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  • THE GOSPELS OF MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, AND JOHN, HARMONIZED
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    PART BY REV. W. B. GODBEY, A.M. Author of “Commentary on the New Testament, Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, and VI;” “Spiritual Gifts and Graces,” “Holy Land,” “Victory,” Holiness or Hell,” “Christian Perfection,” “Sanctification,” “Baptism,” “Woman Preacher,” and “Footprints of Jesus.” PURSUANT to the clamor of the holiness people from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Gulf to the Lakes, after long procrastination, feeling my incompetency, finally, five years ago, yielding to their importunity, I entered upon the arduous work of expounding the New Testament Scriptures exegetically for the common people, who desire to know the precious Word of the Lord and communicate it to others, hoping and praying the inspiration of the blessed Holy Spirit, Author of the everlasting Gospel, on our feeble efforts to expound His precious truth; not writing critically for the preachers, but lucidly, experimentally, and practically, sanguinely hoping that the rank and file of God’s sincere, humble, holy people, who, like the inspired Twelve, have no opportunities for collegiate learning, may study these books by the help of the Lord, go out and preach the gospel to the dying millions, not only in the home lands, but especially to those who sit in heathen darkness beyond the sea.

    Deprecating the responsibility of writing up our Savior’s ministry, and assured that full salvation has steam-power enough to run up stream, I began at the end of the Book, to go back to the beginning, expounding the Apocalypse, that wonderful book of New Testament prophecy, first of all, constituting Volume 1 in the series. Volume 2, comprising Hebrews, Peter, James, John, and Jude, those wonderful books, so pregnant with perfection, fire, life, love and lightning, then followed. Now, reaching those beautiful, profound, and magnificent writings of the Apostle Paul, Volume 3, expounding Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, including the Pastoral Epistles and the thrilling prophecies of Paul, setting forth the return of Jesus to this world, to translate His saints, set up His kingdom, and reign in glory, — themes whose absorbing and inspiring interest will ever prove an Archimedean lever, to lift the saints into higher communion, sweeter fellowship, and broader experiences. Then those wonderful Corinthian Epistles, expounding the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, till the sanctified intellect grows dizzy in contemplating the transcendent possibilities attainable by the citizens of the kingdom, even in this transitory life, and Galatians, elucidating the plan of salvation, as evolved out of the Abrahamic covenant, with a beauty, symmetry, force, and perspicuity unutterably charming and superlatively edifying, constitute Volume 4; while the Acts of the Apostles, that wonderful history of the advent and mighty works of the Holy Comforter, and that wonderful book of Romans, Paul’s Imperial Epistle, so wonderful for its symmetry, profundity, altitude, latitude, and longitude, containing an epitome of the whole Bible, constitute Volume 5. These five books I wrote between my tours in the Holy Land in 1895 and 1899. Though during the last tour I actually dictated the Commentary on the Gospels stenographically to an amanuensis, after my return, January 3d, in the quietude of the rural home, I have dictated Volume 6 to the amanuenses, beginning with the New Testament Gospels, by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, following the Greek Harmony, and expounding every word in the order in which they occur, — some things being written by the four, others by three and two, and a considerable quantity Of the precious Word by only one. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, writing historically, run much together; John, who wrote spiritually and experimentally, for the edification of the Church, generally going alone. As Volume 6 traverses thirty months of our Savior’s ministry, we only have six left for Volume 7, which concludes the series.

    I am sure the first two and a half years of our Lord’s ministry are infinitely and even climacterically interesting and edifying to all the lovers of Jesus and His Word. Yet the valedictory period of His mission on earth, including the conspiracy of His enemies, His arrest, arraignment, condemnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and glorious ascension, constitute a series of themes, tragical and thrilling events, in point of historic interest eclipsing all the transcendent achievements of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and Bonaparte; and the depths and heights, lengths and breadths of immortal truth, flashing out from His heroic deportment in the presence of His enemies, His imperturbable calmness and superhuman serenity when all others were tossed by the tempest and borne away on the wing of the tornado, and the unfathomable depth of that love which moved Him to die for His enemies, are destined to furnish inexhaustible soul pabulum, and hold all sincere lovers of truth, true righteousness, holiness, and heaven spell-bound, lost in unutterable bewilderment, while contemplating the tragical scenes of Calvary, the heavenly sunburst on the sepulcher, the profound mysteries of the ensuing forty days, and the ineffable glory which rolled in billows of light and beauty over Mt. Olivet, while multitudes, with mortal eyes, gazed upon the ineffable glory of His transfigured person, as He moved up the azure firmament, entering pavilions of snowy-white clouds, disappearing in the zenith of the bright Oriental firmament, while angels, robed in the splendor of snowy white, dropped down in His track, and with uplifted hands and eloquent lips, assured the electrified multitude that “this same Jesus, whom they have seen ascend, is coming back in like manner;” i .e ., going up amid clouds and accompanied by angels, so He will ride down amid thronging myriads of unfallen angels, and clouds whose effulgence will illumine the world, and call His saints to meet Him in the air. While the themes of the preceding; six volumes have been interesting and edifying beyond the possibility of mortal language to portray, certainly the valedictory ministry of our Lord will climax them all. So if this volume does not interest and edify the reader, it will be the fault of the writer and not of the theme.

    CHAPTER - THE TEN LEPERS Luke 17:11-19. “And it came to pass, while He was journeying to Jerusalem, and He was going through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.” These two countries lie side by side. I traveled that same route from the, Sea of Galilee, through Samaria and Judea, to Jerusalem. “And He, coming into a certain village, ten leprous men met Him, who stood far away; and they lifted up their voice saying, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” The lepers are still in that country. I saw them, and contributed a little to their temporal support. The city of Sychem — or Shechem, O.T.; and Sychar, N.T. — and now called Nablus, contains a leprous quarter. These lepers stood a long way off and called to Him; for two reasons doubtless: (a) Their loathsome and embarrassing condition; and (b) Their faith in Jesus to heal them even at that distance. “And seeing them, He said, Going, show yourselves to the priests. And while they were going, they were cleansed.” a. No leper was allowed to show himself to the priest till he had already been cleansed ( Leviticus 14), as neither the priest nor any human being had the power to cleanse a leper. The matter was understood by everybody that the cleansing of a leper could only come about by the miraculous intervention of the Almighty. b. A great popular mistake is entertained with reference to the contagion of leprosy. It is neither contagious nor epidemic, as you see in that case the priest, whose office brings him in constant contact with it, would have no chance whatever to escape the contagion. c. The separation of the lepers from the people, instituted in the days of Moses and perpetuated to the present, is simply because of its awful loathsomeness. d. How strikingly is the Scripture corroborated in that country in every respect, customs remaining unchanged from the patriarchal ages, so the traveler sees his Bible verified when he looks out on all sides, even the leprosy, in separate quarters, to be seen now as in the days of Christ! e. We never read about the healing of the leper, but always his “cleansing,” that word being used indicative of the dismal and awful impurity characteristic of leprosy, which is the very synonym of loathsome, living death, its poor victim living on like well people, and dying all the time — a finger dropping off, then another and another, till the hand drops off at the wrist, and finally the arm at the elbow, and then at the shoulder, all this time the decaying flesh emitting a most intolerable carrion odor. Hence the O.T. requirement of seclusion, which is perpetuated to the present day, the lepers themselves, conscious of their obnoxious repellency, preferring seclusion all the time. f . The solution of the whole problem is, that leprosy is the most vivid symbol of sin in all the world; and consequently always incurable by all human remedies. Therefore in all ages it was always understood that none but God could cleanse the leper. g . While leprosy is not contagious, it is intensely hereditary, being a blood trouble, and always transmitted from sire to son through the generations indefinitely, and in that respect most vividly emblematizing inbred sin. h. Of course, the leprous eruptions and running sores typify actual sins, which are the unhappy fruits of original sin, just as the awful cancerous sores of the leper all originate from contaminated blood. i . Leprous infants are bright, beautiful, and sprightly, exhibiting not a solitary symptom of the disease which, erelong, is sure to develop somewhere on the body, and cling to them through life, unless miraculously healed. In a similar manner, the infantile rattlesnake has no poison in his bite, the narcotic glands having not yet sufficiently developed to concentrate the poisonous virus from his blood and transmit it to another.

    Yet the poison is there, and as the snake grows, it becomes transmissible by his bite. j. In a similar manner, the virus of inbred sin in the blood of humanity is transmissible indefinitely, like the infant leper, originally bright and fair, but in due time the occult virus making its appearance and intensifying to the end. k. The outward manifestations of the devouring leprosy symbolize evil habits, whose natural tendency is to accumulate impetuosity and dimension, culminating in hopeless ruin. l . Study the Oriental leprosy in all its phases, from its latency in the blood of the beautiful infant, its gradual and progressive development in the organism till it traverses the whole body, transforming it into a fetid, loathsome, living death, and how vividly does it symbolize sin, transmitted in the blood, but unseen in the beautiful, innocent babe, but sure ill due time to develop, making its manifestation on some part of the organism, and if not taken away by Omnipotent grace, spreading on indefinitely, culminating in irremediable ruin! “And one of them, seeing that he was healed, turned back, with a great voice glorifying God, and fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him; and he was a Samaritan.” Here we see a case where sheer misery had triumphed over all the inveterate race prejudices which for ages had alienated the Jews and Samaritans, so that there was no intercommunication; and thus these poor lepers, both Jews and Samaritans, amid their awful sufferings and forlorn alienation from society, forgetting race antipathies, are all living together. “And Jesus responding, said, Were not the ten cleansed? Where are the nine? They were not found returning to give glory to God, except this foreigner.” When the Israelites were carried into captivity by Shalmaneser, B.C. 721, a few poor people were left in the country, who in after years proved insufficient to so occupy it as to prevent the wild beasts, especially the lions, from multiplying among them to their serious detriment. Consequently, Esarhaddon, the Chaldean monarch, sent to that country inhabitants from some of the heathen nations of the great North, who, with the few surviving Hebrews, eventually became the Samaritan nation, having predominantly the foreign, heathen blood, so that here, Jesus calls them “a foreign nation;” i .e ., not Jews, but heathens. “And He said to him, Arising, go; thy faith hath saved thee.” Here our Savior, as constantly and uniformly in His preaching, recognizes faith as the human condition of salvation, a truth so prominent in the Scripture that the most superficial Bible reader can not fail incessantly to recognize it. We see here salvation affirmed of this Samaritan, who returned to give glory to Jesus, our Lord remaining reticent in reference to the other nine, involving the conclusion that they did not get saved, but only healed. Hence you see it is quite an ill omen of salvation for people not to confess it to the honor and glory of God.

    CHAPTER - JESUS AT THE FESTIVAL OF TABERNACLES John 7:11-16. “Therefore the Jews continued to seek Him at the feast, and say, Where is He? And there was much murmuring concerning Him among the multitude; some said that He is good; others said, No, but He deceiveth the multitude.” V. 13. “No one, indeed, spoke openly concerning Him, on account of the fear of the Jews. And the festival already being midway, Jesus came up into the temple, and was teaching. Then the Jews were astonished, saying, How does this One know letters, having never been taught? And Jesus responded to them, and said, My teaching is not Mine, but of Him that sent Me.” Jesus began His ministry, according to the prophecies, by coming into the temple and purifying it, casting out the buyers and sellers. Remaining but a few days after the Passover in Judea, He returned to Galilee, His native land, where He remained, preaching, healing the sick, and casting out demons, till the next Passover, which He also attended, returning to Galilee very soon after its adjournment. Remaining in Galilee the ensuing year, He did not go up to Jerusalem to the next Passover, which was the third in His ministry, evidently because the multitude, going from the cities around the Galilean Sea, were determined to crown Him King; consequently remaining in Galilee six months longer, with two little exceptions — the one when he went into Syria to Caesarea-Philippi, and the other when He went into Phenicia, the land of Tyre and Sidon. Now the Feast of Tabernacles, coming off in September, has rolled round. Having declined to go in the crowd, with His brothers and friends, in time for the opening, He goes on later, accompanied by His apostles, preaching and working miracles in Samaria as He passed along, arriving in Jerusalem about Wednesday, the festival, commemorative of Israel’s wilderness peregrinations, having opened on Sunday, and, as it says here, went immediately into the temple and began to teach. The critics even deny that He was ever in the temple proper, that being reserved for the priests alone; but this word “temple” was really applied to the Holy Campus, which is said to contain thirty-five acres, having very many elegant buildings on it at that time, and quite a number now, in several of which — e .g ., Solomon’s Porch and the Treasury — He taught the people; but as the vast multitudes during the festivals occupied the open air, it is more than likely that the most of His preaching in the temple was out on the pavement of that vast area, and overcanopied by naught save the blue, arching skies. During this eighteen months’ absence from Jerusalem and Judea, constant reports were coming from His fields of labor in Galilee, thrilling the people with wonder, curiosity, and amazement, all revolving in their minds what kind of a man can He be. Meanwhile, the high priests and Pharisees are most cunningly maneuvering to break the force of these thrilling reports and prejudice the people against Him, frequently sending their sharpest critics all the way to Galilee to hound Him wherever He went, hanging with diabolical chicanery on His lips, watching and criticizing every word, twisting and perverting all His utterances, laboring night and day to catch up something which they can pervert and magnify into an accusation against Him, so, if possible, to have Him arrested and turned over to the Sanhedrin or the proconsul. They charge Him with deceiving the multitude. How? Why, impressing them that He is the Messiah, when they claim that He is not. By the statement that He had never been taught, is simply meant that He had never gone to school to a rabbi that they knew of, there being no common schools in that day.

    During this long interval of His absence from the South, the scribes and Pharisees have done their utmost to obliterate His influence in Jerusalem and Judea. Now, thirty months of His ministry having passed away, and not perhaps more than one month, all told, spent in the metropolis, but nearly all of His time having been appropriated in Galilee, an obscure country compared with Jerusalem and Judea, after the vociferous clamors of the clergy all this time, telling the people that He would never come back there, and if He did they would arrest Him, His sudden and bold appearing and preaching amid the vast multitudes on the Temple Campus produces a tremendous sensation, raising popular inquiry, and exciting curiosity to the very acme, and at the same time arousing all the clergy and official laity to unite against Him, determined if possible to so implicate Him as to secure His arrest, feeling chagrined before the multitude, who had so often heard them boasting that He would never come back, and certifying that if He did they would arrest Him and put Him to death, as they claimed that He richly deserved, as a false prophet.

    VOLITION THE SALIENT FACT John 7:17,18. “If any one may wish to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether I speak from God or from Myself. He that speaketh from himself, seeketh his own glory; he that seeketh the glory of Him that sent Him, the same is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” In this passage, where the E.V. says, “If any one will do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine,” the great salient point is actually omitted, using “will” as an auxiliary to “do;” whereas it is the leading verb on which the infinite “to do” depends, the original being thele , and should read, “If any one may will to do His will;” not simply to be willing or to wish to do His will, or to resolve to do His will, but actually to put forth the volition to do His will, which, in the Divine estimation, is actually doing it; because, “while man looks on the outside, God looks on the heart.” Hence, with God, the volition to do a thing is actually doing it. When you resolve to commit a crime, you are guilty of committing it, though mechanically kept from it by uncontrollable circumstances. Now, you see from this statement of our Lord, that the secret of human ignorance in reference to God’s Word and will is in the heart, rather than the understanding. Our Churches abound in people who say they can not understand sanctification.

    They are under the delusion of the devil, who is side-tracking them on intellectual lines, simply to keep them from getting it. Sanctification, like regeneration, is an experience which no one can understand till he gets it.

    The way out off this difficulty is simply to resolve, “I will have it or die,” and become an indefatigable seeker at the altar and everywhere else. In that case, you are sure to get it, and equally sure to understand it. Here, Jesus condemns the man who speaks of himself and seeks his own glory, thus putting all selfishness under eternal interdict. Sam Jones well says, “Hell is nothing but selfishness on fire.” Man is a dependency, independency invariably alienating him from God and superinducing eternal ruin.

    APOSTASY OF THE JEWISH CHURCH John 7:19-23. “Did not Moses give you the law? and no one of you keeps the law.” Do you not see the utter collapse and failure of their religion, as neither priest nor people kept the law? Can we keep it?

    Certainly, by the grace of God in Christ. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” ( Romans 13:10) Hence, you see, all who have perfect love do, by the grace of God, keep and fulfill the law; not literally, but spiritually. “Why do you seek to kill Me? The multitude responded, Thou hast a demon; who seeks to kill thee?” Though the high priests and Pharisees had threatened to kill Him if He ever came back to Jerusalem, the respondent from the crowd did not know it. “Jesus responded, and said to them, One work I did, and you are all amazed.” That was the work of healing the invalid at the pool, which He did eighteen months previously, when last at Jerusalem. “Moses gave you circumcision: not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers; and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.” God instituted circumcision in the days of Abraham, long before Moses was born. Jesus had healed the invalid of thirty-eight years on the Sabbath-day, while attending the second Passover of His ministry. The penalty under the law for violating the Sabbath being death by stoning, consequently they are constantly maneuvering to arrest and bring Him before the Sanhedrin, and try Him for Sabbath-breaking.

    Here He utterly nullifies the allegation by the fact that they circumcise a man on the Sabbath. “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you mad at Me because I made a man entirely well on the Sabbath?” Thus He turns the argument against them, breaking their heads with their own club.

    RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT John 7:24-31. “Judge not according to sight.” The verb here is in the perpetual present, setting forth human proneness to judge people from the outward appearance. “But judge righteous judgment.” The verb in this clause is in the aorist tense, which means an instantaneous action and a permanent state following, involving the conclusion that instead of these helter-skelter judgments from the outside, we are to deliberately investigate, ascertain the truth, adopt it, and stick to it permanently. “Then certain ones of the Jerusalemites were saying, Is not this the One whom they are seeking to kill? And, behold, He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him.” These people in Jerusalem knew well that the high priests, scribes, and Pharisees had determined and boasted, during His long absence in Galilee, that if He ever came back there, they would kill Him. “Whether have the rulers truly found out that He is the Christ.” There was a prevalent, popular dogma that when Christ came, the wise rabbis and the Sanhedrin would be the first to find it out and tell the people. Now, as these Jerusalemites had heard them say that if He ever came back there they would have Him arrested and put to death, at the same time predicting that He would never come, alleging that He could do wonders off in Galilee among the ignorant people, but they dared Him to come to Jerusalem; and now that He is here, boldly and powerfully preaching to the multitudes, attending the Festival of Tabernacles, on the Temple Campus, and they do not molest Him; therefore they conclude that their great men must in some way have found out that He is the Christ, and consequently are just letting Him alone. “But we know this One, whence He is; but when Christ may come, no one knows whence He is.” There was a popular dogma that when Christ comes on tile earth, He will suddenly appear to the people, and no one will know anything about His origin, the prophecies of His conception and birth being mystified, so they did not understand them. “Then Jesus cried out, teaching in the temple, and saying, You know Me, and you know whence I am. But I did not come of Myself, but the One having sent Me is true, whom you know not.” He had been born at Bethlehem, only seven miles south of Jerusalem, and lived thirty years at Nazareth, only one hundred and fifty miles north of Jerusalem. Of course, He was well known to the Jewish nation, being a native of their country. But while they knew Him personally, though they claimed to be the most godly people in the world, He here frankly informs them that they do not know Him. “I know Him, because I am with Him, and He has sent Me.” Jesus here uses the present tense, only applicable to His Divinity, which was omnipresent, His humanity at that time being confined to this world. We frequently hear silly twaddle nowadays in reference to the impracticability of His presence on earth and in heaven during the millennium. All this is answered by His own proclamation, stating that while in Jerusalem, He was present with the Father. “Then they were seeking to arrest Him, and no One laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.” Jesus was immortal till His work was done, and so are His true followers. Therefore let us fear neither sickness nor death. We shall live till we finish our work. Then heaven will be infinitely preferable. “And many of the multitude believed on Him, and continued to say, When Christ may come, will He do more miracles than those which this Man doeth?” N.B. — Myriads of people were then at Jerusalem who had witnessed His mighty works in Galilee.

    THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND PHARISEES SEND OFFICERS TO ARREST HIM John 7:32-34. “The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning Him, the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers that they may arrest Him.” His powerful preaching during the tabernacle festival is winning many converts, so they are believing on Him on all sides, and there is a great stir among the people; the thousands from Galilee and elsewhere, who had heard Him preach and witnessed His miracles, clamoring among all the people, so there is a great commotion, and everybody talking about the wonderful Prophet of Galilee. So here, at their great camp-meeting, He is more magnetic than all the high priests, theologians, rabbis, and Pharisaical magnates combined. Consequently, they get awfully mad, and resolve to carry on their threat, as the people are already twitting them with cowardice. So they cut the matter short, and send officers to arrest and bring Him at once to the Sanhedrin, assembled in the Judgment Hall of Caiaphas on Mount Zion.

    THE DISPERSION OF THE GREEKS John 7:33-36. “Then Jesus said, Yet a little while I am with you, and I go to Him that sent Me. You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me, and where I am you are not able to come. Then the Jews said to one another, Whither is He about to go, that we shall not find Him? Whether is He about to go into the dispersion of the Greeks, and to teach the Greeks? What is this word which He said, Ye shall seek and not find Me, and where I am you are not able to come?” During the Alexandrian conquests, the Greeks conquered the whole world, and became the rulers of all nations, thus establishing their beautiful, concise, definite, vivid, perspicuous, and in every way wonderful language in every nation under heaven, preparatory for the preaching of Jesus and His apostles and the evangelization of the globe. The Jews, the most enterprising people in the world, had gone away on mercantile expeditions, and settled in all the important cities of the world, — a glorious preparation for the evangelization of all nations, the Jews constituting the nucleus of the gospel Church, and becoming the heralds of the living Word to the ends of the earth. Now the meaning of this passage is, they propound the question whether Jesus, forsaking the homelands, will go away into the Jewish settlements of the Gentile cities, and preach to the Jews in their world-wide dispersion among all nations.

    RIVERS OF LIVING WATER FLOWING OUT OF THE HEART John 7:37-39. “And on the last great day of the festival, Jesus stood, and continued to cry out, saying, If any one may thirst, let him come and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture said, Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. And He spoke this concerning the Spirit which those believing on Him were about to receive; for He was not yet; because Jesus was not yet glorified.” This is really the grand, salient proclamation of all the preaching of our Savior recorded by John on the present occasion.

    The Scripture here referred to is Ezekiel 47:1-12, where we have that glorious description of the holy waters, flowing out from the right hand of the altar eastward, and down into the Dead Sea, transforming the wilderness of Judea into blooming gardens and fruitful fields, sanctifying and redeeming the poisonous waters of the Dead Sea, filling them with multitudes of the most valuable fishes, revivifying the whole surrounding country, dotting the shores of that desolate sea with thriving villages and populous cities, clothing the whole surrounding country with fruits and flowers, perennial verdure, and transforming all that vast, desolate region into an earthly paradise, thus symbolizing the wonderful potency of Spiritfilled people to transform the darkest jungles of our city slums and the gloomy wastes of heathen lands into holiness camp-meetings and millennial harbingers. The E.V., unfortunately, mars this wonderful passage by the translation, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,” using a word entirely too physical in its signification to harmonize with this superlatively spiritual passage. The word is koilia , which means “belly, stomach, heart, chest,” etc. Now you see the word we want here is “heart.”

    How beautiful the passage, “Out of his heart [i.e., his interior, spiritual being] shall flow rivers of living water!” This is one of the finest passages in all the Bible, transcendently profound, sublime, thrillingly edifying, lucidly expository of the glorious, positive side of experimental sanctification, progressing indefinitely, through time and eternity — first, ankle-deep, putting us where we walk with God incessantly, going only where Jesus goes; then wading in to the knees, reaching an experience of great proficiency in kneeology, though ever so ignorant of theology, where we learn the grand secret of conquering on our knees; passing another interim of recognition and appreciation, we wade in up to the loins — i .e ., get where we vote our whole precinct for the Lord Jesus Christ, in everything keeping our eye on God, all temporal interests and emoluments left in oblivion; passing another interval of progress, we wade in over our heads; as now the waters have risen to a swimming depth, the specific gravity of the human body being less than that of water, we have nothing to do but lie supine, with limbs relaxed, facing the blue dome of the beautiful celestial temple, and float ad libitum with the current of God’s providence and grace, perfectly secure in the triple leadership of His Word, Spirit, and providence, respectively guiding the intellect, heart, and body.

    GLORIFICATION OF JESUS John 7:39. “And He spoke this concerning the Spirit which those who believe on Him were about to receive; for he was not yet [given]; because Jesus was not yet glorified.” The Holy Ghost has been in the world in all ages, illuminating, convicting, regenerating, and sanctifying the people. Of course, He could not comfort the people in the administration of the complete, historic work of Christ till it had been consummated, by His vicarious atonement, resurrection, ascension, and intercession. While He was, in a sense, a Comforter of the O.T. saints, they only enjoyed the consolation of the prophecies setting forth the stupendous work of Christ in the world’s redemption. After the verification of all these wonderful prophecies relative to the stupendous work of the Son, Executive of human redemption from the fall, there was an immeasurable augmentation of the consolatory facilities, in the illumination of the spiritual understanding, in order to the reception and appropriation of the vicarious atonement in all of its grand, inexhaustible, and universal realities, comprehensive of every human being, from Adam down to the latest posterity. Thus the human side necessary to the reception of heavenly consolation was actually centuplicated by the glorious work of Christ, the confirmation of which was the glorification of Jesus. Many have risen claiming to be Christe .g ., Theudas, Simon Magnus, Marchochab, etc.; and Mohammed even claimed to be greater than Christ, — the trouble with them and all others consisting in the failure of the resurrection. Hence the glorification of Jesus and His ascension to the Father were the indispensable confirmations of His Christhood. Therefore the Holy Ghost must have all of these indisputable historic facts with which to satisfy and comfort the illuminated and sanctified intellect. Consequently this momentous history must actually transpire before the Holy Spirit could use these thrilling realities in the consolation of the saints. Of course, you all see clearly from this Scripture that this climacteric experience of heavenly rivers flowing out of the heart was actually received when the Holy Ghost fell on them at Pentecost.

    Hence the glorification of Jesus certainly preceded the descension of the Comforter on that notable occasion. We certainly could not conclude that our Lord was glorified long before Pentecost, as evidently these events are closely identified in the order of consecution, the one being the antecedent and the other the consequent. I find the word edoxasthe , for the glorification of Jesus, is in the passive voice and aorist tense, peculiarly signifying an instantaneous and complete action, which evidently took place when He flew up from Mt. Olivet. This work of glorification, wrought by the Holy Ghost, eliminates all ponderous matter out of the organism, simultaneously spiritualizing the body and rendering it imponderable.

    IGNORANCE OF THE JEWS John 7:40-44. “Then some of the multitude, hearing these words, continued to say, Truly this One is the Prophet.” This is a phrase in O.T. often applied to the Messiah. “Others continued to say, He is the Christ.” I trow, the latter were Galileans, who had so frequently heard Him preach and witnessed His mighty works. “Others continued to say, Whether does Christ come out of Galilee?” Doubtless these were Jerusalemites, who looked with a degree of contempt on the Galileans, whose opportunities of light and culture had been quite inferior to those of Southern Palestine. “Does not the Scripture say that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” Do you not see the gross and inexcusable ignorance here manifested? Bethlehem being only seven miles distant, and Jesus actually having been born there, according to the prophecies they now quote against Him, being shamefully ignorant of the fact that He was not born up in Galilee, as they claim, but in Bethlehem, and though constantly stigmatized as a Galilean, He was really a Bethlehemite. “Therefore there was a division in the crowd with reference to Him.” It seems that none there present knew the facts of His having been born in Bethlehem, all thinking that He was really a Galilean, some claiming His Christhood, notwithstanding the ostracism brought to bear against Galilee, and others rejecting him altogether on that account. Why did not He or some of His apostles speak out, and tell them that He was born in Bethlehem of Judea? It would have done no good, because they had a caviling spirit, and would have lighted on something else. “And some of them wished to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him.” They could not touch Him till His work was done.

    REPORT OF THE OFFICERS SENT TO ARREST HIM John 7:45-49. “Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, Why did you not lead Him along? The officers responded, Never did a man speak as this Man is speaking.” The Sanhedrin were in session in the Hall of Caiaphas on Mount Zion, in the west end of the city, while Jesus was preaching on the Temple Campus in the east end. These officers came for the express purpose of arresting and leading Him away to the Sanhedrin for trial. You see their excuse is utterly silly, no plausibility in it whatever. The simple solution of the matter was, they could not put their hands on Him; an unseen Power simply disqualifying them to touch Him. When they did their utmost, they signally failed to lay a solitary hand on His person. Hence, after much delay and endeavor to arrest Him, they are forced to give up in despair, and go back without Him. He was intangible and immortal till His work was done — a grand consolation, substantially true in case of His faithful followers.

    HUMAN LEADERSHIP “The Pharisees responded to them, Whether are you also deceived?” They now turn the tantalizing reproach on the officers, doing their utmost to intimidate everybody from following Him. “Whether has any one of the rulers of the Pharisees believed on Him? But this rabble, not knowing the law, are accursed.” Here you see they pertinaciously condemn everybody who does not follow their leaders. This has always been the case with fallen Churches. Nothing but the full sanctification of the Holy Ghost ever does save people from human leadership, which is all wrong, as no really godly person wants to lead; but all such do their utmost, by instruction, exhortation, and prayer, to prevail on the people to follow Jesus only.

    Human leadership is a trick of the devil, by which he has populated hell with millions; as the leader, getting out of kilter by Satanic maneuver or human intrigue, he and all his followers will plunge headlong into hell.

    God’s leaders don’t want any following; but all do their utmost to get the people to follow the Lord. You are in awful danger of perdition when following a human leader, as none are infallible, and the best are liable to make mistakes which would prove fatal. I have been presiding elder and pastor frequently, yet I never wanted any human following.

    NICODEMUS VINDICATES HIM John 7:50-52. “Nicodemus says to them, being one of them, Whether does our law condemn a man until it may first have a hearing with him, and know what he doeth? They responded, and said to him, Whether are you also from Galilee? Search and see that no prophet riseth from Galilee.” You see here they are ringing charges of reproach on Galilee, because most remote from Jerusalem, the center of light and knowledge, the home of the hierarchy, the seat of the rabbinical colleges, and the glory of Israel.

    Consequently they look down with contempt on the poor, ignorant Galileans, and think they have made a point, because the prophecies do not specify a great prophet in that age rising out of Galilee, whereas it was not at all applicable to Jesus, who had simply used it as an evangelistic field.

    Nicodemus never survived that memorable nocturnal sermon which Jesus preached to him, more than two years ago, on the new birth. As he was an influential member of the Sanhedrin, which was solid against Jesus, how beautiful to see him, true to his convictions, standing alone, and thus daring to vindicate Him! It is a significant fact that Jesus was actually mobbed, being denied a fair trial according to Jewish law, as you here see from the testimony of Nicodemus, which, like the English and American Magna Charta, guaranteed to every accused person a fair trial, bringing the witnesses face to face, and giving them a chance to “implead one another.”

    It is equally true in reference to Roman law, as testified by Festus in case of Paul, that every man under accusation had a right to bring the witnesses face to face, prove the guilt or innocence of the accused, and thus bring about a true verdict of acquittal or condemnation in harmony with right and equity. Jonah, one of the first Hebrew prophets, called of God to preach to the Ninevites, was a Galilean, despite all this howl against Jesus on the allegation of no prophet rising from Galilee.

    CHAPTER - THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN John 8:1-11. I merely insert this caption through courtesy to the English reader; but will be excused from the exposition, as this item is entirely absent from the original, having been interpolated in post-apostolic times, as John, in whose gospel it appears in the E.V., is the last writer, and he never wrote it. There is no doubt but it was added by some of the clergy after the Constantinean apostasy as an apology for sin.

    THE LIGHT OF LIFE John 8:12-16. “Then, Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; the one following Me can not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.” The subjunctive mode is here very consolatory, assuring us that no one following Jesus can walk in darkness, but that all such will have the Light of life. The world is full of deluded people, walking in the false light of spiritual death. Dead bodies frequently, in dense darkness, emit a phosphorescent light, which only serves to bewilder and delude. If you do not have the life of the Holy Ghost in your heart, you are walking in Satan’s counterfeit light of spiritual death, whose phosphorescent glare can only illumine the way to hell. Cold Churches have no light but this illusory ignis-fatuus of the devil, only serving to delude its carnal votaries, till their feet finally slip and they take the awful plunge. As true light of every species emanates from fire, so without the fire of the Holy Ghost in your heart, you will not have the “Light of life.” “Then the Pharisees said to Him, Thou art witnessing concerning Thyself; Thy testimony is not true.” This is a stratagem on the part of the Pharisees to turn His own utterances against Him. “Jesus responded, and said to them, If I testify concerning Myself My testimony is true, because I know whence I came and whither I go. You do not know whence I come and whither I go. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And if I judge, My judgment is true, because I am not alone, but I and He who sent Me.” In vain do they seek to turn Him down on His own affirmation, that if one testifies of himself, standing alone, his testimony is not true, as He and His Father testify in perfect harmony, thus confirming the truth and establishing the validity of His testimony.

    WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT John 8:17-20. “And it has been written in your law, That the testimony of two people is true. [ Deuteronomy 19:15] I am the one testifying concerning Myself, and the One who sent Me testifies concerning Me.” Here is the experimental consolation of every true Christian, the Holy Spirit witnessing along with his own spirit that he is born of God, and that his heart is clean, thus bringing all Christian testimony into harmony with the Divine law, by which every affirmation is made valid. “Then they said to Him, Where is Thy Father? Jesus responded, You do not know Me nor the Father; if you had known Me, you would also have known the Father.

    He spoke these words, teaching in the treasury in the temple, and no one arrested Him, because His hour had not yet come.” There were many magnificent buildings on the Temple Campus, all indiscriminately denominated “the temple.” We have here quite a significant statement of our Savior, while looking those preachers and official laymen in the face, and notifying them that they did not know God, involving the conclusion that they were sinners on their way to perdition. Doubtless they were as honest as the clergy, and ecclesiastical rulers of the present day. What an awful inference is deducible! Lord, help us all to examine ourselves, and see whether we truly know God!

    ALARMING PREDICTION AGAINST THEM John 8:21-27. “Then He again said to them, I go, and you shall seek Me, and you shall perish in your sin; whither I go, you are not able to come.” The prophetic eye of Jesus saw the awful calamities coming on those people, when they would perish miserably by sword, pestilence, and famine, doubtless many of them seeing their awful error when too late. “Then the Jews said, Whether will He kill Himself? because He says, Whither I go, you are not able to come; and He said to them, You are from beneath, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” Those people, both preachers and members, solidly believed themselves to be the true people of God. Here the Infallible Teacher informs them that they are from beneath; i .e ., not only unacquainted with God, but actually in the hands of Satan, and led captive at his will. “Therefore I said unto you, that you shall perish in your sins; for if you may not believe that I am He, you shall perish in your sins.” This is a most solemn and sweeping abnegation of all human hope without Christ. John the Baptist had preached to those people three years previously, telling them, in words of heavenborn eloquence, winged with celestial lightning, that this Jesus is the veritable Christ of prophecy, Redeemer of Israel and Savior of the world; actually pointing Him out, introducing Him to them, and inaugurating Him into His official Messiahship by the rite of baptism. These three years they have been taking counsel of the devil, imbibing unbelief, hardening their hearts, and stiffening their necks against the truth; not only sealing their own doom, but, by precept and example, leading the multitudes in the way of death. “Then they said to Him, Who art Thou? Jesus said to them, That which I tell you from the beginning, I tell you now. I have many things to speak and judge concerning you.” He knew that the judgment of the quick and dead would devolve on Him in the last day. “But the One having sent Me is true; and whatsoever things I heard with Him, these I am speaking to the world.” What a wonderful blessing is the gospel of Christ, as, having lived in heaven from the dawn of creation, in the very bosom of God, He then spoke on earth precisely what He heard from His Omniscient Father! “They did not know that He was speaking to them of the Father.” THE CRUCIFIXION John 8:28,29. “Then Jesus said, When you may lift up the Son of man, then you shall know that I am He; and I do nothing of Myself; but as the Father taught Me, these things I speak.” In that memorable sermon to Nicodemus, in the beginning of His ministry, in His reference to Moses lifting up the serpent, our Lord assures us by what death He is going to die.

    Here He repeats the affirmation. This was quite a new departure, as the Jews had no such a punishment, it being peculiarly Roman. Hence, His death by the hands of the Gentiles, by the most cruel of all methods, He predicts ever and anon. When His ministry thus wound up, it was too late for those hard-hearted, unbelieving Jews, as doubtless the Holy Spirit withdrew, leaving them to their dreadful doom; meanwhile, the darkening sun, rending rocks, heaving earthquakes, bursting tombs, risen saints, rending veil, descending angels, empty sepulcher, etc., would inundate them with conviction that they had actually killed the Prince of light, not a few of them repenting and getting saved during the Pentecostal revival, but vast multitudes only the more hardened, evidently having crossed the deadline, and sealed their doom in endless woe. “The One having sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, because I always do those things pleasing unto Him.” Jesus is our only Paragon. Such is the bountiful redeeming grace which He gives His humble followers, that we are enabled always to do those things pleasing to the Father, thus walking in His footprints and emulating His example.

    DEGREES OF FAITH John 8:30-32. “He speaking these words, many believed on Him.

    Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed on Him, If you may abide in My Word you are truly My disciples; you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We see from the context that these Jews, addressed in these verses, had but a vague, shadowy faith in Him, believing that He was an extraordinary messenger sent of God, a prophet, and might perhaps, in the end, prove to be the Christ who is to redeem Israel. O how the Churches of the present day abound in this superficial, carnal belief in Christ, which staggers at the promises, failing in their appropriation!

    EGREGIOUS BLINDNESS OF THE JEWS John 8:32,33. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They responded to Him, We are the seed of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one; how do You say, That you shall be free?” This illustrates the alarming fact that even religious people may become so hallucinated by the devil as to tell falsehoods with unblushing effrontery and amazing volubility, and at the same time not know it, but think they are preaching the truth. Not only had these Jews been in bondage to the Egyptians two hundred and fifteen years, but at that very moment they were in bondage to the Romans, and, worst of all, to the devil.

    THE SLAVE OF SIN John 8:34. “Jesus responded to them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, That every one doing sin is the slave of sin.” The devil’s people all night long wheeling in the mazy gyrations of the giddy, lustful dance, quaffing the inebriating bowl till they kindle hell-fire in their blood and transform their cranium into rattlesnake dens, wasting their vitality in brutal debaucheries and diabolical sensualities, vainly dream in their drunken revelries that they are the freest people in all the world because they can do such things, while at the same time they are the most miserable slaves, demons from the bottomless pit lashing them with the firebrands of inflamed appetites and abnormal passions, actually precipitating them into suicide, and forcing them, in the black foundries of an earthly pandemonium, to forge the adamantine chains that shall bind them in penal fires through the flight of eternal cycles.

    THE SON THE AUTHOR OF TRUE FREEDOM John 8:35,36. “The slave does not abide in the house forever.” This great and beautiful world is one of God’s houses, in which not a few of His children have been living these six thousand years. All sinners are the slaves of sin and Satan. The slaves never inherit anything, having neither possessions nor rights in the home, their sojourn being transitory, and winding up when they are worn out and can toil no more. Not so with the son. He inherits the estate, transmits it to his children, and in his posterity abides forever. The wicked think they are getting this world, while they are simply traveling through it to their bed in hell. Now, suppose the son of the estate liberates and adopts a slave, do you not see that he will abide forever?

    So the time is very near when the redeemed of the Lord shall possess this world, with other paradisian orbs, to shine and shout forever, every track of the wicked having been obliterated in the sanctifying fires, followed by the glorious renovation ( Revelation 1), making the earth new, and enveloping it in a new firmament, which never reverberated the blasphemy of the wicked.

    SATANIC PATERNITY OF THE UNREGENERATE John 8:37-47. “I know that ye are the seed of Abraham; but you seek to kill Me, because My Word has no place in you.” How sad the condition of those preachers and people when Jesus, looking through them, actually saw them full of repellency and diabolical antagonism to the truth! N.B.

    You will find it so in many Churches nowadays, I awfully fear and doubt not. “Whatsoever things I saw with the Father, I speak; therefore you indeed are doing the things which you heard with your father.” This arouses in those shrewd, cultured priests an awful suspicion that He is impeaching their claim to the Abrahamic paternity. “They responded, and said to Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus says to them, If you are the children of Abraham, you did the works of Abraham; but now you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has spoken to you the truth which I heard with God. Abraham did not this. You are doing the works of your father.

    They said to Him, We have not been born of fornication; we have one father, God. Then Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me with Divine love; for I came out from God, and I go back; for I have not come from Myself, but He sent Me. Wherefore do you not know My speech? Because you are not able to hear My word.” What a profound significance! His words were then ringing in their ears! Yet He said, “You are not able to hear My word.” The mystery is readily solved. The soul has the five senses — i .e ., sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch — just like the body. When the soul is dead, as in the case of all the unregenerate, the senses are all dead with it. A dead man has eyes, but they are dead; ears, but they are dead; smelling organs, but they are dead; a tongue, but it is dead; nerves, but they are dead. Now these preachers, Church officers, and members, in whose physical ears His sweet, eloquent, melodious words were ringing, heard them plainly with their bodily ears, yet He certifies to them, “You are not able to hear My word.” This is the reason why they rejected it: His utterances were deep, rich, spiritual truth, and they were spiritually dead, so they never heard them; they rang in at one ear and out at the other, the dead soul within knowing nothing about the message of life which had resounded in their mortal ears. How signally does this penetrating truth apply to the fallen Churches of the present day, both ministers and members, as well as to this wicked world! What is the remedy in that case? An avalanche of importunate prayer, that the Holy Ghost may quicken them into life, in which case their spirit will hear and understand the glorious spiritual truth of the gospel. Deficiency of prayer explains multitudes of failures on the part of holiness preachers and workers. As a rule, it is painfully deficient. Shall we not wake up to the fact that we waste our ammunition on dead game, if we do not pray down the Holy Ghost to quicken them into life? “You are of your father the devil, and you wish to do the lusts of your father.” This tells an awful secret, which everybody ought to know, smashing the silly Universalist dogma now ringing from the Protestant pulpits; i .e ., the Divine paternity of the wicked.

    You see from the very words of the Savior that it is not so. Preachers, standing in their pulpits, address their audiences as the “children of God,” when in all probability nine-tenths of them are the children of the devil, having never been born from above. Divine life was lost in the fall, and is only regained in regeneration. Consequently all the unregenerate, — whether never converted or backslidden, as you see from the plain words of our Savior, here addressed, not simply to the uncouth rabble, but to the preachers and Church members, — all the unregenerate are the spiritual children of the devil till quickened into life by the Holy Ghost. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because the truth is not in him.” How is the devil a murderer? He murders all the souls that follow him, beginning with the destroying angels, and sweeping down the terrestrial ages, deluging hell with the fallen millions. “When he may speak the lie, he speaks of his own, because he is the liar, and the father of the same. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” Those people, like the fallen Churches of every age, were deluded by Satan’s lies, making them believe that they were saved when they were lost, in order to blind them and lead them down to hell. Humanity is uniform in all ages. So is Satan, sin, religion, salvation, and God the same now as in our Savior’s time. You must not shove aside these awful truths uttered by our Savior and leave them with the scribes and Pharisees, when they apply to the present generation as pertinently as to them. The world is girdled with Churches today — Pagan, Mohammedan, Papal, and Protestant — standing spiritually precisely where our Savior’s audience, backslidden members of the Jewish Church, stood, so deceived and led away by Satan’s lies, making them believe that they are Christians and on their way to heaven, while they are sinners and on their way to hell, that a preacher coming among them and telling them the truth, as Jesus did, shares the same fate — i .e ., is rejected and persecuted; while a false prophet coming along, and helping Satan to keep them blindfolded till he can dump them into hell, is received like an angel, remunerated, honored, and applauded as a man of God, such as all Churches need. Lord give us all the light, help us to be true, like Jesus, and abide our destiny! “Which one of you convicts Me concerning sin? If I speak the truth, why do you not believe Me?” “Convict” here is the very word descriptive of the condemnatory sentence of a criminal judge, as Jesus defied men and devils to convict Him concerning sin. Good Lord, help us all so to speak the truth and walk in His footprints that we can challenge the powers of earth and hell! His own Church fell out with Him and killed Him because He told them the truth. If He had preached falsehood, they would have received Him with enthusiasm. Satan’s people love lies and fatten on them, preparatory for a barbecue in hell, when devils will devour their flesh and drink their blood. “The one being of God, heareth the words of God. Wherefore do you not hear? Because you are not of God.” Lord, help us to preach the same gospel that Jesus preached, fearless of men and devils! Here you see the reason why the truth has always been so unpopular. In this case, Satan had the Jewish Church with him, in addition to the wicked world. So few people in this world are of God, comparatively with the multitudes in Satan’s kingdom, deluded by his lies and led captive by his caprice, that the truth in every age has found but few adherents, Jesus falling a victim to the cruelty of the fallen Jewish Church, so duped by Satan that they loved lies and hated the truth, and two hundred millions of martyrs following in His track, sealing their faith with their blood. When the present holiness movement becomes popular, it is ruined.

    SIMPLICITY AND CANDOR OF JESUS John 8:48-52. “The Jews responded, and said to Him, Do we not truly say that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a demon?” The Jews hated the Samaritans so inveterately that they doubtless thus stigmatized Him because He had preached in Samaria, not only in the beginning of His ministry, but a few days previously on His journey to Jerusalem. The charge of demoniacal possession was old and trite, and they still perpetuated it, because His preaching dug them up and burnt them so horrifically, exposing so lucidly the dead formality and hollow hypocrisy with which Satan had them blindfolded, fast leading them to the pandemonium. “Jesus responded, I have no demon but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.” The most acute philosophy fails to recognize the slightest manifestation of resentment in this simple, direct answer to that awful accusation of demoniacal possession. How meekly and perspicuously does He speak a simple negation to the opprobrious allegation! Lord, help us to follow Thy example, and when accused of the blackest sins and vilest crimes, simply, dispassionately, and unostentatiously answer in the negative! “I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeketh and judgeth.” The Father who sent Him vindicates Him in all of His mediatorial work, and administers righteous retribution to contemptuous despisers. “Truly, truly, I say unto you, If any one may keep My Word, he can never see death.” JESUS PRE-ABRAHAMIC John 8:52-59. “The Jews said to Him, Now we know that Thou hast a demon.” Sharpers, sent out for that specific purpose, hung on His lips, like lightning upon the skirts of the clouds, seeking with diabolical chicanery to catch some word on which they could found an accusation, either to arraign Him before the Roman governor or the Sanhedrin. “Abraham and the prophets are dead, and You say, That if any one may keep My Word, he shall never taste of death; art Thou greater than our Father Abraham who is dead? And the prophets are dead; whom do You make Yourself? Jesus responded, If I shall glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; there is One who glorifieth Me, whom you say that He is your God, and you do not know Him, but I know Him.” Jesus made no mistakes. These people stood at the head of the Church, both clerical and laical; yet they were strangers to saving grace, aliens from God, and traveling the way of death. Never did the sun look down on a people more sanguine that they were right than those scribes and Pharisees, who were in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity. “If I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you; but I know Him, and I keep His Word.” See with what utterly unimpassioned candor our Lord calls them liars! To convict is to convince. As conviction is fundamental in every work of grace, everything else being spurious without it, it becomes pre-eminently important that we call everything by its right name, as otherwise the normal force always goes out of the message. “Abraham, your father, rejoiced that He might see My day, and He saw it, and was glad. Then the Jews said to Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?” Some have concluded that our Lord was much more than thirty-three when crucified, deducing their proof from this statement. We doubt not the correctness of the chronology, making Him thirty years old when John formally introduced Him into His official Messiahship; then His ministry, beginning at the Passover in the purification of the temple, winding up by crucifixion at another Passover, two other festivals transpiring in the interim, making three years in all. Then why do they speak of fifty? From the simple fact that, as thirty was their majority, fifty was their maturity.

    Hence they think to confound Him outright by the affirmation that He has not so much as reached mature manhood, being comparatively a tyro.

    Hence the glaring inconsistency of His claiming, as they construed it, to be contemporary with Abraham. “Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” The present tense of the verb “to be” is peculiar to the Deity, applicable to Him in all ages, and to no one else; hence, in this affirmation, our Lord not only claims to be pre-Abrahamic, but eternal, without beginning or end. Hence the “I Am,” immutable, through all ages, without beginning or end. “Then they took up stones, in order that they may cast them at Him.” With the Jews, the penalty of blasphemy was death by stoning. They see from His phraseology that He identifies Himself with God, being even pre-existent to Abraham.

    Consequently they construe His phraseology into blasphemy, and, apparently in a paroxysm of righteous indignation, take up stones, to vindicate the Mosaic law by His execution. “And Jesus was hidden, and passed out from the temple;” i .e ., as on many other occasions, resorting to His omnipotence, in order to prolong His life and finish His work, He renders Himself invisible, passing through the midst of the crowd unseen, and going away from the Temple Campus. In this miracle He, to the surprise of all, suddenly disappears, all looking for Him, both His friends and His enemies; but no one being able to catch a glimpse of His person, while at the same time He is passing through the crowd unseen. It seems that such a miracle would satisfactorily confirm His Christhood in the estimation of all. However, they well remembered when Elisha, at Dothan, dropped an optical illusion on the whole Syrian army, so that they mistook him for their own commanding officer, obsequiously obeying his marching orders, till he led them to Samaria and turned them over to the king of Israel. Hence the tardiness, even on the part of His own relatives and friends, to acquiesce in His Messiahship, so many of them thinking that He was either a mighty prophet of Israel or one of the prophets risen from the dead.

    CHAPTER - ENTANGLEMENT OF A THEOLOGIAN Luke 10:25-28. “And, behold, a certain theologian stood up, tempting Him, and saying, Teacher, having done what shall I inherit eternal life?” The word here translated “lawyer” in E.V., is nomikos , from nomos , “law.”

    When you remember that their laws were all written in the Old Testament, you will know that a lawyer with them was not identical with the profession in our day, as their lawyers, were exponents of the Old Testament Scriptures. If you do not keep in mind this fact, you will utterly misapprehend the meaning of “lawyer” in the New Testament. He was not a lawyer in any modem sense, but a Biblical exegete; i .e ., a theologian . This elegantly-cultured clergyman interviews our Savior in reference to the economy of grace, by which he might inherit eternal life, and, as the record says, “tempting Him,” doubtless realizing his own proficiency in the law, and thinking to entangle Jesus on some point of legal complicity. “And He said to Him, What has been written in the law? How readest Thou? And responding, He said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with Divine love, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said to Him, You answered correctly; do this, and thou shalt live.” He threw the boomerang; but being unskillful, it came back, settled down on him, and took his head off. Thinking to puzzle Jesus in a complicated legalism, he gets caught in his own trap. Our Lord simply puts him on the witness-stand. He can not go back on his theological profession; consequently He makes him witness to the verdict of the law. You see, he comes out in a frank confession, admitting to all that perfect love is the Bible standard of life and salvation.

    Many a modern theologian forfeits his reputation for candor or proficiency in the law of the Lord when, like this man, put on the witness-stand. We are bound to give him more credit than many of his successors, who, in the pulpit, labor to evade the grand issue, dodging all around the great, salient Bible truth that perfect love is the condition on which we must all inherit eternal life, or forfeit it, world without end. Modern theologians would do well to sit at the feet of this man, who unhesitatingly rings out the Bible standard of salvation, though it was his own death-knell, as we are satisfied he did not have it. O that all who stand before the people as Biblical exegetes would so study the Word of the Lord as to know the way of salvation, and be candid enough always to ring it out to every inquirer, regardless of consequences! Jesus fully endorses his admission, telling him to go and practice what he preaches.

    THE GOOD SAMARITAN Luke 10:29-37. “And he, wishing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus, responding, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who, both stripping him of his raiment and administering blows, departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest went down that road, and seeing him, passed by on the other side. Likewise also a Levite being at the place, coming and seeing, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, journeying that way, came near him, and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And coming to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in the oil and the wine; and setting him on his own beast, took him to the tavern, and cared for him. And on the morrow, departing, taking out two denarii, gave them to the host, and said to him, Care for him, and whatsoever you spend, I will pay you on my return. Then which one of the three seems to you to have been neighbor of him having fallen among the robbers? And he said, The one having mercy on him. Then Jesus said to him, Go thou, and do likewise.” This theologian was no counterfeit, but evidently well-posted in the Scriptures, as he not only answered Jesus in inspired phraseology, but he had it at his tongue’s-end, and so gives it peremptorily and unequivocally. While popular pulpits this day abound in men claiming to be theologians, who either lack the candor or the wisdom of this man, and consequently labor assiduously to evade the great issue, loath to admit the great Bible truth of perfect love, which is the grand upper-side of entire sanctification, and is the only condition of admission into heaven, we are gratified to admit that there is another class, who, like the man in the text, admit unhesitatingly that entire sanctification is the Bible standard; yet, painfully conscious of their own deficiency, they resort to diversified stratagems in order to justify themselves, like the theologian in the text, who switches off on the inquiry, “Who is my neighbor?” tacitly recognizing the Jewish attitude of looking upon the whole Gentile world as enemies, and none but the Jews as neighbors, and many exceptions among them.

    Having been caught in the lasso he threw out for Jesus, he is floundering terrifically; but, as you see in the finale , utterly unsuccessful in his efforts to extricate himself, as he here lights on the word “neighbor,” aiming to use it as a back-door of escape from the entanglement in which he had been caught, our Lord delivers this beautiful parable by way of response to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” a. I have traveled the road from Jerusalem to Jericho four times, and always accompanied by an armed escort, as my guide refused to accompany me without this protection from the robbers. The solution of the matter is, the most of the route leads through a great bed of rugged, desolate mountains, in the Bible designated “the wilderness of Judea.” As this is really a desert, having little or no rain, and consequently neither water nor vegetation, it is uninhabitable while the mountains are so rugged and cavernous, the hiding facilities so ample, that it has been infested with robbers from time immemorial. Under Roman rule, the robbers were so troublesome that they actually put garrisons along the road to protect the travelers. In one of my journeys, my guide pointed me out five armed robbers, hiding in the caves in the Valley of Blood, so called because so many travelers have there been killed by robbers, assuring me that if they did not see our armed escort, they would be on us immediately. You have nothing to do but travel that road to find the state of things at the present day graphically identical with this account given by our Lord — an item, along with so many which literally corroborate the inspired Word. b. Jerusalem, in this parable, emblematizes the kingdom of God, being the holy city, honored by the Almighty with His temple and residence; while Jericho typifies the kingdom of Satan, having-been desperately wicked during the four hundred years from the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose successor Jericho became, till the conquest of Joshua, when it was utterly destroyed, and its rebuilding interdicted; though it was rebuilt on another site in the vicinity, where it stood in the days of Christ, and was destroyed by the Romans in the desolation of the land, responsive to prophecy, and afterward rebuilt by the Crusaders, in the eleventh century, on a still different site, near by, where it stands to this day. c. The situation of Jerusalem, high up on the great mountains of Judah and Benjamin, associated with its wonderful sacred history, qualifies it very strikingly to emblematize heaven; while that of Jericho, deep down in the Jordan Valley, on tile plain of the Dead Sea, qualifies it very forcibly to symbolize hell, the road being all the way down the mountain, thirty miles. d. By the glorious redemption of Christ, the whole human race is born in the kingdom of God, only getting out by sinning out; like this traveler, who was born in Jerusalem, the beautiful city of God, the joy of the whole earth, the symbol of heaven, where he should have spent his life, but like the great majority, he put out, traveling down to Jericho, and got into all that terrible trouble. The robber demons never get their black hands on us while we stay in Jerusalem; i .e ., abide in the kingdom of grace, where we are all born. e. These robbers emblematize evil habits, which rob us of our infantile innocence, purity, and justification. We see the robbers were not content to take all of his money and utterly divest him of every stitch of apparel, which is their custom this day, but as dead men tell no tales, they actually undertake to kill him. Fire-arms being unknown in that day, they beat him till they think he is dead, and would have made certain work of it if they had not been interrupted by at least the imaginary tread of an approaching troop, and so fled away to escape detection. When evil habits are once formed, they become an awful disease, like an eating cancer, that will not let up day or night till death claims his victim; i .e . the last hope of heaven is eclipsed in the gloom of eternal night, the Holy Ghost having been grieved away. f . Now we come to the remedial side. The priest passing along, looking on him, but giving no relief; erelong followed by the Levite, who halts, and contemplates the hopeless victim of the cruel robbers, but gives no relief, passing by on the other side of the road. Then the Good Samaritan, perchance passing along, recognizes the dying victim, draws nigh, his heart breaking with sympathy; dismounting, turns surgeon, binding up his wounds, pouring in the oil and the wine; setting him on his own beast, carries him to the tavern, commits him to the landlord, spends a night with him; in the morning, handing the landlord thirty cents, which in that day was equivalent to about three dollars now, and sufficient to pay his board a week, assuring the innkeeper that he will return and pay the entire bill that shall subsequently accrue. g . Now what is the meaning of this plain, beautiful, natural description of the remedial side? The priest emblematizes all the preachers, illustrating our utter incompetency to do anything for the lost sinner sinking into hell. We can only tell him about Jesus. What about the Levite? Under the former dispensation of the Levites were the custodians of the tabernacle and the temple; i .e ., the keepers of God’s house. These Levites are the Church officers, emblematizing the visible Church, and showing up the fact of her utter incompetency to save a solitary soul. What about the good Samaritan?

    Reproachfully, our Savior’s enemies called Him a Samaritan, which was synonymous with the greatest conceivable antipathy. Hence, Jesus Himself is the Good Samaritan, who alone can rescue the perishing sinner. The preachers all having administered water baptism, eucharist, and Church rites, done all their preaching, and praying, and everything in their power, prove utterly incompetent to deliver a solitary soul from Satan’s strong grip.

    Here is the great delusion — millions of people depending on preachers, who can’t save their own souls, much less other people’s; while teeming multitudes are looking to the Church to save them, all destined to fail, and enter eternity destitute of the wedding garment; like this poor victim, utterly naked and wounded unto death. The Good Samaritan is the only hope of a sinking world. All we can do is to tell the poor, dying travelers to eternity about Him, so they will give Him a chance to bind up their wounds which Satan’s robbers have inflicted, pouring in the healing oil and the spiritualizing wine; i .e ., the two blessings constituting this wonderful double cure. Now He mounts him on His own beast; i .e ., Jesus takes him in His arms, carries him to the tavern — i .e ., the visible Church; commits him to the landlord — i .e ., the faithful pastor; spends a time with him, pays the landlord a nice installment, and promises the remainder of his bill when He comes again. When a soul is gloriously saved and added to the Church, the Lord gives the faithful pastor a running-over blessing. O how he rejoices to see a soul rescued from the vortex of hell, happy in God, and on his way to heaven, saved and sanctified! But our Lord is coming again. If we do not survive till He descends in glory to receive His saints, we shall very soon leave this world and go to Him, which, from an experimental standpoint, is the second coming of the Lord to us individually. Salvation from sin and Satan is glorious; but mounting away from this world of sin and sorrow, and sweeping into heaven, saluted by angels and redeemed spirits, is infinitely more so. The blood-washed pastor receives a wonderful spiritual uplift when the soul is saved from hell, and committed to His care by the Good Samaritan; but when his pilgrimage winds to a close, and he dies in glorious triumph, the fire-baptized pastor, standing over him, gets a Pisgah’s view of the glory-world, and feels like mounting the chariot with his brother pilgrim, and soaring away to the mount of victory. Thus the heroic pastor having received a rich compensation when the man was saved and committed to his care, when he dies, with heaven in full view and glory in his soul, receives a transcendent boom for the heavenly country.

    MARTHA AND MARY Luke 10 : 38-42 “And it came to pass , while they were going along , He came into a certain village , and a certain woman , by name Martha , received Him into her house ; and there was a sister to her , called Mary , who indeed , sitting at the feet of Jesus , continued to hear His Word . And Martha was busy about much serving , and standing over her , she said , Lord , is there no care to You that my sister has left me to serve alone ? Therefore say to her that she may assist me . And Jesus , responding , said to her , Martha , Martha , you are solicitous and troubled about many things ; there is need of one thing . And Mary has chosen the good part , which shall not be taken away from her .” I have frequently been at Bethany, a village on the slope of Mr. Olivet, over the summit from Jerusalem, one and seven-eighths miles.

    The house occupied by Mary, Martha, and Lazarus is still there, but in ruins, as stone never rots. We conclude from this narrative that Martha was the elder of the two sisters, her seniority being here recognized by the proprietorship of the house. Methinks you already recognize an obvious contrast in these two sisters, Martha very vividly, illustrating the justified and Mary the sanctified experience. The former, having kindly received Jesus into their home, is deeply solicitous for His temporal comfort, doing her best to get Him a splendid dinner, working hard, and running herself out of breath; while the latter, listening to the words of wisdom, righteousness, holiness, love, grace, and glory, flowing from His eloquent lips, has actually become spellbound, so thrillingly edified, entertained and delighted that she has lost sight of domestic duty altogether, her eyes centered on the face of Jesus, her mind utterly absorbed, her intellect flooded with edification, her heart inundated with the rivers of grace flowing out of the heart of Jesus; but her older sister, feeling that she needs her help and must have it, and signally failing to catch her eye or command her attention, feels constrained to resort to the only surviving expedient — i .e ., appeal to Jesus, that He may suggest to her to feel excused till dinner is over, when she shall enjoy ample opportunity to satisfy her voracious spiritual appetite for the heavenly pabulum which He is so richly dispensing. In this she signally fails, as Jesus, to her surprise, vindicates her younger sister in her utter inattention to domestic affairs, sitting down at the feet: Jesus, drinking in the wonderful lessons of truth which emanate, like honey-dews, as the words of heavenly beauty and glory drop from His lips. He now administers a kind and loving castigation to Martha for her undue solicitude and labor, as it is infinitely more important to feed the soul than the body, and he is caring nothing about her variety. What He wants is, that they all feast on angel’s food; and as to the dinner, they have plenty already on hand. So all that solicitude about temporal things was really out of harmony with the visit of the Prince of light. Pastoral visiting is frequently perverted and ruined in that way, the family wearing themselves out and wasting the precious time they should spend in prayer, praise, and hearing the precious Word dispensed by their faithful pastor. O what a waste of opportunities along this line! Every preacher should do like Jesus, spend the time in the home preaching, discouraging all that work and solicitude “about many things,” there being need of but one, and that is the grace of God, which would, in this connection, be very beautifully symbolized by one edible — a loaf of bread and a cup of sparkling water; as in the case of the circuit-rider, who, after preaching, received but one invitation to go and eat, and that was by an old woman, living in a smoky hut, down between two hills, who, escorting him into her humble home, dispensing with all Sunday cooking, set down a big cup of buttermilk on a three-legged stool in the middle of the cabin, and laid a big chunk of cold corn-bread by its side, and said, “Now, brother, sit down there and eat your dinner. If you are a good man, it is good enough; if a bad man, it is too good.” O that we may all so enter into the blessed soul-rest which Jesus gives as to be utterly disencumbered of all solicitude about temporal things, and sit down, like Mary, at the feet of Jesus, and let this old world, with its cares, emoluments, solicitudes, and vexations, pass along! While all earthly achievement and aggrandizement are transitory, Jesus assures us that if we will choose this good part, it shall not be taken from us.

    CHAPTER - THE DISCIPLE’S PRAYER Luke 20 : 1-4 . “And it came to pass , that He was in a certain place , praying ; as He ceased , a certain one of His disciples said to Him , Lord , teach us to pray , as John also taught his disciples .” We have this same lesson in the Sermon on the Mount, which he preached near Capernaum, on the Sea of Galilee, early in His ministry, and we have expounded in Volume 6. I have repeatedly visited the spot on Mt. Olivet where this prayer was offered. A few years ago, Aurelia de Rossa, a French princess, expended a great sum of money in the erection of a beautiful, snowy-white, stone church-edifice on this very spot. It is really magnificent and charming, having in front a great open court, on whose surrounding walls of white marble this prayer (popularly denominated the Lord’s Prayer, but really given to His disciples for their use till He comes in glory) is superscribed in every language under heaven, so that every one of the thirty thousand pilgrims, annually coming to Jerusalem to explore the footprints of Jesus, can there read the Lord’s Prayer in his own language. The marble tomb and statue of this noble saint, who, at her own expense, erected this memorial edifice, is also at the south Side of this great veranda. “He said to them , When you pray , say , Our Father who art in the heavens , let Thy name be hallowed .” Hence it is never to be spoken except in the deepest reverence, humility, and godly fear. “Let Thy kingdom come .” The kingdom is already here, in the hearts of all saints. While we should pray for it to come to all aliens in the whole earth, the moment of this prayer contemplates the kingdom of glory coming down to earth in millennial triumphs, as the kingdom of grace had already come in the first advent of Jesus. How strange that a species of infidelity has ever crept into the Church, ignoring and rejecting the coming of the glorious kingdom! There never was a dissenting voice on this subject raised in the first three centuries, till after the Constantinean apostasy had so secularized the Church as to disqualify her to meet her descending Lord and enter the glorious kingdom. Consequently, during the Dark Ages, the millennium was repudiated, and, as a necessary consequence, the whole Book of Revelation repudiated as spurious. It is the glory of the present holiness movement now to preach the coming kingdom in all the earth. “Thy will be done , as in heaven , even upon the earth .” This is a beautiful standard of entire sanctification, which alone can qualify people to do the will of God on earth as the angels do it in heaven. While multitudes of preachers stand in their pulpits and preach against sanctification and the coming kingdom, it is very gratifying to know that they all pray on the side of truth, when, on their knees, they repeat the Lord’s Prayer, in concert with their congregations, Sabbath after Sabbath. O that they would preach what they pray for, thus bringing heaven down to earth! “Give us this day our daily bread .” This is to be understood spiritually, in a very pre-eminent sense, while in a secondary significance it includes temporal sustenance. “Forgive us our sins ; for we truly forgive every one who is indebted to us .” We have no promise of pardon unless we actually forgive everybody else; thus all unforgiving spirit actually rearing between us and the mercy-sea, a mountain, high as heaven, deep as hell, and broad as the universe. Whole Churches are dragged by Satan into apostasy black as midnight by an unforgiving spirit. “Lead us not into temptation ;” i .e ., Suffer us not to go into temptation, an Orientalism we frequently meet in the Bible. We have the blessed assurance that if we are true to the triple Divine leadership — God’s Word, Spirit, and providence — He will never suffer us to be tempted beyond our ability, by His wonderful grace, to bear it for His glory, and receive a blessing thereby; i .e ., strength from the conflict and courage from the victory. The ponderous blows develop the Herculean muscles of the blacksmith’s arm. These awful fights we have with the strong intellect of the devil are a wonderful means of grace, constituting the grandest spiritual gymnasium in probationary life. Temptation from within, when “each one is drawn out by his own lust and enticed,” should be utterly dispensed with, as entire sanctification eliminates all that inward lust, putting all of our enemies on the outside, and giving us the down-hill pull against them. “Deliver us from the evil one .” The E.V. is too weak, rendering this, “Deliver us from evil;” i .e ., giving the abstract, whereas the Greek gives the concrete; not simply meaning evil, but the evil one — i .e ., the devil. What a glorious privilege, not only to be delivered from everything the devil ever put in us, but from the devil himself! This prayer goes up from pulpit and pew throughout all the Churches of Christendom, and the people at the same time ridden and debauched by the devil, without the remotest apprehension of the glorious privilege, not only to get rid of all their sins, but even the devil himself. Will you not go and tell them this wonderful news? The Omnipotent Christ is ready, by their side, responsive to their perfect consecration and doubtless faith, to confer on them this glorious triumph, not only delivering them from everything in them belonging to Satani .e ., all sin, actual and original — but, best of all, delivering them from the devil himself, so he never again can put his black hand on them, and they can go shouting on their way: “Hallelujah! ‘t is done!

    I believe on the Son, I am saved by the blood of the Crucified One!” THE SHAMELESS PRAYER Luke 11 : 5-11 . “And He said unto them , Which one of you shall have a friend , and he shall come to you at midnight , and say to thee , Friend , lend me three loaves , since my friend has come to me on a journey , and I have nothing which I may place before him ; and he within , responding , may say , Give me no trouble ; the door is already shut , and my children are in bed with me ; I am not able , having risen up , to give unto you . I say unto you , If , having risen up , he will not give unto him because he is his friend , truly , on account of his shamelessness , having risen , he will give him as many as he needs .” You are a little surprised that this traveler does not stop for lodging till midnight. In Palestine and other Oriental countries, especially in the tropical and semitropical climates, it is customary to travel in the night, and lie up during the heat of the day. The English rendering, “importunity ,” is too weak. The Word used by the Savior is anaideia , from a, the strongest negative, and aideia , “shame.” Hence the straight, lexical definition of anaideia is “shamelessness;” so beautifully, naturally, and vividly illustrated by the man corning at midnight, when all are fast asleep, muscles relaxed and nerves unstrung, lying in their beds under the heavy grip of old Somnus . He knocks at the door till he awakens the father of the family, and tells him his business — a friend stopped to lodge, hungry and weary, and he has nothing to give him to eat. Hence he appeals to him to loan him three loaves till he can replace them. The man is so tired, lazy, and sleepy that he peremptorily refuses, giving quite a train of excuses, doing his utmost to repulse the man, so he will go away and let him sleep, as rising will wake the babies, which will probably cry the balance of the night. The man persists, importunately pleading, getting worse and worse, till he passes the shame line, and becomes desperate, roaring like a lion, driving away all their sleep, jumping like a kangaroo, and banging at the door as if he would knock it down. Such is the attitude of the man that nothing can be said to him calculated to effect the slightest conciliatory influence. Having passed the boundary of shame, he is simply reckless and intolerable. They are bound to get rid of him or be annoyed all night, every wink of sleep driven away. There is absolutely but one way to rid themselves of the unbearable nuisance, and that is, to get up and give him the bread. Of course, the man does it; gets rid of the disturber, lies down, and enjoys ambrosial slumber the remnant of the night.

    Now what is the meaning of this? Our Savior is a plain Preacher, and at the same time the most profound the world ever saw. This is His own illustration of prevailing prayer, whether for yourself or for others. You must reach the point of shamelessness — i .e ., get to where you care for nothing and nobody; but open your mouth, and plead as a guilty culprit for his life, or a woman for her child. In a ministry of forty-six years, I have seen this constantly verified. When mourners at the altar pass the limit of all shame, and get so they do their own praying, with wide-open mouths, regardless of the learned clergy, royalty, or nobility, something wonderful always happens. Sunbursts from heaven sweep down and light up the scene with superhuman glory; rivers from the heavenly ocean find their way down, and roll over the congregation in billows of love, grace, and glory; hardened sinners sweep triumphantly in, to life, old backsliders are gloriously reclaimed, weak believers powerfully sanctified, saints filled with the Holy Ghost, people on all sides speaking with new tongues, jubilant pilgrims leaping and shouting as if they would fly away to heaven, and the whole community shaken with a wonderful spiritual earthquake. Do not forget this shameless prayer. It is the heavenly fuse, that reaches and fires the celestial dynamite. It forever sweeps away all quibble about public prayer and testimony. As shame is the devil’s padlock, with which he locks up the mouth of saint and sinner, closing the draught; so, in the case of the former, the celestial fire will soon go out, and in the case of the latter, will never be able to kindle the heavenly flame in his heart, which alone can consume all sin. If you want a truly Pentecostal Church, you have nothing to do but lead the people beyond the limitude of Satan’s shame, so they will all throw their mouths open, and clamor aloud for just what they want. God and His salvation must have the pre-eminence, or hell is wide open and coming to meet us. From the inception of conviction to the altitudes of glorification, you will find it utterly impossible to serve God with reserves.

    He will have the whole heart or none. The tongue is the exponent of the heart, always going along with it. Hence, dumbness and cowardice are two of the devil’s adamantine chains, with which he binds his victims and drags them into the burning pit. O that Churches and preachers could only learn the secret of the shameless prayer, here specified by the Savior! “And I say unto you , Ask , and it shall be given unto you .” Why is there so much asking and so little receiving? It is because they do not ask in a shameless prayer, caring neither for men nor devils, criticism nor persecution, but making their petition an absolute sine qua non . “Seek , and ye shall find ; knock , and it shall be opened unto you . For every one that seeketh , findeth ; and he that asketh , receiveth ; and to him that knocketh , it shall be opened .” God is absolutely infallible. The only reason why there is ever a defalcation is because the shameless prayer is delinquent. Halfhearted petitions never rise above your head. Good Lord, inspire that shameless prayer in your heart and mine!

    YOUR FATHER WHO IS FROM HEAVEN Luke 11 : 11-13 . “But which father of you , shall his son ask bread , whether will he give him a stone ? Or indeed a fish , whether , instead of a fish , will he give him a serpent ? Or if he may ask an egg , will he give him a scorpion ?” You see from the plain teaching of our Savior that God never gives anything useless nor injurious; e .g ., a stone, an utterly worthless thing, as the hungry boy can not eat it; nor a serpent, nor a scorpion, which might bite him and kill him. The reason why so much prayer is not answered directly is because it would be detrimental to the recipient. Many good people pray for riches, which God sees would make them proud, worldly, and oblivious of Him; giving Satan the down-hill pull on them, to drag them, not only out of the kingdom, but down to perdition. Millions of people are now happy in heaven who would be in hell if their prayers for riches had been answered. Myriads will praise God through all eternity for His signal mercy in keeping them poor enough to escape the awful temptations of riches, and be humble enough to get to heaven. We should be like God, and never grant the petitions of our children for anything useless or injurious, as Satan’s temptations come thick and fast along those lines. If you permit your children to attend Satan’s fandangos, with their concomitant follies and vices, you simply, with your money, purchase for them a ticket over the Black Valley Railroad down to hell. “Therefore , if ye , being evil , know how to give good gifts to your children , how much more shall your Father , who is from heaven , give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him !” The Holy Spirit is not only the Omnipotent God, but He is the Executive of the Trinity. Consequently the Holy Spirit is but another name for “All Good Things.” When you have Him, you are a king and a priest in Zion, enjoying heaven in your heart. The contrast here between earthly parents, inheriting evil natures, and our blessed Heavenly Father is very forcible, giving us one of those a fortiori arguments so common in our Savior’s illustrative expositions of the unutterable love and unfathomable wisdom of our Heavenly Father. What is an a fortiori argument? It is, from a human standpoint, an argument in the superlative degree; e .g ., if a bushel of apples is worth one dollar, how much more would a thousand bushels of apples compensate for the dollar! The E.V., in this wonderful passage, “Our Heavenly Father,” signally fails to bring out the full force of our Lord’s affirmation. So do not forget the translation of this passage which I literally give you, “How much more will your Father who is from heaven give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Now, see the beautiful and significant concatenation of our Savior’s argument confirmatory of real efficiency in prayer. That “shameless prayer,” the sine qua non of every victory at a throne of grace, actually brings your Heavenly Father down to you, so that He is convenient and ready to give you His Holy Spirit, victory over the devil, and a heavenly sunburst. The simplicity of Jesus is actually inimitable. Here, describing this efficient prayer, illustrative of the very form he has given us, He assures us of victory invariably attending that “shameless prayer,” and culminating in the gift of the Holy Ghost, by “our Father who is from heaven,” having come down in answer to that shameless prayer. Hence, you see the Divine presence is indispensable in all acceptable worship, and absolutely necessary to the blessings of salvation and sanctification and victory over the enemy. We must have the real, personal presence of God. There is but one way to succeed, and that is to pray Him down from heaven. Now do not forget that this “shameless prayer” is the only one that will bring Him down, making His presence our paradise, giving to all the Holy Ghost — to impenitent infidels and demon-filled sinners in the capacity of a Convictor; to all brokenhearted penitents, a Regenerator; to weak believers, an Illuminator; to consecrated, believing Christians, a Sanctifier; and to all the sanctified, a Glorious Edifier.

    CHAPTER 6.

    REPORT OF THE SEVENTY EVANGELISTS Luke 10 : 17-24 . When our Savior was at Capernaum, in Galilee, about September first, He called these Seventy, and sent them out two by two, thus constituting thirty-five evangelistic bands, to peregrinate all Israel, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, healing the sick, and casting out demons. It is now about December first, giving them three months, in which these thirty-five evangelistic forces could actually scour the whole country. This commission of the Seventy was really a magnitudinous affair.

    They were not like seventy preachers sent out by a Conference into a country, to wait all the week for Sunday to come round, that they may preach to the people; but they are flaming evangelists, going in lightningwinged duets throughout the whole country, preaching incessantly and indiscriminately to all the people as they go. As the Savior’s ministry was fast winding to a close, it became pre-eminently important to expedite the work, cut it short in righteousness, as a transcendent responsibility now devolves on the Jewish people, destined to seal their doom for time and eternity. Having been sent out from Capernaum, Galilee, they return to Him at Jerusalem; as, soon after they received their commission, He, winding up His ministry in Galilee, took His final departure, traveling through Samaria, and preaching on His way, arriving at Jerusalem midway of the Tabernacle Festival, and devoting the remaining six months of His ministry, to Southern Palestine. “And the Seventy returned with joy , saying , Lord , even the demons are subject to us through Thy name .” It is really indispensable that we do all of our workpray, preach, exhort, appeal, and sing — in the name of Jesus. “And He said to them , I saw Satan , having fallen like lightning from heaven .” This is corroborated by Isaiah, “How thou art fallen, O Lucifer, the morning star!” Lucifer means light-bearer, the archangelic name which honored Satan in the celestial worlds before he fell; when, judging from his name, we conclude he was one of the brightest and most glorious of all the heavenly host. We have here the imperfect tense, etheoroun , “I was seeing [i .e ., was accustomed to see] Satan , having fallen like lightning from heaven .” His cognomen, “light-bearer,” indicates extraordinary brilliancy. The fact of his falling like lightning from heaven would involve the conclusion of his brightness at the time of the fall, and the suddenness of his ejectment out of heaven. Everything in heaven is holy, bright, and glorious. When the Infallible Eye saw his deflection from the Divine administration, quickly as the lightning he was precipitated away, his glory fading in his flight, his brilliancy evanescing, a horrific transformation supervening, as down he goes, plunging with electrical velocity into the bottomless abyss, God’s penitentiary for the incarceration of the incorrigible subjects of his universal empire. You must not forget that there never was a devil in heaven. Satan, which means “adversary,” was never applied to him till after his fall; Lucifer, his heavenly name, “lightbearer,” having a very sweet and beautiful signification. Here we also see that Satan moves with the velocity of lightningi .e ., twenty thousand miles per second — competent to go round the world fifty times in a minute, thus explaining his apparent omnipresence — which is not true in case of him nor any order finite being, angelic, diabolical, or human — by his exceedingly rapid locomotion from place to place; the universal prevalence of demons being also misapprehended for the omnipresence of Satan. Now, as here we see Satan moving with the velocity of lightning, does it not follow as a logical sequence that all finite spiritual beings have the locomotive capacity of electrical velocity? “Behold , I give unto you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions , and all the dynamite of the enemy ; and nothing shall hurt you . Moreover , rejoice not in this because the spirits are subject unto you , but rejoice rather that your names are written in the heavens .” This is certainly an ineffable consolation, infinitely eclipsing all the power and availability we can possibly possess. O how wonderful to think that our names are written in heaven! Well can we afford to go through floods and flames, as here we have the blessed assurance that He will enable us to tread under foot all the dynamite of Satan, the very artillery of hell only serving to make music for us, inspiring valor on the battle-field and quickening our march to glory. “In that hour , Jesus rejoiced in spirit , and said , I praise Thee , O Father , Lord of heaven and earth , because Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent , and revealed them unto babes .” Even our Savior’s apostles and evangelists remained in the primary department of spiritual babyhood till the fires of Pentecost consumed all hereditary depravity, and led them out in the full-fledged experience of spiritual manhood. We do not wonder that the sweet, sinless spirit of Jesus leaped for joy on the reception of this glorious report from His seventy evangelists. We still see the partial blindness, here mentioned by our Lord, adhering to the “wise and prudent.”

    How blessed to be an innocent babe in Christ, taught by the Holy Ghost the deep things of God, rather than enjoy all the wisdom of collegiate culture and the highest prudence of social refinement, in the absence of the indwelling and sanctifying Comforter! “And turning to His disciples , He said , All things have been delivered unto Me by My Father ; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father , and who the Father is except the Son , and he to whom the Son may wish to reveal Him .” So you see we must be right with the Father, reverencing and obeying His law in every ramification, scrupulously recoiling from everything out of harmony with His sweet heavenly will, and in loving homogeneity with the angels and redeemed spirits, doing His will on earth as they do it in heaven, simultaneously with our eye on Jesus, our Blessed Mediator, with, out whom we would drop instantly into hell. Hence you see the Father alone can reveal the Son, by His blessed Holy Spirit, and the Son alone reveal the Father. Hence the reciprocal indwelling of the Father and Son in every saved soul. Millions of people in the world claim to worship the Father while they reject the Son. All such are deluded by Satan, who is so fond of dressing up like an angel of light, passing himself off for God, and thus deceiving the multiplied millions of devil-worshipers in the world this day. While Christ is the only way to God, it is equally true, as we here see, that God is the only way to Christ; the Holy Ghost being the Spirit of the Father and the Son, the latter giving Him to reveal the former, and the Father giving Him to reveal the Son. How fearful to contemplate the fact, “God, out of Christ, is a consuming fire!” ( Hebrews 12:29.) One hundred and seventy-five millions of Mohammedans claim to worship the Father with great enthusiasm while they contemptuously reject the Son, scouting the very idea of the Divine Sonship. Hence they are without hope, save through the uncovenanted mercies of God; the Unitarians in Christian lands being in the same awful dilemma. “And turning to His disciples privately , He said , Blessed are your eyes , which see those things which you do see . For I say unto you , Many prophets and kings wished to see those things which you see , and saw them not ; and to hear those things which you hear , and heard them not .”

    Jehovah preached the first gospel sermon to Adam and Eve in the garden, before their expulsion out of paradise, whose salient truth, “The Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head,” assured them that a Deliverer should be born in their family, whose mighty arm would defeat Satan and regain paradise for them, which they should enjoy forever. Consequently they retreated out of Eden, their broken hearts cheered with the joyous anticipation of the coming deliverance and restoration. Such was their glowing enthusiasm that Mother Eve actually hailed her own first-born Son as the promised Messiah, exclaiming “I have brought forth the man- Jehovah.” Now, when we remember that Jehovah is the Old Testament name of Christ, we see how they actually hailed Cain as the Redeemer promised in Eden. How crushing the disappointment when he turned out to be a murderer! Thus the Old Testament saints lived in constant anticipation of the Messianic advent. The trend of things growing worse instead of better, evil predominating and constraining the Divine mercy to bring on the flood, in order to give grace a great victory over sin and perpetuate the hope of the world, then the post-diluvians continued to look for the promised Deliverer down through the patriarchal age. Through all the centuries of Judaism, the Scriptures, both the law and the prophets, unanimously holding up the Incarnate God, in type, symbol, and prophecy, the saints through the intervening centuries, from Moses down to John the Baptist, and especially the prophets, lived in longing anticipation to feast their eyes on the Shiloh of prophecy, and be permitted to behold with mortal vision the Redeemer of Israel, the Christ of God, and the Savior of the world. All these had lived and died in loving and longing anticipation to behold the Lord’s Christ, and ready, like old Simeon, to take the infant Redeemer in their arms and die of joy. How beautifully here Jesus adverts to those thrilling facts characteristic of the saints of the last four thousand years! The same has been true ever since He ascended into glory, having filled and thrilled the hearts of His disciples with the positive assurance of His return.

    One of the most cheering omens in all the world today, is the wonderfully rapid development of this universal expectancy of our coming King, illustrating the consolatory assurance that He is even now bending from the skies, and whispering to His saints, “Wash and dress My beloved, for I am coming.”

    CHAPTER - METEMPSYCHOSIS John 9 : 1-3 . This word means the transmigration of souls, a doctrine, long ages ago, exceedingly prevalent in India, China, Japan, and many other Oriental countries, going on the hypothesis that the Deity created all human souls at the beginning of the world, and ever since they have been inhabiting mortal bodies, at death passing out and taking possession of a baby somewhere in the world and living again, and so on. A sect of religious philosophers, called Theosophists, has recently appeared in this country, now scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, one of whose prominent tenets is this reincarnation of human souls, none going away, but, as they move on through different ages, accumulating wisdom, and rising to a higher spiritual development, so that eventually, rising above the earth, they will inhabit ethereal worlds. They quote this Scripture very prominently in the maintenance of this heathen dogma of reincarnation, which their speakers especially emphasize, “And passing along , He saw a man blind from his birth ; and His disciples asked Him , saying , Master , who sinned , this man or his parents , that he may be born blind ?” The Theosophists stoutly claim that this is a recognition of the pre-existence of the man before his natural birth. I trow, the disciples simply spoke a little inadvertently, and did not aim to recognize the responsible existence of the man before his natural birth. “Jesus responded , Neither did he nor his parents sin , but in order that the works of God may be manifest in him .”

    Hence, you see, our Lord negatives the whole matter, putting His veto on the hypothesis of the man’s pre-natal sin, and at the same time affirming that his blindness had not resulted from any especial sin of his nor his parents, but, at least incidentally, was a providential provision for the mighty work he was about to execute.

    DAY AND NIGHT John 9 : 4 , 5 . “It behooveth us to work the works of Him that sent us while it is day ; the night cometh when no one is able to work . While I am in the world , I am the Light of the world .” As God is original light, everything else in the spiritual universe is shining in different degrees by light reflected from Him, as in the material world, planets, moons, and all material entities, shine by light reflected by the sun. When Satan captured the world in the fall, God retreating away and veiling His face because of sin, he threw his black wing over all this world, bringing on a dismal night of storms, which has lasted six thousand years, with a solitary exception of Immanuel’s presence the short period of His earthly life, which was really a sunburst from heaven, bringing down the daylight to the elect few, who so heeded redeeming grace as to walk in it. Paul says, “The night is far spent, and the day draweth nigh” ( Romans 13:12), alluding to the coming of the Lord to arrest Satan, take him out of the world, and reign forever, thus superseding the long, dreary night, intervening between Eden and the millennium, by the glorious reign of incoming celestial day, descending from heaven when our Lord, in His glory, shall return to reign. You see here that He applies the word “day” to His presence, and “night” to his absence. John 9 : 1-41 . “Speaking these words , He spat on the ground , and made mortar of the spittle , and besmeared the mortar upon his eyes , and said to him , Go , wash in the Pool of Siloam , which is interpreted Sent .’ Then he departed , and washed , and came seeing .” Evidently the clay and the spittle, and the waters of Siloam, were not used medicinally, but merely as objects of attention, to concentrate his mind upon the stupendous miracle, proving auxiliaries to his perceptive faculties. As the body is material, any physical transaction is calculated to concentrate the mental faculties, and prove an auxiliary to an invisible, spiritual, miraculous operation; as this was not simply a matter of healing, but creation of the eyesight, which the man had never enjoyed. In both of my tours at Jerusalem, I visited this pool. It is in a deep gorge, down the southwestern slope of Mount Zion, in a half mile of its base, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and that of Hinnom, being in the angle between the two, and about equidistant from each valley, and about one mile from their confluence. When I saw it, in June, 1895, it had a good supply of water in November, 1899, it was very scarce. There is a Mohammedan minaret at the pool, having been erected during the interval of my visits. “Then the neighbors , and those formerly seeing him when he was a beggar , continued to say , Is not this the one sitting down and begging ? Some said , It is he ; others said , No , but he is like him ; he said , I am he . Then they said to him , How were your eyes opened ? He responded , A man called Jesus made mortar , and besmeared my eyes , and said to me , Go to Siloam , and wash . Therefore , having departed and washed , I looked up . They said to him , Where is He ? He says , I know not .”

    SABBATICAL FANATICISM John 9 : 13-16 . “They lead him to the Pharisees , who was at one time blind . And it was the Sabbath , on which day Jesus made the mortar and opened his eyes . Then again the Pharisees asked him how he looked up . And he said to them , He placed the mortar on my eyes , and I washed , and see . Then certain ones of the Pharisees continued to say , This man is not with God , because He does not keep the Sabbath . Others said , How is a man who is a sinner able to perform such miracles ? And there was a division among them . Then they again speak to the blind man , What do you say concerning Him , because He opened thine eyes ? And he said , That He is a prophet .” Here we see the silly and disgusting fanaticism of the fallen Jewish Church on the Sabbath question, actually running it in, to nonsense by their rigid adherence to the mere outward form. I meet a similar fanaticism in my travels, and much like these Jews, because they require you to keep the old Jewish Sabbath, and so magnify it out of all legitimate proportions that you may be a vile sinner, ignorant of God, and at the same time they are ready to hail you as a paragon saint if you agree with them on their Sabbath dogma. It is really the same old, silly, crazy fanaticism over which they persecuted Jesus all His life, and hounded Him to the cross. “Then the Jews did not believe concerning him that he was blind , and looked up until they called the parents of him looking up , and asked them , saying , Is this your son , whom you say that he was born blind ? How then does he now see ? Then his parents responded and said , We know that he is our son , and that he was born blind ; but how he now sees , we know not ; and who has opened his eyes , we know not . Ask him , he is of age ; he shall speak for himself .”

    EXCOMMUNICATION John 9 : 22-34 . “His parents said this because they feared the Jews ; for already the Jews had entered into a covenant that if any one may confess Christ , he must be put out of the synagogue .” It is said that at that time there were four hundred and fifty synagogues in Jerusalem, where all the people gathered on the Sabbath, that they might hear the Scriptures read and expounded by their pastors and theologians. Jesus was the Leader of the holiness movement at that time in the Jewish Church. You see how they resorted to this diabolical stratagem to intimidate people from confessing Him, the authorities passing a resolution that all such should be turned out of the Church. Much of the same thing has been done in this country in the last twenty years, and is still going on. Ecclesiastical ostracism has accompanied the bloody persecutions in all ages, the civil law in this country, happily for us, preventing the latter.

    ADROITNESS OF THIS MAN UNDER PROSECUTION John 9 : 23-38 . “Therefore his parents said , He is of age ; ask him . Then they called the man the second time who was blind , and said to him , Give glory to God ; we know that this Man is a sinner . Then he responded , If He is a sinner , I know not ; one thing I know , that being blind , I now see . Then they said to him , What did He unto thee ? How did He open thine eyes ? He responded to them , I told you already , and you did not hearken ; why do you wish again to hear ? Whether do you wish to be His disciples ? They railed on him , and said , Thou art His disciple , but we are the disciples of Moses . We know that God spoke to Moses ; but we do not know this One whence He is . The man responded , and said to them , For in this it is astonishing that you do not know whence He is , when He opened mine eyes . We know that God heareth not sinners ; but if any one may be a worshiper of God , and do His will , him He heareth .” This passage has very shrewdly, and even diabolically, been used by modern heretics in the pulpit, assuming the hypothesis theft a sinner has no right to pray, and should come prayerless, with all his sins, join the Church, and get remission in water baptism. I have heard them, over and over, use this Scripture to justify their foolish, wicked, fanatical dogma, which would deny the sinner access to God on his knees for pardon and salvation, and turn him over to the preacher and to water baptism. Certainly this is one of the most unapologizable heresies ever hatched in the bottomless pit, and, worst of all, they blame the Savior with it. The truth of it is, the penitent, praying sinner is a “worshiper of God,” and according to this very Scripture, God hears and saves him, independently of human instrumentality, or priestly absolution and Church rites. The meaning of the passage is that God will not hear a sinner if he undertake to work a miracle, but that He will hear him if he falls down with a broken heart, and impleads His pardoning mercy. “It was never heard of that any one opened the eyes of one who had been born blind . Unless he was with God , He would not be able to do anything . They responded , and said to him , Thou wast born altogether in sins , and dost thou teach us ? And they cast him out ;” i .e ., they excommunicated him from the synagogue, turned him out of the Church.

    This poor, uneducated beggar, who had never seen the light of day, and of course enjoyed no educational opportunities, proved more than a match for the quirky, astute, and quizzical priests and theologians, who, like unprincipled, tricky lawyers, did their utmost to puzzle, complicate, and confuse this man, whom they regarded as a very ignoramus. In all their stratagems to entangle him, they signally failed. He had good, common sense, and the light of the Holy Spirit, and God helped him to triumph gloriously over the combination of his enemies. You have frequently seen a witness in court, so confused, befogged, and entangled by the chicanery of the attorneys as to become utterly bewildered and self-contradictory, thus invalidating his own testimony. A similar effort is made by these Pharisees, scribes, and high priests; but all in vain. The uncouth rustic sticks to the pith of the matter, and never flickers nor cowers. Consequently they do the only thing left in their power, and that is, arbitrarily and illegally turn him out of the Church. How wonderfully, in our day, does the history of the Bible times repeat itself! “Jesus heard that they cast him out , and finding him , said , Dost thou believe on the Son of man ?” This was a favorite cognomen with Jesus, conveying a deeper significance than many apprehend. Jesus is the only Son of man, because He is the only Son of unfallen humanity, having taken our nature, sin excepted; whereas Adam and Eve had no posterity till after they sinned, the posterity of fallen humanity having received the Satanic nature through the beguilement of the serpent, or the spiritual children of the devil. ( John 8:44.) Therefore, Jesus is really and truly the Son of man, and the only one, all of Adam’s posterity having forfeited sonship ill the fall; our only possible hope of heaven consisting in the transference from Adam the First to Adam the Second, by the internal infusion of the Divine life in regeneration, and elimination of the Satanic virus in sanctification. “He responded and said , Who is He , Lord , that I may believe on Him ? Jesus said to him , And you have seen Him , and the One speaking with you is He . And he said , I believe , Lord ; and he worshipped Him .” Jerusalem, like other Oriental cities, swarms with beggars, and, of course, many of them are blind. As a rule, every beggar has his place, and in the case of this man it was pre-eminently so, because, being stone blind, it was not convenient for him to travel about. N.B. Jesus at this time had been in Jerusalem but a few weeks, having spent the entire period of His ministry in Northern Palestine, except two brief periods, when he attended the first and second Passover at Jerusalem. The presumption is, this man had never met Him before. The very fact of His stupendous miracle convinced him that He was a prophet, sent and empowered from heaven. Elijah and Elisha had wrought great miracles, even raising the dead, yet neither of them being the Christ. Consequently, while the opening of his eyes perfectly assured him of His Divine commission, it did not satisfy him as to His Messiahship; but feeling fully assured that He was a godly man in a very pre-eminent sense, when He declared to him His Christhood, he believed unhesitatingly, confirming his faith by falling down before Him and worshipping Him as God.

    OPTICAL ENIGMAS John 9 : 39-41 . “And Jesus said , For judgment I came into the world , in order that those not seeing may see , and those seeing may be made blind . Certain ones of the Pharisees being with Him heard , and said to Him , Whether are we also blind ? Jesus said to them , If ye were blind , you had not sin ; but now you say , That we see , your sin remaineth ;” i .e ., abides forever, as conviction, which takes away all the false consolations of the hypocrite and fills him with darkness, must anticipate the salvation of every soul. These utterances of Jesus provoke the most scathing criticism from the infidels, as they sound so contradictory. Our Lord knows that we have intelligent minds, as well as immoral souls, and consequently gives us much to sharpen our wits, and bring into availability our thinking powers.

    Really, the Bible is the grandest intellectual gymnasium in the world Proud, carnal people look with contempt on the Bible, and go after collegiate learning to develop their intellects, making the mistake of their lives. The finest intellectualists of the ages are found among the most assiduous Bible students. In the above Scripture, the enigmas are found in the diversified phases of vision, physical, mental, carnal, spiritual, counterfeit, and genuine. He came to confer sight on the physically blind, as illustrated in the case of the man who is born blind, this wonderful miracle gloriously symbolizing the normal office of the Savior to open the spiritual eyes, and confer the blessing of vision on those wrapped in Satan’s midnight. Now, in what sense does Satan make people blind? He is the great deceiver, having multiplied millions of wily demons, manipulating every human soul in the direction of ruin and damnation. Consequently these demons delude the unsaved with diversified visions of false faith, false peace, false hope, and even counterfeit experiences, which render their way quite luminous with foxfire, phosphorescence, and ignis fatuus , “Whose delusive rays light up unreal worlds, And glow, but to betray.” In this way, Satan comforts his people, so they go, jolly, hilarious, gleeful, flippant, egotistical, and sanguine of heavenly ingress, till Diabolus finds it convenient to dump them into hell. The first great work of the gospel is to take away these false lights, which is the office of the Holy Ghost in conviction, thus leaving the sinner in his normal condition, without a solitary ray of hope, wrapped in storms and dragged by demons down to perdition. The trouble with those Pharisees and scribes was the rejection of the Holy Spirit, whom God had sent “to open their eyes , turn them from darkness to light , from the power of Satan unto God , that they might receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among the sanctified .”

    CHAPTER 8.

    THE GOOD SHEPHERD John 10 : 1-29 . “Truly , truly , I say unto you , The one not coming in through the door , but climbing up some other way , he is a thief and a robber .” It is subsequently revealed that Christ Himself is the door. I have heard superstitious, ignorant preachers hold up water baptism as the door, and contend most pertinaciously that you must receive it according to their ipse dixit , or lose your soul. “Let God be true , and every man a liar .” Here you see that Christ Himself is the door into the fold of redeeming grace, the Church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven. Hence it is silly heresy to talk about any other door, and, as here Jesus says, the one entering in through another door is a thief and a robber: A thief, because he is trying to steal heaven for himself without paying the priceforsaking all, and following Jesus to Calvary, and having old Adam crucified. He’s a robber, because he robs all who follow him of their heavenly hopes and never-dying souls. “He that cometh in through the door is the shepherd of the sheep . To him the porter openeth , and the sheep hear his voice , and he calls his own sheep by name , and leads them out .” The porter here is none other than the Holy Ghost, who goes before and prepares the way for Jesus; i .e ., opens the heart and lets Him in. So the blessed Holy Spirit keeps the door of the heart, and if you yield to His heavenly influence, will certainly open it and let Jesus come in. In a similar, but a subordinate sense, this is true of all who faithfully follow the Good Shepherd. If you are truly the Lord’s blood-washed, spirit-filled, fire-baptized preacher, the Holy Spirit will go before you, and open the hearts of the Lord’s elect, give you audience with them, and make you humbly instrumental in doing them good. Here we see that the Lord’s sheep know His voice, and He calls each one by name. In Palestine there are no fences, and all stock are herded, the herdsmen remaining with them day and night. An old tourist, who has spent twenty-five years in that country escorting travelers all over it, and is intimately acquainted with everything appertaining to it, related to me the literal fulfillment of this Scripture at the present day; e .g ., a sheep has been lost out of a flock, and the shepherd surmises that it has gotten into some other, calls to his neighbor shepherd on a contiguous mountain, “Have you any stray sheep?” “I do not know. Wait a minute, and I will see.” He calls out to his flock, and they all quit grazing, and raise up their heads to hear his voice, except one, which pays no attention to him, but grazes on. Then he answers, “Yes, I have one that does not belong to me. Come and see if it is yours.” So he comes over and calls, and none of the flock quit grazing to give him any attention except that one, which holds up his head and listens to him. Then the shepherd says,” Take it along; it is yours.” It is very consolatory to know that the Good Shepherd is so familiar with us as to call us all by name. During my childhood and youth, I heard my name constantly. Since I entered public, professional life, I am called by other epithets, and seldom hear the name given to me by my beloved parents, who are now in glory. When I meet an old friend of my boyhood, who freely calls me by my name, I feel good. “When he may put out all his own , he goeth before them , and the sheep follow him , because they know his voice .” It is not the custom of the Oriental shepherd to drive his flock, but to lead them, and they always follow whithersoever he goes. This is also the custom in the great West, where they are herded after the manner of the Old World. An old California shepherd told me that he was herding two thousand sheep up on the mountain, when a snow fell, covering the grass so they could not get it. Then, mounting his pony and calling aloud, he sets out for the plains, where the snow never falls, the whole flock following him. We should adhere pertinaciously to our Savior’s Word, and never drive, but always lead the people of God. There is but one way to lead them, and that is to be more proficient in the Truth of God, a better exegete of the Scripture, more zealous for truth and righteousness, more abundant in good works, more humble, meek, and lowly, and more like Jesus, than they are. If some of them excel us in Christ-likeness, we should rejoice in God, and be a follower of such, as they follow Jesus. Pastor is a Latin word, which means shepherd; episcopos , bishop, being the Greek. O how few pastors actually lead their flocks in the way of humility, love, holiness, and heaven! All who do not thus lead them should resign at once. How common is it now, rather than lead, thus diametrically to antagonize the precept and example of the Chief Shepherd! “But they will not follow another , but will fly from him , because they do not know the voice of strangers .” This explains the reason why the godly members of Churches in all ages have been stigmatized as schismatical, revolutionary, and unmanageable. It is because there is a stranger in the pulpit, and they are the Lord’s true sheep, and will not follow him. At this point bloody persecutions have broken out, ever and anon, through all bygone ages. You have nothing to do but give this matter a little attention, and see how carnal pastors are utterly incompetent to manage the spiritual members of their congregations. To follow them would be to go down to perdition. The Lord’s sheep never have followed, and never will fallow, the voice of a stranger. “Jesus spake this parable to them ; and they did not know those things which Jesus was saying to them .” An unspiritual audience frequently signally fails to understand spiritual truth. “Then Jesus said , Truly , truly , I say unto you , That I am the door of the sheep .” Hence you see we must come to Jesus personally, and pass through His arms into the fold of salvation. Consequently all of the Lord’s sheep enjoy a happy, personal acquaintance with the Good Shepherd, who, like the Palestinean herdsman, abides with His flock night and day. “All, so many as came, are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them.” Here we have ethon , “came,” in the second aorist tense, not only past, but instantaneous and complete, alluding to Satan and his demoniacal armies, who made the first run on the world, and did their utmost to capture it all, four thousand years having rolled away before the Incarnate Shepherd came on the earth. The sheep were here in all ages, but did not hearken to the voice of the counterfeit shepherds. “I am the door ; through Me , if any one may enter in , he shall be saved , and shall go in and out and find pasture .” This is a beautiful, natural description of nomadic life among the Orientals, the flock going out and coming in, led by the shepherd. How beautifully symbolic of the spiritual shepherdhood!

    N.B. — There are no fences in that country, the sheep having access to any and every place whither the good shepherd may lead them. You can not find a trace nor a track of denominationalism in the Bible. This is man’s work, Satan thus building up fences to separate the Lord’s sheep, so he can starve at least some of them to death; as there is always plenty of good grass in some river valley, mountain cove, or fertile plain, where the showers fall and keep the fields always green. Consequently, if there were no fences, the sheep could all find good grazing, live fat and flourishing. All the great revivals in bygone ages have conduced to break down these partition walls.

    The present holiness movement is doing a grand work, knocking down the fences, and letting the Lord’s sheep come together and enjoy the good grass in all the different pastures. Besides, entire sanctification disencumbers people of every burden, making them active as catamounts, so they can jump over all the devil’s fences into a Methodist clover-field, a Baptist bluegrass pasture, a Presbyterian wheat-field, or a grand Quaker lawn, where a variety of grasses grow, and thus availing themselves of the wholesome pabulum which the Good Shepherd provides. O how we flourish and fatten, the beautiful lambs skipping on all the hills, and the copious white fleeces washed clean in the crystal rivers, which course through the fertile plains of Immanuel’s pasture-lands! “The thief does not come except that he may steal , murder , and destroy .” All carnal, worldly preachers belong to the catalogue of these thieves, who are really actuated by carnal motives, and the effect of their work is to steal the fleece, fat, and milk of God’s flock, and destroy them, because they do not care for their souls; so when they get what they have, they let Satan take their souls. “I came that they may have life , and have it more abundantly .” We have life in regeneration, and the same life superabounding in sanctification. “I am the Good Shepherd . The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep .” As Jesus died to save the whole world, so we, as His subordinate shepherds, should be ready at all times to lay down our lives for souls. “The hireling , not being a shepherd , whose own the sheep are not , seeth the wolf coming , and leaves the sheep and flies , and the wolf seizes them and scatters them ; because he is an hireling , and there is not a care to him concerning the sheep .” Read Ezekiel 34 to the shepherds abiding in their tents, feasting on the fat, drinking the milk, and clothing themselves with the wool of the flock, while the sheep are scattered abroad, on every high hill, down in every deep valley, wandering amid the crags and precipices, the wolves devouring them without mercy. The above statement of our Savior with reference to the hireling shepherd, certainly does sweep the salaried ministry from the face of the earth. We dare not stipulate and make finances a consideration, lest we fall under the ban of the hireling shepherd.

    O how significant in this connection the faithful words of Peter, while venerable with years and looking bloody martyrdom in the face! “Therefore I , being an elder , and a witness of the sufferings of Christ , also a participant of the glory about to be revealed , exhort the elders who are among you : Feed the flock of God which is among you , not from constraint , but willingly , for Gods sake ; not for filthy lucre , but of a ready mind ; nor as it were domineering over the heritages , but being examples of the flock ; and the Chief Shepherd appearing , you shall receive a crown of glory , which will never fade away .” The man who is afraid in reference to his temporal support has mistaken his calling, or at least he has not tarried long at Jerusalem, nor received the “perfect love, which casts out fear” of starvation and everything else. The Lord does not want any shepherds who are troubled with fears in reference to temporal support. Full salvation clears all that away, and prepares you to go to Greenland, and freeze to death for Jesus’ sake, or to India and starve, and in either case, die shouting, in glowing anticipation of a martyr’s crown, the grandest boon achievable beneath the skies. These declarations of Jesus abundantly explained the present deplorable apostasy of the Churches. The devil’s wolves come round in the form of dances, frolics, theaters, circuses, cardparties, horse-races, saloons, etc. The pastor sees his flock going headlong to ruin, ignores the whole matter, and plays dummy. Why? If he takes the devil by the throat, does his duty, contends for the faith once delivered to the saints, preaches holiness or hell like lightning, and enforces discipline, fearless of men and devils, taking the rotten potatoes all out of the barrel so as to save the few sound ones, they will get mad at him, refuse to pay their assessments, his salary must be reported largely deficient at the ensuing Conference, himself discounted for inefficiency, and be taken out of the fat station and sent to a poor circuit. What is the result? His courage fails, and the wolves devour the flock: he sells out their souls to the devil for filthy lucre, receives a fat salary, lives like a king, lets his own children go to the devil; is honored and applauded as an efficient and faithful pastor, while heaven mourns and hell rejoices. What is the solution of this dismal problem? He is a hireling shepherd, and Jesus says, for that very reason, he is utterly untrustworthy; for the sake of his salary, he lets the wolves devour the sheep. You see the point? He should be no hireling, but a volunteer for Jesus, to save souls from hell, and looking to God alone for support, temporal and spiritual. Let me corroborate the venerable apostle I assure you, God will be everything to you, and feed you and yours, like He feeds the birds. I have been a preacher longer than Peter, but not so long as John. So I gladly add my testimony to theirs. O Lord, what shall become of Thy Church under a hireling ministry? Jesus tells the dark secret. Satan’s wolves capture and scatter the flock. “I am the Good Shepherd , and know Mine , and Mine know Me , as the Father knows Me , and I know the Father ; and I lay down My life for the sheep .” How grand and glorious is the preaching of Jesus on the direct witness of the Spirit! He knows every true heart, and every faithful soul knows Him. Blessed consolation! Here He affirms repeatedly that He lays down His life for the sheep. That is true subjectively, as none but the elect avail themselves of His vicarious atonement; while objectively, He gave His life for all, making their salvation a gracious possibility. “He tasted death for every one.” ( Hebrews 2:9.) “But I have other sheep , which are not of this fold , and it behooveth Me to bring them , and they shall hear My voice , and there shall be one Shepherd and one fold .” And the other sheep, not of the Jewish fold, were in all the Gentile world. Here you see that the Lord wills but one fold, as there is but one Shepherd. He broke down the partition wall between the Jews and the Gentiles ( Ephesians 2); and you may rest assured that He is grieved over all the partition walls which have ever been built up by the sects and denominations . “Therefore the Father loves Me , because I lay down My life , that I may take it again .” In the track of Jesus and two hundred millions of martyrs, we have blessed assurance that if we lay down our lives for Him, we shall follow Him in the glorious resurrection, receiving life immortal, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave, and glorious beyond all possible conception. “No one taketh it from Me , but I lay it down of Myself ; but I have the privilege to lay it down , and I have the privilege to take it again ; this commandment I received from My Father .” With Jesus, our Paragon, and like Him constantly ready for martyrdom, O what a glorious privilege to be one of His sheep, and even a subordinate shepherd! The elect of God are in every nation, the sheep of the Lord’s pasture, and exposed to prowling wolves, roaring lions, and bloodthirsty tigers. O what a grand open door for the subordinate shepherds of Jesus, to go away to the mountains, deserts, and jungles, hunt the lost sheep, and bring them back to the fold! They are all around us, invaded, desolated, and scattered by the ferocious beasts of prey, beside the millions in heathen lands. If you could only look up to heaven, and see the crown of glory in the hand of the Chief Shepherd, ready to place on the brow of the most humble man or woman who will dare to go out in the name of the Good Shepherd, and hunt up the lost sheep, and lead them into green pastures, where they can lie down beside the still waters, methinks every reader of these lines would cry out: “Good Shepherd, let me go. I do not wait for the hire of paltry pelf. I am ready to lay down my life for the sheep.” Mark it down, we can not depend on a hireling ministry to do this work. Jesus has so decided, and He makes no mistakes. “Again there was a division among the Jews on account of these words . Then many of them were saying , He hath a demon , and is gone mad ; why do you hear Him ? Others were saying , These are not the words of a demonized man ; whether is a demon able to open the eyes of the blind ?” “The servant is not above his Lord , nor the disciple above his Teacher .”

    You see here how they declared that Jesus had a demon, and was gone mad; i .e ., that He was actually run mad by the demon which possessed Him. You see here that many of His audience spoke out, pleading with the people to go away and not listen to Him, as He was a demonized madman.

    Do you not know that the carnal world and counterfeit religion are the same today as in our Savior’s time? Rely upon it, if you go out and preach the truth as it is in Jesus, fearless of men and devils, they will talk about you in the scurrilous and blasphemous manner in which they denounced and anathematized Him. “And it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem ; it was winter .” This feast was the anniversary of the temple’s dedication, after it had been purified from idolatry and thoroughly repaired, at the close of the three years and a half, during which it was polluted by idol worship during the occupancy of the Syrians, and the time was B.C. 25. “And Jesus was walking about in the temple , in the Porch of Solomon .”

    This was not connected with the temple proper, but was a magnificent building, erected by King Solomon, near the Beautiful Gate, leading through the east wall of the city into the Temple Campus, and about six hundred yards northeast of the temple proper, as all the campus, about thirty-five acres, with its many buildings, was denominated The Temple. “Then the Jews surrounded Him , and continued to say to Him , How long will You take away our life ? If Thou art the Christ , tell us openly .” This seems like a reasonable appeal, begging Him to relieve all their suspense, solicitude, and torture by telling them outright whether He is the Christ.

    They had a law among themselves that if any one claimed to be the Christ, he should be brought before the Sanhedrin for examination. In this way they were hypocritically endeavoring to get some clue at Him to make Him a prisoner. Besides, it is well understood that the Christ was to be King of the Jews. Hence the liability of bringing Him into trouble with the Roman Government, and having Him arraigned before Pilate on the charge of high treason. While thus they outwardly manifest sincerity and candor, Jesus read their hearts, and knew the diabolism of their intention. “Jesus responded , I told you , and you do not believe ; the works which I do in the name of My Father , these testify concerning Me .” The healing of the man born blind, about which they all well knew, was all that honest men could want by way of assurance as to His Christhood. So He refers them to His miracles, which spoke louder than words. “But you do not believe , because you are not of My sheep .” This tells the dark secret. Those Jews, the favored people of God, the leading preachers and laymen, standing at the head of the Church, were not of His sheep; i .e ., they were reprobated and hopelessly doomed; not that God reprobates men to death, but they reprobated themselves, rejecting the Holy Ghost, and even imputing His works to the devil, thus, with all their clerical offices and honors, plunging headlong into everlasting woe. “My sheep hear My voice , and I know them , and they follow Me ; and I give to them eternal life , and they shall never perish , and no one shall pluck them out of My hand .” This is wonderfully strong, beautiful, and consolatory. The reason why those Jews did not spiritually hear His voice (because they certainly heard it physically) was because they were not of His sheep. While He assures us that His sheep will never perish, and no one is able to pluck them out of His hand, we must bear in mind the liability of the sheep to stray away from the fold and be lost. While there is no power in the universe competent to pluck us out of the hands of the Omnipotent Savior, yet we are free and on probation, exposed to temptation and a thousand liabilities and snares, as we see above, in the case of those wolves, which are prowling all around us and ready to devour us. The danger is not on the side of power, but our own will. “The Father , who has given them unto Me , is greater than all , and no one is able to pluck them out of the hand of the Father .” Of course, the Father saw all the saved before He sent Jesus into the world and gave them to Him; therefore if Satan comes first, so far as the question of power is concerned, he, a poor finite being, would have to be stronger than the Almighty. He would have to conquer the Son, who has us in His hands, and also the Father, who gave us to His Son, if He ever gets us. Hence you see, the omnipotence of the Trinity is pledged for our security. Consequently the danger, in view of which Jesus so faithfully warns us about Satan’s wolves, is altogether on the human side. Therefore we see, while God elects people to life, He does not reprobate any of them to death. We are all free to choose between sin and holiness. If we choose the latter, we are elected to life; if the former, we are reprobated to death, from the simple fact that the “wages of sin is death.” If we remain in sin, we are in the hands of Satan, who, at the close of this life, has no place to put us but hell.

    THE ASSAULT John 10 : 30-39 . “I and My Father are one .” There is but one God, but three persons — i.e. , three characters — manifested by the Deity to the world. I am a preacher, a teacher, and a book editor, three characters, and yet but one . “Again the Jews took up stones that they may stone Him .” As they felt that they were prepared to sustain their condemnation of blasphemy against Him because He claimed to be the Son of God, they thought if they could raise a row and excite the rabble, they might get rid of Him by stoning Him to dearth, and cover up the whole transaction under the charge of blasphemy. Though they take up stones, and show every manifestation of instantaneous death, Jesus remains perfectly tranquil. “And Jesus responded to them , Many good works have I shown to you from the Father , on account of which work of these do you stone Me ? The Jews responded to Him , We do not stone Thee for a good work , but for blasphemy , and because Thou , being a man , makest Thyself God .”

    According to the Mosaic law, the penalty for blasphemy was death by stoning. The same also was the penalty for Sabbath-breaking.

    Consequently His enemies, who hounded Him day and night, thirsting for His blood, were constantly on the alert, ready to catch up anything whatever, and use it as a charge against Him. It so happened, in the normal administration of His official Messiahship, He was really under the necessity of rendering Himself vulnerable to the charge of blasphemy, in order to enunciate and vindicate His claims to the Messiahship, as it would have been really impossible for any one to preach and testify in harmony with the Messianic office without exposing Himself to the liability of the charge of blasphemy; whereas His constant works of philanthropy, healing the multitudes of sick people everywhere He went, would have necessitated Him to intermit His work on the Sabbath or become vulnerable to the charge of Sabbatic violation. Consequently His enemies, having these two strings to their bow, pulled on them incessantly, making music for the bottomless pit. “Jesus responded to them , Is it not written in your law that I said , Ye are gods ?” ( Psalm 80.) Here the word is applied to tyrannical world-rulers. “If He called them gods to whom the Word of God came , and the Scripture is not able to be broken , whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world , do you say that Thou blasphemest because I said , I am the Son of God ? If I do not the works of My Father , do not believe Me ; but if I do , believe not Me , believe the works , in order that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me , and I in the Father . Then they were seeking to arrest Him , and he went out from their hand .” Our Lord’s ministry is now rapidly winding to a close. Consequently it is important to emphasize the great, salient point of His earthly mission, and everywhere prominently hold up His Christhood, so that all the people would clearly apprehend and indubitably witness His claims to the Messiahship, thus exposing Himself to the constant liability of arrest and arraignment, as they had a rabbinical law specifying that any man claiming to be the Christ should be brought before the Sanhedrin for investigation and examination.

    Now that He boldly meets the issue, despite their charge of blasphemy, they proceed to arrest Him. Of course, the Sanhedrin would have condemned Him to death by stoning ( Leviticus 24:16), thus cutting off His earthly ministry about one month before the time. Consequently He passed away from their hands, of course unobserved, all losing sight of Him, and thinking He was somewhere in the crowd; but no one being able to find Him, meanwhile He passes clearly away.

    JESUS AT BETHANY, PEREA John 10 : 40-42 . “And again He went away beyond Jordan , into the place where John was first baptizing , and there abode . Many came to Him , and continued to say , That John did no miracle ; but all things , so many as John said concerning this One , were true , and many believed on Him there .” This Bethany was in the Jordan Valley, on the east side, about twenty miles above the ford where Israel crossed, and where Jesus was baptized, in the territory occupied by the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan. When the multitudes followed Him, the sight of the place reminded them of John’s ministry, which they had there enjoyed three years previously. Consequently the conversation naturally turned on that subject.

    Though John was the greatest of all the prophets, he wrought no miracles like his illustrious predecessors, Elijah and Elisha. They naturally contrast these two most illustrious characters — i .e ., John and Jesus — and remember so vividly the powerful preaching of the former in reference to the latter; and now, in contemplation of His mighty works, all certify that John’s wonderful testimony in reference to Him is literally true.

    CHAPTER - RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS John 11 : 1-44 . “And a certain one was sick : Lazarus , of Bethany , the village of Mary and Martha her sister .” John, who accompanied Jesus, very discreetly omits the name of the place where Jesus is at this time beyond the Jordan, in order to avoid the confusion superinduced by the reader confounding the two Bethanies. Lazarus was sick at Bethany, Judea, one and seven-eighths miles east of Jerusalem, and Jesus was preaching at Bethany, Perea, about fifty miles northeast. “And Mary was the one anointing the Lord with myrrh and wiping His feet with her hair , whose brother Lazarus was sick .” This transaction is recorded in the twelfth chapter of this Gospel. a. “Then the sisters sent to Him , saying , Lord , behold he whom Thou lovest is sick .” The word for love is phileo , which means the love of friendshipi .e ., human love — in contradistinction to agapao , Divine love. The unfallen humanity of Jesus is capable of a human love and tender affection infinitely more delicate and sensitive than any of us, hardened and darkened by the fall, can conceive. “And Jesus , hearing , said , This sickness is not unto death , but for the glory of God , that the Son of God may be glorified through it .” Even after the word came to Him, He declined to pronounce Lazarus dead, but said he was asleep. Of course, the death of Lazarus had taken place before the arrival of the messengers sent by the sisters, as we subsequently see, from the fact of the four days having elapsed at the time of His arrival.

    These apparent disharmonies all clear away when we remember that Jesus declines to use the word “death,” but substitutes “sleep,” setting forth the significant fact that the body is immortal as the soul, which is true, when we consider the resurrection in its normal economy. “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus .” Here we have agapao , Divine love, thus disarming the infidel criticism that might wickedly be foisted on that statement, as there is nothing physical in the meaning of the word, but purely spiritual, and identical with the love which the Holy Ghost pours out in the heart in regeneration. ( Romans 5:5.) b. “Therefore , when He heard that he is sick , then indeed He remained in the place in which He was two days .” This was the greatest miracle wrought by our Lord during His earthly ministry, from the fact that Lazarus had been dead four days, and consequently putrefaction had set up, and really made great progress in the work of dissolution. It seems that Jesus was determined that this miracle should be pre-eminently decisive and convicting to all who should hear of it. Consequently He remains there two days after He received the word. “Then , after this , He says to His disciples , Let us go into Judea . Then His disciples say to Him , Master , just now the Jews were seeking to stone Thee , and do You again go thither ?” They were all unutterably astonished when He spoke of returning to Judea, from which He had so recently fled for His life, as they were in the very act of stoning Him. c. “Jesus responded , Are there not twelve hours of the day ?” The Jews counted from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. “If any one may walk in the day , he stumbleth not , because he sees the light of this world ; but if any one may walk in the night , he stumbleth , because there is no light in him .” The simple meaning of this is, that they could not kill Him till His work was done. Yet we see how He fled from place to place, in order to prolong His life till He could finish His work, illustrating the fact that we, too, are immortal till our work is done, if we abide in God’s order; but if we recklessly disregard it, then we take our lives into our own hands. Hence there is no premium here offered to careless indifference. While Jesus was immortal till His work was done, He must utilize the providence of the Father in His behalf. In this passage, God’s providence is the day, and our own depreciative indifference the night. Hence, if you walk in the light, true to God’s Word, Spirit, and providence, you’ll never stumble nor fall. d. “He said these words , and after this He speaks to them , Lazarus , our friend , has gone to sleep ; but I go that I may wake him up . Then the disciples said to him , Lord , if he is asleep , he will get well . But Jesus spoke concerning his death ; but they thought that He is talking about the rest of sleep . Then Jesus said unto them boldly , Lazarus is dead ; and I rejoice on your account that I was not there , in order that you may believe ; but let us go to him .” We see that our Lord purposely delayed till Lazarus had been dead four days, in order that this miracle might be overwhelmingly convincing and demonstrative. He had raised the widow’s son at Nain when on the way to the tomb, having only been dead a few hours, as the Jews bury their dead immediately after expiration. He had also raised the daughter of Jairus, at Capernaum, who had been dead but a little while. Some might conclude that in these cases a spark of vitality lingered till He arrived and revived it. In the case of Lazarus, putrefaction and disintegration had made such progress that the miraculous feature of the transaction actually beggared all criticism, and silenced all possible cavil. e. “Then Thomas , called Didymus , said to his fellow-disciples , Let us go also , that we may die along with Him .” Some have thought that Thomas meant that they should die with Lazarus, which is utterly implausible and untenable. Thomas was peculiar in his make-up for taking the dark side of every question. This is the reason why he refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead till the most thorough and indubitable evidence was furnished, after which he never again hesitated nor doubted.

    Notwithstanding his predilection to take the blue side of everything, he was one of the grandest men called to the apostolic office. In the distribution of the world, pursuant to the Gentile Commission ( Matthew 28:19), he received India as his field of labor. Though his territory was so very large, and occupied by countless multitudes, he not only went to it and labored heroically, but he traveled through Ethiopia and Persia, preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ, and finally being cruelly martyred by the Brahmin priests in India, who interpenetrated his body with a cruel iron bar, as they sag, that his influence would utterly undermine and defeat their religion. In this case, when they had all remonstrated with Jesus not to go back to Judea, whence He had so recently fled from a cruel, stony massacre, and He persisting in His determination to go anyhow, Thomas, feeling now that He is going back to expose Himself to His enemies, they will kill Him to an absolute certainty. “So now , brethren , let us all go back and die with Him .” Thomas was true as steel, and heroic enough to lay down his life with Jesus but his prevailing peculiarity to take the dark side of every problem here crops out. f . “Then Jesus , having come , found that he is in the tomb four days .”

    Bethany was near to Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs. It is on the Jericho road, just beyond the summit of Olivet, on a southeastern slope. “Many of the Jews had come to Mary and Martha , that they may comfort them concerning their brother .” The Jews mourn for the dead seven days.

    Consequently, Jesus arrived in the midst of the mourning. “Then Martha , when she heard that Jesus comes , went to meet Him ; but Mary was sitting in the house .” Jesus and His disciples arrived on the Jericho road. It is said that they had halted and were resting a little, and were enjoying a drink at Jeremiah’s Fountain in the suburbs. “Then Martha said to Jesus , Lord , if Thou wast here , my brother had not died . And now I know that as many things as Thou may ask God for , God will give unto You . Jesus says to her , Your brother shall rise again . Martha says to Him , I know that He will rise in the resurrection in the last day . Jesus said to her , I am the resurrection and the life ; he that believeth on Me , though he may die , shall live , and every one that liveth and believeth on Me can never die ; do you believe this ? She says to Him , Yea , Lord , I have believed that Thou art the Christ , the Son of God , who cometh into the world .” Our Savior’s responses to Martha are thrillingly consolatory. O the inestimable premium the Bible sets on faith in Jesus, reaching out, and not only appropriating eternal spiritual life, but that of this mortal, fleeting body, in the glorious resurrection, leaping from the dust, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave, invested with immortality, and dynamited with eternal life, soaring away to join the unfallen angels, explore celestial worlds, range the fenceless fields of glory, contemplate the ineffable beauty of the unfallen heavenly worlds, and magnify the glory of Omnipotence through the flight of eternal ages! g . “And saying this , she went away and called Mary : her sister , speaking secretly , The Teacher is come , and calls thee . When she heard it , she rises quickly , and comes to Him . Jesus had not yet come into the village : but was in the place where Martha met Him . Then the Jews , who are with her in the house and comforting her , seeing Mary , that she arose up quickly and went out , followed her , thinking that she goes to the tomb to weep there .” On both of my tours in Jerusalem, I was frequently at Bethany, and visited the house of Mary and Martha, and entered the tomb of Lazarus; i .e ., a stone tomb, excavated out of the rock, in the side of Mount Olivet, designated the Tomb of Lazarus. Of course, Mary did not receive the first news which reached Martha, or she would have gone with her to meet Jesus. Now, Martha, darting in stealthily, whispers to Mary the thrilling news that Jesus has come. During the four days, while the broken-hearted sisters mourned the death of their only brother, on whose faithful labor they depended for temporal support, having sent for Jesus, somehow they entertained a thrilling anticipation that He will come, and, in some mysterious way, a forlorn hope lingers with them that He will actually bring their brother back.

    Consequently when Mary, the more hopeful and trustful of the two, hears the glad nears of His arrival, instantly rising from her prostrate attitude of deepest grief, she runs away to meet Him, the Jewish mourners thinking that she had gone to the tomb to weep. As Jesus came from the direction of Jericho, the Tomb of Lazarus, shown to travelers as above mentioned, is in the same direction, corroborating the conclusion of the mourners that she had gone thither. “Then Mary , when she came where Jesus was , seeing Him , fell at His feet , saying to Him , Lord , if Thou wast here , our brother had not died . Then Jesus , when He saw her weeping , and the Jews who had come with her weeping , groaned in spirit , and afflicted Himself , and said , Where have you placed him ? They say to Him , Lord , come and see .”

    O how the hope of Mary leaps into reality when Jesus asked them to escort Him to the tomb! A strange sensation has swept over Bethany since He arrived a hall hour ago. All the people have heard it, and are on tiptoe with excitement and anticipation of something wonderful and extraordinary.

    Now He starts away to the tomb, led by the two sisters on either side; meanwhile all the people are crowding along the streets and alleys from all parts of the village. The neighbors round are hearing of it. The news, on the wings of the wind, in some mysterious way has traveled out, and every one — the old, the young; the great, the small; the rich, the poor — come pouring in, swelling the crowd into a multitude. A mysterious awe, a holy hush, is on the people; somehow the anticipation of a wonderful and extraordinary miracle has taken hold of them. The idea that a man, dead four days, is to be raised is unheard of in all the ages. “Jesus wept.” What vivid, beautiful, and sublime juxtaposition of the human and the Divine!

    The more you get filled up with the sweet, perfect love of God, evil tempers having been consumed by the refining fires of the Holy Ghost, the more sympathetic you become. If you have a clean heart, and filled with the Holy Ghost, how quickly do your tears spontaneously pour out when you enter the house of mourning, and see the broken-hearted kindred and friends of the deceased weeping all around! Your sympathy is a good test of your religion. If your heart is clean, tender, and sweetened by the perfect love of God, the presence of sorrow and mourning will bring sympathetic tears in copious affusion quickly. This weeping of Jesus was pure, tender sympathy with Mary and Martha and the mourners, as Jesus well knew that He was going to raise him from the dead, and turn all this mourning into joy. How vividly do the two natures of Jesus mutually show up in this notable transaction! Here we see the tender, unfallen humanity of Jesus, weeping as if His heart were broken; meanwhile, His Divinity reveals creative omnipotence in the restoration of life and health to the putrescent corpse; meanwhile, He calls back the soul of Lazarus from Abraham’s bosom, again to inhabit his body. “Then the Jews continued to say , Behold , how He loved him ! And some of them said , Was not He who opened the eyes of the blind able to bring it to pass that this one may not die ? Then Jesus , again groaning in Himself , comes to the tomb ; it was a cave , and a stone was laid upon it .” Caves, in those days, and at the present in that country, are not only used as habitations for the living, but sepulchers for the dead — as a rule, augmenting and modifying them artificially. h. “Jesus says , Take away the stone . Martha , the sister of him who is dead , says , Lord , already he smelleth ; for he is dead four days .” This was about the first of April, when the weather is quite warm in Palestine.

    Consequently a young, fleshy man, like Lazarus, would mortify with great rapidity. “Jesus says to her , Did I not say to thee , That if thou mayest believe , thou mayest see the glory of God ?” This remark of Martha indicated the staggering of her faith; while we hear nothing of the kind from Mary, whose type of spirituality was that of sanctification, Martha being on the plane of justification. “Then they took the stone away ; Jesus lifted up His eyes , and said , Father , I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me . But I knew that Thou dost always hear Me ; but on account of the multitude standing by , I spoke , in order that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me .” Jesus here prayed orally to His Father for the benefit of the multitude who stood by. We would all do well to follow His example. A prayer which people can hear is always more efficient with them than the inaudible cry of the heart to God. Hence, if you want your family, friends, and neighbors saved, be sure that you let them hear you pray for them. It is all right to pray for them in secret; but that is not enough. Be sure that, like Jesus, you lift up your voice, and let the people in your home Church and community hear you pray for them. i . “And speaking these words , He cried , with a great voice , Lazarus , come forth . The dead man came out , bound , as to his feet and hands , with graveclothes , and his face was bound around with a napkin .” The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead is a grand and glorious symbolism of spiritual regeneration, in which the Omnipotent Savior calls the dead soul into life.

    Lazarus had once lived like the multitude moving upon the earth. Physical life had evanesced away, leaving him a corpse. Jesus put forth His creative fiat, by whose omnific sweep He tossed revolving worlds from the effulgent throne, giving each other its appointed track in the ethereal void, to go singing on its way forever, — the very same power He brought into availability when He restored physical life to the dead body of Lazarus. We were all created in Adam, and had spiritual life before the fall. This life our wonderful Savior graciously restores in regeneration. Interceding priests may grant a thousand absolutions; clergymen may administer water baptism, eucharist, and other Church rites indefinitely till doomsday, — unless Jesus speak, “Lazarus, come forth,” not a soul will ever be saved. j. “Jesus says to them , Loose him , and let him go .” This is a beautiful and vivid symbolism of entire sanctification. Lazarus was really raised from the dead; life and vigor again coursing through his veins and arteries; his heart having again wheeled into normal activity; his brain flashing out electrical thoughts, recognitions, apprehensions, and moving forward into all the complicated work or ratiocination; his limbs electrified with vitality; his nerves, like a grand galvanic battery, again charged with vital electricity, — still his hands and feet were encumbered with the long, strong fabric of the winding-sheet, so he could neither move rapidly nor labor with much efficiency; meanwhile the napkin, bound round his face, rendered his utterances difficult and his speech broken. He was neither in fix to fight the devil, run for glory, witness for Jesus, sing the sweet songs of Zion, nor preach the everlasting gospel. Jesus says, “Loose him, and let him go.”

    Hence you see that our Savior wants all the people whom He raises from the dead loosed from all the chains, fetters, and grave-clothes; i.e. , all the cumbersome habitude which characterized them before they were converted, when they sojourned in the land of death, and had the habits of the spiritually dead, — Jesus wants all these swept away, and all the men, women, and children whom He has raised from the dead, disencumbered and turned loose, to fight the armies of the pandemonium, not only like soldiers, but heroes, brave enough to run through a troop or leap over a wall, swift as eagles and strong as lions, fearless of men and devils; so one shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. O how quickly could the Church bring the millennium, if loosed and let go! Our pulpits are filled with preachers, tied up with their grave-clothes, some of them even using tobacco, encouraging Church frolics, winking at theater-going, cardplaying, dancing, etc.; meanwhile the pews are occupied by people decked off in the phantasmagoria of the world, thus invested in the grave-clothes.

    O how few are free to talk for Jesus! Will you not go and take the napkin off their faces, and let their tongues loose, to speak like apostles, testify like martyrs, and shout like angels? k. “Then many of the Jews , who had come to Mary , and seeing those things which He did , believed on Him ; and certain ones of them departed to the Pharisees , and told them the things which Jesus did .” This stupendous miracle, unprecedented in the history of the world, sends an earthquake shock through all the multitude, so that the people fall in platoons on all sides, and with adoring wonder confess their faith in Jesus. This miracle shook all Jerusalem as fast as they could hear of it, and sent an electric shock throughout all Israel, confirming many whose faith had been much mixed with doubts, and arousing multitudes who had not hitherto believed to seriously and candidly investigate the matter, the result being a rolling tide of popular belief in His claims to the Christhood.

    CONDEMNATORY VERDICT OF THE SANHEDRIN John 11:47-54. “Then the chief priests and Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin , and continued to say , What shall we do ? because this man is performing many miracles .” If the leading ministers and Church authorities had not stood in the way of the people, Israel would have received Jesus unanimously, turned evangelists, and preached Him to the world, bringing on the millennium long ago. The truth of the matter is clear. The high priests, Pharisees, and Sanhedrin had so yielded to Satan and grieved the Holy Spirit as to superinduce the departure of the latter, and the actual, diabolical possession of the former, till they had crossed the dead-line and were unconvincible. “If we thus let Him alone , all will believe on Him .” What a frank confession of the truth, if they had not meddled with them and obstinately stood between the people and Jesus, they would all have believed on Him.

    The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Jesus. The present holiness movement, like that of Luther, Wesley, and others, is Jesus again walking upon the earth in His spiritual manifestation, inviting the people to enter the kingdom of holiness, as He did in the days of His incarnation. If let alone, the Churches would en masse seek holiness, and inundate the world with salvation. The leading preachers are still in the way, as in the days of Christ. “The Romans will come , and take away both our place and nation .” Thirtythree years Judea had been a Roman province, every vestige of their former freedom swept away. They were looking for Christ, and all believed that He was to be the King of the Jews when He came; in which case they knew that mighty Rome would be arrayed against them, with her invincible armies, and their only chance to have their own king was to conquer the Romans, an utter impossibility, as they ruled the whole world in one vast, consolidated despotism. This prophecy actually did come true. Though they rejected Christ, they erelong revolted against the Romans, and fought for their independence till literally exterminated, with the exception of a few poor people, driven away to the ends of the earth; while the Romans not only destroyed Jerusalem, but desolated all Palestine. So the very calamities they here deprecate as an excuse for the rejection of Christ, actually overtook them. “And a certain one of them , Caiaphas , being high priest that year , said to them , You do not know nor consider that it is profitable to you that one man may die for the people , and not the whole nation perish .” This prophecy is literally true, and yet you see it was uttered by that wicked high priest, whom Satan had captured. The next verse explains it. “He spoke this, not from himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that He may gather together in one the children of God which had been scattered abroad.” The elect of God have been in all nations, in all ages, as will be revealed when the assembled universe shall stand before the Great White Throne. Before Jesus came on the earth in His Incarnate Personality and preached the gospel, the Holy Spirit revealed Jehovahi.e. , God in Christ — to the humble, sincere, true, and appreciative souls of every age and nation, who, in the absence of the written Word and a knowledge of the Incarnate Redeemer, walking in the light of nature, conscience, providence, and the Holy Spirit — even the savage, in his primeval wilds, seeing God in the clouds and hearing Him in the winds, “Whose soul proud science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk or milky-way,” — were accepted of God, like Cornelius, the heathen Roman centurion. The advent of Christ marked a signal epoch in the history of redemption, after which no soul who stubbornly rejects Him can be saved; meanwhile the Christhood of Jesus becomes the great dogma on which the visible Church is built in all the world. However differing in non-essential matters, she must be a unit on the Christhood of Jesus. ( Matthew 16:18.) In this instance, we have a demonstrative proof that the gifts of the Spirit are not invariably limited to the sanctified nor to the regenerated, as here we have a demonstrative case, in which the gift of prophecy, pronounced by Paul the most important, is conferred on Caiaphas, for the moment, who at that time was leading the Council against Jesus, and ready to sign His death-warrant, which he did a few days afterward. “Therefore from that day they counseled in order that they may kill Him .” Ebouleusanto , “counseled,” is in the aorist tense, which means an instantaneous and complete performance, setting forth the fact that the Sanhedrin, on that occasion, passed a formal verdict condemning Him to death. So potent and overwhelming was the popular influence, superinduced by the resurrection of Lazarus, that they, after deliberate counsel and consideration, came to the conclusion that, despite all they could do, the people would rally and crown Him King, thus precipitating on them a war with the Romans, which could only end in their extermination. Consequently they concluded that it was better for one to die than that multitudes should perish, a verdict so common among the Orientals; meanwhile, the spirit of prophecy coming on Caiaphas, the high priest, in a thrilling proclamation of a clear Messianic prophecy setting forth the vicarious atonement. Thus we see a strange combination of concurrent events: the true prophecy of Caiaphas, inspired by the Holy Ghost, proclaiming the necessity for one to die for the people rather than that all perish, and at the same time the seventy sages constituting the Sanhedrin corroborating that prophecy from a purely selfish and secular consideration, illustrating how wonderfully “God makes the wrath of man to praise Him, and restrains the remainder of wrath;” i.e. , when the wrath of man can no longer be made subservient to the glory of God, then He puts His hand on it and restrains it altogether. “Therefore , Jesus no longer was walking about among the Jews , but departed thence into the country near the desert , into the city called Ephraim , and there abode with His disciples .” Ephraim here is identical with Ephron in O.T. After that condemnatory verdict of the Sanhedrin, immediately following the resurrection of Lazarus, finding it unsafe to abide among the Jews, He retired to this quiet, rural retreat on the border of the desert, known in the N.T. as “the wilderness of Judea.” I have journeyed through it four times.

    CHAPTER - JESUS IN PEREA Matthew 19:1,2 , and Mark 10:1. “Rising up from thence , He comes into the boundaries of Judea , through the country which is beyond the Jordan and again multitudes come to Him , and , as was His custom , He again taught them .” Matthew says , “Many multitudes followed Him , and He healed them there .” As above specified, when, in consequence of the tremendous popular sensation arising from the resurrection of Lazarus, the Sanhedrin had passed the condemnatory verdict against Him, unanimously assigning His death-warrant, in order to prolong His life and finish His work, He goes away to the city of Ephraim, about forty miles north of Jerusalem; thence: after a short interval, journeying on toward the northeast, crossing the Jordan over into Perea, the land which had been given to Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh for their inheritance, at their own request, when Joshua divided the land of Canaan among the twelve tribes. Now He spends perhaps a dozen days in that country east of the Jordan, in the days of Joshua ruled by Og, the king of Bashan, and Sihon, the king of Heshbon; but in the days of our Savior known as Perea. It is superfluous to say that Jesus utilized all of His opportunities while in that country, as everywhere else, teaching the people the wonderful truths of the kingdom and healing the sick.

    THE RHEUMATISM OF EIGHTEEN YEARS HEALED Luke 13:10-17. “And He was teaching in one of their synagogues on the Sabbath . Behold , a woman having a spirit of infirmity eighteen years , and was bent over , and not able perfectly to straighten up ; and Jesus seeing her , called to her and said , Woman , thou art loosed from thy infirmity , and put His hands on her ; and immediately she straightened up , and continued to glorify God . And the chief ruler of the synagogue , being angry because Jesus healed her on the Sabbath , continued to say to the multitude that there are six days in which it behooveth to work ; therefore during these , coming , be healed , and not on the Sabbath-day . But the Lord responded to him and said , Ye hypocrites , does not each one of you loose his donkey or ox from the stall , and leading it away , give it water on the Sabbath ? But did it not behoove this woman , being a daughter of Abraham , whom Satan bound , lo , these eighteen years , to be loosed from this bondage on the Sabbathday ? And He , thus speaking , all those opposed to Him became ashamed ; and the whole multitude continued to rejoice over the glorious things done by Him .” In this case, when this poor woman, bent down in the shape of a curve, suffering from muscular rheumatism eighteen years, hobbled out to see and hear the wonderful Prophet of Galilee, whose fame had gone to the ends of the earth and raised the nations on tiptoe, thrilling all with burning enthusiasm, and stood before the sympathetic Savior in the crowd, the very sight arousing the sympathies of His pure, unfallen humanity, so that He immediately, to her joyful surprise, calls aloud, thus commanding the attention of the entire multitude, “Woman , thou art loosed from thy infirmity ;” simultaneously, forgetting her spinal curvature and incurable rheumatism, she leaps into the air with shouts of victory, — again His old enemies raised the Sabbath question. You see, Jesus calls them hypocrites, and why? Because the people who are so overzealous for mere forms and ceremonies, as a rule, are destitute of the inward reality, taking the form for the substance, which is a literal definition of hypocrite. They are numerous this day as the locusts of Egypt, devouring the heritage of the Lord; and, like the vampire, sucking away the life-blood of the Church, while they fan her into lethean slumber. The argument of Jesus in reference to the man loosing his ox or donkey, and leading him to water on the Sabbath, was an irrefutable stunner; consequently the whole multitude turn on the scribes and Pharisees, who thus assaulted him, such an uproarious laughter that they dropped their heads, and retreated crestfallen from the controversy.

    You see here that Jesus imputes this chronic rheumatism to Satan, who is equally the author of sin and sickness, both alike having emanated from the fall, besides being manipulated by demons in their universal prevalence to the destruction of soul and body. The responses and arguments of Jesus are a constant and an irrefutable confirmation of His Divinity. His enemies were the men of highest learning, and official position in the Church of His day. They studied, day and night, to fix up hard questions and dilemmas, in hopes that they might entangle Him in His speech; but all in vain. His unanswerable arguments everywhere literally swept controversy from the field, utterly dumbfounding all of His enemies. “You loose your ox and donkey on the Sabbath , lest he should be bound in the stall two days . Here is a daughter of Abraham , whom Satan has bound , lo , these eighteen years ; shall I not loose her on the Sabbath ?” What a knock-down argument! No wonder the multitude laugh the priests out of countenance.

    THE MUSTARD-SEED AND THE LEAVEN Luke 13:18-21Then He said , To what is the kingdom of God like , and to what shall I liken it ? It is like the seed of mustard , which a man , having taken , cast into his garden , and it grew and became a tree , and the fowls of the air lodged in its branches .” The trees in the Old World are not large comparatively with this country. The mustard-tree is one of the largest in and about Palestine. If you ever go to that country, you will find some nice specimens of it at the Fountain Enrogel, near the southern coast of the Dead Sea. While the tree is one of the largest in that country, the seed, as you know in the case of the mustard-plant in this country, is very small.

    The kingdom of God, when introduced into the heart by the Holy Spirit, like almost everything else, originates with a very small beginning, growing and developing, not only through this life, but all eternity. Hence it is the most progressive thing of which we have any information, not only filling the body, but utilizing the mind, to reach out its Briarean arms, and circle the world in its enterprises of love and mercy, envelop the globe with the light of the Divine glory, leaping away from the earth, sweeping out, winging its flight from world to world, realizing enlargement of capacity and fellowship, deepening, broadening, and towering through the flight of eternal ages. The lodging of the birds in the branches evidently omens no good to the tree, but magnifies the conception, not only of that exalted philanthropy peculiar to the kingdom of God, but the enhancement of its magnitude as well. “And again he said , To what shall I liken the kingdom of God ? It is like unto leaven , which a woman having taken , hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened .” “Leaven” has no definition but “corruption ,” fermentation, sourness, etc. The idea that it must be substantially like the kingdom is incompatible with its lexical meaning and Scriptural use. Paul says, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump;” i.e. , a few bad men in a Church will corrupt all the balance. A few rotten potatoes in a barrel will rot the entire quantity. “Purify away the old leaven, in order that you may be a new lump, as you are without leaven; for Christ indeed was made our Passover.” ( 1 Corinthians 5:6,7.)

    Here we are exhorted to purify away all the old leaven; i .e ., all sin, and thus become free from the leaven, like Christ, who is our Passover. They were required diligently to remove all leaven out of their houses before the Passover, and eat unleavened bread, as the leaven symbolizes sin. The idea that leaven here, or anywhere else in the Bible, means the grace of God, is flatly contradictory of the plain and unmistakable word. Leaven corrupts everything, and invariably turns it sour, thus symbolizing sin and nothing but sin; while the grace of God sweetens everything with which it comes in contact, thus the very opposite of the sour leaven. The three races of mankind are said to have originated from the house of NoahHam, meaning “black,” and being a black man, receiving Africa from his father, and becoming the ancestor of the black races; Shem, which means “red,” being a red man, receiving Asia for his portion, and becoming the ancestor of all the brown races of Asia and America, which was originally populated from Asia, evidently crossing at Behring’s Strait; Japheth, which means “white,” being a white man, receiving Europe for his inheritance, and becoming the ancestor of all the Caucasian races. These all received the leaven of sin from Mother Eve, which has inhered in fallen humanity without exception in all the dispersions, whether beneath tropical skies, or amid the green fields of the temperate zone, or shivering in the icy wigwams around the North Pole, human depravity everywhere cropping out in corruption, impurity, bitterness, and sourness, thus extending the leaven to the ends of the earth. Now where is the point of similitude? We have already given it. While the mustard-seed, so very small, developing into a great tree, lodging and feeding the fowls of the air, symbolizes the wonderful and inscrutable progress of grace in the heart and life, the leaven symbolizes the transcendent interpenetrating power of the kingdom, going everywhere, from nation to nation, and literally reaching the whole world Many nations who are now wrapped in the fogs of Mohammedanism and heathenism, once flourished through rolling centuries in the kingdom of God. You must remember those Moslem wars desolated Africa and Asia eight hundred years, with few intermissions, doing their utmost to exterminate Christianity from the globe, largely: succeeding in many of the most populous countries of Asia and Africa, and the most fruitful fields of apostolical labor. Christianity will spread despite all the powers of earth and hell, which in bygone ages, through rolling centuries, did their utmost to exterminate it in blood and fire, slaughtering two hundred millions of martyrs, Yet Christianity moves on with the tread of a giant to the conquest of the world, and is destined actually to go everywhere, revolutionizing every country: under heaven.

    ARE THE SAVED FEW? Luke 13:22-29 Our Savior answers the above question in the affirmative — i.e. , that the saved are few — certainly a very alarming affirmation of our Infallible Lord. Shall you and I be numbered with those favored few? “And He was journeying through cities and villages , teaching and making his way toward Jerusalem .” He is over in Perea, the country of the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing the sick. “And one said to Him, Lord, are the saved few?” (That is, “Are those who are saved many or few?) The answer is a decisive affirmation that the saved are few. This awful result is not because the people do not desire to be saved, but stupefied by the enemy, they take too much risk. They are willing to walk as near-hell as possible, just so as not to fall into it. When an English nobleman advertised for a carriagedriver, three young men report in his office, candidates for the position.

    Turning to Number One, he says: “Sir, there is an awful precipice, five hundred feet sudden fall, along one of my carriage roads; how near can you run to it with perfect security?” Dropping his head a moment, looking up, he says, “Sir, I can run within eighteen inches of: it with perfect safety.”

    Then turning to Number Two, he said,’ “Sir; What have you to say for yourself?” “O, I can run within a foot of it with the utmost safety,” thinking he had to beat the other one or miss the job. Finally, turning to Number Three, who by this time is much excited, and in response to the nobleman’s question, “How near can you run?” throws up both hands and exclaims, “Sir, if I drive your carriage, I shall run as far from it as I can every time.” “Well,” says the nobleman, “you are the very man I want to drive it. I would not, for a bushel of money, risk my wife and children in the hands of one of these other fellows.” While nobody is willing to go to hell, they take the risk of going too nigh the brink. Consequently devils lasso them, trip them up, and tumble them in by millions, the only way to escape hell being to go as far from it as you can. “And He said to them , Agonize to enter in through the narrow door , because many , I say unto you , shall seek to enter in and shall not be able .”

    The pearly gate through which we enter the celestial metropolis is not narrow, but amply capacious for the ingress and egress of the sainted millions and angelic billions. This is the door of admission into the kingdom of grace, which we pass through in regeneration, so narrow, contracted, and difficult of entrance that the soul must give up everything, and squeeze naked through that strait gate. The E.V. “strive” is too weak for the Greek agonidzesthe ; i.e. , “agonize.” This verb is from agona , the gladiatorial combat in which the gladiator fought for his life, doomed to die on the spot or conquer his antagonist. Hence this word means to put forth all the power of soul, mind, body, home, estate, influence, and everything we can possibly command, subsidize, or utilize. I have seen so much of this in our revivals, people agonizing as in the throes of death, fainting away, and losing the power of their bodies, lying for hours as if they were dead. We do not attach spiritual moment to physical demonstrations, but merely mention the latter by way of illustrating the soul-agony, without which, Jesus says, no one shall enter. We live in an age of superficialism, and, sad to say, it is pre-eminent in religion as well as everything else appertaining to this life. Many seek; but Jesus says they shall not enter in without this soul-agony. The Civil War over slavery deluged the land with blood and heaped it with the slain. Terrible was the suffering of the Nation while that deep-rooted, eating cancer was being torn loose by cannon-balls and cut out with the sword. Sin has so interwoven the warp and woof of the spiritual, mental, and physical constitution, that it is like drawing eyeteeth, cutting off right hands, and plucking out right eyes to get rid of it and enter the kingdom of God. “When the landlord may rise up and close the door , and you will begin to stand without and knock at the door , saying , Lord , open unto us ; and , responding , He will say to you , I know not whence you are ; then you will begin to say , We were accustomed to eat and drink in your presence , and You taught in our streets ; and He will say , I say unto you , I know not whence you are ; depart from Me , all ye workers of iniquity .” Our Lord is here addressing the preachers and members of the popular Churches. What a scene in the judgment-day, when these Church members come up from every land and clime, and knock for admission into heaven, having spent their lives in certain anticipation of getting there! When Jesus tells them He knows them not, they remind Him of the sacrament which they had participated in, in the house of God on the holy Sabbath, thus eating and drinking in His presence, when His Word was read and expounded in their Churches. How awful the final issue, “Depart from Me , all ye workers of unrighteousness !” The truth of the matter is, they were strangers to the righteousness of Christ by which we are justified, having spent their lives in the delusion, finally to wake up in hell. Now these people were all, in a sense, seeking to enter; yet they were strangers to that soul-agony peculiar to the spiritual birth. Everything is born into the world with excruciating pain and agony, thus vividly symbolizing the birth of the soul. “And there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves cast out.” They verily believed that they were in the unbroken succession of the patriarchs and prophets, and avowedly and pertinaciously claimed to have the same religion which had cheered their holy ancestry in a dying hour. But you see they were egregiously mistaken.

    How history repeats itself! Good Lord, send down awakening power to the Church of the present day, and alarm the slumbering millions in the track of fallen Judaism! If the followers of Luther, Bunyan, Knox, Fox, and Wesley only had the religion which filled and thrilled these heroic spirits, qualifying them to light up the world in their day and generation, and kindle the signal fires on the summits of evangelistic mountains, which brightly glow today and will shine on till Jesus comes, they would certainly be all right; but O what a weeping and wailing when they shall see these sainted prophets, as well as those of the old dispensation, along with the apostles and martyrs, safe in the kingdom of God, and they themselves cast out! “And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.” This is a beautiful prophecy relating to the call of the Gentiles, which our Lord gave in the Great Commission, just before He left the world. The kingdom of God, as you see here, both in the olden times and the Gospel Age, is the Divine administration, in contradistinction to Satan’s government, with which all the wicked are identified. Hence we see that the saints of all ages have been citizens of the kingdom of God. That kingdom, however, like everything else in the Divine economy, is wonderfully evolutionary in its character, symbolized by the starlight in antediluvian times; the moon approaching the horizon in the patriarchal ages, and shining in her beauty amid the glittering constellations in the Mosaic dispensation; day dawning with John the Baptist, and the sun rising when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, who shone upon the earth till He reached the celestial zenith, then ascending into glory; the noonday culminating at Pentecost, the sun going not down, like the diurnal orb, but, as in the days of Joshua, standing still amid the heavens, evolving floods of hallowed light, bursting forth on heathen nations, thus expediting our Lord’s return, in glory to reign, when that blessed kingdom, which has been the light and glory of all the saints, from Abel down to the latest generations, shall no longer be restricted to the souls of men, but reach out and girdle the whole world, every monarch doffing his crown at the feet of King Jesus, who shall be coronated and sceptered King of kings and Lord of lords; “For He shall have dominion over river, sea, and shore, Far as the eagle’s pinion or dove’s light wing can soar;” Satan having been arrested as a common criminal and locked up in hell, no longer on earth to mar the beauty and glory of the Lord’s triumphant kingdom, in millennial victories girdling the globe, and bringing back the bright memories of an unfallen Eden.

    SALVATION OF THE JEWS Luke 13:30. “Behold , the last shall be first , and the first shall be last .”

    The Jews had long stood at the front of the world. Because they rejected Christ they were relegated to the rear, the Gentiles coming to the front, where they are today. Yet we see from this, and in innumerable promises in both Testaments, that the fallen children of Abraham are coming back into the kingdom of God, to take their place as in days of yore; however, these promises are restricted to the elect few, as in the case of the Gentiles. The prophetic eye of Jesus, looking through the rolling centuries, saw the desolation of the land, the destruction of that generation, the survival of His race, the final return of the elect, restoration of the land, and the conversion of His people down at the end of the Gentile age; as here He says that the Jews will be the last to receive the gospel, and ( Ezekiel 37) that they will be gathered back in their unregenerate statei.e. , “valley of dry bones” — involving the conclusion that the elect children of Abraham will return to the Holy Land before there is a general conversion of them to Christianity, which will be the last great evangelistic work of the Gospel Age. The universal commotion among the Jews, and their rapid return to the Holy Land despite the most formidable difficulties, is a certain prophetic omen that the end of all things is nigh. Earth and hell are combined to prevent the return of the Jews, the Mohammedan-Turkish Government doing everything in her power to keep them out, passing laws forbidding their citizenization in that country, and permitting them only to visit it as sojourners thirty days, under the most rigid and tyrannical restrictions. This law passed the Porte, A.D. 1874, when there were only about five thousand Jews in all the Holy Land. Despite all their tyrannical restrictions, there are now two hundred thousand, and coming rapidly all the time. I especially investigated this subject, and have it from the most reliable sources. It is not much known, as the Jews have to keep the matter secret. In Jerusalem alone there are fifty-five thousand Jews, one-half of the whole population; besides, they have great, growing, and flourishing colonies at Janneh, Safed (Sah-fed, old Chorazin), Nazareth, Shechem, Caesarea, Joppa, Hebron, Bethlehem, Ekron, Ashdod, Tiberias, and many other places. The attention of all Christendom is now being called to the consideration of restoring to the Jews their own country, which God gave them, and it is going to be done very soon. If you will attend the “wailing of the Jews” without the temple, at the west end (as it is a penalty of death for a Jew to put his foot inside the holy Temple Campus), and hear their weeping and wailing, down on their knees, kissing the great stones which Solomon put in the temple, reading from their Hebrew Bible the promises of God to hear their cries from every land of their dispersion and gather them back to their holy land and city, methinks you would conclude that the answer is nigh. I know not when, in all my life, I have so vividly realized the presence of God as when I attended those wailings. I verily felt that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was listening to the cry of His unfortunate children, and do believe that the answer is now coming from Heaven for the gathering of Israel from every land and nation. How wonderfully the Jews make that country bud and blossom, and again bend beneath the delicious fruits and luxurious crops of which we read in the Bible, sounding in our ears like paradoxes!

    HE IS THREATENED WITH HEROD Luke 13:31-33. “In the same hour certain Pharisees came to Him , saying , Go out , and depart hence , because Herod wishes to kill Thee . And He Said to them , Going , tell that fox , Behold , I cast out demons , and perfect healings today , and tomorrow , and the third day I am made perfect , Moreover , it behooveth Me to travel today , and tomorrow , and next day , because it is not pertinent that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem .” We have no evidence that King Herod, in whose country Jesus was then preaching, had threatened Him. If he had wanted Him killed, he had a chance at Jerusalem a few days afterward, when Pilate, learning that He was from Galilee, Herod’s jurisdiction, sent Him to him for trial. The solution of the matter was, those Pharisees wanted to get rid of Him, and thought to drive Him out of the country by threatening Him with Herod, as He had already fled from the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. Jesus knew all about it, and how he was to die at Jerusalem in about a dozen days from that time. How boldly He preaches, and how little does He care for the royal dignity of King Herod, in whose territory He was then preaching, and who had quite recently killed John the Baptist! See how, in the presence of that vast multitude, He calls their king a fox! In this we learn an important lesson, illustrating the manner of our Lord’s preaching, and warning us against pressing a metaphor too far. In calling him a fox, He simply refers to the animal to symbolize the cunning and dishonesty of Herod. If you extend the application, you run into gross error. Herod was a well-educated, highlycultured, intelligent ruler of the earth, and only like a fox in the isolated point of his cunning and rascality. We are very liable to make egregious mistakes by thus pressing metaphors too far, and violating a prominent rule laid down in rhetoric; e.g. , in our Lord’s parables of the kingdom, each one emblematizes some peculiar phase of His kingdom — the tares and the wheat, the saints and the hypocrites; the blade, ear, and full corn, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification, progressively: and contrastively;: the mustard-seed, the development of grace in the heart and life; the leaven, the progress of the Christian religion in the whole earth; the drag-net, the promiscuous character of the gospel Church; the treasure in the field, regeneration in the Church; and the pearl of great price, entire sanctification, when we have consecrated everything unreservedly and eternally to God, “I must travel today, and tomorrow, and next day,” does not mean that He was to die in three days, but in a short time, as He did.

    Then He says He must hasten, because it is not pertinent that a prophet die out of Jerusalem. John the Baptist, the greatest of prophets, had died out of Jerusalem, and at Machaerus, which was near the place where our Lord was speaking at that time; yet, as a rule, the prophets had died at Jerusalem.

    WOES AGAINST JERUSALEM Luke 13:34,35. “O Jerusalem , Jerusalem , thou that killest the prophets , and stonest them that are sent unto thee , how frequently did I wish to gather thy children in the manner in which a hen doth gather a brood under her wings , and you were not willing !” Jerusalem means “possession of peace,” and is built high up on Mount Zion, surrounded on three sides by the Valleys of Jehoshaphat, Hinnom, Gihon, and Kidron, one continuous, deep, mountain gorge, bearing the above names in different localities and impassable by an invading army, thus rendering it the most impregnable natural fortification of any city on the globe — a consideration of greatest moment, when we remember that Jerusalem has been besieged seventeen times and destroyed seven times; as all the kings of the earth, in all ages, seem to hold a grudge against this city, doubtless because they feared her power and influence, as she was universally understood to be the City of God. Not only in the creation of the world and the formation of these great, deep valleys did God favor Jerusalem, but His manifest miraculous interventions in her behalf are more than tongue can tell. Despite the lavish goodness of God and the copious bounty of heaven, which He poured upon her, giving her pre-eminence in all the earth for the inspiration of her prophets, the wisdom of her statesmen, the valor of her warriors, and the thrift and enterprise of her citizens, yet she would reject, persecute, and slay His prophets and saints, and go off after the idolatry of her heathen neighbors, following false prophets. Finally, as Jesus here sees in glowing panorama, moving before His infallible vision, instead of receiving her own Christ, for whom she had waited four thousand years in longing anticipation, she rejected and slew Him, thus provoking the righteous indignation of the merciful and infallible Jehovah, and brining on the Roman armies, with rivers of blood and deluges of fire, to accelerate those awful retributive judgments which expedited her hopeless ruin. “Behold , your house is left unto you desolate .” In A.D. 66 the Roman armies laid siege to Jerusalem, waging an exterminating war, consummating her utter destruction in 73. At the same time they rolled the desolating tide of fire and blood over all Palestine, literally verifying this terrible prophecy. The laud actually went into desolation, a million of Jews at Jerusalem alone perishing by sword, pestilence, and famine; a million more sold into slavery; and the scathed and peeled remnant driven to the ends of the earth, fugitives and tramps in every land. Jesus saw this awful panorama of blood and fire, death and destruction, rolling in horrors indescribable from Dan to Beersheba. Our mortal, finite conceptions, when augmented by the literal history of these awful tragedies, are utterly incompetent even to approximate apprehension; while the omniscience of Jesus saw every suffering, dying victim. It was God’s will and purpose that the Jews should receive their own Christ with open arms, and enjoy the exalted honor and blessing of preaching Him to the whole world, thus promoting the children of Abraham to the leadership of all nations. What a wonder that Jerusalem thus failed!

    N.B. — Man has proved a failure in every station, and actually forfeited all responsibility, under most favorable circumstances; and without a shadow of apology, he failed in Eden. After his lamentable fall and expulsion from Paradise, it seems that he should have profited by his failure and done better. But he did not. Going on and getting worse and worse, he so signally failed in antediluvian times as to provoke the righteous indignation of the Almighty and bring on the flood. Then he so failed in the postdiluvian age as actually to land in hopeless slavery. Afterward we see him failing so signally in the Jewish dispensation as to wind it up in the fulfillment of these awful prophecies, the destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of the land. All this resulted from the long-prevailing maxim of Rome, “To rule or ruin.” Hence when the Jews, in their wild infatuation, because forsaken by the Holy Spirit and manipulated by Satan, persistently revolted against the Romans, they came with invincible armies, destroyed their city, and desolated their land. “I say unto you that you can see Me no more until it shall come to pass that you may say , Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord .” Here we see the transcendent sweep of the Divine mind, through all the intervening centuries of their alienation and sojourn among the Gentiles, till the elect remnant shall have been gathered out of every nation, which is so rapidly going on at the present day. Having thus been gathered from every land in a dry-bone state ( Ezekiel 37), those bones will stir and rattle, and come together in glorious, spiritual reconstruction, when they will at last find out their awful mistake in rejecting their own Christ, turn to Him by thousands and myriads, and thus get ready, right there at Jerusalem, to hail Him with joyful triumph riding down on a cloud, and shout uproariously, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord !” You see the wonderful sweep of this prophecy — beginning with the destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of Zion, following them in their long dispersions, wandering among the Gentiles to the ends of the earth, providentially gathered back to their native land, then gloriously saved and felicitously sanctified, so that when He returns in His glory, His own consanguinity will meet Him with joyous shouts of welcome.

    CHAPTER - THE DROPSICAL MAN HEALED Luke 14:1-6. “And it came to pass that He entered into the house of a certain one of the rulers of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread , and they were watching Him ;” i.e. , hawk-eyes were on Him every minute, with diabolical vigilance, watching every word and act, if possible to implicate Him. If you do not stir the devil enough to concentrate on you demoniacal eyes, to watch and criticize you night and day, remember you are not much like Jesus. Satan is no fool. He always shoots at something. If he does not shoot at you, go back to the mourner’s-bench, and stay till the Lord makes something out of you, which Diabolus will count worth firing on. While these preachers and official laymen were hounding Jesus, incessantly charging Him with violating the Sabbath, you see here that one of the rulers of the Pharisees actually had a big festival at his house on the Sabbath, thus overtly desecrating the holy day — a thing which Jesus never did. N.B. — He is still in Perea, east of the Jordan. “Behold , there was a certain dropsical man before Him . And Jesus , responding , said to the theologians and Pharisees , Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day or not ? And they were silent . And taking him , He healed him , and sent him away . Responding to them , He said , Of which one of you shall the son or the ox fall into a pit , will he not lift him up on the Sabbath day ? And they were unable to respond to these things .” That rugged limestone country abounds in caves, precipices, chasms, and pits. Hence the liability of their livestock, and actually little children, falling in. All knew they would rally at once in that case, and extricate the sufferer, even on the Sabbath. Consequently those theologians, so shrewd in their exposition of the Scriptures, and those Pharisees, the official laymen of the Church, were all dumbfounded, and utterly unable to gainsay this plain, practical statement of Jesus. Nomikos , “lawyer,” E.V., is from nomos , “law,” and means a man cultured and skilled in the law of Moses, and an exegete of the O.T. Scriptures. Though here for the avowed purpose of lassoing Him by some vulnerable utterance which might drop from His lips, they are all utterly disconcerted.

    HUMILITY AND PRIDE Luke 14:7-11. “But He spoke a parable to those who had been invited [i.e. , called to the feast in the house of this Pharisaical ruler ], warning them how they were accustomed to select the first couches , saying to them , When you may be invited by any one to a marriage feast , do not sit down on the first couch , lest some one may be more honorable than you , having been called by him , and the one having called you and him , having come , shall say to you , Give place to this one , and then , with shame , you will begin to take the last place . But when you may be called , going , sit down in the last place , in order that when the one having called you may come , he shall say to you , Friend , come up higher ; then there shall be glory to thee in the presence of all those sitting at the table with you . Because every one exalting himself shall be abased ; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted .” In those days they had couches, much after the order of a modern sofa, on which they reclined at the table, leaning over on the left side — quite an accommodation for gluttons, who were in the habit of eating a long time, as was customary at their festivals, meanwhile interspersing social confabulation freely, either with other. The Greeks and Romans were celebrated for simultaneous literary edification while eating, having some one standing in their midst and reading aloud the poems of Homer, Virgil, or some other poet, or the orations of Demosthenes, Lysias, Cicero, or Cato, or some other first-class literary production. Certain positions about the table were held in preference; e.g. , the sides where they had the best couches, and edibles and potables most abundant and convenient. At this festival they were well accommodated in the way of literary edification, having with them the Prophet of Galilee, to preach the living Word and teach them the deep truths of the kingdom. John Wesley pronounces pride the great mother-sin, whose diabolical posterity is innumerable, swarming round in the form of envy, jealousy, revenge, bigotry, sectarianism, partisan strife, etc.; while the theologians of all ages concur in the recognition of humility as the primary and most important Christian grace, shining out so brightly in the character of Jesus, and in all ages the most beautiful diadem that has ever shone on the brow of God’s saints and martyrs. More vices are traceable to pride than any other sin; and more virtues to humility than any other grace. If we can keep truly humble, we will never fall, as perfect humility puts us down on the Lord’s bottom plane, from which there is no failing. Pride must do some climbing before you can fall. In this attitude, the final perseverance of the saints is a cardinal truth, very full of comfort. Pride is an awful impediment to the prosecution of study and the cultivation of the intellect, as a proud person feels that he knows it already; while humility, realizing its own ignorance, will always be an assiduous student.

    HEAVENLY RECOMPENSE Luke 14:12-14. “But He also said to the one having invited Him , When you may make a dinner or a supper , do not call your rich friends , brothers , relatives , or neighbors , lest they may also call you in turn , and there may be a recompense unto you . But when you may make a feast , call the poor , maimed , halt , blind , and you shall be happy , because they have nothing to recompense you ; and it shall be recompensed unto you in the resurrection of the righteous .” The Bible plainly teaches two resurrections — that of the just and of the unjust. ( Revelation 20:5.) This is certainly an exceedingly beautiful paragraph, enunciated by our Lord to that Pharisaical ruler who had complimented Him with an invitation to that Sunday festival. With what meekness and simplicity does He administer this good advice to His kind host! As we find the theologians and Pharisees present at this festival, and no allusion to the presence of the different sympathetic characters here specified (i.e. , the poverty-stricken, the lame, the maimed; i.e. , persons whose hands were afflicted till they could not use them. All persons who are deprived of the use of either their feet or their hands are objects of universal charity; while the blind always deserve, not only our pity, but our benefactions), I trow this man had called his rich friends, brothers, relatives, and neighbors, while these real objects of charity are all absent. Jesus knew that they would all make a festival and invite this man, thus compensating his favor. Lord, pour in the light, that we may all see this beautiful truth taught by Thyself! How insignificant the recompense of another festival, where you will go, and lose your time, and make yourself sick, eating to gluttony! O what a grandeur and glory in the heavenly recompense of the first resurrection, giving you a place in the bridehood of Christ, to reign with Him a thousand years, during the glorious millennium, which will be succeeded by the celestial ages, promoting you to grander honors, and opening to you worlds of bliss and glory, possibilities, attainabilities, achievements, aggrandizements, emoluments, and triumphs infinitely beyond the possibility of conception while incarcerated in these mud houses! O the infinitude of immortal developments evolved out of the possibilities of redeemed intelligences, winging their flight from world to world, and exploring the grandeur, sublimity, and glory of Omnipotence through the flight of eternal ages!

    N.B. — “There are infinite degrees in the heavenly state.” ( 1 Corinthians 15). Do you not know that the heavenly recompense in the resurrection of the just is a thousand million times more valuable than the invitation which some rich family could give you to a dining? How strange that the followers of Jesus do not remember and practice this beautiful precept, calling the poor, distressed, unfortunate, afflicted people of every sort to a feast, and using the opportunity to preach Jesus to them and get their souls saved!

    THE MARRIAGE SUPPER Luke 14:15-24. “And a certain one of those sitting along with Him , hearing these things , said to Him , Happy is every one who eats bread in the kingdom of God !” Jesus and His disciples preached the kingdom of God all the time, in contradistinction to the law and the prophets of the old dispensation. While the precepts of the latter were extensively formal, ritualistic, and symbolic, the doctrines of the former were purely spiritual, appertaining to experimental salvation and practical godliness. This man at the table who thus responded to Jesus was evidently wrought upon by the Holy Spirit, and favorably disposed with reference to the preaching of Jesus, having come to the conclusion that it is very nice and desirable to enjoy a place in the kingdom of God. “And He said to him , A certain man made a great supper , and called many .”

    This is the gospel call given to all, from Abel down to the latest posterity, whether by the written Word or the Holy Ghost, who is practically the incarnate Word, being the Spirit of Jesus. “And he sent his servant at the hour of the feast to say to those who had been called , Come , because all things are now ready .” This refers to the epoch of our Savior’s coming into the world, when He sent John the Baptist to invite the people, who had been called by all the prophets of all ages, to come at once to the supper. O what a pity that the high priests and Pharisees did not lead the way! In that case all Israel would have followed, as a flock of sheep will follow their leaders. Hence the awful responsibility they incurred by rejecting the Savior. The prophets, patriarchs, martyrs, and saints, under the leadership of the Holy Ghost, in the good providence of God, had labored four thousand years to get everything ready. A strange influence at that time had settled down upon all nations, impressing them that the Christ of Jewish prophecy was at hand. The polytheistic idolatries had expended their forces, and were everywhere waning. The profound philosophy of Greece and Rome, the mythology of Egypt, and the deep, metaphysical lore of India, had all exhausted their resources, and signally failed to expound the important problems of man’s origin and destination, and satisfy the longings of the immortal soul. The whole Gentile world was ripe for the Messianic advent. If the Jews had received their own Christ (as they certainly would have done if their preachers and ruling elders had led the way), turned evangelist under the Great Commission, and peregrinated the whole world, the nations would have fallen in line with paradoxical unanimity, inundated the world with the glory of God and actually have brought on the millennium in the early centuries of the Christian era. “They all , from one accord , began to make excuses . The first said to him [i .e ., John the Baptist ], I have purchased a farm , and I have need , having gone out , to see it ; I entreat thee have me excused . And another said , I have bought five yokes of oxen , and I go to prove them ; I entreat thee have me excused . And another said , I have married a wife , and on this account I am not able to go .” This catalogue of excuses belongs primarily to the high priests and Pharisees, who led the way in the rejection of Jesus; but secondarily to all the people in the world, in all ages, who hear the gospel and decline its overtures of mercy and grace. They all have their excuses.

    Examine these three. Does a man go to see a farm after he has bought it or before? Does he not test the oxen before he makes the purchase? And as to the man who had married a wife, why not take her along to the wedding supper, a place to which young brides are very fond of going? The solution of this matter is plain and simple. The very inconsistency of these answers shows falsehood on the front, as well as preposterous nonsense. Now, while these three excuses are ostensibly destitute of truth and sense, yet they are as good as any sinner can make for rejecting the kingdom of God and staying with the devil, under the liability of dropping into hell every moment. These excuses are a fair sample of the very best which the most intelligent sinner can make for staying away from God and rejecting salvation. “And the servant coming , proclaimed these things to his lord . Then the landlord , being angry , said to his servant , Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city , and lead hither the poor , maimed , blind , and halt .”

    City here means Jerusalem, including all the cities of Israel and intervening territory. When the rulers rejected Christ, the proclamation was carried to the common people, and especially to the thousands of poor invalids which Jesus healed. O what a flood of converts to His ministry came by way of His physical philanthropy! In connection with the personal ministry of Jesus, the twelve apostles, the seventy evangelists, and many others whose names are in the book of life, and the three thousand converted in the morning of Pentecost and the five thousand in the afternoon, and the swelling tide of gospel grace and sanctifying fire which rolled in heavenly billows from the Pentecostal scene of Mount Zion in all directions, inundating the whole country, we find a wonderful influx into the kingdom, consisting almost exclusively of the poor and the unfortunate, as the leading clerk and popular rulers had already rejected Him, and actually put Him to death. “And the servant said , Lord , it is done as you commanded , and yet there is room . And the Lord said to the servant , Go out into the roads and hedges , and compel them to come in , that my house may be filled .” This is the call of the Gentiles, when the apostles, pursuant to the Great Commission, divided up the whole world among them James the First, at an early day, being decapitated by Herod Agrippa in Jerusalem; James the Less suffering martyrdom in Jerusalem, at a later date, by precipitation from a pinnacle of the temple; Matthew, taking Ethiopia; Mark, Egypt; Matthias, Abyssinia; Thomas, India; Jude, Tartary; Andrew, Armenia; Philip, Syria; Paul, Asia Minor and Europe; Peter, Rome; John, Lydia; Simon Zelotes, the British Islands, — all of these pushing the battle in their various fields, like cyclones of fire, till bloody death set them free, thus booming the whole world with a gospel earthquake, everywhere shaking down the timehonored temples of idolatry, and flooding the nations with heavenly light. “For I say unto you , that no one of these men who have been called shall taste of my supper .” This is the death-knell of the high priests, Pharisees, and leading officials, who received the first invitation and obstinately rejected it, even imputing the miracles of Jesus to the devil, thus grieving away the Holy Spirit, crossing the dead-line, wrapped in the black delusions of diabolical intrigue, and sealing their doom in endless woe.

    Beware how you reject the offers of gospel grace, lest you fall into this black catalogue of irretrievable reprobacy! You see, in the above quotation, we are commanded to go out and compel them to come in. The persecutors who have murdered God’s saints by millions were always fond of quoting this, claiming that Jesus had sent them out to compel the heretics to come in, thus making it an apology for wholesale murder. It does not mean physical compulsion, as they construed it, from the simple fact that the gospel is not a physical transaction, but purely spiritual, simply involving the conclusion that we are to do everything in our power, by prayer, appeal, exhortation, argument, tears of sympathy, and deeds of mercy, to bring people to Jesus and get them saved. You also find in the above Scripture the statement, “The Lord being angry .” N.B. — It is impossible for God to be angry in the human sense, as He has no evil tempers nor passions to arouse. The anger of God is simply holy indignation against everything wrong. In this sense, Paul says ( Ephesians 5:26), “Be ye angry, and sin not;” i.e. , indulge freely the holy indignation which the Holy Spirit has given you against all evil, compromising with no sin, in thought, word, or deed, nor anything whatever out of harmony with God’s sweet will.

    TERMS OF DISCIPLESHIP Luke 14:25-27. “The multitudes were traveling along with Him , and turning He said to them , If any one comes to Me , and hates not his father , mother , wife , children , brothers , sisters , and even his own soul , he is not able to be My disciple . Whosoever does not bear his cross , and come after Me , is not able to be My disciple .” Jesus carried His cross to be crucified on it. Paul says that bearing the cross is “denying: all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living holy, righteous, and godly in this present world.”

    Hence you see that bearing the cross is forsaking every sin, in thought, word, and deed, and performing every duty, however arduous, irksome, unpleasant, repellent, unpopular, and embarrassing. In the justified experience, you do all this with an inward conflict. Sanctification is necessary to take out the “old man,” who fights against your efforts to abstain from sin and live a holy life, so that in the sanctified experience you have no cross to bear, as you have already died on it, and the crucified man no longer bears his cross, but the cross bears him. Therefore the true experience of entire sanctification puts you where you “rejoice in tribulation ;” i.e. , shout under crosses, losses, persecutions, and triumph over the antagonism of men and devils. How can you hate father, mother, wife, brother, sister, and even your own life? Hate in this connection is a comparative with love, and a Hebraistic expression for love in a less degree. You may be so cold that ice laid on your body feels warm, and is warmer than you are. These expressions, “love” and “hate,” are here in juxtaposition and contrast. While you truly and sincerely love the dear inmates of your home and your own life, you must love Jesus so preeminently and supremely as to throw into eclipse all other loves, and contrastively give them a negative signification, so that you would unhesitatingly forsake them all, leave home and family, and die for Jesus if such an emergency should supervene. Hence we see that supreme lovei.e. , perfect love — is the condition of successful discipleship. You can be a disciple in the justified state by carrying your cross. But you can not enter heaven with the cross on your shoulder, as there are no crosses there. Jesus was crucified before He ascended to heaven. If you would be His disciple, you must walk in His footprints, as none but the crucified ever go to heaven. Therefore, if you would be a successful disciple, and go up to heaven to live with Jesus, “O pilgrim, come to Calvary this moment, and let the Holy Ghost crucify thee on the cross which thou didst take up on leaving all to follow Jesus. It is heavy on thy shoulder, and high time for the exchange. Let the Holy Ghost crucify thee. Then the cross will carry thee, instead of thee carrying the cross.” Hence, you see, you can not be a perfect disciple, such as have admission into heaven, without that supreme love which eclipses and contrastively negatives all other loves, preparing you for martyrdom every moment for Jesus’ sake. Our Savior has left the festival, and is now traveling along the road, with His face toward Jerusalem, still in Perea, east of the Jordan, and about ten days before He laid down His life for a guilty world.

    CHRISTIAN PERFECTION Luke 14:28-30. “For which one of you , wishing to build a tower , does not first , sitting down , count the cost , if he has unto sufficiency ? Lest he , having laid the foundation , and being unable to finish it , all those seeing it may begin to mock him , saying that this man began to build , and was not able to finish .” The word which we here in two verses translate “finish” is ektelesai , “completely perfect.” Telesai is the regular verb constantly used in the New Testament where the E.V. has “perfect.” Hence this word for Christian perfection occurs twice in the above quotation. Besides, the preposition ok , preceding this verb, adds additional force to its already superlative signification. Hence the plain meaning of this forcible little parable is, that it is not worthwhile to become a disciple or set out for heaven, unless you are going for perfection. Before the man begins to build, he projects and contemplates, not an unfinished frame, but a house complete in every respect, suitable and comfortable for habitation. An unfinished house, exposed to the weather, soon rots down. Man is unwilling to live in an unfinished house; how can he expect Jesus to live in it? No wonder you have a lonesome time out in an uninhabited house. Stir up, push the work to completion, and turn over the key to Jesus, so He will move in, to abide with you forever, bringing down heaven and glory. Here you see that Jesus gives no encouragement to imperfect discipleship, but presents the highest possible incentive to Christian perfection, His plain statement clearly involving the conclusion of ultimate wreckage and failure, even becoming a laughing-stock for men and devils, if you do not reach the experience of perfection. O, what an inspiration to entire sanctification!

    PREPARE TO MEET GOD Luke 14:31-33. “What king , marching off to engage in war with another king , will not first , sitting down , counsel if he is able , with ten thousand , to meet him coming against him with twenty thousand ? and if not , while he is still a great way , sending an embassy , he asks those things appertaining to peace .” This brief parable is very clear, explicit, forcible, and overwhelmingly convincing. The sinner is one king, and God is the other. The sinner is on his march to meet God Almighty, who is coming to meet him with the mighty hosts of celestial armies. Death and judgment are ahead. Every day makes the number less. Hence the transcendent importance of availing yourself of all your time and opportunities to prepare to meet God. How fortunate for you if the meeting is far enough ahead for you to send on an embassy and negotiate for peace! How can you send that embassy? Go to praying with all your might. Let every breath be a fervent prayer, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” and if possible make your peace with God before you must meet Him face to face. “If now Thou standest at the door, O let me feel Thee near, And make my peace with God before I at Thy bar appear!” The stupid indifference which characterizes an ungodly world is an incontestable confirmation of the total depravity so prominently taught in the Word of God. “Thus , therefore , every one of you who does not consecrate all of his possessions is not able to be My disciple .” This is a grand climacteric conclusion, rung out by the Savior in the ears of the vast multitude, and clinching all the nails which He has driven during this powerful discourse on discipleship. “Here I give my all to Thee Friends and time and earthly store; Soul and body, Thine to be — Wholly Thine, for evermore.” How can I know that I have really consecrated all to God? He will let you know it. You will reach bottom-rock, and be conscious of the tremendous reality from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. How wonderfully Jesus preaches Christian perfection! How can any man claim to be one of His preachers, or even a disciple, and entertain heretical or even superficial views on this grand central idea of the redemptive scheme?

    Errors on other matters of revealed truth may be overlooked and counteracted by the genuine and glorious experience of experimental perfection, but on this doctrine the fearful liability is that the experience will not rise above your Creed. Good Lord, help us all!

    THE SALT Luke 14:34,35. “Therefore salt is good , but if indeed the salt may lose its savor , with what shall it be salted ? It is neither fit for the land nor the manure-heap . They cast it out . Let the one having ears to hear , hear .” In the Sermon on the Mount, our Savior says , “Ye are the salt of the earth ,” speaking concretely of His disciples. Here we have the same, but abstractly considered. The Christian religion is the salt, put in this world to save it.

    The Holy Ghost is the savor of that salt. Therefore when, like Judaism, Romanism, and many dead, worldly, Protestant Churches, the Holy Ghost has been grieved away, that religion becomes savorless salt, the most worthless thing in the world. If you put it on the soil, it covers it up, and disqualifies you to cultivate it. If you put it in the washes, you annihilate all hope of restoring them to fertility and productiveness. Jesus says it is only fit “to be cast out, and trodden under foot;” i.e. , make nice, comfortable walks, along which the deluded members of the fallen Churches travel blindfolded down to hell. This statement about hearing, if you have ears, is quite axiomatic with Jesus and His apostles, keeping us reminded of the distinction between physical and spiritual hearing. Unless the Holy Ghost open the spiritual ear, you can no more hear the voice of God than the deaf man can hear the human voice.

    CHAPTER - THE HUNDRED SHEEP Luke 15:1-7 . Our Lord is still in Perea, east of the Jordan, with His face toward Jerusalem, traveling slowly, accompanied by vast multitudes, to whom, daily halting, He preaches the living Word. “And all the publicans and sinners were drawing nigh to hear Him . And the Pharisees and scribes were murmuring , saying , He receiveth sinners , and eateth with them .” Jesus associated freely with sinners, showing Himself kind and loving, and eating at their tables. He did this for the sole purpose of doing them good. We should do likewise, associating with them only to save them, diligently utilizing every opportunity, by prayer, appeal, exhortation, and brotherly kindness, to bring them to repentance and draw them to the Savior. “And He spoke this parable to them , saying , What man of you , having a hundred sheep and losing one of them , does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness , and go after the lost one until he may find it ? Having found it , he places it on his shoulders , rejoicing , and coming to his house , he calls together his friends and neighbors , saying to them , Rejoice with me , because I found my sheep which was lost . I say unto you that there is joy in heaven over one sinner repenting , rather than ninety and nine just persons who have no need of repentance .” This is a beautiful symbolism of the faithful pastor Jesus frequently called the Jews “sheep without a shepherd,” not that they were aliens and heathens, for they were all bona fide members of the visible Church; but He simply means that they were destitute of the much-needed spiritual guides, i.e. , they had plenty of preachers, but no one to care for their souls. The sanctified pastor, filled with the Holy Ghost and endued with His gifts ( 1 Corinthians 12:8-11), has very acute spiritual discernment, so as to readily detect a backslider in his congregation. John Wesley pronounced every one back-slidden who did not pray orally and testify. O how the Church needs faithful shepherds this day, endued with spiritual discernment, competent to detect the wandering sheep, courageous enough to pursue it into every hell-den, and at the peril of his life rescue it from Satan’s prowling wolves; and then grateful enough to the Great Deliverer to hold a jubilee meeting over every reclaimed backslider! Let not holiness people make the mistake of resting with the flock safe in the fold, while some poor wanderer is already bewildered amid the crags and precipices and on the brink of destruction. Scripture is unlike uninspired literature, in the fact of its multifarious significations, light radiating out from every segment of the gospel globe, reflected from the glorious Sun of righteousness. The Bible corroborates astronomy and geology in the hypothesis of multitudinous celestial worlds. One hundred is a round number, and here used representatively. The blessed Second Person of the Trinity is the revealed Creator of all material worlds. ( Colossians 1.)

    Now conceive our Great Shepherd having created a hundred worlds, and one of them wanders away from the house of Godi.e. , the Celestial Kingdom — lassoed by Satan in view of adding it to hell, to augment the unsatisfactory limits of the pandemonium. The Good Shepherd leaves the ninety and nine bright, unfallen, celestial worlds, comes down to earth, battles with the powers of darkness, defeats the hosts of hell, and rescues the wanderer. This is a stupendous work, and even now in progress.

    Wonderful victories lie out before us, when the Millennial Theocracy shall inundate this fallen world with celestial glory, sweeping on a thousand years, with no devil on the earth, finally to be followed by the sanctifying baptism of celestial fire, utterly expurgating out of this world all the debris of sin, having accumulated during the reign of Satan six thousand years, thus making earth and firmament all new. ( Revelation 21.) O what a shout will roar and reverberate through the one hundred celestial worlds, when our lost planet, in the glorious and triumphant finale shall be brought back within the immediate illumination of the city of God, the New Jerusalem, there, in glorious harmony with all celestial spheres, to wheel in beauty, and splendor around the throne of God, pursuing undeviatingly the very orbit in which the Omnipotent Hand located her when first from shapeless chaos, responsive to the Divine bidding, she wheeled into line, and took her place in the heavenly ecliptic.

    THE LOST MONEY Luke 15:8-10. “A certain woman having ten drachmae , if she may lose one drachma , does she not light a candle and sweep the house and seek diligently until she may find it ? And having found it , she calls together her friends and neighbors , saying , Rejoice with me , because I found the drachma which I lost . So I say unto you , there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth .” This drachma was a Grecian coin, worth fifteen cents. So the woman has a dollar and a half, equivalent in our time to about ten dollars. This woman, as uniformly in the Bible, symbolizes the Church, whose the and power is the Holy Ghost. This coin, of course, typifies the sinner, whose soul is of infinite value, yet utterly lost and covered up with the rubbish of human depravity, and overshadowed by the thorns and brambles of actual sin. See this woman with her broom, alertly moving into all parts of her house, searching every nook and corner, removing all the dust and trash; going out into the premises, and ransacking every place where there is the slightest probability that she may have dropped the money in her precipitate haste. This is precisely what the Church, filled with the Holy Ghost, would do in the case of every lost soul.

    While this piece of money was intrinsically as valuable as ever, so long as it was lost it was utterly destitute of commercial value; thus beautifully illustrating the soul of the sinner, destined to live through the flight of eternal ages, and of so infinite value that it cost the blood of Jesus, and yet utterly lost, worthless, and unavailable — i.e. , destitute of commercial value in all the heavenly bazaars — so long as it is thus lost. amid the soot and rubbish of sin. How quickly would the world be captured for Christ if every Church member would do like this woman! And they would if they only had the Holy Ghost. Really, all of this searching is done by the blessed Holy Spirit, but largely through human instrumentality. O what a grand open door, to take our brooms and join this woman in the search for these infinitely valuable coins, which are lying all around us, covered up in the dust and trash which demons have piled on them! The angels around the Throne are ready to rejoice with us whenever we find a piece of this lost money. This is the treasure we are to lay up in heaven, where it will accumulate new luster. and shine in our crowns of rejoicing when gold, pearls, and diamonds shall have lost their glitter and ceased to sparkle.

    THE PRODIGAL SON Luke 15:11-32. “But He said , A certain man had two sons . The younger of them said to the father , Father , give me the portion of the estate which falleth to me . And he divided unto them his living .” a. This has been pronounced by exegetes “the pearl of our Lord’s parables.” It was delivered in Perea, east of the Jordan, about nine or ten days before our Lord was crucified. As patriarchal law always gave the first-born two portions of the patrimony, the younger son could only claim one-third of the estate. The Bible is God’s looking-glass, not only showing up Redeeming Love and Omnipotent Grace in their grandeur and glory, but human character in all its weakness and mistakes Though the father here symbolizes God, methinks he made a mistake in yielding to the importunity of his dear boy, whom he so tenderly loved. Let us profit by his mistake, and learn how to refuse our children apparent blessings, which are calculated to imperil their spiritual security by exposing them to insurmountable temptation. b. “Not many days afterward , gathering all his possessions , the younger son departed into a far country , and there wasted his substance , living recklessly .” The father’s house, in which both the sons were born, is the kingdom of grace, in which all of Adam’s race are born in innocency, justified by the work of Christ alone, who tasted death for every, one ( Hebrews 2:9), so gloriously redeeming the whole race as to superinduce the prenatal justification, regeneration, and adoption of every human being, so that none are born under condemnation, but all freely justified by the wonderful vicarious atonement of Christ. Hence you see these two sons were both born in their father’s housei.e. , the kingdom of grace out of which they could only fall by willful transgression. Now what is the estate of this younger brother? It is the precious grace of his infantile justification, which he inherited from a merciful Heavenly Father through the atonement of His Son. The epoch in his life, when every one receives his part of the father’s estate, is spiritual adultage, when we all know good from evil, and become personally responsible for our acts of thought, word and deed. This young man goes away from God’s people, the Jews, far out into the Gentile world, and dwells among the heathens, whose precept and example are calculated constantly to draw him away from the law and the prophets, and make him a practical heathen. Unfortunately, he gives way to the influence of social environment, casting off the rigid discipline of his father’s home, and living recklessly; i .e ., without parental restraint. c. “And he, having spent all, a sore famine prevailed throughout that country, and he began to be in want.” This marks the epoch of his consummated apostasy from the precepts and example of his father’s home.

    He has gone out there with the rich legacy of his infantile justification, the innocency of his babyhood, and the purity of his early boyhood. He has expended all by neglecting and ignoring the precepts and laws of his father’s home, the bright day of his childhood having evanesced, and the black night of condemnation enveloped his sky in the dismal clouds issuing from the bottomless pit, while the blessed Holy Spirit, still pursuing him, quickens his appetite for the soul-pabulum on which he subsisted in his father’s home, but which is now all gone, while gaunt famine stalks before him night and day, turning on him her ghastly visage, like a dismal demon eloped from the regions of woe, and claiming him for her hopeless victim.

    HE JOINS A CARNAL CHURCH, AND IS PROMOTED TO OFFICE d. “And going , he joined himself to one of the citizens of that country , and he sent him into his fields to feed swine .” It’s a great mistake to think the heathens have no churches. They have more than we have. They dot the country everywhere. There are said to be four hundred Mohammedan mosques in the city of Cairo, Egypt. I am witness to the fact that their minarets dot the metropolis from center to circumference. The antediluvian world was full of Churches of the anti-holiness type, founded by Cain, which eventually, under the increasing wickedness, swallowed up the holiness people, except one family. The swine, a notoriously unclean animal, by Jehovah interdicted to the Jews, symbolizes anti-holiness religion. Fortunately, this young man had not remained long enough amid his vicious environments to utterly grieve away the Holy Spirit, who still following him, fastens on him an awful conviction of that spiritual famine fast preparing him for hell. Responsive to this awful realization of starvation, he goes and “joins himself to a citizen of that land . who sends him to feed his hogs .” I have all my life seen a predominant predilection of dead carnal Churches to catch all the convicted people they can, lingering about and following after Holy Ghost revivals in order to gobble up the penitents before they get converted. In that way they labor indefatigably to build up their Churches, “compassing sea and land to make a proselyte.” I have frequently known them thus capture convicted sinners and promote them to office at once, in order to encourage and stick them fast. I have seen more of this than you would think. If they can only in that way get them satisfied without salvation, they are just about certain to effectually hoodwink them, fill them with bigotry, and lead them to hell. There is vastly more of this than you apprehend. e. “And he was desiring to fill his stomach from the pods which the swine were eating , and no one gave unto him .” This passage is woefully misunderstood. “Husks,” E.V., is an utter mistake, as the Greek keration has no such a meaning. Besides, the hogs couldn’t live on husks, much less fatten, as you must remember that dead, carnal Churches are Satan’s hog-pens, in which he is fattening swine for the barbecues of the bottomless pit. I always heard that the prodigal wanted to eat with the hogs, but was not permitted. This is a mistake. He did eat with them. The Greek is the same here as in fine case of Lazarus eating the crumbs, and we know he got them. The statement, “No one gave unto him,” means that no one gave him anything else to eat, and having nothing but the hog-feed, which he daily carried to the to the animals, he ate of it bountifully. Now what was this hog-feed? I have seen it, and know whereof I affirm. Keration , which I translate “pods,” is the fruit growing on the carob-tree, which is indigenous in Palestine, Syria, Italy, and the Argentine Republic of South America. Keration means a horn, because the fruit is in pods, resembling that of the honey-locust in this country. These pods are about ten inches long, and one to two inches in diameter, running to a sharp point, resembling a horn.

    Consequently they call it the horn-fruit and the horn-tree. These pods contain a juicy pulp, of a sweet taste, and have kernels dispersed along through them about an inch apart. This fruit is devoured by hogs with great avidity, making them fat for the slaughter. It is also eaten by the poor people in all the countries where it grows. If you ever visit the Holy Land, you will find nice specimens of this tree growing on the slopes of Mount Olivet, along the road from Jerusalem to Bethany. If the prodigal had been satisfied with this food, he would have lived and died at the hog-pen. In the mercy of God his convictions would not down. O how frequently do the dead, worldly Churches get hold of people, and by promoting them to office, as in this case, succeed in flattering them till they drown out all of their convictions, grieve away the Holy Spirit, and seal their doom in endless ruin! f . “And having come to himself , he said , How many hired servants of my father have an abundance of bread , and here I famish with hunger !” The prayers of his father and mother still follow him in all his dreary wanderings, bringing down the Holy Spirit, who keeps on his track, fastening the conviction so tight that all the rites and ceremonies of carnal Churchism, the vanity and pomposity of official promotion, can never drive them away. Now, in the good mercy of God, the Holy Spirit augments his lingering conviction by a sunburst of illumination, shining into the deep interior of his spirit, revealing to him the silly futility of all his hopes through carnal religion, and flooding him with the heart-breaking reminiscence of the delightful home he once enjoyed; i.e. , the sweet peace, rest, joy, and hope which thrilled the pure spirit of his infancy and childhood, when, uncontaminated with the vices and follies of an ungodly world, he lived in the sunshine of the Father’s approval and heavenly anticipation. The result is, that he comes to himself — ruined, debauched, condemned, hopeless, and on the brink of hell. All come to themselves at some time; if not sooner, when the devil comes after them, and they are dropping into the burning pit. Now and then, like this prodigal, one comes to himself in time to escape. But I awfully fear chat where one escapes, ninety and nine die at the hog-pen, dragged by demons into hell. Who are these servants of the Father? They are Christians, in the justified state, having not yet received the clear witness of the Spirit to adopting love and sanctifying power. ( Romans 8:15-17, and Galatians 4:1-7.) In these Scriptures you will find that people in spiritual infancy are denominated “servants.” But the same, having passed majority and entered into spiritual adultage, are designated “sons;” not that all born into the spiritual kingdom are not sons, nor that spiritual adults are not the servants of God, but servant and son are here used contrastively, the latter predominating in the sanctified experience, and the former in the justified; yet the participants of both experiences being simultaneously servants and sons. g . “Having risen , I will go to my father , and say to him , Father , I sinned against heaven and in thy sight , and am no more worthy to be called thy son ; make me as one of thy hired servants .” Here we see resolution after a long sleep, awakened by the Holy Ghost, and suddenly leaping into life, the auspicious harbinger of coming deliverance. Simultaneously, the blessed and indispensable grace of humiliation accompanies this Herculean resolution. These are the grand, salient steps which every penitent sinner must take. He must command a resolution that can not be intimidated by men or devils. Here this man has that whole carnal Church, as well as the powers of earth and hell, to hold him fast at the hog-pen. He flings to the winds all the pseudo consolations and honors of this worldly Church, and resolves to fight his way through platoons of devils back to his Father’s home. Here you see the work of repentance. It must travel every inch of that long, devious journey if it would get back to the Father’s house. But wonderful is the velocity of the truly convicted sinner because the Holy Ghost furnishes him wings, which distance men and devils with astounding expedition. h. “And he , having risen , came toward his father . And he , being a great way off , his father saw him , and had compassion on him , and having run , fell upon his neck and kissed him copiously .” The Omniscient Eye of redeeming love and Fatherly affection follows every sinner in all his wanderings in the land of famine and death. Here you observe that the father saw him a great way off, because he had wandered a vast distance into the land of sorrow and doom. When the father saw that: he was homeward bound, he runs to meet him. O what a glorious consolation for every poor sinner! If he will only bid adieu to the hog-pen and start home, his loving Heavenly Father will run to meet him. The true reading here is katephilesen , which means “kissed him copiously;” i.e. , kissed his face all over, washing it with the saliva of a father’s tender and unutterable love for his poor wandering boy. Somehow, in the Textus Receptus , from which the E.V. was translated, the kata , “copiously,” connected with the verb “kiss,” was omitted by some transcriber, thus detracting much from the force and beauty of this wonderful transaction. Of course, you know this is the kiss of peace, and means a free pardon of all his sins. O what a happy surprise to the poor prodigal, who, in the depths of his humiliation, only asked a servant’s place! i . “And the son said , Father , I sinned against heaven , and I am no more worthy to be called thy son . And the father said to his servants , Bring hither the first robe , and put it on him ; and give a ring to his hand , and shoes to his feet ; and lead out the fatted calf , slay it , and eating , let us be merry , because this my son was dead , and is alive again ; was lost , and is found . And they began to be merry .” Here it says the “first robe,” which is the robe of holiness, washed whiter than snow in the blood of the Lamb. The first experience, justification, gives you the second robe, and a place at the second table; while the second experience, entire sanctification, gives you the first robe, and a place at the first table. Here we see a very rapid succession of the two works of grace, and but a brief interval elapsing between that copious, fatherly kiss of pardoning mercy and redeeming love and the investment with the robe of holiness, the brightest and the best for us in probationary life. Not only is this robe of holiness a confirmation of entire sanctification, but the ring of the covenant placed on the hand illustrates the spiritual wedlock. We are betrothed to Christ in regeneration, and married to Him in sanctification, the ring, in Oriental countries, being the especial confirmation of the matrimonial covenant. Now that he has received the robe of holiness and the ring of heavenly wedlock, it becomes pertinent that he should be a swift witness, a bold herald, going to the ends of the earth, and telling the wonderful story of redeeming love and sanctifying power. Consequently the gospel shoes are put on his feet, and he is a commissioned evangelist. Now we have passed through the negative side of the sanctified experience, and come to the glorious infilling of the Holy Ghost, so grandly and vividly emblematized by the fatted calf, which had been fattened in the stall, and kept for some great and important occasion. Now you see the royal festival. Does any one deny the grand and glorious realities of experimental religion, peace flowing like a river, righteousness like the waves of the sea, and the unutterable joy of the Holy Ghost thrilling our spiritual being? Come and gaze upon this festal revelry.

    See the poor prodigal, after long and torturing starvation, now feasting on the farted calf! The tenderloin is between his teeth, and the gravy has painted his face, while the fat is dripping from his lips. Is not that a matterof- fact experience, which even a wooden man can see? j. “And the elder son was in the field , and when , coming , he drew near the house , he heard music and dancing ; and calling one of the servants , he asked what these things might be . And he said to him , Thy brother has come , and thy father hath slain the fatted calf because he received him well . And he was angry , and was not willing to come in ; and his father , having gone out , continued to entreat him ; and he , responding , said to the father , Behold , so many years I serve thee , and never did I transgress thy commandment , and thou hast never given me a kid , that I may make merry with my friends ; but when this thy son , having devoured thy living with harlots , came , thou didst slay for him the fatted calf .”

    The elder brother, as well as the prodigal, had been born in the father’s housei.e. , in the kingdom of grace — and while his brother had strayed away, and wandered long in the bleak wilds of Satan’s kingdom, he had spent all his life in the patriarchal home, with all the comforts of domestic life, every conceivable want supplied. As a clear demonstration that he had never forfeited his infantile justification, we hear him certify to his father, “I have never at any time transgressed thy commandment.” If he had been mistaken, the father would most assuredly have corrected him. Therefore the silence of the father at this point is ample proof that the statement of the eider son is correct, plainly illustrating the gracious possibility of retaining the infantile justification clearly out into discretion and responsibility, till actually superseded by the justification through faith of intelligent adultage.

    However, we see very dearly the survival of unholy tempers in the elder brother, manifested in the jealousy, envy, peevishness, and pusillanimity which he clearly shows in the complaint he offers, observing, “All these years have I served thee, and never at any time transgressed thy commandment, and thou hast never at any time given me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.” Observe the contrast: A kid is a very little animal comparatively with the fatted calf, which was slain by way of congratulating the returned prodigal. You see clearly that the elder brother needed sanctification to take out of him all the fret and worry. If he had been truly sanctified, instead of complaining and fretting, he would have joined in the general jollification over his rescued brother. You also observe that the younger brother had actually gotten out ahead of him, having not only been converted, but sanctified. As the father well says to the elder brother, “Thou art ever with me , and all mine is thine .” While the prodigal had received his portion of the estate and wasted it, the elder brother had two portions — i.e. , double the amount which the prodigal ever had and never expended any of it; but on the contrary, by his faithful service under the wise supervision of his father, had added much to it. Consequently the facilities of the elder were decidedly superior to those of the younger; while the possibilities of redeeming grace, regenerating and sanctifying the poor victims of sensuality, debauchery, iniquity, crime, degradation, and debasement are wonderful, eclipsing all human anticipation, becoming the astonishment of men, angels, and devils, yet the availability and possibilities of a soul who has never passed through Satan’s flint-mills of enervating and emasculating misery and degradation are decidedly superior to all the facilities and feasibilities of the former. While the victims of sin and misery, through the wonders of redeeming grace, may rise and shine like luminaries in the firmament of truth and righteousness, yet the same would shine with a far brighter luster, and grander effulgence if they had never been smashed and crashed into smithereens by platoons of merciless demons, and ridden by old Diabolus till they became gaunt as infernal specters. Hence, while we all rejoice over the saved and sanctified, we recognize still grander possibilities of broader, deeper, higher, and more enduring achievements on the part of the elder brother, who, having twice as much as the younger to begin with, had retained it all, and doubtless augmented it, till perhaps his patrimony at the time of his brother’s return was double or treble the original amount. However, he much needed the sanctifying baptism of the Holy Ghost, to consume all the debris of original sin which he had inherited from Adam the First, retained through his infantile justification, and now, that he is evidently enjoying the justification of intelligent manhood, we observe suggestions of an unsanctified condition still rising up, marring his peace, disturbing his soul-rest, and threatening defeat in spiritual conflict. As the Greek here says the father continued to exhort him, the imperfect tense showing indefinite perpetuity, we conclude that the persistent exhortation culminated in his conviction for entire sanctification. I am sure that grand holiness revival, which had broken out in the patriarchal home on the prodigal’s return, was an auspicious time for the elder brother, as well as others, to get gloriously sanctified. I take it for granted that, pursuant to the father’s exhortation and the happy influences of the holiness band, shouting round the returned prodigal, he actually fell in, received the first robe and the matrimonial ring, like his brother, and like his brother fell into the jollification, rejoicing, feasting, and shouting till three worlds were attracted by the sensation. k. “Child , thou art always with me ; all mine are thine . It behooved us to rejoice and be glad , because this thy brother was dead , and is alive ; was lost , and is found .” Satan sent a thunderbolt of sin through Eden, and slew the whole human race. Unfallen humanity had no posterity. Therefore all the teeming millions of Adam’s universal family have been born spiritually dead, as Adam and Eve could not transmit what they did not possess.

    Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, His omnipotent redeeming grace reaching every individual of the mined race so soon as soul and body united constitute personality. ( Hebrews 2:9.) While in Adam all die, in Christ all are made alive. ( 1 Corinthians 15:22.) The death in Adam is seminal, affecting the race as such; while the revivification in Christ is personal, reaching the individual. Therefore personality must obtain in order to the availability of the Messianic redemption. In the case of the prodigal, having been born in the kingdom of gracei.e. , his father’s house — through the redemption of Christ, he had yielded to temptation, and committed actual sins, which have sent a death-blow through his immortal spirit. Consequently he was dead till the father’s copious kiss restored him to life; and lost from the kingdom of grace and glory till the father’s loving arms rescued him from the realms of Satan’s dismal midnight, in which he had wandered and suffered weary years. l . This parable ranks pre-eminent in the estimation of exegetes, beautifully, vividly, illustratively, and demonstratively revealing the gracious economy, from infantile justification, through the dreary meanderings of apostasy, degradation, and dead Churchism, back to a glorious reclamation, through justification and regeneration, and culminating in triumphant sanctification, illustrated by the robe of holiness, and confirmed by the wedding-ring, the gospel shoes outfitting him for the evangelistic field; the elder brother lucidly revealing; the gracious possibility of indefinitely retaining the infantile justification clearly out into adult, intelligent, and responsible harmonization with the Divine law, amid the approval of the Heavenly Father, rendering him eligible to the glorious grace of entire sanctification.

    CHAPTER - THE UNJUST STEWARD Luke 16:1-13. “And He continued to speak to His disciples , There was a certain rich man who had a steward , and he was falsely accused to him as wasting his goods .” a. The word here dieblethe , “accused,” E.V., is the strongest word in the Greek language for false accusation. Yet he could not help himself, but was forced to face his landlord, and abide his destiny as if he had been ever so guilty. b. “And calling him , he said to him , What is this I hear concerning you ? Give an account of your stewardship , for you are not able to be steward any longer .” We should all profit by this incident, considering the fact that we are God’s stewards, every one of us, and liable every minute to be called into His presence to give an account of our stewardship as when we pass out of this world we can be stewards no more. c. “The steward said within himself , What shall I do ? because my lord taketh my stewardship away from me . I am unable to dig ; I am ashamed to beg .” The truth of it is, the man had held the office so long, and thus accustomed to mental labor only, that he had lost his ability, hardihood, and aptitude to rough work and hard manual toil, so that he was actually unable to make a living if put out of his office; while, of course, he was ashamed to turn beggar. It seems that the man had used all of his salary as fast as it came due, so that he had actually accumulated nothing, and would consequently be utterly destitute of a living if turned out of his office. d. “I know what I shall do , in order that when I may be removed from my stewardship they may receive me into their houses .” He now proposes to do something in order to make favor with the people, so they will show him kindness, and extend him their hospitality, after he is thrown out of office. “Calling each one of the debtors of his lord , he spoke to the first , How much do you owe my lord ? And he said , A hundred measures of oil . And he said to him , Take thy accounts , and sitting down , quickly write fifty .”

    Of course this was a private transaction in his office, known only to himself and the recipient. “And then he said to another , How much do you owe ? And he said , A hundred measures of wheat . He says to him , Take out thy accounts , and write eighty .” So the steward doubtless went through the entire curriculum of indebtedness to his lord, meeting each debtor privately, and confidentially making these liberal donations to each one, thus bringing them under great financial obligation, so they would be ready in any emergency to reciprocate the favor. Consequently the steward would have so many people thus brought under obligations to him, that when thrown out of employment and tramping round, he would have plenty of homes and friends, and find an abundance of kind hospitality among the people to whom he had made these liberal donations. e. “And the lord praised the unjust steward, because he acted shrewdly.” Of course, the landlord in a case of that kind would find out this extensive depletion of the accounts; but as the business was all in the hands of this steward, who was his legal and responsible agent, and authorized to sign his name to the papers, he could neither disentangle the matter nor have recourse so as to rectify the mutilations. Consequently while he could not help himself, seeing through the problem involved, and recognizing the fact that this man had brought quite a lot of his customers under lasting financial obligations to him, he said to the people, “He is a sharp, shrewd fellow, thus ingeniously managing to subserve his own interest when forced to resign his office.” Now you see this landlord emblematizes God. N.B. — He did not praise the man for his rascality, but for his shrewdness, which is an exceedingly commendable trait. We must not apply our Savior’s metaphors indefinitely, as the illustration is generally confined to some isolated salient fact. Much confusion in Biblical interpretation arises from the misapplication of the tropes and figures used by the Holy Ghost to bring Divine truth within our comprehension. “Because the sons of this age are wiser in their generation than the sons of light .” The meaning of this is very plain. People, as a rule, provide much better for this life than that which is to come. O how difficult it is to get Christians so filled and dominated by the Holy Spirit as to subordinate time to eternity, earth to heaven, and the people to God! O how few are actually living for heaven, with an eye single to the glory of God! When the things of this world are so fleeting and transitory, how strange that even Christians do not more faithfully obey the Savior’s commandment: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth , where moth and rust do corrupt , and thieves break through and steal ; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven , where neither moth nor rust corrupt , nor thieves break through nor steal ; for where your treasure is , there will your heart be also !” f . “I say unto you , Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness , in order that when it may fail you , they may receive you into eternal habitations .” The “mammon of unrighteousness” is money, the “unrighteousness” signifying the fraudulent manner in which it is so frequently obtained, the word here being inserted in continuation of the preceding narrative, where the steward acted fraudulently, and yet very wisely, his lord commending his wisdom, but not his fraud. Now the answer to the above question simply involves the solution of the problem by which we can all make money our friend. We frankly admit that money is a wonderful power. Why does England, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean, girdle the world with her commerce, overawe the time-honored nations with her gunboats, and constrain all the powers of earth to recognize her as “Mistress of the Seas?” The principal reason is because she has been piling up gold in the Bank of England a thousand years. Hence her money-power solves the problem. When mammon gets you by the throat, she is almost certain to drag you into hell. There is a way by which you can make money your friend, instead of permitting it to be your enemy. What is that way? It is none other than entire sanctification. The truly sanctified man has made money his friend, ready to go at his bidding and come at his beck, so that he rules it, sending it on missions of love and mercy, to shine the light of truth and holiness into the dark hovels of poverty, sin, and misery; causing prisoners to rejoice, and hell-dens to be transformed into heavenly vestibules, and missionaries to cross the great oceans and light the antipodean continents with the glory of God; and bring heaven down to bless the sable children of Ham as they tread the burning sands of the Dark Continent; cause the wild sons of Esau to rejoice in the glorious benedictions of Abraham’s God, the red men of the Orient to turn away from their dumb idols and glorify the God of Israel, and the almond-eyed Chinaman and the wild Tartar hordes to hail with joy the glorious coming King, turn evangelists, and roll the celestial fire from arctic mountains to equatorial seas. Now we are well assured that we will all soon fail in this world, when we must go into eternity. This man, through the instrumentality of money, brought many people under obligation to him, so that when turned out of his stewardship, to abide his destiny a penniless tramp, he had so many people thus indebted to him that he actually found it more comfortable tramping than performing the duties of his office, as doors were thrown open on all sides, and a hearty welcome extended from many homes to come and abide with them indefinitely, without money and without price. When we die, we all surrender up our stewardship. Now, do you not know that many poor widows, beggars, invalids, and especially the heathens, who have been saved by your money, whose names you have never heard, will get to heaven, in all probability, before you are called to give up your stewardship? Do you not know that all the saints have guardian angels, whether in America, Africa, Asia, or the islands of the sea? Thee guardian angels are posted about our relations either to other.

    Now the end has come, and it is said, “You can be steward no longer;” i.e. , “You die today.” Do you not know that the guardian angels around your dying bed will wing their flight to heaven, and there notify the beneficiaries of your philanthropy that you are coming? Do you not know that they will ring the bells of heaven, blow the jubilee trumpets, come sweeping out through the gate in shining platoons, calling your name, with a long, loud “Welcome home!” thus actually verifying this promise of Jesus to receive you into eternal habitations? g . “He who is faithful in little is faithful in much; and he who is unjust in little is unjust in much.” So if you are faithful, industrious, frugal, and economical in the little things of temporal life, it is demonstrative proof, as a rule, that you are faithful in the great things of God and heaven. This is an awful argument against laziness and carelessness appertaining to temporal things. As a rule, indifference, indolence, and neglect of house, farm, books, education, and all phases of temporal interest, are indices of a corresponding indifference and depreciation in the great things of the kingdom. Hence it is exceedingly difficult for a lazy person to be a Christian. “If therefore you are not faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will intrust to you the true? There is a woeful blindness among Christians, and even holiness people, on this very subject of industry, economy, and frugality. So many would like to go to the Holy Land, but stagger when those who have been there testify that it is impossible to make the trip on less than one thousand dollars, while it is unsafe to start with less than twice that amount. All that is true, if you sail first-class and eat at tables. I very recently traveled through England, France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Syria, and the Holy Land, seventeen thousand miles, on four hundred dollars, sailing second class, and when on land buying my own edibles, and thus boarding myself, living elegantly everywhere I went, in Europe, Asia, Africa, as well as America, on fifteen cents a day, and always having money to give the poor beggars and help the missionaries in all of my travels, which is no small matter in the Old World. Well has the poet said, “Man wants but little here below, Nor wants that little long.” It takes so little to live on in this world that any person who has the use of bodily organs can not only make a living, but have much more to contribute for the glory of God in the amelioration of soul and body than the small pittance requisite to his fleeting life. A girl in New England, only twelve years old, made and sold maple-sugar and built stone fence to the amount of ninety dollars, every cent of which she gave the missionary cause, as she lived with her parents and did not need the money. “If you are unfaithful in another’s business, who will commit to you your own?” This life is so complicated “that no man liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself,” our affairs being so identified with the interest of others that, either directly or indirectly, we are working for one another. Not so in spiritual things.

    Every tub stands on its own bottom. You can go to heaven if all your neighbors go down to hell, et vice versa . So if you are not faithful, true, reliable, industrious, economical, and frugal in temporal things, can you expect God to entrust to you the priceless investment of glory and immortality? The presumption is, you would fail. h. “No servant is able to serve two masters; for he will hate the one and love the other, or he will cleave to the one and despise the other, You are not able to serve God and mammon.” You see from our Savior’s conclusion of this notoriously mysterious parable (as generally considered), while temporal things are indices of spiritual, and as a rule both are appreciated or neglected together, yet we must not forget that making the best we can of all temporal things, as God’s faithful stewards we are to subordinate them indiscriminately to the glory of God. If we permit a competition to rise between the things of this world, here emblematized by mammon, and the things of God, His claims upon us, our duties and responsibilities, we will end in wreckage. God made the material world, and gave us these mortal bodies, vehicles of probation, and requires us to appreciate, appropriate, and utilize the elements of earth, air, and water for His glory; meanwhile all temporal labors, enterprises, and achievements are to be subordinated to the will of God, and utilized with an eye single to His glory in the amelioration of humanity and the salvation o£ the world. John Wesley’s maxim is here exceedingly appropriate: “Make all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.” You see, the final evolution of this mysterious parable culminates in that full and perfect sanctification which alone can make mammon your friend, submissive to your mandamus, meekly wheeling into line, and becoming your most potent ally in the salvation of the world. If your life does not thus culminate in complete and perfect victory over money and all temporal things, so that you can ungrudgingly and joyfully subordinate them to the sweet will of God in every respect, you still leave a handle for Satan to take hold of, divert you from the narrow way, and drag you down to endless woe.

    PRIDE Luke 16:14,15. “And the Pharisees, being money lovers, were hearing all these things, and murmuring against Him.” If you preach holiness like lightning, as Jesus did, money-loving Church members will raise a lugubrious howl. “He said to them, You are those justifying yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts; because that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” The very things which exalt you in the estimation of the people; i.e. , wealth, position, human honor, office, and aggrandizement — unless accompanied by the true sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit, sweetening all with perfect meekness, humility, and love, are an abomination in the sight of God.

    Lord, open our eyes to the abominations abounding in the popular Churches!

    THE KINGDOM OF GOD Luke 16:16-18. “The law and the prophets were till John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every one passeth into it.” These Pharisees hung on His track like lightning on the skirts of the clouds, barking and snapping at everything He said; because the red-hot truth which Jesus preached was awfully repellent to these galvanized hypocrites, who, with their preachers to help them, were laboring incessantly to justify themselves, and were professedly great sticklers for the law and the prophets; i.e. , the O.T. Scriptures. Jesus here informs them that the old dispensation actually wound up with John the Baptist, the last of the prophets, who formally superseded it by introducing Jesus to the world, and ceremonially inaugurating Him into His official Messiahship. As He is Mediatorial King, His very office, preaching, and presence normally introduce the kingdom whithersoever He goes. Hence He announces to them that the kingdom of God has superseded the law and the prophets, and every truly. awakened soul is pressing into it. It is equally true this day.

    The kingdom of God is all and in all to every true heart, and throughout the evangelical world there is a constant pressing into it. We enter it through the narrow gate of regeneration, and are established in it by the stupendous work of entire sanctification. “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than one item of the law to fall.” Though we live in the dispensation of the gospel kingdom, which superseded that of the law and the prophets, as our Savior well reminds us, we must not conclude that a solitary. item of the law is ignored or becomes null and void. The ceremonial law of bloody sacrifices, symbolizing the vicarious atonement, was all fulfilled, when Jesus bled and died on the cross. The vast expurgatory watery. ablutions, symbolizing the sanctification of the Spirit, were fulfilled when the Holy Ghost descended in fiery baptisms on the day of Pentecost. The supersession of the law and the prophets by the kingdom of God is only affected so far as the O.T. symbolism is verified in N.T. experiences. “Every one putting away his wife, and marrying another, committeth adultery; and every one marrying her who has been put away by her husband, committeth adultery.” The Jews had very loose views on the marriage relation, frequently sending away the wife for a diversity of trivial causes, supplying her place by another. They claimed that they had a right under the law of Moses to do those things; meanwhile they set great store on those privileges. Jesus, knowing the hearts of those corrupt, bigoted Pharisees, exposes their spiritual obliquity by these plain deliverances in reference to the marriage relation. Those scribes and Pharisees had ingeniously manipulated the Scriptures of Moses mad the prophets, misconstruing them in the defense of their iniquitous lives.

    THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS Luke 16:19-31. “And there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day.” a. This was a rich Jew, living like a king at his own expense, daily wearing a royal scarlet robe, manufactured by the Syrians for the especial use of kings; meanwhile, for his underwear, he used the fine linen made by the Egyptians. Hence he not only dressed like a king, but, as we here see, he ate like one, having a royal festival in his palatial mansion every day. Of course, he was very popular, inviting the royalty, nobility, and aristocracy to eat with him day by day, who complimented his generous hospitality by feasting at his table. b. “And there was a certain beggar by name Lazarus laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed from the crumbs having fallen from the rich man’s table; but the dogs, coming, continued to lick his sores.” The friendly animals thus showing him kindness, soothing his suffering, and keeping him company. There is no word in the original here signifying “crumbs.” We simply have the article and the participle, including the “fragments” left by the guests who ate at his table. These fragments were good enough for a king. The conclusion is, that Dives was a very generous, large-hearted man, giving liberally and freely to beggars, Lazarus having the fortune to be one of his beneficiaries. Doubtless this royal aristocrat was much esteemed by the beggars, who held him in grateful remembrance for the sake of his many benefactions. Great houses in the Old World are built in a quadrangular shape, with a large open court in the interior, where the sun shines down and the rains fall. The gate enters this interior court, from which, through porticoes, the different apartments of the mansion are entered. I have seen these gates, with a comfortable house built over them, designated “porter’s lodge;” i .e ., the residence of the gate-keeper and other servants. It is more than likely Lazarus was in a place of this kind. c. “And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into the bosom of Abraham.” As God reiterated the mediatorial covenant with Abraham which He had made with Christ before the foundation of the world, providing salvation for the entire fallen race ( Galatians 3:16), and that covenant must be confirmed, ratified, and verified by the blood of Jesus on the cross before any one could enter heaven, Jesus, being “the First-fruits of them that slept,” must lead the way into glory before any of His brethren could enter the glorified presence, consequently the O.T. saints were gathered into the intermediate paradise, here denominated “Abraham’s bosom,” and there abode till the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant by the expiatory work of Christ; therefore we see that Lazarus, though a poor beggar and eminent saint, is carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.

    Nothing is said about his body, as he was unable to purchase a place in a sepulcher. Doubtless his beggar-comrades carried away his ulcerated corpse, and deposited it in some cave, or covered it in a deep ditch. d. “The rich man also died, and was buried.” The phraseology in the original warrants the conclusion that Dives was complimented with a magnificent funeral service and a royal burial. Doubtless a beautiful sepulcher was prepared at great cost, and most brilliant funeral obsequies performed by the higher clergy in their gorgeous robes, and all accompanied with great pomp and pageantry; and an eloquent sermon delivered, eulogizing him for his magnanimity, philanthropy, and loyalty to the Church, of which he was a leading official. “And in Hades, lifting up his eyes, being in torments, he sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” Some have concluded from this that heaven and hell are visible, either from other, which, I now, is a great mistake. We have two Greek words translated hell in E.V., Hades , f rom a , “not,” and eido , “to see,” meaning simply the unseen world, including both heaven and hell; and Gehenna , the land of Hinnom, originally applied to that deep mountain gorge southwest o£ Jerusalem, where the Israelites from the days of Solomon were accustomed to offer their children in sacrifice to Moloch, an Ammonitish idol, represented by a brazen statue, with the body of a man and head of an ox, all hollow, and heated intensely by an internal fire, so that the infant laid in his arms was consumed, thus endeavoring to propitiate the anger of this evil demon by human sacrifices. When King Josiah purified Jerusalem and Israel of idolatry, he had this valley polluted by throwing the dead animals and offal of the city into it, where they were burnt with fire, thus perpetuating the devouring flame incessantly in the Valley of Hinnom. Consequently this Greek word Gehenna , is used in the New Testament to denote the perpetual fires which devour the wicked in the world of woe. Here we find that both Dives and Lazarus went into the intermediate world; i.e. , Hades. The Old Testament recognizes the good as well as the bad going down to Sheol ; i .e ., Hades . When the witch of Endor called on the spirits to come from the unseen world, God sent up Samuel, His holy prophet, who told King Saul of his fate on the morrow, when he and his three sons would fall on Mount Gilboa, and he said to him, “You will be with me.” Saul was a hopeless backslider, and died by suicide. We have no evidence that any of his sons were ever saved. Hence we see that all the disembodied went into Hades, the righteous, like Lazarus, into the intermediate paradisei. e., Abraham’s bosom; and the wicked, like Dives, into Tartarus, the place of perpetual fire. ( 2 Peter 2:4.) Hence you see both Lazarus and Dives went into Hadesi. e., the unseen worldLazarus into paradise, and Dives into the devouring flames. e. “And he, calling, said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; because I am tormented in this flame.” You see clearly that Dives was a member of the Jewish Church, having stood at the front, beloved and honored for his liberality and loyalty, a favorite with the preachers as well as the magnates of the ecclesiasticism. He died in the full assurance that all was well, and was awfully surprised when he found himself in hell. How the wealthy, influential Church members especially should take warning from this notable case, and how should the pitiful Nohellites hear the alarm from Dives, already in the hell which they ridicule! Some of them endeavor to dodge the issue, because they say this is a parable, and not literal. That is their own fabrication. Jesus nowhere calls it a parable. It is a historic transcript, given by our Savior, from the Jewish Church in bygone ages, by way of alarm to those bigoted priests and Pharisees in his audience who were in the very same dilemma. You see from this that the man who denies the revelation of hell-fire and torment flatly contradicts Jesus, and is an infidel of the very worst type. We must take all of the Bible or none. “And Abraham said, Child, remember that in thy life thou didst receive thy good things, and Lazarus likewise evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” Dives had lived for this world, depending on Churchisms to save him. Lazarus lived for heaven, wearing the world’s loose garment, ready to drop it off at a moments warning. We are all in the succession of Dives or Lazarus. “You can not serve God and mammon.” Dives tried it, like millions of others, and signally failed. If you would live in heaven, you must live for heaven in this world. The reason why so few reach the kingdom is because they try to take the world with them. f “And in addition to all these things, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, in order that those wishing to cross over from hence to you may not be able, nor may they cross thence unto us.” We know not the amount of transient light from the Noachian dispensation which lingered among the Greeks and Romans two thousand years ago, when their poets and philosophers beautifully corroborated this Scripture in their expositions of the disembodied state, teaching that all souls go in-to Hades — the righteous into Elysium, a place of unmingled joy and ineffable bliss, while the wicked are cast into the unquenchable fires of Tartarus; meanwhile an impassable gulf, which they call Cocyus, rolling a deep murky bog at the bottom, whose billows articulate mournful wails as they roll on. This, you see, literally corroborates the above statement of Abraham to Dives. When Jesus expired on the cross His human soul descended into Hades ( <600301> Peter 3:19), and proclaimed His victory in the pandemonium, triumphing over all the demons of the pit. Then crossing that deep chasm, impassable to all but Him, He enters the intermediate paradise, and meets the saved thief before midnight, according to promise ( Luke 22:43): “This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise.” Meanwhile all the Old Testament saints run to meet Him, crowd round Him, and O what a jubilee runs through the ensuing Sabbath! The first day of the week, supervening from midnight, He abolishes that intermediate paradise, leading captivity captive ( Ephesians 4:8-10); and now, ascending back to earth the way He had descended, accompanied by all the mighty host of O.T. saints, He enters the sepulcher and receives His body, which of course was visible, the sainted host being invisible, because disembodied. The saints linger with Him during the forty days, accompanying Him in His glorious ascension up from Mount Olivet, He leading the way, darting through trackless ether at lightning speed, passing rolling worlds, blazing suns, wheeling spheres, and flaming comets. David’s prophetic eye ( Psalm 24) catches the triumphal procession, and hears the exultant shout: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and let the King of glory come in. Who is this King of glory?” is shouted back from the celestial portals. “The Lord, mighty to save; He is the King of glory.” Then the pearly portals are lifted high and swing wide. The Prince of glory heads the sanctified host. They sweep in, saluted by millions of angels, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim. Circling up, they halt before the Great White Throne, and Jesus says to His Father, “Behold, I and the children Thou hast given Me.” Now, such a testimony as the angels never heard follows.

    Father Abraham mounts a celestial pinnacle, and tells the wonders. of redeeming love. Isaac, Jacob, Job, and all the prophets, follow in quick succession, holding the unfallen angels spellbound by their thrilling rehearsals of the triumphs of redeeming grace, till all heaven roars and reverberates with congratulatory salutations and hallelujahs. Whereas the intermediate paradise (“Abraham’s bosom”) was abolished, as above specified, Jesus leading the way into heaven and all the O.T. saints following. From that date heaven has been open to all the children of the kingdom ( Ephesians 4:8-10); Tartarus, the fiery prison of demons and disembodied sinners, still continues in the earth’s interior, and will there remain till the general resurrection, the cremation and sanctification of the earth, when, from the final judgment ( Revelation 20:15), they will be “cast in, to the lake of fire,” located “in outer darkness;” i.e. , darkness outside of the illuminated universe. Now, when we consider the astronomical revelation of one hundred and seventeen millions of glowing suns, and contemplate the distance to which they transmit light, and remember that the location of the ultimate doom of the wicked is so infinitely distant that the combined illumination of these one hundred and seventeen millions of suns can never reach it with a solitary ray, then you may have some vague apprehension of the immeasurable distance to which God is going to banish the incorrigible and unsavable in the ultimate finale , thus banishing them so far away that no finite being can ever return to trouble His peaceful and holy universe. Thus the grand ultimatum of the redemptive scheme is to save all the savable, and ultimately remove the incorrigible and unsavable away to that infinitely distant void, where unquenchable fires flame in black, dismal horror, producing no light. O how momentous the responsibility of all probationary, created intelligences, and what an infinite combination of potent inspirations accumulate all round us, flooding us with incentives to a holy experience in life, fraught with eternal moment! g . “And He said, Therefore I pray thee, O father, that thou mayest send him to the house of my father: for I have five brothers; in order that he may witness to them, that they may not come to this place of torment. But Abraham says, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No, Father Abraham; but if any one may go to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if one may rise from the dead,” Here we see a clear refutation of the popular dogma so emphatically preached in the carnal Churches; i.e. , that all who love the Lord are justified. This is true of the agape , Divine “love,” in the E.V., erroneously translated “charity” (e.g. , 1 Corinthians 13), but not of philia , the love of friendship; i.e. , human love, in contradistinction to the love of God, which is exotic in the human heart, which remains a stranger to it till the Holy Ghost pours it out ( Romans 5:5) in regeneration, while the philia , human love, is indigenous in all mankind, sinners as well as saints. The popular: dogmatism, so prominent in the Churches, that the love of the brethren is an index of regeneration is woefully misapprehended and misconstrued, being true of the agape , Divine love, but not true of the philia , human love. Here we have an unanswerable refutation of this dogma, so prominent in the popular Churches. We see members gladly received in platoons on the profession that they love the brethren, the preacher then assuming that they “have passed from death unto life” ( 1 John 3:14), which would be true if their love had been poured out in their heart by the Holy Ghost; but otherwise utterly untrue, a they simply love the brethren with human love, which. is peculiar to all sinners, not only in this life, but as w see in the case of Dives, even surviving death, as you here observe that he loved his brethren so dearly while in hell that he wanted to send them a missionary, to say their souls and keep them out of that devouring flame. I certainly do commend his judgment in selecting Lazarus, the hottest holiness crank he had ever known Hence you see that, so far as grace is concerned, the popular Churches that are so ready to take in member on a simple profession of love for the brethren, might: go down to the regions of woe, and there take in mere hers to their satisfaction, as we -have no fight to conclude that Dives is the only soul in hell who truly loves his brethren, as he proved it by manifesting the greatest enthusiasm in behalf of their salvation. The truth of the matter is, if you really have the agape poured out in you heart by the Holy Ghost, it will be attested by a clear conversion, accompanied by the witness of the Spirit and a conviction for entire sanctification soon following as normally as the shadow follows the substance. Sore very striking coincidences are suggested by this narrative delivered by our Lord. But a few days previously He had raised Lazarus, of Bethany, from the dead, who was with Jesus at that time, and even under His convincing testimony, those proud Pharisees did not repent. Within a few days afterward, Jesus Himself came forth from the dead; yet those scribes and Pharisees did not repent. Therefore, at that time, they had a literal demonstration of the truth as spoken by Abraham, who said, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even though one should rise from the dead.” At the same time we have an ostensible demonstration of the rich man’s mistake in thinking his brethren would repent, if one should come from the dead. h. There is a grand significance in these two prominent biographies, broad as the world, and comprehensive of all the teeming millions who have trodden terra firma from Adam down to the latest posterity that shall stand on the terminus of time and look out into boundless eternity. There is absolutely no exception. Every son and daughter of Adam’s race is in the succession of Dives in hell or Lazarus in heaven. These two characters are strikingly contrastive at three grand, salient points; i. e. living, dying, and beyond the grave. While living, the contrast is decidedly in favor of Dives.

    He lived in royal splendor, having more than heart could wish. His riches, honors, and pleasures were without embargo; while Lazarus was at the other pole of the battery, a penniless beggar, destitute of everything calculated to render this life comfortable and desirable. Here is Satan’s occult trap, in which he caught Dives, and the multiplied millions now populating hell. No wonder the saved are few, when only one here and there has the stamina to resist the temptations of riches, honors, pleasures, worldly aggrandizements and emoluments. Very adroitly has Satan long ago appropriated religion, using it as a veil to hide the smoke and flames of hell, and a greased plank to slide his deluded rotaries in. Humanity is magnetized by the splendor of Dives, and horrified by the degradation and suffering of Lazarus, thus drawn toward the one and driven from the other.

    This is the fundamental reason why perdition devours humanity with such fearful voracity, and heaven gets but here and there a traveler. Now we perceive the contrast these diametrically opposite characters exhibit in the article of death. On the human side, the old contrast is perpetuated — pomp, pageantry, and royal splendor gathering around the deathbed of Dives, and even running on through the magnificent funeral, eloquent sermon, and royal interment which followed; meanwhile, the tattered beggars, amid the bleak winds, constitute the faithful cohort gathered around the dying beggar, and carrying away His ulcerated corpse, coffinless, shroudless, and sepulcherless, covering it up in the burning sand, to await the resurrection trump. But another scene, thrillingly contrastive, visible only to immortal eyes, climaxes both of these deathbeds. The royalty, nobility, elite aristocracy, and robed clergy are no obstruction to the black cohort of demons which come up from the bottomless pit, and arrest the soul of Dives simultaneously with its evacuation of the body, and drag it down to hell; meanwhile the forlorn visages, naked limbs, and emaciated forms of the ragamuffins who stand around the pallet on which dying Lazarus bids the world adieu, are no barricade against the bright angel band from glory, descending and lighting the scene with the unearthly splendor of radiant pinions, while they congratulate their heroic brother on the victory won over the world, the flesh, and the devil, and probation triumphantly sustained to its glorious termination, under the bright smiles of heaven and the approval of the Father: “Well done, My son! Come away from that land of storm, trouble, sorrow, and suffering. The fair fields of glory are open to your ingress, while saints and angels shout you welcome to their heavenly home.”

    Finally, we see another exceedingly decisive contrast: Lazarus has joined the patriarchs and prophets, martyrs and saints, of all bygone ages, who have been gathered by the angels and garnered in Abraham’s bosom; meanwhile we hear the mournful wail of Dives, crying from the fiery depths of Tartarus for water to cool his parched tongue. He cries in vain, for there was none to help. The billows of fire which then rolled over him will inundate him with flames inextinguishable through the flight of eternal ages. i . Without a dissenting voice, all immortal intelligences respond: “Let me die like Lazarus. I want the angels to come for me and take me to heaven.”

    While all aspire to the glorious triumphs of Lazarus in death and in eternity, why do so few ever reach this grand desideratum? It is because they are unwilling to live like Lazarus. They all warn to live like Dives. What God hath joined together, no man can separate. If you would succeed Lazarus in death and eternity, you must succeed him in life. Were not Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Job all rich men? Was not Daniel prime-minister of the universal Chaldean Empire, handling bushels of gold? To these questions we certainly respond in the affirmative. Yet these patriarchs and prophets had the experience, patience, resignation, and humility of Lazarus, beautifully illustrated in the case of Job, who, when brought clown from millionaireship to beggarly destitution, his body covered with blackleprosy and eaten by vermin, was true as an angel and courageous as a martyr, abundantly confirming and authenticating the conclusion that he was ready for all the poverty and suffering of Lazarus, even while in possession of royal affluence. The trouble with Dives was that of millions now. Though a Church member, he was without experimental salvation, this being the reason why his soul was lost, his vast estate, abstractly, having nothing to do with it. While earthly possessions open a thousand doors to the vices and follies incident to worldly pleasure, honor, and aggrandizement, yet Omnipotent grace, which is free for the rich as well as the poor, is more than a match for the demoniacal platoons that swarm up from hell and besiege you on all sides. So if you would die like Lazarus and meet the angels, ready to waft you to the paradise of God, you must have his experience and life of self-denial, humility, and holiness. The trouble with Dives was that, while a great Church member, he depended on the form, while destitute of the spirit and the power. Now, reader, it is certain that you are in the succession of the one or the other of these conspicuous and diametrically opposite characters. If you are living in the succession of Lazarus, the angels will come for you when you die and take you to heaven. If in the succession of Dives, the demons from the pit will seize you the moment you evacuate the body, and you, with him, will “lift up your eyes in hell, being in torments.” Will you not settle this matter quickly? We are so exceedingly fortunate in the Biographer who gives us these two antipodal characters. We are all fond of reading biographies; but there is one serious trouble which looks us all in the face, and that is, that no biographer in all the ages has ever delineated his subject beyond the grave when they reach the dark river, the black curtain always falls.

    Consequently all human biography is restricted to this life. Not so with Dives and Lazarus. Our Biographer is as familiar with eternity as time.

    Consequently, He unhesitatingly pursues both of these characters, right through the dark portal of death, into the infinite beyond, giving us the history of one of them as wailing in the flames of hell; and the other, wafted by the angels to the paradise of God. Be sure that, in the clear light of the Holy Ghost, you calculate your spiritual latitude and longitude, and ascertain definitely and indubitably whether you are in the succession of Dives or Lazarus!

    CHAPTER - OFFENSES Luke 17:1,2. “And He said to His disciples, It is impossible that offenses should not come; but woe unto him by whom they come! It is better for him if a millstone is hanged about his neck, and he has been precipitated into the sea, rather than that he may offend one of these little ones.” Offense is scandalon , “a stumbling-block,” laid in the way of any one, over which he stumbles and falls. Jesus has much to say about the little ones, always giving them prominent recognition as members of His kingdom, whether natural infants or spiritual babes in Christ. The world, and even the Church, is under a deep sleep in reference to this awful responsibility. The greatest possible care and vigilance should be on us all at this point, lest we, even inadvertently, should prove the unfortunate instrument in leading little children and young converts into sin. How innocent and unsuspecting they are, and consequently their fearful susceptibility of being led astray! Little things may induce or provoke them to do what they know -to be wrong, thus grieving the Holy Spirit, falling under condemnation, and becoming backsliders. O what a delicate point, and what an awful responsibility! The reason why it is “impossible that offenses should not come” is because of human probation, which implies trial, and of course temptation. So long as we are in this world, we are all on trial, and liable to run over a stumbling-block and fall. O how we need the genuine sanctification, which gives us the wings of perennial victory, and qualifies us, by the help of the blessed Holy Spirit, to fly over every stumbling-block, even though as broad as the “Rockies” and as high as Pike’s Peak!

    FORGIVENESS INDEFINITE Luke 17:3,4. “Take heed unto yourselves: If thy brother may sin, correct him: if he may repent, forgive him. And if he may sin against thee seven times a day, and turn unto thee, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him.” This Scripture follows in immediate connection with the preceding on offenses. The rabbis taught that we should not forgive more than three times, as a rule; and in extreme cases, and under the most apologetical circumstances, not more than seven times. You see that our Savior makes the matter utterly indefinite, as seven times a day would actually run up to twenty-five hundred a year. Consequently there is to be no limitation whatever on this line. O how plain and unmistakable is the teaching of our Lord on every matter of duty and responsibility! It is utterly impossible to abide in God’s kingdom and knowingly disobey. Our only hope of heaven is to walk in all the light of God’s Word, Spirit, providence, and our own consciences.

    QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY Luke 17:5,6. “And the apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith.

    And the Lord said, If you have faith as a seed of mustard, you said to this sycamine-tree, Be thou plucked up and planted in the sea, and it obeyed you.” The apostles, heating and considering His weighty and straight deliverances on offenses and forgiveness, feel convicted for entire sanctification, which they received two months from that date, when Jesus, from heaven, poured on them the sanctifying baptism of the Holy Ghost.

    Under this conviction they pray for an increase of faith. Jesus notifies them that a greater quantity of the justifying faith, which they then had, is not what they need; but a purer and move efficient quality of faith. Though it may be very small, like the mustard-seed, since faith is the hand of the soul by which it takes hold of God, the power has nothing to do with the size or strength of the hand, because it is not in the hand, but in God. Touch the galvanic battery with the end of your little finger, and you get as big a shock as if you took it in your arms. We need no great amount of faith for entire sanctification; but we do need faith, definite and straight, for that very thing, and so condensed and concentrated that every vestige of doubt has been eliminated, and there is nothing left but actual, real, and genuine faith.

    Now with that faith, though small like the mustard-seed, touch heaven’s battery, and you will receive a Pentecostal shock. Take hold of the Omnipotent Savior for entire sanctification, and the old up as-tree of inbred sin will leap up out of your soul’s soil, and root and branch, pursuant to the Divine toss, light in the sea of forgetfulness. These bold metaphors about the “tree” and the “sea” symbolize tremendous spiritual truths. The sycamine in Palestine is the mulberry-tree, and not the sycamore, as some have supposed, Which is the Egyptian fig-tree.

    THE HERESY OF SUPEREROGATION Luke 17:7-10. “And which one of you having a servant, plowing or herding stock, who will say to him, having returned from the field, having come in immediately, Sit down to eat? But will he not say to him, Prepare what I may sup, and girding thyself, wait on me until t may eat and drink, and alter these things, you eat and drink? Does he thank the servant because he did those things which were commanded? So you, when you may do all things which have been commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do.” False religions, in all ages, have taught salvation by legal obedience. Judaism was deep in this heresy in the days of Christ. Pagans, Moslems, and Romanists are wrapped in that fond delusion this day, blinded by the devil, depending on their own good works. priestly intercession and absolution, to save them — a dismal nightmare from the bottomless pit, manipulated by demons, and stealing on religious people before they are aware, lulling them into deeper slumber, as the years by, till they are awakened by the awful thunder-peals of their own damnation. This seductive heresy is fast stealing in on the Protestant Churches, substituting Church loyalty for holiness of heart and life, and so beguiling the preachers that thousands of them are giving the people a clear record and an easy conscience if they will pay all their dues, attend all the meetings, and thus prove their loyalty to the Church week in and week out; meanwhile they can take recreations in the devil’s fandangoes, neglect family prayer, and thus turn over the home to the devil, and get up as many Church frolics as they want for jollification and pastime, thus practically receiving a ticket through the Church down to hell, and really degrading the house of God into a mere tollgate, at which the people must pay their way to the bottomless pit. We are saved, not by our own work, or that of the preacher, but by the work of Christ, which we receive by faith. ( Ephesians 2:8) Our Savior clearly exposes this seductive heresy by a simple illustration of the man an, his servant. When the latter has done all of his work the former does not thank him, because he simply did, his duty.

    Hence the utter impossibility to bring God under the slightest obligation to us, from the fact that all of our time, members, faculties, resources, and facilities belong to God, and our very best service is due His every moment. This is an exceedingly important truth which our Savior enforces so clearly that no one can be mistaken, sweeping away forever the idea of salvation by works in any sense whatever, and the bare possibility of bringing God under any obligation to us. Hence everything we receive from Him, spiritual and temporary is the free and unmerited gift of God for Christ’s sake alone, which we receive by faith alone, radical repentance putting the sinner on believing ground, where he can b justified by faith, and utter and eternal abandonment of all things, temporal and spiritual, to God in entire consecration, putting the Christian on believing ground, to be sanctified wholly by faith alone, in every case a: obedient life following as the normal fruit of your faith and whose absence is demonstrative proof of spurious profession or subsequent apostasy.

    THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNOBSERVABLE Luke 17:20,21. “And being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God is coming, He responded to them and said, The kingdom of God comes not wit observation; neither shall they say, Lo here or there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” Our Savior’s teaching is frequently enigmatical, elaborating and enforcing some isolated phase of truth, as in this case, when the whole multitude had imbibed the idea, always prevalent among the Jews, that the Messiah is to be their King. This impression, received by a few about the beginning of His ministry, and frequently increasing under the influence of His stupendous miracles until He is constrained to render Himself invisible and change His location in order to keep them from crowning Him King, has been constantly increasing through the three years of His ministry; especially since He came to Southern Palestine, nearly six months ago, has the popular fide been constantly rising; and since His open proclamation of His Christhood at Caesarea-Philippi, a short time before He left Galilee, His preaching has been more and more conducive to the open avowal of His Messiahship. The resurrection of Lazarus, about a week previous to this date, gave a tremendous impetus to the popular apprehension of His Christhood; and now, during these several days of His sojourn in Perea, the multitudes are following Him with great excitement, much trepidation, solicitude, and thrilling anticipation that He is about to proclaim Himself King and ascend the throne of Judea. At this critical epoch, when the multitudes are momentarily on the lookout for His assumption of the royal scepter, and bounding with eager enthusiasm to crown Him King, the Pharisees, watching Him with hawk-eyes every moment, propound this insidious question, as they had no good motives in the matter, “When is the kingdom of God coming?” To whom He responds, “The kingdom of God comes not with observation;” i.e. , “When the kingdom of God comes, you will not see it.” Let us all profit by this correction given to the materialistic Pharisees. We go out and hold meetings, and, as Jesus says, if you do not see signs and wonders you will not believe. So it is with the present generation. If the people do not crowd the altar, and make great demonstrations, we think nothing is being done. This is our mistake. The thunder never kills anything. It is the silent lightning of the Holy Ghost that does all of the execution. Many an undemonstrative meeting has brought the kingdom to more souls than others where they joined the Church in platoons. The Holy Ghost is the Executive of the kingdom, working silently and unobserved in the deep interior of the heart, bringing the people to that repentance which evacuates the kingdom of Satan, and working in them the faith which cheers the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the Divine Government, established by the Holy Ghost in all truly humble, penitent, believing hearts. You can not see the Government of the United States. Yet it is everywhere, prevailing from ocean to ocean. But you can see the officers of the Government, and the work it is doing. While no one can observe the kingdom of God, because it is invisible and inaudible, like its Divine Executive, the Holy Ghost, yes you can see the officers of the kingdom and its work. Our Savior here lays a tremendous emphasis on the real spiritual essence of the kingdom, which is silently wrought in the human spirit and life by the invisible and inaudible Spirit of God. The E.V. translation of this passage, “The kingdom of God is within you,” upon a moment’s recognition, the reader will pronounce incorrect, as He was answering the insidious question propounded by those malicious, hypocritical, unbelieving Pharisees, with no good motive in view, but capriciously seeking to entangle Him, and if possible secure an accusation under which they could arraign Him, either before the Sanhedrin or the proconsul. The true reading of this passage is, “The kingdom of God is among you,” involving the conclusion: “Here are My apostles and disciples in your midst, mud scattered about over the country, who have the kingdom of God in their hearts, and here am I, their King, in the midst of you.

    Consequently the kingdom of God has already come, and is among you.”

    OUR LORD’S SECOND COMING Luke 17:22 , and 18:8. “And He said to the disciples, The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and shall not see it.” Having answered the captious question of those critical Pharisees, informing them that the kingdom of God, which comes by the silent, invisible work of the Holy Ghost in the heart, is already among them, though in their gross spiritual blindness they are utterly unapprehensive of the fact, He now turns and addresses His disciples with reference to Himself, stating to them that the days will soon come when they will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man and shall not see it.

    As this is only about eight or nine days before His crucifixion, He notifies them that, having been with them three years, He is going to leave them, and they will desire to see Him and be with Him as hitherto, but shall not be able; this idea of His departure and return now running on into a beautiful and sublime revelation and exposition of His return back to the earth, where they will see Him again.

    WARNING AGAINST IMPOSTORS Luke 17:23,24. “And they will say to you, Lo here! lo there! Go not away, neither pursue them; for as the lightning, shining from the region under heaven, flashes out to that which is under heaven, so shall the Son of man be in His day.” Jesus knew that impostors were going to rise, and they did. Theudas, Simon Magus, Marchochab, and many others, did rise in that generation. So Jesus is warning them against these impostors who are going to rise, claiming to be Christ, and lead many after them, doomed to destruction. Now He gives a clear and unmistakable manifestation of His own coming, amply sufficient to fortify all of His disciples, in all coming ages, against imposture. So you see that when our Lord returns to the earth, a great light, like lightning, will flash athwart the firmament, girdling the globe with its splendor and glory, pouting its sweeping illuminations into every land and nation, so that “every eye shall behold Him.” ( Revelation 1:7) There is no reason why the disciples of the Lord should ever run after impostors, because the revelation of our Lord’s return will be so demonstrative that none can fail to find it out; and with the light of this Scripture before us, we can actually know that it is none other than the splendor radiating out from the glorified Savior, whose visible person will quickly appear to all the earth.

    HIS SUFFERINGS Luke 17:25. “But in the first place, it behooveth Him to suffer many things, and to be set at naught by this generation.” The whole panorama of the Messianic history was simultaneously moving before His eyes. He saw the cruel mob, the frowning tribunals, the rugged cross, the bloody death, and the open sepulcher before His eyes, anticipating Him in a little more than a week; and at the same time the unutterable glory of His second coming was equally vivid and conspicuous.

    THE DAYS OF NOAH Luke 17:26,27. “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, getting married, until the day on which Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Abel was a holy man, and God’s first martyr, succeeded by his brother Seth in the leadership of the antediluvian Holiness Church; while Cain was the patriarchal founder of the Antiholiness Church, being very religious, as we see from his offering to the Lord; but no bloodi. e ., no sanctification. After many centuries of separation, unfortunately the holiness people intermarried with the Cainites, the latter predominating and leading the former into worldliness, till the lights of truth and holiness had yielded to an almost total eclipse amid the fogs of worldly wickedness and dead Churchism, till God in mercy found it necessary to interpose, and miraculously give victory and a new start to His truth and righteousness on the earth, lest the last hope of humanity should go down in the gloom of rayless night, thus bringing the flood on an ungodly world, which He saw, if let alone, would do nothing but populate hen. Therefore, in mercy interposing to arrest the otherwise hopeless, hellward-bound trend, He rescued the only surviving righteous family to populate the newborn world, Noah’s ark, in which the faithful few mounted the raging floods and rode above a perishing world, emblematizing the cloud in which the faithful few will be caught up when the Lord comes. Here you see our Lord’s description of the business rush among the antediluvians, going fight on till the flood came. So the legitimate conclusion follows that this wicked world will be, like the people before the flood, engrossed and bewildered with transitory things, heeding not the solemn warnings we have in this precious Book, amply sufficient to fortify us against all delusion and surprise. So it was in the days of Noah, who knew well that the flood was coming, and preached it to the people; yet they believed him not, but rushed right on in their worldly impetuosity till the flood came and took them all away. Our Infallible Savior assures us that a repetition of these events is impending at the time of His coming. God help us to be true, and, like Noah, warn the people, and thus clear our skirts of their blood! If they believe us, it will be well for them; if not, we have delivered our souls.

    THE DAYS OF LOT Luke 17:28-30. “Likewise it was thus in the days of Lot. They were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; and on the day Lot went out from Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from heaven, and destroyed them all. According to these things shall it be in the day the Son of man is revealed.” Among the cities which dotted the Salt Sea round and round in the beautiful Vale of Siddim, indescribably fertile, and “well watered as the garden of the Lord,” encompassed by the mountains of Simeon, Judah, and Benjamin on the west, and those of Moab on the east, the largest and most prominent were Sodom and Gomorrah. We not only have Lot’s testimony as to the fertility, irrigation, and prosperity of this country, but ( Genesis 14) we find four great kings coming from Babylon, Nineveh, Persia, and Mesopotamia to invade this country, conquer it, and carry away the spoils. Hence it must have been very important. At present that whole region is desolate and barren, without an inhabitant, unless the wandering Arab should there pitch his tent. It is now a desert for the want of water, whereas the Bible assures us that in the days of its prosperity it was “well watered.” The soil is now very rich, and would be exceedingly productive if the rains fell on it. It is by all authorities admitted that the very site of Sodom and Gomorrah is now under the waters of the Dead Sea, so called because no fish can live in its waters, which doubtless abounded with valuable fish before the retribution of the Almighty fell on it, destroying the cities with fire and brimstone, withering and blighting all the surrounding country, so that death reigns without a rival, and the sea is significantly denominated “Dead.” The ruins of cities are found all around on the coast of that sea, while all authorities locate Sodom and Gomorrah within the territory now occupied by the sea. Just as Lot and his family were delivered from the awful doom of Sodom and Gomorrah, so will the saints be delivered when the Lord cometh. Jesus here says, with reference to both Noah and Lot, that they illustrate the state of things — calamities on the wicked and deliverance to the righteous — when the Son of man is revealed.

    EXPEDITION Luke 17:31,32. “In that day, let him who shall be upon the housetop, and his goods in the house, not come down to take them; and he who is in the field, likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife.” From these and many other clear affirmations of our Savior, we learn that He will come very suddenly, giving no time for any preparations after the great light shall flash athwart the sky, belting the globe with the splendors of His glory, and attracting the attention of all the people in the world. “Every eye shall behold Him.” ( Revelation 1:7) Lot’s wife, in the precipitate flight from burning Sodom, only looked back, and, as E.V. says, was turned to a pillar of salt. The R.V. is evidently the more correct, rendering it “a monument of warning,” as the presumption is she dropped dead in her tracks. That whole country gives every manifestation of volcanic influence. Where E.V. says, “God rained on them fire and brimstone from heaven,” the verb is impersonal, and properly rendered, “It mined on them fire and brimstone,” corroborating the hypothesis that these cities in the Vale of Siddim were destroyed by volcanic eruptions. In that case the brimstone gases are awfully suffocating. I tried them when I visited the crater of Mount Vesuvius. Hence there is quite a plausibility in the conclusion that the woman, halting and facing the scene, fell dead by suffocation of the sulfurous exhalations. As God rules the material world, with its oceans, seas, mineral resources, and volcanic fires, the hypothesis which imputes the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes is in perfect harmony with the Biblical history, imputing it directly to Divine intervention. The Dead Sea, which is about a thousand feet deep. doubtless occupied a much smaller area before the destruction of those cities, as now all authorities certify that the site of Sodom and Gomorrah is covered by the sea. Antecedently to that notable epoch, the Vale of Siddim, encompassing the Salt Sea, was exceedingly prosperous.

    Now, while the soil is immensely rich, it is all desert for the want of water, rains never falling there, and without an inhabitant except the roaming Bedouin. I have visited it twice, both times being under the necessity of hiring an armed escort. All this is a most striking and incontestable manifestation of the Divine retribution, which rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, not only burning the cities, but bursting up and consuming the great strata of bitumen and asphaltum by the heaving of earthquakes and the eruptions of volcanoes, changing the face of the entire country, consuming the foundation and reducing the surface, and thus letting in the thundering sea, whose rolling billows for these thirty-eight hundred years have passed over the streets where once thronged the precipitate multitudes of these mighty cities. Such was the impregnation of the waters by the excessive quantities of sulfur, bitumen, asphaltum, and other poisons, as to render them so buoyant that the human body will not sink, and so caustic that no animal can live in them. Since the destruction of those cities, that country, once the garden of the East, has been deserted by the rain-clouds till utter desolation has monopolized it these long, rolling centuries. Ezekiel 47:1-12, tells us about the glorious redemption which awaits this wrath-smitten country in the coming millennium, when that great river, coming out of Jerusalem, shall course down the mountains into the Vale of Siddim, redeeming all of that desolate land, and transforming it into the garden of the Lord, and pouting into the Salt Sea, which has been denominated the Dead Sea ever since the calamitous visitation, healing its waters, so that they will be again occupied by vast quantities of valuable fishes, and the shore again dotted with thriving villages and populous cities, while the whole surrounding country shall again groan beneath the abundant harvests, the luscious semi-tropical fruits everywhere saluting the eye and gladdening the heart. The prophet says that the, grand restoration shall extend from Engedi — which means the “goat-spring” — a short distance below the, southern terminus of the Dead Sea, to Enrogel, which is a celebrated well in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, thus including the Vale of Siddim, encompassing the Dead Se and the wilderness of Judea, an arid desert, extending from the plain toward Jerusalem, within about a dozen miles of the city.

    SANCTIFICATION AND GLORIFICATION Luke 17:33. “Whosoever may seek to save his soul shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose it, shall find it.” The E.V. here says “life,” where I have translated “soul.” The Greek is not zoe , “life,” but psyche , the regular word always used for soul. If you will analyze the above translation contrastively with the E.V., you will find it much more harmonious with the uniform teaching of God’s Word. Where James speaks of the “double minded,” the Greek says “double souled,” making the application to the unsanctified Christian — the sinner having one bad soul; the wholly sanctified, one good soul and the unsanctified having the depraved soul with which he was born, but now in a subjugated state, an, also tile good soul imparted in regeneration, but involved in an irrepressible conflict with the old enemy which he found dwelling in the heart. Now, if you see: to save the soul with which you are born into the work after doing your best you will wake up in hell. But: you turn over that fallen soul, which is none other than old Adam, to Adam the Second, and let Him slay him with the sword of the Spirit, then you will find your bright, spotless, immortal soul. in coming eternity, triumphant among the angels and all right. Sanctification must qualify you for the bridehood of Christ and a place in the first resurrection. The Greek zoogoneo , translated “find,” has a wonderful signification, too ample and complex to be translated by any one word. We can only reach it by circumlocution. It is from zoon , “a living animal,” and ginomai , “to bring forth,” and is the word used in reference to the parturition of the animal kingdom; i.e. , in which a living being is brought forth into life, liberty, and activity infinitely superior to that of the former state. Here it imparts a wonderful signification to the developments which await the living saints at the coming of the Lord, when both soul and body, though formerly alive, will leap into a sphere of life, liberty, glory, and felicity infinitely superior to the former physical life of the body and spiritual life of the soul which we here enjoy in the sanctified state. The illustration enforced by this word is inconceivably vivid and potent, contrasting the life of the glorified soul and body with that of the present state, as the aerial life of an animal is contrasted with its prenatal existence.

    So this word really means the glorification of the souls and bodies of the saints living on the earth when the Lord comes, as well as the resurrection of the sleeping generations, into an identical transfiguration glory.

    THE RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS Luke 17:34,35. “I say unto you, That night two men shall be on one couch; one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.” As the coming of the Lord will be simultaneous to all the world, the sun shining on one hemisphere and the night enveloping the other, you see “the night ,” here specified as the time of His coming, must have a symbolic signification, typifying the sudden surprise which will light on the whole world when that most notable of all events shall transpire, as if all were lying wrapped in lethean slumber. It is really wonderful how the customs and popular habits stand still in the Bible lands, the people still sickling their wheat and barley and treading it out with cattle, and the women grinding it with their little hand-mills, sitting on either side, the one turning and the other feeding and taking out the flour. There is a deeply significant providence in this strange immutability of Oriental customs. These women are still holding on to the hand-mill, waiting for the Lord to come, and take one and leave the other.

    This is a clear reference to His pre-millennial coming to take away His bride, as it can not refer to the final judgment, as at that time all will be taken and none left. ( Revelation 20:11-15) THE CARCASS AND THE EAGLES Luke 17: 37. “And responding, they say to Him, Where, Lord? And He said to them, Where the carcass is, there the eagles will also be gathered.” This statement is momentously significant. Humanity has always been a failure, every dispensation winding up with tremendous calamities — Eden, with the fall; the Antediluvian, with the flood; the Patriarchal, with slavery, the desolating plagues, the death of the first-born, and the drowning of Pharaoh’s army. Now, the awful doom o£ Judaism is hastening and her destruction ripening. Jesus sees the Roman armies coming to obliterate the nation and annihilate the Jewish polity. Judaism at that time, both political and ecclesiastical, was well comparable to an old carcass, full of diseases, rotten, odoriferous, and already seeming up the birds of prey. The vulture belongs to the eagle species, mad is here really meant, as the bird of all others most voracious of carrion. It would be an exceedingly superficial view of these prophecies that would restrict them to their merely preliminary fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem; whereas you see plainly that the great moment is our Lord’s second coming, which did not take place at that time. He began this discourse by reminding His disciples of His speedy death, resurrection, ascension, and utter removal from the earth, and their subsequent anxiety “to see one of the days of the Son of man.” Hence you observe the emphasis laid on His personal coming throughout, and at the same time the warning He gives them in reference to the signs which would precede the destruction of Jerusalem, posting them lest they be led astray with reference to His coming, and at the same time assuring them that His personal return to the earth will be so distinctly marked that no one can possibly be mistaken, as “every eye shall see Him.” Now, we know that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, neither the rapture of the saints nor the gathering of the eagles, except in a preliminary sense at the termination of preceding dispensations. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool; His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fire stream issued, and came forth from before Him; a thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him… I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” ( Daniel 7:9-14.)

    This is a clear and unmistakable prophecy setting forth the glorious premillennial coming of the Lord, preceded by the Ancient of Days — i. e ., the Father — who has nobody, and is consequently invisible, but will come, and, as you here see, shake every monarch from his throne, both political and ecclesiastical, thus clearing the way for the coronation of His Son, according to His promise, “Sit Thou on My right hand, until I may make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Do you not see in the above quotation from Daniel, that when the Father comes to “cast down the thrones,” He will be accompanied by innumerable hosts of angels? Quite legitimate is the conclusion that these are angels of vengeance — i. e., destroying angels — executive of the just retribution which the righteous government will inflict upon the usurpers of earth when the awful castigatory wars of Armageddon, so prominent in the prophecies, shall vacate every human throne for the coronation of the Son, as you see in verse 14, King of kings and Lord of lords, to reign forever. Hence these destroying angels are symbolized by the eagles, that will devour the old, corrupt, and debauched body of the Gentile dispensation, both political and ecclesiastical, thus literally verifying the “great tribulation.”

    CHAPTER - THE UNJUST JUDGE AND THE INDEFATIGABLE WIDOW Luke 18:1-8. This paragraph on the Lord’s second coming begins with the twenty-second verse of the seventeenth chapter, and runs through the eighth verse of the eighteenth chapter. Of course you know there is no significance arising from the division into chapters and verses, as it was never made by an inspired hand, but by men of quite modem date, whose knowledge of the Scripture was, to say the least, very ordinary, as in many instances they seriously mar the trend of truth by breaking up the connection. This is one of those noted cases where they have inserted the eighteenth chapter in the middle of this beautiful paragraph revelatory of our Lord’s return to earth. “And He spoke to them a parable to the end that they themselves ought always to pray, and not to faint.” The E.V. insertion of “men,” which you see by the italics is not in the original, is quite misleading; as you see our Savior is addressing His disciples directly, and here uses the definite pronoun, showing clearly that His disciples are the subject of the verb “pray.” As this passage is generally entirely misconstrued as to both the subject and the object of he prayer, I hope you will see the connection, and understand the deliverances of our Lord in this paragraph.

    N. B. — The leading thought-in this paragraph is His second coming, while His disciples are the subjects addressed, because the world neither knows nor cares anything about either the first or the second advent.

    Having emphasized so forcibly the fact and the importance of His return, He now tells His disciples they should constantly pray for it, as E.V., “ought always to pray, and not to faint,” remembering that His disciples (as “ought” means) are under obligation — i. e ., it is our duty to Him as our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, glorious Lord, and coming King — always to pray for His coming, and never to faint; i.e. , never give way to indifference or despondency so that we cease to pray incessantly and importunately for the return of our ascended Lord. This conclusion is abundantly and transcendently sustained by the following parable, and consequently no mistake about it. “Saying, There was a certain judge in a certain city, neither fearing God nor regarding man.” You will see that this unjust judge emblematizes God Almighty in point of independency. Our Savior here gives us one of His grand a-fortiori arguments. “And there was a widow in that city, and she continued to come to him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.” While the unjust judge here, as to independency, represents God, the widow is the Church, which is constantly typified by a woman, and now in widowhood, because her Divine Husband has ascended up to heaven. Now this poor widow has an awful enemyi. e ., the devil — who troubles her incessantly. Ercheto , “continued to go,” is in the imperfect tense, showing an existing custom; i.e. , this woman has been going night and day, and pleading with God to send Jesus back to the earth, that He may put the devil out, and reign without a rival. “And he was not willing for a time; and after these things he said in himself, Even though I fear not God, nor regard man, because this widow giveth me trouble, I will avenge her, lest coming on forever she may smite me in the face.” You see our translation is much stronger than the E.V. Hupopiadze is from hupopion , “the cheek bone,” and here in the verb form; so the literal meaning is, “Hit me on the cheek-bone” — i. e ., “Smite me in the face;” or to use an American phrase, “Give me a black eye.” This old tyrant, who neither fears God nor regards man, is so annoyed by the widow coming incessantly and pleading with him to deliver her from her intolerable adversary, that, though he really cares nothing about the matter, he finally concludes to grant her request, because he believes that if he does not, she will come on indefinitely, annoying the life out of him, and finally, becoming desperate, actually smite him in the face. In view of, these stringent considerations, he resolves to avenge her of her adversary, simply in order to get rid of her.

    Jesus is not only the plainest, but the most forcible Preacher the world ever saw.

    N. B. — This is an a-fortiori argument, which always commands a sweeping and overwhelming conclusion; e.g. , if this reckless old tyrant, centered all in self, would avenge this widow simply to get rid of her, how infinitely, inconceivably, and overwhelmingly conclusive the argument that our loving Heavenly Father, having all power in heaven and in earth, and at the same time full of kindness, pity, sympathy, and the tenderest Fatherly affection and superabounding in redeeming love, will certainly avenge the poor widowed Church, who, through the ages, continues to come, and under no circumstances will she be put off or relax her importunity, praying night and day to her Heavenly Father to send Jesus back to cast the devil out, because he torments her night and day, laying a thousand stratagems to capture her children and drag them into hell! “And the Lord said, Hear ye what the unjust judge says. And must not God execute vengeance in behalf of His own elect, who cry day and night unto Him, and lie suffereth long in their behalf? I say unto you that He will execute vengeance in their behalf quickly. Moreover, the Son of man having come, will He then find faith on the earth?” We must leave everything where the Lord puts it. By this powerful a-fortiori argument He proves His own return to the earth, responsive to the prayers of His disciples, represented by this importunate widow, who is none other than the Church, bereaved of her ascended Lord, and during His absence suffering awful and intolerable harassment by the devil, who, “knowing his time is short,” is stirring earth and hell to get the regions of woe well populated before the Lord comes and casts him out. ( Revelation 20:3) Now you see that when the Lord comes, He will find but little faith on the earth. How is that? Why, everything must be left where Jesus put it. Do you not see that this question, which evidently involves a negative answer, warranting the conclusion that faith will be quite scarce on the earth when the Lord returns, winds up this paragraph of twenty-three verses on the Lord’s coming? Therefore you see it means faith appertaining to this subject; i.e. , involving the conclusion that when the Lord comes, it will be an awful and shocking surprise to all the people on the earth, good and bad, with the exception of a few, represented by this importunate widowi . e., the true, holy Church of Christ — who, in all ages has been praying for His return, living night and day in anticipation of His coming. To her it will be no surprise, as she will run to meet Him with a shout. After these tremendously urgent and stringent deliverances of our Lord on the subject of His second coming, admonishing all of His disciples to pray for it incessantly, and not to fainti. e ., never waver nor hesitate, nor doubt the propriety of so doing--how strange that so few who claim to be the disciples of Christ are actually praying the Father to send Him down on the throne of His glory, that He may cast the devil out and reign forever! When they see this positive affirmation of Jesus to His disciples that they ought constantly to pray for His coming and never cease, how strange that we find even holiness people, not only neglecting to preach this glorious truth and pray the Father to send back His Son, but even attempting to lay an embargo on those who do preach these grand truths and pray for His corning! As we see here that very few will He find on the earth who have faith for His coming, and are consequently looking for Him, is not that sufficient inspiration to stir up every reader of these pages to aspire to a place in that small number who have faith in His coming, are praying for His return, and on the constant outlook?

    HUMILITY AND PRIDE Luke 18:9-14. “And He spoke this parable also to certain ones, having confidence in themselves that they are righteous, and treat others with contempt: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.” The holy Temple Campus contains thirty-five acres, consecrated to God, and regarded even to this day as most holy. Since none but the priests were allowed to enter the temple proper, we conclude that these two men simply entered the sacred enclosure, and proceeded to pray. “The Pharisee, standing, prayed after this manner: God, I thank Thee, because I am not like the rest of men, unrighteous, adulterous, or even as this publican. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all things so many as I possess.” Tithe-paying is all right, and we do not blame the Pharisee for thanking God that he was not guilty of vulgar vices and midnight iniquities.

    This is all fight. We ought to thank God for keeping us from terrible sin, which ruin soul and body, world without end. If the publican was guilty of dark sins which this Pharisee would blush to contemplate, and from which he. would recoil with horror, it is all right to thank God for the happy deliverance and the enviable contrast. “The publican, standing a great way off, did not wish to lift up his eyes toward heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me the sinner! I say unto you that he went down to his house justified rather than that one; because every one exalting himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Jesus here tells the secret of the great difference between these two men. We have no right to call in question the testimony of that Pharisee as to the moral purity of his life and his amiable loyalty to the Church. That was all right, and very pertinent that he should thank God for it. O the millions of Church members who are in the succession of this Pharisee, depending on morality, legal obedience, and Church loyalty to save them! All such go down to hell, since Jesus alone can save. Here we have the clear affirmation that this publican, so despised by the Jews because he collected revenue for the Roman Government, went down to his house justified, while the Pharisee, the nice, honorable Church member, went to his house one hour nearer hell than when he went to the temple. As the publican was no Church member, had no consolation, and nothing to bolster him up, consequently the Holy Ghost had unobstructed access to him, giving him such an awful presentment of hell, damnation, eternity, and doom that, in the bitter anguish of despair, his heart was so heavy that he could not look up, while sheer agony of spirit constrained him W beat his breast with horror, crying out, “God, be merciful unto me a sinner!” Etupen , “smote,” is in the imperfect tense, showing that as there he stood, crying to God, he continued repeatedly to smite his breast, not in a formal way, but spontaneously, thus giving vent to the unutterable agony of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. God never turns away a case of that kind. Of course, he returned home justified, born from above, adopted into the heavenly family, and gloriously saved. You see from these two contrastive cases how Church membership, with its false comforts, is adroitly used by Satan in the damnation of millions. Hence we conclude that it is unsafe to receive or retain sinners in the membership of the Church, as Satan is certain to slip in like a weasel and persuade them, as he did this man, that if they keep the commandments, live good, moral lives, and show up their loyalty to the Church by paying all their dues, they are justified.

    You see from this parable that this conclusion is untrue, and a fond delusion of Satan for the damnation of souls. Hence if we can not get people truly and experimentally saved, we should neither receive nor retain them in the membership of the Church, lest they lean on it, as this man did, and lose their souls.

    THE DIVORCE PROBLEM Matthew 19:3-12 , and Mark 10:2-12. “And the Pharisees coming to Him, asked Him if it is lawful for a man to put away his wife, tempting Him.” The Jews were very lax in their matrimonial relations, often sending away their wives for very trivial causes. Even a great man like Josephus chronicles — apparently innocently — as he writes his histories, “This day I sent away my wife.” These Pharisees, as well as the people generally, were very appreciative of their privilege in this easy way to get rid of their wives. Consequently they interrogate Jesus on the subject, hopeful to catch something from His lips on which they can found an accusation, or at least render Him odious with the people. “He, responding, said to them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses permitted us to write a tablet of divorcement, and to put her away.” Matthew says that Moses permitted divorcements “on account of the hardness of their hearts;” i.e. , the incompatibility of tempers. The Mosaic dispensation being the infantile department of the Church, the standard was not so high as that of the gospel. “Jesus, responding, said to them, Moses wrote to you this commandment on account of the hardness of your heart; but from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. On account of this, a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife; and they two shall be one flesh. Therefore what God hath joined together, let not man separate. And again, His disciples in the house asked Him concerning this. And He says to them, Whosoever may put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery with reference to her; and if a woman may put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Matthew : “But I say unto you that whosoever may put away his wife, not for fornication, and may marry another, committeth adultery; and the one having married her who is put away, committeth adultery.” The E.V. in Matthew 5:31, says, “Whosoever marrieth a divorced woman committeth adultery.” There is a great popular illusion and misunderstanding arising from the above erroneous translation in the E.V. The word apolelumenen does not mean the divorced woman, but simply, as R.V. has it, “the cast-off woman.” The truth of it is, she has no right to a divorce, and her husband has run her off for some unjustifiable cause. Consequently she is still his wife, and will be so as long as they both live. Therefore the reason why the man marrying her commits adultery, is because he has married the other man’s wife. Instead of there being a prohibition on the marrying of divorced people, the truth is diametrically opposite — a Scriptural divorce liberating the parties for another marriage, “only in the Lord.” ( Corinthians 7:39) a. The Divine, Edenic institution of matrimony unifies husband and wife, so they are “no longer twain, but one flesh;” not one spirit, as the spiritual unity is with God alone. Consequently no man has a right to interfere with the religious liberty of his wife, nec contra . b. There is absolutely but one justifiable cause of divorce, and that is the dark sin of adultery, which in its very nature destroys the conjugal unity, and thus nullifies the matrimonial covenant, making them twain again, the divorcement being but a recognition of the fact that their matrimonial unity, being destroyed, is now null and void. c. Apostasion , “divorcement,” is the word which, slightly modified, has been transferred to the English language; i.e. , apostasy. Consequently you readily apprehend the meaning of a divorce. Just as, apostasy takes the soul out of the kingdom of God back into the dominion of Satan, so the Scriptural divorce takes your body out of the matrimonial covenant and puts it back in the realm of celibacy; i.e. , the divorce so utterly rescinds the nuptial alliance as to return both parties into celibacy. d. The States are all filled up with unlawful divorces, the civil government granting them for a diversity of causes other than the one specified by the Savior. Of course, all such divorces are null and void, the parties standing in the sight of God as if they had never been given. e. Of course, the design of the divorce is the relief and protection of the innocent party. But as you can not have a marriage without two, the same is true in reference to divorcement. Consequently the legal divorce affects the guilty along with the innocent. You say it is not right, as he is in no way entitled to it. The admission of your premise does not change the conclusion. Many dark sins never receive their just retribution in this life.

    The man who overtly violates the matrimonial covenant in order to get a divorce, must meet God, and account for the dark crime, not only of adultery, but perjury. Turn him over to God. He is certain to give him justice. f . We should be very careful not to grieve those whom God has not grieved. I find the Lord’s people, in many localities in my travels, grieved, afflicted, snubbed, ostracized, and in some cases publicly denounced, on the charge of having two living wives or two living husbands, when really the parties have been Scripturally divorced from their former consorts before marrying the latter. This is unjust. If you are Scripturally divorced, she is no longer your wife, or he is no longer your husband. Consequently it is not true that he has two living wives, or that she has two living husbands. g . In my extensive travels I meet all sorts of matrimonial complexities, which bring me to my knees before God, that He may give me-light to answer the complicated questions propounded by the good and sincere people, who are anxious to do the will of God and get to heaven: e.g. , men and women who during the unsaved period of their lives, got married and separated, receiving civil, but unscriptural, divorcement; then, marrying others, have families of children, homes, and a diversity of domestic interests. Meanwhile they have been converted to God, are Church members, and frequently professors of sanctification. I have found them much disturbed over this problem, preachers and prominent saints having told them that they ought to separate. now, before God and the judgmentbar, let me warn you to slowly, lest the last error be worse than the first. If it is your duty to administer temporal support to a former companion from whom you illegally separated, be sure that you satisfy your conscience when, on your knees, you tell God all about it. You see in these Scriptures that Moses granted a divorcement on account of the hardness of their hearts; i .e ., when they fell out, and could not live together in peace. Under the new dispensation of-entire sanctification, the normal attitude of the gospel Church contemplates the removal of all of these evil tempers, so there is no need of a divorce. h. Though we are not under the dispensation of Moses, I am sorry to say that the rank and file of the Church, both clergy and laity, are there to-day.

    This is evinced in the fact that they neither preach, seek, nor enjoy full salvation, which is the standard of the New Testament Church. Now, I assure you the Mosaic dispensation is a million times better than that of the devil. Therefore, if your matrimonial relations are not fully up to the New Testament standard, you can fall back and live in the dispensation of Moses. But be sure that you go on your knees, and settle all this matter before God, who, in infinite mercy, requires no impossibilities. Perhaps there are matters in your past life which it is impossible for you to rectify.

    Then turn it all over to God, and put it under the blood. Do the best you can, and where impossibilities intervene, your blessed Heavenly Father will take the will for the deed, and in the end say, “Well done.” Be sure you do nothing rashly, and without the triple illumination of heaven through God’s Word, Spirit, and providence.

    CELIBACY Matthew 19:10-12. “His disciples say to Him, If the cause of a man is thus with his wife, it is better not to marry.” Since Jesus thus abrogated all right to divorcement except for fornication, the disciples propound this very practical question, whether it is not better to abstain from matrimony altogether. “Jesus said to them, All do not receive this word, but those to whom it has been given.” Now the meaning of this is very simple. God’s providence is over all of His true people, leading some of them, both brothers and sisters, to abide in celibacy, thus foregoing the privileges of matrimony for the Lord’s sake. Remember, the celibacy here mentioned is super-induced by the Divine guidance, matrimony being the Lord’s order, who, at His own option, doubtless makes many exceptions. “For there are eunuchs who were so born from the womb of their mother.” This affirmation of our Lord includes the people who have been born into the world with deficient genital organs. Of course, all such are excusable for abiding in celibacy. “And there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men.” In bygone ages emasculation was common, especially about royal courts, preparatory for the office of chamberlain and various public offices, especially in regal harems. This custom is still somewhat prevalent in the Old World. We read of the Ethiopian eunuch, who was the chief financial officer of Queen Candace. When I was in Egypt last November, I met an Ethiopian eunuch in the city of Cairo. “And there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of the heavens. Let him who is able to receive it, receive it.” Here you see our Savior throws wide open the door of celibacy for the sake of His kingdom, inviting all to receive it, at their own option, under the Divine leadership. Bishops Asbury, McKendree, and George, those grand heroes of pioneer Methodism in America, all, like St. Paul, lived and died unmarried, being wedded to the gospel of Christ, in which they spent their long, laborious, and useful lives. Doubtless they all wear a brighter crown in heaven this day because of this life of self-denial for the kingdom of heaven, having doubtless traveled more miles, preached more sermons, and led more souls to God, than would have been possible if encumbered with home and family. We are happy to see so many of the holiness people ready to forego matrimony, give up home and all domestic attachments, for the missionary field. God multiply them a thousand-fold, expedite the world’s evangelization, and send along our glorious King!

    THE LITTLE ONES Matthew 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17; Mark 10-13-16. “And they were bringing little children to Him, that He may touch them; and His disciples were rebuking those bringing them.” Matthew says they brought them that He might “put His hands on them and pray.” Luke says they were “infants.” “Jesus seeing them was much displeased, and said to them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and prevent them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Truly I say unto you, Whosoever may not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, can not enter into it. And taking them up in His arms, putting His hands on them, He continued to bless them copiously.” The E.V. has lost much out of this, because the Textus Receptus , from which it was translated, omits the kata in connection with eulogei , and consequently simply reads, “He blessed them,” the true reading being so grand and glorious, “He continued to bless them copiously.” There is no dodging the issue in this paragraph, recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the two former giving us paidia , “little children,” and the latter brephe , “infants.” It is certain they were small enough for Jesus to pick them up in His arms, thus blessing them abundantly and continuously amid loving caresses. This is a clear, bold, and unequivocal corroboration of His former utterances in reference to infants. Though they have inherited a sinful nature from Adam, they are not sinners, but Christians; because they are not only members of God’s kingdom, but normal members, there being no defalcation in their case, like that of adults, who may, with the loudest professions, be hypocrites, as this was-really the case with the Pharisees, who were constantly in His presence. Hence, in the case of irresponsible infants, we know they are saved, as we have the repeated and unequivocal ipse dixit of Jesus; while in the case of adults, as we can not know the heart, we are constrained to turn them all over to God and the judgment-day. All sinners are full of sin. All infants and unsanctified Christians are sinfuli .e ., have a tendency to sin — hereditary from Adam, which is certain to lead them into sin if not counteracted by grace in regeneration; but even then will keep up an everlasting warfare ( Galatians 5) till eradicated in entire sanctification.

    THE RICH YOUNG MAN Matthew 19, 16-30; Mark 10, 17-31; Luke 18, 18-30. Mark : “And He, traveling along the road, one running and kneeling clown asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One; God.” This statement of our Savior is generally woefully misunderstood and erroneously construed, even preachers, standing up in the pulpit, having the audacity to look the people in the face and find here an unanswerable argument against holiness, alleging that even Jesus refused to be called good, deducing the conclusion, with an air of triumph, that nobody can be good, much less holy. May the blessed Holy Spirit now flash the light through your mind, and give you the true exposition of this passage! Jesus was almost constantly turning the edge of His opponent’s argument into the admission of His own Divinity. The high and primitive sense of the adjective “good” is only applicable to Go. The word “God” is a contraction of “good,” because God is the very essence, quintessence, and concentration of all good. Now when the young man calls Jesus good, instead of correcting him, He accepts the situation: “You call Me good, and so I am. Now since God alone is good, you call Me God, which is right,” thus turning the admission of the young man into the substantial affirmation of His Divinity; not only for his benefit, but that of the multitude who followed Him from day to day. While in the primitive sense, God alone is good, and all goodness emanates from Him (as John says, “God is light; yet the sun shines, but he shines by the light which God gives him); and while no man is good in a primary sense, because a good man would mean one who had never sinned; yet we may be righteous, because a righteous man is simply a justified sinner; and it is equally true that we may be holy, because a holy man is nothing but a sanctified sinner. The term good is variously used in subordinate senses, and not only applied to saints, but in common parlance even to sinners, animals, and things without life; however, in those cases, all the good they have has emanated from God. “You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor thy father and thy mother.” Matthew says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “And he, responding, said to Him, Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth. Jesus looking on him loved him, and said to him, One thing is wanting unto thee.” Here Matthew says, “If thou dost wish to be perfect, go, sell as many things as you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven.” This interview took place out in Perea, east of the Jordan.

    Though our Savior is constantly surrounded by the Pharisees, you must not conclude that this young man is one of them. The truth of the matter is, he is far from them, even at the opposite pole of the battery. While the Pharisees were full of pride, haughtiness, and self-righteousness, this young man is very humble, as we see him come kneeling down before Jesus, and making earnest inquiry, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Luke tells us he is a ruler of the people. He certainly shows up a very beautiful, moral, and religious character, in the fact that he has kept the commandments of the Decalogue from his youth. No wonder Jesus loved him. The simple solution of the whole problem recognizes this young man as a paragon Old Testament saint, walking in all the commandments of the law and the prophets blameless. He evidently has lived up to all the light of his day and dispensation. So he has nothing to do but receive Jesus, and move forward into the gospel dispensation — i.e ., the kingdom of God whose normal standard is perfection, as you here see specified. Jesus responds to him, “If you wish to be perfect,” illustrating the fact that His dispensation requires perfection i.e. , spiritual manhood, the standard of the old dispensation being spiritual infancy. There was no trouble in the case of this amiable and promising young ruler till he declined to accept the Savior’s condition of discipleship, thus halting in the old dispensation after it had expired and become null and void. He was certainly a very fine subject of gospel grace, having nothing to do but meet the condition, which is Christian perfection, and pass from the law and the prophets into the kingdom of heaven. “And he, being grieved at the word, went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” Jesus knew his heart, and went for his idol unhesitatingly.

    Adam the First must die before you can become a perfect Christian, with Adam the Second enthroned to reign without a rival. All the unsanctified have their besetting sin, in which the diversified appetites and passions, constituting the members of old Adam, concentrate their forces, make a general rally, and turn loose all the impetuosity of earth and hell to break the power of grace and ruin the soul, world without end. While this young man, having kept all of these commandments faithfully from his youth, living in beautiful harmony with his dispensation, exhibits the irreproachable character of a paragon Old Testament saint, yet that phase of inbred sin which he was weakest to resist, as it held a tighter grip on him than any other, was the love of money, which had been augmented and intensified by his vast possessions.

    When the contractors began the Queen & Crescent Railway, they went to King’s Mountain, because they had a solid mile of tunnel to excavate, by far the heaviest job on the route of fifteen hundred miles. A wise general, invading a country, always attacks the chief citadel first. Jesus knew that money-love was the serious trouble of this young man, and if he yielded there, victory flashed all along the embattled line, and He could rely on him as a paragon disciple. O how many preachers studiously avoid those things against which they feel assured their people will kick! Jesus, our only Exemplar, gives the trumpet no uncertain sound. This young man would have yielded outright if He had not put the sword to the throat of his idol.

    Luke says, “He went away very sad.” O how wonderfully history repeats itself! This young man lost his justification because he refused to consecrate all his possessions, the necessary antecedent to Christian perfection.

    Multitudes of the Jewish Church, in a similar attitude, enjoying justification before God because they walked in all the light they had, keeping all of the commandments, living under the law, without reprehension, faithfully anticipating the coming Messiah, forfeited their justification because they did not walk in the new light thrown on their way by the Shiloh of prophecy. If this young man had not met Jesus, doubtless he would have lived and died an irreproachable Old Testament saint and made his way to Abraham’s bosom.

    God holds us responsible for all the light we receive. If we do not walk in it appreciatively, we invariably backslide. Therefore Jesus is called “the Stone of stumbling,” because multitudes, like this young man, stumbled over Him and fell, and they are still doing the same. God raised up Luther to pour new light upon the Church in his day and time. While his reformation was a blessing to many, it was the occasion of many stumbling and falling. The same is true of every great revival. While the present holiness movement is a God-send to myriads, it is the death-knell to multitudes, who unfortunately reject the light it brings, like this man stumbling over entire consecration. “Jesus, looking round, says to His disciples, How shall those having riches with difficulty enter the kingdom of God! But the disciples were amazed at His words. Jesus again, responding, says to them, Children, how difficult is it for those having put their confidence in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished exceedingly, saying to one another, Indeed who is able to be saved? And Jesus, looking on them, says, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” So far as the record warrants, there is not a presumption in favor of the salvation of this amiable young man, who is not only a member, but an officer in the Church, and, most consolatory of all, his religious character utterly irreproachable. It is a simple case of stumbling over perfection, and thus failing to pass from the dispensation of the law and the prophets into that of Christi.e. , the kingdom of heaven whose standard is perfection. I believe, the reason why the disciples were so astonished over the utterances of Jesus, in reference to the difficulty in the way of salvation to the rich, was because the patriarchs in many instances were very wealthy; e.g. , Abraham and Job, millionaires. There has been an awful squirming and dodging, twisting and floundering, especially on the part of the popular clergy, to evade and explain away these plain statements of Jesus relative to the difficulties in the way of saving the rich. Some have said that “camel” means rope, used about a ship, which of course could go through the eye of a large needle. Kamilos means “rope.”

    Though that word looks much like kamelos , “a camel,” you see they are entirely different words. Hence there is no truth in the exegesis. It is a miserable dodge to evade a square issue.

    Again, I have heard, over and over, that there are small gates entering through the wall of Jerusalem, called the “Needle’s-eye.” This is utterly untrue. I have made two visits to Jerusalem — the one ten days, and the other seven — in which I was very active, running all over it and round it repeatedly, so that I am this day better acquainted with Jerusalem than any other city in the world. As it symbolizes heaven, whither I am a pilgrim journeying, I studied it with a flaming enthusiasm, diligently investigating everything that could throw light on the Word of God. The city has but eight gates leading through the wall: The Joppa gate, on Mount Zion, looking westward, opening through the west wall, a short distance from the northwest corner. Then, as we proceed, turning eastward, we next come to the New Gate, leading through the north wall. Then, proceeding eastward, we come to the Damascus Gate, looking toward the north. Pursuing the north wall, we next arrive at Herod’s Gate. Now, passing the northeast corner and turning southward, we come to St. Stephen’s Gate, so called because it is said that the mob dragged him out through that gate when they stoned him to death. It is known in Scripture as the Sheep Gate. ( John 5.) Proceeding southward, we next arrive at the Beautiful Gate. ( Acts 3:2.) This gate has been closed twelve hundred and sixty years, since the Mohammedans captured the city, on account of a Moslem prophecy that they can hold the city no longer than that gate is kept closed. Now the wall is on the high summit of Mount Moriah, the deep and impassable Valley of Jehoshaphat yawning beneath. Consequently there are no gates in this region, as there could be neither egress nor ingress. Pursuing the wall southward, turning the corner, we now travel westward, along the south wall, still on the summit of Moriah, till we reach a high valley between Moriah and Zion, where we arrive at the Excrement Gate, which leads out into the deep Valley of Jehoshaphat, and is used to carry, the offal out of the city; hence its name. Now the wall ascends Mount Zion westward, with a number of angles and offsets southward, by way of accommodation to the trend of the mountain. High up on the summit, in the City of David, we come to David’s Gate. These are the only entrances through the wall, with the exception which was made in 1898, when the emperor of Germany visited the city. They actually removed a section of the wall near the Joppa Gate for his convenient royal ingress and egress. Hence, you see, the report about the Needle’s-eye and the camel, ex necessitate divested of his burden in order to enter, is a fond fabrication to comfort the rich, but utterly untrue.

    I hope you have no sympathy with any attempt to explain away the plain Word of God. What an insult to Jesus thus utterly to emasculate, eviscerate, and excoriate His Word till it is utterly divested of all its force! Remember you have to meet it at the judgment-bar precisely as it is. So I entreat you to take it now, without addition or subtraction, and never encourage any attempt to explain it away. I emphasize this point because I have heard more preaching on this subject than any other; i.e. , a labored effort to explain away the plain and unmistakable Word of God. All such evasion is foolish, fanatical, and Satanic. Jesus specifies in this paragraph that, while the salvation of the rich is impossible with man, with God all things are possible. What is the solution of this? God can give the millionaire grace to consecrate all on His altar, unreservedly and eternally to be used for His glory. In that case the millionaire becomes as poor as Lazarus. “Without the sanctification no one shall see the Lord.” ( Hebrews 12:14.) Hence, as God is no respecter of persons, we all stand on the same platform. If we do not consecrate all to God, we can not “be perfect,” as Jesus here tells the young man. Heaven is a perfect world, consequently nothing imperfect can enter there. In this statement we do not mean Divine perfection, which belongs to God only, nor angelic perfection, which belongs to angels alone; but Christian perfection, which means a complete work of grace in the elimination of all evil out of the spiritual organism. As Jesus alone can do this, we must unreservedly consecrate all to Him, in order that He may sanctify us wholly. As Jesus here says, the impossibility is with man, in case he does not make a perfect consecration, which God can not do for him, as that would ignore his free agency; but He can and will give him all the grace he needs to do it himself, of his own free will and accord. Then, when man puts all on God’s altar, there is no trouble about sanctification, as that is the work of Omnipotent Grace. This whole subject, as delivered by the Savior, is perfectly lucid and consistent. O how many, like this rich young Church officer, hesitate to put all their possessions on God’s altar, and go away sorrowing! Happy is the poor man who has s~ little to consecrate! Yet multitudes of them fail just like the rich. Jesus saves none but beggars. If you own a gold-mine, and do not turn it over to God to be used for His glory, you can not be saved. Matthew 19:27. “Then Peter, responding, said to him, Behold, we have left all things, and followed Thee; what then shall be to us? Jesus said to them, Truly I say unto you, that you who have followed Me in the regeneration, when the Son of man may sit upon the throne of glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” The regeneration here mentioned does not mean that personal spiritual birth peculiar to all the children of God, but it is a continuation of the subject under consideration with reference to this rich young Church officer, whose life was so beautiful under the law and the prophets; and his qualification to pass out into the new dispensation, receiving his own Christ with joyful enthusiasm, and becoming a citizen of His kingdom, a bona fide member of the gospel Church, had all failed because of his delinquency in meeting the condition, i.e. , consecrating all his vast wealth to God — and thus getting in position for the fiery baptism to sanctify him gloriously at the Pentecost then speedily coming on. So the regeneration here means the transition out of the old into the new dispensation. As Peter well knew that he and his apostolical comrades had forsaken their fishing-boats, nets, companions, homes, employment, and everything to follow Jesus, and now having seen the sad failure of this eminently promising young man, at the very point of total abandonment where Peter knew that he and his brethren had succeeded, he proceeds to interview the Savior in reference to what is coming. There, amid the contrast of the two diametrically opposite attitudes the faithful disciples, on the one side, meeting the condition; and the young ruler signally failing and going away — our Lord proceeds to answer Peter’s inquiry by the thrilling assurance that when He shall sit upon the throne of his glory, they shall all sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. We know that our Lord was soon glorified when He ascended from Mount Olivet; and in due time these apostles did divide up the world, and go to their diversified fields of labor — the Jameses taking Judea; Matthew, Ethiopia; Mark, Egypt; Matthias, Judas’s successor, Abyssinia; Thomas, India; Jude, Tartary; Bartholomew, Phrygia; Philip, Syria; Simon Zelotes, the British Islands; Andrew, Armenia; John, Ephesus; Peter, Rome; and Paul, Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Of course, they all enjoyed episcopal supremacy in their diversified fields of labor.

    But you must bear in mind that this wicked world did not let them live very long till they all suffered martyrdom, John being miraculously delivered, and, as we believe, finally translated. Hence this was but a preliminary fulfillment of our Savior’s glorious promise, whose verification is evidently reserved for the Millennial Theocracy, when the saints will rule with Christ ( Revelation 20:6), the apostles in their normal attitude enjoying the supremacy, and Israel populating the whole earth, Satan having been removed, and the glory of the Lord inundating the world, and, as He says here, when He shall sit upon the throne of His glory, then shall you “sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel;” i.e. , ruling them.

    Christ came the first time, in His humiliation, to suffer and to die; but He comes the second time, on the throne of His glory, to conquer and to reign.

    Here we certainly do see a recognition of apostolical supremacy in the rulership of the world. There are now just about twelve national divisions on the globe. So the world seems to be getting ready for these twelve apostolical thrones. Of course, our Lord must come in His glory, cast out Satan, raise the dead members of the bridehood, and reunite soul and body and translate the living. The first resurrection, at the pre-millennial coming of our Lord, will prepare the way for His glorious kingdom, when He shall sit on the throne of His glory, and the saints will judge the world ( Corinthians 6:2); i .e ., rule the world. I am so glad that I believe the whole Bible. Therefore I am looking for wonderful things. “And every one, whosoever has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and inherit eternal life. But many first shall be last, and last shall be first.” Here you see again that the Jews are coming into the kingdom after all of the Gentiles. One of the cheering omens of the Lord’s near coming is the rapid gathering of the Jews into the Holy Land, and their conversion to Christianity in all the world. Luke says that the one leaving all and following Jesus shall receive a hundred-fold at this time, and in the age to come eternal life. We find some people certifying that there is no coming age after the present. Here, in Luke 18:30, we have it positively specified. You find the same in Hebrews 6:5, and also in Matthew 12:32. I am satisfied it occurs elsewhere in the New Testament, but certainly three clear and unequivocal witnesses are sufficient. In these passages, the E.V. says “world to come;” but the Greek used by our Savior is not cosmos , “world,” but aion , “age.” Hence these are certainly plain allusions, not only to the coming millennium, which will be the Edenic Age of the world restored back, but the Celestial Age, that shall follow the final glorification of the earth subsequently to its purification by the great fiery baptism simultaneously with the final judgment, the glorification following, transforming it into a new earth and a new heaven, or firmament ( Revelation 21), and finally conferred, as a soldier’s bounty, on the glorified saints, here to enjoy an eternity of heavenly bliss with myriads of unfallen angels, with whom, as our loving escorts, we will wing our flight from world to world, admiring the glory of Omnipotence, bespangling millions of bright celestial spheres which never knew sin nor sorrow. At the same time, with our angelic escorts, and accompanied by our sainted friends, always delighted to visit the New Jerusalem, the celestial metropolis, honored with Jehovah’s throne, and the center of universal gravitation, around which all celestial worlds speed their flight, and which this world, on her final restitution and celestialization, will so approximate as to enjoy a grand and conspicuous view, and to receive the copious illuminations of the Divine glory. ( Revelation 21:9-27.)

    CHAPTER - THE HIRED LABORERS Matthew 20:1-16. “For the kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man who is a landlord, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.” The Jews counted the diurnal hours from six o’clock the year around. Hence this was the hour at which he hired the first lot. “And agreeing with the laborers for a denarion per day, he sent them into his vineyard.” “A penny a day,” E.V., is misleading, as alenation does not mean a penny, being a Roman coin, corresponding to the Grecian drachma , with no synonym nor equivalent coin in our currency. It was worth fifteen cents, and equivalent to about one dollar in our time and currency, as money at that time was worth about seven or eight times as much as it is now, because of its scarcity, the paucity of people, and the great productiveness of the earth. So these people received good wages. “And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing idle in the market-place, and said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and I will give you whatsoever may be right. And they departed.” This lot were hired at nine o’clock, the first having been laboring three hours. “And again going out, about the sixth and ninth hour, he did likewise.” So you see that he hired another group at twelve, and still another at three, and sent them into his vineyard. “And about the eleventh hour, having gone out, he found others standing, and says to them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say to him, Because no one hired us. He says to them, Go ye also into the vineyard. And it being evening, the lord of the vineyard says to his steward, Call the laborers, and pay them their hire, beginning from the last until the first. And those having come about the eleventh hour, received each one a denarion. And the first having come, thought that they shall receive more; and they also received each one a denarion. But having received it, they began to murmur against the landlord, saying, These last wrought one hour, and thou didst make them equal unto us bearing the burden and heat of the day. And he, responding, said to one of them, Comrade, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a denarion?

    Take thine own and go. But I wish to give unto this last one as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do that which I wish with mine own? Is thine eye evil because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” This last statement, which is quite axiomatic, referring to the call of the Gentiles and the final conversion of the Jews, is only a single item in this grand and comprehensive parable, which really applies to all the people, in all ages, who ever have or ever will hear the call of gospel grace. “For many are called, but few elected.” While this statement really follows as a logical sequence from the entire parable, it is a very comprehensive epitome. a. The denorion here is a formal stipulation of wages, being a logical item in such a business transaction, and a necessary constituent. As to the times at which the five different lots were hired, you must recognize the fact that they did not arrive in the market-place previously to those respective hours; e.g. , those hired at twelve, three, and five o’clock, not having been on hand when their predecessors were called, had no offer nor opportunity.

    Therefore this parable can not be used as an apology for people in gospel lands who hear the gospel all their lives, but willingly and overtly procrastinate, thus grieving away the Holy Spirit. It applies to heathen, and all others, who do not receive the gospel till late at night. b. Now, we see at the conclusion of the day, the stewardi.e. , the Holy Spirit calls all of the laborers, and pays them their hire. Of course, the denarion was the mere stipulation, occupying its place as a constituency of the business transaction. But what is the misthos , “hire?” This is what we all receive in the finale of probationary life, and is so variant and comprehensive in its adaptation to the infinite diversity of the countless millions who, in some mysterious way, will move on and finally get to heaven, that we may safely conclude the misthos — i.e. , reward of all the laborers — is God Himself. c. This parable teaches the unity of salvation, all alike receiving the denarion , which is a mere representation of the misthos — i , e ., the rewards which they will get through the denarion . Does not this prove that all are equal in heaven? We certainly must answer in the negative. Heaven is a place of endless diversity, like this world ( 1 Corinthians 15), differing either from other, “as one star differeth from another.” This misthos , which we all receive, is God Himself, who of course is a Unit, yet He is infinite and inexhaustible. Now, while in eternity we all receive God for our reward, yet there is an infinite diversity of capacity on the part of humanity for this reception. Therefore we all receive God to our utmost capacity, which is by no means a constant quantity, but will increase through the flight of eternal ages, as God is everything to every immortal, intelligent spirit which that spirit is competent to receive. Hence you see the unity of the reward is in perfect harmony with the infinite diversity, as we see revealed in the parables of the pounds and the talents. d. But what about those murmurers? They are easily explained. Of course, murmuring is sin, and the idea of people in heaven murmuring against God is revolting to contemplate. You find the solution of the mystery in file concluding statement, “Many are called, but few elected.” This reveals the whole secret. “Chosen,” E.V., is eklektoi , from ek , “out of,” and lego , “to select.” Hence it means the elect. Now, the plain solution in reference to the murmurers is the simple fact that they heard the call, but were never elected.

    Consequently they never got into the kingdom. We are “elected through sanctification of the Spirit.” ( 1 Peter 1:2.)

    JESUS FORETELLS HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION Matthew 20:17-19; Luke 18:31-34; Mark 1:32-34. “And they were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was leading them, and they continued to be excited, and following, they were afraid.” Our Lord is still over in Perea, east of the Jordan, walking along toward Jerusalem, accompanied by the vast multitudes. The disciples know that if He goes back to Jerusalem, something decisive will take place, as only a dozen days previously He had fled away from there for His life. As the Passover is now at hand, and the metropolis will be thronged with the people of Israel, not only from Judea and Galilee, but from their dispersions in all heathen lands, they know that His enemies are determined to do everything they can against Him. As it is said here that they were much excited and afraid, doubtless they were apprehensive that the thousands from Galilee, where He had spent by far the greater part of His ministerial life, would be at the Passover, and as His enemies were so hostile against Him, in all probability a bloody civil war would break out, in which they were all likely to lose their lives. Meanwhile the hopeful side of the matter was, that He would be crowned King there in Jerusalem, in the presence of the vast multitudes from all parts of the earth, who might fall in line and propagate His kingdom, and permanently establish Him on the throne of David. “And again taking the twelve, He began to speak to them the things which were about to happen to Him, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles, and they will mock Him, and will scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and will kill Him; and on the third day He will rise.” Luke says: “And they understood nothing of these things; and this word was hidden from them, and they knew not the things spoken.” This is the third time our Savior has told them plainly that He is going to be arrested, arraigned, condemned, scourged, crucified, and will rise the third day. Now you see that Luke here says that they understood none of those things, and we see in the subsequent history that they were utterly ignorant of His impending fate till it took place. Now why did Jesus tell them three times, and the Holy Spirit withhold it from them?

    N. B. — The Holy Spirit is not only the Author of the Word, but the Revelator of that Word to every person who ever understands it. It was really important that Jesus should tell them all about it, as He did three times, distinctly, by way of emphasis. The importance of this revelation is seen in the fact that it was a most important item in the prophetical curriculum, which constitutes the basis of Christian faith in all ages.

    Therefore it must be revealed. Now why must it be withheld from them till after His resurrection? Do you not know that if they had understood it, they would have mustered the countless hosts to whom He had preached during the three years of His ministry and have prepared for war, in order to defend their beloved Leader and preserve His life? Thus a terrible civil war would have broken out in Jerusalem while the city was thronged with the myriads from all parts of the earth attending the Passover, and a grand army would have rallied to prevent them from killing Him, thus defeating the great end for which He came into the world; i.e. , to suffer and die to redeem the lost millions of Adam’s fallen race. Hence you see the pertinency on the part of the Divine administration, that the Holy Spirit should withhold these tragic, sublime, and wonderful events appertaining to their Master, so that they should not understand them till after they had all transpired. The same fact is true in all ages, despite all the efforts of human learning to fathom and comprehend the Bible. While these are not to be depreciated, it is an incontestable fact that we only know the Word as it is revealed to us by the Holy Ghost. After the Constantinian apostasy, during the Dark Ages, when the Church was monopolized by Romanism, and retrogressed into semi-paganism, every great, cardinal, spiritual truth having evanesced, and the Holy Spirit apparently retreating away and leaving her in the dismal midnight of ignorance and superstition, even collapsing so egregiously into human infatuation and folly as to become a secret society, like Freemasonry, her mystic rites only known to her muttering priests, and locked up in a dead language, incomprehensible by the laity, — amid this dismal night of ignorance, superstition, and idolatry, she remained a thousand years, till the light again broke in, God raising up Wyclif, a Roman Catholic priest, justly denominated the Morning Star of the Reformation; followed by John Huss, of Bohemia, whom the Roman Catholics burned, and threw his ashes into the Rhine, on whose waters they floated down, impinging on many lands, germinating quite a crop of martyrs, who sprang up spontaneously, like mushrooms in the night; and like the armed men who sprang up from the dragon’s teeth which Cadmus sowed in Greece, so a magnificent crop of martyrs were soon testifying amid the flaming fagots in different European countries; finally, Luther comes to the front, the hero of the Reformation, the multitudes falling in line, getting their eyes open to the glorious truth of justification by the free grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated by faith alone, independently of Church rites, priestly manipulations, and clerical absolutions, — presenting a rank and file too formidable for the papistical power to overawe by thundering anathemas, bulls of excommunication, or the fires of Inquisition. We may here observe that during this long period of a thousand years, while the dismal Pagan night darkened the escutcheon of the historic Church, ignorance, superstition, priestcraft, prelacy, and popery, with their human institutions, autocracy, and tyranny having supplanted, and, to all human observation, obliterated every vestige of experimental godliness from the historic Church, yet God had a people in the world who knew Him experimentally, and walked with Him in the beauty of holiness, despite the terrible persecutions waged against them by the Catholic Church, A.D. 251. The Novatians, the holiness people of their day and time, withdrew from the Catholic Church on account of her corruptions. The same people in later centuries were denominated the Waldenses and Albigenses, and despite all efforts to exterminate them in blood, survived several centuries; and finally the movement received a new impetus under the leadership of the Moravians, who were instrumental in the sanctification of John Wesley, who, in the providence of God, became exceedingly prominent in the great holiness movement of his day. While Luther was evidently a sanctified man, yet he never gave the doctrine or the experience any especial attention, having all he could possibly do to rescue the primary truths of justification, regeneration, and adoption from the black grip of Satanic oblivion, long fastened on them by the tyrannical intrigues of Romanism. I am satisfied that God had His way with Luther and his compeers, using them, pursuant to His own will and purpose, in the restoration of these grand fundamental doctrines of experimental salvation.

    As Wycli£ was the morning star and Luther the rising sun of the great justification revival, in a similar manner George Fox, the founder of Quakerism; John Bunyan, the Baptist; and John Knox, the Presbyterian, were the morning stars of the great sanctification revival, whose sun arose with Wesley and his compeers. As the great doctrine of entire sanctification, so prominent in the apostolic age, had gone into eclipse with oncoming Romanism, and had slumbered in oblivion more than a thousand years, God raised up these mighty men to rescue from oblivion, formulate, and elucidate the profound and majestic-truth of Christian perfection. These heroic saints of bygone ages have faithfully and courageously done their work, and are now resting in glory. While experience is substantially identical in all ages, not so with exegesis. The Bible is our text-book, and the Holy Ghost our Teacher; but some of us are very slow scholars. The Holy Ghost is leading us on, and teaching us as we are able to receive it.

    Wesley and his coadjutors profited by the work of Luther, as Wesley was actually converted while listening to the reading of Luther’s preface to the Pauline Epistles; but the labor of their lives was not on justification, but Christian perfection.

    Our holiness brethren who would confine our investigations and elucidations to sanctification, make a great mistake. The Holy Spirit is still opening the Scriptures, and revealing them more and more, to the saints of God. If we should stop with sanctification, we would make no progress beyond our predecessors, whereas the school of Christ is the most progressive institution in all the world. The notable fact that the Holy Spirit is so wonderful opening the Scriptures revelatory of the Lord’s second coming, is to me an auspicious omen that the time is at hand. We are now living in the last century of the world’s six thousand years, the millennium being the seventh thousand. As the popular chronology is believed by the ablest critics to be too long, many authorities expiring the six thousand years already, we have many reasons to open our eyes to the incoming light shed by the blessed Holy Spirit on those numerous Scriptures revealing the return of Jesus to this world. During the last year I have traveled twenty thousand miles in America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. In all lands, and upon all seas, I met the Lord’s dear people, looking out for His coming, and believing Him to be very nigh. The Holy Spirit is wonderfully lighting up the Scriptures on the coming of the Lord, Divine healing, and woman’s ministry. We so much need the ministry of the sisterhood to help us carry the gospel to the ends of the earth, and expedite the return of our glorious King. It is very pertinent that we should all sit, meek and lowly, at the feet of Jesus, perfectly appreciative and acquiescent in the teaching of the Holy Ghost. If we refuse to move forward responsive to His leadership, we will certainly grieve Him.

    Why did He not reveal the great doctrine of sanctification to Luther?

    Because he and his generation had enough to do to teach and establish justification. Why did He not lead out Wesley to elaborate the coming of the Lord? Because he had all he could do, in his long, laborious, and useful life, to expound and establish the great doctrine of entire sanctification.

    Now, with the full benefit of the proficiency achieved by our predecessors, shall we make no decisive process in the school of Christ? Shall we stand still, or go round like the blind horse in the treadmill? God’s commandment to Israel is, “Go forward.” This will be true indefinitely in the department of Biblical exegesis, which, like God its Author, is absolutely illimitable. We will not only learn during this life, but on through all eternity, and more rapidly after we get to heaven than ever before. God forbid that we should command Israel to stand still when He says, “Go forward!”

    AMBITION OF JAMES AND JOHN Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 1:35-45. “James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come to Him, saying, Teacher, we wish that You may do to us whatsoever we may ask. And He said to them, What do you wish Me to do for you? And they said to Him, Grant unto us that we may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and one on Thy left hand, in Thy glory.” Matthew says their mother, Salome, made the request for them. There is no disharmony between Matthew and Mark in this matter, as Qui facit per alium , facit per se , that old Roman law, transferred to England and then to America — “What any one does by another, he does by himself” — is not only recognized among all nations, but was so recognized by the inspired writers. At that time none of the disciples had any idea that Jesus was going to die and leave the world, but were on the constant lookout for Him to ascend the throne of Judea, and establish a kingdom, in glory eclipsing that of David and Solomon. The mother and the young men had considerable reason to believe that they would stand a good chance for the prime ministry in the coming kingdom, as He had repeatedly shown them and Peter extraordinary courtesy, permitting them to be present when He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, and in the glorious scene of the transfiguration. They all, however, in this matter abundantly evince their need of entire sanctification, which they all received about two months from that date, when the Pentecostal baptism fell on them, consuming all their ambition. “Jesus said to them, You know not what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup which I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized? And they said to Him, We are able. And Jesus said to them, You shall drink of the cup which I drink, and be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not Mine to give, but theirs for whom it has been prepared.” Jesus here alludes to the baptism of bloody martyrdom, which then awaited Him in about eight days. Baptizo means to purify. ( John 3:26, and Luke 11:38.) Jesus took on Himself the sins of the whole world, an awful mountain of dark pollution. This was all purified away when He died on the cross, thus perfecting the vicarious atonement. It is quite significant that James was the first one of the Twelve to seal his faith with his blood, John outliving all, but suffering so much toil and persecution, even miraculously delivered from the caldron of boiling oil in Rome, that he would justly rank along with his brother, pre-eminent in martyrdom. “And the ten, hearing, began to be displeased about James and John. Jesus calling them, says to them, You know that those seeming competent to rule the Gentiles, have the dominion over them, and their great men exercise power over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whosoever shall wish to be great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever shall wish to be first among you, shall be the servant of all. For the Son of man did not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Our Savior here elucidates the difference between His kingdom and the secular governments, as in the latter there is such a thing as official emolument, remuneration, aggrandizement, and honor; whereas in the former the whole trend of the matter is diametrically opposite, the officer being a waiter, administering to the interest of others; and the chief officer actually being the servant of all the members of the kingdom, having the most laborious place, constantly encumbered with toil and labor in the interest of others, — a grand spiritual truth, so little understood and realized by the people, and even Church officials, who are prone to look upon ecclesiastical offices in the light of the secular. Here we have a deep and comprehensive signification in our Savior’s statement, “To give His life a ransom for many.” Did He not die for all? He certainly did. Then why did He not in this passage say, “Give His life a ransom for all,” instead of “many?” N. B. — “All” has an objective signification, while “many” is used subjectively. Now what is the difference? “All” means the whole human race, for whom Jesus died objectively; while “many” means the elect, in the broad sense, including every human being, of all ages and nations, who, in the infinite mercy and goodness of God, may, in some way, effect an entrance into heaven at last.

    THE BLIND MEN AT JERICHO Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 18:35-43; Mark 10:46-52. “And they are coming into Jericho. And He and His disciples and a great multitude going out from Jericho, blind Bartimeus, the son of Timeus, was sitting by the wayside begging. And hearing that it is Jesus the Nazarene, began to cry out, and to say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!

    And many continued to rebuke him, that he must keep silent; and he continued to cry out much more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!

    And Jesus, standing, said that he should be called. And they called the blind man, saying to Him, Take courage, arise; He calls you. And laying aside his cloak, rising, lie came to Jesus. And responding, Jesus says to him, What do you wish that I shall do to you? And the blind man said to Him, Master, that I may look up. Jesus said to him, Go, thy faith hath saved thee; and immediately he looked up, and follows Jesus in the way.” As you see, Matthew, Luke, and Mark all give this narrative. However, it is pertinent to observe that Matthew says He healed two blind men as He came out from Jericho, while Luke speaks of but one, whom He healed as He was coming into Jericho; Mark alone giving us the name of Bartimeus, the son of Timeus, and stating that he was sitting by the wayside begging as the multitude passed out of Jericho. Doubtless his home was near by, and he made his living by begging of the travelers along the highway from Jericho to Jerusalem. On hearing the tread of the multitude, and learning that the Prophet Jesus is passing by, and as he had heard so much about His wonderful miracles, restoring sight to multitudes of the blind who had been enabled to reach His ministry in His peregrinations through Galilee, Judea, Perea, Samaria, and other countries, and having determined to avail himself of the opportunity if He should ever pass that way, and doubtless already having information that He had crossed the Jordan, out of Perea into Judea, the day preceding, and was traveling toward Jerusalem, and would certainly come that way, the only great road leading through the wilderness of Judea from Jericho to Jerusalem, he now cries aloud incessantly, “O Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!” As the prophecies revealed that the Messiah was to be the Son of David, in this appellation He really acknowledges His Christhood.

    I always met many beggars in that country. While they all have their places, and unhesitatingly speak out in their language, asking for a contribution, I never heard one scream and roar as this one did. Luke uses the word eboese , which is from boao , which, you observe, if you will pronounce it loudly, makes a noise like the lowing of an ox. Hence we see that this man threw his mouth open, and roared aloud, refusing to be quiet, though many of the multitude rebuked him for his impetuosity and disorder. Jesus, however, gives His fur approval to his persistent roaring by calling him to Him unhesitatingly. Consequently, throwing aside his outer garment for the sake of expedition, rising, he hastens to Jesus, who immediately opens his eyes, certifying to him, “Thy faith hath saved thee;” thus laying an illimitable emphasis on the grace of faith, as Jesus is accustomed to do. O how wonderfully does Jesus preach salvation by faith! Blind Bartimeus not only received his eyesight, but the salvation of his soul, through simple faith in Jesus. Therefore we are not astonished that, having now become a disciple, he falls in with the crowd, and follows Jesus, doubtless, the remnant of his life, and is now playing on his golden harp. This is a notable case of whole-hearted, importunate seeking of Jesus. When they did their utmost to moderate him, telling him that screaming and roaring in the presence of that great multitude was so indecorous, you see he only roared the louder. Find a penitent on that line, and look out! — something wonderful is going to happen.

    Now, as you see, Matthew tells of two blind men restored as Jesus passed out of Jericho; Luke speaking of but one, and that one as he entered into the city; while Mark tells us of Bartimeus as he came out. How do we reconcile this apparent disharmony? There is no need of any reconcilement. I have no doubt but He did, as Luke says, restore a blind man as He went in, and, as Luke says, two as he came out, of whom, doubtless, Bartimeus was one; as you must remember that many of our Lord’s great miracles are not found now in the inspired records, but only a few salient ones.

    The Jericho so celebrated in the days of Joshua stood on the plain of the Jordan, near the base of the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus was tempted by Satan, and ten miles from the ford of the Jordan where Israel crossed over and Jesus was baptized. You know when this city was destroyed, Israel having shouted down the walls, God forbade its rebuilding. So it has never been rebuilt. However, they built a new city, two miles south, where the road from Jerusalem reaches the foot of the mountain and proceeds out, crossing the plain of the Jordan. This was the Jericho in the days of Christ. In the desolation of Judea by the Roman armies, soon after the crucifixion of Jesus, Jericho was destroyed. When the Crusaders conquered and took possession of the Holy Land, A.D. 1099, they rebuilt Jericho, about two miles farther east, along the road to the Jordan ford. This Jericho is still standing. I lodged there during both of nay visits in that country.

    CHAPTER - CONVERSION OF ZACCHEUS Luke 19:1-10. “Having come in, He passed through Jericho. And, behold, a man by name called Zaccheus, and he was chief of the publicans, and he was rich.” The publican was the sheriff of the Roman Government in Judea. Hence, you see, Zaccheus was high sheriff, having under him a number of deputies. Perhaps he was in good financial circumstances before he received the office; but doubtless his riches accumulated largely if not exclusively from the emoluments of his office, as the publicans were notorious and odious for rascality and oppression. The people hated them, not only for the above reasons, but because they loathed and despised the yoke of Roman despotism, which had been on their necks thirty-three years; i.e. , a whole generation. Such was the popular odium of the office that it was frequently difficult to prevail on a Jew to serve, as he knew his brethren would pour contempt on him by wholesale. In this case, the Romans had been enabled to command the service of Zaccheus, a fullblooded Jew. “And He was seeking to see Jesus, who He is, and was not able on account of the crowd, because he was small in stature. And having run out in front, he went up into a sycamore-tree, that he may see Him, because He was about to pass that way.” The sycamore is the Egyptian fig-tree, much larger than the Palestinian fig-tree. The largest tree I saw in the Old World was of this species. The fruit is splendid, and very abundant. Hence it is said that Habakkuk was a “gatherer of sycamore fruit.” We see a wonderful manifestation of God’s prevenient grace in the conversion of Zaccheus.

    God put the sycamore-tree there for him to climb, that he might see Jesus; and also, the more important, that Jesus might see him. God sent His Spirit there to convict him, and get him ready to climb the tree, or do anything else in order to see Jesus. Depend upon it, it was not a little embarrassing to climb that tree in the presence of the great multitude. For some poor man to climb it, it had been a small matter; but here is the high sheriff of Jericho, a man of wealth and honor, — for him to render himself so indecorous and so undignified in the sight of all his rich friends, both Jews and Romans, as to climb that tree, was no small humiliation. Zaccheus had a true conviction.

    He had counted the cost, and was ready to pay the price, and meet every condition in order to be saved. “And when he came to the place, Jesus, looking up, said to him, Zaccheus, come down quickly; for it behooves Me to abide in your house this day.” That was the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday, and the last Sabbath Jesus ever lived on the earth, as He was crucified the following Friday. As He has spent a number of days over in Perea, during which He delivered those thrilling parables recorded by Luke alone, it is highly probable that He crossed the Jordan the preceding day, just one week before His crucifixion, and had occupied the preceding morning traveling across the plain of the Jordan, ten miles, passing Gilgal on the road, and was now passing through Jericho. Hence, I believe, it is in the afternoon, and He proposes to spend the ensuing night in the house of Zaccheus, which was there convenient. “And he came down speedily, and received Him rejoicing.” How long he had been under a genuine conviction of the Holy Spirit the record is silent.

    However, we are assured that when he ran on before the crowd and climbed up into the sycamore-tree, he was actuated by the real and genuine conviction of the Spirit, stirring him up to do anything and everything in his power to see Jesus and seek His pardoning mercy. Now you see him hasten down the tree and receive Jesus joyfully. Do you not know he is now converted? Sorrow fills the heart of a penitent sinner. Joy now floods the soul of Zaccheus. Rest assured, he is genuinely converted. “All seeing Him, began to murmur, saying, He has come in to lodge with a man who is a sinner.” Of course, Zaccheus escorted Him to his house at once, which was there convenient, and, as the day was declining, all knew that He was going to spend the night with him. “And Zaccheus, standing, said to the Lord, Behold, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if 1 have taken anything from any one fraudulently, I restore fourfold.” The scene now continues in front of Zaccheus’s house, and in the presence of the listening multitude. This testimony gloriously climaxes and abundantly confirms the genuine conversion of Zaccheus.

    Now look at the case, and see how many of you can compare testimony with him. Remember, he was rich. So this is a notable case for the encouragement of all the rich people, as here they have a genuine conversion. O that all would parallel it! Now hear his protestation in the presence of Jesus, “The half of all my goods I give to the poor.” How we need such men now to help out starving India! Now, you must remember, he was a Jew, a son of Abraham, living under the dispensation of the law of Moses, which specified in case of theft or robbery — and all cheating and fraud are stealing and robbing — if a man stole a sheep, he was to pay back two; if an ox, three; and if a horse, four. Hence, you see, Zaccheus climaxed the law. Whereas the statement, “If I have defrauded anything from any one,” in English, implies doubt, whether he had or not, it is not so in Greek, in which the case is clear that he had defrauded. So here you see an open proclamation to everybody whom he had cheated to come right along and get four times the amount. Not that they demand it, as they are glad to get the principal back; but he is determined to sweep all defalcation from the field, and leave the devil no handle to get hold of. Zaccheus was a whole-souled fellow. While money was his god, he went for it with all his might, and got it. Now that salvation is the enterprise of life and soul, he proposes to leave no stone unturned, but take the kingdom of heaven by storm. Of course, by the time he gives half of all his estate to the poor, and then restores all his ill-gotten gains fourfold, he has just about nothing left.

    But he is in a gloriously good fix, blessedly saved, and ready for the oncoming Pentecost, which is all he needs to send him, a flaming evangelist, to the ends of the earth, as he has the true and genuine foundation for a Pentecostal sanctification; i.e. , a conversion almost Pauline. “And Jesus said to him, This day has salvation come to this house, because he is also the son of Abraham.” As Zaccheus was a Jew, a regular, royal descendant of Father Abraham, he hails with joy the blessed Christ of the Abrahamic Covenant, and passes normally out of the dispensation of the law and the prophets, into the kingdom of God. “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus is seeking every sinner in all the world. It takes two to make a bargain. The reason why hell is filling up with such fearful rapidity is because the sinners do not seek Him. If you are hunting a man in a great city and he is not hunting you, it is doubtful whether you find him. But if he gets to hunting you, there will soon be a happy meeting. As Jesus is already seeking every sinner, when the sinner gets to seeking Him, they will soon meet in joyful embrace.

    THE RETURN OF JESUS WITH HIS GLORIOUS KINGDOM Luke 19:11-27. This wonderful, inspiring, conclusive, unmistakable, glorious parable was delivered to the multitude by our Savior, in front of the house of Zaccheus, Saturday evening before His crucifixion the following Friday. It is so plain that I do hope every reader will understand and profit by it, as many of the Lord’s dear people have not yet received light on His second and glorious coming. We have no doctrine to give you.

    We are only endeavoring to expound the Word of the Lord as the blessed Holy Spirit reveals it. “And they, hearing these things, proceeding He spoke a parable, because He is nigh unto Jerusalem, and they are thinking that the kingdom of God is about to appear immediately.” That He will be crowned King of the Jews at the oncoming Passover, which is to open the ensuing Sabbath, they are all fondly and eagerly anticipating. Having waited three years, they see plainly that a momentous crisis is at hand.

    Having no light on the bloody tragedy looking Him in the face, they are vividly contemplating the coronation scene for which they have been praying ever since His mighty works had convinced them that He must be the Christ of prophecy. You will see plainly from this parable that the connection abundantly justifies the conclusion that the glorious coronation, which they regarded as at that time pending in a few days, is to take place at the second coming, it being His mission during His first advent to suffer and to die; but in the second, to conquer and to reign. “Then He said, A certain nobleman went away into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” Herod the Great having died while the infant Jesus was in Egypt, Archelaus, his eldest son, succeeding him, went away from Jericho, as his father died there, to Rome, a great journey for that day — fifteen hundred miles — to receive the kingdom of Judea from the hands of Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor, and return to reign over the Jews. But as the Jews didn’t like him, they sent an embassy after him, beseeching the emperor not to crown him king. Consequently the emperor, to their unutterable surprise and disappointment, sent them no king; but turned Judea into a Roman province, sending them Coponius to serve as proconsul, thus taking away their kingdom indefinitely. Though he did not know it, God was in it fulfilling the prophecy, that “the scepter shall depart from Judah.... when Shiloh comes.” This transaction was vivid in the memories o£ the people who heard Him, and forcibly illustrates the case, because at that time Rome ruled the whole world, and no king could reign anywhere unless the emperor crowned him. So all the kings of the earth had to go to Rome to receive their kingdom before they could return to their own country and reign. Now we all know that Jesus Himself is the nobleman, who, instead of reigning at that time, went away to heaven to “receive His kingdom, and return,” illustrating most conclusively the patent fact that the kingdom He is to receive in heaven is special, and, in some important respects, different from the kingdom of grace which He brought with Him on His first advent. Our Lord soon went away to heaven, and is still there. But He is certain to receive this kingdom from the hands of His Father and come back. This conclusion is irresistible, unless you flatly contradict the Savior. I believe Him without the shadow of a doubt, and am constantly looking out to see Him coming back in the glory of that kingdom which He went up to heaven to receive, and return to earth to reign, as this conclusion is irrefutable, from the fact that it was then exemplified throughout the world, all kings going to Rome to receive their kingdom from imperial Caesar, and return with their kingdom to reign over the land given by the emperor. The analogy of this parable clearly warrants the conclusion that our Lord has gone away to heaven to receive a kingdom, and return and reign over this world. More errors in interpretation arise from spiritualizing the literal, and literalizing the spiritual, than any other source. Lord, help us to leave everything where Thou hast put it! If it is literal, let it so remain; if spiritual, let us all say, Amen! Though our Lord certifies that His kingdom is not of this world, yet it by no means follows that it may not have dominion over this world. He rules all other worlds without a rival, and is going to cast out Satan and extend His glorious dominion over all this world. “And having called his ten servants, he gave to them ten pounds, and said to them, Operate until I come.” Ten is a prominent representative number in the Bible, being a convenient multiple of hundreds, thousands, millions, etc. The mnaa , or mina , translated “pound,” was worth fifteen dollars. You see that he gave the money to his servants; i.e. , his own people. “And his citizens hated him, and sent an embassy after him, saying, We do not wish him to reign over us.” This was literally verified, right there at Jericho, in the case of Archelaus, within the memory of that audience.

    Hence the parable must have been very forcible with those people. N.B. — The citizens here differ widely from his servants — the latter being his disciples, and the former the people of this wicked world. How signally is this item of the parable verified this day! The people of the world are panicstricken at the thought of Jesus coming back. They are glad He is gone, and hope that He will never return. Even the worldly Churches are so horrified at the thought of the Lord’s return that they will not tolerate the proclamation from their pulpits. “And it came to pass that he returned, having received the kingdom, and said that those servants to whom he had given the money should be called, that he might know what each one had accumulated. And the first came, saying, Lord, thy pound has gained ten pounds. And he said to him, Well done, thou good servant; because thou wast faithful in the least, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound has gained five pounds. And he also said to him, Be thou ruler over five cities.

    And another came, saying, Lord, behold thy pound, which I had laid up in a napkin; for I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up what thou hast not laid down, and thou reapest what thou hast not sown.

    And he says to him, Out of thine own mouth I condemn thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knowest that I am an austere man, taking what I have not laid down, and reaping what I have not sown. Wherefore didst not thou indeed give my money to the bank, and having come, I would have received the same with the product?” “Usury,” in the E.V., is all objectionable translation of toko , which is from ticto , “to produce,” and has no such a meaning as unlawful interest, but simply the normal production of the money. Every investment, if judiciously managed, produces something.

    Money is no exception to commercial investments. The meaning of this passage is, that the man should have judiciously invested the money, instead of secreting it away where it brought no stipend to the proprietor. Of course, the estimation of his lord as an austere, unjust man was utterly false, the fault being in himself. Though a servant, you see that the lord denominates him “wicked,” thus showing up his character as a counterfeit disciple, parallel with the case of the tares growing among the wheat. Of course, these three reports sample all the balance, concerning whom we have no statement. “And he said to the bystanders, Take the pound from him, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. And they said to him, Lord, he hath ten pounds. I say unto you, that to every one that hath, it shall be given; and from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath.” Here we see a beautiful recognition of the great law of spiritual thrift. Money is magnetic.

    If you have it and use it judiciously, it will attract from all directions and accumulate. It is so with everything. The soil of the frugal farmer is getting richer and more productive all the time; while that of his profligate, indolent, or injudicious neighbor is constantly wearing out and washing away. Thus, in both temporal and spiritual things, we see people moving with great expedition to diametrically opposite destinies. “Moreover, these my enemies, who do not wish me to rule over them, lead them hither, and slay them before me.” Here we have the awful destruction of Armageddon, deluging the world with rivers of blood, and heaping it with mountains of the dead, “the great tribulation,” such as the world never saw before and will never see again. The flood was terrible, destroying all the world except one family. The plagues in Egypt, winding up with the desolations of the destroying angel, slaying the first-born in every home, and culminating in the destruction of Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea, was awful. The destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, a million of people perishing by sword, pestilence, and famine, and a million more being sold into slavery, was an ordeal terrific in the extreme. Yet the indescribable calamities of all former ages will not be comparable to the unutterable woes which shall come upon this densely-populated earth in the last days. God made this world and has the sole right to rule it. With the fall of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews, B.C. 387, the last vestige of the Theocracy evanesced from the earth, human rule supervening, and being perpetuated in all lands down to the present day; but destined to be overthrown and utterly exterminated in the great tribulation, when the enemies of our Lord, who are opposed to Divine rule and conservative to human government, shall all be slain. ( Daniel 7:9) Here you see the adumbratory light on the Divine administration which shall cover the whole earth in the glorious coming kingdom, flashing out in the case of these two samples of our Lord’s service of those who shall prove faithful during His absence, diligently investing and utilizing His pound, which is committed to all of His servants. You see that the one who had quintupled his money, received the same loving congratulation as the mall who had centupled the pound committed to his care. However, we find each one rewarded according to his industry and thrift — the ten-pounder receiving the government of ten cities, and the five-pounder only five. Certainly the natural conclusion is very plain and simple. Our Lord is going to rule this world, in the glorious coming kingdom, through the instrumentality of His transfigured saints, among whom we find an endless diversity of reward.

    Of course, none but carnally-minded people will apprehend the administration of the Millennial Theocracy from a selfish standpoint. In the realm of grace, the more we have, the more there is for others. After the multitude ate the loaves and fishes, there was vastly more left than all they began with. Even so in our Lord’s glorious kingdom, the more you receive, the more will be left for others. O what a thrilling inspiration to diligence, application, humility, frugality, industry, and perseverance! Let every one resolve to gain ten pounds, and receive the government of ten cities and the intervening country. I certainly would recoil from the responsibility of explaining away this plain and unequivocal parable of our Lord. O what a privilege to be one of His servants, and receive the pound from His hands, with all the encouragements of heavenly bliss and eternal felicity, on the one side, to inspire indefatigable energy, assiduity, and heroism; and on the other side, the awful incentives of hell and damnation to goad us up, and keep us, on precipitate wing, for truth, righteousness, holiness, and heaven! I certainly pity the exegete who shall undertake to emasculate, enervate, and explain away the lesson of this beautiful and unmistakable parable. “Saying these things, He was going before them, marching up to Jerusalem.” Four times it has been my privilege to travel that same road from Jericho to Jerusalem. O how fond memories, on the wing of inspired history, did fly back to the days of yore, when Jesus walked along that road, accompanied by His disciples, and followed by the thronging multitude!

    ARRIVAL AT BETHANY John 11:55-57; 12:1, 9-11. Jesus, having spent Saturday night at the house of Zaccheus, the following day travels to Bethany, twenty miles, all the way ascending the great mountains of Benjamin, on whose lofty summit is situated the Holy City, the joy of Israel and the magnetism of the whole world. It is now Sunday, preceding the Friday of His crucifixion. “And the Passover of the Jews was nigh, and many came up to Jerusalem from the country before the Passover, that they might purify themselves;” i .e ., by conformity to the Levitical law, under which all who had come in contact with dead bodies, unclean animals, or Gentiles, should have some clean person sprinkle them with the water of purification. which was prepared by dropping some of the blood of a sacrificed red heifer in water, into which the hyssop was dipped, and this water of purification was sprinkled on the subject of ceremonial defilement. This was a prerequisite to their eating the Passover. Hence a great diversity of preparatory catharisms must be utilized, after their arrival at Jerusalem, before they can enjoy the Passover festival. “Then they began to seek after Jesus, mad speak with one another, standing in the temple, What seems to you, that He may not come to the feast? The chief priests and Pharisees gave commandment that if any one Nay know where He is, he must divulge, in order that they may arrest Him.” When he came thither a dozen days previously and raised Lazarus from the dead, thus stirring the multitude to the very acme, the high priests and Pharisees had convened the Sanhedrin, and secured from them a condemnatory verdict against Him. As the period of His ministry had not yet expired, He went away beyond Jordan, and spent the time preaching the gospel, saving souls, healing the sick, and restoring sight to the blind. Now, that His enemies have secured this condemnatory verdict of the Sanhedrin, they are on the constant outlook for His arrival at Jerusalem, and determined to lay violent hands on Him. The more mighty works He did, the madder they got, as they had grieved the Holy Spirit away, and actually yielded to diabolical possession. “Then Jesus, six days before the Passover, came into Bethany, where Lazarus, who had died, was, whom He raised from the dead. Then a great multitude of the Jews found out that He is there, and came, not only on account of Jesus, but in order that they may see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.” You wonder that they did not come to Bethany to see Lazarus at an earlier date, as Jesus had raised him about two weeks ago.

    The explanation of that is easy: Lazarus had gone away with Jesus on His tour. Consequently they could not see him till he accompanied Him on His return. “But the high priests passed a verdict that they would slay Lazarus, because through him many of the Jews were coming and believing on Jesus.” They had settled down in their policy to rule or ruin, having so given way to diabolical influence that reason no longer sat upon her throne in their refined and cultured intellects.

    TRIUMPHANT ENTRY John 12:12-19; Matthew 21:1-11; 14-17; Luke 19:29-44; Mark 11:1-11. John: “On the morrow a great multitude, having come to the feast, hearing that Jesus comes into Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm-trees, and came out to meet Him, and continued to cry out, Hosanna! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” Having arrived at Bethany Sunday evening, and lodged at the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, on Monday morning Jesus goes to Jerusalem, over Mount Olivet, as the road then led. Now it goes around it, south of the summit.

    Mark: “When they draw near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, near to the Mount of Olives, He sends forth two of His disciples, and says to them, Go ye into the village which is opposite you, and going into it, you will immediately find a colt tied, on which no one of men has sat. And if any one may say to you, Why do you do this? say that the Lord has need of him, and immediately he will send him hither. They departed, and found the colt tied at the door without, on the crossing of two roads, and they are loosing him; and certain ones of those standing there began to say to them, What are you doing, loosing the colt? And they said to them as Jesus commanded. And they led the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him, and He sat on him.” I made a specialty of pursuing this old road over the mountain which Jesus traveled on this notable occasion. Bethphage is about half-way from Bethany to the summit, on the mountain slope. From this place, in the journey, Jesus sent the two disciples, whose names are not given, with orders to go into a village on the mountain in full view, and bring to Him the young donkey, which had never been mounted. Matthew says they brought the mother along with the colt. Those donkeys have wonderful strength, utterly out of proportion to their size, which is quite diminutive. They are much used in the Holy Land, really more than any other domestic animal, the camel ranking next, and being used for all heavy burdens. Some get confused in the statement of Matthew that “He sat on them,” thinking that He rode both of the donkeys, which is untrue, as “them” does not refer to the animals, but to the clothes which they laid on the young animal, and on which Jesus sat. Why did Jesus ride the donkey?

    Why not a horse? The reason is very obvious. The horse is the symbol of war, being always used in battle; while the donkey, too slow for war, is the universal symbol of peace, and consequently the appropriate animal for the Prince of Peace to ride. Again, the donkey symbolizes humility, as he is the poor man’s animal, eating about as much as a sheep, hardy enough to live in the desert, and so small and tough that he can climb a mountain like a goat. Jesus came, the first time, in His humiliation, homeless and friendless, riding into Jerusalem on the donkey. He will come the second time in His glory, riding on a white cloud.

    John: “Jesus, having found the young donkey, sat on him, as has been written, Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, thy King cometh, sitting upon the colt of the donkey.” ( Zechariah 9:9) That is certainly a very beautiful prophecy. As Jerusalem occupies the summit of Mount Zion, the application is clear and unmistakable.

    Mark: “And many strew their garments in the way; and others cut down the branches from the trees, and continued to strew them in the way. Those going before and those following alter continued to shout, saying, Hosanna! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom coming in the name of our father David I Hosanna in the highest!” Luke says: “He, drawing nigh to the descension of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of His disciples, rejoicing, began to praise God with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen.” After the gushing, Oriental style of saluting kings and conquerors, they threw down their garments for Him to ride over them, demonstrative of their perfect submission to His authority, and at the same time they strew His way with palm-leaves, which are so majestic and beautiful in Oriental climates, and vividly symbolic of royalty, conquest, and victory. They had waited three years for that wonderful hour, and now feel sure that the desideratum for which they had prayed, sighed, and cried to God so long is fast culminating into a glorious reality; and when they reach Jerusalem, they are very sanguine that He will be crowned King of the Jews. At that time there were no factories, and clothing was so scarce and costly, comparatively with our day, that we can hardly estimate the sacrifice which they so cheerfully and gladly made in throwing down the best apparel they had, in the dusty road, for the donkey to tread upon. O they are so glad to hail Him King of the Jews, little dreaming that this grand ovation was but a scintillation of the oncoming glory of the triumphant entry of King Jesus into Jerusalem on the white cloud, symbolized by the white donkey, when the mighty host of angels and glorified saints will accompany Him. Thus they witnessed an exultant prelibation of the grandest triumph in the history of redemption, when our Lord shall descend from heaven on the throne of His glory, accompanied by the celestial millions. The perfect submission they manifested by casting their garments beneath the tread of the donkey, and the royal triumphs emblemized by the palm-leaves strewn in the Conqueror’s path, and the joyous shout of the appreciative disciples, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord! Glory in the highest!” O what a grand adumbration of our Lord’s triumphant return on the throne of His millennial glory, to girdle the globe with peace, righteousness, holiness, and victory! Satan will be chained and imprisoned; the six-thousand-year weekdays of toil, temptation, conflict, and suffering under the dark reign of Satan will be fled and gone, and the bright Sabbath of Eden return in millennial glories, “Undimmed by sorrow, unhurt by time;” the earth, exultant from the long winter of sin and oppression, will again leap into the life of perpetual springtime; and sterility, wintry storms, wasting tempests, will retreat forever before the glorious Sun of righteousness, rising on all the world, with healing in His wings, dissipating forever the long, dismal night of sin, and girdling the globe witch God’s hallowed millennial day. As the happy years roll on, the people will forget the awful suffering, conflict, and desolation of bygone ages. This shouting multitude caught a glimpse of the oncoming victory, and thought the long-prayed-for triumph had actually come. But it receded away, leaving bright memories which have inspired the saints in all subsequent ages. While we contemplate this symbolic adumbration of our Lord’s coming glory, let us all thank God and take courage, remembering that we are eighteen hundred and sixty-seven years nearer that glorious hour when the triumphant coming of our King shall not only verify the prophecies, but triumphantly fulfill the thrilling symbolism of this memorable occasion. John 12:16. “And His disciples did not at first understand these things; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written in reference to Him, and they did them to Him.” When the Holy Ghost descended on them at Pentecost, sanctifying and flooding them with light on the precious Word, then they were able to tightly divide the Word of Truth, and separate the prophecies — some appertaining to His first coming, in humiliation; and others to His glorious coming in triumph.

    At the time of this public entry into Jerusalem, they were awfully disappointed, because He rendered Himself invisible and passed out of their hands when they came to crown Him King; but the Pentecostal baptism, which followed the glorification of Jesus, gave light on all these mysteries and filled them with joy. “Then the multitude, being with Him, continued to testify that He called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him up from the dead.” Lazarus was then with Him, one of His loving disciples, and also a host of people who had actually witnessed that wonderful miracle, regarded as the greatest of our Savior’s ministry. Therefore the multitude came to Him because they heard that He had performed this miracle. “Then the Pharisees said to one another, You see that you profit nothing.

    Behold, the world has gone after Him.” This grand ovation which Jesus received, along with the popular excitement over the resurrection of Lazarus, stirred the gall of the Pharisees and the higher clergy to the very bottom. Luke 19:39 “And certain ones of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Thy disciples.” Dead religion can’t stand hallelujah meetings. They are literal torture to dead professors and dry-bone preachers. “Responding, He said to them, I say unto you, that if they must keep silent, the rocks will shout.” We see that the Lord believes in shouting meetings. This was a more noisy time than you ever witnessed at a holiness camp, and yet the Lord rebuked no one for fanaticism, but commended the whole affair. The Lord is going to be praised with “a loud voice.” If the Churches will not do it, He will convert the drunkards and harlots, though their hearts be hard as stone, till they will shout His praises. The rocks did cry out the next Friday, when He hung on the cross, and they were rent with the earthquake shock. “And when He drew nigh, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even in this thy day, the things appertaining to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thine eyes. Because the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies will throw a blockade around thee, and encompass thee in a circle, and they will press thee on all sides; they will slay thee and thy children in thee, and will not leave in thee stone upon stone, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.” On the very spot, descending Mount Olivet, here referred to, where Jesus poured forth gushing tears, weeping over the city, we have a most conspicuous view of all Jerusalem. Christian money has built a beautiful, snowy-white stone church-edifice on that very spot. It is called “The Church of Jesus Weeping.” His omniscient eye saw the great and formidable Roman armies coiled round the city, like a huge boa-constrictor, cutting off all ingress and egress, dooming the inmates to famine, which, along with the sword, slew them so rapidly that interment was impossible. Consequently the pestilential exhalations, from the putrefying corpses, produced an awful pestilence, which swept its withering epidemic through the air, actually competing with the sword and famine by heaping the city with mountains of the dead.

    Josephus says the horrors of the siege actually beggared all possible description, Jesus, with immortal eyes, seeing the future like the present, gazes on these awful and shocking tragedies, while His pure, tender, unfallen human heart gives way to profoundest pity and lacerating sympathy, till His eyes flood with gushing tears. Only four days intervening till the bloody scene of Calvary is to seal the doom of that devoted city, and expedite the righteous judgments of the Almighty, the Holy Spirit, as we here see from the words of Jesus, having already been grieved away, while hell, with its black legions, has come to the front. Mark 11:11. “Jesus came into Jerusalem, and into the temple; and looking round upon all things, the hour already being late, went out to Bethany with the twelve.” You must not forget that “temple,” in these Scriptures, simply means the Holy Campus, which is said now to contain thirty-five acres, with many valuable buildings on it, and more then than now; for none but the priests were admitted into the temple proper. Jesus, with His apostles, had lodged in Bethany the preceding night, and now goes back and lodges there Monday night. If He had lodged in the city, there is no doubt but His enemies would have attacked Him. Having lodged Sunday and Monday nights in Bethany, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in some of the villages on Mount Olivet, He remained in the city Thursday night, being arrested by His enemies at midnight. Matthew 21:10. “Jesus having come into Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred, saying, Who is this?” We do not wonder at the excitement and the inquiry which had been produced by an entrance so exceedingly demonstrative. Besides the native population, multitudes have already arrived in the city, that they may prepare for the oncoming Passover. As the children of Abraham, the most enterprising people in the world in all ages, had gone away into all the cities of the known world, there to sojourn and accumulate wealth, therefore to the great annual Passover they came from the ends of the earth. “And the multitudes continued to say, This is Jesus, the Prophet, from Nazareth of Galilee. The blind and the lame were coming to Him in the temple, and He healed them.” Many of them are there now. O how they thronged me, last November and December. begging for contributions, which I was only delighted to give, of course, in small value!

    Jerusalem this day is a practical Bible looking-glass. O what a glory when the blind and the lame all crowded around Him there in the great Temple Campus, and on their sightless eyeballs He poured the light of day, and made the lame to leap for joy! “And the high priests and scribes, seeing the wonderful things which He did, and the children in the temple, crying, Hosanna to the Son of David, got mad, and said to Him, Do you hear what they are saying? And Jesus says to them, Yes; have you not read that out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?” ( Psalm 8:3.) We still see that Jesus believes in noisy meetings — none too young and none too old to shout aloud the praises of God. It made these big preachers and Church officers very mad; and they still get mad when you get up a sweeping holiness revival, and they hear the people praising the Lord with a loud voice, with no exception of age, sex, race, sect, or color.

    THE BARREN FIG-TREE Matthew 21:18,19; Mark 11:12-14. “And on the following day, they having come out from Bethany, He was hungry.” Doubtless He had enjoyed the kind hospitality of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, the hunger here mentioned being simply an appetite for some good figs, as they were very scarce in that time of the year, April 11th, as they ripen in the summer and fall. “And seeing a fig-tree afar off having leaves, He came, if perchance He shall find something on it; and having come to it, He found nothing but leaves; for it was not the time of figs. Responding, He said to it, Let no one ever eat fruit from thee. And His disciples were hearing.”

    Matthew says the fig-tree immediately withered away. Why did He go to it if it was not the fruit season? a. As this was early in April, and the figs do not ripen till summer and fall, it was not the time of fruit. b. The fact of its grand foliage was calculated to impress the traveler that it belonged to the species known as winter figs, which hold their fruit tough the winter, which is there very mild, and ripen it in the spring. Hence the nice, full foliage, indicating a healthful condition, led Him to expect ripe figs on it, having survived the winter, and now ready and delicious for eating. We must not conclude that the man Jesus always utilized the God Jesus, especially in the small affairs of life; as in that case He would have known that there was no fruit before He went. c. There are some trees belonging to all the fruitful genera which do not produce fruit. This was one of the non-fruit-bearing species, and consequently not only worthless, but deceptive. d. The foliage of a tree is the advertisement of its vitality and consequent fruitfulness, corresponding to the profession of a Christian. e. Here is a tree with full foliage and no fruit, never had borne any, and never would; but by its copious leaves attracting people to it only to be disappointed. Hence it is not pertinent that it cumber the ground, and absorb the fertility away from fruit-bearing trees. So Jesus pronounces on it a woe, and it withers away instantaneously. f . This is an awful warning to hypocrites, who make a loud profession, but have no spiritual fruit, which is experimental and practical holiness. The meaning of this transaction is, that though you may occupy a prominent place in the Church, and make ever so loud profession, without holiness, you are destined to wither away and abide the fate of all dead trees, which is to be burned with fire. The Lord help us all to profit by the fate of the barren fig-tree, which so suddenly withered away! The time is at hand when all who do not bear the fruit of holiness shall wither away so suddenly that all will be astonished, as the disciples were in case of the figtree. g . The Jewish Church and people are often compared to a fig-tree. Hence the withering of this fig-tree, because it bore no fruit, symbolized the terrible fate destined so quickly and decisively to overtake and even annihilate the Jewish polity.

    THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE Matthew 21:12,13; Luke 19:45-48; Mark 11:15-19. “And they came into Jerusalem; and Jesus, coming into the temple, began to cast out the buyers and sellers in the temple, and He overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those selling doves; and He did not suffer that any one may carry a vessel through the temple. And He was teaching, saying unto them, Has it not been written that My house shall be called the house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and the chief priests heard, and they were seeking how they shall destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the multitude were delighted with His teaching. And when it was evening, He departed out of the city.” Luke 19:48: “And they did not find what they can do; for all the people hung on Him, hearing Him.” Our Savior’s ministry embraced four Passovers, beginning with one by purifying the temple, verifying the prophecy, in reference to the Messiah, that on arrival He would come suddenly to the temple and purify it; two Passovers transpiring in the interim of His ministry and this one, at the conclusion, so eminently commemorated by His arrest, prosecution, condemnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, rendering it the most celebrated of all the Passovers since that memorable night when Egypt was visited by the destroying angel, slaying the first-born in every house in all the land, but passing over the tenements occupied by the children of Israel, because, pursuant to the commandment of Moses, they had sprinkled on their door-posts and lintels the blood of the slain lamb, that vivid type of the bleeding Lamb of Calvary which was perpetuated at the great Passover festival, through all the intervening ages, down to this momentous culmination, when they not only slay the innocent typical lamb, but the Great Antitype, who, symbolized by countless millions of bleeding victims through the fugitive ages, now Himself bleeds and dies. Our Lord having purified the temple when inaugurating His ministry, now performs the same responsible and significant office in the conclusion. He will also, when He comes in His glory, give it a complete and final purgation, as it will be polluted no more, Satan having been east out. This traffic in beasts and birds was for the accommodation of multitudes, coming from afar, who desired to purchase a sacrifice, the birds being kept on hand for the especial accommodation of the poor. While in this you might see a degree of plausibility, doubtless much fraudulent dealing for the sake of filthy lucre had crept in among them, as we see plainly indicated by the Savior calling them thieves. All cheating and defrauding are theft in the sight of God, however honorable in the estimation of men. The temple was the house of God upon the earth in a sense vastly more preeminent than any other sanctuary in all the world, the great end in view being the rendezvous of God’s saints, that they might prevail in prayer for all the nations of the earth. It is very sad to contemplate the fairs, festivals, frolics, and fandangoes now so frequently held in church edifices, to the grief of the Holy Spirit and the profanation of God’s temple. Every, preacher should walk in the footprints of Jesus in this and every other respect, making a specialty of purifying the Church in the inauguration and the conclusion of His ministry. No one has a right to hold a pastoral charge in the ministry of Christ unless he exemplified Him in all his ministration. This bold procedure was very offensive to the hierarchy, who looked upon Him as an intruder and a usurper, and would have interfered if they had not feared the people, who were so delighted with His preaching that they hung on Him spellbound. Luke 21:37,38. “And He was teaching in the temple during the days, and at night, going out, He was lodging in the mount called Olivet. And all the people were assembled unto Him in the temple to hear Him.” Tuesday night and Wednesday night He lodged in some of the villages on Mount Olivet, having spent the two preceding nights in Bethany; Thursday night He was arrested, and Friday night He was in the sepulcher. Jerusalem was this week thronged with vast multitudes, not only those having come to the Passover, but the whole country was on tiptoe with excitement about Jesus, a tremendous popular sensation breaking out three years previously, when John so powerfully preached Him to the multitudes attending his ministry, and increasing through the three successive years, having spread abroad into all nations, so that now the world is aroused and waiting spellbound to witness the issue impending, they know not what.

    THE WITHERING OF THE FIG-TREE Matthew 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-26. “And early in the morning, they, passing by, saw the fig-tree withered from its roots.” The withering was so decisive that even the trunk of the tree dried up, as you see, from its roots, thus symbolizing the awful fate of the hypocrite, destined one day suddenly and decisively to wither away. Beware, lest the Lord come to you and find “nothing but leaves?” “And Peter, remembering, says to Him, Master, see, the fig-tree which Thou didst anathematize is withered away. And Jesus, responding, says to him, have the faith of God.” There is a difference between faith in God and the “faith of God,” the latter being a perfect faith, admitting no admixture of doubt. In justification, we have faith in God; while entire sanctification, eliminating all doubt and every other phase of depravity, is characterized by the “faith of God.” Here, Jesus imputes wonderful efficiency to the faith of God. “For truly I say unto you, whosoever may say to this mountain, Be thou plucked up, and be thou east into the sea, and may not doubt in his heart, but believe that whatsoever he says is done, it shall be to him whatsoever he may say.” They were then walking along on Mount Olivet, the highest in Southern Palestine, and here pointed out by the Savior in order to illustrate the miraculous availability of prayer, as it is His custom in all His ministry to illustrate spiritual things by temporal. Just as if great Mount Olivet were lifted up and plunged into the midst of the sea, so towering mountains of sin, responsive to the “faith of God,” are lifted clearly away and dropped down into the sea of forgetfulness. “Therefore I say unto you that all things, so many as you ask for, praying, believe that thou receive, and it shall be unto you.” While prayer in the Divine order is the invariable antecedent to the blessings involved in the gracious economy, yet we must remember that we do not receive what we pray for, but what we believe for, faith being the measuring-line of our reception from God. Then what is the utility of prayer? It is to bring us up to believing ground. Hence prayer and filth are like the two oars of the boat which row us across the river. The genuine “faith of God” is very scarce upon the earth, and it is because there is not enough o£ genuine, importunate prayer. We must so pray into the Divine presence and get in touch with the Almighty that the Holy Ghost will inspire our prayers as well as our faith. In a mysterious way we must sink into God, utterly abandoned to His will for time and eternity, getting away from self and humanity where we can fall prostrate on the great and precious promises, and there abide at the feet of Jesus, so illuminated and inspired by the Holy Ghost that we can receive and appropriate His infallible promises, and get where we can ask Him for great and wonderful achievements in the spiritual kingdom without wavering or doubting, and thus, by importunate prayer and indefatigable faith, take the kingdom of heaven by violence. Matthew says, in this connection: “Verily I say unto you, If you have faith and doubt not, you shall not only do that of the fig-tree, but you may say to this mountain, Be thou plucked up and cast into the sea, and it shall be done.” In the case of the fig-tree, the withering came instantly and complete. Matthew 11:25. “And when you may stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; in order that your Father who is in the heavens may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in the heavens forgive your trespasses.” Thus, you see, an unforgiving spirit is an effectual barricade against prevailing prayer.

    You must not only clear away all obstructions by forgiving everybody, but in total and eternal abandonment to God so sink away into His will, losing sight of everything else, that the Holy Spirit will be pleased to confer the omnipotent grace of prevailing prayer and faith, putting you where you can ask and believe that He doeth it. This is the wonderful secret of bringing heaven down to earth. Lord, help us all to learn it!

    THE HIGH PRIESTS DEMAND HIS AUTHORITY Matthew 21:23-27; Luke 20:1-8; Mark 11:27-33. “And again they come into Jerusalem. And He, walking round in the temple, file high priests, scribes, and elders come to Him, and say to Him, By what authority do You these things? And who gave You this authority that You may do these things? And Jesus, responding, said to them, I will also ask you one question; answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men? Tell Me. And they reasoned among themselves, If we may say, It is from heaven, He will say, Wherefore then did you not believe on him? But if we may say, It is from men; they feared the people: for all held John, that he was truly a prophet. And responding, they say to Jesus, We do not know.

    And Jesus, responding, says to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Those high priests considered the authority He exercised in the purification of the temple outrageous, intrusive, and usurpatory in the extreme. Consequently they look Him in the face, with the scribes and Pharisees holding up their hands, and publicly demand His authority, feeling that it was their prerogative to manage affairs in the temple. See how inconsistent their attitude, as they were really Satan’s preachers, worshipping him as God; while the Son of God, with all authority in heaven and in earth, was there, and they were too blind to see Him! How does history repeat itself! The Lord’s true people, saved, sanctified, and filled with the Spirit, alone have authority this day to preach and labor to save souls, going where He leadeth. Do we not see the authority of such called in question by the high priests and Pharisees on all sides? Jesus simply referred them to the ministry of John, under which He was baptized with water, and thus inaugurated into His official Messiahship, the Holy Spirit immediately descending and filling Him, thus qualifying Him for His work. As Jesus said to John, “Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness” i.e. , to verify every injunction of the Levitical law, which required the high priests to be anointed before entering upon the duties and exercising the authority of their office — so, pursuant to the example of our Great Leader, we should all conform to the ritual law of the New Testament, and be sure that, like Jesus, we get filled with the Holy Ghost, thus silencing criticism and disarming our enemies. You see all the high priests, Pharisees, and elders here dumfounded. They were in a dilemma, and dare not take either horn. If they denied the Divine authority of John, they were afraid of a riot, as the people all regarded him as truly a prophet, there being no dissenting voice, but unanimity of opinion as to the Divine prophetical commission of John, whose ministry was a sunburst on Israel after a dark interregnum of four hundred years. Again, they were afraid to acknowledge the Divine authenticity of John’s ministry lest Jesus would say, Why did you not believe on Him? Consequently they took a neutral position. O what a succession these blind, unspiritual high priests, ruling eiders, and Pharisees have this day! Do you not know that, as a rule, their successors in the Churches are now playing neutrality in reference to God’s mighty works in the great current revival shaking all nations, and denominated the “Holiness Movement?”

    THE TWO SONS Matthew 21:28-32. “But what seems to you? A man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said, Child, go today, labor in my vineyard. And responding, he said, I do not wish; and afterward, repenting, went. And coming to the second, he said likewise. And he, responding, said, I, Lord; and went not. Which one of the two did the will of the father? They say to him, The first. Jesus says to them, Truly I say unto you, that the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but the publicans believed him. But you, seeing, did not afterward repent, in order to believe him.” The Lord called the whole Gentile world two thousand years before He called the Jews. Hence you see that the Gentiles are the elder son, who remained rebellious and alien from God four thousand years; meanwhile the Jews, in due time, received and responded to the call, saying, “O yes, Lord, we are Your people, and You are our God.” But finally becoming proud, vain, arrogant, and self-righteous, they even reject and slay their own Christ, for whom they had waited through the ages, and consequently the terrible castigations of destruction and dispersion overtake them, sending them, aliens and vagabonds, upon the face of the whole earth, till all the Gentiles come into the kingdom. Here we see, from the unmistakable utterances of the Infallible, that it is actually easier to save publicans and harlots, the worst of sinners, than proud, self-righteous Pharisaical professors of Christianity. Hence you see from this clear and unequivocal teaching that, of all the people in the world, the hardest to save and the surest of perdition are these bigoted, dead, formal Church members, and even preachers, who have the form without the power. Matthew 3:7 , tells us about these Pharisees and Sadducees coming to the ministry of John, and taking offense at his plain, straight, and awful appeals to them, calling them “generations of vipers,” and warning them to flee the wrath to come, his prophetic eye then contemplating their awful and speedy perdition. That was their good time to repent. They did not; but took umbrage, going away mad because the preacher called them rattle snakes, and demanded of them to repent in dust and ashes and get religion before he would baptize them. While they went away in a rage and abused the preacher for insulting them, the poor publicans and harlots got awfully convicted; saw hell open and the devil after them; wallowed on the ground, irrigating the dust with copious penitential tears, — they sweeping with shouts into the kingdom, while these big preachers and proud Church officers go down to hell. Our Savior here beautifully reveals the order of repentance and faith, the latter invariably preceded by the former, which constitutes our indispensable qualification for the exercise of justifying faith, repentance breaking the yoke of Satan, and faith receiving that of Christ.

    N. B. — It is still Wednesday, and yet in the morning, and Jesus is preaching in the temple, having cleansed it Tuesday afternoon. This is a wonderful day, in which He does an immense amount of preaching. His time is getting short, as to-morrow night His enemies will lay violent hands on Him, thus winding up the most wonderful evangelism the world ever saw.

    THE WICKED HUSBANDMAN Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19.

    Matthew: “Hear another parable: A man who is a landlord planted a vineyard, and placed a hedge round it, and dug a wine-trough in it, and built a tower.” The dense thorn-hedge was to protect it from the intrusion of animals as well as thieves. The wine-trough was located deep down beneath the press, in order to catch the sweet juice of the delicious grapes expressed and running into it. The tower was for rest and recreation, and especially for vigilance against thieves, who might stealthily intrude into the vineyard and spoliate the fruit. It is difficult for Occidentals to conceive the paradoxical abundance of grapes produced by a Palestinian vineyard. I have seen the whole earth burdened with the great clusters of grapes, almost sweet as honey. I could not forbear making myself sick eating them.

    American grapes, with the exception of California, have no such flavor and sweetness. Truly, the land abounds in corn and wine. “He gave it out to husbandmen, and went away. But when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandman to receive his fruits; and the husbandmen, taking his servants, beat one, slew one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did unto them likewise.” These servants were the prophets. Isaiah was cut in two with a cruel saw; Jeremiah, imprisoned in a deep well to starve to death; King Ahab ordered the imprisonment and starvation of the prophet Micaiah; John the Baptist, the greatest of the prophets, was beheaded by King Herod. “And afterward he sent unto them his own son, saying, They will reverence my son. But those farmers, seeing the son, said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and take possession of his inheritance.” This is precisely what they did. The leading preachers and official laymen regarded him as a competitor, who, if successful, would deprive them of their fat offices. Consequently they conspired against him, and slew him, thus taking possession of the Church, to conduct it in their own way, and receive the emoluments of office. “Having taken him, they cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.” They actually arrested Him at midnight of the ensuing day, and on the following morning cast Him out of the city, and nailed Him to the cross on Calvary. “Then, when the lord of the vineyard may come, what will he do to those farmers? They say to Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and give out the vineyard to other farmers, who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” This was literally done very quickly. God the Father has no incarnation, and is consequently invisible to mortal eyes. He actually came in those vast and formidable Roman armies, who slew a million of Jews with sword, pestilence, and famine, doubtless every one who had been guilty of the above crimes falling in the awful death-harvest that rolled over the city. Then, you see, the Church was turned over to the Gentiles — the new people becoming the cultivators of the vineyard during the time of their fidelity to the Proprietor. Otherwise, the same awful calamity awaits them. Here you see clearly that the gospel Church is not a de novo institution, but substantially identical with the Church organized in the house of Abraham, and perpetuated nearly two thousand years under the prophetical and Mosaic economy. You see that the vineyard was not destroyed, but, surviving, was given into the hands of other husbandmen; showing clearly and demonstratively that the identical Church of the patriarchs and prophets, in which Jesus lived and died, was perpetuated and given to the Gentiles. Precisely as those wicked farmers, who met the awful fate, were not the vineyard, so the carnal, self-righteous priests, elders, and Pharisees who killed the prophets and Jesus were not the Church. God has had a holy people in all ages, who have eaten the delicious grapes and drunk the sweet wine of His spiritual kingdom. “Jesus says unto them, Have you not read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner: this was wonderful with the Lord, and was marvelous in our eves?

    Therefore I say unto you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given unto a nation bringing forth the fruit of the same. The one falling on this rock shall be dashed to pieces; and on whomsoever it may fall, it will grind him to powder. [ <19B822> Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; Zechariah 12:3; Daniel 2:34-44] And the chief priests and Pharisees hearing His parables, knew that He was speaking concerning them. And seeking to arrest Him, they were afraid of the multitudes, since they had Him as a prophet.” The impression that the Jewish people killed Jesus is a slander on them which they do not deserve. You see here, the leading preachers and Church officers were anxious to arrest Him, and were only restrained through fear of the people. Jesus was an exceedingly popular preacher with the common people, but awfully unpopular with the higher clergy and ruling elders, because they looked upon Him as an official rival, feeling satisfied that if He succeeded, deposing all of them, He would promote His friends to office. You see in the above Scriptures that Jesus is that Chief Corner-stone rejected by the builders — i.e. , the Jewish officials rebut by the power of the Holy Ghost becoming the Head of the corner. All houses in that country are stone. At the corner a great, solid, and elegantly-dressed stone is laid, with both walls built on it, and thus held together: as they both rest on this one corner-stone, and consolidate the house, since the wonderfully tenacious calcareous cement of that country actually unifies the different stones of the wall into one grand conglomeration. Thus Jesus, the Chief Corner-stone of the gospel Church, not only unites Jews and Gentiles, but all sects, races, and nationalities. How momentous the awful responsibility of dealing with this Stone, since if you fall on it, you are dashed to pieces; and if it falls on you, you are ground to powder! People may be saved, if sincere and true, despite multitudes of heresies.

    Meanwhile heresy on the Christhood of Jesus, as here you see, is necessarily fatal. O the infinite importance of preaching Christ, as all are necessarily lost who have the misfortune, through Satanic intrigue, to assume position either antagonistical to Him or depreciative of Him. Let us take the alarm. Unitarianism is rapidly, though occultly, everywhere stealing into the Protestant Churches. It bears blight and desolation in its wake.

    CHAPTER - THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING’S SON Matthew 22:1-14. “And Jesus, responding, again spoke to them in parables, saying: The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a kingly man, who made a marriage for his son.” We are betrothed to Christ in regeneration and married in sanctification. Luxuriant festivals have in all ages been customary at weddings, and especially in the Old World, where they constrain every one who even happens to come in to eat with them. I called to see a sick American friend, at a Moslem house in Jerusalem, during the time of a wedding festival, which had been protracted, the nuptials having been celebrated a few days previously, but the music and festivity still continuing. Stranger as I was, from this far-off land, they constrained me to eat. When the soul passes out of Satan’s dreary starvation country into the kingdom of God, a wonderful time of spiritual festivity follows. Hence God’s wedding festival has really been in progress about six thousand years, Abel, Seth, Enoch, and Noah being honored guests.

    While it is a blessed experimental fact that this wedding festival has been running in all ages, the Excarnate Christ being on the earth from the beginning, yet the incarnation of Jesus gave a grand and glorious ovation and culmination to this wedding festival, to which isolated references are frequently made by way of pre-eminence. “And he sent his servants to call those who had been invited to the wedding, and they were not willing to come.” The patriarchs and prophets, from Abel down, had been calling the people to this wedding. Eventually John the Baptist came, the last and the greatest of the prophets, to invite those who had been called by all of his predecessors to come at once to the wedding festival, as the King’s Son had already come on the earth, and the time had arrived for all the guests to enjoy the royal banquet of the heavenly nuptials. “Again he sent other servants, saying, Say to those who have been called, Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings have been slain, and all things are ready; come to the wedding.” John the Baptist and his disciples gave them the first call. Jesus not only called them Himself, but He sent out the twelve apostles, to go two by two throughout the whole country and invite them; and also the seventy evangelists, commissioned and restricted to Israel, besides the innumerable volunteers who, in homes, social circles, business places, and along the thoroughfares, had been calling them now three years. Hence the Jews were abundantly notified, and really left without excuse. “And they, being careless, went away, the one to his farm, and another to his merchandise. But the rest, taking his servants, insulted and slew them.” Do you not remember how the apostles, during the Pentecostal revival, preached all day on the streets and spent the ensuing night in jail? At a very early day, James, the brother of John, was martyred right there in Jerusalem. Stephen leading the way — O how the bloody tide did flow under the leadership of Saul the persecutor! Hence this was literally verified, some of the Jews treating the call with utter indifference, and others becoming demoniacally mad and killing them without mercy, beginning with Jesus, and going on, determined to exterminate the Nazarene heresy in blood. “And the king, hearing, was angry, and sending forth his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” That was literally fulfilled in the Roman wars, A.D. 66-73, deluging the whole country in Jewish blood, and culminating in the destruction of the city, leaving it a heap of ruins, without an inhabitant during the next fifty years, when the Emperor Adrian founded a Roman colony on the site, naming it Ella Capitolina, as there was no Jerusalem. It had been destroyed, and remained in oblivion till the conversion of Constantine, A.D. 325, who rebuilt and restored the name Jerusalem. “Then he says to his servants, The marriage is ready, and those who have been called are not worthy. Therefore go ye into the highways, and as many as you may find, call to the wedding. And those servants, going out along the way, led in all so many as they found, both bad and good. And the marriage was filled with guests.” Here you see the call of the Gentiles, and we are at! so glad that we ever heard that call, and found our way into the marriage festival. Rest assured, we are delighted with it. I heard the call and responded fifty years ago, and the festival is far better now than ever. You see here a strange statement, that they brought in all indiscriminately, the bad and the good. How shall we understand that strange statement? “Good” is here used simply in a moral, practical, worldly sense; while “bad” is antithetical, and means the rough, dissipated, reckless, hard cases i.e. , outbreaking sinners. Now, there is every encouragement for that class, because they are mentioned before the flood, showing up a broad, open door and a world-wide welcome for the worst reprobates that ever trod the globe. Though I was one of the “good,” my life when a sinner being morally irreproachable, yet I needed salvation just as much as the vilest debauchee that ever walked the earth. It is hard to tell which of these classes is the more hopeful and the easier saved, as there is nothing hard with God.

    The great trouble with the good is self-righteousness. Who knows but this fair, hypocritical garment of self-righteousness, hiding beneath it the very virus of hell, is as abominable in the sight of God as the blackest debaucheries, the most revolting blasphemy, and even theft and murder?

    The truth of it is, the whole world, out of Christ, are exposed to wrath and hell regardless of moral character or Church membership, these frequently being used by Satan to hoodwink the poor devotee, till he can dump him headlong into the bottomless pit. “The king having come in to look upon his guests, saw there a man not having on the wedding garment. And he says to him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having on a wedding garment? And he was dumb. Then the king said to the servants, Binding him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness and there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few elected.” This scene of the drama is profoundly significant and momentously interesting, developing a phase characteristic of spiritual wedlock which should bring us all low down in the dust of humiliation, crying unto God for that deep illumination of the Holy Spirit, which is our only fortification against the appalling catastrophe which overtook this man in that final ordeal, when the last opportunity having fled, emendation was utterly impossible, doom and damnation opening wide the yawning vortex of the bottomless pit. How awful to be hurled from the celestial portals into the regions of irremediable woe! Now, what is the wedding garment? It is none other than the snowy-white, spotless robe, washed and perfectly purified in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb. It is the righteousness of Christ, the robe of holiness, which the loving Father had the angels bring to clothe the prodigal son, preparatory for the salutations and congratulations which awaited him in the royal festival which followed. We see that this man had heard the gospel call, and had come along with the guests; but was never elected. Consequently the woeful discomfiture in the end supervened. “Chosen,” in E.V., is too weak a translation of eklektoi , “elected.” Peter says, “Elect through the sanctification of the Spirit.” Hence, you see, we are elected, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, having been nominated in conversion. No wonder Peter exhorts us to strive with all diligence to make our calling and election sure.

    If we should meet the sad fate of the above guest, who was cast out into endless perdition because he there appeared without a wedding garment, infinitely better for us that we had never been born. Rely upon it, entire sanctification is this wedding garment, as we are betrothed to Christ in justification, but married to him in sanctification. All the guests collectively constitute the Bride, the Church. Since you have heard the gospel call, by the living ministry and the Holy Spirit, let it be the great enterprise of probationary life to make your calling and election sure, and settle the matter beyond all defalcation, lest you incur the sad fate of the guest without the wedding garment.

    TRIBUTE TO CAESAR Matthew 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26. “And lying in wait for Him, they sent sharpers, hypocritically claiming to be righteous, that they may catch His word, in order to deliver Him up to the tribunal and authority of the governor. And they asked Him, saying, Teacher, we know that Thou dost speak and teach correctly, and that Thou dost not receive the face, but teachest the Word of God in truth: is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar or not? And He, knowing their rascality, said to them, Why do you tempt Me? Show Me the denarion. Whose image and superscription hath it? And they responding, said, That of Caesar. And He said to them, Therefore render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things which are God’s. And they were not able to capture His word before the people. And being astonished at His answer, they kept silent.” We have given you Luke’s narrative, who simply states that sharpers — i.e. , critical tricksters — waited on Him in this adroit interview, hoping to perplex Him, and get some clew at Him, deduced from His phraseology of and Mark state that these critics were Pharisees and Herodiana — the former the most loyal and enthusiastic Jewish party, and the latter consisting of a political faction favorable to Roman rule. Though diametrically opposed either to other, in this instance, as ever and anon hitherto, they united their forces against Jesus. How common it’s for the belligerent sects to make peace among themselves and unite their forces against holiness! They felt sure of success in this united hypocritical assault on Jesus, as the Pharisees represented the Jewish interest and the Herodians the Roman. In case that He had decided in favor of paying tribute to Caesar, the Pharisees aimed to prefer treasonable charges against Him, and arraign Hint before the Sanhedrin for disloyalty to the Theoeratic Government. On the contrary, if He answered the question in the negative, the Herodians were ready to have Him arrested and brought before Pilate to answer charges of treason against the Roman Empire. Now, you see how easily and conveniently He foils them both by simply asking them to show Him the denarion , a Roman coin, worth fifteen cents, and used to pay regular poll-tax, as well as the revenue to the Roman Government. Now, asking “Whose image and superscription is on this coin?” they respond, “Caesar’s.” Then He simply says, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things which are God’s.” As the Jews claimed to be under the Divine government, while they were also subject to Roman rule, this answer covered all the ground in both cases, at the same time showing up absolute equity in behalf of each, so that no exception could be taken. Consequently the sharpers were all dumfounded. Matthew 22:22. “And hearing, they were astonished, and leaving Him they went away.” We see most indubitable manifestations of His Divinity thus cropping out on all occasions. Here, He is besieged by the most intellectual and cultured men of Church and State, criticizing every utterance, and doing their best to lasso Him, and all are signally foiled, defeated, and dumfounded. No other man ever trod the globe whose ordinary utterances, day by day, were utterly invulnerable.

    THE RESURRECTION Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40. “And certain ones of the Sadducees coming to Him, who deny that there is a resurrection, interrogated Him, saying, Teacher, Moses wrote to us [ Deuteronomy 25:5], If the brother of any one may die, having a wife, and he may die childless, that his brother must take his wife, and raise up seed to his brother. Then there were seven brothers; the first taking a wife, died childless. And the second. took the wife, and he died childless. And the third received her; and likewise also the seven; and they left no children, and died. And last of all the woman also died. Therefore in the resurrection whose