Our High Calling

Chap. 60 - Christ, the Ladder to Heaven

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. Gen. 28:12.

Let us consider this ladder which was presented to Jacob. . . . The sin of Adam cut off all intercourse between heaven and earth. Up to the moment of man's transgression of God's law there had been free communion between earth and heaven. They were connected by a path which Deity could traverse. But the transgression of God's law broke up this path and man was separated from God. . . .

Every link which bound earth to heaven and man to the infinite God seemed broken. Man might look to heaven, but how could he attain it? But joy to the world! The Son of God, the Sinless One, the One perfect in obedience, becomes the channel through which the lost communion may be renewed, the way through which the lost paradise may be regained. Through Christ, man's substitute and surety, man may keep the commandments of God. He may return to his allegiance and God will accept him. Christ is the ladder. "By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9. . . . 

The ladder is the medium of communication between God and man. Through the mystic ladder the gospel was preached to Jacob. As the ladder stretched from earth, reaching to the highest heavens, and the glory of God was seen above the ladder, so Christ in His divine nature reached immensity and was one with the Father. As the ladder, though its top penetrated into heaven, had its base upon the earth, so Christ, though God, clothed His divinity with humanity and was in the world "found in fashion as a man" (Phil. 2:8). The ladder would be useless if it rested not on the earth or if it reached not to the heavens. 

God appeared in glory above the ladder, looking down with compassion on erring, sinful Jacob. . . . It is through Christ that the Father beholds sinful man. . . . The broken links have been repaired. A highway has been thrown up along which the weary and heavy laden may pass. They may enter heaven and find rest.

Chap. 61 - The Precious Treasure of Faith

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. 2 Peter 1:2, 3.

"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: . . . Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:1-4. 

"Like precious faith" . . . is a genuine faith. It is not a fruitless faith. True, saving faith is a precious treasure of inestimable value. It is not superficial. The just lives by faith a truly spiritual, Christlike life. It is through faith that the steps are taken one at a time up the ladder of progress. Faith must be cultivated. It unites the human with the divine nature. 

The life of obedience to all of God's commandments is a life of progression, a life of constant advancement. As the elect, precious, have increased understanding of the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ, they see and grasp the rich promises that come through the righteousness of Christ. The more they receive of the divine grace the more they work on the plan of addition. 

"Grace and peace" will be multiplied "through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." Here is the Source of all spiritual power, and faith must be in constant exercise, for all spiritual life is from Christ. Knowledge of God inspires faith in Him as the only channel to convey heaven's blessing to the soul, elevating, ennobling, refining the soul, as--through the knowledge of God--it is brought up to the high attainment of glory and virtue. "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue."

Chap. 62 - Virtue and Knowledge

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge. 2 Peter 1:5. 

"Add to your faith virtue." There is no promise given to the one who is retrograding. The apostle, in his testimony, is aiming to excite the believers to advancement in grace and holiness. They already profess to be living the truth, they have a knowledge of the precious faith, they have been made partakers of the divine nature. But if they stop here they will lose the grace they have received. . . . 

Without giving "all diligence" to make step after step upward to God above the ladder, there is no gaining ground in peace and grace and the work of holiness. "Strive," said Jesus, "to enter in at the strait gate." Luke 13:24. The way of the believer is marked out by God above the ladder. All his endeavours will be in vain if he has not virtue of character, a practical knowledge of Christ through obedience to all His requirements. Those who have faith must be careful to show their faith by their works. . . .

"Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge"--knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, knowledge of the great plan of salvation. To be ignorant of God's commandments and laws will not excuse a soul. He will not dare to plead around the throne of God, "I did not know the truth. I was ignorant." The Lord has given His Word to be our guide, our instructor, and with this heavenly enlightening there is no excuse for ignorance. . . . 

Truth is an active, working principle, moulding heart and life so that there is a constant upward movement. . . . In every step of climbing, the will is obtaining a new spring of action. The moral tone is becoming more like the mind and character of Christ. The progressive Christian has grace and love which passes knowledge, for divine insight into the character of Christ takes a deep hold upon his affections. The glory of God revealed above the ladder can only be appreciated by the progressive climber, who is ever attracted higher, to nobler aims which Christ reveals. All the faculties of mind and body must be enlisted. 

Chap. 63 - "And to Knowledge Temperance"

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness. 2 Peter 1:6.

To knowledge must be added temperance. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection." 1 Cor. 9:24-27.

Athletes cheerfully comply with the conditions in order to be trained for the highest taxation of their physical strength. They do not indulge appetite, but put a constant restraint upon themselves, refraining from food which would weaken or lessen the full power of any of their organs. Yet they fight "as one that beateth the air," while Christians are in a real contest. Combatants in the games seek for mere perishable laurels. Christians have before them a glorious crown of immortality, incorruptible. And in this heavenly race there is plenty of room for all to obtain the prize. Not one will fail if he runs well, if he does according to the light which shines upon him, exercising his abilities which, to the best of his knowledge, he has kept in a healthful condition. . . . 

Any habit or practice which will weaken the nerve and brain power or the physical strength disqualifies for the exercise of the next grace which comes in after temperance--patience. . . .

A man who is intemperate, who uses stimulating indulgences--beer, wine, strong drinks, tea and coffee, opium, tobacco, or any of these substances that are deleterious to health--cannot be a patient man. So temperance is a round of the ladder upon which we must plant our feet before we can add the grace of patience. In food, in raiment, in work, in regular hours, in healthful exercise, we must be regulated by the knowledge which it is our duty to obtain that we may, through earnest endeavour, place ourselves in right relation to life and health. 

Chap. 64 - The Perfect Work of Patience

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3, 4. 

The apostle says we succeed in the grace of temperance that we may add patience. Patience under trials will keep us from saying and doing those things which will injure our own souls and injure those with whom we associate. Let your trials be what they will, nothing can seriously injure you if you exercise patience, if you are calm and unexcited when in trying positions. . . .

We can see the wisdom of Peter in placing temperance to be added to knowledge before patience. This is one strong reason for overcoming the appetite for all stimulants, for as the nerves become excited under the influence of these irritating substances, how many and grievous are the evils that are done! . . . 

There is necessity for the Christian adding patience to temperance. There will need to be firm principle and fixedness of purpose not to offend in word or action either our own conscience or the feelings of others. There must be a rising above the customs of the world in order to bear reproach, disappointment, losses and crosses without one murmur, but with uncomplaining dignity. . . . A petulant, ill-natured man or woman really knows not what it is to be happy. Every cup which he puts to his lips seems to be bitter as wormwood and his path seems strewn with rough stones, with briars and thorns; but he must add to temperance patience and he will not see or feel slights. 

Patience must have its perfect work or we cannot be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Troubles and afflictions are appointed unto us, and shall we bear them all patiently or shall we make everything bitter by our complaining? The gold is put into the furnace that the dross may be removed. Shall we, then, not be patient under the eye of the refiner? We must refuse to sink into a sad and disconsolate state of mind, but show calm trust in God, counting it all joy when we are permitted to endure trials for Christ's sake.

Chap. 65 - "To Patience Godliness"

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1 Tim. 4:8. 

Having added patience to temperance, we are then to ascend the ladder of progress and add to patience godliness. This is the very outgrowth of patience. Said the apostle Paul, "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope." . . . Rom. 5:3, 4. 

Here, then, is an advance grace, godliness, which is to have the spirit and the likeness of the character of Jesus Christ. To raise us to His divine ideal is the one end of all the dealings of God with us, and of the whole plan of salvation. . . . The corruption of the world is seeking to steal our senses, all the unholy influences on every side are working to hold us to a low, earthly level--blinding our sensibilities, degrading our desires, enfeebling our conscience and crippling our religious faculties by urging us to give sway to the lower nature. . . . 

To draw us away from all this is the precious ladder. The eye is attracted to God above the ladder. The invitation comes from the glory above it, Come up higher. The heart is attracted. Steps are taken in advance, one after another. Higher and still higher we ascend. At every step the attraction becomes greater. Higher, holier ambitions take possession of the soul. The guilt of the past life is left behind. We dare not look down the ladder at those things which long poisoned the springs of true happiness and kindled remorse, weakened and depraved the will, and repressed every better impulse. . . . 

The aim of God's Word is to inspire hope, to lead us to . . . climb step by step heavenward, with ever-increasing vigour. . . .We attain a likeness of character to God by the imparting of His own grace. . . . As wax takes the counterpart of the seal, so the soul receives and retains the moral image of God. We become filled and transfigured by His brightness, as the cloud--dark in itself--when filled with the light is turned to stainless whiteness. 

Chap. 66 - The Virtue of Brotherly Kindness

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 2 Peter 1:7. 

The Word of God enjoins upon every one of His children: "Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous." 1 Peter 3:8. Now unless godliness was added to patience man would not show that brotherly kindness. In His mission to our world, Christ has shown man the graces of the Spirit of God which, when accepted, fashion and mould the entire man, externally as well as internally, by abasing his pride and leading him not to esteem himself highly but to esteem his brother as precious in the sight of God because Christ paid an infinite price for his soul. When man is valued as God's property then we will be kind, amiable, and condescending toward him. 

The religion of Jesus Christ is a system of the true heavenly politeness and leads to a practical exhibition of habitual tenderness of feeling, kindness of deportment. He who possesses godliness will also add this grace, taking a step higher on the ladder. The higher he mounts the ladder, the more of the grace of God is revealed in his life, his sentiments, his principles. He is learning, ever learning the terms of his acceptance with God, and the only way to obtain an inheritance in the heavens is to become like Christ in character. The whole scheme of mercy is to soften down what is harsh in temper, and refine whatever is rugged in the deportment. The internal change reveals itself in the external actions. The graces of the Spirit of God work with hidden power in the transformation of character. The religion of Christ never will reveal a sour, coarse, and uncourteous action. Courtesy is a Bible virtue. The virtue of this grace of brotherly kindness characterized the life of Christ. Never was such courtesy exhibited upon the earth as Christ revealed, and we cannot overestimate its value. . . . 

Growing in grace is an earnest working out of what God works in. It is an earnest of future glory, the working out here upon the earth of the spirit that is cherished in heaven. 

Chap. 67 - Charity the Topmost Round

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Col. 3:14. 

The next step in the ladder is charity. Add "to brotherly kindness charity," which is love. Love to God and love to our neighbour constitute the whole duty of man. Without brotherly kindness we cannot exhibit the grace of love to God or to our fellow men. 

This last step in the ladder gives to the will a new spring of action. Christ offers a love that passeth knowledge. This love is not something kept apart from our life, but it takes hold of the entire being. The heaven to which the Christian is climbing will be attained only by those who have this crowning grace. This is the new affection which pervades the soul. The old is left behind. Love is the great controlling power. When love leads, all the faculties of mind and spirit are enlisted. Love to God and love to man will give the clear title to heaven. 

No one can love God supremely and transgress one of His commandments. The heart softened and subdued with the beauty of Christ's character and bridled by the pure and lofty rules which He has given us will put into practice what it has learned of love, and will follow Jesus forthwith in humble obedience. The living power of faith will reveal itself in loving acts. 

What evidence have we that we have the pure love, without alloy? God has erected a standard--His commandments. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me." John 14:21. The words of God must have an abiding place in our hearts.

We are to love our brethren as Christ has loved us. We are to be patient and kind, and yet there is something lacking--we must love. Christ tells us that we must forgive the erring even seventy times seven. . . . When there is much forgiven, the heart loves much. Love is a tender plant. It needs to be constantly cultured or it will wither and die.

All these graces we must have. We must climb the whole length of the ladder. 

Chap. 68 - Make Your Calling and Election Sure

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8.

The only safety for the Christian is to be unwearied in his efforts to live on the plan of addition. The apostle shows the advantages to be gained in thus doing. For those who add grace to grace, God will work on the plan of multiplication, so that the graces will be in and abound in the religious life and he will not "be barren nor unfruitful. . . ." Those abounding in the Christian graces will be zealous, lively, vigorous in all practical Christianity, and will practice righteousness--just as the branch abiding in the vine will produce the same fruit that the vine bears. . . . 

He who does not climb the ladder of progress and add grace to grace "is blind, and cannot see afar off." He fails to discern that without taking these successive steps in ascending the ladder round after round, in growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, he is not placing himself in a position where the light of God above the ladder is reflected upon him. As he does not add grace to grace, he has forgotten the claims of God upon him, and that he was to receive the forgiveness of sins through obedience to the requirements of God. . . . 

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure." 2 Peter 1:10. We need not have a supposed hope, but an assurance. To make our calling and election sure is to follow the Bible plan to closely examine ourselves, to make strict inquiry whether we are indeed converted, whether our minds are drawn out after God and heavenly things, our wills renewed, our whole souls changed. To make our calling and election sure requires far greater diligence than many are giving to this important matter. "For if ye do these things"-- live on the plan of addition, growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ--ye shall mount up, step by step, the ladder Jacob saw, and "ye shall never fall." 

Chap. 69 - Holding Fast to Christ, the Ladder

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11. 

We ascend to heaven by climbing the ladder--the whole height of Christ's work--step by step. There must be a holding fast to Christ, a climbing up by the merits of Christ. To let go is to cease to climb, is to fall, to perish. We are to mount by the Mediator and all the while to keep hold on the Mediator, ascending by successive steps, round above round, stretching the hand from one round to the next above. . . . There is fearful peril in relaxing our efforts in spiritual diligence for a moment, for we are hanging, as it were, between heaven and earth.

We must keep the eye directed upward to God above the ladder. The question with men and women gazing heavenward is, How can I obtain the mansions for the blessed? It is by being a partaker of the divine nature. It is by escaping the "corruption that is in the world through lust." It is by entering into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, laying hold of the hope set before you in the gospel. It is by fastening yourself to Christ and straining every nerve to leave the world behind. . . . It is by being in Christ and yet led by Christ; by believing and working, . . . holding onto Christ and constantly mounting upward toward God. . . . 

We point you to the mansions Christ is preparing for all those who love Him. We point you to that city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. We show you its massive walls, with the twelve foundations, and tell you that these walls must be scaled. You look discouraged at the magnitude of the work before you. We point you to the ladder set up on earth, reaching to the city of God. Plant your feet on the ladder. Forsake your sins. Climb step by step and you will reach God above the ladder, and the Holy City of God. . . . 

When the successive steps have all been mounted, when the graces have been added one after another, the crowning grace is the perfect love of God--supreme love to God and love to our fellow men. And then the abundant entrance into the kingdom of God. 

Chap. 70 - The Privilege of Assurance

And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 1 John 3:19. 

I would impress upon our young men and young women the necessity of making their calling and election sure. I would beseech you to do no haphazard or uncertain work where your eternal interests are involved. By so doing you lose happiness, peace, comfort, and hope in this life, and you lose also your immortal inheritance.

My young friends, you are judgement bound, and through the grace of Christ you may render obedience to the commands of God, and daily gain fortitude and strength of character, so that you need not fail or be discouraged. Divine grace has been abundantly provided for every soul, so that each one may engage in the conflict and come off victorious. Do not become sluggish; do not flatter yourselves that you may be saved in walking in accordance with the natural traits of your character--that you may drift with the current of the world, and indulge and please self, and yet be able to withstand the forces of evil in a time of crisis, and come off victorious when the battle waxes hot. . . . You must learn every day to obey the orders of the Captain of the Lord's host. 

My young friends, do you pray? Are you educating yourselves to offer petitions for pure thoughts, for holy aspirations, for a pure heart and clean hands? Are you educating your lips to sing the praises of God, and are you seeking to do the will of God? This is the kind of education that will be of the greatest value to you; for it will aid you in the formation of Christlike character. 

Do not settle down in Satan's easy chair, and say that there is no use, you cannot cease to sin, that there is no power in you to overcome. There is no power in you apart from Christ, but it is your privilege to have Christ abiding in your heart by faith, and He can overcome sin in you, when you cooperate with His efforts. . . . You may be living epistles, known and read of all men. You are not to be a dead letter, but a living one, testifying to the world that Jesus is able to save.

Chap. 71 - Chosen of God

Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Isa. 41:9. 

Many have confused ideas as to what constitutes faith, and they live altogether below their privileges. They confuse feeling and faith, and are continually distressed and perplexed in mind; for Satan takes all possible advantage of their ignorance and inexperience. . . . We are to accept of Christ as our personal Saviour, or we shall fail in our attempt to be overcomers. It will not answer for us to hold ourselves aloof from Him, to believe that our friend or our neighbour may have Him for a personal Saviour, but that we may not experience His pardoning love. We are to believe that we are chosen of God, to be saved by the exercise of faith, through the grace of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit; and we are to praise and glorify God for such a marvellous manifestation of His unmerited favour. It is the love of God that draws the soul to Christ, to be graciously received, and presented to the Father. Through the work of the Spirit the divine relationship between God and the sinner is renewed. The Father says: "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. I will exercise forgiving love toward them, and bestow upon them my joy. They shall be to me a peculiar treasure; for this people whom I have formed for myself shall show forth my praise."

The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the word of God with a child's simplicity, will be among the elect of God. 

You can prove yourself elected of Christ by being faithful; you can prove yourself the chosen of Christ by abiding in the vine. 

Chap. 72 - Fullness of Christ's Ransom

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Eph. 1:4, 5. 

In the council of heaven, provision was made that men, though transgressors, should not perish in their disobedience, but, through faith in Christ as their substitute and surety, might become the elect of God. . . . God wills that all men should be saved; for ample provision has been made, in giving His only begotten Son to pay man's ransom. Those who perish will perish because they refuse to be adopted as children of God through Christ Jesus. The pride of man hinders him from accepting the provisions of salvation. But human merit will not admit a soul into the presence of God. That which will make a man acceptable to God is the imparted grace of Christ through faith in His name. No dependence can be placed in works or in happy flights of feelings as evidence that men are chosen of God; for the elect are chosen through Christ.

Jesus says, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. When the repenting sinner comes to Christ, conscious of his guilt and unworthiness, realizing that he is deserving of punishment, but relying on the mercy and love of Christ, he will not be turned away. The pardoning love of God is appropriated, and joyful gratitude springs up in his heart for the infinite compassion and love of his Saviour. That provision was made for him in the councils of heaven before the foundation of the world, that Christ should take upon Himself the penalty of man's transgression and impute to him His righteousness, overwhelms him with amazement. 

The Father laid our sins where none but His own eyes could discern them. And as He hid His face from the innocence of Christ, so He will hide His eyes from the guilt of the believing sinner, because of the righteousness imputed to him. The righteousness of Christ laid upon us will draw upon us the most precious blessings in this life, and will bestow upon us everlasting life in the kingdom of God.

Chap. 73 - God Calls for Our Best Affections

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matt. 6:24.

Many are on the enchanted ground of the enemy. Things of the least importance--foolish social parties, singing, jesting, joking-- engross their minds and they serve God with a divided heart. . . . The declaration of Christ, "No man can serve two masters," is unheeded. 

One of the most marked features of the earth's inhabitants in the days of Noah was their intense worldliness. They made eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage, the supreme objects of life. It is not sinful, but the fulfilment of a duty, to eat and drink, if that which is lawful is not carried to excess. . . . God Himself instituted marriage when He gave Eve to Adam. All God's laws are marvellously adapted to meet the nature of man. The sin of the antediluvians was in perverting that which in itself was lawful. They corrupted God's gifts by using them to minister to their selfish desires. . . . 

Excessive love and devotion to that which in itself is lawful, proves the ruination of thousands upon thousands of souls. To matters of minor importance is often given the strength of intellect that should be wholly devoted to God. We need always to be guarded against carrying to excess that which, rightly used, is lawful. Many, many souls are lost by engaging in those things which, properly managed, are harmless, but which, perverted and misapplied, become sinful and demoralizing. 

If we are constantly thinking of and struggling for the things that pertain to this life, we cannot keep our thoughts fixed on the things of heaven. Satan is seeking to lead our minds away from God, and to centre them on the fashions, the customs, and the demands of the world, which bring disease and death. . . . 

In this world we are to obtain a fitness for the higher world. God has left a trust with us, and He expects us to use all our faculties in helping and blessing our fellow men. He calls for our best affections, our highest powers.

Chap. 74 - Which Captain?

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death. Ps. 48:14.

We are all under one or the other of two great captains. One, the Creator of man and of the world, is the greatest of all. All owe Him the allegiance of their whole being, the devotion of their entire affection. If the mind is given to His control, and if God has the moulding and developing of the powers of the mind, new moral power will be received daily from the Source of all wisdom and all strength. Moral blessings and divine beauties will reward the efforts of everyone whose mind is heaven bent. We may grasp revelations--heavenly beauties-- that lie beyond the short vision of the worldling, that outshine the imagination of the greatest mind. . . . 

Satan is the leader of the worldly. . . . His highest aim is to gather under his banner the majority of the world, that numbers may stand against the power of righteousness and eternal truth. Talent and ability given of God to be devoted to His service, are laid at the feet of the great rebel of God's government. . . . 

While the worldly wise is skimming along the surface, grasping the things of sight and sense, the one who fears and reveres God is reaching into eternity, penetrating the deepest recesses and gathering the knowledge and riches that are as enduring as eternity. Justice, honour, love, and truth are the attributes of God's throne. They are the principles of His government. . . . These are jewels to be sought after and cherished for time and for eternity. . . .

To walk the world a pure man of untarnished morals, bearing the sacred principles of truth in your heart, its influence seen in the acts of your life; to live uncorrupted by the baseness, falsity, and dishonesty of a world which must soon be purified of its moral corruption by the fires of God's retributive justice, is to be a man whose record is immortalized in heaven, honoured among the pure angels who weigh and appreciate moral worth. This is what it is to be a man of God. 

Chap. 75 - The Cause of All Our Woes

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Heb. 3:13.

Mark the words "deceitfulness of sin." Satan always presents his temptations under the guise of goodness. Beware that you yield not to them. One violation of straightforward truthfulness prepares the way for the second violation, and wrongs are repeated, until the heart of unbelief becomes hardened, and the conscience loses its sensitiveness. 

Let none flatter themselves that the sins of their youth can easily be given up by and by. This is not so. Every sin cherished weakens the character and strengthens the habit; and physical, mental, and moral depravity result. You may repent of the wrong you have done, and set your feet in right paths; but the mould of your mind and your familiarity with evil will make it difficult for you to distinguish between right and wrong. Through the wrong habits you have formed Satan will assail you again and again.

Many . . . look upon sin as a little thing. . . . Many take counsel of their own wishes and desires and follow their inclinations and finally conclude that sin is not so very offensive, not so terrible and dreadful in the sight of God. Sin that may appear little, that may be termed little by the blunted conscience, is so grievous a thing in the sight of God that nothing but the blood of God's own Son could wash it away. This fact places the true estimate upon sin. God will never tarnish His glory to come to our ideas and views. We shall certainly have to come to His. Just in proportion to the excellence of God is the heinous character of sin. . . . 

God seeks our real happiness. If anything lies in the way of this, He sees it must first be removed. He will thwart our purposes and disappoint our expectations and bring us through disappointments and trials to reveal to us ourselves as we are. . . . Sin is the cause of all our woes. If we would have true peace and happiness of mind, sin must be removed. 

Chap. 76 - In Self-Distrust We Cry to God

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Ps. 32:5. 

David often triumphed in God, and yet he dwelt much upon his own unworthiness and sinfulness. His conscience was not asleep or dead. "My sin," he cried, "is ever before me." Ps. 51:3 . He did not flatter himself that sin was a matter with which he had nothing to do, and that should not concern him. As he saw the depths of deceit in his heart, he . . . prayed that God would . . . cleanse him from secret faults. 

It is not safe for us to close our eyes and harden our consciences, that we shall not see or realise our sins. 

The humble heart will not think confession beneath him. He will not feel it a disgrace to confess if he has in any way, even in thought, hurt his brother or hindered God's work through him. 

Sins not repented of are sins not forgiven. Those who think themselves forgiven for sins of which they have never felt the sinfulness and over which they have never felt contrition of soul, only deceive themselves. . . . Our strength lies in our conscious weakness. . . . In self-distrust we cry to God for help, and work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Casting away all confidence in the arm of flesh, we cling with firm grasp to Jesus. . . .

Heaven will never be reached by an easy-going people merely professing to be Christians. God calls for thorough work on the part of every one of His followers. . . .

By resolute self-denial,
By constant watchfulness,
By earnest prayer,
By the diligent use of every means of grace,
And by the help of Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
We shall come off victorious.
The rest in heaven is for the weary,
The crown for the brows of the warriors. 

Chap. 77 - Full Provision for Pardon

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Ps. 34:18. 

Do not think that because you have made mistakes you must always be under condemnation, for this is not necessary. . . . 

Shall we look at our sins, and begin to mourn, and say, I have done wrong, and I cannot come to God with any degree of confidence? Does not the Bible say, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"? 1 John 1:9. It is a proper thing for us to have a realization of the terrible character of sin. It was sin that caused Christ to suffer ignominious death on Calvary. But while we should understand that sin is a terrible thing, yet we should not listen to the voice of our adversary, who says, "You have sinned, and you have no right to claim the promises of God." You should say to the adversary, "It is written, 'If any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous' (1 John 2:1)." . . .

The psalmist says, "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin." Ps. 32:5. . . . This is the kind of experience that we should have. 

David was pardoned of his transgression because he humbled his heart before God in repentance and contrition of soul, and believed that God's promise to forgive would be fulfilled. He confessed his sin, repented, and was reconverted. In the rapture of the assurance of forgiveness, he exclaimed, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." Ps. 32:1, 2. The blessing comes because of pardon; pardon comes through faith that the sin, confessed and repented of, is borne by the great Sin Bearer. Thus from Christ cometh all our blessings. His death is an atoning sacrifice for our sins. He is the great Medium through whom we receive the mercy and favour of God.

Chap. 78 - Building for Eternity

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matt. 7:24, 25.

The formation of character is the work of a lifetime, and it is for eternity. If all could realise this, if they would awake to the thought that we are individually deciding our own destiny for eternal life or eternal ruin, what a change would take place! How differently would this probationary time be occupied! . . .

In character building it is of the greatest importance that we dig deep, removing all the rubbish and building on the immovable, solid Rock, Christ Jesus. The foundation firmly laid, we need wisdom to know how to build. . . . In His law God has given us a pattern, and it is after this pattern that we are to build. The law is the great standard of righteousness. It represents the character of God, and is the test of our loyalty to His government. 

Thoroughness is necessary to success in character building. There must be an earnest desire to carry out the plans of the Master Builder. The timbers used must be solid; no careless, unreliable work can be accepted; it would ruin the building. The whole being is to be put into this work. It demands strength and energy; there is no reserve to be wasted in unimportant matters. There must be determined human force put into the work, in cooperation with the divine Worker. There must be earnest, persevering effort to break away from the customs and maxims and associations of the world. Deep thought, earnest purpose, steadfast integrity, are essential. There must be no idleness. Life is a sacred trust; and every moment should be wisely improved. . . . 

Remember that you are building for eternity. See that your foundation is sure; then build firmly, and with persistent effort, but in gentleness, meekness, and love. So shall your house stand unshaken, not only when the storms of temptation come but when the overwhelming flood of God's wrath shall sweep over the world. 

Chap. 79 - Give No Place to Temptation

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. Prov. 14:26.

God requires that we confess our sins and humble our hearts before Him; but at the same time we should have confidence in Him as a tender Father, who will not forsake those who put their trust in Him. We do not realise how many of us walk by sight and not by faith. We believe the things that are seen, but do not appreciate the precious promises given us in His Word. And yet we cannot dishonour God more decidedly than by showing that we distrust what He says.

Do not for a moment acknowledge Satan's temptations as being in harmony with your own mind. Turn from them as you would from the adversary himself. Satan's work is to discourage the soul. Christ's work is to inspire the heart with faith and hope. Satan seeks to unsettle our confidence. He tells us that our hopes are built upon false premises, rather than upon the sure, immutable word of Him who cannot lie.

When he {Satan} suggests doubts as to whether we are really the people whom God is leading, whom by tests and provings He is preparing to stand in the great day, be ready to meet his insinuations by presenting the clear evidence from the Word of God that this is the remnant people who are keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 

Let us trust fully, humbly, unselfishly, in God. We are His little children, and thus He deals with us. When we draw near to Him, He mercifully preserves us from the assaults of the enemy. Never will He betray one who trusts in Him as a child trusts in its parents. He sees the humble, trusting souls drawing near to Him, and in pity and love He draws near to them, and lifts up for them a standard against the enemy. "Touch them not," He says, "for they are mine. I have graven them upon the palms of my hands." He teaches them to exercise unquestioning faith in His power to work in their behalf. With assurance they say, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4. 

Chap. 80 - Above the Fog of Doubt

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. Ps. 31:24.

Even Christians of long experience are often assaulted with the most terrible doubts and waverings. . . . You must not consider that for these temptations your case is hopeless. . . . Hope in God, trust in Him and rest in His promises. 

When the devil comes with his doubts and unbeliefs, shut the door of your heart. Shut your eyes so that you will not dwell upon his hellish shadow. Lift them up where they can behold the things which are eternal, and you will have strength every hour. The trial of your faith is much more precious than gold. . . . It makes you valiant to fight the battle of the Lord. . . . 

Satan connects with everyone that will connect with him. If he can get those that have had an experience in religion, they are his most effectual agents to reach just such men and compass their souls with unbelief. You cannot afford to let any doubts come into your mind. Do not please the devil enough to tell about the terrible burdens you are carrying. Every time you do it, Satan laughs that his soul can control you and that you have lost sight of Jesus Christ your Redeemer. . . . 

We are to show forth Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. It is by living faith that we rest in that light. It is by living faith that we rejoice in that light every day. We are not to talk our doubts and trials, because they grow bigger every time we talk them. Every time we talk them, Satan has gained the victory; but when we say, "I will commit the keeping of my soul unto Him, as unto a faithful witness," then we testify that we have given ourselves to Jesus Christ without any reservation, and then God gives us light and we rejoice in Him. 

The soul that loves God, rises above the fog of doubt; he gains a bright, broad, deep, living experience, and becomes meek and Christ-like. His soul is committed to God, hid with Christ in God. 

Chap. 81 - Progressive Conquest of Evil

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12. 

It is not the order and will of God to shield His people from temptation. . . . When truth takes possession of the heart, the Christian will be brought into conflict. . . . There are opposing elements in his own household, even in his own heart, and nothing but the free Spirit of God can ensure for him the victory. 

The beginning of yielding to temptation is in the sin of permitting the mind to waver, to be inconsistent in your trust in God. The wicked one is ever watching for a chance to misrepresent God, and to attract the mind to that which is forbidden. If he can, he will fasten the mind upon the things of the world. He will endeavour to excite the emotions, to arouse the passions, to fasten the affections on that which is not for your good; but it is for you to hold every emotion and passion under control, in calm subjection to reason and conscience. Then Satan loses his power to control the mind. The work to which Christ calls us is to the work of progressive conquest over spiritual evil in our characters. Natural tendencies are to be overcome. . . . Appetite and passion must be conquered, and the will must be placed wholly on the side of Christ. 

We pray to our heavenly Father, "Lead us not into temptation," and then, too often, we fail to guard our feet against leading us into temptation. We are to keep away from the temptations by which we are easily overcome. Our success is wrought out by ourselves through the grace of Christ. We are to roll out of the way the stone of stumbling that has caused us and others so much sadness. 

Temptation and trial will come to us all, but we need never be worsted by the enemy. Our Saviour has conquered in our behalf. Satan is not invincible. . . . Christ was tempted that He might know how to help every soul that should afterward be tempted. Temptation is not sin; the sin lies in yielding. To the soul who trusts in Jesus, temptation means victory and greater strength. 

Chap. 82 - Beware of Satan's Devices

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Cor. 2:11. 

Satan's plans and devices are soliciting us on every hand. We should ever remember that he comes to us in disguise, covering his motives and the character of his temptations. He comes in garments of light, clad apparently in pure angel robes, that we may not discern that it is he. We need to use great caution, to closely investigate his devices, lest we be deceived.

Satan has his evil angels around us; and though they cannot read men's thoughts, they closely watch their words and actions. Satan takes advantage of the weaknesses and defects of character that are thus revealed, and presses his temptations where there is the least power of resistance. He makes evil suggestions, and inspires worldly thoughts, knowing that he can thus bring the soul into condemnation and bondage. To those who are selfish, worldly, avaricious, proud, faultfinding, or given to detraction--to all who are cherishing errors and defects of character--Satan presents the indulgence of self, and leads the soul off upon a track that the Bible condemns. . . .

For every class of temptations there is a remedy. We are not left to ourselves to fight the battle against self and our sinful natures in our own finite strength. Jesus is a mighty helper, a never-failing support. . . . None need fail or become discouraged, when such ample provision has been made for us. 

The mind must be restrained, and not allowed to wander. It should be trained to dwell upon the Scriptures, and upon noble, elevating themes. Portions of Scripture, even whole chapters, may be committed to memory, to be repeated when Satan comes in with his temptations. The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is a profitable one for this purpose. Wall the soul in with the restrictions and instructions given by inspiration of the Spirit of God. When Satan would lead the mind to dwell upon earthly and sensual things, he is most effectually resisted with "It is written." 

Chap. 83 - How Satan's Power is Broken

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal. 5:1.

The repentance of one soul sends inexpressible joy through all the host of heaven. Melody is called forth from every harp and every voice in glorious anthems because another name is registered in the book of life, another light is kindled to shine amid the moral darkness of this corrupt world. The very same event spreads consternation among the fallen angels and humiliates the great leader in the rebellion against God's holy law. The prince of darkness, seeing a soul whom he has counted his own escaping from under his control as a bird out of the snare of the fowler, and making Christ his refuge, works with hellish intensity to again entrap the one escaped. 

We must dwell more on the results of genuine conversion. Not only is the sinner forgiven when he repents and confesses his iniquity; he becomes a child of God, . . . an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ to an immortal inheritance. . . . The power of Satan is broken. Man is brought into sacred unity with Christ. 

There is not a soul won to Christ . . . without defeat to the tempter, and bruising of the head of the serpent. This will arouse the malice of the adversary to greater activity. . . . Alarmed because he is losing his prey, Satan will first seek to deceive, next to oppress and persecute. Evil men, rebuked by the precept and example of those who come to the light of Bible truth, will become agents of the great adversary of souls and will leave no means untried to draw them away from their allegiance to God and induce them to leave the narrow path of holiness. 

But none need to be alarmed and afraid. God's word is pledged that if they are true to principle, if they believe and obey all God's requirements, they are members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They are certain to have enlisted in their behalf the agencies of heaven and to come off victorious through the merits of Christ--more than conquerors through Him that loved them.

Chap. 84 - Not Saved by Proxy

Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Gal. 6:4.

No one can serve God by proxy. There are so many who seem to think that there is someone in this world stronger than Christ, upon whom they can lean. And instead of coming right to Christ, just as they are, giving themselves unreservedly to Him, they reach out for human help. God wants us to have an individual experience. . . . I cannot work out a character for you, and you cannot work out a character for me. 

The gospel deals with individuals. Every human being has a soul to save or to lose. Each has an individuality separate and distinct from all others. Each must be convicted for himself, converted for himself. He must receive the truth, repent, believe, and obey for himself. He must exercise his will for himself. . . . Each must surrender to God by his own act. 

The Lord does not desire that our individuality shall be destroyed; it is not His purpose that any two persons shall be exactly alike in tastes and dispositions. All have characteristics peculiar to themselves, and these are not to be destroyed, but to be trained, moulded, fashioned, after the similitude of Christ. The Lord turns the natural aptitudes and capabilities into profitable channels. In the improvement of the faculties God has given, talent and ability are developed if the human agent will recognise the fact that all his powers are an endowment from God, to be used, not for selfish purposes, . . . but for the glory of God and the good of our fellow men.

To every man God--not man--has given his work. This is an individual work--the formation of a character after the divine similitude. The lily is not to strive to be like the rose. There are distinctions in the formation of the flowers and in the fruits, but all derive their peculiar variance from God. . . . So it is God's design that even the best of men shall not all be of the same character. A life consecrated to the service of God will be developed and beautified in its individuality.

Chap. 85 - God's Part and Mine

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil. 2:12, 13. {

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." What does this mean? It means that every day you are to distrust your own human efforts and wisdom. You are to fear to speak at random, fear to follow your own impulses, fear that pride of heart and love of the world and lust of the flesh shall exclude the precious grace the Lord Jesus is longing to bestow upon you. 

Man's working, as brought out in the text, is not an independent work he performs without God. His whole dependence is upon the power and grace of the Divine Worker. Many miss the mark here, and claim that man must work his own individual self, free from divine power. This is not in accordance with the text. Another argues that man is free from all obligation, because God does it all, both the willing and the doing. The text means that the salvation of the human soul requires the will power to be subjective to the divine will power. . . . And it is the very hardest, sternest conflict which comes with the purpose and hour of great resolve and decision of the human to incline the will and way to God's will and God's way. 

Man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life; he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, but the Spirit that works in him can and will accomplish this. But man is no passive instrument to be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle in the struggle for immortality, yet it is God that supplies the efficiency.

Here are man's works, and here are God's works. . . . With these two combined powers, man will be victorious, and receive a crown of life at last. . . . He puts to the stretch every spiritual nerve and muscle that he may be a successful overcomer in this work, and that he may obtain the precious boon of eternal life. 

Chap. 86 - The Struggle of Unseen Forces

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. 6:12.

The Lord would have our minds aroused regarding the influence of evil angels. Christ does not tell us of the danger threatening us from the attacks of the apostate foe without furnishing us with power to resist every attack. . . . Angelic agencies, both good and evil, are striving for the mastery, and every influence that is now exerted is to be closely investigated. 

Satan is ever on the alert to deceive and mislead. He is using every enchantment to allure men into the broad road of disobedience. He is working to confuse the senses with erroneous sentiments, and remove the landmarks by placing his false inscription on the signposts which God has established to point the right way. It is because these evil agencies are striving to eclipse every ray of light from the soul that heavenly beings are appointed to do their work of ministry, to guide, guard, and control those who shall be heirs of salvation. None need despair because of the inherited tendencies to evil, but when the Spirit of God convicts of sin, the wrongdoer must repent and confess and forsake the evil. Faithful sentinels are on guard to direct souls in right paths. 

Either the evil angels or the angels of God are controlling the minds of men. Our minds are given to the control of God, or to the control of the powers of darkness; and it will be well for us to inquire where we are standing today--whether under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, or under the black banner of the powers of darkness.

So long as the people of God preserve their fidelity to Him, so long as they cling by living faith to Jesus, they are under the protection of heavenly angels, and Satan will not be permitted to exercise his hellish arts upon them to their destruction. 

It is the greatest joy of the angels of heaven to spread the shield of their tender love over souls who turn to God. 

Chap. 87 - Christ's Example in Overcoming

Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Ps. 19:13.

The great leading temptations wherewith man would be beset, Christ met and overcame in the wilderness. His coming off victor over appetite, presumption, and the world shows how we may overcome. Satan has overcome his millions in tempting the appetite and leading men to give up to presumptuous sins. There are many who profess to be followers of Christ, . . . who, with hardly a thought, plunge into scenes of temptation that would require a miracle to bring them forth unsullied. Meditation and prayer would have preserved them and led them to shun the dangerous positions in which they have placed themselves and which give Satan the advantage over them. 

The promises of God are not for us to claim rashly, to protect us while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature, or disregarding prudence and the judgement God has given us to use. This would not be genuine faith but presumption. . . . Satan comes to us with worldly honour, wealth, and the pleasures of life. These temptations are varied to meet men of every rank and degree, tempting them away from God to serve themselves more than their Creator. "All these things will I give thee," said Satan to Christ. "All these things will I give thee," says Satan to man. "All this money, this land, all this power, and honour, and riches, will I give thee"; and man is charmed, deceived, and treacherously allured on to his ruin. If we give ourselves up to worldliness of heart and of life, Satan is satisfied. 

The Saviour overcame the wily foe, showing us how we may overcome. He has left us His example, to repel Satan with Scripture. He might have had recourse to His own divine power, . . . but His example would not then have been as useful to us. Christ used only Scripture. How important that the Word of God be thoroughly studied and followed, that in case of emergency we may be "throughly furnished unto all good works" and especially fortified to meet the wily foe. 

Chap. 88 - How to Maintain Your Integrity!

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Rom. 6:11, 12.

Some regard sin as altogether so light a matter that they have no defence against its indulgence or its consequence. . . . 

If you suppose for a moment that God will treat sin lightly, or make provisions or exemptions so that you can go on in committing sin, and the soul suffer no penalty from so doing, you are under a terrible delusion of Satan. Any wilful violation of the righteous law of Jehovah exposes your soul to the full assaults of Satan.

When you lose your conscious integrity, your soul becomes a battlefield for Satan; you have doubts and fears enough to paralyse your energies and drive you to discouragement. . . .

Remember that temptation is not sin. Remember that however trying the circumstances in which a man may be placed, nothing can really weaken his soul so long as he does not yield to temptation but maintains his own integrity. The interests most vital to you individually are in your own keeping. No one can damage them without your consent. All the satanic legions cannot injure you unless you open your soul to the arts and arrows of Satan. Your ruin can never take place until your will consents. If there is not pollution of mind in yourself, all the surrounding pollution cannot taint or defile you. 

Eternal life is worth everything to us or it is worth nothing. Those only who put forth persevering effort and untiring zeal with intense desire proportionate to the value of the object they are in pursuit of, will gain that life which measures with the life of God.... 

We have the example of Adam and Eve before us, and the result of their transgression should lead every soul of us to avoid sin, to abhor sin as the hateful thing it is, and to feel, in view of the sufferings which sin is sure to inflict, that it is better to suffer loss of all things than to depart from the least of God's commandments. 

Chap. 89 - Success in Resistance

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7. 

There are those who recklessly place themselves in scenes of danger and peril, and expose themselves to temptations, out of which it would require a miracle of God to bring them unharmed and untainted. These are presumptuous acts, with which God is not pleased. Satan's temptation to the Saviour of the world to cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, was firmly met and resisted. The archenemy quoted a promise of God as security, that Christ might with safety do this on the strength of the promise. Jesus met this temptation with Scripture: "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." In the same way Satan urges men into places where God does not require them to go, presenting Scripture to justify his suggestions. 

The precious promises of God are not given to strengthen man in a presumptuous course, or for him to rely upon when he rushes needlessly into danger. . . . We are required, as children of God, to maintain the consistency of our Christian character. We should exercise prudence, caution, and humility, and walk circumspectly toward them that are without. Yet we are not in any case to surrender principle. 

Our only safety is in giving no place to the devil; for his suggestions and purposes are ever to injure us, and hinder us from relying upon God. He transforms himself into an angel of purity, that he may, through his specious temptations, introduce his devices in such a manner that we may not discern his wiles. The more we yield, the more powerful will be his deceptions over us. It is unsafe to controvert or to parley with him. For every advantage we give the enemy, he will claim more. Our only safety is to reject firmly the first insinuation to presumption. God has given us grace through the merits of Christ sufficient to withstand Satan, and be more than conquerors. Resistance is success. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Resistance must be firm and steadfast. We lose all we gain if we resist today only to yield tomorrow.

Chap. 90 - The Closer, the Safer

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8.

"Draw nigh to God." How? By secret, earnest examination of your own heart, by childlike, heartfelt, humble dependence upon God, making known all your weakness to Jesus, and by confessing your sins.

We cannot draw nigh to God and behold His loveliness and compassion without realizing our defects and being filled with a desire to rise higher. "And he will draw nigh to you." The Lord will draw nigh to him who confesses to his brethren the wrongs he has done them, and then comes to God in humility and contrition. 

He who feels his own danger is on the watch lest he shall grieve the Holy Spirit and then draw away from God because he knows that He is not pleased with his course of action. How much better and safer it is to draw nigh to God, that the pure light shining from His Word may heal the wounds that sin has made in the soul. The closer we are to God, the safer we are, for Satan hates and fears the presence of God. 

Draw nigh to Him by prayer, by contemplation, by reading His Word. When He draws nigh to you, He lifts up for you a standard against the enemy. Let us take courage; for the enemy cannot pass this standard. 

If we draw nigh to God, individually, then don't you see what the result will be? Can't you see that we will draw nigh to one another? We cannot draw nigh to God, and come to the same cross, without our hearts being blended together in perfect unity, answering the prayer of Christ that they may be one as He is one with the Father. And therefore we should seek in spirit, in understanding, in faith, that we may be one, that God may be glorified in us as He is glorified in the Son; and that God shall love us as He loves the Son.

The soul that loves God, loves to draw strength from Him by constant communion with Him. When it becomes the habit of the soul to converse with God, the power of the evil one is broken; for Satan cannot abide near the soul that draws nigh unto God.