Monday, April 11, 2016

Prayer

Prayer
By Charles H. Stalker


      Message Delivered at Kettering, Evening Meeting, Jan. 15th, 1919

      "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."

      There is scarcely anything that can be said of what the prayer life is and what it can be. These words are spoken definitely in regard to praying in the Holy Ghost, and there is more in this than in anything else. It is one of the most wonderful things that God hears and answers prayer. When the sinner comes and confesses his Sins and prays, God answers his prayer and saves his soul. Just think of the result. Here is a lost man, and he knows he is lost. He cries to God for pardon, and God answers his prayer. Then he knows just as clearly that he is saved. The believer comes and prays for the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. It may be a very simple prayer and very short, but think of all that it means, when that prayer is answered and the Holy Ghost comes.

      People can speak about it and I have heard some of the best preachers, and I have heard testimonies, but no one has been able to express it. I have heard people expound the Bible, they have torn the text to pieces, and when they have finished and put on the climax, they could not tell it as good as it was in my soul. I have heard some Greek scholars, and my, how they did sweat. They dug up roots like we used to dig up roots in the clearing, and when they were through, the thing was not as big as God had made it in my soul. Praise the Lord.

      People say we exaggerate, but it cannot be exaggerated. You would have to go in eternity to exaggerate it. With all the wonderful discoveries that have been made by man, they have never been able to do for a soul what the Holy Ghost has done. There is one striking thing about praying in the Holy Ghost. You cannot pray in the Holy Ghost until you have prayed the Holy Ghost in There are hundreds of people who have prayed a little, but you would be surprised at the small number who have prayed a prayer in the Holy Ghost. We have got to face the facts, and facts will live after feelings are dead. You begin to deal with facts and you will have something that will stick to you a long time after people have lost all they professed to have.

      There are no limitations, there is no condition, and there is no power that can keep us from praying a prayer in the Holy Ghost. A person living in a sod house, if he knows the difference between salt and sugar, can pray a prayer in the Holy Ghost.

      The devil cannot get an answer to prayer, neither can any of his followers. People can have money and prestige and place, but if they were left to get an answer to prayer, they would die in poverty and spend eternity in hell with the rich man. There is absolutely no end to the possibilities in the prayer life.

      After this dark picture, this dismal picture held up by this man, he says "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." You can live on answers to prayer, and no one can keep you from getting answers to prayer. I say, tonight, without any hesitation, that the greatest change in my life after the Holy Ghost came was the continuous answer to prayers. Prayers that nobody ever heard, prayers that were prayed in my heart by the Holy Ghost, and I am getting answers to prayer today that were prayed years ago. I have had answers to prayer during the last two or three years that were prayed with my hands on the plow handle. The Holy Ghost knows just what He is doing.

      There is another very striking thing, this is a prayerless age. People read about prayer, but they do not pray. If they do it, it is a burden to them. They will take plenty of time to eat, but when it is time for prayer they will read the shortest Psalm and they call that prayer. They do not realize how much there is in prayer. We are living in an age when people do not see much in it, and they say it is foolish to pray. If we did what the people used to do in fasting and prayer we would be counted as fools. If a person said he was going to spend his life in pleasure, very little would be said about it, but if someone says they are going to spend their life in prayer, they are looked upon as a curiosity. But, believe me, there is more in prayer than there is in anything else

 These words were written at a time when everything was out of the ordinary, but he said, "You can pray in the Holy Ghost." I am glad, today, everyone of us can pray in the Holy Ghost. You can start in your home, and you will be surprised at the things that will be brought to your memory and to your door in answer to prayer. You may think of it now as a very small thing, but when you begin to pray it will increase. Get alone with the Lord in prayer, communion and fellowship.

      All prayers prayed in the Holy Ghost are answered. You see how important it is. And no prayers out of the Holy Ghost are answered. You see how awful that is. Someone says, "Be careful, now." I am with the Bible. "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me." Beloved, when God puts the light on your soul it pays to walk in every ray. When people speak lightly about these things, we can see that they know nothing about them. Just think what it means for your soul to be in communion with God. The Holy Ghost has come in and you do not have to be worrying about your own experience, you can be praying for others. When you get into this experience, and you begin to think what it means, you will find yourself saying, "How did I get along without the Holy Ghost?" The refinement and education that comes to a soul in communion with God cannot be found in any other place. If you would spend the rest of your life in prayer, you would come up to the judgment with such a character that would simply stagger the angels through all eternity.

      People will do almost everything else but pray. You can get preachers, you can get people to do almost everything but pray. They think prayer is just a little thing, a prayer now and then, but it is a real life, and the Bible says: "Pray without ceasing." I do not mean that you will always be in the same place, but you can always be in communion with God.

      Whenever a sinner confesses his sins and prays for pardon, he always gets the answer. There are thousands of people today who have desires in their hearts, but the carnal mind hinders them from getting answers to prayer. After God destroys the works of the devil, and the Holy Ghost comes in, He makes intercession for the saints. There is more in a groan after He comes than in all the beautiful words spoken before. Many times your prayer will end with a real cry of soul that finds no words to express it. You use the vocabulary, but that is limited. The words fail sometimes, they do not express your desire, and you just groan out a prayer that cannot be uttered, and God begins to answer. It will take something from you. You may have various kinds of burdens, but a burden of soul just seems that it would eat up your very life. I believe that the great need today is for more prayer.

Gethsemane



Gethsemane
By Charles H. Stalker


      Message Delivered at Mansfield, Morning Meeting, February 2nd, 1919

      "Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me. And He went a little farther, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And He cometh unto His disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, what, could ye not watch with me one hour? watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: The Spirit indeed Is willing, but the flesh is weak."

      I do not think that too much can be said about the work of the Holy Ghost, and I am deeply impressed with what has been done in this country since I was here before. But I am more impressed with what the Holy Ghost is going to do. There is nothing that is going to glorify God and bless men like the message we stand for in this meeting this morning. Now that statement will be criticized and laughed at, but it will prove absolutely true in every experience.

      A great deal depends on the faithfulness of individuals. While there are some who think it matters very little, you are a link in the chain and although you know your sins are all forgiven and the Holy Ghost abides, yet He is going to reveal things to you and show you possibilities in the future that you never dreamed of, that is what He comes to do. After making a number of trips to this country, I believe there is nothing that will appeal to your people like the message that you carry. The Holy Ghost makes an appeal that can be made in no other way, and I know personally, that no other message ever appealed to my own soul as much as that. God gave me a vision that I had never had before, and I have never lost it. It cannot be expressed, but it is revealed by the Holy Ghost, and that is what is what I covet for you above everything else. I want everyone of you to know the secrets of the Holy Ghost. They are for you, just in your condition, He will bring them to you just where you are.

      One often hears the words of our text flippantly spoken by people who are unfaithful, and by those who do not take their place in the work of God. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Never say it again. Those words were uttered in the greatest struggle that Divinity has ever known for humanity. You ask people why they did not take some part, and they say, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." It should never be spoken in that way. The expression came from the broken heart of the Son of God in the great struggle in Gethsemane. He was just bearing the burden, and He was just groaning under its weight when He said: 'Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, Thy will be done. And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh He to His disciples, and saith unto them, sleep on now, and take your rest, behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."

      There are some very impressive lessons in this, and I never take this message and read it without the consciousness of the depth of the meaning of it. When we think about it we can see at once that we can grasp only a part -- only a miniature part of the great struggle through which He passed.

      We can see that Holiness is always ahead.

      That is something every one of you can carry. The world will tell you that Holiness is behind, carnality will say it is out of date, but Holiness is always ahead. "He went a little farther." Just where carnality stops, a man filled with the Holy Ghost will move on and go ahead; just where the mobs of this world stop Holiness goes right on and you can always know where to find it. Never look for it in the rear, it is always ahead. You need not think it is something to be tested and to be tried. It has been tested and tried and it works, and it always takes its place at the front. That is why the victories have been won, Holiness goes ahead of carnality, intellectuality and humanity into the realm of victory. You can see these things are practical, they are the result of the work of the Holy Ghost in the heart and they are worked out in the life. Holiness never stops with the crowd, it never has and never will.

    Now, I want you to notice that it was not the five thousand, it was not the one hundred and twenty, it was only three out of all who had been with Him and followed Him, all who had watched Him and heard Him. He only took Peter, James and John, the choice of the lot, those who had heard His heart secrets, those who knew Him best. He took them, and they followed along; and then when He came to the place -- when they came really to the place carnality failed. It always fails, it never keeps up with Holiness, it never keeps up with the Holy Ghost, and when it comes up to the crucial and critical point, it fails every time.

      Now when they came to the place, -- just think what a place that was -- He went a little further and fell on His face. You can see for yourself how much it meant, and you will never stay with carnality after the Holy Ghost comes to your heart. Others will stop, and after they stop you will go a little farther. They say, ' You can't do it." You say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." They say, "You are going too far," and you say, "Good-bye." They say, "Don't see anything in it," and you say, "I see everything in it." You see why you are such a curiosity, you become the odd one. You were raised like the rest, but you have got some other kind of raising, you ate at the same table. You had the same instruction and the same education, and they had some hope of you until you received the Holy Ghost. Then you disgraced the family and you became the worst one of the lot. People say these things because they don't see anything else, but the Holy Ghost takes you right on in victory. Why is this meeting held here this morning? Because people see more in coming here than staying at home. Now a great many people do not see that, but some saw it, and they said "Good-bye."

      There was a crowd with Saul of Tarsus when he was riding along, and they heard a noise, but he heard something that knocked him down, and he never got over it. He heard a voice speaking to him, saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? " It stopped him right there. We have never heard anything of the other bunch, but why? We will never hear the last of Paul. Why? Because he heard a voice from heaven. The others heard a noise, they thought it thundered. If I did not see more in it than ninety-nine out of every hundred I would quit, I would not live at the miserable, half dying rate.

      Holiness is always ahead. Don't think you are ever going to be defeated, while you keep the Holy Ghost in your heart you are going to have the victory. You do not serve God for victory, you serve God with victory. It does not matter what others say, you are always in the majority. Someone says "That seems strange, I cannot see how He can do it." But He can do it. All He wants is a channel. You can hold on to God until He will move in every room in the house, and He will move on every heart until they know that you have something they do not possess. They may get mad and say some hard things, but the thing is working just the same. Yes, God is able to do that.

      When there was a lion's den, it was ahead, it was not back yonder, no, it was ahead. When there was a fiery furnace, Holiness was ahead. There were only three of them, but they were ahead, and I can see that hell-bound procession following them. I can see that godless king looking through his fingers, and while everybody else bowed, and bowed, and bowed, those three stood as stiff as a rod, and they would not bow down. They went straight into the burning, fiery furnace, and they found somebody there that the king had not put in.

      That was the secret. "How did that fourth One get in there? We did not put Him in." How did a Holiness Meeting get in the Town Hall when carnality is hating it worse than hell? How can we have a meeting here without a D.D. or a LL.D. to come and see about it? That is the secret

      And the king said, "I counted three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, now there is another that I did not count, and He looks like the Son of God." He had listened to the testimonies which had been so radical that he recognized that the fourth was like the Son of God. The king did not put that One in there, so there must have been someone he did not have charge of, there was someone round the corner in the furnace, and He did not show Himself till the fire had become hot enough. It burnt up the fellows that put them in, they were burnt to ashes. People have studied this, but they have never found out the secret. Holiness is ahead always, you never find it anywhere else.

      Now the great tests and struggles of your life will take place when you are alone, and sometimes the devil's power will be strong. Your friends will leave you, and your own family will stand aside.

      You will have to go through alone. The Son of God had five thousand when He was feeding them with the loaves and fishes, He had a multitude when He was opening the eyes of the blind, but when He was sweating the death sweat for a lost world, He was alone.

      I want to say, beloved, that this is as true as it has ever been. You will spend much time alone with God and the greatest struggles and the greatest battles of your life will take place when you are alone. There will be meetings and there will be messages, but you must have something that will take you through alone. Until you have something that will defy the devil and defeat all hell and drive back the powers of darkness when you are alone, you will never have much victory. It is good to have someone to pray with, that is the right thing, but there is nothing that will give you courage and build up your character so much as being alone with God in the great battles of your life. We are apt to depend on people, and we are apt to listen to them. Jesus was left by the multitude and left by His followers, that is the thing -- left by His followers, those who had been with Him and knew Him best. They were tired and weary, and they had no conception of what was going on, they saw it not. It is good to be with our friends and to hear their encouraging words, but, beloved, you will get more alone with God in prayer, in communion and in struggle than you will ever get in any other way. This is the point where a great many fail, they are not prepared to go through alone.

One Thing


One Thing
By Charles H. Stalker


      Message Delivered at Penn, Sunday Morning, January 19th, 1919

      "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward to mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

      These words have specially impressed my mind this morning, they are so expressive and so comprehensive. I trust that God will speak to our hearts some living truth which is the need of the hour.

      "This one thing I do." That is the secret in every life of sacrifice and service. It is very impressive that after this man was saved and sanctified he saw more in this one thing than in anything else. A real supernatural change had taken place. Before, he was bringing death and destruction, but afterwards he was bringing life and instruction. He carried the message of life, the greatest message that this world has ever heard and that God has ever spoken. We can see the need of a real supernatural change. Although he learned a great deal at the feet of Gamaliel, if he had never had a real change of heart we should never have heard of this character.

      "This one thing I do." We are not giving our time and our energy and our money to a failing cause, we are not making an investment that will fail to bring real dividends. These things have been tried and tested in the fiery furnace, and the lion's den, and under the most extreme circumstances, and they have never failed, and never will.

      One particular thing is, that when people get this experience, they give their lives willingly to the work. You can make your own choice, and no one is responsible but you. When it comes to these things, which are of such great worth, all are left to make their choice. A person does not have to read the Bible, or pray at the family altar, there is no compulsion. How glad I was to see that man raise his hand last night; divinity and humanity were united together, and no one can explain it. It goes into the realm which is only revealed by the Holy Ghost. That is the whole secret of it. The act which has staggered the brainiest is that it is revealed in simplicity to the babes. "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes."

      I was going down a street in Columbus one day, and I noticed a large board. It was painted in an attractive way, and on one side was written: "We have no competition, we are in a field of our own." How true that is. The Holy Ghost says: "You have no competition on this line." You can weep and pray, and live and die, and only a few will care after all. Only a few will ever know you, but you can live for ever when you live in the Holy Ghost.

      A great many people would like the results, they would like the dividends, but they will not make the investment. If you are having a hard time to get a place, fall in the mud and trust the blood. Nobody ever wanted Paul's place, and they will never want your place.

      They are very particular when they choose men to be soldiers, but when God makes a call, He silences all the calls of man. He will take the scrap iron pieces and the dust and ashes of a mis-spent life, and He will use it for His glory, and the salvation of souls. He will take a body that has been wrecked by sin and He will make a monument that will stand through time and eternity. I have heard people say they have tried it once, they have started once. What did they try? Just think of experimenting with God. God never thought of thirty or forty years, He never made a sacrifice that would last only for a day, it was a sacrifice that will last for ever. He has made a covenant that is everlasting. I want to say, beloved, that when you get in the thought of God you can be a blessing to somebody, and they will never forget it as long as they live, and they will remember you in their dying hour.

  Here was a man that had the highest authority, his pockets were full of papers, but his heart was filled with stuff. Just as soon as his heart was changed the papers went and he trusted God, He took him through. I am glad that God has such characters.

      This is an hour of extreme need, we cannot open our eyes without seeing the need. We cannot live selfish lives and be clear. The heart of man is craving for something, and it can never be satisfied until it finds God. We were created to be filled with the knowledge of God and with the Holy Ghost.

      At one time it was thought very peculiar and very strange for people to leave the country and go out indefinitely. Single ones took the gangplank and went to the fields far away, but during the past few months the gang-plank has been crowded, bringing the blood and the sacrifice from afar. The single missionary used to go to the field and death was faced as a matter of fact. The people said nothing, and they were willing to go. Oh, we are so far behind in making the sacrifice for God and a lost world. We have been so selfish and we have been so secluded that we have let millions go without hearing the name of Jesus. You can see there is a great work to be done. There is no compulsion, but you can just give your life.

      Christianity does not live on what people say, but upon what it does, and when a thing is done God and man can see it. Say all you please about what God cannot do, but when God does it in the heart, wisdom and brains are staggered.

      I remember a little girl who came to the altar. She was under deep conviction, and God begun to talk to her. She lifted up her little face and said she was the worst sinner that ever lived, and she prayed and cried. Some people say, "I would not do that." Yes you will. "Every knee shall bow." And "Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" After a while she said: "I know I am saved and all my sins are forgiven," and the tears soon dried on her face. We saw it, but we did not understand it. That testimony will live for ever. You can get around tradition, you can explain away education, but the work of God will stand.

      One special thing that has impressed me is, that this work has a foundation that the devil can never move or remove. After all has been said and done there are no words that can give expression to the gratitude of the heart that has been changed by the power of God.

      We are glad this morning that we can read of one man of God who said "This one thing I do." It was an hour of need then, it is an hour of need now, and there is nothing that brings such reward as a life of sacrifice and service for others. When you begin to see these things God will bless you wonderfully.

      I went to New York a few years ago to see some missionaries sail. Some had come from a distance, and some had friends to see them off, but there was one young lady who seemed to have more friends and more presents than any of them. When she went up on the gang-plank her arms were just filled. Some had gone away without a carnation, but she seemed to have more than her share. It was all right, because her friends had a right to do it. She disappeared for a little while and then she came back. You would think that she would have placed them in the state room where she could have enjoyed their fragrance, but she came back with her arms full of flowers, and she begged to distribute those flowers along the steamer. It made an impression that will never leave me. They had been given to her, but she saw more in giving them away. I watched her closely. I did not receive a flower, but I got such a blessing by watching. How different it was from selfishness. She might have put them in a vase in the state room, or she might have given them to the stewardess to keep fresh for the voyage, but she passed them on to others.

      The heart of God broken on Calvary gives to everyone who comes in surrender, salvation from sin and the abiding presence of the Comforter. As soon as they are filled with the flowers of divine grace, then they can pass them on to others.

      Beloved, what did God save you for? What did Jesus shed His blood for? What was Gethsemane for? For you and me to enjoy ourselves? Never! What does it matter how I feel for twelve months? What does it matter if ecstasy and emotion never possess me again, if I am conscious that I am in the will of God and giving somebody a flower, or putting something in somebody's life that will never cease to glorify God and bless others.

On John Wesley Redfield



On John Wesley Redfield


By Charles H. Stalker


The following from the pen of Catherine Booth should shake all who are lukewarm and indifferent. She writes, "Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don't wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work - to wake people up."

John Wesley Redfield was a man who awakened both the sleeping sinner and careless Christian. When Mr. Redfield prayed or preached men and women were touched by Jesus and went home different than when they came. Under the influence of Mr. Redfield's ministry, the slaves of sin were brought to repentance and totally set free. Wherever he preached, church after church seemed to be effected in the same way.

On one occasion Mr. Redfield entered the pulpit with an especially intense and heavy burden pressing upon his heart. Without hesitation he began his message by clearly describing all those who had lived in the church for years without true saving grace; who had sat under the most searching gospel ministry; who had seen the truth lived out before them and yet rejected it all. With passion he warned all those who had shunned the narrow path of repentance and the cross of Christ. As Mr. Redfield spoke the Holy Spirit brought a shaking conviction of sin upon the entire congregation. Some cried out, some fell prostrate before they could get to the altar, and others fell at the altar. The slain lay in some places totally helpless, one upon another until the aisles were closed for hours. At this exact same time, people miles away also fell under the power of God in the seclusion of their own homes.

John Wesley Redfield said of himself, "God has made me a rough man and given me a rough gospel for rough hearts." He preached holiness forcibly every where he went. This sometimes aroused great opposition, but it also brought great results. Dead churches were revived, new ones were built and the sick were often healed. Mr. Redfield's doctrine and anointing were not borrowed from books, but born in prayer. "Frequently he would groan as if in the throes of death as he wrestled in prayer; then the victory would come. People shouted, prayed and confessed, many lost their strength and did not regain it until they promised obedience to God." Such manifestations of God's power frequently followed his ministry. Under Redfield's preaching in New York, people would run out the back doors of the meeting house trying to avoid the conviction of the Holy Spirit. They would then fall helpless in the streets under the power of God. When found later, they were assumed to be drunk and taken to jail. The first night this occurred the officers marveled, as one after another the once rebellious sinners, recovered, repentant and praising God.

The key to John Wesley Redfield's success was his total and unrelenting dependence upon Jesus Christ. Through many trials he had learned that he could truly do nothing apart from Jesus. Is it not true, that much of our failure to bring forth lasting change lies at the feet of our own self-dependence and pride? We must recover our simplicity and joy of devotion to Jesus. We must repent and put away our methods and programs of self-reliance and once again embrace the "better part" of sitting at the feet of Jesus in humility and prayer. (Luke 10:38-42)



The Great Debt

The Great Debt
By Charles H. Stalker


      Message Delivered at Mansfield, Afternoon Meeting, January 31st, 1919

      "I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise. So as much as in me is I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."

      You will find an experience here that shows the great, radical and supernatural change that had taken place in this man's heart, and I do not believe it was simply for the Apostle Paul, but I believe it comes to all who are conscious that their sins have been forgiven and that the Holy Ghost has come to abide in their hearts. There are a great many things in which people differ, but the supernatural work is the same in every heart. There may be a difference in the personalities and in the dispositions, but the work of grace is always the same. Those who are really saved from sin, praise God for salvation, and those who have received the Holy Ghost have an inexpressible gratitude in their hearts for all that God has done for them.

      The revelation of Calvary always brings with it the revelation of the need of humanity, and these revelations, given by the Holy Ghost, will last through time and through eternity.

      Now it is fatal to go into this thing without going in for life and with life. You cannot realize how much there is in it until you get into it. So many people do not see anything in it because they are not in it, but some are getting so much out of it because they are all in it.

      The first impression that came to Paul after he received the Holy Ghost was his great indebtedness to the human race. He saw more than the few he had left on the road to Damascus, or even the crowd of Athenians. The vision of God goes clear beyond the vision of man, and just where humanity stops, divinity begins, and when you have seen as far as your eyes can see, then the Holy Ghost takes you into the realm of the supernatural. The depth is always beyond man and beyond the measurement he has used, and when Paul said, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His judgments, and His way past finding out," he was trying to express something that went right beyond all language.

      We use language as the expression of thought, but in speaking of the supernatural, words fail to convey any idea of the divine supply for the need of humanity.

      First of all the Holy Ghost shows you your own need, and then, when you know your sins are forgiven and the Holy Ghost has come, He can never again show you your need, but He will show you the need of others, the need of a lost world. If you never feel a burden, you will never be a blessing. The burden on the hearts of the saints always brings blessing to the sinners, and the unction on the saints always brings conviction on the ungodly. I just simply mention it. It is always the same. These things do not change, they are the same in this country as in America, they do not change in a hall, they do not change in a cathedral. Where there is no burden, there can be no blessing. That is the reason why the prayer meetings are dying out, the burden is gone and there is no blessing. The saints must carry a burden if blessings are to be brought to the sinners.

      When there is no burden and no vision the people perish. Why is it that so many souls are without Holiness? Because some people have not seen enough in it to live and die for it. Thousands of people would get the experience in a few moments if they saw as much in it as they see in other things, but they do not see it. You can preach about it, and witness to it, but the Holy Ghost has to show it to that man out there or he will never see anything in it. If I told you something and you believed it, and then someone else came along and told you something, you would go off with them. That is the reason why the devilish errors have gained so much ground. There is the desire for leadership. When God tells you something and you believe Him and allow Him to do a work in your heart, you will be able to stand.

   Just think what a vision Paul had. He did not receive it at the feet of Gamaliel, he did not get it at college. It came as a revelation from the Holy Ghost. He was hurrying people to hell and persecuting the Christians until he was saved and sanctified. A great many people never have a vision and they never have a burden for lost souls. When God gives you a vision you are never the same afterwards. Paul said, "I am debtor." He was saved and sanctified and he realized he was indebted to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, to the wise and to the unwise, to the people who do not know much, and who do not enjoy as much as others. You can give your whole lives to God and go out and help somebody and God will have all the glory.

      When we get this vision God begins to show us the need of other hearts. If we were to be saved and sanctified and do nothing we would be of all men most miserable, but it is not so. I do not want people to pity me, I would rather they prayed for me. I saw something that I cannot tell, the Holy Ghost showed it to me and it has been getting bigger ever since; I saw a lost world and I have a burden for lost souls, it has been increasing all the time. The Holy Ghost not only showed Paul the need, but He showed him the great supply. Then he wrote to them and told them how he longed to come to them that they might receive a second benefit. He prayed for them night and day, and he saw something for the Romans, and for the wise, too. He had the dose that would do for all of them He had the real message of God and he was longing to carry it to them.

      He said he did not know how many more beatings he would have, but he was coming to them, and he was coming in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. It did not matter how many prisons he had to enter, or how many beatings he had, they could not take away the vision he had on his way to Damascus, and they could not take away the burden. He kept it until they took off his head. Just think what a debt we owe to this lost world. Some of them do not know that the promises of the Bible are for them, some of them do not know "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." They have not heard that "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord." What are you worth if God does not put something in your soul? This is not the work of man, but the work of God.

      Get into harmony with God and give your life for Holiness. On every other line you will find competition. If you prepare yourself for farming, you will find competition. Advertise for one, and fifty would possibly come. I do not know what they are doing today. If you prepare yourself for teaching there are plenty of competitors, but no one can fill your place in the thought of God. If you do not fill it, it will be vacant for time and for eternity.

      People who are filled with the Holy Ghost can be a great blessing to others and yet be unconscious of the fact. Is there Bible for that? Yes. Jesus said, in reference to some characters, "When saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

      They were doing the very thing and did not know it. When you had that prayer meeting and took that "Holiness Messenger," it blessed somebody although you did not know it. God pronounced a blessing upon it. If you do not fill your place it will never be filled, and you will be met at the judgment bar by souls who will be doomed and damned because of your neglect. If you fill your place then "thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee."

      Paul learned wonderful things at the feet of Gamaliel, but they had no effect on him after he had the revelation from God. He counted all those things but dung, he was willing to sacrifice everything, to suffer the loss of all things that he might know God. He did it for the glory of God and for the good of souls.

      When Jesus was here He was so much alone. No doubt there were many who thought they would follow Him, but when He told them that "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head," that killed them and He never heard from them again. He knew their thought and He saw their purpose. Another time they were asking who should be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? You get a place as a gift from God and nobody else can fill that place.

FIXEDNESS OF PURPOSE




by Archibald Alexander


"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed." Men are often the subject of strong impressions, and have their feelings strongly excited, when they are far from a fixed and deliberate purpose to devote themselves unreservedly to the service of God. Whatever vicissitudes of feeling and fluctuation of hope the real Christian may experience, his purpose never wavers. He may be strongly tempted, and carnal desires may plead against his course, and his self-denial may be painful, like plucking out a right eye, or cutting off a right hand; but still his determination is fixed that he will serve the Lord. Yes, when by some powerful temptation he is overcome, and is betrayed into sin, though he may for a season be in despair, yet his purpose is, that if he perishes, he will perish seeking mercy and trying to serve the Lord.

Fixedness of purpose is a much better evidence of genuine piety than the most elevated feelings of joy; and this is an evidence which the Christian possesses in his darkest hours of discouragement. Our sensible feelings are much more connected with the state of the nervous system than is commonly supposed; but the steady, fixed purpose of the will, is a good evidence that the heart has been renewed. Our purpose may be stronger at one time than another, but it is always fixed.

The writer has come upon following case. A careless and profane young man was awakened, and professed to be converted. His zeal was ardent, and his confidence strong. He relinquished a lucrative business that he might commence a course of education for the Christian ministry. After a while his zeal began to cool, and his prospect of success in preparing for the ministry being somewhat uncertain, he began to regret that he had commenced such a course. And worse than this, he began to repent that he had left the world, and had relinquished a profitable business for the sake of Christ. In a conversation which the writer had with him, he acknowledged that, he often hesitated whether he should continue to seek God, or go back to the world. This confession struck the writer with surprise, as he had before entertained a very favorable opinion of this man, and he could not reconcile such wavering with sincerity. After some time, the young man suddenly relinquished his studies, gave up his Christian profession, and plunged into more than his former dissipation. He became openly profane, and it is believed avowed his disbelief in the reality of true religion. The change in his course affected the pious with grief, and furnished occasion of triumph to the enemies of vital piety. But his course was short. Though possessed of a strong and healthy constitution, he was seized with an inflammatory fever, and died in horror and despair!


THE PEACE OF GOD


THE PEACE OF GOD


by Archibald Alexander


There are three words, pregnant with precious and important meaning, commonly used by the apostles in their salutations and benedictions, GRACE, MERCY, and PEACE. These words include everything which man needs or can desire.

Peace is the legacy which Christ gave to his disciples: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." And after his resurrection, the first time he met with his disciples when assembled together, he said, "Peace be unto you." He gives peace not as the world gives. He is the PRINCE OF PEACE, and his gospel is the "gospel of peace." It is called "the peace of God," because he is its author. It is a sweet and gentle stream which flows from the fountain of life beneath his throne. Happy is he who has received this heavenly gift; it will, in the midst of external storms and troubles, preserve his mind in a tranquil state. It is independent of external circumstances. It is most exquisitely enjoyed in times of affliction and persecution. "In the world you shall have tribulation; but these things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace." It is a fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace." It includes reconciliation with God. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Peace of conscience is a fruit of reconciliation with God. The blood which reconciles, when sprinkled on the conscience, produces a sweet peace which can be obtained in no other way. If the atonement of Christ satisfies the law which condemned us, and we are assured that this atonement is accepted for us, conscience, which before condemned, as being the echo of the law, is now pacified.

The peace of God also includes freedom from jarring, discordant passions of the mind. The wicked, however prosperous externally, can have no true peace within. Their ambition and pride and avarice, and love of ease and carnal indulgence, can never be harmonized. One may be the master-passion, but the others will arise and create disturbance and turmoil within.

The only passion which effectually harmonizes the discordant passions of human nature, is the love of God. Wherever this is introduced, it will not only be predominant, but bring all other desires into willing subjection. The peace of God is not a mere negative blessing, consisting in exemption from the misery of discord; it is a positive enjoyment of the purest, sweetest kind. It is a foretaste of the bliss of heaven. Nothing on earth is so delightful. It is therefore said to "pass understanding." No one could have thought man's miserable soul could possess such enjoyment in this world. But why is so little known of the peace of God--in the experience of professing Christians? I leave everyone to answer for himself.