For the past week we have been, at these noon meetings, looking a', the obstacles that are in the way of working for Christ. Of course that has brought us to ourselves, for we are the only ones that can hinder the work of Christ in this city. He could not do many mighty works there on account of their unbelief; and if there is unbelief and coldness in our hearts, God is not going to do many mighty works here. But, to-day, I was not going to talk about unbelief, but about another enemy, perhaps the greatest of all enemies: and that is, ourselves. I think we will find, if we search our hearts by the light of the Holy Spirit, that we will find self mixed up with about all we undertake to do for God. We read in Corinthians 1st, part of the 31st verse: "Whatsoever ye do, do all for the glory of God." Do all for the g'-ory of God! Now supposing we ask ourselves this question: Have we been working for God, with the right motive? Has it been God's work, or our own, that we have been doing? Has self been crucified, and has God's glory been the uppermost thought in our hearts?
I was very much impressed some time ago, in finding this unholy ambition constantly coming out in the lives of those men, that Christ chose to follow him; and it seemed very strange that, after they had been with him three years, they had not got the lesson from him. It seems about the hardest lesson for us to learn. It seems about the hardest thing, to get to the end of self; but when we have got to the end of self, and self is lost sight of, self-seeking and self-glory thrown aside, and Christ and his cause are uppermost in our hearts, how easy it is for God to use us. In the 9th chapter of Mark, 31st verse, are these words:
For he taught his disciples, and said unto them: The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him: and after that he is killed he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him. And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them: What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? While he was talking about bis death and suffering, they had a dispute on hand. There was a falling out among the herdsmen. By the way, they had disputed among themselves as to who should be the greatest. Is not the same spirit abroad in the church to-day? Is not the great question too often, Who shall be greatest? Is not that one of the great obstacles we have to contend with. Who shall be greatest? And he sat down and called the twelve, and said unto them: "If any man desires to be first, the same shall be the last of all and servant of all. And he took a child and set himin the midst of them; and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them: "Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name receiveth me, and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me." And John answered him, saying: "Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us; and we forbade him because he followeth not us." There the same spirit is coming out again. He did not believe in his work. He did not belong to our party or con
fregation: he did not belong to our sect and party; and so we forade him. There is a good deal of that spirit in these times. It lays down at the bottom. We want to build up our cause, and we have not charity enough to allow other men to use their own methods. So Adab and Medab prophesied, and they were compelled to suffer because they were not of the seventy. But God rebuked that spirit, as we see; and Jesus said: "Forbid him not; for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us."
What I can call your attention to is this: that while Christ was talking about his death and suffering at Jerusalem, these very men were discussing who should be the greatest. While Christ is rejected by the world, how many people are discussing the same question, Who shall be the greatest? What a strife it is; Who shall be the greatest; and who shall shine the most in this world! Oh that God would give us grace enough to get self under our feet; to get over this terrible self-seeking, and to get at the end of self. Now it seems singular, if you turn over to the 10th of Mark, 32d verse, the same thing occurs again:
"And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them; and they were amazed; and as they followed they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto them, saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and unto the Levites; and they shall condemn him to death; and shall deliver him to the Gentiles; and they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him; and the third day he shall rise again." You would have thought that surely would have filled their hearts with sorrow—that they were going to mock him, and spit upon him and to kill him;a nd then, that he was going to rise again. You would have thought they surely would have been filled with astonishment; but see what took place. "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldst do for us whatsoever we ahall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him: Grant unto Ur that we may sit, one on thy right hand and the other on thy left hand in thy glory." Who shall be greatest? Again, there they were seeking to be greatest, that they might have a seat on his right hand and on his left hand. "But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask; can ye drink of the cup that I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him: We can. And Jesus said unto them: Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal, shall ye be baptized; but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it they began to be much displeased with James and John." Then, you see, jealousy came in there, and they were much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye ki.ow that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you; but whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister. And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be the servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but the minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. He did not come to be administered unto but he came to administer. He came to be a servant, and now we want the spirit of the Master.
If you will allow me the expression, this eternal spirit of seeking to be great is one of the greatest obstacles to-day in the church of God. Oh, may God take it from our hearts, and may we have the spirit of the Master; may we know what it is to have the same mind that was in Christ, and he that will be great let him be the least of all. And when we have got at the end of this self-seeking, and are nothing in the sight of God, then we are fit ohannels for God to speak through. It says here in Jeremiah: "Seekest thou great things for thyself. Seek them not." Oh, how it has got into the church, and not only into the pews, but it has crept up into the pulpit, unholy ambition there, not so much for the glory of God but for our own glory. We like to see large congregations, and take the glory to ourselves, and then we cannot work; for God had decreed that no flesh shall glorify in his sight, and when flesh is crucified and we have got flesh under, then the Spirit of God can work, and we have got the g-lory. I can imagine some of you saying: "Of course, these disciples being with Christ, they very soon got the lesson learned; and by the end of Christ's ministry, they got complete victory over themselves." But we turn over to the 22d chapter of Luke, and we find in the 23d verse these words. It was that last night of the supper, and one of the saddest things that ever took place while he was here: "And they began to inquire among themselves which of them it was that should do this thing. And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest."
There was also a strife among them, which of them should be the greatest—right under the very shadow of the cross. The very night he instituted that supper; the very night Judas-had gone out to betray him, the eleven were up in that guest chamber discussing which should be the greatest. There was a strife among them. My friends, let us ask God to search our hearts and see if we have got any of that spirit in us. Let us see if we have any of that spirit that Christ's disciples had. "Who shall be greatest?" God could not use them then. If a man is filled with the Holy Spirit, there is none of this spirit there; none of this jealous spirit, "who shall be greatest," because if a man is full of the Holy Spirit, then there is no room for the world, then there is no room for self, then there is no room for unholy ambitions and unholy desires, then there is no room for self-seeking and lauding self; but a man will have the mind that Christ had, when he is filled with that spirit. Let us ask God to keep us from all jealousy and from all unholy ambition, and make us Christ-like in all our ways. "They shall learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and they shall find rest for their souls." It is a humble man that has rest for his soul; a man that is clothed with humility has rest; but the man that has not this humility of the spirit of Christ does not know what rest is. Some one sent me, a few weeks ago, a few lines written on that text, "Learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart." "Humility, the fairest and loveliest flower that grew in Paradise, and the first that died, has rarely flourished since on mortal soil. It is so frail and so delicate a thing that it is gone if it but look upon itself; and they who venture to believe it theirs prove, by that single thought, they have it not." Oh, may God, give us this humility that we have been. talking about, that each of us may be filled with this humility, so that God can shine through us. Let us have that hymn, "Oh, to bo Nothing." We have sung it once or twice, but I don't think we have it in our hearts. It is easy enough to sing it, but to live in the power of it in our hearts is another thing; and then, if a man don't have the position he wants, he will not get angrv or jealous, but will say, "Lord, lay me aside, and take some one else." I want Mr. Sankey to sing that hymn alone:
Oh, to be nothing, nothing,
Only to lie at his feet,
A broken and emptied vessel.
NOTHING TOO HARD FOB GOD.
The passage which I select to-day is a part of the 32d chapter of Jeremiah, beginning with the 17th verse. "I prayed unto the Lord, saying, Oh, Lord God I behold, thou hast made the heavens and the earth of thy great power and stretched-out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. Thou showest loving kindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: The Great, The Mighty God, The Lord of Hosts, is his name. Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men; to give everyone according to his ways, and according to the fruits of hii doino-s; in which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day; and hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with great terror Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for me? Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will give this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, and he shall take it."
The thought Tvvant to call your attention to is in that seventeenth verse. Jeremiah had great faith in God, and his prayer took hold of God He savs: "Ah, Lord God! behold thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched-out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee/' Now, I would like to give this meeting to-day for the key-note of it, just that one sentence, there u nothing too hard for God. A great many things may seem very hard for us- but let us bear in mind that nothing is too hard for God "Oh Lord God! behold thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched-out arm." We talk about Alexander the Great, and Frederick the Great; but what are all the men that ever lived, what is their power in comparison with God s power. Think how God created this world; think of its mighty rivers and mighty mountains, and its depths and its plains; and yet some onl has said it is only a little ball thrown from the hand of the Almighty. They tell us that the sun is thirteen hundred thousand times larger than this world. Supposing that is true; then think of its mighty rivers and mighty mountains. Some one has said it is a ball of fire. Supposing that is true, what a mighty wonder it is And we are told that there are eighty millions of other suns that have already been discovered, and two billions four hundred millions of other planets, and this is the smallest of them all; this is but a fringe about the universe, or a few outlying villages upon his great empire. And we are told that light travels at the rate of one hundred and eighty thousand miles a minute; and it takes five years for the light of the sun to reach the nearest planet. Now, if this is true, think of our great and our mighty God! Now, Jeremiah had been climbing up upon one of these mountain peaks and he said: Oh, Lord God! behold thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched-out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee." Now, if God has done all these things, how easy it is for him to convert your friends and bless them. It seems as if this very thought pleased the Lord, for here in this very verse it says: "Oh Lord God; behold thou hasg. made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched-out arm; and there is nothing too hard for thee." There is nothing too hard for him. Now let us lay hold of this truth, to-day. Let it sink down deep into our hearts, and as we pray for ungodly men and those who are ridiculing these efforts, and ridiculing our prayers, let us get our eyes off them and lift our eyes to him who has all power in heaven and on earth. Let us bear in mind that nothing is too hard for God; and he delights in doing hard things. Now, if we have faith, God is not going to disappoint us. We are going to see great and wonderful things; and these men who are bitterly opposed to these efforts may be here, in a little while, praising God with us. Infidels, scoffers and unbelievers, gamblers, drunkards and vagabonds, are going to be reached by the mighty power of God. While these men are scoffing let us pray God that his Spirit may fall upon them. We, perhaps, cannot reach them personally; but we can by prayer. Now, he comes to Jeremiah, in the thirty-third chapter; "Moreover, the word of the Lord came u?ito Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it to establish it; the Lord is his name; call unto me."
Some of you may have wondered what good it will do to make these requests for prayer. But the Lord tells us that we are to make our requests known. People say, "Does God answer prayer?" Well, he says so, and I will take his word for it. Now, my friends, let us call upon him; he has told us to do it. Let us pray for those who do not want our prayers; God is able to reach them. Let us pray for infidels and scoffers. There was a man when we were in London that got out a little paper called "The Moody and Sankey Humbug." And he used to come to the very doors of the place of meeting and sell the paper. But after a while the paper got about run out, and then he came to the meetings and made caricatures of what he saw. But he was converted, and got right up in the meeting, and confessed what he had been doing. Let us not give up a solitary man in Boston. God is able to reach these very men. A great manv men who are opposed to this work are so because the Spirit of God is troubling them; they are already troubled.
CASTING OUT DEVILS.
The 9th chapter of the gospel according to Mark was read from the 14th verse: "And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were; greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto»thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit: and wheresoever he taketh him he teareth him, and he foameth and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away; and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out, and they could not. He answereth him and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him unto me. And they'brought him unto him; and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him, and he fell en the ground and wallowed, foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? and hie said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters to destroy him; but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe: help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus aaw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I oharge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him; and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting."
Here we find the disciples in trouble, and on the other hand the scribes, their old enemies, were of course rejoicing at their unsuccessful efforts to cast out this dumb devil; and I think that is really the state of the church now. Infidels stand outside laughing and scoffing, because the church has so little power. I have no doubt but that the disciples reasoned as a good many do now, that this case was too far gone—that it was a hopeless case. They said, Perhaps if he could only hear us—if we could only speak to hiiu—we might do him some good; or if he had the use of his tongue, if he was not dumb, so that he could tell them how he felt, they might help him. But as he had been so from a child, they gave him up as a hopeless case, like the hundreds and thousands that are given up now, because they do not belong to the church. They think they are beyond the reach of the church, and they cannot save them. They reason from a human standpoint; they cannot believe. But when they get their eyes off their human audience, and look at him who sits on the right hand of God, and remember all the power of the heavenly Savior, it is a very easy thing to reach these men that we look upon as hopeless cases. How many fathers and mothers there are who have become discouraged and despondent, because they think their sons are beyond their reach, that they have passed beyond mercy, and that there is no help and no mercy for them. Let us go to fasting and prayer. Let us find out what the trouble is. If it is want of faith, let us ask God to increase our faith. Let us say: "Lord, I believe: help thou mine unbelief." When this unbelief is taken from the church, it will be full of power. I want to read with this a passage in 2d Kings, 4th chapter, 26th verse:
"Run, now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet; but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said: Let her alone, for her soul is vexed within her; and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me." I haven't any doubt but that this woman had been fasting; I believe she hadn't tasted a morsel since that child died. She desired a blessing. "Then," she said, " Did I desire a son of my Lord?" Did I not say, Do not deceive me? Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, »nd go thy way; if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again; and lay my staff upon the face of the child. And the mother of the child said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and he followed her. And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore and shut the Joor upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord. And he went up and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and he stretched himself upon the child, and the flesh of the child waxed warm. Then he returned and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him; and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunamite. So he called her. Anrl when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. Then she went in and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out."
I have no doubt but that this woman had been fasting, and had not eaten a morsel since the child died and wanted laying out. There is faith, and there is faith honored. There is the answer to prayer. But the thought I want to call your attention about this Shunamite woman is, that there was one thing she would not do. She-would not trust in Elisha's old staff, nm- in the servant. She
Eot her eyes off the staff and the servant, and placed them on the >ord.
I want to call your attention to one clause in that chapter of Mark that I read, in the 19th verse: "Bring him unto me." You have, perhaps, been bringing your sons and daughters to the church, and running after this or that man; but the Lord says, "Bring him unto me." Have faith. Let us have faith in Christ. There are some "ifs"in the Bible that are the devil's "ifs." This man in Mark put the "if" in the wrong place. But the man in the 4th chapter of Luke put it in the right place. He said, '• If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." The man in Mark got it in the wrong place; for he said "If Thou canst." Let us get the "if" out of the way— "Thou canst make me clean." God can do it. My friends, may God help us to-day to put th.e "if" in the right place. You know there is an if in there. There are some ifs in the Bible that belong to the devil, if you will allow me to speak of them in that manner. When the Lord used them, He put them in the right place. If you read thri 5th chapter of Luke, you will find that he put the if in the right place. He said, "If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Now, this man in the last chapter of Mark said, If thou canst do anything for us, we hope thou wilt. If He can, why we know He can. Let us say as the leper said, "Thou canst make me clean." Oh, my friends, may God help us to put the if in the right place. "If thou canst believe," all things are possible with God. It is an easy matter for God to save souls in Boston; it is an easy matter* to save all the drunkards in Boston; to call back the wandering prodigals all over the country. Le't us have faith in prayer. If our prayers are not answered, let us not call God to blame; let us not think He is responsible for our prayers not being answered. If we are anxious to nave our sons and daughters saved, we have got to have faith. Let us begin to fast and pray; let us search our hearts, and sea if there be any evil way in us. God does not regard iniquity; the Lord will not hear, much less answer him when he prays. Now let us see if fasting and praying will bring the blessing; let us see if we have faith to believe what the Lord has promised he would do. Again, let us look and see if it is in accordance with his word. The reason many of our prayers have not been answered is, because they have not been indited by the Holy Ghost. What do we want our sons and daughters converted for? Is it for his Son's glory? If it is, he will answer such prayers; for it is his delight to answer those prayers.
Another thought about "this wonderful story I have been reading here to-day is this: that the devil threw the man down as he was coming. How many have started to come to Christ, and the devil has tripped them up before they got there. A man told me, in the inquiry-room, that he went down from Boston to Philadelphia to at
tend the meetings there, in the hope to find Christ; but he got drunk soon after'he got there, and did not go to the meetings at all. The devil tripped him up. And so a great many who had set their heart on coming to these inquiry meetinge are led away before they get there. And another thought is, that when the devil left him he gave him a blow that almost killed him; but the Lord raised him up. So it is with people who are just coming to Christ. And some who come act worse than they did before. Some women have come to me and said: "Mr. Moody, since I have been praying for my husband, he acts worse than he did before; he acts as though he had got seven devils in him." Sometimes, when the Spirit of God wakes up these men, they wake up ugly and very cross; but let us bear in mind that the Spirit of God can cast out these devils, as he did the dumb devil that was brought to him. Let the key-note of this meeting be "Bring him unto me;" and lot us take in the arms of faith those of our friends and our relatives, and all who want to become Christians, and bring them to Christ.
THE GOSPEL INVITATION.
I will read from Matthew 11: 27:
"All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Luke 15th: "Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him; and the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." The Pharisees would tell the truth now and then; and they never told a more truthful thing than that. That is the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He came into the world for sinners. He came to seek and to save that which was lost; and so, when the Pharisees said this, they told the truth once, if they never did before. There is one more text that I want to refer to, in the 6th chapter of of John, 37: "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out."
Now when princes and kings of this earth generally call people round them, they generally oall the great and mighty and the noble; but when the Prince of Peace was here, he called publicans and sinners; many of them were outcasts, whom most of the people would not associate with. He was all the time calling around him all classes. There is one passage of Scripture which is very precious to me, and that is, that Christ helped all men tha now if there is a man here to-day who has i
help him. Any man or woman in this assembly that needs Christ, can have him. He will give you all the help you need; I don't care what your besetting sin is. It may be your appetite for strong drink. Bring that to him; he has got power to take that from you. Now, a good many think they would like to come to Christ, but they want to get ready first; they want to lop off this sin and that sin, and stop swearing and drinking, and then they will be ready. That would be like a sick man waiting until he was well, and then sending for a physician; or like a blind man waiting until he recovers his sight, and then sending for a doctor. You bring your sickness and your blindness to Christ, and then he will help you. It is the sick that need a physician, and not those who are well. And if there is a man here troubled with any besetting sin, I don't care what it is, let him come to Christ, and he will help him; for he has promised, "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." I like those / wills; they are all good. You cannot find a man that can honestly and truthfully say that he came to Christ and he didn't receive him, and he cast him out. No man living can say that; because he has received all that have come, and all that will come.
There was a man in our late war, and as he lay upon his cot (be was a skeptical man), there was one of those silent messengers hanging on the wall of the hospital; and this was the text, "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." One day he got a letter from his mother, and was so sick he could not read it, but the nurse read it to him; and this letter was an earnest appeal to her boy to accept of Christ. He was down there in the hospital, and she didn't know but he would die without her seeing him again; and she quoted that text to him: "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." The dying man said: "That is very singular; there it is on the wall, and my mother has written it." A day or two after he was much worse, and sinking rapidly; and he asked the nurse to read his mother's letter again. And when she got to that text, he said, "Did mother put that in the letter, 'Him that cometh unto me, 1 will in no wise cast out?"' "Yes," says the nurse. "And does the Bible say it?" "Yes." "And if mother says it and the Bible says it, it must be true." And, dear friends, he believed and received Christ.
It is true. Take it just as you are: "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." May God help every man in this assembly, and every woman to come with all their sins; and the Lord will take you to his loving bosom, and will hold you, and keep you until that day.
DIVINITY OF JESUS.
We oome to-day to the 8th chapter of the gospel according to John. In this chapter Christ asserts his divinity; and I do not see how any one can read the 8th chapter of John and not believe in the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The next morning after he had been, as it were, driven out of Jerusalem, he came back into the Temple. It says in the last verse of the 7th chapter: "And every man went unto his own house. But Jesus went into the Mount of Olives." But early the next morning, he came into the Temple; and they brought a woman in to see what he would say should he done with her. He had been teaching that he had come not to condemn, but to save. The law of Moses condemned this poor fallen woman to death; and now they tried to entangle him, and see what he would do with her. When he had put the test to these men, and they had all gone out, he said to her, "Neither will I condemn thee; go, and sin no more." Moses or Elijah, or any of the prophets, could not have said that; no man living could have said that: "Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more." In the 12th verse he says, "I am the light of the world." Moses could not say, I am the light of the world.
Abraham could not say it; no other man could say that. I said to my little boy, seven years old, this morning, as I was reading this chapter, "Willie, who could sav that?" He answered; "Jesus." "Who else?" "God." "Who else?" "No one else." "I am the light of the world; if any man follow me, he will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Who can give light but God? In the morning of creation, he said, "Let there be light;" and there was light. Now Christ comes, and proclaims himself the light of the world. It would be a great help to us in reading the Bible, just to get this into our minds, that Christ was God and man. Sometimes he spoke as man, and sometimes as God. That gives us a key to the Holy Bible; but take it away, and I do not see how you are going to understand it. Without it, it is a sealed book. Some people accuse us of teaching that God died; but Christ died as a man. God never died, and never can die; it was the man that died. Men dip; the Divinity never dies. Then he says again, "I am not alone;" "I go my way;" "I am from above." Who could say that but him? "I am from above; lam not of this world." Who else could say that, if he hadn't come down from the world above? "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." "I speak to the world those things which I have heard of. him." When did he hear them, if he hadn't come from the bosom of the Father? "When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that 1 do nothing of myself: but as my father has taught me, I speak these things."
Then in the 30th verse: "As he spake these words many believed on him." How simple that was! As he stood there, speaking to them in th% Temple, many were converted and believed on Trim. God received them right there, while he was speaking. How simple the conversions of the Bible are! Simply believing, simply receiving. Then in the 36th verse: "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." If he were not God, how was ne going to make us free from sin? But, "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." I think there are a
food many of God's children who never have got to that verse. 'hey don't know what freedom is. They are still asleep, and sunk in bondage. They are like Lazarus, who got out of the grave with his grave clothes on, bound hand and foot. The difficulty with those people is, that they are always looking in their own hearts to get freedom; but it is the truth which makes us free—the Word of God. Miss Smiley was telling about going down South, a few years after the war. She went to a hotel, and the room she was shown to was not very clean. She said to the colored woman who was there: "I would like to have you fix it up; I am from the North, and you know the Northern people set you free." She went away and came back in a little while; and it seemed as if half a day's work had been done. "Now," said the colored woman, "bees I free or beent I? My old master tells me I am not free; and 1 go out among the colored people, and they say I am free." There are a great many of God's people just that way; they do not know whether they are free or not. It is not a matter of feeling. The proclamation of Abraham Lincoln set that woman free; and so it is the proclamation of Wod's Word that makes us free; not that we feel this way or that way. If we want liberty in Christ, we can have it. When he told them that, they said: "We are the descendants of Moses and Abraham; we have not been in bondage to anybody." And all that time they were under the Roman yoke. So, hundreds of men in Boston to-day, who are bound hand aud foot to something in this world, do not want to become Christians, beeause they think they will not have their liberty. The truth will make you free. That is the only freedom worth having: "and if the truth makes you free, you are free indeed." Then again he said, "I speak that which I have seen with my Father." He talked about the mansions above, as freely as Queen Victoria's children would talk about the rooms in Windsor Castle. He was familiar with those scenes. "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God." Then again he told them:. "I proceeded forth from God;" that was his own testimony. Then again, "I tell you the truth." .1 tell it to you, it is the truth. "I honor my Father;" "I have come to honor him;" "I have come to do thy will, O God;" "I seek not my own glory; I seek to glorify my Father;" "I say unto you, if any man Keep my saying, he shall never see death." Of course, he is not speaking about the death of the body, but about the death of the soul. "If any man keep my saying, he shall never fee death." His words are the words of life: and if a man receives them, he will not die.
Let us read these few verses closing this chapter.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my sayings he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my sayings, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our Father Abraham, which is dead? And the
Frophets are dead; whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If honor myself, my honor is nothing; it is my Father that honereth me, of whom ye say that he is your God. Yet ye have not known him; but I know him; and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you; but I know him and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, j say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."
This forever settles in my mind the question of the divinity of the Lord Jesus. "Before Abraham was, I am." How any man can read the gospel of John and be in any doubt about Christ's divinity, I cannot see. Abraham was gone hundreds of years; and yet, " Before Abraham was, I am." "Then took they up stones to cast at him; but Jesu's hid himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
PRAYERS OF JESUS.
I will just read a few verses of Scripture, and then the meeting will be thrown open. We want to hear from as many as possible, and we want a good deal of prayer. We felt that the meetings of the Tabernacle were too large; and we would rather have small meetings, where friends could pray. I do not believe there is any true revival that is not brought about by a good deal of prayer; and if we have a work of grace that is going to be deep and thorough in this city, we have got to have more prayer than we have had. I want to call your attention, to-day, to the prayers of Jesus Christ. Although he was God, yet he was man; as man he prayed, and as God he answered prayer. And he encouraged others to come to him with their burdens; and he was constantly praying, because he was an example to others. In the 3d chapter of Luke, 21st verse, we find that when he was baptized he was praying. Now, when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Then we read again in Luke, 9: 26, how he took Peter, James and John and went up into the Mountain of Transfiguration; and while he was praying, his countenance was transfigured, and there came a voice saying: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." In John, 12: 27, we find him praying again; it was when they were about to kill him: "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." Then in Luke, 42, 43, we find him praying, and He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, and as he prayed an angel appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And we find that these four times which are recorded, when He was praying he heard from heaven; it was really his prayers that opened heaven. As it was with Stephen, when he was dying he prayed, and the heavens opened before him. Now if we are going to have the windows of heaven opened, and the Spirit of God descending in mighty power upon this city, it is going to be in answer to prayer and earnest supplications. Then, in the 6th chapter of Luke and the 12th verse, before he chose his disciples, it was a matter of prayer to him: "And it came to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God "—continued all night. "And when it was day, He called unto him his disciples; and of them He chose twelve, whom also he named apostles." So the night before he chose those twelve that were to shake the world, and be a blessing to the world and establish the Church of God on earth, He spent that night in prayer. And so, my friends, if we are going to do a great work for God, we must spend much time in prayer; we have got to be closeted with God. We find him again at the grave of Lazarus; and He prayed before He called him forth. It was in answer to prayer that Lazarus was raised.
And then, if you will turn into the 17th ohapter of John, in that wonderful prayer of Christ, you will find seven requests there. We talk about the disciple's prayer as the Lord's prayer; really the Lord's prayer is this 17th chapter of John. That was his last prayer that has been recorded, except the one on the cross; and in this 17th chapter of John, there are seven requests. There is only one for himself: four for the disciples that were around him; and two for you and I, and for all that should believe on him afterwards. And then we find him saying to Peter, "I have prayed for thee that thy strength fail thee not." When Satan was to sift him, Christ had prayed for him; and how that must have cheered and encouraged Peter after his fall, to think that Christ had told him he was going to pray for him; and his prayers did prevail, and Peter was brought back. And then the last breath on the cross, just before he cried, "It is finished," and gave up the ghost! It was a prayer, "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do." He was a man of prayer; and let the business men of Boston imitate their Master. We that are Christians, let us imitate God, and let us lay hold on God in prayer to-day, that He may give us a great and mighty blessing. Let us all pray.
LIFE, LOVE, PEACE, POWER, BOLDNESS.
I will read a few verses from the 1st Epistle of John, 4th chapter, beginning at the 7th verse:
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believe the love that God hath to us. God is love; and ha that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God, love his brother also."
In these few words I have read to you, there are a few thoughts I want to call your attention to; I might say five things, that are necessary for every Christian to have. The first is life. We get that in the 9th verse: "God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." Now, there is no life, no spiritual life, till we know Christ; or, in other words, Christ is that life himself. There are a good many people now that are troubled about the new birth; they want to know what it means. To be born again is to have Christ in the soul, that is the new birth; and with that life we serve God. And we cannot serve God till Christ is formed in us—the hope of glory. That is the life that all want. Our prayers are not prayers till Christ is there; with that life we serve him. Then the next thins we get is in the 10th verse, that sin is put away. That is peace. What every Christian wants is, peace to the soul. He gets that by knowing that sin has been atoned for, propititation made. Christ has forever settled the question of sin; it has been put away; we are at rest as we look back to Calvary, knowing the cross has put away sin. We are ready to serve God, because sin is out of the way. The next thing is in the 11th verse: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." We have got to have love. You oannot do a man any good unless you love him. Let us see if we have life, peace, and love. The next thing is power. We get that in the 13th verse: "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." That is power. There is really no power without the Holy Ghost; it is Holy Ghost power that we want. We want the Holy Ghost resting on us for service. Many of you have passed through experiences of how easy it is to talk for God when the Holy Ghost is resting in you foe service; and how hard it has been when you had no power. Perhaps sin has come between you and God, and, of course, then the power is gone. Therefore let us see that we have that qualification. Then the next thing is boldness. That is one of the traits that a great many lack, at the present time. There is so much scoffing and ridicule that many, if you will allow me the use of the expression, haven't backbone enough to stand up and confess Christ boldly, wherever their lot may be cast. We find that, in the 17th verse: "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment." We want it now while Christ is being misrepresented and laughed about; and if we have it here, we will have in the day of judgment; for Christ is with us. We are on the Lord's side, and we are always in the majority when we are with God. The idea that there are only a few that serve God is a false one. Let us be fill of boldness and courage. If a man is once forgiven he can look up and say, Heaven is my home; God is my Father; Christ is my Savior; and he has nothing to fear. Let us speak out boldly for Christ.