"Vessels of mercy
which he had afore prepared unto glory" (Rom. ix. 23).
Our Father is
fitting us for eternity. A vessel fitted for the kitchen will find itself in
the kitchen. A vessel for the art gallery or the reception room will
generally find itself there at last.
What are you
getting fitted for? To be a slop-pail to hold all the stuff that people pour
into your ears, or a vase to hold sweet fragrance and flowers for the King's
palace and a harp of many strings that sounds the melodies and harmonies of
His love and praise? Each one of us is going to his own place. Let us get
The days of heaven
are Christly days,
Light of Heaven is He;
walking at His side, our days
the days of heaven would be.
The days of heaven
are endless days--
may our lives and works endure
the days of heaven shall be.
Walk with us,
Lord, through all the days,
let us walk with Thee;
as Thy will is done in heaven,
earth so shall it be.
"He shall dwell on
high" (Isa. xxxiii. 16).
It is easier for a
consecrated Christian to live an out and out life for God than to live a
mixed life. A soul redeemed and sanctified by Christ is too large for the
shoals and sands of a selfish, worldly, sinful life. The great steamship,
St. Paul, could sail in deep water without an effort, but she could make no
progress in the shallow pool, or on the Long Branch sands; the smallest
tugboat is worth a dozen of her there; but out in mid-ocean she could
distance them in an hour.
Beloved, your life
is too large, too glorious, too divine for the small place that you are
trying to live in. Your purpose is too petty; arise and dwell on high in the
resurrection life of Jesus, and the inspiring hope of His blessed coming.
Rise with thy
with Christ above,
in the heavenlies walk with Him,
seeing not, you love.
Walk as a heavenly
of royal blood;
as the children of the light,
sons and heirs of God.
"My expectation is
from Him" (Ps. lxii. 5).
When we believe
for a blessing, we must take the attitude of faith, and begin to act and
pray as if we had our blessing. We must treat God as if He had given us our
request. We must lean our weight over upon Him for the thing that we have
claimed, and just take it for granted that He gives it, and is going to
continue to give it. This is the attitude of trust. When the wife is
married, she at once falls into a new attitude, and acts in accordance with
the fact, and so when we take Christ as a Saviour, as a Sanctifier, as a
Healer, or as a Deliverer, He expects us to fall into the attitude of
recognizing Him in the capacity that we have claimed, and expect Him to be
to us all that we have trusted Him for.
You may bring Him
ev'ry care and burden,
may tell Him ev'ry need in pray'r,
may trust Him for the darkest moment,
is caring, wherefore need you care?
Faith can never
reach its consummation,
the victor's thankful song we raise:
the glorious city of salvation,
has told us all the gates are praise.
"Resist the devil
and he will flee" (James iv. 7).
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you. This is a promise, and God will keep it to us. If
we resist the adversary, He will compel him to flee, and will give us the
victory. We can, at all times, fearlessly stand up in defiance, in
resistance to the enemy, and claim the protection of our heavenly King just
as a citizen would claim the protection of the government against an outrage
or injustice on the part of violent men. At the same time we are not to
stand on the adversary's ground anywhere by any attitude or disobedience, or
we give him a terrible power over us, which, while God will restrain in
great mercy and kindness, He will not fully remove until we get fully on
holy ground. Therefore, we must be armed with the breastplate of
righteousness, as well as the shield of faith, if we would successfully
resist the prince of darkness and the principalities in heavenly places.
holy boldness claim,
to the utmost fulness prove
power of Jesus' name.
"Many shall be
purified and made white and tried" (Dan. xii. 10).
This is the
promise for the Lord's coming. It is more than purity. It is to be made
white, lustrous, or bright. To be purified is to have the sin burned out; to
be made white is to have the glory of the Lord burned in. The one is
cleansing, the other is illumination and glorification. The Lord has both
for us, but in order for us to have both, we must be put into the fire to be
tried, and to be led into difficult and peculiar places where Christ shall
be more to us because of the very extremity of the situation. We are
approaching these days. Indeed, they are already around us, and they are the
precursors of the Lord's coming.
Blessed is he that
keepeth his garments lest he walk naked.
There are voices
in the air, filling men with hope and fear; There are signals everywhere
that the end is drawing near,
are warnings to prepare, for the King will soon be here; O it must be the
coming of the Lord!
"As we have many
members in one body, so we being many are one body in Christ" (Rom. xii. 4,
communion with God is cut off, or interrupted because of something wrong
with a brother, or some lack of unity in the body of Christ. We try to get
at the Lord, but we cannot, because we are separated from some member of the
Lord's body, or because there is not the freedom of His love flowing through
every organic part. It does not need a blow upon the head to paralyze the
brain; a blow upon some nerve may do it; or a wound in some artery at the
extremities may be fatal to the heart. Therefore we must stand right with
all His children, and meet in the body of Christ in the sweetest, fullest
fellowship, if we would keep our perfect communion with Christ Himself.
Sometimes we will find that an altered attitude to one Christian will bring
us into the flood-tides of the Holy Ghost. It seems impossible to have faith
without love, or to have Christ alone without the fulness of fellowship with
all His dear saints; and if one member suffer, all suffer together, and if
one rejoice, all are blessed in common.
"In Him we live
and move" (Acts xvii. 28).
The hand of
Gehazi, and even the staff of Elisha could not heal the lifeless boy. It
needed the living touch of the prophet's own divinely quickened flesh to
infuse vitality into the cold clay. Lip to lip, hand to hand, heart to
heart, he must touch the child ere life could thrill his pulseless veins.
We must come into
personal contact with the risen Saviour, and have His very life quicken our
mortal flesh before we can know the fulness and reality of His healing. This
is the most frequent cause of failure. People are often trusting to
something that has been done to them, to something that they have done, or
something that they have believed intellectually; but their spirit has not
felt its way to the heart of Christ, and they have not drawn His love into
their being by the hunger and thirst of love and faith, and so they are not
quickened. The greatest need of our souls and bodies is to know Jesus
personally, to touch Him constantly, to abide in Him continually.
May we this day
lay aside all things that could hinder our near approach to Him, and walk
hand in hand, heart to heart, with Jesus.
"A merry heart
doeth good like a medicine" (Prov. xvii. 22).
King Solomon left
among his wise sayings a prescription for sick and sad hearts, and it is one
that we can safely take. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Joy is
the great restorer and healer. Gladness of spirit will bring health to the
bones and vitality to the nerves when all other tonics fail, and all other
sedatives cease to quiet. Sick one, begin to rejoice in the Lord, and your
bones will flourish like an herb, and your cheeks will glow with the bloom
of health and freshness. Worry, fear, distrust, care, are all poison drops;
joy is balm and healing; and if you will but rejoice, God will give power.
He has commanded you to be glad and rejoice; and He never fails to sustain
His children in keeping His commandments. Rejoice in the Lord always, He
says; which means no matter how sad, how tempted, how sick, how suffering
you are, rejoice in the Lord just where you are, and begin this moment.
The joy of the
Lord is the strength of our body,
gladness of Jesus, the balm for our pain,
life and His fulness, our fountain of healing,
joy, our elixir for body and brain.
"I do always those
things that please Him" (John viii. 29).
It is a good thing
to keep short accounts with God. We were very much struck some years ago
with an interpretation of this verse: "So every one of us shall give an
account of himself to God." The thought conveyed to our mind was, that of
accounting to God every day of our lives, so that our accounts were settled
daily, and for us judgment was passed, as we lay down on our pillows every
This is surely the
true way to live. It is the secret of great peace, and it will be a
delightful comfort when life is closing, or the Master coming, to know that
our account is settled, and our judgment over, and for us there is only
waiting the glad "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the
joy of thy Lord."
Step by step I'll
walk with Jesus,
a moment at a time,
I have not wings to soar to,
by step my feet can climb.
Jesus, keep me
by step and day by day
in Thy very foot-prints,
with Thee all the way.
"Hold fast the
confidence" (Heb. iii. 6).
Seldom have we
seen a sadder wreck of even the highest, noblest Christian character than
when the enemy has succeeded in undermining the simple trust of a child of
God, and got him into self-accusing and condemnation. It is a fearful place
when the soul allows Satan to take the throne and act as God, sitting in
judgment on its every thought and act; and keeping it in the darkness of
ceaseless condemnation. Well indeed has the apostle told us to hold firmly
the shield of faith!
This is Satan's
objective point in all his attacks upon you, to destroy your trust. If he
can get you to lose your simple confidence in God, he knows that he will
soon have you at his feet.
It is enough to
wreck both the reason and the life for the soul that has known the sweetness
of His love to lose its perfect trust in God. "Beloved, hold fast your
confidence and the rejoicing of your hope firm unto the end."
Fear not to take
Jesus on the throne,
bid the powers of earth and hell,
sovereign sceptre own.
"Commit thy way
unto the Lord" (Ps. xxxvii. 5).
Seldom have we
heard a better definition of faith than was given once in one of our
meetings by a dear old colored woman, as she answered the question of a
young man how to take the Lord for needed help.
characteristic way, pointing her finger toward him, she said with great
emphasis: "You've just got to believe that He's done it, and it's done." The
great danger with most of us is, that after we ask Him to do it, we do not
believe that it's done, but we keep on helping Him, and getting others to
help Him; superintending God and waiting to see how He is going to do it.
Faith adds its
amen to God's yea, and then takes its hands off, and leaves God to finish
His work. Its language is, "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him;
and He worketh."
Lord, I give up
Thee commit my way,
trust Thy word forever,
settle it all to-day.
"They were as it
were, complainers" (Num. xi. 1).
There is a very
remarkable phrase in the book of Numbers, in the account of the murmuring of
the children of Israel in the wilderness. It reads like this: "When the
people, as it were, murmured." Like most marginal readings it is better than
the text, and a great world of suggestive truth lies back of that little
In the distance we
may see many a vivid picture rise before our imagination of people who do
not dare to sin openly and unequivocally, but manage to do it "as it were"
only. They do not lie straight, but they evade or equivocate, or imply
enough falsehood to escape a real conviction of conscience. They do not
openly accuse God of unkindness or unfaithfulness, but they strike at Him
through somebody else. They find fault with circumstances and people and
things that God has permitted to come into their lives, and, "As it were,"
murmur. They do not perhaps go any farther. They feel like doing it if they
dared to "charge God foolishly."
These things were
written for our warning.
(I. Thess. v. 16).
Do not lose your
joy whatever else you lose. Keep the spirit of spring. "Rejoice evermore,"
and "Again I say, rejoice."
The loss of Canaan
began in the spirit of murmurings, "When the people, as it were, murmured,
it displeased the Lord." The first break in their fellowship, the first
falter in their advance, came when they began to doubt, and grieve, and
Oh, keep the heart
from the perforations of depression, discouragement, distrust and gloom, for
Satan cannot crush a rejoicing and praiseful soul.
Look out for the
beginning of sin. Don't let the first touch of evil be harbored. It is the
first step that loses all. Oh, to keep so encased in the Holy Ghost and in
the very life of Jesus that the evil cannot reach us!
The little fly on
the inside of the window-pane may be attacked by the little bird on the
outside, and it may seem to him that he is lost, but the crystal pane
between keeps him safely from all danger as certainly as if it were a mighty
wall of iron.
"I if I be lifted
up from the earth will draw all men unto Me" (John xii. 32).
A true and pure
Christian life attracts the world. There are hundreds of men and women who
find no inducements whatever in the lives of ordinary Christians to interest
them in practical religion, but who are won at once by a true and victorious
example. We believe that more men of the world step at a bound right into a
life of entire consecration than into the intermediate state which is
usually presented to them at the first stage.
In an audience
once there was a man who for half a century or more had lived without
Christ, and who was a very prominent citizen, a man in public life, of
irreproachable character, lofty intellect, and a most winning spirit and
manners, but utterly out of sympathy with the Christian life.
At the close of a
service for the promotion of deeper spiritual life he rose to ask the
prayers of the congregation, and before the end of the week he was himself a
true and acknowledged follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, as he went
home that night, "If that is the religion of Jesus Christ, I want it."
grounded in love" (Eph. iii. 17).
There is a very
singular shrub, which grows abundantly in the west, and is to be found in
all parts of Texas. It is no less than the "mosquito tree." It is a very
slim, and willowy looking shrub, and would seem to be of little use for any
industrial purposes; but is has extraordinary roots growing like great
timbers underground, and possessing such qualities of endurance in all
situations that it is used and very highly valued for good pavements. The
city of San Antonio is said to be paved with these roots. It reminds one of
those Christians who make little show externally, but their growth is
chiefly underground--out of sight, in the depth of God. These are the men
and women that God uses for the foundation of things, and for the pavements
of that city of God which will stand when all earthly things have crumbled
into ruin and dissolved into oblivion.
Deeper, deeper let
the living waters flow;
Holy Spirit! River of Salvation!
All Thy fulness
let me know.
"Quit you like
men" (I. Cor. xvi. 13).
Be brave. Cowards
always get hurt. Brave men generally come out unharmed. Jeremiah was a hero.
He shrank from nothing. He faced his king and countrymen with dauntless
bravery, and the result was he suffered no harm, but came through the siege
of Jerusalem without a hair being injured. Zedekiah, the cowardly king, was
always afraid to obey God and be true, and the result was that he at last
met the most cruel punishment that was ever inflicted on human heart.
The men and women
that stand from the beginning true to their convictions have the fewest
tests. When God gives to you a good trial, if you can stand the strain, He
is not always repeating it. When Abraham offered up his son Isaac at Mount
Moriah, it was a final testing for the rest of his life. Do not let Satan
see that you are afraid of him, for he will pursue to the death if he thinks
that he has a chance of getting you.
Be true, be true,
friends be false or few,
betide, ever at His side,
Him always find you true.
"He that ruleth
his spirit is better than he that taketh a city" (Prov. xvi. 32).
Temperance is true
self-government. It involves the grace of self-denial and the spirit of a
sound mind. It is that poise of spirit that holds us quiet, self-possessed,
recollected, deliberate, and subject ever to the voice of God and the
conviction of duty in every step we take. Many persons have not that poise
and recollected spirit. They are drifting at the impulse of their own
impressions, moods, the influence of others, or the circumstances around
them. No desire should ever control us. No purpose, however right, should
have such mastery over us that we are not perfectly free. The pure affection
may be an inordinate affection. Our work itself may be a selfish passion.
That thing that we began to do because it was God's will, we may cling to
and persist in ultimately, because it is our own will. Lord, give us the
spirit ever controlled by Thy Spirit and will, and the eye that looks to
Thee every moment as the eyes of a servant to the hands of her mistress. So
shall Thy service be our perfect freedom, and our subjection divinest
"They shall mount
up with wings" (Isa. xl. 31).
"They shall mount
up with wings as eagles," is God's preliminary; for the next promise is,
"They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." Hours
of holy exultation are necessary for hours of patient plodding, waiting and
working. Nature has its springs, and so has grace.
Let us rejoice in
the Lord evermore, and again we say, rejoice. And let us take Him to be our
continual joy, whose heart is a fountain of blessedness, and who is anointed
with the oil of gladness above His fellows. We must not be disappointed if
the tides are not always equally high. Even at low tide the ocean is just as
full. Human nature could not stand perpetual excitement, even of a happy
kind, and God often rests in His love. Let us live as self-unconsciously as
possible, filling up each moment with faithful service, and trusting Him to
stir the springs at His will, and as we go on in faithful service we shall
hear, again and again, His glad whisper: "Well done, good and faithful
servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
"Rest in the Lord
and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. xxxvii. 7).
It is a very
suggestive thought that it is in the Gospel of Mark, which is the Gospel of
service, we hear the Master saying to His disciples, "Come ye apart into a
desert place, and rest awhile." God wants rested workers. There is an energy
that may be tireless and ceaseless, and yet still as the ocean's depth, with
the peace of God, which passes all understanding. The two deepest secrets of
rest are, first, to be in harmony with the will of God, and, secondly, to
trust. "Great peace have they that love Thy law," expresses the first. "Thou
will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he
trusteth in Thee," describes the second. There is a good deal in learning to
"stay." Sometimes we forget that it literally means to stop. It is a great
blessing even to stop all thought, and this is frequently the only way to
answer the devil's whirlwind of irritating questions and thoughts, to be
absolutely still and refuse to even think, and meet his evil voice with a
simple and everlasting "No!" If we will be still God will give us peace.
"There they dwelt
with the King for His work" (I. Chron. iv. 23).
It is easy for
water to run down from the upper springs, but it requires a divine impulse
to flow up from the valley in the nether springs. There is nothing that
tells more of Christ than to see a Christian rejoicing and cheerful in the
humdrum and routine of commonplace work, like the sailors that stand on the
dock loading the vessel and singing as they swing their loads, keeping time
with the spirit of praise to the footsteps and movements of labor and duty.
No one has a sweeter or higher ministry for Christ than a business man or a
serving woman who can carry the light of heaven in their faces all day long.
Like the sea fowl that can plunge beneath the briny tide with its beautiful
and spotless plumage, and come forth without one drop adhering to its
burnished breast and glowing wings because of the subtle oil upon the
plumage that keeps the water from sticking, so, thank God, we too may be so
anointed with the Holy Ghost that sin, sorrow and defilement will not adhere
to us, but we shall pass through every sea as the ship passes through the
waves, in, but above the floods around us.
which ye have received" (I. John ii. 27).
This is the secret
of the deeper life, but "That ye may be rooted and grounded in love," is the
substance of it, and the sweetness of it. The fulness of the divine love in
the heart will make everything easy. It is very easy to do things that we
love to do, and it is very easy to trust one whom we love, and the more we
realize their love the more we will trust them for it. It is the source of
healing. The tide of love flowing through our bodies will strangely
strengthen our very frame, and the love of our Lord will become a continual
spring of youth and freshness in our physical being. The secret of love is
very simple. It is to take the heart of Jesus for our love and claim its
love for every need of life, whether it be toward God or toward others. It
is very sweet to think of persons in this way, "I will take the heart of
Jesus toward them, to let me love them as He loves them." Then we can love
even the unworthy in some measure, if we shall see them in the light of His
love and hope, as they shall be, and not as they now are, unworthy of our
"Christ is the
head" (Eph. v. 23).
Often we want
people to pray for us and help us, but always defeat our object when we look
too much to them and lean upon them. The true secret of union is for both to
look upon God, and in the act of looking past themselves to Him they are
unconsciously united. The sailor was right when he saw the little boy fall
overboard and waited a minute before he plunged to his rescue. When the
distracted mother asked him in agony why he had waited so long, he sensibly
replied: "I knew that if I went in before he would clutch and drag me down.
I waited until his struggles were over, and then I was able to help him when
he did not grasp me too strongly."
When people grasp
us too strongly, either with their love or with their dependence, we are
intuitively conscious that they are not looking to God, and we become
paralyzed in our efforts to help them. United prayer, therefore, requires
that the one for whom we pray be looking away from us to the Lord Jesus
Christ, and we together look to Him alone.
"An high priest
touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb. iv. 15).
Some time ago we
were talking with a greatly suffering sister about healing, who was much
burdened physically and desirous of being able to trust the Lord for
deliverance. After a little conversation we prayed with her, committing her
case to the Lord for absolute trust and deliverance as she was prepared to
claim. As soon as we closed our prayer she grasped our hand, and asked us to
unite with her in the burden that was most upon her heart, and then, without
a word of reference to her own healing, or the burden under which she was
being crushed to death, she burst into such a prayer for a poor orphan boy,
of whom she had just heard that day, as we have never heard surpassed for
sympathy and love, imploring God to help him and save him, and sobbing in
spasmodic agony of love many times during her prayer, and then she ceased
without even referring to her own need. We were deeply touched by the
spectacle of love, and we thought how the Father's heart must be touched for
her own need.
"Fret not thyself
in any wise" (Ps. xxxvii. 8).
A life was lost in
Israel because a pair of human hands were laid unbidden upon the ark of God.
They were placed upon it with the best intent to steady it when trembling
and shaking as the oxen drew it along the rough way, but they touched God's
work presumptuously, and they fell paralyzed and lifeless. Much of the life
of faith consists in letting things alone. If we wholly trust an interest to
God we can keep our hands off it, and He will guard it for us better than we
can help Him. "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Fret not thyself
in any wise because of him that prospereth in the way, because of the man
that bringeth wicked devices to pass." Things may seem to be going all
wrong, but He knows as well as we; and He will arise in the right moment if
we are really trusting Him so fully as to let Him work in His own way and
time. There is nothing so masterly as inactivity in some things, and there
is nothing so hurtful as restless working, for God has undertaken to work
His sovereign will.
"The very God of Peace sanctify you wholly" (I. Thess. v. 23).
A great tidal wave
is bearing up the stranded ship, until she floats above the bar without a
straining timber or struggling seaman, instead of the ineffectual and
toilsome efforts of the struggling crew and the strain of the engines, which
had tried in vain to move her an inch until that heavenly impulse lifted her
by its own attraction.
It is God's great
law of gravitation lifting up, by the warm sunbeams, the mighty iceberg
which a million men could not raise a single inch, but melts away before the
rays and the warmth of the sunshine, and rises in clouds of evaporation to
meet its embrace until that cold and heavy mass is floating in fleecy clouds
of glory in the blue ocean of the sky.
How easy all this!
How mighty! How simple! How divine! Beloved, have you come into the divine
way of holiness! If you have, how your heart must swell with gratitude! If
you have not, do you not long for it, and will you not unite in the prayer
of the text that the very God of peace will sanctify you wholly?
pilgrims" (Heb. xi. 13).
If you have ever
tried to plough a straight furrow in the country--we are sorry for the man
that does not know how to plough and more sorry for the man that is too
proud to want to know--you have found it necessary to have two stakes in a
line and to drive your horses by these stakes. If you have only one stake
before you, you will have no steadying point for your vision, but you can
wiggle about without knowing it and make your furrows as crooked as a
serpent's coil; but if you have two stakes and ever keep them in line, you
cannot deviate an inch from a straight line, and your furrow will be an
arrow speeding to its course.
This has been a
great lesson to us in our Christian life. If we would run a straight course,
we find that we must have two stakes, the near and the distant. It is not
enough to be living in the present, but it is a great and glorious thing to
have a distant goal, a definite object, a clear purpose before us for which
we are living, and unto which we are shaping our present.
"The sweetness of
the lips" (Prov. xvi. 21).
conditions are inseparably connected with our physical life. The flow of the
divine life-currents may be interrupted by a little clot of blood; the vital
current may leak out through a very trifling wound.
If you want to
keep the health of Christ, keep from all spiritual sores, from all heart
wounds and irritations. One hour of fretting will wear out more vitality
than a week of work; and one minute of malignity, or rankling jealousy or
envy will hurt more than a drink of poison. Sweetness of spirit and
joyousness of heart are essential to full health. Quietness of spirit,
gentleness, tranquility, and the peace of God that passes all understanding,
are worth all the sleeping draughts in the country.
We do not wonder
that some people have poor health when we hear them talk for half an hour.
They have enough dislikes, prejudices, doubts, and fears to exhaust the
Beloved, if you
would keep God's life and strength, keep out the things that kill it; keep
it for Him, and for His work, and you will find enough and to spare.
"For it is God
which worketh in you" (Phil. ii. 13).
the gift of the Holy Ghost, the fruit of the Spirit, the grace of the Lord
Jesus Christ, the prepared inheritance of all who enter in, the greatest
obtainment of faith, not the attainment of works. It is divine holiness, not
human self-improvement, nor perfection. It is the inflow into man's being of
the life and purity of the infinite, eternal and Holy One, bringing His own
perfection and working out His own will. How easy, how spontaneous, how
delightful this heavenly way of holiness! Surely it is a "highway" and not
the low way of man's vain and fruitless mortification.
It is God's great
elevated railway, sweeping over the heads of the struggling throngs who toil
along the lower pavement when they might be borne along on His ascension
pathway, by His own almighty impulse. It is God's great elevator carrying us
up to the higher chambers of His palace, without over-laborious efforts,
while others struggle up the winding stairs and faint by the way.
Let us to-day so
fully take Him that He can "cause us to walk in His statutes."
faileth" (I. Cor. xiii. 8).
In our work for
God it is a great thing to find the key to men's hearts, and recognize
something good as a point of contact for our spiritual influence. When Jesus
met the woman at Samaria He immediately seized hold of the best things in
her, and by this He reached her heart, and drew from her a willing
confession of her salvation. A Scotchman once said that his salvation was
all due to the fact that a good man (Lord Shaftsbury, we believe) once put
his arms around him and said, "John, by the grace of God we will make a man
of you yet."
The old legend
tells the story of a poor, dead dog lying on the street in the midst of the
crowd, every one of whom was having something to say, until Jesus came
along, and immediately began to admire its beautiful teeth. He had something
kind to say even of him.
There is but One
can live and love like this;
Christ-love from the living Christ must spring.
Jesus! come and live Thy life in me,
all Thy heaven of love and blessing bring.
all things" (I. Cor. xiii. 7).
Beautiful is the
expression in the Book of Isaiah which reflects with exceeding sweetness the
love of our dear Lord. He said, "They are My people, children that will not
lie; so He was their Saviour." They did lie, but He would not believe it. At
least He speaks as if He would not believe it in the greatness of His love,
because they were His people. He has not seen iniquity in Jacob nor
perversity in Israel. There is plenty of it to see, and the devil sees it
all, and a good many people are only too glad to see it; but the dear Father
will not see it. He covers it with His love and the precious blood of His
dear atoning Son. Such a wonderful love ought surely to make us gentler to
others, and more anxious to cause our Father less need to hide His loving
eyes from our imperfections and faults.
If we have the
mind and heart of Christ, we shall clothe even the world with those graces
which faith can claim for them, and try our best to count them as if they
were real, and by love and prayer we shall at length make them real. "Love
believeth all things."