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Full text of "The voice of God in the present hour"

\ STUDIA IN 



THE LIBRARY 

of 
VICTORIA UNIVERSITY 

Toronto 



Ex dono 
M. Rynor 



I) 



THE VOICE OF GOD 

IN 
THE PRESENT HOUR 



By R. A. TORREY, D.D. 

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THE VOICE OF GOD 

IN 

THE PRESENT HOUR 



BY 

R. A. TORREY, D.D. 

AUTHOR OF 

" What the Bible Teaches," " How to Work for Christ," 
" Revival Addresses" etc., etc. 




NEW YORK CHICAGO TORONTO 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

LONDON AND EDINBURGH 



Copyright, 1917, by 
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY 



JEMMANUEl 



New York: 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave. 
Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W. 
London: 21 Paternoster Square 
Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street 



PREFACE 

I HAVE received urgent requests, especially from 
evangelists and ministers, to publish another 
volume of sermons. I am putting forth this 
volume in response to this request. Quite a number 
of requests have come for the publication of different 
sermons preached in The Church of the Open Door 
in Los Angeles, the past winter. Almost all the ser 
mons found in this volume were preached to this con 
gregation in the autumn of 1916 and winter and 
spring of 1917. The sermons, of course, bear the 
marks of their having been preached in the midst of 
the anxieties and perplexities that are in many hearts 
because of present war conditions in this and other 
lands. It is the hope and prayer of the writer that 
they will not only be blessed to those who read them, 
but also that the material found in them may be used 
by others in preaching and teaching the truth of God. 
It has been a great joy to the writer that so many 
evangelists and preachers have used so generously 
material found in his previous volumes of sermons. 
Sometimes such use has not been acknowledged ; but it 
frequently has been acknowledged and, even when not 
acknowledged, I have reason to think that great good 
has been accomplished by the truth thus given. In 
deed, I have reason to know that some have used the 
material found in my sermons with an effectiveness 
far beyond that with which I used it myself, and it has 



6 PREFACE 

been a great joy to me to have it thus used. As the 
purpose of the publication of these sermons is the con 
vincing of unbelievers, the salvation of sinners, and 
the confirmation and guidance of God s people, it 
does not matter at all to me whether there is any 
acknowledgment on the part of those who use the 
material or not. If good is done, and I know much 
good is done, I therein greatly rejoice. (Phil. 1: 18.) 

R. A. TORREY. 
Los Angeles, CaL 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAOB 

I. NOT A WORD OF CHRIST SHALL EVER FAIL 9 

II. WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS FROM ALL 

OTHER BOOKS . . . 20 

III. Is THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 32 

IV. WHY I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST is 

GOD IN HUMAN FORM 51 

V. JESUS THE WONDERFUL 64 

VI. THE FOOL S CREED 75 

VII. No HOPE 85 

VIII. WHERE WILL You SPEND ETERNITY?. . . 100 
IX. WHICH SHALL WE BELIEVE, GOD OR MAN? 112 

X. THE NEW BIRTH AS SET FORTH IN JOHN 

3:2-21 125 

XI. GOD S GUIDANCE AND How TO GET IT. . 137 
XII. How GOD GUIDES 152 

XIII. GOD S KEEPING AND How TO MAKE SURE 

OF IT 171 

XIV. THE COMPLETE AND SYMMETRICAL LIFE 

AND How TO ATTAIN IT 184 

XV. THE SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS IN HEART, 
BEAUTY IN CHARACTER, FRUITFULNESS 
IN SERVICE, AND PROSPERITY IN EVERY 
THING 197 

7 



8 CONTENTS 

XVI. LOVE CONTRASTED, DESCRIBED, EXALTED 

(1 Cor. 13) 210 

. XVTI. A CHRIST-LIKE MAN 220 

XVIII. WALKING AS JESUS WALKED 231 

XIX. THE SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE, ABOUND 
ING JOY, AND ABUNDANT VICTORY IN 
WAR TIMES AND AT ALL TIMES. . . 243 



NOT A WORD OF CHRIST SHALL EVER FAIL 

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, lut my word 
shall not pass away." Matt. 24: 35. 

JESUS CHRIST here asserts that His words are 
more stable and enduring than heaven or 
earth: that while heaven and earth shall pass 
away, His word shall not pass away. When we con 
sider the position that Jesus Christ occupied when 
He made this extraordinary claim, it appears absurd 
in the extreme. He was an uneducated artisan of an 
obscure and despised people. Furthermore, it was 
only a few days before His crucifixion. The man who 
uttered these words in less than a week was to be the 
butt of the scorn and ridicule of jeering mobs as He 
ended His life as a condemned malefactor on a gibbet, 
only a short walk from where He was now speaking. 
If these words spoken by such a man, at such a time, 
prove true, then He must be more than appears at 
first sight. Indeed, He must be as He claimed to be, 
Divine. Heaven and earth are God s own handiwork, 
and if Christ s words prove more stable than they, 
then He Himself must be Divine. 



10 THE VOICE OF GOD 

I. CHRIST S WORDS ARE SURE. 

But these remarkable words of Christ after the 
lapse of more than eighteen centuries are proven to 
be true. This stupendous claim of Christ that not a 
word of His shall ever fail has been substantiated. 
That the words of Jesus Christ shall^never pass away 
is proven by the tests that they have already stood. 

1. First of all, the words of Jesus have stood the 
test of bitterest opposition. No sooner had Christ s 
words fallen from His lips than they were hated. 
They have been hated through the nearly nineteen 
centuries that have elapsed since they were spoken. 
This hatred has been most bitter, most relentless, 
most energetic, most skilful, most wily, most power 
ful, but it has been utterly ineffective. This hatred 
manifested itself in literary attacks upon the words 
of Christ, like that of Lucian the great master of 
satire in his day, in philosophical attacks like that of 
the great philosopher Porphyry, in learned attacks 
like that of the scholar Celsus, in physical attacks 
like that of the great Roman Emperor Diocletian, in 
which he summoned all the political and military 
forces of the empire with torch, and stake, and prison, 
and wild beast to obliterate from the pages of history 
the memory of Jesus Christ and His words. From 
those early days to this, this opposition has gone on, 
more than eighteen centuries of it. All the artillery 
of science, literature, philosophy, political intrigue, 
sarcasm, ridicule, worldly ambition, force, all the artil 
lery of earth and hell, have been trained upon the 
words of Christ, and for centuries at a time an almost 
incessant cannonade has been kept up. Sometimes 



NOT A WORD OF CHRIST SHALL FAIL 11 

weak hearts have been shaken by the roar of battle, 
but the words of Christ have remained absolutely un 
shaken. There has not been one single stone dis 
lodged from these fortifications. Words that can come 
out of eighteen centuries of such experience as that 
unscathed, unscarred, unmarred, will stand forever. 
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the words of 
Christ shall not pass away. 

2. In the next place, Christ s words have not only 
stood the test of bitter opposition, but they have also 
stood the test of time. The test of time is a severe 
test of men s utterances. What seemed like wisdom 
when uttered a few years ago is seen to-day to be con 
summate folly. Ptolemy was by far the greatest as 
tronomer of antiquity, and his utterances were con 
sidered the sum of all wisdom, but they have not stood 
the test of time, and his theories are to-day the laugh 
ing-stock of the schoolroom. What is true of the 
words of Ptolemy is true of all other books of the past 
but one; they are outgrown, but the utterances of 
Jesus Christ are not outgrown, they are as precious 
to-day as in that long-ago time when they were first 
spoken. They are as perfectly applicable to present- 
day needs as to the needs of that day. They contain 
the solution of all modern individual and social prob 
lems; they have perpetual youth. There is not one 
single point at which the teachings of Jesus Christ 
have been outgrown or become antiquated. The 
human mind has been expanding for more than eigh 
teen centuries since Jesus Christ spoke here on earth, 
but it has not outgrown Him. Words that can en 
dure eighteen centuries of growth and still prove as 
thoroughly adequate to meet the needs of the race 



12 THE VOICE OF GOD 

and each member of it as when first given will stand 
forever. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the 
words of Jesus Christ shall not pass away. 

Let me say in passing that in the light of history it 
is nothing short of preposterous, and even ludicrous, 
to hear men put forward the claims of the newly 
hatched philosophies of a day against the utterances 
of Jesus Christ that have stood the test of more than 
eighteen centuries, especially in view of the well- 
known fact that just such philosophies, full of self- 
confidence, have appeared by the thousands in the 
past, and after a brief day of notoriety have flashed 
out again into the darkness from which they had so 
recently emerged. The history of eighteen centuries 
of human thought is largely a history of men who 
counted themselves wiser than Christ, but whom it 
took only a few years to prove utter fools. 

3. The words of Christ have stood a third test, the 
test of rigid scrutiny. No other words have ever been 
so examined, scrutinized, analyzed, pulled to pieces, 
subjected to the most minute, microscopic and unspar 
ing examination, as have the words of Christ. They 
have undergone eighteen centuries of scrutiny, and 
what is the result ? 

a. The first result is, not one single flaw has been 
discovered. What would not men give to find one 
real flaw in the words of Jesus ? What would not Tn- 
gersoll have given in his day ? What would not some 
of our liberal teachers who would like to set themselves 
up by putting Jesus Christ down, give ? What would 
not some of our professedly orthodox preachers, who 
care far more for a petty reputation for originality 
and advanced scholarship than they do for the untar- 



NOT A WORD OF CHRIST SHALL FAIL 13 

nished splendour of the Son of God, give ? They have 
searched for a flaw generation after generation of 
the enemies of Christ. One generation failing to find 
such a flaw has bequeathed the search to another, and 
this search has gone on for more than eighteen cen 
turies with the best microscopes that could be devised, 
and the search has failed, utterly failed. The words 
of Jesus stand out absolutely flawless. The words 
that have stood eighteen centuries of such scrutiny will 
stand forever. Heaven and earth will pass away, but 
the words of Jesus Christ shall not pass away. 

Z>. But there is a second result of this scrutiny: 
the words of Christ have not only proven themselves 
flawless, but inexhaustible. These eighteen centuries 
have not only been centuries of scrutiny, they have 
also been centuries of profound, earnest, and honest 
study as well. Men have dug and dug for eighteen 
centuries into this mine of precious metal that they 
have found in the words of Christ. Thousands and 
tens of thousands have dug and the mine has proven 
absolutely inexhaustible. There is more for the new 
miner that comes to-day than there was for the first 
digger. Eighteen centuries of digging and discovery 
and no hint of touching the bottom of the mine. The 
bottom is farther off than ever. The mine that has en 
dured eighteen centuries of such digging and not given 
out never will give out. With the confidence born of 
eighteen centuries of experience, we can shout, 
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the words of 
Jesus shall not pass away." 

4. The words of Jesus Christ have stood another 
test, the test of history, measuring the accuracy of His 
prophecies. Jesus Christ was a prophet. He under- 



14 THE VOICE OF GOD 

took to tell the things that were to be. History is the 
touchstone of prophecy. The prophet who is not of 
God falls before the test of history, but Jesus Christ 
stands. Jesus Christ, while Jerusalem and the temple 
were still standing in their pride, magnificence and 
seeming security, foretold that the armies of Rome 
would come and besiege the city, that there would be 
a siege of such horror as was absolutely unparalleled 
in history; that not one stone should be left upon 
another, and that for long periods of time to come 
Jerusalem would be trodden under foot of the Gen 
tiles. So it has come to pass to the letter, and so it is 
being fulfilled even to our day. Jesus foretold that 
the Jew, though crushed, scattered throughout the 
earth, subjected to unparalleled tyranny, would pre 
serve his race identity until the Christ should come 
again. Centuries have rolled on, nations have arisen, 
fallen, been obliterated and forgotten, the Jew has 
not had a foothold anywhere for centuries, yet the 
Jew retains his race identity to this day as perfectly 
as he possessed it in the first century. It is the miracle 
of history, and the words of Christ stand. Jesus 
Christ predicted furthermore that the little church He 
was founding of obscure men in that obscure corner 
of the earth would spread throughout the earth until 
the nations of the earth took shelter under the 
branches thereof. The prediction seemed utterly wild 
and preposterous, but it has come true. The words of 
Christ have stood the test of history. He predicted 
furthermore that His church having spread thus out 
wardly, corruption would begin inwardly and that this 
corruption would spread "until all was leavened." 
It was a passing strange prediction to make about 



NOT A WORD OF CHRIST SHALL FAIL 15 

one s own kingdom, but it has been fulfilled to the 
letter. The apparently preposterous and impossible 
words of Christ have stood the test of more than 
eighteen centuries of history. The words of prophecy 
that can stand the rigid test of eighteen centuries of 
history will stand forever. Heaven and earth shall 
pass away, but Christ s words shall not pass away. 

5. The words of Christ have stood the test of more 
than eighteen centuries of practical application. 
Through these more than eighteen centuries men and 
women have had these words of Christ before them to 
live by if they would, and thousands and tens of thous 
ands, hundreds of thousands, millions, have decided 
that they would. Men and women have tested the 
words of Christ, His promises, His moral precepts, His 
commandments, His warnings, in all the relations of 
life. They have tested His promises and His precepts 
in the home, they have tested them in the church life, 
in the place of business ; they have tested them in pros 
perity and in adversity ; they have tested them in sick 
ness and in health ; they have tested them in the joys 
of peace, and in the horrors of war ; they have tested 
them in life, and when face to face with death ; they 
have tested them in the sweet fullness of the unbroken 
family circle, and in the desolation when every earthly 
friend has been taken away. For eighteen centuries 
men have tested these words of Christ from the cradle 
to the grave, and the words of Christ have stood the 
test. They never fail, they never will fail. In all, 
these words of Christ have stood millions upon millions 
of tests and not one single case of failure. What may 
we say then without the shadow of the shade of a 
doubt? Not one word of Christ shall ever fail. 



16 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Heaven and earth shall pass away but the words of 
Jesus Christ shall not pass away. 

If there is anything absolutely sure it is the words 
of Jesus Christ. Heaven and earth may pass away, 
they are material and subject to the changes and decay 
that are always going on in matter. They have stood 
for ages, but they will not always stand. There was 
a time, as both the Bible and science tell us, when the 
heavens and earth did not exist, and there will be a 
time when they do not continue to exist in their pres 
ent form; but Christ s words are spiritual not mate 
rial, unchanging not changing, eternal not temporal, 
and while the endless ages of eternity roll on they will 
still endure. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but 
the words of Jesus Christ shall not pass away. 

II. SOME OTHER THINGS THAT ARE SURE ALSO. 

We see that Christ s words are absolutely sure. 
Not one word of His shall ever fail. But, if Jesus 
Christ s words are sure, some other things are sure 
also. 

1. It is sure that there is a future eternal heaven 
and eternal hell. This, Jesus Christ plainly declares. 
The doctrines of an eternal heaven and an eternal hell 
are not speculations of the theologians, but proclama 
tions of the Son of God. Jesus says that at His coming 
again all nations then living on the earth shall be 
gathered before Him and He shall separate them one 
from the other as a shepherd separateth his sheep from 
the goats, and that He shall set the sheep on His right 
hand and the goats to the left, and of those on the left 
hand He says, " These shall go away into eternal 



NOT A WORD OF CHRIST SHALL FAIL 17 

punishment: but the righteous into eternal life." 
(Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46.) Remember that these are 
not the words of some antiquated, mediaeval, bigoted 
theologian," they are the words of the Son of God, 
the words of Him not one word of whom shall ever 
fail. 

2. It is sure again that anyone who believes in 
Jesus Christ shall receive forgiveness of sins and 
eternal life, no matter how greatly nor how long he 
may have sinned. Jesus says that He "has power on 
earth to forgive sins" (Mark 2: 10). He says again, 
"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, 
even so must the Son of man be lifted up : that who 
soever believeth in Him may have eternal life" (John 
3: 14, 15). These words seem incredible. They seem 
too good to be true, but Jesus Christ is the speaker and 
not one word of His shall ever fail. The heavens and 
the earth shall pass away, but His words shall not 
pass away. This statement that there is pardon and 
eternal life for anyone who will believe in Jesus 
Christ is absolutely sure. Is there anyone here to 
night who is heartily sick of sin, and heartily tired of 
death? Come, believe on Jesus Christ arid be saved 
and get pardon and eternal life to-night. 

3. It is sure again that no one who rejects Jesus 
Christ shall see life, but the wrath of God dbideth upon 
him. Men do not like that doctrine. They like to 
think they can reject Jesus Christ and yet be saved 
by their imagined morality, or in some other way. 
There is absolutely no foundation for such a hope. 
It is not the doctrine of "fierce old John Calvin" nor 
of "bigoted Jonathan Edwards," it is the declaration 
of Jesus Christ, who says in John 3 : 18, 19, "He that 



18 THE VOICE OF GOD 

believeth on Him is not condemned. But he that be- 
lieveth not, is condemned already, because he has not 
believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 
And this is the condemnation that light is come into 
the world and men love darkness rather than light, 
because their deeds were evil." He says again in the 
14th and 15th verses of the same chapter, "As Moses 
lifted up the serpent in the wilderness : even so must 
the Son of man be lifted up : that whosoever believeth 
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life," 
the unmistakable implication of which is that the one 
who does not believe shall perish, no matter what else 
he may do, and John sums up the teaching of the Lord 
Jesus on this point by saying, "He that believeth on 
the Son hath everlasting life; and He that believeth 
not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God 
abideth on Him." Before you dare question the 
statement to your own eternal ruin, remember who 
makes it, the One not one of whose words shall ever 
fail. 

4. There is another thing that is absolutely sure, it 
is sure that if a man is not born again he shall not 
enter into the kingdom of God. This is the word of 
Jesus Christ who says in John 3 : 3, 5, "Verily, verily, 
I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot 
see the kingdom of God. And again, Verily, verily, 
I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and 
of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God. It becomes a matter of tremendous importance 
to each one of us that we know whether we have been 
born again. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but 
Christ s words shall not pass away, and Jesus Christ 
says that no one who has not been born again shall 



NOT A WORD OF CHRIST SHALL FAIL 19 

enter His Kingdom. Oh man, oh woman, have you 
been born again ? 

5. Still another thing is sure : it is sure if one seeks 
to be a Christian without letting the world know it, 
seeks to be a Christian in the privacy of his own heart, 
it is sure that Jesus Christ will not acknowledge such 
a disciple when He comes. His words on this point 
are very plain. He says in Mark 8 : 38, " Whosoever 
shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this 
adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall 
the Son of man be ashamed when He cometh in the 
glory of His Father, with the holy angels." And 
again He says in Matt. 10: 32, 33, "Whosoever there 
fore shall confess me before men, him will I confess 
before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever 
shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before 
my Father which is in heaven." Your own deceitful 
heart may seek to make you think that you can be a 
Christian and not tell it. False friends may try to 
persuade you of the same thing, but He, not one word 
of whose shall ever fail, says, "Whosoever shall be 
ashamed of me, and of my words, of him also shall the 
Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory 
of His father with the holy angels." Your opinion 
will pass away; your friends false arguments shall 
pass away, heaven and earth shall pass away, but 
Christ s words shall not pass away. 



II 



WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS FROM ALL 
OTHER BOOKS 

Sermon to the graduating class of Bible Institute of 
Los Angeles, June 25, 1916. 

"The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a 
dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my 
word faithfully. What is the straw to the wheat f 
saith the LORD."Jer. 23:28 R.V. 

THE Bible stands absolutely alone. It is an en 
tirely unique book. All other messages com 
pared with the message of the Bible are as 
chaff as compared with wheat. The attempt to com 
pare the Bible with other books as if it were one of a 
class, possibly the best of the class, arises either from 
ignorance or thoughtlessness, or else from the fixed 
determination to do the Bible an injustice. We shall 
see this morning that there is none like it. The Bible 
is not a book, it is the Book. It is an often repeated 
incident that Sir Walter Scott, when he was dying 
asked his son-in-law Lockhart to read to him, and that 
Lockhart asked, "What book shall I read?" to which 
Sir Walter Scott replied, "There is but one book." 
Beyond a question Sir Walter Scott was right. But 

20 



WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS 21 

some one may challenge that statement that the Bible 
stands absolutely alone as an entirely unique book. 
Anyone has a perfect right to challenge the statement 
and demand wherein the Bible differs from all other 
books, and this morning I propose to take up the chal 
lenge and answer the question. 

I. IN ITS DEPTH. 

First of all the Bible differs from all other books in 
its depth. The Bible is unfathomable and inexhaust 
ible. It is unfathomable not because of the obscurity 
of its style, but because of the profundity of its teach 
ing. No other book is more simple in its style than the 
Bible. Its style is so simple and clear that a child 
can understand it, but its truth is so profound that we 
explore the Book from childhood to old age and can 
never say we have reached the bottom. However 
deep we may go there are always deeper depths be 
neath. For eighteen centuries many of the greatest 
minds the world has ever known have been sounding 
its depths, but the bottom is not yet reached. Men of 
the greatest possible intellectual reach and power have 
devoted a lifetime to the study of this book, but what 
man has ever dared to say or dreamed of saying, "I 
know now all that the Bible contains." If any man 
should say that he would be unanimously voted a sub 
lime egotist or an egregious simpleton. Whole genera 
tions of scholars have devoted their lives to the study 
of this book, each generation having the advantage of 
the labours and researches and discoveries of preceding 
generations, but can even the latest generation say, 
1 1 we have discovered it all now, there is nothing left in 



22 THE VOICE OF GOD 

the Bible for the next generation to discover"? The 
whole human race has been unable not only to exhaust, 
but even to fathom this book. Well may we exclaim 
with the Psalmist, Thy judgments are a great deep 
(Ps. 36:6). The judgments of God, God s thoughts 
as revealed in this book, are beyond any man and be 
yond any generation of men. They are beyond the 
whole race. This Book, like God s other book, the 
book of nature, and unlike any book of man, is un 
fathomable and inexhaustible by men. This fact, if 
it stood alone would be sufficient proof of its Divine 
origin. 

1. There are whole volumes of meaning in a single 
and apparently simple verse. A single verse of Scrip 
ture has often formed the basis upon which a literature 
of many volumes, both of prose and poetry, has been 
erected. This is true, for example, of John 3 : 16, "For 
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not 
perish but have everlasting life." It is true of 1 John 
4:8," God is love. " It is true of Ps. 23 : 1, The Lord 
is my shepherd; I shall not want." What single 
utterance of any other book could be the foundation 
of so much thought and expression as these utterances 
of the Bible. Who but God could pack so many vol 
umes into one little verse, or part of a verse ? 

2. The Bible is always ahead of man. The world is 
certainly making progress in its thinking. It is con 
stantly leaving behind the scientists, philosophers, and 
sages of the past. But the world never leaves the Bible 
behind. It has never caught up with it. Show me a 
man who says he has outgrown the Bible and I will 



WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS 23 

show you a man every time who is ignorant of the 
Bible and is talking of what he knows nothing about. 
Whence comes this Book which is always ahead of the 
age? 

"What other book ought to command the attention, 
the time, and the study that this book does, which is 
deeper than all other books, ahead of all other books, 
and ahead of every age. You study to-day the latest 
things in science and it will be out of date in less than 
ten years, but the Bible is never out of date. It is not 
only up to date, but ahead of date. If you wish to be 
not only abreast of the times, but ahead of the times, 
study the Bible. Jesus was ahead of His times be 
cause He studied so much of the Bible as then existed. 
Paul was ahead of his times for the same reason. Huss, 
and Wycliff, and Luther, and John Knox, and Wes 
ley, and Finney, and Moody were ahead of their times 
simply because they sought their wisdom from this 
book. 

II. IN THE ABSOLUTE ACCURACY OF ITS STATEMENTS. 

The Bible differs from other books in the second 
place in the absolute accuracy of its statements. The 
Bible is the only book that always says all that it 
means to say and never says anything more than it 
means to say. The more rigidly one examines the 
Bible and the more closely he studies it, the more will 
he be filled with admiration for the accuracy with 
which it expresses the truth. It never overstates, it 
never understates the truth. There is not one word. too 
many and not one word too few. It is the model wit 
ness: it tells "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 






24 THE VOICE OF GOD 

but the truth." A very large part of man s difficulties 
with the Bible comes from not noting exactly what it 
says. Time and time again men have come to me 
and said, "I cannot believe this which the Bible 
says/ 7 and then have quoted something which they 
supposed the Bible said. But I have replied, "the 
Bible does not say that, and when we have looked it 
up, lo, it is some minute modification of what the 
Bible really says that has given rise to the difficulty. 
The Bible is always so absolutely exact, that I have 
found the best solution for very many apparent dif 
ficulties in the Bible to be to take the difficult verses 
precisely as they read. 

III. IN ITS POWER. 

In the third place the Bible differs from all other 
books in its power. There is perhaps no other place 
where the supremacy and solitariness of the Bible 
shines out as in its power. Col. Ingersoll once said in 
Chicago that the money expended in teaching the 
supernatural religion of the Bible was wasted, and 
advised the ministers to "take for a series of sermons 
the history of the philosophy, of the art, and the gen 
ius of the Greeks. Let him tell," he continued, "of 
the wondrous metaphysics, myths, and religions of 
India and Egypt. Let him make his congregation con 
versant with the philosophies of the world, with the 
great thinkers, the great poets, the great artists, the 
great inventors, the captains of industry, and the 
soldiers of progress." This suggested scheme of Col. 
Ingersoll s was no new scheme, it has been tried over 
and over again, and I challenge any man who has 



WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS 25 

eyes and is honest to say that the pulpits that have 
tried it have the power to elevate, save and gladden, 
that the pulpits have that preach the supernatural 
religion of the old Bible. The man who thus talks is 
either talking about something of which he has made 
no thorough and candid study, or else he is delib 
erately shutting his eyes to very evident facts. In 
either case he is playing the hypocrite in posing as a 
teacher. 

In what directions does the Bible show a power that 
no other book or books possess ? 

1. First of all, in its saving power. Does it need 
any proof that the Bible has a saving power that no 
other book possesses, and that all other books together 
do not possess? 

a. The Bible has a unique saving power in individ 
ual lives. What book or books can match the Bible s 
record of men and women saved from sin and vice in 
all their forms, saved from drunkenness, drugs, lust, 
greed, ruffianism, barbarism, meanness, selfishness, by 
the power of this Book? Worthless sots transformed 
into honest citizens and fathers ; degraded prostitutes 
transformed into holy women of God; savages who 
drank blood from human skulls transformed into noble 
lovers of friends and foes ; murderers transformed into 
ministering angels. Single verses of this book have 
more saving power than all other books put together. 
John 3:16 has saved more men from sin to holiness, 
from degradation to honour, from bondage to the 
Devil to sonship of God, than all books outside of the 
Bible. Try and account for it as you may, the fact 
stands and does not admit of a moment s honest 
denial or question. 



26 THE VOICE OF GOD 

b. But the saving power of the Bible is not limited 
to the lives of individuals. It has saving power in 
national life. Try to obscure the fact as you may, all 
that is best in America, Germany, and England is due 
to this Book, and in our own day nations have been 
lifted out of savagery into Christian civilization by 
this book. If this Book had been heeded the awful 
cataclysm of war that is devastating Germany, France 
and England to-day would have been avoided. The 
undermining of faith in this Book is the real cause 
of the present murderous war with all its unspeakable 
and immeasurable calamities, atrocities and horrors. 

2. But the Bible has not only a saving power that 
no other book possesses, it has also a comforting power 
that no other book possesses. What book like this can 
stay the human heart in sickness and adversity, and 
comfort it in the bereavement that takes from us the 
light of our eyes and the joy of our homes. There is 
no heart wound for which the Bible has not a balsam. 
I hold in my hand a New Testament that is very 
precious to me because it was the gift of my mother 
to my grandmother, my father s mother, which was 
the stay of her life in her closing years. On the title- 
page of his Bible is written in my mother s hand, 
"Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal." 
This is true, but thank God something better is true, 
and that is, earth has no sorrows that the Bible can 
not heal even in the life that now is. 

3. Furthermore, the Bible has a joy-giving power 
no other book possesses. There is no other joy so 
great, so exceeding, so overflowing, and so enduring 
as those know who study and discover the truth con 
tained in this Book. This is a fact that any of you 



WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS 27 

can discover by observation, and better yet, that all 
of you can know if you will by blessed experience. 
There are many who have sought joy wherever it was 
to be found, in pleasure, in study, and in sin, and 
have at last found a joy in the Bible they found no 
where else. There is a countless multitude who have 
been lifted out of awful depths of despair into lofty 
heights of unutterable joy by the truths this Book 
contains, and the speaker of this morning is one of 
them. 

4. The Bible has a wisdom-giving power that no 
other book possesses. "The entrance of thy words 
giveth light." (Ps. 119 : 130.) I have known people of 
very meagre educational advantages but who have 
studied the Bible, who have more wisdom in the things 
of greatest practical and eternal import than many 
very learned men who have neglected this Book of 
matchless wisdom. 

5. The Bible has a courage-giving power no other 
book possesses. No other book has made so many and 
such peerless heroes, it has made them too out of most 
unpromising stuff. It has transformed beardless boys 
and tender maidens into heroes. 

6. The Bible has a power to inspire activity that 
no other book possesses. It makes lazy men indus 
trious; half alive men fully alive. There are said to 
be but two things of which a professional tramp is 
afraid, water and work, but I have seen the very 
tramp from whom I got this information transformed 
into a man of untiring industry by the matchless 
teaching of this Book. 



28 THE VOICE OF GOD 

IV. IN ITS UNIVERSAL ADAPTABILITY. 
The Bible differs from all other books in its uni 
versal adaptability. Other books fit certain classes or 
certain types, or certain races of men, but the Bible 
fits men universally. 

1. It fits all nations. No nation has ever been dis 
covered that the Bible does not fit. Charles Darwin, 
the greatest naturalist of his day, thought he had dis 
covered in the Terra del Fuegans a people the Bible 
would not fit, and frankly stated that missionary work 
among them would be in vain. His exact words writ 
ten after his visit to Patagonia were, * Nothing can be 
done by mission work ; all the pains bestowed upon the 
natives will be thrown away, they never can be civi 
lized." But more humble believers in the universal 
adaptation of the Bible and the gospel it contains 
thought differently, and proved their faith and so 
thoroughly convinced Charles Darwin by facts of his 
mistake, that he became a regular subscriber to the 
funds of the society they represented. 

2. The Bible not only fits all nations, but it fits all 
ages. It is the child s book, the young man s book, the 
book of the middle-aged, and the book of the old. 

3. -The Bible fits all classes. It fits the poor and it 
fits the rich. It fits the palace and it fits the garret. 
It fits the learned and it fits the ignorant. It fits the 
nobleman and it fits the peasant. It fits Gladstone, 
and James D. Dana, and Eomanes, and Neander, and 
it fits the man so illiterate that he can scarce spell out 
its words. 

4. The Bible fits all experiences. It is the book for 
the hour of gladness, and the book for the hour of 
sadness ; the book for the day of victory, and the book 



WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS 29 

for the day of defeat ; the book for the day in which 
we have achieved the greatest moral triumph, and 
for the day when we have fallen deepest into sin ; the 
book for the day of clearest faith, and the book for the 
day of darkest doubt ; the book for the wedding day 
and the book for the day of funerals. There is not 
an experience in life wherein the Bible does not have 
the message which we most need. To that fact there 
are tens of thousands of people of all classes in many 
nations ready to testify. The testimony is from such 
a host of witnesses and such competent witnesses that 
the only one who can doubt it is the man who is bound 
he won t believe. 

V. IN ITS HISTORY. 

The Bible differs from every other book in its 
history. 

1. The Bible lias been hated as no other book. No 
book has ever aroused the animosity of men of all 
classes as the Bible has. The Bible has been hated by 
rich men and it has been hated by poor men. It has 
been hated by the scholar and it has been hated by the 
fool. It has been hated by common people and it has 
been hated by rulers, governors, and kings. No^ other 
book has so aroused the bitterest antagonism. Men 
of seeming moderation and kindness of heart have been 
aroused to such a pitch of hatred by the Bible that 
they became murderers and torturers of men, women, 
and children; for example, Marcus Aurelius Antoni 
nus. Even in our own day kind fathers and tender 
husbands have been moved by hatred of this Book to 
brutal treatment of children and of wives who have 
been led to accept the truth it contains. 



30 THE VOICE OF GOD 

2. It has been loved as no other book. If it has been 
intensely hated it has still more been intensely loved, 
loved by all classes, loved by the rich and loved by the 
poor ; loved by the illiterate and loved by the greatest 
scholars the world has ever known ; loved by men dig 
ging in the ditch, and loved by men ruling on a throne. 
Men, women and tender children have gladly laid 
down their lives for this Book. 

3. It has been victorious as no other book. Though 
the Bible has been so bitterly hated and so vigorously 
assaulted, it has come off a complete victor. Centuries 
of assault have served only to prove its indestructibil 
ity and confirm its power. Celsus, Porphyry, Lucian, 
Diocletian, Voltaire, Volney, Hume, Tom Paine, 
Wellhausen, Graf, Kiihnen, Cheyne, and an innumer 
able host have trained their mighty guns against this 
Book. They have brought to bear against it all the 
powers of science, philosophy, literary criticism, ridi 
cule, force, political and military power, and every 
other form of power that they possessed, and all their 
assaults have come to nothing. The Bible has come 
off a complete victor in every conflict. Anyone who 
will take the pains to consult history will have no 
doubts as to the outcome of the present attacks upon 
the Bible. Individuals of the past have talked just as 
boastingly of what they would do with the Bible in a 
few years as do the individuals of to-day, and with far 
more show of reason. But their confident boasts 
proved empty and futile and as we recall them now 
in the light of the established facts of subsequent his 
tory they only move us to a pitying smile. Voltaire 
is dead and forgotten, but the Bible is still alive and 
marching on. Attacks on the Bible may do injury to 



WHEREIN THE BIBLE DIFFERS 31 

a few weak individuals, principally callow young men 
and romantic young maidens in high schools, colleges 
and universities, who allow themselves to be thus 
robbed of the saving, comforting, joy-giving, en 
nobling power there is in the Bible, but they do not 
hurt the cause of truth, for they but prove anew the 
Divine indestructibility of the imperishable Book of 
God 

VI. IN ITS AUTHORSHIP. 

Finally, the Book differs from every other book in 
its authorship. Other books are men s books. This is 
God s Book. Much that has already been said proves 
this. Its inexhaustible depth proves it. Only an in 
finitely wise God can be the author of an inexhaustible 
book. Its absolute accuracy proves it. Men under 
state or overstate: God alone always states things 
just as they are. Its Divine power proves it. Only a 
book that comes down from God can lift men up to 
God as this Book does. Its universal adaptability 
proves it. Only the Creator of all men can make a 
book that is fitted to all men and every need of these 
men. Its history proves it. Only God can make a 
book so indestructible against assault, against human 
reasoning, and human philosophy as this. An omnip 
otent book must have an omnipotent author. There 
are many other facts about this Book that prove its 
Divine authorship, but these are enough. There is 
evidently a certain Infinite character about this Book 
that points unmistakably to the Infinite character of 
its author. What this Book says God says, and who 
ever speaks according to this Book speaks the message 
of God and God speaks through him. He is God s 
mouthpiece. 



Ill 

IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words 
shall not pass away." Matt. 24: 35. 

SOME weeks ago I preached on this same text, 
but we are going to approach it to-night from 
a different standpoint. The question before 
us is, is the Bible in danger ? Our text asserts that it 
is not, and I propose to show you to-night some reasons 
why the Bible certainly is not in danger. There are 
two classes who think that the Bible is in danger: 
first, there are those who think it is in danger because 
they are glad to think so, because it gives their con 
sciences some little consolation in a life of sin to think 
that the Bible will not stand. But there is another class 
who fear the Bible is in danger, and it is with great 
reluctance that they think that it is; they love the 
Bible, they would be glad to believe the Bible, but they 
are afraid the old book must go. Let us then honestly 
face the question, Is the Bible in danger? I shall 
prove to a demonstration that it is not in danger. I 
will not deny that the Bible has enemies, and most 
able enemies, most persistent enemies. Eighteen years 
ago when Col. Ingersoll suddenly died there were 
many who breathed a sigh of relief, for they thought 
that the most dangerous enemy of the Bible was gone. 

32 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 33 

But Col. Ingersoll was not the most dangerous enemy 
of the Bible. There were more dangerous enemies of 
the Bible even during his lifetime than he himself was, 
and there are far more dangerous enemies of the Bible 
than he to-day. They are more dangerous because they 
do not make the mistake that he made of thinking that 
the world would accept caricature for argument, and 
ridicule for reason, and rhetoric for logic. They are 
more dangerous also because they do not come out into 
the open, as he did, and frankly avow themselves to 
be infidels. They claim, in some sense, to believe in the 
Bible, but all the while that they claim to believe in it 
they are seeking, consciously or unconsciously, to un 
dermine the faith of others in the absolute inerrancy 
and authority of the Bible. The most dangerous ene 
mies of the Bible to-day are the college professors and 
principals of high schools, and even theological profes 
sors who, while they claim to be endeavoring to estab 
lish faith upon a broader and therefore better basis, 
are all the time attempting to show that the Bible is 
full of errors and not in accord with the assured re 
sults of modern science and history. These enemies are 
legion, they are found practically everywhere, many 
of them are able men, and they have formulated a skil 
fully planned campaign against the Bible. Neverthe 
less the Bible is in no danger. There are six reasons 
why the Bible is not in danger. 

1. BECAUSE THE BIBLE HAS ALREADY SURVIVED THE 
ATTACKS OF MORE THAN 1800 YEARS. 

The attacks now being made upon the Bible are not 
something new. The Bible has always been hated and 



34 THE VOICE OF GOD 

assaulted. The Bible s stern denunciation of sin, the 
Bible s uncompromising demand of a holy, unselfish, 
consecrated life, the Bible s merciless laying of human 
pride in the dust, have aroused for the Bible a more 
bitter hatred from men than any other book has ever 
met. No sooner was the Bible given to the world than 
it met the hatred of men and they tried to stamp it 
out by every method and instrument of destruction 
they could bring to bear against it. The arguments 
that are brought against the Bible to-day are not new 
arguments, all of them were met and answered long 
ago. I am not aware of one single new argument that 
has been brought forward against the Bible in the last 
ten years. The antagonists of the Bible have tricked 
out the old arguments in new and more attractive 
garments, but they are the same old arguments. The 
arguments brought forward by the most learned and 
most able enemies of the book to-day are the very ar 
guments that have been employed for more than a 
century. If anyone will take the trouble to read Tom 
Paine s Age of Reason, he will be amazed to dis 
cover how many of the positions which men persist 
in calling the new views of the Bible were exploited 
by Tom Paine in his Age of Reason more than a cen 
tury ago. Dr. Howard Osgood, a great scholar, in a 
discussion with the destructive critics some years ago, 
read a statement of the positions of the destructive 
critics as he understood them, and then turned to 
President Harper and inquired if the statements that 
he had read were not fair statements of the positions 
they held. President Harper replied that they were, 
and then Prof. Osgood startled his auditors, and espec 
ially his opponents, by saying, "In this statement that 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 35 

I have just read of your position, I have been reading 
verbatim from Tom Paine s Age of Reason." With 
all the researches and all the laboured efforts to find 
something against the Bible, not one single new argu 
ment has been forged in the last twenty years. There 
have been times in the past when the Bible has seemed 
to be in more peril than to-day, but when the storm of 
battle was over and the smoke of conflict had cleared 
away from the battlefield, this old, impregnable citadel 
of God s eternal truth has been seen standing there 
absolutely unhurt and unscarred, and the battle has 
only served to illustrate how impregnable is the cita 
del. Those who fancy that they are going to destroy 
the Bible with their puny weapons, and those also who 
fear it is going to be destroyed, would do well to re 
flect upon its history. The Book that has so trium 
phantly withstood the terrific assaults of eighteen cen 
turies is not likely to succumb in a day. Voltaire, a 
far more gifted, versatile and skilful enemy of Chris 
tianity than any enemy living to-day, once boasted, 
"It took twelve men to establish Christianity. I will 
show the world it takes but one to destroy it." But 
somehow or other it did not destroy as easily as he 
imagined it would. Voltaire has passed into history, 
and largely into oblivion, and he will soon pass into 
utter oblivion, but the Bible has gained in power, and 
the very room in which Voltaire wrote the words 
quoted has been packed from floor to ceiling with 
Bibles for distribution, owned by the British and 
Foreign Bible Society. The advance of research from 
excavations in Bible lands, the advance of historical 
investigation, and the advance of science, have all 
served to confirm the truthfulness of the Bible. For 



36 THE VOICE OF GOD 

example, the unearthing and deciphering of the cunei 
form inscriptions, and the Moabite stone have shown 
the truth of Bible statements that were once ques 
tioned by scholars. As another illustration, not so 
many years ago ridicule was heaped upon the Bible 
implication of the existence of a great Hittite people. 
The investigations of comparatively recent years have 
proven the Bible right, and the critics utterly wrong. 
The sceptics of my early years made merry over the 
Bible mention of light before there was a sun, but 
to-day every man of science knows that according to 
the generally accepted nebular hypothesis there was 
light, cosmic light, before the sun became a separate 
body, and he also knows that even after the sun had 
become a separate body and the earth had been thrown 
off from the sun and the moon from the earth, that 
such dense clouds surrounded the earth for a long 
period of time that no light either from the sun or 
moon could reach the earth, and that afterwards the 
clouds became thin and dissipated and then, and only 
then, in that day, or period, of the earth s history did 
the sun and moon appear as definite heavenly bodies, 
giving light upon the earth by day or night. A very 
few years ago the destructive critics ridiculed the 14th 
chapter of Genesis and its mention of Amraphel, whom 
they asserted was an altogether mythical character, 
and many of them asserted that Abraham himself was 
a mythical character, but inscriptions made by this 
very Amraphel, or to use the modern name Hammu- 
rabbai, have been discovered, and a code of laws issued 
by him has been found, a code of a very lofty char 
acter, and now instead of sneering at Amraphel as a 
mythical character, the critics are trying to make us 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 37 

believe that Moses derived his legislation from him. 
The greatest scientist that America produced in the 
nineteenth century, my friend and beloved instructor 
in geology, Prof. James D. Dana, said, "The grand 
old book of God still stands; and this old earth the 
more its leaves are turned and pondered, the more 
will it sustain and illustrate the sacred word." Eigh 
teen centuries of triumphant history and eighteen cen 
turies of accumulating confirmation show that the 
Bible is not in any peril. 

II. THE BIBLE is NOT IN DANGER BECAUSE IT MEETS 
AND SATISFIES THE DEEPEST NEEDS OP MAN IN EVERY 
GENERATION. 

Arthur Hallam said, "I see that the Bible fits into 
every fold and crevice of the human heart. " This is 
true, but more than this is true. The Bible has an 
answer to every cry of the human souL a balm for 
every wound of the human heart, a supply for every 
need of man. What are the deeper needs of man? 

1. First of all, the need of pardon and peace. We 
are all sinners. We may try to dispute or obscure that 
fact, but we all know it is true. The Christian 
Scientist may assert that there is really no such thing 
as sin, that sin is only "mortal thought," or "illu 
sion," and yet the Christian Scientist himself shows 
that he really believes that there is such a thing as sin 
by his holding other men responsible for their wrong 
acts. New theologians of the Reginald Campbell type 
may assert that the supposed fall of man was a fall 
upward, and that even man when he gets drunk or 
goes into lust is seeking after God, but in our deeper 






38 THE VOICE OF GOD 

moments we all know that this is utter nonsense. In 
our deepest moments we all know we are not right and, 
though we may try to question it, we also fear that 
there is a holy God to whom we shall have to give 
answer for this sinful life of ours, and even if there 
is not such a holy God we know we shall have to give 
answer to our own consciences, which, like Banquo s 
ghost, will not down. Man is a sinner. Every man is 
a sinner. The great question then is, is there any place 
where pardon from God and peace in our own con 
sciences can be found? The Bible answers this all- 
important question. It tells us that pardon and peace 
can be found in Jesus Christ through His atoning 
blood, and when we seek pardon and peace in Him we 
find that what the Bible says on this point is true. 
There are many on every hand who can testify that 
they have found pardon and peace in Jesus Christ to 
whom the Bible pointed them. Years ago in Chicago 
a woman came to me who had been in a very real hell 
for fourteen years. For fourteen years conscience had 
tormented her with the thought of the man into whose 
throat she had driven a dagger and killed him. Often 
times in her agony she had gone down to Lake Michi 
gan by night and thought of plunging into its dark 
waters to drown herself and thus be free from her 
accusing conscience, but she hesitated to do it for fear 
of the awakening that might lie beyond death. I 
pointed her to Isa. 53 : 6 and she found pardon and 
perfect peace through the One who had borne in her 
place the murder she had committed. The last three 
days of week before last and the first two days of last 
week I was in Chicago again. The first day I was there 
this woman came to me with a smiling face and told 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 39 

we how happy she was in Christ, and time and again 
she came to me at the close of some of the meetings, 
telling me how God was using even her in service for 
Him. This book has saved many a conscience-tortured 
one from suicide and despair. 

2. The next need of man is deliverance from sin s 
power. Men are in the grip of sin, we all know that. 
They are unable to break away from the grip of sin. 
It is well enough to tell a man to assert his manhood, 
but it doesn t work. The very lecturer who tells men 
that they do not need a Saviour, Jesus, to set them free 
from the power of sin, that all they need to do is to 
assert their manhood, has not asserted his own man 
hood and broken away from sin s grip. This slavery 
of sin is awful ; the soul cries out, where is deliverance 
to be found? The cry of Paul in his failure and de 
feat is the universal cry of the thoughtful heart, Oh, 
wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me out of 
the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24). The Bible 
answers the question in John 8 : 36, If the Son shall 
make you free, ye shall be free indeed. When we try 
it we find it is true. How many men there are whom 
we know who have been saved from lives of drunken 
ness and sin by this book ? How many homes there are 
in Los Angeles and throughout the land that were 
once poor, and dirty, and quarrelsome, that to-day are 
clean and well supplied and loving through the in 
fluence of this book? How many men and women 
have been saved from lives of sin by this book ? With 
this, contrast infidelity. Where is the man who has 
been saved from drunkenness by the power of infi 
delity? Where is the home that was once poor and 
dirty and quarrelsome that is to-day clean and well 



40 THE VOICE OF GOD 

supplied and loving which has been made so by the 
power of infidelity ? "Where is the sinning woman who 
has been saved from a life of sin by infidelity in any 
form? 

3. The next need of man is comfort in sorrow. We 
live in a world that is full of sorrow and bereavement. 
Families are broken up, dear ones taken away. Man 
needs consolation as he stands by the dying bed of wife 
or child or mother; he needs consolation as he looks 
into the grave into which the dearest one of earth has 
been lowered. Where can he find consolation in such 
an hour? In the Bible, and in the Bible alone. On 
October 19, 1894, five years after the Johnstown flood, 
I stood in Johnstown cemetery. I looked upon the 
graves of several thousand who were in one day, May 
31, 1889, swept into eternity 816 unknown ones lay 
in a single plot. I read the inscriptions on the tomb 
stones. What stories of sorrow they told. There lay 
side by side a young mother and her baby child; in 
another place lay father, 34 years ; Anne, 10 years ; 
Tommy, 6 years ; Elmer, 2, and the rest of the family 
were left to mourn. In another place lay seven of one 
family side by side. There was need of consolation in 
those days in Johnstown. Was there any place where 
it could be found? Yes, in the Bible, and in Jesus 
Christ of whom the Bible tells. On one tombstone I 
read, "Annie Llewellyn, died May 31, 1889, five years, 
three months, seventeen days, Safe in the arms of 
Jesus. Was there any comfort in that for those 
parents as they thought of their little one caught by 
the swirling flood, tossed about mid trees and crash 
ing ruins, buried at last in the awful mass of drift and 
dying ones at the bridge? On the family tombstone 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 41 

mentioned above I read these words, "Be ye also 
ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of 
man cometh." (Matt. 24:44). I read not one single 
inscription from Tom Paine, Voltaire, Col. Ingersoll, 
or from any infidel writer or speaker, ancient or mod 
ern. Why not ? Because there is no comfort in them. 
A few years before his death Col. Ingersoll wrote 
recommending suicide as the best refuge he could sug 
gest in great sorrow and failure. The Bible has some 
thing immeasurably better to offer. 

4. Man s next need is hope in the face of death. 
We must all sooner or later stand face to face with 
death, then the soul of man, unless it has been burned 
out by sin, cries, Does this end all, is there no light in 
the grave? The Bible again meets and satisfies this 
cry. Col. Ingersoll onoe asked in a lecture delivered 
in Chicago, (October 13, 1894), "Why did not He 
(Christ) say something positive, definite and satis 
factory about another world? Why did He not turn 
the tear-stained hope of heaven into glad knowledge of 
another life ? Then he answered his own question in 
this way : "I will tell you why. He was a man and 
did not know." The audacity of such an answer to 
an intelligent audience with an open Bible, is amazing. 
To imply that Christ did not tell something "positive, 
definite, and satisfactory about another world." To 
imply that He did not "turn the tear-stained hope of 
heaven into glad knowledge of another life, and then 
try to account for His not doing so! Col. Ingersoll 
must have thought that his hearers either had no Bible 
or else would not read it. Jesus said in John 14 : 1-3, 
"Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, be 
lieve also in me. In my father s house are many 



42 THE VOICE OF GOD 

mansions ; if it were not so, I would have told you ; for 
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and 
prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will 
receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye 
may be also." Is not that something positive, some 
thing definite, something satisfactory about another 
world? Again Jesus says in John 11: 25, 26, "I am 
the resurrection, and the life : he that believeth in me, 
though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever 
liveth, and believeth in me shall never die." Is not 
that something positive, something definite, something 
satisfactory about another world? Again He says in 
John 5 : 28, 29, * The hour is coming, in which all that 
are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come 
forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrec 
tion of life, and they that have done evil, unto the 
resurrection of judgment." That certainly is plain 
enough, though it is not very satisfactory to those who 
are living lives of sin. But has the critical Colonel 
himself ever said anything "positive, definite and sat 
isfactory" about another world? He had a most 
excellent chance to do so if he had anything to say, 
when he stood beside the grave of his own brother, but 
his pathetic but hollow eloquence on that occasion 
served only to illustrate the utter hollowness and 
emptiness of scepticism. The Bible has given men 
courage to die bravely and triumphantly in all the 
ages of its history. Infidels sometimes die stolidly and 
clinch their teeth and face it out, but they never die 
joyously and gloriously. 

We might go on and show other needs of man that 
the Bible meets, but enough has been said to show that 
the Bible meets the deepest needs of man. As long 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 43 

as man needs pardon and peace, as long as man needs 
deliverance from the power of sin, as long as man 
needs comfort in sorrow, as long as man needs hope in 
the face of death, the Bible is not in danger. Man will 
not give up to satisfy any number of keen satirists 
or carping critics or plausible reasoners, the book that 
meets his deepest needs, that brings pardon and peace 
instead of guilt and remorse, that brings liberty, man 
hood and nobility instead of bondage to sin, that 
brings comfort in the darkest hours of sorrow, trans 
forming the thunder-cloud into the rainbow, that in 
spires man with unquenchable hope in the face of 
death and its terrors. 

III. THE BIBLE is NOT IN DANGER BECAUSE THERE is 
NOTHING ELSE TO TAKE THE PLACE OP THE BIBLE. 

The Bible contains all the truth on moral and spirit 
ual subjects that all other books together contain. It 
contains more than all other books put together, and 
it contains all this in portable compass. Not a truth 
on moral or spiritual topics that cannot be found for 
substance within the covers of this little book. Even 
infidels best thoughts are stolen from this book. For 
example, Ingersoll once said, "The doctrine that 
woman is the slave, or serf of man whether it comes 
from hell or heaven, from God or demon, from the 
golden streets of the New Jerusalem or the very Sodom 
of perdition is savagery pure and simple/ This 
statement is true, but where did Col. Ingersoll learn 
this doctrine of woman s equality with man? He 
either learned it from the Bible or from some one else 
who had learned it from the Bible. What is the first 



44 THE VOICE OF GOD 

thing that the Bible says about woman ? You will find 
it in Gen. 2: 18, "And the LORD God said, it is not 
good that man should be alone; I will make him a 
helpmeet for him." Here in its opening chapters the 
Bible proclaims the equality of woman with man. 
It declares that woman is not "the slave, or serf of 
man, but his companion and equal. Ingersoll was all 
right in his doctrine about the equality of woman, but 
he was unfortunately three thousand five hundred 
years behind the book that he sought to hold up to 
scorn. Turning to the New Testament he might have 
read in Gal. 3 : 28 the statement that in Christ Jesus 
"there is neither male nor female." He might have 
read again in Eph. 5 : 25, "Husbands, love your wives, 
even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself 
up for it. 7 Certainly there is no suggestion there 
that "woman is the slave or serf of man." And he 
might have read a few verses further down in verses 
28 and 29, "So ought men to love their wives as their 
own bodies. He that loveth his own wife, loves him 
self. For no man ever hated his own flesh ; but nour- 
isheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church." 
And then he might have read two verses still further 
down, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and 
his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two 
shall be one flesh." All the respect and honour and 
love and care bestowed upon woman to-day, woman 
owes to the Bible. But not only can we find every 
truth in the Bible that we find elsewhere, but there is 
more truth in the Bible than al] other literature put 
together, and it is in portable compass. In the lecture 
already referred to Col. Ingersoll proposed to give to 
the world another and better Bible in place of this one, 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 45 

but where is it? Listen to what he says: "For thou 
sands of years men have been writing the real Bible, 
and it is being written from day to day and it will 
never be finished while man has life. 

1 1 All the wisdom that lengthens and ennobles life 
all that avoids or cures diseases, or conquers pain 
all just and perfect laws and rulos that guide and 
shape our lives, all thoughts that feed the flames of 
love, the music that transfigures, enraptures, and en 
thralls, the victories of heart and brain, the miracles 
that hands have wrought, the deft and cunning hands 
of those who worked for wife and child, the histories 
of noble deeds, of brave and useful men, of faithful, 
loving wives, or quenchless mother-love, of conflicts 
for the right, of sufferings for the truth, of all the best 
that all the men and women of the world have said 
and thought and done through all the years. 

"These treasures of the heart and brain these are 
the sacred scriptures of the human race." 

That sounds pretty, doesn t it? I challenge any 
man to say that that is not a masterpiece of diction. 
But after all it is only rhetoric. Where is this Bible 
of which Ingersoll spoke? People want a Bible that 
they can lay their hands on, that they can make use 
of, that they can carry with them. A poor man can 
not very well carry a Carnegie library in his trunk, 
and it would not do him much good in the great 
emergencies of life if he could. But here in this book 
we have a Bible that a man can carry in his pocket 
wherever he goes, and in this one small book he 
has more of truth of eternal value than in all the 
libraries of the world. No, the Bible is not in any 
danger, for there is nothing else to take its place. 



46 THE VOICE OF GOD 

IV. THE BIBLE is NOT IN DANGER BECAUSE IT HAS 
A HOLD THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN, ON THE CONFI 
DENCE AND AFFECTION OF THE WISEST AND BEST 
MEN AND WOMEN. 

The Bible has the distrust and hatred of some, but 
it has the confidence and affection of the wisest, and 
especially the holiest of men and women. The men 
who know the Bible best are the men who trust it 
most and love it best. A superficial knowledge of the 
Bible, such as Col. Ingersoll, for example, had, or Tom 
Paine had, or that many a college and even theolo 
gical professor to-day has, may lead one to distrust it 
and hate it, but the deep and thorough knowledge of 
that book comes from a pure heart and profound study 
will always lead one to love and trust it. The Bible 
is distrusted and hated by those whose influence dies 
with them. The Bible is loved and trusted by those 
whose influence lives after them. Lucian, Celsus, and 
Porphyry were great men, but their influence died 
with them, but the influence of John and Paul lives 
on in ever- widening power. Voltaire and Volney were 
able men, among the ablest men of their day, but their 
influence belongs wholly to the past, but the influence 
of Whitfield and Wesley is greater to-day than when 
they were here on earth. Col. Ingersoll was a man of 
brilliant gifts, but his influence has not lived after 
him. Indeed it is amazing how completely he has 
sunken out of sight in the eighteen years that have 
elapsed since his death. But the influence of Spur- 
geon and Moody is with us still. No, the Bible is not 
in danger, for it has the ever-increasing confidence of 
the best men and women, of those men and women 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 47 

whose influence lives after them, and only the dis 
trust and hatred of those whose influence dies with 
them. 

V. THE BIBLE is NOT IN DANGER BECAUSE IT is THE 
WORD OF GOD. 

I have not space to go into that at this time. Many 
things prove that the Bible is the Word of God : its ful 
filled prophecies, its unity, its Divine power, its in 
exhaustible depth, the fact that as we grow in knowl 
edge and holiness grow Godward we grow toward 
the Bible. Just a moment on its fulfilled prophe 
cies. Look at the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. This 
chapter has been the rock upon which infidelity 
has always gone to pieces. Men have tried to get 
around the force of the argument by the desperate 
expedient of saying that the chapter does not refer to 
the Christ but to suffering Israel, but even one careful 
reading of the chapter will show that it cannot refer to 
suffering Israel. Look at Dan. 9 : 25-27 with its pre 
diction of the exact time of the manifestation of the 
Messiah to Israel and its prediction of His death and 
what would follow. Look at Mic. 5 : 2 and its pre 
diction of the very place in which the Messiah should 
be born. Right before our own eyes in the last two 
years we have seen predictions from the Bible fulfilled 
that men said never could be fulfilled. They told us 
that wars were at an end forever, that man had made 
such progress in his evolution that a great war would 
never be possible again among civilized nations of the 
earth, and that the predictions of the Bible that 
greater wars and times of distress were coming than 



48 THE VOICE OF GOD 

the world had ever seen were foolish and impossible of 
fulfilment, but to-day we see these prophecies being 
fulfilled before our very eyes. The other arguments 
to prove that the Bible is the Word of God I have 
not time to go into at all, but they are absolutely 
conclusive. The Bible is not in danger because it is 
God s book. "Heaven and earth may pass away but 
God s Word shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:25), or 
to put it as Peter puts it in I Peter 1: 24, 25, "All 
flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower 
of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof 
falleth away: but the word of the Lord abideth for- 



VI. THE BIBLE is NOT IN DANGER BECAUSE ANY HON 
EST AND EARNEST SEEKER AFTER TRUTH CAN FIND 
OUT FOR HIMSELF THAT THE BIBLE is GOD S WORD. 

In John 7 : 17 Jesus offers a test that any man can 
try for himself. He says, "If any man willeth to do 
his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is 
of God, or whether I speak from myself." Many 
have tried this test and it has never failed. A few 
weeks ago at the close of one of our evening services 
a man came to me saying that he was full of doubts, 
that while he believed that there was a God, he doubted 
that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, or that the 
Bible was the Word of God. He said further, he had 
been advised to accept it on blind faith without evi 
dence. I told him to do nothing of the sort. I told 
him that believing without evidence was not faith but 
credulity, and that God did not ask any man to believe 
without evidence. Then I gave him the passage just 



IS THE BIBLE IN DANGER? 49 

quoted, "If any man willeth to do his will, he shall 
know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether 
I speak from myself." I told him to surrender his 
will to God and then ask God to show him whether 
Jesus Christ was His Son or not, and whether the Bible 
was His Word or not, and to take the gospel of John 
and read it, not trying to believe it, but being willing 
to be convinced if it was true, and promising God that 
he would take his stand upon everything in it that he 
found to be true. Within a week I received a letter 
from this man telling me how he had come out into 
the clear light of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of 
God. I have seen the man again to-day and not only 
has his own scepticism entirely vanished, but he is 
leading other sceptics to Christ. 

The Bible is in no danger. As far as the Bible is 
concerned all these attacks from different sources upon 
the Bible do only good, they set people to thinking 
about the Bible, they set preachers to preaching about 
the Bible, they serve to illustrate the invincible truth 
and power of the Bible by showing the ease with 
which such fierce attacks upon it are repelled. But 
while the Bible itself is in no danger, those who vent 
their spleen upon it are in danger. It is no small sin 
to ridicule the Word of an all holy and all mighty 
God. There are others also who are in danger, those 
who listen to the fascinating eloquence of gifted unbe 
lievers and allow it to lull them to repose in a life of 
sin, they are in danger. Men, and especially young 
men, your consciences were once troubling you and 
you were contemplating forsaking your folly, but you 
have allowed yourselves to be blinded by the voice of 
some brilliant agnostic and you are now about to tram- 



50 THE VOICE OF GOD 

pie under foot the Word of God and the Christ of 
God. Do not be deceived, these voices that speak to 
you are not the voices of truth but the voices of false 
hood, infamous, dastardly, soul-destroying falsehood. 
To listen to these voices means ruin, eternal ruin. Do 
not listen to such voices, listen to the voice of God that 
speaks to you in wondrous love from this book and 
says, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the un 
righteous man his thoughts : and let him return unto 
the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him, and 
to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Yes, 
and there is another class in danger. All those who do 
not accept Jesus Christ are in danger. This book is 
not in danger, every utterance of it will stand, and this 
book declares in John 3 : 36, "He that believeth on the 
Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not 
the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God 
abideth on him. " It is true, and if you do not believe 
on Christ, if you do not speedily give up your unbe 
lief and put your trust in Him, you must perish. 



IV 



WHY I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS GOD 
IN HUMAN FORM 

THERE is no subject more important than that 
of the Deity of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ 
is not God manifest in the flesh, then Chris 
tians are idolaters, for Christians worship Jesus 
Christ. If Jesus Christ is God, then all who do not 
acknowledge Him as such and accept Him as their 
Divine Saviour and surrender absolutely to Him as 
their Divine Lord, and worship Him as God, are guilty 
of the awful sin of rejecting a Divine person and rob 
bing Him of the honour due to His name. It is then 
of the highest importance that each of us know 
whether Jesus Christ is God or not. I am to give you 
to-night some of the reasons why I believe that He is 
the Son of God in an entirely unique sense, the Son 
of God in a sense in which no other person is or ever 
was the Son of God, the Son of God in such a sense 
that all the attributes and perfections and glory of 
God dwelt in Him. There was a time when I doubted 
it ; very seriously and very earnestly and very honestly 
doubted it. I doubt it no longer and will tell you why 
not. 

51 



52 THE VOICE OF GOD 

I. I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST is THE SON OF GOD IN 
AN ALTOGETHER UNIQUE SENSE, THE ONLY BE 
GOTTEN SON OF GOD, THE SON OF GOD IN SUCH A 
SENSE THAT GOD THE FATHER DWELT IN HIM IN 
ALL THE FULNESS OF His ATTRIBUTES AND GLORY, 
BECAUSE OF His OWN CLAIM TO BE THE SON OF 
GOD AND THE WAY IN WHICH HE SUBSTANTIATED 
THAT CLAIM. 

There can be no honest doubt in the mind of any 
man who will study the subject candidly and carefully 
that Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God in a 
sense in which no other was the Son of God. In the 
twelfth chapter of Mark He speaks of all the prophets 
that had gone before Him, even the greatest of them, 
as servants of God, and of Himself as the only Son of 
God (v. 6. K. V.). In the third chapter of John, the 
sixteenth verse, He speaks of Himself as the only be 
gotten Son of God. In John 5 : 23 He claims all men 
should honour Him "even as they honour the Father." 
In John 8: 24 He says, "If ye believe not that I am 
He, ye shall die in your sins. During His last hours 
before His crucifixion the Jewish high priest said to 
Him, "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell 
us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God," 
and Jesus replied, "Thou hast said." This was the 
strongest form of affirmation, and He went on to em 
phasize what He had said by adding, "I say unto you, 
Henceforth ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the 
right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of 
heaven." Now throughout the Old Testament the 
only one who made the clouds His chariot was 
Jehovah, and Jesus here affirms in the most striking 



WHY I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD 53 

way under oath that He is a Divine person, that He 
is Jehovah. In John 14 : 9 He went so far as to say, 
"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." From 
these and from many other utterances of our Lord, it 
is perfectly plain that the Lord Jesus claimed to be the 
Son of God in a sense that no other was the Son of 
God, in the sense that in attributes and authority and 
worthiness of worship He was on an equality with 
God the Father. HE CLAIMED TO BE DIVINE. But a 
claim to be Divine does not prove one to be Divine. 
Men rightly demand that such a claim be substan 
tiated, and / do not believe that Jesus Christ is Divine 
simply because He claimed to be, but because of the 
way in which He substantiated the claim. 

CHRIST S CLAIM TO BE DIVINE is SUBSTANTIATED. 

1. First of all by His character. The beauty and 
strength and nobility of the character of Jesus Christ 
is well-nigh universally admitted. The Jew admits 
it, both Rousseau and Renan, the great French sceptics, 
insisted upon it, even Colonel Ingersoll spoke most 
beautifully of it. On one of his last visits to the city 
of Chicago he repeated what he had often said before, 
"I wish to say once for all that to that great and 
serene man I pay, I gladly pay, the homage of my 
admiration and my tears." But here is this man 
whom all admit to have been a good man, a man of 
honour, humility, truth, and nobility, claiming to be 
Divine. IF HE WAS NOT DIVINE HE WAS THE BOLDEST 

BLASPHEMER AND MOST ARRANT IMPOSTOR THIS WORLD 

HAS EVER SEEN. Can any honest man who has ever 
read the story of Jesus Christ with any attention and 



54 THE VOICE OF GOD 

candour believe He was a blasphemer and impostor? 
That is the only alternative: you must either admit 
the lofty claims He made about His Deity, or hold 
Him to have been a blasphemer and an impostor. 
Every one who denies the Deity of Christ practically 
lays at His door the charge of blasphemy and im 
posture. Men sometimes say to me, "I do not believe 
that Jesus was Divine, but I believe He was a good 
man." I reply, "No, if He was not Divine, He was 
not a good man." If Jesus was not Divine He was 
rightfully put to death according to Jewish law. The 
manner of His trial was illegal, the mode of death 
by which He was executed was not that prescribed, 
but the death penalty was the right penalty according 
to Jewish law. The one who denies the Divinity of 
Christ justifies His killing. 

2. Jesus Christ s claim to be Divine is substantiated 
by the miracles which He performed. Herculean 
efforts have been put forth to discredit the gospel 
stories of His miracles, but these efforts have all failed. 
It was first attempted to prove that these recorded 
miracles were simply natural events, but this at 
tempt failed. It was then attempted to prove that 
the reports were fabrications, pious frauds, of Christ s 
disciples, but this attempt likewise failed. It was 
then attempted to prove that the gospels did not be 
long to the time of Christ s disciples, but were written 
at a later period and palmed off as the productions 
of men who did not really write them. This last 
attempt was made in a most skilful, laborious and 
scholarly way. For a time it almost seemed as if 
the attempt might succeed, but at the last it broke 
down utterly. The argument for the early date and 



WHY I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD 55 

historical accuracy of the gospel stories in the ultimate 
outcome was only brought out the more clearly by 
the attacks made upon them, and the argument is 
absolutely unanswerable. It is an interesting fact 
that the final and decisive blow in favour of the 
authenticity of the most important of the four gospels, 
the gospel of John, was struck by a Unitarian, Dr. 
Ezra Abbott. Dr. Ezra Abbott s demonstration of 
the Johannean authorship of the fourth gospel was 
written many years ago, but all attempts to answer 
it have failed utterly. The miracles then attributed 
to Jesus Christ He actually performed. But these 
substantiate His claim to be Divine. Not that the 
mere performance of miracle proves one to be Divine, 
but when one claims to be Divine and then performs 
miracles of the character that Christ performed, not 
merely healing the sick, but stilling the wind, calming 
the waves of the sea, raising the dead, casting out 
demons, by His mere word, these works taken in 
connection with His character and His teaching and 
His claims prove Him to be Divine. 

3. Christ s claim to be Divine is substantiated in 
the third place ~by His influence on the history of the 
world. It needs no argument to prove that Christ s 
influence upon the history of the world has been bene 
ficial immeasurably beyond that of any other who 
has ever lived. His influence upon domestic life, 
His influence upon social life, His influence upon in 
dustrial life, His influence upon political life. It 
would be foolish to compare that of any other man, 
or that of all other men together, with His. Other 
men have had as many or more followers than He, 
but what is the quality of the influence of these men ? 



56 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Go to Turkey and note the influence of Mohammed; 
go to India and Ceylon and Japan and note the 
boasted influence of Buddha; go to China and note 
the influence of Confucius. No, Christ has had an 
incomparably Divine influence upon men of all suc 
ceeding generations. Now, as already seen, if Jesus 
Christ was not Divine He was a blasphemer and an 
impostor. Is it conceivable that an arch impostor 
should have such an incomparable influence over men 
in all the relations of life? The question needs no 
answer, it answers itself. 

4. Christ s claim to be Divine is substantiated, in 
the fourth place, ly His resurrection from the dead. 
We have not time to-night to go at length into the 
argument for the truthfulness of the gospel stories of 
Christ s resurrection from the dead, but the argument 
is clear and conclusive. In my book, The Bible and 
Its Christ, I have taken up the argument for Christ s 
resurrection and shown how it is impossible for any 
honest man to study the argument for Christ s resur 
rection and come to any other conclusion than that 
Jesus really rose from the dead as is recorded in the 
four gospels. Now the mere fact that one rose from 
the dead would not necessarily prove him to be 
Divine, but when one claims to be Divine and is put 
to death for making the claim, and before dying 
asserts that God will raise Him from the dead and 
thus endorse His claim, if then God actually does 
raise Him from the dead at the appointed time, cer 
tainly God does by that act in a most unmistakable 
way set His seal to the claim, and in this way God 
has in fact set His seal to Jesus claim to be Divine. 
As Paul puts it in the Epistle to the Romans, Jesus 



WHY I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD 57 

Christ was "declared to be the Son of God with power 
by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). 
All these things taken together are my first reason 
for believing Jesus Christ to be Divine, because of 
Eis own claim to be, and the way in which He sub 
stantiated this claim, by His character, His miracles, 
His influence, and His resurrection. The argument is 
a compound one, composed of several strong strands, 
and when these strands are woven together there 
results an argument that it is absolutely impossible 
to break. 

II. I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST TO BE DIVINE BECAUSE OP 
THE OTHER TEACHINGS OP THE BIBLE BESIDE His 
OWN. 

The Bible is the Word of God. I have given on 
many occasions my reasons for believing the Bible 
to be the Word of God. (See book, The Bible and 
Its Christ.) The argument for the Divine origin of 
the Bible is unanswerable. The Bible is the Word 
of God and therefore true. Whatever the Bible says 
about Jesus Christ is the truth about Jesus Christ. 
But the Bible in the most unmistakable terms declares 
Him to be Divine. The Bible ascribes Divine at 
tributes to Jesus Christ, it attributes Divine works to 
Him, in the New Testament it applies passages to 
Jesus which in the Old Testament are spoken of 
Jehovah, it couples the name of the Lord Jesus with 
the name of God the Father in a way in which it 
would be impossible to couple that of any finite being 
with that of the Deity, and it demands for Him 
Divine homage and worship. John tells us that his 
whole purpose in writing his Gospel was that men 



58 THE VOICE OF GOD 

might "believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of 
God; and that believing" they might "have life in 
His name." Paul tells us "that in the name of Jesus 
every knee" shall bow, "of things in heaven and 
things on earth, and things under the earth, and that 
every tongue" shall "confess that Jesus Christ is 
Lord, to the glory of God the Father. " He is quoting 
here a statement made in the Old Testament of Je 
hovah (Isa. 45:21-23). In Rom. 9:5 Paul unhesi 
tatingly declares that Christ "is over all, God blessed 
forever," and the author of the epistle to the Hebrews 
says, "When he bringeth in the first begotten (that 
of course is the Lord Jesus, as the context clearly 
shows) into the world, he saith, And let all the angels 
of God worship Him." The Bible then, in the clearest, 
most definite and most decisive terms teaches the true 
Deity of Christ, and therefore I believe Him to be God 
in human form. 

III. I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST is DIVINE, GOD 
MANIFEST IN HUMAN FORM, BECAUSE OP THE 
DIVINE POWER HE POSSESSES AND EXERCISES 
TO-DAY. 

It is not necessary to go back to the miracles of 
Christ when upon earth to prove He has Divine 
power. He exercises that power to-day and anyone 
can test it. 

1. He has power to forgive sins. He claimed this 
power when here on earth and the scribes accused 
Him of blasphemy for making the claim, and if He 
had not been Divine they would have been right in 
accusing Him of blasphemy, but He silenced them 



WHY I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD 59 

by demonstrating the claim (Mark 2: 5-12). He has 
the same power to-day. Thousands can testify that 
they came to Christ burdened with an awful sense of 
guilt and that Christ has actually given their guilty 
conscience peace, absolute peace. 

2. He has the power to-day to set Satan s victims 
free. He sets the one chained by drink free from 
the power of drink; the one chained by opium or 
other drugs, free from the power of drugs. He sets 
the slave of lust free from the power of lust. You 
may say that Keeley sets the one chained by drink 
or the power of drugs free, but the cases are not at 
all parallel. Keeley uses drugs, Christ merely spoke 
a word. Thousands and thousands have been set free 
from the power of drink and transformed into noble 
men and women of God by the simple word of Jesus 
Christ. Christ sets free not merely from drunkenness 
and other vices, but from sin. He makes the impure 
man and woman pure. He makes the selfish man un 
selfish. He makes the devilish man and woman Christ- 
like. I believe Jesus Christ is Divine because of the 
Divine power I see Him exercising in the lives of 
many men and women. I know Jesus is Divine be 
cause of the Divine work that He and He alone has 
wrought in my own life. 

IV. I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST is DIVINE, GOD 
MANIFEST IN HUMAN FORM, BECAUSE OF THE 
CHARACTER OF THOSE WHO ACCEPT HIM AS 
DIVINE. 

Those who accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God 
are those who live nearest God, in most intimate com 
munion with God, and who know God best. Those 



60 THE VOICE OF GOD 

who know God best and live nearest to God have no 
doubts whatever that Jesus Christ is His Son. The 
cry, "I do not believe Jesus to be the Son of God," 
never comes from those who are living nearest God 
and know God best. It comes most often from those 
who are living farthest from God and know God least. 
Those who once believed Jesus Christ to be the Son 
of God as they drift away from God into worldliness, 
selfishness and sin often find themselves questioning 
the Deity of Christ. On the other hand, those who 
once questioned the Deity of Christ when they come 
nearer to God, when they turn their backs upon sin 
and selfishness and give themselves up more wholly 
to find and do His will, find their doubts about the 
Deity of Christ rapidly vanishing. 

V. I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST TO BE DIVINE BECAUSE OF 
THE EESULTS OP ACCEPTING His DEITY. 

The religion that accepts God the Father but 
rejects Jesus Christ as His Son has no such deep 
and lasting moral power as the religion that accepts 
Jesus Christ as Divine. Unitarianism has always 
proved to be impotent. Unitarianism does not save 
the fallen. Wherever you find a rescue mission that 
is doing a real and permanent work in lifting up the 
fallen, you will always find it manned and womaned 
by persons who believe in Christ as the Son of God. 
Unitarianism can do philanthropic work, it can build 
hospitals and operate soup kitchens and various kinds 
of clubs for helping the needy, but it does not save. 
I do not mean merely that it does not save from hell 
hereafter, it does not save from sin here and now. 



WHY I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD 61 

It is the gospel of the Son of God that does this. 
Unitarianism never begets a missionary spirit. With 
all its members and wealth by a mighty effort it 
induced one man to go as a foreign missionary for 
a little while, but even that poor lone missionary soon 
returned. Faith in Jesus as Divine makes mission 
aries and martyrs and produces men of prayer and 
faith, it produces consecrated living. The denial of 
the Deity of Christ tends to prayerlessness, religious 
carelessness, unbelief, worldliness, selfishness, and 
easy-going living. There is a power in the prayers of 
those who approach God in the name of Christ that 
there is not in the prayers of those who reject His 
Deity. While Mr. Moody was still in business, before 
he had taken up Christian work as his exclusive oc 
cupation, he often went out holding meetings. One 
time he was holding meetings in one of the smaller 
towns in Illinois, the wife of the district judge came 
to Mr. Moody and asked him to speak to her husband. 
He replied, "I cannot speak to your husband. Your 
husband is a book infidel and I am nothing but an 
uneducated boot clerk from Chicago." But the wife 
was so insistent that Mr. Moody finally called upon 
the judge. As he passed through the outer office the 
law clerks tittered to themselves as they thought how 
the learned judge would make mincemeat of the 
uneducated boot clerk from Chicago. Mr. Moody said 
to the judge in the inner office, "Judge, I cannot 
talk with you, you are an educated man ; I am nothing 
but an uneducated boot clerk, but I just want to ask 
you one thing. When you are converted will you 
let me know?" "Yes," the judge replied banter- 
ingly, "when I am converted I will let you know." 



62 THE VOICE OF GOD 

And then he raised his voice louder and said, "Yes, 
young man, when I am converted I will let you know. 
Good-morning." As Mr. Moody passed into the 
outer office the judge raised his voice still louder so 
all the law clerks could hear, "Yes, young man, when 
I am converted I will let you know." And the law 
clerks tittered louder than ever. But the judge was 
converted within a year. Mr. Moody revisited the 
town and called upon the judge. He said, "Judge, 
will you tell me how you were converted?" "Yes," 
the judge replied, "one night my wife went to 
prayer meeting as usual, but I as usual stayed at home 
and read the evening paper. I began to get very 
uneasy and miserable, and before my wife returned 
from the prayer meeting I was so miserable I was 
afraid to face her and retired for the night. On her 
return, finding me in bed she came to the door and 
asked if I were sick. No, I replied, I am not sick, 
only I was not feeling very well. Good-night/ I 
had a miserable night and was so miserable in the 
morning that I dared not face my wife at the break 
fast table, and I simply looked in the door and said, 
"Wife, I am not feeling very well this morning, I will 
not eat any breakfast. I went to my office and told 
the clerks they could take a holiday. I locked the 
outside door and then went into my inner office and 
locked the door to that. I sat down, getting more 
and more miserable all the time. At last, in my 
misery and in my overwhelming sense of sin I knelt 
down and cried, Oh, God, forgive my sins. But 
there was no answer. Again I cried, Oh, God, for 
give my sins. But still no answer. I would not say, 
Oh, God, for Christ s sake forgive my sins, because 



WHY I BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST IS GOD 63 

I was a Unitarian and did not believe in the Divinity 
of Christ. Again I cried, Oh, God, forgive my sins, 
but still there was no answer. At last in despera 
tion I cried, Ofo, God, for Jesus Christ s sake forgive 
my sins/ and instantly I found peace. " By their 
fruits ye shall know them. There is a Divine power 
in a faith that accepts Jesus Christ as the Son of 
God that there is not in a faith that denies His 
Deity. 

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is Divine. He 
is God in human form. His own claims substantiated 
by His character, by His miracles, by His influence 
upon the history of the world, by His resurrection 
from the dead, prove it. The teachings of the Word 
of God prove it. The character of those who accept 
Him as Divine proves it. The results of accepting 
Him as Divine prove it. The Divine power He pos 
sesses and exercises to-day proves it. Jesus Christ is 
Divine, He is God in human form. And now some 
one will say, well what of it ? Everything of it. Jesus 
Christ is the Son of God and if you reject Him you 
are rejecting the Son of God. That is the awful sin 
that lies at the door of every man and every woman 
in this audience, out of Christ, REJECTING THE SON 
OF GOD ! If your hearts were not hardened and 
blinded by sin you would tremble at that indictment 
(Acts 2:36, 37). In the light of the clear proof of 
the Deity of Christ I call upon you to-night to accept 
Him as your Divine Saviour. I call upon you to sur 
render to Him as your Divine Lord. I call upon you 
to submit your life to Him as your rightful sovereign, 
and to manfully confess Him before the world as 
your Divine Lord. 



JESUS THE WONDEKFUL 

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is 
given: and the government shall ~be upon His shoulder: 
and His name shall ~be called Wonderful, Counsellor, 
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince 
of Peace." Isa. 9:6. 

THE prophet Isaiah with a mind illumined by 
the Holy Spirit, looked down 740 years and 
saw the coming of Jesus of Nazareth and 
uttered the sublime words of our text. In them is 
wrapped up a world of meaning concerning the 
Divine glory, the matchless character, and wonderful 
offices of our Lord. But to-night we must limit our 
thought to one clause in this great verse, "His name 
shall be called Wonderful. In the Bible names have 
meaning, especially when applied to God the Father, 
the Son or the Holy Ghost. The name is a revelation 
of what one is. Jesus is called * * Wonderful because 
He is wonderful. First Jesus is Wonderful hi His 
nature ; second Jesus is Wonderful in His character ; 
third, Jesus is Wonderful in His work. 

1. JESUS is WONDERFUL IN His NATURE. 

First of all Jesus is wonderful in His nature. 
1. He is a Divine Being. He is Divine in a sense 
in which no other man is Divine. The Bible, both the 

64 



JESUS THE WONDERFUL 65 

Old Testament and the New, is full of that great 
truth. He most unhesitatingly made the claim. In 
Mark 12 : 6, after speaking of the Old Testament 
prophets as servants, He speaks of Himself as the 
"beloved" Son of God, and "only" Son of God. In 
John 10 : 30 He says, * I and my Father are one. In 
John 14:9 He goes so far as to say, He that hath 
seen me hath seen the Father, and in John 5 : 23 He 
says, "All men should honour the Son even as they 
honour the Father. The Apostle John said of Jesus 
in the opening verses of His gospel, In the beginning 
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the 
Word was God. The same was in the beginning with 
God. All things were made through Him ; and with 
out Him was not anything made that hath been 
made" (John 1:1-3). And further down in the 
14th verse he says, "And the Word (that is this Word 
that was in the beginning and that was with God and 
was God) became flesh and dwelt among us (and we 
beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the 
Father), full of grace and truth." The Apostle 
Thomas after the resurrection of our Lord, fell at the 
feet of Jesus and cried to Him, "My Lord and my 
God" (John 20:28). The Apostle Paul said of Him 
that "In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead 
bodily" (Col. 2:9), and he says of Him again in 
Rom. 9: 5 that He "is over all, God blessed forever." 
The Apostle Peter in Acts 10 : 36 says of Him, "He is 
Lord of all." The author of the epistle to the 
Hebrews said of Him, "He is the effulgence of His 
(God s) glory, and the very image (or exact ex 
pression ) of his (God s) substance," and that He 
upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb. 



66 THE VOICE OF GOD 

1:3). And Paul in Phil. 2:6 says that before He 
became man He existed originally "in the form of 
God." If the Bible makes anything as plain as day, 
it makes it plain as day that our Lord Jesus is a 
Divine being with all the attributes, glory, majesty, 
and power that belong to God. He is God. Well 
then might the prophet Isaiah in his inspired vision 
of the coming of Jesus, cry, * His name shall be called 
Wonderful." If Jesus was not "very God of very 
God," then John was mistaken, and Paul was mis 
taken, and Jesus Himself was mistaken, and only that 
denomination that has never been noted for its 
prayerfulness, its spirituality, its devotion, its self- 
sacrifice, its missionary enterprise, that denomination 
which has only a history of building churches to see 
them die, that denomination alone is right, and John, 
Peter, Paul, and Jesus are wrong. Do you believe 
that? Can you believe that? No, a thousand times 
no. No man who is thoroughly sane in his head and 
thoroughly honest in his heart can believe that. Jesus 
then is a Divine being. He is wonderful, most won 
derful, wonderful beyond description, wonderful be 
yond conception. The wonderfulness of His being 
and nature will be the object of our glad and adoring 
contemplation and the theme of our highest praises 
throughout the endless a?ons that are to come, through 
out eternity. 

2. But there is another wonderful thing about the 
nature of Jesus. While He is Divine He is at the 
same time a real man. "In the beginning was the 
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word 
was God." But "the Word became flesh and dwelt 
among us." He was "the only begotten Son of 



JESUS THE WONDERFUL 67 

God," but He is at the same time the Son of man. 
He is, Paul tells us in 1 Tim. 2:5, the mediator 
between God and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus." 
Do you ask how are the perfect Deity and the perfect 
humanity united in Jesus? I do not know. Neither 
do I know how spirit and body are united in myself, 
but I know that they are. I do not know how the 
Divine nature that I received in the new birth is 
united with the physical and intellectual and moral 
nature that I received by my natural birth, but I 
know that it is, and so also I know that Jesus is per 
fectly Divine and perfectly human. Well might the 
prophet say, "His name shall be called Wonderful." 

II. JESUS is WONDERFUL IN His CHARACTER. 

But while Jesus is wonderful in His nature, in His 
Divine glory and perfect humanity, He is not won 
derful in His nature alone, He is wonderful in His 
character. His character was absolutely perfect. He 
was absolutely without blemish and without spot. He 
was not only faultless, but every possible perfection 
of character rested upon Him. There is not a per 
fection of character of which we can think that is not 
to be found in Him, and found in Him in its fullness. 
As the years go by and we study Him more and 
more carefully and come to see Him as He was and 
is more fully, the more the absolute perfection of His 
character shines forth. For thirty-four years He 
lived in a hostile world that sought to find some im 
perfection in Him, but they could find none. For 
eighteen centuries since, infidels have been hunting 
for some flaw in the character of Jesus and they 



68 THE VOICE OF GOD 

cannot find it. "What would not the infidels give if 
they could only put their finger upon one single flaw, 
even one little defect in that character, but they can 
not. Even the bitterest and boldest and most un 
scrupulous infidel of his day was forced to say, "I 
wish to say once for all that to that great and serene 
man I pay, I gladly pay, the homage of my admira 
tion and my tears." Jesus in the perfection of His 
character is indeed wonderful. He is the wonder of 
the ages. He stands out absolutely peerless and alone. 
When any man ventures to put anyone else along 
side of Jesus Christ he at once loses the confidence of 
all candid and fair-minded men. 

1. Jesus was perfect in holiness. Peter spoke of 
Him as The holy One and the just" (Acts 3:14). 
John spoke of Him as the Holy One " ( 1 John 2 : 20 ) . 
Even the unclean spirits when they met Him were 
forced to cry out to Him, "I know thee, who thou 
art, the Holy One of God" (Mark 1 : 24). The epistle 
to the Hebrews speaks about Him as "holy, guileless, 
undefiled, separated from sinners." He passed 
through all our experiences of conflict and temptation 
yet "without sin" (Heb. 4: 15). The dazzling white 
light that glorified the face and garments of Jesus 
on the Mount of Transfiguration was the outshining 
of the moral purity within. 

2. But He was not only perfect in holiness, He was 
also perfect in love. His love to God was perfect 
and so was His love to man. His love to God re 
vealed itself in His unhesitating obedience to every 
command of God, in His unreserved surrender to 
God s will, in His drawing back from no sacrifice that 
God demanded, in His delight in doing God s will, 



JESUS THE WONDERFUL 69 

a delight so great that forgetting the long denied 
demands of bodily hunger, He could triumphantly 
say, "My meat is to do the will of Him who sent 
me and to accomplish His work" (John 4: 34, E. V.). 
His love to God was absolutely perfect, but so was 
His love to man. His love to man took in all men, 
it took in the good, but it took in the vilest as well. 
It took in men like John and Nathaniel, but it took 
in also the demoniac of Gadara, the thief on the cross, 
the woman with the seven devils, and the woman who 
was a sinner. It took in His enemies for whom He 
prayed even as He endured the agonies and the re 
proaches and the shame they heaped upon Him, 
" Father, forgive them for they know not what they 
do." His love hesitated at no sacrifice. "Though 
He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that 
we through His poverty might become rich" (2 Cor. 
8: 9, R. V.). "Being in the form of God, He counted 
it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with 
God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a 
servant, being made in the likeness of men ; and being 
found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, be 
coming obedient unto death, yea, even the death of 
the cross" (Phil. 2:6-8). Wonderful, wonderful, 
wonderful love, that seeing full equality with God 
Himself in honour and glory, turned His back upon 
all this and chose the cow stable for His birthplace, 
the poor carpenter shop for His school, the contempt 
and rejection of men for His reward, the agony of 
Gethsemane and the shame and ignominy and torture 
of death upon the cross for its consummation, be 
cause by these things He could save the vile and 
worthless and outcast. "Well might Isaiah say that 



70 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Jesus name should be called Wonderful. There are 
many other perfections in the character of Jesus, 
e.g., the perfection of His meekness and gentleness 
and humility and patience and courage, and manli 
ness, but we cannot stop to dwell upon these now. 
Enough has been said to show that He is wonderful 
in character. 

III. JESUS is WONDERFUL IN His WORK. 

But as wonderful as Jesus is in His nature and in 
His character, He is not wonderful in His nature 
and character alone, He is also wonderful in His 
work. 

1. In the first place He made a perfect atonement 
for sin. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we 
have turned every one to his own way; and the 
Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" 
(Isa. 53:6). Every sin of ours was settled by the 
death of Jesus upon the cross. "Christ hath re 
deemed us from the curse of the law, having become 
a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one 
that hangeth upon a tree" (Gal. 3:13). The death 
of Christ so perfectly atones for sin that the moment 
I believe in Jesus Christ and thus accept the atone 
ment He has made for me, every sin of mine is 
blotted out from God s account and God reckons me 
as perfectly righteous in Him: "Him who knew no 
sin He made to be sin in our behalf; that we might 
become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 
5:21). Is not this wonderful ? Is it not amazing ? 
that the vilest sinner there is in Los Angeles, or 
anywhere else on this earth, the liar, the thief, the 



JESUS THE WONDERFUL 71 

blasphemer, the murderer, the harlot can come into 
this place to-night all crimson with the sins they 
have committed, and yet the death of Christ so per 
fectly atones for them all that the moment they accept 
that atonement all their sins are blotted out and they 
become as white as snow. Oh, when the sins that I 
have committed come up before me, and they have 
been great (the sins of every one here to-night have 
been great), but when they come up I look away at 
the cross and I see Jesus hanging there, I hear His 
dying cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou for 
saken me ? and I hear His other cry, * It is finished, 
and I can see the Roman soldier draw back his spear, 
and I see it go crashing into that side. I see the life 
blood pouring out, and I know that all my sins are 
atoned for. I know that, 

" Jesus paid my debt, 

All the debt I owe, 
Sin had left a crimson stain, 
He washed it white as snow." 

Oh, it is wonderful : the sin of the whole race atoned 
for at Calvary, and all that any man has to do to 
enjoy the fruits of that atonement is, just to accept it. 
2. But Jesus not only made an atonement for sin, 
He also saves from sin s power. Jesus Christ has 
power to set any man who will put his trust in Him 
free from any sin, and the power of all sin. He 
Himself said, "If the Son shall make you free, ye 
shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). Is it not won 
derful that there is not a man on earth to-day so 
completely in sin s power but that Jesus Christ can 



72 THE VOICE OF GOD 

set him free? One night many years ago I met a 
man who had been a wanderer on the face of the 
earth for many years, but had come of a good family, 
had been well educated, had moved in good society, 
but who had turned his back on all this and had given 
himself up to a life of sin, and now -at the age of 
perhaps 45 he was completely in sin s power. He 
was a large, powerful man, but he approached me 
with such hesitation and whispered in my ear the 
question, "Do you think Jesus Christ can save me?" 
I replied, "I know He can." Then I sat down and 
reasoned with Him out of the Scriptures and He 
listened and believed and was saved. For years he 
was a happy Christian and enslaving sins were things 
of the past. To-night he is with Christ in the glory. 
That is but one case out of thousands and tens of 
thousands. I have known many, many such, person 
ally. I have seen Jesus Christ set men free from 
sin in pretty much every state in the union. I have 
seen Him do it in England, Scotland, Ireland, Ger 
many, France, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, 
China, Japan and India. There are right in this 
audience to-night many men and women whom Jesus 
has set free from an awful slavery that once held 
them captive. Indeed Jesus completely transforms 
men. The man who was once a blasphemer now 
prays. The man who once loved the vile book, now 
loves the Bible. The man who once told questionable 
stories now sings hymns of praise. The men and 
women who once gave themselves over to sin and vice 
are now working for their fellow men. "If any man 
is in Christ, He is a new creature; the old things 
are passed away; behold, they are become new" (2 



JESUS THE WONDERFUL 73 

Cor. 5:17). Oh, the work of Jesus is wonderful 
indeed, transforming demons into angels. One Sun 
day night I heard a man who a few years before 
was a ruffian, a drunken, profane, cruel brute, speak 
ing to the best people of one of our eastern cities with 
great tenderness and pleading that they too accept 
the same Jesus who had so wonderfully transformed 
his life and that of his wife. Jesus is indeed won 
derful in His work. 

3. But Jesus will do even more wonderful things 
in the future. When He comes again He will raise 
the dead with His voice, and we shall be caught up 
with them to meet Him in the air. He will transform 
us into His own perfect likeness. This old, weak, 
sickly, pain-racked body will be changed into the 
likeness of His own glorious body, free from every 
ache and pain, free from every weakness, free from 
every limitation, resplendent with a beauty never 
seen on earth, capable of unlimited activity. And 
He will transform us morally also, so that in our 
inmost character we shall be made just like Him. 
He will bring us fully into our glorious inheritance 
as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Himself, heirs 
of all God is and all God has, heirs of His wisdom, 
His power, His holiness. Oh, it is wonderful ! 

Jesus is indeed wonderful. He is wonderful in the 
infinite glory of His Divine nature. He is wonderful 
in the matchless perfection of His character. He is 
wonderful in His work, blotting out all sin by His 
death, delivering from all sin by His resurrection 
life, transforming us from all remaining imperfection 
into the full glory of sons of God by His coming 
again. Jesus is the Wonderful One. Now what will 



74 THE VOICE OF GOD 

you do with Him? What will you do with this 
wonderful Jesus? Will you accept Him or reject 
Him? Oh, the wisdom and the blessedness of those 
who accept Him. Oh, the folly and wretchedness of 
those who reject Him. What will you do to-night with 
this wonderful Jesus ? 



VI 
THE FOOL S CREED 

"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." 
Ps. 14:1. 

OUR subject to-night is The Fool s Creed. 
Every intelligent man has a creed. You hear 
men in our days inveighing against creeds, 
but every man who thinks has a creed. A man s 
creed is what a man believes, and every man who 
thinks at all must believe something. The only man 
who believes nothing is the man whose mind is a 
perfect blank the utter idiot. If any man says, "I 
believe nothing," he is either mistaken or deliberately 
lying. If he believes what he says to be true, when 
he says "I believe nothing," then he must at least be 
lieve that he believes nothing, and in that case he is, of 
course, mistaken when he says that he believes nothing. 
But if he is not mistaken when he says "I believe 
nothing," then it cannot be that he believes that he 
believes nothing, and in saying "I believe nothing," he 
is saying what he does not believe ; in plain English, 
he is lying. To think is to believe, and the only man 
of whom it can be truly said he does not believe any 
thing is the idiot. Our subject, however, to-night is 
not creeds in general, but a specific creed, The Fool s 
Creed. You will find a brief and plain statement of 
The Fool s Creed in Ps. 14: 1, "The fool hath said in 

75 



76 THE VOICE OF GOD 

his heart, there is no God." The fool s creed has at 
least the merit of brevity, you can put it in two 
words, "no God." There is a great cry in our day 
for short creeds. The fool s creed ought to satisfy 
this demand. He has reduced his creed to two short 
words, to five letters, "no God." Why is the one 
who says in his heart "no God" a fool, or rather, 
why is he not merely a fool but "the fool," the fool 
of fools, the one consummate fool? 

I. THE MAN WHO SAYS THERE is NO GOD is A FOOL, 
BECAUSE THERE is A GOD. 

The first reason why the man who says there is no 
God is a fool is because there is a God. The proofs 
of the existence of a God, of an intelligent and 
beneficent Creator and Governor of the physical and 
moral universe are manifold and conclusive. 

1. First of all, the observed facts of the physical 
universe point conclusively to the existence of an 
intelligent and beneficent creator and governor of 
that universe. There are four kingdoms in the uni 
verse as modern science investigates and knows it: 
(1) the inorrganic kingdom, i.e., the non-living world 
with its mechanical and chemical forces; (2) the 
vegetable kingdom; (3) the animal kingdom; (4) 
man. The inorganic kingdom is the least wonderful 
of all, yet how wonderful even it is in its vastness, 
in its conformity to law, in its structure and its opera 
tions, in the mechanical and chemical forces, ever 
working out such beneficent results. But when we 
come to the vegetable kingdom we take a great step 
upward into a kingdom whose unveiled mysteries 
fill the soul with increasing admiration and astonish- 



THE FOOL S CREED 77 

ment the more we explore them. The laws of nutri 
tion, of growth and reproduction, how marvellous they 
are. Even the smallest of the plans, the plants that 
can be seen only with the aid of the microscope present 
models of symmetry, proportion and beauty that man 
can only try to imitate but cannot succeed in imitat 
ing. When we come to the animal kingdom we see 
superadded to the wonders of nutrition, growth and 
reproduction the still greater wonders of sensation 
and instinct. But take the last step upward to man, 
and we have superadded to these wonders the won 
ders of man s intellectual, moral and spiritual powers. 
Now all these things must be accounted for. We live 
in a wonderful world. The more we study it the 
more wonderful it appears, until it leads us on and 
out into the infinite, and until w* see new mean 
ing in the words of Ps. 19:1, "The heavens declare 
the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His 
handiwork," and in the words of Paul in Rom. 1 : 20, 
"For the invisible things of Him (i.e., God) since the 
creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived 
from the things that are made, even His everlasting 
power and Divinity; that they may be without ex 
cuse." More and more as our knowledge enlarges 
do we find that everything has its use, even down 
to the house fly, or the infusoria in the brook. 
Everything performs its functions according to law, 
from the sun one million two hundred and eighty- 
three thousand times as large as the earth and mov 
ing through space with incredible rapidity, down to 
the microscopic cilia of some simple form of life that 
sway lazily to and fro. Even the seeming monstrosi 
ties of nature are in accordance with law. It takes 



78 THE VOICE OF GOD 

no profound knowledge of nature to see manifold 
adaptations to intelligent purpose. Take for example, 
the eye, the most marvellous camera obscura that was 
ever constructed, with its wonderful chemical and 
mechanical and sensatory arrangement for vision, 
protection, and voluntary and involuntary use. Take 
the bird, with its hollow bones, its light feathers 
rendered waterproof by oil secretions. A scientific 
acquaintance with nature enlarges our view. The tele 
scope can find no spaces so vast that order and law 
cease, nor can the microscope discover particles so 
small that they lack in symmetry, beauty and adapta 
tion to their end. We live in a universe of law, 
beauty and utility. Now comes the question, how did 
this universe come to be as it is to-day. There are 
four possible suppositions about it : 

(1) First, that it was always as it is now. 

(2) Second, that it came to be as it is by chance, 
that the atoms that constitute the universe, in their 
eternal dance, have at last assumed their present as 
sociations and relations. 

(3) Third, that there existed from all eternity 
certain material atoms containing in themselves the 
power of uniting and acting upon one another and 
developing into the present condition of the universe. 

(4) Fourth, that the universe is the work of God. 
This covers all the possible suppositions. Which 

is the true one? The first we know to be false. We 
know that the universe was not always as it is. The 
second is easily seen to be false. There is a chance 
that the atoms that constitute the universe in their 
eternal dance might assume the present associations 
and relations displayed in such marvellous orderli- 



THE FOOL S CREED 79 

ness, obedience to law, perfection of construction, 
and adaptation to intelligent ends. I say there may 
be a chance that that is true, but while there is one 
chance that it might be so, there is an infinite number 
of ehances against it. The bringing in of infinite 
ages in which it might happen does not help the 
theory, for while there might be one chance of our 
living in that particular age in which it did happen, 
there would be an infinite number of chances against 
it. Now the man who chooses to believe that in favour 
of which there is one chance, and against which there 
are an infinite number of chances can be justly char 
acterized as in our text, "a fool." What would you 
call a man who believed that Webster s dictionary 
was not the intelligent product of a reasonable being, 
or a number of reasonable beings, but that the letters 
that constitute it were thrown down by chance and 
happened to fall into the shape we find them in the 
dictionary. There is only one word in the English 
language by which you would dream of characterizing 
such a man, you would call him a fool. But the theory 
that Webster s dictionary came to be in that way 
would notJae a fractional part so foolish as the theory 
that the atoms that constitute this universe in their 
eternal dance at last assumed their present associa 
tions and relations displayed in such marvellous order 
liness, obedience to law, and perfection of construc 
tion, and adaptation to intelligent ends, as we now 
find in the physical universe. The third theory, viz., 
that there existed from all eternity certain material 
atoms containing in themselves the power of uniting 
and acting upon one another and developing into the 
present condition of the universe, is untenable : 



80 THE VOICE OF GOD 

First, because if the atoms had existed from all 
eternity with the inherent power of combining into 
the present universe, they would have combined into 
it ages ago. 

Second, because, while we have abundant experience 
of the construction of works exhibiting design by in 
telligent agents, we have absolutely no experience of 
unintelligent atoms having power of combining them 
selves into works exhibiting the marks of intelligence. 
Suppose one should attempt to throw a thousand dice 
and have them all turn up sixes, and succeed, what 
would you say? Every intelligent man would say 
the dice were loaded. But who loaded the dice of the 
universe? It is evident the third theory will not 
hold. 

We have only the fourth theory remaining, viz., 
that the universe is the work of an intelligent 
and beneficent Creator. There is a God. The theory 
of evolution does not in the least affect the argument. 
If the theory of evolution were true it would only 
show the wonderful method by which this intelli 
gent and beneficent Creator worked out His plans. 

2. Not only do the observed facts of the physical 
universe point conclusively to the existence of God, 
the facts of history point to the same thing. The hand 
of an intelligent, beneficent, just governor of the 
destinies of men is clearly seen in history, not only 
in Bible history but in all secular history as well. 
Anyone who carefully studies history will see that 
throughout the whole history of the race, as Coleridge 
puts it, "one increasing purpose runs." We see that 
above the human actors, kings, generals, statesmen, and 
commoners trying to carry out their own ambitions 



THE FOOL S CREED 81 

and purposes, there has been the guiding hand of 
One who has made even the wrath of men to praise 
Him, and who has worked out good from the lowest 
ambitions and vilest passions of men. Cities, kings, 
dynasties, and empires fall, but history marches right 
on to the goal that God has set for it the kingdom 
of God on earth. 

3. The Bible as it lies before us proves that there 
is a God. Here is a book altogether unique to be 
accounted for. It must have an author. It is entirely 
different from any book, or all books, men have written 
it differs from them in its fulfilled prophecies, it 
differs from them in its indestructibility and invul 
nerability against all assaults ; it differs from them in 
the purity and loftiness and comprehensiveness of its 
teachings; it differs from them in its power to save 
men and nations; it differs from them in its inex 
haustible depths of wisdom and truth. This book, 
to anyone who will study it deeply and thoroughly 
and candidly, is manifestly not man s book. Whose 
book then is it? The more I study this book the 
more overwhelmingly convinced I am that there must 
be a God back of it. 

4. Individual experience proves that there is a God. 
(1) Individual experience regarding answered 

prayer proves this. If I should go to a hole in the 
wall and order beefsteak rare, and beefsteak rare 
should be passed out, and then order mutton chops 
and mutton chops should be passed out, and some 
other time should order turkey and cranberry sauce, 
and turkey and cranberry sauce should be passed 
out, and if this should go on day after day, and 
what I ordered was passed out, I should certainly 



82 THE VOICE OF GOD 

soon conclude that there was some intelligent person 
there attending to my orders, even though I saw no 
one. This is my exact experience with God. There 
have been many things that I have needed, that I 
have gone to God alone about and have told him of 
the need, and no human being knew of the need, and 
He has supplied the need, supplied it oftentimes in 
such a way that the connection between the prayer 
and the thing obtained was of such a character that 
it was clear that the prayer brought the gift. There 
have been times in my life when I have risked every 
thing that men hold dear upon there being a God 
who answered prayer on the conditions laid down in 
the Bible. I have staked my health and that of my 
family, my temporal needs, my reputation, every 
thing that men hold dear for time and eternity, on 
God s answering prayer on the conditions laid down 
in the Bible, and I have won. For sixty years George 
Mueller housed and fed orphans by the thousand and 
secured the supplies for the work entirely by prayer. 
No one was ever told of the need, no one but God, 
and not one penny of debt was ever incurred; and 
money and supplies came, oftentimes came only at 
the last moment, sometimes came when it would seem 
impossible that they should come on time, but there 
was never a day nor a meal in which God failed to 
answer prayer. 

(2) Individual experience in regard to salvation 
proves that there is a God. Lost men, men utterly 
lost, men with,, whom every human effort to save has 
failed, have at last cast themselves upon God, the 
God of the Bible, the God who could only be ap 
proached through Jesus Christ, God in Christ, and 



THE FOOL S CREED 83 

have found salvation, such a salvation as God alone 
could work. They have been recreated, made new 
creatures, they have been raised from the dead. 

The man who in anything proceeds upon the sup 
position that there is a God, just such a God as the 
Bible pictures, will always find this supposition works 
well in practice. To sum up thus far, the observed 
facts of the physical universe, the facts of history, 
the absolutely unique and undeniable character of 
the Bible, and individual experience all prove to a 
demonstration that there is a God. Therefore, he 
that says "no God" is a fool. 

II. THE MAN WHO SAYS THERE is No GOD is A FOOL 
BECAUSE NOT ONLY is THERE A GOD, BUT IT is 
WELL THAT THERE is. 

In the second place, the man who says in his heart 
that there is no God is a fool, not only because there is 
a God but also because it is well that there is a God. 
Please notice that it is "in Ms heart" that the fool 
says, "no God" ; i.e., he denies the existence of God be 
cause he does not wish to believe that there is a God. 
For a man to wish that there were no God shows him 
to be a fool because there not only is a God, but it is 
well that there is, and to wish that there were not is a 
mark of consummate folly. If there is a God, a God 
such as the Bible describes, the present life and the 
future life is full of brightness and hope to anyone 
who will take the right attitude toward that God ; but 
if there is no God, then the sun has gone out of the 
heavens and a darkness that can be felt broods over 
the universe. If there is no God we know nothing of 
what is in store for us, the present apparent harmony 



84 THE VOICE OF GOD 

and orderliness of the universe mav cease any moment, 
and all plunge into chaos. If there is no God history 
has no guiding hand and no certain destiny. If there 
is no God, reason and thought, conscience and right, 
purity and love have no certain and eternal basis. If 
there is no God we have no security for a moment that 
blind fate that rules all may not seize, and rend and 
crush us and plunge us into dark, unutterable, eternal 
misery. This is a true picture of our position in the 
universe if there is no God. What intelligent man 
would wish to live in a universe without a God? 
Surely it is the fool, the fool of fools, the consummate 
fool of the ages, who says in his heart, "no God." 
There are many who do not say with their lips, "no 
God," but who say it in their "heart." They are not 
theoretical atheists, but they are practical atheists. 
Anyone who does not surrender his will to God is a 
practical atheist. Anyone in this building to-night 
who has not surrendered to God is practically saying 
in his heart, "there is no God," and is, therefore, a 
fool. To sum up there is a God. Thank God that 
there is. There is just such a God as the Bible reveals. 
There is then but one right thing, but one wise thing 
for any man here to-night to do, that is surrender to 
His will. The only path of wisdom in the face of the 
proven facts, is to give ourselves in utter obedience to 
Him, and to accept as our mediator Him whom God 
has set forth to be the mediator between us and Him 
self, accept Him whom He has provided to be a sin- 
bearer, as our sin-bearer, accept Him whom He has 
exalted to be both Lord and King, as our Lord and 
King to-night. Who will do it? Who will do it now? 



VII 
NO HOPE 

"Ye were at that time separated from Christ, alien 
ated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers 
from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and 
without God in the world." Eph. 2: 12. 

THESE words describe the appalling condition of 
the Ephesians before they were saved, but to 
night I wish to impress upon you just three 
words in this dark picture, " having no hope." There 
are no words in the language more dreadful than those 
two words, "no hope." A doctor stands beside a bed 
upon which lies a man who is very ill. The doctor s 
finger is upon the sick man s pulse; he is looking in 
tently into the sick man s eyes; he is eagerly watching 
every movement and the way in which the sick man 
breathes. The sick man s wife and children are gath 
ered around the bed, looking anxiously first at the 
husband and father, and then at the doctor. At last 
the doctor looks up and says, "no hope." A ship has 
sprung a leak in mid-ocean; the sailors are working 
with all their might at the pumps ; the water from the 
hold dashes across the deck into the ocean. An officer 
stands by, now and then dropping a line into the hold 
measuring the depth of the water, seeking to find if it 

85 



86 THE VOICE OF GOD 

is falling or increasing. At last he looks up and cries, 
"It is no use, boys; there is no hope." A man has 
been making every effort to keep off financial ruin, but 
at last he is obliged to throw up his hands in despair 
and cry out, * No hope. A little company of men are 
defending a citadel against a yelling horde of murder 
ous, bloodthirsty Turks without. Gathered in the 
citadel are not only the men who are defending it, but 
A company of women and children. The men know 
well that if they surrender it means death to them and 
rrorse than death to the women and children, and 
bravely they fight on to defend the citadel, but now 
their last round of ammunition is exhausted ; there is 
a crash as the doors give way below, and a cry rings 
through the citadel, c No hope, no hope ! Ah, those 
are dark words, but they are even darker yet in import 
in the connection in which we find them in our text. 
Better be without anything else than be without hope. 
We may be in great present distress, but if we have a 
good and sure hope for the future, it matters little. 
We may have great present prosperity, but if we have 
no good hope for the future it is of little worth. I 
would rather be the poorest man who walks the streets 
of this city to-night and have a good hope for the 
future, than to be the richest millionaire and have no 
hope for the future. 

I. WHO HAVE No HOPE 1 

There are three classes who have no hope. But what 
do we mean by hope? Desire, no matter how strong 
it may be, is not hope. Mere expectation, no matter 
how confident it may be, is not hope. We use the word 
hope in a very careless way in much of our modern 



NO HOPE 87 

speech, but in the Bible the word is used with great 
care. Hope is a well-founded expectation for the 
future. Any expectation that has not a sure founda 
tion is not really hope. 

1. First of all the man who denies or doubts the ex 
istence of a personal God, a wise, mighty, loving ruler 
of the universe, has no hope. He may cherish fond 
wishes about the future ; he may even entertain confi 
dent expectations about it, but wishes are not hope, 
and expectations, no matter how confident, are not 
hope. His expectations are not well founded, and 
therefore they are not hope. The man who denies or 
doubts that a wise, mighty and loving Father presides 
over his destiny and that of others, can have no well 
founded expectations for the future. If he has what 
he calls a hope it is utterly irrational and baseless. If 
there is not a God who is wise enough to know what is 
best, and loving enough to desire what is best, and 
powerful enough to carry out what is best, if there is 
not such a God as that, there is absolutely no guar 
antee that at any moment nature may not plunge into 
chaos and human history into pandemonium, absolute 
ly no guarantee that both nature and man may not be 
involved any day in a universal sway of pain, destruc 
tion and despair; no guarantee that both nature and 
society may not become hell. Man s only rational 
foundation for hope in the future is the existence of 
an intelligent, beneficent, and omnipotent God ruling 
nature and the affairs of men. Atheism and agnosti 
cism are unspeakably dark faiths if any man has the 
courage to think them out to their logical conclusion ; 
most atheists and agnostics dare not do it. But some 
agnostics and atheists have done it. Listen to the 



88 THE VOICE OF GOD 

words of two men men who were agnostics and who 
have thought through their creed of unbelief toward 
its logical and utterly dark conclusion. First of all 
listen to the words of David Strauss, who began by 
questioning the miraculous and by trying to recon 
struct the life of the Lord Jesus from the Gospel ma 
terial, eliminating the supernatural and having the 
character and conduct left, but who wound up in 
blank agnotisticism. He says : 1 1 In the enormous ma 
chine of the universe, amid the whirl and hiss of its 
jagged iron wheels, amid the deafening crash of its 
ponderous stamps and hammers, in the midst of this 
whole terrific commotion, man finds himself placed 
with no security, for a moment, that on an imprudent 
motion a wheel may not seize and rend him, or a ham 
mer crush him to powder." That is an awful picture, 
but if there is no personal God, no God wise enough to 
know what is best, loving enough to desire what is best, 
and powerful enough to carry out what is best, no such 
God as the Bible presents, then Strauss s conclusion is 
inevitable, only he has understated rather than over 
stated the darkness of the outlook. Now listen to an 
other, Morley: "The millions of hewers of wood and 
drawers of water, come upon the earth that greets 
them with no smile, stagger blindly under dull bur 
dens for a season, and are then shoveled silently back 
under the ground with no outlook and no hope." 
Pretty dark is it not this creed of agnosticism ? but if 
there is no God these statements, terrible as they are, 
appalling as they are, full of utter despair as they are, 
are understatements of the hopelessness and blackness 
of the outlook. One night some years ago the thought 
came to me, suppose that instead of the God of wisdom 



NO HOPE 89 

and love in whom we believe, there sat upon the throne 
of this universe a malignant being, a being just the 
opposite of the God of the Bible, what then? and I be 
gan to think it out until my brain almost reeled. ^The 
denier or the doubter of the existence of an omniscient, 
omnipotent, loving God, has no hope, no rational, well- 
founded expectation for the future, a very dark hell 
may be his portion any moment. No wonder the in 
spired Psalmist calls the one who says in his heart 
there is no God a fool (Ps. 14 : 1) . 

2. The man who denies the truth of the Bible has 
no hope. It does not necessarily follow because a man 
denies the truth of the Bible that he does not believe 
in the existence of God. A man may believe in God, 
he may be a theist, and yet not believe the Bible. But 
even though a man is a believer in God, if he rejects 
the Bible he has no hope, i.e., he has no expectation 
for the future that has a solid and certain foundation 
underneath it. The conception that one gets of God 
from mere philosophy and pure reasoning is alto 
gether too inadequate to form a rational foundation 
for an intelligent hope. Furthermore, the God of 
philosophy is necessarily an ever vanishing quantity, 
for philosophy is always in a flux. Philosophy never 
reaches conclusions that are final and settled. I once 
was very fond of the study of philosophy ; I waded 
through the teachings of the great philosophers from 
the time of Socrates down to the time of the modern 
German philosophers. It seemed a fascinating study. 
At times I thought I had reached settled conclusions, 
but at last I discovered what every other thoughtful 
student of philosophy discovers sooner or later, that 
one philosopher comes upon the scene to demolish all 



90 THE VOICE OF GOD 

who have gone before him, only in turn to have his 
own conclusions demolished by those who follow him. 
The only conception of God that gives a man a good 
basis for expectation for the life that now is, or the 
life which is to come, is the conception of God found 
in the Bible. It is true many who reject the Bible 
borrow their idea of God from the Bible and build up 
a superstructure of hope upon the conception of God 
which they have borrowed from the Bible, and then 
fancy they have reasoned it out, and then they go on 
to discredit the Bible and throw it away; but by so 
doing unwittingly they tear out the very foundation 
of their own faith. If you give up the Bible you most 
logically give up the contents of the Bible, the teach 
ings of the Bible and if you give up the teachings of 
the Bible you must give up hope. There is no hope 
for the man who discards the Bible; that is, no well 
founded expectation for the future. Discard the 
Bible, discredit the Bible, and the future is dark and 
full of possibilities of evil, awful possibilities of evil. 

3. Tlie man who believes in the Bible but does not 
accept and confess the Christ the Bible presents as his 
own personal Saviour and Master, has no hope. Many 
a man fancies he has a ground for hope because he is 
not an infidel or an atheist. Many a man says to me, 
"Why, I believe the Bible, sir," but that is not the 
whole question. Have you accepted the Christ of the 
Bible as your own personal Saviour, and are you con 
fessing Him before the world as your Lord, and are 
you proving that to be an honest confession by doing 
as He says? The Bible holds out absolutely no hope 
to any except those who accept the Saviour whom it is 
its main purpose to reveal. In this Bible which you 



NO HOPE 91 

profess to believe we read in John 3 : 36, "He that be- 
lieveth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that 
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of 
God abideth on him." Again we read in this Bible 
which you profess to believe, in 2 Thess. 1: 7-9, "The 
Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with the 
angels of His power in naming fire, rendering ven 
geance to them that know not God, and that obey not 
the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall suffer 
everlasting destruction from the face of the Lord and 
from the glory of His might." And still further we 
read in this Bible which you profess to believe, " If we 
sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of 
the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 
but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery 
indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He 
that despised Moses law died without mercy under 
two or three witnesses ; of how much sorer punishment, 
suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath 
trodden under foot the Son of God (and that is what 
you are doing if you have not accepted Him as your 
Saviour and confessed Him as your Lord), and hath 
counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was 
sanctified, a common thing, and hath insulted the 
Spirit of grace 1 Heb. 10 : 26-29 ) . The one who be 
lieves the Bible but rejects the Saviour whom the Bible 
presents, has every vestige of hope swept away by that 
very book he believes. The man who believes the 
Bible but rejects the Christ of the Bible has no hope, 
the future has in it nothing but the appalling black 
ness of utter despair. 



92 THE VOICE OF GOD 

II. IN WHAT SENSE HAVE THESE THREE CLASSES 
No HOPE? 

"Wo see, then, that the atheist and the agnostic have 
no hope, that the infidel and sceptic have no hope, that 
the orthodox believer in the Bible who rejects Christ 
as a personal Saviour and Lord has no hope. In 
what sense have they no hope? 

1. They have no hope for the life that now is, no 
well-founded and sure expectation of blessedness for 
the life that now is. (1) In the first place, they have 
no guarantee of continued prosperity. They may be 
very prosperous to-day, they may have perfect health, 
a comfortable income, hosts of friends, every earthly 
thing that heart would desire, but unless they are 
right with God, unless they have accepted His Son 
Jesus Christ and therefore have a right to claim the 
promises of the Bible as their own, there is absolutely 
no guarantee that these things which they now possess 
will continue to be theirs twenty-four hours. A thou 
sand things may occur to change it all. Upheavals of 
nature may come, such as laid San Francisco in ruins 
a few years ago, wrecking the fortunes of thousands 
and bringing bereavement to many homes; social up 
heavals may come, political catastrophes may come, 
war may come ; indeed the black portent of war over 
hangs every people on earth to-day. This country by 
its recent election may have expressed its unwilling 
ness to go to war, but that will not necessarily keep us 
out of war. What may other countries plan regarding 
us ? Innumerable other diverse occurrences may come. 
A thoughtful man can conceive of many things that 
might occur that would sweep away in a few minutes 



NO HOPE 93 

the vast fortunes of even a Eockcfeller or a Morgan. 
Indeed, I am strongly inclined to believe that it is al 
most certain that all these fortunes will be swept away 
in the next ten or twenty years as an outside limit, 
either by great social and political revolutions, or by 
the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. (2) In the next 
place they have no guarantee of continued capacity to 
enjoy prosperity, even if it continues. A man s pros 
perity may continue and he lose all capacity to enjoy 
it. When I lived in Chicago, one of its wealthiest men 
had been for several years in a madhouse. His busi 
ness continued to prosper, prosper enormously, but 
what good did that fact do him ? He had no capacity 
to enjoy what he possessed. No man out of Christ has 
any guarantee of continued capacity to enjoy the 
things of the life that now is. He may have the money 
to spread his table with all the delicacies that a gour 
mand might desire, but if he has dyspepsia what good 
will it do him? No, the man out of Christ has no 
hope, no well-founded expectation, for the life that 
now is. (3) Furthermore, the man out of Christ has 
no guarantee of continued life. There is never but a 
step between any man and death. Every step that 
each one of us takes each day is but a march toward 
the grave. Every step we take is along the edge of the 
grave, and any moment the edge may crumble away 
and we fall into the grave. It takes but one little snip 
of the shears of fate to sever the cord of life. Of 
course if a man is a true Christian this fact has no ter 
rors for him ; for what men call death is simply depart 
ing to be with Christ, "which is very far better. " No 
man out of Christ has a good hope for the next ten 
minutes. Let us go back some years and go to New 



94 THE VOICE OF GOD 

York City. "We stand in the doorway of the library of 
the richest American of his day. His property inven 
tories at one hundred and ninety-six millions of dol 
lars. He is in close conversation with a business 
friend ; they are discussing how to make that one hun 
dred and ninety-six millions a little more. Ah, you 
say, as you look on that multimillionaire, he has bright 
hopes for many years to come. You are absolutely 
mistaken; no hope, absolutely no hope, for ten 
minutes; even as you look at him he pitches forward 
from the chair to the floor, and when Mr. Garrett picks 
William H. Vanderbilt from the floor he is a corpse. 
How much is he worth now? The next day one man 
asked another on change in New York, how much 
did William H. Vanderbilt leave ? The other man re 
plied, He left it all. Yes, he left it all. Men out of 
Christ have "no hope" for the life that now is. 

2. But infinitely worse than this is the fact that 
they have no hope for the life that is to come. This 
earthly life is but a brief span at the very longest. 
Earthly life when I was a boy appeared very long to 
me, but the other day I was reading some words that 
I wrote about twenty years ago. I said, Life used to 
appear long when I was a boy, but now that I have just 
passed the fortieth milestone and feel confident my 
race is more than half run, it seems very short, very 
short. But now that twenty years more have passed, 
it seems shorter still. It seems shorter every year. I 
never knew time to fly as it has the past month. We 
are hurrying on toward the grave and eternity faster 
than the automobiles yesterday whirled around the 
course in the Vanderbilt Cup Race. Do you realize, 
men and women, that in thirty years you will be in 



NO HOPE 95 

heaven or in hell? Yes, some of you in twenty years, 
some of you in five years ? Do you realize that some of 
you who are here to-night will be in heaven or hell 
within a year ? But ETERNITY is LONG ; how it stretches 
out. Let us stand now and look out down through the 
stretches of eternity, look yonder, a thousand years 
have passed, are we any nearer the end of eternity? 
No. A million years have passed and still it stretches 
on before us; a billion, a trillion, a quadrillion, a 
vingintillion, are we any nearer the end? Ah, no ! On 
and on and on ! The farther we look ahead the longer 
it stretches out. It is an awful thing to have no hope 
for eternity. (1) The man out of Christ has no hope 
of blessedness after death. No, there is no light in the 
grave for the Christless man. Let us stand and look 
into the Christless man s grave right now. What do 
you see ? Oh, it is dark and cold. Black, black, black, 
eternal blackness, eternal despair. (2) There is no 
hope of glad reunion with friends who have gone or 
who may go. The believer loses his friends, but he 
does not sorrow as those w^o have no hope (1 Thess. 
4 : 13) , he knows that the time is fast hurrying on when 
the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a 
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the 
trump of God ; and when the bodies of his loved ones 
who have gone before shall be raised, and when he 
"shall be caught up together with them to meet the 
Lord in the air," and so shall they ever be with the 
Lord and with one another (1 Thess. 4:14-16). Ah, 
Christless man, you will never meet that sainted 
mother again. What a noble woman she was, what a 
dark hour it was when she left you to depart and be 
with Christ. How you have longed for a reunion with 



96 THE VOICE OF GOD 

that woman who, as you thought, was the noblest wo 
man that ever lived on earth. But you will never meet 
again. Ah, Christless woman, you will never meet 
again that sweet and innocent babe who has departed 
to be with Christ. When God put that babe in your 
arms how you hugged it to your breast; how as the 
days went by you looked down into those eyes so full 
of mystery and meaning ; but the day came when God 
in His infinite wisdom took that child from this world, 
and now it is safe in the arms of Jesus, but you are out 
of Christ and you will never depart to be with Christ. 
You will never meet that sweet babe again. Oh, 
Christless husband, how dear and noble was that 
woman who for some years walked by your side, and 
then she was called away and now she is with Christ 
in the glory, but you will never meet her again. No, 
there is no hope for the man out of Christ of happy 
reunions in that world where there is no sorrow, no 
pain, no sickness, no death, no separation. 

3. For the man out of Christ there is not hope of 
pardon in the eternal world. Pardon is freely offered 
here to any one who will accept Christ, but there is no 
pardon beyond the grave. Our Lord Himself has told 
us that those who die in their sins, whither He goes 
they cannot come (John 8: 21). There is no hope of 
escaping from the wrath of God against the sin of 
unbelief. "The wages of sin is death. The gift of 
God is eternal life," but that life is "in Jesus Christ 
our Lord," and if you reject Him and die without 
Him there is no hope. "He that believeth on the Son 
hath everlasting life, but he that believeth not the Son, 
shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth upon 
him." No, there is no hope of escaping the wrath of 






NO HOPE 97 

God against sin and unbelief, if one goes out of this 
world without Christ. 

1 No hope, " no hope, " no hope, for the man out 
of Christ, no hope for the life that now is, no hope for 
the life to come, no hope for time, no hope for eternity. 
There is nothing ahead but the blackness of darkness. 
The joys of the present may last a few days, but even 
that is not certain, but it is certain that they cannot 
last long, and then nothing left but separation from 
God with all its consequent misery and degradation 
for all eternity. 

III. THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST HAS HOPE. 

Before we close let it be said that the believer in 
Christ has hope. 

1. He has hope for the life that now is. It is true 
that he does not know what the future may bring, but 
he has the sure Word of God for it that it will bring 
nothing but good, he knows that all things work to 
gether for good for those that love God (Rom. 8 : 28). 
He knows that he needs to be careful for nothing, but 
in everything by prayer and supplication with thanks 
giving, make his requests known unto God, and that 
the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall 
keep his mind and heart in Christ Jesus. He knows 
that God will supply his every need according to His 
riches in glory, in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4 : 6, 7, 19) . He 
knows that "God spared not His only begotten Son 
but freely gave Him for" him, and by that guarantee 
he knows that He will withhold no good thing from 
him, that with Him He will freely give him all things 
(Rom. 8:32). 



98 THE VOICE OF GOD 

2. The Christian has hope for the life to come; he 
has "hope of eternal life which God who cannot lie 
hath promised" (Tit. 1:2). How certain that hope, 
resting upon the Word of God who cannot lie; how 
magnificent that hope, eternal life. He has in the 
world to come "an inheritance incorruptible and unde- 
filed, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven 
for" him (1 Pet. 1:4). He has the assurance of the 
"Word of God and the indwelling Spirit of God that he 
is a child of God, and if a child, then an heir, an heir 
of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ, and that 
any "sufferings of this present time are not worthy to 
be compared with the glory which shall be revealed 
in" Him (Rom. 8:16). Wonderful hope, immeasur 
able hope, glorious hope of the Christian, but the man 
out of Christ has "no hope." 

Friends, which do you prefer to-night, the no hope 
of a man out of Christ, or the glorious hope of the one 
who has received Christ as his Saviour, surrendered to 
Him as his Lord and Master, and confessed Him as 
such before the world ? You have your choice. Every 
one here has his choice. Which will you take ? All of 
us here to-night are like men standing on the seashore 
and looking out over the boundless ocean of eternity. 
Toward some of us, toward every one of us here to 
night who is a true Christian, there come gallant 
vessels loaded with gold and silver and precious stones, 
with every sail set, wafted swiftly toward us by the 
breezes of God s favour. But toward those of us who 
have rejected Him or neglected Him, those of us who 
have never publicly confessed Him before the world, 
there come no vessels, but dismantled wrecks, with no 
cargoes but the livid corpses of lost opportunities, over 



NO HOPE 9$ 

which hover the vultures of eternal despair, driven on 
toward us with mad velocity before the fast rising 
tempest of the wrath and indignation of an all holy 
and almighty God. Glorious hope, and no hope, which 
will you take ? 



VIII 

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? 
"Whither goest thouf John. 16: 5. 

OUR subject to-night is, Where Will You Spend 
Eternity? You will find the text in John 
16: 5, "Whither goest thou?" Jesus Christ 
was about to leave this world. He told the disciples 
that he was going, but none of them asked Him 
whither He was going. He reproved them for not 
asking. Well He might, for the most important ques 
tion that can face any man when he comes to leave 
this present world is "Whither goest thou?" or 
"Where will you spend eternity?" A friend of mine 
was in a store one evening and an elderly man came in 
and said to the proprietor as he bought a cigar, "Dr. 
Torrey is going to preach to-morrow night on Where 
will you spend eternity ? "It had been an exceedingly 
cold winter, and the proprietor replied, Some of the 
poor people around here recently have felt as though 
they would like to spend it in some place where it was 
hot." I suppose the man was simply thoughtless 
when he said it, but it marks a shallow man, a very 
shallow man, to be thoughtless on a question like this. 
It will not do to dismiss a question like this in that 
way. Some of you would like to dismiss it in some 

100 



ETERNITY? 101 

such light, thoughtless way. You will play the fool if 
you do. When Harry Hay ward, the brutal Minne 
apolis murderer, who murdered a woman who had 
been kind to him in order to get a few dollars from 
her, stood upon the gallows and the drop was about to 
fall, he made a funny speech and at the last jestingly 
twitched the rope about his neck and said to the sheriff, 
"Let her go, I stand pat." I fancy he thought he was 
smart. No intelligent man thought so. They set him 
down as a fool and a brute. And so, my friends, you 
who are disposed to joke about this solemn question 
we have before us to-night, I beg of you do not do it. 
Your friend out of courtesy, may laugh at your joke, 
but in his inmost heart he will think you a fool, and in 
your inmost heart you will know he is right. That 
then is our subject to-night, "Whither goest thou?" 
or "Where will you spend eternity?" 

1. First of all, REMEMBER THAT THERE IS 
AN ETERNITY. That is certain. We may try to 
shut our eyes to the fact, but the fact stands. Look 
ahead to-night. You may live five years, ten years, 
twenty years, thirty, forty, fifty years. But then 
what ? The fifty years will soon be gone. Then what ? 
ETERNITY ! On it stretches before us, on and on and 
on. Never ending centuries will roll on, ages roll on, 
but still eternity stretches on and on. It will ever 
stretch on, never any nearer an end. Oh, thank God 
for eternity. If I knew I were to live a thousand years 
it would not satisfy me. If I were to live a million 
years it would not satisfy me. I would always be 
thinking of the end that would come some time. I am 
glad that as I look out into the future I see an eternity 
that has absolutely no end. There is an eternity. 



102 THE VOICE OF GOD 

II. In the second place, REMEMBER YOU MUST 
SPEND THAT ETERNITY SOMEWHERE. The 
time will never come when you cease to be, the time 
will never come when you pass into the nowhere. You 
will be somewhere throughout all eternity. Men some 
times try to believe that when they die they will cease 
to be. A friend of mine once told me that that was 
what he believed; that when he died that would be 
the end of him. He was very sure of it. Not long 
after his mother died and he wrote me a letter about 
her having passed into a better life. His atheistic 
philosophy would not stand. Men who live like beasts 
naturally wish to believe that they will die like beasts, 
but there is something in all our souls that tells us that 
it is not so. It is your 6 easily self that says that death 
ends all. Your better self denies it. But, however 
that may be, there is One who came to us out of eter 
nity, came to us from the unseen, eternal world, came 
to us from God, with whom He had been through all 
eternity. He presented His perfectly satisfactory 
credentials of His divine origin, of His having come 
from eternity, Jesus Christ, and He has told us that 
there is an eternity for each of us and that we must 
spend it somewhere. 

III. Remember in the third place that THE QUES 
TION WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY IS 
VASTLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE QUES 
TION WHERE YOU WILL SPEND YOUR PRES 
ENT LIFE. How anxious we are about where we 
shall spend our present life. Shall I spend my life in 
a cottage or in a palace ? Shall I spend my life in the 
midst of the luxuries of wealth or amid the privations 
of poverty? Shall I spend my life in the midst of 



ETERNITY? 103 

congenial companions or amid bitter foes? Shall I 
spend my present life in health and happiness or in 
pain and weariness and sorrow ? How anxious we are 
about these questions. But they are of comparatively 
no importance. Suppose I spend my life in a palace. 
Suppose that I have all that money can buy. I dress 
elegantly and fare sumptuously every day. I go to 
gay parties and often off to Florida, the Sandwich 
Islands or Europe. Oh, what a happy life ! Not very. 
But suppose it is. How long will it last ? Ten years, 
twenty years, forty years, fifty years, and it is all over. 
What then? What then? The coffin, the grave, eter 
nity. On the other hand, suppose I spend my life in 
poverty. I have little cooped-up rooms, not very 
clean. I have very poor food, and perhaps oftentimes 
not enough of that. I wear shabby clothes. I have 
to work hard for very small pay. The rich brush by 
me and my children in the street, and think us of little 
more account than the dogs and cats. Oh, what a 
wretched life! Not necessarily. It may be a very 
happy life. But suppose it is wretched. How long 
will it last ? Ten years, twenty years, forty years, and 
it is all over. And what then ? Eternity ! An eter 
nity of joy, or it may be an eternity of woe, to which 
any wretchedness I knew here is as nothing, nothing 
at all. Ah, the question of where we shall spend 
eternity is the important question. Suppose I am 
taking a day s journey to a place where I shall spend 
forty years. Which is the more important, the accom 
modations I shall have on the cars or the accommoda 
tions I shall have when I get there? This life is a 
day s journey to an endless eternity. Some travel the 
journey in a common day coach, a poor one at that, 



104 THE VOICE OF GOD 

but they travel to a mansion to which the stateliest 
palace on earth is as nothing. We can easily put up 
with some inconveniences by the way. Some travel in 
a very sumptuous Pullman palace car, or on a De Luxe 
train, but they are travelling to a hovel, poor, loath 
some, pestilential, nay, they are travelling to a prison- 
house, to a dungeon, nay they are travelling to hell 
itself, where they shall spend eternity. I don t envy 
them. Take the multimillionaires who are travelling 
at express speed to hell. Do you envy them? I don t. 
Poor wretches ! This question of where we shall spend 
eternity is a far more important question than the 
question of the comforts we shall enjoy by the way. 
Are you giving this question the consideration its im 
portance demands? Many of you will soon be there. 
The brother of a friend of mine lay near death, near 
eternity s door. He had been a professed Christian in 
early life, but he had become a backslider, and very 
bitter. He would not allow anyone to speak to him 
about Christ or the future. His wife and daughters 
and mother were praying constantly. They could not 
let him die thus. His brother was praying. At last 
he could keep silence no longer. He said " Willie, 
when you used to go off on a journey did you make 
preparations for it?" He looked up with surprise, 
"Why, certainly." "Willie, do you know you are 
about to take a long journey? Have you made any 
preparations?" "No, none." "Don t you think you 
ought?" "It s no use. Jesus won t take me now, I 
am too great a sinner." His brother quoted to him 
the wonderful promises to sinners found in this Book, 
and he found peace at last. But what if he had gone 
to that great eternity persistently refusing to make 



ETERNITY? 105 

preparations? Men and women, young men and 
young women, don t be foolish. Face this great ques 
tion, Where shall I spend eternity?" 

IV. The next point to consider is that IT IS POS 
SIBLE FOR US TO KNOW WHERE WE SHALL 
SPEND ETERNITY. Some think it is all guesswork. 
It is with some. It need not be. Jesus knew where 
He would spend eternity. He said, " I go to Him that 
sent me. Paul knew where he would spend eternity. 
He said, "For me to die is gain." And again, "I 
depart to be with Christ which is very far better" 
(Phil. 1:23). And still again, " I have fought the 
good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the 
faith ; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of 
righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, 
shall give me at that day : and not only to me but also 
to all them that have loved His appearing" (2 Tim. 
4:7,8). Albert Cookman knew where he would spend 
eternity. As he was dying, he lifted up his voice and 
shouted, "I am sweeping through the gates to the New 
Jerusalem. " D. L. Moody knew where he would spend 
eternity. As he was slipping away from life he said, 
"This is my coronation day, I have long been looking 
forward to it. " I know where I shall spend eternity. 
"How do you know?" some one will ask. I have the 
sure word of God for it. You can anyone of you know 
if you will. Now you nien who call yourselves agnos 
tics, sceptics, and infidels and Universalists and Uni 
tarians and Spiritualists, and Christian Scientists and 
thesophists, do you know where you will spend eter 
nity? Do you really know? Be honest with your 
selves now. You cannot afford to be deceived, do you 



106 THE VOICE OF GOD 

know ? No, no, no, you don t know. "Well I do, so I 
have the better of you. 

V. The fifth fact to bear in mind is that WE "WILL 
SPEND ETERNITY IN ONE OF TWO PLACES 
IN HEAVEN OR IN HELL. The exact location of 
Heaven and the exact location of hell is not a question 
we need to enter into. The character of the places is 
the important question. Heaven is a place of holiness, 
happiness and love. Hell is a place of violence, misery 
and hate. In one or the other you and I shall spend 
eternity. "With Christ or with the Devil. With the 
holy and pure or with the profane, the blasphemous, 
the vile. Which will it be for all eternity ? 

VI. Now let me pin into your memory another 
thought, WHERE YOU W^ILL SPEND ETERNITY 
WILL BE SETTLED IN THE LIFE THAT NOW 
IS. Jesus Christ says in John 8 : 24, "I said therefore 
unto you, that ye shall die in your sins. For if ye be 
lieve not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." 
And we read in the twenty-first verse of the same 
chapter, "Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my 
way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins, 
Whither I go, ye cannot come. In other words Jesus 
says that unless we believe in Him we shall die in our 
sins, and that if we do die in our sins our eternal des 
tiny is sealed. Again the apostle Paul says in 2 Cor. 
5: 10, "We must all appear before the judgment seat 
of Christ, that every one may receive the things done 
in his body, according to that he hath done, whether 
it be good or bad." This makes it clear that where we 
will spend eternity is decided by the deeds done in the 
body, the things done this side the grave. It makes it 
clear that where we will spend eternity will be settled 



ETERNITY? 107 

in the life that now is. Now many people do not like 
to believe that. They know that their present life is a 
very poor preparation for eternity, so they don t like 
to think that their present life settles their eternal des 
tiny. But it does. Jesus taught that plainly enough 
when He said as quoted above : i l If ye believe not that 
I am He, ye shall die in your sins, Whither I go ye can 
not come." Schemes of future probation are pure 
speculations with absolutely no foundation in fact and 
contrary to the plain teaching of the Book that never 
lies. It is not a question, friends, of what we would 
like to believe, but what is true. But some man rises 
and says, "I don t think that where we shall spend 
eternity is settled in this life. I think men will have 
another chance. I reply, l It doesn t make a particle 
of difference what you think, or what I think. The 
question is what does God say. But you still persist 
in saying, "But some very scholarly men and some 
very brilliant men like Lyman Abbott, for example, 
think there is to be another chance." I reply, "Who 
is Lyman Abbott ? A man who some eighty years or so 
ago came out of the great unknown, grew to manhood, 
talked a good deal, said some wise things and, as every 
one knows, a good many foolish things, and in five 
years or less he will disappear again and soon be for 
gotten. But who is Jesus ? One who was in the be 
ginning, was with God and was God. Some eighteen 
centuries ago He took upon Himself a human form, 
lived thirty odd years on this planet, spake as never 
man spake before nor since, revealing the truths He 
had learned in eternal fellowship with God, was killed 
by those of His time for claiming to be the Son of God, 
was raised from the dead by God Himself in testimony 



108 THE VOICE OF GOD 

that His claim was true, was exalted to God s right 
hand "far above all rule and authority and power and 
dominion and every name that is named in this world 
or in the world to come. Which are you going to be 
lieve Lyman Abbott or Jesus Christ. Pastor Russell 
or Jesus Christ? If you have any sense you will be 
lieve Jesus Christ. Through all the centuries of Chris 
tian history men have appeared who have differed 
with Jesus Christ, men who have been accounted just 
as scholarly and brilliant by their generations as these 
men who to-day presume to set up their opinions 
against the teachings of Jesus Christ, and they have 
disappeared from the stage again and their vaunted 
discoveries have not stood the test of time; but the 
teachings of Jesus Christ have stood the test of nearly 
nineteen centuries. It ought not to take a man of fair 
average common sense very long to decide whom to 
believe under such circumstances. Believe Jesus 
Christ. "Well, if you do believe Jesus Christ, write it 
down that where we shall spend eternity is settled in 
this life, settled this side of the grave. 

VII. Just one point more, WHERE YOU SPEND 
ETERNITY WILL BE DETERMINED BY WHAT 
YOU DO WITH JESUS CHRIST. If you accept 
Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour you will spend 
eternity with Him. If you reject Jesus Christ you will 
spend eternity away from Him. Listen to the sure 
word of God. "He that believeth on the Son hath 
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son 
shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on 
Him" (John 3 : 36). Listen again. "The Lord Jesus 
shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 
in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know 



ETERNITY? 109 

not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our 
Lord Jesus Christ: who shall suffer punishment even 
everlasting destruction from the face of the Lord 
and from the glory of His might " (2 Thess. 1:7-9, 
see Revised Version). Where we spend eternity will 
be determined by what we do with Jesus Christ in the 
life that now is. 

Let us sum up what we have seen to-night. First 
there is an eternity ; second, we must spend that eter 
nity somewhere; third, the question where you will 
spend eternity is vastly more important than the ques 
tion of where you will spend your present life ; fourth, 
it is possible for us to know where we shall spend 
eternity; fifth, we shall spend eternity in one of two 
places, in heaven or in hell; sixth, where we spend 
eternity will be settled in the life that now is ; seventh, 
where you spend eternity will be determined by what 
you do with Jesus Christ. My friend, whither goest 
thou? "Where will you spend eternity? There is a 
story that has been often told, but I wish to repeat 
to-night. In 1867 a young French nobleman went to 
London to consult Dr. Forbes Winslow, the eminent 
pathologist in diseases of the mind. He took letters 
of introduction from eminent men in France, among 
others one from Napoleon III, who was then Emperor 
of France. Reaching London he called upon Dr. 
Forbes Winslow and presented his letters of introduc 
tion. Having read them Dr. Winslow asked him what 
was the trouble. The young man replied, "I cannot 
sleep. I have not had a good night s sleep for two 
years, and unless I get sleep I will go insane." Dr. 
Forbes Winslow asked him why he could not sleep. 
He replied he could not tell. * * Have you lost money ? 



110 THE VOICE OF GOD 

"No." "Have you suffered in honour or reputa 
tion?" "Not that I know of." "Have you lost 
friends?" "Not recently." "Why then can you 
not sleep?" The young man replied that he would 
rather not tell. Dr. Winslow said, "Unless you tell 
me I cannot help you." "Well then if you must 
know, I am an infidel. My father was an infidel 
before me, but strange as it may appear to you, 
though I am an infidel and though my father was 
an infidel before me, when I go to bed at night 
I am haunted with this thought: Eternity, and 
where shall I spend it? And it drives all sleep from 
me. It haunts me the whole night through. If I suc 
ceed in getting a little sleep my sleeping thoughts are 
worse than my waking thoughts, and I start from my 
sleep haunted with the question, Eternity, and where 
shall I spend it. " "I cannot help you, Dr. Winslow 
quietly replied. "What," exclaimed the young man, 
"you cannot help me? Have I come all the way from 
Paris to London, to have my last hope taken away." 
"No," replied Dr. Winslow, "I cannot help you, but I 
can tell you of a Physician that can." He walked 
across his office and took from the table a Bible and 
pointed to Isa. 53 : 5 and read, " But He was wounded 
for our transgressions. He was bruised for our ini 
quities : the chastisement of our peace was upon Him ; 
and with His stripes we are healed. That is the only 
Physician in the universe who can help you, Jesus 
Christ." The lip of the young French nobleman 
curled with scorn. "What," he said, "do you mean to 
tell me, Dr. Forbes Winslow, that you, one of the lead 
ing scientists of the day, the most eminent pathologist 
in the diseases of the mind in the world, that you be- 



.ETERNITY? Ill 

lieve that effete superstition of Christianity ? "Yes," 
replied Dr. Winslow calmly, "I believe in Christ, and 
believing in Him has saved me from becoming what 
you are. The young Frenchman stood a moment in 
deep thought, then he looked up at Dr. Winslow and 
said, "Well if I am honest I ought at least to be ready 
to consider it, ought I not?" "Yes." "Well, will you 
be my teacher?" "Yes," replied Dr. Forbes Wins- 
low, and the eminent pathologist in diseases of the 
mind became the physician of the soul. For several 
days he opened the Word of God about Christ and His 
salvation to the young nobleman until the light dawned 
in upon his soul, and his heart was at rest and he 
went back to Paris with the great question settled of, 
Eternity, and where shall I spend it? Eternity, and 
where shall I spend it ? ETERNITY, AND WHERE SHALL 
I SPEND IT ? I thank God I know where I shall spend 
eternity. I shall spend it with Christ in the glory. 



IX 

WHICH SHALL WE BELIEVE, GOD OR MAN? 

"For what if some did not believe f Shall their un 
belief make the faith of God without effect f God 
forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar." 
Horn. 3:3,4. 

WHAT I say to-night is going to save some of 
you and it is going to damn some of you. 
Some of you are going to heed the truth and 
repent. Some of you are going to harden your hearts 
against the truth and this will come up against you in 
the day of judgment. Our subject is, Which Shall We 
Believe, God or Man ? You will find the text in Rom. 
3 : 3, 4, "For what if some did not believe ? Shall their 
unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God 
forbid : yea, let God be true, but every man a liar. 

I. GOD S WORD BETTER THAN MAN S WORD. 

My main proposition to-night is that God s word is 
better than man s. We live in a day when men are 
disposed to put great faith in what men say, especially 
in what learned men say, but little or no faith in what 
God says. Let some great man of science announce 
some discovery and no matter how incredible it may 
appear, no matter how much there is about it that we 
cannot understand, we believe it at once. But let a 

112 



GOD OR MAN? 113 

man find something in the Word of God that is con 
trary to his notions, or that has something in it that he 
cannot understand, and he discards it at once. Tell 
men what the Bible says and they look wise and shrug 
their shoulders and say, Yes, but I do not think so. 
I think this way. Tell them what some great scien 
tist or some leading literary critic, or some brilliant 
but erratic preacher says, and they think that settles it. 
What foolishness, what consummate foolishness. The 
opinion of the greatest scientist that ever lived, or the 
greatest philosopher, or the most learned Hebrew or 
Greek scholar, or the most brilliant pulpit orator is of 
no value whatever against the word of the infinitely 
wise and eternally truthful God, of God who is never 
mistaken and cannot lie. The opinion of all men to 
gether is of no weight against the Word of God. "Let 
God be true, and every man a liar. The man who be 
lieves any man against God is a fool. The man who 
believes any company of men against God is a fool. 
The Bible is the Word of God. That can be proven by 
many unanswerable proofs. I have proven it from 
this platform. On the other hand, for eighteen cen 
turies and more the opinions of scientists and philoso 
phers have come and gone, to-day regarded as the final 
word of wisdom, and to-morrow regarded as sheerest 
folly. But the teachings of this book for all these 
centuries have stood fast amid all the wreckage of 
man s thinking. The experience of eighteen centuries 
proves that the man who banks on the Bible is wise. 
The man who throws the Bible overboard and turns 
to any other source of light and guidance always 
misses it in the long run. He always has for eighteen 
centuries, and he always will for all the centuries that 



114 THE VOICE OF GOD 

are to come. The truly wise man is he who always 
believes this book against the opinion of any man, 
against any scientist, against any philosopher, against 
any literary scholar, against any council of theologians 
or any congress of philosophers and savants. If the 
Bible says one thing and any body of men, or any 
company of men say another, the truly wise man will 
say, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." 

II. SOME POINTS ON WHICH MEN DIFFER FROM GOD. 

1. Let us look at some points at which many men 
differ from God. First of all, a great many men, men 
who are considered wise, unusually wise, differ from 
God about the existence of a personal devil. A very 
large number of men in our day, including some prom 
inent theologians, laugh at the idea of their being any 
such person as the Devil. One frequently hears men 
say, There is no Devil but sin." Now that is what 
men say, very many men, but what does God say? 
Turn to Eph. 6 : 11, 12 and you will see what God says : 
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able 
to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For our 
wrestlings is not against flesh and blood, but against 
the principalities, against the powers, against the . 
world rulers of this darkness against the spiritual 
hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Turn to 
1 Pet. 5 : 8 and you will see again what God has to say 
on this point. He says, Be sober, be watchful : your 
adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, 
seeking whom he may devour." God says that there 
is a devil, a being of great cunning and great power, 
as well as great malignity, a being who is more than a 



GOD OR MAN? 115 

match for you or me, and that he is plotting our de 
struction and all the time working to accomplish it. 
God is certainly right about this, and, if you believe 
there is no devil but your own sin you are a greatly 
deceived individual, and the very devil you think does 
not exist has deceived you, and he has done it in order 
to destroy you. An Indian in ambush is a particularly 
dangerous Indian and a devil who has persuaded peo 
ple that he does not exist at all is a particularly dan 
gerous devil. No other class of people fall so easily a 
prey to the devil s subtlety as do the people who do 
not believe there is any devil. Show me a man or 
woman who does not believe there is a devil and I will 
show you every time a man or woman whom the devil 
has blinded and on whom he is getting in his work. 
The Christian Scientists are among the leaders of 
those who deny the existence of a personal devil, and 
what other class of intelligent people are there on 
earth to-day who are so evidently blinded by the devil 
as they are. Many of the Christian Scientists are peo 
ple of unusual intelligence in many matters, but when 
they come to talk about their peculiar theories their 
reasoning is the most absurd and preposterous and 
ridiculous and ludicrous that was ever foisted upon a 
credulous and devil-blinded people. 

2. Many men differ from God about a future judg 
ment. Many and many in this day do not believe that 
there is to be a future judgment. Tell many men in 
our day that there is a time coming when they shall 
have to stand before the judgment bar of God with 
His holy and all-seeing eye piercing them through and 
through, and answer for all their deeds done in the 
body, and for all their words that they have spoken ; 



116 THE VOICE OF GOD 

tell them that for every idle word a man speaks he will 
have to give account thereof in the day of judgment, 
as the Lord Jesus Christ says they will (Matt. 12 : 36), 
and they will laugh at you in scorn. But what does 
God say? Turn to Acts 17 : 30, 31 and you will find 
what God says. The times of ignorance therefore God 
overlooked; but now He commandeth men that they 
should all everywhere repent: inasmuch as He hath 
appointed a day in which He will judge the world in 
righteousness by the man whom He hath ordained; 
whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that 
He hath raised Him from the dead." Turn to Rom. 
14 : 12 and you will hear what God has to say on this 
subject, * * So then each one of us shall give account of 
himself to God." Turn to 2 Cor. 5:10 and you will 
hear again what God has to say, "For we must all 
appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every 
one may receive the things done in his body, ac 
cording to that he hath done, whether it be good or 
bad." Turn once more to Matt. 12: 36 and you will 
hear God s very plain utterance on this subject spoken 
by the lips of His own Son, our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, "And I say unto you, that every idle 
word that men shall speak, they shall give account 
thereof in the day of judgment." God is right again. 
There is one thing absolutely sure about the future 
and that is that there is going to be a judgment day. 
How this present war will turn out I do not know and 
no other man knows. A few weeks ago we were told 
that it was absolutely sure that Germany would be 
conquered in three months, but now they are telling 
us that it will take three years, and the fact is we do 
not know that it will be conquered at all. It is not 



GOD OR MAN? 117 

absolutely sure. It is not absolutely sure that there 
will ever be another summer or another election or 
another Christmas, but it is sure that there will be a 
judgment day. It is absolutely sure that you and I 
will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give 
account of the deeds done here in the body, and the 
words spoken here. It is absolutely sure that each 
one of us will give account of himself to God. 

3. Many men differ from God about Hell. (1) 
There are many in our day who do not believe that 
there is any hell at all. There are many who say 
in the most positive way, " There is no hell." A lady 
once said to me, "Why, Mr. Torrey, you do not believe 
in hell ? " It is not a question what I believe, but what 
God says. What does God say? He says in Matt. 
5 : 29, 30, which by the way is a part of the Sermon on 
the Mount which all men say they believe, even though 
they do not believe the rest of the Bible: "And if thy 
right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast 
it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of 
thy members should perish, and not thy whole body 
be cast into hell. And if thy right hand causeth thee 
to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is 
profitable for thee that one of thy members should 
perish, and not thy whole body go into hell." I have 
quoted these words of God from the Revised Version, 
for many foolishly say that hell while it is found in 
the Authorized Version has disappeared from the Re 
vised Version. They evidently know as little about the 
Revised Version as they do about the Authorized. 
Again you will find what God says on this subject in 
Luke 12 : 4, 5, "And I say unto you my friends, Be not 
afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have 



118 THE VOICE OF GOD 

no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom 
ye shall fear : Fear him, who after he hath killed hath 
power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear 
him." Let me say in passing that the one who has 
power to cast into hell is not the devil. The devil has 
no power to cast into Hell nor in Hell, in Hell he him 
self is one of the prisoners. God is the One who has 
power to cast into hell and He is the One whom we 
should fear. Turn once more to Kev. 21 : 8 and you 
will see a very plain statement of God about hell: 
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, 
and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers and 
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake 
that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the 
second death. " 

(2) There are some again who believe there is a hell 
but they do not believe it is an everlasting hell. Many 
say, "You do not believe in everlasting punishment, do 
you ? Again I say it is not a question of what I be 
lieve, or what you believe, but of what God says. 
Read Matt. 25: 41, "Then shall he say unto them on 
the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the 
eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his 
angels." As to how long that punishment lasts that 
is prepared for the devil and his angels, you will find 
it set forth in Rev. 20 : 10, which describes what will 
occur at the end of the millennium, after the beast 
and the false prophet have been in hell a thousand 
years: "And the devil that deceived them was cast 
into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the 
beast and the false prophet (remember they have al 
ready been there a thousand years) ; and they shall be 
tormented day and night for ever and ever." Listen 



GOD OR MAN? 119 

again to what God says in Rev. 14:9-11, "And the 
third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 
If any man worship the beast and his image, and re 
ceive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the 
same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, 
which is poured out without mixture into the cup of 
his indignation ; and he shall be tormented with fire 
and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and 
in the presence of the Lamb, and the smoke of their 
torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have 
no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his 
image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." 
Listen once more to what God has to say on the sub 
ject of eternal hell in Rev. 20:15, "And if any was 
not found written in the book of life, he was cast into 
the lake of fire." Is your name written in the book 
of life ? If it is not you will spend an endless eternity 
in hell. I do not state that as my opinion, but as God s 
Word. Make it sure to-night that your name is in the 
book of life by accepting Jesus Christ. 

4. Again men differ from God about a future proba 
tion. There are many men who say, and they are 
oftentimes men whom the world considers wise, and 
they say it with great positiveness, that if men do not 
repent of their sins and accept Christ now in this life 
they will have another chance to repent and turn to 
Christ after they are dead. I formerly believed and 
preached that myself, but what does God say? Turn 
to John 8 : 21 and you will find what God says. God 
tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ said unto the people 
that gathered around Him when He was here on 
earth, "I go away, and ye shall seek me, and shall die 
in your sin: whither I go, ye cannot come." In other 



120 THE VOICE OF GOD 

words, God says through His Son, the Lord Jesus 
Christ, that if a man dies in his sin he cannot go where 
Jesus Christ does, that he has no other chance. Turn 
again to Heb. 9 : 27 and read what God says about a 
future probation: "It, is appointed unto men once to 
die, but after this cometh judgment." Listen once 
more to what God has to say about a future probation. 
You will find it in 2 Cor. 5:10, "For we must all 
appear before the judgment seat of Christ that every 
one may receive the things done in his body, according 
to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 
Note that carefully. The basis of judgment will be 
"the things done in the body," the things done in this 
present life, the things done before we shuffle off this 
mortal coil, the things done this side of the grave. 
When a man s life on earth is ended his eternal des 
tiny is settled. 

5. Men differ from God about the way of salvation. 
Many men say that if a man lives a good moral life 
he will be saved ; he may be a Jew or a Mohammedan, 
or a Bhuddist, or a Christian, but if he is only sincere 
he will be saved. They say no man will be lost simply 
because he does not believe in Jesus Christ and con 
fess Jesus Christ before the world. At the time of 
Col. Ingersoll s death a Chicago preacher who claimed 
to be a Christian said, "Heaven or any good country 
will welcome a man like Col. Ingersoll." Of course, 
the infidels applauded when he said it, and I suppose 
that this professedly Christian preacher was glad to 
get the applause of the avowed enemies of Jesus 
Christ. But what does God say? Listen to John 
14: 6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the "Way, the Truth 
and the Life : no man cometh unto the Father but by 



GOD OR MAN? 121 

me." Listen again to what God says in Acts 4:12, 
11 Neither is there salvation in any other (than Jesus 
Christ) : for there is none other name under heaven 
given among men whereby we must be saved. Listen 
still again as God speaks in John 3 : 18, "He that be- 
liveth on Him (i.e., on Jesus Christ) is not con 
demned: but he that believeth not is condemned al 
ready, because he hath not believed on the name of the 
only begotten Son of God." Listen still again to the 
voice of God as He speaks to us in John 3:36, "He 
that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life : and he 
that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the 
wrath of God abideth on him." Listen still again as 
God speaks in Rom. 10: 9, 10, "If thou shalt confess 
with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy 
heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be 
saved: for with the heart man believeth unto right 
eousness ; and with the mouth confession is made unto 
salvation. Listen once again, and now God is speak 
ing through the lips of His Son, Jesus Christ, Matt. 
10 : 32, 33) , "Every one therefore who shall confess me 
before men, him will I also confess before my Father 
who is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before 
men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in 
heaven." 

6. Many men differ from God about the conditions 
of entering the kingdom of God. Many men say that 
the way to get into the kingdom of God is by leading 
an upright life, by treating your wife well, and your 
children well, and being honest in business, and kind 
to the poor, and doing other good things. Others say 
the way to enter the kingdom of God is by being bap 
tized and uniting with the church and partaking of 



122 THE VOICE OF GOD 

the communion, and reading your Bible, and saying 
your prayers, and going to confession, etc. But what 
does God say? Listen, John 3:3, 5, "Jesus answered, 
and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Ex 
cept a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can 
not enter into the kingdom of God." Listen again on 
the same point to the voice of God as He speaks in Tit. 
3 : 5, 6, "Not by works done in righteousness, which we 
did ourselves, but according to His mercy He saved 
us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing 
of the Holy Spirit, which He poured out upon us 
richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour." 

7. Men differ from God about the best time to repent 
and accept Christ. Many men are saying that there 
will be some day a better time than to-night to repent 
of our sins and to turn to Christ. Many of you here 
to-night are saying that, or thinking it if you do not 
say it, or acting it if you do not think it. But what 
does God say? Listen. 2 Cor. 6:2, "Behold, now is 
the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation." 
Listen again, Heb. 3:7, "The Holy Ghost saith to 
day." Listen still again (Prov. 27:1), "Boast not 
thyself of to-morrow ; for thou knowest not what a day 
may bring forth." And now listen once more (Prov. 
29: 1), "He that being often reproved hardeneth his 
neck shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without 
remedy." When the Apostle Paul reasoning before 
Felix, the corrupt Roman governor, told him of right 
eousness and self-control, and the judgment to. come, 
Felix was terrified, but he thought there would be a 
better time to repent than just then, and said, "Go 
thy way for this time, when I have a convenient sea 
son, I will call for thee. He thought some other time 



GOD OR MAN? 123 

would be more convenient than that time, but he never 
found the more convenient time, and that is why he is 
in Hades now and why he will spend eternity in 

hell. 

These are some of the things that men say and some 
of the things God says. Which will you believe? I 
say, "Let God be true, and every man a liar." But 
perhaps some one will say, "But I do not believe that 
the Bible is the Word of God, My friend, did it ever 
occur to you that your not believing that the Bible is 
the word of God does not alter the fact at all? At the 
time of the Boxer uprising in China some of the 
Boxers did not believe they could be killed by bullets, 
they thought that their incantations and their magic 
rites made them invulnerable against bullets. They 
were very sincere in their belief. A Chinese officer 
asked them to prove their sincerity by drawing up in 
line and he would have his soldiers shoot at them. 
They consented. They drew up in line before the muz 
zles of the guns. They were very sincere. The Chinese 
soldiers blazed away and every Boxer dropped dead. 
Their doubt of the power of the bullets to kill them 
did not alter the fact. Your doubt that the Bible is 
God s Word does not alter the fact that it is. Sup 
pose for a moment that the Bible turns out to be the 
Word of God, as all those who know it best and know 
God best say that it is. You must at least admit that 
it is possible that it is the Word of God. You must 
admit that the men and women who are really living 
nearest God and know God best believe that the Bible 
is the Word of God. Suppose they prove to be right, 
where will you be? Damned. And that is exactly 
what you will be if you go on doubting God s Word 



124 THE VOICE OF GOD 

and rejecting God s Son, listening to the voice of man 
rather than the voice of God. 

God says that there is a devil and that you need 
Christ s help against his cunning and power. God 
says that there is a future judgment and that we must 
all give account to God. God says that there is a hell, 
and that it is a place of torment where all who reject 
Christ will spend eternity. God says there is no future 
probation, that the issues of eternity are settled in the 
life that now is. God says there is but one way to be 
saved, i. e., by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our 
Saviour, and surrender to Him as our Lord, and con 
fession of Him before the world. God says that the 
only way to enter the kingdom is to be born again. 
God says that the best time to accept Christ and be 
saved is right now. "Now is the accepted time; now 
is the day of salvation." "The Holy Ghost saith to 
day." "Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou 
knowest not what a day may bring forth." "He that 
being often reproved hardeneth his neck shall sud 
denly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Who 
of you will turn from sin and unbelief and turn to 
Jesus Christ and accept Him as your Saviour and 
surrender to Him as your Lord and Master, and con 
fess Him as such right now? 



THE NEW BIRTH AS SET FORTH IN 
JOHN 3 : 2-21 

THE subject of our study this morning is The 
New Birth. One of the most fundamental 
and vital doctrines in Christianity is the doc 
trine of the New Birth. If men are wrong here they 
are likely to be wrong everywhere, and if they are 
right and clear in regard to this doctrine, they are 
pretty sure to be right and clear on every doctrine. 
We shall study the doctrine of the New Birth as it is 
set forth in the third chapter of John, the 1st to 21st 
verses. In this chapter our Lord tells us first of the 
Necessity of the New Birth; second, the Nature of the 
New Birth, and third, the Method of the New Birth. 

1. THE NECESSITY OF THE NEW BIRTH. 

1. The first thing that our Lord Jesus teaches us in 
the third chapter of John in regard to the necessity of 
the new birth is that that necessity is UNIVERSAL. 
In the third verse He says, " Verily, verily I say unto 
thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the 
kingdom of God." Literally translated, these words 
would read, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except 
anyone be born again (or, from above), he cannot see 

125 



126 THE VOICE OF GOD 

the kingdom of God." Not one single man or 
woman or child will be able to see the kingdom of 
God except they be born from above. In verse 7 
our Lord says, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, 
Ye must be born again (or from above)." The 
emphasis is upon the "thee" and "Ye." Nicode- 
mus would not have been at all amazed or surprised if 
the Lord Jesus had taught that a Gentile needed to be 
born again, what surprised him was that the Lord 
should have said it to him, and that he and other men 
of his class must be born again. Our Lord s words 
when taken in their connection, set forth in the most 
forcible manner possible that there is not one single 
man on earth who can see the kingdom of God ex 
cept he have a personal experience of the New Birth. 
If any man could get to heaven without being born 
again Nicodemus was the man. He seemed to have 
pretty much everything that would entitle one to 
an entrance into the kingdom of God. He was a 
man of most scrupulous morality, he was a man of 
lofty aspirations, he was a man who longed to know 
the truth and was willing to make sacrifices in order to 
know it, he was a man who was endeavouring to live up 
to the truth as far as he did know it, he was a generous 
man, giving a tithe of all that he got as a starting 
point in his giving, and added to that generous free 
will offerings; he was an intensely religious man, a 
man who studied his Bible, and a man who prayed, he 
was a man who carefully observed the ceremonials of 
the Jewish religion (which was a Divinely revealed re 
ligion, Jno. 4: 22), he was an active worker, he was a 
teacher of the truth as far as he knew it, indeed he was 
"the teacher of Israel." What more could a man need 



THE NEW BIRTH 127 

in order to fit him to see and enter the kingdom of 
God ? And yet the Lord Jesus said to him, " You need 
to be born again." If Nicodenras could not see nor 
enter the kingdom without the experience of the New 
Birth, certainly none of us can. The necessity of the 
New Birth is absolutely universal, there are no ex 
ceptions. The teaching is very common to-day that 
while certain classes of men and women, those that 
have gone into sin and whose characters have become 
corrupted, may need to be born again, people who are 
well born the first time, of pious parents, and who have 
a naturally amiable disposition, and who have been 
reared morally and religiously from early childhood, 
do not need to be born again. The Lord Jesus Christ 
says that they do. Not one man, woman or child shall 
see or enter the kingdom of God without being born 
again. 

2. The seventh verse teaches us that the necessity of 
the New Birth is not only universal, but that it is also 
IMPERATIVE. Our Lord Jesus says to Nicodemus, 
"You must be born again," not merely you may be, 
but "you must be." The New Birth is not merely 
a matter of privilege, it is a matter of solemn and 
imperative necessity, and I say to every one of you 
here to-day, who has not already been born again, 
"You must be born again." 

3. The third thing that Jesus taught regarding the 
necessity of the New Birth is that it is also ABSO 
LUTE. Nothing else will take the place of the New 
Birth. (1) Reform will not take the place of the New 
Birth. Many of the preachers of our day are preach 
ing reform, they are telling men, and telling men very 
forcefully, that they must give up this sin and that 



128 THE VOICE OF GOD 

sin in their lives. Well, reform is well enough in its 
way, but mere reform will not save, no matter how 
thoroughgoing the reform may be. Men need some 
thing deeper and more radical than reform, they must 
be "born again." The central teaching of one great 
preacher in this land was "Quit your meanness," and 
he led thousands of people in this country to quit 
their meanness in many forms, but quitting one s 
meanness is not enough, however desirable it may be, 
as far as it goes. What men need to be told is, "You 
must be born again." There must be not mere refor 
mation but regeneration. 

(2) Morality is not enough. Morality is an attrac 
tive thing, but it is an external thing. Nicodemus had 
morality, but he needed something more, something 
deeper, something that underlies a true and abiding 
morality. Our Lord said (Matt. 5:20), "I say unto 
you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the 
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in 
no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. " The 
Pharisees were moral, scrupulously moral, but their 
morality was superficial, it was not a morality of 
the heart. The only man who will enter into the king 
dom of heaven is the man whose morality is of that 
deep kind, affecting the will and the affections and the 
whole inner life, that results from the New Birth. 
(3) Baptism will not take the place of the New Birth. 
In the fifth verse we are told, "Except a man be born 
of water and tlie Spirit, he cannot enter into the king 
dom of God." Even if we take the water in this pas 
sage to refer to the water of baptism (which it does 
not) still we find our Lord saying that it is not enough 
to be born of water, but that we must be born, "of 



THE NEW BIRTH 129 

water and the Spirit." The birth from above, the 
birth by the power of the Holy Ghost, is necessary, 
even though one has been baptized by water in any 
form of baptism. In the eighth chapter of the Acts of 
the Apostles we read of Simon Magus who was bap 
tized, and whatever the proper form of baptism may 
be, he was certainly baptized by the proper form for 
the work was done by a Divinely appointed man, and 
yet further on in the record we hear Peter saying unto 
this same properly baptized Simon Magus, "Thou 
hast neither part nor lot in this matter : for thy heart 
is not right before God .... For I see that thou art 
in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." 
The baptism of Simon Magus was not enough, it was 
not the new birth, and he needed to be born again. 

(4) Religion will not take the place of the New Birth. 
Religion is all right in its way, if it is true re 
ligion, but religion will not save. No amount of 
observation of the externalities of true religion, Bible 
reading, prayer, churchgoing, observation of the ordi 
nances, will save. No man can see or enter the king 
dom of heaven, no matter how religious, except he be 
born again. Nicodemus was religious, extremely re 
ligious, but he was unsaved until he was born again. 

(5) Generosity in giving will not take the place of the 
New Birth. How many there are to-day who are really 
depending for their hope of heaven upon their gener 
ous giving, and how many there are who think of 
others who are generous givers that these men cannot 
be lost because they give so much for the poor and for 
God s work, but even though one should give all his 
goods to feed the poor, and have not that love which 
comes from being born again it would profit him noth- 



130 THE VOICE OF GOD 

ing (1 Cor. 13:3). The Pharisees were generous 
givers, they were careful to tithe absolutely everything 
they received, down to the mint and anise in their 
gardens, but they were unsaved and needed to be born 
again. (6) Conviction of sin will not take the place 
of the New Birth. Many think that they are saved 
because by the power of the Holy Spirit they have 
been brought under deep conviction of sin, but after 
they have spent days or weeks in agony over 
their sins they find that conviction is not conver 
sion, much less is it the-. New Birth, and though 
one should sob and wail over his sins for years 
or his whole life, he could not by that means 
enter the kingdom of heaven. No amount of sobbing 
and wailing and doing penance will take the place of 
the New Birth. (7) Culture will not take the place of 
the New Birth, even though it be " ethical culture" or 
religious culture. Everywhere through Christendom 
the churches are substituting culture, ethical cul 
ture," or religious culture, or intellectual culture, for 
the New Birth, but culture will not do "you must be 
born again." Nicodemus was one of the most cultured 
men among his people, he was "the teacher of Israel," 
but he was lost, and the most cultured people of 
America to-day, the most cultured men and women of 
Los Angeles are lost men and women, unless they have 
been born again. (8) Prayer will not take the place 
of the New Birth. A man may spend hours a day in 
prayer and yet be a lost man. Cornelius was a man of 
prayer and a generous giver, so notable was he for 
prayer and almsgiving that his prayers and alms went 
up for a remembrance before God (Acts 10 : 4), but he 
needed to be saved by being born again through faith 



THE NEW BIRTH 131 

in Jesus Christ, and the angel said to him to send to 
Joppa for a man called Peter who would speak unto 
him words whereby he should "be saved" (Acts 
11: 13, 14). Evidently he was not saved as yet. The 
necessity of the New Birth is absolute, there is nothing 
else that will take its place. 

4. Why is the New Birth absolutely necessary? 
Verse 6 tells us why the new birth is absolutely neces 
sary, why nothing else will take its place. The reason 
is because "that which is born of the flesh is flesh; 
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." In 
other words, all that we can get by our human parent 
age, no matter how godly or pious or moral or cultured 
our parentage may be, is that which is natural and not 
that which is spiritual, and the kingdom of God is 
spiritual and in order to enter that kingdom we must 
be born of the Spirit. Human nature is rotten to the 
core. 

II. THE NATURE OF THE NEW BIRTH. 

In this chapter we have a very clear explanation of 
just what the nature of the New Birth is. 

1. First of all it is a RADICAL TRANSFORMA 
TION OF OUR INMOST NATURE. This comes out 
in the very wording of what our Lord said, "Ye must 
be born again (or, anew, or, from above)." It is not 
a mere outward change, but a birth, a new birth. 
Elsewhere we are told it is a new creation. Paul says 
in 2 Cor. 5 : 17, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new 
creation (or, there is a new creation) : the old things 
are passed away; behold they are become new." Evi 
dently the New Birth is a radical transformation in 



132 THE VOICE OF GOD 

the deepest depths of our being, the impartation of a 
new nature, a new intellectual nature, a new emotional 
nature, a new volitional nature. That is to say, new 
thoughts, new ideas, new ambitions, new desires, new 
feelings, new emotions, a new will. It is an imparta 
tion of God s own nature to us. As the Apostle Peter 
puts it in 2 Pet. 1 : 4, "By these (that is by the Word 
of God, by God s exceeding great and precious prom 
ises) " we "become partakers of the Divine nature. " 
We are born into this world with a corrupt nature in 
every part of our mental and moral being. Our minds 
are blind to the truth of God. As Paul puts it, "the 
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
God for they are foolishness unto him; and he can 
not know them, because they are spiritually dis 
cerned" (1 Cor. 2:14) ; our feelings are corrupt, we 
love the things that God hates and hate the things that 
God loves ; our will is perverse, our wills are set upon 
pleasing ourselves instead of upon pleasing God. In 
the New Birth we get a new mind, a mind that is open 
to the truth of God, that thinks the thoughts of God 
after Him; we get new affections, we now love the 
things that God loves and hate the things that God 
hates ; we get a new will, a will that is in harmony 
with the will of God, a will that is set upon pleasing 
God and not set upon pleasing self. 

2. The New Birth is also a BIRTH FROM ABOVE. We 
learn this from verses 3 and 7. Jesus said, "Verily, 
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from 
above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." And 
again, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be 
born from above." In our Authorized Version we 
find the words "born again," and in the Revised Ver- 



THE NEW BIRTH 133 

sion, "born anew," but a more exact translation is 
"born from above." The New Birth is a birth from 
above, it is a heavenly birth, it is a birth from God, a 
direct work of God in the individual heart. 



III. THE METHOD OF THE NEW BIRTH, OR How MEN 
ARE BORN AGAIN. 

We come now to the directly practical questions, 
how are men born again, and what must we do in 
order to be born again. This question is answered 
plainly in the chapter we are studying. 

1. First of all we are born again by the Holy 
Spirit s power. We read in verses 5 to 8, "Jesus 
answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a 
man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter 
into the kingdom of God. The New Birth is the Holy 
Spirit s work. The Holy Spirit is a living person to 
day who operates directly upon the spirits of men, 
quickening them, and by His transforming power 
working directly in our spirits we are regenerated. 
The Holy Spirit imparts a new nature to us. 

2. The new birth, while wrought by the power of 
the Holy Spirit, is wrought through the instrumen 
tality of the Word of God. This comes out in the fifth 
verse, "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, 
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." There is 
reason to believe that the water here means the water 
of the Word, but we will not go into that at this time. 
Whether that is taught here or not, it certainly is 
taught elsewhere in the Bible. For example, we read 
in 1 Pet. 1 : 23, "Being born again, not of corruptible 
seed, but of incorruptible, through the Word of God, 



134 THE VOICE OF GOD 

which liveth and bideth. And we read in Jas. 1 : 18, 
"By His own will He brought us forth ly the word of 
truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his 
creatures." The Spirit of God is the one who works 
the New Birth, the Word of God is the instrument 
through which He does it. We preach the Word of 
God to men, God quickens it by the power of His Holy 
Spirit as we preach it, it takes root in the human 
heart, and the result is the new nature. If we wish to 
see others born again we should give them the Word 
of God in the power of the Holy Ghost, and the result 
will be that they will be born again. If we have not 
been born again ourselves we should read and ponder 
the Word of God, and while we do so look to the Holy 
Spirit to quicken it in our hearts, and the new birth 
will be the result. 

3. The new birth is wrought by the Holy Spirit 
through His Word in us when we look to or believe on 
Jesus Christ. This comes out in verses 1-4 and 15. 
Nicodemus had asked the Lord how these things could 
be, and how one could be born when he is old, that is, 
how one could be born again. Verses 14 and 15 con 
tain the Lord s answer to the question. He said, 
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, 
even so must the Son of man be lifted up ; that whoso 
ever believeth in Him should not perish, but have 
eternal life. The Lord was referring to an incident 
in the Wilderness when the murmuring Israelites were 
bitten by fiery serpents and were dying from the bite, 
and Moses cried to God for deliverance and God com 
manded Moses to make a serpent of brass (in appear 
ance like to the fiery serpent that had bitten them) and 
to put it on a pole and that it would come to pass that 



THE NEW BIRTH 135 

every one that was bitten when he looked at the ser 
pent on the pole would live (Num. 21:5-9). We all 
have been bitten by the serpent of sin. His bite is 
death, eternal death. But the Lord Jesus Christ has 
been made in the likeness of sinful flesh and "lifted 
up" on the cross of Calvary where He made a perfect 
atonement for sin, and as soon as we look at Him on 
the cross and put our trust in Him as our sin-bearer, 
that moment we are born again. The same thought 
is found in the 16th verse, "For God so loved the 
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who 
soever lelieveth on Him should not perish but have 
eternal life. All anyone has to do to be born again is, 
to look and live, to look at Jesus Christ, putting his 
confidence in Him, to look at Christ crucified and put 
faith in Him as our atoning Saviour, and the moment 
we do thus put our faith in Him, that moment the 
Spirit of God, through His "Word, which presents Him 
to us as our atoning Saviour, imparts to us God s own 
nature and we are born again. The same thought is 
presented very clearly and very simply in the first 
chapter and the 12th and 13th verses, "As many as 
received Him (i. e., the Lord Jesus), to them gave He 
the right to become children of God, even to them that 
believe on His name : which were born, not of blood, 
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but 
of God." All anyone has to do then to be born again 
is to receive Jesus Christ, to receive Him as that which 
He offers Himself to be to us : as our atoning Saviour, 
who bore all our sins in His own body on the cross ; as 
our risen Saviour and Deliverer from the power of 
sin ; as our Teacher sent from God, who spoke the very 
words of God; as our Lord and Master, who has a 



136 THE VOICE OF GOD 

right to, and to whom we surrender, the absolute con 
trol of our lives ; and as our Divine Lord. If there is 
anyone here this morning who has never been born 
again, all you have to do to be born again is to thus 
receive Jesus this moment, and the moment you do so 
receive Him you will be born from above, born of God. 



XI 

GOD S GUIDANCE AND HOW TO GET IT 

"/ will instruct thee and teach thee in the way 
which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine 
eye." Ps. 32:8. 

"But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask God, 
who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; 
and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, 
nothing doubting; for he that doubteth is like the 
surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. For 
let not that man think that he shall receive anything of 
the Lord; a double-minded man, unstable in all his 
ways." Jas 1:5-8. 

I. THE POSSIBILITY AND BLESSEDNESS OF BEING 
GUIDED BY GOD. 

ONE of the greatest and most precious privileges 
of the believer is to have the guidance of God 
at every turn of life. One of the most im 
portant of all practical questions is how to get this 
guidance. There are many who say very positively 
that they are guided of God who are not so guided. 
The event proves that they are not so guided. Some 
months ago a young woman informed me that she was 
guided of God to leave for Africa at a certain date and 
that God had given her positive assurance that the 

137 



138 THE VOICE OF GOD 

money would be provided for her to leave at that date. 
I was not at all sure that she was guided as she said 
that she was, and the event proved she was not ; for the 
money was not furnished for her to leave at that date. 
As we see so many people apparently absolutely sure 
that God is guiding them when in the event it becomes 
clear that He is not, does it not prove that the sup 
posed guidance of God is a fancy and not a fact ? It 
does not. The fact that some people are confident 
that they are guided when they are not is no more evi 
dence that there is no such thing as guidance than the 
fact that some people are sure they are- saved when 
they are not is an evidence that there is no such thing 
as salvation, or assurance of salvation. The fact that 
some people are misled in no way proves that all peo 
ple are misled. There is such a thing as guidance, 
and there is a way to get guidance. There is a way 
to avoid the illusions regarding guidance into which 
many fall through ignorance of the Word of God. 

II. How To GET GUIDANCE. 

We come now face to face with the question of how 
to get God s guidance. There are seven steps, clearly 
set forth in the Word of God, in the path that leads to 
God s guidance. 

1. The first step toward obtaining God s guidance 
is that we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our own 
personal Saviour, and surrender to Him as our Lord 
and Master. This comes out very plainly in Jas. 1 : 5, 
If any of you lacketh wisdom, let Mm ask of God." 
It is clear that the promise is only made to believers. 
James does not say, "If any man lacketh wisdom, let 



GOD S GUIDANCE HOW TO GET IT 139 

him ask of God, but, If any of you lacketh wisdom, 
let him ask of God. There is no promise in the Word 
of God that God will guide anyone but the believer in 
Jesus Christ. Indeed there is no promise in the Word 
of God that He will answer the prayers of unbelievers 
about anything. God s guidance is the privilege of 
the believer in Jesus Christ and of him alone. By be 
liever I do not mean the one who merely has an ortho 
dox faith about Jesus Christ, but the one who is a be 
liever in the Bible sense, that is, the one who has that 
living faith in Jesus Christ that leads him to receive 
Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, and to surren 
der his life to His service and control. If then, we 
would have God s sure guidance, the first thing to 
make sure of is that we really are believers, that we 
really are children of God, that we really have ac 
cepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and really have 
surrendered our lives to His Lordship. 

2. The second step toward obtaining God s guidance 
is that we clearly realize our own utter inability to 
decide for ourselves the way in which we should go. 
The promise, as we find it in the Word of God, makes 
this very plain. James says, "If any of you lacketh 
wisdom, let him ask of God, etc." The promise is 
made to the one who lacks wisdom, not the one who 
has it. It is made to the one who realizes the limita 
tions of his own wisdom and realizes his dependence 
upon God for His wisdom. It is at this point that 
many, very many, fail of guidance. They have such 
confidence in their own opinions, in their own judg 
ment, in their own ability to decide the course that 
they should pursue, that though they may as a for 
mality ask God for His guidance, they do not really 



140 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Jiave any deep sense of their need of His guidance, and 
they have such confidence in their own wisdom that 
they mistake their own judgment for the guidance of 
God. Having prayed for Wisdom, but still being con 
fident in their own judgment, they become all the 
more sure that their opinion is right and they at 
tribute their own opinion to God. If we are to have 
God s guidance we must be utterly emptied of all con 
fidence in our own judgment; and, in a sense of our 
own inability to decide for ourselves, we should come 
to God, putting our own notions utterly aside, for 
Him to tell us what He would have us to do, and we 
should wait silently before Him to make known His 
will. 

3. The third step toward obtaining Divine guidance 
is that we really desire to know God s will, and 
are thoroughly willing to do it whatever it may be. 
This also comes out in the promise. It reads, * If any 
of you lacketh wisdom let him ask of God." Of 
course, the asking must be genuine, and there is no 
genuine asking wisdom of God unless we are eagerly 
desirous of knowing God s will and heartily willing to 
do it when that will is made known. The genuine and 
absolute surrender of the will to God is the great 
secret of guidance. The promise, "I will instruct 
thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; 
I will counsel thee with mine eye upon thee, " as is evi 
dent from the context, is made to the one whose will 
is surrendered to God, for the next verse reads, "Be 
ye not as the horse, or as a mule, which have no under 
standing: whose trappings must be bit and bridle to 
hold them in, else they will not come unto thee. If 
we are mulish, that is if we are bent on doing our own 



GOD S GUIDANCE HOW TO GET IT 141 

will, then God must guide us with "bit and bridle," 
and oftentimes must break our jaw before we submit 
to Him. His instruction, teaching and guidance, His 
gentle guidance "with His eye upon us," is for the 
one whose will is entirely surrendered to Him. The 
surrender must be real surrender. There are many 
who think they wish to know and are willing to do 
God s will, and that it is God s will that they are 
waiting to know, but, what they are really seeking, is 
to get God to say yes to their own plans, and get God 
to endorse the plan they themselves have already sub 
consciously formed, and they are not waiting, as they 
suppose they are, until God tells them what His will 
really is, they are waiting until God tells them to do 
the thing that they want to do and, in their subcon 
scious self, have made up their mind to do, so they 
think and think and think, and pray and pray and 
pray, until they think themselves into thinking that 
God tells them to do the thing that they themselves 
wished to do from the outset, and this thing that they 
wanted to do from the outset may not be God s plan at 
all. This is one of the most frequent causes of think 
ing we have the mind of God when we are only doing 
the thing that we want to do. Men and women who 
go to God for guidance in this way, i. e., without hav 
ing absolutely put aside their own will and their own 
opinion, when they do think themselves into the place 
where they fancy that God has endorsed their plan, 
are the most positive in saying that "God tells me to 
do thus and so." So then, we must, if we would be 
guided of God, make absolutely sure that we have put 
away our own will entirely and are utterly willing to 
and desirous of doing God s will, whatever it may be. 



142 THE VOICE OF GOD 

We must be sure that we are silent before God and 
truly listening to His voice, and not still listening 
to this desire that we have in the depths of our 
heart that God shall tell us to do the thing that we 
want to do. When Mr. Moody invited me to take up 
the work in Chicago in 1889, I went to God to show 
me what might be His will. There was a great conflict 
in my heart. There were reasons why I wished to 
go to Chicago; there are reasons why I wished to 
stay in Minneapolis, or why I thought I must stay 
in Minneapolis. It took me three days to get abso 
lutely silent before God, and to put away my own 
conflicting ideas on both sides. When I did come to 
the place where I had no will whatever in the matter, 
but simply wished to know what God s will was, 
whichever way it might be, when I became absolutely 
silent before God, God soon made the path in which 
He would have me go as plain as day. 

The fact that the thing that we are contemplating 
doing is a hard thing, that it requires great sacrifice, 
does not by any means make it sure that it is God s 
will and not ours. Our hearts naturally are deceitful 
above all things, and oftentimes wilful persons will 
set their heart on doing a very hard thing. They 
may set their heart upon doing it out of spiritual 
pride, or for many other reasons than because of sur 
render to the will of God. They want to do this 
hard thing, and they pray and pray and pray, and 
brood and brood and brood until they make them 
selves think that this hard thing is the will of God, 
when very likely the thing that God would have them 
do is some very humdrum, everyday sort of a thing. 
There is many a man and many a woman determined 



GOD S GUIDANCE HOW TO GET IT 143 

to be a foreign missionary, and a foreign missionary 
under the most difficult circumstances, whom God has 
called to a very quiet life at home, and while they 
are willing to endure the severest hardships in the 
foreign field, they are not willing to plod on quietly 
and unseen and unnoticed at home. But the best 
thing is God s will, whether that will be in a quiet 
humdrum life at home, or whether it be a notable 
life of courage and self-sacrifice in the foreign field; 
and, if we are to have God s guidance we must, as 
already said, become absolutely silent before God, and 
be willing and glad to serve Him in the most ordinary 
sort of life, a life that seems far beneath our talents 
and our training, if that be His will, just as ready 
to do that as to serve Him in a field that demands 
large abilities and great sacrifice. Satan cheats many 
of God s children out of accomplishing the things that 
God would have them do by making them restless 
in the homely paths that God opens up to them of 
doing things that they can do, and sets their heart 
upon doing things that they cannot do ; and thus they 
leave the path of actual achievement to brood over 
things they would like to do, but which it is not God s 
will for them to do, and which they never will do. 
Oftentimes a whole life is spoiled in this way. 

4. The fourth step toward obtaining God s guidance 
is definite prayer for that guidance. "If any of you 
lacketh wisdom," says God, "let him ask of God." 
There should be definite prayer for definite guidance. 
We should ask God s guidance at every turn of life; 
we should ask His guidance not merely in the great 
crises of life, but in the ordinary matters of everyday 
life, in our business, in our domestic work, in the 



144 THE VOICE OF GOD 

most simple things. None of us knows enough to 
direct our own steps in the simplest matters of every 
day life. We need God s guidance at every turn of 
life, and we can have it, and the way to get it is 
to ask for it. But the asking will do no good unless 
we have already taken the other steps that have been 
mentioned. The definite prayer is the fourth step 
and not the first, and we should be sure we have 
taken the first three steps before we take the fourth. 
5. The fifth step toward obtaining God s guidance 
is positive expectation that God will grant our prayer 
and give us the guidance that we ask. This also 
comes out in the exact wording of the promise. It 
reads, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of 
God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth 
not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in 
faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like 
the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. 
For let not that man (i.e., the man that doubts, the 
man who does not confidently expect) think that he 
shall receive anything of the Lord." Here is where 
many miss God s guidance. Their wills are sur 
rendered, they really desire to know and do God s 
will, and they ask God for His guidance, but they do 
not confidently expect that God will give the guid 
ance they ask. They hope He will, but they are not 
at all sure that He will. If we have taken the other 
steps, when we ask God for His guidance we may be 
absolutely sure that God will give it. Some one may 
say, "But others have asked God s guidance and 
thought they had it, when the event showed they did 
not. May not I also be mistaken?" No, not if you 
have taken the other steps already mentioned and 



GOD S GUIDANCE HOW TO GET IT 145 

will take the steps that we are still to mention. We 
have God s absolute promise of guidance made to 
those who meet the conditions which we have de 
scribed, and therefore we may ask guidance with the 
absolute certainty that we are going to receive it. 
When we ask for God s wisdom, if we are of those 
to whom the promise is made, we know that we have 
asked something according to God s will, for He has 
definitely promised it in His Word, and, therefore, 
we have a right to know that our prayer is heard and 
the thing we have asked is granted ( 1 John 5:14, 15 ). 
Some years ago I was speaking at a Bible Conference 
of the Y. M. C. A. at White Bear Lake, Minn. I 
was speaking on the subject of prayer. As I left 
the platform to hurry to a train I found the next 
speaker waiting for me on the outside of the audience. 
He was greatly excited. He was a gifted teacher of 
the Word of God and had been much used of God. 
He stopped me as I passed by hurrying to the train 
and said, "I am going to tear to pieces everything 
you have said to these young men." I replied, "If 
I have not spoken according to the Book I hope you 
will tear it to pieces, but what did I say that was 
not according to the Bible?" He answered, "You 
have produced upon these young men the impression 
that we can ask things of God and get the very 
thing we ask." I replied, "I do not know whether 
that is the impression I produced or not, but that is 
certainly the impression that I meant to produce." 
"But," he said, "that is not right. We should pray, 
if it be Thy will. " "Yes," I replied, "if we do 
not know what the will of God is in the case we 
should say if it be Thy will, but if God has revealed 



146 THE VOICE OF GOD 

His will in any specific instance why should we put 
in any if? " "But," he said, "we cannot know 
the will of God." "What is the Word of God given 
to us for/ I asked, "if it is not to show us what the 
will of God is? For example, we are told in Jas. 
1 : 5-7, if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask 
of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and up- 
braideth not. Now," I said, "when you ask for 
wisdom do you not know by this specific promise that 
you have asked something according to the will of 
God, and that you are going to get it?" "But," he 
replied, "I do not know what wisdom is." I said, 
"If you knew what wisdom was you would not need 
to ask for it, but whatever wisdom may be, do you 
not know that when you ask for wisdom God is going 
to give it?" He made no reply. What reply was 
there to make? Here we have a definite promise of 
God ; and, if we meet the conditions of that promise, 
we may be, and ought to be, absolutely sure, that God 
will do as He says, absolutely sure that God will 
give us wisdom in this specific case in which we ask 
it. // we have any uncertainty at this point God will 
not give us the wisdom we ask. We should rest abso 
lutely on God s plain promise, and when we ask for 
wisdom be absolutely sure that that wisdom is com 
ing. How God gives wisdom we will consider later. 
6. The sixth step toward obtaining God s guidance 
is to follow God s guidance a step at a time as He 
gives it. Here again is where many miss their way. 
Many seek to know the whole way before they take 
a single step, but God s method is to show us a step 
at a time. Look at Peter in Acts 12. God led him 
a step at a time: first the angel smote Peter on the 



GOD S GUIDANCE HOW TO GET IT 147 

side and a*voke him, and told him to arise up quickly. 
This Peter did, and his chains fell from his hands. 
Then the angel said unto him, Gird thyself and bind 
on thy sandals," and he did so. Then the angel 
said, * l Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me, 
and Peter did exactly as he was told. He was not 
even sure that he was awake, but he followed step 
by step, even when he thought he might be asleep. 
They passed the first and second guard and came to 
the iron gate that led into the city. Peter did not 
stop and argue as to whether the gate would be 
opened or not, but just followed up to the gate, and 
when he got to the gate the gate opened of its own 
accord. Thus God led him step by step, and thus God 
leads us. The Word of God tells us that "The steps 
of a good man are ordered of the Lord" (Ps. 37 : 23). 
The trouble with many of us is we wish God to show 
us the whole path, and are not willing to go a step 
at a time. Look at Paul in the 16th chapter of the 
Acts of the Apostles, the 6th to 8th verses. Paul 
and his companions went through the region of 
Phrygia and Galatia and would have passed into the 
province of Asia to preach the Word there, but the 
Holy Ghost said, "No." So Paul passed over against 
Hysia and was about to go into Bithynia, the next 
province. At that point "the Spirit of Jesus" again 
said, "No"; so passing by Mysia he came down to 
Troas, and there a vision appeared to Paul in the 
night, leading him to go over into Macedonia. Step 
~by step the Spirit led, and step by step Paul fol 
lowed on. The thing for us to do is to take the next 
step that God shows us in answer to our prayer and 
not wait until God shows us the whole way. A college 



148 THE VOICE OF GOD 

student once came to me at the Northfield Students 
Convention, telling me that he was greatly perplexed 
as to his future life, that he had been asking God s 
guidance and could not get it. I asked Him what 
he was asking God s guidance about and he said, 
about what he should do when he got out of college. 
I said, "How far are you along in college?" and he 
said that the following fall he would begin his junior 
year. I said, "Then you have two years left in 
college. " "Yes." "Are you sure you ought to take 
those two years in college?" "Yes." "Then what 
you are perplexed about is because you cannot get 
guidance for two years from now. " " Yes. " " Well, 
just go on as God leads you, and in the two years 
if not before God will show you what to do next." 
A very large share of our perplexity about the will 
of God is of this kind. "We are troubled because God 
has not shown us what He wants us to do next year, 
or it may be next month. All we need is God s guid 
ance for to-day. Follow on step ~by step as He leads 
you and the way will open as you go. 

7. There remains just one more step in the path 
that leads to God s sure guidance, and that is that 
we always I) ear in mind that God s guidance is clear 
guidance. Here is where many go astray. They have 
impulses, they know not from what source ; they have 
what appear like leadings, for example, to go to the 
foreign field, or do some other thing, but they are 
not at all sure it is God s leading. Very likely it is 
not God s leading; and yet they follow it for fear 
they may be disobeying God, or, perhaps they do not 
follow it and then get into condemnation lest they 
have disobeyed God. I have met many in the deepest 



GOD S GUIDANCE HOW TO GET IT 149 

gloom from this cause. They had an impression they 
ought to do a certain thing, they were not at all clear 
the impression was from God, they did not do the 
thing, and then the devil has made them think that 
they have disobeyed God, and some even think they 
have committed the unpardonable sin because they 
did not obey this prompting (of the origin of which 
they were not at all sure). If we will only bear 
in mind that God s guidance is clear guidance we 
will be delivered from this snare of Satan. "We are 
told in John 1 : 5 that * i God is light, and in Him is 
no darkness at all." Any leadings that are not abso 
lutely clear, provided our wills are surrendered to 
God, are not from Him as yet. We have a right in 
every case where we have any impression that we 
ought to do a certain thing, but where we are not 
absolutely sure it is the will of God, to go to God 
and say to Him, "Heavenly Father, I desire to do 
Thy will ; my will is absolutely surrendered to Thine, 
now if this is of Thee, make it clear as day and I 
will do it, and if our wills are absolutely surrendered 
to God and we fully realize our own inability to 
decide and are ready to be led by Him, God will 
make as clear as day if it is His will, and we 
have a right not to do it until He does make it clear, 
and we have a right to have an absolutely clear con 
science in not doing it until He does make it clear. 
God is a Father and is more willing to make His will 
known to us than we are to make our will known to 
our children, provided we really wish to know and 
wish to do His will. We have no right to be in 
mortal dread before God and to be in constant appre 
hension that we have not done His will. When we 



150 THE VOICE OF GOD 

accepted Christ and surrendered our wills to God we 
did not receive the spirit of bondage again unto fear, 
but the Spirit that gives us the place as sons where 
we cry, "Abba, Father," in perfect childlike trust in 
Him (Rom. 8:15). We would not mislead our chil 
dren in such a case, we would not leave our children 
to any doubts or uncertainty, we would make our will 
as clear as day, and so will God make His. Satan will 
prevent a man or woman making a full surrender to 
God just as long as he can, but when a man does make 
a full surrender, then the devil will do everything in 
his power to torment him. He will suggest all kinds 
of ridiculous things for him to do, and then the man 
will not do them and Satan will torment him by mak 
ing him think he has gone back on his surrender to 
God. Let us never forget that not all spiritual im 
pressions are from the Holy Spirit. There are other 
spirits beside the Holy Spirit and we need to try the 
spirits whether they be of God (1 John 4:1). Some 
people are so anxious to be led of the Holy Spirit 
that they are willing to be led by any spirit and thus 
plunge into the delusions of spiritualism or "the 
tongues" business or other forms of fanaticism. I 
repeat it again, God s guidance is clear guidance and 
we should not follow any impression until God makes 
it as clear as day that it is from Him. 

The main point in the whole matter of guidance is 
the absolute surrender of the will to God, the delight 
ing in His will and the being willing to do joyfully 
the very things we would not like to do naturally, the 
very things in connexion with which there may be 
many disagreeable circumstances because of associa 
tion with or even subordination to people that we do 



GOD S GUIDANCE HOW TO GET IT 151 

not altogether like, and difficulties of other kinds, 
doing them joyfully simply because it is the will of 
God, and the willingness to let God lead in any way 
He pleases, whether it may be by His "Word or by His 
Spirit. If we will only completely distrust our own 
judgment and have absolute confidence in God s judg 
ment, and God s willingness to guide us, and are abso 
lutely surrendered to His will, whatever it may be, 
and are willing to let God choose His way of guidance, 
and will go on step by step as He does guide us, and 
are studying His word to know His will, and are listen 
ing for the still small voice of the Spirit, going step 
by step as He leads, He will guide us with His eye. 
He will guide us with His counsel to the end of our 
earthly pilgrimage, and afterwards receive us into 
glory (Ps. 73:24). 



XII 
HOW GOD GUIDES 

"Nevertheless I am continually with thee: tlwu hast 
holden my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with 
thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." 
Ps. 73 : 23, 24. 

TWO weeks ago this morning we considered the 
question of God s guidance and how to obtain 
it. We have to-day a closely related subject, 
How God Guides. There are no promises of God s 
Word more precious to the man who wishes to do His 
will, and who realizes the goodness of His will, than 
the promises of His guidance. What a cheering, 
gladdening, inspiring thought that contained in the 
text is, that we may have the guidance of infinite 
wisdom and love at every turn of life and that we 
have it to the end of our earthly pilgrimage. 

There are few more precious words in the whole 
book of Psalms, which is one of the most precious 
of all the books of the Bible, than these: "Thou hast 
holden my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with 
thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory. " 
How the thoughtful and believing and obedient heart 
burns as it reads these wonderful words of the text. 
I wish we had time to dwell upon the characteristics 

152 



HOW GOD GUIDES 153 

of God s guidance as they are set forth in so many 
places in the Word of God, but we must turn at once 
to consideration of the means God uses in guiding us. 

I. GOD GUIDES BY His WORD. 

First of all God guides ~by His word. We read in 
Ps. 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, 
and a light unto my path," and in the 130th verse 
of this same Psalm we read, The entrance of thy 
words giveth light ; it giveth understanding unto the 
simple." God s own written word is the chief in 
strument that God uses in our guidance. God led the 
children of Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and 
a pillar of fire by night. The written Word, the 
Bible, is our pillar of cloud and fire. As it leads we 
follow. One of the main purposes of the Bible, the 
Word of God, is practical guidance in the affairs of 
everyday life. All other leadings must be tested by 
the Word. Whatever promptings may come to us 
from any other source, whether it be by human coun 
sel, or by the prompting of some invisible spirit, or 
in whatever way it may come, we must test the 
promptings, or the guidance or the counsel by the 
sure Word of God, To the law and to the testimony; 
if they speak not according to this Word, it is because 
there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). Whatever 
spirit or impulse may move us, whatever dream or 
vision may come to us, or whatever apparently provi 
dential opening we may have, all must be tested by 
the Word of God. If the impulse or leading, or 
prompting, or vision, or providential opening is not 
according to the book, it is not of God. "The prophet 



154 THE VOICE OF GOD 

that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that 
hath my Word, let him speak my Word faithfully. 
What is the chaff to the wheat f saith the LORD" 
(Jer. 23:28). If Christians would only study the 
Word they would not be misled as they so often are 
by seducing spirits, or by impulses of any kind, that 
are not of God but of Satan or of their own deceitful 
hearts. How often people have said to me that the 
Spirit was leading them to do this or that, when the 
thing that they were being led to do was in direct 
contradiction to God s Word. For example, a man 
once called upon me to consult me about marrying a 
woman who he said was a beautiful Christian, and 
that they had deep sympathy in the work of God, 
and the Spirit of God was leading them to marry one 
another. "But," I said to the man, "you already 
have one wife." "Yes," he replied, "but you know 
we have not gotten on well together. " " Yes, I said, 
"I know that, and furthermore, I have had a con 
versation with her and believe it is your fault more 
than hers. But, however that may be, if you should 
put her away and marry this other woman, Jesus 
Christ says that you would be an adulterer." "Oh, 
but," he replied, "the Spirit of God is leading us to 
one another." Now whatever spirit may have been 
leading that man, it certainly was not the Spirit of 
God, for the Spirit of God cannot lead anyone to do 
that which is in direct contradiction to the Word of 
God. I replied to this man: "You are a liar and 
a blasphemer. How dare you attribute to the Spirit 
of God action that is directly contrary to the teaching 
of Jesus Christ?" Many, many times Christian 
people have promptings from various sources which 



HOW GOD GUIDES 155 

they attribute to the Holy Spirit, but which are in 
plain and flat contradiction to the clear and definite 
teachings of God s Word. The truth is, many so 
neglect the Word that they are all in a maze regard 
ing the impulses and leadings that come to them, as 
to whence they are ; whereas, if they studied the Word 
they would at once detect the real character of these 
leadings. 

But the Word itself must ~be used in a right way if 
we are to find the leading of God from it. We have 
no right to seek guidance from the Word of God by 
using it in any fantastic way, as some do. For ex 
ample, there is no warrant whatever in the Word of 
God for trying to find out God s will by opening the 
Bible at random and putting our finger on some text 
without regard to its real meaning as made clear by 
the context. There is no warrant whatever in the 
Bible for any such use of it. The Bible is not a 
talisman, or a fortune-telling book, it is not in any 
sense a magic book; it is a revelation from an in 
finitely wise Go(L y made in a reasonable way, to reason 
able beings, and we obtain God s guidance from the 
Bible by taking the verse of Scripture in which the 
guidance is found, in the connexion in which it is 
found in the Bible, and interpreting it, led by the 
Holy Spirit, in its context as found in the Bible. 
Many have fallen into all kinds of fanaticism by 
using their Bible in this irrational and fantastic way. 
Some years ago a prediction was made by a somewhat 
prominent woman Bible teacher that on a certain 
date Oakland and Alameda and some other California 
cities, and I think also Chicago, were to be swallowed 
up in an earthquake. The definite day was set and 



156 THE VOICE OF GOD 

many were in anticipation, and many in great dread. 
A friend of mine living in Chicago was somewhat 
disturbed over the matter and sought God s guidance 
by opening her Bible at random, and this was the 
passage to which she opened: Ezek. 12: 17-28, " More 
over the word of the LORD came to me saying, Son 
of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy 
water with trembling and with carefulness; and say 
unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord GOD 
of the inhabitants of Jerusalem,, and of the land of 
Israel: They shall eat their bread with carefulness, 
and drink their water with astonishment, that her 
land may be desolate from all that is therein, because 
of the violence of all them that dwell therein. And 
the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and 
the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I 
am the LORD. And the word of the LORD came 
unto me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb 
that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days 
are prolonged, and every vision failethf Tell them 
therefore, Thus saith the LORD God; I will make 
this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it 
as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days 
are at hand, and the effect of every vision. For there 
shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divina 
tion within the house of Israel. For I am the LORD : 
I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall 
come to pass; it shall le no more prolonged: for in 
your days, rebellious house will I say the word, and 
will perform it, saith the Lord GOD. Again the 
word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, 
behold they of the house of Israel say, The vision that 
he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth 



HOW GOD GUIDES 157 

of the times that are far off. Therefore say unto them, 
Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of my 
words le prolonged any more, but the word which 
I have spoken shall le done, saith the Lord GOD/ 
Of course, this seemed like a direct answer, and, if 
it were a direct answer, it clearly meant that the 
prophecy of the destruction of Oakland, Alameda, and 
Chicago would be fulfilled at once, on the day pre 
dicted. The woman told me of this that very day, 
but I was not at all disturbed. As we all know, the 
prophecy was not fulfilled, and this would-be prophet 
ess sank out of sight, and as far as I know has not 
been heard from since. Many years afterward an 
earthquake did come to San Francisco and work 
great destruction, but San Francisco was not in this 
woman s prophecy , and Oakland and Alameda were, 
and they were left practically untouched ~by the 
earthquake and certainly did not sink out of sight as 
the woman predicted. And furthermore, the earth 
quake that came to an adjoining city was many years 
after the prophesied date. This is only one illustration 
among many that might be given of how utterly mis 
leading is any guidance that we get in this fantastic 
and unwarranted way. 

Furthermore, the fact that some text of Scripture 
comes into your mind at some time when you are 
trying to discover God s will is not by any means 
proof positive that it is just the Scripture for you 
at that time. The devil can suggest Scripture. He 
did this in tempting our Lord (Matt. 4:6), and he 
does it to-day. If the text suggested, taken in its real 
meaning as determined by the language used and by 
the context, applies to your present position, it is, 



158 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



of course, a message from God for you but the mere 
fact that a text of Scripture comes to mind at some 
time, which by a distortion from its proper meaning 
might apply to our case, is no evidence whatever that 
it is the guidance of God. May I repeat once more 
that in getting guidance from God s Word we must 
take the words as they are found in their connexion, 
and interpret them according to the proper meaning 
of the words used and apply them to those to whom 
it is evident from the context that they were intended 
to apply. But with this word of warning against 
seeking God s guidance from the Word of God in 
fantastic and unwarranted ways, let me repeat that 
God s principal way of guiding us, and the way by 
which all other methods must be tested, is by His 
written Word. 



II. GOD LEADS BY His SPIRIT. 

God also leads us ~by His Spirit, i.e., "by the direct 
leading of the Spirit in the individual heart. Beyond 
a question there is such a thing as an "inner light." 
We read in Acts 8:29, "And the Spirit said unto 
Philip, Go near and join thyself to this chariot. In 
a similar way we read in Acts 16 : 6, 7, of the Apostle 
Paul and his companions: "And they went through 
the region of Phrygia and the region of Galatia, hav 
ing been forbidden of the Holy Spirit to speak the 
word in Asia ; and when they were come over against 
Mysia they assayed to go into Bithynia ; and the Spirit 
of Jesus suffered them not." In one of these passages 
we see the Spirit of God by His Holy Spirit giving 
direct personal guidance to Philip as to what he should 



HOW GOD GUIDES 159 

do, and in the other passage we see the Spirit re 
straining Paul and his companions from doing some 
thing they would otherwise have done. There is no 
reason why God should not lead us as directly as he 
led Philip and Paul in their day, and those who walk 
near God can testify that He does so lead. I was 
once walking on South Clark Street, Chicago, near 
the corner of Adams, a very busy corner. I had 
passed by hundreds of people as I walked. Suddenly 
I met a man, a perfect stranger, and it seemed to me 
as if the Spirit of God said to me, " Speak to that 
man." I stopped a moment and stepped into a door 
way and asked God to show me if the guidance was 
really from Him. It became instantly clear that it was. 
I turned around and f ollowed the man, who had reached 
the corner and was crossing from one side of Clark 
street to the other. I caught up to him in the middle 
of the street. Providentially, for a moment there 
was no traffic at that point. Even on that busy street, 
we were alone in the middle of the street. I laid my 
hand upon his shoulder as we crossed to the further 
sidewalk, and said to him, "Are you a Christian?" 
He replied, "That is a strange thing to ask a perfect 
stranger on the street." I said, "I know it is, and 
I do not ask every man that I meet on the street that 
question, but I believe God told me to ask you." He 
stopped and hung his head. He said, "This is very 
strange. I am a graduate of Amherst College, but I 
am a perfect wreck through drink here in Chicago, 
and only yesterday my cousin, who is a minister in 
this city, was speaking to me about my soul, and for 
you, a perfect stranger, to put this question to me 
here on this busy street!" I did not succeed in bring- 



1GO THE VOICE OF GOD 

ing the man to a decision there on the street, but 
shortly afterward he was led to a definite acceptance 
of Christ. A friend of mine walking the busy streets 
of Toronto suddenly had a deep impression that he 
should go to the hospital and speak to some one out 
there. He tried to think of anyone he knew at the 
hospital and he could think of but one man. He took 
it for granted that he was the man he was to speak 
to, but when he reached the hospital and came to this 
man s bedside there was no reason why he should 
speak to him, and nothing came of the conversation. 
He was in great perplexity, and standing by his 
friend s bed he asked God to guide him. He saw a 
man lying on the bed right across the aisle. This 
man was a stranger, he had been brought to the hos 
pital for an apparently minor trouble, some difficulty 
with his knee. His case did not seem at all urgent, 
but my friend turned and spoke to him and had the 
joy of leading him to Christ. To everybody s sur 
prise, that man passed into eternity that very night. 
It was then or never. So God often guides us to-day 
(if we are near Him and listening for His guidance) 
leading us to do things that we would not otherwise 
do, and restraining us from doing things we otherwise 
would do. But these inward leadings must be always 
tested by the Word, and we do well when any prompt 
ing comes to look up to God and ask Him to make 
clear to us if this leading is of Him, otherwise we 
may be led to do things which are absurd and not at 
all according to the will of God. 

But though it is oftentimes our privilege to be thus 
led by the Spirit of God, there is no warrant whatever 
in the Word of God for our refusing to act until we 



HOW GOD GUIDE ,1G1 

are thus led. Remember this is not God s only method 
of guidance. Oftentimes we do not need this particu 
lar kind of guidance. Take the cases of Philip and 
of Paul to which we have referred. God did not 
guide Philip and Paul in this way in every step they 
took. Philip had done many things in coming down 
through Samaria to the desert where he met the 
treasurer of Queen Candace, and it was not until the 
chariot of the treasurer appeared that God led Philip 
directly by His Spirit. And so with Paul, Paul in 
the missionary work to which God had called him had 
followed his own best judgment as God enlightened 
it until the moment came when he needed the special 
direct prohibition of the Holy Spirit of his going into 
a place where God would not have him go at that time. 
There is no need for our having the Spirit s direction 
to do that which the Spirit has already told us to do 
in the "Word. For example, many a man who has 
fanatical and unscriptural notions about the guidance 
of the Holy Spirit, refuses to work in an after meeting 
because, as he says, the Holy Spirit does not lead him 
to speak to anyone, and he is waiting until He does. 
But as the Word of God plainly teaches him to be a 
fisher of men (Matt. 4:19; 28:19; Acts. 8:4), if he 
is to obey God s word then whenever there is oppor 
tunity to work with men he should go to work, and 
there is no need of the Holy Spirit s special guidance. 
Paul would have gone into these places to preach the 
gospel if the Holy Spirit had not forbidden him. He 
would not have waited for some direct command of 
the Spirit to preach, and when we have an opportunity 
to speak to lost souls we should speak unless restrained. 
What we need is not some direct impulse of the Holy 



162 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Spirit to make us speak, the Word already commands 
us to do that; what we need, if we are not to speak, 
is that the Spirit should directly forbid us to speak. 
Furthermore, let me repeat again that we should 
bear in mind about the Spirit s guidance, that He 
will not lead us to do anything that is contrary to the 
"Word of God. The Word of God is the Holy Spirit s 
book, and He never contradicts His own teaching. 
Many people do things that are strictly forbidden in 
the Word of God, and justify themselves in so doing 
by saying the Spirit of God guides them to do it, 
but any spirit that guides us to do something that is 
contrary to the Holy Spirit s own book cannot by any 
possibility be the Holy Spirit. For example, some 
time ago in reasoning with one of the leaders of the 
Tongues Movement about the utterly unscriptural 
character of their assemblies, I called his attention to 
the fact that in the 14th chapter of 1st Corinthians 
we have God s explicit command that not more than 
two, or at the most three, persons should be allowed 
to speak "in a tongue" in any one meeting, and that 
the two or three that did speak must not speak at the 
same time, but "in turn," and if there were no in 
terpreter present, not even one should be allowed to 
speak in a tongue, that (while he might speak in 
private with himself in a tongue, even with no in 
terpreter present) he must "keep silence in the 
church." I called his attention to the fact that in 
their assembly they disobeyed every one of these three 
things that God commanded. He defended himself 
and his companions by saying, "But we are led by 
the Spirit of God to do these things, and therefore 
are not subject to the Word." I called his attention 



HOW GOD GUIDES 163 

to the fact that "Word of God in this passage was 
given by the Holy Spirit for the specific purpose of 
guiding the assembly in its conduct, and that any 
spirit that led them to disobey these explicit com 
mandments of the Holy Spirit Himself, given through 
His Apostle Paul and recorded in His Word, could 
not by any possibility be the Holy Spirit. Here again 
we should always bear in mind that there are other 
spirits beside the Holy Spirit, and we should "try 
the spirits whether they be of God," and we should 
try them by the Word. One of the gravest mistakes 
that anyone can make in his Christian life is that of 
being so anxious for spirit guidance that he is willing 
to open his soul to any spirit who may come along 
and try to lead him. 

Further still, we should always bear in mind that 
there is absolutely no warrant in the Word of God for 
supposing that the Holy Spirit leads up in strange 
and absurd ways, or to do strange and absurd things. 
For example, some have certain signs by which they 
discern, as they say, the Holy Spirit s guidance. For 
example, some look for a peculiar twitching of the 
face, or for some other physical impulse. With some 
the test is a shudder, or cold sensation down the 
back. When this comes they take is as clear evidence 
that the Holy Spirit is present. In a former day, 
and to a certain extent to-day, some judge the Spirit s 
presence by what they call "the jerks, " that is, a 
peculiar jerking that takes possession of a person, 
which they suppose to be the work of the Holy Spirit. 
All this is absolutely unwarranted by the Word of God 
and dishonouring to the Holy Spirit. We are told dis 
tinctly and emphatically in 2 Tim. 1 : 7 that the Holyj 



164 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Spirit is a spirit "of power, and of love, and of a 
sound mind." The word translated "sound mind" 
really means sound sense, and, therefore, any spirit 
that leads us to do ridiculous things, cannot be the 
Holy Spirit. There are some who defend the most out 
rageous improprieties and even indecencies in public 
assemblies, saying that the Holy Spirit prompts them 
to these things. By this claim they fly directly in the 
face of God s own Word, which teaches us specifically 
in 1 Cor. 14: 32, 33, that "The spirits of the prophets 
are subject to the prophets; for God is not a God of 
confusion, but of peace." And in the 40th verse we 
are told that "all things" in a Spirit-governed as 
sembly should be 1 1 done decently and in order. The 
word translated "decently" in this passage means 
"in a becoming (or respectable) way," and this cer 
tainly does not permit the disorders and immodesties, 
and confusions and indecencies and absurdities that 
occur in many assemblies that claim to be Spirit led, 
but which, tested by the Word of God, certainly are 
not led by the Holy Spirit. 

III. GOD GUIDES Us BY ENLIGHTENING OUR 
JUDGMENT. 

In the third place God guides us by enlightening 
our judgment. We see an illustration of this in the 
case of the Apostle Paul in Acts 16 : 10. God had been 
guiding Paul by a direct impression produced in his 
heart by the Holy Spirit, keeping him from going to 
certain places whither he would otherwise have gone. 
Then God gives to Paul in the night a vision, and, hav 
ing received the vision, Paul, by his own enlightened 



HOW GOD GUIDES 165 

judgment, concludes from it what God has called him 
to do. This is God s ordinary method of guidance 
when His Word does not specifically tell us what to 
do. "We go to God for wisdom, we make sure that 
our wills are completely surrendered to Him, and 
that we realize our dependence upon Him for guid 
ance, then God clears up our judgment and makes it 
clear to us what we should do. Here again we should 
always bear in mind that "God is light and in Him 
is no darkness at all," and that, therefore, God s 
guidance is clear guidance, and we should not act 
until things are made perfectly plain. Many miss 
God s guidance by doing things too soon. Had they 
waited until God had enabled them to see clearly, 
under the illumination of His Holy Spirit, they would 
have avoided disastrous mistakes. The principle that 
"he that believeth shall not make haste" (Isa. 28 : 16) 
applies right here. On the other hand, when any 
duty is made clear we should do it at once. If we 
hesitate to act when the way is made clear, then we 
soon get into doubt and perplexity and are all at sea 
as to what God would have us do. Many and many 
a man has seen the path of duty as clear as day 
before him, and instead of stepping out at once, has 
hesitated even when the will of God has become per 
fectly clear, and before long he was plunged into 
absolute uncertainty as to what God would have 
him do. 

IV. GOD MAY GUIDE BY VISIONS AND DREAMS. 

In Acts 16:9, 10, we are told how God guided 
Paul by a vision, and there are other instances of 
such guidance not only before Pentecost, but after. 



166 THE VOICE OF GOD 

God may so guide people to-day. However, that was 
not God s usual method of guiding men even in Bible 
times, and it is even less His usual way since the 
giving of the Word of God and the giving of the 
Holy Spirit. "We do not need that mode of guidance 
as the Old Testament saints did, for we now have 
the complete Word and we also have the Spirit in 
a sense and in a fullness that the Old Testament 
saints did not. God does lead by dreams to-day. 
When I was a boy, sleeping in a room in our old 
home in Geneva, N. Y., I dreamed I was sleeping 
in that room and that my mother, who I dreamed 
was dead (though she was really living at the 
time) came and stood by my bed, with a face 
like an angel, and besought me to enter the min 
istry, and in my sleep I promised her that I would. 
In a few moments I awoke and found it all 
a dream, but I never could get away from that 
promise. I never had rest in my soul until I did 
give up my plans for life and promise God that I 
would preach. But the matter of dreams is one in 
which we should exercise the utmost care, and we 
should be very careful and prayerful and Scriptural 
in deciding that any dream is from Him. Only the 
other day a brilliant and highly educated woman 
called at my office to tell me some wonderful dreams 
that she had and what these dreams proved. Her 
interpretation of the dreams was most extraordinary 
and fantastic. But while dreams are a very uncertain 
method of guidance, it will not do for us to say that 
God never so guides, but it is the height of folly to 
seek God s guidance in that way, and especially to 
dictate that God shall guide in that way. 



HOW GOD GUIDES 167 

V. GOD DOES NOT GUIDE BY CASTING LOTS IN THIS 
DISPENSATION. 

In Acts 1 : 24-26 we learn that the Apostles sought 
guidance in a choice of one to take the place of Judas, 
by the lot. This method of finding God s will was 
common in the Old Testament times, but it belongs 
entirely to the old dispensation. This is the last case 
on record. It was never used after Pentecost. We 
need to-day no such crude way of ascertaining the will 
of God, as we have the Word and the Spirit at our 
disposal. Neither should we seek signs. That belongs 
to the imperfect dispensation that is past, and even 
then it was a sign of unbelief. 

VI. GOD GUIDES BY His PROVIDENCE. 

God has still another way of guiding us beside those 
already mentioned, and that is by His providences, 
i.e., He so shapes the events of our lives that it 
becomes clear that He would have us go in a certain 
direction or do a certain thing. For example, God 
puts an unsaved man directly in our way so that 
we are alone with him and thus have an opportunity 
for conversation with him. In such a case we need 
no vision to tell us, and we need no mighty impulse 
of the Holy Spirit to tell us, that we ought to speak 
to this man about his soul. The very fact that we 
are alone with him and have an opportunity for 
conversation is of itself all the Divine guidance we 
need. We do need, however, to look to God to tell 
us what to say to him and how to say it, but God 
will not tell us what to say by some supernatural 



168 THE VOICE OF GOD 

revelation, but by making clear to our own minds 
what we should say. 

In a similar way if a man needs work to support 
himself or family, and a position for honest employ 
ment opens to him, he needs no inner voice, no direct 
leading of the Holy Spirit, to tell him to take the 
work, the opening opportunity is of itself God s guid 
ance by God s providence. 

We must, however, be very careful and very prayer 
ful in interpreting "the leadings of providence." 
What some people call "the leading of providence" 
means no more than the easiest way. When Jonah 
was fleeing from God and went down to Joppa he 
found a ship just ready to start for Tarshish (Jonah 
1:3). If he had been like many to-day he would 
have interpreted that as meaning it was God s will 
that he should go to Tarshish, as there was a ship just 
starting for Tarshish, instead of to Nineveh, to which 
city God had bidden him go. In point of fact, Jonah 
did take ship to Tarshish but he was under no illusion 
in the matter, he knew perfectly well that he was 
not going where God wanted him to go, and he got 
into trouble for it. Oftentimes people seek guidance 
by providence by asking God to shut up a certain way 
that is opening to them, if it is not His will that 
they should go that way. There is no warrant what 
ever for doing that. God has given us our judgment 
and is ready to illuminate our judgment, and we 
have no right to act the part of children and to ask 
Him to shut up the way so we cannot possibly go 
that way if it is not His will. Some fancy that the 
easy way is necessarily God s way, but oftentimes the 
hard way is God s way. Our Lord Himself said, as 



HOW GOD GUIDES 169 

recorded in Matt. 16:24, If any man would come 
after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross 
and follow me." That certainly is not the easy way. 
There are many who advise us to " follow the path of 
least resistance," but the path of least resistance is 
not always God s way by any means. 

Some ask God to guide them providentially by re 
moving all difficulties from the path in which He 
would have them go, but we have no right to offer 
such a prayer. God wishes us to be men and women 
of character and to surmount difficulties, and He 
oftentimes will allow difficulties to pile up in the very 
way in which we ought to go, and the fact that we 
see that a path is full of difficulties is no reason for 
deciding it is not the way God would have us go. 
Nevertheless, God does guide us by His providence, 
and we have no right to despise His providential 
guidance. For example, one may desire to go to 
China or to Africa as a missionary and God does not 
give them the health requisite for going to China or 
to Africa. They should take that as clear providen 
tial guidance that they ought not to go, and seek 
some other opportunity of serving God. 

There are many people asking God to open some 
door of opportunity and God does open a door of 
opportunity right at hand, but it is not the kind of 
work they would especially like to do ; so they decline 
to see in it a door of opportunity. The whole difficulty 
is that they are not wholly surrendered to the will of 
God. 

Before we close this subject let us repeat again 
what cannot be emphasized too much nor too often, 
that all leadings, whether they be by the Spirit, by 



170 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



visions, by providences, by our own judgment, or 
advice of friends, or in any other way, must be tested 
by the Word of God. 

The main point in the whole matter of guidance is 
the absolute surrender of the will to God, the de 
lighting in His will, and the being willing to do joy 
fully the very things we would not like to do naturally, 
the very things in connection with which there may 
be many disagreeable circumstances, because, for ex 
ample, of association with, or even subordination to 
those that we do not altogether like, or difficulties of 
other kinds, doing them joyfully, simply because it 
is the will of God, and the willingness to let God 
lead in any way He pleases, whether it be by His 
Word, or His Spirit, or by the enlightening of our 
judgment, or by His providence, or whatever way 
He will. If we will only completely distrust our own 
judgment and have absolute confidence in God s judg 
ment and God s willingness to guide us, and are ab 
solutely surrendered to His will, whatever it may 
be, and are willing to let God choose His way of 
guidance, and will go on step by step as He does 
guide us, and if we are daily studying His Word 
to know His will, and are listening for the still small 
voice of the Spirit, going step by step as He leads, He 
will guide us with His eye ; He will guide us with His 
counsel to the end of our earthly pilgrimage, and 
afterwards receive us into glory. 



XIII 

GOD S KEEPING AND HOW TO MAKE SURE 
OF IT 

OUR subject this morning is God s keeping and 
how to make sure of it. How to enjoy or 
make sure of God s keeping will come out 
when we come to a consideration of whom God keeps. 
The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is full 
of passages on this important subject of God s keep 
ing and we shall look at quite a number of these 
passages this morning, but no one of them can properly 
be considered the text of the entire sermon. I am 
going to give you a Bible reading rather than a 
sermon. Let us look first at John 17:11 (This 
comes nearer being the text of the whole sermon 
than any other, "And I am no more in the world, 
and these are in the world, and I come to Thee. 
Holy Father, keep them in the name which Thou hast 
given me, that they may be one even as we are." 
This was Jesus prayer. I am glad He offered it; 
for the Father heareth Him always, and I am sure of 
God s keeping because the Lord Jesus asked that I 
might be kept. Most wonderfully does this prayer 
of our Lord and Saviour bring out the security of 
those who belong to Him. In the next verse He 
goes on to say that while He was with His disciples 

171 



172 THE VOICE OF GOD 

He kept them in the Father s name. Yes, He says 
more than that, He says, "I guarded them, and not 
one of them perished. The son of perdition perished 
and he was one of the apostolic company, but he was 
never really one of those who belonged to Christ, he 
was not one of those whom the Father had given 
to Jesus Christ. Christ Himself declares that Judas 
was a devil from the beginning (John 6:70). 
But now our Lord was leaving His disciples and 
He turned their keeping over to the Father, and 
it is now the Father who keeps us, and it is this 
keeping which we are to study this morning. What 
the Bible tells us of God s keeping can be clas 
sified under fiva main heads: (1) Whom God 
keeps; (2) What He keeps; (3) From what He 
keeps; (4) How He keeps; (5) Unto what He keeps. 

I. WHOM GOD KEEPS. 

We look first at whom God keeps, and by discover 
ing that we will discover how any one of us may be 
sure of His glorious keeping. 

1. Whom He keeps we are told in the very verse that 
we have just been reading, John 17 : 11, 12. Here 
the Lord Jesus prays to the Father to keep those 
whom the Father Himself hath given to Christ, and 
says that He himself during His earthly life had kept 
these whom His Father had given Him. Those 
whom God keeps then are those who belong to Christ, 
those whom the Father has given to Him. The clear 
teaching of these verses is that there is a body of 
persons who belonged in a peculiar way to God, and 
whom God gave to His Son. This company of people, 



GOD S KEEPING 173 

and their security and privileges, are frequently men 
tioned in the Gospel of John. Those whom God keeps 
are those who belong to this company. The way 
then to be sure of God s keeping is to make sure that 
we belong to this company whom the Father has given 
to Christ. But who are these, and how can any one 
of us tell whether or not we belong to this privileged 
company. 

(1) This question is answered in John 6: 37 where 
Jesus is recorded as saying, "All that which the 
Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that 
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." From this 
it is clear that all those who come to Christ belong 
to that elect company whom the Father has given 
unto Him. Every man who really comes to Christ, 
comes to Him as his Saviour, as his Master, as his 
Lord, and commits himself unreservedly to Him, for 
Christ to save and to rule, he is one of those whom 
God has given to Christ, and whom God therefore 
keeps. Are you one of this number ? Have you come 
to Christ in this real way ? If you are, God will keep 
you. If not, will you come to Christ to-day and thus 
make sure that you will be kept? 

(2) We have still another description of those whom 
God has given to Christ, in John 17 : 6, He says, I 
manifested Thy name unto the men whom Thou 
gavest me out of the world: Thine they were and 
Thou gavest them to me; and they have kept Thy 
Word." Here we are told that those whom the Father 
gave to the Son were those who kept God s Word. 
Every one who keeps God s Word may be sure that 
he belongs to the eleet company whom God the Father 
Himself will keep. Notice carefully Christ s descrip- 



174 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



tion of them: "they have kept Thy Word." That is 
to say, they not only hear God s Word, not only obey 
it, they keep God s Word, i.e., they treasure it, they 
regard it as their most precious treasure and they will 
not give it up for any gain that may be offered them 
in place of it. These are those whom God keeps. // 
we keep God s Words God Himself will keep us. 
Are you keeping God s words? 

2. Isa. 26 : 3 also tells us whom God keeps. Here 
the prophet says in speaking to God, "Thou wilt keep 
him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: 
because he trusteth in Thee." God keeps the one 
whose mind is stayed upon Him, the one who looks 
not at self but at God y looks not at circumstances, 
but at God; the one who puts confidence in God. The 
keeping of this passage is a different one from that 
which is spoken of in John 17. There it is a keeping 
from perishing, here it is a keeping from all anxiety 
and worry. We shall see this more clearly when we 
come to speak of from what God keeps us. 



II. WHAT GOD KEEPS. 

Now let us look at what God keeps. Paul tells us 
in 2 Tim. 1:12 just what God keeps. He says, "I 
know whom I have believed, and am persuaded 
that He is able to keep (guard) that which I 
have committed unto Him against that day." The 
word translated "keep" in this passage in the Ke- 
vised Version is rendered "guard," but it is the 
same word that is used in John 17 : 2, though not the 
same word that is used in John 17:11. Here we 
are taught that God keeps (or guards) that which is 



GOD S KEEPING 175 

committed unto Him. Some commit more unto God, 
some less, but what is committed unto Him He keeps. 
Some commit the keeping of their souls unto God (1 
Pet. 4:19), some commit their temporal affairs unto 
Him, some commit their health unto Him, some more, 
some less, but whatever is committed to Him He 
keeps. Dorothea Trudel, a German woman, tells how 
her mother was a woman of great faith in prayer, 
and though her father was a drinking man who made 
little or no provision for the family, and the children 
numbered eleven, and their straits were sometimes 
great, they always were saved from suffering. She 
says : There were times when we had not a farthing 
left in the house. None but God knew of our con 
dition, and He who feedeth the young ravens when 
they cry was not unmindful of the petitions of His 
faithful child. He ever helped us in our time of 
need. It was on this account that our mother s 
favorite motto, Pray, but do not beg/ has been so 
impressed upon our minds. When one of the children 
was asked on what her mother relied in her poverty, 
the child said, On God alone. She never tells us 
how God is going to help, but she is always certain 
His aid will come at the right time. The experience 
of this German woman could be duplicated in the ex 
perience of thousands in our own land and other 
lands. It was related of Mrs. Jane C. Pithey, a 
member of the Centenary Methodist Church in 
Chicago, that for years she was disabled by the shaking 
palsy and received all her supplies in answer to 
prayer. When her husband died he left in his pocket- 
book two silver quarters. Besides the little cottage, 
this was all that she had to support herself and a 






176 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



bedridden mother of nearly ninety years of age. It 
is said "she went to God in prayer and day by day 
each want was met. Each needed article was asked 
for by name until her hired girl was astounded at 
the constant answers given. One morning as Mrs. 
Pithey was rising from her knees at the family wor 
ship, the girl burst out, You have forgotten to pray 
for coal and we are entirely out/ So, as she stood, 
she added a petition for the coal. About an hour 
after, the bell rang, she went to the door and there 
was a load of coal sent by a man who knew nothing 
of her want, and who had never sent anything before, 
nor ever has since. Many other instances are related 
regarding her of God s keeping and supplying all her 
needs. Some commit their work to God, some com 
mit everything. His keeping will be just in propor 
tion to our committing. 






III. FROM WHAT GOD KEEPS. 

1. First of all, God keeps those who belong to His 
Son Jesus Christ from perishing. This comes out very 
plainly in the passage with which we started, John 
17:11, 12. Our Lord prayed, "Holy Father, keep 
them in Thy name, which Thou hast given me, that 
they may be one even as we are." Then He goes on 
to say, "While I was with them, I kept them in Thy 
name which Thou hast given me : and I guarded them, 
and not one of them perished, but the son of perdi 
tion." The one who truly comes to Christ, the one 
who enters with his whole heart in the fellowship of 
Christ, the one who fully receives Christ as his Saviour 
from the guilt and power of sin, the one who whole- 



GOD S KEEPING 177 

heartedly and unreservedly surrenders to Christ as 
his Master, God keeps from ever perishing. No matter 
how numerous, how subtle, how mighty the assaults 
of Satan, of sin, and of error may be, God will keep 
him. As the Lord Jesus puts it in another place 
(John 10:28, 29), I give unto them eternal life; 
and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch 
them out of my hand. My Father which hath given 
them unto me, is greater than all and no one is able 
to snatch them out of the Father s hand." This is 
the position of the one who belongs to Christ, the 
almighty hand of Jesus Christ the Son underneath 
him, the almighty hand of God the Father over him, 
and there he is, in between those two almighty hands, 
perfectly sheltered, and no person and no power in 
heaven or earth or hell can ever get him. 

2. But it is not only from perishing that God keeps, 
He also keeps from falling. As we read in Jude 24, 
He "is able to keep us from falling and to present 
us faultless before the presence of His glory with 
exceeding joy." The word translated "falling" in 
this passage is translated "stumbling" in the Revised 
Version and this is the exact force of the word. One 
may fall without perishing, but one need not even 
fall, indeed he need not even stumble. God can keep 
us from even this, and will keep us from this if we 
look to Him and trust Him to do it. But when we get 
our eyes off from Him down we go, but He still keeps 
us from perishing. He sees to it that we get up again 
even if we do stumble. Though we stumble we are 
still kept, just as Peter was, from making utter ship 
wreck. Peter was in Satan s sieve, but nevertheless 
he was still kept by God in answer to Christ s inter- 






178 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



cessory prayer, and Christ always lives to make in 
tercession for us and so "is able to save to the 
uttermost" (Heb. 7:25). "What comfort there is in 
this verse to the one who hesitates to begin the Chris 
tian life because he knows his weakness and is afraid 
that he will stumble and fall. If you will only put 
yourself wholly in God s hands He is able, no matter 
how weak you may be in yourself, to keep you even 
from stumbling. 

3. But it is not only from perishing and from 
stumbling that God keeps, He keeps the one whose 
mind is stayed upon Him in perfect peace. This glad 
gospel we find in that book in the Old Testament 
which is so full of the gospel, the prophecy of Isaiah. 
We read in Isa. 26 : 3, " Thou wilt keep him in perfect 
peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he 
trusteth in Thee." Then Isaiah goes on to say, 
"Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Je 
hovah is everlasting strength." God keeps from all 
anxiety those who may stay their minds upon Him. 
If we will only take our eyes off from ourselves and 
off from men, and off from circumstances, and stay 
our minds upon God and upon Him alone and upon 
His sure promises, He will keep us in perfect peace. 
These are precious words for such a time as that in 
which we live, where one does not know any morning 
when he takes up his paper what he may read. No 
matter how perilous our position may seem, no matter 
how unlooked for and how unwelcome our surround 
ings may be, if we stay our minds upon the Lord 
Jehovah He will keep us in perfect peace. We have 
an illustration of this in Caleb and Joshua in the 
Old Testament (Num. 13:17, 26, 28, 29, 30; 14:1, 3, 



GOD S KEEPING 179 

7-9). The ten spies that accompanied Caleb and 
Joshua into the land looked at circumstances and 
were filled with dismay. Caleb and Joshua looked 
away from circumstances, they looked right over the 
heads of the giants, they looked at God and His Word. 
They stayed their minds on Him and He kept them 
in perfect peace. It was so with Paul also in the 
awful storm and impending shipwreck on the Medi 
terranean. The crew and soldiers were cowering 
with fear as they heard the howling of the wind and 
saw the fierceness and force of the dashing waves, 
but Paul looked over the waves and over the storm 
at God and His Word, and stayed His mind on Him, 
and God kept Him in perfect peace so that Paul 
could say to his cowering companions, "Sirs, be of 
good cheer: for I believe God that it shall be even 
so as it has been spoken unto me" (Acts 27:25). 
Oh, we need men and women of just such imperturb 
able calm as that in such days of stress and storm 
as those in which we are now living. If we would 
only stay our minds upon God, if we would only 
really trust Him, if we would only really believe His 
Word that it will ~be even as it has been told us, we 
would never have a single ruffle of anxiety. There 
is one passage in the Word of God which taken alone 
would be able, if we would only bear it in mind and 
believe it, to banish all fears and all anxiety for ever, 
that passage is Rom. 8: 28, "We know that all things 
work together for good to them that love God, to 
them who are the called according to His purpose." 
Whatever comes to us must be one of the "all things" 
and if we believed this passage we would know that 
however threatening it may appear, and however bad 



180 THE VOICE OF GOD 

in itself it may really be, that it must work together 
with the other things that God sends into our lives, 
for our highest good. How then can we ever have 
a moment s worry? 

IV. How GOD KEEPS. 

Now let us turn to the question of how God keeps. 

1. We are told in Deut. 32 : 9, 10, that Jehovah 
keeps His people "as the apple of His eye." The eye 
is the most wonderfully protected portion of the body, 
and "the apple" or pupil of the eye is the most im 
portant part of the eye, the lens, and is especially 
provided for and protected. The mechanism of the 
eye and the provision for its welfare that God has 
made has always awakened the wonder and admira 
tion of men of science. It is shielded and guarded 
in every conceivable way, and just so God guards 
His people with the utmost care, with every conceiv 
able and inconceivable safeguard against their injury. 
Each year brings into view some new provision God 
has made for our safety. 

2. We are taught in Gen. 28:15 that God keeps 
those who trust and obey Him "in all places whither 
soever they go. He kept Joseph in his father s 
house ; He kept him in the pit in the wilderness ; He 
kept him in Potiphar s house; He kept him in the 
Egyptian prison; He kept him in the palace. God 
kept David from the fury and power of the lion and 
the bear as he watched the sheep in the wilderness; 
He kept him in security through all the years that 
Saul hunted him like a partridge in the mountains 
(1 Sam. 26:20); He kept him in the face of the 



GOD S KEEPING 181 

many foes that arose against him when he became 
king; He kept him everywhere, so that David could 
write, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of 
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art 
with me." And so God keeps us if we trust and 
obey Him, in all places whithersoever we go. 

3. In Ps. 121 : 3, 4 we are taught God keeps His 
people at all times. He that keeps us never "slumbers 
nor sleeps." We are not only kept in all places, but 
also at all times. God is never off guard, He never 
sleeps at His post. Satan can never catch one of 
God s children when their watchman is sleeping. I 
am glad of this. You and I are often off guard. 
Satan can often catch us napping, but he can never 
catch us when our Watchman is napping. 

4. But there is another thought about God s keep 
ing which, if possible, is even more precious, and 
that is He keeps to all eternity. Here again we think 
of John 10 : 28, "I give unto them eternal life : and 
they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them 
out of my hand." Those who trust in Christ shall 
"never perish." This is one of the most precious 
facts about God s keeping, it never ends. We may 
prove unfaithful but He ever abideth faithful, He 
cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2: 13). He keepeth to 
the end. We shall never perish, or, to translate more 
literally as well as more expressively, "in no wise 
(shall we) perish, for ever." We stand to-day and 
look forward into the never-ending future. If we 
know ourselves well and look at ourselves alone we 
may well tremble at the thought of how utterly we 
may fail some time in those ever rolling years; but, 
if we look up to God and know Him, we will not 



182 THE VOICE OF GOD 

tremble, for He never faileth, and we have His "Word 
for it that He will ever keep us. He keeps me to-day 
"as the apple of His eye," He will keep me in all 
places, He will keep me at all times, He will keep me 
to all eternity. 

V. UNTO WHAT GOD KEEPS. 

We have seen whom God keeps ; we have seen what 
God keeps; we have seen from what God keeps; we 
have seen how God keeps; one thought remains, unto 
ivhat does God keep. This question is answered in 
1 Pet. 1 : 5, We "are kept by the power of God unto 
a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 
Upon this we have no time to dwell. Simply let me 
say this, that the salvation that we have to-day, no 
matter how complete it may seem, even though we 
know not only the forgiveness of sins and adoption 
into the family of God, but also deliverance from 
sin s power, a life of daily victory, is not the whole 
of salvation. Completed salvation lies in the eternal 
future. In includes not merely the salvation of the 
spirit and the soul, it includes the salvation of the 
body, that " salvation ready to be revealed in the last 
times, " is the salvation that we shall possess when 
the wondrous promises about our being transformed 
into the perfect likeness of Jesus Christ, not only 
spiritually and morally and mentally, but also physi 
cally, have their fulfilment, and unto that salvation 
God keeps us. 

Beloved fellow believer in God and in Jesus Christ 
His Son, have you realized fully what God s keeping 
means ? Have you enjoyed the security that is yours, 



GOD S KEEPING 183 

and the rest of mind that might be yours ? Have you 
put as much into His hands to keep as He is willing 
to keep? Are you letting Him keep you in perfect 
peace in the midst of the trial and uncertainty and 
travail and turmoil and storm and stress of these 
trying days ? If not, will you do it to-day ? 

And friends, you who are not Christians, do 
you not see how precious a thing God s keeping is? 
Is it not immeasurably better than anything this 
world has to give? Some trust in riches, some in 
their own abilities, some in powerful friends, some in 
national leaders and "preparedness," but better, in 
finitely better to trust in God, for "He will keep him 
in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon Him, 
because he trusteth in Him." Will you not put your 
trust in Him and have a share in this wondrous prayer 
of the Saviour, "Holy Father, keep through Thine 
own name those whom Thou hast given me." 



XIV 

THE COMPLETE AND SYMMETRICAL LIFE, 
AND HOW TO ATTAIN TO IT 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, 
long suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith 
(faithfulness), meekness, temperance." Gal. 5 : 22, 23. 

THE average life is a very partial life. Even 
the life of the average Christian is a very 
partial life, a one-sided life, it is a life in 
which there is much lacking. There may be many 
admirable things about it, but there is a deplorable 
lack of other things the life is incomplete, it is devoid 
of balance and symmetry, strong in some directions, 
perhaps amazingly strong in those directions, but 
lacking, perhaps amazingly lacking, in other direc 
tions. It is like an imperfect rose, perfectly formed 
and beautifully tinted in one part, but blasted and 
withered in another part. "What each one of us needs 
is a full life, a well-rounded life, a well-balanced life, 
a symmetrical life. There is a passage in the "Word 
of God that wonderfully pictures such a life, complete 
in all its parts and symmetrical in its every detail. 
This passage not only pictures this life, but tells us 
how to attain to it. The passage is Gal. 5: 22, "But 
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffer 
ing, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temper- 

184 



THE COMPLETE LIFE HOW TO ATTAIN IT 185 

ance." Some years ago during attendance at a Bible 
Conference in St. Louis, I was entertained at a private 
home. When I awoke in the morning the first thing 
that I saw as I opened my eyes was these words 
looped around the room in large and beautifully col 
oured letters, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, 
peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 
meekness, temperance." They brought a blessing to 
my heart that morning and set me to thinking deeply 
upon the words. From that day to this I have had 
a longing to preach on this text but have never done 
it until this hour. The text presents to us two main 
thoughts, the complete and symmetrical life described, 
and how to attain to this complete and symmetrical 
life. 

I. THE COMPLETE AND SYMMETRICAL LIFE DESCRIBED. 



1. The first characteristic in this life is "LOVE." 
"The fruit of the Spirit is love." Paul does not say 
whether he has in mind love to God or love to man, 
he just says "LOVE," without definition as to its 
objects, so love as here spoken of includes all objects. 
The complete life is characterized by love to both God 
and man, and love to all classes and conditions of 
men. It obeys the first and great commandment, 
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, 
and it also obeys the second command, "Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself." Yes, it goes beyond 
the second commandment and obeys the new com 
mandment which the Lord gave to His disciples, that 
they love one another, even as He loved us (John 



186 THE VOICE OF GOD 

13:34). In moral attributes, "love" is the one pre 
eminently Divine thing, God is love " ( 1 John 4:8). 
If love is lacking, all else counts for nothing, and 
the life is not only incomplete, it is worthless. "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 though I give my body to be 
burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing (1 
Cor. 13:1-3). "The old time religion," as the son- 
goes, "makes me love everybody," and the complete 
life is the life of the one who "loves everybody." 
There is absolutely no man whom the Spirit-filled man 
does not love. No matter how grievously one may 
have wronged us, no matter how grossly they may 
have slandered us, no matter how gravely they have 
injured us, if we are filled with the Spirit we will 
love them. 

2. But while "LOVE" is the first thing and the 
supreme thing in the complete life, it is not the only 
thing. Following "Lovs" comes "JOY." "The 
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy." A life that is not 
a radiantly joyful life is an incomplete life and un- 
symmetrical life, it is lacking in one of the principal 
elements that go to make up the complete life, it is 
not a life after God s pattern. Even if our lives 
were given up wholly to serving God and our fellow 
men with utter devotion and utter forgetfulness of 
self, if they were not joyful lives, they would dis 
honour God. Jesus was called upon to be a propitia- 



THE COMPLETE LIFE HOW TO ATTAIN IT 187 

tion for sins, to be a substitute Saviour, to take our 
sins and their penalty upon Himself, and He was, 
therefore, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with 
grief," nevertheless, He was a joy-full man. On the 
night before His crucifixion, only an hour or so be 
fore the agonies of Gethsemane, He said, " These 
things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be 
in you, and that your joy may be filled full" (John 
15: 11). To have His joy then is to have fullness of 
joy, and, if our joy is to be "filled full" by having 
His joy, He must Himself have been a joy-full man. 
Constant joy is the commanded duty as well as the 
promised privilege of a child of God, a believer in 
the Lord Jesus Christ. * * Kejoice in the Lord always, 
the Holy Spirit commands us in Phil. 4 : 4, then adds, 
again I say, Kejoice. When Paul wrote these words 
he was a prisoner under most distressing circum 
stances, and awaiting possible sentence of execution, 
yet the whole epistle that he wrote is jubilant from 
start to finish. The Spirit-filled life will always be 
joyful and jubilant, nothing can disturb its joy. No 
matter how adverse its circumstances, its joy abideth ; 
for its joy is not in circumstances but in Him who 
is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. The Holy 
Spirit is called, in Heb. 1:9, "The oil of gladness," 
and when God pours out His Holy Spirit upon us, 
"He anoints us with the oil of gladness," and the 
oil of gladness flows down over us and suffuses the 
whole person. 

3. But even "Lovs" and "JOY" together, won 
derful as they are, do not constitute all that there is 
of the complete and symmetrical life. Following 
"LovE" and "JOY" comes "PEACE." "The fruit 



188 THE VOICE OF GOD 

of the Spirit is love, joy, peace." Paul does not 
say whether he means peace in our own hearts or 
peace with others. The reason that he does not say 
which he means is because he means both. The Holy 
Spirit brings peace into the heart in which He rules, 
and He brings peace with others to the one in whose 
heart He rules. In the verse almost immediately fol 
lowing the command to "rejoice always," the Spirit 
of God goes on to say, "In nothing be anxious; but 
in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanks 
giving, let your requests be made known unto God. 
And the peace of God, which passeth all understand 
ing, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in 
Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6, 7). Oh, how wonderful 
is the deep, serene, unruffled peace with which the 
Holy Spirit fills the heart. Some years ago a minister 
at a Bible Conference at Grove City came to me and 
said, "Two young men, college students, from my 
church were at the Northfield Conference this sum 
mer, and when they returned from the Conference 
they called on me and said, Pastor, we think we have 
heard of something that you do not know/ " This 
was a rather presumptuous thing for two young col 
lege students to say to a pastor over sixty years of 
age who was well known for his knowledge of the 
Word of God and the faithfulness of his ministry, 
but the minister showed the real depth of his earnest 
ness and spirituality by his reply. He said, "Well, 
young men, if you have something good that I haven t 
I want to know about it." The pastor continued, 
"They told me of an address they had heard on the 
baptism with the Holy Spirit, and how the baptism 
with the Holy Spirit was to be obtained. When they 



THE COMPLETE LIFE HOW TO ATTAIN IT 189 

left my study," the pastor continued, "I took my 
hat and went out into the woods and sat down upon 
a log that had fallen and thought over what they 
had said, and then I looked up to God and I said, 
Oh, God, if these young men have something that 
I have not, I want it. Now, oh, God, the best I 
know how, I absolutely surrender my will to Thee, 
to be whatever thou wishest me to be, to go wherever 
thou wishest me to go, to do whatever thou wishest 
me to do. Immediately after I had done this," he 
continued, "there came into my heart such a won 
derful peace and rest as I had never known." What 
was the explanation? The pastor had fulfilled the 
conditions of receiving the Holy Spirit and He had 
come to do His work, and part of His fruit is 
"PEACE." But the Holy Spirit brings us into 
peace with others as well as bringing peace into us. 
He saves us from contentiousness. I knew a man 
who was naturally a man of war, he was a born 
fighter; he delighted in a scrap from early boyhood 
as in almost nothing else, but the Spirit of God got 
control of his life, and in so far as the Holy Spirit 
did gain control of his life he became a man of 
peace. Many and many a time he was able to keep 
peace under most aggravating circumstances without 
even a struggle. Yes, the Holy Spirit brings peace 
between men, especially peace between brethren. 
This is the immediate thought of the context in which 
we find our text. Going back in the chapter to the 
14th and 15th verses, we read, "For the whole law 
is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye lite and 
devour one another, take heed that ye be not con- 



190 THE VOICE OF GOD 

sumed one of another." Then going down to the 
19th verse we read, "Now the works of the flesh are 
manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, 
lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, 
jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envy- 
ings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which 
I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they 
who practise such things shall not inherit the king 
dom of God." Then comes our text, "The fruit of 
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc." Two lives are 
placed in vivid contrast to one another, the life of 
the flesh, full of contention and strife and quarrelling, 
and the life in the Spirit, full of peace, long-suffering, 
etc. The perfect man keeps out of war, even under 
great provocation. As the Holy Spirit puts it through 
the Apostle James in Jas. 3:14-18, "But if ye have 
bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not 
and lie not against the truth. This wisdom is not 
a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is 
earthly sensual, devilish. For where jealousy and 
faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. 
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then 
peaceable, gentle, easy to le entreated, full of mercy 
and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. 
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for 
them that make peace." Oh, that the Holy Spirit 
ruled among nations as well as in individuals to-day, 
the war would end in five minutes, and when the Holy 
Spirit rules in a church, church quarrels cease in 
stantly. 

4. But "LOVE," "Joy," "PEACE/ as beautiful 
as they are, do not constitute the whole of the com 
plete and symmetrical life. Following "LOVE," 



THE COMPLETE LIFE HOW TO ATTAIN IT 191 

"Joy," and "PEACE" come "LONG-SUFFER 
ING." "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, 
long-suffering." This fourth characteristic of the 
complete and symmetrical life, the Spirit-filled life, 
is closely connected with the third. The truly strong 
man does not quickly resent injuries done by others. 
He is never suspicious nor sensitive. No matter how 
great and strong a man may be in other respects, if 
he is quick to imagine that others are wronging him, 
or quick to resent the insult or injury which is not 
imaginary but very real, he is not a truly strong 
man, and he surely is not a Spirit-governed man, he 
is governed by the flesh and not by the Spirit. Oh, 
how beautiful is the attitude of long-suffering in an 
individual or a nation, what a mark it is of real 
strength. The nation that is not quick to take um 
brage nor "defend its honour" is not dishonoured, 
but great and strong. 

5. The fifth characteristic of the complete and sym 
metrical life is "GENTLENESS." "The fruit of 
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentle 
ness." The primary meaning of the adjective from 
which the noun translated "gentleness" is derived 
is "fit for use," or "useful," then it comes to mean 
"mild," "pleasant," as opposed to "harsh," "hard," 
sharp , " " bitter. Then it comes to mean gentle, 
pleasant, " " kind, " " benevolent, " " benign. 7 How 
beautiful it is when a great man is also a gentle 
man, a gentleman in the true sense, a kindly man. 
The great example of gentleness or kindness is Jesus 
Himself. So many leading men in the church in our 
day, gifted men, go pushing through the common 
crowd regardless of the slow and dull, regardless of 



192 THE VOICE OF GOD 

whose toes they step on ; they are brusque and push 
ing. Not so was Jesus, "The bruised reed" He would 
"not break" and "the smoking flax" He would "not 
quench," and not so is the Spirit-filled man, he is 
"kindly." The Revised Version translated the word 
here "kindness" but I like "kindliness" better than 
either "gentleness" or "kindness." Are you a 
kindly man ? Jesus was. Are you a kindly woman ? 
If not, you have not entered into the complete and 
symmetrical life, not yet. 

6. The sixth characteristic of the complete and 
symmetrical life is "GOODNESS." "The fruit of 
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentle 
ness, goodness." The word so translated is a word 
of wide meaning and is difficult of exact definition, 
but the thought here, as determined by the setting, 
is that attribute that leads men to be always looking 
for and improving opportunities for doing any kind 
of good to anybody and everybody, in every possible 
place, and at every possible time. The tenth verse 
of the following chapter gives the thought, "So then, 
as we have opportunity, let us work that which is 
good toward all men." 

7. The seventh characteristic of the complete and 
symmetrical life is "FAITH." "The fruit of the 
Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, 
goodness, faith." The Revised Version reads "faith 
fulness," but without any warrant whatever either 
in usage or context. The word is the same word 
which is translated "faith" 238 times out of the 
242 times that it is used in the New Testament, and 
in the four remaining instances it is translated "be 
lief" or "believe/* and never once is it translated 



THE COMPLETE LIFE HOW TO ATTAIN IT 193 

"faithfulness." True faith will inevitably lead to 
faithfulness, and thus implies faithfulness, but 
"faith" is what Paul wrote, or rather the Holy Ghost 
wrote through Paul, and the Holy Ghost meant just 
what He wrote. A life without "FAITH," faith in 
God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is a sadly 
incomplete and altogether unsymmetrical life. The 
Holy Spirit begets simple, childlike, imperturbable 
faith in the heart He rules, faith in God, faith in 
Jesus Christ, faith in the Word of God. Jesus says 
in John 7 : 17, "If any man willeth to do His (God s) 
will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of 
God, or whether I speak from myself." He here 
makes obedience the condition of faith in the "Word 
of God, but in Acts 5 : 32 we are told that God gives 
the Holy Spirit to them that obey Him. Oh, when 
a man submits his life to the absolute control of the 
Holy Spirit, his whole thought and feeling and will 
are irradiated with faith, and because he has faith in 
God and faith in God s Word he has great expecta 
tions, he is never discouraged, he is never pessimistic, 
never despondent, he marches forth confidently every 
day to victory. He is sure he will win, and w in 
he will. 

8. The eighth characteristic of the complete and 
symmetrical life is "MEEKNESS." "The fruit of 
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentle 
ness, goodness, faith, meekness." The exact meaning 
of the word rendered "meekness" in this passage is 
that attitude of mind that is opposed to harshness and 
contentiousness, and that shows itself in gentleness 
and tenderness in dealing with others. The man who 
has attained to the complete life is never harsh. 



194 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Stern and severe he may sometimes have to be out of 
regard to the best interests of the offender himself, 
but his sternness and severity are aflame with gentle 
ness. Read the first verse of the next chapter and 
you will get the exact thought, "Brethren, even if 
a man be overtaken in any trespass (the thought is 
of a man caught in the act of wrong-doing, wrong 
doing even of the grossest kind), ye which are spir 
itual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness; 
looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted." 

9. The ninth and last characteristic of the complete 
and symmetrical life is "TEMPERANCE." "The 
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, 
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." 
The Revised Version says "SELF-CONTROL," and 
that gives the thought, though it is not really self- 
control, but Holy Spirit control, but it is self that 
is controlled. It does not mean temperance in the 
narrow sense we have given it in modern parlance, 
as applying to only one kind of excess, excess in 
alcoholic drinks, it means mastery of self along all 
lines. The highest form of mastery in the world is 
self-mastery. "He that ruleth his spirit is better 
than he that taketh a city" (Prov. 16:32). This 
then is the complete life, a life manifesting love, joy, 
peace, long-suffering, kindliness, goodness, faith, meek 
ness, self-mastery. You will note that our text says 
that these things are "the fruit of the Spirit," not 
the fruits of the Spirit. They are the many delicious 
flavours of the one fruit. Wherever the Holy Spirit 
is given control, not some, but all of these will be 
seen. 



THE COMPLETE LIFE-HOW TO ATTAIN IT 195 

II. How TO OBTAIN THE COMPLETE AND SYMMETRICAL 
LIFE. 

We come now to the very practical question how 
to obtain this life, or how to attain to it. We have 
but a few minutes to answer the question, and we 
need but a few minutes. The verse makes the way 
of attainment as clear as day. We are told that these 
things are "the fruit of ihe Spirit." They are set 
over against "the works of the flesh" described in 
the verses that immediately precede. In other words, 
the things described under "the works of the flesh" 
are the things that are natural to us, these things 
are what the Holy Spirit works supernaturally in 
us. They are the fruit the Holy Spirit bears in us, 
and all that we need to do is to come to the end of 
ourselves and realize our own utter inability to at 
tain to the complete and symmetrical life here pic 
tured, and having first received the Lord Jesus Christ 
as our Saviour, and through receiving Him as our 
Saviour, having received the Holy Spirit to dwell in 
us (for He does dwell in every believer) just sur 
render the entire control of our lives to His dominion 
for Him to work in us what He will, and when the 
Holy Spirit is thus given complete control, the result 
will be that His fruit will appear on the tree of our 
own lives. There will be love, joy, peace, long-suffer 
ing, kindliness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. 
Wonderful indeed is the privilege of the Spirit-filled 
life. Will you to-day give up your fruitless struggles 
after holiness, your self efforts to lead a "life well 
pleasing to God," come to the end of yourself and 



196 THE VOICE OF GOD 

realizing that in you, that is in your flesh, dwelleth 
no good thing, surrender your whole life to the control 
of the Holy Spirit, then on your life will hang this 
"sun-kist" fruit, "love, joy, peace, long suffering, 
kindliness, faith, meekness, self-mastery. 1 



XV 



THE SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS IN HEART, 
BEAUTY IN CHARACTER, FRUITFUL- 
NESS IN SERVICE, AND PROSPERITY IN 
EVERYTHING. 

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel 
of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, 
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his de 
light is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth 
he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a 
tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth 
forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not 
wither; and whatsover he doeth shall prosper." 
Ps. 1:1-3. 

IN these verses, God speaking through the Psalmist 
sets before us the secret of blessedness in heart, 
beauty in character, fruitfulness in service, and 
prosperity in everything. Are not these the four 
things that we all desire for ourselves ? These verses 
tell us in the plainest sort of way how we may obtain 
them. They tell us that if we will not do three things 
and will do two things, we shall have blessedness in 
our hearts, beauty in our characters, fruitfulness in 
our service, and prosperity in whatsoever we do. 

197 



198 THE VOICE OF GOD 

I. THE THREE THINGS WE MUST NOT Do. 

The three things that we must not do are, First, 
Walk in the counsel of the ungodly; second, Stand 
in the way of sinners; third, Sit in the seat of the 
scornful, i.e., we must come out from the world and 
be separate in our walk, in our standing and in our 
sitting. As to our walk, we must not walk in the 
counsel of the ungodly; we must get our directions 
as to our walk from God and not from the world. 
We must not ask what the world does or advises, we 
must ask what God tells us to do. As to our stand 
ing, it must not be in the way of sinners; as to our 
sitting, or continuous fellowship, it must not be in 
the seat of the scornful. We will not dwell on these 
three things that we must not do for the words are 
so plain as to need no comment; what they need is 
not so much to be expounded as to be obeyed, and 
furthermore, if we do the two things which we must 
do we will be sure not to do the three things which 
we must not do. 

II. THE Two THINGS WHICH WE MUST Do. 

The first of the two things which we must do is 
"Delight in the law of the Lord." The Law of the 
Lord is God s will as revealed in His Word and these 
words tell us that it is not enough merely to read 
God s Word; indeed, that it is not enough even to 
earnestly study God s Word, we must delight in God s 
Word. We must have greater joy in the Word of 
God than in any other book, or in all other books put 
together. Now doubtless many of us will have to 



SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS 199 

admit that we do not delight in the law of the Lord. 
Probably we read it, quite likely we study it dili 
gently, but we read it and study it simply because we 
think it is our duty. As to delighting in it, we do 
not. If many of you were to reveal the exact facts 
about yourself, you would have to say, "I would 
rather read the newspaper than the Word of God. 
I would rather read the latest novel than the Word 
of God." When I was thirteen years of age, I was 
told that if I read three chapters in the Bible every 
week-day and five every Sunday, I would read the 
Bible in a year, and I started out to do it, and I have 
read the Bible every day of my life from that time 
to this, but for years I did not delight in it. I read 
it simply because I thought I ought to, or because I 
was uneasy if I did not, but as for delighting in it, 
it was the dullest, stupidest book in the world to me. 
I would rather have read last year s almanac than 
the Bible. And what was true of me then, and re 
mained true for years, is true of many a professed 
Christian to-day. They may study the Bible every 
day but simply do it from a sense of duty or because 
their conscience is uneasy if they do not. 

What shall one do if he does not delight in the 
law of the Lord? The answer is very simple. 

(1) First of all, he must be born again. The one 
who is truly born again will love the Word of God. 
The Lord Jesus says in John 8:47, "He that is of 
God heareth God s words: Ye therefore hear them 
not, because ye are not of God." The little Greek 
word which is translated "of" in this passage is a 
very significant word. It really means and should 
be translated "out of," i.e., in this connection "born 



200 THE VOICE OF GOD 

of"; and what Jesus said was that the one that was 
born of God would have an ear for God s word, and 
that the reason that the Jews did not really have an 
ear for God s Word was because they were not born 
of God. One of the clearest proofs that a man is born 
of God is that he loves, delights in God s Word. I 
have seen men and women pass in a moment from an 
utter distaste for God s Word to an abounding delight 
in God s Word by simply being born again. 

"But," some one will say, "how may I be born 
again ? God Himself answers the question in a very 
simple way in John 1:12. "But as many as RE 
CEIVED HIM, to them gave He power to become the 
sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." 
According to these words the way to be born again is 
by simply receiving Him, receiving the Lord Jesus. 
The moment any man, woman, or child really receives 
Jesus to be to themselves all that He offers Himself 
to be to anyone, to be their Saviour from the guilt 
of sin by His death upon the cross, to be their Saviour 
from the power of sin, by His resurrection power 
(Heb. 7 : 25) and to be their Lord and Master, to whom 
they surrender the entire control of their lives (Acts 
2 : 36), that moment that man, woman or child is born 
again and with the new life thus obtained they will 
get a new love, a love for God and a delight in His 
Word. 

(2) In the second place, in order to delight in the 
law of the Lord we must feed upon it. Jeremiah says 
in Jer. 15 : 16, "Thy words were found, and I did eat 
them ; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoic 
ing of mine heart." The reason why many do not 
delight in the Word of God is because they do not eat 



SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS 201 

it. They read it ; they skim over it, they smell of it, 
but they do not eat it, and yet they wonder why they 
do not delight in God s Word. What would you think 
if some day some friend came to visit you who had 
never eaten strawberries, and you should get for him 
a dish of our wonderful California strawberries. You 
tell him how delicious they are and set them before 
him you are called away but in an hour or two you 
come back and you say to your friend, "How did you 
like those strawberries?" He replies, "I did not care 
for them. I have seen many things that I have enjoyed 
more." In surprise you say, "What, did not care for 
them ? " No, they seemed very ordinary to me. For 
a moment you are puzzled, and then you say to him, 
"Did you eat the berries?" "No," he answers, 
"I did not eat them. I smelled of them and I have 
smelled many things that smell better." Well, that 
is the way that many, even of professing Christians 
treat the Word of God. They just smell of it, they 
skim over a few verses, or many verses, or many chap 
ters, but they do not stop to eat a single verse. They 
do not chew the words, swallow them and assimilate 
them. Oh, how different the Word of God becomes 
when we really eat it. Take for example, the most 
familiar passage in the Bible, the verse that most of 
us learned first of all, Ps. 23:1, "The LORD is my 
shepherd; I shall not want." It sounds beautiful 
even when we merely read it, but how sweet it be 
comes when we stop and ponder it, weigh the meaning 
of the words, chew each word in it. When we ask 
ourselves first of all, "Who is my shepherd?" And 
then stop for a while to meditate upon the fact that it 
is JEHOVAH who is our Shepherd. Then ask ourselves, 



202 THE VOICE OF GOD 

" What is Jehovah?" "My Shepherd." And then 
stop and think what is involved in being a shepherd 
and what it means to have Jehovah as our SHEP 
HERD. Then ask ourselves "Whose shepherd is 
Jehovah My Shepherd." Not merely the Shepherd 
of men in general but my own Shepherd. A stranger 
entered a Presbyterian Church one day and was shown 
to a pew. The congregation rose to read the 23rd 
Psalm. A young lady sitting next to him, handed him 
one corner of her Bible as they read. As they read 
the first verse, he took a pencil out of his pocket and 
drew a line under the word "My." When the service 
was over, the young lady said to him, "Do you mind 
telling me why you drew the line under the word 
My ?" "Well," he replied, "The Lord is my Shep 
herd. I was wondering if He were yours." Next 
dwell on the word, "I," then on the word "shall" 
with all the certainty that there is in the word then 
on the word "not" then on the word "want" and ask 
yourself all that is implied in the statement, "1 shall 
not want." Ah, the old familiar verse becomes so 
much sweeter as we eat it, chew and chew it and 
swallow it and digest it and assimilate it. If we thus 
eat different portions of the Bible day by day we 
would soon find a joy in it that we find in no other 
book. The only word that would express our relation 
to the book would be "DELIGHT." The second of 
the two things that we must do is "meditate in the law 
of the Lord day and night." These words tell us how 
to study the Word and when to study it. 

(1) First, How to study it. "MEDITATE" therein. 
We live in a day in which meditation is largely a lost 
art. It is largely a lost art in all our study. We send 



SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS 203 

our children to school, they are not allowed to think; 
they are simply crammed and crammed we cram 
them with physiology, biology, psychology and all the 
rest of the ologies ; until they themselves become mere 
ape-ologies for real thinkers. We try to see how many 
branches we can cover in a few years and how much 
of each branch we can cram in. A child in the Gram 
mar School grade has twelve studies ; a child of thir 
teen will be set to writing a criticism on Tennyson s 
"In Memoriam." This is a good way to develop con 
ceited fools, but it is no way to develop thinkers. 
Set a child of thirteen to criticizing Tennyson s "In 
Memoriam" and by the time she is eighteen she will 
be criticizing the Word of God itself. But cram, cram, 
cram, is the word of the hour in modern education. If 
our children studied fewer subjects and really studied 
and mastered those they did study, they would know 
more and be of more use in the world. But it is in 
Bible study especially that meditation is a lost art. 
We try to see how many chapters we can study in a 
single day. We get up a chart that covers the whole 
plan of the ages and all of God s dealing with men, 
angels and devils, from the eternity back of us to the 
eternity before us and expect to master it in thirty 
minutes or an hour. This is an excellent plan for 
making ourselves think that we are very wise it is 
a miserable plan for getting the real nourishment out 
of the Word and the real honey out of the rock. We 
should not so much say, I will read so many chapters 
in a day," as "I will spend so much time each day in 
really studying and feeding upon the Book." Some 
times we will give to a single verse, or a single word, 
that will arrest our attention, all the time we put into 



204 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Bible study that day. There is no greater enemy to 
successful study than hurry, and this is especially 
true of Bible study. One night I was teaching a Bible 
class in Minneapolis. A travelling man from New 
York, a very active member of St. George s Episcopal 
Church, dropped into my class. He had to take the 
train for the Far West soon after the class and I 
walked down to the station with him. As we walked 
he said to me, "Tell me in a word how to study my 
Bible. " That is a pretty large contract to put into 
a single word, How to study the Bible, and I replied, 
"If I must put it into one word, that one word would 
be Thoughtfully. Think on what you study; look 
right at it, weigh it, weigh every word, turn it over and 
over and over meditate upon it." 

But the words of the Psalmist tell us not merely how 
to study the Word but when to study it, "DAY AND 
NIGHT." Many people are asking, "Must I study 
the Bible fifteen minutes every day, or a half hour a 
day or two hours a day?" "Day and night," replies 
the Psalmist. This, of course, does not mean that we 
should be sitting with an open Bible before us every 
moment of the day and night. But it does mean that 
having had some regular time for Bible study, that 
after that time for Bible study is over we should carry 
away in our mind and heart what we have studied and 
meditate upon it as we go about our business, our 
household duties, or whatsoever we have to do. Oh, 
how much lighter and pleasanter the drudgery of life 
becomes if we go about it with the Word of God in 
mind and heart, meditating thereon in the midst of 
our wearing toil. I know of nothing else that will 
keep one in such perfect peace and abounding joy in 



SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS 205 

these days of war and gloom and agony as meditating 
on the Word of God day and night. 



III. THE RESULT. 

And now what will be the result of our separating 
from the world in our walk, in our standing, in our 
sitting and of our delighting in the law of the Lord 
and meditating thereon day and night? 

1. First of all, we will have blessedness in heart. 
"Blessed is the man," says our text that "walketh 
not/ etc. The Hebrew word translated "blessed" is 
a very peculiar word in the Hebrew. It is not a par 
ticiple at all, but a noun and a noun in the plural. 
Literally translated it would be "blessednesses of the 
man," i. e., how manifold and varied is the blessedness 
and happiness of the man that does not do these three 
things and does do these two things. This world knows 
no joy so varied, so full, so manifold, so wonderful as 
the joy that comes to the one who is separated from 
the world and who meditates on the "Word. I know 
all about the joy that comes from reading good lit 
erature ; I have been a passionate devourer of books 
from early childhood. When I was a boy. I would 
get a book and hide away in some corner and devour 
it until my mother would come and say, Oh, Archie, 
why don t you take your gun and go out hunting?" 
But all the joy that I have found in the study of the 
best literature, in the study of science, in the study 
of philosophy, can never for a moment compare to the 
joy that I have found in meditating on the Word of 
God. So sweet has that joy become that oftentimes I 
am tempted to say that I will read no book but the 



206 THE VOICE OF GOD 

Bible. I remember one night the first winter I was 
in Chicago. I had been very busy that day, answer 
ing my correspondence, and teaching in the Bible 
Institute in the morning, studying in the afternoon, 
and preaching that night. I got to my house late, 
after 11 o clock, pretty thoroughly tired. I sat down 
for a little while to find rest in Bible study before I 
went to bed. I was reading the Bible through in 
course and had reached the last book in the Bible. 
In those days I did not care as much for that book 
as for other books sometimes I had even been tempted 
to wish that the book was not in the Bible, but as that 
was where I was in my reading the Bible in course, 
I began reading the llth chapter of the book. When 
I reached the 15th verse, The kingdoms of this world 
shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His 
Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever, such joy 
swept into my soul as I took in the meaning of the 
words that I do you know what I did? Of course 
you do. I shouted aloud. I was not brought up to 
shout in meeting. I was brought up in the Presbyter 
ian and Episcopal churches. I never heard anyone say 
"Amen" except where it came in the regular place 
in the service until after I was in the ministry, and 
the first time a man said "Amen" when I was preach 
ing it so upset me that I nearly lost the thread of my 
discourse. I cannot shout to this day in public, but, 
oh, when alone with God and His Book sometimes 
such a joy sweeps into the soul that nothing but a 
shout will give relief. 

2. Second, we shall have beauty of character, "He 
shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water." 
What is more beautiful than a well-watered tree in 



SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS 207 

full leaf, the maples and the oaks and the beeches in 
the East, our palms and pepper trees and umbrella 
trees here in the "West? Well, the one who refrains 
from doing the three things mentioned above and does 
the two things mentioned will be just like that tree 
in full leaf. His character will be full of beauty. If 
we had time, I could show you from the Word of God 
how every grace of character is the result of Bible 
study. The Psalmist says in Ps. 119:9, "Where 
withal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking 
heed thereto according to thy word." In the llth 
verse he says, l Thy word have I hid in my heart, that 

I might not sin against thee." Nothing else has the 
power to keep a man from sinning and nothing else 
has the power to adorn a man with all possible graces 
of character that the study of the Word of God has. 

3. Third, we shall have fruitfulness in service. 

I 1 Bringeth forth his fruit in his season. " Do we not 
all long to be fruitful Christians ? So many of us are 
fruitless. The great secret of being fruitful is intel 
ligent study of the Word of God. The Apostle Paul 
in writing to Timothy in 2 Tim. 3 : 16 says, "All Scrip 
ture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable 
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruc 
tion in righteousness. That the man of God may be 
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 
The Revised Version says, "complete, furnished com 
pletely unto every good work." How? Through 
what the Apostle has just said, through the study of 
the inspired Word of God. A man may study every 
thing else in the world, psychology, philosophy, peda 
gogy, and even theology, but if he does not study the 
Word of God he is not fitted for real work for God. 



208 THE VOICE OF GOD 

He will have no measure of success in winning souls. 
But a man may be quite ignorant of other branches of 
knowledge but if he really studies and understands 
his Bible, he will have all the knowledge one needs 
to be a fruitful Christian and an efficient winner of 
souls. 

4. Fourth. There will be one other result of not 
doing the three things and doing the two things, and 
that is prosperity in everything: "whatsoever he doeth 
shall prosper." Are we not all seeking for prosper 
ity ? There is no other way to get it than the way laid 
down in our text, but this road to prosperity is safe 
and sure. No one ever walked it without becoming 
prosperous in whatsoever he did. This, of course, does 
not mean necessarily that he will have what the world 
calls prosperity. He may not become a rich man, 
but he will have real prosperity in everything he 
undertakes. Some years ago I preached in Chicago 
a sermon on "The Power of the Word of God," or 
"The Advantages of Bible Study." I had in my 
congregation that morning a young man who was 
leading a rather defeated life. He was a Christian, 
but not a very effective Christian. He was a married 
man with a small family of children and was getting 
$12.50 a week. His work required him to get up at 
two or three o clock in the morning to go on the 
market to buy for the house for which he worked. As 
he listened to the sermon that morning he made up 
his mind that instead of getting up at two o clock or 
three o clock in the morning, he would get up at one 
or two o clock in the morning in order that he might 
have a solid hour for Bible study before going to his 
work. He came on in his Christian experience by 



SECRET OF BLESSEDNESS 209 

leaps and bounds and he came on in his business 
relations too. "Within a year he went into business 
for himself. The first year he made $5,000 in his 
business, the next year I have been told that he made 
$10,000, and some one has told me that the next year 
he made $15,000, and he has gone on advancing from 
that day until this; but that is not the best of it, 
he came on in his Christian character and in his effi 
ciency in Christian service. He is to-day one of the 
most used laymen in Chicago, identified with and a 
leader in every aggressive movement that is taken up 
by the Christians of the city, a tower of strength in 
his own church, a generous giver to the work of 
Christ at home and abroad, with three sons and one 
daughter following in his steps. "Whatsoever he 
doeth prospers." 

Now I am not saying that if anyone will begin to 
study the Bible an hour a day he will spring from 
$12.50 a week to $5,000 a year, but I am saying, and 
what is better, God s Word says it, he will have real 
prosperity in everything he undertakes. Do you want 
blessedness in your heart, beauty in your character, 
fruitfulness in your service, and prosperity in every 
thing you do, then stop walking in the counsel of 
the ungodly, stop standing in the way of sinners, stop 
sitting in the seat of the scornful and begin to delight 
in the law of the Lord and meditate therein day and 
night. 



XVI 

LOVE CONTRASTED, DESCRIBED, EXALTED 
1 COR. 13. 

OUR subject this morning is Love Contrasted, 
Love Described, Love Exalted. Our text is the 
whole of the thirteenth chapter of First 
Corinthians. This chapter, which we are to study this 
morning is not only one of the most familiar, but also 
one of the most important and remarkable in the 
whole Bible. If there were no other proof of Paul s 
inspiration, this chapter would go far toward estab 
lishing it. The translation of the chapter found in 
the Revised Version is far better than that found in 
the Authorized Version, but by far the best translation 
of all is the translation into life. Every Christian 
should read and re-read this chapter until mind and 
heart and will are saturated with it, until its fragrance 
distils itself in our every act and word and thought. 
The chapter naturally divides itself into three parts; 
the first part, verses 1-3, Love Contrasted, or the 
Absolute Indispensability of Love; the second part, 
verses 4-7, Love Described, or the Everyday Mani 
festations of Love ; the third part, verses 8 - 13, Love 
Exalted, or the Peerless Pre-eminence of Love. 

I. LOVE CONTRASTED OR THE ABSOLUTE INDISPENSA 
BILITY OP LOVE. 

Let us first look at Love Contrasted, or the Indis 
pensability of Love. "If I speak with the tongues of 

210 



LOVE 211 

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." Here 
love is contrasted with five things in succession, each 
of which was held in great esteem in Corinth, and each 
of which is held in great esteem to-day. But Paul says 
no one of them, nor all of them together, will supply 
the lack of love. 

1. The first thing that Paul contrasts with love is 
the gift of tongues, and the gift of tongues in its 
highest conceivable form: " Though I speak with the 
tongues of men and of angels. How the world would 
admire and applaud a man who could do that. A 
man upon whom the Spirit fell in such mighty power 
that not only the Pentecostal wonder would be re 
peated and Parthians and Medes and Elamites and 
Libyans and Romans and Cretes and Arabians hear 
men talking in their own tongues, but also the man 
would talk with the tongue of angels as well as the 
tongues of men. That would be great and marvellous 
in the eyes of the world, but Paul says that even 
thought that should happen, if that man had not love 
he would after all be only sounding brass or a clang 
ing cymbal, just a brazen noise. The world looks 
at the eloquence on a man s lips. God looks at the 
love in his heart. The gifts of the Spirit are greatly 
to be desired; but the graces of the Spirit are far 
more to be desired, especially the grace of love (1 Cor. 
12:31). We look oftentimes in wonder and admira 
tion at the eloquent preacher, but God looks down 
into his heart and sees no love there, and says, 



212 THE VOICE OF GOD 

"nothing but noise sounding brass and a clanging 
cymbal. 

2, Tlie second thing Paul contrasts with love is the 
gift of prophecy. He describes this gift in the very 
highest form of its manifestation, If I have the gift 
of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowl 
edge. " Surely this is something to be much coveted 
and greatly admired. Surely this will win God s ap 
plause. The man of great theological learning and 
perfect spiritual vision must occupy a very high place 
in God s estimation. Listen to what God says, "even 
if a man have all this and have not love, he is 
NOTHING." Think of it, just nothing. How the 
world applauds the seer irrespective of what he is in 
heart, but God asks, "Is he also a lover?" If not, 
he is nothing, absolutely nothing. 

3. Noiu Paul brings forward a third thing and con- 
trasts it with love faith, miracle-working faith f 
miracle-working faith in the highest conceivable form, 
faith so as to remove mountains. Surely this will 
count for something with God. Surely this will give 
a man eminence in His sight. Even though a man 
is very faulty in character, if he can do wonders by 
the power of faith, he must stand high not only in 
the estimation of man but God. Listen to what God 
says, "If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, 
lut have not love I am NOTHING." Think of 
that nothing! There are those in these days who 
are counting upon their gifts of healing and their 
extraordinary manifestations of faith to commend 
them to God. They would better ask themselves, 
"Have I love?" Some of them do not seem to have 
according to the description given in verses 4-7. 



LOVE 213 

4. Paul next brings forward a fourth thing that 
men count much on as commending them to God 
magnificent giving, ( l If I bestow all my goods to feed 
the poor." Surely a man who does that is a great 
man in God s sight. Surely he will get rich reward. 
But the inspired Apostle shakes his head, "not neces 
sarily," he says, "you can give all you have, every 
dollar, every cent, and that too for the most philan 
thropic purpose, to feed the poor; but if you have 
not love, you will gain by it just nothing. How 
many false hopes that annihilates. Men with hearts 
full of selfishness are building great hopes for time 
#nd eternity upon the fact that they have given so 
much to the poor and to various charitable enter 
prises. But God puts the very searching question to 
you, "Have you love?" If not, your gifts will do 
you no more good than squandering your goods in 
riot and folly would. It will all profit you nothing. 

5. And now Paul takes up a fifth thing, and that 
which above all others is supposed to entitle one to 
a crown martyrdom, "If I give my body to be 
burned. Surely we have at last found one for whom 
God will have words of unstinting commendation 
the brave martyr who marches to the stake for con 
victions, for truth, for right. For him there must 
be a sure and great reward, the martyr s crown. 
Listen, "and if I give my body to be burned, but 
have not love it profieth me NOTHING." Oh, you 
who think so much and talk so much of what you 
have suffered for Christ, think of that. It all counts 
for nothing if you have not love. 

There is nothing then, absolutely nothing, that will 
take the place of love. Gifts of speech, great knowl- 



214 THE VOICE OF GOD 

edge of the deep things of God, miracle working 
faith, the greatest possible giving, extreme martyrdom, 
will not take the place of love. Nay, further, they 
count for nothing if love is lacking. One question 
then is driven home with tremendous emphasis to 
each one of our hearts, Have you love f This brings 
us to the second division of the chapter. 

II. LOVE DESCRIBED OR THE EVERYDAY MANIFESTA 
TIONS OP LOVE. 

God will not leave us in any self-deception or any 
doubt as to whether we have love or not. He gives 
a very plain description by which love can be known, 
wherever it exists, and by which its absence can be 
known wherever love is lacking. Love has fifteen 
marks, not one of which is ever wanting where love 
exists. We cannot dwell at great length upon each 
one, nor do we need to. 

1. The first mark of love is that it "suffereth long." 
Love endures injury after injury, insult after insult, 
wrong after wrong, slander after slander, and still 
keeps right on loving and forgiving and forgetting. 
It wastes itself in vainly trying to help the unworthy 
and ungrateful, and still it loves on. That is the first 
mark of love. Do you show it? 

2. The second mark of love is, it "is kind." It 
knows no harshness. It may be severe even as Jesus 
Himself was on occasion, but its necessary severity is 
shot through with gentleness and tenderness and pity. 
That is love. 

3. The third mark of love, <( love envieth not." 
Love knows no envy. How could it ? He that really 



LOVE 215 

loves is as much interested in the welfare of others 
as in his own. How then can he envy? Does a 
mother ever envy the prosperity of her child? Is it 
not her chief delight ? Love never envies, never. Do 
you love? Do you ever secretly grieve over and try 
to discount another s progress, temporal or spiritual? 
Then you have not love. You may speak with the 
tongues of men and of angels, you may have the 
gift of prophecy, know all knowledge, you may have 
all faith so that mountains are disappearing before 
your onward march, you may be giving all your 
goods to feed the poor, you may be ready to die at 
the stake for your convictions, but you have not love, 
and you are nothing. Oh, friends, how often when 
we hear of another s prosperity or the great work 
of another Christian or Church, how often we say, 
"Yes, but ah er." Or if we do not say it, we 
think it, and try to make the progress of the person 
or church not so much greater than our own after 
all. Why is this? Because we envy. And why do 
we envy? Because we have not love, and not having 
love we are ciphers in God s sight. 

4. The fourth mark of love is that it " vaunt eth not 
itself." There is no surer mark of the absence of love 
and the dominance of selfishness than that we talk 
about ourselves and our achievements. If we really 
love, the achievements of others will be more important 
to us than our own, and it is about them we will 
talk, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaketh. 

5. The fifth mark of love is that it is {t not puffed 
up." It is quite possible for one to have good sense 
enough not to vaunt himself, and yet in his heart be 



216 THE VOICE OF GOD 

puffed up over his own virtues or victories. But 
love is not even puffed up. Love is so much taken up 
with the excellencies of others that it will not even 
dream of being inflated over its own. 

6. The sixth mark of love is that it "doth not 
behave itself unseemly/ i.e. doth not do rude, ill- 
mannered, boorish things. Love is considerate of the 
feelings of others and therefore avoids all that might 
offend or shock them. Nothing else will teach good 
manners and true etiquette as love will. Those pro 
fessed Christians who delight in trampling all con 
ventionalities under foot and playing the boor are 
utterly lacking in one essential thing, love. 

7. "Love seeketh not its own." These words need 
little comment. They demand exemplification rather 
than elucidation. It does, however, suggest a ques 
tion. The question is a personal one: Are you seek 
ing your own, or others good? You haven t time 
to think it out now, but I hope you will get your 
Bible and think it out when you get home. 

8. "Love is not provoked." The translators of 
the King James Version seem to have staggered at 
this statement, and so inserted a qualifying word, 
1 love is not easily provoked." But that is not what 
God said. Love is not provoked" was the state 
ment. Love knows no irritation. It is often grieved, 
deeply grieved, but never irritated. How searching 
these words are! We get so hot over the unkind 
words that are spoken to us. I think some of us, as 
we read these words, will ask, "Have I any love? 
Am I not sounding brass or a clanging cymbal?" 

9. "Love taketh no account of evil." Love never 
puts the wrong done it down in its books or in its 



LOVE 217 

memory. Some of us do. Some one does us an in 
justice or a wrong of some kind and we store it 
away in mind, and whenever we think of that person 
we think of the wrong they did us. That is not love. 
Love takes those pages of memory on which the wrongs 
done us are written and tears them up. If wrong 
is done it, it keeps no account of it. 

10. Love "rejoiceth not in unrighteousness/ It is 
not for ever telling and glorying in the wrong that 
exists in individuals and church and state. Brethren, 
why is it that some of us are so fond of dwelling on 
the evil that exists in church and state? I will tell 
you, we do not love. 

11. Love "rejoiceth with the truth." Oh, if we 
love how our hearts will bound when we discover 
truth in others. How gladly we will call attention 
to it. This is a sure mark of love. Let me ask a 
question, Are you much given to that sort of thing? 
Some of you come and tell me this wrong and that 
wrong that you see in others. Don t you think it 
would be well to come occasionally and tell me of 
this excellence or that that you have discovered in 
others? Paul says that is the way love behaves. 

12. "Love beareth all things." The word trans 
lated "beareth" means primarily "covereth" and 
may mean so here, though the New Testament usage 
is against it. That, however, will be quite true, love 
is always covering evil up. We are told in 1 Pet. 
4:8 that "love covereth a multitude of sins." The 
word translated covereth in this case is an entirely 
different one, however, from the one used in the pas 
sage before us. Love does not go round telling all 
the sin it has discovered in men, it hides it. That is 



218 THE VOICE OF GOD 

a manifestation of love greatly needed in our day. 
But the words before us seem to mean more than 
that. They seem to mean that no matter what evil 
is done love, love bears it without revenge or com 
plaint or bitterness or resentment. 

13. "Love believeth all things." How proud some 
of us are of our powers to see through men and of 
the impossibility of gulling us. But that is not love, 
that is selfish shrewdness. Love is far greater than 
shrewdness. Love is very easily gulled. Indeed love 
would rather be gulled a hundred times than to mis 
judge once. "Love believeth all things/ and when 
love has been deceived once it goes right on believing 
next time. We have heard it said of some men that 
they were forever being taken in by designing per 
sons. Well, that speaks well for them, for "love be 
lieveth all things." 

14. "Love hopeth all things." When it gets beyond 
believing, when one has proved a deceiver so often 
and is so manifestly a deceiver still that believing is 
simply impossible, then love hopes for the future. 
Love does not look at the bad as they now are, but 
as they may become by the transforming grace of 
God. When love looks at a drunkard, it does not 
see that poor, bloated, vile, enslaved thing that 
now is. It sees the clean, upright, intelligent, Christ- 
like man of God that is to be. When love looks at 
the troublesome Sunday School scholar it does not 
see the shameless, vicious, unreasonable, almost idiotic 
boy that now is, but the attentive, obedient, gentle 
manly boy that is to be. I tell you, friends, love is a 
great thing, but I fear it is a rare commodity. 

15. Now comes the fifteenth and last mark of all, 



LOVE 219 

"Love endureth all things." When believing is im 
possible, when even hoping seems utterly out of the 
question, love endures. It does not get angry, it 
does not give up, it loves on, works on, endures on. 
Let Jesus serve as an illustration. How long Jesus 
has borne with men, but for love He has gotten back 
only reproach and sneers and spitting and blows and 
crucifixion. Reproach has broken His heart, and He 
is fast dying, but He summons all His waning 
strength, and cries, "Father forgive them, for they 
know not what they do" (Luke 23:24). That was 
love. 

Friends, let me ask you a question again. Exam 
ined in the light of the fifteen marks of love Paul 
gives, have you much love ? Have you any ? If not, 
whatever else you may have, you are nothing. 

III. LOVE EXALTED, OR THE PEERLESS PRE-EMINENCE 
OF LOVE. 

We have no time left for the third division of the 
chapter, Love Exalted, or the Peerless Pre-eminence 
of Love. To sum it all up in a few words, prophecies, 
tongues, knowledge, have their day, love is eternal. 
God is love, and love partakes of His eternal nature. 
"Love never faileth." If you want something that 
will last, get love. All other things are partial, love 
is complete, perfect. There are three abiding things, 
faith, hope and love, but even of these thre^, the 
greatest is love. V 



XVII 
A CHRIST-LIKE MAN 

THERE is one man who is pictured to us in 
the Bible who appears to be more like Christ 
than any other man of whose life we have an 
account. That man is Stephen, the first deacon in 
the Christian church, and the first Christian martyr. 
There is no fairer life recorded in history than that 
of Stephen, excepting, of course, the life of Him of 
whom Stephen learned and after whom he patterned. 
The character of Stephen presents a rare combination 
of strength and beauty, robustness and grace. Stephen 
occupies small space in the Bible, two chapters, Acts 
6 and 7, and two verses in other chapters, Acts 11 : 19 
and 22 : 20, yet in this short space a remarkably com 
plete analysis of his character and the outcome of it 
is given. 

1. STEPHEN S CHARACTER 

Let us look first at Stephen s character. One word 
occurs again and again in the description of Stephen. 
It is the world "full" He was a remarkably full 
man. 

1. First of all he was "full of faith." The record 
reads, "They chose Stephen, a man full of faith" 
(Acts 6:5). Stephen had unbounded confidence in 
God and in His Word; he believed implicitly in the 

220 



A CHRIST-LIKE MAN 221 

certainty of every statement in the Word of God re 
garding the past, and he believed implicitly in its 
promises regarding the future. He had no fear of 
consequences when God s Word, or God s Spirit bade 
him do anything, he simply did it and left the conse 
quences with God. It was God s to promise and to 
command, it was his simply to believe and obey what 
God said, and leave the outcome with God. Even in 
that awful moment when he was surrounded by a 
howling mob with gnashing teeth, when the pitiless 
rocks were crushing his body and face and brain, he 
quietly looked up and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my 
spirit," and then kneeling down uttered a mighty 
prayer for his enemies, and gently "fell asleep." 
Oh, that we had more men and women of Stephen s 
faith, men and women who believe all God says and 
do all He commands in His Word and leave the 
results entirely with Him ; men and women who walk 
straight on with childlike, unwavering confidence in 
Him in the path He marks out. There was never a 
day when men and women of that sort were more 
needed than to-day. Our power and our accomplish 
ment will be proportionate to our faith in God and in 
His Word. Faith is the outstretched hand that helps 
itself to all God s fullness. The Lord Jesus is ever 
saying, "According to your faith be it unto you" 
(Matt. 9:29), and of many of us it must be said 
that Jesus could do no mighty work there because of 
their unbelief" (Mark 6:5; Matt. 13:58). 

2. In the next place Stephen was "full of grace." 
This we find in verse 8, B. V. The Authorized Ver 
sion reads that he was "full of faith and power," 
but the Kevised Version reads that he was "full of 



222 THE VOICE OF GOD 

grace and power." It is true, as already seen, that he 
was full of faith, but he was full of something be 
sides faith "full of grace." His faith in God and 
His Word brought the grace of God into his heart 
and life. He not only had grace, he was full of it 
"full of grace." He was completely emptied of self, 
of his own will, of his own plans, of his own goodness, 
of his own thoughts, of his own strength, and the 
grace of God had just come in and taken complete 
possession of his heart and affections and will and 
character and life. This was the reason why he was 
so much like Christ Himself, Christ was just living 
His own life over again in Stephen. As we look at 
Stephen with his face shining like an angel s (Acts 
6 : 15), and listen to the words that fall from his lips, 
it seems as if Jesus Himself had come back to earth 
again, and so He had: He had come back into 
Stephen s heart and was manifesting Himself in 
Stephen s life. And in the same way Jesus Christ is 
ready to come back again in your life and mine if 
we are only willing to be emptied of the self-life and 
filled with grace. Then we can say with the Apostle 
Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is 
no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and 
the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the 
faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and 
gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20, B. V.). Ah! 
friends, most of us have some grace, but let us be 
full of grace, let us allow grace to fill every corner 
of our lives. 

3. Stephen was also "full of power!" Grace and 
power are not one and the same thing, though all 
real power comes from grace, i.e., it is a gift of God s 



A CHRIST-LIKE MAN 223 

grace. However, the graces of the Spirit are different 
from the gifts of the Spirit. "Love, joy, peace, long 
suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and 
self -control are the graces of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22). 
The various gifts of power for service are the gifts 
of the Spirit. Many a man has the graces of the 
Spirit in rich measure who has not much of the power 
of the Spirit in his work. Others have very much of 
the power of the Spirit in some directions, but are 
greatly lacking in the graces of the Spirit, but Stephen 
was full of faith, grace, and power, and so ought we 
to be. The graces of the Spirit ought to be richly 
revealed in our lives; the power of the Spirit ought 
to be mightily manifested in our work. It is the 
privilege of every believer to be a man of power in 
service. Grace and power are both at our disposal, 
grace for living like Christ, power for working like 
Christ. (John 14: 12). The men and women needed 
to-day are the men and women who live graciously 
and work mightily. 

4. Stephen was also full of the Word of God. 
There is but one sermon of Stephen s reported. You 
will find it in the seventh chapter of the Acts of the 
Apostles. But what a sermon that one sermon is. 
It is Bible from beginning to end. When Stephen 
opened his mouth to speak the Scripture just flowed 
forth. As it is "out of the abundance of the heart 
that the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12: 34), it is evident 
that Stephen s heart was full of God s Word. He had 
pondered the Word of God deeply ; he had discovered 
the deeper meanings of its precepts, promises, history, 
and prophecies ; he had hidden the Word of God in 
his heart; he was full of the Word. This goes far 



224 THE VOICE OF GOD 

toward explaining why he was also full of faith and 
grace and power. It is vain for one to pray to be 
full of faith if he neglects the Word of God, for 
faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word 
of God" (Rom. 10:17). I remember a time when 
I longed for faith, and tried hard to get it, but I 
never succeeded until I began feeding upon the Word 
of God. It is vain to seek for grace in the life and 
neglect the Word of God, for the Bible is the Word 
of His grace, which is able to build you up" (Acts 
20: 32). It is vain to pray for power and neglect the 
Word of God, for it is when "the Word of God abid- 
eth in you" that "ye are strong and overcome the 
wicked one" (1 John 2:14). Faith and grace and 
power all come from the Word of God, and in order 
to be full of them we must be full of it. How much 
we need to-day men and women like Stephen who are 
full of the Word of God, who have such a command 
of the Bible that none are "able to resist the wisdom 
by which" they speak, and men also who have the 
Word of God not only upon their lips, but in their 
hearts and lives. But we cannot be full of the Word 
of God if we do not study it, study it long and ear 
nestly and prayfully, study it (really study it) every 
day of our lives. 

5. But Stephen was full of something else yet, he 
was "full of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 6:5). Being full 
of the Word of God and being full of the Holy Ghost 
go hand in hand. In Eph. 5 : 18, 19, R. V., Paul says, 
"Be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in 
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and 
making melody in your heart to the Lord." And in 
Col. 3:16 he says, "Let the Word of Christ dwell in 



A CHRIST-LIKE MAN 225 

you richly in all wisdom ; teaching and admonishing 
one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, 
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." By 
the comparison of these two passages we see that what 
in one place is attributed to being full of the Spirit, 
is in the other place attributed to being full of the 
Word of God. The two go naturally together, but 
they are often divorced. I know men who are full of 
the Word, i.e., they have a very large technical and 
formal knowledge of the Word, but who are not full 
of the Spirit. They are well instructed but they have 
no unction. They are dry as chips. Indeed, I have 
known men who were once full of the Spirit, but 
they have lost the manifestation of His presence and 
of His power. As far as the form of knowledge of 
the Word goes, they know as much as they ever did, 
but the power has gone out of their words. But 
Stephen was "full of the Spirit " of God as well as 
full of the Word of God. His enemies were not able 
to resist, not only "the wisdom/ but also "the Spirit 
by which he spake" (Acts 6: 10). Let us seek to be 
full of the Holy Ghost. Without this our lives will 
be graceless and our efforts will be powerless. The 
Holy Spirit s power was manifested in Stephen, as 
we have already seen, in a twofold way : in his life, 
and in his work. 

6. Stephen was also full of love. In Acts 7 : 57-60 
we see how absolutely his whole inner and outer life 
were under the control of love. In no other man, 
"perhaps, except Christ, has love shone out as it did 
in Stephen. Look at Stephen as he falls beneath the 
stones hurled at him by his infuriated antagonists 
and assassins. He can no longer stand, and he sinks 



226 THE VOICE OF GOD 

to his knees. His crushed forehead is throbbing with 
pain, his strength is fast waning, but he summons all 
his remaining strength and utters a loud cry. What 
is it ? Is it, Lord curse these my murderers ? No, 
"Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. " Here we 
see love for enemies triumphant even in death. There 
is perhaps no lesson of Stephen s life harder to learn 
than this, and yet there is no other lesson that we 
more need to learn than this, and there was never a 
time when we more needed to learn it than to-day, 
when we are face to face with a mighty foe who may 
do us or our loved ones awful harm. Let us never 
forget to be full of love. Love is the one Divine 
thing. "If I speak with the tongues of men and of 
angels, but have not love, I am become sounding 
brass, or a clanging cymbal" (1 Cor. 13:1, K. V.). 
Ah ! it is easy to love the lovely, in fact it is not hard 
to have a certain sentimental love for the unlovely, 
provided they have never crossed our path in any \vay ; 
but to love the one who lies about you, as these did 
about Stephen, to love the one who does you harm, 
seeking, it may be, your very life, as they did the 
life of Stephen, this is the hard thing, this is the 
supreme test of whether the Lord Jesus be indeed 
dwelling in us or not. There are many of us here 
to-day who have coveted earnestly that we might be 
full of faith and grace, and power, and the Word of 
God, and the Holy Spirit, but are you full of love? 
Do you really wish to be full of love? Remember in 
answering that question that while love is the divin- 
est thing in the world, it is also the most costly. 

7. Stephen was not only full of love, he was also 
full of courage. Many men seem to be forgiving 






A CHRIST-LIKE MAN 227 

simply because they have not sufficient energy of char 
acter to be vengeful, but Stephen s forgiveness was not 
of that kind. He was a man of almost matchless 
energy and fearless courage ; he knew the Jews, he 
knew what they had done to his Lord, and yet, know 
ing their history, he faces his angry antagonists and 
boldly says: "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in 
heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; 
as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets 
have not your fathers persecuted ? and they have slain 
them which shewed before of the coming of the Just 
One" (Acts 7:51, 52), and then when they gnashed 
upon him with their teeth, he beat no retreat; but 
looking up steadfastly into heaven, and seeing the 
glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand 
of God, he says, Behold, I see the heavens open, and 
the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" 
(Acts 7:56). Do we not sorely need courage like 
that to-day, courage to face the enemies of Christ, and 
give our uncompromising testimony for Him? How 
unlike this is to the timid, cringing, sentimentality 
and gush that passes for Christianity to-day. We 
need Stephens in business, we need Stephens in 
society, we need Stephens in public affairs, we need 
Stephens in the home and in the church. 

There was then this seven-fold fullness in Stephen : 
he was "full of faith," "full of grace," "full of 
power," full of the Word of God, "full of the Holy 
Ghost," full of love, full of courage. 

8. There was one more thing about Stephen s char 
acter that needs to be noted, he was a man of prayer. 
Prayer was the spontaneous utterance of his heart 
in the hour of trouble. The last two utterances of his 



228 THE VOICE OF GOD 

life were prayers (Acts 7:59, 60) just as were two 
of the last utterances of his Master, and Stephen s 
prayers were closely modelled after those of his Mas 
ter. No man can be a man of power who is not a man 
of prayer. No man can be full of grace who is not a 
man of prayer. No man can be full of the Holy Ghost 
who is not a man of prayer. Of all the sad neglects 
in present day Christian living there is perhaps none 
so sad and fatal as the neglect of prayer. Why is 
there so much striving after holiness and so little ob 
taining of it? Neglect of prayer. Why is there so 
much machinery in the church and so little real work 
turned out? Neglect of prayer. Why is there so 
much preaching and so few conversions? Neglect of 
prayer. Why is there so much Christian enterprise 
and so little Christian progress? Neglect of prayer. 
What the church of Christ needs to-day above all else, 
as in the day of Jonathan Edwards, is a call to 
prayer. What the individual church and the individ- 
nal Christian needs to-day is a call to prayer. Oh, 
that some mighty voice might be heard sounding from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific, and then around the world : 
LET US PRAY. Our nation to-day is at the great 
est crisis in its history, and what our nation needs to 
day above all else is prayer, real prayer, prayer by 
multitudes of men and women who know how to 
pray. The great majority of our statesmen are right 
when they say that the great need of our day is pre 
paredness, but the preparedness that we need is not 
the preparedness that is wrought out by Germanizing 
our land, building up a vast military system; it is the 
preparedness that is wrought out by prayer. 



A CHRIST-LIKE MAN 229 

II. THE OUTCOME OF STEPHEN S CHARACTER 

There is little time left to dwell upon the outcome of 
Stephen s character and life. 

1. His face shone like an angel s (Acts 6 : 15). The 
face of any man who is full of faith, and grace, and of 
the Spirit, and of the Word of God, and of power, 
and of love, will shine. 

2. He preached with unanswerable wisdom and re 
sistless power (Acts 6:10). 

3. He "wrought great wonders and signs" (Acts 

6:8). 

4. "The Word of God increased, and the number 
of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly" 
(Acts 6:7). The "Word of God is bound to increase, 
and the number of disciples is bound to multiply ex 
ceedingly when we have deacons and workers like 
Stephen. 

5. Men were "cut to the heart" by his preaching 
(Acts 7 : 54) . The preaching of such a man, full of the 
Holy Ghost, is sure to bring deep conviction. Our Lord 
told His disciples that when the Holy Ghost was 
come He would "convict the world in respect of sin." 
There will be convicting power in the preaching and 
personal work of any man or woman who is full of the 
Holy Ghost. 

6. But this conviction in Stephen s case did not 
result in conversion. As men could not gainsay the 
truth of what he said, they took to lying about the 
preacher (Acts 6 : 13) . But they did not stop at that, 
they gnashed upon him with their teeth (Acts 7 : 54), 
and they did not stop at that, they stoned and killed 
him (Acts 7 : 58-60). This is the sort of treatment that 



230 THE VOICE OF GOD 

a man like Stephen may expect from a God-hating 
and Christ-hating, and truth-hating world. In all 
probability there will be conviction of sinners and con 
version of sinners, but sooner or later there will be 
hatred and persecution and suffering, and it may be 
death. 

7. But there was another outcome of Stephen s 
character, Stephen had his exceeding great reward, 
a reward that far more than compensated for the 
cruel treatment that he suffered. The heavens were 
opened and he saw Jesus and the glory of God (Acts 
7: 55), then he gently fell asleep and departed to be 
with Christ, which was "very far better" (Acts 
7: 59, 60; cf. Phil. 1 : 23), and out of that seemingly 
fruitless sermon and triumphant death there sprang 
the prince of Apostles, Paul. Paul and all his mighty 
ministry and all the results of that wonderful minis 
try were the outcome of what Stephen was. 



XVIII 
WALKING AS JESUS WALKED. 

"He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself 
also to walk even as He walked." I John 2:6. 

THE one great secret of a life full of blessedness 
is abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ is 
the one all-inclusive secret of power in 
prayer : our Lord Jesus says in John 15 : 7, "If ye 
abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask what 
soever ye will and it shall be done unto you." Abid 
ing in Christ is also the secret of f ruitfulness : our 
Lord Jesus says, I am the vine, ye are the branches : 
he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth 
much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing." 
And abiding in Christ is the secret of fullness of 
joy: in the same chapter to which we have referred 
twice, the Lord Jesus says, " These things have I 
spoken unto you (i.e., these things about abiding in 
Him), that my joy may be in you, and that your 
joy may be made full," a clear statement that our 
joy is made full, or filled full, when we abide in Him, 
and then alone. But according to our text this morn 
ing the one proof that we do abide in Him is that we 
walk even as He walked. The great test of whether 
we are abiding in Christ or not is not some ecstatic 
feeling, but our daily conduct. If we walk as He 

231 



232 THE VOICE OF GOD 

walked that is proof, conclusive proof, that we are 
abiding in Him whether we have ecstatic feelings or 
not. On the other hand if we do not walk as He 
walked, that is conclusive proof that we are not abid 
ing in Him, no matter how many ecstasies and rap 
tures we may boast of. So the practical question that 
faces each one of us this morning is, Am I walking 
as Jesus walked? This brings us face to face with 
the question, How did Jesus walk? 

I. How JESUS WALKED. 

Some years ago Charles Sheldon brought out a book 
named "In His Steps," in which he tried to imagine 
how Jesus would act in various imaginary relations 
of life ; how, for example, He would conduct a news 
paper, etc. The book awakened a great deal of 
interest, but was necessarily not very satisfactory. 
We are not left to our own imaginations in this 
matter. Far more practical than the question of 
what Jesus would do in various imaginary relations 
of life is to find what He actually did when He was 
here on earth, and find out how He really walked. 
How did Jesus walk? 

1. First of all He walked with an eye absolutely 

single to the glory of God. He says in John 8:50, 

seek not mine own glory." In no act of His 

whole life did He have regard to His own honour 

or glory, He was entirely absorbed in the glory of 

lim that sent Him. In the prayer which He offered 

the night before His crucifixion He said, "Father 

the hour is come: glorify thy Son." Now that looks 

at the first glance as if He were seeking His own 



WALKING AS JESUS WALKED 233 

glory, but listen to the rest of the petition: "that the 
Son may glorify Thee." It was not His own glory 
that He was seeking, but altogether the Father s, and 
He simply asked the Father to glorify Him that the 
Father Himself might be glorified. In the fourth 
verse of the same chapter we hear Him saying, "I 
glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the 
work which Thou gavest me to do." His own glory 
was a matter about which He was entirely uncon- 
cerneci; the glory of the Father was the one thing that 
absorbed Him. In every act of His life, small or great, 
He was simply seeking the glory of God. He had 
an eye absolutely single to the glory of God. Even 
in the eternal world before He became incarnate, 
when He was existing in the form of God, when the 
whole angelic world saw by His outward form that 
He was a Divine person, and when He might have 
retained that Divine glory, He thought it not a thing 
to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but 
emptied Himself and took upon Him the form of a 
servant and was made in the likeness of men, and 
being found in fashion as a man He humbled Him 
self, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the 
death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8), because by this 
giving up His own Divine glory and taking upon 
Himself humility and shame, greater glory would 
come to the Father. And now may I put the ques 
tion to you, and to myself as I put it to you, are you 
walking with an eye absolutely single to the glory 
of God? Is there but one thing that concerns you 
in determining upon any course of action, viz., will 
I glorify the Father more by doing this than by not 
doing it? I heard two Christian women discussing 



234 THE VOICE OF GOD 

the other day the relative merits of the East and 
West as a place to live. One spoke about the maples 
and the oaks and the beeches of the East, about the 
various social and other advantages. The other dwelt 
upon the fruits and flowers of Southern California, 
upon the air and the cleanliness. But if we are to 
walk as Jesus walked we will not determine our 
home by such considerations as these, the whole ques 
tion will be will it be more to God s glory for me to 
live in the East or the West ? 

2. In the second place, we find from a study of 
the walk of Jesus as recorded in the four Gospels, that 
He walked in whole-hearted surrender to and delight 
in the will of the Father. Not only could He say, 
"I do always the things that are pleasing to Him," 
but He even went so far as to say, "My meat," i.e., 
His sustenance and delight, "is to do the will of Him 
that sent me, and to accomplish His work. The cir 
cumstances under which He said this were significant ; 
He was tired, hungry, and thirsty, so tired that when 
His disciples went into the neighbouring village to 
buy food for Him and them, He was unable to go 
along, but rested wearily upon the well at Sychar. 
As he rested there He looked up the road and saw 
a sinful woman coming toward Him. In His joy in 
an opportunity of doing the Father s will in winning 
that lost woman He entirely forgot His weariness 
and His hunger, and step by step led her to the 
place where she knew Him as the Christ. At that 
moment His disciples again appeared and wondered 
that He was talking with a woman, and then urged 
Him to eat of the food which they had brought from 
the village, saying, "Kabbi, eat." He looked up at 



WALKING AS JESUS WALKED 235 

them almost in wonder and said, "I have meat to 
eat that ye know not." In other words, He says, 
"I am not hungry; I have been eating." The dis 
ciples were filled with surprise and said one to 
another, "Hath any man brought Him aught to eat?" 
Then Jesus answering their thought said, "My meat is 
to do the will of Him that sent me, and to accom 
plish His work." All the joy He asked, all the grati 
fication He asked was an opportunity to do the 
Father s will. He not only did His Father s will 
always, but He delighted in doing it, it was His 
chief gratification, the very sustenance of His inner 
most being. Are you walking as Jesus walked? Are 
you walking in whole-hearted surrender to the will 
of God, studying His Word daily to find out what 
that will is, doing it every time when you find it, 
finding your chief delight in doing the will of the 
Father, no matter how disagreeable in itself that will 
may be? This is the way Jesus walked. Are you 
walking as He walked? 

3. Furthermore, He walked in utter disregard of 
self. This is involved in what we have already said, 
but we mention it separately in order to make it clear. 
His own interests, His own ease, His own comfort, 
His own honour, His own anything were nothing to 
Him. "Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He 
became poor, that we through His poverty might be 
come rich" (2 Cor. 8:9). Not His own interests, but 
those of others were His sole consideration. What 
riches did He give up? The greatest that any one 
ever knew; all the possessions and glory of God. 
How poor did He become? The poorest man the 
world ever saw. He not only became a man, taking 



236 THE VOICE OF GOD 

all a man s dishonour upon Himself, He became a poor 
man, a despised man. When He went out of this 
world He went out of it stripped of everything. He 
had not had food for many long hours; every shred 
of clothing was torn from Him as they nailed Him 
to the cross; He was stripped of all honour and 
respect, lifted up on the cross as a condemned felon, 
while jeering mobs passed by mocking Him, and this 
end He Himself chose because by thus emptying Him 
self of everything He secured eternal life and an in 
heritance incorruptible, undefiled and that passeth 
not away, for others. His own interests were nothing, 
the interests of others were everything. Are you 
walking as Jesus walked? Are you living your life 
day by day in utter disregard of your own interests, 
your own reputation, your own authority, your own 
comfort, your own honour, doing the things that will 
bring blessing to others, no matter what loss and dis 
honor the doing of them may bring to you ? "He that 
saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also to walk 
even as He walked." 

4. Furthermore, He walked with a consuming pas 
sion for the salvation of the lost. He Himself has 
defined the whole purpose of His coming into this 
world ; in Luke 19 : 10 He says, The Son of man came 
to seek and to save that which was lost." He had 
just one purpose in leaving heaven and all its glory 
and coming down to earth with all its shame, that 
was the seeking out and saving of the lost. The sav 
ing of the lost was the consuming passion of His life. 
For this He came, for this He lived, for this He 
prayed, for this He worked, for this He suffered, 
for this He died. Are you walking with such a 



WALKING AS JESUS WALKED 237 

consuming passion for the salvation of the lost? Oh, 
how many are there of us who indeed are doing 
something for the salvation of the lost, but what we 
do is perfunctory; we do it simply because we think 
it is the thing we ought to do, not because there is a 
consuming passion within that will not let us rest 
without doing everything in our power to save the 
lost, to bring the lost to a saving knowledge of Jesus 
Christ. If the professedly Christian men and wo 
men walked with such a consuming passion for the 
salvation of the lost as Jesus walked, how long would 
it be before hundreds and thousands were turning 
to Christ here in Los Angeles. 

5. He walked in a life of constant prayer fulness. 
In Hebrews 5 : 7 we read that in the days of His 
flesh He "offered up prayers and supplications with 
strong crying and tears." His whole life was a life of 
prayer. The record that we have of His life in the four 
gospels is very brief, only eighty-nine very short chap 
ters in all, and yet in this very brief account of the life 
of our Lord the words "pray" and "prayer" are used 
in connection with Him no less than twenty-five times, 
and His praying is mentioned in places where these 
words are not used. People wonder what Jesus 
would do in this relation or that, but the Bible tells 
us plainly what He actually did do, He prayed. 
He spent much time in prayer. He would rise a 
great while before day and go out into the mountain 
to pray alone. He spent whole nights in prayer. 
If we are to walk as Jesus walked we must lead a 
life of prayerfulness. The man who is not leading a 
life of prayer, no matter how many excellent things 
he may be doing, is not walking as Jesus walked. 



238 THE VOICE OF GOD 

6. He also walked a walk characterized by a dili 
gent study of the Word of God. We see this in many 
things. His whole thought and the things that He 
said showed that He was saturated with Old Testa 
ment Scripture. He met each one of the three as 
saults of Satan in His temptation in the wilderness 
with a quotation from the Old Testament, and we read 
in Luke 24 : 27 that * beginning from Moses and from 
all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the 
Scriptures," conclusively showing that He had pon 
dered long and deep all parts of the Old Testament, 
the only written Word of God then existing, and in 
the forty-fourth verse of the same chapter we read 
that He said, "All things must be fulfilled which are 
written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the 
Psalms, concerning me." He himself was the incar 
nate Word of God, neverthless, He diligently studied 
and steeped Himself in the written Word in so far 
as it then existed. Are you in this matter walking 
as Jesus walked? Are you digging into the Bible? 
Are you saturating yourself with the Word of God? 
Are you permitting your whole thought and the very 
language you use to be saturated with Scripture? 
It was thus that Jesus walked, with an eye absolutely 
single to the glory of God, in whole-hearted sur 
render to and delight in the will of the Father, in 
utter disregard of self, with a consuming passion 
for the salvation of the lost, with a life of constant 
prayerfulness, in diligent study of the Word of God. 
Are you thus walking? Many of us doubtless will 
have to say this morning, "I am not," and that 
brings us to the next question. 



WALKING AS JESUS WALKED 239 



II. How CAN WE WALK AS JESUS WALKED ? 

It is a very practical question, and the all-sufficient 
answer to it is in our text: "He that saith he abideth 
in Him, ought himself also to walk even as He 
walked." It is clear from this that there is only one 
way by which we can walk as He walked, and that 
is by abiding in Him. But what does that mean? 
Our Lord Himself has explained this in John 15 : 1-5. 
In these verses He tells us that He is the vine and we 
are the branches, and that if we would have fruitage 
and power in prayer, and joy, we must abide in Him, 
just as the branch that bears fruit must abide in the 
vine. That is to say, abiding in Him is maintaining the 
same relation to Him that a fruitful branch of a grape 
vine bears to the vine ; it has no life of its own, all its 
life is the inflow of the life of the vine, its buds and 
leaves and blossoms and fruit are not its own, but 
simply the outcome of the life of the vine flowing 
into it and bearing fruitage through it, so that if we 
are to abide in Him and bear fruit we must seek 
to have no life of our own, we must renounce all our 
self-efforts after righteousness, not simply renounce 
our sins, but renounce our own thoughts, our own 
ambitions, our own purposes, our own strength, our 
own everything, and cast ourselves in utter depend 
ence upon the Lord Jesus for Him to think His 
thoughts in us, to will His purpose in us, to choose 
His choice through us, to work out His own glorious 
perfection of character in us. Many try to be like 
Christ by imitating Christ. It is absolutely impossible 
for us to imitate Christ in our own strength. The 



240 THE VOICE OF GOD 

most discouraging thing that any earnest-minded man 
can attempt is to imitate Christ. Nothing else will 
plunge a man in deeper despair than to try to imitate 
Christ in his own strength. Instead of imitating Him 
we should open our hearts wide for Him to come in 
and live His own life out through us. Christ in us 
is the secret of a Christian life. The only Christ that 
many professed Christians know is the historic Christ, 
that is the Christ who lived nineteen centuries ago 
on this earth and died on the cross of Calvary, an 
atoning sacrifice for sin. They only know the Christ 
who died for us on the cross. Oh, we need to know 
something further than that if we are to be like 
Him ; we need to know a living Christ to-day, a Christ 
who not only arose and ascended to the right hand 
of the Father, but a Christ who has come down and 
dwells in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). From 
the bottom of my heart I praise God for Christ for 
us on the cross. All my hope of acceptance before 
God is built upon Him bearing my sins in His own 
body on the cross, and I do praise God for Christ 
for us. But, oh, how I praise God, not only for 
Christ for me on the cross, but for Christ in me, a 
living, personal Christ in me to-day, living His life 
out through me, and causing me to walk even as 
Jesus walked. How we may thus have Christ in us 
Paul tells us in Gal. 2:20, A.R.V. He says, "I 
have been crucified with Christ/ i.e., when Christ 
was crucified on the cross He was crucified as our 
representative and we were crucified in Him, and we 
must see ourselves where God put us on the cross 
in the place of death and the curse, and thus cease 
to live in our own strength. Then he goes on to say, 



WALKING AS JESUS WALKED 241 

"It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me ;" 
i.e., as he had been crucified with Christ he counted 
himself what he really was in his standing before 
God, dead, and as a dead man, no longer sought to 
live his own life, but let Jesus Christ live His life 
out through him. And then he goes on still further 
to say, "That life which I now live in the flesh I live 
in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who 
loved me and gave Himself for me." The whole 
secret of being like Christ is found in these words. 
We must count self dead; we must give up our self- 
efforts after likeness to Christ; we must distrust our 
own strength as much as we distrust our own weak 
ness and our own sin, and instead of striving to live 
like Christ, let Christ live in us, as He longs to do. 
Of course we cannot thus have Christ in us until we 
know Christ for us, making a full atonement for our 
sins on the cross. Paul explains the whole secret of 
it in another way in Eph. 3 : 16-20. Here he prays 
for the believers in Ephesus that they "may be 
strengthened with power through His Spirit in the 
inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts 
through faith." The thought is, it is the work of the 
Holy Spirit to form an indwelling Christ within us, 
and the way to know Christ in us is to let the Holy 
Spirit form Him within us. 

Are you walking as Jesus walked? Do you wish 
to walk as Jesus walked, cost whatever it may? Well 
then, realize that you have not been walking as 
Jesus walked, and that the reason you have not 
walked as Jesus walked is because you have been 
trying to do it yourself, and give up your own at 
tempts to do it and just look up to the Risen Christ, 



242 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



through, whose death on the cross you have found 
pardon and justification, and let Him come and dwell 
in you and live His life out through you ; to have His 
perfect will in you, and just trust the Holy Spirit to 
form this indwelling Christ in your heart. 



XIX 

r 

THE SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE, ABOUND 
ING JOY, AND ABUNDANT VICTORY IN 
WAR TIMES AND AT ALL TIMES. 

"Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for 
God took him." Gen. 5:24. 

OUR subject this morning is The Secret of 
Abiding Peace, Abounding Joy, and Abun 
dant Victory in "War Times and at All 
Times. You will find the text in Gen. 5 : 24, "Enoch 
walked with God: and he was not; for God took 
him." In this description of Enoch s walk we find 
the secret of abiding peace, abounding joy, and 
abundant victory in war times and at all times. To 
my mind the text is one of the most fascinating and 
thrilling verses in the entire Bible. It sounds more 
like a song from a heavenly world than a plain state 
ment of historical facts regarding a humble inhab 
itant of this world of ours, but such it is, and it is 
possible for each one of us to so live and act that it 
may be recorded of us, "He walked with God," and 
later, "and he was not; for Go.d took him." The 
position of this verse in the Bible is significant and 
suggestive. There has been, in the verses immediately 
preceding, a very prosaic, monotonous, and at first 
sight tedious recital of how one man after another 
of the olden time lived so many years, begat a son, 

243 



244 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



continued to live so many years and begat sons and 
daughters and then died. Then suddenly Enoch is 
introduced and the story begins just as the other 
stories begin and goes on just as the other stories go 
on, and seems about to end just as the other stories 
end, but no, there is this fresh breath from heaven and 
these melodious tones sound out: "And Enoch walked 
with God: and he was not ; for God took him." Then 
the story goes on again in the same old strain. Re 
member that this account belongs to a far-away time, 
thousands of years before Christ, and about a thou 
sand years before the flood, and yet what depth of 
truth and beauty there is in it. Are there not lessons 
for us to learn from that far, far away olden time? 
The entire authentic history of Enoch is contained in 
nine verses in the Bible, six in the Old Testament, 
three in the new. History outside of the Bible is 
utterly unacquainted with him, yet he stands out as 
one of the most remarkable and admirable men of 
whom history speaks, a man whom God honoured as 
He has but one other member of the entire race. 
His greatness was of the kind that pleases God. We 
are told in the llth chapter of Hebrews and the 
fifth verse that "he hath had witness borne to him 
that before his translation he had been well pleasing 
to God. Quite likely his greatness did not win very 
hearty commendation from his- contemporaries. How 
ever, that was not of much consequence. His great 
ness did not consist of military renown, political 
power, profound scholarship, successful statesmanship, 
splendid artistic or architectural genius, nor even 
magnificent philanthropic achievement. It was great 
ness of a more quiet and less pretentious and visible 



SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE 245 

nature, but of a far more real and lasting nature ; it 
was greatness of character, "he walked with God," 
arid God so enjoyed his society that he took him to be 
with Himself permanently. 

I wish to make clear to you all to-day three things : 
first, what it is to walk with God; second, what are 
some of the results of walking with God; third, how 
we may get into such a walk ourselves, 

I. WHAT Is IT TO WALK WITH GOD? 

First of all then what is it to walk with God? I 
think I may safely say that with some of us here this 
morning that question needs no answer, God Himself 
has answered it to us in blessed, unspeakably blessed 
experience. But with some of us yes, many of us 
it does need an answer. We have read the words of 
the text before, perhaps we have read them often. 
Thy have charmed us, soothed us, thrilled us, and yet 
often the question has arisen in our hearts, just what 
do they mean. This question admits of a very plain 
and simple answer: to walk with God means to live 
one s life in the consciousness of God s presence and 
in conscious communion with Him, to have the 
thought constantly before us, God is beside me, and 
to be every now and then speaking to Him, and still 
more listening for Him to speak to us. In a word, to 
walk with God is to live in the real, constant, con 
scious companionship of God. We read that Enoch 
walked with God, not on a few rare occasions of 
spiritual exaltation, such perhaps as most of us have 
known, but for three hundred consecutive years after 
the birth of Methuselah (Gen. 6:22). It is possible 



246 THE VOICE OF GOD 

for us to have this consciousness of the nearness and 
fellowship of God in our daily life, to talk with Him 
as we talk to an earthly friend; yes, as we talk to 
no earthly friend, and to have Him talk to us, and 
to commune with Him in a silence that is far more 
meaningful than any words could be. I would gladly 
linger here in this sweet and holy place, but let us 
pass on to the results of walking with God. 

II. THE RESULTS OF WALKING WITH GOD. 

1. The first result of walking with God is great 
joy, abounding joy. "In thy presence," sings the 
Psalmist, "is fullness of joy" (Ps. 16: 11). There is 
no greater joy than that which comes from right 
companionship. Who would not rather live in a hut 
with congenial companions than in a palace with 
disagreeable associates. Who would not rather live 
on a bleak and barren isle among real Christians than 
in the fairest land the sun ever shone upon among 
infidels, blasphemers, drunkards, ruffians and liber 
tines. The most attractive feature of heaven is its 
society, especially the society of God and the Lord 
Jesus. Well might Samuel Rutherford say : I would 
rather be in hell with Thee than in heaven without 
Thee: for if I were in hell with Thee that would be 
heaven to me, and if I were in heaven without Thee 
that would be hell to me." But when we have the 
conscious presence and companionship of God on 
earth, "we have two heavens, the heaven to which 
we are going and a heaven to go to heaven in." In 
one of the loneliest hours of His lonely life Jesus 
looked up with radiant joy and said, "Yet I am not 
alone, because the Father is with me" (John 6:32). 



SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE 247 

Can you not remember some ecstatic hour of your 
life when you walked, and sometimes talked and 
sometimes were silent, with an earthly companion 
whom you loved as you loved no other? Oh, happy 
hour! but only faintly suggestive of the rapture that 
comes from walking with God, for He is an infinitely 
dearer and better and more glorious companion than 
any earthly one could be. How the homely details 
of everyday life are transfigured if we have the 
constant fellowship of God in them. There lived in 
the Middle Ages a lad named Nicholas Hermann. 
He was a raw, awkward youth, breaking all things 
that he touched, but one day the thought was brought 
to his mind with great force that God was every 
where and that he might have the constant thought 
of His presence with him and do all things to His 
glory. This thought transformed his life. He soon 
went to a monastery. His duty there was of the most 
menial character, in the kitchen, washing pots and 
kettles, but to use his own way of putting it, he 
11 practised the presence of God" in the midst of his 
humble toil. That kitchen became so holy a place that 
men took long journeys to meet Nicholas Hermann 
and to converse with him. Some of his conversations 
and letters have been published under the title "The 
Practise of the Presence of God." 

2. The second result of walking with God is a 
great sense of security, abiding peace. In the Psalm 
already quoted the Psalmist sings again : " I have set 
the Lord always before me, because He is at my right 
hand I shall not be moved" (Ps. 16:7). Certainly 
not. How can we be moved if God is with us, what 
harm can befall us? How often God says to His 



248 THE VOICE OF GOD 

servants as they begin to tremble before approaching 
danger: "Fear not, I am with thee" (Isa. 41:10). 
How safe the trusting child feels with father or 
mother by its side. A little girl was once playing in 
a room below while her mother was above, busy 
about household duties. Every little while the child 
would come to the foot of the stairs and call up : 
"Mamma, are you there?" "Yes, darling, what is 
it?" "Nothing, I only wanted to know if you were 
there." Then again a little while: "Mamma, are 
you there ? " " Yes, darling, what is it ? " " Nothing, 
I only wanted to know you were there. Ah ! is not 
that all we want to know, that God is here, right 
here by our side? There may be pestilence, there 
may be war, there may be famine, there may be 
thugs upon the street, there may be burglars in the 
house, there may be haunts of sin, and unprincipled 
men arid women on every hand ; yes our wrestling may 
not be with flesh and blood but "against the prin 
cipalities, against the powers, against the world rulers 
of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wicked 
ness in the heavenlies, but what does it matter ? God 
is with us. Oh, if we only bore in mind at every 
moment the thought of His presence with us, if we 
could only hear Him saying, "Fear thou not, for I 
am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God: 
I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; yea I 
will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteous 
ness," there would never be one single tremor of 
fear in our hearts under any circumstances. No mat 
ter .how the war increases, no matter how near it may 
come to our own doors, there would be unruffled 
calm, abounding peace, we could constantly say under 



SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE 249 

all circumstances, The Lord is my light and my sal 
vation ; whom shall I fear ? The Lord is the strength 
of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the 
wicked, even my enemies and my foes came upon me 
to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though 
a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not 
fear: though war should rise against me, in this will 
I be confident." No wonder the Psalmist wrote in 
this connection, "One tiling have I desired of the 
LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the 
house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the 
beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple." 
The conscious companionship of God is the great 
secret of abiding peace. 

3. The third result of walking with God is spiritual 
enlightenment. Communion with God rather than 
scholarship opens to us the mind and thought of God. 
There is no hint that Enoch was a man of science or 
letters. I am very sure he was not a higher critic, 
and yet this plain man by walking with God and 
talking with God got such an insight into the pur 
poses of God as no other man of his time had. In 
the epistle of Jude, the 14th and 15th verses, we learn 
that even in that far-away day, a thousand years be 
fore the flood, Enoch got hold of the great truth 
of the second coming of Christ. So to-day some old 
washerwoman, some humble cobbler, who walks with 
God may know more of the mind of God than many 
an eminent college professor, or even professor in a 
theological seminary. The important question con 
cerning points in dispute in religion and spiritual 
life is not what do the scholars say, but what do the 
men and women who walk with God say. If one is 



250 THE VOICE OF GOD 

considering going to some one for spiritual instruc 
tion, the first question is not how much of a scholar 
is he, not how much does he know of Latin and 
Hebrew and Greek and Syriac and philosophy and 
psychology, but does he walk with God. This is the 
great condition of spiritual insight, wisdom and un 
derstanding. 

4. The fourth result of walking with God is purity 
of heart and life. Nothing else is so cleansing as the 
consciousness of God s presence. Things that we 
have long tolerated become intolerable when we bring 
them into the white light of the presence of the Holy 
One. How many things we do in the darkness of the 
night, yea, even in the broad light of day, that we 
could not for a moment think of doing if we realized 
God was right there by our side looking. Many 
deeds we now do would be left undone if we realized 
this. Many words we now speak would be left un 
spoken, many thoughts and fancies we now cherish 
would be speedily banished. There are certain things 
that we do in the absence of certain holy friends that 
we would not for a moment do in their presence, but 
God is always present whether we know it or not, 
and if we walk in the consciousness of His presence, 
if we walk with God, our lives and hearts will 
speedily whiten. I have a friend who in his early life, 
though he professed to be a Christian, was very pro 
fane. He tried hard to overcome his profanity, but 
failed. He felt he must give up his attempt to be a 
Christian, but one day a wise Christian to whom he 
appealed for help, said to him, "Would you swear if 
your father were present?" "No." "Well, when 
you go to your work to-morrow remember that God is 



SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE 251 

with you every moment. Keep the thought of God s 
presence with you." At the end of the day to his 
amazement he had not sworn once. He had had the 
thought of God with him through the day and he 
could not be profane in that presence. The conscious 
ness of the presence of God will keep us from doing 
all the things that we would not dream of doing in 
His presence. Herein lies the secret of a holy life. 

5. The next result of walking with God is closely 
akin to this, beauty of character. We become like 
those with whom we habitually associate. How like 
their parents children become. How many mothers 
and fathers have been startled by seeing their own im 
perfections and follies mirrored in their children. 
Husband and wife grow strangely like one another, 
thus also the one who associates with God becomes like 
God. John Welch, a spiritual hero of the 16th century 
(1590 A.D.), son-in-law of John Knox, is said to have 
" reckoned that day ill spent if he stayed not seven 
or eight hours in prayer. One who well remembered 
his ministry said of him: "He was a type of Christ." 
Association with God made him like God. If we 
walk with God, more and more will his beauty illu 
mine and reflect itself in our lives. Moses very face 
shone as he came down from the forty days and forty 
nights of converse with God. So will our whole life 
soon shine with a heavenly glow and glory if we 
habitually walk with God. "With unveiled faces 
reflecting as a mirror the glory of God" we shall be 
"transformed into the same image from glory unto 
glory" (2 Cor. 3:18). 

6. The next result of walking with God will be 
eminent usefulness. Our lives may be quiet and even 



252 THE VOICE OF GOD 

obscure, it may be impossible to point to what men 
call great achievement, but the highest usefulness 
lies not in. such things but in the silent, almost un 
noticed but potent and pervasive influence of a holy 
life, whose light illumines, whose beauty cheers, and 
whose nobility elevates all who come in contact with 
it. Enoch has wrought out immeasurably more good 
for man than Nebuchadnezzer, who built the marvel 
lous structures of Babylon, than Augustus who found 
Rome brick and left it marble, " than the Egyptian 
monarchs who built the pyramids to amaze and mys 
tify the world for thousands of years to come; and 
to-day the man or woman, no matter how humble 
or obscure, who walks with God is accomplishing more 
for God and man than Morse with his telegraph, Ful 
ton with his steamboat, Stevenson with his locomotive, 
Cyrus Field with his Atlantic cable, Roebling with 
his marvellous bridges, Marconi with his wireless tele 
graphy and telephony, Edison and Tesla with their 
electric and electrifying discoveries, or any of the 
renowned political reformers of the day, with all their 
futile schemes for turning this world into a terrestrial 
paradise. Friends, if you wish to be really, per 
manently, eternally useful, walk with God. 

7. But there is a still better result than this from 
walking with God, we please God. Before his transla 
tion Enoch had this testimony borne to him that he 
"was well pleasing to God" (Heb. 11:5, R.V.), 
This is more than to be useful. God wants our com 
pany, God wants us to walk with Him, and He is well 
pleased when we do. God is more concerned that we 
walk with Him than that we work for Him. Martha 
was taken up with her service for her Lord, but Mary 



SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE 253 

was taken up with her Lord Himself and He testified 
that Mary had chosen the better part. It is quite 
possible to-day to be so occupied with our work for 
God that we forget Him for whom we work. If we 
would please Him we should first see to it that we 
walk with him. 

8. There is one result of walking with God still 
left to be mentioned, that is, God s eternal companion 
ship. " Enoch walked with God: and he was not; 
for God took him." The man who walks on earth 
with God, God will sooner or later take to be with 
Himself for ever. "If any man serve me," says 
Christ, "let him follow me; and where I am there 
shall also my servant be." If we do not walk with 
God on earth we are not likely to live with God in 
Heaven. If we do not care to cultivate His society 
now, we may be sure that He will not take us to be 
in His society for ever. 

III. How TO ENTER INTO A WALK WITH GOD. 

These eight immeasurably precious results come 
from walking with God: abounding joy, abiding 
peace, spiritual enlightenment, purity of heart and 
life, beauty of character, eminent usefulness, pleas 
ing God, God s eternal companionship. Do we not 
all then long to walk with Him? To come then face 
to face with the great practical question, what must 
we do that we ourselves may enter into this joyous, 
blessed walk with Him. The question can be plainly 
and simply answered. 

1. First of all we must trust in the atoning blood 
of Christ. "By faith/* the record reads, "Enoch 
was translated" (Heb. 11:5; cf. v. 4). Comparing 



254 



THE VOICE OF GOD 



this with what is said immediately before about Abel, 
we see that the faith by which he pleased God and 
was translated was faith in what God said about the 
blood. God is holy and we are sinners. Sin separates, 
as a deep and impassable chasm between us and Him. 
There can be no walk with Him until sin is put away 
and the chasm thus bridged, and it is the blood, and 
the blood alone, that puts away sin (Heb. 9:22). 
It is vain for us to attempt to cultivate the presence 
of God until we have accepted the provision that 
God Himself has made for putting away sin from 
between us and Himself. Indeed, if we have any real 
thought of God s holiness and our sinfulness there 
could be no joy, but only agony, in fellowship with 
Him, unless our sin was covered up, washed away, 
blotted out by the blood. There are many to-day who 
are spurning the blood and still attempting to walk 
with God. Vain attempt! It is utterly impossible. 

2. If we would walk with God we must obey God. 
Jesus said, If a man love me, he will keep my word : 
and my Father will love him, and we will come unto 
him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23, 
R.V.). Obedience to God, absolute surrender to His 
will, is necessary if we are to walk with Him. We 
cannot walk with God unless we go His way. Two 
cannot walk together unless they be agreed (Amos. 
3:3). There are many who once knew the presence 
of God every day and every hour. They know it 
no longer. The old and heavenly joy has faded from 
their lives. They wonder why it is. Ah ! there is no 
mystery disobedience. Come back, get right with 
God, surrender anew absolutely to His will. 

3. There is but one thing more to say. // we would 



SECRET OF ABIDING PEACE 255 

walk with God we must cultivate the thought of His 
presence. As Nicholas Hermann, or Brother Law 
rence, put it, we must "practise the presence of 
God" constantly. Call to mind the fact that God is 
with you when you are about your work. Often say 
to yourself, "God is with me." When you lie down 
at night say, "God is with me." If you wake at 
night remember God is here with me. " So in all the 
relations and experiences of life. There are four 
great aids to this: First, the study of God s Word. 
When we open this book we realize, or ought to real 
ize, that God Himself is speaking to us. Second, 
prayer. In prayer we come face to face with God. 
Third, thanksgiving. In intelligent and specific 
thanksgiving to God He is more real to us than even 
in petition. Fourth, worship. In worship we bow 
before God and contemplate Himself. Oh, how near 
He gets at such a time. It is the Holy Spirit who 
will make our walk with God true and real. It is in 
connection with the coming of the Spirit that Christ 
speaks of His own manifestation of Himself to us 
and of the coming of the Father and of Himself to 
be with us (John 14: 16, 17, 18, 21, 23). Look then 
to God Himself by His Spirit to make His presence 
known and felt. 

Brethren, shall we walk with God? God is saying 
to each of us to-day, "Come, take a walk with me." 
If we accept the wondrous invitation He will lead 
us on as long as we will let Him, and some day it will 
be true of us, as some one has quaintly said of Enoch, 
we will walk so far with God we will not come back, 
and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

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