The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36
To the Rescue!
To the Rescue!
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But lot every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another! For every man shall bear his own burden."
—Galatians vi. 1-5.
I Never speak on the subject of Temperance without much anxiety—not because I doubt the truthfulness of the cause which I plead, but because I know that no words of mine can give utterance to the intensity of my conviction; and I always fear lest I leave the impression upon my audience that I am not so earnest, that I am not so thoroughly impressed with the importance of this matter, as I ought to be. I do believe—and please accept my confession of faith at the outset—that there is no subject which so much demands the careful and the prayerful attention of Christian men and women in our land at this time as the subject to which I call your attention this afternoon. We know that there is no specific evil so great as that against which we contend. We know that there is no hindrance to the progress of the Gospel so mighty as that against which we have been battling with such feeble power, and with such little success, for many years; and there is nothing in my judgment that has been less studied, and that has been less successfully resisted by the Christian Church, as this very evil, to which it ought to have given its best attention and its most earnest labours. Surely I do not need to tell you that it is the duty of Christian men to labour for the reclamation of the lost—to follow the footsteps of Christ, who went about doing good and healing all that were possessed of the devil. At this page 4 time of day at least it ought not to be necessary to insist upon this, that the plain and paramount duty of all Christians is to do all the good in the world they can; but especially to use that mighty instrument—the Gospel of God's grace—which has been entrusted to them, so that sinners may be saved from the snares of the enemy, and made partakers of the salvation that is in Jesus Christ with eternal glory. And I am convinced, if men were really painfully alive to their duty in this matter, studied it, and wrought in it as they ought, there would be less carelessness and much more real effort directed to this sin of intemperance. They would find it, as earnest Christian labourers have found it, and have been taught by finding—they would find it to be the enemy against which they had to do the most earnest battle. And they would be taught to "gird on the whole armour of God that they might be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand." Yet, while I propose to call your attention to this special labour for saving the lost, and for promoting the security of others, I dare not enter upon the subject without remarking that, for Christian men and Christian women themselves, this question has a very close and common interest. Some people talk as if asceticism were always a hurtful thing, and as if self-indulgence were always a safe thing. They speak as if they required to be continually on their guard lest they in any way hindered themselves from getting all the pleasure possible in life, and they seem to imagine that it is a very dangerous thing to limit or narrow their enjoyments cither on the right hand or the left. Now, I don't plead for monkery, I do not plead for asceticism in the old sense; but I do plead for what Paul taught us to be a desirable thing—a thing concerning which he himself felt that he needed to make self-denying provision. Let us not forget his wise and needful words: "I therefore so run not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air. But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest by any means when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway."
Do we not need to be reminded in these times that, as the soldiers of Jesus Christ, we ought to endure hardness, and that our dangers are not from the side of lessening our pleasures, but page 5 from the side of increasing them: that we need, as philosophers have done for the sake of their philosophy, and as statesmen have done for the sake of their patriotism, to reduce our living within narrow limits that we may not be subject to temptation. For I have read of a man of science who would not have his science prostituted, and become solely the means of any desire for gain, and of a patriot who would not have himself subject to bribes, and therefore each taught himself to live on bread and water. So also, that our bodies may not tempt us, and that our minds may not be misguided or misgoverned, we ought to restrict ourselves within very narrow limits indeed, if we would live unspotted lives, and bring forth fruit unto God. Then let me say, moreover, that I believe in all its quantities, and in all its so-called usefulness, intoxicating drink blunts the fine edge of conscience, and lessens that sensitive spirituality which those who work by the Spirit of God should so carefully preserve. And if we would have keenness of heart and integrity of purpose in following the Lord, we cannot afford to introduce into our system that which will lessen and lower in a remarkable degree—in a degree in which many, I believe, are not aware that it is possible that it should be so lowered—the spiritual power which God is so graciously pleased to bestow. While in the body, talk as we may, we are subject to the limitations of the body, and as the mind, distinct though it be, cannot work when the body fetters it, so the spirit, distinct though it be, cannot work when both mind and body fetter it; and both mind and body are fettered, in a lesser or greater degree, just in proportion to the amount taken of those drinks which so many people prize. I am not going to prove that, because everybody knows it. Those who use those things know it better than we do who don't use them, for they have experience of it every day they live. No man can be so devoted and so earnest in his zeal toward God if he is indulging the flesh in any measure, and every man feels that just in proportion as he blunts those spiritual powers that God has given him, to that extent is he hindered from manifesting Christian life and exercising Christian power as he ought to do. Now, without saying anything further on these points, on which I might have raised a personal argument in support of total abstinence, let me proceed to deal page 6 directly with the subjects that are suggested by our text. Listen, again, to what is specially said, first of all, concerning Christian duty, in the restoration or the recovery of the fallen: "If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." I am not going to insist on the meaning of the word "overtaken"—whether it means, as some suppose, "surprised by the sin," or "surprised and detected in the sin ": it does not matter what interpretation we give to this term; if men are found in sin anyhow, it is the duty of spiritual men to extricate them from it somehow. This duty appertains specially to those who have made the greatest advance in spiritual life. "Ye who are spiritual ought to restore such an one." Some people think that spirituality consists in living apart from the common crowd, in maintaining solitariness, in avoiding the locality of evil, and withdrawing one's self from its sphere, as far as possible. When a man lives a hermit's life within a great city, and shuts himself up within the cell of his own peculiar life, and is always thinking, or seems to be always thinking about heavenly things, meditating upon scriptural subjects, that man is considered a most spiritually-minded man. That opinion is not scripturally sound. That man is most spiritually-minded who is fullest of the Spirit of God, who is like Jesus, on whom that Spirit rested in all its energy, and who went about doing good, grappling with disease and death and sin in all their strongholds. He ate and drank with publicans and sinners; He did not stand aloof or shut Himself up in His retirement that He might cherish His own feelings and desires, but He went about healing and helping, as God gave Him opportunity, all the days of His ministry upon earth; and we who are spiritual are to be like Christ, not caring only to keep alive the life in our own souls, but seeking to make that life tell upon others. And let me tell you a secret—that is the only way to keep it alive. If you shut it up, it will surely dull and die, for that is the law of all fire and life. A man who is not working for Christ in a Christlike manner, is starving his own soul, and if the grace of God is not specially given to him, that life will die out. It is in labouring that we thrive; in doing good as we have opportunity, that we page 7 maintain the spiritual-mindedness which the Lord hath first given us. This is the duty of spiritual men; are they fulfilling it? I apply the question, of course, to this special sin, which confessedly is the greatest sin of the present day. What are our spiritually-minded men doing to check drunkenness? I am not going to speak uncharitably; I am not going to condemn or call to account any of the members of Churches, or any Churches of any kind whatsoever; I am simply asking this question, and it merely rests with our consciences to give the reply: What are the spiritually-minded men, those who are most devoted and Christ-like, doing to check drunkenness? Sometimes they complain of what ungodly men are doing in this movement. Why, that should put them to the blush. "Tell it not in Gath; publish it not in the streets of Askelon." Do not let us hear such words as these coming from the Churches, when the Churches are folding their hands and doing little or nothing. It is the greatest discredit and disgrace that one can imagine that they should have to speak of the efforts being made to save drunkards by men who honour not the Lord Jesus Christ, if, meanwhile, they are idling or fooling with their duty. But, I ask again, what are the spiritually-minded men doing to check this sin? and if they are doing anything, what success has attended their endeavours? Are they seeking to restore those who have fallen, and are they doing it according to the advice that our text gives, and that I do not need to say the Gospel gives throughout? "Ye who are spiritual restore the fallen, rejoin, or in surgical language reduce, the dislocated member, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." I beseech you by the gentleness and meekness of the Lord Jesus Christ. No one purer and no one meeker than the Lord Jesus Christ—in Him all purity and meekness dwelt together. If you show me a proud man I will show you a sinful man, and the sinfulness is just in proportion to the pride. If you show me a meek man I will show you a pure man, and the purity will be just in proportion to the meekness. Tenderly and hopefully deal with the fallen, "considering thyself." Sir James Simpson, in the advice he gave on one occasion to some medical students, said: "Let us all cultivate to the utmost the steady manliness of hand and head which our profession so urgently page 8 demands; but do not despise that gentle womanliness of heart which the sick in their depression and pain so often look for, and long for and profit by. Be to every man his beloved, as well as trusted, physician."
Need I say that this is specially needed in dealing with those who are suffering by sin, and that if we are to help those who have fallen, we require to go to them in a spirit of meekness. Now, I ask this: Are those who do not take our position inclined to deal with drunkenness in the spirit of meekness? Read the newspapers. Listen to the diatribes that are thrown out continually against this evil by men of the world, and sometimes, I am sorry to say, by members of the Church of Christ. They condemn it with unfaltering lips. They speak of it in the strongest and harshest terms, as though to clear themselves of any complicity in it. Where is the spirit of meekness? If we would save men we must be like Christ in dealing with them—as winsome as He was, as amiable, as equally willing and ready to help. He did, indeed, bid away the Pharisees from Him by a certain repellance that goodness always has towards hypocrisy, but we are told that the lost and the outcast in Judea flocked around Him, and listened eagerly to His words. They knew that He felt for them, and acquainted as they were with the terribleness of the evil against which—no, they were not contending, but under which they were suffering, they listened to Him, if peradventure some words of health and healing might come to them from His lips. So it is, we must be in the world. If we would reclaim the fallen, we must have that meekness and gentleness which characterised the Lord Jesus Christ; and this only comes to us sinners in its fulness, I believe, when we have this other qualification that is added in the text, "considering thyself lest thou also be tempted."
There are hundreds of our moralists who are not afraid to declaim against sin because they think themselves quite beyond it. They stand on a sort of pedestal that can never be assailed. Whatever others may do, they cannot fall, and they have no consideration for those who have fallen. They are quite unlike the good man who, on hearing another speak uncharitably concerning a brother who had fallen into sin, said, "Ah! sir, if opportunity were on the one hand and Satan on the other, and page 9 the grace of God on neither, where would you and I be 1" There are some people who think they could not be tempted into drunkenness, or into many other sins that I could mention, and they have no consideration for themselves in such matters at all. They do not know the subtlety of Satan, or the weakness of their own hearts; and they do not remember that in them—in their flesh—there dwelleth no good thing, and that their brethren who have fallen are just as good and as excellent in the sight of God, or, to put it correctly, as destitute of good and as destitute of excellence as they are. If we would save others, and if we would exercise the meekness that is essential, it must be with this genuine and salutary self-regard, "Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Now, I say that the principles which we commend to-day, embrace all this. The origin of the temperance reformation was a desire in the hearts of good men to save drunkards. The movement has been characterised from its commencement by meekness when it has been rightly urged—perhaps not always meekness in rebutting Pharisaic falseness and pride—but, certainly, there is under all its efforts for the reclamation of the fallen a self-consideration, because of the knowledge we have of our own weakness, and the need of guarding ourselves against the possibility of being tempted into that sin. What does this fact mean, that we won't indulge in those drinks, but simply this—" Considering myself lest I also be tempted." Why do I keep so far aloof from this sin of drunkenness but because I believe that I may be sucked within the vortex almost unconsciously; because I know that there is no guarantee of safety if I wilfully intrude within the province of this direful temptation; because I know that it is only by guarding carefully and constantly against the very approaches to this terrible calamity that I can be safe from it. "Who can understand his errors i Cleanse thou me front secret faults. Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sin. Let them not have dominion over me. Then shall I be upright and innocent from the great transgression." "Considering thyself lest thou also be tempted."
Still, it is better, is it not, that we should prevent it? We are learning that in these times, and have reason to be thankful for the lesson. Ay, it is well that we should have our brave men at sea who will stand by their fellows when their ship has sprung a leak and is threatened with destruction; and who will dare amidst the storm and the roar of the hurricane to launch the boat that they may save their comrades from a watery grave. But it is better to send out our ships well found and strongly manned, that they may not be exposed to the hazard of foundering in the midst of the ocean. And this is the way we are learning the lesson in these times. We take precautions beforehand, that these shipwrecks may not so strangely take place as they have page 10 done in times that have gone. It is well to struggle with disease, to battle with it in its dens, and raise up from the fevered couch the stricken patient; but it is better still to hunt it out from those lurking places where it lies in wait, day by day, week by week, and month by month, to seize hold of its victims. It is better to prevent than cure—better to hinder the calamity than even to bring relief when the calamity has come. And so it is here. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the lane of Christ" Bear the burdens and the heavily-weighted won't fall. Help them when they are stumbling along, strengthen the weak, and then you won't be called upon to restore fallen ones. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." How may we bear their burdens? By recognising these burdens and adopting such means as will lighten them, making them as easy as possible. Ah! how many carry weight in life, and how many might have that weight lessened by Christian thoughtfulness. Do you know that there are people who come into this life burdened with certain proclivities or temperamental sins, as we call them, and we might greatly assist them in resisting these inclinations to evil; and there is no sin the pressure of which may be more thorougly lessened than the sin of drunkenness. Let us remember that many souls are in a real sense burdened by it from their birth, and that it is within the power of the Christian Church, to some extent at least, to ease them of this burden. There are men who are like tinder—ready to take fire when the spark is applied to them—men who are as much predisposed to drunkenness as others are to gout and consumption. They have only to be brought into the atmosphere where the seeds of this sin are flying about, and immediately their hearts and bodies become fit soil for the development of those seeds. Men that have inherited such tendencies from bygone generations, the result of the drinking habits of our forefathers, that are almost doomed to this curse from their cradles, may yet, by coining into a wholesome atmosphere—an atmosphere exhausted of these germs of drunkenness, the drinking customs—pass through life unscathed. By careful nursing, such nursing as would exclude the exciting causes of the disease, as would shield them from that-withering blight which seems, sooner or later, to destroy—if they were so cared for, they may pass their lives unhurt. But nothing less than the most thorough sanitary measures will suffice. If we choose to preserve moderate drinking, we must endure drunkenness also. The danger to which such unfortunates are exposed is not lessened by the fact that those whom they respect, and in whom they have confidence, are not at all disposed to "condescend to those of low estate," by a kindly policy of abstinence, but rather by their words as well as by their deeds, by their professions and by their practice conjoined, encourage page 11 and entice them to venture further and further in the way of danger until they are wholly engulfed in ruin. I do not need to dwell on this. It is painfully suggestive to my mind, at all events—wonderfully suggestive. We might in these things bear each others' burdens, and here is the tender touching point in it—how sacredly it enforces the appeal!—"and so fulfil the law of Christ." Oh! after all that men say about this matter, and after all the objections that are brought from this part of Scripture and the other, and after all the difficulties that are conjured up by the extra-spiritual men in one and in another generation, think of the law of Christ, and that will bear them all down. Think of Him who lived not for Himself but for others—lived for them to this extent, that He died for them, and ask yourselves "What might we not do if, animated by His spirit, we were prepared to sacrifice, not only right hands and right eyes—not only lustful inclinations and desires, but were ready freely to give all that we have in this world: if we were ready to sacrifice ourselves, after His example, for the winning of men, and 1 so fulfil the law of Christ'?" Oh! how weakly we can speak of this great argument, and how harmlessly it seems to tell on our hearts —" so fulfil the law of Christ." "He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." And there are hundreds and thousands who are living lives of self-indulgence, and who, when we speak to them of yielding up that which, if it were abjured generally, would result in the salvation of thousands, torture Scripture to find a defence or excuse for self-indulgence. It may be wrong to drink. Tell me, is it not lawful to abstain? Where are the Christ-like? Where, are those who are under law to Christ—"As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you." Oh, if men were Christ-like, the world would be different from what it is. If we were bearing each others' burdens after His example, how readily and how speedily would we lessen the mischief of which we so commonly complain.
Notice next the error into which Christian men may fall. "They think themselves to be something when they are nothing, and so deceive themselves." They think they are spiritually-minded, and the spiritual-mindedness, according to their judgment, consists in a zealous care for one's own interest—whether temporal or eternal—exclusive of thoughtful, practical care for the interests of others—both temporal and eternal. And such spiritual-mindedness always does issue in spiritual self-conceit—the most wicked and harmful form that base self-conceit can assume. Ah! their indolent insouciance only proves that they have never come under this blessed yoke—the yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. They imagine that they are good men, near to God and dear to God, and yet they do not move their little finger, or sacrifice the least comfort for the well-being of their own brethren. "He who page 12 loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?" "They think themselves to be something when they are nothing, and so deceive themselves."
No man is anything who is not seeking to save and strengthen others—anything in God's sight, or after Christ's fashion. If he thinks himself to be something let him go to the Word of God, and he will discern his utter worthlessness there. If such a man thinks himself something, let him get into God's balances and be weighed in them, and what is his worth? What is he doing? Is he making men more godly by his example, by his help, by his bearing their burdens, by his living under the law of Christ? Is he raising the fallen—preventing others from falling? Is he witnessing against evil, and for God? "If a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself." And how can we guard against this deceit? Thus:Let a man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself and not in another. Let a man prove his own work. Well, now, if we could only get the Churches to prove their own work in this matter of drunkenness. I believe we should advance a considerable distance in the direction in which we desire to go, if Christian men would sit down and consider this: "Well, we have been labouring for the lessening of this sin for many years, how much have we done? How far have we succeeded in the attainment of this end?" There are a great many theoretical objections to total abstinence—against its taking the place of more spiritual means and methods; but all vanish away just as the mists of the morning vanish before the rising sun as soon as they are touched by the test of practical experience. Mrs. Wightman, for instance, thought it was a wrong thing to embrace total abstinence, and in doing her good work among certain classes of the community she sought to deal with them simply by ordinary Christian methods and appeals; but she soon found that total abstinence was her strongest helper, and she adopted it most heartily, and by means of it was able to accomplish much more good than ever she had done in her life before. And, if I mistake not, a Canon of the Church of England said publicly that, during a great many years of his ministry, he did not know of any drunkards he had converted or brought into the Church by his special effort; but that lie had not been a total abstainer more than three years when he was the means of inducing fifty reclaimed drunkards to attend Divine worship, and of these at least one-half became communicants. And Miss Robinson, in her testimony concerning Christianity and teetotalism, recently published, gives us letter upon letter, testimony upon testimony, of Christian men who have been raised into Christianity, and strengthened in their Christianity, by the adoption of this principle of total abstinence. Why, in the name of wonder, should many people suppose that page 13 there is any opposition or antagonism between abstaining from a hurtful beverage and living according to the law of God in Christ Jesus? One can scarcely realise in calm thought that any such opposition should have been suggested, and yet we know that it has been, and we know that the direct and sufficient answer to it is an answer, thank God, that has been abundantly and repeatedly given in the practical experience of those who have made efforts to win souls for Christ. For what has been that experience? Why just this, that in proportion to the thoroughness of their grappling with divers evils, they have been led to adopt and enforce this principle of abstinence as a notable element of success in gaining their great end.
Suppose that the Church outside teetotalism has been acting on the supposition that the practice of moderation is the right example; that we should not abuse these drinks; that we should keep within certain limits—I ask what has been the success of this method I Why, moderation must always fail. Suppose that I am perfectly safe—suppose that I can use it and not abuse it, as men say—and that it is not possible for me to be overcome (although "consider thyself lest thou be tempted" comes in here to check any such thought—nevertheless, for argument's sake, let us suppose that I am perfectly free from danger, though actually I never am if I use it), still, if it is used at my table, if it has my sanction and testimony to its safeness, others are encouraged thereby to use it who do abuse it. Oh! do not we know—one feels impatient with the foolish talk in which men indulge against the necessity for abstinence and in favour of the advantages of moderation—don't we know that where there is moderate drinking there will be drunkenness, for men here and there will cross the edge; not all men, but many men; and so long as this habit continues, so long you will reap your crop of thousands of drunkards. That has all the certainty of any observed law of nature; and so long as the Church encourages moderate drinking, she will be blameworthy in this ratter. Moderation never can save men, or prevent them from falling. The only preventive—I say it in the sight of God, and I challenge an honest denial of this statement—the only preventive is to be found in our refusing to have anything to do in any case whatever with that which tempts and leads to drunkenness. Nothing but total abstinence is a preventive, and that does secure the end we have in view. Let a man prove his own work, and he will come to this conclusion. I have been told by some that their example would count for nothing. Perhaps it may be so; but, then, whether it be the case or not, so long as you are on the other side your example counts for something. You are helping to maintain these customs, and, however weak or insignificant you are, you go towards supporting this terrible, evil; and there is not a good man, a spiritual man, in the world, page 14 a Christian man, who takes his glass moderately, who does not, however unwilling and unintentionally, encourage those who are drifting hopelessly into drunkenness. Topers and revellers are pleading the example of such in support of their own misconduct. The whole weight of their influence, such as it is, is in favour of the evil; and they are the great resistance and incubus against which we have to spend so much of our strength in defence of the weak and the removal of temptation. Let men prove their own work. Let them ascertain what is the result of their own example. Let them ask what it would be if all indulged in moderate drinking. If we who are total abstainers returned to it, might not the world become even worse than it is? What would be the result, on the other hand, if they along with us made the sacrifice (which, they say, would not be a large one), and gave up the indulgence in these drinks altogether? What would be the result, then, if men did not meet with this temptation, if our young men and young women were raised up in atmospheres that were not polluted by it, and were not exposed to fascinations that are so deadly in the present day—what would be the consequence in the next generation? Tell me! Prove both! Will you prove moderation —but, oh! we do not need to prove it. It is proving itself in the present time. But prove the other. Think of the result if it were universal, and tell me how we can have rejoicing except in bearing each other's burdens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ. Hear what Paul says: "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some; and this I do for the Gospel's sake." There is a responsibility on every man, and there are burdens he must bear which none can bear for him. There are burdens and burdens—burdens that we cannot bear for others, and burdens that we can. There are two distinct words in the Greek text, though they are both translated "burden." One means "weight," and the other means the "portions assigned to us"—something that is given to us, and that we must carry—our responsibility—we cannot rid ourselves of that. We must bear it; and how are we to deal with it in this matter? "Oh!" some tell me—and I believe this is frequently urged—"there is the Gospel. The Gospel will cure men." So it will—no doubt of it. I never doubted it. My life is spent in preaching the Gospel, and yet I am here to preach total abstinence, and I do it in the spirit of the Gospel. I believe it is the handmaid of the Gospel, and that it is absolutely required in dealing with a very large class in our community. What is meant when it is urged that the Gospel will save men? It must mean either of these two things: that the Gospel will make men total abstainers, and then I am with you. I do not care how the end is gained. But if you mean to tell me that by the Gospel being preached, men becoming members of page 15 the Lord Jesus Christ, and subjects of the grace of God, are saved from the danger of drunkenness if they continue to drink, I deny it—unhesitatingly I deny it. Christian men do fall into sin. You have the records of many instances in this book. The grace of God will not prevent a man from sinning if he walk not according to His will. And so long as men indulge in these drinks, and human nature is what it is (and here I am speaking as a physician) men will be tempted to drunkenness, and accordingly men will fall, as they have fallen, into this sin of drunkenness. Is there anyone here who will say he does not know of a Christian man who has become intemperate—I do not mean finally, that is another question—is there anyone here who denies that a Christian man may be overtaken in this fault as he has been in others, just because he has done as other people do—-just because he has not taken precaution against this sin—precaution which he ought to take against all sin—abstaining from the appearance of evil? "Ought not nature itself to teach us" in this matter, as the Apostle Paul says in regard to another thing? Men do discover and may discover that this sin is so ensnaring and subtle that before they are aware of it they are entrapped. The grace of God will keep a man when he yields to it, not when he resists it. The Spirit of God will bless a man when he follows Him, not when he vexes and withstands Him. The Gospel believed, the Gospel lived—that is, the power of God unto salvation, not the mere endeavouring to cast out evil by a form of words; but the truth of God as it operates in the cleansing of our hearts, while we yield ourselves to God wholly and thoroughly, that will preserve us safely unto God's heavenly kingdom.
Now I have done nothing more than indicate what I believe to be the truths contained in this text. One feels, after all, how little the matter is touched, and how cold our words are. Some may think I have been speaking strongly. I feel I have been speaking weakly, and I wish I could use more—what shall I say?—arousing language in regard to this matter. As I said at the beginning, I cannot give effect to my convictions by any language. I cannot utter all that is in my heart concerning this matter—all that I know of it, all that I believe concerning it; and I am fully convinced of this more and more, that it is only by the Church taking hold of these truths that it can do substantial good, and fulfil these words, "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" The Church needs this doctrine, while this doctrine needs the Church, and it would increase the strength of all who are labouring for Christ and build every Christian community in greater force and number, if these truths were enrolled in the catalogue of the things to be done and presented to men in the prosecution of our glorious task.