Our High Calling

Chap. 121 - Prayer, the Channel of All Blessings

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matt. 21:22

Prayer is the breath of the soul, the channel of all blessings. As, with a realization of the needs of humanity, with a feeling of self- loathing, the repentant soul offers its prayer, God sees its struggles, watches its conflicts, and marks its sincerity. He has His finger upon its pulse, and He takes note of every throb. Not a feeling thrills it, not an emotion agitates it, not a sorrow shades it, not a sin stains it, not a thought or purpose moves it, of which He is not cognizant. That soul was purchased at an infinite cost, and is loved with a devotion that is unalterable.... 

Christ our Saviour . . . had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved. It was by prayer to His Father that He was braced for duty and for trial. Day by day He followed His round of duty, seeking to save souls. His heart went out in tender sympathy for the weary and heavy laden. And He spent whole nights in prayer in behalf of the tempted ones....

The Christian is given the invitation to carry his burdens to God in prayer, and to fasten himself closely to Christ by the cords of living faith. The Lord authorizes us to pray, declaring that He will hear the prayers of those who trust in His infinite power. He will be honoured by those who draw nigh to Him, who faithfully do His service. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isa. 26:3. The arm of Omnipotence is outstretched to guide us and lead us onward and still onward. Go forward, the Lord says; I understand the case, and I will send you help. Continue to pray. Have faith in Me. It is for My name's glory that you ask, and you shall receive. I will be honoured before those who are watching critically for your failure. They shall see the truth triumph gloriously. "All things, whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."...

True faith, true prayer--how strong they are! 

Chap. 122 - An Open Door to God's Throne

Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. Rev. 3:8. 

The true Witness declares: "Behold, I have set before thee an open door." Let us thank God with heart and soul and voice; and let us learn to approach unto Him as through an open door, believing that we may come freely with our petitions, and that He will hear and answer. It is by a living faith in His power to help, that we shall receive strength to fight the battles of the Lord with the confident assurance of victory.

Those who are seeking to be faithful to God may be denied many of the privileges of the world; their way may be hedged up and their work hindered by the enemies of truth; but there is no power that can close the door of communication between God and their souls. The Christian himself may close this door by indulgence in sin, or by rejection of heaven's light. He may turn away his ears from hearing the message of truth, and in this way sever the connection between God and his soul.... Every day we have the precious privilege of connecting ourselves with Christ, who has set before us an open door. All heaven is at our command. If we are obedient children of God, we may draw daily supplies of grace. Whatever temptations, trials, or persecutions may come upon us, we need not be discouraged. Neither man nor Satan can close the door which Christ has opened for us. 

Whenever tempted, we have this open door to behold. No power can hide from us the light of the glory which shines from the threshold of heaven along the whole length of the ladder we are to climb; for the Lord has given us strength in His strength, courage in His courage, light in His light. When the powers of darkness are overcome, when the light of the glory of God floods the world, we shall see and understand more clearly than we do today. If we only realised that the glory of God is round about us, that heaven is nearer earth than we suppose, we should have a heaven in our homes while preparing for the heaven above. 

Chap. 123 - Blessings for Those Who Ask

Ye have not, because ye ask not. James 4:2

The grace of Christ we cannot do without. We must have help from above if we resist the manifold temptations of Satan, and escape his devices. Amid the prevailing darkness, we must have light from God to reveal the traps and gins of error, or we shall be ensnared. We should improve the opportunity for prayer, both in secret and around the family altar. Many need to learn how to pray.... When we in humility tell the Lord our wants, the Spirit itself makes intercession for us; as our sense of need causes us to lay bare our souls before the all-searching eye of Omnipotence, our earnest, fervent prayers enter within the veil, our faith claims the promises of God, and help comes to us....

Prayer is both a duty and a privilege. We must have help which God alone can give, and that help will not come unasked. If we are too self-righteous to feel our need of help from God, we shall not have His help when we need it most. If we are too independent and self-sufficient to throw ourselves daily by earnest prayer upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, we shall be left subject to Satan's temptations. . . . Earnest, sincere . . . prayer would bring strength and grace to resist the powers of darkness. God wants to bless. He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than are parents to give good gifts to their children. But many do not feel their need. They do not realise that they can do nothing without the help of Jesus....

I have been shown angels of God all ready to impart grace and power to those who feel their need of divine strength. But these heavenly messengers will not bestow blessings unless solicited. They have waited for the cry from souls hungering and thirsting for the blessing of God; often have they waited in vain. There were, indeed, casual prayers, but not the earnest supplication from humble, contrite hearts....

Those who would receive the blessing of the Lord, must themselves prepare the way, by confession of sin, by humiliation before God, with true penitence, and with faith in the merits of the blood of Christ. 

Chap. 124 - Learn How to Pray

Lord, teach us to pray. Luke 11:1.

Christ did not give this prayer [the Lord's Prayer, Luke 11:2-4] for men to repeat as a form. He gave it as an illustration of what our prayers should be--simple, earnest, and comprehensive.

Many prayers are offered without faith. A set form of words is used, but there is no real importunity. These prayers are doubtful, hesitating; they bring no relief to those who offer them, and no comfort or hope to others. The form of prayer is used, but the spirit is wanting, showing that the petitioner does not feel his need. . . . 

Learn to pray short and right to the point, asking for just what you need. Learn to pray aloud where only God can hear you. Do not offer make-believe prayers, but earnest, feeling petitions, expressing the hunger of the soul for the Bread of Life. If we prayed more in secret, we should be able to pray more intelligently in public. These doubtful, hesitating prayers would cease. And when we engaged with our brethren in public worship, we could add to the interest of the meeting; for we should bring with us some of the atmosphere of heaven, and our worship would be a reality, and not a mere form. . . .If the soul is not drawn out in prayer in the closet and while engaged in the business of the day, it will be manifest in the prayer meeting. . . .

The life of the soul depends upon habitual communion with God. Its wants are made known, and the heart is open to receive fresh blessings. Gratitude flows from unfeigned lips; and the refreshing that is received from Jesus is manifested in words, in deeds of active benevolence, and in public devotion. There is love to Jesus in the heart; and where love exists, it will not be repressed, but will express itself. Secret prayer sustains this inner life. The heart that loves God will desire to commune with Him, and will lean on Him in holy confidence. 

Let us learn to pray intelligently, expressing our requests with clearness and precision. Let us . . . pray as though we meant it. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

Chap. 125 - Seek God with All the Heart

Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee. Zech. 9:12

We need to educate the soul to lay hold, and hold fast the rich promises of Christ. The Lord Jesus knows that it is not possible for us to resist the many temptations of Satan, only as we shall have divine power given us from God. He well knows that in our own human strength we should surely fail. Therefore every provision has been made, that in every emergency and trial we shall flee to the Stronghold.... We have the word of promise from lips that will not lie. . . . We must individually cherish the faith that we receive of Him the things He hath promised. 

God will be to us everything we will let Him be. Our languid, half-hearted prayers will not bring us returns from heaven. Oh, we need to press our petitions! Ask in faith, wait in faith, receive in faith, rejoice in hope, for everyone that seeketh findeth. Be in earnest in the matter. Seek God with all the heart. People put soul and earnestness into everything they undertake in temporal things, until their efforts are crowned with success. With intense earnestness learn the trade of seeking the rich blessings that God has promised, and with persevering, determined effort you shall have His light and His truth and His rich grace.

In sincerity, in soul hunger, cry after God. Wrestle with the heavenly agencies until you have the victory. Put your whole being into the Lord's hands, soul, body, and spirit, and resolve to be His loving, consecrated agency, moved by His will, controlled by His mind, infused by His Spirit. 

Tell Jesus your wants in the sincerity of your soul. You are not required to hold a long controversy with, or preach a sermon to, God, but with a heart of sorrow for your sins, say, "Save me, Lord, or I perish." There is hope for such souls. They will seek, they will ask, they will knock, and they will find. When Jesus has taken away the burden of sin that is crushing the soul, you will experience the blessedness of the peace of Christ. 

Chap. 126 - Victory Through Watchfulness

Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Mark 14:38.

Temptations may be all around you, yet you are safe as long as you do not enter into them. Many of us are overcome by Satan because we walk right into temptation. . . . It is your business to keep aloof from everyone and everything which will have a tendency to lead you away from duty and divert your mind from God. . . . If compelled to be in the society of those who are evil, you are not compelled to enter into or engage in their evil. You can, by prayer and watching, remain unsullied by the evil manifested about you. 

"Watch and pray" is an injunction often repeated in the Scriptures. In the lives of those who obey this injunction there will be an undercurrent of happiness that will bless all with whom they are brought in contact. Those who are sour and cross in disposition will become sweet and gentle; those who are proud will become meek and lowly. 

A man cannot be a happy Christian unless he is a watchful Christian. He who overcomes must watch; for with worldly entanglements, error, and superstition, Satan strives to win Christ's followers from Him, and to keep their minds employed with his devices. It is not enough that we avoid glaring dangers and perilous, inconsistent moves. We are to keep close to the side of Christ, walking in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice. We are not to allow our spiritual perceptions to be blinded, as they often are, by a strong, determined will. And in order to detect the artifices of Satan and to withstand his unexpected attacks, we must have the grace of Christ and the impartation of His Spirit. . . .

God's Word warns us that we have manifold enemies, not open and avowed, but enemies who come with smooth words and fair speeches, and who would deceive if possible the very elect. Thus Satan comes. And again, when it suits his purpose, he goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Man's will, unless kept in subjection to the will of God, is as often on the enemy's side as on the Lord's side. Therefore watch unto prayer; watch and pray always. 

Chap. 127 - Humble, Persevering Prayer

Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. James 5:17, 18. 

Important lessons are presented to us in the experience of Elijah. When upon Mount Carmel he offered the prayer for rain, his faith was tested, but he persevered in making known his request unto God. 

The servant watched while Elijah prayed. Six times he returned from the watch, saying, There is nothing, no cloud, no sign of rain. But the prophet did not give up in discouragement. He kept reviewing his life, to see where he had failed to honour God. . . . As he searched his heart, he seemed to be less and less, both in his own estimation and in the sight of God. It seemed to him that he was nothing, and that God was everything; and when he reached the point of renouncing self, while he clung to the Saviour as his only strength and righteousness, the answer came. The servant appeared, and said, "Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand." 1 Kings 18:34. 

We have a God whose ear is not closed to our petitions; and if we prove His word, He will honour our faith. He wants us to have all our interests interwoven with His interests, and then He can safely bless us; for we shall not then take glory to self when the blessing is ours, but shall render all the praise to God. God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon Him; for should He do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and favours He bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we should become careless, and fail to realise our dependence upon Him. . . . 

Elijah humbled himself until he was in a condition where he would not take the glory to himself. This is the condition upon which the Lord hears prayer, for then we shall give the praise to Him. . . . God alone is worthy to be glorified. 

Chap. 128 - Wait for God's Answer

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. Lam. 3:26. 

There are precious promises in the Scriptures to those who wait upon the Lord. We all desire an immediate answer to our prayers, and we are tempted to become discouraged if our prayer is not immediately answered. Now my experience has taught me that this is a great mistake. The delay is for our special benefit. Our faith has a chance to be tested to see whether it is true, sincere, or changeable like the waves of the sea. We must bind ourselves upon the altar with the strong cords of faith and love, and let patience have her perfect work. Faith strengthens through continual exercise. 

We must pray more and in faith. We must not pray and then run away as though afraid we should receive an answer. God will not mock us. He will answer if we watch unto prayer, if we believe we receive the things we ask for, and keep believing and never lose patience in believing. This is watching unto prayer. We guard the prayer of faith with expectancy and hope. We must wall it in with assurance and be not faithless, but believing. The fervent prayer of the righteous is never lost. The answer may not come according as we expected, but it will come, because God's word is pledged. 

We need a calm waiting upon God. The need of this is imperious. It is not the noise and bustle we make in the world which proves our usefulness. See how silently God works! . . . Those who desire to labour with God have need of His Spirit every day; they need to walk and labour in meekness and humility of spirit, without seeking to accomplish extraordinary things, satisfied to do the work before them and doing it faithfully. Men may not see or appreciate their efforts, but the names of these faithful children of God are written in heaven among His noblest workers, as scattering His seed in view of a glorious harvest.

Wait for the Lord, not in fretful anxiety, but in undaunted faith and unshaken trust.

Chap. 129 - Mementos in Memory's Halls

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. 1 Sam. 7:12.

There is more encouragement to us in the least blessing which we receive ourselves than in reading biographical works relating to the faith and experience of noted men of God. The things we ourselves have experienced of the blessings of God through His gracious promises we may hang in memory's halls, and whether rich or poor, learned or illiterate, we may look and may consider these tokens of God's love. Every token of God's care and goodness and mercy should be hung as imperishable mementos in memory's halls. God would have His love, His promises, written upon the tablets of the mind. Guard the precious revealings of God that not a letter shall become obliterated or dimmed. 

When Israel obtained special victories after leaving Egypt, memorials were preserved of these victories. Moses and Joshua were commanded of God to do this, to build up remembrances. When the Israelites had won a special victory over the Philistines, Samuel set up a commemorative stone and called it Ebenezer, saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." . . . 

Can we not, in view of the past, look on new trials and increased perplexities--even afflictions, privations, and bereavements--and not be dismayed, but look upon the past and say, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.' I will commit the keeping of my soul unto Him as unto a faithful Creator. He will keep that which I have committed to His trust against that day."

Let us look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord has done to comfort us and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. Let us keep fresh in our memory all the tender mercies that God has shown us--the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed--thus strengthening ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage.

Chap. 130 - On the Mount Before God

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. 1 Kings 19:11.

This command comes to every one of us who is looking to his discouragements and mourning over his frailties and giving to the world an example of distrust of God, refusing to look and live. . . . You please the enemy of God and of man by keeping in the cave of darkness where there is not a ray of the Light of life. . . . 

I want to lift up my voice for Jesus and say, Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Go forth from the cave by faith. Look to Jesus, your helper. Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. Look to your atoning Sacrifice lifted up upon the cross, the Innocent dying for the guilty. . . .

His offering of Himself was full and ample. Nothing was wanting. It was indeed a whole and ample atonement that was made. Then why . . . indicate by words and example that Christ has died for you in vain? After the exhibitions of love that was without a parallel, you say by your words of doubt and mournful discouragement, "He does not love me. He will not forgive me. My sins are of too hard a character to be cured by the blood of Jesus. The offering is not of sufficient value to pay the debt I owe for the rescue of my soul."

If men and women could only see and realise how their unbelief and mournful murmurings exalt Satan and give him honour, while they rob Jesus Christ of His glory in the work of saving them, wholly and entirely, from all sin! . . . Let us come out of the cavern of darkness. Let us educate our intellects to discern what Jesus is to us. Let us train our minds to stand on the mount before God in faith, strong in God under any and every temptation. . . . 

In the mount we shall have correct views of Jesus. Satan will not have power to cast his hellish shadow between our souls and Jesus, eclipse our view of Jesus, falsify Him, and encourage our hearts in cruel unbelief of His goodness, His mercy, and His love wherewith He hath loved us. 

Chap. 131 - God's Law a Wall of Protection

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Ps. 119:1.

God, the great governor of the universe, has put everything under law. The tiny flower and the towering oak, the grain of sand and the mighty ocean, sunshine and shower, wind and rain, all obey nature's laws. But man has been placed under a higher law. He has been given an intellect to see, and a conscience to feel, the powerful claims of God's great moral law, the expression of what He desires His children to be. 

God has made known His will so plainly that none need err. He desires all to have a correct understanding of His law, to feel the power of its principles; for their eternal interests are here involved. He who has an understanding of the far-reaching claims of God's law can understand something of the heinousness of sin. And the more exalted his ideas of God's requirements, the greater will be his gratitude for the pardon granted him. . . .

In his own strength the sinner cannot meet the demands of God. He must go for help to the One who paid the ransom for him. . . .

Christ is our hope. Those who trust in Him are cleansed. The grace of Christ and the government of God walk together in perfect harmony. When Jesus became man's substitute, mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other. The cross of Calvary bears witness to the high claims of God's law. 

The law of ten commandments is not to be looked upon as much from the prohibitory side, as from the mercy side. Its prohibitions are the sure guarantee of happiness in obedience. As received in Christ, it works in us the purity of character that will bring joy to us through eternal ages. To the obedient it is a wall of protection. We behold in it the goodness of God, who by revealing to men the immutable principles of righteousness, seeks to shield them from the evils that result from transgression.

Chap. 132 - A Complete Rule of Life

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament. Rev. 11:19. 

Our Redeemer testifies: "Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." Rev. 3:8. Through this open door into the temple of God, we see the royal law, deposited in the ark of the testament. Through this open door, light shines from that holy, just, and good law, presenting to man the true standard of righteousness, that he may make no mistake in the formation of a character that will meet the requirements of God. Sin is condemned by that law; we must put it away. Pride and selfishness can find no place in the character without crowding out Him who was meek and lowly of heart. 

The law of God is the standard by which character is to be tested; if we erect a standard to suit ourselves, and attempt to follow a criterion of our own devising, we shall utterly fail to secure heaven at last. . . . 

The mind must yield obedience to the royal law of liberty, the law which the Spirit of God impresses upon the heart, and makes plain to the understanding. The expulsion of sin must be the act of the soul itself, in calling into exercise its noblest powers. The only freedom a finite will can enjoy, consists in coming into harmony with the will of God, complying with the conditions that make man a partaker of the divine nature. 

The law of God given from Sinai is a copy of the mind and will of the Infinite God. It is sacredly revered by the holy angels. Obedience to its requirements will perfect Christian character, and restore man, through Christ, to his condition before the Fall. The sins forbidden in the law could never find place in heaven. 

It was the love of God to man that prompted Him to express His will in the ten precepts of the Decalogue. . . . God has given man a complete rule of life in His law. Obeyed, he shall live by it, through the merits of Christ. Transgressed, it has power to condemn. The law sends men to Christ, and Christ points them back to the law.

Chap. 133 - Weighing in for Heaven

Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. Job 31:6. 

True measure is everything. It is the very law of God. He puts His law into the least of men's acts and dealings, that learning and living it they may be elevated, ennobled, and sanctified in heart and affection-- faithful in the least. 

God weighs motives, purposes, character. All men are weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and God would have all realise this fact. Hannah said, "The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed." 1 Sam. 2:3. David hath said, "Men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." Ps. 62:9. Isaiah says: "Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just." Isa. 26:7. . . . 

The God of heaven is true. There is not a motive in the depths of the heart, not a secret within us, not a design that God does not fully comprehend. But what is the standard of justice? God's law. God's law is placed in one scale, His holy immutable law whose claims are specified, taking, in the first four commandments, supreme love to God, and in the last six, love to our neighbour. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, . . . and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27. From this standard we will not subtract one atom. God requires all the heart, mind, soul, and strength, and "love thy neighbour as thyself." This is placed in one scale, while every individual character has to pass the weighing test by being placed in the opposite scale. And by its just comparison every man's doom is irretrievably fixed. . . . 

Shall there be written, "Weighed in the balance, and found wanting"? If found wanting in the day of God it will be a terrible thing, therefore we want to be closely examining our own motives and actions by the holy law of God, to repent of every act of transgression, and as sinners lay hold of the merits of Christ to supply the deficiency. The blood of Christ alone will do this.

Chap. 134 - Heart Allegiance

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. Eph. 6:6. 

The law of Jehovah is exceedingly broad. Jesus . . . plainly declared to His disciples that this holy law of God may be violated in even the thoughts and feelings and desires, as well as in the word and deed. The heart that loves God supremely will not in any way be inclined to narrow down His precepts to the very smallest possible claims, but the obedient, loyal soul will cheerfully render full spiritual obedience when the law is seen in its spiritual power. Then will the commandments come home to the soul in their real force. Sin will appear exceedingly sinful. . . . There is no longer self-righteousness, self-esteem, self-honour. Self-security is gone. Deep conviction of sin and self-loathing is the result, and the soul in its desperate sense of peril lays hold on the blood of the Lamb of God as his only remedy. . . .

Many are deceiving their own souls today. They restrict the injunctions of God to condemn outward acts alone, and do not consider it sin to dishonour God in thoughts and affections. They flatter themselves that they are keeping the law of Jehovah while their life and character as daguerreotyped {photographed} in the books of heaven reveal them as venturing to see how far they can go in the direction of wrongdoing without being branded as transgressors of God's law. . . . 

Every soul who desires to depart from all iniquity . . . will be ever labouring to be on the Lord's side in thought, in word, and in character, obedient to all His requirements. In the place of seeking opportunities to evade the law of God, he will give the largest interpretation to His far-reaching commandments and will strive most earnestly to bring the will, the affections, and all the heart to exemplify the great principles of His holy commandments. . . . The work must begin at the heart. . . . If the heart is right with God, then the whole life will be purified, refined, ennobled, sanctified. If the eye is single the whole body is filled with light. Religion is not a matter of externalities. . . . Religion is a thing of the heart. 

Chap. 135 - Blending the Law and Gospel

Do we then make void the law of God through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Rom. 3:31. 

We hear so many who are deceived by the enemy constantly claiming, "I am saved"; but . . . they show such contempt of God's rule of righteousness that we know that they . . . know nothing of saving grace. The heart is not in harmony with the law of God, but is at enmity with that law. Thus was the great rebel in heaven. Will the Lord take men and women to heaven who have no respect for the law of His universe? . . . 

What is to bring the sinner to the knowledge of his sins unless he knows what sin is? The only definition of sin in the Word of God is given us in 1 John 3:4. "Sin is the transgression of the law." The sinner must be made to feel that he is a transgressor. Christ dying upon the cross of Calvary is drawing his attention. Why did Christ die? Because it was the only means for man to be saved. . . . He took upon Himself our sins that He might impute His righteousness to all who believe in Him. . . . The goodness and the love of God lead the sinner to repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The awakened sinner . . . is pointed to the law he has transgressed. It calls to him to repent, yet there is no saving quality in law to pardon the transgression of law, and his case seems hopeless. But the law draws him to Christ. However deep are his sins of transgression, the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse him from all sin. . . .

The law and the gospel go hand in hand. The one is the complement of the other. The law without faith in the gospel of Christ cannot save the transgressor of law. The gospel without the law is inefficient and powerless. The law and the gospel are a perfect whole. The Lord Jesus laid the foundation of the building, and He lays "the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." Zech. 4:7. He is the author and finisher of our faith, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. The two blended--the gospel of Christ and the law of God--produce the love and faith unfeigned.

Chap. 136 - Pathway to Purity

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:3.

Does this text mean that the human agent can remove one stain of sin from his soul? No. Then what does it mean to purify himself? It means to look upon the Lord's great moral standard of righteousness, the holy law of God, and see that he is a sinner in the light of that law. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin." 1 John 3:4, 5. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that . . . the human agent is purified and cleansed. . . . "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not." Verse 6. God has power to keep the soul that is in Christ. . . . A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian. . . .

In every clime, in every nation, our youth should cooperate with God. The only way a person can be pure is to become like-minded with God. How can we know God? By studying His Word. . . . 

Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of man, every effort to purify himself will be useless; for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God. The outward gloss may be put on, and men may be as were the Pharisees whom Jesus describes as "whited sepulchres," full of corruption and dead men's bones. But all the deformity of the soul is open to Him who judgeth righteously, and unless the truth is planted in the heart, it cannot control the life. Cleansing the outside of the cup will never make the vessel pure within. A nominal acceptance of truth is good as far as it goes, and the ability to give a reason for our faith is a good accomplishment, but if the truth does not go deeper than this, the soul will never be saved. The heart must be purified from all moral defilement. "I know also my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness." 1 Chron. 29: 17. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Ps. 139:23, 24. 

Chap. 137 - An Enlightened Conscience

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16. 

In the Word of God we read that there are good and bad consciences. . . . Take your conscience to the Word of God, and see if your life and character are in accordance with the standard of righteousness which God has there revealed. You can then determine whether or not you have an intelligent faith, and what manner of conscience is yours. The conscience of man cannot be trusted unless it is under the influence of divine grace. Satan takes advantage of an unenlightened conscience, and thereby leads men into all manner of delusions. 

It is not enough for a man to think himself safe in following the dictates of his conscience. . . . The question to be settled is, Is the conscience in harmony with the Word of God? If not, it cannot safely be followed, for it will deceive. The conscience must be enlightened by God. Time must be given to a study of the Scriptures and to prayer. Thus the mind will be stablished, strengthened, and settled. 

It is the privilege of everyone to so live that God will approve and bless him. You may be hourly in communion with Heaven; it is not the will of your heavenly Father that you should ever be under condemnation and darkness. It is not pleasing to God that you should demerit yourself. You should cultivate self-respect by living so that you will be approved by your own conscience, and before men and angels. . . . It is your privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame and remorse. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1. While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, the Word of God does not condemn a proper self-respect. As sons and daughters of God, we should have a conscious dignity of character, in which pride and self-importance have no part. 

A conscience void of offence toward God and man is a wonderful acquirement.

Chap. 138 - Fruit-Bearing Branches

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:1, 2.

The Saviour . . . points out the sign of discipleship: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." By faith we are to lay hold on a living God, and maintain an experience that shall breathe love, tenderness, kindness, compassion, and affection. These traits of character are the fruit that the Lord Jesus desires us to produce, and to present before the world as a witness that we have a Saviour who can uplift and who can satisfy. . . . We need not be on the losing side, for in everything He is our sufficiency. 

What we need is the presence of Jesus Christ. We want His truth shining in our hearts, pervading all our life actions. This will determine whether or not we are branches of the True Vine. If we are fruit-bearing branches we may expect that the Great Husbandman will prune us, that we may bring forth more fruit. All that is useless, all that would hinder our growth in the Christian life, must be removed. 

When the purging comes, we frequently feel that the Lord is against us. Instead of this we should look to ourselves and see if there is not something we have left undone or something we need to take away from our lives before we can stand in right relation to God. . . .

We must be living branches of the True Vine, daily laying hold of our Redeemer that we may bear the fruits of a Christian character. . . . When we are willing to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice, as Christ practised it in His life, we shall bear fruit to God's glory. 

It is the Saviour's delight to see His followers colabourers with God, receiving bountifully all the means of fruit bearing, and giving bountifully, as workers under Him. Christ glorified His Father by the fruit He bore, and the lives of His true followers will produce the same result. Receiving and imparting, His workers will produce much fruit.

Chap. 139 - Abiding in Christ

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4. 

As the severed branch, leafless, and apparently lifeless, is ingrafted into the living stock, and, fibre by fibre, and vein by vein, drinks in the life and strength of the vine until it buds and blossoms and bears fruit, even so may the sinner, by repentance and faith, connect himself with Christ, become a partaker of the divine nature, and bring forth in words and deeds the fruit of a holy life. 

Jesus "has life in himself," and this life He offers to impart freely, to souls that are dead in trespasses and sins. Yea, He shares with them His purity, His honour, and exaltation. . . . The sapless branch, ingrafted into the living vine, becomes a part of the vine. It lives while united to the vine. So the Christian lives by virtue of his union with Christ. The sinful and human is linked to the holy and divine. The believing soul abides in Christ, and becomes one with Him. When persons are closely united in the relations of this life, their tastes become similar, they come to love the same things. So those who abide in Christ will love the things which He loves. They will sacredly cherish and obey His commandments. . . . 

The vine-branch, nourished from the parent stock, becomes flourishing and fruitful. Its rich and fragrant clusters attest its union with the living vine. So the Christian, abiding in Jesus, will bring forth fruit. In character and life will be manifested, like the teeming cluster of the vine, the precious graces of the Spirit,--love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. . . .

Resolve that you will be fruit-bearing members of the living Vine. The scion can flourish only as it receives life and strength from the parent stock. Improve, then, every opportunity to connect yourselves more closely with Christ. It is by believing Him, loving Him, copying Him, and depending wholly upon Him, that you are to become one with Him; and through you His life and character will be revealed to the world. 

Chap. 140 - The Source of My Strength

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5. 

We are finite, but a wonderful arrangement has been made that we may have close connection with the Infinite. . . . Finite beings at their best can do but little, but Christ working through humanity may accomplish wonderful results.

It is a painful thought to me that I can do so little. The limited sphere of human capabilities leads me to feel indeed the words of Christ, "Without Me ye can do nothing." Many are endowed with superior talents and do not use them, because they have no living connection with God. . . . My own scanty knowledge and feeble energies drive me to Jesus, and the language of my heart is, "Oh God, I can do nothing. I hang my helpless soul on Thee, Jesus Christ my Saviour. Put Thy grace into my heart. Attract my mind from my weakness to Thy almighty strength, from my ignorance to Thy eternal wisdom, from my frailty to Thy enduring might. Give me correct views of the great plan of redemption. Let me see and understand what Christ is to me, and that my heart, soul, mind, and strength are bought with a price. Christ has imparted to me that I may impart to others. Lift up my soul; strengthen and enlighten my mind that I may comprehend more clearly the character of God as revealed in Jesus Christ, that I may know that it is my privilege to be a partaker of the divine nature." 

The great and eternal power of God fills my mind with awe, and sometimes even terror. . . . May I indeed look upon Jesus, full of goodness and compassion and love, and behold the Lord God, and call Him by the endearing name of Father.

The deep struggles of my own soul against temptations, the earnest longings of my mind and heart to know God and Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, and to have assurance, peace, and rest in their love, lead me to desire every day to be where the beams of the Sun of Righteousness can shine upon me. 

Chap. 141 - Rejoicing in Assurance

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7. 

Precious are the privileges accorded him who abides in Christ. . . . The mind of Christ dwells in His faithful followers; their desires are in accordance with His will; their petitions are indicted by His Spirit. They obtain answers to their prayers; for they ask for such blessings as He delights to bestow. 

But there are thousands of prayers daily offered that God does not answer. There are faithless prayers. "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Heb. 11:6. There are selfish prayers, proceeding from a heart that is cherishing idols. . . . There are petulant, fretful prayers, murmuring because of the burdens and cares of life, instead of humbly seeking grace to lighten them. Those who offer such petitions are not abiding in Christ. They have not submitted their will to the will of God. They do not comply with the condition of the promise, and it is not fulfilled to them. 

They that are abiding in Jesus have the assurance that God will hear them, because they love to do His will. They offer no formal, wordy prayer, but come to God in earnest, humble confidence as a child to a tender father, and pour out the story of their grief and fears and sins, and in the name of Jesus present their wants; they depart from His presence rejoicing in the assurance of pardoning love and sustaining grace.

With a sense that Jesus is by your side, you will have cheerfulness, hope, courage, and joy. . . . Never, never separate from Jesus. He never separates from us. By the cross of Calvary He has given evidence of His deep love for us. He does not leave us to fight the battle in our own finite strength. He says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Heb. 13:5. . . . Jesus does not cast us off, even when we grieve Him; He clings to us still. Let your heart be animated by the love of Jesus to ardent activity for His glory. 

Chap. 142 - Most Happy People on Earth

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:11. 

We, as Christians, are not required to go about with long faces, sighing as though we had no Saviour and no hope. This will not glorify God. He desires us to be cheerful. He desires us to be filled with praises to His name. He desires us to carry light in our countenances, and joy in our hearts. We have a hope that is far above any pleasures that the world can give, and this fact should be made manifest.

Why should not our joy be full--full, lacking nothing? We have an assurance that Jesus is our Saviour, and that we may draw freely from Him. We may partake freely of the rich provision that He has made for us in His Word. We may take Him at His word, believe on Him, and know that He will give us grace and power to do just as He bids us. . . . We may constantly seek the joy of His presence. We need not be all the time upon our knees in prayer, but we may be constantly asking for His grace, even when we are walking on the streets, or when we are engaged in our ordinary daily duties. We may constantly keep the mind ascending to Christ, and He will freely impart to us of His grace. . . . 

The joy of Christ is a pure, unalloyed cheerfulness. It is not a cheap gaiety, that leads to vanity of words or lightness of conduct. No, we are to have His joy, and His greatest joy was to see men obeying the truth. . . . Plead with God, saying, "I make an entire surrender. I give myself away to Thee." Then be joyful. The Word is in you, purifying and cleansing your character. God does not want His children to go about with anxiety and sorrow expressed in their faces. He wants the lovely expression of His countenance to be revealed in every one of us who are partakers of the divine nature; for we have power to escape the corruptions of the world. . . . 

We are not, because Christ died, left a company of orphans. . . . It is possible for us to obtain victory after victory, and be the most happy people on the face of the earth. 

Chap. 143 - Friendship with Jesus

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:14. 

The character and course of the Christian is in marked contrast to that of worldlings. The Christian cannot find pleasure in the amusements and in the varied scenes of gaiety of the world. Higher and holier attractions engage the affections. Christians will show that they are the friends of God by their obedience. "Ye are my friends," says Christ, "if ye do whatsoever I command you. . . . If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

Christ is your rock and your fortress. Unto His name the righteous runneth and are safe. . . . The righteousness and excellency of His requirements are not comprehended by the world, who look upon the religion of Christ as a yoke of bondage, a surrender of their liberty. Each of God's requirements is an order to become wise, rich, and noble by uniting our weak strength with the power of the Infinite. While following the footsteps of Christ we need never blush, for our conscience will never reproach us. His service is always reasonable. His work is always honourable and glorious. Our friends who desire us to choose the pleasures of the world and to conform to the customs of the world, who look upon us an obstinate, can have no claims upon us that bear any comparison with the claims of Christ. . . . 

The value of man as God estimates him is through his union with Christ; for God is the only One able to raise man in the scale of moral worth through the righteousness of Christ. Worldly honour and worldly greatness are of just that value that the Creator of man places upon them. Their wisdom is foolishness, their strength weakness. 

Let us value what God esteems. True elevation of character is found alone through Christ. Our Saviour imputes His righteousness to the man who yields to Him his heart's best and holiest affections. Our value is in proportion to our alliance to God. 

Chap. 144 - Jesus' Crowning Gift

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:7. 

Christ declared that after His ascension, He would send to His church, as His crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take His place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit--the soul of His life, the efficacy of His church, the light and life of the world. . . . 

In the gift of the Spirit, Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow. . . . It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon the church. . . . It is the privilege of every son and daughter of God to have the indwelling of the Spirit. 

Let every church member kneel before God, and pray earnestly for the impartation of the Spirit. Cry, "Lord, increase my faith. Make me to understand thy word; for the entrance of thy word giveth light. Refresh me by thy presence. Fill my heart with thy Spirit." . . . 

When a man is filled with the Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a representative of Christ. The peace that dwells in the soul is seen on the countenance. The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. . . . Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and done. 

We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us--the perfection of His character? When the Lord's people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, "It is finished."

Chap. 145 - Spirit Given on Condition

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13.

Christ has promised the gift of the Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe, and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit, God works in His people "to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phil. 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. . . .

There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting aside self, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. . . .If His people will remove the obstructions, He will pour forth the waters of salvation in abundant streams through human channels. . . . 

The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency, amid the unfriendliness of relatives, the hatred of the world, and the realization of their own imperfections and mistakes. A union of divine and human endeavour, a close connection first, last, and ever, with God, the source of all strength--this is absolutely necessary. 

To Jesus, who emptied Himself for the salvation of lost humanity, the Holy Spirit was given without measure. So it will be given to every follower of Christ when the whole heart is surrendered for His indwelling. Our Lord Himself has given the command, "Be filled with the Spirit," and this command is also a promise of its fulfilment. It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Christ should "all the fullness" dwell; and "in him ye are made full" (Col. 2:9, 10, R.V.). 

Chap. 146 - Christ's Representative

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement. John 16:8. 

As the Comforter shall come, and reprove you of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement, be careful lest you resist the Spirit of God. . . . Be willing to discern what it shall reveal to you. Yield up your self-will, the long idolized habits peculiar to yourself, that you may receive the principles of truth.

At the cost of infinite sacrifice and suffering, Christ has provided for us every essential to success in the Christian warfare. The Holy Spirit brings power that enables man to overcome. It is through the agency of the Spirit that the government of Satan is to be subdued. It is the Spirit that convinces of sin, and, with the consent of the human being, expels sin from the heart. The mind is then brought under a new law--the royal law of liberty. 

The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit; for it is His representative. Through it He infuses spiritual life into the soul, quickening its energies for good, cleansing from moral defilement, and giving it a fitness for His kingdom. Jesus has large blessings to bestow, rich gifts to distribute among men. He is the wonderful Counsellor, infinite in wisdom and strength; and if we will acknowledge the power of His Spirit, and submit to be moulded by it, we shall stand complete in Him. What a thought is this! In Christ "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him." Col. 2:9, 10. 

Never will the human heart know happiness until it is submitted to be moulded by the Spirit of God. The Spirit conforms the renewed soul to the model, Jesus Christ. Through its influence, enmity against God is changed into faith and love, and pride into humility. The soul perceives the beauty of truth, and Christ is honoured in excellence and perfection of character. As these changes are effected, angels break out in rapturous song, and God and Christ rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude.

Chap. 147 - Yielding to the Spirit's Control

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom. 8:13, 14. 

The will of man is aggressive, and is constantly striving to bend all things to its purposes. If it is enlisted on the side of God and right, the fruits of the Spirit will appear in the life; and God has appointed glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good. 

When Satan is permitted to mould the will, he uses it to accomplish his ends. . . . He stirs up the evil propensities, awakening unholy passions and ambitions. He says, "All this power, these honours, and riches, and sinful pleasures, will I give thee"; but his conditions are that integrity shall be yielded, conscience blunted. Thus he degrades the human faculties, and brings them into captivity to sin. 

But God is ever seeking to impress our hearts by His Holy Spirit, that we shall be convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement to come. We may place our will on the side of God's will, and in His strength and grace resist the temptations of the enemy. As we yield to the influence of the Spirit of God, our conscience becomes tender and sensitive, and sin that we have passed by with little thought, becomes exceeding sinful. 

God calls upon men to oppose the powers of evil. He says: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Rom. 6:13, 14. . . . 

In this conflict of righteousness against unrighteousness, we can be successful only by divine aid. Our finite will must be brought into submission to the will of the Infinite; the human will must be blended with the divine. This will bring the Holy Spirit to our aid; and every conquest will tend to the recovery of God's purchased possession, to the restoration of His image in the soul. 

Chap. 148 - Revealer of Christ's Grace

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that he shall speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13. 

Of the Comforter it is written, "He will guide you into all truth. . . ." Through the Holy Spirit, Christ will open more clearly to those who believe on Him that which He has inspired holy men to write concerning the truth. 

Christ said of the Spirit, "He shall glorify me." John 16:14. As Christ glorified the Father by the demonstration of His love, so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing to the world the riches of His grace. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honour of God, the honour of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people. . . .

The Spirit works in us by bringing to mind, vividly and often, the precious truths of the plan of redemption. We should forget these truths, and for us God's rich promises would lose their efficiency, were it not for the Spirit, who takes of the things of God, and shows them to us. . . . The Spirit illumines our darkness, informs our ignorance, and helps us in our manifold necessities. But the mind must be constantly going out after God. If worldliness is allowed to come in, if we have no desire to pray, no desire to commune with Him who is the source of strength and wisdom, the Spirit will not abide with us. Those who are unbelieving do not receive the rich endowment of grace that would make them wise unto salvation, patient, forbearing, quick to perceive and appreciate heavenly ministrations, quick to discern Satan's devices, and strong to resist sin. 

The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means that sin is taken away, and that the vacuum is filled with the Spirit. It means that the mind is divinely illumined, that the heart is emptied of self, and filled with the presence of Christ. When this work is done for church members, the church will be a living, working church. 

Chap. 149 - The Time of the Spirit's Power

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8. 

We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need it more today. All manner of false doctrines, heresies, and deceptions are misleading the minds of men; and without the Spirit's aid, our efforts to present divine truth will be in vain. 

We are living in the time of the Holy Spirit's power. It is seeking to diffuse itself through the agency of humanity, thus increasing its influence in the world. For if any man drinks of the water of life, it will be in him "a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14); and the blessing will not be confined to himself, but will be shared by others. . . . 

To reject the Holy Spirit, through whose power we conquer the forces of evil, is the sin that surpasses all others; for it cuts us off from the source of our power--from Christ and communion with Him. . . . 

The warfare between good and evil has not grown less fierce than it was in the days of the Saviour. The path to heaven is no smoother now than it was then. All our sins must be put away. Every darling indulgence that hinders our religious life must be cut off. The right eye or the right hand must be sacrificed, if it causes us to offend. Are we willing to renounce our own wisdom, and to receive the kingdom of heaven as a little child? Are we willing to part with our self-righteousness? Are we willing to sacrifice the approbation of men? The prize of eternal life is of infinite value. Are we willing to welcome the Holy Spirit's aid, and cooperate with it, putting forth efforts and making sacrifices proportionate to the value of the object to be obtained?

The heart of man may be the abode of the Holy Spirit. The peace of Christ, which passeth understanding, may rest in your soul; and the transforming power of His grace may work in your life, and fit you for the courts of glory.

Chap. 150 - Pledge of Our Acceptance

And Jesus, when he was baptised, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt. 3:16, 17. 

What does this scene mean to us? How thoughtlessly we have read the account of the baptism of our Lord, not realizing that its significance was of the greatest importance to us, and that Christ was accepted of the Father in man's behalf. As Jesus bowed on the banks of Jordan and offered up His petition, humanity was presented to the Father by Him who had clothed His divinity with humanity. Jesus offered Himself to the Father in man's behalf, that those who had been separated from God through sin, might be brought back to God through the merits of the divine Petitioner. . . . 

The prayer of Christ in behalf of lost humanity cleaved its way through every shadow that Satan had cast between man and God, and left a clear channel of communication to the very throne of glory. . . . 

The voice of God was heard in answer to the petition of Christ, and this tells the sinner that his prayer will find a lodgement at the throne of the Father. The Holy Spirit will be given to those who seek for its power and grace, and will help our infirmities when we would have audience with God. Heaven is open to our petitions, and we are invited to come "boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16. 

With all our sins and weakness we are not cast aside as worthless. "He hath made us accepted in the beloved." Eph. 1:6. The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells of the power of prayer--how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. The light that fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour, will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The voice that spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, "This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased." 

Chap. 151 - Three Mighty Helpers

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rom. 6:4.

Jesus was our example in all things that pertain to life and godliness. He was baptised in Jordan, just as those who come to Him must be baptised.

Christ made baptism the entrance to His spiritual kingdom. . . . Those who receive the ordinance of baptism thereby make a public declaration that they have renounced the world, and have become members of the royal family. . . . Those who do this are to make all worldly considerations secondary to their new relations. Publicly they have declared that they will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. . . . They are bound by a solemn covenant to live to the Lord. They are to use for Him all their entrusted capabilities.

When we submit to the solemn rite of baptism, we testify to angels and to men that we are purged from our old sins, and that henceforth, having died to the world, we will "seek those things which are above. . . ." (Col. 3:1). Let us not forget our baptismal vow. In the presence of the three highest powers of heaven--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--we have pledged ourselves to do the will of Him who . . . declared, "I am the resurrection, and the life.: John 11:25. Christ forgives every penitent sinner, and as the forgiven one, at the time of baptism, rises from the watery grave, he is declared a new creature, whose life is hid with Christ in God. Let us ever remember that it is our high privilege to be purged from our old sins. 

When the Christian takes his baptismal vow, divine help is pledged to him, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit stand ready to work in his behalf. God places at his command the resources of heaven, that he may be an overcomer. His own power is small; but God is omnipotent, and God is his helper. Daily he is to make known his wants at the throne of grace. By faith and trust, by availing himself of the resources provided, he can be more than a conqueror.