"He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are
the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew
As something strange and new, these words fall upon the ears of the
wondering multitude. Such teaching is contrary to all they have ever
heard from priest or rabbi. They see in it nothing to flatter their
pride or to feed their ambitious hopes. But there is about this new
Teacher a power that holds them spellbound. The sweetness of divine love
flows from His very presence as the fragrance from a flower. His words
fall like "rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the
earth." Psalm 72:6. All feel instinctively that here is One who
reads the secrets of the soul, yet who comes near to them with tender
compassion. Their hearts open to Him, and, as they listen, the Holy
Spirit unfolds to them something of the meaning of that lesson which
humanity in all ages so needs to learn.
In the days of Christ the religious leaders of the people felt that
they were rich in spiritual treasure. The prayer of the Pharisee,
"God, I thank Thee, that I am not as the rest of men" (Luke
18:11, R.V.), expressed the feeling of his class and, to a great degree,
of the whole nation. But in the throng that surrounded Jesus there were
some who had a sense of their spiritual poverty. When in the miraculous
draft of fishes the divine power of Christ was revealed, Peter fell at
the Saviour's feet, exclaiming, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful
man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8); so in the multitude gathered upon the
mount there were souls who, in the presence of His purity, felt that
they were "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and
naked" (Revelation 3:17); and they longed for "the grace of
God that bringeth salvation" (Titus 2:11). In these souls, Christ's
words of greeting awakened hope; they saw that their lives were under
the benediction of God.
Jesus had presented the cup of blessing to those who felt that they
were "rich, and increased with goods" (Revelation 3:17), and
had need of nothing, and they had turned with scorn from the gracious
gift. He who feels whole, who thinks that he is reasonably good, and is
contented with his condition, does not seek to become a partaker of the
grace and righteousness of Christ. Pride feels no need, and so it closes
the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He came to give.
There is no room for Jesus in the heart of such a person. Those who are
rich and honourable in their own eyes do not ask in faith, and receive
the blessing of God. They feel that they are full, therefore they go
away empty. Those who know that they cannot possibly save themselves, or
of themselves do any righteous action, are the ones who appreciate the
help that Christ can bestow. They are the poor in spirit, whom He
declares to be blessed.
Whom Christ pardons, He first makes penitent, and it is the office of
the Holy Spirit to convince of sin. Those whose hearts have been moved
by the convicting Spirit of God see that there is nothing good in
themselves. They see that all they have ever done is mingled with self
and sin. Like the poor publican, they stand afar off, not daring to lift
up so much as their eyes to heaven, and cry, "God, be merciful to
me the sinner." Luke 18:13, R.V., margin. And they are blessed.
There is forgiveness for the penitent; for Christ is "the Lamb of
God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. God's
promise is: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white
as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
" A new heart also will I give you. . . . And I will put My Spirit
within you." Isaiah 1:18; Ezekiel 36:26, 27.
Of the poor in spirit Jesus says, "Theirs is the kingdom of
heaven." This kingdom is not, as Christ's hearers had hoped, a
temporal and earthly dominion. Christ was opening to men the spiritual
kingdom of His love, His grace, His righteousness. The ensign of the
Messiah's reign is distinguished by the likeness of the Son of man. His
subjects are the poor in spirit, the meek, the persecuted for
righteousness' sake. The kingdom of heaven is theirs. Though not yet
fully accomplished, the work is begun in them which will make them
"meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in
light." Colossians 1:12.
All who have a sense of their deep soul poverty, who feel that they
have nothing good in themselves, may find righteousness and strength by
looking unto Jesus. He says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and
are heavy-laden." Matthew 11:28. He bids you exchange your poverty
for the riches of His grace. We are not worthy of God's love, but Christ
, our surety, is worthy, and is abundantly able to save all who shall
come unto Him. Whatever may have been your past experience, however
discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just
as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour
will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love
and His robe of righteousness. He presents us to the Father clothed in
the white raiment of His own character. He pleads before God in our
behalf, saying: I have taken the sinner's place. Look not upon this
wayward child, but look on Me. Does Satan plead loudly against our
souls, accusing of sin, and claiming us as his prey, the blood of Christ
pleads with greater power.
"Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and
strength. . . . In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified,
and shall glory." Isaiah 45:24, 25.
"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be
comforted." Matthew 5:4 .
The mourning here brought to view is true heart sorrow for sin. Jesus
says, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto
Me." John 12:32. And as one is drawn to behold Jesus uplifted on
the cross, he discerns the sinfulness of humanity. He sees that it is
sin which scourged and crucified the Lord of glory. He sees that, while
he has been loved with unspeakable tenderness, his life has been a
continual scene of ingratitude and rebellion. He has forsaken his best
Friend and abused heaven's most precious gift. He has crucified to
himself the Son of God afresh and pierced anew that bleeding and
stricken heart. He is separated from God by a gulf of sin that is broad
and black and deep, and he mourns in brokenness of heart.
Such mourning" shall be comforted." God reveals to us our
guilt that we may flee to Christ, and through Him be set free from the
bondage of sin, and rejoice in the liberty of the sons of God. In true
contrition we may come to the foot of the cross, and there leave our
The Saviour's words have a message of comfort to those also who are
suffering affliction or bereavement. Our sorrows do not spring out of
the ground. God "doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children
of men." Lamentations 3:33. When He permits trials and afflictions,
it is "for our profit, that we might be partakers of His
holiness." Hebrews 12:10. If received in faith, the trial that
seems so bitter and hard to bear will prove a blessing. The cruel blow
that blights the joys of earth will be the means of turning our eyes to
heaven. How many there are who would never have known Jesus had not
sorrow led them to seek comfort in Him!
The trials of life are God's workmen, to remove the impurities and
roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiselling,
their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be
pressed down to the grinding wheel. But the stone is brought forth
prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless
material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His
precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace.
The Lord will work for all who put their trust in Him. Precious
victories will be gained by the faithful. Precious lessons will be
learned. Precious experiences will be realised.
Our heavenly Father is never unmindful of those whom sorrow has
touched. When David went up the Mount Olivet, "and wept as he went
up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot" (2 Samuel
15:30), the Lord was looking pityingly upon him. David was clothed in
sackcloth, and his conscience was scourging him. The outward signs of
humiliation testified of his contrition. In tearful, heartbroken
utterances he presented his case to God, and the Lord did not forsake
His servant. Never was David dearer to the heart of Infinite Love than
when, conscience-smitten, he fled for his life from his enemies, who had
been stirred to rebellion by his own son. The Lord says, "As many
as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
Revelation 3:19. Christ lifts up the contrite heart and refines the
mourning soul until it becomes His abode.
But when tribulation comes upon us, how many of us are like Jacob! We
think it the hand of an enemy; and in the darkness we wrestle blindly
until our strength is spent, and we find no comfort or deliverance. To
Jacob the divine touch at break of day revealed the One with whom he had
been contending-- the Angel of the covenant; and,weeping and helpless,
he fell upon the breast of Infinite Love, to receive the blessing for
which his soul longed. We also need to learn that trials mean benefit,
and not to despise the chastening of the Lord nor faint when we are
rebuked of Him.
"Happy is the man whom God correcteth: . . . He maketh sore, and
bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole. He shall deliver thee
in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee." Job
5:17-19. To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of
healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened
by precious revealings of His presence.
God would not have us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore
and breaking hearts. He would have us look up and behold His dear face
of love. The blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by
tears that they do not discern Him. He longs to clasp our hands, to have
us look to Him in simple faith, permitting Him to guide us. His heart is
open to our griefs, our sorrows, and our trials. He has loved us with an
everlasting love and with loving-kindness compassed us about. We may
keep the heart stayed upon Him and meditate upon His loving-kindness all
the day. He will lift the soul above the daily sorrow and perplexity,
into a realm of peace.
Think of this, children of suffering and sorrow, and rejoice in hope.
"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our
faith." 1 John 5:4.
Blessed are they also who weep with Jesus in sympathy with the
world's sorrow and in sorrow for its sin. In such mourning there is
intermingled no thought of self. Jesus was the Man of Sorrows, enduring
heart anguish such as no language can portray. His spirit was torn and
bruised by the transgressions of men. He toiled with self-consuming zeal
to relieve the wants and woes of humanity, and His heart was heavy
with sorrow as He saw multitudes refuse to come to Him that they
might have life. All who are followers of Christ will share in this
experience. As they partake of His love they will enter into His travail
for the saving of the lost. They share in the sufferings of Christ, and
they will share also in the glory that shall be revealed. One with Him
in His work, drinking with Him the cup of sorrow, they are partakers
also of His joy.
It was through suffering that Jesus obtained the ministry of
consolation. In all the affliction of humanity He is afflicted; and
"in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to
succour them that are tempted." Isaiah 63:9; Hebrews 2:18. In this
ministry every soul that has entered into the fellowship of His
sufferings is privileged to share. "As the sufferings of Christ
abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." 2
Corinthians 1:5. The Lord has special grace for the mourner, and its
power is to melt hearts, to win souls. His love opens a channel into the
wounded and bruised soul, and becomes a healing balsam to those who
sorrow. "The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort . . .
comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort
them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are
comforted of God." 2 Corinthians 1:3,4.
"Blessed are the meek." Matthew 5:5 .
Throughout the Beatitudes there is an advancing line of Christian
experience. Those who have felt their need of Christ, those who have
mourned because of sin and have sat with Christ in the school of
affliction, will learn meekness from the divine Teacher.
Patience and gentleness under wrong were not characteristics prized
by the heathen or by the Jews. The statement made by Moses under the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that he was the meekest man upon the
earth, would not have been regarded by the people of his time as a
commendation; it would rather have excited pity or contempt. But Jesus
places meekness among the first qualifications for His kingdom. In His
own life and character the divine beauty of this precious grace is
Jesus, the brightness of the Father's glory, thought "it not a
thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself,
taking the form of a servant." Philippians 2:6, 7, R.V., margin.
Through all the lowly experiences of life He consented to pass, walking
among the children of men, not as a king, to demand homage, but as one
whose mission it was to serve others. There was in His manner no taint
of bigotry, no cold austerity. The world's Redeemer had a greater than
angelic nature, yet united with His divine majesty were meekness and
humility that attracted all to Himself.
Jesus emptied Himself, and in all that He did, self did not appear.
He subordinated all things to the will of His Father. When His mission
on earth was about to close, He could say, "I have glorified Thee
on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do."
John 17:4. And He bids us, "Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart." "If any man will come after Me, let him deny
himself" (Matthew 11:29; 16:24); let self be dethroned and no
longer hold the supremacy of the soul.
He who beholds Christ in His self-denial, His lowliness of heart,
will be constrained to say, as did Daniel, when he beheld One like the
sons of men, "My comeliness was turned in me into corruption."
Daniel 10:8. The independence and self-supremacy in which we glory are
seen in their true vileness as tokens of servitude to Satan. Human
nature is ever struggling for expression, ready for contest; but he who
learns of Christ is emptied of self, of pride, of love of supremacy, and
there is silence in the soul. Self is yielded to the disposal of the
Holy Spirit. Then we are not anxious to have the highest place. We have
no ambition to crowd and elbow ourselves into notice; but we feel that
our highest place is at the feet of our Saviour. We look to Jesus,
waiting for His hand to lead, listening for His voice to guide. The
apostle Paul had this experience, and he said, "I am crucified with
Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the
life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20.
When we receive Christ as an abiding guest in the soul, the peace of
God, which passeth all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus. The Saviour's life on earth, though lived in the
midst of conflict, was a life of peace. While angry enemies were
constantly pursuing Him, He said, "He that sent Me is with Me: the
Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please
Him." John 8:29. No storm of human or satanic wrath could disturb
the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us,
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." "Take
My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and
ye shall find rest." John 14:27; Matthew 11:29. Bear with Me the
yoke of service for the glory of God and the uplifting of humanity, and
you will find the yoke easy and the burden light.
It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all
alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and
insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we
shall not take neglects or slights to heart. We shall be deaf to
reproach and blind to scorn and insult. "Love suffereth long, and
is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked,
taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but
rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things,
hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth." 1
Corinthians 13:4-8, R.V.
Happiness drawn from earthly sources is as changeable as varying
circumstances can make it; but the peace of Christ is a constant and
abiding peace. It does not depend upon any circumstances in life, on the
amount of worldly goods or the number of earthly friends. Christ is the
fountain of living water, and happiness drawn from Him can never fail.
The meekness of Christ, manifested in the home, will make the inmates
happy; it provokes no quarrel, gives back no angry answer, but soothes
the irritated temper and diffuses a gentleness that is felt by all
within its charmed circle. Wherever cherished, it makes the families of
earth a part of the one great family above.
Far better would it be for us to suffer under false accusation than
to inflict upon ourselves the torture of retaliation upon our enemies.
The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan, and can bring
only evil to him who cherishes it. Lowliness of heart, that meekness
which is the fruit of abiding in Christ, is the true secret of blessing.
"He will beautify the meek with salvation." Psalm 149:4.
The meek "shall inherit the earth." It was through the
desire for self-exaltation that sin entered into the world, and our
first parents lost the dominion over this fair earth, their kingdom. It
is through self-abnegation that Christ redeems what was lost. And He
says we are to overcome as He did. Revelation 3:21. Through humility and
self-surrender we may become heirs with Him when "the meek shall
inherit the earth." Psalm 37:11.
The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with
the shadow of death and the curse. "We, according to His promise,
look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
righteousness." "There shall be no more curse: but the throne
of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve
Him." 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3.
There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say,
I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no
partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. There
"they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun
smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the
springs of water shall He guide them." Isaiah 49:10.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6 .
Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and "God is
love." 1 John 4:16. It is conformity to the law of God, for
"all Thy commandments are righteousness" (Psalm 119:172), and
"love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10).
Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The
righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by
Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice,
is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who
hungers and thirsts to receive it. "Ho, every one that thirsteth,
come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat,
. . . without money and without price." "Their righteousness
is of Me, saith the Lord," and, "This is His name whereby He
shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness." Isaiah 55:1; 54: 17;
No human agent can supply that which will satisfy the hunger and
thirst of the soul. But Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door,
and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in
to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." "I am the
bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that
believeth on Me shall never thirst." Revelation 3:20; John 6:35.
As we need food to sustain our physical strength, so do we need
Christ, the Bread from heaven, to sustain spiritual life and impart
strength to work the works of God. As the body is continually receiving
the nourishment that sustains life and vigour, so the soul must be
constantly communing with Christ, submitting to Him and depending wholly
As the weary traveller seeks the spring in the desert and, finding
it, quenches his burning thirst, so will the Christian thirst for and
obtain the pure water of life, of which Christ is the fountain.
As we discern the perfection of our Saviour's character we shall
desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of His
purity. The more we know of God, the higher will be our ideal of
character and the more earnest our longing to reflect His likeness. A
divine element combines with the human when the soul reaches out after
God and the longing heart can say, "My soul, wait thou only upon
God; for my expectation is from Him." Psalm 62:5.
If you have a sense of need in your soul, if you hunger and thirst
after righteousness, this is an evidence that Christ has wrought upon
your heart, in order that He may be sought unto to do for you, through
the endowment of the Holy Spirit, those things which it is impossible
for you to do for yourself. We need not seek to quench our thirst at
shallow streams; for the great fountain is just above us, of whose
abundant waters we may freely drink, if we will rise a little higher in
the pathway of faith.
The words of God are the wellsprings of life. As you seek unto those
living springs you will, through the Holy Spirit, be brought into
communion with Christ. Familiar truths will present themselves to your
mind in a new aspect, texts of Scripture will burst upon you with a new
meaning as a flash of light, you will see the relation of other truths
to the work of redemption, and you will know that Christ is leading you,
a divine Teacher is at your side.
Jesus said, "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a
well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14. As
the Holy Spirit opens to you the truth you will treasure up the most
precious experiences and will long to speak to others of the comforting
things that have been revealed to you. When brought into association
with them you will communicate some fresh thought in regard to the
character or the work of Christ. You will have some fresh revelation of
His pitying love to impart to those who love Him and to those who love
"Give, and it shall be given unto you" (Luke 6: 38); for
the word of God is "a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters,
and streams of Lebanon" (Song of Solomon 4:15). The heart that has
once tasted the love of Christ, cries out continually for a deeper
draft, and as you impart you will receive in richer and more abundant
measure. Every revelation of God to the soul increases the capacity to
know and to love. The continual cry of the heart is, "More of
Thee," and ever the Spirit's answer is, "Much more."
Romans 5:9,10. For our God delights to do "exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think." Ephesians 3:20. 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" (Ephesians
5:18), 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." Colossians 1:19,
R.V.; 2:10, R.V.
God has poured out His love unstintedly, as the showers that refresh
the earth. He says, "Let the skies pour down righteousness: let the
earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness
spring up together." "When the poor and needy seek water, and
there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear
them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in
high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the
wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water."
Isaiah 45:8; 41:17, 18.
"Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for
grace." John 1:16.
"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."
Matthew 5:7 .
The heart of man is by nature cold and dark and unloving; whenever
one manifests a spirit of mercy and forgiveness, he does it not of
himself, but through the influence of the divine Spirit moving upon his
heart. "We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19, R.V.
God is Himself the source of all mercy. His name is "merciful
and gracious." Exodus 34:6. He does not treat us according to our
desert. He does not ask if we are worthy of His love, but He pours upon
us the riches of His love, to make us worthy. He is not vindictive. He
seeks not to punish, but to redeem. Even the severity which He manifests
through His providences is manifested for the salvation of the wayward.
He yearns with intense desire to relieve the woes of men and to apply
His balsam to their wounds. It is true that God "will by no means
clear the guilty" (Exodus 34:7), but He would take away the guilt.
The merciful are "partakers of the divine nature," and in
them the compassionate love of God finds expression. All whose hearts
are in sympathy with the heart of Infinite Love will seek to reclaim and
not to condemn. Christ dwelling in the soul is a spring that never runs
dry. Where He abides, there will be an overflowing of beneficence.
To the appeal of the erring, the tempted, the wretched victims of
want and sin, the Christian does not ask, Are they worthy? but, How can
I benefit them? In the most wretched, the most debased, he sees souls
whom Christ died to save and for whom God has given to His children the
ministry of reconciliation.
The merciful are those who manifest compassion to the poor, the
suffering, and the oppressed. Job declares, "I delivered the poor
that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The
blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the
widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed
me: my judgement was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind,
and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause
which I knew not I searched out." Job 29:12-16.
There are many to whom life is a painful struggle; they feel their
deficiencies and are miserable and unbelieving; they think they have
nothing for which to be grateful. Kind words, looks of sympathy,
expressions of appreciation, would be to many a struggling and lonely
one as the cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. A word of sympathy, an
act of kindness, would lift burdens that rest heavily upon weary
shoulders. And every word or deed of unselfish kindness is an expression
of the love of Christ for lost humanity.
The merciful "shall obtain mercy." "The soul of
blessing shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also
himself." Proverbs 11:25, margin. There is sweet peace for the
compassionate spirit, a blessed satisfaction in the life of
self-forgetful service for the good of others. The Holy Spirit that
abides in the soul and is manifest in the life will soften hard hearts
and awaken sympathy and tenderness. You will reap that which you sow.
"Blessed is he that considereth the poor. . . . The Lord will
preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the
earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The
Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all
his bed in his sickness." Psalm 41:1-3.
He who has given his life to God in ministry to His children is
linked with Him who has all the resources of the universe at His
command. His life is bound up by the golden chain of the immutable
promises with the life of God. The Lord will not fail him in the hour of
suffering and need. "My God shall supply all your need according to
His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19. And in the
hour of final need the merciful shall find refuge in the mercy of the
compassionate Saviour and shall be received into everlasting
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
Matthew 5:8 .
The Jews were so exacting in regard to ceremonial purity that their
regulations were extremely burdensome. Their minds were occupied with
rules and restrictions and the fear of outward defilement, and they did
not perceive the stain that selfishness and malice impart to the soul.
Jesus does not mention this ceremonial purity as one of the
conditions of entering into His kingdom, but points out the need of
purity of heart. The wisdom that is from above "is first
pure." James 3:17. Into the city of God there will enter nothing
that defiles. All who are to be dwellers there will here have become
pure in heart. In one who is learning of Jesus, there will be manifest a
growing distaste for careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse
thought. When Christ abides in the heart, there will be purity and
refinement of thought and manner.
But the words of Jesus, "Blessed are the pure in heart,"
have a deeper meaning--not merely pure in the sense in which the world
understands purity, free from that which is sensual, pure from lust, but
true in the hidden purposes and motives of the soul, free from pride and
self-seeking, humble, unselfish, childlike.
Only like can appreciate like. Unless you accept in your own life the
principle of self-sacrificing love, which is the principle of His
character, you cannot know God. The heart that is deceived by Satan,
looks upon God as a tyrannical, relentless being; the selfish
characteristics of humanity, even of Satan himself, are attributed to
the loving Creator. "Thou thoughtest," He says, "that I
was altogether such an one as thyself." Psalm 50:21. His
providences are interpreted as the expression of an arbitrary,
vindictive nature. So with the Bible, the treasure house of the riches
of His grace. The glory of its truths, that are as high as heaven and
compass eternity, is undiscerned. To the great mass of mankind, Christ
Himself is "as a root out of a dry ground," and they see in
Him "no beauty that" they "should desire Him."
Isaiah 53:2. When Jesus was among men, the revelation of God in
humanity, the scribes and Pharisees declared to Him, "Thou art a
Samaritan, and hast a devil." John 8:48. Even His disciples were so
blinded by the selfishness of their hearts that they were slow to
understand Him who had come to manifest to them the Father's love. This
was why Jesus walked in solitude in the midst of men. He was understood
fully in heaven alone.
When Christ shall come in His glory, the wicked cannot endure to
behold Him. The light of His presence, which is life to those who love
Him, is death to the ungodly. The expectation of His coming is to them a
"fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation."
Hebrews 10:27. When He shall appear, they will pray to be hidden from
the face of Him who died to redeem them.
But to hearts that have become purified through the indwelling of the
Holy Spirit, all is changed. These can know God. Moses was hid in the
cleft of the rock when the glory of the Lord was revealed to him; and it
is when we are hid in Christ that we behold the love of God.
"He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the
King shall be his friend." Proverbs 22:11. By faith we behold Him
here and now. In our daily experience we discern His goodness and
compassion in the manifestation of His providence. We recognise Him in
the character of His Son. The Holy Spirit takes the truth concerning God
and Him whom He hath sent, and opens it to the understanding and to the
heart. The pure in heart see God in a new and endearing relation, as
their Redeemer; and while they discern the purity and loveliness of His
character, they long to reflect His image. They see Him as a Father
longing to embrace a repenting son, and their hearts are filled with joy
unspeakable and full of glory.
The pure in heart discern the Creator in the works of His mighty
hand, in the things of beauty that comprise the universe. In His written
word they read in clearer lines the revelation of His mercy, His
goodness, and His grace. The truths that are hidden from the wise and
prudent are revealed to babes. The beauty and preciousness of truth,
which are undiscerned by the worldly-wise, are constantly unfolding to
those who have a trusting, childlike desire to know and to do the will
of God. We discern the truth by becoming, ourselves, partakers of the
The pure in heart live as in the visible presence of God during the
time He apportions them in this world. And they will also see Him face
to face in the future, immortal state, as did Adam when he walked and
talked with God in Eden. "Now we see through a glass, darkly; but
then face to face." 1 Corinthians 13:12.
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
children of God." Matthew 5:9 .
Christ is "the Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6), and it is His
mission to restore to earth and heaven the peace that sin has broken.
"Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1. Whoever consents to renounce sin and
open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this
There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ
received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the
soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be
made miserable. Envy will not be in his heart; evil surmisings will find
no room there; hatred cannot exist. The heart that is in harmony with
God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed
influence on all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon
hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.
Christ's followers are sent to the world with the message of peace.
Whoever, by the quiet, unconscious influence of a holy life, shall
reveal the love of Christ; whoever, by word or deed, shall lead another
to renounce sin and yield his heart to God, is a peacemaker.
And "blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
children of God." The spirit of peace is evidence of their
connection with heaven. The sweet savour of Christ surrounds them. The
fragrance of the life, the loveliness of the character, reveal to the
world the fact that they are children of God. Men take knowledge of them
that they have been with Jesus. "Everyone that loveth is born of
God." "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
His;" but "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are
the sons of God." 1 John 4:7; Romans 8:9, 14.
"And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people
as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not
for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." Micah 5:7. "Blessed
are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:10 .
Jesus does not present to His followers the hope of attaining earthly
glory and riches, and of having a life free from trial, but He presents
to them the privilege of walking with their Master in the paths of
self-denial and reproach, because the world knows them not.
He who came to redeem the lost world was opposed by the united forces
of the adversaries of God and man. In an unpitying confederacy, evil men
and evil angels arrayed themselves against the Prince of Peace. Though
His every word and act breathed of divine compassion, His unlikeness to
the world provoked the bitterest hostility. Because He would give no
license for the exercise of the evil passions of our nature, He aroused
the fiercest opposition and enmity. So it is with all who will live
godly in Christ Jesus. Between righteousness and sin, love and hatred,
truth and falsehood, there is an irrepressible conflict. When one
presents the love of Christ and the beauty of holiness, he is drawing
away the subjects of Satan's kingdom, and the prince of evil is aroused
to resist it. Persecution and reproach await all who are imbued with the
Spirit of Christ. The character of the persecution changes with the
times, but the principle--the spirit that underlies it--is the same that
has slain the chosen of the Lord ever since the days of Abel.
As men seek to come into harmony with God, they will find that the
offence of the cross has not ceased. Principalities and powers and
wicked spirits in high places are arrayed against all who yield
obedience to the law of heaven. Therefore, so far from causing grief,
persecution should bring joy to the disciples of Christ, for it is an
evidence that they are following in the steps of their Master.
While the Lord has not promised His people exemption from trials, He
has promised that which is far better. He has said, "As thy days,
so shall thy strength be." "My grace is sufficient for thee:
for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Deuteronomy 33:25; 2
Corinthians 12:9. If you are called to go through the fiery furnace for
His sake, Jesus will be by your side even as He was with the faithful
three in Babylon. Those who love their Redeemer will rejoice at every
opportunity of sharing with Him humiliation and reproach. The love they
bear their Lord makes suffering for His sake sweet.
In all ages Satan has persecuted the people of God. He has tortured
them and put them to death, but in dying they became conquerors. They
revealed in their steadfast faith a mightier One than Satan. Satan could
torture and kill the body, but he could not touch the life that was hid
with Christ in God. He could incarcerate in prison walls, but he could
not bind the spirit. They could look beyond the gloom to the glory,
saying, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in
us." "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh
for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Romans
8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17.
Through trials and persecution, the glory--character--of God is
revealed in His chosen ones. The church of God, hated and persecuted by
the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. They
walk in narrow paths on earth; they are purified in the furnace of
affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure
self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but their painful
experience teaches them the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it
with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ's sufferings, they are
destined to be partakers of His glory. In holy vision the prophet saw
the triumph of the people of God. He says, "I saw as it were a sea
of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory, . . .
stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the
song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are
Thy ways, Thou King of saints." "These are they which came out
of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God,
and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the
throne shall dwell among them." Revelation 15:2, 3; 7:14, 15.
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you." Matthew
Ever since his fall, Satan has worked by means of deception. As he
has misrepresented God, so, through his agents, he misrepresents the
children of God. The Saviour says, "The reproaches of them that
reproached Thee are fallen upon Me." Psalm 69:9. In like manner
they fall upon His disciples.
There was never one who walked among men more cruelly slandered than
the Son of man. He was derided and mocked because of His unswerving
obedience to the principles of God's holy law. They hated Him without a
cause. Yet He stood calmly before His enemies, declaring that reproach
is a part of the Christian's legacy, counselling His followers how to
meet the arrows of malice, bidding them not to faint under persecution.
While slander may blacken the reputation, it cannot stain the
character. That is in God's keeping. So long as we do not consent to
sin, there is no power, whether human or satanic, that can bring a stain
upon the soul. A man whose heart is stayed upon God is just the same in
the hour of his most afflicting trials and most discouraging
surroundings as when he was in prosperity, when the light and favour of
God seemed to be upon him. His words, his motives, his actions, may be
misrepresented and falsified, but he does not mind it, because he has
greater interests at stake. Like Moses, he endures as "seeing Him
who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27); looking "not at the things
which are seen, but at the things which are not seen" (2
Christ is acquainted with all that is misunderstood and
misrepresented by men. His children can afford to wait in calm patience
and trust, no matter how much maligned and despised; for nothing is
secret that shall not be made manifest, and those who honour God shall
be honoured by Him in the presence of men and angels.
"When men shall revile you, and persecute you," said Jesus,
"rejoice, and be exceeding glad." And He pointed His hearers
to the prophets who had spoken in the name of the Lord, as "an
example of suffering affliction, and of patience." James 5:10.
Abel, the very first Christian of Adam's children, died a martyr. Enoch
walked with God, and the world knew him not. Noah was mocked as a
fanatic and an alarmist. "Others had trial of cruel mockings and
scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment." "Others
were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a
better resurrection." Hebrews 11:36, 35.
In every age God's chosen messengers have been reviled and
persecuted, yet through their affliction the knowledge of God has been
spread abroad. Every disciple of Christ is to step into the ranks and
carry forward the same work, knowing that its foes can do nothing
against the truth, but for the truth. God means that truth shall be
brought to the front and become the subject of examination and
discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the
people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort
to restrict liberty of conscience, is God's means of awakening minds
that otherwise might slumber.
How often this result has been seen in the history of God's
messengers! When the noble and eloquent Stephen was stoned to death at
the instigation of the Sanhedrin council, there was no loss to the cause
of the gospel. The light of heaven that glorified his face, the divine
compassion breathed in his dying prayer, were as a sharp arrow of
conviction to the bigoted Sanhedrist who stood by, and Saul, the
persecuting Pharisee, became a chosen vessel to bear the name of Christ
before Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. And long afterward
Paul the aged wrote from his prison house at Rome: "Some indeed
preach Christ even of envy and strife: . . . not sincerely, supposing to
add affliction to my bonds. . . . Notwithstanding, every way, whether in
pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached." Philippians 1:15-18.
Through Paul's imprisonment the gospel was spread abroad, and souls were
won for Christ in the very palace of the Caesars. By the efforts of
Satan to destroy it, the "incorruptible" seed of the word of
God, "which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:23), is
sown in the hearts of men; through the reproach and persecution of His
children the name of Christ is magnified and souls are saved.
Great is the reward in heaven of those who are witnesses for Christ
through persecution and reproach. While the people are looking for
earthly good, Jesus points them to a heavenly reward. But He does not
place it all in the future life; it begins here. The Lord appeared of
old time to Abraham and said, " I am thy shield, and thy
exceeding great reward." Genesis 15:1. This is the reward of all
who follow Christ. Jehovah Immanuel--He "in whom are hid all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge," in whom dwells "all the
fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:3, 9)--to be brought
into sympathy with Him, to know Him, to possess Him, as the heart opens
more and more to receive His attributes; to know His love and power, to
possess the unsearchable riches of Christ, to comprehend more and more
"what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to
know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be
filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18,
19)--"this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their
righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 54:17.
It was this joy that filled the hearts of Paul and Silas when they
prayed and sang praises to God at midnight in the Philippian dungeon.
Christ was beside them there, and the light of His presence irradiated
the gloom with the glory of the courts above. From Rome, Paul wrote,
unmindful of his fetters as he saw the spread of the gospel, "I
therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." Philippians 1:18. And
the very words of Christ upon the mount are re-echoed in Paul's message
to the Philippian church, in the midst of their persecutions,
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
"Ye are the salt of the earth." Matthew 5:13 .
Salt is valued for its preservative properties; and when God calls
His children salt, He would teach them that His purpose in making them
the subjects of His grace is that they may become agents in saving
others. The object of God in choosing a people before all the world was
not only that He might adopt them as His sons and daughters, but that
through them the world might receive the grace that bringeth salvation.
Titus 2:11. When the Lord chose Abraham, it was not simply to be the
special friend of God, but to be a medium of the peculiar privileges the
Lord desired to bestow upon the nations. Jesus, in that last prayer with
His disciples before His crucifixion, said, "For their sakes I
sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the
truth." John 17:19. In like manner Christians who are purified
through the truth will possess saving qualities that preserve the world
from utter moral corruption.
Salt must be mingled with the substance to which it is added; it must
penetrate and infuse in order to preserve. So it is through personal
contact and association that men are reached by the saving power of the
gospel. They are not saved in masses, but as individuals. Personal
influence is a power. We must come close to those whom we desire to
The savour of the salt represents the vital power of the
Christian--the love of Jesus in the heart, the righteousness of Christ
pervading the life. The love of Christ is diffusive and aggressive. If
it is dwelling in us, it will flow out to others. We shall come close to
them till their hearts are warmed by our unselfish interest and love.
The sincere believers diffuse vital energy, which is penetrating and
imparts new moral power to the souls for whom they labour. It is not the
power of the man himself, but the power of the Holy Spirit that does the
Jesus added the solemn warning: "If the salt have lost his
savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for
nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men."
As they listened to the words of Christ, the people could see the
white salt glistening in the pathways where it had been cast out because
it had lost its savour and was therefore useless. It well represented
the condition of the Pharisees and the effect of their religion upon
society. It represents the life of every soul from whom the power of the
grace of God has departed and who has become cold and Christless.
Whatever may be his profession, such a one is looked upon by men and
angels as insipid and disagreeable. It is to such that Christ say:
"I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm,
and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth."
Revelation 3:15, 16.
Without a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour it is
impossible to make our influence felt in a sceptical world. We cannot
give to others that which we do not ourselves possess. It is in
proportion to our own devotion and consecration to Christ that we exert
an influence for the blessing and uplifting of mankind. If there is no
actual service, no genuine love, no reality of experience, there is no
power to help, no connection with heaven, no savour of Christ in the
life. Unless the Holy Spirit can use us as agents through whom to
communicate to the world the truth as it is in Jesus, we are as salt
that has lost its savour and is entirely worthless. By our lack of the
grace of Christ we testify to the world that the truth which we claim to
believe has no sanctifying power; and thus, so far as our influence
goes, we make of no effect the word of God. "If I speak with the
tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding
brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and
know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to
remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all
my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have
not love, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, A.R.V.
When love fills the heart, it will flow out to others, not because of
favours received from them, but because love is the principle of action.
Love modifies the character, governs the impulses, subdues enmity, and
ennobles the affections. This love is as broad as the universe, and is
in harmony with that of the angel workers. Cherished in the heart, it
sweetens the entire life and sheds its blessing upon all around. It is
this, and this only, that can make us the salt of the earth.
"Ye are the light of the world." Matthew 5:14 .
As Jesus taught the people, He made His lessons interesting and held
the attention of His hearers by frequent illustrations from the scenes
of nature about them. The people had come together while it was yet
morning. The glorious sun, climbing higher and higher in the blue sky,
was chasing away the shadows that lurked in the valleys and among the
narrow defiles of the mountains. The glory of the eastern heavens had
not yet faded out. The sunlight flooded the land with its splendour; the
placid surface of the lake reflected the golden light and mirrored the
rosy clouds of morning. Every bud and flower and leafy spray glistened
with dewdrops. Nature smiled under the benediction of a new day, and the
birds sang sweetly among the trees. The Saviour looked upon the company
before Him, and then to the rising sun, and said to His disciples,
"Ye are the light of the world." As the sun goes forth on its
errand of love, dispelling the shades of night and awakening the world
to life, so the followers of Christ are to go forth on their mission,
diffusing the light of heaven upon those who are in the darkness of
error and sin.
In the brilliant light of the morning, the towns and villages upon
the surrounding hills stood forth clearly, making an attractive feature
of the scene. Pointing to them, Jesus said, "A city set on a hill
cannot be hid." And he added, "Neither do men light a lamp,
and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all
that are in the house." R.V. Most of those who listened to the
words of Jesus were peasants and fishermen whose lowly dwellings
contained but one room, in which the single lamp on its stand shone to
all in the house. Even so, said Jesus, "Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven."
No other light ever has shone or ever will shine upon fallen man save
that which emanates from Christ. Jesus, the Saviour, is the only light
that can illuminate the darkness of a world lying in sin. Of Christ it
is written, "In Him was life; and the life was the light of
men." John 1:4. It was by receiving of His life that His disciples
could become light bearers. The life of Christ in the soul, His love
revealed in the character, would make them the light of the world.
Humanity has in itself no light. Apart from Christ we are like an
unkindled taper, like the moon when her face is turned away from the
sun; we have not a single ray of brightness to shed into the darkness of
the world. But when we turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we
come in touch with Christ, the whole soul is aglow with the brightness
of the divine presence.
Christ's followers are to be more than a light in the midst of men.
They are the light of the world. Jesus says to all who have named
His name, You have given yourselves to Me, and I have given you to the
world as My representatives. As the Father had sent Him into the world,
so, He declares, "have I also sent them into the world." John
17:18. As Christ is the channel for the revelation of the Father, so we
are to be the channel for the revelation of Christ. While our Saviour is
the great source of illumination, forget not, O Christian, that He is
revealed through humanity. God's blessings are bestowed through human
instrumentality. Christ Himself came to the world as the Son of man.
Humanity, united to the divine nature, must touch humanity. The church
of Christ, every individual disciple of the Master, is heaven's
appointed channel for the revelation of God to men. Angels of glory wait
to communicate through you heaven's light and power to souls that are
ready to perish. Shall the human agent fail of accomplishing his
appointed work? Oh, then to that degree is the world robbed of the
promised influence of the Holy Spirit!
But Jesus did not bid the disciples, "Strive to make your
light shine;" He said, " Let it shine." If Christ
is dwelling in the heart, it is impossible to conceal the light of His
presence. If those who profess to be followers of Christ are not the
light of the world, it is because the vital power has left them; if they
have no light to give, it is because they have no connection with the
Source of light.
In all ages the "Spirit of Christ which was in them" (1
Peter 1:11) has made God's true children the light of the people of
their generation. Joseph was a light bearer in Egypt. In his purity and
benevolence and filial love he represented Christ in the midst of a
nation of idolaters. While the Israelites were on their way from Egypt
to the Promised Land, the true-hearted among them were a light to the
surrounding nations. Through them God was revealed to the world. From
Daniel and his companions in Babylon, and from Mordecai in Persia,
bright beams of light shone out amid the darkness of the kingly courts.
In like manner the disciples of Christ are set as light bearers on the
way to heaven; through them the Father's mercy and goodness are made
manifest to a world enshrouded in the darkness of misapprehension of
God. By seeing their good works, others are led to glorify the Father
who is above; for it is made manifest that there is a God on the throne
of the universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation. The
divine love glowing in the heart, the Christlike harmony manifested in
the life, are as a glimpse of heaven granted to men of the world, that
they may appreciate its excellence.
It is thus that men are led to believe "the love that God hath
to us." 1 John 4:16. Thus hearts once sinful and corrupt are
purified and transformed, to be presented "faultless before the
presence of His glory with exceeding joy." Jude 24.
The Saviour's words, "Ye are the light of the world," point
to the fact that He has committed to His followers a world-wide mission.
In the days of Christ, selfishness and pride and prejudice had built
strong and high the wall of partition between the appointed guardians of
the sacred oracles and every other nation on the globe. But the Saviour
had come to change all this. The words which the people were hearing
from His lips were unlike anything to which they had ever listened from
priest or rabbi. Christ tears away the wall of partition, the self-love,
the dividing prejudice of nationality, and teaches a love for all the
human family. He lifts men from the narrow circle that their selfishness
prescribes; He abolishes all territorial lines and artificial
distinctions of society. He makes no difference between neighbours and
strangers, friends and enemies. He teaches us to look upon every needy
souls as our neighbour and the world as our field.
As the rays of the sun penetrate to the remotest corners of the
globe, so God designs that the light of the gospel shall extend to every
soul upon the earth. If the church of Christ were fulfilling the purpose
of our Lord, light would be shed upon all that sit in darkness and in
the region and shadow of death. Instead of congregating together and
shunning responsibility and cross bearing, the members of the church
would scatter into all lands, letting the light of Christ shine out from
them, working as He did for the salvation of souls, and this
"gospel of the kingdom" would speedily be carried to all the
It is thus that God's purpose in calling His people, from Abraham on
the plains of Mesopotamia to us in this age, is to reach its fulfilment.
He says, "I will bless thee, . . . and thou shalt be a
blessing." Genesis 12:2. The words of Christ through the gospel
prophet, which are but re-echoed in the Sermon on the Mount, are for us
in this last generation: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and
the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isaiah 60:1. If upon
your spirit the glory of the Lord is risen, if you have beheld His
beauty who is "the chiefest among ten thousand" and the One
"altogether lovely," if your souls has become radiant in the
presence of His glory, to you is this word from the Master sent. Have
you stood with Christ on the mount of transfiguration? Down in the plain
there are souls enslaved by Satan; they are waiting for the word of
faith and prayer to set them free.
We are not only to contemplate the glory of Christ, but also to speak
of His excellences. Isaiah not only beheld the glory of Christ, but he
also spoke of Him. While David mused, the fire burned; then spoke he
with his tongue. While he mused upon the wondrous love of God he could
not but speak of that which he saw and felt. Who can by faith behold the
wonderful plan of redemption, the glory of the only-begotten Son of God,
and not speak of it? Who can contemplate the unfathomable love that was
manifested upon the cross of Calvary in the death of Christ, that we
might not perish, but have everlasting life--who can behold this and
have no words with which to extol the Saviour's glory?
"In His temple doth everyone speak of His glory." Psalm
29:9. The sweet singer of Israel praised Him upon the harp, saying,
"I will speak of the glorious honour of Thy majesty, and of Thy
wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts:
and I will declare Thy greatness." Psalm 145:5, 6.
The cross of Calvary is to be lifted high above the people, absorbing
their minds and concentrating their thoughts. Then all the spiritual
faculties will be charged with divine power direct from God. Then there
will be a concentration of the energies in genuine work for the Master.
The workers will send forth to the world beams of light, as living
agencies to enlighten the earth.
Christ accepts, oh, so gladly, every human agency that is surrendered
to Him. He brings the human into union with the divine, that He may
communicate to the world the mysteries of incarnate love. Talk it, pray
it, sing it; proclaim abroad the message of His glory, and keep pressing
onward to the regions beyond.
Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, temptations
manfully resisted, meekness, kindness, mercy, and love habitually
revealed, are the lights that shine forth in the character in contrast
with the darkness of the selfish heart, into which the light of life has
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