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´╗┐Title: How to Live a Holy Life
Author: Orr, Charles Ebert
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.

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How to Live a Holy Life

C. E. Orr



DEVOTIONAL READING.


A person may almost be known by the books he reads. If he habitually reads
bad books, we can pretty safely conclude that he is a bad man; on the
other hand, if he habitually reads religious books, we can reasonably
presume that he is a religious man. Why is this? It is because the nature
of a person's books is usually the nature of his thoughts; and as a man
thinks, so he is.

Consequently, our reading devotional literature is a great aid to our
being devotional. Too few, I fear, realize how important to our spiritual
advancement is the cultivation of a taste for devotional reading. As a
rule, those who have a taste for spiritual books and gratify that taste
prosper in the Lord, while those who have no relish for such books labor
at a great disadvantage. Some one has said that "he who begins a devout
life without a taste for spiritual reading may consider the ordinary
difficulties multiplied in his case by ten." The most spiritual men of all
ages have had a strong love for reading spiritual books. If, however, my
reader happens not to have such a taste or such a love, he should not be
discouraged, for it can be created and increased through perseverance in
reading devotional literature. Just as a person who does not relish a
certain food may learn to like it if he will persist in eating it, so a
person who does not have a taste for devotional books may come to enjoy
them if he will diligently and prayerfully peruse them.

Spiritual reading invigorates the intellect, warms the affections, and
begets in us a desire for more of God's fulness and for a more heavenly
life. It is especially helpful to prayer. When the mind is dull and the
spirits low and we have no inspiration for prayer, the reading of a
spiritual poem will often so stimulate the mind, raise the spirits, and
animate the soul, as to make it easy for us to pray.

As to what books to read, the Bible, of course, is the best of all. But we
need others. Although no other book can take the place of the Bible and
none of us should neglect reading it, there are many books that can
profitably be read in connection with it.

But whatever devotional book you are reading, do not read too fast. Think
and digest as you go. Let there be a frequent lifting of the heart to God
in prayer. It is not the bee that flies so swiftly from flower to flower
that gathers the honey, but the bee that goes down into the flower. A few
sentences taken into the mind and heart, and dwelt upon until they have
become a part of us, are better than many pages read superficially.



PREFACE.


If the reading of this little book encourages any on their pilgrim way; if
it arouses them to greater diligence; if it creates in them a stronger
desire to live more like Christ; if it gives them a better understanding
of how to live,--this poor servant of the Lord will be fully rewarded for
all his labor.

Even among the children of God in this beautiful gospel light of the
evening there is an inclination, on the part of a few at least, and maybe
more than a few, to slow down and not be their very best and most active
for God. We hope that this little book will arouse such ones to greater
zeal and earnestness. Diligence, yea, constant application, is the secret
of success in all manner of life and especially in the Christian life.

This volume is written for all those who desire to please God with a well
-spent life. It is sent forth in Jesus' name, with a prayer--that God bless
and help both the reader and the writer to live life at its very best and
fulfil the purpose of God concerning them.

Your humble servant in Christian love,

The Author.



INTRODUCTION.


We have only one life to live, only one. Think of this for a moment. Here
we are in this world of time making the journey of life. Each day we are
farther from the cradle and nearer the grave. Solemn thought. See the
mighty concourse of human lives; hear their heavy tread in their onward
march. Some are just beginning life's journey; some are midway up the
hill, some have reached the top, and some are midway down the western
slope. But where are we all going? Listen, and you will hear but one
answer--"Eternity." Beyond the fading, dying gleams of the sunset of life
lies a boundless, endless ocean called Eternity. Thitherward you and I are
daily traveling.

Time is like a great wheel going its round. On and on it goes. Some are
stepping on and some are stepping off. But where are these latter
stepping? Into eternity. See that old man with bent form, snow-white
locks, and tottering steps. His has been a long round, but he has made it
at last. See the middle-aged. His round has not been so long, but he must
step off. See the youth. He has been on only a little while, but he is
brought to the stepping-off place. He thought his round would be much
longer. He supposed he was fairly getting started when that icy hand was
laid upon him and the usher said, "Come, you have made your round, and you
must go." The infant that gave its first faint cry this morning may utter
its last feeble wail tonight. And thus they go. But where? Eternity.

If you were to start today and ask each person you met the question,
"Where are you going?" and, if possible, you were to travel the world over
and ask each one of earth's inhabitants, there could be but one answer--
"Eternity."

  "Oh, eternity,
  Long eternity!
  Hear the solemn footsteps
  Of eternity."

Only one life to live! Only one life, and then we must face vast, endless
eternity. We shall pass along the pathway of life but once. Every step we
take is a step that can never be taken again. With this fact in mind, who
does not feel like calling upon the All-wise to direct his every step. If
when we make a misstep we could go back and step it over, then there would
not be such great necessity to step carefully. But we can never go back.
We are leaving footprints. Just as our steps are, so will the footprints
be which will tell the story of our life. If we had a score of lives to
live, how to live this one would not be of such great moment. We should
then have nineteen lives in which to correct the errors and sins of this
one; but alas! we have but one. What, then, should we seek more earnestly
than to know how to live?

We doubt not but there is in the heart of the reader a strong desire to
live life as it should be lived. Thank God, you can. You desire your life
to be like the fertile oasis, where the weary traveler refreshes himself.
You have seen the rays of light lingering upon the hillside and treetop
and gilding the fleecy cloud after the sun had gone down. You desire the
beautiful rays of light from your life to linger long after your sun has
gone down. You can have it that way. The deeds you do will live after you
are gone. They are the footprints. Some one has said that we each day are
here building the house we are going to occupy in eternity. If this be
true, nothing should concern us so much as how to live. Some men are
devoting their time and the power of their intellects to invention; some
are studying statesmanship; some are studying the arts, others the
sciences; but we have come to learn a little more about how to live. Many
are thinking much about how they wish to die, but let us learn how to
live. If we live well, we shall die well.

Since we have but one life to live and with it we must face eternity, I am
sure there are many who want to make the most of life. There are many who
want to be their best in life. This is not a play-ground, or a place to
trifle with time. It is a place of work and effort, a place of purpose and
earnestness, a place to do something. Life is not given us to squander nor
fritter away, but was given us to accomplish a purpose in the mind of the
Creator. If we will set ourselves to live as we should, God will help us
and no man can hinder us. We are purchasing treasures for eternity by
making a proper use of time. To trifle away time is indeed to be the
greatest of spendthrifts. If you squander a dollar, you may regain it; but
a moment wasted can never be regained.

There is great responsibility in life. It means much to live. The time was
when you and I were not, now we are. We are, and there can never come a
time when we shall not be. You and I shall always exist somehow,
somewhere. One sweet thought to me is that I have time enough to do all
that God intends for me to do, and do it well. Then comes another
thought--a thought that awes: the good that I do, the sum of my
usefulness, will be less than it should be if I spend a moment of time
uselessly. God will give us all the time we need to accomplish all he
purposes us to accomplish, but he does not give us one moment to trifle
away.

The mission of this little volume is to strengthen and energize and help
you to spend life as you should. May it please the Great Teacher, who has
promised to "show us the path of life," to bless this little work and by
it help some one to a pure and noble life and to the accomplishment of all
God's design in giving them life.

The Author.



CONTENTS.


Devotional Reading............................................. 4

Preface........................................................ 5

Introduction................................................... 7

The Way the Sail is Set (Poem)................................ 15

The Model Life................................................ 17

How to Live the Christ-Life................................... 22

The Bible Way................................................. 25

The Heavenly Way.............................................. 29

Keeping the Commandments...................................... 31

"Be Doers of the Word"........................................ 37

Who are the Wise?............................................. 39

Keeping the Commandments a Test of Love....................... 41

The Blessedness of Obeying God's Word......................... 43

The Relationship We Have with Christ through Obedience........ 45

Our Life is to Adorn the Gospel............................... 46

The Christian an Epistle of Christ............................ 48

How We may Live as the Bible Reads............................ 50

How to Keep the Word of God in the Heart...................... 52

Man the Vehicle for Exhibiting God's Perfections.............. 54

Some Use to Jesus (Poem)...................................... 63

Godly Living.................................................. 65

Something to Do............................................... 69

Spiritual Dryness............................................. 76

Prayer........................................................ 81

Keep the Roots Watered........................................ 85

Under the Fig-Tree............................................ 87

Shut the Door................................................. 91

Alone with God................................................ 93

Prayerful Remembrance (Poem).................................. 95

He Careth for Thee............................................ 96

"Consider the Lilies"........................................ 102

Sorrowful Yet always Rejoicing............................... 105

Gentleness................................................... 113

Tenderness................................................... 117

The Christian Walk........................................... 124

The Christian is to Walk Circumspectly....................... 125

The Latest Improved.......................................... 129

The Christian's Walk a Walk with God......................... 130

A Holy Life.................................................. 148

Lukewarmness................................................. 151

Steadfastness................................................ 156

How to Understand God's Will................................. 160

A View of Jesus.............................................. 164

Devotion to God.............................................. 166

The Golden Rule of Life...................................... 174

Timeliness in Doing Good..................................... 177

The Warfare of a Christian Life.............................. 181

Life by Faith................................................ 183

A Valuable Legacy............................................ 185

Some Scriptures for Daily Practise........................... 188



THE WAY THE SAIL IS SET.


  I stood beside the open sea;
   The ships went sailing by;
  The wind blew softly o'er the lea;
   The sun had cloudless sky.


  Some ships sailed eastward, some sailed west,
   Some north, some southward trend.
  How can ships sail this way and that?
   But one way blows the wind.

  An old sea-captain made reply
   (His locks with salt-spray wet):
  "'Tis not the wind decides the course;
   'Tis way the sails are set."

  *       *       *       *       *

  I stand beside the sea of life;
   The ships go sailing by;
  The winds blow fair from heaven's land;
   No clouds bedim the sky.

  But one sails eastward, one sails west,
   One north, one southward goes:
  How can ships sail this way and that
   With selfsame wind that blows?

  A voice made answer to my soul:
   "'Tis not how blows the gale;
  Each voyager decides the goal
   By way he sets the sail."--Selected.



How to Live a Holy Life


THE MODEL LIFE.


In doing anything, it is always well to have a model by which to fashion
our work. In fact, nothing is done without a pattern, either real or
imaginary. The little boy making a toy has in in his mind a model by which
he is framing his work. Likewise, the sculptor has in his mind a model,
and as the "marble wastes, the image grows" into the likeness of the
vision in his soul.

To live this one life of ours as it should be lived, we must have a
perfect model after which to pattern. Thank God, this perfect model of
life can be found. Of all the vast number of lives that have been lived
since Adam down to this present day, there has been only one that we can
take as a model. This one is the life of Jesus. He says, "I am the life."
To live this life of ours well, to live it to the highest degree of
perfection, we must fashion it according to the glorious life of Christ.
The life of Jesus is the model life for every other human life. He invites
us, yea, commands us, to follow him, to step in his steps, to walk as he
walked.

There have been many good men in the world, but none of them afford us a
true pattern of life. There was a man who said, "Be ye followers of me,"
but he immediately added, "even as I also am of Christ." Man may so live
as to reveal to us the life of Christ. We can then follow, not them, but
the Christ-life they manifested through them.

Let me here say a word on a subject on which we may have more to say
hereafter. The grandest, noblest work man has ever done is by his life to
reveal the life of Christ to another, thereby helping that person to be
fashioned more after the image of Jesus. A little flower grew in a place
so shaded that no ray from the sun could fall directly upon it. A window
was so situated that at a certain time in the afternoon it refracted the
sun's rays and threw them upon the flower, thus giving it color and
beauty, and aiding it to bloom. Some people are living in the dense shade.
No light from Christ has ever shined upon them. If you so live as to
refract the life of Christ and turn it upon them and thus stamp upon them
a holier life, you have not lived in vain. To set the life of Christ in
its purity and beauty before some one and influence him, though only a
little, to live better and love Jesus more, is a work the worth of which
can never be computed. He who helps another to a better way of living does
more than he who gains great worldly honor and riches. Blessed indeed is
that life which causes some other life to be more like Christ. Oh, may
this thought seize upon our hearts and fill us with a greater passion to
live the life of God.

We are told by the voice of Scripture to be "followers of God as dear
children." When children are dear to the heart of the parent, he loves to
have them obey him. God's children are dear to him, and he would have them
follow him. To follow God is to imitate him, or be like him. This is the
true way of life.

A text of Scripture as rendered by the Revised Version is very appropriate
here: "Like as he which has called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy
in all manner of living." 1 Pet. 1:15. Only those who live godly in their
entire manner of life are spending the days of their pilgrimage as they
should. Jesus has walked the true way of life; we are told to walk in his
steps. If we will step each day just where Jesus stepped, then on looking
back, we can not see a footprint of our own; but if we take a single
misstep, our footprint will show our departure from the true way of life.
How deep and awful are the words of Scripture wherein we are commanded to
walk even as "Jesus walked"! Jesus says, "I am the way." There is no other
right and perfect way. If we will walk as Jesus walked, then we shall walk
in the true path of life. This only is the pathway that leads up to the
golden gates of glory and the sweet fields of heaven. That bright world of
bliss encourages us on. If we will follow Jesus and live as he lived,
God's approval will be upon us, and his outstretched hand will help us
along life's way and finally over the turbulent river of death to the
sunlit shore of eternal rest.

Many times we may become wearied and think the toils of the way almost too
heavy; but when we remember that it is the way that Jesus trod, then the
heavens open to our view, we look forward to the mansion prepared for us,
and the toils of the way grow lighter.

See that aged pilgrim journeying down the western slope of life. The sun
is nearing the setting. Long and toilsome has been his pilgrimage, but he
has walked in the path his Savior trod. For many years his life has been
hid with Christ in God. In Him he has lived and moved and had his being.
Now he is making his last step on the shore of time; he passes out of our
sight through the gates into that land where toils are ended and the sun
never sets. But his life was the life of Jesus. He was holy as God is
holy; he walked as Jesus walked. This is how to live. This is the true way
of life and the only way to life eternal. He who does not live with Christ
on earth can not live with him in heaven, and he who does not live as
Jesus lived does not live as he should. The life of Christ was the perfect
life. Ours is perfect to the degree that we imitate him.

  Take my life, O Christ divine,
  Make it holy, just like thine;
  Every act and thought and word
  Be an outflow from my God.

  Guide my feet and keep my heart;
  Let me not from thee depart;
  Let me breathe thy warming love,
  That my soul be drawn above.

  Draw me, Jesus, closer draw;
  Thy strong arm around me throw;
  Draw me to thy pierced side;
  In thy bosom let me hide.

  Teach me all thy will and word,
  That my life be filled with God;
  Teach me, Lamb of Calvary,
  How to live this life for thee.



HOW TO LIVE THE CHRIST-LIFE.


Man can not naturally live the Christ-life. But Christ has promised to
come into our hearts and live in us. In order that we may have Christ
dwell in our hearts and that we may live his life, there must be a giving
up of our self-life. There must be annihilation of self that Christ may
live. It is truly wonderful and as glorious as it is wonderful that man
can live the life of Christ in this world. But here is the secret: it is
man ceasing to live the self-life and Christ living in him.

Imagine a hollow brass figure in the exact image of a man. Suppose you
fill this hollow figure with a kind of life which we shall call self-life.
This life goes to using the hands and feet, and eyes, ears, tongue, in
short, all the members of this brass figure, but using them in the
interest of itself. Now you desire to make a change; you want that image
to speak, act, and think only for you. You must first put to death the
life that is using the figure, cleanse it entirely out, and then get into
it yourself. Once in, you can use all the members of that image for
yourself. Your body is that image. There was a life in you that used all
the members of your body in the interest of self. But there has been a
change. You were made a new creature. The life you once had was put to
death--was crucified; then Christ stepped into your heart, and now he
uses all the members of your body for himself. You still live, yet not
you, but Christ lives in you. Once you did things for yourself; now you do
them for Christ. Just as you once lived purposely and intentionally for
yourself, now you do things purposely and intentionally for Jesus, because
it is he that lives, and not you yourself. You remember how once you would
plan for yourself. In the evening as you lay upon your bed and again in
the morning and throughout the day you would think about what you were
going to eat or drink, what you were going to have for clothing, where you
were going to live, where you were going to go, and what you were going to
do. But now you are changed; you are a new creature. Now it is not you
that lives, but Christ lives in you. Now you eat not for yourself but for
Jesus. You now go, not where self would lead you, but where that life in
you loves to go and would have you go. You do things, not for yourself,
but for Jesus.

  O Christ, I die, that thou mayst live,
   That thou mayst live in me;
  That all I think or speak or do,
   May be, O Lord, for thee.

  May not the least of self remain,
   But all be put to death.
  Oh, may I nothing do for self,
   Nor draw one selfish breath!

  To have my Savior live in me,
   To occupy the whole,
  To make my heart his royal throne
   And take complete control--

  'Tis all I ask; 'tis all I wish;
   'Tis all my heart's desire,
  Content if but a wayside bush
   To hold God's holy fire.

  Low at thy feet, O Christ, I fall
   A yielded lump of clay,
  For thee to mold me as thou wilt,
   To have thy own sweet way.



THE BIBLE WAY.


If the Bible had not been given us, we should not always know the way that
Jesus walked. But he has given us his Word. The way of the Bible is the
way of Christ, and is therefore the true path of life. O pilgrim to the
heavenly kingdom, the Word of God will be a lamp unto thy feet and a light
unto thy way. It will lighten you home. There will never be a day so dark
but the beams of light from the blessed Bible will pierce through the
darkness and fall with a bright radiance upon your pathway. If sometimes
you can not see just where Jesus stepped, take the precious Book of God,
and it will be a lamp to show you the way he trod. One wintry morning a
father went a long distance through the deep snow to feed his sheep. A few
hours later a little boy was sent to call his father home. The child was
carefully stepping in the footprints before him, but soon a dark cloud
arose and the blinding snow-storm so dimmed his eye that he frequently
stepped aside. In the beautiful, clear light of the Bible we can see all
the way that Jesus trod. If we will walk according to the Bible, we shall
walk as Jesus walked and not show a double track. Make the blessed Word of
God your guide if you would walk aright the path of life and be happy.

  "And often for your comfort you will read the Guide
   and Chart:
  It has wisdom for the mind and sweet solace for the
   heart;
  It will serve you as a mentor; it will guide you sure
   and straight
  All the time that you will journey, be the ending soon
   or late."

'The Scriptures are given by inspiration of God and are profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be perfect' 2 Tim. 3:16. If by faith we receive
into our hearts the instruction in righteousness as given by the
Scriptures, it will make us perfect in this life. O reader, if you would
know how to live, study the Bible. It points out the way clearly and
plainly. Let its truths in all their power reach to the depth of thy
heart. Let thy soul seize upon the Bible and drink its strength and
sweetness as the bee sips the sweetness from the flower. As the animal
eats the plant and by assimilation converts it into animal life, so eat
the Book of God and convert it into human life. It is the food of angels.
But rather than its being the Bible converted into human life, it is human
life transformed into the purity of the Bible. There are great depths to
the Bible. The simplest text contains depths to which we can ever be
descending.

They who would live a perfect life must set the life of Christ before them
as portrayed by the Holy Scriptures. You can not see much of this perfect
life by a passing glance. It is he who looks into the perfect law of
liberty and continues to look that will see the perfect life which it
pictures. The artist must look long at the landscape and get it imaged
upon his soul before he can produce it upon the canvas. The Bible
description of the life of Christ must fill your soul with admiration and
with a strong desire to possess it. Your heart must lay hold upon it until
that life is focused and printed upon your own soul. It is like the art of
photographing. The object must be set before the heart.

The Bible is the light that shines the image of Christ upon the soul. For
the pure in heart to develop into higher spiritual life, they must gain
such an admiration for the beauty of Christ that they will long to possess
him in greater fulness. The pleading of the heart will be, "Lord, let thy
beauty be upon us." Their souls will follow hard after his perfections. In
no other way will the soul unfold and develop into the higher Christian
life. He who has not learned how to grow in grace has not yet learned how
to live. To live life in the best possible manner is to be making constant
progress. Oh, let us give this world our best life! When we are nearing
the end of the way and life's sun is sinking low, if on looking back we
can see nothing but a life spent in the service of God, walking in the
light of his Word, this will afford us untold satisfaction.

  O blessed Word of eternal life,
  The lamp to guide the way
  Through this weary world of sin and strife
  To heaven's perfect day!



THE HEAVENLY WAY.


There is a heaven. There is a place of rest and happiness. I have not gone
to heaven, but heaven has come to me; therefore I know there is a heaven.
Many who have eaten oranges have never been in a land where oranges grow,
but these persons know there must be such a land, because they have tasted
its fruit. Likewise, I know there is a heaven because I daily taste its
joy.

Not only is there a heaven, but there is a way to heaven. All can go who
will. Heaven is a holy place, and the way to heaven is a holy way. A
prophet of God said, "An highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall
be called the way of holiness." The Christian dwells in a heavenly place.

The writer to the saints at Ephesus says, "He hath raised us up together,
and made us sit together in heavenly places." To live in a heavenly place,
we must live a heavenly life. Those who do not live a heavenly life on
earth will never live in heaven. The heavenly life is the only life worth
living. It is the only life that ends in heaven. The way of holiness is
the way of happiness. Holy and happy is the true and right life of man.
This one brief life of ours should be constant holiness and happiness.
Without these, life is not as it should be. It is our privilege in Christ
to walk the path of life in perfect peace and joy and in perfect holiness.
Such a life will flow out into an eternity of joys unspeakable.

  Wait thou on God, O soul of mine!
   Listen to know his will;
  Light will come from the golden throne
   If thou, O soul, be still.

  If thou wouldst sail on tranquil sea,
   Wait thou on God, my soul.
  Speak, act, and think alone in him;
   Sweet rest shall be thy goal.

  If thou wouldst have life's way to be
   Verdant as the growing sod,
  Take each step 'neath the guiding eye,
   Keep in close touch with God.

  Sweet heavenly life! sweet happy life!
   Thy joys increase each day.
  O soul of mine, press up and on
   This high and holy way.



KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS.


God's Word is pure. Heaven itself and the great white throne is no more
pure than the Word of God. That life may be pure, it must be in sweet
harmony with the blessed Bible. A life that is lived in obedience to the
Bible is as pure as the Bible. Such a life is pure enough for heaven. The
writer of Revelation, being in the Spirit, saw "a pure river of water of
life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the
Lamb." This pure stream was the wonderful word of life. It was as pure as
its source, which was the throne of God. The life through which this pure
stream flows will be as pure as the throne.

One of the Psalm-writers said, "The words of the Lord are pure words: as
silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." "Thy word is
pure; therefore thy servant loveth it." The writer of Proverbs says,
"Every word of God is pure." When the veil is drawn aside and our souls
are brought face to face with the purity of the Bible, then we understand
that a Bible life is the best, purest, noblest, and holiest life that can
be lived upon the earth.

  O soul of mine, unveil thine eye,
   Look upward to thy God,
  A wreath of purity to see
   Crowning his every word.

In the following words we have the sum of all true and right living: "Let
us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep his
commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl. 12:13. This text
as rendered in the Septuagint version brings out clearer the true
signification: "Hear the end of the matter, the sum. Fear God and keep his
commandments: for this is the whole man." Man is not entire, he is not
complete as originally intended, when not keeping all the commands of God.
Something is lacking in the life that is not in full obedience to every
word of God.

The Bible speaks of a beautiful city in that bright, celestial world. It
is a city of pure gold, clear as glass. Its walls are of jasper; its
twelve foundations are garnished with all manner of precious stones; its
twelve gates are gates of pearl; its streets are pure gold. In that fair
city there is no sin, no pain, no sickness; sorrow and trouble never come
there; a tear shall never fall from any eye, for no tears are there. There
is no death in that wonderful city so fair. In the midst of the street
stands the tree of life. Oh, who does not desire to dwell forever and
forever in that city of love and light when the pains and sorrows, the
trials and tears, of this weary life are over?

Listen while I read to you in accents clear, distinct, and unmistakable--
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to
the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Rev.
22:14. O traveler to eternity, your entrance into the beautiful, glorious
city of God depends upon your conduct respecting the commandments of God
while you are making the journey across the turbulent sea of life. Keeping
the commandments of God is man's whole duty. If he does his whole duty
through life, he will come up out of the dark valley and shadow of death,
and find the gates of pearl unfolding. Who will not cleave to the
commandments of God? Who will not obey his voice and walk daily in his
holy ways? The obedient will be rewarded by an unfading inheritance in
that eternal city of gold. There is a beautiful mansion in the great house
of God for every obedient soul. Oh, how blessed!

  I am thinking of heaven tonight,
  Of the mansion prepared there for me,
  Where Jesus my Savior now dwells,
  And where I am longing to be.

Will not heaven be well worth a life of obedience to the Word of God,
though obedience calls us through storms of persecutions, furnaces of
trials, oceans of tribulations, and years of toil and suffering? To Moses
the reproaches of Christ were greater treasures than the riches of Egypt,
"for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." Sit quiet for a
moment and by a strong eye of faith look away into heaven and see that
bright mansion prepared for you. See those jasper walls, those pearly
gates, and those golden walks. See the crown of life, the harp of God, and
the light of the Lamb. Shall we not bear the trials of life a little
longer in patience? Shall we not be watchful to walk in God's ways and
obey him, that this rich inheritance may be ours forever? Methinks I can
hear a reply coming from the depths of many a sincere, trusting heart--
"Yes, I will live in humble obedience to God on earth, that I may be with
him forever in that celestial city of light." God bless you!

Beyond the shores of time and the kingdoms of this world is a kingdom
called the kingdom of heaven. It is the place where God has his great
white throne, around which the angels play upon their golden harps and
shout, "Blessing and honor and glory and praise and might be unto God
forever and ever." It is around this throne that those who have passed
through the tribulations and the trying scenes of this lower world and
burst through the gates of death are singing redemption's sweet song. Who
does not desire to join that happy, heavenly throng and wave those palms
and wear those white robes and sing those sweet songs over beyond the
shadowy vale of death? I seem to hear many voices saying, "I hope to be
among that blood-washed throng." Let me tell you in all tenderness and
love, but very plainly, that the realization of your hope depends entirely
upon how you live while here in this world. Oh, how much in that great and
awful future is depending upon our manner of life in this time-world! Let
us learn to live well, to be our best every day.

We may dream of a home in heaven; we may entertain hopes of seeing Jesus
and of inheriting a mansion on the shores of eternal bliss; we may imagine
ourselves walking through the blooming fields of paradise and sitting
beneath the tree of life; but our dreams, our hopes, and our imaginations
will never be realized unless we carefully keep the commandments of God.
More than a profession is necessary; obedience is the only door into the
kingdom of God. Jesus said, "Not every one that sayeth unto me, Lord,
Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven." Until our faith pierces through and beholds
the beauties and the realities of God so we can say from the very depths
of the soul, "I delight to do thy will, O God." and, "My meat and my drink
is to do the will of Him that sent me," we have not fully entered the true
and right pathway of life. Keeping the commands of God is the whole man
and the whole of a perfect life.



"BE DOERS OF THE WORD."


I want to remind you again that the mission of this little volume is to
teach you how to live. The life beyond depends on the life here. Let me
emphasize what I have repeatedly said before: to live as we should, we
must live by every word of God. To live by every word of God is not only
to hear it but also to do it. We have learned that, in order to enter the
city of God and eat of the tree of life, we must do his
commandments, and also that it is not "every one that sayeth, Lord, Lord,
that shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven."

Now I will read you a text from the Epistle of James, "But be ye doers of
the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." We are living
in a careless age. The Word of God is being treated with neglect. Many are
hearing it, but alas! how few are doing it! In this way people deceive
themselves. They think they are on their way to heaven, when they are not.
The only way to heaven is by doing the commandments. To illustrate this, I
will refer you to a few texts. "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." Rom.
12:20. "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the
other also." Matt. 5:39. "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye
also to them likewise." Luke 6:31. If it comes most natural for us to live
according to these texts, we can begin to conclude that our hearts are
right with God. However, we must have a heart that does not rebel against
any text in the Bible.

We are exhorted earnestly by the apostle Peter to make our "calling and
election sure." The only way to do so is to live to every word of God. Oh,
my dear reader, those sweet hopes you have had of reaching heaven and of
seeing Jesus and those dear loved ones who have gone before you to that
other side will never be realized by you unless you be a diligent doer of
the Word of God. I feel like warning you against all carelessness and
neglect, and to keep yourself in the love of God. See that your heart and
life reads each day as the Bible reads, and you will then have an unshaken
foundation for your faith and hope. If you would know how to live and make
the best of life, read the Bible much and conform your life to its
teaching.



WHO ARE THE WISE?


Who is a foolish man? It is a man who hears the sayings of Jesus and fails
to do them. He is likened to a man who was foolish enough to build his
house upon the sand. This man would better not have built at all, for the
cost of building was lost. He could have had the money for his use and
enjoyment if he had not wasted it in building a house on the sand. A
foolish man, indeed! Who is a wise man? It is the man who hears the
sayings of Jesus and does them. He is likened to a man who built his house
upon a rock. From a temporal standpoint nothing else is so conducive to
man's happiness as a good home. No better use can be made of money than to
spend it in the building of a home, provided the house be built upon a
sure foundation. A man who hears God's Word and does it is likened to such
a man. To build up a Christian character in obedience to the Bible is the
greatest wisdom. That is building a mansion in heaven.

A real, true Christian experience and life cost something, but they pay,
because they will stand. A mere profession of Christianity may cost
something also, but it does not pay, since it will not stand. A man who
erects his house upon the sand can build at less cost than he who digs
deep and lays his foundation upon the rock, but at the very time when the
former man most needs his house--when the winds blow and the rain falls--
that is when it is destroyed. On the other hand, the man who builds upon a
rock has a house to shelter him through the storms. Likewise, he who
builds up a Christian experience in obedience to the Word of God will have
something to serve him in a time of need.

We thus learn from Jesus' parable of the wise and the foolish house
-builders that obeying the Bible is the true way of life.



KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS A TEST OF LOVE.


We are commanded to love God. It is the first and greatest commandment.
Love is more than an emotion; it is an act of the will. A mother loves her
child constantly, though she may not always experience the emotions of
love. Her care for her child is a proof of her love. We may not always
experience a feeling of love toward God, but we can always love him. Our
love is measured, not by our emotions, but by our obedience--our service.
We labor for those we love, and the love makes the labor light. It is not
an irksome thing to obey God when we love him.

It is possible to make a profession of love to God and not really love
him. It may be that many are deceived at this point. One scripture says,
"If any man love God, the same is known of him." Jesus says, "Why call ye
me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Love is something more
than mere words. It is useless to make a profession of love to Jesus and
not do what he says. A husband can not convince his wife of his love by a
mere profession of love, but he can convince her by his acts. We are to
love, not in word and tongue only, but also in deed and in truth. Again,
Jesus says, "If a man love me, he will keep my words." Here is an
unfailing test of love. If you will not obey God, he knows you do not love
him, no matter how much you may profess to love him.

So again we are reminded by the Holy Bible that, in order to spend this
brief life of ours as we should, we must keep the commandments of God. No
other life will find acceptance with God. No other life will please him.
He desires your love most certainly, but he wants such love as will prompt
you to obey him. Do not measure your Christian experience by your
feelings, but measure it by your obedience as proceeding from an internal
principle. When you find something in your heart that causes you to obey
God no matter how you feel, you have good reason to hope that you are a
Christian.

In subsequent chapters I will tell you something of what God's Word
teaches, but, first of all, I desire to fully convince you, and to help
you to feel, that the right and true way of life is in obedience to its
teaching.



THE BLESSEDNESS OF OBEYING GOD'S WORD.


Everything is said in the Scriptures that can be said to show us the need
of living in harmony with the Bible. If our lives are out of harmony with
one text in that blessed book, we are not yet fitted for heaven. We can
never be admitted into the everlasting kingdom of God if we knowingly
refuse or neglect to live to every word of God. We are therefore exhorted,
beseeched, entreated, encouraged, warned, and commanded to obey every text
in the Bible. We are encouraged to obedience by being told of the
blessedness of keeping the commandments.

It is natural for mothers to love to have their children well spoken of.
We do not fault them for this. When a young man, by his good deportment,
is gaining a fair name, mothers, when together, will remark, "It is
blessed to be the mother of a young man like that." There was a woman who
heard of the fame of a young man. He was casting out devils, healing the
sick, opening blinded eyes, and unstopping deaf ears, and consequently he
was gaining a wide and favorable reputation. This woman came to the young
man and with that mother in her heart said to him, "Blessed is the womb
that bear thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked." It was, indeed,
blessed to be the mother of this young man. An angel from heaven
acknowledged this. In speaking to Mary of the birth of Jesus (for he was
the young man), the angel said, "Hail, thou that are highly favored, the
Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." She was more highly
favored than any other woman on earth, because she was to become the
mother of the Son of God. Can it be that any one can be more blessed than
this happy mother of Jesus? Let us hear his reply to the woman--"But he
said, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it."
Jesus did not deny that it was blessed to be his mother, but said that
those who hear God's word and keep it are rather, or more, blessed. God
favors those who obey him. "The willing and obedient shall eat the good of
the land." "Hadst thou hearkened unto my commandments, then wouldst thy
peace be like a river." Happiness is the result of obedience, and heaven
is the final reward.



THE RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE WITH CHRIST THROUGH OBEDIENCE.


The reason why it is more blessed to obey the Word of God than to be the
mother of Jesus is obvious. Spiritual things are higher than physical
things. Spiritual relation is closer than natural relation. Brotherhood in
Christ is closer than brotherhood in the flesh. A brother in the Spirit is
dearer to us than a son of our own mother. Obedience to God makes us one
with God. Mary was the mother of Jesus after the flesh, but God's children
enjoy such a relation after the spirit. At one time somebody brought word
to Jesus that his mother and his brethren stood outside desiring to see
him. "But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother?
and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his
disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! for whoever shall
do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and
sister, and mother." Matt. 12:48-50. Every one who desires to spend life
in the highest possible degree of perfection should make a constant study
of the Bible and should carefully and diligently obey all its precepts.
Doing this will bring him into the closest possible relationship with God
and will make life the best man can live.



OUR LIFE IS TO ADORN THE GOSPEL.


To adorn is to make attractive, to beautify. We are exhorted by the
apostle Paul to adorn the doctrine of the New Testament by our every-day
life. This thought should be a powerful incentive to close living with God
and assiduously keeping all of his commandments. Who would not take
pleasure in adorning the teachings of Jesus by a pure life? This is the
joy of the Christian's heart. He cares nothing for the adornings of the
world, but oh, that he may so live as to make beautiful the blessed
Bible!--this is happiness enough to him.

In another of the Pauline Epistles we are commanded to "let our manner of
life be as it becometh the gospel of Christ." To become is also to make
attractive or to give a better appearance to. An article of dress is
becoming to us when it gives us a better appearance. We speak of any one's
bad conduct as not being becoming to him. We are to become the gospel of
Christ by holy living. When a life is lived as God designed that life
should be, that life will be an adornment to the Scriptures.

God will beautify his children with the glories of his redeeming grace; he
will adorn them with a meek and quiet spirit, which in his sight is very
precious, that they, in turn, may adorn his commandments. As a bride decks
herself with jewels, so the heavenly Father beautifies his children with
the robe of righteousness.

The life of a Christian is God's special treasure. "They shall be mine,"
says the Lord, "in that day when I make up my jewels," or "special
treasure" as rendered by the margin (see Mal. 3:17). By reading the
context we learn that it is those who fear the Lord that are his jewels.
To fear God and keep his commandments is man's whole duty. It is a perfect
life. Such a life is the Lord's jewel. Such a life is recorded in heaven.
Oh, how animating is such knowledge! How it strengthens our hearts to live
a righteous life. To live a life that is worthy to be recorded in heaven
and is a special treasure to God is truly wonderful. Our souls are awed by
such a thought. Oh, how it ought to move our hearts to carefulness in
life! How diligent we should be to walk as worthy citizens of our heavenly
state! Some day the Lord will come and gather up these holy lives and
place them in his heavenly courts above, where they shall shine as the
stars forever.

  Oh, take this life, this life of mine
  (To thee, O God, 'tis freely given),
  And polish it, that it may shine,
  And ornament thy Word divine.



THE CHRISTIAN AN EPISTLE OF CHRIST.


The life we live is being read. We are not going through the world
unnoticed. Some one is looking on, and some one is to some extent
fashioning his life after ours. Our life each day is being written down in
some one's memory. My own dear children group around me at times and talk
of their mother, who has gone to heaven. Her pure and holy life written in
their memory is read over and over to each other and to me. She still
lives as an epistle in their hearts. They read her daily life while she
was with them, and they continue to read it since she is gone. Christians
are said to be the epistle of Christ (2 Cor. 3:3). To read their life is
to read the life of Jesus. All the Bible that many will ever read is what
they read in the lives of Christians.

Life will be read just as it is, not as it may pretend to be. It is not
what we pretend to be, but what we really are, that will go down in the
memory of others. Those who read our lives have a way of reading between
the lines. We should strive not so much to make life holy as to be holy.
If you are holy, then live just what you are. We should never strive to be
what we are not. The only way whereby the Bible may be read in the life is
to get it in the heart. People will never read the Word of God in your
life simply because you have a neat little Testament in your pocket or a
large family Bible on your center table. The Bible can get into the life
only by beginning at the heart. There is power in the Word of God, but it
works from within. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." It will
transform the life so that the life will read just like the Holy
Scriptures.

The Word of God is a lamp to light us into a holy life. If we follow its
instructions in righteousness, it will make us perfect. It reveals our
imperfections and thus gives us an opportunity to make improvements. To
discover an imperfection in the life is not a bad thing, and we need not
think we are any the worse for the discovery. It is only when we let the
imperfection remain after it is revealed to us, that we become worse.

The heart that comes under the influence of the Bible will bear the image
of Jesus, but of this I shall have more to say elsewhere. So I conclude
here by saying, live upon the Word of God, desire the sincere milk of the
Word, and you will be an epistle of Christ. We should feel the
responsibility that is upon us, remembering that all the Bible some will
ever read is what they read in your life and mine. Oh! let us see that it
reads in our life as it does in the book, lest those who follow us will
not walk in the footprints of Jesus.



HOW WE MAY LIVE AS THE BIBLE READS.


It is just as natural and easy for a Christian to live the Christian life
as it is for a sinner to live a sinful life. The sinner needs make no
effort to live a sinful life; he lives it naturally and easily. Life
proceeds from the heart. The heart is the fountain, and the life is the
stream. As the fountain is, so the stream will be. It is not difficult to
live a Christian life when our hearts are pure. This is the secret of
purity of life.

The important question, then, is, "How can I have a pure heart?" Hearts
are made pure by the blood of Jesus. Then comes the command, "Keep thyself
pure." That the heart may be kept pure, it must be kept filled with that
which is pure. To keep darkness out of a room, we need only to keep it
filled with light. Carefully closing up every crevice will not suffice if
the light goes out. Darkness will be present. But simply keep the room
filled with light, and no effort is required to keep darkness out. In like
manner no effort need be made to keep impurity out of the heart and keep
the heart filled with that which is pure.

But what is pure? "The word of God is pure, as silver tried in a furnace
of fire, purified seven times." "Thy word is very pure; therefore thy
servant loveth it." "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly," and your
heart will be kept pure. The Psalm-writer said, "Thy word have I hid in my
heart, that I may not sin against thee." Here is the only way to a sinless
life. Keep the heart filled with the Word of God. It is the way to live as
the Bible reads. To have a nicely bound volume of the Scriptures lying on
the center table will not keep the life sinless. We must have the Word in
our heart. One night while I was waiting for a train in one of our large
Eastern cities, I went into a mission. A man arose and said he had read
the Bible through forty-two times and could quote whole books of it from
memory. Later in his talk he said he committed sin more or less every day.
The Word of God did not keep him from sinning, for he had it in his head
instead of in his heart.

To live a Bible life is the only true and right way to live, and in order
to live such a life, we need to have the Word written in the heart. "I
will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." Heb. 8:
10. Let us illustrate this by taking a single text: "Having food and
raiment let us be therewith content." When we have these words in the
heart, they will be true in the life. All fret and worry and murmurings
will be banished out of the life when the heart is full of the truth.



HOW TO KEEP THE WORD OF GOD IN THE HEART.


Since keeping the Word of God in the heart is the only way to successful
Christian living, you will at once want to know how to keep it in the
heart. The Word is kept in the heart the same as food is kept in the body.
The food is eaten, and then by the process of assimilation it becomes a
part of the body. This is something of a mystery; nevertheless we all know
it to be true. We feel weak in body, but soon after we partake of food, we
feel stronger. Somehow that food gets into the life and makes us stronger.
Now, "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth
out of the mouth of God." We can eat the Word of God, and we must
eat it in order to get it into our heart and life. By eating and the
process of assimilation the Word becomes a part of our inner being. We eat
it by faith, and the Spirit assimilates it into our hearts.

Let us take a text: "In honor preferring one another." It is blessed to
have an experience like this. To feel happy when others are honored and we
are not is certainly a desirable experience. We can have it. As you read
the above text, love it, admire it, desire it, ask for it, believe you
receive it,--and you have it. It will be a truth of beauty and of power in
your soul and life. But remember, you must have an eagerness for it. You
must lay hold upon it as the infant does upon the mother's breast. The
same is true with every text in the Bible. Eat the entire book, and thus
you will have it as a glorious source of power and purity in your life.



MAN THE VEHICLE FOR EXHIBITING GOD'S PERFECTIONS.


Man was created for a purpose, and that purpose was to glorify his Creator
(Isa. 43:7). But man sinned and came short of the glory of God. The Lord,
that he may yet be glorified in the man, provides a way of redemption.
Through the redemption we have in Christ we can live to the glory of God.
This is God's purpose. The whole of life should be such as will glorify
the Creator, and all that we do should be done with that end in view. God
help us. Living for God, honoring his Word, magnifying his name--this is
the duty of man. Awful responsibility! Oh, what carefulness it should work
in us. What vehement desire! what earnest seeking after God! that we may
live such a life.

Jesus was here in the world and was the light of the world. He had a human
body and in that body lived a life that glorified God. That was an
exemplary life. Such a life, and such a life only, is to the glory of God.
We must fashion our life after his if we would spend life as we should. To
know how Jesus lived is to know how we should live. Every life that is in
the likeness of Christ's life is accepted of God. No other life can be.
While Christ was here in the body, he was in the express image of the
Father. The true, holy character of God was revealed through Jesus' human
life to a lost and sinning world. God had done all he could to reveal his
true character to man by laws, ceremonies, and ordinances; but these were
only the shadow of the true life that was to be the light of the world.
Christ was both God and man. Having a physical form, which is visible, he
could set the holiness of God in plain view before the world. If you would
know the true life, look to Jesus.

But his life could be perfect only as it was given in sacrifice for man.
His life was holy because it was a life sacrificed to God. No life can be
possessed by God and used to his glory, that is not sacrificed to him.
Jesus gave himself as an offering and sacrifice to God for us (Eph. 5:2).
This left him without a body or human life through which to demonstrate
moral principle to the world. But now comes the command to man, "I beseech
you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service." Rom. 12:1. God would have this human life of ours
offered up in sacrifice, so that we are no more ours but his. When we do
so, there will be a change, a great and wonderful change. That life will
no longer be worldly or in the course of ordinary earthly-minded men. It
will be a transformed life, a life in which God can live and do his will.
Through the sacrifice of Christ, God will take the sacrificed life of man
and possess it by his Spirit and again demonstrate moral principle to the
world. O man, that is your calling in life. You are the vehicle to convey
the perfections of God to an unbelieving world. Only an empty vessel for
God to fill with himself and use to his glory.

O man, consider thyself, and know thyself, the purpose for which thou wert
created, and the place which thou dost occupy in creation. Thou art no
mean creature. Thou art highest of all. God condescends to walk and talk
with thee. He upholds thee in his hand. Angels minister to thee. When thou
passest through the waters, God himself will be with thee so that they
shall not overflow thee, and when thou walkest through the fire, he will
walk with thee so that the flame shall not kindle upon thee; because thou
art precious in his sight and honorable, and he has set his love upon
thee. Thou art so precious to him that he gave his only begotten Son to
die to ransom thee.

In the vast created universe, what place does man occupy? He stands out as
a creature that bears the stamp of the divine image, a creature that is
endowed with eternity. The heavens shall pass away, but man shall be
forever. He was made capable of holding communion with the Creator. He
occupies the relationship with God as child with parent. Being made in the
likeness of God, he steps out upon the stage of the mighty universe to
play the highest and noblest part in the entire drama of created
existences. The songs of the morning stars as they sing together, pouring
their anthems into the ears of God, are not such sweet music as is the
voice of praise and adoration from the holy soul of man.

Man was created for the very highest purpose in the mind of God. He is
chosen to represent the divine character. On the stage men and women
represent certain characters. Man upon the great stage of life is selected
to represent the holy character of God. Oh, that he might play his part
well! He who occupies the highest and most responsible part in this
wonderful play of the universe will sink to the lowest shame and disgrace
if he fails. The eyes of earth, heaven, and hell were turned upon man as
he stepped out to play his part. A garden eastward in Eden was selected as
the ground of exhibition. It was whispered throughout the corridors of the
universe, "Will he succeed? Will he play his part well?" Ah, the sad
story! He failed and he fell, bringing a world into shame and disgrace,
causing angels to weep and God to repent that he had ever made him.

But heaven's love was set upon him, and God sought a way whereby the
fallen man could be lifted from his low, degraded plane to the high
position he once occupied. After searching heaven through, God found but
one way for man's redemption, but one price to pay. Would he pay it? He
called his Son, his only Son, and pointed out to him the fallen condition
of man, and how He was robbed of glory and devils were rejoicing. The
Father said to his Son, "Only thy entering into that lower world in the
likeness of sinful flesh and suffering and dying can redeem man." The Son
replied, "I will go. I will suffer. I will lay down my life that man may
be restored to his former position, so that he can again take up the part
he was to play." The price was paid; the plan of man's redemption was
effected; the divine image was again stamped upon the man, so that in
Christ Jesus he could again come out and in his life's play reveal the
character of God to the world.

Reader, this brings us down to your day and mine. We have our part to play
in life. That part is to display the divine perfections. Through Christ
this is possible. Oh, what responsibility! Will we play our part well?
Again the eyes of earth, heaven, and hell are turned upon us. The apostle
says, "We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men."
1 Cor. 4:9. "Men" includes both good and bad; likewise the term "angels"
includes both good and bad angels. So, as I have said, earth, heaven, and
hell are spectators. To live life as it should be lived is to act out our
part upon the stage of life in such a way as to honor God and demonstrate
his character before this mighty host of spectators.

Such is man. Through him the righteous character of God is made visible to
the world. God himself is invisible; but since he comes into our heart and
life, and since our life is physical and visible, his holiness becomes
visible in our holy living. This is how to live. He who lives on a lower
plane than perfect holiness is not living to God's requirements.

God did not redeem man at such a great price merely for man's sake. He
redeemed him for his own glory. Redeemed man is God's purchased
possession, that 'he should show forth the virtues of him who hath called
him out of darkness into his marvelous light' (see marginal reading of 1
Pet. 2:9). Here again we learn that the mission of man is to show forth in
his daily life the true, holy virtues of his Maker and Redeemer. This
should be the first business of our life--living solely, purposely, and
earnestly for God. We are beings in whom God dwells and through whom God
is to display his own holy perfections. This is wonderful; this is
weighty. There is, I repeat, great responsibility on man. But unless he
feels it, he will never fill to the full the measure of life. Oh, how
delighted is the loving heart of God to find in this world a being in whom
he can dwell and through whom he can reveal his own beautiful life! Shall
we yield ourselves to him? Shall we invite him into our hearts? Shall we
consecrate our lives to him that he may hide our life in his life? Yes,
dear Lord, we are thine, wholly thine, now and forever. Take full
possession; live in us; reign in our hearts; use every faculty of our
beings to thy own glory. Thy will be done in us and with us as it is done
in heaven.

Jesus will gather his holy angels before him and address them thus: "Do
you behold Brother--? He is a pilgrim and stranger down there in the
earth. He is my child. I have washed him in my blood and clothed him with
the beautiful garments of salvation. His heart is pure and full of love.
He is dead to sin and the world. He loves my will, and his daily meat and
drink is to do it. He loves my Word and has hid it in his heart. He keeps
all my commandments. He seeks my glory. He often communes with me. He is
fervent in spirit and zealous in good works. His good deeds and prayers I
bottle up here in heaven, See that beautiful mansion yonder with its gates
of gold and walls of jasper, its floors of transparent glass, its
corridors of chalcedony, and colonades of topaz and beryl. That mansion is
to be his home when his pilgrimage in that under-world is done. By his
holy walk and devoted life he is now confessing me before men, and I take
great delight in telling you that he is my child and in confessing him
before you and my Father on his throne. Just as I have said in my Word, he
that will confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father and
the holy angels."

Redeemed man is a light in the world. In the darkness of this world he is
a dispeller of gloom. His life shines, shedding its peaceful rays of light
wherever he goes.

Man's life, when meeting the fullest purpose of God, is used as a
magnifying-glass through which others may look and see the beauties of
divine perfections. Alas! it is to be lamented that the life of many who
profess to be followers of Jesus is such that it blurs the perfections of
God.

In concluding this chapter, let me give you a few rules for daily living--
rules which, if followed, will make your life a conveyancer of light,
peace, and holiness from God to the world.

Live such a life that the pure and devoted will be pleased to have you
come again.

Live so near to God that every man that meets you is made a little better
by having met you.

Live such a life each day that the world can see in you the true way of
life.

Be such a light that others can see the way to walk.



SOME USE TO JESUS.


  O Christ, the way, the truth, the life,
  Keep me safe mid the raging strife;
  Help me a warrior brave to be
  And take the battle-field for thee.

  I fear not the swift arrow's power
  Since thou art my high, strong-built tower;
  The darts may have a bitter sting,
  I shelter 'neath thy feathery wing.

  Before me the Goliaths tall
  Must quickly flee or headlong fall;
  The foe is bruised beneath my feet;
  In thee the victory is complete.

  Jesus, to thee I give up all,
  To live or die, to stand or fall.
  The sparrows have thy kindly care;
  I'm more than they, then need I fear?

  I have a refuge from all harm
  Within thy strong encircling arm;
  Thou keepest me by day and night,
  And guidest my weak steps aright.

  The hairs on my unworthy head
  Are numbered all, thy Book has said.
  Gathered, like the defenseless brood,
  My soul is kept in quietude.

  As kind and loving parents would
  Give to their children all things good,
  So from thy presence angels bring
  Unto thy child each needful thing.

  Sometimes thou hidest thy sweet face;
  The way is dark, I can not trace.
  Thou doest best; I'll not repine,
  But say, "Thy will be done, not mine."

  Since them art good, so good, to me,
  I beg to be some use to thee:
  Intensify thy love divine
  Within my heart, that I may shine

  A little brighter, Lord, for thee,
  That others thy great love may see.
  Oh, crucified let all self be,
  That thou mayst shine thy light through me.

  I would not be so dazzling bright
  That all the world might see my light,
  But in some quiet nook of thine,
  An out-of-way place, there I'd shine.

  'Tis not for me to shine afar,
  Like blazing sun or brilliant star;
  Just help me at my door to be
  A little candle-light for thee.



GODLY LIVING.


When some one is spoken of as living a worldly life, it is meant that he
lives in a worldly manner, or in a manner like the world. Likewise, when
some one is spoken of as living a godly life, it is meant that he lives in
a godly manner, or in a manner like God. To many this is a hard saying,
but it is possible for man to live just such a life; in fact, it is the
only right way of life. A godly life is the only true life. Such a life is
demanded by the Scriptures. We are to live "soberly, righteously, and
godly in this present world" (Tit.2:12).

God's dear children are told to be "followers of him" (Eph. 5:1). In some
translations this reads, "Be ye imitators of God," and in some others, "Be
ye mimickers of God." From this we understand that to be a follower of God
is to live or act in a manner like him. Again, it is said of those who
abide in Christ, that they should walk even as he walked. Our manner of
life should be as was the life of Jesus. It is said of Christ that "when
he was reviled, he reviled not again." Although he was treated most
shamefully by his enemies, he did not seek to avenge himself. When
insulting remarks were made to him, he gave no reply. To live a godly life
is to live in the same manner. When Christians are reviled, they bless;
when they are persecuted, they suffer meekly and patiently. When Jesus was
being put to death by his enemies, he prayed the Father to forgive them.
When a man who had come to take Jesus had his ear cut off, Jesus in his
tender compassion healed this bitter persecutor's wound. This is the true
spirit of godliness.

The full standard of godliness is attained to only when the whole tenor of
the life is in simplicity and godly sincerity. The apostle Paul said in
testimony that his rejoicing was this: the testimony of his conscience
that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the
grace of God, he had had his conduct in the world. A godly life is wholly
free from ostentation; every act is done in purest simplicity and truest
sincerity. As God scrutinizes every act by his all-seeing eye, he
discovers no impure motive, as vain-glory or lifting up of self; for all
is in godly sincerity.

The grace of godliness in the Christian character is capable of
cultivation and increase. There is a law in both the material and
spiritual that exercise is conducive to growth. The Spirit-filled apostle
said, "Exercise thyself unto godliness." In the Emphatic this reads,
"Train thyself for piety." Here is something for every soul that has any
aspiration to be more godly in life. Train yourself for piety. To become
of deeper piety and more godly is the joy of the Christian heart. By
training we become more pious. The lawn-tender forms an espalier by
intertwining the branches of the vine. He keeps intertwining them as they
grow, and by such training forms a latticework made of shrubbery. The soul
intertwined with the meek and lowly life of Jesus will form a character of
deep piety and sincere godliness. The daily life should be intertwined
with the life of Jesus. Let there be no reaching out for anything outside
of him. For a proper development of the Christian graces there must be a
constant training or intertwining of the soul with God. This linking more
tightly is the result of growth, and growth is produced by exercise, and
exercise consists in reading the Scriptures, in prayer, and in deep
thought or heart-communion with God. The athlete takes such exercises and
eats such foods as will most properly develop and strengthen his muscles.
The soul that has any longings for more of God must exercise to have its
yearnings gratified. To be conscious of a growing up into Christ, to feel
the soul intertwining more and more with the life of God, is fulness of
joy and perfect happiness. Christian reader, is there an ardent flame of
pure love in your heart? Do you walk with Jesus in a devout, trustful,
reverential spirit? Do you oftentimes find your mind contemplating the
wonders of creation and the glories of salvation? Is your soul habituated
to breathe in the atmosphere of heaven deeply? Is that holy awe filling
you? Is that tender sensibility of spiritual things filling your heart? Is
that fine, keen edge upon your soul that gives such avidity for holy
things? Is to become more godly a sincere desire of your heart? Then
diligently perform all the duties that belong to a godly life. Some give
great diligence for a time and make spiritual gain and then lose it all in
a day of slackness. But do not slack, be constant, be persevering, be
encouraged, reach forth, press forward,--and the prize of meekness, peace,
and godliness will crown your life.



SOMETHING TO DO.


There is so much to do that every one is needed to help in doing it. In
this great, busy world of life there is something for every one to do. The
command is, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
Think over these words for a moment. Does not your heart feel that they
imply great earnestness in life? They mean a life of labor--a life of
service. "Do with your might" implies putting your whole heart into your
work. Do it in just such a manner as shows you expect to make a success of
it.

God has a work for every one that comes into the world. This world is
going to be made a little better by your having come into it, or it will
be made worse. Which shall it be? No one can do the work of another, since
every one is given all he can do. It is true we are told to bear one
another's burdens. I am to help you bear your burdens; that is a part of
my work. You are to help me. We need the help of each other. But I can not
do what you ought to do; for I have all I can do. What you neglect to do
will have to go undone. If some one stops to do what you ought to do, just
as large a rent is made in his life's work as would have been made in
yours, but the reflection is on you.

A father who had five sons left them a certain work to do. He gave to each
his portion according to his ability. Upon his return he found that four
of them had done their part and done it well, but one had only partially
done his. Consequently, there was a neglected spot--a dropped stitch--
which constantly showed itself. If we fail to do the work in life that God
in his wisdom has assigned us, there will be in the Father's great plan a
blank space, a neglected part, that will show through all eternity. Is
your life or mine going to be the dropped stitch in the great web of human
life? Down in our heart there is a No for an answer, is there not?

Let not the precious moments of your life flee away unimproved. Jesus is
our example. He went about doing good. Everywhere he went, he left
evidences that he had passed along that way. O pilgrim on life's journey,
what are you leaving along the way to show in after-years that you have
passed along? Is it flowers you are strewing? Is it sunshine to cheer and
lighten the hearts of others? Sad indeed if there is none to say, "He did
me good."

It matters not how small may be the part of his great work the Father has
assigned you, do that little and do it well and do it with all the
earnestness of your heart. It is your part, and you should do it with as
much earnestness and interest as those who are engaged in the greater
works do their parts. If your part is not done well, there will not be
completeness in the divine plan. A single stitch dropped shows a blemish
in the garment. In the sight of God the most menial task is as sacred as
that of the highest order, and when well done as greatly meets his
approval.

That is a beautiful thought expressed by the Mohammed Bible. It tells of
Gabriel's being sent to earth to do two things. One was to keep King
Solomon from becoming so much engaged with the affairs of his kingdom as
to neglect the hour of prayer. The other was to give assistance to a
little ant that was trying to bear its load of food up a hillside. To
Gabriel the one duty was as important as the other because both came in
the plan of God. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy
might." Think these words over again. Let them have the full force of
meaning to your heart. Take as much interest in helping the little child
get the tangle out of the string as in building a church edifice.

Many are working, but alas! how few are doing their best! So much time and
labor are being wasted; so many things are being done that had as well not
be done. God wants not only our service but our best service. We are under
obligation to do our best every day. If we let a day pass by without doing
what we could and in the best way we could, our work is not perfectly
done.

God pours his blessings out upon us, but the blessing is not to end with
itself. Remember these words: "Freely ye have received, freely give." Seek
to be blessed of God, that you may pass the blessing on to others. Leave
some footprints here upon the sands of time, so that in after-years they
may guide some one to a noble deed and better way. When you reach the end
of life, you can experience no greater consolation than to know you have
done what you could. Improve the moments of time while you have them. They
are passing swiftly. They will not wait for you. Some people are going to
do, but behold, the opportunity passes before they are ready.
Opportunities do not wait. Do good while you may. You are going to give
the flower tomorrow, but tomorrow the flower may have faded. You intended
to speak a kind word yesterday, but thought you would defer until another
day. But the strain was so great the life went out, and your kind word
came too late. Today is the day to save the lost. Tomorrow may be too
late. How sad that a soul through all eternity will be crying out, "You
were going to help me, but you came too late." O God! help us to be up and
doing while it is called today. What work you are going to do, do it now
as the poet urges in the following beautiful lines:

  "Let's not be living in the past,
   On what we have been doing,
  Nor building castles in the air
   And after them pursuing.
  'Work in my vineyard, go today':
   The Master's time is narrow
  For yesterday we'll see no more--
   We may not see tomorrow.

  "If for discouragements you look,
   You certainly shall find them,
  But they are not discouragements
   Except to those who mind them.
  The future for itself will care,
   We'll not its trouble borrow;
  Sufficient evil is today,
   Then think not of the morrow.

  "Let's cast our bread upon the flood,
   In many days to gather,
  But then at eve hold out the hand
   For present blessings rather.
  We hide the seed deep in the ground
   And watch the closing furrow,
  When, lo! the field's already white,
   Not waiting for the morrow.

  "The sower and the reaper both
   May now rejoice together,
  For what they sow and gather in
   Is fruit that lives forever.
  The saint rejoices evermore,
   E'en in the midst of sorrow;
  He knows the weeping's but a night,
   Joy cometh on the morrow."

Man was made to labor. He is so constituted that he can not find true rest
and enjoyment in idleness. How much the Bible says about good works! We
are "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them." Jesus purifies unto "himself a
peculiar people, zealous of good works." We are told by the scriptures to
"be careful to maintain good works" to "be not weary in well-doing," and
to "do good unto all men." Time is given us to spend in usefulness, not in
idleness. Money lost may be regained, but a moment never.

As Christians we have the mind of Jesus. With such a mind we can not be
contented unless we are doing the will of God and making the proper use of
the moments he gives us. Mind is the same quality whether it be in Jesus,
in angels, or in men, and it is governed by the same laws. It is true that
after man's transgression he was told that in the sweat of his face he
should eat bread, but this does not imply that the disposition to labor is
a result of the fall. The disposition to labor that we find in man's
constitution is not the fruit of corruption in his nature, but is a part
of his original constitution. We find this disposition in the mind of
angels. They are ministering spirits. They are doing the will of God. How
often we read in the Book that tells of heaven how angels have visited
this transitory world of ours on errands of help, mercy, and consolation.
They have closed the mouths of lions, opened prison doors, stilled the
waves, whispered comforting words, rolled away the stone, and ministered
strength and help to the needy.

Man is not designed for prayer and praise only; he is designed for service
as well. His mission is twofold: he is to adore and praise his Creator and
to serve his fellow men. Some have symbolized the two functions of man's
life by the ascending and descending of the angels on the ladder that
Jacob saw in his dream. They ascended to God and descended to man. Life
should be spent in praising God and in serving man for God's sake.

There is something to do. There is much to do. There is too much to do for
us to idle away one moment of time. A full and well-spent life is one
which is spent in doing good out of pure love to God and man. When we
shall have come down to the end of life's journey, how sweet it will be to
know that we have done all we could to help other pilgrims make their
journey in safety! There is a reward for every generous act. Heaven is
faithful and will repay. What we do here will find an eternity of reward.
Let not, therefore, one day pass you by without your doing something
purposely for God.



SPIRITUAL DRYNESS.


We often meet with those who complain of dryness and deadness in their
worship. They are very unlike the Psalmist's picture of the "blessed man."
"He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth
forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither." This is a
true picture of the Christian life. The soul should be as a watered
garden--fresh and green and sparkling. It should be a springtime. You have
seen a garden in the spring or one that is well-watered. All is beauty,
freshness, and vigor. Such a garden is used by the prophet to symbolize
the Spirit-filled soul. He says, "And the Lord shall guide thee
continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and
thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose
waters fail not." Isa. 58:11.

In order to have such a happy experience, however, the children of God
must meet certain conditions. The context says, "If thou draw out thy soul
to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul." If our souls are not drawn
out in pity for the hungry and we fail to do what we can to relieve them,
we need not expect anything other than a spiritual drought in our own
cases.

Spiritual dryness is sometimes the result of attachment to the world. "Set
your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth." Unless
we live by the Bible, we can not be spiritual. A little affection for the
things of earth robs the soul of spiritual life. In this matter Satan is
an excellent reasoner. He will suggest that your desires are only for the
glory of God; that you have no affection for the worldly object, but
desire it only for God's glory. A young lady to whom I gave warning said
that her desires were pure and that she had no affection for the object,
but sought only to please the Lord. Very soon, however, she came to the
realization that her soul was a desert place, and all because she had
believed the falsehood of Satan. Beware how you desire earthly things for
God's glory. Underneath may be a desire for self-gratification, ease, or
luxury. If you are troubled by a lack of sensible devotion in worship,
examine your affections. Possibly you may find some tiny roots twining
around something of this world.

Spiritual dryness may be the result of sloth. "Slothfulness casteth into a
deep sleep." Prov. 19:15. Spiritual idleness soon results in spiritual
dryness. That sophism of Satan's, "No time for prayer," is very dangerous.
Any neglect of spiritual devotion must result in lukewarmness. Oh, how
unreasonable is man and how easily the desires of the flesh deceive! If
you neglected to water your garden, you would not wonder for a moment why
it was drying up. Then, when you are neglecting to water the soul in
vigorous, spiritual exercises, why do you wonder at your being so
spiritually dull? "Awake, thou that sleepest!" Up and away to the hill of
the Lord. Be the frequent witness of a sunrise scene from the mount of
prayer.

The San Jose scale works imperceptibly at first. Oftentimes its presence
will be detected only by the experienced. Its presence will perhaps be
known first by the fruit. If your spiritual fruit is not as beautiful,
well-flavored, and fully developed as it should be, look for the presence
of sloth in the soul. The poison of sloth will get into the soul little by
little. First there will be a momentary delay of spiritual duties. Satan
is too wise to suggest an entire abandonment of them, but he will suggest
a little postponement. One delay will soon be followed by another and then
by another. These delays are an opiate that dulls the spiritual senses,
and thus they will yield more readily to postponements and finally find
pleasure in them.

Let me make this still more simple, for some may need it made very easy to
understand. When the soul is like a watered garden, it will be drawn to
God in prayer in the early morning. Any delay will cause uneasiness and
restlessness. The soul longs to hasten away to the presence of God. But
one little delay after another brings on a morbid condition. The soul
loses its keen relish; its senses become deadened, so that there is no
uneasiness; while the senses of the self-life will find pleasure in sloth.

When the soul once gets into the habit of idleness, it experiences no
little difficulty in getting out. On becoming aware of his state, the
individual may acknowledge his inactivity and make half-formed resolves to
be more earnest and diligent, only very soon to relapse into the same
former sluggishness. This virus of sloth inoculates the entire spiritual
being, poisoning the will and making spiritual activity most disagreeable.
Not only does it destroy the will of the soul, but it blindfolds the eyes
so that the individual can see no necessity for great fervency in spirit
or for diligence in spiritual exercise. In a half-dazed manner he
acknowledges that the "watchings often" and "fastings often" and "praying
always" of the apostle Paul were very consistent in him, but does not
realize that such would be as desirable in his own Christian profession.
He wonders why he is not healed as people were in the days of Paul. Why
wonder? He does not wonder why the flowers wither when it does not rain.
It is the fervent, earnest prayer that God hears.

Nothing but the greatest diligence and determination and strong laying
hold upon God will ever put spiritual sloth to death. In this respect it
is like the South American animal called the sloth. Though one species of
the sloth is only the size of a cat, and is extremely slow on the ground,
its highest rate of speed there being not more than ten feet an hour, yet
it is difficult to exterminate.

One reason why so many are slothful is that they do not realize the true
worth of prayer. Oh, I would to God that men rightly valued communion with
God or a few thoughts of him! The lifting of the heart to God in praise or
adoration is of greater value than the wealth of worlds. It is not enough
to know much about the doctrine of the Bible, to be acquainted with this
present reform, and to live a fair outward life; we must be filled with
the Spirit. We must be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, whose
leaf does not wither. Take plenty of time to gain heaven. Take time to be
spiritual. A home in heaven is worth laboring for. Work out your salvation
with fear and trembling. Spiritual dryness is the result of spiritual
indolence. Be active, and you will not be unfruitful.



PRAYER.


A work of this nature would be inexcusable for not saying something about
prayer, for who can live life triumphantly without prayer? Who can
properly estimate the true worth of prayer or rightly appreciate the
privilege of prayer? Man esteems it a great honor to be admitted into the
courts of the lords and kings of earth. What an honor it is to have
audience with the King of glory! He extends the golden scepter to us, and
we come hopefully, confidingly into his presence to tell him all that is
in our hearts. He loves us so. We should not dare to come into the awful
presence of the Great King did we not know that he loves us with an
everlasting love. When we understand his love toward us, we tell him with
joy and eagerness every desire of the heart.

Prayer is the energy and life of the soul. It is the invincible armor
which shields the devoted Christian from the poisoned missiles shot forth
from the batteries of hell. It is the mighty weapon with which he fights
life's battles unto victory. He who lives in prayer reigns triumphant. The
dark storm-clouds are driven away, mountains of discouragement are cast
into the sea, chasms of difficulties are bridged, hope is given wings,
faith increases, and joys abound. Hell may rage and threaten; but he who
is frequent and fervent in prayer experiences no alarm.

By prayer the windows of heaven are opened, and showers of refreshing dew
are rained upon the soul. It is as a watered garden, a fertile spot where
blooms the unfading rose of Sharon and the lily-of-the-valley; where
spread the undecaying, unwithering branches of the tree of life. By prayer
the soul is nourished and strengthened by the divine life. Do you long for
a brighter hope and deeper joy, for a deeper sense of the divine fulness,
for a sweeter, closer walk with God? then live in prayer. Do you love to
feel the holy flame of love burning in all its intensity in your soul?
then enkindle it often at the golden altar of prayer. Without prayer the
soul will weaken, famish, and die, the fountain of love dry up and become
as a thirsty and parched desert. Do you admire the character Jesus? Behold
his lowliness and humility, his gentleness and tender compassion. Have
they any beauty and do you desire them to grace your soul? then draw them
down from the skies in all their glorious fulness by the fervent prayer of
faith. As through the process of assimilation food is transformed into an
active, living being, so through the medium of prayer the character Jesus,
in all its transcendent beauty and glory, becomes the character of man.

If you desire victory during the day, begin it with prayer--not a few
hurried words, not a few ejaculations, but minutes of deep, intimate
communion with God. Linger at the altar of prayer until you feel particles
of glory drop in richness into your soul, scattering sweetness throughout.
In the early morning hours, when the still, balmy breath of nature plays
around you, let your soul fly away on the wings of prayer with its message
of love and praise to its Maker.

  "Sweet morning is the time to pray:
  How lovely and how sweet
  To send our early thoughts away
  Up to the mercy-seat!"

If you desire to be more deeply and sincerely pious, pray. If you desire
heights in his love, depths in his grace, fulness in his joy, and richness
in his glory, pray, pray with all sincerity of heart and intensity of
soul. Did you say you had no time for prayer? What a pity! Your happiness
and success in life depend upon prayer. Your eternal enjoyment depends
upon it. Then, oh, what a pity that you have no time for prayer! Satan
will tell you there is no need of so much praying. He will give you
indifferent feelings if he can, and tell you that you can get along well
enough without it. He will do all he possibly can to prevent your praying.
If there is not much benefit derived from prayer, why is he so concerned?
The Bible commands are: "Watch and pray," "Pray always," "Be instant in
prayer," "Pray without ceasing," etc. Beloved saints, I exhort you to a
life of prayer. I beseech you in Jesus' name to go often into your closets
and there in all earnestness of soul pray until the love of God and light
of heaven fill your beings. Pray until a rapture from the skies sweeps
over your soul, making the place of prayer the dearest spot on earth to
you.



KEEP THE ROOTS WATERED.


How often you admire a tree for the loveliness of its green foliage and
the profusion of its luscious fruit. You speak to your friend of the
beauty of the tree and of the goodness of God in bestowing such a gift to
men; but perhaps you do not speak nor even think of the coarse, unsightly
roots hidden deep in the ground. But that tree owes its beauty and its
life to roots. The foliage is bright and fresh and green because the roots
are burrowing deep in a rich and well-watered soil. The flavoring of the
fruit is generated by the roots down in the dark and silent chamber of the
earth.

Perhaps there comes to your mind now some whose faces you always see lit
up with a radiant glory. You can not fail to admire them. Their words
contain a secret power and seem to awaken in you all that is noble. They
seem to lift you into a higher life. From their words, their actions, and
their countenances flows an influence that causes you to forget the things
of earth and makes you feel as if you had joined the society of angels.
Such ones have a secret hidden root-life that generates this peculiar
charm in their visible life. Down in a closet is a secret laboratory where
the fragrance and beauty and glory that flow out of their lives are
compounded. There the roots of their inner life take hold upon the riches
of heaven's grace and drink in of the waters that flow. In their oft and
silent communion with God they take root downward, and then they go forth
into life and bear fruit upward. While others are talking with their
friends about the things of earth, they meet with God in the garden of
graces, where the sweet spices flow out and the frankincense and myrrh
scent the air, and there they become laden with a profusion of fruits and
impregnated with a sweet odor, which they bear out into the world. They
are like the tree planted by the rivers of water, whose leaf does not
wither.

O beloved pilgrim, see that the roots of your inner being are well
watered. Let them drink in the sparkling waters of life. Remember,
effectual work for God consists more in being than in doing. Do not go
about in your labor with an empty basket. It is only when you go out from
deep and silent communion with God that your labor will be effectual.
Never think that you have so much to do that you have not much time for
prayer. An hour's work done in the quiet, secret power of the Spirit is
worth more than a day of your own efforts. Keep the roots watered.



UNDER THE FIG-TREE.


In the beginning of his ministry Christ called to Philip to follow him.
Upon being called Philip went in search of Nathanael to tell him that he
(Philip) had found the Christ. Nathanael was somewhat doubtful, but at
Philip's invitation he went to see. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he
said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael,
wondering how this man happened to know him, asked, "Whence knowest thou
me?" Jesus answered, "When thou wast under the fig-tree I saw thee." John
1:48.

It is evident that something had occurred with Nathanael under the fig
-tree outside the common details of every-day life. If there had not
something rather unusual or something higher than the common events of
life occurred there, the Savior would not have mentioned this one
particular place. Any other place would have done as well. There was in
this answer something that was highly significant to Nathanael. At this
time there were many devout people looking for the "consolation of
Israel." They were looking for the coming of the King of the Jews. It is
not difficult for me to believe that Nathanael was under the fig-tree
praying to God for the speedy coming of the Messiah. When Jesus said to
him, "When thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee," Nathanael
immediately replied, "Thou art the King of Israel." He was doubtless under
the tree in prayer to this end not once only, but very probably for months
and maybe for years. He had been praying for this very thing. He had
selected one especial fig-tree as a place for prayer. It was not a
fig-tree, but the fig-tree. There he had prayed long and often for
Israel's King to come. So when Jesus said, "When thou wast under the fig
-tree, I saw thee," he knew at once that his oft-repeated prayers were
answered, and therefore said, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art
the King of Israel."

Many a devout one since that day has had his secret communion-place with
God. Perhaps it was in the woods on a mossy knoll, under an oak, on a
grassy spot on the bank of a stream, or under a shade-tree that grew by
the brook in the meadow. To these places of solemn silence they would
retreat when the shades of night were falling or when the light of the
morning was streaking the sky, and there from the fulness of their souls
they would pour out their praise and thanksgiving to God. These were the
dearest places in the world to them. It may be there are aged ones today
who had such places in the earlier days of their lives. Though they are
now far removed from those scenes, these are still sacred in their memory.

There are those today who have their altars of prayer in some secluded
place. There they meet God and tell him all their sorrows and cares, there
they recount to him his loving kindness, there they implore his grace to
sustain them through all their trying scenes of life, and there they
worship at his feet. Bless his name! Beloved, have you a "fig-tree"? and
are you often found under it? Have you a quiet nook somewhere which is
hallowed by the presence of God?

The beloved disciple John, when in the Spirit, saw golden vials in the
hands of the worshipers of the Lamb around the throne. These golden vials,
he says, were "full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev.
5: 8). Are you, dear reader, every day filling golden vials around God's
throne with the sweet odor of prayer? Again, this disciple, when the
seventh seal was opened, saw seven angels standing before God with seven
trumpets. Then came another angel, with a golden censer. To him was given
incense, which he offered with the prayers of saints upon the golden
altar, and the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of saints
ascended before God. (See Rev. 8:3, 4.) We have the privilege of mingling
our prayers with the incense that is being offered before the throne.

The Psalmist seemed to comprehend something of the nature of prayer when
he said, "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense, and the
lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." Psa. 141:2. The prayers
that were offered by the devout Cornelius were so fragrant before God that
they were kept as a memorial of him. A memorial is something kept in
remembrance of any one. If you want to be kept in remembrance before God,
see that your prayers are highly impregnated with a sweet odor. You must
pray or die. No one can retain spiritual life any great length of time
without prayer. So we exhort you to a life of prayer.



SHUT THE DOOR.


It is as impossible to live and prosper spiritually without prayer as it
is to live and prosper physically without food. Those who enjoy a close
walk with God and have power with him are those who pray. Natural
abilities and intellectuality can never supply any lack in spirituality.
Unless you are spiritual, you are of but little use to God; and to be
spiritual, you must live much in prayer. It is not those who are on their
knees the oftenest or the longest that do the most praying. Some may pray
more real prayer in one hour than others in two or three hours. Too many
people leave the door open. Prayer that feeds the soul must be offered
with the door shut. "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,
and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret."
Matt. 6:6.

God is in secret. He is hidden from the world. The world does not see him,
neither knows him. You can never reach God in your prayers unless you shut
out the world. Shutting the door means something more than closing the
door of your literal closet. Persons may enter the literal closet and
close the door, and yet have the world in their hearts and thoughts. Such
have not closed the door in the true sense.

In the public assembly you must enter your closet when you pray, and shut
the door, or your prayers avail not with God. You must talk from your
heart to the heart of God. Those assembled may hear your words, but they
do not know the secret. The secret is between your heart and the heart of
God. You scarcely hear your words. You know and hear more of the speaking
of your heart. There is a blessing in such praying; there is a joy that
can not be told. Such prayer feeds the soul upon the divine life and lifts
us in realms of light and happiness. Thank God for the sweet privilege of
secret intercourse with him. O beloved, when you pray, enter into your
closet, and be sure to close the door.



ALONE WITH GOD.


This life of ours will never be all that it should be unless we are much
alone with God. Only those who are oft alone with him know the benefit
that is derived therefrom. You can not be like God unless you are much
with him, and you can not live like him unless you are like him. The
Scriptures tell us that Jesus departed into the mountain to be alone with
the Father and that he was often "alone praying." When Jesus had anything
of great importance to say to his disciples, he always took them aside
from the multitude. When he was transfigured, he took three of his
disciples into a mountain apart from all the world. When he was one time
alone praying with his disciples, he asked them who he was. Peter
answered, "The Christ of God" (Luke 9:18). It was only when he was alone
with them and after prayer that he could bring them into such nearness to
him that they might know in their hearts that he was the Son of God. When
amid the active duties of life and when in contact with the world, we can
scarcely come into that sacred nearness to God that will enable us to feel
in our hearts all that God is. We may get slight glimpses of his glory, we
may occasionally get a dim view of some of his beauty, we may feel a
little warming of his love in our bosoms; but only when alone with him are
we awed into wonder at the sight of his glory and great beauty. It is only
then that we see him in his purity and feel the warm sunshine of his love.
It is only then that our hearts can be deeply impressed with the knowledge
that he is God, and in childlikeness we can look up to him and call him
Father.



PRAYERFUL REMEMBRANCE.


  At evening time when dark'ning shades draw nigh
  And flickering rays of light go chasing by,
  When all around glad nature sweetly sings
  And seems you hear the sound of angel's wings,
  Some one in memory may be brought to thee.

  Maybe some one from distant land away,
  Of whom you had no thought for many a day.
  'Tis passing strange; you do not understand
  Why such a one and from such distant land
  Should step across the threshold of your mind,
  Why he to you at this time should be brought.
  'Tis mystery when all else claims your thought;
  You seek to understand, but learn it not.

  Maybe this one has conflict great and sore,
  Is struggling long and hard 'gainst grim despair,
  And God who rules the thought and mind of man
  Has brought him this long way to you for prayer.
  Then do not drive these whisperings from your mind
  Nor cast them carelessly upon the wind:
  'Tis but the voice of God, in tender care
  For suffering one on life's broad way somewhere,
  Inviting you to plead for him in prayer.

  Kind friend, if at morning, noon, or night
  I come to thee on wings of memory,
  It is no doubt because the fight is fierce;
  Then will you bow and pray to God for me?



HE CARETH FOR THEE.


Life will never be successful unless we learn to let God care for us.
Unless we have faith to know that God is our keeper and that hence we have
nothing to fear, we shall never be the cheer and sunlight in this dark
world that God designed us to be. This is a world of trouble. Sin envelops
many souls in awful midnight gloom. Some may never find Jesus unless they
see him smiling in your face. You as God's dear child are to be a light to
those poor, benighted souls. To be such a light, you must be full of
light, and to be full of light you must be full of hope by faith in the
cheering and encouraging promises of God. None can be truly happy, none
can be the cheer, comfort, and consolation to the world, who are bearing
their own burdens. Only those who have learned the sweet lesson of trust
in God and know that he cares for them are truly happy and free and
capable of cheering others.

  He who this one short life would live
  As heaven has designed
  Must scatter rays of cheering light
  From a heart with Hope enshrined.

There are many priceless promises in the Word of God. There is a promise
for every need, condition, and circumstance of life. Among these blessed
promises, here is one that has brought comfort to many a weary pilgrim on
life's way: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1
Pet. 5:7. If this promise does not lift you far above all the trials,
discouragements, and weariness of life, it is because you do not believe
it nor understand the fulness of its meaning. "He careth for you."
It is not your neighbor or your friend, but it is you. Cares will come to
you, certainly; you could never cast your cares upon God if you had none.
But you have them and doubtless many of them. The difficulty with many is,
they do not cast them on God. Reader, your life will never be, it can not
be, that free, happy, radiant, sunlit, helpful life that pleases God, if
you bear your own cares.

There is nothing too trivial in life to take to God. In the very smallest
concerns of your daily life he has an interest. In everything let your
requests be known unto him. Do learn to take everything to him. Fret over
nothing, never worry for a moment. Let nothing disturb or disquiet you. I
say nothing. "He careth for you." Do you comprehend the full
meaning of these words? Think them over for a moment. Let go of yourself
and let God keep you. Oh, the freedom that belongs to the children of God!
Theirs is a sweet land of liberty. But alas! how many will go on bearing
their own burdens and weighted down with care with these words right
before them: "He careth for you"! Why not let him?

Care is a grace-destroyer. If you would be strong in the grace of God, you
must live free from care. It gnaws at the very vitals of the soul. A
strong cable made of many fine wires was stretched across the river and
was used to tow a heavy scow back and forth. One of the small strands was
broken. This was thought to be a small matter. Soon another was broken and
then another. Still this was not of much consequence. One by one more were
broken but unheeded because each was so small. Finally all were broken,
and the boat went adrift. A little care does not seem to be of much
consequence. But the Bible says to be "careful for nothing," and to
"cast all your care upon him."

Some have thought that the bearing of burdens and cares made us strong in
the Lord. No, it is the casting of them on Jesus that makes us strong. For
a man to be down under a heavy weight is no exercise to his muscles; but
to be up on his feet and passing heavy weights on to another, this is
exercise. To be down under burdens and cares is no exercise to the soul,
but is really death; the passing of the cares on to Jesus is the exercise
and the strength of the spiritual powers. If you only knew how much grace
a little care destroyed, you would quickly cast them on Jesus. Some have
come to find themselves entirely without grace because they did not cast
their cares on the Lord. We knew a sister whose baby was such a care that
she could not keep saved. One day when asked how she was getting along in
the Lord, she answered, "Not well; the baby is such a care and worry that
I can not keep the victory I should like to have." Was it not too bad to
lay such a blame upon a poor little innocent child? I was asked one time
if it was possible to reach an experience where we would never fret or
worry. Certainly we can. We shall never get to a place where we shall have
no temptations, but we can get to a place where we shall not yield to the
temptations. Your life has not reached that degree of perfection that it
should, until you have attained to such an experience. Jesus says, "Take
no thought for the morrow." When you are having any great anxieties about
future things, you are doing what Jesus tells you not to do, and you can
not do something he tells you not to do without suffering spiritual loss.
Oh! why will you worry about anything, when Jesus says, "Be anxious for
nothing." "But," you say, "when there is no meat in the larder and no
flour in the bin, can we then be not anxious?" There are those who have
been in just such circumstances and yet have not been greatly troubled.

If you will be over-anxious about anything, you can never live close to
God. When anxieties knock at the door of your heart for admittance and you
open the door and let them in, you are opening the door to a dangerous
band of robbers. They are robbers of grace and peace. When anxieties step
over the threshold of your heart's door, grace and peace fly out of the
window. "But what am I to do?" sighs a care-worn soul. Do just what a good
man says he did. He said that he opened his heart to Jesus, and he came in
and shut the door. Let Jesus keep the door of your heart. When anxieties
come and want into your heart, tell them they must get permission from
Jesus, because you have given your whole heart up to him. This is what is
meant by "casting your care upon him." It is not enough to kneel down and
ask Jesus to take them; you must cast them upon him. In this is the soul's
needed exercise. The soul that will do this shall be strong. You must put
the burden over on the Lord's shoulders and let him bear it. He will bear
all your burdens for you if you will lay them upon him.

Not only must you put them upon him, but you must let go entirely. You do
not even need to look after them to see what he does with them. Your
little child comes to you with a tangled cord. It gives it over into your
hands, but holds to one end. Now, you know that in order to get the tangle
out, you must have both ends. O weary one, Jesus will disentangle all the
cares of life, but you must let him have both ends. He does not want your
help. You hinder him if you attempt to help him. Cares will come; things
that are of a trying nature will assail us as long as we live; but we have
a refuge in Jesus; he will bear our burdens; he will care for us.



"CONSIDER THE LILIES."


What a beautiful lesson Jesus has taught us of rest and quietness from the
lilies! "Consider the lilies of the field," he says, "how they grow: they
toil not, neither do they spin." He is trying to teach us how free we can
be--free from all earthly cares and anxieties. The lily does not struggle;
it has no anxieties about its future; but it grows. It grows to be
beautiful. Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them.
God paints the flower with greater beauty than the robes of kings. If you
would be beautiful, you must rest in the Lord. Just a little struggling,
and you will mar the whole. Christ wants to reveal himself through you. He
will shine the beauty of his own glorious person into your soul if you
will but be quiet. Have no anxieties about the things that pertain to this
life, and Jesus will clothe you with the beauties of heaven. Character, as
the years pass on, is revealed on the face. The miser's face shows the
miserly condition of his heart. Jesus will stamp his own image upon the
soul if the soul is kept in quietness, and this image will stand out in
beauty on the face and outward life.

By this lesson of the lilies Jesus did not mean to teach that we should
not pray. He once said, "Men ought always to pray." We must pray much. If
we do not pray, Satan will have us toiling and spinning. Keeping close to
Jesus with a strong faith and a firm trust is the only way to rest, and we
can not do this without much prayer. "Cease thy toiling and care." Learn a
lesson from the lilies. Rest in the Lord, and he will make you an object
of Christian beauty that will bless the world. Even after you are long
gone, that restful, patient life will cast its rays of light and beauty
back and chase away the shadows from the life of others.

  The day has gone, the twilight fades,
  There's stillness everywhere;
  I seek some place of solitude,
  And humbly bow in prayer.

  I tell the story of the day--
  The joy, the grief, the care;
  I keep not back one secret thing,
  But tell it all in prayer.

  O heart of mine, be light and free,
  Not lightest burden bear,
  In everything let thy requests
  Be told to God in prayer.

  Yes, all; I tell it all to Christ
  In evening twilight dim:
  Somehow my heart much lighter grows
  Since all is told to him.

  I lay my life at his dear feet--
  O Jesus, I am thine!
  I'll walk the way of life with thee;
  Thy will, O Christ, is mine.

  And now I lay me down to sleep
  While gathering shadows fall,
  And sweet indeed my rest shall be,
  Since Jesus knows it all.



SORROWFUL YET ALWAYS REJOICING.


This world is sometimes called "the vale of tears." Jesus said, "In the
world ye shall have tribulation," but he also said, "In me ye shall have
peace." The way to heaven is through tribulations. Those whom John saw
standing before the throne and the Lamb arrayed in white robes and with
palms in their hands, were one day where we now are, and thank God, we,
coming up through great tribulation, shall some day be where they are.
While man in this world will meet with sorrow, he can by the grace of God
always rejoice. Alum thrown into muddy water will clarify it. The grace of
God thrown into a cup of sorrow will turn it to joy. Sorrows are needful.
It is only a barren waste where there is no rainfall.

We have sung, "No days are dark to me." This can indeed be true, but it is
not to be taken in the sense that there will be no clouds nor rainfall.
Show me a man who never has a cloud to float across his sky, and I will
show you a man who has not faith enough to see clearly in the sunlight. It
is those whose faith pierces through the cloud and keeps the smiling,
sunlit face of Christ in view that have the truest, sweetest joy. Their
rejoicing is in the Lord. By bravery and force of will some may shut
themselves against sorrow and soon become insensible to it. But the heart
that is steeled against sorrow is in all probability so calloused that it
can not experience joy. Those who know the deepest sorrow may ofttimes
know the fullest joy, and that in the midst of their sorrow. Do not harden
your heart against sorrow, but look to Jesus for that balm which heals,
that grace which sustains, that comfort which gladdens. Some have thought
that true joy consists in never having a sorrow; that those who have
sorrow have not found the way of peace. In this they err. Those who never
have a sorrow rejoice because they have no sorrows, but some who have
sorrow have learned to rejoice in the Lord. This is truest joy.

"Sorrowful," said one who was crucified with Christ, "yet always
rejoicing." He never once denied having sorrow; nay, he said, "I have
great heaviness, and continual sorrow in my heart." But he also said, "I
glory." It was the deep sorrow that made him most like Jesus. He had
feeling. "We sorrow," he said, "but not as those who have no hope." The
world knows a sorrow that the Christian does not know. Christians should
be careful lest in hardening themselves against feeling they do not render
themselves incapable of feeling compassion, sympathy, and pity.

Let the tears flow. If you keep them back, the fountain will dry up. May
the Lord pity those who have no tears! Jesus wept. The apostle Paul said,
"Out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many
tears." Oh, that unfeeling heart that can not suffer, that dry heart that
has no fountain of tears! It weeps not over the sorrows of others and
consequently can not rejoice when others are joyful. Only those who weep
can truly rejoice.

You rejoice because you and your family are in good health, because your
friends are smiling upon you, because circumstances surrounding you are
favorable, because you have an abundance of good things to eat and of
clothing to wear. But your rejoicing is only in earthly things. We are to
be grateful for these things, but they are only the sea-foam of joy; the
water lies beneath. True joy is to rejoice not only in the Lord but
with the Lord. Rejoice in those things in which Jesus and the
angels rejoice. When your goods are being wasted, you find your deepest
joy because God is being glorified.

If you can not weep with angels, you can not rejoice with them. See that
aged pilgrim: his has been a hard and stony way; loved ones have gone one
by one from his embrace; riches have taken wings and flown away; sorrows
are multiplied; trials are many; burdens are heavy; he is footsore, sad,
and weary. Angels are bending over him weeping. Can you weep with him and
them? They comfort him. The sadness of his heart begins to die away; hope
begins to dawn. The dawning of the hope causes the angels to rejoice. This
is truest joy. Rejoice when souls are saved; rejoice when hearts are
gladdened; rejoice when God is praised. This is the true source of purest
joy. But it is only those who are capable of suffering deeply with the
sufferings of others, that can truly rejoice when their sufferings are
turned away. The more we are like Jesus, the more we have of his Spirit,
the tenderer will be our hearts and the more deeply will our souls be
moved by the sufferings of others.

When some dear friend has proved untrue; when some loved one has gone
astray; when the death-angel has left a chair vacant at your hearth-stone
and deep sorrow lies upon your soul, then it is that you feel nearer to
Jesus. You feel ripe for heaven. The world has suddenly gone out, and you
have cast your eyes upward. Do not try to keep back the tears; let them
flow. They are pearls in angels' sight. It is the tears of the child that
touches the heart of the parent, and cites him to give comfort to the
little one. It is the tears of the Christian that touches the great loving
heart of God and moves him to give that solace which only Heaven gives.
David said in a time of deepest sorrow--his son was seeking his life--"It
may be the Lord will look on my tears [margin], and that the Lord will
requite me good." Hezekiah was doomed to die. The prophet told him to 'set
his house in order, for he should die, and not live.' The dying man turned
his face to the wall and prayed, "I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how
I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done
that which is good in thy sight"; and he "wept with a great weeping
[margin]." This touched the heart of God, and he said, "I have heard thy
prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee."

If the heart of God's saints were a deeper fountain of tears, more sick
people would be healed in these days. Around are the sick and suffering,
but alas, how few tears! When saints have so deepened into God, cultivated
such a tenderness of heart, and become so deeply compassionate, that they
will "water their couch with their tears all the night" at the sight of
sick persons, they will get answers to their prayers. To such God will
say, "Behold, I will heal him." If tears will not reach God, the case is
hopeless. Esau sought for a place of repentance and sought it with tears,
but could not find it. The mentioning of tears here implies that the
addition of tears to earnest heart-seeking has influence with God.
Jeremiah, in his lamentations for fallen Israel, said, "Oh, that my head
were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and
night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" He knew that if
anything would avail with God, it would be tears therefore he wished that
his eyes were a fountain of tears, so that God might be moved to save
Israel.

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." There can be no harvest from
seed sown unless the seed is watered. As you go out to sow seed in the
Master's field, water them with your tears if you would have a joyful
harvest. May God save his people from unfeelingness of heart! A soul with
no tears is a soul with no flowers. There is no verdure where there is no
water. Those who are not deep enough in God to shed tears over a lost and
ruined world are not deep enough to shed tears of joy over a soul's
salvation. Out from the depth of his heart Jesus cried, "O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem! how oft would I have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her brood
under her wing, but ye would not." When did you shed tears over lost
souls? Do you ever have a Gethsemane? Is your pillow ever dampened by
tears shed for a doomed world? Do you ever go out beneath the starry sky
and with outstretched arms cry in the severe pains of travail, "O lost
souls, lost souls! how oft would I have gathered thee to Jesus, as a hen
gathers her brood under her wing, but ye would not"? Only those who have
deep travail of soul for the lost can fully rejoice when the lost are
found.

One of the apostles said he served the "Lord with many tears." A heart
from which flows no tears is not a heart that is wholly imbued by the
Spirit of God. Tears of compassion for the suffering, tears of warning and
entreaty for the lost, tears of joy for the saved, will flow through a
perfectly holy heart as freely as water through a sieve. Sunlight
perforates the block of ice from the center outward; so the love of God
perforates the heart to its depths and lets the tears of affection, pity,
and sympathy flow out.

Do not try to escape suffering. Do not shut your heart against sorrow. It
is the bruised flower that gives out the sweetest scent. Open thy heart to
God and let him bruise it, let sorrow flow in and break it, that sweetness
may flow out. When the poet sang:

  "I no trouble and no sorrow
  See today, nor will I borrow
  Gloomy visions for the morrow,"

he sang not of sorrow for souls lost in sin, nor of needful heaviness
through manifold temptations, nor of sorrow awakened by the suffering of
others, but of that sorrow which arises from the world through distrust
and separation from God.

There is a sorrow which comes through Christ. It is as the refiner's fire,
purifying the soul and binding it closer to God. Such sorrow detaches the
heart from the world and from self, and hides it in God. It is impossible
for the soul to approach any degree of nearness to Christ only through
sorrow and suffering. In my own experience my heart once longed for deeper
grace. My whole soul breathed out, "O Jesus! give me more meekness." For a
few days a heavy cloud of sorrow lay upon me; when it had passed away, I
had an answer to my prayer.

I would have you beware of that unfeeling state in which one has no
sorrow, and mistakingly attributes its absence to grace. Grace helps us
bear sorrow, but does not harden our hearts against it. Sorrow brings us
to a throne of grace for grace and grace brings us joy, so that we have
joy in sorrow. No other joy is so sweet as this. It is the real and true
joy of Christ.



GENTLENESS.


Fruit-bearing trees are used in the Scriptures to represent the race of
mankind. The Savior likens the wicked to "corrupt trees," which bear evil
fruit and the righteous to "good trees" which bear good fruit (Matt. 7:15,
20). He also teaches very emphatically the impossibility of one's being a
good tree and yet bearing evil fruit, or of being a corrupt tree and
bearing good fruit. Since the nature of the fruit we bear determines what
manner of tree we are, it is very advisable that we as professing
Christians should frequently examine the fruit we are bearing. To be
Christ's, or to be a Christian, we must have the Spirit of Christ; for the
Scriptures say that "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none
of his" (Rom. 8:9). As certainly as cause produces effect, those who have
the Spirit of Christ bear the fruit of the Spirit. Not to bear the fruit
of the Spirit is full proof that you have not the Spirit. Then a close
examination of the fruit you are bearing will reveal to you whether or not
you have the Spirit of Christ, whether or not you are his, whether or not
you are a Christian. You can make a superficial examination, and allow
yourself to be deceived. You can make excuses for yourself because of your
weaknesses, and thus deceive yourself. But a close, thorough, profound
examination will disclose to each one the manner of spirit he is of.

Gentleness is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22). If we have the
Spirit of Christ, we bear this fruit. "Well," says one, "in my very make
-up I am rough, harsh, and hasty." You need to be made anew. When God finds
a man that is rough, harsh, and severe in his make-up, He will, if the man
will yield to the operation of the Holy Spirit, make him mild, gentle, and
peaceful. People go to a hospital and by a scientific operation have
abscesses and tumors removed from the stomach and other internal parts.
God, by a blessed, wonderful, and successful operation of the Holy Spirit,
will take that roughness, harshness, and severity out of your nature, and
instil mildness, tenderness, softness, and gentleness instead. Harshness
and roughness are a corruption that God, in his gracious plan of
salvation, is pleased to remove. If you will allow the Holy Spirit to work
in you that which is pleasing in God's sight, he will make you gentle.

What is gentleness? It is blandness, softness, mildness, and meekness. It
is the opposite of harshness, roughness, etc. It is sweetness of
disposition, mildness of temper, softness of manner, kindness, tenderness,
etc. Those who are of a gentle disposition act and speak without asperity.
They are not morose, sour, crabbed, and uneven, but are smooth, mild, and
even. Good manners are intimately connected with gentleness, and good
manners are no dishonor to Christianity.

The apostle Paul by way of testimony said to the Thessalonian saints, "We
were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children." 1 Thess.
2:7 Such was his manner. As a kind mother is to a delicate child, so was
he to those whom he loved. Vastly different was he then from what he was
when he was persecuting and wasting the church of God. He had been changed
by grace. He exhorts servants of the Lord to "be gentle unto all men" (2
Tim. 2: 24) and to be "gentle, showing all meekness unto all men" (Tit.
3:2). David, in his sublime tribute of praise to God in 2 Sam. 22: 36
says, "Thy gentleness hath made me great."

Would you, my reader, like to be more gentle in your manner? Are you too
harsh and rough? Are you, if a parent, as gentle to your children as you
should be, at all times? Husband, are you as kind and gentle toward your
wife as you should be? Do you believe you fill the Bible measure in this
particular? Are you as gentle to your domestic animals as you should be?
or do you have impatient feelings and act in a hasty, abrupt manner
towards them? If you meet with something quite provoking from your wife or
the children or the animals, do you keep as mild and sweet as you know you
should? Now, I hope you will examine closely. I do not mean to condemn
you; I want to help you. There are many professing saints today who are
not nearly so gentle as they should be. Why not be in earnest, and seek
God for help, and make improvement? Why go along with crossness, and
coldness and snappishness in your life? Be gentle toward all.

Gentleness is a beauteous grace. Her excellence is great. By culture this
grace is capable of much improvement. Too few saints experience it to the
extent they should. I beseech you by the gentleness of Jesus to be in
earnest and improve upon your gentleness. Never allow a frown or a scowl
to settle for a moment upon your brow. It will leave its mark if you do
so. Learn to be gentle in your home. Sometimes when far away from home,
you picture to yourself how gentle and kind and loving you should be at
home. By God's grace you can be just as gentle as you see in the picture
you should.



TENDERNESS.


In order for life to be what it should, it must flow from a heart full of
tenderness. This is that quality of soul which enables us to give kind
attention to others, to be willing and eager to do good, to exercise great
carefulness to give no offense, and to be soft and gentle in every
expression. Like all other good qualities, this is found in perfection in
the character of God. "The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy."
Because of his pity he never lays upon his trusting child a greater burden
than he can bear, and in his tender mercy he always gives to each trial a
happy ending.

It will be helpful to study for a few minutes the principle of tenderness
as an attribute in the nature of God. "Like as a father pitieth his
children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." It is the father who
sees his little child in deep pain that knows what pity is. It is that
feeling which makes the father desirous of bearing all the pain. It was
the pity or compassion of God for the lost in sin that caused him to give
his only Son to suffer and die for them. When God saw the wretchedness of
men, he had such a feeling in his heart that he could find relief in no
way but in providing the only means of their rescue. Oh, think of this!
The child of God never has a pain or a sorrow but that God has a feeling
of pity. The knowledge that some one has pity for us and fellowships our
suffering goes far toward alleviating our pains. Recently while I was in
deep soul-suffering, I received a letter containing these words: "We
suffer in spirit with you." This was a great relief. If in a time of trial
we could know how God was suffering with us, it would be a great
consolation.

Again, we read, "As one whom his mother comforteth so will I comfort you;
and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." Who is it that knows not the
comfort of a mother? When we hear of a young man's meeting with a sad
accident away from home, we have great pity; but when we learn of his
mother's having gone to him, we feel better. Ah, the comfort of a mother
is surpassed only by the comfort of Jesus. "If Mother were only here!"
says the troubled daughter. Nothing else so fittingly represents the
nature of the comfort that God gives as the comfort of a mother. O child
of God, you will never have a sorrow nor a pain but that the tenderness of
God will cause him to come and comfort you. Let us lift up our hearts and
praise him for his mercy and comforting love. A mother may forget to
comfort her child, but God will never forget.

The tenderness of God is revealed in these touching words: "How often
would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her
chickens under her wings." The imagery is homely, but oh! so impressively
sublime. I can not do better than to use here the words of another. "Was
ever imagery so homely invested with such grace and such sublimity as this
at our Lord's touch? And yet how exquisite the figure itself of
protection, rest, warmth, and all manner of conscious well-being in those
poor, defenseless, dependent, little creatures, as they creep under and
feel themselves overshadowed by the capacious and kindly wing of the
mother bird. If wandering beyond hearing of her peculiar call, they are
overtaken by a storm or attacked by an enemy, what can they do but in the
one case droop and die, and in the other submit to be torn to pieces? But
if they can reach in time their place of safety under the mother's wing,
in vain will any enemy try to drag them thence. For rising into strength,
kindling into fury, and forgetting herself entirely in her young, she will
let the last drop of her blood be shed out and perish in defense of her
precious charge, rather than yield them to an enemy's talons. How
significant all this of what Jesus is and does for his helpless child!"
Under his great wing he tenderly, lovingly gathers his little ones and
there they are secure. He is a safe retreat.

From the song of Moses we learn still more of God's tender care. "As an
eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad
her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did
lead him, and there was no strange god with him." This metaphor
beautifully expresses the care and the tenderness of God toward his
children. The eagle is noted for her great attachment to her young. Her
care is extraordinary. When the little eaglets have attained age and
strength to leave the nest and learn to fly, the mother bird bears them
up, when weary, on the top of her wing.

These all express to our hearts the wonderful tenderness of God to his
children. But there is nothing in the material world that forms a full and
perfect analogy for the things in the spiritual world. These are too high.

If we do not have the tenderness of God in our hearts, our life comes
short of being a full and true life. The Bible tells us to "be kind one to
another, tender-hearted." There is no true holiness of life without
tenderness. As we get deeper into God, we become more tender of heart.

There are some things that will prevent this tender-heartedness. Just a
little feeling of resentment, a little desire for retaliation, or a secret
wish for something to befall those who have done us an injury will callous
the heart and harden the affections. When we have been slighted by some
one or misjudged, oh, how Satan strives to get us to thinking much about
this, and to work a "hurt" feeling into our heart. Even to think about the
meanness of others will bring a harshness and coldness into the inner
life. That which we condemn in others will, if we think and talk much
about it, creep into our own hearts.

You say you are saved and sanctified. Thank God for such a blessed
experience; but you have much yet to gain. You have not yet attained to
the full depth of anything. There is yet a tenderness of heart you can
reach only through many and varied experiences. There is tenderness of
voice, tenderness of manner, tenderness of feeling, tenderness of thought,
you will attain to only through much and deep communion with God. It is
those intimate and familiar talks with Jesus that fashion us into his
glorious image. A brother minister related to me a few mornings ago his
experience of the night before. He lay awake, he said, for a long time and
had a sweet talk with the Lord. So intimate was the communion that,
turning over to go to sleep, he said, half unthinkingly, "Good night," as
if parting from a dear friend. Such close union with Jesus gives us
clearer visions of his character and stamps his beauty upon our souls.

Have you not seen those who are harsh, rough, and unfeeling in their
speech and manner. No one wants to be like them. We are glad to get away
from them. They measure a person by their standard, and if he is not what
they think he should be, they speak about him in an unloving and unfeeling
manner. We feel that something coarse and flinty needs to be taken out of
their nature. We do not say they are not sanctified, but they are too
bitter and severe. They need to be bathed in the love of God; they need to
be immersed in the sea of his gentleness. We have seen, on the other hand,
those who were so feeling, so quiet, tender, and gentle, that their
presence was like the breath of a sweet spring morning. There was a
tenderness in their eye, a softness in their voice, a pathos in their
feeling, that cast over your soul a sense of delight.

There is much for us to gain. But we can gain it only at the end of the
bayonet. If we would win, we must fight. There is no victory without
battle. One brother, after gaining a decisive victory, said, "The devil is
dead." He was so victorious and free that he thought the devil must be
dead. In a short time, however, the brother learned his mistake. The
prince of the power of the air still lives, and we still have our
humanity. If we are not prayerful and watchful, we become disposed to
contend for our way; to feel a little bitter if we are trampled upon.
Jesus tells us to "resist not evil." We are not only to not resist evil
outwardly, but to have no resisting feeling in our hearts. If we would
have holiness of life, we must have tenderness of spirit. If you desire
your life to be like the oasis in the desert, where the weary traveler is
refreshed, be tender of heart, be compassionate, bear every trial with
patience, endure all suffering without a murmur, commune much with God,
and he will bring you out into that tenderness of soul that will make your
life, everywhere you go, like the atmosphere of heaven.



THE CHRISTIAN WALK.


Life is termed a walk in the Scriptures. Where they say that we ought to
walk as Jesus walked, they have reference to our manner of life. The way
in which a Christian walks is called the way of life. It is called the way
of life because it leads to a land of life--a place where death never
enters, where all is life, and life forevermore. The Christian walks in
the way that leads to that land of life. There is also a place of death,
and the way there is called the way of death.

The way along which the Christian walks is a narrow way. "Strait is the
gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life." But we need have no
fear; for although it is narrow, it is not dark. "Thy word is a lamp unto
my feet, and a light unto my path." I would rather walk in a narrow way in
full light than in a broad way in the dark. The Word of God lights up the
Christian's pathway. How beautifully the electric lights light up the
walks in the city park! There is no danger of stumbling. The Bible is a
light along the way of life, and it lights the way beautifully. Not one
step need be taken in the dark. There is light for every step of the way.
Sometimes the Christian may think he has reached a dark place; but if he
will open his Bible, he will find a light to lighten that very spot.



THE CHRISTIAN IS TO WALK CIRCUMSPECTLY.


"See then that ye walk circumspectly." Eph. 5:15. To walk circumspectly is
to walk cautiously; to look where one is stepping; to be vigilant,
watchful, diligent, attentive. Be our pathway ever so light, if we do not
look where we are stepping, we may stumble. Conybeare and Howson render
the above text in these words: "See then that ye walk without stumbling."
We are to walk not as foolish people but as wise. We would say that the
man acts foolishly who does not look at all in the way he is walking.
Those who are wise in business walk carefully; they look where they are
going; they take advantage of every opportunity to make their business a
success. In our Christian walk we are to seize upon every opportunity to
make progress. There is no time in this short life for ease. Carelessness
and indolence are dangerous and destructive to spirituality. An indolent
man will never accomplish much for God nor be of any great benefit to his
fellow men. But oh, how easy to become careless!

Many begin the Christian walk in carefulness and diligence, but soon give
place to carelessness and neglect. How prone people are to lose interest
in anything when the new has worn away! They take great interest in the
new preacher, but they will become so familiar with him and so accustomed
to him that they will lose interest. They have never heard any one preach
so well as the new preacher, and what he says has such weight and
authority; but behold, after the new has worn away, he can not preach any
better than any other they have no more regard for his words than they
have for the words of others. There is an old adage which says, "A new
broom sweeps clean." The boy is eager to cut wood with the new ax. A child
will carefully write like the copy for the first few lines; but the
farther down the page, the greater the carelessness. The young lady takes
great interest in the music lessons at first; she wants to practise all
the time; but it soon gets old, and then it is hard to keep up an
interest. The husband is very loving, kind, and attentive to his wife for
a while; but alas! in a little while she becomes old to him, and then he
lets her shift for herself. This need not and should not be; but it seems
to be the nature of man.

In the Christian life there is a strong tendency to let things run down.
Some persons hear a sermon and they are awakened, but they are soon lulled
to sleep again. Perhaps the example of some one has shown them that they
do not pray enough, and they resolve to pray more, but they soon drift
into the same careless way. Maybe they see that they do not read enough
and improve themselves, and they are greatly stirred to do better, but
alas! how soon they allow that resolution to weaken and become as
negligent as ever. Nothing but the greatest diligence and unyielding
determination will save us from getting weary in welldoing. Keep up a
strong faith. Hold your mansion in the skies well in view and let nothing
hinder you in your journey home.

There are professed Christians who, I am sorry to say, never take a good
look at their mansion in heaven, and it is to be feared that many who are
really God's children do not view their home above as often and distinctly
as they should. They see more of temporal things than of eternal things.
It is by faith that we see eternal things, but if we have too keen a
vision for temporal things, it dims our spiritual vision. If you knew you
had a fine home in an adjoining State, and you had never seen it, you
would want some one who had seen it to give you a description of it.
Perhaps you would want a photograph of it. You would take a look at the
picture often, and would learn all about it you could, and would think of
the time when you could go and live there. Now, Jesus tells you that he
has prepared a mansion for you in heaven. He does not tell you much about
it, but you know full well that a mansion that Jesus prepares is perfect
and complete. Why not think much about this mansion? why not view it often
by faith? why not learn all about it you can? Getting too much engaged
with the things of this life is the reason why. To walk circumspectly is
to see that every step bears us heavenward, to have our faces set toward
God, to have our eternal home in view, and to be journeying that way. We
are not to be sauntering along, but to be industriously living for God and
heaven.

How often have you decided that you would be more prayerful, would read
more, would love God more, and the souls of men, would do more for the
cause of God! How often you have decided to walk more worthily of God, to
be more patient, to live a higher life, to be slower to speak, to
cultivate a spirit of love and kindness, to be more like Jesus! You
started out well and with great diligence, but alas! ere long you became
weary in well-doing; you became less vigilant; you did not walk so
carefully and were less attentive to your way. One day a circumstance
occurred that caused a brother to see that he was not as attentive to
others as he should be and let many opportunities of helping others in
little things go by unimproved. He decided that he would be more watchful,
and thus be more helpful; but, as he said, he soon became as negligent as
ever. Time after time he resolved and as often became negligent. Do not be
discouraged. A little more determination, a little more faith in God for
help, and you will triumph.



THE CHRISTIAN'S WALK A WALK WITH GOD.


"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require
of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy
God." Micah 6:8. The life of Enoch is descriptive of the Christian's life,
and it is said that he "walked with God." Hand in hand with God, heart in
heart, and life in life, is the true Christian way. In order to walk thus
with God, we must be in agreement with him; for two can not walk together
heart in heart unless they be in agreement. To be agreed with God implies
submission to the divine will. It is to go where he leads.

"He leadeth me" is the sentiment of the Christian heart. He may sometimes
lead in a laborious path; nevertheless we go. He may lead in a way that
brings suffering and self-denial; he may take our loved ones from us; he
may call somebody dear to us to a foreign field, or he may call us. If we
would walk with him, we must not draw back, but say, "Lord, thy will be
done. I will go with thee all the way." Such a walk may lead over some
thorny paths and through some waters and fiery trials, but it pleases God
and ends in heaven, So onward let us go.



THE LATEST IMPROVED.


As we walk along the streets of villages and cities, we see machines of
different kinds exposed to view and bearing a card with these words: "The
Latest Improved." For our life to be perfect every day, it must be our
latest improved. The world is getting worse, we say, but you and I as
Christians can daily grow better. Our life today can be an improvement
over our life of yesterday. The Christian life is a real life, and is as
capable of development as any life. The same law that develops us
physically is necessary to our development spiritually. Day after day we
can be built up into stronger spiritual beings. We can become more like
God, possessing a firmer Christian character and having an integrity that
will not swerve for a life nor a world from the path of virtue. Constant
progress is constant peace and happiness. It is the triumphant life.

Dear reader, I am going to ask you to lay aside for a few minutes the busy
cares of life and come and have a talk with me about spiritual and
heavenly things. Now, if you feel that you scarcely have the time, and can
not fully dismiss the temporal concerns of life from your mind, then I
will excuse you. I do not care to speak with you unless you can give me
your undivided attention. I desire to help you if you need help. I want to
talk to you about your every-day life, and I do want your calm, serious
attention. Surely by God's help we can spend a few minutes to some profit.

Some people hesitate to look closely into their life, lest they find such
a delinquency as will disquiet them. Some fear to give a close
examination, lest it give Satan an opportunity to accuse them. This need
not be. We can look closely into our daily life and not allow Satan to
whisper one word to us. We can not make improvement upon our life without
close examination in order to discover weakness and imperfections. When we
discover them, we must set earnestly to work to correct them. The
discovery alone is not sufficient. If we do not correct a fault that we
have discovered, we soon lose consciousness of the fault. There are times
with every one, no doubt, when it seems that they are making no progress,
but these may be the times when we are making most progress.

If we have just one fault, we ought to desire to get rid of it. Our desire
should be so great that we shall set about at once to correct that fault.
Now, if we say, "Oh, it is such a little thing," then we shall not get
free from it, and that little thing may become a greater thing. To be too
quick to speak is a fault. The Bible says, "Be slow to speak." If we have
the fault of speaking too quickly, we should correct that. We can if we
will.

The Bible tells Christians to watch and pray. Christians do not need to
watch and pray lest they rob a bank. They would not rob a bank if they
never prayed. But we do need to watch arid pray lest we do some little
thing that we should not do. I will relate to you the experience of a dear
brother who desired to live for God, but who neglected to watch and pray
as he should. An evil thought was presented to his mind. Not seeing the
evil of it, he indulged the thought, and found pleasure in the indulgence.
After a few minutes he felt the reproving of the Spirit of God and so
dismissed the thought. Later it came again. It was so pleasing that he
indulged it a little longer than before. Again the Spirit reproved him. In
a few evenings the thought came again. It was only a little sensual
thought, a little imaginary indulgence of the flesh. But it came again and
again. It was indulged a little longer and a little longer. Eventually it
worked a fleshly lust into his heart, and after two or three years he was
led into actual commission of a sinful deed. It was an apparently innocent
thought in the beginning, but it ended in sin committed.

There are little yieldings to lightness, impatience, aircastle building,
exaggerations, frettings, murmurings, idleness, etc., that prey upon the
soul and rob it of peace and the sweet consciousness of God's presence.
But there is progress in the divine life for every one of us if we will
only give attention to our life as we pass along. The first thing is to
have a deep interest in making spiritual gain, and then to be full of
faith and encouragement.

Jesus will help you to make some gains each day if you will press your way
through the crowd and touch him. It is the earnest prayer of faith that
gets us through to God and makes us feel like giants in his strength. If
you would be strengthened in your soul, you must exercise. This is the law
of development in the spiritual as well as in the animal life. "Exercise
thyself unto godliness." This is a motto we should hang upon the walls of
our memory. Its meaning is that increase in godliness is attained only by
exercise.

I shall have much now to say about your doing, but bear in mind that the
doing is to be not in your strength, but in God's strength. Here are two
mottos to keep in remembrance: "Without Him I can do nothing"; "I can do
all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." By the help of the Lord
we are going to tell you how to be strong in him. God wants you to be a
David. Go out in his strength and meet the Goliaths. They must fall before
you. I shall not tell you so much you do not know as I shall endeavor to
get you to practise what you know. How many times have you resolved to do
and have failed to keep your resolution? Your failure was not because you
could not, but because you did not. To make a success in any business
enterprise, one must give it constant and daily attention. Likewise, if
you make a success in the Christian life, you must give it constant and
daily attention. You must make it not only a business but the
first business of your life.

But some make this complaint: "It takes so much time." It will take some
time, that is true, and if you do not think you have time, then you had
better not begin. What would you think of a man who contemplated engaging
in some business, but said he did not have much time to devote to it? You
would advise him not to engage in the business at all. It takes time to
make advancement in the Christian life. One brother said, "But we must
attend to our temporal duties." My reply was, "Shall we not attend to our
spiritual duties?" When people talk of having to attend to temporal
duties, it appears that they are going to do this if they have to neglect
spiritual duties. Unless we have a better enlightenment than this, we
shall never make progress in the Christian life.

We have no excuse for not being strong in the Lord. "Watch ye, stand fast
in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." Of course, you need the help
of God, but God helps those who help themselves. He will not by some
irresistible power convey you to your closet and put you on your knees,
but he will give you strength to go if you will use what he gives you.

I will now give you, not learned theology, but plain, simple instruction
how to make daily advancement in the divine life and to be strong in God.
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from
fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." I Pet. 2:11. Any indulgence of
the flesh weakens the spiritual powers. The question might arise, "What
are fleshly lusts?" We are here in the flesh. The flesh has not only its
desires but its needs. To indulge the flesh in its needs is not fleshly
lust, but to indulge it in any thing beyond its actual needs is "fleshly
lusts." In other words, any intemperance is lust of the flesh. Temperance
is a fruit of the Spirit. We are to add temperance to our knowledge. The
more knowledge we get of the divine character, the more clearly we can
discriminate between fleshly lusts and temperance.

"I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection," says the apostle
Paul. He spoke these words when talking about running to obtain an
incorruptible crown. He calls our attention to how people run to obtain a
corruptible crown, "and every man." he says, "that striveth for the
mastery is temperate in all things." If men must be temperate in
all things in order to obtain a corruptible crown, how much more temperate
must we be in order to obtain an incorruptible crown? If the soul does not
keep the body under, the body will keep the soul under.

But this keeping under does not consist in many prayers, in long vigils,
and fasts, in severe chastenings of the body, in dwelling in a cloister or
being a hermit. Do not make this sad mistake. His yoke is easy and his
burden is light, yet the Christian life is one of self-denial. But his
love in our hearts makes it a delight. We are not to keep our bodies under
by prolonged fasts and beatings, but to keep in control the self-seeking
that is natural to the self-life of man. The pure in heart have organs of
sense, are capable of feeling the impressions made by external objects. It
is natural for the individual life of the sanctified to seek ease and
comfort. This is not the nature of the divine life in the soul, but is the
nature of the self-life of man.

Adam and Eve had this self-life in the purity of their creation; they had
organs of sense. It was to these that Satan made his appeals; to the
feelings in their self-life, not to the feelings in the divine life of
their soul. The will of sense--for such it might be called--overpowered
that higher will of the soul, and they yielded to the will of sense as
aroused by temptation. We who are pure in heart have this same will of
sense. It is this will of sense that must be "kept under." or in control
to the will of God. "Not my will [that is, that lower will of my self
-life]." said Jesus, "but thy will, be done." I will make this plainer as
we go on. I feel like making it as plain and simple as I can, even if
doing so does require time, because here lies the secret of success in the
Christian life. Those who look upon the instructions herein as trifling
will do so to their own spiritual injury.

It is natural for us to avoid hardship and suffering. This is not wrong of
itself; it is wrong only when it conflicts with the will of God. It is not
wrong for you to avoid burning at the stake unless it be God's will that
you should thus end your life. If God wills you to burn at the stake you
must not seek to avoid the ordeal. If we do not watch carefully and live
close to God and keep our body under, the will of sense will grow strong
and cause us to avoid hardships even when God wills us to undergo them. Be
careful that you do not mistake the impulse of sense for the divine will.
One may say he does not believe it to be God's will that he undergo this
suffering when it may be only his own humanity. Out of human sympathy we
may try to dissuade our brother from doing the will of God. At Caesarea
certain brethren tried, out of mere sympathy, to persuade Paul not to go
to Jerusalem, where, it was prophesied, he should be bound and delivered
to the Gentiles. Seeing that he would not be persuaded, they gave place to
that higher will, and said, "The will of the Lord be done."

This is not confined to the greater affairs of life, such as burning at
the stake, but includes the little affairs of every-day life. How easy it
is for man to conclude it is the will of God for him to do a certain thing
when perhaps it is only the will of sense! Remember, God's ways are not as
our ways. It seems to be a most reasonable thing to the minister that he
should go home to his family. How easy it is for him to believe it is
God's will that he should go! At least, it has been so many times with the
writer. He has too often obeyed the human desire and disobeyed God. Such
disobedience, if such it may be called, is not sin, since the will of God
is not known, but it is being led by the impulse of sense and is
detrimental to spirituality. God would have us look more earnestly to him
in order to know his will and not yield so readily to mere human desires.

To enjoy nearness to God we must not be influenced by any will of sense.
The impulse of sense is so deceptive that, if we are not very watchful and
fully surrendered to God with an intense desire to know and do his will,
it will prevent our understanding his will to us. It may not be difficult
to convince you that it is God's will that your brother should go as a
missionary to some foreign field, but very difficult to convince you that
it is God's will for you to go, when perhaps it is just as reasonable
every way that you should go. It may be the will of sense to remain, that
prevents your knowing God's will.

Here is a truth I wish you to think upon: We can not see the folly of any
passion clearly when we are strongly tempted by that passion. A sanctified
man may eat too much sometimes; he may be intemperate sometimes in the
sexual relation; and yet the Word of God says, "Whether ye eat or drink,
or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Let me say, however,
that those who enjoy deep union and communion with God are careful to be
temperate in their entire manner of life.

As we have stated before, the pure in heart have organs of sense. These
organs can be impressed by external objects. These impressions may
properly be termed "feelings." A man filled with the Holy Spirit may, when
being praised by some unwise person, be tempted to pride; in other words,
he feels a sense of pride. This feeling is in the self-life of the man. A
sanctified man is tempted to impatience. He feels a sense of impatience,
not carnal, but as an impulse of sense in the self-life. When some one
does something contrary to your pleasure or wishes, you may have feelings
of displeasure or impatience. The patience of a mother is sometimes tried
by the conduct of a child. The trying of patience is simply feelings of
impatience in the self-life. But in her patience she is to possess her
soul. These feelings of impatience are to be resisted in the strength of
the Lord. Resist them with a prayer.

I have now brought you to the place where I am ready to tell you how to
grow in grace, how to increase, how to make progress in the divine life,
which is all that is meant by the expressions, "getting closer to God,"
"becoming more like Christ," etc. Remember this: 'feelings are
strengthened by being indulged. You are tempted to pride, to lightness, to
impatience; you have feelings of pride, lightness, impatience, for this is
what temptations are. These feelings should be immediately and indignantly
resisted. Get after them in earnest. The very exercise of resisting is
what will develop and strengthen the spiritual powers; but if the feelings
are indulged, they will grow stronger and the spiritual powers grow
weaker. If you value your spiritual prosperity, you will be very quick to
resist every temptation. Sometimes people allow a tried, mean, impatient
feeling to settle down upon them for hours. They do not feel pleasant,
neither do they look pleasant. Such feelings leave their trace behind.
They are a dangerous foe. Loathe them, despise them. Go to the Lord in
earnest prayer and pray until joy springs up in the soul, a smile beams on
the face, and the bad feelings are made to fly away like a startled bird.
Some say, "We can not prevent bad feelings and thoughts from attacking
us." They use the words of Luther--"We can not prevent birds flying over
our heads, but can prevent them from building nests in our hair." It is no
sin nor source of discouragement to be attacked by bad feelings and bad
thoughts. But bear in mind that we can frighten the birds that are flying
over and thus make them fly quickly, and that after being frightened a few
times they will fly far around or very high over. So with bad feelings and
thoughts: if earnestly and indignantly resisted, they will fly away
quickly, and their assaults will grow weaker and weaker. It is God's will
that we eat, drink, and sleep; but to be intemperate in these is to
destroy spiritual life. We should be guided by a sense of the divine will,
and not by a sense of human desire. To yield to the lower will of sense is
to be soon abandoned to self and destitute of grace.

I have been asked whether it is possible for us to attain such a degree of
perfection that we should never speak a harsh, impatient word or a light
word, or be the least intemperate in any way. My answer is that by much
prayer, by close watching, and earnest resisting, the will of sense can be
so weakened and the soul become so habituated to act under a sense of the
divine will that foolish or impatient words, impulsive actions, or any
intemperance will be very few and far between. This is being strong in the
grace of God.

Again, I have been asked, "Can we reach a place where we shall be no more
tempted?" Yes; if you are earnest and faithful, you will reach it when you
arrive in that land where flesh and blood can not enter. There you will no
more be tempted. But as long as you are here in the flesh, you will be
tempted. In the very nature of things you need to be. Your spiritual
powers would weaken if they had nothing to resist. Let me here acquaint
you with a device of Satan. All these attacks upon the will of sense are
made by the devil. He will use some external object to try you. He may
withhold temptation for a long time in order that you may become careless
and cease to watch and pray, and thus in a measure lose your power of
resistance. Then he will come in with a slight attack, so slight you will
not detect it in your weakened state. If it be an attack to impatience,
you will speak a little hastily, but will scarcely perceive it and will
think it of little consequence. But his attacks will grow stronger; your
words will grow more hasty; there will be frettings and worryings; and you
will be so stupid that you will not be aware of your backsliding. Do not
cease your watching and praying even if you have no temptations. Alas, how
many have gone down under this cunning device of Satan! This is a scheme
he plays well.

When the Christian first starts out on his pilgrimage, he is watchful and
prayerful. An attack of Satan startles him, and he becomes earnest in his
resistance. If he speaks impatiently or lightly, he flees at once to God
for grace, and thus he grows in grace. But if he becomes strong and his
soul forms the habit of acting in holiness, he feels strong and ceases his
close watching and praying and resisting. Then he slowly but surely
retrogrades. Unless he is in some way awakened, he will backslide.

But the question arises, "How can we keep up resistance in order to be
strong, if Satan ceases to tempt." Have sham battles. In time of peace
soldiers are constantly drilling so that they may be prepared when they
come to battle. Pugilists go through much training in preparation for the
actual contest. So we are to watch constantly. Keep the soul in a
defensive attitude. This is what I mean by sham battles. Bearing in mind
that you may be attacked at any time, keep the soul in a defensive
attitude; keep up the shield of faith. The very exercise of holding up the
shield and keeping the soul in watchings makes it strong for the battle.
If you do not exercise your soul in earnest prayer each morning, Satan
will likely catch you that day unprepared.

For the perfecting of the soul in the habit of holiness, you must exercise
yourself in inward acts of resistance. Keep an intense hatred of sin and
the devil; get where you enjoy a contest with Satan; glory in tribulation;
rejoice when you are persecuted; count it joy when you are tried and
tempted. Soldiers get so they love the battle, pugilists enjoy the
contest, and we should be where we love trials. We hate them, therefore we
love to conquer them; they afford us means for development, therefore we
welcome them; they deepen us into God and make us more like Christ,
therefore we hail them with joy. We hate them themselves, but in our
intense love for God and the privilege of exercising ourselves in his
strength we count all our trials joy. We rejoice in the midst of
temptation because we have the opportunity of displaying the strength of
our God.

But do not make the mistake of thinking that you are so strong in God that
the little evil thought, or the feeling of pride or impatience, or the
little act of intemperance, is of no consequence. It is these little
things that sap away the spiritual strength. Get after the very least of
them and put them to death. Give them no place. If one single word of
lightness or of impatience escapes your lips, go in earnest prayer, asking
God to make you a conqueror. Seek to have your life wholly free from
imperfections, and you will daily advance in the divine life.

  Life is full of peace and pleasure
   When we're saved by grace;
  Sweetest joys overflow the measure
  When we're saved by grace;
   Gifts from heaven fall in show'rs,
  Cheering dark and lonely hours,
  By our pathway bloom sweet flow'rs,
   When we're saved by grace.

  E'en in sorrow there are blessings
   When we're saved by grace;
  Chastening rods are fond carressings
   When we're saved by grace;
  Storm-clouds far away are driven,
  Life flows on so sweet and even,
  Round us beams the light of heaven,
   When we're saved by grace.

  All around is wondrous beauty
   When we're saved by grace;
  There is joy in every duty
   When we're saved by grace;
  Hope is ever sweetly singing,
  Peace-bells in our souls are ringing,
  Guardian angels round us winging,
   When we're saved by grace.

  We must every day be growing
   When we're saved by grace;
  Progress in divine life making,
   When we're saved by grace;
  Upward, upward, nearer heaven,
  Life more peaceful and more even,
  Fuller light upon us beaming,
   When we're growing in grace.

You will, I hope, pardon the writer if he repeats too much. Repetition is
sometimes needed that a truth may be enforced. Sometimes line upon line is
needful.

What, in its true sense, is a holy life? It is the life of Jesus. His
whole manner of life was truly holy. His life is the ideal life. If we
would live holy, we must live as he lived. The artist has his ideal before
him, and with touches of the brush here and there upon his canvas he forms
an exact image of the ideal. The life of Jesus is what we are to imitate.
He sets the example of holy living and calls us to the same holy life. "As
he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
conversation." I Pet. 1:15. This text has a better rendering in the
Revised Version: "Like as he which called you is holy, be ye yourselves
also holy in all manner of living." As Christians we are God's offspring,
and as such are like him.

Holiness in the life of Jesus is found not only in the great miracles that
he performed, but also in the lesser happenings of his life. The restoring
of life to the dead is no more beautifully holy than the laying of his
hands upon the heads of children and blessing them. His memorable Sermon
on the Mount no more portrays the loveliness of his character than does
his conversation with the woman by the wayside well. It is the little
things in every-day life, if attended to and kept in the meekness and the
solemnity of the Spirit of Christ, that make life truly beautiful and
holy. It is not the eloquent sermon that makes a life so sublime, but it
is the tender smile, the kind word, the gentle look, given to all; it is
the patient manner in which all the little trying and provoking things of
life are met. You may preach or write ever so forcibly and eloquently, and
bring out the sublime truths of the Bible in great beauty; but if in the
privacy of your own home there are little frettings, a little peevishness,
a little crossness, a little levity, a little selfishness, a little
distrust, your life is not as truly holy as it should be.

If you desire God's holy image to be stamped upon your soul, your
countenance, and your life, you must carefully avoid the little sprigs of
lightness, the little bits of sloth and indolence, touches of forwardness,
rudeness, selfishness, etc. Pure words belong to a holy life. You should
use the very choicest words, language that is free from vulgarity, slang,
and the spirit of the world. Untidiness, uncleanness, carelessness, and
shabbiness are not at all beautiful ornaments in a holy life. But
quietness, modesty, and reticence are gems that sparkle in a holy life
like diamonds set in a band of gold. Give attention to your words, your
thoughts, your tone of voice, your feelings; to little acts of
benevolence, the practise of self-denial, of promptness, of method and
order. These are auxilaries of holy living. Are there not many little
things in your home life that you can improve upon? Seek God for help and
be truly holy.



LUKEWARMNESS.


A lukewarm life is a displeasure to God; he would have us to be fervent in
spirit. God is pleased with us when we are lively stones, but not when we
are formal and lukewarm. A lukewarm state is a dangerous state. One very
dangerous thing about it is that usually when a person is lukewarm he is
unaware that he is lukewarm. If a man is sick and does not know that he is
sick, he is in great danger of his life, because he is not at all likely
to take the proper care of himself. So the man who is cold and formal but
thinks he is spiritual and full of love is not at all likely to do
anything for the improvement of his spiritual condition. He is very much
like the Irishman's turtle. I hesitate to relate anything so amusing, but
it so well illustrates the state of the lukewarm professor that I think I
am justifiable.

Some Irishmen had caught a large turtle and cut off his head. Then they
waited for him to die, but the turtle scrambled about for some hours.
Desiring an explanation of such a phenomenon, they accosted an Irishman
who was passing by. After watching the turtle for a moment, he remarked,
"He is dead, but he doesn't know it." This is the condition of the
lukewarm professors. They are spiritually dead, but are not aware of it.
The professors of Christianity at Laodicea were lukewarm, but they thought
themselves rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.

Diseases of the human body are attended with certain feelings and symptoms
by which the physician can tell the nature of the affection in a
particular case. The diseases of the human soul are also attended with
certain symptoms by which the nature of the malady in a given case may be
known. I will now tell you of a few of the symptoms of lukewarmness, so
you may know whether such is your state.

First. A kind of doubtful or uncertain feeling as to whether you are right
with God, together with an unwillingness to examine yourself closely for
fear you are wanting. Being filled with the Spirit gives us fulness of
assurance.

Second. If when you testify to being saved, sanctified, and ready for the
coming of Jesus, your heart fails to say amen and you wish down in your
soul you had a little better assurance that what your lips say were true,
you are not as spiritual as you should be. When we are filled with the
Spirit, our souls are assured and satisfied.

Third. Going along day after day in the same routine of life, taking it
for granted that you are at the work the Lord wants you to do, and not
earnestly seeking to know his will. Those who are spiritual can not
be contented without a definite knowledge of the will of God. If you are
going along without any real and positive knowledge of the will of God and
are not seeking to know it, surely you are lukewarm.

Fourth. If when your routine of life is in some way interrupted, you are
dissatisfied and complain; if you do not enjoy being moved out of your old
channel, but you wish to be let alone, it is evident that you have chosen
your own way and that God is not ordering your steps.

Fifth. If when you are called to the assistance of a neighbor or the sick
or even an enemy, you find a reluctancy to go and an often returning of
your own mind to your own concerns and a desire to hurry back to them, you
are, it appears, looking upon your own things, and not on the things of
others. The Bible tells us to look upon the things of others. If you see
your own needs, and see and care but little about the things of others,
you are selfish. Those who are spiritual have time to help others and do
it willingly.

Sixth. If when called upon to go to the assistance of some unfortunate one
and you can not possibly go, if you do not have a deep heart-regret and if
you do not ofttimes during the day think of the poor unfortunate man and
be pained at heart because of your inability to help him, you must be more
concerned about yourself than about others. You look on your own things
and do not see nor feel the needs of others. If such is true in you, you
are in a lukewarm state.

Seventh. If you were to be asked whether you are doing the work you are
now doing, solely and purposely for the glory of God, and you should be
obliged to answer that you had taken no particular thought about it, but
supposed it mattered little to the Lord, just so you were doing something,
this would surely show neglect, indifference, lukewarmness.

Eighth. If you are indifferent and unconcerned about making spiritual
progress; if you are not desiring and earnestly seeking for more of God;
if you are not earnestly striving to be more meek and humble, to be more
kind and patient; if you are carelessly tolerating acts of selfishness, of
impatience, unkindness, harshness, and lightness, you are certainly
lukewarm.

Ninth. Neglect to read the Bible and to pray in secret; greater fervency
in public prayer than in secret prayer; more outward manifestation than
real inward piety; testifying or preaching beyond the true standard of
living--these too are evidences of lukewarmness. A man may become
enthusiastic in prayer, testimony, or sermon, and think he is making great
advancement; but if he does not live up to every word he speaks, he is
losing instead of gaining, because he is not walking in light.

Lukewarmness is very loathsome to God. It reproaches him. To make no
profession of love to God at all is not such a reproach to him as to
profess love and be lukewarm. God wants all your heart. If he can not have
it all, he will have none. He desires warm, fervent love. To love him only
partially, and not supremely, makes it appear as if he were worthy of only
half-hearted love. It makes other things equal with God.

After the physician learns the symptoms and pronounces the disease, he
then prescribes the remedy. Thank God, there is an unfailing remedy for
lukewarmness. Of course, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure." "Repent and do the first works." Come to God and buy of him gold
tried in the fire. Exercise yourself in spiritual things if there yet be
any love in your heart. Shake off everything that is stupefying. Press
your way through to God in spite of dryness and deadness. Stir up your
soul. Give yourself to deep meditation upon the great love of God to you.
Pray in fervency and faith. Consecrate to the whole will of God. If your
case is not hopeless--and it is not--this will effect a cure.



STEADFASTNESS.


"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord." 1 Cor. 15:58. Steadfastness is an
essential principle in Christian character. There can be no success nor
prosperity in the Christian life when this principle is wanting. The
Psalmist said, "My heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." This is true
steadfastness. It is cleaving to God, let the storms rage as they may. It
is resting and abiding in Jesus though the trials of life may be the
severest possible. It is a firm, fixed, settled decision to abide in
doctrines of the Bible. It is to rest confidingly upon the teaching and
promises of the Holy Scriptures. Just as a man lies confidently down to
rest upon his bed, so a Christian, in his steadfastness, rests
confidingly, rests without fear, upon the never-changing Word of God.

Through Jesus Christ, Christians are made partakers of the divine nature.
They receive the imprint of divine character in their souls. Among the
different principles in the character of God is found steadfastness. When
God delivered Daniel from the lions, Darius the king said, "I make a
decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before
the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever." Dan.
6:26. Just as Christian fortitude is noble, manly, and pleasing to God, so
a lack of steadfastness is ignoble, unmanly, and highly displeasing to
God.

Some (it may be many) are led by their feelings. We, as the children of
God, are to be led by the Spirit of God; but not all fully understand what
is meant by "being led by the Spirit." I would rather be led by a sense of
duty than by my feelings. I do not understand that in order to be led by
the Spirit we need always to have a strong inward impression or almost
audible voice speaking to us. The Spirit of God has illuminated the Word
and enlightened your mind to know what is your Christian duty; hence when
you go forward and discharge your duties faithfully, you are truly being
led by the Spirit. You know it to be your duty to help the poor, to
support the weak, to comfort the sorrowful, to attend religious services,
to witness for Jesus, to study the Scriptures, to pray, and diligently to
follow every good work. You may sometimes feel a strong impression to
pray, but you do not need to have this feeling always in order to be duty
-bound to pray. It is your duty to pray, to give of your means, etc.,
oftentimes just as much when you do not feel impressed to do so as when
you have strong inward impressions. You do not need to wait for such
impressions before you act, for a knowledge of your duty makes you
responsible.

A man can have no true steadfastness who is influenced by his emotions or
impressions. The man who is steadfast, unmovable in the Word, goes forward
to a discharge of his known duties, no matter what his feelings may be.
Whatever may be his impressions to do a certain thing, if it is not
consistent with the Word and the Spirit and his knowledge of right, he
persistently refuses to obey.

How the true principle of steadfastness abides in the will of God and the
doctrines of Christ is demonstrated in the teachings of Barnabas to the
church at Antioch. There was some contention in the church over
circumcision, and heavy persecutions from without, and many were being
moved from the true faith. Barnabas exhorted that with purpose of heart
they cleave to the Lord. Steadfastness is a firm, fixed purpose of the
heart to cleave unto God, to attend strictly and promptly to every
Christian duty. It is a decided, unchangeable, unshaken purpose of the
heart to obey implicitly the teachings of the Savior, regardless of the
feelings.

You will find that, if you attend to every Christian duty, you will often
have to go contrary to your feelings. How often the enemy of your soul
will, if he can, cast indifferent feelings over you concerning prayer.
That is the time to show your Christian fortitude and steadfastness. It is
weakness and laziness to neglect prayer simply because we do not feel
inclined to pray. To yield to indifferent feelings is to encourage them,
and they will grow stronger and stronger, so that we shall feel less and
less inclined to pray. The more we pray, the more prayerful we feel;
likewise, the less we pray, the less prayerful we feel. When we have
yielded to indifferent feelings for sometime and have sadly neglected
prayer, we have a hard struggle to get through to the glorious light and
victory and sweetness. But you must get out where the blessings fall; you
must get where you have sweet tastes of love and the satisfying blessings
of the presence of God. You must be courageous, manly, and decided. The
way to enjoy serving God and doing our full Christian duty is always to do
our duty and especially at those times when doing it seems to be the least
enjoyable.

Steadfastly resist Satan and every indifferent feeling, and do your duty
at any cost. Remember, it is not he that feels to do good and doeth it
not, but "he that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin,"



HOW TO UNDERSTAND GOD'S WILL.


In order to do God's will we must first know his will. In order to have
real satisfaction, rest, and contentment in the Christian life--and there
is no true rest outside the Christian life--we must have the full
assurance that we are doing the will of God. The soul that loves God can
not be satisfied with anything less than this. As long as there is a
doubt, there can not be perfect contentment. We must have a perfect
knowledge of God's will concerning us, or else we shall not fully know we
are doing his will.

Many are saying, "I would gladly do God's will if I only knew what was his
will." Such ones have not reached that nearness to God that they should.
There should always be a clear and definite understanding between God and
his children. "My sheep," Jesus says, "hear my voice"; and we know that
God hears the voice of his children. We can talk to God and God to us;
consequently, there can be understanding between us. You can live close
enough to God to know his will--not merely to suppose his will or take it
for granted, but to know it because he told you. A man's employees may
suppose they are doing what he wants them to do, but this does not give
them full assurance. It is only when they have been in his presence and
heard him express his will that they know they are doing it. You can know
God's will. You need not spend one day without knowing you are in his
order.

The Scripture says, "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what
the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5: 17. In the verses preceding this one we
are told to walk circumspectly and to redeem the time. We need to know
God's will that we may use every opportunity to the greatest advantage. To
pass along day after day without a definite knowledge of being in the will
of God or without taking much thought about it or earnestly seeking to
know it, is living on entirely too low a spiritual plane. God wants you to
come up higher--high enough and close enough to know his will. Has not God
purchased you? You are his servant, his bondslave. You are to do
everything you do for him. He who has men in his employ expects them to do
his will. They do not go out a single day ignorant of his will. They do
not always wait to be told what to do, but they make inquiry. With many
there may not be enough earnest seeking after God to know his will.

In order to know God's will there must be a perfect consecration to God.
The soul must lay down her own will and present herself before God as much
as to say, "I give up my way and will forever to be thine and thine alone;
to love thee and serve thee; to do thy whole will now and forever." There
must be humility before God; a deep inner consciousness of your
nothingness and your inability to accomplish anything in life of yourself.
"The meek he will guide in judgment." We must be meek and humble before
the Lord and confess that we are dependent on him and that life will be an
utter failure unless he wills and guides and plans and works in us and
with us and for us.

There must be great love to God and an earnest desire to know his will.
Without strong desire to know God's will you can never learn it. It is
those who desire that obtain answers to their prayers; and that desire
must be really great. You must seek to know. Where there is great desire,
there will be earnest seeking; but there will not be earnest seeking
without the fervent desire. The desire must be so intense that you feel as
if you must know. You must feel that you can not get along in life without
knowing God's will. You can not be of any service to him without having
knowledge of his will. You must also have faith. When you ask God to teach
you his will, you must believe he will do it, and he will do it. When he
begins to unfold his will, you must move in his order without doubting or
questioning. He will guide you and direct your every step, and you can
know that you are doing the very thing God wants you to do. Bless his
name! Such a life is heaven here.



A VIEW OF JESUS.


Let us take a look at Jesus. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may unveil
him and present him to us clearly. Now we see him. We see him as our all
and as in all. Can you see him thus? Is he everything to you? and is he in
everything that comes to you?

Let us take a view of Jesus through two texts of Scripture. First, "And
hath put all things under his feet." Eph. 1:22. We see him as our
protector. Christ has conquered all, and God has put all things under his
Son's feet. In all the world there is no evil thing that can harm the
child of God. Jesus cares for his children. How safe we feel! He is our
refuge, our strong tower, our buckler, and our shield. Discouragements,
doubts, fears, disease, Satan, and all that would antagonize us are under
his feet and so can never do us harm.

Second, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his
hand." Every good thing is in the hand of Jesus. He stands ready to give
them to his children. There is not a need you can ever have but Jesus has
in his hand something with which to supply that need. His loving hand is
extended to you. It contains something that will meet all your needs in
life. Praise the Lord!

Nothing can harm us, for every harmful and harming thing is beneath the
feet of our Lord. So we need not fear. We can never fail to have all our
needs supplied, for Jesus stands with outstretched hand to give just what
we need just when we need it. Do you see Jesus as such? Open your eyes
wide, look and live, and be happy and free.



DEVOTION TO GOD.


Devotion to God implies ardent affection for him--a yielding of the heart
to him with reverence, faith, and piety in every act, particularly in
prayer and meditation. We catch a glimpse of the true meaning of devotion
from what is said of the centurion of the Italian band. He was termed a
devout man because he feared God, gave much alms to the people, and prayed
to God always (see Acts 10:2). This is the essence of true devotion. He
loved God, without which there can be no devotion. The more we love an
object, the more devoted to it we are. Devotion is therefore love
manifested. At the feet of Jesus stood a woman weeping and washing his
feet with her tears and wiping them with the hairs of her head and kissing
them. Is not this a picture of devotion? It is love and devotion expressed
in action. Jesus said, "She loved much." The secret of devotion is loving
much.

Every devoted Christian desires to be more devoted to his God. I am glad
we can be. It is pleasant to feel in our hearts an ardent desire to love
God more. A fond mother clasps her babe to her bosom. She loves it, and
her heart is happy in that love; but she feels she can not love it enough.
She longs to love it more. Her heart yearns to love it more, though she
loves it from the fulness of her soul. This longing to love increases our
capacity to love. By being filled with air some vessels are made to
expand. Unless filled to their utmost capacity, they would not become more
extended. To the extent that the heart is filled with the love of God, man
is happy.

To desire to be more devotional is not an evidence of lack of devotion,
but, on the contrary, an evidence of devotion. Those who are the least
devotional have the least desire to be more devotional. The heart that is
fullest of love is happiest; and although it is happy and satisfied, yet
it longs to move. Oh, how we long to clasp our arms more tightly about
him! how we long to have him clasp his arms more tightly about us! how we
long to nestle more fondly and lovingly on his bosom! What rapture to our
love-flooded souls to receive of his caresses and hear his tender words!
To the soul in the ecstasy of its heavenly love, the world with its
pleasures has vanished away like a morning vapor.

It is not understood by all how and why we should have a desire to possess
more of that of which we are already full. It is the desire for
development; it is an innate desire; it is a principle planted in our
constitution under grace. Let me repeat what I have said elsewhere: Every
living thing consciously or unconsciously struggles to conform to type.
When the little plant bursts through the ground, it enters the race in
conforming to the type that it carries in its bosom. Thus, in the heart of
the acorn is a miniature oak-tree. The little chick carries within it an
image of the mother bird, to which it will naturally though unconsciously
conform.

In the natural world when things reach the highest point of development,
they begin to decay or deteriorate; but this is not true in the spiritual
world. Never in this life and possibly never in that life which is to come
shall we reach the fulness of the type, or, in other words, the highest
point of development. As the acorn or the little chick bears in its nature
an image of the parent, so the Christian bears in his soul the image of
God. This is the image to which he is to conform. Day after day he can
grow in grace. Day after day the beautiful graces of the Spirit can become
more beautiful and the exterior life be more perceptibly stamped with the
holy image of God. There must be progress, or there will be regress. When
a ball that has been thrown upward ceases to ascend, it begins to descend.
When the fulness of the type is reached, then begins the retrogression.
This is none the less true of spiritual things. The reason why there need
be no declension in love is because the highest point of development is
never attained.

For illustration let us set a little child in our midst. As a child it is
perfect. All its organs are in proper place and are properly performing
their functions. It is a perfect image of the type of man into which it
will grow. That child's nature tends toward, and the child longs to be, a
man. The child's innate desire for development does not make it
discontented as long as its craving for growth is gratified. In this we
behold the goodness and the wisdom of the Creator. That the child may be
happy, it is so constituted that it satisfactorily meets all the
requirements of the law of development. The child is thus kept in a state
of contentment. Did it seek to fulfil the law of growth contrary to its
nature, to become a man would be an irksome task. It is a delight to the
child to eat, to play, to sleep. And these things, producing growth, meet
the demands of its nature. There is implanted in it both a desire to grow
and a relish for the things necessary to its growth. Thus the entire
process of development is a delight. In fact, there will be no delight or
enjoyment unless there be development.

True, a child does not eat and play for the express purpose of growing.
Indeed, it may take no thought about growing. But there is in the nature
of the child, when in health, a demand for growth. When the child is in
ill health, the growth ceases; consequently there is no demand for
development, and it loses relish for the things that go to meet that
demand.

This very beautifully illustrates Christian development which includes
becoming more devotional. You desire to be more devotional. Such a desire
is legitimate. The nature of every sanctified soul craves development. The
soul is not dissatisfied, any more than the growing child. As that
developing life in the child moves it to seek for the things that produce
development, so the life of God in the sanctified soul moves it to seek
for the things that will unfold and amplify that life. "If ye be risen
[have life] with Christ, seek those things which are above." Those things,
coming into our soul daily, will unfold us more and more into an heavenly
life. They are food to the sanctified soul. They keep the soul satisfied,
because they are the means provided by a loving, all-wise Providence for
the constant healthful growth of our spiritual natures. Herein only is
true soul-rest.

God gives us a relish for the very things that go to fulfil the demands of
our Christian nature. Prayer, meditation, reading the Bible, trust, and
resting in the Lord promote increase in him. How delightful is prayer to
the soul that is healthful and growing! and the Word of God is sweeter
than honey. Where there is a demand in the soul for these things, how
delightful it is to engage in them! Do you behold the beauty and the
wisdom here? God implants a desire in the soul for spiritual development
and at the same time implants a relish for the things necessary for such
development. Bless his name! Understand me, please, this desire is not a
restless longing, an aching void, as is found in an unregenerate heart or
in a soul in spiritual decline; but it is the delightful struggling of a
soul bearing the likeness of God, to conform to the natural law of
development pent up within its bosom.

What is it in the nature of the oak that causes it to send its root down
into the soil and to drink up of its substance? What is it in the nature
of the child that causes it so eagerly to eat and play? It is the demand
in their nature for growth, or that innate struggle to conform to type.
Manhood is sleeping in the child's bosom, and it wrestles and struggles to
rise to the fulness of that image. What causes the Christian heart to long
to root deeper into God; that makes the soul seek his embrace? It is that
instinctive struggle to conform to God's glorious image. The entire
process of development is delightful. Whenever the natural tendency toward
growth ceases, the soul is in an abnormal state, and loses relish for the
things necessary to growth.

Christian, see to it that you keep in your heart a desire, a longing, a
panting, or, if you would rather I will say, a demand, in your spiritual
being to be more devotional to God, and meet that demand by resting by
faith in him, by prayer, by meditation, by service. Do this, and you will
become more devotional. But I love the word "desire." Desire in the soul
for spiritual things is appetite. Satisfying this desire is a pleasure.
Never were any viands so sweet to the physical sense of taste as that food
to our soul which helps us be more devotional. "Desire" is a Bible term.
"As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye
may grow thereby."

Before concluding this chapter I will call your attention to one way of
becoming more devotional--being active in service. Desire must be
gratified, or it will die. Likewise, motive must find expression in
action, or it will die. You have a desire for prayer; then grant that
desire by actually praying, or you will lose the desire. An appetite once
lost is difficult to regain. You may have in your soul a pure motive; then
carry it into action. Do something for God, and you will become more
devotional to God. Not that devotion comes by works, to begin with, any
more than grace; but we do become more devotional by doing, just as we
grow stronger physically by exercise. Follow out every inclination to do
good as far as you can, and you will become more devotional to your God.

God loves to have you devoted to him, and he longs to have you more
devoted. It is astonishing, nevertheless God has intense desire to be
prayed to and great love for communion with our hearts. He says, "My son,
give me thine heart." What does he want with man's heart? He wants to put
his love in it, so he can be loved by it and hold communion with it. "The
prayer of the upright is his delight." Oh, that there are so few hearts
that love God! Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they would not come to
him. But why does he so intensely yearn for the prayers and devotions of
our hearts? Because it is another young life struggling to conform to the
image in which it was created. It is another soul which has been won for
God and in which he has his throne.

O God! take our hearts and compress within them that pure love from thy
own heart that will cause us to pray, "O God! enlarge our hearts." God
would even pain our hearts with the fulness of his love until we find no
ease except in expansion.



THE GOLDEN RULE OF LIFE.


"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them like wise."
Luke 6:31. This is a good rule for every-day living. It is known
throughout the Christian world as "The Golden Rule." It has great depths.
It contains more no doubt than any of us comprehend. But let us study it
for a moment. We might divide it into two rules: First, Do good to all;
second, Do harm to none. We would that all men should do us good, and we
would that none should do us harm. But if we would see the greater depths
of this rule, we must look beyond the physical man. To do good to all and
harm to none in a bodily or physical sense is indeed good, but to do good
to all and harm to none in a moral sense is much better. We should do all
we can to help others in a moral sense. Is not this what we would have all
men do to us? We should do harm to none in a moral sense, because we would
have none do us harm. This necessitates living a very holy life.

There are two ways in which we may do good to men morally: first, by
strengthening the good that is in them; second, by suppressing and helping
them to overcome any evil or fault that may be in them. Likewise, there
are two ways in which we may do harm to men morally: first, by
strengthening and encouraging the evil and fault that may be in them;
second, by suppressing and destroying the good that may be in them.

We are all creatures of influence. We are being influenced, and we are
having an influence. There never was a human life but that had some
influence over some other human life. We influence more by example than by
words. If we say one thing and act another, we shall find our actions
speaking more loudly than our words. If we love God with all our hearts,
that love will influence another to love him. Never was love lost. The
love you have, O child of God, will find its way into some other life
sometime, somewhere. The more of God's love is beaming out of our heart
and life, the greater will be our influence upon others. Then may we love
him with all the heart. We should be filled with the Spirit. If we are
spiritual, we cause those we converse with to desire to be more spiritual.
We should be full of faith that our strong faith may help others to have
more faith. We should like for others to be such an example to us; and as
we would that men should do to us, let us do to them.

It is a very great source of regret, indeed, to be so destitute of love,
faith, and spirituality that we discourage and dampen the ardor of those
into whose presence we may be for a time. Be your very best for God every
day of your life and wield a holy influence over the hearts of men. The
very greatest benefit we can be to man and the highest homage we can pay
to God is to be filled with all the fulness of God.



TIMELINESS IN DOING GOOD.


To spend well this one brief life of ours, we must be active in doing
good. This we have already learned. But not only should we be active in
doing good, but we should do the good act when the act will be most
helpful. Do the good deed when the good deed needs to be done. The kind
word may be worth much and be greatly helpful to the fainting soul today,
but may be too late tomorrow. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do
good unto all men." Will you stop a moment and think over these words? Let
no opportunity of doing good go by you unimproved. To neglect the present
opportunity of doing good and then never be able to do it is a sad thing.

  "Of all sad words of tongue or pen
  The saddest are these: 'It might have been.'"

Why do you keep all the kind thoughts and kind words for a man until he is
dead? They do him no good then. It is while he is living that he needs
them. He has burdens heavy to be borne; troubles gather thick over his
head; he is neglected and even misrepresented. You can help him with a
smile or a few kind words; but, no, you pass him by. Now he is brought to
the grave. As the cold clods fall upon his plain coffin, you say, "Well,
he was a good man, after all." Why did you not tell him that when he was
living? It would have buoyed up his spirit then; it would have made him
feel that life was not all in vain and that yet he might do a little good.
But now he hears not your words. They return to you or float out into
empty space a mere sound. The ear that was once eager for them and the
heart that was aching for them is now cold in death. Your kind, cheering
words are too late to give him encouragement; your flowers are too late to
be appreciated. Once they would have brightened his life, but now his life
is over. Once you could have chased away some clouds that were darkening
his life, but you did not, and that day has gone into eternity as a day of
darkness. You might have brightened it. This morning some kind hand placed
a vase of beautiful flowers upon my desk. As I write, their fragrance
reaches me and brings me tidings of some one's kind remembrance.

It costs but little to speak kind words, but oh! ofttimes they are worth
so much! I know of nothing that costs so little to give that is so
valuable to receive. But why keep all the flowers, the kind words, the
tender feelings and thoughts, and the sympathetic tears until the one to
whom they should be given passes away, and then come and let them fall so
gently upon the casket? Do you know of one who is weary? do you know of
one who is being misrepresented? do you know of one who is being trodden
down by others, with scarcely any one to speak a word of comfort? Now,
what would Jesus do? Look at poor Lazarus--turned away by the rich,
neglected and rejected; watched over by angels ready to gather him to
paradise when he passes beyond the need of aid from men. Why not be an
angel and make a day of paradise for him here? Let us do some angel-work
while here in life. The angels are ministering spirits. They whisper, "Be
of good cheer," "Peace on earth." They come to gladden hearts; they come
to close the lions' mouths; they come to open the prison doors and break
the iron bands. Oh, let us do some angel-work!

  Hast thou any flowers for me?
  Wilt thou kindly let them be
  Given ere death be-dews my brow?
  Wait not, give them to me now.

  While in life's eventful day
  Tried, and weary grows the way,
  When in dark and lonely hour,
  Give me then the cheering flow'r.

  Hast thou kind words to impart,
  Words that lift the fainting heart?
  Speak ere Death's hand on me lay;
  Speak those kind words now--today.

  Kind words are but empty breath
  To the heart that's still in death;
  When life's load is hard to bear
  Let me then the kind word hear.

  Hast thou sunlit smiles to give,
  Smiles that make us want to live?
  Ere I cross death's sullen stream,
  On me let those bright smiles beam.

  Smiles, whate'er their power to save,
  Can not penetrate the grave.
  Ere I reach life's ending mile,
  Give to me the sunlit smile.

  Prayer can stay the trembling knee:
  If thou hast but one for me,
  Let it offered be today,
  Ere the life-light fades away.

  When my soul transcends the air,
  I no more shall need thy prayer:
  Let now, today, thy soul travail;
  'Tis only now thy prayers avail.

  "If I should die tonight,
  My friends would call to mind with loving thought
  Some kindly deed the icy hand had wrought,
  Some gentle word the frozen lips had said,
  Errands on which the willing feet had sped;
  The memory of my selfishness and pride,
  My hasty words, would all be put aside,
  And so I should be loved and mourned tonight."



THE WARFARE OF A CHRISTIAN LIFE.


It is blessed and glorious to be a Christian. No other life is so
beautiful and pure; no other life is so tranquilly peaceful; no other is
so full of rest, happiness, and satisfaction. The Christian, however, does
not go to heaven on flowery beds of ease. His pathway is not strewn with
roses all the way; there is now and then a thorn. It is not sunshine all
the time; now and then a shadow falls. To win heaven he must fight. There
are some things to oppose a Christian on his pilgrimage to the skies;
these he must contend against. The contending against those things
prepares him for his blissful home above.

"All things work together for good to them that love God." Heaven's
blessings and hell's venom, angels' smiles and Satan's frowns, comforts of
grace and spiritual wickedness, good and ill, love and hatred, all work
good to those who have union with God. It is the battle that disciplines
and makes strong and brave the warrior, and not the victory. We are
exhorted to "endure hardness as a good soldier." There are some things to
endure along the Christian way. James says, "Blessed is the man that
endureth temptation." Temptations are outward influences acting upon our
natural emotions and passions to induce the will to act contrary to the
law of grace to satisfy self. We need not expect to be free from
temptations; therefore let us settle it that we will endure them. It is
really a blessed thing to endure them. You may think it would be a blessed
thing to be free from them, but such would not be the case. It is more
blessed to endure them. Temptations will never cease to attack the soul as
long as it inhabits this "muddy vesture of decay." Be brave, O soul, and
endure temptations. Be brave and fight the good fight of faith. Do not
faint because you have temptations. Do not fear because there are long and
fierce battles to fight. Be strong and of good courage. It is a life-long
struggle, and it is also a life-long victory, and in the end eternal
victory. Strong and well-developed spiritual sinews are the result of
resisted temptations.

It is not sinful to be tempted. We never lose any spirituality by being
tempted. It is the slight yieldings that cause a leaking, a loss of grace.
Clear up the vision of your faith a little and take a look at your
beautiful glittering crown of life. It is not gold, neither crystal. Do
not look at it as such, but see it a crown of life. Yes, you will be
crowned with eternal life if you will but endure temptation. Think of this
in the hour of thy sore trial. Fight on; heaven awaits to reward you.



LIVE BY FAITH.


Live by faith. There is no other true and right way to live. Without faith
it is impossible to please God, and of course the life that pleases God is
the only life that is perfect. We can please God; we can walk each day in
a way that is pleasing to him. Such a walk is by faith, not by sight. God
honors faith. He loves to have his Word believed. He delights to hear the
prayer of faith; it avails with him.

Around the great white throne in heaven the angels are shouting day and
night, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving, honor and power, belong to thee." But amid all this
sound of praise God hears a voice and bends an ear to listen. It is the
prayer of faith from the heart of one of his children. There is never too
many angels singing nor too many harps resounding for God to hear the
voice of his child. "My voice," said the sweet singer of Israel, "shalt
thou hear in the morning." He hears the first faint cry of his heaven-born
child. Even the unuttered wish of the heart, the unexpressed desire, the
faintest breathing of love, he hears and recognizes as the voice of his
child. Faith will wing its way into the presence of God. It traverses the
universe until it finds him and there brings the soul to its rest. Faith
will guide us through this world.

Faith touches God. A woman came to Jesus and tremblingly reached out her
feeble hand and touched the hem of his garment. He asked, "Who touched
me?" It was not the finger-touch that he felt, but the faith-touch. Today
we can touch him by faith and by no other way. Though many angels may be
thronging him, yet the feeblest touch of faith will reach him. You may be
one of the weakest ones, unnoticed and unknown. A little cabin on the
mountainside may be your home, but your feeblest cry of faith will reach
the throne of God, and he will send angels to encamp round about you and
deliver you. Have faith in God. When all is dark around you,
believe in him. Trust him when you can not trace, and believe when you can
not see. Never doubt his Word. Faith will prevail and bring you the desire
of your heart. Will you believe?



A VALUABLE LEGACY.


A legacy is a gift that some one makes to another; usually something that
one leaves behind, when departing from this world, for others to enjoy.
Some have left great sums of money to others and to institutions, and
these bequests have been called valuable legacies. I am now to tell you of
the greatest and most valuable legacy that has ever been left to man. It
is a bequest left not to one man but to all men. It is not a legacy of
silver or gold or diamonds nor of houses and lands. Nor can this precious
gift be purchased with gold. It is something Jesus gives; and what he has
can not be purchased with any earthly thing. I will read you what it is:
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." These are the words
that Jesus uttered just before his departure from the world, and this is
the legacy he leaves to man. Oh, what a gift! We can all possess it. We
need it as we are crossing the sea of life. Many storms arise and billows
roll high, but the soul possesses this valuable treasure of peace. There
is a stillness, a calmness, a peacefulness, in the soul that stormy winds
can never disturb.

This peace that Jesus gives, is given us through our obedience. "Oh, that
thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a
river." What is more peaceful than the calm, even flowing of a river? As
we look upon it a quiet peacefulness begins to spread its mantle over our
hearts. Still waters are a beautiful emblem of peace, while troubled
waters are a picture of unrest.

This peace that Jesus gives is unlike anything that the world gives. This
world contains many pleasant things and makes many very liberal offers,
but peace is never found by accepting any of them. The pleasures of this
world leave a bitter taste, while the hardships we endure for Jesus
sweetens our cup.

Shall we analyze this peace, that we may know all about it, even the very
hidden secret of the principle? The apostle says, "The peace of God, which
passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds." Let
us be satisfied to have our hearts and minds kept by this wonderful peace,
though we do not understand it. I have some flowers on my desk. There are
white ones and yellow and purple and red and pale blue. I do not
understand the principle of life that gives them such beauty and
fragrance. If I should dissect them in order to discover this secret, I
should destroy their beauty and be no wiser. We can not understand this
peace, but we can possess it.

There is power in this peace to keep the heart and mind. "Let the peace of
God rule in your hearts." Give thy heart over to its calm, still power. It
will rule very quietly in your soul, but rule with kingly power. The
waters can not rise in trouble where peace holds sway. When this secret
power has dominion in our hearts, it speaks peace to all around. It says
to the waves and the winds, "Peace, be still." On the attacking fears, on
the threatening circumstances, it lays a quiet hand and whispers, "Peace,
be still," and great is the calmness of thy soul.



SOME SCRIPTURES FOR DAILY PRACTISE.


If we seek God earnestly in the prayer of faith to help us in our daily
practise of the following Scriptural texts and then put forth our best
efforts, we shall find life daily growing more holy and beautiful. The
beauty and enjoyment of a holy life is that it can always be improved
upon. We can live in all the light that shines upon us from these texts
today, but tomorrow we find them shining a little brighter and fuller
light, so that we shall have to live a little more holy than we are living
today. Thus, all along our Christian way we shall find that we are growing
and becoming holier in life, and more of the transcendent beauty of Jesus
will be seen upon us.

"And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Eph. 4:32. Let this law
of kindness get into your life as its very essence. It is not enough to
affect kindness; we must be kind. A tender heart is the groundwork of
kindness. Out of such a soil the beautiful flowers of gentleness,
kindness, and tenderness grow. These perfume the life and make it cheering
to others. Can you be more kind in your daily life? Is your heart so
tender that it feels the suffering of the child or the pain of the dumb
animal to the extent that you find pleasure in giving relief even at the
expense of self-ease?

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Col.
3:2. Guard your heart. "Keep it with all diligence." See that all of its
affections are on things above. Some of the earthly things that God has
given into your keeping will want some of your affection. The beautiful
home, the farm, the bank-account, the domestic animals, and even some
things almost worthless will want a little of your heart's love. Your own
talents and personal appearance may desire some of your affection, just
enough to set you approving them for your own sake. Practise daily the
above text.

"In everything give thanks." 1 Thess. 5:18. "Giving thanks always for all
things." Eph. 5:20. Thankfulness is a grace easily improved and developed
if cultivated. Likewise, it will very soon degenerate if neglected. In
order to keep a deep sense of thankfulness in our hearts, we must be
mindful of the gracious dealings of God. It is well to take time as often
as circumstances will permit to meditate in some quiet place upon the
goodness of God to you. We should have such thankful hearts that ofttimes
tears of gratitude will flow at the remembrance af God's goodness.

"Rejoice evermore." 1 Thess. 5:16. "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing." 2
Cor. 6:10. "Rejoice alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Phil. 4:4. "Count it
all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." Jas. 1:2. This is the power
of the Christian life. We can always rejoice. We can be contented and
happy, whatever our circumstances in life. God's grace will sustain us.
Every day can be, and should be, a day of rejoicing. God is pleased to
have us happy, but he would have our rejoicing to be in him and not in his
blessings. To rejoice in the midst of trial is health to the soul.

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thess. 5:17. "Continue in prayer, and watch in
the same with thanksgiving." Col. 4:2. "Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints." Eph. 6:18. If you value peace and
prosperity of soul, you will not neglect to pray. It is prayer that keeps
us up above the clouds and brings heaven down. He who does not pray at all
is not a Christian, and he who does not pray much is not much of a
Christian. It is not those who have plenty of time to pray that do the
most praying, but they who take the time. Let there be some prayer every
day.

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem others better than themselves." Phil. 2:3. This should be
the experience of your heart every day. When we are lowly, we see our own
faults and imperfections and our brother's virtues; therefore we look upon
him as better than ourselves. It seems to us that others are more humble
than we are, and have more faith and love God more than we do.

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of
others." Phil. 2:4. We should be as much concerned in others' welfare as
in our own. He who is looking out for himself and neglecting others has
not advanced very far in the Christian life. The Christian lives for
others. He will overlook his own needs and see his brother's needs.

"See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that
which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." I Thess. 5: 15.
"And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all
men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Gal. 6:9,
10. To go about doing good out of a heart full of love is the way to spend
life. Heaven is going to reward us according to our works. The Bible tells
us so. Never a day should go by without our having done some good thing
purposely out of love to God and man. The Lord does not overlook small
deeds when done in love. A coral is very small, but many of them make an
island: a little good deed done every day will in a lifetime amount to
enough to build a splendid mansion in heaven.

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Gal.
6:2. To lift a load from off the shoulders of another is noble service. To
remove a burden from another's heart is truly Christlike. He who goes
through life bearing the burdens of others has found the easiest road; he
who goes through life refusing to aid others travels a road of hardest
toil.

"Abhor that which is evil." Rom. 12:9. God is holy; consequently he hates
that which is evil. When we admire the holiness of God, we loathe sin; if
sin has no horror to our soul, holiness has no beauty. To the extent we
love holiness, to that extent we hate sin. A good man of long ago said,
"If I could see the shame of sin on the one hand and the pain of hell on
the other, and must of necessity choose one, I would rather be thrust into
hell without sin than go to heaven with sin."

Sin is a hideous monster. Draw near to God if you would see sin's awful
hideousness. Unlike most other things, the farther you are away from sin
the more clearly you can see it as it really is.

"Cleave to that which is good." Rom. 12:9. To cleave to is to adhere
tightly; to cling. We cleave to that which is good by ever doing good.
When we hate sin as we should and see its awful shame, and love the good
and see its wondrous beauty, we would rather go to hell doing good than to
heaven committing sin.

"Draw nigh to God." Jas. 4:8. The close of every day should find us a
little nearer God than the evening before. We should hide a little more
secretely in his pavilion. We should nestle a little more closely under
his wing; his feathers should cover us a little more fully. Be the storms
what they may, we can daily live very close to God, and what we can do it
is our duty to do.

"Open thy mouth wide." Psa. 81:10. We should daily live with wide-open
mouth. If we will, the promise is that God will fill it. For God to be all
to us, we must expect all from him. God can impart to us only what our
hearts are open to receive. If we would live with God in our own soul, we
must have all our soul open to receive him. Many fail to see the beauty of
a life hid with God because they are looking too much earthward. Opening
the mouth wide implies an abandonment of ourself to God with a readiness
to receive all that God has to give, together with an expectation to
receive nothing that does not come from him. Then God will fill us daily
with himself. There will be a constant inflowing from God of strength and
ability to perform every duty of life, and of grace and peace to make life
an emblem of heaven. "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou
shouldest know his will." Acts 22:14. "Not with eye-service, as
men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God
from the heart." Eph. 6:6. "I delight to do thy will, O my God"
Psa. 40:8. It is our privilege to daily know the will of God. It is
our duty to daily do it. It is a blessing to love to do it. Here is
the sum of all Christian living: 1. Knowing the will of God; 2. Doing the
will of God; 3. Doing the will of God in love.

  "I asked the New-year for some motto sweet,
  Some rule of life with which to guide my feet;
  I asked, and paused; he answered soft and low,
  'God's will to know.'

  "'Will knowledge then suffice, New-year?' I cried,
  And e'en the question into silence died:
  The answer came, 'Nay, but remember, too,
  God's will to do.'

  "Once more I asked: 'Is there no more to tell?'
  And once again the answer sweetly fell,
  'Yes, this one thing all other things above:
  God's will to love.'"

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings." Phil. 2:14. Let thy
life be free from all frettings and worryings. Let it be like the calm
flowing of the river. God is a strong and high tower, a refuge, a shield.
With our life hidden in him, worries and frettings can not reach us. We
may be treated unjustly by a bosom friend, but we commit it to God, and
instead of feeling the wound the friend gives, we feel the balm our Father
gives.

"Be content with such things as ye have." Heb. 13:5. "I have learned, in
whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Phil. 4:11. He who has
gained contentment has gained more than he who has gained the wealth of a
world, if it be contentment with godliness. A discontented life is a dark
spot on the page of human history. An even, contented life is as a
lighthouse shedding its peaceful beams over the turbulent waters where
voyagers come and go.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13.
"I am mighty enough for all things through Christ who empowers me."--
Rotherham. There is no excuse for your not living a perfectly victorious
life today. You can be a conqueror. Temptations will assail you, trials
will come, but you can ignore them in such a way as to show their author
your contempt for both him and his temptations. I read just this morning
this good suggestion: "Do not dwell upon your temptations. They are like
little dogs that bark after a man that passes by; if he stops to drive
them away, they bark more fiercely than before." You can do all things
through Christ, but you must do them in his way. Ofttimes he would have
you ignore temptations instead of fighting them. It is well ofttimes not
even to ask, "Who is there," when temptations come knocking at your door.

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of
mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;
forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a
quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Col. 3:
12, 13. Such a life is a heavenly life. Think these words over and make
them your experience today. Have bowels of mercies--that yearning,
longing, compassionate feeling that would gladly bring every offender to
Jesus for forgiveness. Be kind. Oh, the power of kindness! It can not be
resisted; it conquers wherever it goes. This cold world knows no music so
sweet as kindness; it charms and delights the ears of all. If you would be
kind in word and act, be kind in thought. Be humble in mind. Think well of
others and not so well of yourself. Life will flow on peacefully and
easily if we are humble; nothing can disturb. Be meek, sweet, and mild
tempered. Bear long with the failings and weaknesses of others, carefully
considering your own and keeping in mind how you would like to have others
bear with you.

"And above all these things put on charity; which is the bond of
perfectness." Col. 3:14. Throw the mantle of love over every act and
thought in life. Love purely, love sincerely, love fervently. Nothing is
so great as love. All the graces have their seat in love; you can not be
compassionate, kind, humble, meek, or forbearing without love.

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts." Col. 4: 15. Let the peace
of God act as umpire, deciding every case. Let it have the ruling power in
your heart and life today and every day. Whatever matters may arise, let
the peace of God take it in hand and dispose of it. If it shows any
resistance, then let the peace of God cast it out.

"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know
how ye ought to answer every man." Col. 4: 6. "Let no corrupt
communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use
of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Eph. 4: 29.
Have a pure speech, made mighty by the grace of God. Be sober without
gloom, be serious with cheerfulness. Have such a conversation as is suited
to lift hearts to a higher plane. Your words should be such as to make
better those you talk with and make them feel that there is something
higher for them.

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:16. Time is more
than money; it is life. Do not waste it. Improve its golden moments today.
Be economical in its use. Many complain of not having time for devotional
reading and for prayer, while if they would examine carefully, they would
find that they trifle away as much time as would he needed for prayer each
day.

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Eph. 5:21. This
is beautiful. Submissiveness is a desirable grace and one that will strew
your pathway with peace. How blessed it is to be always ready to give up
our way! It is the easy way. We shall find life's way a hard road to
travel if we are always wanting our way.

"Be careful for nothing." Phil. 4:6. "Casting all your care upon him; for
he careth for you." 1 Pet. 5: 7. "Take no thought for your life, what ye
shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put
on." Matt. 6:25. The Christian life is one of freedom from anxiety. Jesus
will bear all our burdens, and cares if we will but cast them on him.
There is no need to worry nor to bear a load of care. A certain brother
was much troubled about not having bread for the next meal. But while he
was troubling himself and bearing his load, a man drove up and unloaded a
barrel of flour at the door. All the time the brother was troubled, the
barrel of flour was on the way. Take no anxiety for future things.

"Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still." Psa. 4:4. Each
evening in some quiet place and with interior stillness talk with your
heart and let your heart talk to you. Take a distinctive view of your
inward life. You need to be very careful lest you outwardly appear to be a
little more than you really are inwardly.

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
liveth in me." Gal. 2:20. Is it true? Does Jesus live in you? If you are
smitten upon the right cheek, does Jesus then live in you? If you are evil
spoken of, misrepresented, misunderstood, neglected, dispised and
forsaken, does Jesus live in you then? If you see your brother in need; if
you have two coats and he has none, does Jesus live in you then? There are
some in prison near you; there are those who are sick; there are those who
are thirsty and hungry; in foreign lands there are heathen that know not
God,--are you sure Jesus lives in you?

"Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I can not
perceive him: on the left hand, where he doth work, but I can not behold
him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I can not see him." Job
23:8,9. This may be your experience some days. In fact, if you are making
progress and at all approaching maturity, you will have such experiences.
Some dear conscientious Christians become much troubled because they are
not more conscious of God's presence. They do not feel him, and thus they
conclude they must be very formal. I have always believed and taught that
we should have a consciousness of God's presence with us; I still believe
and teach it; but I must admit that the most spiritual ofttimes can not
perceive God on either hand. They may fear that they are lifeless, because
there is not a fresh and sweet spontaneous feeling in their souls. It
seems to them that they merely go through the form of worshiping God
instead of being in the Spirit. They pray, but their prayers seem to have
no depth of heart. In consequence they may be troubled. They need not be.
We are not necessarily lukewarm because we do not feel God. The most
humble men are those who are least conscious of their humility. The
greatest of men are those who take no note of their greatness. The
Christian has life; but when we get in the habit of living, we are not so
conscious of life.

Let me illustrate the point in this way: Suppose your weakness to be
selfishness. You struggle hard against that selfish principle; you notice
that you are becoming more unselfish; you are conscious of it because you
have had to put forth such effort to attain it; but after you have gained
the victory and have become habituated to living an unselfish life, you
will be less conscious of your unselfishness. The musician is not so
conscious of his skill after he has mastered the art as he is while
learning it. Those who are the meekest and have the most intimate converse
with heaven, diffusing a fragrance round about them from their holy lives
and seeming to be visitants from some world where there is no sin--these
are least conscious of their high spiritual attainments.

Live a holy life, obey the commandments of God, have a will to serve God,
and if sometimes you do not feel him nor perceive him, do not be troubled,
but consider that he knows the way you take and that when he has tried
you, you shall come forth as gold.

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love." Rom. 12:10.
Brotherly love is precious in the sight of angels. It is the most
convincing proof of the Christian religion. "By this shall all men know
that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another." But in
addition to brotherly love there should be kind affection. This is love
felt and expressed. There are those who really love, yet whose nature is
such that they do not feel much love. Kind affection, like every other
grace, is capable of cultivation.

"In honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation;
continuing instant in prayer." Rom. 12:10-12. These words contain depth of
experience, but only by prayer and deep meditation can we descend to their
depth.

But we must close by referring you to the whole of the Bible. It is a holy
book, yea, the holiest of books. A life in harmony with its precepts is
the holiest life. Such a life will grace the earth and shine as a star
forever in heaven. Cleave to the Bible, study its pages, appropriate its
truths to your own heart by faith. By living upon the Word of God, we
become more like God. Heavenly words taken into the heart form a heavenly
life.

Let your soul be fed each day from the blessed Book of God. Take the time.
Drink deep into its pure, crystal stream, and the beauty of the Lord will
grow upon you. Watch the little things in every-day life--the thought, the
word, the act--until you bring the whole of your life into the habit of
acting godly. Be as kind as you can be today, and you can be kinder
tomorrow. This is for the Christian. We do not become Christians by
growth, but we must grow after we become Christians. We can be more
patient tomorrow by being as patient as we can be today. We can be better
men tomorrow by being our best today. We grow as we live. If we live the
right way, we shall grow that way, and the longer we grow that way, the
more natural and easy the way.

Therefore let your whole life flow out in a trend with the Bible, until it
wears a channel in holiness and Christian character. Gather food daily for
your soul from the sacred page; live in the most intimate communion with
God that is possible; meditate in his law day and night; let the love of
your heart grow warmer; let life be the holiest possible. Do this, and you
will be one of the jewels God will gather to bedeck the temple of the
skies.

  A tender blue is in the sky
   As sets the golden sun;
  Another day is passing by,
   And thus the moments run;

  The song-bird's note is soft and low,
   Flying to leafy nest;
  In evening's peaceful twilight glow
   All nature sinks to rest;

  The fields are wrapped in somber shroud
   As fades the light of day;
  A tender flush is on the cloud
   Beside the milky way;

  A hush is on this world of ours;
   Day, dying, drops a tear;
  Angels' hands unveil the stars,
   Which one by one appear;

  Now Pleiades grow sparkling bright
   In deepening blue above:
  O mild, serene autumnal night!
   Thy voice is full of love.

  Such sacred awe my soul doth fill!
   Such quietness doth reign!
  The Voice that uttered, "Peace, be still,"
   Has whispered once again.

  The silver bars that streak the West
   Are short'ning one by one;
  Another day has gone to rest,
   And thus the moments run.

  I've one day less to watch and wait,
   My Savior's face to see,
  Some day, and ope will be the gate.
   Sweet heaven, I come to thee.

  Oh, may it be when sets the sun
   So peacefully and calm!
  Oh, may I hear the sweet, "Well done,"
   When evening sings her psalm!

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *

  It is a pleasant autumn eve;
   The blue is in the sky;
  My task is done; I take my leave.
   Good-by, dear friend, good-by!

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *

  Dear reader, live alone for God;
  Walk blameless in his blessed Word.
  We may not meet each other here,
  But let us live in Heaven's fear,
  So when our work on earth is done,
  We'll meet each other round God's throne.
  Just one request I make of thee:
  Until we meet, pray oft for me.





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