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´╗┐Title: Secret Power - or the Secret of Success in Christian Life and Work
Author: Moody, Dwight Lyman, 1837-1899
Language: English
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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 "Secret Power - or the Secret of Success in Christian Life and Work" ***

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SECRET POWER


OR THE


SECRET OF SUCCESS IN CHRISTIAN

LIFE AND WORK.


By D. L. MOODY


FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY

NEW YORK : : CHICAGO : : TORONTO

_Publishers of Evangelical Literature_



Copyrighted 1881, by FLEMING H. REVELL.



PREFACE.


One man may have "zeal without knowledge," while another may have
knowledge without zeal. If I could have only the one, I believe I
should choose the first; but, with an open Bible, no one need be
without knowledge of God's will and purpose; and the object of this
book is to help others to know the source of true power, that both
their zeal and their knowledge may be of increased service in the
Master's work.

Paul says, "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable;" but I believe one portion, and that the subject of this
book, has been too much overlooked, as though it were not practical,
and the result is lack of power in testimony and work. If we would
work, "not as one that beateth the air," but to some definite purpose,
we must have this power from on high. Without this power, our work
will be drudgery. With it, it becomes a joyful task, a refreshing
service.

May God make this book a blessing to many. This is my prayer.


D. L. MOODY.


NORTHFIELD, MASS., May 1st, 1881.



CHAPTER I.


POWER--ITS SOURCE


In vain do the inhabitants of London go to their conduits for supply
unless the man who has the master-key turns the water on; and in vain
do we think to quench our thirst at ordinances, unless God
communicates the living water of His Spirit.--_Anon_.

It was the custom of the Roman emperors, at their triumphal entrance,
to cast new coins among the multitudes; so doth Christ, in His
triumphal ascension into heaven, throw the greatest gifts for the good
of men that were ever given.--_T. Goodwin_.

To unconverted persons, a great part of the Bible resembles a letter
written in cipher. The blessed Spirit's office is to act as God's
decipherer, by letting His people into the secret of celestial
experience, as the key and clew to those sweet mysteries of grace
which were before as a garden shut up, or as a fountain sealed, or as
a book written in an unknown character.--_Toplady_.

The greatest, strongest, mightiest plea for the Church of God in the
world is the existence of the Spirit of God in its midst, and the
works of the Spirit of God are the true evidences of Christianity.
They say miracles are withdrawn, but the Holy Spirit is the standing
miracle of the Church of God to-day. I will not say a word against
societies for Christian evidences, nor against those weighty and
learned brethren who have defended the outworks of the Christian
Church. They have done good service, and I wish them every blessing,
but as to my own soul, I never was settled in my faith in Christ by
Paley's Evidences, nor by all the evidence ever brought from history
or elsewhere; the Holy Spirit has taken the burden off my shoulders,
and given me peace and liberty. This to me is evidence, and as to the
externals which we can quote to others, it was enough for Peter and
John that the people saw the lame man healed, and they needed not to
speak for themselves.--_Spurgeon_.


POWER--ITS SOURCE.


"Without the soul, divinely quickened and inspired, the observances of
the grandest ritualism are as worthless as the motions of a galvanized
corpse."--_Anon_.

I QUOTE this sentence, as it leads me at once to the subject under
consideration. What is this quickening and inspiration? What is this
power needed? From whence its source? I reply: The Holy Spirit of God.
I am a full believer in "The Apostles' Creed," and therefore "I
believe in the Holy Ghost."

A writer has pointedly asked: "What are our souls without His grace?--as
dead as the branch in which the sap does not circulate. What is the
Church without Him?--as parched and barren as the fields without the
dew and rain of heaven."

There has been much inquiry of late on the subject of the Holy Spirit.
In this and other lands thousands of persons have been giving
attention to the study of this grand theme. I hope it will lead us all
to pray for a greater manifestation of His power upon the whole Church
of God. How much we have dishonored Him in the past! How ignorant of
His grace, and love and presence we have been? True, we have heard of
Him and read of Him, but we have had little intelligent knowledge of
His attributes, His offices and His relations to us. I fear He has not
been to many professed Christians an actual existence, nor is He known
to them as a personality of the Godhead.

The first work of the Spirit is to give life; spiritual life. He gives
it and He sustains it. If there is no life, there can be no power;
Solomon says: "A living dog is better than a dead lion." When the
Spirit imparts this life, He does not leave us to droop and die, but
constantly fans the flame. He is ever with us. Surely we ought not to
be ignorant of His power and his work.


IDENTITY AND PERSONALITY.


In John v, 7, we read: "There are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." By
the Father is meant the first Person, Christ, the Word is the second,
and the Holy Spirit, perfectly fulfilling His own office and work in
union with the Father and the Son, is the third. I find clearly
presented in my Bible, that the One God who demands my love, service
and worship, has there revealed Himself, and that each of those three
names of Father, Son and Holy Ghost has personality attached to them.
Therefore we find some things ascribed to God as Father, some to God
as Saviour, and some to God as Comforter and Teacher. It has been
remarked that the Father plans, the Son executes, and the Holy Spirit
applies. But I also believe they plan and work together. The
distinction of _persons_ is often noted in Scripture. In Matt. iii,
16-17, we find JESUS submitting to baptism, the SPIRIT descending upon
Him, while the FATHER'S voice of approval is heard saying: "This is my
Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Again in John xiv, 16, we
read: "I (_i. e._ Jesus) will pray the Father, and He shall give you
another Comforter." Also in Eph. i, 18: "Through Him (_i. e._ Christ
Jesus) we both (Jews and Gentiles) have access by one Spirit unto the
Father." Thus we are taught the distinction of persons in the Godhead,
and their inseparable union. From these and other scriptures also we
learn the identity and actual existence of the Holy Spirit.

If you ask do I _understand_ what is thus revealed in Scripture, I say
"no." But my faith bows down before the inspired Word and I
unhesitatingly believe the great things of God when even reason is
blinded and the intellect confused.

In addition to the teaching of God's Word, the Holy Spirit in His
gracious work in the soul declares His own presence. Through His
agency we are "born again," and through His indwelling we possess
superhuman power. Science, falsely so called, when arrayed against the
existence and presence of the Spirit of God with His people, only
exposes its own folly to the contempt of those who have become "new
creatures in Christ Jesus." The Holy Spirit who inspired prophets, and
qualified apostles, continues to animate, guide and comfort all true
believers. To the actual Christian, the personality of the Holy Spirit
is more real than any theory science has to offer, for so-called
science is but calculation based on human observation, and is
constantly changing its inferences. But the existence of the Holy
Spirit is to the child of God a matter of Scripture revelation and of
actual experience.

Some skeptics assert that there is no other vital energy in the world
but physical force, while contrary to their assertions, thousands and
tens of thousands who can not possibly be deceived have been quickened
into spiritual life by a power neither physical or mental. Men who
were dead in sins--drunkards who lost their will, blasphemers who lost
their purity, libertines sunk in beastliness, infidels who published
their shame to the world, have in numberless instances become the
subjects of the Spirit's power, and are now walking in the true
nobility of Christian manhood, separated by an infinite distance from
their former life. Let others reject, if they will, at their own
peril, this imperishable truth. I believe, and am growing more into
this belief, that divine, miraculous creative power resides in the
Holy Ghost. Above and beyond all natural law, yet in harmony with it,
creation, providence, the Divine government, and the upbuilding of the
Church of God are presided over by the Spirit of God. His ministration
is the ministration of life more glorious than the ministration of
law, (2 Cor. iii, 6-10). And like the Eternal Son, the Eternal Spirit
having life in Himself, is working out all things after the counsel of
His own will, and for the everlasting glory of the Triune Godhead.

The Holy Spirit has all the qualities belonging to a person; the power
to understand, to will, to do, to call, to feel, to love. This can not
be said of a mere influence. He possesses attributes and qualities
which can only be ascribed to a person, as acts and deeds are
performed by Him which can not be performed by a machine, an
influence, or a result.


AGENT AND INSTRUMENT.


The Holy Spirit is closely identified with the words of the Lord
Jesus. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing,
the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."
The Gospel proclamation can not be divorced from the Holy Spirit.
Unless He attend the word in power, vain will be the attempt in
preaching it. Human eloquence or persuasiveness of speech are the mere
trappings of the dead, if the living Spirit be absent; the prophet may
preach to the bones in the valley, but it must be the breath from
Heaven which will cause the slain to live.

In the third chapter of the First Epistle of Peter, it reads, "For
Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that
He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but
quickened by the Spirit."

Here we see that Christ was raised up from the grave by this same
Spirit, and the power exercised to raise Christ's dead body must raise
our dead souls and quicken them. No other power on earth can quicken a
dead soul, but the same power that raised the body of Jesus Christ out
of Joseph's sepulcher. And if we want that power to quicken our
friends who are dead in sin, we must look to God, and not be looking
to man to do it. If we look alone to ministers, if we look alone to
Christ's disciples to do this work, we shall be disappointed; but if
we look to the Spirit of God and expect it to come from Him and Him
alone, then we shall honor the Spirit, and the Spirit will do His
work.


SECRET OF EFFICIENCY.


I can not help but believe there are many Christians who want to be
more efficient in the Lord's service, and the object of this book is
to take up this subject of the Holy Spirit, that they may see from
whom to expect this power. In the teaching of Christ, we find the last
words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, the 28th chapter and 19th
verse, "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Here we
find that the Holy Spirit and the Son are equal with the Father--are
one with Him, "teaching them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Christ was now handing His commission
over to His Apostles. He was going to leave them. His work on earth
was finished, and He was now just about ready to take His seat at the
right hand of God, and He spoke unto them and said: "All power is
given unto Me in heaven and on earth." All power, so then He had
authority. If Christ was mere man, as some people try to make out, it
would have been blasphemy for Him to have said to the disciples, go
and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and in His own
name, and in that of the Holy Ghost, making Himself equal with the
Father.

There are three things: _All power_ is given unto Me; go _teach all_
nations. Teach them what? To _observe all_ things. There are a great
many people now that are willing to observe what they like about
Christ, but the things that they don't like they just dismiss and turn
away from. But His commission to His disciples was, "Go teach all
nations to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." And
what right has a messenger who has been sent of God to change the
message? If I had sent a servant to deliver a message, and the servant
thought the message didn't sound exactly right--a little harsh--and
that servant went and changed the message, I should change servants
very quickly; he could not serve me any longer. And when a minister or
a messenger of Christ begins to change the message because he thinks
it is not exactly what it ought to be, and thinks he is wiser than
God, God just dismisses that man.

They haven't taught "all things." They have left out some of the
things that Christ has commanded us to teach, because they didn't
correspond with man's reason. Now we have to take the Word of God just
as it is; and if we are going to take it, we have no authority to take
out just what we like, what we think is appropriate, and let dark
reason be our guide.

It is the work of the Spirit to impress the heart and seal the
preached word. His office is to take of the things of Christ and
reveal them unto us.

Some people have got an idea that this is the only dispensation of the
Holy Ghost; that He didn't work until Christ was glorified. But Simeon
felt the Holy Ghost when he went into the temple. In 2d Peter, i. 21,
we read: "Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
We find the same Spirit in Genesis as is seen in Revelation. The same
Spirit that guided the hand that wrote Exodus inspired also the
epistles, and we find the same Spirit speaking from one end of the
Bible to the other. So holy men in all ages have spoken as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost.


HIS PERSONALITY.


I was a Christian a long time before I found out that the Holy Ghost
was a person. Now this is something a great many don't seem to
understand, but if you will just take up the Bible and see what Christ
had to say about the Holy Spirit, you will find that He always spoke
of Him as a person--never spoke of Him as an influence. Some people
have an idea that the Holy Spirit is an attribute of God, just like
mercy--just an influence coming from God. But we find in the
fourteenth chapter of John, sixteenth verse, these words: "And I will
pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter that He may
abide with you forever." That _He_ may abide with you forever. And,
again, in the same chapter, seventeenth verse: "Even the Spirit of
Truth, whom the world can not receive, because it seeth Him not,
neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and
shall be in you." Again, in the twenty-sixth verse of the same
chapter: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all
things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you."

Observe the pronouns "He" and "Him." I want to call attention to this
fact that whenever Christ spoke of the Holy Ghost He spoke of Him as a
person, not a mere influence; and if we want to honor the Holy Ghost,
let us bear in mind that He is one of the Trinity, a personality of
the Godhead.


THE RESERVOIR OF LOVE.


We read that the fruit of the Spirit is love. God is love, Christ is
love, and we should not be surprised to read about the love of the
Spirit. What a blessed attribute is this. May I call it the dome of
the temple of the graces. Better still, it is the crown of crowns worn
by the Triune God. Human love is a natural emotion which flows forth
towards the object of our affections. But Divine love is as high above
human love as the heaven is above the earth. The natural man is of the
earth, earthy, and however pure his love may be, it is weak and
imperfect at best. But the love of God is perfect and entire, wanting
nothing. It is as a mighty ocean in its greatness, dwelling with and
flowing from the Eternal Spirit.

In Romans v, 5, we read: "And hope maketh not ashamed, because the
love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is
given to us." Now if we are co-workers with God, there is one thing we
must possess, and that is love. A man may be a very successful lawyer
and have no love for his clients, and yet get on very well. A man may
be a very successful physician and have no love for his patients, and
yet be a very good physician; a man may be a very successful merchant
and have no love for his customers, and yet he may do a good business
and succeed; but no man can be a co-worker with God without love. If
our service is mere profession on our part, the quicker we renounce it
the better. If a man takes up God's work as he would take up any
profession, the sooner he gets out of it the better.

We can not work for God without love. It is the only tree that can
produce fruit on this sin-cursed earth, that is acceptable to God. If
I have no love for God nor for my fellow man, then I can not work
acceptably. I am like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. We are
told that "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy
Ghost." Now, if we have had that love shed abroad in our hearts, we
are ready for God's service; if we have not, we are not ready. It is
so easy to reach a man when you love him; all barriers are broken down
and swept away.

Paul when writing to Titus, second chapter and first verse, tells him
to be sound in faith, in charity, and in patience. Now in this age,
ever since I can remember, the Church has been very jealous about men
being unsound in the faith. If a man becomes unsound in the faith,
they draw their ecclesiastical sword and cut at him; but he may be
ever so unsound in love, and they don't say anything. He may be ever
so defective in patience; he may be irritable and fretful all the
time, but they never deal with him. Now the Bible teaches us, that we
are not only to be sound in the faith, but in charity and in patience.
I believe God can not use many of his servants, because they are full
of irritability and impatience; they are fretting all the time, from
morning until night. God can not use them; their mouths are sealed;
they can not speak for Jesus Christ, and if they have not love, they
can not work for God. I do not mean love for those that love me; it
don't take grace to do that; the rudest Hottentot in the world can do
that; the greatest heathen that ever lived can do that; the vilest man
that ever walked the earth can do that. It don't take any grace at
all. I did that before I ever became a Christian. Love begets love;
hatred begets hatred. If I know a man loves me first, I know my love
will be going out towards him. Suppose a man comes to me, saying, "Mr.
Moody, a certain man told me to-day that he thought you were the
meanest man living." Well, if I didn't have a good deal of the grace
of God in my heart, then I know there would be hard feelings that
would spring up in my heart against that man, and it would not be long
before I would be talking against him. Hatred begets hatred. But
suppose a man comes to me and says, "Mr. Moody, do you know that such
a man that I met to-day says that he thinks a great deal of you?" and
though I may never have heard of him, there would be love springing up
in my heart. Love begets love; we all know that; but it takes the
grace of God to love the man that lies about me, the man that slanders
me, the man that is trying to tear down my character; it takes the
grace of God to love that man. You may hate the sin he has committed;
there is a difference between the sin and the sinner; you may hate the
one with a perfect hatred, but you must love the sinner. I can not
otherwise do him any good. Now you know the first impulse of a young
convert is to love. Do you remember the day you were converted? Was
not your heart full of sweet peace and love?


THE RIGHT OVERFLOW.


I remember the morning I came out of my room after I had first trusted
Christ, and I thought the old sun shone a good deal brighter than it
ever had before; I thought that the sun was just smiling upon me, and
I walked out upon Boston Common, and I heard the birds in the trees,
and I thought that they were all singing a song for me. Do you know I
fell in love with the birds? I never cared for them before; it seemed
to me that I was in love with all creation. I had not a bitter feeling
against any man, and I was ready to take all men to my heart. If a man
has not the love of God shed abroad in his heart, he has never been
regenerated. If you hear a person get up in prayer-meeting, and he
begins to speak and find fault with everybody, you may know that his
is not a genuine conversion; that it is counterfeit; it has not the
right ring, because the impulse of a converted soul is to love, and
not to be getting up and complaining of every one else, and finding
fault. But it is hard for us to live in the right atmosphere all the
time. Some one comes along and treats us wrongly, perhaps we hate him;
we have not attended to the means of grace and kept feeding on the
word of God as we ought; a root of bitterness springs up in our
hearts, and perhaps we are not aware of it, but it has come up in our
hearts; then we are not qualified to work for God. The love of God is
not shed abroad in our hearts as it ought to be by the Holy Ghost.

But the work of the Holy Ghost is to impart love. Paul could say, "The
love of Christ constraineth me." He could not help going from town to
town and preaching the Gospel. Jeremiah at one time said: "I will
speak no more in the Lord's name; I have suffered enough; these people
don't like God's word." They lived in a wicked day, as we do now.
Infidels were creeping up all around him, who said the word of God was
not true; Jeremiah had stood like a wall of fire, confronting them,
and he boldly proclaimed that the word of God was true. At last they
put him in prison, and he said: "I will keep still; it has cost me too
much." But a little while after, you know, he could not keep still.
His bones caught fire; he had to speak. And when we are so full of the
love of God, we are compelled to work for God, then God blesses us. If
our work is sought to be accomplished by the lash, without any true
motive power, it will come to nought.

Now the question comes up, have we the love of God shed abroad in our
hearts, and are we holding the truth in love? Some people hold the
truth, but in such a cold stern way that it will do no good. Other
people want to love everything, and so they give up much of the truth;
but we are to hold the truth in love; we are to hold the truth even if
we lose all, but we are to hold it in love, and if we do that, the
Lord will bless us.

There are a good many people trying to get this love; they are trying
to produce it of themselves. But therein all fail. The love implanted
deep in our new nature will be spontaneous. I don't have to learn to
love my children. I can not help loving them. I said to a young miss
some time ago, in an inquiry meeting, who said that she could not love
God; that it was very hard for her to love Him--I said to her, "Is it
hard for you to love your mother? Do you have to learn to love your
mother?" And she looked up through her tears, and said, "No; I can't
help it; that is spontaneous." "Well," I said, "when the Holy Spirit
kindles love in your heart, you can not help loving God; it will be
spontaneous." When the Spirit of God comes into your heart and mine,
it will be easy to serve God.

The fruit of the Spirit, as you find it in Galatians, begins with
love. There are nine graces spoken of in the sixth chapter, and of the
nine different graces Paul puts love at the head of the list; love is
the first thing--the first in that precious cluster of fruit. Some one
has put it in this way: that all the other eight can be put in the
word love. Joy is love exulting; peace is love in repose; long
suffering is love on trial; gentleness is love in society; goodness is
love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love at
school; and temperance is love in training. So it is love all the way;
love at the top; love at the bottom, and all the way along down these
graces; and if we only just brought forth the fruit of the Spirit,
what a world we would have; there would be no need of any policemen; a
man could leave his overcoat around without some one stealing it; men
would not have any desire to do evil. Says Paul, "Against such there
is no law;" you don't need any law. A man who is full of the Spirit
don't need to be put under law; don't need any policemen to watch him.
We could dismiss all our policemen; the lawyers would have to give up
practicing law, and the courts would not have any business.


THE TRIUMPHS OF HOPE.


In the fifteenth chapter of Romans, thirteenth verse, the Apostle
says: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy
Ghost." The next thing then is hope.

Did you ever notice this, that no man or woman is ever used by God to
build up His kingdom who has lost hope? Now, I have been observing
this throughout different parts of the country, and wherever I have
found a worker in God's vineyard who has lost hope, I have found a man
or woman not very useful. Now, just look at these workers. Let your
mind go over the past for a moment. Can you think of a man or woman
whom God has used to build His kingdom who has lost hope? I don't know
of any; I never heard of such an one. It is very important to have
hope in the Church; and it is the work of the Holy Ghost to impart
hope. Let Him come into some of the churches where there have not been
any conversions for a few years, and let Him convert a score of
people, and see how hopeful the Church becomes at once. He imparts
hope; a man filled with the Spirit of God will be very hopeful. He
will be looking out into the future, and he knows that it is all
bright, because the God of all grace is able to do great things. So it
is very important that we have hope.

If a man has lost hope, he is out of communion with God; he has not
the Spirit of God resting upon him for service; he may be a son of
God, and disheartened so that he can not be used of God. Do you know
there is no place in the Scriptures where it is recorded that God ever
used even a discouraged man. Some years ago, in my work I was quite
discouraged, and I was ready to hang my harp on the willow. I was very
much cast down and depressed. I had been for weeks in that state, when
one Monday morning a friend, who had a very large Bible class, came
into my study. I used to examine the notes of his Sunday-school
lessons, which were equal to a sermon, and he came to me this morning
and said, "Well, what did you preach about yesterday?" and I told him.
I said, "What did you preach about?" and he said that he preached
about Noah. "Did you ever preach about Noah?" "No, I never preached
about Noah." "Did you ever study his character?" "No, I never studied
his life particularly." "Well," says he, "he is a most wonderful
character. It will do you good. You ought to study up that character."
When he went out, I took down my Bible, and read about Noah; and then
it came over me that Noah worked 120 years and never had a convert,
and yet he did not get discouraged; and I said, "Well, I ought not to
be discouraged," and I closed my Bible, got up and walked down town,
and the cloud had gone. I went down to the noon prayer-meeting, and
heard of a little town in the country where they had taken into the
church 100 young converts; and I said to myself, I wonder what Noah
would have given if he could have heard that; and yet he worked 120
years and didn't get discouraged. And then a man right across the
aisle got up and said, "My friends, I wish you to pray for me; I think
I'm lost;" and I thought to myself, "I wonder what Noah would have
given to hear that." He never heard a man say, "I wish you to pray for
me; I think I am lost," and yet he didn't get discouraged! Oh,
children of God, let us not get discouraged; let us ask God to forgive
us, if we have been discouraged and cast down; let us ask God to give
us hope, that we may be ever hopeful. It does me good sometimes to
meet some people and take hold of their hands; they are so hopeful,
while other people throw a gloom over me because they are all the time
cast down, and looking at the dark side, and looking at the obstacles
and difficulties that are in the way.


THE BOON OF LIBERTY.


The next thing the Spirit of God does is to give us liberty. He first
imparts love; He next inspires hope, and then gives liberty, and that
is about the last thing we have in a good many of our churches at the
present day. And I am sorry to say there must be a funeral in a good
many churches before there is much work done, we shall have to bury
the formalism so deep that it will never have any resurrection. The
last thing to be found in many a church is liberty.

If the Gospel happens to be preached, the people criticise, as they
would a theatrical performance. It is exactly the same, and many a
professed Christian never thinks of listening to what the man of God
has to say. It is hard work to preach to carnally-minded critics, but
"Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

Very often a woman will hear a hundred good things in a sermon, and
there may be one thing that strikes her as a little out of place, and
she will go home and sit down to the table and talk right out before
her children and magnify that one wrong thing, and not say a word
about the hundred good things that were said. That is what people do
who criticise.

God does not use men in captivity. The condition of many is like
Lazarus when he came out of the sepulcher bound hand and foot. The
bandage was not taken off his mouth, and he could not speak. He had
life, and if you had said Lazarus was not alive, you would have told a
falsehood, because he was raised from the dead. There are a great many
people, the moment you talk to them and insinuate they are not doing
what they might, they say: "I have life. I am a Christian." Well, you
can't deny it, but they are bound hand and foot.

May God snap these fetters and set His children free, that they may
have liberty. I believe He comes to set us free, and wants us to work
for Him, and speak for Him. How many people would like to get up in a
social prayer-meeting to say a few words for Christ, but there is such
a cold spirit of criticism in the Church that they dare not do it.
They have not the liberty to do it. If they get up, they are so
frightened with these critics that they begin to tremble and sit down.
They can not say anything. Now, that is all wrong. The Spirit of God
comes just to give liberty, and wherever you see the Lord's work going
on, you will see that Spirit of liberty. People won't be afraid of
speaking to one another. And when the meeting is over they will not
get their hats and see how quick they can get out of the church, but
will begin to shake hands with one another, and there will be liberty
there. A good many go to the prayer-meeting out of a mere cold sense
of duty. They think "I must attend because I feel it is my duty." They
don't think it is a glorious privilege to meet and pray, and to be
strengthened, and to help some one else in the wilderness journey.

What we need to-day is love in our hearts. Don't we want it? Don't we
want hope in our lives? Don't we want to be hopeful? Don't we want
liberty? Now, all this is the work of the Spirit of God, and let us
pray God daily to give us love, and hope, and liberty. We read in
Hebrews, "Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the
holiest by the blood of Jesus." If you will turn to the passage and
read the margin--it says: "Having, therefore, brethren, liberty to
enter into the holiest." We can go into the holiest, having freedom of
access, and plead for this love and liberty and glorious hope, that we
may not rest until God gives us the power to work for Him.

If I know my own heart to-day, I would rather die than live as I once
did, a mere nominal Christian, and not used by God in building up His
kingdom. It seems a poor empty life to live for the sake of self.

Let us seek to be useful. Let us seek to be vessels meet for the
Master's use, that God, the Holy Spirit, may shine fully through us.

   "Know, my soul, thy full salvation;
      Rise o'er sin, and fear, and care;
   Joy to find, in every station,
      Something still to do or bear.

   Think what Spirit dwells within thee;
      Think what Father's smiles are thine;
   Think that Jesus died to win thee:
      Child of heaven, canst thou repine?

   Haste thee on from grace to glory,
      Armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
   Heaven's eternal day's before thee:
      God's own hand shall guide thee there.

   Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
      Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
   Hope shall change to glad fruition,
      Faith to sight, and prayer to praise."


   "I AM so weak, dear Lord! I can not stand
         One moment without Thee;
      But oh, the tenderness of Thy enfolding,
      And oh, the faithfulness of Thine upholding,
   And oh, the strength of Thy right hand!
         That strength is enough for me.

   I am so needy, Lord! and yet I know
         All fullness dwells in Thee;
      And hour by hour that never-failing treasure
      Supplies and fills in overflowing measure
   My last and greatest need. And so
         Thy grace is enough for me.

   It is so sweet to trust Thy word alone!
         I do not ask to see
      The unveiling of Thy purpose, or the shining
      Of future light on mysteries untwining;
   Thy promise-roll is all my own--
         Thy word is enough for me.

   There were strange soul-depths, restless, vast, and broad,
         Unfathomed as the sea,
      An infinite craving for some infinite stilling;
      But now Thy perfect love is perfect filling!
   Lord Jesus Christ, my Lord, my God,
         Thou, Thou art enough for me!"



CHAPTER II.


POWER "IN" AND "UPON."


You remember that strange, half-involuntary "forty years" of Moses in
the "wilderness" of Midian, when he had fled from Egypt. You remember,
too, the almost equally strange years of retirement in "Arabia" by
Paul, when, if ever, humanly speaking, instant action was needed. And
pre-eminently you remember the amazing charge of the ascending Lord to
the disciples, "Tarry at Jerusalem." Speaking after the manner of men,
one could not have wondered if out-spoken Peter, or fervid James had
said: "Tarry, Lord! How long?" "Tarry, Lord! is there not a perishing
world, groaning for the 'good news?'" "Tarry! did we hear Thee aright,
Lord? Was the word not haste?" "Nay;" "Being assembled together with
them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem,
but wait for the promise of the Father." (Acts 1:4.)--_Grosart_.



POWER--"IN" AND "UPON."


THE Holy Spirit dwelling in us, is one thing; I think this is clearly
brought out in Scripture; and the Holy Spirit upon us for service, is
another thing. Now there are only three places we find in Scripture
that are dwelling-places for the Holy Ghost.

In the 40th chapter of Exodus, commencing with the 33d verse, are
these words:

"And he (that is Moses) reared up the court round about the tabernacle
and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses
finished the work.

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of
the Lord filled the tabernacle.

And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation,
because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the
tabernacle."

The moment that Moses finished the work, the moment that the
tabernacle was ready, the cloud came, the Shekinah glory came and
filled it so that Moses was not able to stand before the presence of
the Lord. I believe firmly, that the moment our hearts are emptied of
pride and selfishness and ambition and self-seeking, and everything
that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Ghost will come and fill every
corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, and
ambition and self-seeking, and pleasure and the world, there is no
room for the Spirit of God; and I believe many a man is praying to God
to fill him when he is full already with something else. Before we
pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray Him to empty
us.

There must be an emptying before there can be a filling; and when the
heart is turned upside down, and everything is turned out that is
contrary to God, then the Spirit will come, just as He did in the
tabernacle, and fill us with His glory. We read in 2d Chronicles, 5th
chapter and 13th verse: "It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and
singers were as one to make one Sound, to be heard in praising and
thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the
trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord,
saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever; that then the
house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord. So that the
priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud, for the
glory of the Lord had filled the house of God."


PRAISING WITH ONE HEART.


We find, the very moment that Solomon completed the Temple, when all
was finished, they were just praising God with one heart--the
choristers and the singers and the ministers were all one; there was
not any discord; they were all praising God, and the glory of God came
and just filled the Temple as the Tabernacle. Now, as you turn over
into the New Testament, you will find, instead of coming to
Tabernacles and Temples, believers are now the Temple of the Holy
Ghost. When, on the day of Pentecost, before Peter preached that
memorable sermon, as they were praying, the Holy Ghost came, and came
in mighty power. We now pray for the Spirit of God to come, and we
sing:

   "Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly dove,
      With all thy quickening power;
   Kindle a flame of heavenly love
      In these cold hearts of ours,"

I believe, if we understand it, it is perfectly right; but if we are
praying for Him to come out of heaven down to earth again, that is
wrong, because He is already here; He has not been out of this earth
for 1800 years; He has been in the Church, and He is with all
believers; the believers in the Church are the called-out ones; they
are called out from the world, and every true believer is a Temple for
the Holy Ghost to dwell in. In the 14th chapter of John, 17th verse,
we have the words of Jesus:

"The Spirit of Truth, whom the world can not receive, because it seeth
Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him, for He dwelleth in
you."

"Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world." If we
have the Spirit dwelling in us, He gives us power over the flesh and
the world, and over every enemy. "He is dwelling with you, and shall
be in you."

Read 1st Corinthians iii, 16: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of
God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

There were some men burying an aged saint some time ago, and he was
very poor, like many of God's people, poor in this world, but they are
very rich, they have all the riches on the other side of life--they
have them laid up there where thieves can not get them, and where
sharpers can not take them away from them, and where moth can not
corrupt--so this aged man was very rich in the other world, and they
were just hastening him off to the grave, wanting to get rid of him,
when an old minister, who was officiating at the grave, said, "Tread
softly, for you are carrying the temple of the Holy Ghost." Whenever
you see a believer, you see a temple of the Holy Ghost.

In 1 Cor. vi, 19, 20, we read again: "Know ye not that your body is
the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,
and ye are not your own for ye are bought with a price, therefore
glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." Thus
are we taught that there is a divine resident in every child of God.

I think it is clearly taught in the Scripture that every believer has
the Holy Ghost dwelling in him. He may be quenching the Spirit of God,
and he may not glorify God as he should, but if he is a believer on
the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost dwells in him. But I want to
call your attention to another fact. I believe to-day, that though
Christian men and women have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, yet He
is not dwelling within them in power; in other words, God has a great
many sons and daughters without power.


WHAT IS NEEDED.


Nine-tenths, at least, of the church members never think of speaking
for Christ. If they see a man, perhaps a near relative, just going
right down to ruin, going rapidly, they never think of speaking to him
about his sinful course and of seeking to win him to Christ. Now
certainly there must be something wrong. And yet when you talk with
them you find they have faith, and you can not say they are not
children of God; but they have not the power, they have not the
liberty, they have not the love that real disciples of Christ should
have. A great many people are thinking that we need new measures, that
we need new churches, that we need new organs, and that we need new
choirs, and all these new things. That is not what the Church of God
needs to-day. It is the old power that the Apostles had; that is what
we want, and if we have that in our churches, there will be new life.
Then we will have new ministers--the same old ministers renewed with
power; filled with the Spirit. I remember when in Chicago many were
toiling in the work, and it seemed as though the car of salvation
didn't move on, when a minister began to cry out from the very depths
of his heart, "Oh, God, put new ministers in every pulpit." On next
Monday I heard two or three men stand up and say, "We had a new
minister last Sunday--the same old minister, but he had got new
power," and I firmly believe that is what we want to-day all over
America. We want new ministers in the pulpit and new people in the
pews. We want people quickened by the Spirit of God, and the Spirit
coming down and taking possession of the children of God and giving
them power.

Then a man filled with the Spirit will know how to use "the sword of
the Spirit." If a man is not filled with the Spirit, he will never
know now to use the Book. We are told that this is the sword of the
Spirit; and what is an army good for that does not know how to use its
weapons? Suppose a battle going on, and I were a general and had a
hundred thousand men, great, able-bodied men, full of life, but they
could not one of them handle a sword, and not one of them knew how to
use his rifle, what would that army be good for? Why, one thousand
well-drilled men, with good weapons, would rout the whole of them. The
reason why the Church can not overcome the enemy is, because she don't
know how to use the sword of the Spirit. People will get up and try to
fight the devil with their experiences, but he don't care for that, he
will overcome them every time. People are trying to fight the devil
with theories and pet ideas, but he will get the victory over them
likewise. What we want is to draw the sword of the Spirit. It is that
which cuts deeper than anything else.

Turn in your Bibles to Eph. vi, 14: "Stand, therefore, having your
loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of
righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel
of peace; above all (or over all), taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the
wicked. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God."


THE GREATEST WEAPON.


The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, and what we need specially
is to be filled with the Spirit, so we shall know how to use the Word.
There was a Christian man talking to a skeptic, who was using the
Word, and the skeptic said, "I don't believe, sir, in that Book." But
the man went right on and he gave him more of the Word; and the man
again remarked, "I don't believe the Word," but he kept giving him
more, and at last the man was reached. And the brother added, "When I
have proved a good sword which does the work of execution, I would
just keep right on using it." That is what we want. Skeptics and
infidels may say they don't believe in it. It is not our work to make
them believe in it; that is the work of the Spirit. Our work is to
give them the Word of God; not to preach our theories and our ideas
about it, but just to deliver the message as God gives it to us. We
read in the Scriptures of the sword of the Lord and Gideon. Suppose
Gideon had gone out without the Word, he would have been defeated. But
the Lord used Gideon; and I think you find all through the Scriptures,
God takes up and uses human instruments. You can not find, I believe,
a case in the Bible where a man is converted without God calling in
some human agency--using some human instrument; not but what He can do
it in His independent sovereignty; there is no doubt about that. Even
when by the revealed glory of the Lord Jesus, Saul of Tarsus was
smitten to the earth, Annanias was used to open his eyes and lead him
into the light of the Gospel. I heard a man once say, if you put a man
on a mountain peak, higher than one of the Alpine peaks, God could
save him without a human messenger; but that is not His way; that is
not His method; but it is "the sword of the Lord and Gideon"; and the
Lord and Gideon will do the work; and if we are just willing to let
the Lord use us, He will.


"NONE OF SELF."


Then you will find all through the Scriptures, when men were filled
with the Holy Spirit, they preached Christ and not themselves. They
preached Christ and Him crucified. It says in the first chapter of
Luke, 67th verse, speaking of Zacharias, the father of John the
Baptist:

"And his father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Ghost, and
prophesied, saying: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath
visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of
salvation for us in the house of His servant David. As He spake by the
mouth of His Holy prophets, which have been since the world began."

See, he is talking about the Word. If a man is filled with the Spirit,
he will magnify the Word; he will preach the Word, and not himself; he
will give this lost world the Word of the living God. "And thou,
child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go
before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways. To give knowledge of
salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the
tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring from on high hath
visited us. To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the
shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the
child grew and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the
day of his showing unto Israel." And so we find again that when
Elizabeth and Mary met, they talked of the Scriptures, and they were
both filled with the Holy Ghost, and at once began to talk of their
Lord.

We also find that Simeon, as he came into the temple and found the
young child Jesus there, at once began to quote the Scriptures, for
the Spirit was upon him. And when Peter stood up on the day of
Pentecost, and preached that wonderful sermon, it is said he was
filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to preach the Word to the
multitude, and it was the Word that cut them. It was the sword of the
Lord and Peter, the same as it was the sword of the Lord and Gideon.
And we find it says of Stephen, "They were not able to resist the
spirit and wisdom by which he spake." Why? Because he gave them the
Word of God. And we are told that the Holy Ghost came on Stephen, and
none could resist his word. And we read, too, that Paul was full of
the Holy Spirit, and that he preached Christ and Him crucified, and
that many people were added to the Church. Barnabas was full of faith
and the Holy Ghost; and if you will just read and find out what he
preached, you will find it was the Word, and many were added to the
Lord. So that when a man is full of the Spirit, he begins to preach,
not himself, but Christ, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

The disciples of Jesus were all filled with the Spirit, and the Word
was published; and when the Spirit of God comes down upon the Church,
and we are anointed, the Word will be published in the streets, in the
lanes, and in the alleys; there will not be a dark cellar nor a dark
attic, nor a home where the Gospel will not be carried by some loving
heart, if the Spirit comes upon God's people in demonstration and in
power.


SPIRITUAL IRRIGATION.


It is possible a man may just barely have life and be satisfied; and I
think that a great many are in that condition. In the 3d chapter of
John we find that Nicodemus came to Christ and that he received life.
At first this life was feeble. You don't hear of him standing up
confessing Christ boldly, and of the Spirit coming upon him in great
power, though possessing life through faith in Christ. And then turn
to the 4th chapter of John, and you will find it speaks of the woman
coming to the well of Samaria, and Christ held out the cup of
salvation to her and she took it and drank, and it became in her "a
well of water springing up into everlasting life." That is better than
in the 3d chapter of John; here it came down in a flood into her soul;
as some one has said, it came down from the throne of God, and like a
mighty current carried her back to the throne of God. Water always
rises to its level, and if we get the soul filled with water from the
throne of God it will bear us upward to its source.

But if you want to get the best class of Christian life portrayed,
turn to the 7th chapter and you will find that it says he that
receiveth the Spirit, through trusting in the Lord Jesus, "out of him
shall flow rivers of living water." Now there are two ways of digging
a well. I remember, when a boy, upon a farm, in New England, they had
a well, and they put in an old wooden pump, and I used to have to pump
the water from that well upon wash-day, and to water the cattle; and I
had to pump and pump and pump until my arm got tired, many a time. But
they have a better way now; they don't dig down a few feet and brick
up the hole and put the pump in, but they go down through the clay and
the sand and the rock, and on down until they strike what they call a
lower stream, and then it becomes an artesian well, which needs no
labor, as the water rises spontaneously from the depths beneath.

Now I think God wants all His children to be a sort of artesian well;
not to keep pumping, but to flow right out. Why, haven't you seen
ministers in the pulpit just pumping, and pumping and pumping? I have,
many a time, and I have had to do it, too. I know how it is. They
stand in the pulpit and talk and talk and talk, and the people go to
sleep, they can't arouse them. What is the trouble? Why, the living
water is not there; they are just pumping when there is no water in
the well. You can't get water out of a dry well; you have to get
something in the well, or you can't get anything out. I have seen
these wooden pumps where you had to pour water into them before you
could pump any water out, and so it is with a good many people; you
have to get something in them before you can get any out. People
wonder why it is that they have no Spiritual power. They stand up and
talk in meeting, and don't say anything; they say they haven't
anything to say, and you find it out soon enough; they need not state
it; but they just talk, because they feel it is a duty, and say
nothing.

Now I tell you when the Spirit of God is on us for service, resting
upon us, we are anointed, and then we can do great things. "I will
pour water on him that is thirsty," says God. O, blessed thought--"He
that hungers and thirsts after righteousness shall be filled!"


OUTFLOWING STREAMS.


I would like to see some one just full of living water; so full that
they couldn't contain it; that they would have to go out and publish
the Gospel of the grace of God. When a man gets so full that he can't
hold any more, then he is just ready for God's service.

When preaching in Chicago, Dr. Gibson remarked in the inquiry meeting,
"Now, how can we find out who is thirsty?" Said he, "I was just
thinking how we could find out. If a boy should come down the aisle,
bringing a good pail full of clear water, and a dipper, we would soon
find out who was thirsty; we would see thirsty men and women reach out
for water; but if you should walk down the aisle with an empty bucket,
you wouldn't find it out. People would look in and see that there was
no water, and say nothing." So said he, "I think that is the reason we
are not more blessed in our ministry; we are carrying around empty
buckets, and the people see that we have not anything in them, and
they don't come forward." I think that there is a good deal of truth
in that. People see that we are carrying around empty buckets, and
they will not come to us until they are filled. They see we haven't
any more than they have. We must have the Spirit of God resting upon
us, and then we will have something that gives the victory over the
world, the flesh, and the devil; something that gives the victory over
our tempers, over our conceits, and over every other evil, and when we
can trample these sins under our feet, then people will come to us and
say, "How did you get it? I need this power; you have something that I
haven't got; I want it." O, may God show us this truth. Have we been
toiling all night? let us throw the net on the right side; let us ask
God to forgive our sins, and anoint us with power from on high. But
remember, He is not going to give this power to an impatient man; He
is not going to give it to a selfish man; He will never give it to an
ambitious man whose aim is selfish, till first emptied of self;
emptied of pride and of all worldly thoughts. Let it be God's glory
and not our own that we seek, and when we get to that point, how
speedily the Lord will bless us for good. Then will the measure of our
blessing be full. Do you know what heaven's measure is? Good measure,
pressed down, shaken together, and running over. If we get our heart
filled with the Word of God, how is Satan going to get in? How is the
world going to get in, for heaven's measure is good measure, full
measure, running over. Have you this fullness? If you have not, then
seek it; say by the grace of God you will have it, for it is the
Father's good pleasure to give us these things. He wants us to shine
down in this world; He wants to lift us up for His work; He wants us
to have the power to testify for His Son. He has left us in this world
to testify for Him. What did He leave us for? Not to buy and sell and
to get gain, but to glorify Christ. How are you going to do it without
the Spirit? That is the question. How are you to do it without the
power of God?


WHY SOME FAIL.


We read in John xx, 22: "And when He had said this, He breathed on
them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."

Then see Luke xxiv, 49: "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father
upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued
with power from on high."

The first passage tells us He had raised those pierced and wounded
hands over them and breathed upon them and said, "Receive ye the Holy
Ghost." And I haven't a doubt they received it then, but not in such
mighty power as afterward when qualified for their work. It was not in
fullness that He gave it to them then, but if they had been like a
good many now, they would have said, "I have enough now; I am not
going to tarry; I am going to work."

Some people seem to think they are losing time if they wait on God for
his power, and so away they go and work without unction; they are
working without any anointing, they are working without any power. But
after Jesus had said "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," and had breathed on
them, He said: "Now you tarry in Jerusalem until you be endued with
power from on high." Read in the 1st chapter of Acts, 8th verse: "But
ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."

Now, the Spirit had been given them certainly or they could not have
believed, and they could not have taken their stand for God and gone
through what they did, and endured the scoffs and frowns of their
friends, if they had not been converted by the power of the Holy
Ghost. But now just see what Christ said:

"Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you;
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea,
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."

Then, the Holy Spirit IN US is one thing, and the Holy Spirit ON US is
another; and if these Christians had gone out and went right to
preaching then and there, without the power, do you think that scene
would have taken place on the day of Pentecost? Don't you think that
Peter would have stood up there and beat against the air, while these
Jews would have gnashed their teeth and mocked him? But they tarried
in Jerusalem; they waited ten days. What! you say. What, the world
perishing and men dying! Shall I wait? Do what God tells you. There is
no use in running before you are sent; there is no use in attempting
to do God's work without God's power. A man working without this
unction, a man working without this anointing, a man working without
the Holy Ghost upon him, is losing his time after all. So we are not
going to lose anything if we tarry till we get this power. That is the
object of true service, to wait on God, to tarry till we receive this
power for witness-bearing. Then we find that on the day of Pentecost,
ten days after Jesus Christ was glorified, the Holy Spirit descended
in power. Do you think that Peter and James and John and those
apostles doubted it from that very hour? They never doubted it.
Perhaps some question the possibility of having the power of God now,
and that the Holy Spirit never came afterward in similar
manifestation, and will never come again in such power.


FRESH SUPPLIES.


Turn to Acts iv, 31, and you will find He came a second time, and at a
place where they were, so that the earth was shaken, and they were
filled with this power. The fact is, we are leaky vessels, and we have
to keep right under the fountain all the time to keep full of Christ,
and so have a fresh supply.

I believe this is a mistake a great many of us are making; we are
trying to do God's work with the grace God gave us ten years ago. We
say, if it is necessary, we will go on with the same grace. Now, what
we want is a fresh supply, a fresh anointing and fresh power, and if
we seek it, and seek it with all our hearts, we will obtain it. The
early converts were taught to look for that power. Philip went to
Samaria, and news reached Jerusalem that there was a great work being
done in Samaria, and many converts; and John and Peter went down, and
they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost for
service. I think that is what we Christians ought to be looking for--the
Spirit of God for service--that God may use us mightily in the
building up of His Church and hastening His glory. In Acts xix we read
of twelve men at Ephesus, who, when the inquiry was made if they had
received the Holy Ghost since they believed, answered: "We have not so
much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." I venture to say there
are very many, who, if you were to ask them, "Have you received the
Holy Ghost since you believed?" would reply, "I don't know what you
mean by that." They would be like the twelve men down at Ephesus, who
had never understood the peculiar relation of the Spirit to the sons
of God in this dispensation. I firmly believe that the Church has just
laid this knowledge aside, mislaid it somewhere, and so Christians are
without power. Sometimes you can take one hundred members into the
Church, and they don't add to its power. Now that is all wrong. If
they were only anointed by the Spirit of God, there would be great
power if one hundred saved ones were added to the Church.


GREEN FIELDS.


When I was out in California, the first time I went down from the
Sierra Nevada Mountains and dropped into the Valley of the Sacramento,
I was surprised to find on one farm that everything about it was
green--all the trees and flowers, everything was blooming, and
everything was green and beautiful, and just across the hedge
everything was dried up, and there was not a green thing there, and I
could not understand it; I made inquiries, and I found that the man
that had everything green, irrigated; he just poured the water right
on, and he kept everything green, while the fields that were next to
his were as dry as Gideon's fleece without a drop of dew; and so it is
with a great many in the Church to-day. They are like these farms in
California--a dreary desert, everything parched and desolate, and
apparently no life in them. They can sit next to a man who is full of
the Spirit of God, who is like a green bay tree, and who is bringing
forth fruit, and yet they will not seek a similar blessing. Well, why
this difference? Because God has poured water on him that was thirsty;
that is the difference. One has been seeking this anointing, and he
has received it; and when we want this above everything else God will
surely give it to us.

The great question before us now is, _Do_ we want it? I remember when
I first went to England and gave a Bible reading, I think about the
first that I gave in that country, a great many ministers were there,
and I didn't know anything about English theology, and I was afraid I
should run against their creeds, and I was a little hampered,
especially on this very subject, about the gift of the Holy Spirit for
service. I remember particularly a Christian minister there who had
his head bowed on his hand, and I thought the good man was ashamed of
everything I was saying, and of course that troubled me. At the close
of my address he took his hat and away he went, and then I thought,
"Well, I shall never see him again." At the next meeting I looked all
around for him and he wasn't there, and at the next meeting I looked
again, but he was absent; and I thought my teaching must have given
him offense. But a few days after that, at a large noon prayer
meeting, a man stood up and his face shone as if he had been up in the
mountain with God, and I looked at him, and to my great joy it was
this brother. He said he was at that Bible reading, and he heard there
was such a thing as having fresh power to preach the Gospel; he said
he made up his mind that if that was for him he would have it; he said
he went home and looked to the Master, and that he never had such a
battle with himself in his life. He asked that God would show him the
sinfulness of his heart that he knew nothing about, and he just cried
mightily to God that he might be emptied of himself and filled with
the Spirit, and he said, "God has answered my prayer." I met him in
Edinburgh six months from that date, and he told me he had preached
the Gospel every night during that time, that he had not preached one
sermon but that some remained for conversation, and that he had
engagements four months ahead to preach the Gospel every night in
different churches. I think you could have fired a cannon ball right
through his church and not hit any one before he got this anointing;
but it was not thirty days before the building was full and aisles
crowded. He had his bucket filled full of fresh water, and the people
found it out and came flocking to him from every quarter. I tell you,
you can't get the stream higher than the fountain. What we need very
specially is power. There was another man whom I have in my mind, and
he said, "I have heart disease, I can't preach more than once a week,"
so he had a colleague to preach for him and do the visiting. He was an
old minister, and he couldn't do any visiting. He had heard of this
anointing, and said, "I would like to be anointed for my burial. I
would like before I go hence to have just one more privilege to preach
the Gospel with power." He prayed that God would fill him with the
Spirit, and I met him not long after that, and he said, "I have
preached on an average eight times a week, and I have had conversions
all along." The Spirit came on him. I don't believe that man broke
down at first with hard work, so much as with using the machinery
without oil, without lubrication. It is not the hard work breaks down
ministers, but it is the toil of working without power. Oh, that God
may anoint His people! Not the ministry only, but every disciple. Do
not suppose pastors are the only laborers needing it. There is not a
mother but needs it in her house to regulate her family, just as much
as the minister needs it in the pulpit or the Sunday-school teacher
needs it in his Sunday-school. We all need it together, and let us not
rest day nor night until we possess it; if that is the uppermost
thought in our hearts, God will give it to us if we just hunger and
thirst for it, and say, "God helping me, I will not rest until endued
with power from on high."


MASTER AND SERVANT.


There is a very sweet story of Elijah and Elisha, and I love to dwell
upon it. The time had come for Elijah to be taken up, and he said to
Elisha, "You stay here at Gilgal, and I will go up to Bethel." There
was a theological seminary there, and some young students, and he
wanted to see how they were getting along; but Elisha said, "As the
Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." And so
Elisha just kept close to Elijah. They came to Bethel, and the sons of
the prophets came out and said to Elisha, "Do you know that your
master is to be taken away?" And Elisha said, "I know it; but you keep
still." Then Elijah said to Elisha, "You remain at Bethel until I go
to Jericho." But Elisha said, "As the Lord liveth and my soul liveth,
I will not leave thee." "You shall not go without me," says Elisha;
and then I can imagine that Elisha just put his arm in that of Elijah,
and they walked down together. I can see those two mighty men walking
down to Jericho, and when they arrived there, the sons of the prophets
came and said to Elisha, "Do you know that your master is to be taken
away?" "Hush! keep still," says Elisha, "I know it." And then Elijah
said to Elisha, "Tarry here awhile; for the Lord hath sent me to
Jordan." But Elisha said, "As the Lord liveth and my soul liveth, I
will not leave thee. You shall not go without me." And then Elisha
came right close to Elijah, and as they went walking down, I imagine
Elisha was after something; when they came to the Jordan, Elijah took
off his mantle and struck the waters, and they separated hither and
thither, and the two passed through like giants, dry-shod, and fifty
sons of the prophets came to look at them and watch them. They didn't
know but Elijah would be taken up right in their sight. As they passed
over Jordan, Elijah said to Elisha, "Now, what do you want?" He knew
he was after something. "What can I do for you. Just make your request
known." And he said, "I would like a double portion of thy Spirit." I
can imagine now that Elijah had given him a chance to ask; he said to
himself, "I will ask for enough." Elisha had a good deal of the
Spirit, but, says he, "I want a double portion of thy Spirit." "Well,"
says Elijah, "if you see me when I am taken up, you shall have it." Do
you think you could have enticed Elisha from Elijah at that moment? I
can almost see the two arm in arm, walking along, and as they walked,
there came along the chariot of fire, and before Elisha knew it,
Elijah was caught up, and as he went sweeping towards the throne, the
servant cried, "My Father! My Father! The chariot of Israel and the
horsemen thereof!" Elisha saw him no more. He picked up Elijah's
fallen mantle, and returning with that old mantle of his master's, he
came to the Jordan and cried for Elijah's God, and the waters
separated hither and thither, and he passed through dry-shod. Then the
watching prophets lifted up their voices and said, "The Spirit of
Elijah is upon Elisha;" and so it was, a double portion of it.

May the Spirit of Elijah, beloved reader, be upon us. If we seek for
it we will have it. Oh, may the God of Elijah answer by fire, and
consume the spirit of worldliness in the churches, burn up the dross,
and make us whole-hearted Christians. May that Spirit come upon us;
let that be our prayer in our family altars and in our closets. Let us
cry mightily to God that we may have a double portion of the Holy
Spirit, and that we may not rest satisfied with this worldly state of
living, but let us, like Sampson, shake ourselves and come out from
the world, that we may have the power of God.



CHAPTER III.


WITNESSING IN POWER.


A man may as well hew marble without tools, or paint without colors or
instruments, or build without materials, as perform any acceptable
service without the graces of the Spirit, which are both the materials
and the instruments in the work.--_Alleine_.

If we do not have the Spirit of God, it were better to shut the
churches, to nail up the doors, to put a black cross on them, and say,
"God have mercy on us!" If you ministers have not the Spirit of God,
you had better not preach, and you people had better stay at home. I
think I speak not too strongly when I say that a church in the land
without the Spirit of God is rather a curse than a blessing. If you
have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand
in somebody else's way; you are as a tree bearing no fruit standing
where another fruitful tree might grow. This is solemn work; the Holy
Spirit or nothing, and worse than nothing. Death and condemnation to a
church that is not yearning after the Spirit, and crying and groaning
until the Spirit has wrought mightily in her midst. He is here; He has
never gone back since He descended at Pentecost. He is often grieved
and vexed, for He is peculiarly jealous and sensitive, and the one sin
never forgiven has to do with His blessed person; therefore let us be
very tender towards Him, walk humbly before Him, wait on Him very
earnestly, and resolve that about us there should be nothing knowingly
continued which should prevent Him dwelling in us, and being with us
henceforth and for, ever. Brethren, peace be unto you and your
spirit!--_Spurgeon_.



WITNESSING IN POWER.


THE subject of witness-bearing in the power of the Holy Ghost is not
sufficiently understood by the Church. Until we have more intelligence
on this point we are laboring under great disadvantage. Now, if you
will take your Bible and turn to the 15th chapter of John and the 26th
verse, you will find these words: "But when the Comforter is come,
whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth,
which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me; and ye also
shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."
Here we find what the Spirit is going to do, or what Christ said He
would do when He came; namely, that He should testify of Him. And if
you will turn over to the second chapter of Acts you will find that
when Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost, and testified of what
Christ had done, the Holy Spirit came down and bore witness to that
fact, and men were convicted by hundreds and by thousands. So then man
can not preach effectively of himself. He must have the Spirit of God
to give ability, and study God's Word in order to testify according to
the mind of the Spirit.


WHAT IS THE TESTIMONY?


If we keep back the Gospel of Christ and do not bring Christ before
the people, then the Spirit has not the opportunity to work. But the
moment Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost and bore testimony to
this one fact, that Christ died for sin, and that He had been raised
again, and ascended into heaven--the Spirit came down to bear witness
to the Person and Work of Christ.

He came down to bear witness to the fact that Christ was in heaven,
and if it was not for the Holy Ghost bearing witness to the preaching
of the facts of the Gospel, do you think that the Church would have
lived during these last eighteen centuries? Do you believe that
Christ's death, resurrection and ascension would not have been
forgotten as soon as His birth, if it had not been for the fact that
the Holy Spirit had come? Because it is very clear, that when John
made his appearance on the borders of the wilderness, they had
forgotten all about the birth of Jesus Christ. Just thirty short
years. It was all gone. They had forgotten the story of the Shepherds;
they had forgotten the wonderful scene that took place in the temple,
when the Son of God was brought into the temple and the older prophets
and prophetesses were there; they had forgotten about the wise men
coming to Jerusalem to inquire where He was that was born King of the
Jews. That story of His birth seemed to have just faded away; they had
forgotten all about it, and when John made his appearance on the
borders of the wilderness it was brought back to their minds. And if
it had not been for the Holy Ghost coming down to bear witness to
Christ, to testify of His death and resurrection, these facts would
have been forgotten as soon as His birth.


GREATER WORK.


The witness of the Spirit is the witness of power. Jesus said, "The
works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall
ye do because I go to the Father." I used to stumble over that. I
didn't understand it. I thought, what greater work could any man do
than Christ had done? How could any one raise a dead man who had been
laid away in the sepulcher for days, and who had already begun to turn
back to dust; how with a word could he call him forth? But the longer
I live the more I am convinced it is a greater thing to influence a
man's will; a man whose will is set against God; to have that will
broken and brought into subjection to God's will--or, in other words,
it is a greater thing to have power over a living, sinning, God-hating
man, than to quicken the dead. He who could create a world could speak
a dead soul into life; but I think the greatest miracle this world has
ever seen was the miracle at Pentecost. Here were men who surrounded
the Apostles, full of prejudice, full of malice, full of bitterness,
their hands, as it were, dripping with the blood of the Son of God,
and yet an unlettered man, a man whom they detested, a man whom they
hated, stands up there and preaches the Gospel, and three thousand of
them are immediately convicted and converted, and become disciples of
the Lord Jesus Christ, and are willing to lay down their lives for the
Son of God. It may have been on that occasion that Stephen was
converted, the first martyr, and some of the men who soon after gave
up their lives for Christ. This seems to me the greatest miracle this
world has ever seen. But Peter did not labor alone; the Spirit of God
was with him; hence the marvelous results.

The Jewish law required that there should be two witnesses, and so we
find that when Peter preached there was a second witness. Peter
testified of Christ, and Christ says when the Holy Spirit comes He
will testify of Me. And they both bore witness to the verities of our
Lord's incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection, and the result
was that a multitude turned as with one heart unto the Lord. Our
failure now is, that preachers ignore the Cross, and veil Christ with
sapless sermons and superfine language. They don't just present Him to
the people plainly, and that is why, I believe, that the Spirit of God
don't work with power in our churches. What we need is to preach
Christ and present Him to a perishing world. The world can get on very
well without you and me, but the world can not get on without Christ,
and therefore we must testify of Him, and the world, I believe, to-day
is just hungering and thirsting for this divine, satisfying portion.
Thousands and thousands are sitting in darkness, knowing not of this
great Light, but when we begin to preach Christ honestly, faithfully,
sincerely and truthfully; holding Him up, not ourselves; exalting
Christ and not our theories; presenting Christ and not our opinions;
advocating Christ and not some false doctrine; then the Holy Ghost
will come and bear witness. He will testify that what we say is true.
When He comes He will confirm the Word with signs following. This is
one of the strongest proofs that our Gospel is Divine; that it is of
Divine origin; that not only did Christ teach these things, but when
leaving the world He said, "He shall glorify Me," and "He will testify
of Me." If you will just look at the second chapter of Acts--to that
wonderful sermon that Peter preached--the thirty-sixth verse, you read
these words: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly
that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye crucified, both Lord and
Christ." And when Peter said this the Holy Ghost descended upon the
people and testified of Christ--bore witness in signal demonstration
that all this was true. And again, in the fortieth verse, "And with
many other words did He testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves
from this untoward generation." With many other words did He testify,
not only these words that have been recorded, but many other words.


THE SURE GUIDE.


Turn to the sixteenth chapter of John, in the thirteenth verse, and
read: "Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide
you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever
He shall hear that shall He speak; and He will show you things to
come." He will guide you into all truth. Now there is not a truth that
we ought to know but the Spirit of God will guide us into it if we
will let Him; if we will yield ourselves up to be directed by the
Spirit, and let Him lead us, He will guide us into all truth. It would
have saved us from a great many dark hours if we had only been willing
to let the Spirit of God be our counsellor and guide.

Lot never would have gone to Sodom if he had been guided by the Spirit
of God. David never would have fallen into sin and had all that
trouble with his family if he had been guided by the Spirit of God.

There are many Lots and Davids now-a-day. The churches are full of
them. Men and women are in total darkness, because they have not been
willing to be guided by the Spirit of God. "He shall guide you into
all truth. He shall not speak of Himself." He shall speak of the
ascended glorified Christ.

What would be thought of a messenger, entrusted by an absent husband
with a message for his wife or mother who, on arrival, only talked of
himself, and his conceits, and ignored both the husband and the
message? You would simply call it outrageous. What then must be the
crime of the professed teacher who speaks of himself, or some insipid
theory, leaving out Christ and His Gospel? If we witness according to
the Spirit, we must witness of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is down here in this dark world to just speak of the
Absent One, and He takes the things of Christ and brings them to our
mind. He testifies of Christ; He guides us into the truth about Him.


RAPPINGS IN THE DARK.


I want to say right here, that I think in this day a great many
children of God are turning aside and committing a grievous sin. I
don't know as they think it is a sin, but if we examine the
Scriptures, I am sure we will find that it is a great sin. We are told
that the Comforter is sent into the world to "guide us into all
truth," and if He is sent for that purpose, do we need any other
guide? Need we hide in the darkness, consulting with mediums, who
profess to call up the spirits of the dead? Do you know what the Word
of God pronounces against that fearful sin? I believe it is one of the
greatest sins we have to contend with at the present day. It is
dishonoring to the Holy Spirit for me to go and summon up the dead and
confer with them, even if it were possible.

I would like you to notice the 10th chapter of 1st Chronicles, and
13th verse: "So Saul died for his transgression which he had committed
against the Lord, even against the Word of the Lord, which he kept
not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to
inquire of it; and inquired not of the Lord: therefore He slew him,
and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse."

God slew him for this very sin. Of the two sins that are brought
against Saul here, one is that he would not listen to the Word of God,
and the second is that he consulted a familiar spirit. He was snared
by this great evil, and sinned against God.

Saul fell right here, and there are a great many of God's professed
children to-day who think there is no harm in consulting a medium who
pretends to call up some of the departed to inquire of them.

But how dishonoring it is to God who has sent the Holy Spirit into
this world to guide us "into all truth." There is not a thing that I
need to know, there is not a thing that is important for me to know;
there is not a thing that I ought to know but the Spirit of God will
reveal it to me through the Word of God, and if I turn my back upon
the Holy Spirit, I am dishonoring the Spirit of God, and I am
committing a grievous sin. You know we read in Luke, where that rich
man in the other world wanted to have some one sent to his father's
house to warn his five brothers, Christ said They have Moses and the
prophets, and if they will not hear them, they will not hear one
though he rose from the dead. Moses and the prophets, the part of the
Bible then completed, that is enough. But a great many people now want
something besides the Word of God, and are turning aside to these
false lights.


SPIRITS THAT PEEP AND MUTTER.


There is another passage which reads, "And when they shall say unto
you, seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that
peep and mutter: Should not a people seek unto their God? for the
living to the dead?" What is that but table-rapping, and cabinet-hiding?
If it was a message from God, do you think you would have to
go into a dark room and put out all the lights? In secret my Master
taught nothing. God is not in that movement, and what we want, as
children of God, is to keep ourselves from this evil. And then notice,
the verse following, quoted so often out of its connection. "To the
law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it
is because there is no light in them." Any man, any woman, who comes
to us with any doctrine that is not according to the law and the
testimony, let us understand that they are from the evil one, and that
they are enemies of righteousness. They have no light in them. Now you
will find these people who are consulting familiar spirits, first and
last, attack the Word of God. They don't believe it. Still a great
many people say, you must hear both sides--but if a man should write
me a most slanderous letter about my wife, I don't think I would have
to read it; I should tear it up and throw it to the winds. Have I to
read all the infidel books that are written, to hear both sides? Have
I to take up a book that is a slander on my Lord and Master, who has
redeemed me with His blood? Ten thousand times No; I will not touch
it.

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils." 1 Tim., iv, 1. That is pretty plain language,
isn't it? "Doctrines of devils." Again, "speaking lies in hypocrisy;
having their consciences seared with a hot iron." There are other
passages of Scripture warning against every delusion of Satan. Let us
ever remember the Spirit has been sent into the world to guide us into
all truth. We don't want any other guide; He is enough. Some people
say, "Is not conscience a safer guide than the Word and the Spirit?"
No, it is not. Some people don't seem to have any conscience, and
don't know what it means. Their education has a good deal to do with
conscience. There are persons who will say that their conscience did
not tell them that they had done wrong until after the wrong was done;
but what we want, is something to tell us a thing is wrong before we
do it. Very often a man will go and commit some awful crime, and after
it is done his conscience will wake up and lash and scourge him, and
then it is too late, the act is done.


THE UNERRING GUIDE.


I am told by people who have been over the Alps, that the guide
fastens them, if they are going in a dangerous place, right to
himself, and he just goes on before; they are fastened to the guide.

And so should the Christian be linked to His unerring Guide, and be
safely upheld. Why, if a man was going through the Mammoth Cave, it
would be death to him if he strayed away from his guide--if separated
from him, he would certainly perish; there are pitfalls in that cave
and a bottomless river, and there would be no chance for a man to find
his way through that cave without a guide or a light. So there is no
chance for us to get through the dark wilderness of this world alone.
It is folly for a man or woman to think that they can get through this
evil world without the light of God's Word and the guidance of the
Divine Spirit. God sent Him to guide us through this great journey,
and if we seek to work independent of Him, we shall stumble into the
deep darkness of eternity's night.

But bear in mind the _Words_ of the Spirit of God; if you want to be
guided, you must study the Word; because the Word is the light of the
Spirit. In the 14th chapter of John and 26th verse, we read:

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send
in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to
your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

Again in John xvi, 13:

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into
all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall
hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come."

"He will show you things to come." A great many people seem to think
that the Bible is out of date, that it is an old book, and they think
it has passed its day. They say it was very good for the dark ages,
and that there is some very good history in it; but then it was not
intended for the present time; that we are living in a very
enlightened age, and that men can get on very well without the old
book; that we have outgrown it. They think we have no use for it,
because it is an old book. Now you might just as well say that the
sun, which has shone so long, is now so old that it is out of date,
and that whenever a man builds a house he need not put any windows in
it, because we have got a newer light and a better light; we have
gaslight and this new electric light. These are something new; and I
would advise people, if they think the Bible is too old and worn out,
when they build houses, not to put any windows in them, but just to
light them with this new electric light; that is something new, and
this is what they are anxious for. People talk about this Book as if
they understood it; but we don't know much about it yet. The press
gives us the daily news of what has taken place. This Bible, however,
tells us what is about to take place. This _is_ new; we have the news
here in this Book; this tells us of the things that will surely come
to pass; and that is a great deal newer than anything in the
newspapers. It tells us that the Spirit shall teach us all things; not
only guide us into all truth, but teach us all things; He teaches us
how to pray, and I don't think there has ever been a prayer upon this
sin-cursed earth that has been indicted by the Holy Spirit but was
answered. There is much praying that is not indicted by the Holy
Spirit. In former years I was very ambitious to get rich; I used to
pray for one hundred thousand dollars; that was my aim, and I used to
say, "God does not answer my prayer; He does not make me rich." But I
had no warrant for such a prayer; yet a good many people pray in that
way; they think that they pray, but they do not pray according to the
Scriptures. The Spirit of God has nothing to do with their prayers,
and such prayers are not the product of His teaching.

It is the Spirit who teaches us how to answer our enemies. If a man
strikes me, I should not pull out a revolver and shoot him. The Spirit
of the Lord don't teach me revenge; He don't teach me that it is
necessary to draw the sword and cut a man down in order to defend my
rights. Some people say, You are a coward if you don't strike back.
Christ says, turn the other cheek to him who smites. I would rather
take Christ's teaching than any other. I don't think a man gains much
by loading himself down with weapons to defend himself. There has been
life enough sacrificed in this country to teach men a lesson in this
regard. The Word of God is a much better protection than the revolver.
We had better take the Word of God to protect us, by accepting its
teaching, and living out its precepts.


AN AID TO MEMORY.


It is a great comfort to us to remember that another office of the
Spirit is to bring the teaching of Jesus to our remembrance. This was
our Lord's promise, "He shall teach you all things, and bring all
things to your remembrance." Jno. xiv, 26.

How striking that is. I think there are many Christians who have had
that experience. They have been testifying, and found that while
talking for Christ the Spirit has just brought into mind some of the
sayings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and their mind was soon filled with
the Word of God. When we have the Spirit resting upon us, we can speak
with authority and power, and the Lord will bless our testimony and
bless our work. I believe the reason why God makes use of so few in
the Church, is because there is not in them the power that God can
use. He is not going to use our ideas, but we must have the Word of
God hid in our hearts, and then, the Holy Spirit inflaming us, we will
have the testimony which will be rich, and sweet, and fresh, and the
Lord's Word will vindicate itself in blessed results. God wants to use
us; God wants to make us channels of blessing; but we are in such a
condition He does not use us. That is the trouble; there are so many
men who have no testimony for the Lord; if they speak, they speak
without saying anything, and if they pray, their prayer is powerless;
they do not plead in prayer; their prayer is just a few set phrases
that you have heard too often. Now what we want, is to be so full of
the Word, that the Spirit coming upon us shall bring to mind--bring to
our remembrance--the words of the Lord Jesus.

In 1 Cor. ii, 9, it is written: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath
prepared for them that love Him."

We hear that quoted so often in prayer--many a man weaves it into his
prayer and stops right there. And the moment you talk about Heaven,
they say, "Oh, we don't know anything about Heaven it hath not entered
into the heart of man; eye hath not seen; it is all speculation; we
have nothing to do with it; and they say they quote it as it is
written." "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither have entered into
the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love
Him." What next--"but God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit."
You see the Lord hath revealed them unto us: "For the Spirit searches
all things--yea, the deep things of God." That is just what the Spirit
does.


LONG AND SHORT SIGHT.


He brings to our mind what God has in store for us. I heard a man,
some time ago, speaking about Abraham. He said "Abraham was not
tempted by the well-watered plains of Sodom, for Abraham was what you
might call a long-sighted man; he had his eyes set on the city which
had foundation--'whose Builder and Maker is God.'" But Lot was a
short-sighted man; and there are many people in the Church who are
very short-sighted; they only see things right around them they think
good. Abraham was long-sighted; he had glimpses of the celestial city.
Moses was long-sighted, and he left the palaces of Egypt and
identified himself with God's people--poor people, who were slaves;
but he had something in view yonder; he could see something God had in
store. Again there are some people who are sort of long-sighted and
shortsighted, too. I have a friend who has one eye that is long-sighted
and the other is short-sighted; and I think the Church is full of this
kind of people. They want one eye for the world and the other for the
Kingdom of God. Therefore, everything, is blurred, one eye is long and
the other is short, all is confusion, and they "see men as trees
walking." The Church is filled with that sort of people. But Stephen
was long-sighted; he looked clear into heaven; they couldn't convince
him even when he was dying, that Christ had not ascended to heaven.
"Look, look yonder," he says, "see Him over there; He is on the throne,
standing at the right hand of God;" and he looked clear into heaven;
the world had no temptation for him; he had put the world under his feet.
Paul was another of those long-sighted men; he had been caught up and
seen things unlawful for him to utter; things grand and glorious. I tell
you when the Spirit of God is on us the world looks very empty; the
world has a very small hold upon us, and we begin to let go our hold of
it. When the Spirit of God is on us we will just let go the things of
time and lay hold of things eternal. This is the Church's need to-day;
we want the Spirit to come in mighty power, and consume all the vile
dross there is in us. Oh! that the Spirit of fire may come down and
burn everything in us that is contrary to God's blessed Word and Will.

In John xiv, 16, we read of the Comforter. This is the first time He
is spoken of as the Comforter. Christ had been their Comforter. God
had sent Him to comfort the sorrowing. It was prophesied of Him, "The
Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach
the Gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted."
You can't heal the brokenhearted without the Comforter; but the world
would not have the first Comforter, and so they rose up and took Him
to Calvary and put him to death; but on going away He said, "I will
send you another Comforter; you shall not be comfortless; be of good
cheer, little flock; it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the
kingdom." All these sweet passages are brought to the remembrance of
God's people, and they help us to rise out of the fog and mist of this
world. O, what a comforter is the Holy Spirit of God!


THE FAITHFUL FRIEND.


The Holy Spirit tells a man of his faults in order to lead him to a
better life. In John xvi, 8, we read: "He is to reprove the world of
sin." Now, there are a class of people who don't like this part of the
Spirit's work. Do you know why? Because He convicts _them_ of sin;
they don't like that. What they want is some one to speak comforting
words and make everything pleasant; keep everything all quiet; tell
them there is peace when there is war; tell them it is light when it
is dark, and tell them everything is growing better; that the world is
getting on amazingly in goodness; that it is growing better all the
time; that is the kind of preaching they seek for. Men think they are
a great deal better than their fathers were. That suits human nature,
for it is full of pride. Men will strut around and say, "Yes, I
believe that; the world is improving; I am a good deal better man than
father was; my father was too strict; he was one of those old
Puritanical men who was so rigid. O, we are getting on; we are more
liberal; my father wouldn't think of going out riding on Sunday, but
we will; we will trample the laws of God under our feet; we are better
than our fathers."

That is the kind of preaching which some dearly love, and there are
preachers who tickle such itching ears. When you bring the Word of God
to bear upon them, and when the Spirit drives it home, then men will
say: "I don't like that kind of preaching; I will never go to hear
that man again;" and sometimes they will get up and stamp their way
out of church before the speaker gets through; they don't like it. But
when the Spirit of God is at work he convicts men of sin. "When He
comes He will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of
judgment; of sin"--not because men swear and lie and steal and get
drunk and murder--"of sin because they believe not on Me."


THE CLIMAX SIN.


That is the sin of the world. Why, a great many people think that
unbelief is a sort of misfortune, but do not know, if you will allow
me the expression, it is the damning sin of the world to-day; that is
what unbelief is, the mother of all sin. There would not be a drunkard
walking the streets, if it were not for unbelief; there would not be a
harlot walking the streets, if it were not for unbelief; there would
not be a murderer, if it was not for unbelief; it is the germ of all
sin. Don't think for a moment that it is a misfortune, but just bear
in mind it is an awful sin, and may the Holy Spirit convict every
reader that unbelief is making God a liar. Many a man has been knocked
down on the streets because some one has told him he was a liar.
Unbelief is giving God the lie; that is the plain English of it. Some
people seem to boast of their unbelief; they seem to think it is quite
respectable to be an infidel and doubt God's Word, and they will
vainly boast and say, "I have intellectual difficulties; I can't
believe." Oh that the Spirit of God may come and convict men of sin!
That is what we need--His convicting power, and I am so thankful that
God has not put that into our hands. We have not to convict men; if we
had I would get discouraged, and give up preaching, and go back to
business within the next forty-eight hours. It is my work to preach
and hold up the Cross and testify of Christ; but it is His work to
convict men of sin and lead them to Christ. One thing I have noticed,
that some conversions don't amount to anything; that if a man
professes to be converted without conviction of sin, he is one of
those stony-ground hearers who don't bring forth much fruit. The first
little wave of persecution, the first breath of opposition, and the
man is back in the world again. Let us pray, dear Christian reader,
that God may carry on a deep and thorough work, that men may be
convicted of sin so that they can not rest in unbelief. Let us pray
God it may be a thorough work in the land. I would a great deal rather
see a hundred men thoroughly converted, truly born of God, than to see
a thousand professed conversions where the Spirit of God has not
convicted of sin. Don't let us cry "Peace, peace, when there is no
peace." Don't go to the man who is living in sin, and tell him all he
has to do is to stand right up and profess, without any hatred for
sin. Let us ask God first to show every man the plague of his own
heart, that the Spirit, may convict them of sin. Then will the work in
our hands be real, and deep, and abide the fiery trial which will try
every man's labor.

Thus far, we have found the work of the Spirit is to impart life, to
implant hope, to give liberty, to testify of Christ, to guide us into
all truth, to teach us all things, to comfort the believers, and to
convict the world of sin.

   "Holy Spirit, faithful guide,
   Ever near the Christian's side;
   Gently lead us by the hand,
   Pilgrims in a desert land;
   Weary souls for e'er rejoice,
   While they hear that sweetest voice,
   Whisp'ring softly, wanderer come!
   Follow Me, I'll guide thee home.

   Ever present, truest Friend,
   Ever near Thine aid to lend,
   Leave us not to doubt and fear,
   Groping on in darkness drear,
   When the storms are raging sore,
   Hearts grow faint, and hopes give o'er;
   Whisp'ring softly, wanderer come!
   Follow Me, I'll guide thee home.

   When our days of toil shall cease,
   Waiting still for sweet release,
   Nothing left but heaven and prayer,
   Wond'ring if our names were there,
   Wading deep the dismal flood,
   Pleading nought but Jesus' blood;
   Whisp'ring softly, wanderer come!
   Follow Me, I'll guide thee home."


   "OH! Spirit of God, whose voice I hear,
   Sweeter than sweetest music, appealing
   In tones of tenderness and love;
   Whose comforts delight my soul, and
   Fills the temple of my heart with joy beyond compare.
   I need Thee day by day, and each day's moment, Lord.
   I sigh for greater likeness
   To Him who loved me unto death, and loves me still.
   'Tis Thine to lead me to Him; 'tis Thine to ope the eye,
   To manifest His royal glories to my longing heart;
   'Tis Thine the slumbering saint to waken
   And discipline this blood-touched ear
   To hearken to my heavenly Lover's voice,
   And quickly speed His summons to obey.
   Oh! Spirit of the Mighty God, uplift my faith
   Till heaven's precious light shall flood my soul,
   And the shining of my face declare
   That I have seen the face of God."



CHAPTER IV.


POWER IN OPERATION.


"Ye are not your own." "Your bodies are the temples of the Holy
Ghost." Is that an unmeaning metaphor, or an over-worded expression?
When the Holy Spirit enters the soul, heaven enters with Him. The
heart is compared to a temple. God never enters without His
attendants; _repentance_ cleanses the house; _faith_ provides for the
house; _watchfulness_, like the porter, takes care of it; _prayer_ is
a lively messenger, learns what is wanted, and then goes for it;
_faith_ tells him where to go, and he never goes in vain; _joy_ is the
musician of this temple, tuning to the praises of God and the Lamb;
and this terrestrial temple shall be removed to the celestial world,
for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised.--_Rowland
Hill._


POWER IN OPERATION.


THE power we have been considering is the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
He is omnipotent. Power in operation is the actions of the Spirit or
the fruit of the Spirit. This we shall now consider. Paul writes in
Gal. v, 16, etc.:

"This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the
lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the
Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary, the one to the
other; so that ye can not do the things that ye would. But if ye be
led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." * * * "But the fruit of
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they
that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and
lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let
us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one
another."

Now there is a life of perfect peace, perfect joy, and perfect love,
and that ought to be the aim of every child of God; that ought to be
their standard; and they should not rest until having attained to that
position. That is God's standard, where He wants all His children.
These nine graces mentioned in this chapter in Galatians can be
divided in this way: Love and peace and joy are all to God. God looks
for that fruit from each one of His children, and that is the kind of
fruit which is acceptable with Him. Without that we can not please
God. He wants, above everything else that we possess, love, peace and
joy. And then the next three--goodness, long-suffering and gentleness--are
towards man. That is our outward life to those that we are coming
in contact with continually--daily, hourly. The next three--faith,
temperance, meekness--are in relation to ourselves; and in that way we
can just take the three divisions, and it will be of some help to us.

The first thing that meets us as we enter the kingdom of God, you
might say are these first three graces,


LOVE, PEACE, AND JOY.


When a man who has been living in sin turns from his sins, and turns
to God with all his heart, he is met on the threshold of the divine
life by these sister graces. The love of God is shed abroad in his
heart by the Holy Ghost. The peace of God comes at the same time, and
also the joy of the Lord. We can all put the test to ourselves, if we
have them. It is not anything that we can make. The great trouble with
many is that they are trying to make these graces. They are trying to
make love; they are trying to make peace; they are trying to make joy.
But they are not creatures of human planting. To produce them of
ourselves is impossible. That is an act of God. They come from above.
It is God who speaks the word and gives the love; it is God who gives
the peace; it is God who gives the joy, and we possess all by
receiving Jesus Christ by faith into the heart; for when Christ comes
by faith into the heart, then the Spirit is there, and if we have the
Spirit, we will have the fruit.

If the whole Church of God could live as the Lord would have them
live, why Christianity would be the mightiest power this world has
ever seen. It is the low standard of Christian life that is causing so
much trouble. There are a great many stunted Christians in the Church;
their lives are stunted; they are like a tree planted in poor soil--the
soil is hard and stony, and the roots can not find the rich loamy soil
needed. Such believers have not grown in these sweet graces. Peter, in
his second epistle, 1st chapter and 5th verse, writes:

"And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and
to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance
patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly
kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be
in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor
unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Now, if we have these things in us, I believe that we will be
constantly bringing forth fruit that will be acceptable with God. It
won't be just a little every now and then, when we spur ourselves up
and work ourselves up into a certain state of mind or into an excited
condition, and work a little while and then become cold, and
discouraged, and disheartened, but we shall be neither unfruitful nor
barren, bringing forth fruit constantly, we will grow in grace and be
filled with the Spirit of God.


WHAT WINS.


A great many parents have inquired of me how to win their children.
They say they have talked with them, and sometimes they have scolded
them and have lectured them, and signally failed. I think there is no
way so sure to win our families and our neighbors, and those about
whom we are anxious, to Christ, than just to adorn the doctrine of
Jesus Christ in our lives, and grow in all these graces. If we have
peace and joy and love and gentleness and goodness and temperance; not
only being temperate in what we drink, but in what we eat, and
temperate in our language, guarded in our expressions; if we just live
in our homes as the Lord would have us, an even Christian life day by
day, we shall have a quiet and silent power proceeding from us, that
will constrain them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But an uneven
life, hot to-day and cold tomorrow, will only repel. Many are watching
God's people. It is just the very worst thing that can happen to those
whom we want to win to Christ, to see us, at any time, in a cold,
backslidden state. This is not the normal condition of the Church; it
is not God's intention; He would have us growing in all these graces,
and the only true, happy, Christian life is to be growing, constantly
growing in the love and favor of God, growing in all those delightful
graces of the Spirit.

Even the vilest, the most impure, acknowledge the power of goodness;
they recognize the fruit of the Spirit. It may condemn their lives and
cause them to say bitter things at times, but down deep in their
hearts they know that the man or woman who is living that kind of
life, is superior to them. The world don't satisfy them, and if we can
show the world that Jesus Christ does satisfy us in our present life,
it will be more powerful than the eloquent words of professional
reformers. A man may preach with the eloquence of an angel, but if he
don't live what he preaches, and act out in his home and his business
what he professes, his testimony goes for naught, and the people say
it is all hypocrisy after all; it is all a sham. Words are very empty,
if there is nothing back of them. Your testimony is poor and
worthless, if there is not a record back of that testimony consistent
with what you profess. What we need is to pray to God to lift us up
out of this low, cold, formal state that we have been living in, that
we may live in the atmosphere of God continually, and that the Lord
may lift upon us the light of his countenance, and that we may shine
in this world, reflecting His grace and glory.

The first of the graces spoken of in Galatians, and the last mentioned
in Peter, is charity or love. We can not serve God, we can not work
for God unless we have love. That is the key which unlocks the human
heart. If I can prove to a man that I come to him out of pure love; if
a mother shows by her actions that it is pure love that prompts her
advising her boy to lead a different life, not a selfish love, but
that it is for the glory of God, it won't be long before that mother's
influence will be felt by that boy, and he will begin to think about
this matter, because true love touches the heart quicker than anything
else.


POWER OF LOVE.


Love is the badge that Christ gave His disciples. Some put on one sort
of badge and some another. Some put on a strange kind of dress, that
they may be known as Christians, and some put on a crucifix, or
something else, that they may be known as Christians. But love is the
only badge by which the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ are known.
"By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love
one toward another."

Therefore, though a man stand before an audience and speak with the
eloquence of a Demosthenes, or of the greatest living orator, if there
is no love back of his words, it is like sounding brass and a tinkling
cymbal. I would recommend all Christians to read the thirteenth
chapter of First Corinthians constantly, abiding in it day and night,
not spending a night or a day there, but just go in there and spend
all our time--summer and winter, twelve months in the year, then the
power of Christ and Christianity would be felt as it never has been in
the history of the world. See what this chapter says:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not
charity, I am become _as_ sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And
though I have _the gift_ of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove
mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."

A great many are praying for faith; they want extraordinary faith;
they want remarkable faith. They forget that love exceeds faith. The
CHARITY spoken of in the above verses, is LOVE, the fruit of the
Spirit, the great motive-power of life. What the Church of God needs
to-day is love--more love to God and more love to our fellow-men. If
we love God more, we will love our fellow-men more. There is no doubt
about that. I used to think that I should like to have lived in the
days of the prophets; that I should like to have been one of the
prophets, to prophesy, and to see the beauties of heaven and describe
them to men; but, as I understand the Scriptures now, I would a good
deal rather live in the thirteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians and have
this love that Paul is speaking of, the love of God burning in my soul
like an unquenchable flame, so that I may reach men and win them for
heaven.

A man may have wonderful knowledge, that may unravel the mysteries of
the Bible, and yet be as cold as an icicle. He may glisten like the
snow in the sun. Sometimes you have wondered why it was that certain
ministers who have had such wonderful magnetism, who have such a
marvelous command of language, and who preach with such mental
strength, haven't had more conversions. I believe, if the truth was
known, you would find no divine love back of their words, no pure love
in their sermons. You may preach like an angel, Paul says, "with the
tongues of men and of angels," but if you have not love, it amounts to
nothing. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,"--a man
may be very charitable, and give away all his goods; a man may give
all he has, but if it is not the love of God which prompts the gift,
it will not be acceptable with God. "And though I give my body to be
burned, and have not charity"--have not love--"it profiteth me
nothing." A man may go to the stake for his principles; he may go to
the stake for what he believes, but if it is not love to God which
actuates him, it will not be acceptable to God.


LOVE'S WONDERFUL EFFECTS.


"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily
provoked, thinketh no evil."

That's the work of love. It is not easily provoked. Now if a man has
no love of God in his heart, how easy it is to become offended;
perhaps with the church because some members of the church don't treat
him just right, or some men of the church don't bow to him on the
street, he takes offense, and that is the last you see of him. Love is
long-suffering. If I love the Lord Jesus Christ, these little things
are not going to separate me from His people. They are like the dust
in the balance. Nor will the cold, formal treatment of hypocrites in
the church quench that love I have in my heart for Him. If this love
is in the heart, and the fire is burning on the altar, we will not be
all the time finding fault with other people and criticising what they
have done.


CRITICS BEWARE.


Love will rebuke evil, but will not rejoice in it. Love will be
impatient of sin, but patient with the sinner. To form the habit of
finding fault constantly, is very damaging to spiritual life; it is
about the lowest and meanest position that a man can take. I never saw
a man who was aiming to do the best work, but there could have been
some improvement; I never did anything in my life, I never addressed
an audience, that I didn't think I could have done better, and I have
often upbraided myself that I had not done better; but to sit down and
find fault with other people when we are doing nothing ourselves, not
lifting our hands to save some one, is all wrong, and is the opposite
of holy, patient, divine love.

Love is forbearance; and what we want is to get this spirit of
criticism and fault finding out of the Church and out of our hearts
and let each one of us live as if we had to answer for ourselves, and
not for the community, at the last day. If we are living according to
the 13th chapter of Corinthians, we will not be all the time finding
fault with other people. "Love suffereth long, and is kind." Love
forgets itself, and don't dwell upon itself. The woman who came to
Christ with that alabaster box, I venture to say, never thought of
herself. Little did she know what an act she was performing. It was
just her love for the Master. She forgot the surroundings, she forgot
everything else that was there; she broke that box and poured the
ointment upon Him, and filled the house with its odor. The act, as a
memorial, has come down these 1800 years. It is right here--the
perfume of that box is in the world today. That ointment was worth $40
or $50; no small sum of those days for a poor woman. Judas sold the
Son of God for about $15 or $20. But what this woman gave to Christ
was everything that she had, and she became so occupied with Jesus
Christ that she didn't think what people were going to say. So when we
act with a single eye for the glory of our Lord, not finding fault
with everything about us, but doing what we can in the power of this
love, then will our deeds for God speak, and the world will
acknowledge that we have been with Jesus, and that this glorious love
has been shed abroad in our hearts.

If we don't love the Church of God, I am afraid it won't do us much
good; if we don't love the blessed Bible, it will not do us much good.
What we want, then, is to have love for Christ, to have love for His
word, and to have love for the Church of God, and when we have love,
and are living in that spirit, we will not be in the spirit of finding
fault and working mischief.


AFTER LOVE, WHAT?


After love comes peace. I have before remarked, a great many people
are trying to make peace. But that has already been done. God has not
left it for us to do; all that we have to do is to enter into it. It
is a condition, and instead of our trying to make peace and to work
for peace, we want to cease all that, and sweetly enter into peace.

If I discover a man in the cellar complaining because there is no
light there, and because it is cold and damp, I say: "My friend, come
up out of the cellar. There is a good warm sun up here, a beautiful
spring day, and it is warm, it is cheerful and light; come up, and
enjoy it." Would he reply, "O, no, sir; I am trying to see if I can
make light down here; I am trying to work myself into a warm feeling."
And there he is working away, and he has been at it for a whole week.
I can imagine my reader smile; but you may be smiling at your own
picture; for this is the condition of many whom I daily meet who are
trying to do this very thing--they are trying to work themselves into
peace and joyful feelings. Peace is a condition into which we enter;
it is a state; and instead of our trying to make peace, let us believe
what God's Word declares, that peace has already been made by the
blood of the Cross. Christ has made peace for us, and now what He
desires is that we believe it and enter into it. Now, the only thing
that can keep us from peace is sin. God turneth the way of the wicked
upside down. There is no peace for the wicked, saith my God. They are
like the troubled sea that can not rest, casting up filth and mire all
the while; but peace with God by faith in Jesus Christ--peace through
the knowledge of forgiven sin, is like a rock; the waters go dashing
and surging past it, but it abides. When we find peace, we shall not
find it on the ground of innate goodness; it comes from without
ourselves, but into us. In the 16th chapter of John and the 33d verse
we read: "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might
have peace." In me ye might have peace. Jesus Christ is the author of
peace. He procured peace. His gospel is the gospel of peace. "Behold I
bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people;
for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour," and
then came that chorus from heaven "Glory to God in the highest; peace
on earth." He brought peace. "In the world ye shall have tribulation,
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

How true that in the world we have tribulation. Are you in
tribulation? Are you in trouble? Are you in sorrow? Remember this is
our lot. Paul had tribulation, and others shared in grief. Nor shall
we be exempt from trial. But within, peace may reign undisturbed. If
sorrow is our lot, peace is our legacy. Jesus gives peace; and do you
know there is a good deal of difference between His peace and our
peace? Any one can disturb our peace, but they can't disturb His
peace. That is the kind of peace He has left us. Nothing can offend
those who trust in Christ.


NOT EASILY OFFENDED.


In the 119th Psalm and the 165th verse, we find "Great peace have they
who love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them." The study of God's
Word will secure peace. You take those Christians who are rooted and
grounded in the Word of God, and you find they have great peace; but
it is these who don't study their Bible, and don't know their Bible,
who are easily offended when some little trouble comes, or some little
persecution, and their peace is all disturbed; just a little breath of
opposition, and their peace is all gone.

Sometimes I am amazed to see how little it takes to drive all peace
and comfort from some people. Some slandering tongue will readily
blast it. But if we have the peace of God, the world can not take that
from us. It can not give it; it can not destroy it. We have to get it
from above the world; it is peace which Christ gives. "Great peace
have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them." Christ
says "blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me." Now, if
you will notice, wherever there is a Bible-taught Christian, one who
has the Bible well marked, and daily feeds upon the Word by prayerful
meditation, he will not be easily offended.

Such are the people who are growing and working all the while. But it
is these people who never open their Bibles, these people who never
study the Scriptures, who become offended, and are wondering why they
are having such a hard time. They are the persons who tell you that
Christianity is not what it has been recommended to them; that they
have found it was not all that we claim it to be. The real trouble is,
they have not done as the Lord has told them to do. They have
neglected the Word of God. If they had been studying the Word of God,
they would not be in that condition. If they had been studying the
Word of God, they would not have wandered these years away from God,
living on the husks of the world. But the trouble is, they have
neglected to care for the new life; they haven't fed it, and the poor
soul, being starved, sinks into weakness and decay, and is easily
stumbled or offended.

I met a man who confessed his soul had fed on nothing for forty years.
"Well," said I, "that is pretty hard for the soul--giving it nothing
to feed on!" And that man is but a type of thousands and tens of
thousands to-day; their poor souls are starving. This body that we
inhabit for a day, and then leave, we take good care of; we feed it
three times a day, and we clothe it, and take care of it, and deck it,
and by and by it is going into the grave to be eaten up by the worms;
but the inner man, that is to live on and on, and on forever, is lean
and starved.


SWEET WORDS.


In the 6th chapter of Numbers and 22d verse we read:

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Speak unto Aaron and unto his
sons, saying, on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel,
saying unto them: The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make His
face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His
countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

I think these are about as sweet verses as we find in the Old
Testament. I marked them years ago in my Bible, and many times I have
turned over and read them. "The Lord lift up His countenance upon
thee, and give thee peace." They remind us of the loving words of
Jesus to his troubled disciples, "Peace, be still." The Jewish
salutation used to be, as a man went into a house, "Peace be upon this
house," and as he left the house the host would say, "Go in peace."

Then again, in the 14th chapter of John and the 27th verse, Jesus
said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the
world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither
let it be afraid." This is the precious legacy of Jesus to all His
followers. Every man, every woman, every child, who believes in Him,
may share in this portion. Christ has willed it to them, and His peace
is theirs.

This then is our Lord's purpose and promise. My peace I give unto you.
I give it, and I am not going to take it away again; I am going to
leave it to you. "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not
your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." But you know, when
some men make their wills and deed away their property, there are some
sharp, shrewd lawyers who will get hold of that will and break it all
to pieces; they will go into court and break the will, and the jury
will set the will aside, and the money goes into another channel. Now
this will that Christ has made, neither devil nor man can break it. He
has promised to give us peace, and there are thousands of witnesses
who can say: "I have my part of that legacy. I have peace; I came to
Him for peace, and I got it; I came to Him in darkness; I came to Him
in trouble and sorrow; I was passing under a deep cloud of affliction,
and I came to Him and He said, 'Peace, be still.' And from that hour
peace reigned in my soul." Yes, many have proved the invitation true,
"Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest." They found rest when they came. He is the author of rest,
He is the author of peace, and no power can break that will; yea,
unbelief may question it, but Jesus Christ rose to execute His own
will, and it is in vain for man to contest it. Infidels and skeptics
may tell us that it is all a myth, and that there isn't anything in
it, and yet the glorious tidings is ever repeated, "Peace on earth,
good will to man," and the poor and needy, the sad and sorrowful, are
made partakers of it.

So, my reader, you need not wait for peace any longer. All you have to
do is to enter into it to-day. You need not try to make peace. It is a
false idea; you can not make it. Peace is already made by Jesus
Christ, and is now declared unto you.


PEACE DECLARED.


When France and England were at war, a French vessel had gone off on a
long voyage, a whaling voyage; and when they came back, the crew were
short of water, and being now near an English port, they wanted to get
water; but they were afraid that they would be taken if they went into
that port; and some people in the port saw them, saw their signal of
distress, and sent word to them that they need not be afraid, that the
war was over, and peace had been declared. But they couldn't make
those sailors believe it, and they didn't dare to go into port,
although they were out of water; but at last they made up their minds
that they had better go in and surrender up their cargo and surrender
up their lives to their enemies than to perish at sea without water;
but when they got in, they found out that peace had been declared, and
that what had been told them was true. So there are a great many
people who don't believe the glad tidings that peace has been made.
Jesus Christ made peace on the Cross. He satisfied the claims of the
law; and this law which condemns you and me has been fulfilled by
Jesus Christ. He has made peace, and now He wants us just to enjoy it,
just to believe it. Nor is there a thing to hinder us from doing it,
if we will. We can enter into that blessing now, and have perfect
peace. The promise is: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind
is stayed on Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord
Jehovah is everlasting strength." Now, as long as our mind is stayed
on our dear selves, we will never have peace. Some people think more
of themselves than of all the rest of the world. It is self in the
morning, self at noon, and self at night. It is self when they wake
up, and self when they go to bed; and they are all the time looking at
themselves and thinking about themselves, instead of "looking unto
Jesus." Faith is an outward look. Faith does not look within; it looks
without. It is not what I think, nor what I feel, nor what I have
done, but it is what Jesus Christ is and has done, and so we should
trust in Him who is our strength, and whose strength will never fail.
After Christ rose from the grave, three times, John tells us, He met
His disciples and said unto them, "Peace be unto you." There is peace
for the conscience through His blood, and peace for the heart in His
love.


SECRET OF JOY.


Remember, then, that love is power, and peace is power; but now I will
call attention to another fruit of the Spirit, and this too is power--the
grace of JOY. It is the privilege, I believe, of every Christian to
walk in the light, as God is in the light, and to have that peace
which will be flowing unceasingly as we keep busy about His work. And
it is our privilege to be full of the joy of the Lord. We read, that
when Philip went down to Samaria and preached, there was great joy in
the city. Why? Because they believed the glad tidings. And that is the
natural order, joy in believing. When we believe the glad tidings,
there comes a joy into our souls. Also we are told that our Lord sent
the seventy out, and that they went forth preaching salvation in the
name of Jesus Christ, and the result was that there were a great many
who were blessed; and the seventy returned, it says, with great joy,
and when they came back they said that the very devils were subject to
them, through His name. The Lord seemed to just correct them in this
one thing when He said, "Rejoice not that the devils are subject to
you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." There is
assurance for you. They had something to rejoice in now. God don't ask
us to rejoice over nothing, but He gives us some ground for our joy.
What would you think of a man or woman who seemed very happy to-day
and full of joy, and couldn't tell you what made them so? Suppose I
should meet a man on the street, and he was so full of joy that he
should get hold of both my hands and say, "Bless the Lord, I am so
full of joy!" "What makes you so full of joy?" "Well, I don't know."
"You don't know?" "No, I don't; but I am so joyful that I just want to
get out of the flesh." "What makes you feel so joyful?" "Well, I don't
know." Would we not think such a person unreasonable? But there are a
great many people who feel--who want to feel--that they are Christians
before they are Christians; they want the Christian's experience
before they become Christians; they want to have the joy of the Lord
before they receive Jesus Christ. But this is not the Gospel order. He
brings joy when He comes, and we can not have joy apart from Him;
there is no joy away from Him; He is the author of it, and we find our
joy in Him.


JOY IS UNSELFISH.


Now, there are three kinds of joy; there is the joy of one's own
salvation. I thought, when I first tasted that, it was the most
delicious joy I had ever known, and that I could never get beyond it.
But I found, afterward, there was something more joyful than that,
namely, the joy of the salvation of others. Oh, the privilege, the
blessed privilege, to be used of God to win a soul to Christ, and to
see a man or woman being led out of bondage by some act of ours toward
them. To think that God should condescend to allow us to be co-workers
with Him. It is the highest honor we can wear. It surpasses the joy of
our own salvation, this joy of seeing others saved. And then John
said, He had no greater joy than to see His disciples walking in the
truth. Every man who has been the means of leading souls to Christ
understands what that means. Young disciples, walk in the truth and
you will have joy all the while.

I think there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is
caused by things which happen around me, and circumstances will mar
it, but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the
dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all
through persecution and opposition; it flows right along, for it is an
unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring which the
world can't see and don't know anything about; but the Lord gives His
people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him.

This joy is fed by the Divine Word. Jeremiah says in chapter xv, 16:
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me
the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Thy name, O
Lord."

He ate the words, and what was the result? He said they were the joy
and rejoicing of his heart. Now people should look for joy in the
Word, and not in the world; they should look for the joy which the
Scriptures furnish, and then go work in the vineyard; because a joy
that don't send me out to some one else, a joy that don't impel me to
go and help the poor drunkard, a joy that don't prompt me to visit the
widow and the fatherless, a joy that don't cause me to go into the
Mission Sunday-school or other Christian work, is not worth having,
and is not from above; a joy that does not constrain me to go and work
for the Master, is purely sentiment and not real joy.


JOY IN PERSECUTION.


Then it says in Luke vi, 22: "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you,
and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall
reproach you and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's
sake. Rejoice ye in that day and leap for joy, for behold your reward
is great in heaven for in like manner did their fathers unto the
prophets."

Christians do not receive their reward down here. We have to go right
against the current of the world. We may be unpopular, and we may go
right against many of our personal friends if we live godly in Christ
Jesus; and at the same time, if we are persecuted for the Master's
sake, We will have this joy bubbling up; it just comes right up in our
hearts all the while--a joy that is unceasing--that flows right on.
The world can not choke that fountain. If we have Christ in the heart,
by and by the reward will come. The longer I live the more I am
convinced that godly men and women are not appreciated in our day. But
their work will live after them, and there will be a greater work done
after they are gone, by the influence of their lives, than when they
were living. Daniel is doing a thousand times more than when he was
living in Babylon. Abraham is doing more to-day than he did on the
plain with his tent and altar. All these centuries he has been living,
and so we read, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from
henceforth; yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their
labors, and their works do follow them." Let us set the streams
running that shall flow on after we have gone. If we have to-day
persecution and opposition, let us press forward, and our reward will
be great by and by. Oh! think of this; the Lord Jesus, the Maker of
heaven and earth, who created the world, says, "Great shall be thy
reward." He calls it great. If some friend should say it is great, it
might be very small; but when the Lord, the great and mighty God, says
it is great, what must it be? Oh! the reward that is in store for
those who serve Him! We have this joy, if we serve Him. A man or woman
is not fit to work for God who is cast down, because they go about
their work with a tell-tale face. "The joy of the Lord is your
strength." What we need to-day is a joyful church. A joyful church
will make inroads upon the works of Satan, and we will see the Gospel
going down into dark lanes and dark alleys, and into dark garrets and
cellars, and we will see the drunkards reached and the gamblers and
the harlots come pressing into the kingdom of God. It is this carrying
a sad countenance, with so many wrinkles on our brows, that retards
Christianity. Oh may there come great joy upon believers everywhere,
that we may shout for joy and rejoice in God day and night. A joyful
church--let us pray for that, that the Lord may make us joyful, and
when we have joy, then we will have success; and if we don't have the
reward we think we should have here, let us constantly remember the
rewarding time will come hereafter.

Some one has said, if you had asked men in Abraham's day who their
great man was, they would have said Enoch, and not Abraham. If you had
asked in Moses' day who their great man was, they would not have said
it was Moses; he was nothing, but it would have been Abraham. If you
had asked in the days of Elijah or Daniel, it wouldn't have been
Daniel or Elijah; they were nothing; but it would have been Moses. And
in the days of Jesus Christ--if you had asked in the days of Jesus
Christ about John the Baptist or the apostles, you would hear they
were mean and contemptible in the sight of the world, and were looked
upon with scorn and reproach; but see how mighty they have become. And
so we will not be appreciated in our day, but we are to toil on and
work on, possessing this joy all the while. And if we lack it, let us
cry: "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and uphold me with Thy
free Spirit; then will I teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners
shall be converted unto Thee."

Again, the 15th chapter of John, and 11th verse, reads: "These things
have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your
joy might be full." And in the 16th chapter and 22d verse: "And ye now
therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall
rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you."

I am so thankful that I have a joy that the world can not rob me of; I
have a treasure that the world can not take from me; I have something
that it is not in the power of man or devil to deprive me of, and that
is the joy of the Lord. "No man taketh it from you." In the second
century, they brought a martyr before a king, and the king wanted him
to recant and give up Christ and Christianity, but the man spurned the
proposition. But the king said: "If you don't do it, I will banish
you." The man smiled and answered: "You can't banish me from Christ,
for He says He will never leave me nor forsake me." The king got
angry, and said: "Well, I will confiscate your property and take it
all from you." And the man replied: "My treasures are laid up on high;
you can not get them." The king became still more angry, and said: "I
will kill you." "Why," the man answered, "I have been dead forty
years; I have been dead with Christ; dead to the world, and my life is
hid with Christ in God, and you can not touch it." And so we can
rejoice, because we are on resurrection ground, having risen with
Christ. Let persecution and opposition come, we can rejoice
continually, and remember that our reward is great, reserved for us
unto the day when He who is our Life shall appear, and we shall appear
with Him in glory.

      "THE Spirit, oh, sinner,
            In mercy doth move
         Thy heart, so long hardened,
            Of sin to reprove;
         _Resist_ not the Spirit,
            Nor longer delay;
   God's gracious entreaties may end with to-day.

      Oh, child of the kingdom,
            From sin service cease;
         Be filled with the Spirit,
            With comfort and peace.
         Oh, _grieve_ not the Spirit,
            Thy Teacher is He,
   That Jesus, thy Saviour, may glorified be.

      Defiled is the temple,
            Its beauty laid low,
         On God's holy altar
            The embers faint glow,
         By love yet rekindled,
            A flame may be fanned;
   Oh, _quench_ not the Spirit, _the Lord is at hand!_"

--_P. P. Bliss._



CHAPTER V.


POWER HINDERED.


The strokes of the "Sword of the Spirit" alight only on the
conscience, and its edge is anointed with a bairn to heal every wound
it may inflict.--_Dr. J. Harris_.

Every vain thought and idle word, and every wicked deed, is like so
many drops to quench the Spirit of God. Some quench Him with the lust
of the flesh; some quench Him with cares of the mind; some quench Him
with long delays, that is, not plying the motion when it cometh, but
crossing the good thoughts with bad thoughts, and doing a thing when
the Spirit saith not. The Spirit is often grieved before He be
quenched.--_H. Smith_.

In times when vile men held the high places of the land, a roll of
drums was employed to drown the martyr's voice, lest the testimony of
truth from the scaffold should reach the ears of the people,--an
illustration of how men deal with their own consciences, and seek to
put to silence the truth-telling voice of the Holy Spirit.--_Arnot_.


POWER HINDERED.


ISRAEL, we are told, limited the Holy One of Israel. They vexed and
grieved the Holy Spirit, and rebelled against His authority, but there
is a special sin against Him, which we may profitably consider. The
first description of it is in Matthew xii, 22d verse:


THE UNPARDONABLE SIN.


"Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb;
and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and
saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of
David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth
not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And
Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided
against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house
divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan,
he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And
if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them
out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by
the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else
how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods,
except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with
me, scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and
blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the
Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a
word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever
speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither
in this world, neither in the world to come." That is Matthew's
account. Now let us read Mark's account in chapter iii, 21, etc.:

"And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him,
for they said: He (that is Christ) is beside Himself. And the scribes
which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the
prince of the devils casteth He out devils."

The word Beelzebub means the Lord of Filth. They charged the Lord
Jesus with being possessed not only with an evil spirit, but with a
filthy spirit.

"And He called them unto Him, and said unto them in parables, How can
Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that
kingdom can not stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that
house can not stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be
divided, he can not stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a
strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the
strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily I say unto you,
all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies
wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme
against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of
eternal damnation."

Now, if it stopped there, we would be left perhaps in darkness, and we
would not exactly understand what the sin against the Holy Ghost is;
but the next verse of this same chapter of Mark just throws light upon
the whole matter, and we need not be in darkness another minute if we
really want light; for observe, the verse reads: "Because they said,
He hath an unclean spirit."

Now, I have met a good many atheists and skeptics and deists and
infidels, both in this country and abroad, but I never in my life met
a man or woman who ever said that Jesus Christ was possessed of an
unclean devil. Did you? I don't think you ever met such a person. I
have heard men say bitter things against Christ, but I never heard any
man stand up and say that he thought Jesus Christ was possessed with
the devil, and that he cast out devils by the power of the devil; and
I don't believe any man or woman has any right to say they have
committed the unpardonable sin, unless they have maliciously, and
wilfully and deliberately said that they believe that Jesus Christ had
a devil in Him, and that He was under the power of the devil, and that
He cast out devils by the power of the devil. Because you perhaps have
heard some one say that there is such a thing as grieving the Spirit
of God, and resisting the Spirit of God until He has taken His flight
and left you, then you have said "That is the unpardonable sin."


WHAT IT IS NOT.


I admit there is such a thing as resisting the Spirit of God, and
resisting till the Spirit of God has departed; but if the Spirit of
God has left any, they will not be troubled about their sins. The very
fact that they are troubled, shows that the Spirit of God has not left
them. If a man is troubled about his sins, it is the work of the
Spirit; for Satan never yet told him he was a sinner. Satan makes us
believe that we are pretty good; that we are good enough without God,
safe without Christ, and that we don't need salvation. But when a man
wakes up to the fact that he is lost, that he is a sinner, that is the
work of the Spirit; and if the Spirit of God had left him, he would
not be in that state; and just because men and women want to be
Christians, is a sign that the Spirit of God is drawing them.

If resisting the Spirit of God is an unpardonable sin, then we have
all committed it, and there is no hope for any of us; for I do not
believe there is a minister, or a worker in Christ's vineyard, who has
not, some time in his life, resisted the Holy Ghost; who has not some
time in his life rejected the Spirit of God. To resist the Holy Ghost
is one thing, and to commit that awful sin of blasphemy against the
Holy Ghost, is another thing; and we want to take the Scripture and
just compare them. Now, some people say, "I have such blasphemous
thoughts; there are some awful thoughts that come into my mind against
God," and they think that is the unpardonable sin. We are not to blame
for having


BAD THOUGHTS


come into our minds. If we harbor them, then we are to blame. But if
the devil comes and darts an evil thought into my mind, and I say,
"Lord help me," sin is not reckoned to me. Who has not had evil
thoughts come into his mind, flash into his heart, and been called to
fight them!

One old divine says, "You are not to blame for the birds that fly over
your head, but if you allow them to come down and make a nest in your
hair, then you are to blame. You are to blame if you don't fight them
off." And so with these evil thoughts that come flashing into our
minds; we have to fight them, we are not to harbor them; we are not to
entertain them. If I have evil thoughts come into my mind, and evil
desires, it is no sign that I have committed the unpardonable sin. If
I love these thoughts and harbor them, and think evil of God, and
think Jesus Christ a blasphemer, I am responsible for such gross
iniquity; but if I charge Him with being the prince of devils, then I
am committing the unpardonable sin.


THE FAITHFUL FRIEND.


Let us now consider the sin of "Grieving the Spirit." _Resisting_ the
Holy Ghost is one thing, _grieving_ Him is another. Stephen charged
the unbelieving Jews in the 7th chapter of Acts, "Ye do always resist
the Holy Ghost as your fathers did, so do ye." The world has always
been resisting the Spirit of God in all ages. That is the history of
the world. The world is to-day resisting the Holy Spirit.

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend." The Divine Spirit as a friend
reveals to this poor world its faults, and the world only hates Him
for it. He shows them the plague of their hearts. He convinces or
convicts them of sin, therefore they fight the Spirit of God. I
believe there is many a man resisting the Holy Ghost; I believe there
is many a man to-day fighting against the Spirit of God.

In the 4th chapter of Ephesians, in the 30th, 31st, and 32d verses, we
read:

"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the
day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and
clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And
be ye kind, one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Now, mark you, that was written to the Church at Ephesus. "Grieve not
the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." I
believe today the Church all over Christendom is guilty of grieving
the Holy Spirit. There are a good many believers in different churches
wondering why the work of God is not revived.


THE CHURCH GRIEVES THE SPIRIT.


I think that if we search, we will find something in the Church
grieving the Spirit of God; it may be a mere schism in the church; it
may be some unsound doctrine; it may be some division in the Church.
There is one thing I have noticed as I have traveled in different
countries; I never yet have known the Spirit of God to work where the
Lord's people were divided. There is one thing that we must have if we
are to have the Holy Spirit of God to work in our midst, and that is
unity. If a church is divided, the members should immediately seek
unity. Let the believers come together and get the difficulty out of
the way. If the minister of a church can not unite the people, if
those that were dissatisfied will not fall in, it would be better for
that minister to retire. I think there are a good many ministers in
this country who are losing their time; they have lost, some of them,
months and years; they have not seen any fruit, and they will not see
any fruit, because they have a divided church. Such a church can not
grow in divine things. The Spirit of God don't work where there is
division, and what we want to-day is the spirit of unity amongst God's
children, so that the Lord may work.


WORLDLY AMUSEMENTS.


Then, another thing, I think, that grieves the Spirit, is the
miserable policy of introducing questionable entertainments. There are
the lotteries, for instance, that we have in many churches. If a man
wants to gamble, he doesn't have to go to some gambling den; he can stay
in the church. And there are fairs--bazaars, as they call them--where
they have rafflings and grab-bags. And if he wants to see a drama, he
don't need to go to the theater, for many of our churches are turned
into theaters; he may stay right in the church and witness the acting.
I believe all these things grieve the Spirit of God. I believe when we
bring the Church down to the level of the world to reach the world, we
are losing all the while and grieving the Spirit of God.

But some say, if we take that standard and lift it up high, it will
drive away a great many members from our churches. I believe it, and I
think the quicker they are gone the better. The world has come into
the Church like a flood, and how often you find an ungodly choir
employed to do the singing for the whole congregation; the idea that
we need an ungodly man to sing praises to God! It was not long ago I
heard of a church where they had an unconverted choir, and the
minister saw something about the choir that he didn't like, and he
spoke to the chorister, but the chorister replied: "You attend to your
end of the church, and I will attend to mine." You can not expect the
Spirit of God to work in a church in such a state as that.


UNCONVERTED CHOIRS.


Paul tells us not to speak in an unknown tongue, and if we have choirs
who are singing in an unknown tongue, why is not that just as great an
abomination? I have been in churches where they have had a choir, who
would rise and sing, and sing, and it seemed as if they sung five or
ten minutes, and I could not understand one solitary word they sung,
and all the while the people were looking around carelessly. There
are, perhaps, a select few, very fond of fine music, and they want to
bring the opera right into the church, and so they have opera music in
the church, and the people, who are drowsy and sleepy, don't take part
in the singing. They hire ungodly men, unconverted men, and these men
will sometimes get the Sunday paper, and get back in the organ loft,
and the moment the minister begins his sermon, they will take out
their papers and read them all the while that the minister is
preaching. The organist, provided he does not go out for a walk--if he
happens to keep awake, will read his paper, or, perhaps, a novel,
while the minister is preaching; and the minister wonders why God
don't revive His work; he wonders why he is losing his hold on the
congregation; he wonders why people don't come crowding into the
church; why people are running after the world instead of coming into
the church. The trouble is that we have let down the standard; we have
grieved the Spirit of God. One movement of God's power is worth more
than all our artificial power, and what the Church of God wants to-day
is to get down in the dust of humiliation and confession of sin, and
go out and be separated from the world; and then see if we do not have
power with God and with man.


WHAT IS SUCCESS?


The Gospel has not lost its power; it is just as powerful to-day as it
ever has been. We don't want any new doctrine. It is still the old
Gospel with the old power, the Holy Ghost power; and if the churches
will but confess their sins and put them away, and lift the standard
instead of pulling it down, and pray to God to lift us all up into a
higher and holier life, then the fear of the Lord will come upon the
people around us.

It was when Jacob put away strange gods and set his face toward Bethel
that the fear of God fell upon the nations around. And when the
churches turn towards God, and we cease grieving the Spirit, so that
He may work through us, we will then have conversions all the while.
Believers will be added to the Church daily. It is sad when you look
over Christendom and see how desolate it is, and see how little
spiritual life, spiritual power, there is in the Church of God to-day,
many of the church members not even wanting this Holy Ghost power.
They don't desire it; they want intellectual power; they want to get
some man who will just draw; and a choir that will draw; not caring
whether any one is saved. With them that is not the question. Only
fill the pews, have good society, fashionable people, and dancing;
such persons are found one night at the theater and the next night at
the opera. They don't like the prayer-meetings; they abominate them;
if the minister will only lecture and entertain, that would suit them.
I said to a man some time ago, "How are you getting on at your
church?" "Oh, splendid." "Many conversions?" "Well--well, on that side
we are not getting on so well. But," he said, "we rented all our pews
and are able to pay all our running expenses; we are getting on
splendidly." That is what the godless call "getting on splendidly;"
because they rent the pews, pay the minister, and pay all the running
expenses. Conversions! that is a strange thing. There was a man being
shown through one of the cathedrals of Europe; he had come in from the
country, and one of the men belonging to the cathedral was showing him
around, when he inquired, "Do you have many conversions here?" "Many
what?" "Many conversions here?" "Ah, man, this is not a Wesleyan
chapel." The idea of there being conversions there! And you can go
into a good many churches in this country and ask if they have many
conversions there, and they would not know what it meant, they are so
far away from the Lord; they are not looking for conversions, and
don't expect them.


SHIPWRECKS.


Alas! how many young converts have made shipwreck against such
churches. Instead of being a harbor of delight to them, they have
proved false lights, alluring them to destruction. Isn't it time for
us to get down on our faces before God and cry mightily to Him to
forgive us our sins. The quicker we own it the better. You may be
invited to a party, and it may be made up of church members, and what
will be the conversation? Oh, I got so sick of such parties that I
left years ago; I would not think of spending a night that way; it is
a waste of time; there is hardly a chance to say a word for the
Master. If you talk of a personal Christ, your company becomes
offensive; they don't like it; they want you to talk about the world,
about a popular minister, a popular church, a good organ, a good
choir, and they say, "Oh, we have a grand organ, and a superb choir,"
and all that, and it suits them; but that don't warm the Christian
heart. When you speak of a risen Christ and a personal Saviour, they
don't like it; the fact is, the world has come into the church and
taken possession of it, and what we want to do is to wake up and ask
God to forgive us for "Grieving the Spirit."

Dear reader, search your heart and inquire, Have I done anything to
grieve the Spirit of God? If you have, may God show it to you to-day;
if you have done any thing to grieve the Spirit of God, you want to
know it to-day, and get down on your face before God and ask Him to
forgive you and help you to put it away. I have lived long enough to
know that if I can not have the power of the Spirit of God on me to
help me to work for Him, I would rather die, than live just for the
sake of living. How many are there in the church to-day, who have been
members for fifteen or twenty years, but have never done a solitary
thing for Jesus Christ? They can not lay their hands upon one solitary
soul who has been blessed through their influence; they can not point
to-day to one single person who has ever been lifted up by them.


QUENCH NOT.


In 1st Thessalonians, 5th chapter, we are told not to Quench the Spirit.
Now, I am confident the cares of the world are coming in and quenching
the Spirit with a great many. They say: "I don't care for the world;"
perhaps not the _pleasures_ of the world so much after all as the _cares_
of this life; but they have just let the cares come in and quench the
Spirit of God. Anything that comes between me and God--between my soul
and God--quenches the Spirit. It may be my family. You may say: "Is
there any danger of my loving my family too much?" Not if we love God
more; but God must have the first place. If I love my family more than
God, then I am quenching the Spirit of God within me; if I love wealth,
if I love fame, if I love honor, if I love position, if I love pleasure,
if I love self, more than I love God who created and saved me, then I am
committing a sin; I am not only grieving the Spirit of God, but quenching
Him, and robbing my soul of His power.


EMBLEMS OF THE SPIRIT.


But I would further call attention to the emblems of the Holy Spirit.
An emblem is something that represents an object; the same as a
balance is an emblem of justice, and a crown an emblem of royalty, and
a scepter is an emblem of power; so we find in the 17th chapter of
Exodus and 6th verse, that water is an emblem of the Holy Spirit. You
find in the Smitten Rock, in the wilderness, the work of the Trinity
illustrated.

"Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and
thou shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that
the people may drink. And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of
Israel."

Paul declares, in Corinthians, that the rock was Christ; it
represented Christ. God says: "I will stand upon the rock," and as
Moses smote the rock the water came out, which was an emblem of the
Holy Spirit; and it flowed out along through the camp; and they drank
of the water. Now water is cleansing; it is fertilizing; it is
refreshing; it is abundant, and it is freely given; and so the Spirit
of God is the same: cleansing, fertilizing, refreshing, reviving, and
He was freely given when the smitten Christ was glorified. Then, too,
fire is an emblem of the Spirit; it is purifying, illuminating,
searching. We talk about searching our hearts. We can not do it. What
we want is to have God search them. O that God may search us and bring
out the hidden things, the secret things that cluster there and bring
them to light. The wind is another emblem. It is independent, powerful,
sensible in its effects, and reviving; how the Spirit of God revives
when He comes to all the drooping members of the Church. Then the rain
and the dew--fertilizing, refreshing, abundant; and the dove, gentle--what
more gentle than the dove; and the lamb?--gentle, meek, innocent, a
sacrifice. We read of the wrath of God; we read of the wrath of the Lamb,
but nowhere do we read of the wrath of the Holy Spirit--gentle, innocent,
meek, loving; and that Spirit wants to take possession of our hearts.
And He comes as a voice, another emblem--speaking, guiding, warning,
teaching; and the seal--impressing, securing, and making us as His own.
May we know Him in all His wealth of blessing. This is my prayer for
myself--for you. May we heed the words of the grand Apostle: "My speech
and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in
demonstration of the Spirit, and of power: that your faith should not
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