Our High Calling
Chap. 274 - Don't Starve Your Soul!

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Mark 4:19. 

We must beware that we do not become overburdened even with what seem the necessary cares of life, so that we are unable to do the most essential work.... The largest share of the thoughts and the busy activities that engage hands and hearts, are given to selfish, personal, earthly interests. These are allowed to become so engrossing as to prevent attention to the things of eternity. The soul is left to starve for want of nourishment. Mind and body become worn out by protracted hours of application to worldly things. This is just as Satan designed it should be. All the freshness and vigour of the mind, all the keen thought, is given to the world, and God has the feeble, distracted thought, the fruit of a wearied and worried mind. The things of the highest consequence, which pertain to the eternal peace, are made subordinate to the common concerns of life, and God is robbed every day of service which would strengthen spirituality, lifting the thoughts heavenward, and bringing the soul into communion with God and holy angels. 

We are not to allow the things of this world so to absorb the attention that mind and body are completely engrossed. Thus those around us are robbed of the kindly words and deeds that would help them in the upward way. The channel of light is clogged with worldly matters. The grace that Christ is longing to impart, He cannot bestow. Many are coming to have less and less strength to impart to others, because they do not receive power from the Source of all power. God calls upon them to separate from the things which corrode the mind and spoil the religious experience. 

All are pressed with urgent cares, burdens, and duties; but the greater the pressure upon you, the heavier the burdens you have to bear, the greater your need of divine aid. Jesus will be your helper. You need constantly the light of life of lighten your pathway, and then its divine rays will reflect upon others.

Chap. 275 - The Better Part

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41, 42. 

This reproof of Christ comes to many Marthas in our time. They lose much spiritual and divine knowledge that would make them wise unto salvation, through their bustling activity to do so much in temporal things, to shower favours upon those whom they love. If they would preserve simplicity in all their preparations, and improve their precious opportunities to obtain a better knowledge of God's will and be doers of His words, they would save much irritability and would drink of the perpetual Fountain of life.... 

Martha . . . was so anxious for all due honour to be given to Christ that in her active preparations in provision of food, she lost the most precious, golden moments of listening to instruction from His divine lips. Mary sat at His feet to catch every word. She regarded this of highest importance. This offended Martha, and she asked the Lord Jesus if He did not care that she served alone, while Mary shunned these responsibilities. Said Jesus, Martha, Mary hath chosen the better part, which shall never be taken from her. What was that better part? To learn of Jesus, to appreciate His words. In giving attention to the words which fell from His lips, she was showing her love for her Saviour.... 

Every word from the lips of Jesus was precious. It was joy to Him to see Mary appreciate His instruction. The more frequently the words of Christ are heard the more deeply do they influence the mind, the better they are understood, and the more easily and perfectly are they obeyed. 

This spirit that is ever ready to make great outward display for our friends is a device of the enemy.... 

He {Christ} requires His followers--the purchase of His blood--to leave all the follies and vanities and tainting corruptions of the world out of their lives.... Let the impression, "Lo, God is here," solemnize every mind and make glad every soul.

Chap. 276 - Youthful Zeal and Courage Needed

I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:14. 

The work of God is in need of youthful ardour, zeal, and courage. Mental and physical vigour are essential for the advancement of the cause of God. To plan with clear mind and execute with courageous hand demand fresh and uncrippled energies. In order that the work may be forwarded in all its branches, God calls for youthful ardour. Young men and young women are invited to give Him the strength of their youth, that through the exercise of their God-given powers, through healthful thought and vigorous action, they may bring glory to God and salvation to men. God calls upon you, young men, to make the most of the powers entrusted to you. Cultivate the habit of doing your best in everything you undertake. God is your Master, and you are His employed servants.... 

You are ever to be learning in the school of Christ; you are to bring your entrusted capital of physical and mental energy into your work. ... Mental effort will become easier and more satisfactory as you put yourselves to the task of understanding the deep things of God.... 

You can rally the mind's best powers, and with a sense of your accountability to God, you can do your best, and you will not cease to advance, and to conquer difficulties. Do not settle down in slothful ease, making no special effort to accomplish your work. Make a choice of some part in the large vineyard of the Master, and do a work that will require the exercise of tact and talent. 

I make an appeal to the youthful disciples of Christ to arouse, no longer to indulge in pleasure seeking, in self-love and ease; no longer be controlled by inclination, and by the lusts of the carnal heart.... 

My prayer to God is that the converting power of His Holy Spirit may come upon our youth, that they may become working agents to win scores of youth to Jesus Christ, that they may be among the number who shall be accounted wise, who shall "shine as the brightness of the firmament," and "as the stars for ever and ever." Dan. 12:3. 

Chap. 277 - Are We Guilty?

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15.

It is an alarming fact that the love of the world predominates in the minds of the young. They decidedly love the world and the things that are in the world, and for this very reason the love of God finds no room in their hearts. Their pleasures are found in the world, and in the things of the world, and they are strangers to the Father and the graces of His Spirit. Frivolity and fashion, and empty, vain talking and laughing, characterize the life of the youth generally, and God is dishonoured.... 

Satan is gratified to have the attention of youth attracted by anything to divert their minds from God.... They are not aware that the heavenly Artist is taking cognisance of every act, every word, ... and that even the thoughts and intents of the heart stand faithfully delineated. . . . Those vain, frivolous words are all written in the book. Those false words are written. Those deceptive acts, with the motives concealed from human eyes, but discerned by the all-seeing eye of Jehovah, are all written in living characters. Every selfish act is exposed. The young generally conduct themselves as though the precious hours of probation, while mercy lingers, were one grand holiday, and that they are placed in this world simply for their own amusement. 

Words and acts testify plainly what is in the heart. If vanity and pride, love of self and love of dress, fill the heart, the conversation will be upon the fashions, the dress, and the appearance, but not upon Christ or the kingdom of heaven. If envious feelings dwell in the heart, the same will be manifested in words and acts.... 

Some dwell upon what they shall eat and drink and wherewithal they shall be clothed. Their hearts are filled with these thoughts, and they flow out from the abundance of the heart, as though these things were their grand aim in life, their highest attainment. They forget the words of Christ, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:33. 

Chap. 278 - The Only Safe Amusements

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. Ps. 36:8. 

The enemy seeks in many ways to draw our minds from the study of the Word. Many he leads to seek for satisfaction in amusements and pleasures that seem desirable to the carnal heart. But the true children of God are not seeking their happiness in this world; they seek for the lasting joys of a home in the eternal city, where Christ dwells, and where the redeemed shall receive the rewards of obedience to the requirements of God. These do not desire the transitory, cheap amusements of this life, but the enduring bliss of heaven. 

God has entrusted men and women with great powers--powers that He would have to be devoted to His service; and precious is the light that comes to every one who faithfully uses his talents for the glory of God. We should endeavour to have our minds in that condition where we can receive the impressions of the Holy Spirit. But they cannot receive increased light who allow their thoughts to run constantly upon frivolous things. The mind should be stored with heavenly treasure, with food that will enable us to grow spiritually, and thus prepare us for a holy heaven.... 

There are many ways in which we may help our associates, if we will give our minds to it. But it fills me with sorrow when I see plans laid for amusement and self-gratification. As these occupy the mind, there is no opportunity for the precious truth of God to take possession of the soul. When I see those whose interests are given to the amusements of the world, how I wish that they might be converted. Then they would see where they could help others, instead of devoting their time and energy to self-gratification. They would find opportunity for speaking words that would encourage, and would bring light and joy to souls in need of such help. 

The only safe amusements are such as will not banish serious and religious thoughts; the only safe places of resort are those to which we can take Jesus with us. 

Chap. 279 - Breaking the World's Enchantment

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:17. 

The lessons of Christ are of that character to show the relative importance of heaven and earth. He presents before the mind's eye that the claims of heaven are first in importance. God's claims are supreme. He demands the whole heart, mind, might, and strength. Earthly things He assigns their place, to be subordinate to the eternal interests.

The temptations of Satan present earthly things and make them all-absorbing and attractive, so that the heavenly realities are eclipsed and the attachment to the world made first; and this has become so great a power that Omnipotence alone can dislodge it. Satan's work is to chain the senses to this world. Christ came to break the satanic enchantment, counterwork the work of Satan, and charm the mind away from the earthly to the heavenly. He alone is able to break the enchantment. . . . A few years and the world and all its glory, which has through the bewitching power of the great deceiver become an object of worship, are to be burned, with all the embellishments of the art of man. Then what will be found to compensate for the loss of the human soul? 

The Prince of life calls the attention to the eternal world. . . . He would have the infinite grandeur of the future hold the attraction of human minds, and the present world take its subordinate place in the affections. He sets in order things that Satan has transposed. Having taken the world from the throne where it has become a ruling power and worshipped as a god, He assigns it its proper place. . . . 

With eternal realities in view we will habitually cultivate thoughts of the presence of God. This will be a shield against the incoming of the enemy; it will give strength and assurance, and lift the soul above fear. Breathing in the atmosphere of heaven, we will not be breathing the malaria of the world. We will not remain in the darkened cellar, but come up into the upper chambers where every window that looks toward heaven is open and catches the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. 

Chap. 280 - First Things First

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? Matt. 6:31. 

The Lord would not have any one of us be presumptuous, care not for health, and make no provision whatever for a sustenance; but when He sees the world taking all the thoughts and absorbing all the affections, He sees that eternal realities are lost sight of. He would correct this evil, which is the work of Satan. The mind, which should be trained to high, elevated contemplation of eternal realities, becomes common, bearing the image of the earthly. Jesus comes to present the advantages and beautiful imagery of the heavenly, that the attractions of heaven shall become familiar to the thoughts, and memory's hall be hung with pictures of celestial and eternal loveliness. 

He sees the chambers of the mind filled with those things which defile. He places God before them as the centre. . . . He passes through the market places, where everything is full of activity and bustle, and the voice of the traders is heard. The lessons He gives in the dense crowd that gathers to listen to His words are a warning from heaven like the trump of God to break the spell of infatuation. "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall he give in exchange for his soul?" Mark 8:36, 37. 

The great Teacher gives man a view of the future world. He brings it, with its attractive possessions, within the range of his vision. . . . He presents the actual claims of God and heaven. If He can fasten the mind upon the future life and its blessedness, in comparison with the temporal concerns of this world, the striking contrast is deeply impressed upon the mind, absorbing the heart and soul and the whole being. He thus removes the things of time and sense from the affections where they have had the supremacy, and gives them their place as subordinate to the higher and eternal realities. He invests life with the highest responsibilities. He shows man that he must live to a purpose, separating from all life's vanities. 

Chap. 281 - Subject to God's Call

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23. 

Genuine self-denial will be practised by all who follow Christ. Judas undertook to follow Christ, and at the same time to carry out his selfish, covetous plans. He had the same privileges as had the other disciples. He had the same privileges of hearing the lessons of Christ, which plainly presented practical godliness; but he was not always pleased with the plain truth. It cut him, and instead of taking up personal labour with Judas Iscariot, he found fault with the words and works of Christ, and criticized His plain teachings. Instead of being transformed in character, he was cultivating self-love, self-esteem, and the love of money. 

To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self's sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others. 

There can be no self-seeking in the life of him who follows the Saviour. The true Christian banishes all selfishness from his heart. How can he live for self as he thinks of Christ hanging on the cross, giving His life for the life of the world? In your behalf Jesus died a death of shame. Are you willing to consecrate yourself to His service? to hold yourself ready to be or to do anything He may require? Are you willing to put self aside, and speak a word of warning to the companion you see yielding to Satan's temptations? Are you willing to sacrifice some of your plans for the sake of trying to lead him in safe paths? Many youth are in peril who might be saved if Christians would manifest toward them a loving, unselfish interest. . . . 

The true Christian works unselfishly and untiringly for the Master. He does not seek ease or self-gratification, but holds all, even life itself, subject to God's call. And to him are spoken the words, "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Matt. 10:39. 

Chap. 282 - Heaven Cheap at Any Price

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27. 

It is too true that the great mass who possess ability and talent do not choose to travel the Christian road. Are their talent and ability too precious to devote to the Giver, the Lord of heaven and earth? . . . 

Many would be followers of Christ if He would come down from the cross and appear to them in such a manner as they desire. If He would come with riches and pleasure, many would receive Him gladly and would be in haste to crown Him Lord of all. If He would only lay aside His humiliation and sufferings and cry, "If any man will come after Me, let him please himself and enjoy the world and he shall be My disciple," multitudes would believe on Him. 

But the blessed Jesus will come to us in no other character than the meek and lowly Crucified One. We must partake of His self-denial and suffering here if we would take the crown hereafter. . . . 

The Word of God has not widened the narrow way, and if the multitude have found a path where they can wear a form of godliness and not bear the cross or suffer tribulation, they have found a way where our Saviour did not walk and they follow another example than that which Christ set before us. Is it not enough that Jesus left the felicity and glory of heaven, endured a life of poverty and deep affliction, and died a cruel, shameful death to provide for us the joys of holiness and heaven? And can it be that we, the worthless objects of so great a condescension and love, will seek after a better portion in this life than was given to our Redeemer? 

How easy would be the way to heaven if there was no self-denial or cross! How worldlings would rush in the way, and hypocrites would travel in it without number! Thank God for the cross, the self-denial. The ignominy and shame our Saviour endured for us is none too humiliating for those saved by the purchase of His blood. Heaven will indeed be cheap enough. 

Chap. 283 - Talents for Everyone

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Matt. 25:14, 15. 

God has not given talents to merely a chosen few, but to everyone He has committed some peculiar gift to be used in His service. Many to whom the Lord has given precious talents have refused to employ them for the advancement of the kingdom of God; nevertheless, they are under obligation to God for their use of His gifts. Everyone, whether serving God or pleasing himself, is a possessor of some trust, whose proper use will bring glory to God and whose perverted use will rob the Giver. . . . 

The human family is composed of responsible moral agents, and from the highest and most gifted to the lowest and most obscure, all are invested with the goods of heaven. Time is an entrusted gift of God, and is to be diligently employed in the service of Christ. Influence is a gift of God, and is to be exerted for the forwarding of the highest, noblest purposes. . . . Intellect is an entrusted talent. Sympathy and affection are talents to be sacredly guarded and improved, that we may render service to Him whose purchased possession we are. 

All that we are or can be belongs to God. Education, discipline, and skill in every line should be used for Him. The capital is His, and the improvement is the usury that rightfully belongs to the Master. Whether the amount entrusted is large or small, the Lord requires that His householders do their best. It is not the amount entrusted or the improvement made that brings to men the approbation of Heaven, but it is the faithfulness, the loyalty to God, the loving service rendered, that brings the divine benediction, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Verse 23. This reward of joy does not wait until our entrance into the city of God, but the faithful servant has a foretaste of it even in this life. 

Chap. 284 - How are you Using your Talents?

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his Lord's money. Matt. 25:16-18. 

The knowledge of the truth is altogether too precious to be hoarded up, and bound about, and hid in the earth. Even the one talent entrusted by the Master is to be faithfully employed. . . . 

God pronounces His blessing upon unselfish, unwearied diligence; and though we may have but one talent, and can make but a small investment, yet God will make the effort fruitful in results. The man who works in faith will realise that his intellect, his affections, his whole power, belongs to God, and he will seek to make diligent use of his powers, and will improve his faculties and talents. But, instead of realizing that all our faculties belong to God, how many are reckless, little thinking that their influence, their cheap, light words, are moulding the characters of those with whom they associate, and bringing down their minds to a low level. . . . 

The atmosphere that surrounds the soul is fraught with influence for good or evil. . . . It may be full of poison and malaria, or be fragrant and pure and health giving. This moral influence will be according to our connection with Christ or our separation from Him, who is light and life. Those who are united with Christ will realise that He has given them trusts according to their several ability; and, whatever their surroundings, they will consider them favourable for the development of moral character. We are to make the most of every advantage and opportunity. . . . We must train and improve our ability that we may not disappoint our Master, but reach the highest possible standard, and thus influence others to follow in the footsteps of our Example. We may say, "Neither society nor intimate companions must have their ideas of Christian character cheapened by my course of action." . . . 

What are you doing with your talents? Are you putting them out to the exchangers?

Chap. 285 - Speech a Precious Talent

By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matt. 12:37. 

God has given every youth the talent of speech to be improved for Him. This is a most important trust. . . . Let your words be life-giving, pointing those around you to the Saviour. Let them bring sunshine instead of gloom, harmony instead of animosity. Say nothing that you would not be willing to say in the presence of Jesus and the angels. Utter no word that will stir up strife in another heart. However provoked you may feel, restrain the hasty word. If you are Christlike in speech and action, those who associate with you will be blessed by the association. Righteous words and deeds have a more powerful influence for good than all the sermons that can be preached. 

Let us guard against speaking words that discourage. Let us resolve never to engage in evilspeaking and backbiting. Let us refuse to serve Satan by implanting seeds of doubt. Let us guard against cherishing unbelief, or expressing it to others. Many, many times I have wished that there might be circulated a pledge containing a solemn promise to speak only those words that are pleasing to God. There is a great need for such a pledge as there is for one against the use of intoxicating liquor. Let us begin to discipline the tongue, remembering always that we can do this only be disciplining the mind, for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Matt. 12:34.

Through the help that Christ can give, we shall be able to learn to bridle the tongue. Sorely as He was tried on the point of hasty and angry speech, He never once sinned with His lips. With patient calmness He met the sneers, the taunts, and the ridicule of His fellow workers at the carpenter's bench. Instead of retorting angrily, He would begin to sing one of David's beautiful psalms; and His companions, before realizing what they were doing, would unite with Him in the hymn. What a transformation would be wrought in this word if men and women today would follow Christ's example in the use of words! 

Chap. 286 - An Index to Character

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. Eph. 5:4. 

A man's character may be quite accurately estimated by the nature of his conversation. . . . Those who jest and joke and indulge in cheap conversation place themselves upon a level where Satan can gain access to them. . . . When you associate together, you may be a help and a blessing one to another if you surround yourselves with an influence that is divine. But there are those who have grave defects, which are gaining a deeper hold upon them and which if not overcome will drive the Spirit of God out of the heart. . . . Jesting and joking may please a class of cheap minds, and yet the influence of this kind of conduct is destructive to spirituality. I speak to you as a class and also as individuals: Guard your words. Let sobriety and sound common sense characterize your conversation. Do not trifle with the purity and nobility of your souls by condescending to indulgence in stale jokes, and in cultivating habits of trifling conversation. 

The requirement of God is explicit on these points, and presents before you the obligations that rest upon you as children of God. The Word of God says, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Col. 3:17. 

O that every one of our youth would realise the evil of foolish conversation, and correct the habit of speaking idle words! Let every one who has indulged in this sin repent of it, confess it before God, and put it far from him. In speaking foolish words, you have dishonoured the name of Christ; for you have misrepresented Him in character. No word of guile was found in His lips, no word of prevarication or falsehood. The people that are described as making up the one hundred and forty-four thousand, have the Father's name written in their foreheads, and of them it is said: "In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." Rev. 14:5. 

Chap. 287 - When Silence is Eloquence

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. Prov. 17:9.

The psalmist asks, "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour." When anyone comes to you with a tale about your neighbour, you should refuse to hear it. You should say to him, "Have you spoken of this matter to the individual concerned?" ... Tell him he should obey the Bible rule, and go first to his brother, and tell him his fault privately, and in love. If the directions of God were carried out, the floodgates of gossip would be closed. 

When your brethren and neighbours come in to see you, talk of the wonderful love of Jesus. Rejoice in His intercession for lost man. Tell your friends of the love that you have for their souls, because they are the purchase of the blood of Christ. God forbid that we should make the pathway of other weary travellers harder by magnifying their errors, and by sitting in judgement upon their actions. God help us, that we may speak words of comfort and hope and courage to cheer the life of the lonely, and discouraged, and erring. 

When you are tempted to speak unadvisedly, be on guard. If some one else approaches you with words of criticism regarding one of God's children, turn a deaf ear to every such word. If you are spoken to harshly, never retaliate. Utter not a word. When under provocation, remember that "silence in eloquence." Silence is the greatest rebuke that you can possibly give to a faultfinder or one whose temper is irritated. 

It should be our aim to bring all the pleasantness possible into our lives, and to do all the kindness possible to those around us. Kind words are never lost. Jesus records them as if spoken to Himself. Sow the seeds of kindness, of love, and of tenderness, and they will blossom and bear fruit.

Chap. 288 - Words that Bring Sunshine and Joy

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Col. 4:6. 

The talent of speech was given to be used for the benefit of all. Pleasant, cheery words cost no more than unpleasant, moody words. Sharp words wound and bruise the soul. In this life everyone has difficulties with which to wrestle. Everyone meets with grievances and disappointments. Shall we not bring sunshine instead of gloom into the lives of those with whom we come in contact? Shall we not speak words that will help and bless? Such words will be just as verily a blessing to us as to those to whom they are spoken. 

Parents, allow no faultfinding in your home. Teach your children to speak pleasant words, words that will bring sunshine and joy. Angels are not attracted to a home where discord reigns. Bring practical godliness into the home. Prepare yourselves and your children for entrance into the city of God. Angels will be your helpers. Satan will tempt you, but do not yield. Do not speak one word of which the enemy can take advantage. 

Day by day we are sowing seeds for the future harvest. We cannot be too careful of the seed we sow by our words. Often words are carelessly spoken and forgotten, but these words, for good or ill, will bring forth a harvest. Sow one unkind, harsh word, and this seed, finding soil in the minds of the hearers, will spring up to bear fruit after its kind. Sow one seed in loving, gentle, Christlike words, and it will bring you rich returns. Let us guard ourselves, lest we speak words that are not a blessing, but a curse. If we sow wheat we shall reap wheat; if we sow tares we shall reap tares; and the harvest, whether of wheat or of tares, will be sure and abundant. 

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Gal. 6:7. The harvest is sure. No frost shall blight it, no palmer worm destroy it. 

God calls upon His children to guard their words. 

Chap. 289 - Words Like Apples of Gold

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Prov. 25:11. 

Some are seen to come forth from their daily communion with God clothed with the meekness of Christ. Their words ... come forth sweetly from their lips. They scatter seeds of love and kindness all along their path, ... because Christ lives in their heart.

The tongue needs to be educated and disciplined and trained to speak of the glories of heaven, to talk of the matchless love of Jesus. 

There are souls who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are almost driven to desperation. Instead of ... reproving and condemning and taking away the last ray of hope that the Sun of Righteousness sheds into their hearts, let your words fall as healing balm upon the bruised soul. Be not like desolating hail that beats down and destroys the tender hope springing up in the hearts. Leave not the hungry, starving soul in his helplessness to perish because you fail to speak words of tenderness and encouragement. 

The most persuasive eloquence is the word that is spoken in love and sympathy. Such words will bring light to confused minds and hope to the discouraged, brightening the prospect before them. The time in which we live calls for vital, sanctified energy; for earnestness, zeal, and the tenderest sympathy and love; for words that will not increase misery, but will inspire faith and hope. We are homeward bound, seeking a better country, even an heavenly. Instead of speaking words which will rankle in the breasts of those that hear, shall we not speak of the love wherewith God hath loved us? Shall we not try to lighten the hearts of those around us by words of Christlike sympathy? 

Those who love Jesus Christ will contemplate His character, meditate upon His words, practice His precepts, and become living missionaries. The words they speak will be like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 

Chap. 290 - Christians Like the Sunlight

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Isa. 60:1.

It is the privilege of the Christian to connect with the Source of light, and through this living connection become the light of the world. Christ's true followers will walk in the light as He is in the light, and therefore they will not travel in an uncertain way, stumbling because they walk in darkness. The Great Teacher is impressing upon His hearers the blessing which they may be to the world, represented as the sun rising in the east, dispelling the mist and shadows of darkness. The dawn gives place to day. The sun, gilding, tinting, and then glorifying the heavens with its blaze of light is a symbol of the Christian life. As the light of the sun is light and life and blessing to all that live, so should Christians, by their good works, by their cheerfulness and courage, be the light of the world. As the light of the sun chases away the shades of night and pours its glories on valleys and hills, so will the Christian reflect the Sun of Righteousness which shines on him. 

Before the consistent lives of Christ's true followers, ignorance, superstition, and darkness will pass away, as the sun dispels the gloom of night. In like manner the disciples of Jesus will go into the dark places of the earth, disseminating the light of truth until the pathway of those in darkness shall be illuminated by the light of truth. In what contrast to this is the life of the professed child of God who is as the salt without the savour.... These sunless professors are shadows of darkness.... All may be channels of light if they will connect with the Source of light. They can communicate the bright rays of light to the world. None need strengthen unbelief by talking darkness. Every expression of doubt strengthens unbelief. Every thought and word of hope, courage, light, and love strengthens faith and fortifies the soul to withstand the moral darkness that exists in the world.

True Christians are a savour of life unto life, because Christ abides in their hearts. Reflecting His image, they are children of the light. 

Chap. 291 - Let Your Light Shine

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt. 5:16. 

To every soul born into Christ's kingdom is given a solemn charge, Let your light so shine before men that they, by seeing your good works, shall glorify your Father which is in heaven. Pour forth upon your neighbours the rich rays of light received from the Sun of Righteousness; flash upon your friends in the world the bright gems of light and truth imparted to you abundantly from the throne of God. This is trading upon the talents entrusted. Go on from light to a greater light, catching more and more the bright beams from the Sun of Righteousness, and shine more and more unto the perfect day. 

Jesus does not bid the Christian to strive to shine, but just to let his light shine in clear and distinct rays to the world. Do not blanket your light. Do not sinfully withhold your light. Do not let the mist and fog and malaria of the world put out your light. Do not hide it under a bed or under a bushel, but set it on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house.... God bids you shine, penetrating the moral darkness of the world. 

Many do not know what is the matter with them. They want light and see no ray. They are calling for help and they hear no response. Shall doubt and unbelief be perpetuated because I do not gather the divine rays of light from Jesus Christ and let them shine forth to others? . . . 

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. Without this experience, I shall indeed meet with great loss, and all with whom I associate will be affected by the loss of the light I ought to be receiving from the Source of all light and comfort, and to be flashing into their pathway. Shall I be indeed a light unto the world, or a shadow of darkness? 

Chap. 292 - Faithful Where You Are

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15. 

Preaching the gospel includes more than sermonizing; and the work is not confined to the ministry. Thousands are idle who should be working in various ways for the salvation of souls. 

Many feel stirred with an ambition to minister to others. Let them learn to walk humbly with God, to be doers of His Word where they are. Let them learn to be obedient, to serve in whatever capacity they may. Let them learn to do the humblest work, and to realise that they are serving Christ in whatever circumstances they may be placed. In doing humble physical work, you may reveal the fact that God is with you, and that you are trading upon the talents He has entrusted to you. Right where you are, opportunities and privileges will present themselves to you, and if you are seeking to serve Christ, you will see and improve them. In the humblest situations you will find occasions for the exercise of firm integrity and fidelity; and if faithful in serving God in the lowest place, you will be entrusted with higher responsibilities. If you are faithful in a few things, your faithfulness will testify that you are a student in the school of Christ, and that you are cultivating your ability to serve Him in larger fields. 

We are nearing the close of this earth's history; soon we shall stand before the great white throne. Your opportunities for work will soon be past. Therefore work while it is called today. With the help of God, every true believer can see where there is work to be done. When the human will cooperates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent, and the worker can make opportunities. Watch for the souls with whom you come in contact. Watch for opportunities to speak a word in season to them. Do not wait for an introduction, or until you become acquainted with them, before you seek to save the perishing souls around you. If you will go to work in earnest, ways will open before you for the accomplishment of this work. Lean upon the divine arm for wisdom, strength, and skill for the work that God has given you to do. 

Chap. 293 - Character of Christ's Ambassadors

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor. 5:20. 

Every true Christian will feel that he has something to do for the salvation of souls. 

When you approach the stranger, when you stand face to face with the impenitent, the afflicted, the soul-needy, the Lord is by your side if you have indeed given yourself to Him. He makes the impression on the heart. But you may be the instrument for His gracious work.... 

The advocates of truth must hide in Jesus; He is their greatness, their power and efficiency. They must love souls as He loved them, be obedient as He was, be courteous, full of sympathy. They should war with all their power against the least defect of character in themselves. They must represent Jesus. In every act let Him appear. 

He who can read the hearts of men ... knows the atmosphere surrounding every soul. He knows how many and fierce are the struggles of the human soul to overcome the natural hereditary tendencies and the sins which have become common through habit of repetition.... Thousands ... are exposed to Satan's masterly temptations, and are without a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent into the world to save the chiefest sinners. Oh, why do we not discern our part of the work in the great plan of redemption? . . . 

In every truly converted soul there will be genuine, sanctified sympathy with the suffering of Christ, endured by Him to save the sinful. They will, if colabourers with Christ, overcome selfish ease, selfish gratification, selfish indulgence, and will grow in spiritual sinew and muscle by exercising the powers given them of God to win souls to Jesus Christ. This heaven-appointed work is calculated to give breadth and depth and stability to Christian experience and character, and to bring the labourers together with God into a higher, purer atmosphere where their love for Christ will be ever increasing and their love for their fellow men will abound more and more. 

Chap. 294 - Do I Rightly Represent my Lord?

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen. Isa. 43:10. 

If believers associate with unbelievers for the purpose of winning them to Christ, they will be witnesses for Christ, and having fulfilled their mission, will withdraw themselves in order to breathe in a pure and holy atmosphere. They will draw near to God, and send up earnest petitions to Christ in behalf of their friends and associates, knowing that He is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. 

When in the society of unbelievers, ever remember that in character you are a representative of Jesus Christ, and let no light and trifling words, no cheap conversation, be upon your lips. Keep in mind the value of the soul, and remember that it is your privilege and your duty to be in every possible way a labourer together with God. You are not to lower yourself to the same level as that of unbelievers, and laugh, and make the same cheap speeches. In thus doing you ... make yourself one with the sinner. This manner of conduct will only make you a stumbling block in the way of sinners.... 

When the Holy Spirit moves upon the heart, we should cooperate with its moulding influence, and we shall have noble aspirations, a clear perception of truth, meekness, teachableness, and will perform our duty with humility. This is the way in which you will become better acquainted with God, and acquaintance with God is the privilege of the Christian. Then you can labour for those who are unconverted, and the society of unbelievers will do you no harm, because your life is hid with Christ in God, and you seek the companionship of those who are out of Christ for the purpose of winning them to His service. Your connection with God makes you strong spiritually, so that you can withstand any wrong influences which are exerted by them.... 

Be sure to place yourself in the channel of light, and to be a practical follower of Him who went about "doing good." 

Chap. 295 - Planting Seeds of Truth

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. Eccl. 11:16. 

As professing children of God, we are under solemn obligation to seek and to save the lost.... God wants you to associate with believers and unbelievers, that you may help all to a fuller knowledge of the truth. Get acquainted with those whom you think you can help; then when you get into conversation with them do not talk of nothingness and folly, but tell of the precious things of God.... Angels of God will make impressions upon the mind, if in the spirit of Christ you will seek to reach and to help souls. 

Wherever you are, let your light shine forth. Hand out papers and pamphlets to those with whom you associate, when you are riding on the cars, visiting, conversing with your neighbours; and improve every opportunity to speak a word in season.... 

We should cultivate kindliness and courtesy in our association with those whom we meet. Let us ... strive always to present the truth in an easy way. This truth means life, eternal life to the receiver. Study therefore to pass easily and courteously from subjects of a temporal nature to the spiritual and eternal.... While walking by the way, or seated by the wayside, you may drop into some heart the seed of truth. 

There is work to be done for our Master. There are souls who may by our influence be led to Christ. Who is ready to engage in this work with all the heart? ...

"Thine is the seedtime; God alone
Beholds the end of what is sown;
Beyond our vision, weak and dim,
The harvesttime is hid with Him;
Yet unforgotten where it lies,
The seed of generous sacrifice,
Though seeming on the desert cast,
Shall rise with bloom and fruit at last." 

Chap. 296 - Watch, Pray, Work

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4. 

Could the ledger of Heaven be opened before us, we would be greatly astonished at the large proportion of professing Christians who really contribute nothing toward the upbuilding of Christ's kingdom, who put forth no efforts for the salvation of souls. Such are slothful servants. Many who are satisfied not to do much good, flatter themselves that they are doing no harm so long as they do not oppose the earnest, active workers. But this class are doing much harm by their example....

The slothful servant was not condemned for what he had done, but for what he had not done. There is no more dangerous enemy to the cause of God than an indolent Christian. An open profaner does less harm, for he deceives no one; he appears what he is, a brier, a thorn. The do-nothings are the greatest hindrance. Those who will not bear burdens, who shun all disagreeable responsibilities, are the first to be taken in Satan's snare, the first to lend their influence to a wrong course. 

Watch, pray, work--these are the Christian's watchwords. Let none excuse themselves from labour for the salvation of souls. Let none deceive themselves into the belief that nothing is required of them. No less is required of any than was expected of the man with one talent. 

There is work to be done for Christ in our families, in our neighbourhoods, everywhere. By kindness to the poor, the sick, or the bereaved, we may obtain an influence over them, so that divine truth may find access to their hearts. Opportunities for usefulness are on every hand. All who are imbued with the spirit of Christ will show themselves to be fruit-bearing branches of the living Vine.... 

It is ours to make the record which we desire to meet hereafter. Would we have its pages filled with the history of earnest work for God and humanity? Let us follow in the footsteps of Him who declared, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." John 9:4. 

Chap. 297 - "To Every Man His Work"

For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Mark 13:34. 

We have a personal work, an individual responsibility, a personal account to render, and it is our own salvation we must secure, for it is a matter of individual concern. . . . The piety and obedience of others will not save us or be doing our work. Their efforts will never be registered against our names as ours.... 

God has left to every one of us our work--not the temporal labour as planting, sowing, reaping, and gathering in the harvest, but to build up His kingdom, to bring souls to the knowledge of the truth, and to regard this as our first and highest duty. God has claims upon us. He has endowed us with capabilities and given us opportunities, if we will see them and improve them. These obligations to God none but ourselves, individually, can meet. The delinquencies of others . . . will be no excuse for any one to follow their example, because Christ is lifted up as the only true Pattern--faultless, pure, uncorrupted.... 

There are those who associate together to do evil and seem to think in this they lose their individual responsibility. But God holds them accountable for every act performed that has the slightest tendency to counteract the work of Christ; whether they are united with many or with the few, the sin is the same. We are individually responsible. We ourselves should be our concern. Are we in all our words and actions building up the kingdom of Christ, or are we tearing down? Christ says to each one of us, "Follow me." Then let us be found followers of Jesus Christ. 

Now is our time to work. Now is the time for us to form characters after the divine Model.... If we know Christ, we shall reveal Him to others. "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." John 17:18. He came into the world to represent the Father; and the work He has given us is to represent His character. We cannot be excused from doing this work.

Chap. 298 - A Little Church in the Home

Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. Mark 5:19.

In forming a relationship with Christ, the renewed man is but coming back to his appointed relationship with God. He is a representative of Christ. . . . His duties lie around him, nigh and afar off. His first duty is to his children and his nearest relatives. Nothing can excuse him from neglecting the inner circle for the larger circle outside. In the day of final reckoning fathers and mothers will be required to answer in regard to their children. Parents will be asked what they did and said to secure the salvation of the souls they took upon themselves the responsibility of bringing into the world. . . . 

Fathers and mothers, are you allowing your children to grow up in impurity and sin? A great good done for others will not cancel the debt you owe to God to care for your children. The spiritual welfare of your family comes first. Take them with you to the cross of Calvary, labouring for them as those that must give an account. 

Parents should seek to gain the cooperation of their children. Thus children can become labourers together with God. Some households have a little church in their home. Mutual love binds heart to heart, and the unity that exists among the members of the family preaches the most effectual sermon that could be preached on practical godliness. 

As parents faithfully do their duty in the family, restraining, correcting, advising, counselling, guiding, the father as priest of the household, the mother as a home missionary, they are filling the sphere God would have them fill. By faithfully doing their duty in the home, they are multiplying agencies for doing good outside the home. They are becoming better fitted to labour in the church. By training their little flock discreetly, binding their children to themselves and to God, fathers and mothers become labourers together with God. . . . The members of the family become members of the royal family above, children of the heavenly King. 

Chap. 299 - No Middle Ground in God's Service

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Matt. 12:30. 

My fellow Christians, we are far from reaching the divine standard. Our works do not correspond with our privileges and opportunities....

In the service of God there is no middle ground.... Let none expect to make a compromise with the world, and yet enjoy the blessing of the Lord. Let God's people come out from this world, and be separate. Let us seek more earnestly to know and do the will of our Father in heaven. Let the light of truth which has shone upon us be so received that its bright rays may go forth from us to the world. Let unbelievers see that the faith we hold makes us better men and better women; that it is a living reality, sanctifying the character, transforming the life.... Let our conversation be upon heavenly things. Let us surround ourselves with an atmosphere of Christian cheerfulness. Let us show that our religion can stand the test of trial. Let us by our kindness, forbearance, and love prove to the world the power of our faith. 

Many who set out well in the Christian life are losing spiritual strength, and placing themselves in the enemy's power, by their indulgence in vain and trifling conversation. They cannot look up to God with holy confidence to ask for needed strength. By their irreligious course they bar the way of souls that might have come to Christ. Let these careless triflers remember that every word and act is photographed in the books of heaven. No human hand can erase one disgraceful blot.... 

As we are daily brought in contact with those who have not a knowledge of Christ and the truth, shall we talk only of our farms, our merchandise, our gains and losses; or shall we speak of those things which concern our future life? Shall we seek to win souls to Jesus? Oh, what shameful neglect of duty stands registered against the professed followers of Christ! Let us earnestly examine ourselves by the light of God's Word, seeking to discover every defect of character, that we may wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. 

Chap. 300 - Rewards of Service

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Lam. 3:27. 

The Lord calls for young men and women to enter His service. The youth are receptive, fresh, ardent, hopeful. When once they have tasted the spirit of self-sacrifice, they will not be satisfied unless they are learning constantly of the great Teacher.... 

As we work in connection with the great Teacher, our experience improves. The faculties of the mind are enlarged. The conscience is under divine guidance. Christ takes the entire being under His control. We are safe only as we allow Him to do this; for there is another close by, watching for an opportunity to come in and begin his destructive, ensnaring work. Then, as we enter the service of God, let Him take possession of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit.... 

No one can be truly united to Christ, practising His lessons, submitting to His yoke of restraint, without realizing that which he can never express in words. New, rich thoughts come to him. Light is given to the intellect, determination to the will, tenderness to the conscience, purity to the imagination.

Young men and women who are truly converted will depart from all iniquity.... If they see the offensive character of sin, and hate it as the vile thing it is, and come to Jesus in contrition, purifying their souls by obedience to the truth, then they may be entrusted with some part in the work.... 

God reads the heart, He weighs the character, and is acquainted with every man's work. He gives His Spirit in proportion to the consecration and self-sacrifice manifested by those who engage in His work. 

The youth are strong. They are not worn down with the weight of years, and with cares. Their affections are ardent, and if they are withdrawn from the world, and placed upon Christ and heaven, doing the will of God, they will have a hope of the better life that is enduring, and they will abide forever, being crowned with glory, honour, immortality, eternal life. 

Chap. 301 - Beware of Self-Confidence

Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. John 13:37, 38. 

Just before Peter's fall, Christ said to him, "Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." Luke 22:31. How true was the Saviour's friendship for Peter! how compassionate His warning! But the warning was resented. In self-sufficiency Peter declared confidently that he would never do what Christ had warned him against. "Lord," he said, "I am ready to go with thee to prison, and to death." His self-confidence proved his ruin. He tempted Satan to tempt him, and he fell under the arts of the wily foe. When Christ needed him most, he stood on the side of the enemy, and openly denied his Lord.... 

Many today stand where Peter stood when in self-confidence he declared that he would not deny his Lord. And because of their self-sufficiency, they fall an easy prey to Satan's devices. Those who realise their weakness trust in a power higher than self. And while they look to God, Satan has no power against them. But those who trust in self are easily defeated. Let us remember that if we do not heed the cautions that God gives us, a fall is before us. Christ will not save from wounds the one who places himself unbidden on the enemy's ground. He lets the self-sufficient one, who acts as if he knew more than his Lord, go on in his supposed strength. Then comes suffering and a crippled life or perhaps defeat and death. 

In the warfare the enemy takes advantage of the weakest points in the defence of those he is attacking. Here he makes his fiercest assaults. The Christian should have no weak points in his defence. He should be barricaded by the support that the Scriptures give to the one who is doing God's will. The tempted soul will bear away the victory if he follows the example of Him who met the tempter with the word, "It is written." He can stand securely in the protection of a "Thus saith the Lord." 

Chap. 302 - Energy in the Christian Race

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. 1 Cor. 9:24, 25.

In order to render to God perfect service, we must have clear conceptions of His will. This will require us to use only healthful food, prepared in a simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not injured, making it impossible for us to discern the value of the atonement, and the priceless worth of the cleansing blood of Christ. . . . 

If, for no higher object than a wreath or perishable crown as a reward of their ambition, men subjected themselves to temperance in all things, how much more should those who profess to be seeking, not only an unfading crown of immortal glory, but a life which is to endure as long as the throne of Jehovah, and riches that are eternal, honours which are imperishable, and an eternal weight of glory. Will not the inducements presented before those who are running in the Christian race, lead them to practice self-denial, and temperance in all things? ... 

With earnestness and intensity of desire to do the will of God, we should excel the zeal of those who are engaged in any other enterprise, to a degree as much greater as the value of the object we are seeking to attain is higher. The treasure we are striving to secure is imperishable, immortal, and all-glorious; while that which the worldling is in pursuit of endures but a day.... 

May it not be our great anxiety to succeed in this world; but may the burden of our souls be, How shall I secure the better world? What have I to do to be saved? . . . The position all must come into, is to value salvation dearer than earthly gain, to count everything but loss that they may win Christ. The consecration must be entire. God will admit of no reserve, of no divided sacrifice, no idol. All must die to self, and to the world. Then let us each renew our consecration to God daily. Everlasting life is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort. 

Chap. 303 - "Take Heed Unto Thyself"

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Tim. 4:16. 

The charge given to Timothy should be heeded in every household, and become an educating power in every family and in every school. . . . 

The highest aim of our youth should not be to strain after something novel. There was none of this in the mind and work of Timothy. They should bear in mind that, in the hands of the enemy of all good, knowledge alone may be a power to destroy them. It was a very intellectual being, one who occupied a high position among the angelic throng, that finally became a rebel; and many a mind of superior intellectual attainments is now being led captive by his power. The youth should place themselves under the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and weave them into their daily thoughts and practical life. Then they will possess the attributes classed as highest in the heavenly courts. They will hide themselves in God, and their lives will tell to His glory. 

"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine." Thyself needs the first attention. First give yourself to the Lord for sanctification to His service. A godly example will tell more for the truth than the greatest eloquence unaccompanied by a well-ordered life. Trim the lamp of the soul, and replenish it with the oil of the Spirit. Seek from Christ that grace, that clearness of comprehension, which will enable you to do successful work. Learn from Him what it means to labour for those for whom He gave His life. The most talented worker can do little unless Christ is formed within, the hope and strength of the life. 

A noble, all-round manhood does not come by chance. It is the result of character building in the early years of youth, a practice of the law of God in the home. 

God is waiting to inspire the youth with power from above, that all who stand under the bloodstained banner of Jesus Christ may work to call, to warn, and to lead souls into safe paths, and to plant the feet of many upon the Rock of Ages.

Chap. 304 - Labourers Together with God

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. 1 Cor. 3:9.

Man cannot be towed to heaven; he cannot go as a passive passenger. He must himself use the oars, and work as a labourer together with God. 

If you think you can lay down the oars, and still make your way upstream, you are mistaken. It is only by earnest effort, by using the oars with all your might, that you can stem the current. How many there are as weak as water, when they have a never-failing Source of strength! Heaven is ready to impart to us, that we may be mighty in God, and attain the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. But who of you in the past year have been making progress in the way of holiness? . . . Who have been enabled to gain one precious attainment after another, until envy, pride, malice, jealousy, and every evil stain have been swept away, and only the graces of the Spirit remain? . . . 

God will help us if we take hold of the help He has provided. "Let him take hold of my strength," He says, "that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me." Isa. 27:5. This is a blessed promise. Many times when I have been discouraged and almost in despair, I have come to the Lord with this promise. . . . And as I have laid hold of the strength of God, I have found a peace which passeth understanding. 

There are two grand forces at work in the salvation of the human soul. It requires the cooperation of man with the divine agencies-- divine influences, and a strong, living, working faith. It is in this way only that the human agent can become a labourer together with God. The Lord does not sanction in any one of us a blind, stupid credulity. He does not dishonour the human understanding, but, far from this, He calls for the human will to be brought into connection with the divine will. He calls for the ingenuity of the human mind, the tact, the skill, to be strenuously exercised in searching out the truth as it is in Jesus. . . . Ye are labourers together with God.