosom of His Father was all
'for thee,' purposing and planning 'for thee,' receiving and holding the
promise of eternal life 'for thee.'

Then the thirty-three years among sinners on this sinful earth: do we
think enough of the slowly-wearing days and nights, the heavy-footed
hours, the never-hastening minutes, that went to make up those
thirty-three years of trial and humiliation? We all know how slowly time
passes when suffering and sorrow are near, and there is no reason to
suppose that our Master was exempted from this part of our infirmities.

Then His present is 'for thee.' Even now He 'liveth to make
intercession;' even now He 'thinketh upon me;' even now He 'knoweth,' He
'careth,' He 'loveth.'

Then, only to think that His whole eternity will be 'for thee!' Millions
of ages of unfoldings of all His love, and of ever new declarings of His
Father's name to His brethren. Think of it! and can we ever hesitate to
give _all_ our poor little hours to His service?


3. _His Hands_ 'for thee.' Literal hands; literally pierced, when the
whole weight of His quivering frame hung from their torn muscles and
bared nerves; literally uplifted in parting blessing. Consecrated,
priestly hands; 'filled' hands (Ex. xxviii. 41, xxix. 9, etc.,
margin)--filled once with His great offering, and now with gifts and
blessings 'for thee.' Tender hands, touching and healing, lifting and
leading with gentlest care. Strong hands, upholding and defending. Open
hands, filling with good and satisfying desire (Ps. civ. 28, and cxlv.
16). Faithful hands, restraining and sustaining. 'His left hand is under
my head, and His right hand doth embrace me.'


4. _His Feet_ 'for thee.' They were weary very often, they were wounded
and bleeding once. They made clear footprints as He went about doing
good, and as He went up to Jerusalem to suffer; and these 'blessed steps
of His most holy life,' both as substitution and example, were 'for
thee.' Our place of waiting and learning, of resting and loving, is at
His feet. And still those 'blessed feet' are and shall be 'for thee,'
until He comes again to receive us unto Himself, until and when the word
is fulfilled, 'They shall walk with Me in white.'


5. _His Voice_ 'for thee.' The 'Voice of my beloved that knocketh,
saying, Open to me, my sister, my love;' the Voice that His sheep 'hear'
and 'know,' and that calls out the fervent response, 'Master, say on!'
This is not all. It was the literal voice of the Lord Jesus which uttered
that one echoless cry of desolation on the Cross 'for thee,' and it will
be His own literal voice which will say, 'Come, ye blessed!' to thee. And
that same tender and 'glorious Voice' has literally sung and will sing
'for thee.' I think He consecrated song for us, and made it a sweet and
sacred thing for ever, when He Himself 'sang an hymn,' the very last
thing before He went forth to consecrate suffering for us. That was not
His last song. 'The Lord thy God ... will joy over thee with singing.'
And the time is coming when He will not only sing 'for thee' or 'over
thee,' but with thee. He says He will! 'In the midst of the church will I
sing praise unto Thee.' Now what a magnificent glimpse of joy this is!
'Jesus Himself leading the praises of His brethren,'[footnote: See A.
Newton on the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. ii. ver. 12.] and we ourselves
singing not merely in such a chorus, but with such a leader! If 'singing
for Jesus' is such delight here, what will this 'singing _with_ Jesus'
be? Surely song may well be a holy thing to us henceforth.


6. _His Lips_ 'for thee.' Perhaps there is no part of our consecration
which it is so difficult practically to realize, and in which it is,
therefore, so needful to recollect?--'I also for thee.' It is often
helpful to read straight through one or more of the Gospels with a
special thought on our mind, and see how much bears upon it. When we read
one through with this thought--'His _lips_ for me!'--wondering, verse by
verse, at the grace which was poured into them, and the gracious words
which fell from them, wondering more and more at the cumulative force and
infinite wealth of tenderness and power and wisdom and love flowing from
them, we cannot but desire that our lips and all the fruit of them should
be wholly for Him. 'For thee' they were opened in blessing; 'for thee'
they were closed when He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And whether
teaching, warning, counsel, comfort, or encouragement, commandments in
whose keeping there is a great reward, or promises which exceed all we
ask or think--all the precious fruit of His lips is 'for thee,' really
and truly _meant_ 'for thee.'


7. _His Wealth_ 'for thee.' 'Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He
became poor, that ye through His poverty might be made rich.' Yes,
'through His poverty' the unsearchable riches of Christ are 'for thee.'
Seven-fold riches are mentioned; and these are no unminted treasure or
sealed reserve, but all ready coined for our use, and stamped with His
own image and superscription, and poured freely into the hand of faith.
The mere list is wonderful. 'Riches of goodness,' 'riches of forbearance
and long-suffering,' 'riches both of wisdom and knowledge,' 'riches of
mercy,' 'exceeding riches of grace,' and 'riches of glory.' And His own
Word says, 'All are yours!' Glance on in faith, and think of eternity
flowing on and on beyond the mightiest sweep of imagination, and realize
that all 'His riches in glory' and 'the riches of His glory' are and
shall be 'for thee!' In view of this, shall we care to reserve anything
that rust doth corrupt for ourselves?


8. _His 'treasures of wisdom and knowledge'_ 'for thee.' First, used for
our behalf and benefit. Why did He expend such immeasurable might of mind
upon a world which is to be burnt up, but that He would fit it perfectly
to be, not the home, but the school of His children? The infinity of His
skill is such that the most powerful intellects find a lifetime too short
to penetrate a little way into a few secrets of some one small department
of His working. If we turn to Providence, it is quite enough to take only
one's own life, and look at it microscopically and telescopically, and
marvel at the treasures of wisdom lavished upon its details, ordering and
shaping and fitting the tiny confused bits into the true mosaic which He
means it to be. Many a little thing in our lives reveals the same Mind
which, according to a well-known and very beautiful illustration,
adjusted a perfect proportion in the delicate hinges of the snowdrop and
the droop of its bell, with the mass of the globe and the force of
gravitation. How kind we think it if a very talented friend spends a
little of his thought and power of mind in teaching us or planning for
us! Have we been grateful for the infinite thought and wisdom which our
Lord has expended upon us and our creation, preservation, and redemption?

Secondly, to be shared with us. He says, 'All that I have is thine.' He
holds nothing back, reserves nothing from His dear children, and what we
cannot receive now He is keeping for us. He gives us 'hidden riches of
secret places' now, but by and by He will give us more, and the glorified
intellect will be filled continually out of His treasures of wisdom and
knowledge. But the sanctified intellect will be, must be, used for Him,
and only for Him, now!


9. _His Will_ 'for thee.' Think first of the _infinite might_ of that
will; the first great law and the first great force of the universe, from
which alone every other law and every other force has sprung, and to
which all are subordinate. 'He worketh all things after the counsel of
His own will.' 'He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and
among the inhabitants of the earth.' Then think of the _infinite
mysteries_ of that will. For ages and generations the hosts of heaven
have wonderingly watched its vouchsafed unveilings and its sublime
developments, and still they are waiting, watching, and wondering.

Creation and Providence are but the whisper of its power, but Redemption
is its music, and praise is the echo which shall yet fill His temple. The
whisper and the music, yes, and 'the thunder of His power,' are all 'for
thee.' For what _is_ 'the good pleasure of His will'? (Eph. i. 5.) Oh,
what a grand list of blessings purposed, provided, purchased, and
possessed, all flowing to us out of it! And nothing but blessings,
nothing but privileges, which we never should have imagined, and which,
even when revealed, we are 'slow of heart to believe;' nothing but what
should even now fill us 'with joy unspeakable and full of glory!'

Think of this will as always and altogether on our side--always working
for us, and in us, and with us, if we will only let it; think of it as
always and only synonymous with infinitely wise and almighty love; think
of it as undertaking all for us, from the great work of our eternal
salvation down to the momentary details of guidance and supply, and do we
not feel utter shame and self-abhorrence at _ever_ having hesitated for
an instant to give up our tiny, feeble, blind will, to be--not crushed,
not even bent, but _blent_ with His glorious and perfect Will?


10. _His Heart_ 'for thee.' 'Behold ... He is mighty ... in heart,' said
Job (Job xxxvi. 5, margin). And this mighty and tender heart is 'for
thee!' If He had only stretched forth His hand to save us from bare
destruction, and said, 'My hand for thee!' how could we have praised Him
enough? But what shall we say of the unspeakably marvellous condescension
which says, 'Thou hast ravished (margin, _taken away_) my heart, my
sister, my spouse!' The very fountain of His divine life, and light, and
love, the very centre of His being, is given to His beloved ones, who are
not only 'set as a seal upon His heart,' but taken into His heart, so
that our life is hid there, and we dwell there in the very centre of all
safety, and power, and love, and glory. What will be the revelation of
'that day,' when the Lord Jesus promises, 'Ye shall know that I am in My
Father, and _ye in Me'?_ For He implies that we do not yet know it, and
that our present knowledge of this dwelling in Him is not knowledge at
all compared with what He is going to show us about it.

Now shall we, can we, reserve any corner of our hearts from Him?


11. _His Love_ 'for thee.' Not a passive, possible love, but outflowing,
yes, _outpouring_ of the real, glowing, personal love of His mighty and
tender heart. Love not as an attribute, a quality, a latent force, but an
acting, moving, reaching, touching, and grasping power. Love, not a cold,
beautiful, far-off star, but a sunshine that comes and enfolds us, making
us warm and glad, and strong and bright and fruitful.

_His_ love! What manner of love is it? What should be quoted to prove or
describe it? First the whole Bible with its mysteries and marvels of
redemption, then the whole book of Providence and the whole volume of
creation. Then add to these the unknown records of eternity past and the
unknown glories of eternity to come, and then let the immeasurable
quotation be sung by 'angels and archangels, and all the company of
heaven,' with all the harps of God, and still that love will be untold,
still it will be 'the love of Christ that passeth knowledge.'

But it is 'for thee!'


12. _Himself_ 'for thee.' 'Christ also hath loved us, and given Himself
for us.' 'The Son of God ... loved me, and gave Himself for me.' Yes,
Himself! What is the Bride's true and central treasure? What calls forth
the deepest, brightest, sweetest thrill of love and praise? Not the
Bridegroom's priceless gifts, not the robe of His resplendent
righteousness, not the dowry of unsearchable riches, not the magnificence
of the palace home to which He is bringing her, not the glory which she
shall share with Him, but Himself! Jesus Christ, 'who His own self bare
our sins in His own body on the tree;' 'this same Jesus,' 'whom having
not seen, ye love;' the Son of God, and the Man of Sorrows; my Saviour,
my Friend, my Master, my King, my Priest, my Lord and my God--He says,
'_I_ also for thee!' What an '_I'!_ What power and sweetness we feel in
it, so different from any human '_I_,' for all His Godhead and all His
manhood are concentrated in it, and all 'for thee!'

And not only 'all,' but '_ever_' for thee. His unchangeableness is the
seal upon every attribute; He will be 'this same Jesus' for ever. How can
mortal mind estimate this enormous promise? How can mortal heart conceive
what is enfolded in these words, 'I also for thee'?

One glimpse of its fulness and glory, and we feel that henceforth it must
be, shall be, and by His grace _will_ be our true-hearted, whole-hearted
cry--

    Take _myself_, and I will be
    _Ever_, ONLY, ALL for Thee!



                             SELECTIONS FROM
                      MISS HAVERGAL'S LATEST POEMS.



                              An Interlude.


    _That_ part is finished! I lay down my pen,
      And wonder if the thoughts will flow as fast
    Through the more difficult defile. For the last
      Was easy, and the channel deeper then.
    My Master, I will trust Thee for the rest;
    Give me just what Thou wilt, and that will be my best!

    How can _I_ tell the varied, hidden need
      Of Thy dear children, all unknown to me,
    Who at some future time may come and read
      What I have written! All are known to Thee.
    As Thou hast helped me, help me to the end;
    Give me Thy own sweet messages of love to send.

    So now, I pray Thee, keep my hand in Thine;
      And guide it as Thou wilt. I do not ask
    To understand the 'wherefore' of each line;
      Mine is the sweeter, easier, happier task,
    Just to look up to Thee for every word,
    Rest in Thy love, and trust, and know that I am heard.



                          The Thoughts of God.


    They say there is a hollow, safe and still,
          A point of coolness and repose
    Within the centre of a flame, where life might dwell
    Unharmed and unconsumed, as in a luminous shell,
        Which the bright walls of fire enclose
      In breachless splendour, barrier that no foes
                    Could pass at will.

                  There is a point of rest
      At the great centre of the cyclone's force,
        A silence at its secret source;--
      A little child might slumber undistressed,
    Without the ruffle of one fairy curl,
    In that strange central calm amid the mighty whirl.

      So, in the centre of these thoughts of God,
      Cyclones of power, consuming glory-fire,--
              As we fall o'erawed
      Upon our faces, and are lifted higher
      By His great gentleness, and carried nigher
      Than unredeemèd angels, till we stand
        Even in the hollow of His hand,
        Nay, more! we lean upon His breast--
      _There_, there we find a point of perfect rest
        And glorious safety. There we see
        His thoughts to usward, thoughts of peace
      That stoop in tenderest love; that still increase
      With increase of our need; that never change,
      That never fail, or falter, or forget
              O pity infinite!
              O royal mercy free!
      O gentle climax of the depth and height
    Of God's most precious thoughts, most wonderful, most strange!
        'For I am poor and needy, yet
    The Lord Himself, Jehovah, _thinketh upon me_!'



                            'Free to Serve.'


    She chose His service. For the Lord of Love
    Had chosen her, and paid the awful price
    For her redemption; and had sought her out,
    And set her free, and clothed her gloriously,
    And put His royal ring upon her hand,
    And crowns of loving-kindness on her head.
    She chose it. Yet it seemed she could not yield
    The fuller measure other lives could bring;
    For He had given her a precious gift,
    A treasure and a charge to prize and keep,
    A tiny hand, a darling hand, that traced
    On her heart's tablet words of golden love.
    And there was not much room for other lines,
    For time and thought were spent (and rightly spent,
    For He had given the charge), and hours and days
    Were concentrated on the one dear task.
    But He had need of her. Not one new gem
    But many for His crown;--not one fair sheaf,
    But many, she should bring. And she should have
    A richer, happier harvest-home at last.
    Because more fruit, more glory and more praise
    Her life should yield to Him. And so He came,
    The Master came Himself, and gently took
    The little hand in His, and gave it room
    Among the angel-harpers. Jesus came
    And laid His own hand on the quivering heart,
    And made it very still, that He might write
    Invisible words of power--'Free to serve!'
    Then through the darkness and the chill He sent
    A heat-ray of His love, developing
    The mystic writing, till it glowed and shone
    And lit up all her life with radiance new,--
    The happy service of a yielded heart.
    With comfort that He never ceased to give
    (Because her need could never cease) she filled
    The empty chalices of other lives,
    And time and thought were thenceforth spent for Him
    Who loved her with His everlasting love.

    Let Him write what He will upon our hearts,
    With His unerring pen. They are His own,
    Hewn from the rock by His selecting grace,
    Prepared for His own glory. Let Him write!
    Be sure He will not cross out one sweet word
    But to inscribe a sweeter,--but to grave
    One that shall shine for ever to His praise,
    And thus fulfil our deepest heart-desire.
    The tearful eye at first may read the line,
    'Bondage to grief!' But He shall wipe away
    The tears, and clear the vision, till it read
    In ever-brightening letters, 'Free to serve!'
    For whom the Son makes free is free indeed.
    Nor only by reclaiming His good gifts,
    But by withholding, doth the Master write
    These words upon the heart. Not always needs
    Erasure of some blessèd line of love
    For this more blest inscription. Where He finds
    A tablet empty for the 'lines left out,'
    That 'might have been' engraved with human love
    And sweetest human cares, yet never bore
    That poetry of life, His own dear hand
    Writes 'Free to serve!' And these clear characters
    Fill with fair colours all the unclaimed space,
    Else grey and colourless.
                          Then let it be
    The motto of our lives until we stand
    In the great freedom of Eternity,
    Where we '_shall_ serve Him' while we see His face,
    For ever and for ever 'Free to serve.'



                           Coming to the King.

                         2 Chronicles ix. 1-12.


    I came from very far away to see
      The King of Salem; for I had been told
      Of glory and of wisdom manifold,
    And condescension infinite and free.
    How could I rest, when I had heard His fame,
    In that dark lonely land of death from whence I came?

    I came (but not like Sheba's queen), alone!
      No stately train, no costly gifts to bring;
      No friend at court, save One, that One the King!
    I had requests to spread before His throne,
    And I had questions none could solve for me,
    Of import deep, and full of awful mystery.

    I came and communed with that mighty King,
      And told Him all my heart; I cannot say,
      In mortal ear, what communings were they.
    But wouldst thou know, go too, and meekly bring
    All that is in thy heart, and thou shalt hear
    His voice of love and power, His answers sweet and clear.

    O happy end of every weary quest!
      He told me all I needed, graciously;--
      Enough for guidance, and for victory
    O'er doubts and fears, enough for quiet rest;
    And when some veiled response I could not read,
    It was not hid from Him,--this was enough indeed.

    His wisdom and His glories passed before
      My wondering eyes in gradual revelation;
      The house that He had built, its strong foundation,
    Its living stones; and, brightening more and more,
    Fair glimpses of that palace far away,
    Where all His loyal ones shall dwell with Him for aye.

    True the report that reached my far-off land
      Of all His wisdom and transcendent fame;
      Yet I believed not until I came,--
    Bowed to the dust till raised by royal hand.
    The half was never told by mortal word;
    My King exceeded all the fame that I had heard!

    Oh, happy are His servants! happy they
      Who stand continually before His face,
      Ready to do His will of wisest grace!
    My King! is mine such blessedness to-day?
    For I too hear Thy wisdom, line by line,
    Thy ever brightening words in holy radiance shine.

    Oh, blessèd be the Lord thy God, who set
      Our King upon His throne! Divine delight
      In the Beloved crowning Thee with might,
    Honour, and majesty supreme; and yet
    The strange and Godlike secret opening thus,--
    The kingship of His Christ ordained through love to us!

    What shall I render to my glorious King?
      I have but that which I receive from Thee;
      And what I give, Thou givest back to me,
    Transmuted by Thy touch; each worthless thing
    Changed to the preciousness of gem or gold,
    And by Thy blessing multiplied a thousand fold.

    All my desire Thou grantest, whatsoe'er
      I ask! Was ever mythic tale or dream
      So bold as this reality,--this stream
    Of boundless blessings flowing full and free?
    Yet more than I have thought or asked of Thee,
    Out of Thy royal bounty still Thou givest me.

    Now I will turn to my own land, and tell
      What I myself have seen and heard of Thee.
      And give Thine own sweet message, 'Come and see!'
    And yet in heart and mind for ever dwell
    With Thee, my King of Peace, in loyal rest,
    Within the fair pavilion of Thy presence blest.


'Surely in what place my Lord the King shall be, whether in death or
life, even there also will thy servant be.'--2 _Sam._ xv. 21.

'Where I am, there shall also my servant be.'--_John_ xii. 26.



                             The Two Paths.

                      Via Dolorosa and Via Giojosa.

                       [_Suggested by a Picture._]


    My Master, they have wronged Thee and Thy love!
    They only told me I should find the path
    A Via Dolorosa all the way!
    Even Thy sweetest singers only sang
    Of pressing onward through the same sharp thorns,
    With bleeding footsteps, through the chill dark mist,
    Following and struggling till they reach the light,
    The rest, the sunshine of the far beyond.
    The anthems of the pilgrimage were set
    In most pathetic minors, exquisite,
    Yet breathing sadness more than any praise;
    Thy minstrels let the fitful breezes make
    Æolian moans on their entrusted harps,
    Until the listeners thought that this was all
    The music Thou hadst given. And so the steps
    That halted where the two ways met and crossed,
    The broad and narrow, turned aside in fear,
    Thinking the radiance of their youth must pass
    In sombre shadows if they followed Thee;
    Hearing afar such echoes of one strain,
    The cross, the tribulation, and the toil,
    The conflict, and the clinging in the dark.
    What wonder that the dancing feet are stayed
    From entering the only path of peace!
    Master, forgive them! Tune their harps anew,
    And put a new song in their mouths for Thee,
    And make Thy chosen people joyful in Thy love.


      Lord Jesus, Thou hast trodden once for all
    The Via Dolorosa,--and for us!
    No artist power or minstrel gift may tell
    The cost to Thee of each unfaltering step,
    When love that passeth knowledge led Thee on,
    Faithful and true to God, and true to us.
      And now, belovèd Lord, Thou callest us
    To follow Thee, and we will take Thy word
    About the path which Thou hast marked for us.
    Narrow indeed it is! Who does not choose
    The narrow track upon the mountain side,
    With ever-widening view, and freshening air,
    And honeyed heather, rather than the road,
    With smoothest breadth of dust and loss of view,
    Soiled blossoms not worth gathering, and the noise
    Of wheels instead of silence of the hills,
    Or music of the waterfalls? Oh, why
    Should they misrepresent Thy words, and make
    'Narrow' synonymous with 'very hard'?
      For Thou, Divinest Wisdom, Thou hast said
    Thy ways are ways of pleasantness, and all
    Thy paths are peace; and that the path of him
    Who wears Thy perfect robe of righteousness
    Is as the light that shineth more and more
    Unto the perfect day. And Thou hast given
    An olden promise, rarely quoted now,[footnote: Job xxvi. 15.]
    Because it is too bright for our weak faith:
    'If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend
    Days in prosperity, and they shall spend
    Their years in pleasures.' All because Thy days
    Were full of sorrow, and Thy lonely years
    Were passed in grief's acquaintance--all for us!

    Master, I set my seal that Thou art true,
    Of Thy good promise not one thing hath failed!
    And I would send a ringing challenge forth,
    To all who know Thy name, to tell it out,
    Thy faithfulness to every written word,
    Thy loving-kindness crowning all the days,--
    To say and sing with me: 'The Lord is good,
    His mercy is for ever, and His truth
    Is written on each page of all my life!'
    Yes! there _is_ tribulation, but Thy power
    Can blend it with rejoicing. There _are_ thorns,
    But they have kept us in the narrow way,
    The King's Highway of holiness and peace.
    And there _is_ chastening, but the Father's love
    Flows through it; and would any trusting heart
    Forego the chastening and forego the love?
    And every step leads on to 'more and more,'
    From strength to strength Thy pilgrims pass and sing
    The praise of Him who leads them on and on,
    From glory unto glory, even here!



                             Only for Jesus.


    Only for Jesus! Lord, keep it for ever
    Sealed on the heart and engraved on the life!
    Pulse of all gladness and nerve of endeavour,
    Secret of rest, and the strength of our strife.



                'Vessels of Mercy, Prepared unto Glory.'

                             (Rom. ix. 23.)


    Vessels of mercy, prepared unto glory!
      This is your calling and this is your joy!
    This, for the new year unfolding before ye,
      Tells out the terms of your blessed employ.

    Vessels, it may be, all empty and broken,
      Marred in the Hand of inscrutable skill;
    (Love can accept the mysterious token!)
      Marred but to make them more beautiful still.

                                                          Jer. xviii. 4.

    Vessels, it may be, not costly or golden;
      Vessels, it may be, of quantity small,
    Yet by the Nail in the Sure Place upholden,
      Never to shiver and never to fall.

                                                      Isa. xxii. 23, 24.

    Vessels to honour, made sacred and holy,
      Meet for the use of the Master we love,
    Ready for service, all simple and lowly,
      Ready, one day, for the temple above.

                                                          2 Tim. ii. 21.

    Yes, though the vessels be fragile and earthen,
      God hath commanded His glory to shine;
    Treasure resplendent henceforth is our burthen,
      Excellent power, not ours but Divine.

                                                        2 Cor. iv. 5, 6.

    Chosen in Christ ere the dawn of Creation,
      Chosen for Him, to be filled with His grace,
    Chosen to carry the streams of salvation
      Into each thirsty and desolate place.

                                                            Acts ix. 15.

    Take all Thy vessels, O glorious Finer,
      Purge all the dross, that each chalice may be
    Pure in Thy pattern, completer, diviner,
      Filled with Thy glory and shining for Thee.

                                                           Prov. xxv. 4.



                           The Turned Lesson.


    'I thought I knew it!' she said,
      'I thought I had learnt it quite!'
    But the gentle Teacher shook her head,
      With a grave yet loving light
    In the eyes that fell on the upturned face,
        As she gave the book
    With the mark still set in the self-same place.

    'I thought I knew it!' she said;
      And a heavy tear fell down,
    As she turned away with bending head,
      Yet not for reproof or frown,
    Not for the lesson to learn again,
        Or the play hour lost;--
    It was something else that gave the pain.

    She could not have put it in words,
      But her Teacher understood,
    As God understands the chirp of the birds
      In the depth of an autumn wood.
    And a quiet touch on the reddening cheek
        Was quite enough;
    No need to question, no need to speak.

    Then the gentle voice was heard,
      'Now I will try you again!'
    And the lesson was mastered,--every word!
      Was it not worth the pain?
    Was it not kinder the task to turn,
        Than to let it pass,
    As a lost, lost leaf that she did not learn?

    Is it not often so,
      That we only learn in part,
    And the Master's testing-time may show
      That it was not quite 'by heart'?
    Then He gives, in His wise and patient grace,
        That lesson again
    With the mark still set in the self-same place.

    Only, stay by His side
      Till the page is really known.
    It may be we failed because we tried
      To learn it all alone,
    And now that He would not let us lose
        One lesson of love
    (For He knows the loss),--can we refuse?

    But oh! how could we dream
      That we knew it all so well!
    Reading so fluently, as we deem,
      What we could not even spell!
    And oh! how could we grieve once more
        That Patient One
    Who has turned so many a task before!

    That waiting One, who now
      Is letting us try again;
    Watching us with the patient brow,
      That bore the wreath of pain;
    Thoroughly teaching what He would teach,
        Line upon line,
    Thoroughly doing His work in each.

    Then let our hearts 'be still,'
      Though our task is turned to-day;
    Oh let Him teach us what He will,
      In His own gracious way.
    Till, sitting only at Jesus' feet,
        As we learn each line
    The hardest is found all clear and sweet!



                              Sunday Night.


    Rest him, O Father! Thou didst send him forth
    With great and gracious messages of love;
    But Thy ambassador is weary now,
    Worn with the weight of his high embassy.
    Now care for him as Thou hast cared for us
    In sending him; and cause him to lie down
    In Thy fresh pastures, by Thy streams of peace.
    Let Thy left hand be now beneath his head,
    And Thine upholding right encircle him,
    And, underneath, the Everlasting arms
    Be felt in full support. So let him rest,
    Hushed like a little child, without one care;
    And so give Thy belovèd sleep to-night.

      Rest him, dear Master! He hath poured for us
    The wine of joy, and we have been refreshed.
    Now fill _his_ chalice, give him sweet new draughts
    Of life and love, with Thine own hand; be Thou
    His ministrant to-night; draw very near
    In all Thy tenderness and all Thy power.
    Oh speak to him! Thou knowest how to speak
    A word in season to Thy weary ones,
    And he is weary now. Thou lovest him--
    Let Thy disciple lean upon Thy breast,
    And, leaning, gain new strength to 'rise and shine.'

      Rest him, O loving Spirit! Let Thy calm
    Fall on his soul to-night. O holy Dove,
    Spread Thy bright wing above him, let him rest
    Beneath its shadow; let him know afresh
    The infinite truth and might of Thy dear name--
    'Our Comforter!' As gentlest touch will stay
    The strong vibrations of a jarring chord,
    So lay Thy hand upon his heart, and still
    Each overstraining throb, each pulsing pain.
    Then, in the stillness, breathe upon the strings,
    And let thy holy music overflow
    With soothing power his listening, resting soul.



                          A Song in the Night.

[Written in severe pain, Sunday afternoon, October 8th, 1876, at the
Pension Wengen, Alps.]


    I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
      From Thine own hand,
    The strength to bear it bravely
      Thou wilt command.

    I am too weak for effort,
      So let me rest,
    In hush of sweet submission,
      On Thine own breast.

    I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
      As proof indeed
    That Thou art watching closely
      My truest need;

    That Thou, my Good Physician,
      Art watching still;
    That all Thine own good pleasure
      Thou wilt fulfil.

    I take this pain, Lord Jesus;
      What Thou dost choose
    The soul that really loves Thee
      Will not refuse.

    It is not for the first time
      I trust to-day;
    For Thee my heart has never
      A trustless 'Nay!'

    I take this pain, Lord Jesus;
      But what beside?
    'Tis no unmingled portion
      Thou dost provide.

    In every hour of faintness
      My cup runs o'er
    With faithfulness and mercy,
      And love's sweet store.

    I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
      As Thine own gift;
    And true though tremulous praises
      I now uplift.

    I am too weak to sing them,
      But Thou dost hear
    The whisper from the pillow,
      Thou art so near!

    'Tis Thy dear hand, O Saviour,
      That presseth sore,
    The hand that bears the nail-prints
      For evermore.

    And now beneath its shadow,
      Hidden by Thee,
    The pressure only tells me
      Thou lovest me!



                      What will You do without Him?


    I could not do without Him!
      Jesus is more to me
    Than all the richest, fairest gifts
      Of earth could ever be.
    But the more I find Him precious--
      And the more I find Him true--
    The more I long for you to find
      What He can be to you.

    You need not do without Him,
      For He is passing by,
    He is waiting to be gracious,
      Only waiting for your cry:
    He is waiting to receive you--
      To make you all His own!
    Why will you do without Him,
      And wander on alone?

    Why will you do without Him?
      Is He not kind indeed?
    Did He not die to save you?
      Is He not all you need?
    Do you not want a Saviour?
      Do you not want a Friend?
    One who will love you faithfully,
      And love you to the end?

    Why will you do without Him?
      The Word of God is true!
    The world is passing to its doom--
      And you are passing too.
    It may be no to-morrow
      Shall dawn on you or me;
    Why will you run the awful risk
      Of all eternity?

    What will you do without Him,
      In the long and dreary day
    Of trouble and perplexity,
      When you do not know the way,
    And no one else can help you,
      And no one guides you right,
    And hope comes not with morning,
      And rest comes not with night?

    You could not do without Him,
      If once He made you see
    The fetters that enchain you,
      Till He hath set you free.
    If once you saw the fearful load
      Of sin upon your soul;
    The hidden plague that ends in death,
      Unless He makes you whole!

    What will you do without Him,
      When death is drawing near?
    Without His love--the only love
      That casts out every fear;
    When the shadow-valley opens,
      Unlighted and unknown,
    And the terrors of its darkness
      Must all be passed alone!

    What will you do without Him,
      When the great white throne is set,
    And the Judge who never can mistake,
      And never can forget,--
    The Judge whom you have never here
      As Friend and Saviour sought,
    Shall summon you to give account
      Of deed and word and thought?

    What will you do without Him,
      When He hath shut the door,
    And you are left outside, because
      You would not come before?
    When it is no use knocking,
      No use to stand and wait;
    For the word of doom tolls through your heart
      That terrible 'Too late!'

    You cannot do without Him!
      There is no other name
    By which you ever _can_ be saved,
      No way, no hope, no claim!
    Without Him--everlasting loss
      Of love, and life, and light!
    Without Him--everlasting woe,
      And everlasting night.

    But with Him--oh! _with Jesus_!
      Are any words so blest?
    With Jesus, everlasting joy
      And everlasting rest!
    With Jesus--all the empty heart
      Filled with His perfect love;
    With Jesus--perfect peace below,
      And perfect bliss above.

    Why should you do without Him?
      It is not yet too late;
    He has not closed the day of grace,
      He has not shut the gate.
    He calls you! hush! He calls you!
      He would not have you go
    Another step without Him,
      Because He loves you so.

    Why will you do without Him?
      He calls and calls again--
    'Come unto Me! Come unto Me!'
      Oh, shall He call in vain?
    He wants to have you with Him;
      Do you not want Him too?
    You cannot do without Him,
      And He wants--even you.



                     Church Missionary Jubilee Hymn.

'He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.'--Isa.
liii. 11.


    Rejoice with Jesus Christ to-day,
    All ye who love His holy sway!
    The travail of His soul is past,
    He shall be satisfied at last.

    Rejoice with Him, rejoice indeed!
    For He shall see His chosen seed.
    But ours the trust, the grand employ,
    To work out this divinest joy.

    Of all His own He loseth none,
    They shall be gathered one by one;
    He gathereth the smallest grain,
    His travail shall not be in vain.

    Arise and work! arise and pray
    That He would haste the dawning day!
    And let the silver trumpet sound,
    Wherever Satan's slaves are found.

    The vanquished foe shall soon be stilled,
    The conquering Saviour's joy fulfilled,
    Fulfilled in us, fulfilled in them,
    His crown, His royal diadem.

    Soon, soon our waiting eyes shall see
    The Saviour's mighty Jubilee!
    His harvest joy is filling fast,
    He shall be satisfied at last.



                        A Happy New Year to You!


    New mercies, new blessings, new light on thy way;
    New courage, new hope, and new strength for each day;
    New notes of thanksgiving, new chords of delight,
    New praise in the morning, new songs in the night,
    New wine in thy chalice, new altars to raise;
    New fruits for thy Master, new garments of praise;
    New gifts from His treasures, new smiles from His face;
    New streams from the Fountain of infinite grace;
    New stars for thy crown, and new tokens of love;
    New gleams of the glory that waits thee above;
    New light of His countenance, full and unpriced;
    All this be the joy of thy new life in Christ!



                              Another Year.


    Another year is dawning!
      Dear Master, let it be
    In working or in waiting,
      Another year with Thee.

    Another year of leaning
      Upon Thy loving breast,
    Of ever-deepening trustfulness,
      Of quiet, happy rest.

    Another year of mercies,
      Of faithfulness and grace;
    Another year of gladness
      In the shining of Thy face.

    Another year of progress,
      Another year of praise;
    Another year of proving
      Thy presence 'all the days.'

    Another year of service,
      Of witness for Thy love;
    Another year of training
      For holier work above.

    Another year is dawning!
      Dear Master, let it be
    On earth, or else in heaven,
      Another year for Thee!



                           New Year's Wishes.


    What shall I wish thee?
      Treasures of earth?
    Songs in the springtime,
      Pleasure and mirth?
    Flowers on thy pathway,
      Skies ever clear?
    Would this ensure thee
      A Happy New Year?

    What shall I wish thee?
      What can be found
    Bringing thee sunshine
      All the year round?
    Where is the treasure,
      Lasting and dear,
    That shall ensure thee
      A Happy New Year?

    Faith that increaseth,
      Walking in light;
    Hope that aboundeth,
      Happy and bright;
    Love that is perfect,
      Casting out fear;
    These shall ensure thee
      A Happy New Year.

    Peace in the Saviour,
      Rest at His feet,
    Smile of His countenance
      Radiant and sweet,
    Joy in His presence!
      Christ ever near!
    This will ensure thee
      A Happy New Year!



                        'Most Blessed For Ever.'

(_Though the date of these lines is uncertain, they are chosen as a
closing chord to her songs on earth._)


    The prayer of many a day is all fulfilled,
    Only by full fruition stayed and stilled;
    You asked for blessing as your Father willed,
      Now He hath answered: 'Most blessed for ever!'

    Lost is the daily light of mutual smile,
    You therefore sorrow now a little while;
    But floating down life's dimmed and lonely aisle
      Comes the clear music: 'Most blessed for ever!'

    From the great anthems of the Crystal Sea,
    Through the far vistas of Eternity,
    Grand echoes of the word peal on for thee,
      Sweetest and fullest: 'Most blessed for ever.'





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Kept for the Master's Use" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home