George Everard

Choice quotes!


He it was who suffered a shameful and cruel death at the hands of His own creatures!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect!" 1 Peter 1:18-19

How great is the price which has been paid for man's redemption!

If a prisoner of war, shut up within the walls of some gloomy fortress, were to see a bag of gold sent for his ransom, by the Sovereign whom he had faithfully served — what thankfulness would fill his bosom! But much more than this has been given for us! In tender compassion for our souls, no less a price has been paid by Christ than His own precious blood!
He saw us perishing in our sins;
He saw us in captivity to the Prince of Darkness;
He saw us tied fast by chains that we ourselves could never break
 — and then He came to redeem us! He poured out upon the cross, the blood that was to be the means of our everlasting salvation. This blood is infinitely precious, because it is Divine. It is the blood of one who is man's Creator, "Perfect God — and perfect man."

Oh, ponder well this deep and mysterious truth. Little can we fathom it! Yet it was God Incarnate — God in our nature — the Eternal Word made flesh — who died for man's salvation! How marvelous!

His own hand had fashioned the very wood upon which He was nailed!

He Himself gave breath to the very men who cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!"

It was His power which gave strength and nerve to the arm which pierced His side with the cruel spear!

Yes! the Creator and Preserver of man — the King of kings and Lord of lords, He before whom angels worshiped, crying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!" — He it was who suffered a shameful and cruel death at the hands of His own creatures!

When the Jews saw the tears which Jesus shed at the tomb of Lazarus His friend, they rightly judged when they said, "Behold how He loved him!" When we see the drops of precious blood falling on Calvary, when we see the blood flowing from His pierced temples, from His wounded hands and feet and side — well may we say, "Behold, how He loved us!"

Bear in mind that the suffering in body, the shame and the scoffing — were but the least part of that which He endured for our sake. His holy soul was burdened with the weight of man's transgression. How agonizing was the conflict, when thrice He prayed in the garden, that if it were possible the cup might pass from Him! How great was the inner darkness of His soul, when on the cross there arose that exceeding great and bitter cry, "My God, My God! Why have You forsaken Me!"

It has been said, "Christ received into His own bosom every arrow of God's quiver — and every one dipped in the poison of the curse!" Here then is love. In the blood of the cross, we find the proof of such love as man never before could conceive: "Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6

What a mystery of love is this!

Believer, did Jesus give His precious blood for you, to save you from Hell and damnation, to make you a child of God and an heir of eternal glory? Then what will you withhold from Him? Oh, surrender yourself wholly, unreservedly to His service! Oh, think of the debt of love you owe — and endeavor to make some return for it, by laying yourself and all you have at His feet. Time, talents, influence, wealth — freely yield to the Savior who has bought you! Above all things, live daily, hourly, as in the sight of God — and adorn your profession by a very loving, holy, prayerful, Christ-like life.

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The very acme of humility!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

"Though I am nothing." 2 Corinthians 12:11

Wonderful was the grace that taught the once proud Pharisee thus to speak!

To be "the least of the apostles," was much to say. (1 Corinthians 15:9)

To be "less than the least of all all God's people," was still more. (Ephesians 3:8)

To be "chief of sinners," was yet more. (1 Timothy 1:15)

But "to be nothing," this is the very acme of humility!

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6

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The most wicked man, the most consummate hypocrite I ever knew!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not love" (one of the blessed graces of the Spirit), "I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1

There may be the gift of utterance — and no spiritual life. Balaam, and Judas, and multitudes beside have had this — and yet have been dead in trespasses and sins.

Men may offer fine prayers before others — men may preach eloquent sermons — and yet, like Judas, be far from God!

The most wicked man, the most consummate hypocrite I ever knew — was one of the most gifted preachers, and could electrify an audience by his persuasive oratory!

"Many will say to me on that day: 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'  Then I will tell them plainly: 'I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!'" Matthew 7:22-23

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The sands of life are quickly running out!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

"The time is short!" 1 Corinthians 7:29

With each of us, the sands of life are quickly running out! Friends, neighbors, relatives are gone to their long home — and we are treading fast upon their heels! As we look into the graves of those who die, let us remember we must soon follow along the same path.

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time!" Ephesians 5:15-16

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!" Psalm 90:12

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Imagine for a moment!

(George Everard, "
Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need!" Hebrews 4:16

Imagine for a moment
, that on a set day in each year, our beloved Queen were to take her seat upon her throne. She has caused it to be proclaimed far and wide, that on such a day she will be ready to grant all the petitions that may be made to her. What crowds would flock around her! How many would anticipate the hour when they might hope to obtain some long-sought blessing!

Now this sets before us a great reality. What would be impossible in any earthly sovereign — is actually the case with the great and glorious King who reigns in Heaven! His throne of grace is open to the poor and the wretched — to those who feel burdened with ten thousand sins, and troubled by ten thousand needs and sorrows. It is open, not once a year — but every day, every hour, every moment! It is open for the heinous sinner who comes weighed down with life's transgressions. It is open for the child of God, who comes again and again for the supply of grace and strength which he needs!

Over that throne, the eye of faith can discern, in letters glittering like the bright stars in Heaven, some such invitations as these:
 "Ask, and it shall be given you!
  Seek, and you shall find!
  Knock, and it shall be opened unto you!"

Who can describe the preciousness of the gifts to be obtained at this throne!

Years ago an Indian prince was greatly indebted to one high in authority for the aid and support he had rendered to him. History tells us that the prince desired to give the Englishman some strong proof of the gratitude he bore towards him. He took him into a vast underground chamber, where were collected the most costly and precious jewels, gold and silver almost without limit — treasures such as before the Englishman had never seen. When all these had been displayed before him, the Indian prince bade him to choose whatever he desired — nothing would be denied him. Whatever he named, he might call his own.

There is likewise, a rich storehouse of costly treasures which is open to us. Jesus, our great Mediator, holds the key, and opens it to all who ask in His name, and according to His Word.

There are gifts for us concerning the peace and salvation of our souls:
  daily pardon for daily sin,
  more light to understand the Word of Truth,
  more strength in the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and to walk with God,
  more joy and peace in believing,
  the enduring gold of faith and love,
  the white clothing of a perfect justification in Christ,
  the eye salve of Divine wisdom in the knowledge of ourselves and of God
 — all these are in the hand of Jesus for those who call upon Him!
All are bestowed in answer to fervent believing prayer.

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The only way to obtain relief under the manifold cares that often encompass our path!

(George Everard, "The Four ALLS!" 1882)

"Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." 1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)

The remembrance of this word of Peter may help you to bring God into everything — He can manage and undertake for you far better than you can for yourself. There is . . .
  no load of anxiety for yourself or others,
  no strait in which you can be placed,
  no perplexities that can harass and bewilder you —
but the Lord bids you to cast it upon Him and leave it trustfully in His hands.

The only way to obtain relief under the manifold cares that often encompass our path, is to cast them all on God. We must bring them to our Father — and leave them with Him! We must tell them out in the ear of our great High Priest — and have confidence enough in Him to know that He will not neglect that which we commit to Him.

"Casting all your cares upon Him, for HE CARES FOR YOU." Yes, this is our consolation. Christ is the Friend who . . .
  cares for us,
  thinks upon us,
  hears every sigh and groan,
  marks every tear, and
  knows every sorrow that weighs upon the mind.

Ah, it is a thought to cheer a believer at all times — what a Friend have I in Christ! He is the Friend always near. Though banished far from home and kindred, Christ is always by my side. I cannot see Him, but I know that He is here. He has promised me, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and He will be as good as His Word.

Then I may add another thought: Christ is kinder than the kindest. Could I gather together all the rays of kindness, pity, tender love, that have ever glowed in the heart . . .
  of a mother toward her child,
  of a bridegroom toward the bride,
  of a brother to brother,
  of a friend to friend —
all combined would be but as one tiny sunbeam, compared to that wondrous love which is in the heart of Christ for His redeemed people!

Nor is it less comforting for me, to remember that He who cares for me is changeless in His faithfulness and love.

Oh, the marvelous sympathy, gentleness, loving-kindness which Christ daily shows me, and which I know will never cease!

Hence it is a most reasonable thing for me to cast all my cares on Him. His presence, His kindness, His effectual power, His unswerving faithfulness — warrant me in leaving all in His hand. Oh, that I may ever have grace to flee to this refuge and hiding-place! Oh, that every burden, every fear, every foreboding, every jot and tittle of my daily anxieties, may all be entrusted to His loving hand!

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The standard which the Apostle gives!

(George Everard, "All for Christ!" 1882)

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17

"Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do — do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Whatever is done, even in the commonest matters of life, the food we eat, our conduct at the breakfast table or the dinner table — is to be done for the glory of the Father and the Son.

These precepts take in the whole field of a Christian's life and duty.
They cover every inch of ground.
They distinctly bear on every act and word and thought, and on every moment of our time.
They permit no exceptions.
From our first waking thought in the morning — to the last breath we draw before we sleep at night; from the first day of January — to the last day of December, and that of every year of our lives, until our course is run — all is to be yielded, gladly and willingly, to the service of our Redeemer-King!

No aim can be too exalted for one who has been purchased by the blood of Christ, and who has yielded himself as a living sacrifice to the Father in Heaven.

We dare not to please man, or lower the standard, or lessen the responsibility which is laid upon us. We dare not, and we must not, narrow the limit of our service, or the extent of our obedience.

The standard which the Apostle gives, reaches to every sphere and concerns every part of life. It touches the hidden world of the heart, and claims a control over every thought and motive and purpose. It comes to the little world of the family circle, and is our guide as to all we should speak and do amidst children or others about us. It follows us into the social world of friends and acquaintances, and is to control . . .
  our pleasures and recreations,
  the amusements we frequent,
  the books we read, and
  the company we choose.
All of this is taken into account by Him who searches the heart and knows all our ways.

"All for Christ!" is our motto!

In fact, there is no part of our life which can be exempted from this Christian principle — business and recreation, social fellowship, the use of our money and our time — all we are, all we have, all we do or say must be for Christ, if we would be true to Him. We must never mark out one acre, or one square yard, or one inch of our life, and say in our heart, "Christ has nothing to do with this!" If we willfully take one single moment of our lives, or one single act, or word, or thought out of the direct control of the fear and love of God — that moment, or act, or word, or thought is one of sin.

We can only enjoy the comfort and peace which Christ gives, in proportion as we walk as He directs. If we desire to spend a happy, useful life, if we desire to meet the trials and the cares it may bring in quiet confidence and hope — we must not only rely upon the Savior's all-sufficient grace, but carefully obey the precepts which He has given us.

Doing this, we need never be afraid. Dark clouds may overshadow our path, disease and death may visit our homes, losses and bad debts and hard times and multiplied troubles may come upon us — but doing God's will, trusting in His never-failing Providence, relying upon His free grace and mercy in Christ, we are assured that He is with us, and will never fail us.

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The children of godly parents go to church every day!

(George Everard, "A Blessing in the Family!" 1866)

"Amaziah did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash." 2 Kings 14:3

The life of a godly parent is a daily sermon.

It has been said, "The children of godly parents go to church every day!"

Never doubt for a moment, that genuine piety and eminent holiness are the first requisites for all parents. No parent can expect to influence their children for good, without themselves walking wisely and worthily in the narrow path of holiness.

Here may be seen the reason that sound faithful teaching in Sunday schools, has comparatively effected so little good. It is not the fault of the church — but in the home's pernicious influence! The evil that is witnessed at home, more than counteracts the lessons learned at church!

It is the will of God that parents should exercise control over their children. They must command that which is right — and they must forbid that which is wrong. It was spoken to the praise of Abraham, that God knew that he would command his children after him to keep the way of the Lord. It was the overthrow of the house of Eli, that his sons made themselves vile — and he did not restrain them.

In Scripture children are compared to arrows — but all depends upon the direction given to the arrow by the hand that guides it.

They are compared to vine branches — but an unpruned vine will bear no fruit worth gathering. So it is written, "A child left to himself brings his mother to shame!"

In training their children, let parents begin early. Long before a child is two years old, it will know the meaning of an emphatic "No." Even at that tender age, some measure of discipline may begin.

Yield not to the self-will or pettishness of a child. What you once say — let it be law. Without some special cause — do not turn from it. Especially punish lying and disobedience — they are the root of all that is evil.

Yet with firmness, be very gentle
. Harshness is a cold wind, that nips in the bud the beginnings of better things in the heart. Byron's character was ruined by the cruelty of a harsh and unfeeling mother.

Win your children by love. Draw, rather than drive.

Make home the happiest place in the world to them.

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The great balm of human woes!

(George Everard, "Daily Prayer" 1866)

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray!" James 5:13

Prayer is the great balm of human woes! Go from house to house through a country village, or through a single street in a large town — and what a sad catalogue of sorrows you may reckon up!

In one, there is a dying parent — or a child fast sinking into the grave.

In another, there is dire and distressing poverty.

In a third, perhaps, there is a heart bleeding through some bitter disappointment, or the unfeeling conduct of a beloved one.

In a fourth, there is some secret sorrow which may not be told.

In every case, through prayer, relief may be found. By it the sorrowful, afflicted one comes near to a most pitiful Father, and His loving care becomes a sure rest to the weary spirit.

The excellencies of prayer may be summed up in the words of John Chrysostom:
"Prayer, in a spiritual sense, is . . .
  a haven to the shipwrecked man,
  an anchor to those who are sinking in the waves,
  a staff to the limbs that totter,
  a mine of jewels to the poor,
  a healer of diseases, and a guardian of health.
Prayer at once secures the continuance of our blessings, and dissipates the cloud of our calamities. O blessed prayer! You are . . .
  the unwearied conqueror of human woes,
  the firm foundation of human happiness,
  the source of ever-enduring joy,
  the mother of all comfort.
The man who can pray truly, though languishing in extreme indigence, is richer than all beside. While the wretch who never bowed the knee, though proudly seated as monarch of all nations, is of all men, most destitute!"

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!" Hebrews 4:16

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A marvelous invention!

(George Everard, "Daily Prayer!" 1866)

"And it shall be that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

A marvelous invention
is at work, by which, with great rapidity, messages can be conveyed from city to city, and from country to country. Even beneath the waves of the wide ocean, the cable is laid down by which one continent is linked to another, and by which words, in a few minutes, can be spoken to a friend on a distant shore.

Just so, true prayer links together earth and Heaven, and is more speedy than any telegraph (or phone — or computer! Editor). One moment it arises from a believer's heart — the very same moment it reaches the ears of the Lord Almighty!

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A story is told of an old man who lived long ago!

(George Everard, "Daily Warfare!" 1866)

A story is told of an old man who lived long ago. A friend asked him the cause of his struggles, since in the evening he so often had great weariness. "Alas," answered he, "I have so much to do every day; I have . . .
  two falcons to tame,
  two hares to keep from running away,
  two hawks to manage,
  a serpent to confine,
  a lion to chain, and
  a sick man to tend and wait upon."

"Why, this is only folly," said the friend, "no man has all these things to do at once."

"Yet indeed," he answered, "it is with me just as I have said.

The two falcons are my two eyes, which I must diligently guard, lest something should please them which may be hurtful to my soul.

The two hares are my feet, which I must hold back, lest they should run after evil objects, and walk in the ways of sin.

The two hawks are my two hands, which I must train and keep to work, in order that I may be able to provide for myself and for my brethren who are in need.

The serpent is my tongue, which I must always keep in with a bridle, lest it should speak anything unfitting.

The lion is my heart, with which I have to maintain a continual fight, in order that vanity and pride may not fill it, but that the grace of God may dwell and work there.

The sick man is my own body, which is ever needing my watchfulness and care. All this daily wears out my strength!"

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him!" James 1:12 

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A marvelous combination of all that is lovely and beautiful!

(George Everard, "Counsels to Christians on the Details of Every-day Life!" 1866)

"We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

In Christ is a marvelous combination of all that is lovely and beautiful. Whatever virtue or grace that was ever witnessed in another — was fully, preeminently in Him.
The faith of Abraham,
the godly fear of Isaac,
the meekness of Moses,
the patience of Job,
the holiness of Isaiah,
the devout prayerfulness of David,
the integrity of Daniel,
the sincerity of Nathanael,
the fervency of Peter,
the zeal of Paul,
the tenderness of John —
all these, in their brightest colors, shone forth in Him, who was full of grace and truth.
"Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16

In our measure, let us follow Christ in this beautiful harmony of Christian graces. Let no part of His character be left out of sight. This coat of many colors which was worn by our Joseph — may be also upon us His brethren. "Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21

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To walk with God, is to live ever as in His presence!

(George Everard, "Daily Walking!" 1866)

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!" Hebrews 4:13

"The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good!" Proverbs 15:3

To walk with God, is to live ever as in His presence! To realize His presence, to abide continually under His eye, to recognize our Father as close by our side — is the secret of much peace. We must ever regard Him, not as if He were far away in some inaccessible abode — but nearer to us than our nearest friend. In our chamber, by the wayside, at our work, in our recreation, when mingling with others, or all alone — we must see One whom the world sees not, we must hear a voice that the world hears not.

In the life of the sweet Psalmist of Israel, the same truth was ever the joy of his heart. As he lay down to rest, it was his joy to know that the sleepless Guardian of His people was by him: "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for You O Lord alone make me to dwell in safety." As he arose, he still rejoiced in the almighty Friend who was ever near him: "When I awake, I am still with You." Surrounded by malicious foes, it is still his confidence, "You are near, O Lord." Under all the vicissitudes of his eventful life, the nearness of God was the rock on which he reposed: "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."

Whether beneath the eye of man or not, let all things be done under the eye of Him to whom . . . .
  all hearts are open,
  all desires known, and
  from whom no secrets are hidden!

A few plain principles have been given to assist us in carrying this out in daily practice:

Say nothing you would not like God to hear.

Do nothing you would not like God to see.

Write nothing you would not like God to read.

Go to no place where you would not like God to find you.

Read no book of which you would not like God to say, "Show it to Me."

Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like God to say, "What are You doing?"

To consciously live in God's presence, will aid us in cultivating thorough genuine piety and godly character.

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The universal principle!

(George Everard, "The Right Principle!" 1866)

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do — do it all for the glory of God!" 1 Corinthians 10:31

This same principle is applicable in all common actions and every day affairs. No single moment of our lives, no single action — ought to be taken outside of the sphere of this rule.
Our rising up and lying down,
the disposal of our time,
the spending of our money,
our social gatherings,
our conversations,
our recreations,
the way of conducting the affairs of our household,
the books we read,
buying and selling,
business transactions of various kinds —
all these, and a multitude of other suchlike matters, are all to be ordered under the daily guidance of this same principle. We are to do all to glorify Him who is . . .
  our Creator,
  our Savior
  our Preserver,
  our most loving Father.

Reader, beware of neglecting to exercise this universal principle in little things. Great occasions for serving God occur but seldom; lesser ones arise every moment. Little things are not to be despised. "He who despises little things, shall fall little by little." Little omissions of duty, little acts of disobedience, as they may seem to us — may prove a great hindrance along our path. A few grains of dust, or a small insect in the eye, will often cause great pain and annoyance. A little stone in a horse's foot will make it stumble again and again.

The Christian will find much the same thing from the indulgence of apparently trivial sins. They will . . .
  harass the mind,
  destroy the peace and comfort which he might enjoy,
  prove a stumbling-block to him as he endeavors to run the heavenly race.

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The unseen Friend!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good!" Proverbs 15:3

"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age!" Matthew 28:20

Try constantly to realize the nearness and the presence of your Lord. There is always someone in the room with you. The unseen Friend, the Lord Jesus, who has loved you with an everlasting love, who gave Himself to die for your sake — He is most truly, though invisibly, present. He is near you in loving-kindness, ready to help you and comfort you at all times. He sees and hears all — therefore cherish continually the sense of His presence. Believe that He is by your very side.

A man who sincerely believes the omnipresence of God, cannot be indifferent to sin. To realize that the moral Governor of the universe is ever near, in all His holiness and power, and as much present as if He were nowhere else, must awaken solicitude.

To the soul, reconciled to God, the doctrine is full of consolation. In every place, in every condition, to have with us an almighty Friend, is a source of unspeakable comfort and joy. We need not fear, though we pass through fire or flood, if God is with us. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, we may fear no evil. In every circumstance and trial, it conduces to holiness, to know that God is present.

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
 I have called you by name; you are Mine!
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
 When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
 When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up. 
 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!" Isaiah 43:1-3

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Trust in God, and do the right!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people, and took food and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God!" Nehemiah 5:15

Obey God at all hazards.
A Christian has no other alternative.
There is one plan to adopt — one safe course to follow. 
Set your mind against all wrong practices.
Whatever others may say or do, whatever reproach or trouble or loss it may bring to you — walk steadfastly along the highway of truth, justice, and equity. And as you endeavor to do so, be persuaded that God is on your side, that He will stand by you and befriend you, and that for any present sacrifices you may have to make, He will honor you.

It is the truest wisdom as well as your plain duty to please God rather than man, and in all things to keep the precepts of His Word.

Trust in God, and do the right!
Let this ever be the rule you follow.
It will save you from many a snare.
It will make your course plain and clear.

This was the principle that guided Nehemiah. He was a man of prayer, and trusted God in everything. Moreover, he stood out manfully and boldly against the evils of his day. He determined to act in everything as before God. Whatever evil others did, he acted in a different spirit. He said, "But I did not do so, because of the fear of God!"

The same principle guided the three Hebrew youths of whom we read in the book of Daniel. They trusted in God, and did the right. Though threatened with a cruel death, they would not flinch. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king: O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up!" Daniel 3:16-18

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An elastic promise!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

Very rich and full is the promise, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

It has been spoken of as an elastic promise. The word "sufficient" may not sound very great, but it stretches according to a man's necessity.
A Christian's need may be great today — and the word "sufficient" reaches it.
It may be ten times as great tomorrow — but the word "sufficient" reaches it still.
The grace is still sufficient for the greater need — as for the lesser.

The promise shows also that not until we are weak — does the Lord bestow His strength. We may be too strong for the Lord to help us. Gideon's army must be brought almost to nothing, before the Lord will use it to overthrow the Midianites. And until we are brought low in our own thoughts, until the discipline employed has thoroughly emptied us of all high imaginings as to what we can do, or we can effect, or we can bear — we cannot be strong in the Lord.

"When I am weak," and not before, "then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10.
When I have learned experimentally . . .
  that I am a bruised reed,
  that I have in myself no power to endure affliction,
  that left to myself I shall assuredly rebel against the rod, and murmur against the gracious Hand that holds it
 — then the Lord draws near by the Spirit, and gives a joy and a peace that nothing can destroy!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

By-and-by the old man died, and the widow was left alone!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

I well remember the tenants of a humble cottage in a village in one of the eastern counties. The old couple who dwelt there had once known better days. But they were not left altogether without provision. They had an only son, who had risen to a position of competency, and he never neglected his aged parents. Very liberally did he contribute to their support, and spared nothing that would add to their comfort.

By-and-by the old man died, and the widow was left alone. She had one earthly comfort: she was able to rely with confidence on the kindness and affection of her son. Though she had little means of her own, she never feared that she should lack anything so long as he lived. Shortly after her husband's death, her son wrote her a letter full of filial affection. He told her how deeply he felt for her, and then he promised that he would pay the rent of her cottage, and send her amply enough for the supply of all her needs. If ever she had any special need or difficulty, he assured her that if she would only write and tell him, he would do all in his power to assist her.

So the old lady lived upon her son, and was without anxiety. She had no care about the future. She had received many tokens of her son's affection, and knew that he loved her. She knew also that his means were sufficient, and that she could trust his promise. So she lived happily and peacefully, relying entirely upon the care which her son had for her.

The life of this aged woman seemed to me a sort of parable of the life which a Christian should lead. It seemed to me very clearly to illustrate the words of Paul: "The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."

The Christian, like this woman, has no resources in himself.
He has no stock of grace.
He has no strength to meet temptation.
He has no means of providing the supplies needful for the journey of life.
He is poor and needy, frail, weak, and helpless.
He has nothing to call his own, but sin and misery.

But the Christian has One upon whose faithful love he can ever depend. He can say in his heart, "Christ has given me a sure token of His love. He laid down His life for my sake, He gave Himself for me, and shed His precious blood to cleanse me from my guilt. He has brought me back after all my wanderings. He has taught me to love and serve Him. He has heard my prayers and helped me hitherto — and can I doubt that He will help me even to the end?"

The Christian knows that in Christ, there is abundance of all that he needs. This woman could rely upon her son's affection, and she knew also that he had the ability as well as the will to assist her. The Christian also is persuaded that in Christ are to be found inexhaustible supplies. He has unsearchable riches of mercy, grace, and consolation!

Reader, look unto Christ — and expect from Him all you need.

Look unto Him for wisdom, to guide and direct you in the difficulties that beset your path.

Look unto Him for righteousness, that, in spite of all your unworthiness and many sins, you may ever have boldness and confidence before God.

Look unto Him for the continual power and grace of His blessed Spirit, the Comforter. You need to mortify sin, and grow in holiness — and this you can only do as the Spirit empowers in you. You need to have a clearer view of Jesus' love, and an increase of faith day by day — and this, too, is given to you by His Spirit. It is the Spirit who testifies of Him, and who can perfect you in His likeness. And He has promised that the Spirit shall dwell with you and lead you into all truth.

Look unto Christ, to assist you and stand by you in the smallest and in the greatest matters. Everything in earth and in Heaven is in the hand of Christ. He can help us in matters that affect our present comfort. He can help us in the hour of death, when friends and kindred must bid us farewell.

The One in whom we trust, can never die. It is quite possible that the son might have died before the widow of whom I have been speaking — and then her prop and her stay would have been gone. But "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever." He was dead — yet He is alive for evermore.

Though all earthly friends depart, though we are left alone without a human comforter near — yet Christ abides for evermore. If we trust in Him, we can never be left desolate.

Strive thus to live by faith on Christ continually.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The Bible is like a sealed book!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"Open my eyes, that I may see wonderful things in your law!" Psalm 119:18

To very many, both learned and unlearned, the Bible is like a sealed book! They see the words, but they do not discern the meaning. Or if they understand something of the meaning, they do not feel its mighty power. It does not convince them of their sin — nor does it help them to know and love the Savior. And why is this? Because the veil is upon their heart.

Reader, be sure you never neglect to pray whenever you take the Bible in your hand. It is only in this way that you will find real profit and comfort in reading it. Pray that you may understand whatever you read.

If you read there of one who committed sin — then pray that the grace of God may preserve you, that you may never fall into the same snare.

If you read of any one who exercised any particular grace, as faith, or repentance, or love, or patience, or obedience — then pray that the Spirit may plant the same grace in your heart.

If you read any solemn warning or threatening — then pray that the curse or punishment spoken of may never light on you.

If you read any gracious promise — then pray that God may make good the promise to you.

If you read anything of Christ, as the Good Shepherd, as the High Priest — then turn in prayer to Him, and ask Him to guide and guard you, to make you and keep you as one of His sheep, to bear your name before the Father, and to intercede on your behalf.

There is no part of Scripture that you cannot in some way turn into prayer
— and the more you do so, the more you will find it like a well of living water. You will never fail to find help and refreshment from it.

Reader, may you learn to prize God's precious Word, and to find it food and drink to your soul. The Bible is the only book that tells us . . .
  about the way of salvation,
  of Christ and His cross,
  of the gift of the Holy Spirit,
  of the new life, and
  the blessed hope of everlasting life.

May it be yours to use the book aright, to meditate therein, and as you read to grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The healing medicine!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

We are to fully recognize the hand of God in whatever trials and sorrows may be appointed for us. And if we see God's hand in them, we shall . . .
  find that our cares and sorrows give us fresh errands to the throne of grace;
  see redeeming love in them all;
  be assured that Divine wisdom has ordered all for good;
  believe that a Fatherly discipline and a tender regard for our highest welfare, have in some way seen them to be needful. So we shall trust and not be afraid.

One day a mother's hand brings to a child a present of a toy.
At another time, the same hand gives the necessary food.
At another time, the same kind hand dries the child's tear, and lifts it up when it has fallen.
At another time, the mother brings to the child, a cup of bitter medicine.
All of her dealings with the child are ways of showing her love, and perhaps the last in giving the medicine manifests her love the most.

Is it not so with our Father above? With far more than a mother's love, He cares for His children.
Sometimes He bestows a temporal gift that greatly adds to our happiness.
Sometimes He gives the necessary provision for our life.
Sometimes He raises us up when we have fallen, and dries the tear of penitence or sorrow.
But it is equal love — yes, perhaps greater love — when He sends to us some distressing providence, or appoints some bitter cup of suffering or bereavement. It is for our highest good. It is the healing medicine which is to overcome some sinful propensity, or to preserve us from some temptation.

Let us believe this, and trust our Father's love. Let us believe that He cares for us, and that He will remove the trial when its work is done. Let us commit our way unto Him, and roll upon Him the burden which oppresses us.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If I had a little bucket of water

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

1. I must use life well, because every moment of it is so precious. The minutes and hours of life are like the gold-dust which the goldsmith so carefully gathers together that none be lost. "I have lost a day!" was the sorrowful lament of one who had learned the real value of time. Life is very precious, and I dare not and will not throw any of it away!

2. I must also use life well, because it will soon be over. "The time is short!" 1 Corinthians 7:29. My days and years will soon be spent, and I cannot recall them. My life is but a shadow — it is but a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. Even if I am spared to the full age of man, compared with the long life awaiting me hereafter — my life here is but as a moment. "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Each man's life is but a breath." Psalm 39:5.

Let me endeavor then to remember how soon life will be gone, and be very careful to use well each precious moment.

If I had a little bucket of water, and no more could be obtained — how carefully would I watch that none of it ran to waste. Each drop I would reckon of great value. Such is my life. It is all I have. I must therefore lose none. I must squander none. "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12

3. I must use life well, because it is very uncertain. I may have far less than I think. I may be looking forward to years to come — and yet I may have but a few months or weeks or days to live!

I remember a woman who said that some day she would begin to attend our village church. She was in middle age, and had lived a sadly wicked and abandoned life. She thought that she had time enough and to spare, to think of more serious subjects. She did indeed soon afterwards come to our village church — but how did she come? She was carried in a casket on men's shoulders, and then left in the silent grave. Only six weeks had passed since the day she promised that some day she would begin a new life. "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth!" Proverbs 27:1

So I trust my life will not be a wasted one. And though I can do but little compared with many others, I trust that He will say to me at last: "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little — I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master!" Matthew 25:23

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time!" Ephesians 5:15-16

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Not all we wish, not all that we may think pleasant or desirable

(George Everard, "Follow the Leader!" 1882)

"My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!" Philippians 4:19

We have here the promise that every possible need will be provided for. The Lord of earth and Heaven has such boundless treasures at His command, that it is impossible that we can expect too much. Not all we wish, not all that we may think pleasant or desirable — but all that the only-wise God discerns to be truly needful and profitable for us — that will He give.

The supply assured to the believer, comprises that which is needful for all that concerns our present life — and all that is essential for the support and growth of spiritual life in the soul.

As to this present life, God supplies our needs. And yet by withholding much that is for our comfort, He humbles and proves His children. He often keeps them on very slender fare!

What then have the people of God a right to expect?

Sometimes He may bestow a rich abundance of temporal blessings. He did so in the case of Job, and Abraham, and Joseph, and Solomon, and many others.

Still more frequently He will give His children amply enough for their daily need. He blesses their basket and their store. He gives a sufficiency, so that they can live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.

Yet sometimes it is otherwise. He is training His children, and He puts them in the school of affliction. He sends them thorns and briars, and sharp trials. And this often in the shape of need, or insufficient means for meeting the requirements of themselves or their families.

Ah, do not repine if this is so! There is a purpose beneath it. There is divine love, though there is the lack of food or money.

"Behind a frowning Providence
 He hides a smiling face!"

A soldier in a foreign campaign does not murmur because he has to rough it, and perhaps for many a week has coarse and insufficient fare. Nor should you be surprised if this is your case. Now is the conflict; by-and-by the crown will be won, and you will be at rest in your Father's house!

"My God shall supply all your needs." This goes far beyond temporal blessings. It opens wide to us the treasury of divine grace — it tells me to go in and take all that my soul desires.

You may imagine a cabinet with fifty or a hundred drawers and each of these labeled with some valuable article — and you are permitted to go in and open each drawer and take out what you will. It is so in God's house. Christ is the Treasury of all spiritual gifts and graces. In Him are found wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, peace, power, preserving grace, restoring grace, consolation in sorrow, and effectual help and support in every season of adversity. And by faith and prayer, we are to go continually, and ask and receive abundantly, according to our need.

Do not limit God's free and rich supply of grace in Christ by the thought of your own demerits. It is not on account of any works or worthiness of yours — but for the sake of Christ's work and Christ's worthiness, that God is ever willing to bestow on you all needful grace.

"The LORD gives grace and glory. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly!" Psalm 84:11

"God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Only a broken heart!

(George Everard, "A Meditation for the Close of the Year" 1882)

"The LORD is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

Only a broken heart can receive a bruised and crucified Savior!

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17

"He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Our religion must cost us something!

(George Everard, "Shine as Lights!" 1882)

"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Luke 9:23

Every Christian must be a cross-bearer. There is no escaping this. "Whoever does not carry his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:27

We must be willing to suffer for Christ's sake; we must crucify self and the flesh; we must be willing to perform unpleasant duties, and make sacrifices of things we might like to retain.

Our religion must cost us something!

Sloth, and ease, and self-indulgence, and a worldly spirit must be cut up by the roots!

We must be most careful over the employment of our time. It is our greatest talent, and we must throw none of it away. Every hour, every moment must be spent as under the eye of our gracious Master. We are told the gold sweepings at the mint last year amounted in value to many thousands of dollars. Our fragments of time are gold dust; and we must not throw them aside as worthless, but gather them up that none may be lost.

I would entreat you, dear reader, to rise above the common standard — and strive, by God's grace, to live a very holy, devoted, self-denying life.

I beseech all Christians to set before you the life of Christ as your pattern. Walk as He walked — live as He lived! And, doing this, expect to receive day by day a large supply of His grace.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

"Only a broken heart can receive a bruised and crucified Savior!" (George Everard, 1882)

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Be ever looking unto Jesus!

(George Everard, "Every Eye!" 1884)

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is! And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1 John 3:2-3

Note the transforming power of this sight. There will be a perfect conformity to Christ's image. Sin will be annihilated in the soul, and no temptation ever be able to stir one thought of evil. This mortal body will put on its garments of glory and immortality. In heavenly purity, in unwearied brightness and activity, in an atmosphere of love, born of the love that inflames the heart of Christ — the risen saint will be satisfied as he awakes in the likeness of His Savior! And with the sight of Christ Himself, there will be ten thousand sights that will indefinitely multiply the Christian's joy. What will it be to behold angel and archangel, cherubim and seraphim — and all doing homage to Him whom we love!

What will be the sight of that celestial city pictured to us in the Revelation in such glowing words — but whose true glory and beauty no heart of mortal man has ever yet conceived?

Christian, rejoice! This sight is for you! This hope is for you! Unworthy in your own eyes; oft lamenting your own infirmities, your lack of love, your failings in the Master's service — yet your eyes shall see and your heart shall overflow with the eternal joys which are at God's right hand.

Then let your eye now ever be toward Him. Watch, lest your eye be turned aside. Let it never be found "beholding vanity." Let it never delight itself in the unwholesome sights of the theater, or the vain display of self-adornment, or in that which only ministers to the gratification of pride and self-indulgence. Let not your eye shoot forth glances of envy, passion, covetousness, or any unholy thought or desire. Let it not slumber in carnal ease and selfish sloth, while souls are perishing around.

Nay, let your eye be upward, seeking daily aid and grace from above. Be ever looking unto Jesus as your great Pattern and Exemplar, and also as the Fountain-head of all supplies of wisdom, strength, and consolation!

"Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith!" Hebrews 12:1-2

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Twenty-four vessels every day!

(George Everard, "Holy Living!" 1882)

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time!" Ephesians 5:15-16
The careful use of TIME touches every part of the Christian life. A beautiful illustration has been given of this:

The hours are like a chain of little golden vessels passing before you day and night.
You cannot arrest their progress.
You can put something into each as it passes.
You can put in a good thought or word or deed — or a bad thought or word or deed.
Or you can let it go empty.
Once past, you cannot recall it.
Twenty-four vessels every day!
Eight of them pass while we are asleep — one-third of them empty.
Alas! how many more through our negligence and sloth, every day pass empty!

Alas! for the contents of many of them!
Golden vessels filled with wood, hay, stubble!
Some of them filled with what is worse than worthless — evil thoughts and words and deeds.

But they all pass on continually until they come before the throne of God.
And there account is taken of their contents.
Of how many are you satisfied that God should note their contents?

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!"
Psalm 90:12

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Our crooked and foolish wills!

(George Everard, "Holy Living!" 1882)

In order to live a holy life
— the WILL must be yielded up entirely to God.

The chief sin of man is to set up his will against God's will, and to live quite irrespective of that which God has commanded.

But in conversion, the will is given up to God. "Teach me to do Your will," is the believer's prayer. "Lord, what will You have me to do?" is the genuine expression of the heart renewed by the Spirit. And the more this purpose is followed out, the more holy will the Christian be.

What is our will when rebelling against God — but the source of endless trouble and remorse? Is not God's will the truest will, the best will — the will that leads to peace and rest, as well as holiness and Heaven?

When there comes a great temptation to follow our own way through a prospect of gain or passing pleasure, if we hearken to the same — does it not invariably bring its own bitter punishment after it? But if we deny self, and do that which we know to be right — have we not found again and again a great blessing? Has not, perchance, the comfort or blessing we desired, become our own — without the sting of a guilty conscience, which would have marred all its enjoyment?

O that we could always seek to have our crooked and foolish wills made after the straight and all-wise will of God! Would that we could ever be satisfied that all things mysterious now, will prove to be the right path to the kingdom for God's children! Would that we could say in all things, "May Your will be done!"

To help us to endure cheerfully whatever may happen to us, let us be firmly persuaded that the hand of Infinite Love is ordering and directing all things for our profit and His glory.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The eye gazes — the ear hearkens — the foot tarries — the heart desires — the hand takes — mankind falls!

(George Everard, "The Murderer!" 1882)

"The deceitfulness of sin!" Hebrews 3:13

The sin which ruins the soul, too often comes stealthily, secretly, and unobserved!

Behold the parents of the human family in Paradise — holiness, peace, and the love of God dwell within them.

Mark the stealthy character of sin's approach: Eve loiters near the forbidden tree. The Tempter suggests the pleasure and the advantage to be derived from tasting it. The eye gazes — the ear hearkens — the foot tarries — the heart desires — the hand takes — mankind falls! and the dark plague-spot of iniquity has fastened upon humanity, from which it has never since been free.

A godly king, a man very dear to God, is walking in the evening upon the roof of his palace. The eye wanders — sinful passions arise. Thence comes a dark cloud of evil — murder and adultery follow close one upon the other. Two full years pass, and that sin lies yet upon the conscience. The face of the Lord is turned away from His servant. The remainder of life is darkened by the family sorrows that arise as the bitter consequences of that single glance.

Oh! how secretly — with how much of the subtlety of the serpent does sin come near! How carefully does it conceal from us its true character! Gladly would deceitful lusts persuade us that the thing which God has forbidden is yet comparatively harmless! Gladly would the great enemy cover many a foul act of iniquity, with a fair name! Gladly would a deceitful heart hide from us the deadly outcome of the sin we love!

Would you be safe from the deceit and the craft of the adversary? Then watch and pray evermore. Be ever watchful over yourself. Watch diligently, every avenue of sin's approach. The eye, the ear, the tongue, the hand, the foot — and above all, the heart — require a constant guard. "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life!" Proverbs 4:23

Then abide near the mercy-seat. Put your soul continually into the hand of Christ, and you will be safe.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The tiny hair, the spark, the screw!

(George Everard, "Little Foxes, and How to Catch Them!" 1878)

"Catch the foxes — the little foxes that spoil the vines." Song of Songs 2:15

Solomon is very emphatic here. It is "the little foxes" which do the mischief. If the vines are injured, if the beautiful clusters are destroyed — he warns us that it is the little foxes which have crept in and have been the culprits.

I want to linger over this thought. I want every reader to lay to heart the importance of little things.

"Is it not a little one?" is the excuse of many a soul when entering upon a course that will be fatal to all peace and happiness.

Yes, it may look a little one, but for that very reason, be the more on your guard. A man's life is made up of little things. "He who despises little things, shall fall little by little."

A tiny hair has in some way found an entrance into the works of a watch. It touches one of the inner wheels, and so again and again the watch stops or goes irregularly. Much valuable time is in consequence lost, and only after its removal, does the watch prove useful to its owner.

A spark of fire has fallen upon some inflammable materials. It is but a spark at first, but it soon kindles into a flame. By-and-by through that one spark, a group of valuable warehouses is burned to the ground.

A small screw has not been carefully fastened in the boiler of an engine. For a time, no harm comes of it; but after a while, the defect loosens other parts of the machinery. An unlooked for catastrophe shortly afterwards occurs. The boiler explodes and spreads devastation and death far and wide. Many lives are lost, and valuable property is destroyed.

The tiny hair, the spark, the screw
— have often their counterpart in the Christian life. A permitted inconsistency stands in the way and hinders the working of the Savior's love in the heart. A harsh word does a world of harm. A neglected duty brings evil to thousands.

Catch the foxes, yes, the little ones — let not one of them escape! If you would be secure, you must be determined to spare none — not even the very smallest!

Bear in mind "the little foxes" are especially dangerous, because they creep into the vineyard so secretly. They often get in unobserved. Even so, little sins and faults have a peculiar power to beguile the conscience. They often pass unchallenged. They make but little noise or show, and therefore they deceive the heart, and do their deadly work while we are unaware.

Bear in mind also, that little foxes will soon grow. Week by week, month by month, very insensibly to yourself — the little one is growing stronger and larger! The one you thought at first a mere plaything because it was so small — becomes an over-bearing tyrant!

Is not this true of every sin? It grows by use and habit. Its strength and power is constantly on the increase.

Secret sins are the forerunners of open and presumptuous sins.
If evil is cherished in the deep of the heart, if unholy desires are permitted to remain — soon may follow some terrible breach of the Divine law. Our safety is in watching against the first wrong step. We must not treat the smallest deviation from truth and righteousness lightly. If you once put your foot in the mire of sin — you will sink deeper and deeper!

The little foxes are dangerous, because they make a track for others to follow. A little thief may creep in at the window and open the door for those who are lurking near. So a little fox may lead the way for a troop of others to enter the vineyard. The path is easier to find. The hedge will be broken down, or the opening in the wall made larger; so that where at first there came but one, and that one a little one — by-and-by a whole tribe will be found, and the vineyard utterly laid waste!

So is it with sins. One makes way for another, and each one that goes before makes it easier for others to follow. There is a companionship in sins — you never find them alone. They always accompany one another.

A young man forsakes the House of God and the Bible Class, and regards Sundays as merely days for rest or pleasure. Very often the evil increases fast:
  he takes up with bad company,
  he then becomes loose in his talk,
  he then finds his way to the drinking saloon,
  then, perhaps, he gets into profligate habits, and
  then acts dishonestly to supply means for his extravagance.
In this way, very often a young life is blighted and robbed of all its fair prospects, and perhaps the man ends his days in a prison or the poor house. In this and many similar ways, one sin is linked unto another — and wretchedness, poverty, shame, and temporal and eternal damnation, are their bitter fruit.

Look at the first sin that crept into our world. Truly it might seem to some to be a small matter — but it was the little fox that destroyed the tender grapes.
It begins with a look and a wish.
Eve sees the fruit and longs for it.
Then she gives ear to the Tempter.
She believes his lie, and doubts the truth and the goodness of God.
She touches, she takes, she tastes.
She persuades her husband to taste likewise.
Thus the evil spreads.
All the joys of paradise are forfeited.
The image of God in the soul is lost.
Briers and thorns spring up in the ground.
Sins and sorrows without end, spring up in the world.
One sin, as we might think a little one, has become a giant — and evil of every kind overspreads the face of the earth! The whole world groans beneath the violence, wickedness, and oppression that lie heavy upon it. And to this hour, the outcome of that sin is seen in the ten thousand times ten thousand forms of vice and wickedness which cover the earth, and fill mankind with untold misery and woe!

Therefore take good heed of little sins. Remember, sin grows, and grows fast! Watch against the beginnings of evil.

 "Stay away from every kind of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22

   ~  ~  ~  ~

These petty troubles and vexations!

(George Everard, "Little Foxes, and How to Catch Them!" 1878)

We must see our heavenly Father's hand in our lesser trials and cares, as much as in the greater ones.

David recognized the hand of God, in Absalom rising against him in rebellion — but he saw it no less in Shimei throwing stones and dust and casting bitter words at him.

Just so, let us see God's hand in everything. These petty troubles and vexations are a part of our schooling for Heaven. They are just as much sent from above, as the fierce storm that wrecks our home and leaves us desolate in a cold world. They all come . . .
  to prove us,
  to humble us,
  to draw out the grace which God has given us,
  to break the tie that binds us too closely to earth,
  to knit the tie that draws us nearer to Heaven.

Let us ever fix this in our minds. Let us say to ourselves,
"My Father has sent this trial!
 Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him.
 The very hairs of my head are numbered by Him.
 So I will trust His heart, where I cannot trace His hand.
 He is too wise to be mistaken — and too good to be unkind!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

He has a window into your heart!

(George Everard, "Little Foxes, and How to Catch Them!" 1878)

"You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me!" Matthew 15:7-8

Many professing Christians go to church from Sunday to Sunday, but in God's sight their worship is altogether in vain, as they offer their listless, heartless prayers. The lips speak — but the heart is dumb. The knee is bent — but the soul is unhumbled. Their thoughts are to the ends of the earth. Whether it is the prayers or the hymns — it matters not; for business and a multitude of worldly matters engage the mind, and there is no room for true worship.

Those who go regularly from habit to the House of God, are often living altogether unmindful of the truths they hear, or of the petitions they offer. Such is mere lip service, and profits nothing — but is rather abomination in the sight of God. How many sit before God as His people — and yet not one solitary petition is offered in earnest during the whole service. All kinds of subjects fill the mind and occupy the attention. Money, dress, business, a coming entertainment, yes even envious and malicious thoughts — are permitted to reign within the heart — and those who are apparently devout worshipers are content to have it so.

If this is so with any reader, remember the grievous sin you commit. God is not mocked. He has a window into your heart, and sees the innumerable multitude of vain thoughts which occupy the temple where He would dwell. You cannot deceive Him with such formal and hypocritical worship.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The great idol!

(George Everard, "Backwards or Forwards — Which?" 1882)

"Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi." Ruth 1:14

If you are faithful, if you live godly in Christ Jesus — you will find that the reproach of the cross has not yet ceased. In some shape or other, you will have to bear this burden for Him, who bore the terrible burden of your sin.

Orpah was unwilling to give up the idols of Moab — Baal, Ashtareth, and the like. She preferred them, to the thrice holy Jehovah whom Naomi worshiped.

With the professor now, as with Orpah then, it is no easy thing to give up the idols which hitherto have reigned in the heart. Bear in mind that . . .
  whatever you love best,
  whatever eclipses the Sun of Righteousness in your soul,
  whatever rules on the throne of the inner man
 — that is your idol, that is your God!

With Lot's wife, it was the society of Sodom.
With Balaam, it was Balak's silver and gold.
With the young ruler, it was his "great possessions."
With Demas, it was "this present evil world."

With you it may be one or other of these, or it may be something widely different. It may be . . .
  a friend or a relation,
  success in a lawful calling,
  the comfort of your own happy fireside,
  the praise of man, or
  some of the varied pleasures which the world offers.

But there is one idol more hard to part with than all these — I mean the great idol SELF! Self, in its thousand shapes, is ever claiming the first place in our hearts. Self-love, self-will, self-wisdom, self-importance, self-righteousness — all these are not easily cast out, and rise again and again to re-assert their power!

Be assured, my reader, that if any of these are uppermost, the day will most likely come that you will very plainly renounce that Savior whom you profess to have chosen. Or if you should carry the name of Christian even to the end — yet you are not Christ's. He reckons you not one of His. You have not chosen that good part which can never be taken from you. He has said, "Whoever does not forsake all that he has — he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:33. That is, unless Christ is so preeminent in your affections, that you are willing to forsake all, even life itself, when it comes into competition with Him — you cannot be numbered among those who follow Him.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Three golden balls!

(George Everard, "Counsels to Christians on the Details of Every-day Life!" 1866)

A good lesson may be gathered from a tale of olden time. It is fabled that a king had a daughter who was very swift of foot. So confident was he of her speed, that he engaged if any could outrun her in a race — he would have the kingdom of which she was the rightful heiress. The attempt was made by many, but in  vain.

At length one came forward who, by deceit, endeavored to succeed. In his hand he carried three golden balls, and when she was gaining ground upon him, he purposely let one of them fall near her. Stopping for a moment to pick up the treasure, she lost the position she had gained. Thrice, at intervals, he repeated the artifice, and with the same result. She had imagined that without difficulty she could regain lost ground, but it was beyond her power. Her adversary won the race, and took her crown!

Well may these golden balls represent to us, the honors, the gains, the vanities, and pleasures by which many are drawn aside — and, through the craft of their wily foe, lose their kingdom and their crown!

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10

"Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me!" 2 Timothy 4:10

"Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world, becomes an enemy of God." James 4:4

   ~  ~  ~  ~

What is to be our resource in the hour of affliction and sorrow?

(George Everard, "Family Sorrows" 1882)

What is to be our resource in the hour of affliction and sorrow?

There is one passage of Scripture that has been to me an anchor of hope and strength in many a dark and sorrowful day, and I desire that it might be cherished in the memory of each reader, and its guidance followed when trouble comes: "Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." 1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified version)

Go then to the mercy-seat in the Savior's name, and bring your whole care and sorrow, and leave it at your Father's footstool.

Consider His Fatherly HEART. "He cares for you." As a father pities his children, yes "as one whom his mother comforts" — so tenderly does the Lord deal with those who fear Him and trust in Him.

Consider His Fatherly HAND. It is the hand of love that smites. It is the hand that has bestowed our every mercy — which holds the cup of sorrow. It is the same hand that in due season will remove our trials, and lift us up from our depths of distress, and set us again on the rock of safety and peace.

Consider His Fatherly EYE. It is ever upon us for good, and not for evil. He knows our sorrow, and beholds every affliction and calamity that befalls us. "Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope in His mercy."

Consider His Fatherly EAR. He hears every sigh, every moaning, every cry. He bows down and inclines His ear to every petition. "His ear is open to our prayer."

Consider His Fatherly PURPOSE. Read the twelfth chapter of Hebrews, and see how He wills only our good. He would make us "partakers of His holiness." He would purify us from the dross of our corruptions, and make us fit for His presence.

Consider His Fatherly PROMISE. He has promised that He will "never leave us nor forsake us." He has promised that He will make "all things work together for good to those who love Him." "He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"

Ah, Christian, trust yourself wholly to your Father's care, and He will not disappoint your confidence!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The believer's lesson book!

(George Everard, "Beneath the Cross" 1877)

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!" Galatians 6:14

The cross of Christ is the believer's lesson book. The sufferings He bore for our sake, should be the subject of our constant meditation.

Nowhere, as in the Cross and in the scenes connected with it — do we see such revelations of the heart of Christ.

Mercy shines forth in her beauty . . .
  seeking pardon for His cruel murderers,
  compassionating the daughters of Jerusalem,
  and saving a sinner of the deepest dye!

Justice, too, stands forth in unsullied glory. In paying the debt of human guilt, in bearing the penalty of a broken law — Christ is seen to be a just God, as also a Savior.

In our Lord's suffering and death, there is precious instruction for the believer in almost every matter belonging to the Christian life . . .
  what are the perils you are likely to meet with — and how best to overcome them;
  what should be your life in secret before God — and what should be your path in the world;
  what is your strength in the hour of temptation, and in the season of sorrow;
  how to crucify the world — and how to glorify God in the position which you occupy
 — all this may be learned in fellowship with our suffering Redeemer.

Beneath the Cross likewise, you may best learn to cultivate every Christian grace and virtue.
Meekness and courage,
zeal and love,
prayer and patience and forbearance,
and submission to the will of God —
are the fruits of a believing view of Christ's death.

You may learn, too, to conquer sin by the sight of that which it cost Christ to save you from it. The nail and the spear may be driven through the sins which have been most cherished. You may thus be enabled to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts.

And beneath the Cross you may learn another lesson. You may learn how to die. Through death, Christ has destroyed the power of death — the sting is gone. To him who believes, death is life — for it is departing to be with Christ, which is far better.

Therefore let us often betake ourselves to Calvary. Let memory recall and ponder those hours on which our everlasting peace depends. Let our faith bridge over the centuries that have passed between. Let us go and stand in thought, beside the faithful women who were last at the cross, and first at the grave. Let us look again, and yet again, and discover new lessons of instruction and fresh grounds for the deepest contrition, as also for everlasting joy and thankfulness — beneath the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Search the Scriptures!

(George Everard, "A Talk about the Family Bible" 1878)

The word Bible signifies Book; and when we call it the Bible, we mean that it is the Book of books — the best Book, the wisest Book, the Book that will do us the most good of any in the world!

If all the other books in the world were destroyed, however great and irreparable the loss — if men still had the Bible, they would be far better off than if this were destroyed and all other books remained.

It is the Book that alone can tell . . .
  how sin can be forgiven,
  how temptation can be overcome,
  how trouble and sorrow can be met,
  how tears can be wiped away, and
  how death can be the gate of everlasting life.

It is indeed the best companion . . .
  for days of trial,
  for the day of sickness, and
  for the hour when we must part from all below!

Oh what a treasure is a well-read Bible! It is . . .
  a mine of gold,
  a hive full of honey,
  a field covered with a rich harvest.
It is a tree of life, of which every twig bears precious fruit.
It is an ocean full of pearls.
It is a river full of the purest water of life.
It is a sun whose beams warm and cheer the heart.
It is a bright star that can guide the pilgrim through the darkest night.
It is a granary stored with the finest of the wheat.
It is a medicine-chest, from which we may find a remedy for every malady of the soul.
It is a Mount Pisgah, from which we can view the promised land of Canaan.
All this and much more, is the Bible to those who love to search it and explore the depths of heavenly wisdom which it contains.

Dear reader, whatever you forget, never, never forget to read something out of this precious Book day by day.

The Scriptures warn against . . .
  the fear of man,
  the allurements of worldly pleasures,
  the snare of pride, and
  the temptation of doubt and unbelief.

Search the Scriptures!
Whatever you have done hitherto, begin now to search them daily as for hidden treasures!
Go deep into this precious mine.
Ponder what you read.
Compare one part with another.
Compare the commands and precepts with your own daily life.
Bring its promises to bear on your heart and temptations.

When we read the Scriptures, we should pay good heed to it. There are depths and heights in many of the simplest verses, that we can never reach. Therefore we ought to turn them over again and again in our minds. We must mark, learn, and inwardly digest them. A few verses or even a single verse well thought over, and still better, well prayed over — will bring more profit and help than many chapters listlessly or carelessly read!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If a man carried a bag of gunpowder with him!

(George Everard, "Heart-Work" 1871)

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23

Remember that the heart regulates the life. If the heart is right, then . . .
  the hands will do right — they will not steal or be idle, but do their work faithfully;
  the feet will move right, not going where they should not, standing in the way of sinners, or treading forbidden paths — but walking straight in the ways of godliness;
  the eyes will look right, not coveting forbidden fruit, or reading debasing literature — but spying out work that ought to be done, and looking kindly and pleasantly on those around;
the ears will hearken aright, not eagerly drinking in false reports, or the advice of those who have not yet learned to teach themselves — but ever willing to listen to a faithful reproof, or to a word of wise counsel;
  the lips will speak aright, not uttering words of slander, or falsehood, or folly — but words of truth and purity and love, words of earnest prayer and of grateful praise.

But HOW shall the heart be kept right?

1. First of all, remember that He  who made the heart, can alone fashion and dispose it to that which is good. Whatever is amiss, He knows how to remedy it:
  He gives it a new mainspring — He puts within it the love of Christ, instead of the love of the world;
  He sends His Holy Spirit to control and order its unruly passions and affections;
  He can cleanse it from all its defilements;
  When the chain is off the wheel, He can replace it — I mean, when something has turned our desires from their right object, He can restore them.

Then ask earnestly for grace, "Create in me a clean heart, O God! Incline my heart to Your testimonies! Let my heart be sound in Your statutes that I may honor You!"

But then, He bids us to be workers together with Him in this matter. There is that which He alone can do — but there is that which is our part by His grace to do also.

2. You must take care not to run into scenes of temptation. If a man carried a bag of gunpowder with him, he would be very careful not to go where sparks were flying about — he would feel that in a moment a spark might be his destruction.

Now your heart is very like that gunpowder — a little thing may set it all alight with evil passions! Words may be spoken that may arouse unholy thoughts or desires — therefore be careful. Never go near places where the devil is accustomed to come. Keep far away from the theater, the dancing-room, and never enter the bar of a tavern if you can avoid it.

3. You must watch against any evil thoughts lodging in your mind. You may not be able to prevent them arising, but endeavor to drive them away as soon as you can. A flock of birds may fly over your head — but you would not let them build a nest in your hair! Little flies or insects in summer are very troublesome sometimes — but you take pains to keep them from getting into your eyes, or irritating your face and hands. In the same way, watch against every bad thought.

Remember that among the thousands of thoughts that pass through your mind in a day, there is not one hidden from God! He understands your thoughts afar off, and in His sight the thought of foolishness is sin. Therefore be watchful — do not dwell on anything that may pollute the mind. Cast away murmuring thoughts, angry thoughts, impure thoughts — and pray that God would preserve you from them. "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in Your sight, O Lord!"

4. But to keep away thoughts that do harm — nourish thoughts that will do you good. "Finally, brothers . . .
  whatever is true,
  whatever is noble,
  whatever is right,
  whatever is pure,
  whatever is lovely,
  whatever is admirable,
  if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
 — think about such things." Philippians 4:8
There is a good old proverb, "Fill the sack with wheat — and there will be no room for chaff!" Fill your heart with kind thoughts, grateful thoughts, holy thoughts — and you will be safe. Let God's thoughts which are given to us in the Bible — leaven all your thoughts. Hide in your heart the promises and precepts of His Word.

5. But above all, live in a spirit of prayer. Believe that God is always ready to hear you — and often go to Him for help. Draw near to God — and He will draw near to you. Nothing will keep your heart in a holy, happy frame, so much as prayer.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Don't be the slave of worldly amusements!

(George Everard, "Words of Counsel to the Newly Converted" 1866)

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2

Be separate from a world that lies in wickedness.

Of course in some measure you must mix in the world, while you live on earth — but let it be evident that you rise above it. Don't be the slave of worldly amusements! God loves that His people should be cheerful and happy — but there is little true enjoyment in the excitement of the theater, the race-course, the ball-room, the gambling-table, and the like. Choose something higher and better.

Consider how such things check the growth of true piety.
If you err, let it be on the safe side.
Do not ask, "How far may I go, and yet be guiltless?"
Rather ask,
  "How may I walk more closely with God?"
  "How may I enjoy most of the love of Christ?"
  "How shall I best glorify my Father in Heaven?"

Whenever you stand in doubt as to whether it is right or not to go to any place, bear in mind the old rule. Ask yourself, "Can I kneel down and with a good conscience ask the Lord to go with me?" If not, be sure that it is not safe for you.

Above all, bear witness for Christ in the world by a very holy and consistent life.
Manfully resist sin in every shape and form.
Watchfully guard against the least approach to youthful lusts.
In thought, word, and deed — be pure, be chaste.
Regard the least allusion to anything impure, as the poison of the old serpent which is death to the soul.

Keep a very tender conscience.

Don't make light of little sins
, as many think them. Little acts . . .
  of dishonesty,
  of selfishness,
  of neglect,
  of indulged vanity,
  of pride and self-conceit,
  of the love of dress,
  of petty deceits and half-untruths —
who can tell how much harm is often done by these things, and to what far greater evils they often lead?

Do not judge of sin by the standard of those around you
, but . . .
  in the light of God's Word,
  in the light of the cross, and
  in remembrance of the day of judgment. 

   ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Reader, go near to that cross!

(George Everard, "The Piercing of Jesus' Side!" 1868)

Reader, go near to that cross! As John and the faithful women stood beneath its shadow — so you likewise go and behold the Lamb of God slain for sinners!

Behold that head, lately anointed with fragrant spikenard — now encircled with a chaplet of sharp thorns!

Behold that face, fairer than the children of men, upon which angels delighted to gaze — covered with mingled blood and spittle!

Behold those eyes, which beheld the city with such compassion, which shed tears over it, as at the tomb of Bethany — now growing dim in death!

Behold those ears, which never in vain heard the cry of sorrow or distress — now greeted with bitter mockings and reproaches!

Behold those lips, which spoke as never man spoke, which said to the widow, "Weep not;" and to the waves, "Peace, be still" — now swollen with blows and parched with thirst!

Behold those hands, which healed the leper by their touch, which lifted up the daughter of Jairus and restored her to life — now torn by rugged nails!

Behold those feet, which ever went about doing good, which trod the waves of Gennesaret — now sore wounded, and painfully transfixed to the cruel wood!

Behold that body, so holy, so chaste, so pure — suffering unknown agonies!

And now behold the heart of Jesus, so tender and true, so kind and loving — pierced with the soldier's spear!

Ah, it was a savage, cruel hand that inflicted this last wound on the body of our Lord! There was no need for it. The spirit of the Redeemer had fled. His enemies had done their worst. He could no longer suffer pain or grief. But that spear-wound was, as it were, a mark of the hatred which still existed against the Crucified.

Let every Christian look at his own sin, and see how it has wounded his Lord. Surely it has been as the scourge, the nail, the spear!

My sin is that which has wounded the One who bore me nothing but good will, and who ever sought my peace. My sin is that which has slain my Friend, my Savior, my Redeemer! May I ever regard it as an accursed thing! May I never more look upon it with favor, but with the utmost abhorrence. May I keep far away, shrinking from its very touch, as the deadliest pollution!

How utterly we should loathe and forsake the sin that wrought the sufferings and death of our best Friend!

   ~  ~  ~  ~ 

God's care for you reaches to the very least matters!

(George Everard, "God's Mindfulness of His Redeemed People" 1885)

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

We learn, in this passage, the particularity and the individuality of God's care. The very sparrows, shot down by thousands in Palestine, are remembered by Him. Not one is forgotten.

How dear then to His heart, are His own redeemed people!
Chosen by the Father,
redeemed by His Son,
renewed by His Spirit —
they are the sheep of His pasture, His own beloved children — as near and dear to Him as the apple of His eye.

Nor is the individuality and tenderness of God's care less now, than in days gone by. The Good Shepherd knows each of His flock by name — and our Heavenly Father has a place in His heart for each of His redeemed children.

Struggling believer, God cares for you, even for you, and loves you with an everlasting love! Your name is engraved on the palms of His nail-scarred hands — and when those hands are stretched out to protect and to bless, you cannot be forgotten. When others scorn you — He smiles upon you. When the storm is high and your heart is overwhelmed — He is at hand to shelter and to support you. Even when your foot has slipped and sin has come in — He will not cast you away, but will gently rebuke you and then graciously forgive and heal.

But for your comfort, remember another point. God's care for you reaches to the very least matters! "Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered!"

With the Omniscient and All-wise God, there is nothing small or great. Therefore be persuaded that no concern of yours is too small for your Father's eye and a Father's love.

Bring God into everything. The very least anxiety that weighs upon you — you may roll upon Him. He will not despise it. The very least ache or pain of mind or body is a part of His loving discipline — and will do its work the better if brought to Him. The heaving of a sigh, the dropping of a tear, the unuttered desire and longing of the heart — He marks and considers.

Be as a little child with your Heavenly Father. Rejoice that with filial confidence you may bring all that concerns you to His mercy-seat. Your home trials, petty annoyances from those about you, the wearied frame, a nervous temperament, something in the house or in the shop that disturbs your peace, which you have reckoned scarcely important enough to name on your knees — tell it out in your Father's ear, and leave it to His merciful and wise ordering!

   ~  ~  ~  ~  

Beneath the cross of Jesus!

(George Everard, "Beneath the Cross" 1877)

Beneath the cross of Jesus
, I shall best learn to know my sin aright. For in the presence of Him who was crucified for me, I learn how fearful is the character of sin. Sin is . . .
  the knife that slew my best friend;
  the nail that pierced His hand;
  the spear that wounded His side;
  the scourge that bruised Him;
  the thorn that marked His brow.

With this sight before me . . .
  let me hate my sin with deadly hatred;
  let me never cloak or excuse sin, though in the most subtle form;
  let me abhor the very shadow, the very approach of evil;
  let me keep at the utmost distance from that which crucified my Lord.

The more I keep beneath the cross of Jesus, the more shall I grieve over the evil I have done, and grow in humility before God.

Beneath the cross of Jesus, I also see the completeness and the all-sufficiency of my sin's remedy! However great the evil I discover — help and salvation is close at hand. I can never despair, while I gaze on Him who was wounded for my transgressions and who bore my sins in His own body on the tree!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Mary's portion!

(George Everard, "The Home of Bethany" 1873)

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42

"Only one thing is needed." Not many things, but one. Not the provision for the table, the food that perishes — but the Bread of Life; for "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

Dear reader, one thing is needful for you . . .
  the wedding garment to cover you,
  the pearl of great price to enrich you,
  the water of life to refresh you,
  the balm of Gilead to heal you,
  the Rock of Ages to shelter you,
  the Everlasting arms to uphold you,
  the wing of your Redeemer to cover you.

Yes, "one thing is needed;" in a word, Christ! His love, His presence, His grace, His image, His glory! With this, you are rich and happy through eternal ages!

And this was Mary's portion. This was her rich inheritance. This was the good part which she had chosen, and which would never be taken from her. Her choice was without wavering or hesitation. She could say in truth, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed. I have one desire, one aim, one deep longing — to know You, to love You, to cleave to You more and more."

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Sin, sin! What have you done!

(George Everard, "Dark Gethsemane" 1877)

"Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane." Matthew 26:36

"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death!" Matthew 26:38

"And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground!" Luke 22:44

Let me draw near — let me behold this wondrous sight. If Moses took off his shoes when the Lord came near at the burning bush, still more should I regard Gethsemane as holy ground.

I see the Redeemer of sinners prostrate on the cold earth. I hear a sorrowful groan. There is deep soul agony; there is sore dismay; there is darkness that may be felt. Dark and gloomy was the shadow cast by those olive trees in the Garden. But a deeper darkness overshadowed the spirit of the Savior. Well might He employ the language of the Psalmist: "Fearfulness and trembling have come upon Me, and a horrible dread has overwhelmed Me!"

His soul is amazed and very heavy. He prays in an agony. The conflict is great, and His sweat is as drops of blood falling to the ground.

Who can pierce the darkness?
Who can tell the secret of that hour?
Who can explain the cause of that mysterious agony?

Is it that, in some way altogether beyond our thought — sin, our sin — is piercing the Holy One? Is it the guilt of sinners oppressing our Surety — the judgment and the wrath we had merited, descending upon Him? Who shall answer? Who has known the mind of the Lord? Rather let us worship and adore.

O sinless Lamb, O Lord Jesus, I bow before You, and praise You for Your love! What marvels do I behold!
You, the source of all joy — are borne down with heavy sorrow!
You, the source of all comfort — faint for lack of it.
You, the Fountain of Life — wrestle with death.
You, the highest Majesty, before whom Principalities and Powers bow — bow down Yourself to the earth before Your Father.
You, before Whom cherubim and seraphim veil their faces — lie in the dust and tread the winepress of divine wrath, for man.

Ah, I learn here the fearful reality of sin! Sin, sin! What have you done! This is your work. Never, but for sin, would we have seen the holy, spotless Savior thus enduring unspeakable sorrows. Never, but for sin, would Christ have drunk the cup of suffering, wrath, and death! Can it be a light thing which cost the Son of God such groans, such tears, such agony?

Who can utter all that sin has done?
The whole creation groans beneath the burden.
Countries are filled with cruelty and oppression.
Homes are made wretched by its power.
Ten thousand times ten thousand hearts, it has crushed and broken.
On account of it, myriads of death-beds have been without one ray of hope — -and unnumbered souls have perished eternally.

O that I may abhor the faintest shadow of evil!

O that I may shrink from the least taint of this deadly thing!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A diamond with a flaw — is better than a pebble without one!

(George Everard, "The Home of Bethany" 1873)

"Then Thomas said to the rest of the disciples: Let us also go, that we may die with Him!" John 11:16

We often think only of Thomas as the picture of a doubting, unbelieving disciple. Let us not forget that there was in him the spirit of true self-denying love. Christ purposed to go into Judea. Thomas thought the Jews would kill Him — but if so, he was ready to share the danger.

We may learn a lesson here — let us look at the best side of a Christian's character.

"A diamond with a flaw — is better than a pebble without one!" A Christian may have some grave infirmity; he may fail very grievously at some crisis of his Christian career — yet for all that he may be one of Christ's jewels, and may shine brightly hereafter in His crown!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Far better that the serpent should be discovered and brought out into the light of day!

(George Everard, "Bitten by Four Rattlesnakes!" 1882)

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles — and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us!" Hebrews 12:1

What has been your own besetting sin?

Has it been pride or self-will?
Has it been some form of self-indulgence that you know is wrong?
Has it been the neglect of some duty?
Has it been the lack of genuine piety?
Has it been evil-speaking, or envy, or a bitter, revengeful spirit against someone whom you think has wronged you?

Track your sin to its hiding-place! Search it out and look it in the face. Far better that the serpent should be discovered and brought out into the light of day — than hidden in your bosom or in some secret corner of your heart! Out with it, however deadly, however strong, yes, however enticing! Out with it, and bring it into Christ's presence, that He may slay your enemy and save your soul alive.

"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5

   ~  ~  ~  ~

By every means she endeavored to entice him!

(George Everard, "The Arrow That Missed the Mark!" 1882)

It was well aimed, the point was dipped in deadly poison, the mark was near — and yet it failed! It might have wrought death to a precious soul, but it was received on a shield that could not be pierced, and a great victory was achieved, which it is well that every young man should remember.

What was the arrow? It was a terrible temptation, forged in Hell, that carried with it the venom of the old serpent!

Who shot it? A wicked woman, who used her position and influence in the endeavor to ruin one whom she ought to have guarded from harm and danger.

What was the mark? A young man, far from his home, and under the roof of her who would thus have done him a deadly injury.

You know the story well. I speak of Joseph, and Potiphar's wife, and the noble victory he won.

By every means she endeavored to entice him!
Not once or twice, but again and again, she laid her net to take and ensnare him! She did her utmost to draw him into the sin which he abhorred. But he would not consent to her base proposals. He will neither excuse the sin to himself nor to her. He looks upon it as a black, foul, abominable thing — and a sin both against God and man. He will invent no smooth name to conceal its hideousness. He will hearken to no blathering words which will weaken his resolution. Even when she will almost compel him to evil by laying hold of his garment, he makes haste and flees and gets out, lest perchance her persuasions should conquer his purpose.

Thank God, what a young man did between three and four thousand years ago — young men may do now! The shield of Joseph's faith could not give way — the breastplate of a righteous determination against evil could not be pierced. So this poisoned dart of the wicked one fell harmless at his feet!

Refuse to drink from the fatal, though ensnaring, draught of sinful indulgence — and God can and will put into your hand one day a far sweeter cup.

Most earnestly would I beseech you to avoid the first downward step. Once yield to the Tempter, once overleap the barrier of self-restraint — and the descent to any depth of vice becomes fatally easy!

"Flee youthful lusts." 2 Timothy 2:22. Flee from them as from a serpent! Flee from this sin as from the most virulent plague! There is no end to the harm it may do to you in mind and body, as well as to your highest and eternal interests! Stand as firm as a rock, and like Joseph hold fast your integrity and maintain a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

That master-key!

(George Everard, "Strong and Free, A Book for Young Men" 1882)

"For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart!" Hebrews 4:12

I see more and more in Holy Scripture, a perfect adaptability to the various ills of mankind.

A friend went into one of our lock factories, and he was shown upwards of a hundred locks. He was told that none of the keys would open any of the locks, except the particular one for which it was made.

But then a master-key was shown to him, and this would open any of the hundred locks.

I believe Holy Scripture is like that master-key! There are myriads of human hearts, with various sins, temptations, sorrows, cares, and fears — but the Bible is fitted alike to each and all. It points out the remedy for every form of misery and evil — it leaves no heart and no trouble without some balm suited for its need.

Holy Scripture is our Father's love letter to His redeemed children. We may trace the handwriting. The spirit of truth, holiness, and love is seen all through. We mark that He knows and provides for the needs of every one in His large family. There are warnings to caution us against every form of sin, however subtle. There is consolation provided for every one of the manifold varieties of human woe. Pain and suffering, anxieties about the future, disappointments, losses, bereavements — not one of these evils, or any other, but we find some appropriate solace, some heavenly promise, that can lift the heart of the believer above it. Who could so completely have provided for every need — but He who made man and knows the hearts of those whom He has made?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

It seems to me that young ladies have many suitors for their hand!

(George Everard, "Bright and Fair! A Book for Young Ladies" 1882)

It seems to me that young ladies have many suitors for their hand. There are those who lay siege to a young lady's heart and endeavor to carry it off as their prize.

Here comes Fashion, and, in its train, dress, and show, and jewelry — and whatever ministers to vanity and pride.

Here comes Mammon, with its presents of gold and silver, and perhaps a home where there is every luxury and comfort — but where there is no room for God.

Here comes Music, with its enchanting strains, taking the first place, becoming a ruling passion, perhaps bearing sway even in the House of God, occupying the whole attention, robbing God of the heart, shutting out all true, spiritual worship, and any earnest heed to the Word of life.

Here comes Pleasure, assuming a thousand forms — the dance, the drama, the theater, and I know not what else beside — alluring with its siren voice, deadening religious impressions — leading the soul far away from Olivet, Calvary, and Mount Zion.

Here comes Ambition, perhaps making use of intellectual gifts, perhaps of other means, to rise high in the scale of society — but with no thought of using such a position for the glory of God.

Here comes even Vice, clad in some fair disguise, fed by ideas taken from the light reading of the day, and beguiling the restless and unwary into paths of unspeakable peril.

No doubt each and all of these have much to say for themselves, and will not resign the effort to make you their prey without a struggle.

Have you given your heart or hand to one or another of these? Have you permitted any one of them to exercise such influence over you, that you have been hindered in serving and following Christ?

If so, I am sure you will find disappointment. The present gratification may seem to be worth something — but what about the dregs of the cup? What will they leave behind, when health or circumstances prevent your further enjoyment of them?

Ah, there is often the yielding to some earthly pursuit or amusement — that the soul is robbed of the real joy and gladness which would otherwise rise up and fill a young life with its overflow of peace and usefulness.

What the world calls pleasure scarcely deserves the name, and very soon dries up like a brook in summer. But Jesus is a fountain always near and overflowing with joy that never fails!

I know of but one worthy suitor who may well claim your hand, your heart, your life, your all. Only yield yourself to Him in genuine sincerity, only give yourself to Him without the very least reserve — and you can never be disappointed, nor fail to secure the very best that your heart can desire!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Let love be your highest goal!

(George Everard, "Bright and Fair! A Book for Young Ladies" 1882)

"Let love be your highest goal!" 1 Corinthians 14:1

Love is the most beautiful of all graces.

Love comes down from above, for love is one of the first-fruits of the Spirit.

Love is a plant of Paradise.

Love is a breath of celestial air.

Love is a beam from the countenance of a God of love.

Love is the golden belt, the bond of peace, that knits all heavenly virtues in one.

Love is full of humility, forbearance, and patience. It is slow to anger, but quick to support and comfort those in trouble. It is full of tender consideration for the sorrows, trials, weaknesses, infirmities, feelings, of those around. Be clothed with love.

Now be honest about this point.
What is your religion worth?
Is it a sham and a pretense — or a reality?
Are you daily waging war against these three deadly sins — sloth, self-will, and selfishness?
Are you shining as a bright lamp in your own home?
Are you careful about common, every-day duties?
Are you mindful . . .
   to curb the tongue,
   to watch against vain and evil thoughts,
   to be considerate of the feelings and needs of those around you?
Are you ever ready to seize an opportunity for doing good, to lighten the burden of another, or to help a fellow-pilgrim on the way to Zion?

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you — so you must love one another." John 13:34

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Now, what do you think of my religion?

(George Everard, "Strong and Free! A Book for Young Men" 1882)

A rich lady once asked a very faithful pastor to call upon her, and when he was seated in her drawing-room, she began to relate to him all her good deeds, and how much she had done for the poor and the suffering. It was a long story, and the catalogue of her virtues and good works was quite overwhelming.

She had such a high opinion of herself, and her ways and doings, that she never doubted but her pastor would think her a very paragon of Christian excellence. So, very confidently she closed up her narration by putting to him the question, "Now, what do you think of my religion?"

She had a reply very blunt and straightforward, and certainly not the one she expected.

"Madam," said he, pointing to his hat on the table, "you have no more religion than that hat!"

Now you may be far from the open, glaring self-righteousness of this lady, but it may be equally true of you, in God's sight, that you have "no more religion than a hat!" Your religion may all turn upon self. There is a secret dependence upon your own character, upon your freedom from vice, upon your moral conduct — that mars whatever is good about you.

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:10-14

   ~  ~  ~  ~

There is more breadth than depth!

(George Everard, "Strong & Free! A Book for Young Men" 1882)

In the present day Christianity, there is more breadth than depth.

There is more profession of the truth — but less eminence in holiness.

Let not this be so with you. Be zealous to excel. Do not be content with a commonplace standard of Christian living. Press on to high attainments. Yield up your heart fully to Christ, and ask Him to fill every niche and cranny with Himself! Let every chamber of your heart be replenished from His own bounteous grace.

Let it ever be remembered, that from first to last your peace, your strength, your hope lies in a simple, whole-hearted dependence upon Christ alone. Think of Him at all times . . .
  as your High Priest and Intercessor before the throne,
  as your Leader and Captain in the warfare you have to wage,
  as your Righteousness and your Robe under the remembrance of sin,
  and as your Eternal Refuge and Portion amidst the various changes of this mortal life.

Be content with no half measures — be thorough and whole-hearted. Take the lowest place and cast yourself in deepest humiliation at Christ's feet. Then trust Him utterly. Believe that He will undertake all that concerns you. On your knees give yourself to Him to be His altogether and forever. Let there be no more reserve, no more delay, no more uncertainty. "Burn the bridge behind you!"

Life is short.
Eternity is near.
The soul is unspeakably precious.
Christ is All-mighty, All-merciful, All-faithful, All-sufficient!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Ten thousand foul sins and vices burst forth and turn earth into a Hell!

(George Everard, "The Curse Removed!" 1885)

"There shall be no more curse!"
Revelation 22:3

What a sad history our world has had! Ever since the tempter set his foot on earth, all the fair beauty and glory that pertained to man have well-near utterly perished!

Cursed is the ground for man's sake — thorns and thistles spring up apace! And far worse, man himself becomes as a thorn or a brier — instead of adorning the paradise of God.

Hatred and envy and evil passions of all kinds stir him up to immorality, violence, cruelty and murder.

The image of the righteous, holy God is lost.

Ten thousand foul sins and vices burst forth and turn earth into a Hell!
Selfishness, pride, jealousy, oppression — bringing misery and confusion into all the relationships of life.

And the soul of man, once the palace of the King of Love — becomes the cage and dwelling-place of unclean spirits!

Oh the terrible weight of the curse which since the Fall has rested on man! Oh the woe and the wickedness which have blighted that which was once holy and fair and beautiful! The crown has fallen from our head — woe unto us that we have sinned!

But Jesus Himself bore on the cross, the penalty and the curse that sin merited — and now He gives in its place an everlasting and unchanging blessing!

There shall be a new Heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. God shall wipe away all tears from men's eyes. Sorrow and suffering, pain and death, shall no longer burden the earth.

"There shall be no more curse! They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there! And they shall reign forever and ever!" Revelation 22:3-5

   ~  ~  ~  ~

I once learned a precious lesson from a little girl!

(George Everard, "Victory in the Battle!" 1885)

I once learned a precious lesson from a little girl. I was walking along a road in my town, when a little girl came walking by my side. I saw that she was not a poor child seeking relief, so I wondered what she needed. After a few moments I bent down and asked her if I could do anything for her; but I only heard a sob. Soon I tried again, and, after a little delay, I just heard the words, "Rough men! So frightened!"

I looked around and saw some railroad workers returning from their work, and I imagine they were not very sober, and had been fighting or quarreling along the way. So I took hold of the child's hand, and inquiring where she lived, I took her to the gate and saw the little girl cheerfully run up the garden and enter her house.

It seemed to me just a type and picture of the way in which a Christian should act in temptation. Go near to Christ, and put confidence in Him. Go and nestle by His side and under His wing — and remember that He cares for you, and will go with you and protect you. Take hold of His hand and tell Him your trouble — and look to Him to go with you every step of your homeward journey. And He will do it. He won't reject your humble suit. He won't turn away from you and leave you. Oh no! He delights in those who flee to Him and trust in Him! He will keep them from their fears and dangers, and bring them to the Father's house in peace.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Did you ever hear the dream of Gutenberg?

(George Everard, "The Importance of Reading" 1885)

Did you ever hear the dream of Gutenberg? He was just about to put forward his invention of the printing press, and it seemed to him as if an angel came and spoke to him:

"John Gutenberg, you have made your name immortal — but at what a cost! Think well what you are doing! The ungodly are many more than the godly. Your work will but multiply their blasphemies and lies. You have uncovered the bottomless pit — and a swarm of seducing spirits shall henceforth come out and turn earth into Hell. Oh think of millions of souls corrupted by your achievement. See the poison of fiends distilled into the souls of boys and girls, making them old in the experience of sin! See that mother weeping over her depraved son, and that grey-haired father hiding his face from his daughter's shame. Destroy your press, for it shall be the pander of blasphemy and lust! Destroy it, and forget it! Forbear, by multiplying the resources of the wicked, to make yourself through all ages the partaker of their crimes!"

We are all aware that the dream has had a very sorrowful fulfillment. Amidst the vast amount of printed matter sent forth daily, it is to be feared that the evil sadly exceeds the good. None can tell how the minds of multitudes are corrupted by the publications that they peruse. Therefore, my friend, be careful what you read!

Give heed as to what you read. If you knew that on the table there were poisoned dishes, as well as food that was wholesome and nourishing — you would be on your guard, and touch nothing about which you were doubtful. Just so, exercise wise forethought as to the books and magazines you take up and peruse.

It is true that "as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." But it is no less true that as a man reads — so very much will he think. Mind, memory, conscience, imagination, will, affection — all will be influenced by that which you read.

The questionable novel, with its picturing of the worst passions of the soul, as is too often the case — ought not to be devoured as if it would leave no bad impression behind. I know quite well, that we all need recreation, but it is not genuine recreation to spend hour after hour pouring over that which is trashy, nonsensical, and worse — and will only unfit you for anything higher and holier.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The True Church!

(George Everard, "The True Church!" 1885)

"For it is we who are the true circumcision . . .
  who worship by the Spirit of God,
  who glory in Christ Jesus, and
  who put no confidence in the flesh." Philippians 3:3

There is a vast difference between the Church as seen by the eye of man — and by the eye of God.

The Church, as seen by man, is the mixed mass of . . .
  the true and the false,
  good coin and base,
  the genuine and counterfeit people of God.

The Church, as seen by God, is the unmixed company of those whose hearts are right before Him. It is the flock who hear the Shepherd's voice, and follow in His footsteps. It is those who are cleansed in His blood from guilt, and renewed in the inner man by the working of His Spirit.

In the above passage, we have three distinct marks of God's people. The Jew gloried in circumcision, and accounted the Church of God to be limited to such as had received this rite. But Paul goes deeper. Those who have but the outward circumcision may be very far from God. But the true circumcision, the circumcision of the Spirit — this marks the Church of the saved.

Then he names three points. And if you would know whether you are a member of the mystical body of Christ, the Church of the living God whose names are written in Heaven — try yourself by these three marks:

1. "Who worship by the Spirit of God."
Is this your worship?
Are your prayers and praises offered by the aid of the Holy Spirit?
Do you come to God as a child to a tender Father?
Do your hearty desires go with the words you utter?
Do you thoroughly believe that the ear of God is open to your petition, and do you look for an answer in His own time and way?

2. "Who glory in Christ Jesus."
Do you glory in Christ as . . .
  your wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption?
  being the Rock, the Resting-place, the Refuge of your soul?
  being your great High Priest, your Shepherd, your King, your Redeemer?
  the source and spring of your happiness, as well as your salvation and your hope?
Do you glory . . .
  in His changeless love,
  in His unshaken fidelity, and
  in His Almighty power to save and help?

3. "Who put no confidence in the flesh."
Is this the case with yourself? Have you cast aside all confidence in all that is merely external? Have you learned to put away all confidence in ordinances, duties, church work, and all that is merely on the surface? Have you refused to rely in the least degree on your zeal, or good feelings, or works, or gifts, or self-improvement, or prayers — that to you, Christ alone may be all in all?

Here was Paul's ground of rejoicing — is it yours?

Are you a member of that Church of God's true saints, whose marks are such as these?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The best sermon that can be preached!

(George Everard, "Consistency!" 1885)

"We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel, unless we find it in connection with the law of his God." Daniel 6:5

It was a noble testimony. Here was Daniel in high position, as a city set on a hill that could not be hidden. He was a sort of governor of the whole kingdom, and more than a hundred lynx-eyed enemies were ever around him, watching to discover some cause of offence in him. Though in a heathen court, temptation must have abounded on every side — yet these bitter foes have to confess that he is blameless in all the matters entrusted to his charge. His foot stands firm in the paths of truth and equity. Nothing of falsehood, nothing of double-dealing, nothing of injustice can be laid to his charge.

Blessed are they who have something of a like spirit! Consistency of life and walk is one of the most effective arguments that can be used to persuade men of the truth of the religion we profess. It is far away the best sermon that can be preached!

But what is consistency?

It is the whole life in harmony with the revealed will of God in Scripture. It is a constant painstaking effort in everything, to do the will of God.

It is a life which is all one thing. On Monday — as on Sunday, at home — as in society, in the playground — as in the schoolroom, a hundred miles away — as in the place where you live —
  keeping a good conscience towards God and man,
  hating everything that is corrupt and evil,
  living a holy life, and
  striving manfully and bravely to do your duty in the station where God has placed you.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven!" Matthew 5:16

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The cup!

(George Everard, "Submission in Trial" 1868)

"Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?" John 18:11

O let us consider the contents of the cup of which Jesus drank.

Every bitter ingredient was there — none was lacking.

What bodily suffering and extreme weariness and pain did He endure! No limb of His sacred body, but had a share in the agony He bore.

Beyond this, what soul grief did He endure in the base ingratitude of a people whose every need and sorrow He had been ready to relieve!

What desolation of heart did He experience through . . .
  the treachery of Judas,
  the denial of Peter,
  the desertion of the rest of His disciples!

What pangs must have rent His spirit when upon the cross He heard the reproaches that were cast upon Him!

What darkness of soul did He pass through when He uttered the cry, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

Who can express, who can fathom one of these depths of untold woe?

The object of our Lord in drinking this cup, was that He might empty at one draught, that cup of wrath which His people must forever have been drinking — and yet never have exhausted!

O blessed Jesus, in Your wondrous love You have taken the cup of poison — that You may give to me the cup of salvation! You have drained to the very dregs, that cup in which was the curse due to my sin — that You may give to me the cup of blessing, of peace, of everlasting life! To my lips, You now hold the cup which is full to the brim of everlasting consolation!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The two trees!

(George Everard, "The Piercing of Jesus' Side!" 1868)

One tree has been the channel of all the evil that is to be found in the world.

Another tree has been the channel of all the good that is to be found in the world.

From the fruit of the tree of which Eve partook, has arisen . . .
  all the sin,
  all the care,
  all the sorrow,
  all the disease, and
  all the death that are to be seen on every side.

From the fruit of another tree, that on which Jesus bore our sins, has arisen . . .
  all the grace,
  all the holiness,
  all the hope,
  all the consolation,
which the redeemed have received from above.

Oh, that we might gaze upon that cross, and in faith behold Him who hung there!

O blessed Redeemer, grant us the Spirit of grace and supplication . . .
  that we may look upon You whom our sins have pierced, and mourn;
  that we may again look upon You, and rejoice in such a loving Savior, in such a blood-bought salvation!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

O shame upon every one of us!

(George Everard, "Help and Consolation from the Sanctuary" 1868)

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ — set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things!" Colossians 3:1-2

O shame upon every one of us, that our thoughts are so buried in the perishing things of the world! Why are we so taken up with our little cares, or even our heavier crosses, or our daily duties — that we so seldom lift up our eye heavenward and behold our Friend, who is so ready to aid us by His counsel and strength? Why does the prospect of a little present gratification, so soon draw the heart away from Him who is the source of endless joy?

Reader, watch against this dangerous snare! Give not your heart even to lawful enjoyments, but reserve it for Christ. Thankfully use in their right measure, the blessings that God confers — but strive evermore to rise above them and hold communion with your Lord.

"Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!" Psalm 73:25-26

   ~  ~  ~  ~

On every forehead!

(George Everard, "Help and Consolation from the Sanctuary" 1868)

"There is a time to be born — and a time to die!" Ecclesiastes 3:2

All generations of mankind are traveling along the same road — and at the end of their course, an open grave waits to receive them! On every forehead, whether that of the little child all blithe and mirthful, or that of one wrinkled by age — may be seen as it were inscribed the words, "Dust you are — and unto dust you shall return!" At every turn we are reminded that in the midst of life, we are in death — and that even now the swift arrow may be on its way that shall bid us cease from all earthly toil.

And is there not a shrinking, and dread, a drawing back from the blow of the destroyer? The most sensitive natures ever feel it the most — yet with all, there is a fear of the last enemy that it is hard to overcome.

And where sin has been indulged, where the world has been set up as an idol within the temple of the heart — doubly fearful must be the thought of that summons which forever robs a man of the world, and calls him to a strict account for his sins!

"The length of our days is seventy years — or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away!" Psalm 90:10

"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

   ~  ~  ~  ~

What is repentance?
(George Everard, "Welcome home! Plain teachings from the story of the Prodigal" 1871)

"I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father." Luke 15:18-20

Notice the spirit of deep self-abasement in the resolution which the prodigal made.

True repentance is intensely personal. The prodigal felt it was his own sin. "I have sinned!" He can scarcely see any sin but his own. He sees his own sin in the very worst colors. Study the fifty-first Psalm. See how David again and again speaks. It is my transgression, my iniquity, my sin ever before me.

True repentance beholds the wrong done to God by sin. The prodigal felt that his sin was primarily against God. It was a breach of His holy law. It was opposition to His holiness. It was sin against His goodness, and against redeeming love. So David cries in his bitter sorrow, forgetting for the moment the wrong he had done to Uriah — in the far greater wrong which his sin had done to God: "Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight!"

True repentance makes no excuses.
The prodigal seeks for no palliation, no covering, no cloak. He says nothing of the circumstances which led him to do evil, or of companions who had drawn him aside. He does not attempt to shift the burden from his own shoulders to that of others. He makes no self-justifying pleas — he has too much sorrow, too much true brokenness of spirit, to desire or attempt it. One thing, and one thing only, he sees — his own terrible fall, and his own exceeding guilt.

True repentance takes the very lowest place. Once to be a son was not enough for him — but now he will be content even to be a slave or a hired servant! He feels utterly unworthy. As Jacob felt: "I am not worthy of all the mercies You have showed me." As the centurion felt when he sent to Jesus: "I am not worthy that You should come under my roof." So did the young prodigal esteem himself: "I am no longer worthy to be called your son."

Be sure that God delights in the humble and contrite soul.
Lift yourself up in pride and self-satisfaction — and God will assuredly cast you down.
Cast yourself down in humble confession of your sin — and God will assuredly lift you up.
"God resists the proud — but gives grace unto the humble."

But we see here the purpose of the heart accomplished. The young man not only made the resolution, but he kept it, "So he got up and went to his father." He turned his back forever on that far country and his old companions — and turned his face homeward. Doubtless it was with many a tear, with many a bitter feeling of regret for all that had passed — since in so different a spirit he had trodden that path before. Yet onward he trudges with weary heart and weary footstep, in the hope that a place may still be found for him in his father's house.

Do you ask, What is repentance? I can scarcely better describe it than from the path of this wanderer. It is turning the back . . .
  on sin,
  on the ways of the world,
  on the lusts of the flesh,
  on the service of the devil.

And it is turning the face God-ward, Heaven-ward, confessing all that is past, looking upward for grace to live holier, with one single desire — to abide in the fear and love of God.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Everywhere may we trace the slime of the old serpent!

(George Everard, "Help and Consolation from the Sanctuary" 1868)

Since the fall, everything has been marred and corrupted by sin. With its deadly touch, sin has pervaded the whole creation. In the beginning, all things were made very good — but now they have become very evil. Everywhere may we trace the slime of the old serpent!

But Christ is the mighty Alchemist — transforming, changing, restoring. Into every "Marah" fountain, into every affliction and trial — He is ever ready to cast a branch of the tree of life, thus making the bitter waters, sweet. In other words, He turns that which in itself is grievous and painful — into a means of increased holiness and heightened joy.

Yes, He changes the heart and spirit of man — turning the vile sinner, into the holy saint. He changes the fallen one, into the holy child of God, according as it is written, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature — old things are passed away — behold, all things are become new!"

The fierce demoniac, a terror to all around — He changes into the meek and obedient disciple, "sitting at his feet, clothed and in his right mind."

"The woman who had lived a very sinful life" — He so changes, that she becomes an example to all for the great love which she bestows upon Him.

The dying malefactor — He changes into an heir of paradise.

Saul, the persecuting Pharisee — He changes into Paul, the very chief of Apostles.

The jailer, hardened in his sin — He changes into the rejoicing believer.

The Ephesians, dead in trespasses and sins, having no hope and without God in the world — He changes into "fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

The Corinthians, once drunkards, thieves, adulterers, prostitutes, homosexuals and the like — He changes into holy Christians — washed, sanctified, and justified!

And ever since His exaltation to the right hand of the Father, He has ever been carrying out the same gracious design:
  destroying the works of the devil in men,
  lifting them up from the degradation and bondage of sin,
  adorning them with all heavenly graces and virtues,
  making them partakers of the Divine holiness!


   ~  ~  ~  ~

Was it by chance that they met?

(George Everard, "By the Well of Sychar" 1884)

"He had to go through Samaria. So He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar . . . Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her: Will you give Me a drink?" John 4:4-7

How was it that Jesus was there at the moment when the woman came?

Was it by chance that they met? Was it simply an opportunity for doing good that the Master seized? I do not so read the story. The Good Shepherd was weary — for He had come many a mile to fetch home a lost and wandering one!

"There were ninety and nine that safely lay
 In the shelter of the fold;
 But one was out on the hills away,
 Far off from the gates of gold,
 Away on the mountains wild and bare,
 Away from the tender Shepherd's care."

Everlasting love brought Him to Sychar!
Everlasting love led Him to speak to her, to ask water at her hands — that He might give her the living water that alone could satisfy her thirsty soul!


   ~  ~  ~  ~


Some years ago I heard an allegory which I have never forgotten

(George Everard, "The Home of Bethany" 1873)

"He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation." Psalm 107:7

Some years ago I heard an allegory which I have never forgotten. It often comes back to me when I think of the way in which the Lord leads His people.

The fable runs that a few ears of wheat were growing in the corner of a field, and it was promised to this wheat that it would one day be brought before the Queen. But by-and-by the mower came with his sharp scythe and cut the wheat, and feeling the sharpness of the scythe, it said, "I shall never stand before the Queen!" Presently it was laid in the wagon, and pressed and borne down by the other sheaves, and again arose the cry of distress and despair. But, more than this, it was laid on the threshing-floor, and the heavy flail came down upon it. It was taken to the mill, and cut and cut and cut; then it was kneaded into bread; and at last it was placed in the hot burning oven. Again and again was heard the cry of utter, hopeless despair. But at length the promise was fulfilled, and the bread was placed on the Queen's table!

There is a great spiritual truth beneath the fable. Christians are God's wheat, sprung from the incorruptible seed of His Word, and from the precious seed of the crucified, buried body of our Lord — and He purposes that one day they shall stand before Him! But there needs much preparation.

There comes the sharp scythe of bereavement — the loss of child or parent or spouse.

There comes the oppressive burden of care.

There comes the severe tribulation (the very word signifies threshing), seasons of adversity and disappointment.

There comes the mill, the trial that utterly breaks us down, and fills the whole spirit with distress.

There comes the hot furnace of agonizing pain or fear.

All these are doing their appointed work, stirring up faith and prayer, humbling to the very dust — and yet lifting up the Christian, by leading him nearer to God, and enabling him at length to say, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted!"


   ~  ~  ~  ~


Not one tear is lost!

(George Everard, "The Tears of Jesus!" 1884)

On opening ancient tombs in Palestine, many a tear-bottle has been found, which was a repository for the tears of the mourners, and was then placed in the tomb beside the one who was laid there.

Just so does our heavenly Father gather all the tears of His redeemed children.
"You keep track of all my sorrows.
 You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
 You have recorded each one in Your book!" Psalm 56:8

Not one tear is lost! Not one sorrow is unheeded. Not one grief is left unbefriended. All these tears are noted by our merciful Father above!

We have a Savior who has known our sorrows, and by His tears can heal every wound that sin has made. "In all their affliction, He was afflicted." When He was on earth, He wept with those that wept — and He is still the same. We can think of the tears He shed more than eighteen centuries ago — and know that at this hour He is the same loving and sympathizing Friend!

There is no sympathy like that of Jesus! It flows in full flood toward His believing children. Just as the rising tide rushes in and pours through every cranny and nook on the shore where admittance can be gained — so does Christ's tender loving-kindness enter the hearts of His people.


   ~  ~  ~  ~


Go to the mercy-seat as a little child to a mother's knee!

(George Everard, "Jesus on the Holy Mount" 1884)

"As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning!" Luke 9:29

There is a transforming efficacy of true prayer!
While Christ was praying, Divine light and glory came upon Him from above.

And so in another way, it is with the believer. Imagine a child of God who has had a difficult day of toil and anxiety. He has been all day long in contact with the world, its turmoil, its business — and perchance he has been ruffled with the evil tempers or angry words of those he has met.

But the evening comes. He has a quiet half hour for communion with his Best Friend. Then, as he dwells upon some sweet promise of the Word, as he rolls the burden of the day upon a Father in Heaven — there comes back a quiet joy, a calm peace into his soul. A new strength is imparted, and a new view is taken of life's duties and temptations. The discipline of heavenly wisdom is recognized, and instead of the jaded look and wearied spirit — there is power and life and gladness and hope found upspringing within the heart!

Never, never let the Christian be robbed of the comfort of prayer by the thought of being unfitted for its exercise. You are tempted, it may be, to think that because the mind has been overstrained, and you are tired and weary — that therefore it is impossible to make the effort for prayer.

Let it be just the other way: "I need the quiet of my Father's presence to soothe this throbbing brow, to rest this fainting heart — and I must have it." Then go to the mercy-seat as a little child to a mother's knee. Your words need not be many, but let them be from your heart — to the heart of your Father in Heaven!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love!

(George Everard, "Help and Consolation from the Sanctuary" 1868)

"Behold! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means God with us." Matthew 1:23

Who shall fathom this deep well? What a depth of marvels in the Word made flesh and dwelling among us! What depths in that name, Emmanuel!

"God with us! The mighty God!" — and yet needing a mother's tender care!

His goings forth from everlasting — and yet an infant of days!

The Heaven of heavens cannot contain Him — and yet He is wrapped in swaddling clothes!

The everlasting Jehovah His Father — yet a poor Galilean maiden His mother!

Many mansions in the Father's house are at His disposal — and yet He is denied a lodging in a village inn.

Worshiped by angels — and yet under the same roof with the beasts of the field.

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love!

Yes, innumerable are the benefits which Christ comes to bestow. He comes . . .
  to bind up the broken-hearted,
  to proclaim liberty to the captives,
  to give recovery of sight to the blind,
  to comfort all who mourn,
  to seek and to save those who are lost, 
  to give His life a ransom for many,
  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons,
  to save sinners, even the chief,
  to save to the uttermost, all who come to God by Him — from guilt, wrath, and everlasting woe,
  to set them at His own right hand in glory, where they shall shine forever in the likeness of God!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Reading Christians!

(George Everard, "The Yoke of Christ!" 1882)

"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am gentle and humble of heart" Matthew 11:29

"Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21
I must not only learn the secrets of divine truth from Christ's Word — but I must learn the secret of a holy life, by walking as He walked. Among all lessons, none is better than this.

I must copy Christ's humility.

I must imitate His gentleness, His forbearance, His willingness to stoop even to the cross.

I must cast to the winds all haughtiness and self-conceit — and be content to be nothing, if only He may be glorified.

And where there is true humility, self-sacrifice and loving charity — purity of heart and life will not lag far behind. For Christ Himself dwells with the humble; and where Christ and His Spirit abide, every Christian virtue will spring forth and grow.

Let the Christian ever remember the strong encouragement which the Master gives to all who take His yoke. It is a yoke lined with love. He who lays it on you is no hard man, no cruel tyrant — but the meek and lowly One, the Savior, the Friend, the Brother, the Bridegroom of His redeemed people.
In love, He bids you take His yoke.
In love, He fits it to the neck of each who bears it.
In love, He stands by you and helps you to carry it, and gives daily grace for daily need.

One who was an utter unbeliever, was asked why he held infidel views. "Through reading Christians instead of reading the Scriptures," was his reply.

Oh that Christ might be seen in every one who bears His name! Oh that we might all so learn of Him, that the outside world would see
the mighty reality of His grace through us!

"Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself." 1 John 2:6

   ~  ~  ~  ~

To know Christ experimentally!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!" 2 Peter 3:18

Hence the importance of searching more in the Word, for the knowledge of Christ.

Learn to know Him more in the beauty of His holy, spotless life of obedience and self-sacrifice.

Learn to know Him in the greatness of His humiliation and sufferings.

Learn to know Him in the unspeakable benefits of His Cross.

Learn to know Him as a justifying Redeemer, clothing His people with His spotless robe of merit and righteousness.

Learn to know Him as a living Redeemer, the living One who can never die.

Learn to know Him as the ascended, exalted, glorified Redeemer, and the great Advocate and High Priest of all who draw near to the Father through Him.

Learn to know Him as a conquering Redeemer, who overcame sin, and the world, and death, and all the powers of darkness — and who will no less overcome them in each of His own little flock.

Learn to know him as the Coming One, as He who shall come to reign over earth and Heaven!

To know Christ experimentally
in all His offices and work and character, is to gain a mighty leverage for holy living — and to grow in faith and love and every grace.

"May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." 2 Peter 1:2

   ~  ~  ~  ~

This one thought is a fountain of unfailing happiness!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ" Ephesians 1:5

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus!" Galatians 3:26

Here is one of the sweetest privileges of the Christian life. The Christian is a beloved child, and shares all the love and tenderness of the Father's heart!

This one thought is a fountain of unfailing happiness!
"I am at home with God!
 Once I was far off — but now I am near.
 Once I was a stranger — but now His beloved child!
 Once the thought of His presence was fear and dread — but now it is life, and joy, and peace.
 He is my Father, and in this Name all heart-joys meet.
 He knows me by name, and cares for me in all my cares.
 He pities me, and in tender compassion marks each tear I shed, and each sorrow that weighs upon my heart.
 He opens His hand, and each day gives me all that I need.
 He bows down His ear and hearkens to each prayer I offer.
 I have boldness and liberty to go at all times into His presence-chamber, and may tell Him every desire and ask of Him whatever is for my good."

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The spirit of the world is eating out the very heart and life of true godliness!

(George Everard, "Be Separate!" 1884)

The spirit of the world is eating out the very heart and life of true godliness!

In the matter of friendships, of recreations, of converse in social life — the Christian needs to be very watchful, if he would follow the Savior.

Christians should be very careful as to the scenes of recreation which they frequent. As we find them at the present day, the Theater, the Ball-room, and the Race-course — are hot-beds of evil and ungodliness! They are most injurious to the cultivation of pure and undefiled religion. To my mind they are perilous in the extreme, and are calculated to quench every good and holy purpose and desire in the soul.

Let the love of Christ be supreme! Let no lower motive satisfy you.
"I see no harm in this or that,"
say many.
But can you do it in the love of Christ?
Are you living for self — or for Him?
Are you pleasing the world — or pleasing the Master?
Are you so acting, that with a good conscience you can ask Him to go with you and bless and prosper you in all you do?

Do not I love Thee, O my Lord?
Behold my heart and see;
And cast each hated idol down
That dares to rival Thee!

"Do not be conformed to this world." Romans 12:2
 Do not follow its evil customs.
 Do not receive its unscriptural teachings.
 Do not court its favor, love its praises, or dread its frowns.

Whatever chains you down to earth, and keeps you on the same level with the children of this world — this, whatever it may be, is most assuredly your deadliest enemy. "Don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" 

For what are you to live?
For self-advancement?
For your own ease and comfort?
For laying up a store of wealth for your children when you have passed away?
Or is it to spend every day of your life, and to order your affairs so as to glorify Christ, and lay out all that He has given you, as He would have you?

Walk more closely with God day by day.
Seek to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ.
Strive to be more like your Savior in your whole spirit and conduct.

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

   ~  ~  ~  ~

You have gunpowder hearts!

(George Everard, "Mind Your Steps!" 1884)

"Avoid every kind of evil!"
1 Thessalonians 5:22

Be careful to guard against all occasions of sin and evil. There is no safety without setting a watch against all that is likely to prove a stumbling-block.

I read one day of the remarkable precautions which are taken to avoid danger in a gunpowder manufactory. The walls are all of stone, and no wood is allowed to be in the place. Anyone who walks through has to take off his shoes, lest the nails in them should strike a spark. Then, if he has any metal on him, he must leave it at the door. The danger is so great, that everything must be done to avoid any approach to it.

Oh that Christians would take heed in a similar way to keep from the peril of sin! Keep far away from any approach to temptation. You have gunpowder hearts — so ready to ignite from the least spark! A look, a word, an evil example, a sentence in a book, a suggestion from a bad companion — any of these may be the cause of a world of mischief.

Therefore, make it your firm resolve to keep out of harm's way.
Beware of all places, and scenes, and people — that may turn you from the right course.
Don't imagine you are strong enough to go, and get no harm.
Better to keep far from the edge of the precipice.
Better to keep out of the lion's reach!
Better to keep from the long grass where the viper is coiled up!
Stop while you can — or you may go so far that it may be impossible to escape.

Be careful to guard well the various gates of access to the heart — and of egress into the world.

Guard well the eye. Keep it from vanity. Remember that one look cost Achan his life — and a lustful look embittered the whole of David's years. Let the eye look straight onward, and right upward to the throne.

Guard well the ear. Receive nothing that will pollute or defile you. Hearken to no voice of flattery or persuasion to evil. Welcome every message of the word of truth.

Guard well the memory and imagination. Let no vision or image tarry there, which will chain and enthrall the soul. If unclean birds fly over your head — do not let them settle in your hair!

Nor be less mindful . . .
  to curb the tongue,
  to guide the foot,
  to use the hand,
according to God's holy will.

The words you utter,
the paths you go,
the deeds you perform,
tell mightily on yourself and on others. And none should be permitted to act except under the control of the fear and love of God.

Yet always remember, that it is not your careful walking, but Christ's careful keeping — which will ensure your final victory!
Your enemies are legion,
your strength is nothing,
your resolutions soon fail,
your heart is easily beguiled and turned aside —
but the good Shepherd will keep His own redeemed people.
He will point out your danger — and enable you to flee from it.
He will uphold you in perilous places — and lift you up when you fall.
He will keep you from falling — and save you even to the uttermost!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The very highest object of angel and archangel before the throne!

(George Everard, "Much Fruit!" 1884)

"My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." John 15:8

The Christian should be as a branch laden with good fruit, weighed down with ripened clusters, sweetened by the glorious sunshine, and gladdening the heart of the Great Gardener, as He sees in it a rich reward for His toil and pains!

That they should bear abundant fruit, is one great purpose of all God's dealings with His people. He not simply wills that they should be forgiven and saved — but that they should glorify Him by being fruitful in every good word and work. To bring glory to God is the very highest object of angel and archangel before the throne! It is worth striving for. It is the noblest aim the Christian can cherish.

It should be our effort day by day to bring our basket of ripe fruit to the Master — and such as will glorify Him and receive His gracious approval.

All true fruit which glorifies God, is the outgrowth of inward spiritual grace. It is an external manifestation of the Spirit of God abiding within.

Hence the main point always to keep steadfastly before me, is the absolute necessity of a living union with Christ. It is the branch abiding in living union with the stem and root, that alone can bring forth fruit. There is no possibility of any fruit at all without this.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

I must not aim at doing anything whatever by my own natural abilities.
In Christ, I must begin,
in Christ, I must continue,
in Christ, I must complete all that I undertake.

On Him I must exercise entire, unlimited, perpetual dependence!

I must rely upon Him for . . .
  daily mercy,
  daily grace,
  daily keeping,
  daily upholding, and
  daily power to think and will and work as I ought in His service.

I must ever abide in Christ by faith, and receive out of His fullness. I must continually . . .
  feed on the Living Bread,
  drink evermore from the Living Fountain,
  abide in the love of Christ, and
  dwell beneath the shadow of the Rock of Ages!

If I would bear fruit — my religion must go heart-deep! Christ must be all my salvation and all my desire!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

They are like the soap-bubbles which little children blow!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever!" 1 John 2:17

There is nothing in the world in which we can glory. Its possessions, its pleasures, its pomp and show, its praise and flattery — what are they? They are like the soap-bubbles which little children blow, glittering for a moment with blue and golden rays, and then bursting, and they are gone!

"Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun!" Ecclesiastes 2:11

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Swept off the great chess-board of this world!

(George Wilson, "Counsels of an Invalid" 1862)

"There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow." Ecclesiastes 1:11

"For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten." Ecclesiastes 2:16

November 26th, 1847.
Dear Friend,
We shall both very soon, I anticipate, be called away from seeing all things through a glass darkly — to meeting God face to face, and shall have to answer to Him for the deeds done in the body.

We would certainly exhibit the most inordinate vanity, if we thought that the great mass of our fellow-men would be losers by our being swept off the great chess-board of this world.

This board, indeed, is always so crowded that, with the exception of our attached relations and a few friends, the greater number of our neighbors will be glad to know that our being cleared away has left more elbow-room. Think how soon the world gets over the death of an eminent minister — and let us be content that the place that knew us once, shall know us no more.

"Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die! The wind blows, and we are gone — as though we had never been here!" Psalm 103:15-16

"The length of our days is seventy years — or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:10, 12

   ~  ~  ~  ~

What is Christianity?

(George Everard, "Guidance and Help" 1874)

"Christ is all!" Colossians 3:11

What is Christianity?

Christianity centers in the glorious Person of Christ!

The aim and purpose of every Scripture truth, is to fix the eye on Christ Himself!
He is the Alpha and Omega of Christianity.
From Him proceeds every ray of light.
To Him all believing hearts are drawn.
The Christian finds consolation and strength only in Him.
Every motive for Christian living is from Him.
The glorious privileges which Christians possess, can only be enjoyed from union and fellowship with Him.
Their highest standard of duty is to follow His footsteps, and to walk even as He walked.

Christianity, in fact, is Christ! It is . . .
   Christ in the Scriptures;
   Christ in the Manger;
   Christ on the Cross;
   Christ, the Risen One;
   Christ, the Ascended One;
   Christ, the Prophet, the Priest, the King;
   Christ in His Glorious appearing, to be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels!

All our trust, all our love, all our obedience, is due to Him!

The more the eye and the heart is turned fully towards Him — the more true and genuine is our Christianity.

Do not I love You, Oh my Lord?
Behold my heart and see,
And turn each cursed idol out,
That dares to rival Thee!

You know I love You, dearest Lord,
But oh, I long to soar,
Far from the sphere of mortal joys,
And learn to love You more!
  Philip Doddridge

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The source and spring of all true life, pleasure, holiness, and hope!

(George Everard, "The Stray One Recalled!" 1874)

"My people have committed two evils:
   they have forsaken Me — the Fountain of living waters, and
   hewed out cisterns — broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
Jeremiah 2:13

God reminds us how foolish and unwise it is thus to forsake the sole source of true happiness.

It is a very forcible image that is here employed — God is a Fountain, a Well of Life.
He is the source and spring of all true life, pleasure, holiness, and hope!
In Him is a continual freshness of all that can fill the soul with joy.
In Him are inexhaustible streams of mercy, grace, and consolation.
But men forsake this Fountain for cisterns — yes, more, for broken cisterns, from which soon leak out the few drops of water they may contain.

A traveler in the Holy Land tells us that in one part he found the land riddled with the remains of these broken cisterns. When water was needed, they would just dig one of these little clay cisterns in the ground. It would hold water for a time, but soon, when the sun was hot and weather dry, it would crack and leak — and so another and another would be needed.

Ah, what pains and trouble men take in hewing out cisterns like these . . .
  wealth unsanctified by true riches,
  the acquisition of knowledge with no end beyond its possession,
  a position and name that shall dazzle those around,
  schemes of self-indulgence and pleasure,
  a comfortable home where God is forgotten,
  some object of affection which engrosses every thought —
how often something of this kind steals the heart from God!
But before long there is sure to be a crack, a leak — and the joy and the comfort is dried up and gone!

So God in His tender compassion would have us see this, and remember that nothing can ever take the place of Himself as our Well-spring of joy.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The source and spring of all true life, pleasure, holiness, and hope!

(George Everard, "The Stray One Recalled!" 1874)

"My people have committed two evils:
   they have forsaken Me — the Fountain of living waters, and
   hewed out cisterns — broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
Jeremiah 2:13

God reminds us how foolish and unwise it is thus to forsake the sole source of true happiness.

It is a very forcible image that is here employed — God is a Fountain, a Well of Life.
He is the source and spring of all true life, pleasure, holiness, and hope!
In Him is a continual freshness of all that can fill the soul with joy.
In Him are inexhaustible streams of mercy, grace, and consolation.
But men forsake this Fountain for cisterns — yes, more, for broken cisterns, from which soon leak out the few drops of water they may contain.

A traveler in the Holy Land tells us that in one part he found the land riddled with the remains of these broken cisterns. When water was needed, they would just dig one of these little clay cisterns in the ground. It would hold water for a time, but soon, when the sun was hot and weather dry, it would crack and leak — and so another and another would be needed.

Ah, what pains and trouble men take in hewing out cisterns like these . . .
  wealth unsanctified by true riches,
  the acquisition of knowledge with no end beyond its possession,
  a position and name that shall dazzle those around,
  schemes of self-indulgence and pleasure,
  a comfortable home where God is forgotten,
  some object of affection which engrosses every thought —
how often something of this kind steals the heart from God!
But before long there is sure to be a crack, a leak — and the joy and the comfort is dried up and gone!

So God in His tender compassion would have us see this, and remember that nothing can ever take the place of Himself as our Well-spring of joy.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Your everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"Thus says the LORD:
  Let not a wise man glory of his wisdom,
  and let not the mighty man glory in his might,
  let not a rich man glory in his riches.
But let him who glories, glory in this — that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things!" Jeremiah 9:23-24

Glory in Christ — and in Him alone!

Glory in Him as your Faithful Shepherd, who will care for you, and guard you, and restore you, and keep you even to the end.

Glory in Him as your Unfailing Physician, who will heal your soul-wounds, and bind up the bleeding, broken heart.

Glory in Him as your Great High Priest, who ever lives to plead your cause before the Throne of grace.

Glory in Him as your Omnipotent King, who reigns over the events of Providence, and will make all things work together for your eternal good.

Glory in Him as your Mighty Redeemer, who will deliver you from every enemy, and make you conqueror over sin, death and Hell.

Glory in Him as your Everlasting Portion, remembering that when all else shall take wings and flee away — when the home is broken up, and dear ones die, and means grow less, and health decays, yes, when everything on earth fails you — He will be your everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

And let this glorying be seen by your entire resignation to His will — and by choosing His path rather than your own.

"Not I, but Christ!" Lord, choose for me,
 And make me love what pleases Thee.

"Not I, but Christ!" His will be done,
 And mine with His be merged in one.

Myself no longer would I see,
But Jesus crucified for me.

His eye to guide, His voice to cheer,
His mighty arm forever near.

"Not I, but Christ!" Lord, let this be
 A motto throughout life for me!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

In which class do you think most children would prefer to be?

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

Two lads were once talking together about their teachers in the Sunday school.

"You should be in our class," said one boy, "our teacher knows so much!"

"You should be in our class," said the other, "our teacher loves so much!"

In which class do you think most children would prefer to be?

"If I can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge — but have not love, I am nothing."
    1 Corinthians 13:2

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The pattern which we daily strive to copy!

(George Everard, "Before His Footstool" 1874)

O merciful God, our Creator and our Benefactor, our Father in Christ Jesus — we come to You today to thank and praise You for all Your manifold mercies. We thank You for the proofs of Your goodness which day by day we receive at Your kind hands. You have given us all things richly to enjoy. You have given to us home and friends, food and clothing — and You have preserved us in life and health. For all this bounty we adore and praise Your holy name.

But we would bless You most of all, for Your inestimable love in our redemption. You have given Your Son Jesus Christ to be a sacrifice for our sins. Fill us with sincere gratitude, and teach us to praise You both with our lips and in our lives.

O God of love, purify our hearts that we may love You as we ought. You are worthy that we should love You far above all else. But we are carnal, and our affections cling too much to the things of the world. May Your Holy Spirit break the chains which bind us so closely to earth, and draw us nearer to Yourself. Shed abroad Your love in our hearts, that we may desire Your presence above all things. Kindle within each of us the heavenly flame, and may it burn ever more and more brightly.

O blessed Savior, the Good Shepherd of Your flock — may Your holy life be the pattern which we daily strive to copy. Teach us so to walk as You walked when sojourning here below. May our constant aim be to do the will of our Father in Heaven. May we be gentle and meek and forbearing towards all men. May we never willfully yield to the very least sin. May we give ourselves unto prayer, and make Your Word the rule of our life. May we go about doing good, and watch for occasions of comforting those in distress. Fill our hearts with zeal and love, with patience and kindness, with humility, and hatred of all evil. May we daily fix our eye on You as revealed in Your Word, and may we be changed into Your holy image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of our God.

May Your Word ever be the light to guide and direct us, and may Christ alone be the resting-place of our heart.

Hear us, O God, and preserve us evermore by Your help and goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Here is a sermon which none can dispute!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven." Matthew 5:16

We are to let the beauty of Jesus be seen upon us, that some rays of His glorious holiness may be manifested to the eyes of the world around. We are to go forth clothed in . . .
  His meekness,
  His purity,
  His love,
  His heavenliness,
  His unselfishness —
that sinners about us may gain some faint idea of His grace, through His likeness seen in us.

When, from beneath the humble garb of some lowly disciple, there shines forth something of Christ, something of what He was when on earth — here is a sermon which none can dispute, here is an appeal to the human conscience, more eloquent than the most powerful address ever made from the pulpit!

Christian, do you thus glorify Christ day by day?

Does your life speak so distinctly and plainly for Christ, that men cannot fail to hear?

Does your temper, your tone of thought and speech, bear witness that you walk continually before God?

Do men take knowledge of you, that you have been with Him — and that He is with you?

Is there transparent sincerity in what you say, and unsullied integrity in all your actions?

Is there the spirit of self-sacrifice — trampling SELF under foot, and spending time and money for the welfare of others?

Is there a deep hatred of sin as sin, and a desire to do the will of God under all circumstances?

Is there a fixed determination rather to die, than willfully to break a single command, or cast a shadow of dishonor on the name of Him who so loved you?

Do you "long to be like Jesus," and every moment to live devotedly and wholly in His service?

Then for this purpose, plead with Him this prayer, "Lord Jesus, glorify Yourself in me! Help me to show forth by my daily life, that I have been with You. May Your image be formed in me, and may Your life on earth be the pattern which I ever strive to follow."

   ~  ~  ~  ~

This would help you more than anything!

(George Everard)

A wandering of the mind in prayer is an evil to be carefully avoided. I imagine there is no child of God but has continually to lament wandering thoughts — something coming in to divert the attention, and often carrying you miles away from the presence of the Lord. Even those who most grieve and regret this evil, find that it often comes and disturbs them. It meets them in the sanctuary, it meets them in family worship, it meets them in their private devotions. It is a weed that is ever growing, and no remedy has yet been found that can completely root it out of the garden of the heart.

Yet some guidance may be given in the matter. Strive to be very definite in your prayers. Think of what you most need, and then put it very distinctly before the Lord.

Also, endeavor always to speak as to a living person. If you could more fully realize and always recollect that when you pray, a living Redeemer and an omnipotent Friend bows down the ear to hear, that He is close by you, that you are not speaking into the air — but that you speak your words to one who as truly sees you and hears you as if you saw Him with your very eyes before you — this would help you more than anything!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Oh, do not waste life!

(George Everard, "Mind Your Steps!" 1884)

"Making the very most of the time!" Ephesians 5:16

Be careful to make the very best use of your time. Make the most of each passing day. Instead of trying to kill time — strive to make it so fruitful of good to yourself and others. Hours and moments are golden — yes, more valuable than pearls and diamonds — and to squander and waste them is folly beyond description! Until we reach eternity, we shall never know how much good has been obtained or wrought . . .
  by a moment's earnest prayer,
  by a passing opportunity seized,
  by five minutes given to read a helpful book,
  by a quarter of an hour given to visit some suffering saint.

How much Christ accomplished in the three years of His public ministry! He was always intent on the work He had to do, so that tens of thousands were taught and benefitted. And though we are so sinful, and our power so feeble in comparison — is not His life to be a pattern for ours?

Oh, do not waste life! Map it out prudently, and think well of the work to which you yourself are called.
No lost hours through late rising in the morning!
No mornings or evenings worse than lost, in drinking in the poison or the vanity of a worthless novel!
No moments thrown away in idle gossip and foolish talking!
No, no — our was life given to us for this! Use it far better and more wisely. Remember that . . .
  the time is short,
  the work is great, and
  the outcome is for eternity!

Soon will the great bell toll, which will usher you into a future state. Brother, sister, make haste to do all the work allotted to you — to do it well, that the Master may be glorified, and your crown the brighter.

"So teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A very striking emblem of the feebleness of man!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

A very striking emblem of the feebleness of man, is given by the Prophet Isaiah. He is likened to a worm that creeps on the ground. "Fear not, worm, Jacob." Isaiah 41:14. The idea is very suggestive.

It reminds us that man is defiled. "How then can a man be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? If even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in his eyes — how much less man, who is but a worm!" Job 25:4-6

It reminds us that man is earth-bound. His soul cleaves to the dust. His treasure and his heart is below. I have heard of one in India who found a large clod of earth in a field, and who took it home, saying that it would be his God; and who from that day to his old age, spent his time and money in adorning a temple where he worshiped it. That man stood not alone in his folly. Until the heart is quickened by divine grace, every man makes an idol of a lump of clay. It may be in the shape of gold,
it may be earthly comforts,
it may be a child,
it may be self.
Whatever it is, it is of the earth, earthy.

The emblem reminds us that man is akin to dust. "He says to corruption, You are my father; to the worm, You are my mother and my sister." The sentence abides unrepealed: "Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return." "The dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it."

And what so feeble as the worm? What power has it of defense or attack? What power has it to resist one who would trample upon it? And where is man's strength?

Very wholesome may be the remembrance of this. Strange is it that man should glory in anything that he possesses. What has he to glory in, that he has not first received? What has he who belongs to earth, from which he must not soon part? O that we might learn deeper humility! O that we might cast away those inner reliances, those inner confidences in our own powers that keep us from leaning all our weight on an Almighty arm, that keep us from looking out of self to Him who is the Lord of all power and might!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

To no life of quiet ease, to no course of self-indulgent rest!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus!" 2 Timothy 2:3

The narrative of David's conflict with Goliath, shows the strength which the Christian may look for in the conflict which he has to maintain. The servant of the Lord has ever a battle to fight. To no life of quiet ease, to no course of self-indulgent rest — is the Christian called.

David warring with the giant, is a true picture of the struggle for which each Christian must prepare. When a man is awakened by the Spirit to feel his exceeding sinfulness, he is invited at once to draw near to Christ. He is freely received, welcomed, loved, forgiven, the very moment that he thus in faith commits himself to the grace and mercy of the Savior. But as Christ sprinkles upon him His blood, He gives to him a uniform, and says to him: "Henceforth you are Mine! You are to serve Me, and fight my battles. Until death shall make your victory complete, you are to stand on My side, to witness for Me; and whatever opposes — to hold fast the banner of My cross in the midst of a hostile world!"

Then, like David, the Christian throws down the gauntlet. He withstands the foes of Christ manfully — the world, the flesh, and the devil. He finds the battlefield everywhere.

In his own heart and life has he to resist sins, evil passions, a rebellious will, pride, temper, sloth, selfishness, and all that is born of his own corrupt nature.

In the Church and in the world has he to stand firm in resisting error, in confessing his Master, and in endeavoring to bring over into the Lord's camp, captives made willing in the day of His power.

Shall we not in this crisis of our Church's history, arise to take a higher view of our duties and responsibilities? Shall we not cast aside . . .
  our self-pleasing,
  our love of ease,
  our resting in home comforts,
  our expensive tastes and habits,
  our conformity to the standard of the world
 — and go forth with self-denying effort,
praying more frequently,
working even to weariness,
giving that which costs us something,
enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

And as she had lived — so she died!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

A few years ago there lived an aged Christian woman, who lived very near to Christ and very closely followed her Lord. Her dress, though plain, was always neat and tidy, and the cottage where she lived alone was a pattern of cleanliness and order. So consistent was she in her life that the more she was known, the more was she valued and beloved by her neighbors. When in health, she was never absent from her place in church, nor from the Lord's Supper, where she rejoiced to meet with Christ's people, and to remember the Savior's dying love, and thus by faith to feed on the bread of life. If from any cause she was prevented being present at the monthly celebration of the communion, she never forgot to lay by her usual gift for the relief of those poorer than herself, and when next she came, she added it to that which she cast into the Lord's treasury.

The Word of God was her constant friend and companion, and it cheered and comforted her in many a solitary hour. While she read it, she prayed much for heavenly light, and for the teaching of the Divine Spirit, "O Lord, open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law." "Send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me." Such was continually the burden of her prayer.

And as she had lived — so she died!

One day it was noticed that her shutters had not been opened, and after some delay it was thought advisable to force the door open, lest she might be unwell, or some accident might have befallen her. When search was made, she was found in her chamber kneeling by the bedside with her Bible open before her. As the neighbors approached, they found she did not stir; she was stiff and cold, for while thus communing with God over His word, the call had come, and her spirit had taken its flight into the presence of her Lord! Face to face she now beheld Him whose Word she had so greatly prized.

"Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my end be like theirs!" Numbers 23:10

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The duties, the cares, the trials that are man's daily portion on earth!

(George Everard, "Counsels to Christians on the Details of Every-day Life!" 1866)

In the life of most, the duties, the cares, the trials that are man's daily portion on earth, are the drag-weight that keeps them from rising to higher and nobler thoughts.

Yet it need not be thus. Every day the earth revolves upon its axis, and yet, at the same time, it is being carried along in its immense circuit around the sun.

Even so may it be, that a man daily performing his round of duties, and patiently meeting the trials that befall him — may yet by grace be moving onward along his heavenly course. Common life may be the discipline by which he may learn to rise above the world. It may be the battlefield, on which he may fight the good fight of faith. Nothing less than this is true religion.

True religion is not wearing a garb of piety on the Sabbath, to be cast aside with the Sunday clothing. It is not saying, "Lord! Lord!" while a man walks in his own way, and disregards the commands of the Master. Rather is it Christ reigning within, and His will followed in the trials and temptations that every day come upon us. It is Christian principle so rooted within, that it issues day by day in Christian practice. Godly living is but the necessary fruit of living faith abiding in the heart.

True religion has been compared to the blood in our bodies, which is not confined to one or two grand arteries — but warms, and vitalizes, and moves the whole man. It pours the tide of life through a thousand vessels, some of them almost too minute to be seen.

Just so, pure religion is the moving principle of the new man. It is not confined to special places or seasons, but will ever diffuse itself through all the thousand little actions that are every day performed.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Our numberless mercies!

(George Everard, "Daily Mercies!" 1866)

"Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103:1-5

Among matters of every day life, nothing claims more of our attention than the remembrance of our daily mercies.
They are apt to be forgotten;
they frequently estrange the heart from the Giver;
they are often used amiss, because laid out for some idol.

But where shall we begin? Where shall we close? Who can tell out their number? Who can speak of them as they justly demand?

In the Great Exhibition a catalogue was prepared of the various products of different countries. They were numbered by thousands and tens-of-thousands, but what were they compared to the daily mercies experienced by every one of us? "Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand!" Psalm 139:18

A large proportion of those who live upon the goodness of God, have no sense whatever of His bounty. Is there not many a one who has lived as a pensioner upon His mercy for thirty, forty, fifty years, or even more — and yet has never lifted up his eye beyond the ground he treads — has never yet once heartily thanked the gracious Being who has thus nourished and preserved and blessed him? Search the depth of their hearts, and will you find one single grain of real, genuine gratitude to God!

Consider also, that our numberless mercies can only rightly be estimated, when placed side by side with our numberless sins.

There are two loads we have to consider. One load we lay upon God — the other load He lays upon us.
The first load is the multitude of our sins by which we weary Him.
The second is the load of His tender mercies, which He is never weary of bestowing upon us. "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits — even the God of our salvation."

In this way Jacob estimated that which God had done for him: "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and the truth which You have showed unto Your servant."

In this way Daniel measured God's mercies to the Israelites: "To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses — though we have rebelled against Him."

Let the Christian also weigh his mercies, in the balance of his deserts.

What would be our lot if God were to deal with us after our sins, and reward us according to our iniquities? What single gift could we claim at His hand?

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits!" These words suggest very striking ideas of the fullness of God's mercy.
The bee returns to her hive laden with her precious freight, gathered from many a flower.
The tree bends beneath the weight of the fruit which hangs upon its branches.
The ship enters the harbor, sinking almost to the water's edge because of the rich merchandise with which she is stored.
The wagon comes home in harvest, so pressed down with sheaves that the weary team can scarcely draw it along.
May not these illustrations serve to fix in our hearts, the truth here brought before us?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

God's threshing time!

(George Everard, "Counsels to Christians on the Details of Every-day Life!" 1866)

"Whom the Lord loves, He chastens!" Proverbs 3:12

The season of affliction is God's threshing time, not to destroy His wheat — but to separate it from the chaff.

"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty!" Job 5:17

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Unchanging truth in a changing world!

(George Everard, "Daily Light!" 1866)

"The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever!" Isaiah 40:8

The Word of God is unchanging truth in a changing world!
Generation after generation has arisen and passed away.
Great kingdoms have had their day, and now are no more.
Men, reckoned wise in their day, have propounded their opinions, and these again have given place to new ones.

But amidst all changes, century after century, the Holy Bible has been the Rock on which the heirs of the promise have been resting their every hope!
It has been the anchor of many a sorrowful, tempest-tossed believer.
It has been a pillow of rest to many a weary saint.
It has been a bright star to many a one passing through the dark valley of death.

Above all things, never take the Bible into your hands except in a humble prayerful spirit. It is not human learning, so much as the teaching of the Holy Spirit, which is mainly necessary. All the appliances of scholarship can never take a man beyond the mere letter of the Word. Without the wisdom that comes from above, its inner spirit, its true beauty — will be hidden from you.

If we had in our hands a will which in parts was difficult to understand, to whom could we better go, if it were possible, than to the lawyer who prepared it? Just so, to whom can we better go, in the interpretation of the Sacred Record, than to that Divine Spirit by whom holy men of old were taught to write it?

It is by fervent prayer for the aid of the same Spirit, that the Word becomes effectual for our growth in holiness. Let the believer ever seek for a prepared heart, and a mind open to receive the truth. In the 119th Psalm very many times, does the Psalmist breathe forth a petition for Divine instruction:
"Teach me Your statutes."
"Incline my heart to Your testimonies."
"Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law."

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Hold me up, and I shall be safe!

(George Everard, "Counsels to Christians on the Details of Every-day Life!" 1866)

Prayer is a mighty preservative from surrounding evil. Compassing us around on every side, are evil influences at work which may inflict deadly injury on our souls. Our necessary interactions with those who are not guided by Christian principle — books and publications teeming from the press, which cannot fail to give a wrong bias to the mind unless grace counteracts it — these and many similar perils are ever close at hand.

A humble, prayerful heart is our best defense. One earnest cry for help, casting ourselves upon the guardianship of the Most High God, will avail more than the strongest resolutions made in our own strength. It was thus that Daniel was safe in so ungodly a city as Babylon. It is thus that we too can be preserved.

A forcible illustration has been given of this. The steel workers in Sheffield are furnished with a mask, by which they are enabled to breathe, without taking in the particles of steel that are so dangerous to lungs. But where this needful precaution is neglected, the constitution is injured, and loss of life is frequently incurred.

As necessary to a Christian, is the spirit of constant prayer! The neglect of it imperils the life of the soul.

Walking through the crowded thoroughfares of London, a young mechanic would often tremble at the snares and temptations which were around. As he passed along, there would frequently arise from his heart the cry for help, "Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken me in Your way!" He was kept from falling, he journeyed safely along his heavenly course, and in later years would thankfully recall the mercy that upheld him.

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Make a journey every day to three mountains!

(George Everard, "Daily Walking!" 1866)

Very profitable would it be for all Christians to follow the counsel once given by Dr. Marsh:
"Make a journey every day to three mountains:
 Go to Mount Sinai, and see your sins.
 Go to Mount Calvary, and behold the Lamb of God.
 Go to Mount Zion, and view the Heavenly City."

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Make a journey every day to three mountains!

(George Everard, "Daily Walking!" 1866)

Very profitable would it be for all Christians to follow the counsel once given by Dr. Marsh:
"Make a journey every day to three mountains:
 Go to Mount Sinai, and see your sins.
 Go to Mount Calvary, and behold the Lamb of God.
 Go to Mount Zion, and view the Heavenly City."

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Anything needed today?

(George Everard, "The Four Looks!" 1882)

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help." Psalm 121:1

We must ever be looking to Christ for grace, help, and strength in the walk and conflict of daily life.

I love, too, to think of Christ as the Treasurer, the Storekeeper of heavenly gifts. With loving heart and open hand He delights to dispense according to our need. He is our Joseph, and without Him nothing good can come to us. But when we go to Him, He opens the storehouse, and bestows the heavenly bread and all else that is profitable for us.

I have often had a thought, rather bearing upon this point, that has helped me on the way. We have had tradesmen coming to our doors with the inquiry, "Anything needed today?" Now it seems to me that the Lord comes to my door, and through some invitation or promise of His Word, He asks me this. He asks me if there is anything I require; and whatever it may be, He is ready to supply it. So I look to Him to fulfill toward me His purposes of mercy. When He says to me, "Anything needed today?" I go and say to Him, "Yes, Lord, everything is needed today!"

I need Your presence to go with me wherever I go, and to abide with me wherever I remain.

I need Your wisdom to guide and direct me in every difficulty, and to show me the course I ought to pursue.

I need Your arm to uphold and support me in every temptation that may cross my path, that I turn not to the right hand or to the left.

I need Your all-sufficient grace to sanctify me, to cleanse me from old sins, to make me more humble and holy and heavenly-minded, to fill me with genuine, sincere love, and to transform me in Your likeness.

I need Your help and blessing in every word I speak, and in every work I have to do in Your service.

I need Your pardoning mercy to wash away the sins, negligences, and ignorances of every day.

I need Your Holy Spirit to be ever dwelling within as the spirit of Adoption.

In fact, I need You to be ever at hand in loving-kindness and faithfulness — and I need day by day everything that Your love, power, and goodness can supply.

Thus looking unto Jesus for all I need, waiting upon Him and trusting in His promises, I shall never be sent empty away.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The right performance of the numberless little details of life!

(George Everard, "The Four Looks!" 1882)

"Looking unto Jesus!" Hebrews 12:2

We must be ever looking unto Jesus as our great pattern and example in the Christian life. We are to look unto Him that we may copy Him and walk in His footsteps.

A story is told of Alexander the Great, that on one occasion his soldiers halted, and could no longer make way against the blocks of ice and roughness of the way along which he was leading them. Then, dismounting, he took the axe in his hand, he set his men the example of clearing the way, and went on before them in spite of every obstacle. Nor did they afterwards hang back. They would not yield to weariness or fatigue as they saw their commander thus going on before them.

Thus must the Christian behold Christ leading the way, and by His grace he must walk in His footsteps.

We need to do this with reference to the duties of everyday life. The glimpse that we have of Christ at Nazareth, and His conduct with reference to Joseph and Mary, may show us how He was our perfect Exemplar with reference to family relationships. And in all the lesser duties, in all the less prominent graces of life, He never failed. In the very least word and deed, He was ever holy, harmless, and undefiled, continually in everything doing the will of His Father in Heaven.

And it seems to me that Christian people need to be most on their guard in this respect. It is on the right performance of the numberless little details of life, that our growth and progress in holiness chiefly depends.

Ah, Christian, be careful in what may seem the lesser matters! Let no duty be neglected as of small account. Let no opportunity for doing good pass by unimproved. Perpetually practice in little things, the graces of faith and love. Watch over your thoughts, and be frequently in prayer. Strive to be ever applying what you know of the Word, to the circumstances of each day and hour. Be careful about the employment of leisure moments. In the least as in the greatest matters, walk in the footsteps of the Master.

Look to Jesus, and follow Him in His entire self-surrender. Christ gave Himself wholly to do the Father's will — He withheld nothing. He was obedient unto death — even the death of the cross. So yield yourself without reserve to God. Keep back nothing. Yourselves, your time, your influence, your gifts and talents, your home, your children, your favorite pursuit, all that you love the most and value the best — lay all at His feet to be used for Him, or, if need be, cheerfully surrendered at His bidding. Whatever comes, be loyal to your King. Give up all to Him, for you are not your own, but are bought with a very high price.

In everything behold Jesus as your Example. Study His holy character, and beg that His Spirit transform you and mold you after His likeness.

Let us ever steadfastly consider Him, gaze upon Him — and wherever we see His footprints, endeavor to place our own there.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A perpetual sermon to all around!

(George Everard, "Shine as Lights!" 1882)

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven." Matthew 5:16

"That they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect!" Titus 2:10

Holy, devoted, self-denying lives, springing from the principle of a living faith — are the very glory of Christianity.

The best books, and the most eloquent sermons — are holy, loving Christians — copies of Christ, spending their lives in doing good, and making even the enemies of the Gospel inquire as to the power for good which they possess.

A truly Christian life is a perpetual sermon to all around. A clergyman may preach two or three sermons a week to any who may be willing to come and hear — but a holy life speaks to those who never set foot within the house of God. It can be preached in the house or in the street, in the workshop or in the market-place. It reaches the most heedless and indifferent, and sends many an arrow of conviction to the heart of the sinner. It awakens the slumbering Christian to more self-denial and activity, as he cannot but notice the difference between his own life and that of some zealous follower of the Lamb. It encourages young beginners by the sight of a reality in religion, and makes them more earnest in seeking to possess it.

If you are living hourly, daily for Christ — your words and deeds, your very looks, your silence as well as your conversation — may be doing an amount of good of which you are quite unconscious. Eternity alone will reveal the good which the Lord in His mercy enables to accomplish.

The humbler graces of a Christian life must not be neglected; the quiet home duties of every-day life must not be forgotten. Our daily walk, must prove our religion to be a great reality.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Be ever looking unto Jesus!

(George Everard, "Every Eye!" 1884)

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is! And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1 John 3:2-3

Note the transforming power of this sight. There will be a perfect conformity to His image. Sin will be annihilated in the soul, and no temptation ever be able to stir one thought of evil. This mortal body will put on its garments of glory and immortality. In heavenly purity, in unwearied brightness and activity, in an atmosphere of love, born of the love that inflames the heart of Christ — the risen saint will be satisfied as he awakes in the likeness of His Savior. And with the sight of Christ Himself, there will be ten thousand sights that will multiply indefinitely the Christian's joy. What will it be to behold angel and archangel, cherubim and seraphim, and all doing homage to Him whom we love!

What will be the sight of that celestial city pictured to us in the Revelation in such glowing words — but whose true glory and beauty no heart of mortal man has ever yet conceived?

Christian, rejoice! This sight is for you! This hope is for you! Unworthy in your own eyes; oft lamenting your own infirmities, your lack of love, your failings in the Master's service — yet your eyes shall see and your heart shall overflow with the joys which are at God's right hand.

Then let your eye now ever be toward Him. Watch, lest your eye be turned aside. Let it never be found "beholding vanity." Let it not be accustomed to delight itself in the unwholesome sights of the theater, or the vain display of self-adornment, or in that which only ministers to the gratification of pride and self-indulgence. Let not your eye shoot forth glances of envy, passion, covetousness, or any unholy thought or desire. Let it not slumber in carnal ease and selfish sloth, while souls are perishing around.

Nay, let your eye be upward, seeking daily aid and grace from above. Be ever looking unto Jesus as your great Pattern and Exemplar, and also as the Fountain-head of all supplies of wisdom, strength, and consolation.

   ~  ~  ~  ~


(George Everard, "The Glory of the Incarnate Savior!" 1884)

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory! 2 Corinthians 3:18

Looking for the aid of God's Holy Spirit, gaze upon Christ and ponder every incident of His wonderful sojourn here below. From a single word or sentence, there will often come forth some exquisite trait of holiness, faith, or love, that will be a fresh jewel in our crown, if we are enabled in any way to live it out in our own Christian life. O, let your thoughts and meditations move in the atmosphere of Christ's life and death!

There is no way to become holy, so sure as the calm, reverential, and loving study of Christ's beautiful life and death! It can only be as you learn to know more of Him . . .
  in His glorious person,
  in His unblemished character,
  in His wondrous Word,
  in His marvelous work of salvation,
  and in His sacred offices.

Christ is your refuge and your hope.
Lift up your eyes to Him whose arm is almighty, and reaches down to you just where you are.
Look up to Him who never yet despised a sinner, however vile.
Yield yourself wholly to Him.
His rich and free grace will meet all your need, and overcome all your temptations.
He will make a way of escape from all the bitter ills which now oppress you.
Only keep looking to Him.
You are full of sin — but He is full of mercy.
You are full of all that is vile, and carnal, and earthly — but He is full of the grace that can lift you above it.
You are full of sore trouble — but He is full of consolation, binding up the broken-hearted, and comforting all that mourn.
Therefore go to Jesus; trust in Jesus; cling to Jesus; glory in Jesus — and you shall have cause hereafter to rejoice that His power, and goodness, and grace, have made you a monument of mercy to His own eternal praise!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

He could see that Crucified One holding in His hand the reins of universal dominion!

(George Everard, "The Advent Prayer!" 1882)

"Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"

Christ's kingly dignity has been scorned on every side. The mock scepter, the purple robe, the bowed knee, the superscription on the cross, the soldiers' taunt, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself," all tell the same tale.

Jesus, a King? A King without a throne — a King without an army — a King without a follower?

Then arose the victorious faith of the malefactor. He looked away from that crowd of mockers. He looked away from the shame and suffering of the Redeemer. He looked through the dark shadows of that day, through the cross, through the grave — and his faith could discern on the horizon, the dawn of a brighter day. He could see the Sun of Righteousness, now setting in gloom — arising again in majesty and power!

He could see a glorious King, a cloud, and myriads of ministering angels. He could see that Crucified One holding in His hand the reins of universal dominion!

Translate this prayer into its full significance. There are but nine words in the original as in our version — yet what depths of meaning lie hidden beneath them.

"Lord, I see You dying on Your bitter Cross — but I believe You to be far other than You seem. I believe You to be a mighty glorious King, and that death cannot rob You of Your power. I believe there is a day coming when all Your enemies shall feel Your hand. In majesty and great glory, You shall come to rule, to reign, to judge. And when it shall be — then think of me! Think of the poor thief that hung by Your side! Think of him that he cried to You, and owned Your name, when all the world derided You! Oh, remember him at that Day, and give him to share Your glory, Your inheritance, and Your kingdom forever!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Remember me!

(George Everard, "The Advent Prayer!" 1882)

"But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God,' he said, 'since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.'  Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.'" Luke 23:40-42

One thing more we find in the prayer of this criminal. There was an actual casting of himself upon the mercy and compassion of Christ. Filled with a sense of his own need and misery, assured of the kingly power and authority of Christ — he committed his soul to Jesus' care. The remembrance he sought was neither more nor less than this. It was the rolling of his weary, guilty, sin-stained soul — upon Him who had power to save even to the uttermost!

Here is the very hinge on which salvation turns. By the conviction of the Holy Spirit, you must know yourself a sinner needing a Savior. By the same Spirit, you must know Christ as able and willing and faithful to save. Then you must cast yourself by faith into His mighty and merciful arms. You must give yourself up wholly to Him to save you from sin and all its consequences.

An old story tells of a lad who had fallen from a high building. His foot caught in a crevice on a narrow ledge, and thus he was saved from being killed on the spot. But he could neither get back to the roof, nor get to the ground. However, a strong man stood beneath and offered to catch him in his arms if he would throw himself back. He did so, and he was saved from a terrible death.

In the same way the sinner must venture himself on Christ by casting away every other confidence, and committing himself to His power and grace.

"A guilty, poor, and helpless worm,
   On Thy kind arms I fall."

 "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"

Oh pray this prayer from your very heart! If Christ remembers you — it does not matter who forgets you! If Christ remembers you in loving-kindness — you may dry your tears and hush your sorrows to rest, and begin to sing a song of everlasting joy.

If Christ is thinking of you, and cares for you — then . . .
  what danger need appall you,
  what lack need distress you,
  what fears need harass and trouble you?

Then pray in faith that Jesus would remember you.
"Lord Jesus, remember me in mercy!
 Remember me when the sins of the past weigh heavily upon my soul.
 Remember me when temptation is strong, and my evil heart is against me.
 Remember me when the snares of the world are as a net about my feet.
 Remember me when all seems dark around me, and neither sun nor moon nor stars appear.
 Remember me, O Lord, and care for me still.
 Remember me when I am lonely, desolate, and oppressed.
 Remember me when I lay my dear ones in the dust.
 Remember me when the last struggle is at hand, and hold me up lest I sink in the waves of Jordan.
 Remember me at that great and solemn day when I see You on the great white throne.
 Lord Jesus, remember me now and for evermore!"

Nor forget that there is the converse of this appeal you make to Christ.
Christ makes an appeal to you. He bids you to remember Him. He would say:
"My child, remember Me right through your pilgrimage.
 Remember Me who suffered and died for you.
 Remember Me who for your sake left His home above.
 My child, remember Me at all times.
 Remember Me in the busy throng and in the solitude of your own chamber.
 Remember Me when Satan would draw you from My fold.
 Remember Me when all human companionship fails.
 Remember Me at My table, and meet Me there in faith and humility as you partake of the tokens of My love. 
 Remember My love, My fidelity, My sure promises, My work, My people.
 Remember Me until you see Me face to face in the eternal home I have prepared for you.
 Yes, remember Me for evermore!"

Eternally blessed are those who remember the Lord — and whose names are written in His book of remembrance.

"Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says the LORD Almighty, in the day when I make up my treasured possession!" Malachi 3:16-17
   ~  ~  ~  ~

One of Christ's pasture-fields!

(George Everard, "Holy Living!" 1882)

The Word of God as a great instrument of sanctification. Our Lord's prayer is being constantly fulfilled: "Sanctify them through Your truth — Your word is truth!" John 17:17. Every line of Holy Scripture teems with warning, promise, doctrine, or example that has a sanctifying tendency when it is received in meekness and obedience.

There is not a single passage bearing on the person, offices, or character of Christ, but has been used by the Spirit to draw souls closer to Him, and so detach them from the world.

There is not a precept but has been employed by the Spirit, to quicken some Christian in the way of God's commandments.

here is not a privilege revealed as the portion of God's children, but has been an instrument for encouraging some of God's saints in running the heavenly race.

There is not a view of God's holiness or justice or character, but has been useful in implanting or nourishing in some soul a godly fear which has been a wholesome restraint in the hour of temptation.

Therefore, in the cultivation of holiness, let the quiet, meditative study of Scripture hold a high place. Consider it as one of Christ's pasture-fields, to which He would daily lead you, and there make you to taste afresh the sweetness of His grace.

Ponder the Scripture until it reaches the very depth of your heart. Do not leave the passage until you have found . . .
  some kindling of love to Christ,
  some thought to strengthen your faith,
  some reminder of a precious promise,
  some aspiration of a holier walk.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The eagle eye of the Spirit-taught Christian will discern the cloven foot!

(George Everard, "Holy Living!" 1882)

In order to live a holy life — the conscience must he kept tender and sensitive. When the soul is in a healthy condition, the conscience will ever be mindful of the approach of sin, and shrink from it in whatever form it may present itself.

Sin may come under the guise of an angel.
It may profess a good end, or plead the example of some other Christian.
It may hide its deformity or its danger, by calling itself only a natural infirmity.

But the eagle eye of the Spirit-taught Christian will discern the cloven foot, will mark the covert disobedience, the evil from which Christ would have turned away, and will abhor it and detest it as an abominable thing which God hates! You must be in sympathy with God in detecting hidden forms of evil, in trying the things that differ, in that wise and godly fear that will always refuse the persuasion to act or speak amiss, however it may be disguised.

"Ah, give me, Lord, the tender heart
 That trembles at the approach of sin!
 A godly fear of sin impart,
 Implant and root it deep within,
 That I may fear Your gracious power,
 And never dare to offend You more."

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Put conscience in the witness-box for five minutes!

(George Everard, "The Great Account!" 1882)

"It is appointed unto men once to die — but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27

The day of judgment is the day of manifestation. It is to be the great and final answer to all false judgments of every kind. It will bring to light whatever has been previously hidden or unknown. It will be a manifestation of human character.

At present, a very large portion of mankind are utterly unknown to their fellow-men. As to what they really are in their own inner life and history, they are as little known as if they were living in another planet.

No doubt there are some transparent characters, transparent in vice and wickedness — or in their love to God or man. But most men live and act and speak under a mask!

You take up the daily paper and you see that an acquaintance of yours . . .
  has committed adultery,
  has murdered a wife or child, or
  has committed a gross fraud.
But before this, you had seen and known the man — but never imagined he were capable of such a crime. But the truth is, that for months or years, everything on the inside has been tending to this. There have been habits and courses of conduct, strengthened day by day, which could scarcely have had any other outcome. Quite unobserved by those around, the evil has been quietly growing until it burst forth in some deed which calls down the universal reprobation of all who know him.

The great day will bring all to light!
No cloak,
no pretense,
no smooth tongue,
no religious profession —
will the very least hide a man's true character.

The secret plans to defraud another,
the craft of the envious,
the cruelty of the selfish husband,
the ill-temper of the wife that has sadly marred the life of her partner,
the sin hidden by the blackness of night —
all this will no longer be concealed, but seen and recognized by the whole universe!

The great practical lesson which we should gather from the thought of coming judgment, is the need of honest self-searching. We need to be thoroughly in earnest in discovering what we are and what we have been.  We need to examine our principles, and our motives of action.

Dear friend, put conscience in the witness-box for five minutes. Tax your memory with past days, and look at your present life as in the light of God's holy Word.

What about your inner life?
Is secret prayer a reality?
Are you daily desiring to walk with God?
Are you guided by the precepts of His Word?
Is Christ Himself . . .
  your Refuge,
  your Resting-place,
  your Righteousness,
  your Strength,
  your Guide,
  your Shepherd,
  your Portion, and
  your exceeding Great Reward?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Often with his lips, and always by his life

(George Everard, "An Ordination Sermon" 1883)

A faithful minister must preach often with his lips, and always by his life.

Preach a crucified Savior out of crucified hearts!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A sham, a delusion, and a cheat!

(George Everard, "What shall I cry?" 1883)

"What shall I cry?" Isaiah 11:6

What are those great and prominent truths of Holy Scripture which I must specially take heed to proclaim?

(1.) Cry out the blackness, the deformity, and the terrible results of sin. "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."

If you would be faithful, speak out manfully about sin. Don't be afraid to speak out about pride, covetousness, selfishness, intemperate habits, commercial dishonesty, the vice of gambling, and the immorality which is such a blot on our country. Don't be afraid to speak out about family faults, evil tempers, snappish, irritable words and ways. Don't be afraid to speak of the bitter fruits of sin. With all tenderness, but with all boldness, speak of judgment to come, eternal damnation, the worm that dies not, and the fire that is never quenched. Dare not to hide God's truth about this. True charity is not to speak smooth things — but to hold out the danger signal, to tell of the fiery wrath of God against sin — and then to weep and grieve over the perishing, and by all means to strive to win them for life and glory.

(2.) Cry out the immeasurable love of God in Christ.
Here is an ocean which we can never fathom.
Here is a land flowing with milk and honey.
Here is a glorious sun whose beams reach down to the darkest hovel of misery and sin.
Here is a mountain whose summit we can never climb.
Here is a fountain whose waters will never be exhausted.

(3.) Cry out the absolute necessity for a holy walk and a life consecrated to the service of God. "What shall I cry?"
"As the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct."
"Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."
"Be imitators of God as beloved children."
"Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

The sort of religion which boasts of forgiveness, and yet is lax and careless as to holiness of life — is a sham, a delusion, and a cheat!

Cry out often the necessity of holiness.
Not one single word or action,
not one moment of time,
nor one region of the inner man —
is to be given up to sin, self, or the world.

As you proclaim that a full Christ, all that is in Him, His righteousness, His unsearchable riches, His unfathomable love, His presence, His Spirit, His glorious inheritance — all belong to the believing soul; so also proclaim as clearly, that every power, gift, faculty — every member of the body, and every inch of territory in the human soul — are to be wholly and unreservedly at the disposal of Christ!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Let us catch and kill them whenever we can!

(George Everard, "Little Foxes, and How to Catch Them!" 1878)

"Catch the foxes — the little foxes that spoil the vines. For our vines have tender grapes." Song of Songs 2:15

These "tender grapes" — what are they, and where do they grow?

I suppose we may see them as those beautiful fruits of righteousness which adorn the Christian and the Church of God. The various graces of the Christian character:
  love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance;
  the spirit of true filial prayer;
  humility and brokenness of heart in the remembrance of sin;
  a longing after the image of Christ;
  the unselfish kindness that seeks not her own;
  the heavenliness that looks up to the Father's house;
  the praising, thankful heart that will bless God at all times
 — these are all tender grapes, very beautiful and very precious.

Let us lay to heart the perils that are near — and endeavor to avoid them. With the Spirit as our Guide and Instructor, let us search out the little foxes in their dens and hiding-places. Let us beat the woods and set traps along the way. Let us catch and kill them whenever we can, and prevent them longer from doing injury.

No tongue can tell how the Father delights in the holiness, happiness, and usefulness of His children. He rejoices over them with joy and singing. He accepts their least services, and never despises the day of small things. He marks . . .
  their sighs and tears,
  their works and labors of love,
  their patience of hope,
  their wish to please Him more and more.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

There is a two-sidedness of Christ's Gospel

(George Everard, "" 1882)

There is a two-sidedness of Christ's Gospel.

On the one side we have glorious hopes and blessed privileges:
  deliverance from guilt and condemnation,
  free remission of the past debt of sin,
  a garment of perfect righteousness,
  peace with God,
  a place in His family,
  the comforts of His love,
  citizenship in the heavenly Zion,
  everlasting life, and
  a crown of glory that never fades away.

Here is one side; but there is another. Those who believe in Christ, have day by day . . .
  to take up the cross,
  to deny themselves, and
  to walk in the Master's footsteps.
The way is often narrow, and the gate is strait.
Reproach and persecution must be endured.
Earthly idols must be cast away, and even life itself must be sacrificed — if our allegiance to Christ requires it. The Lord requires that His people should, when He calls for it, withhold nothing. A willing heart, all we are and all we have, must be laid at His feet. "He who forsakes not all that he has, cannot be My disciple."

Mere professors wish for the privileges of the Gospel — but shrink from its precepts.
They want the joys of God's people — but have no heart to bear the cross and confess Christ's name in the world.

Christ has no room in His kingdom for those who keep back half the heart. He has no room for almost Christians. He has no room for those who would call Him, "Lord, Lord" — and yet chime in with the evil practices of those who will not have Him to reign over them.

Away with all empty, hollow profession! Away with all half-heartedness and Laodicean lukewarmness. Away with all double-mindedness, expecting to taste the fruits of Paradise — and yet never to toil or labor in His vineyard! All such religion is a delusion and a sham!

Be an altogether Christian! Not a Christian on Sunday — and a worldling on Monday! Not a Christian in lip — and a worldling in life! Not following Christ in fair weather — and forsaking Him in foul. But hold fast your profession at all times and in all circumstances.

You must walk in Christ's footsteps.
You must stand fast in faith and hope.
You must suffer with Christ — if you would reign with Him.
You must bear the cross — if you would wear the crown.

Be decided. It is the only safe course. To be almost a Christian will never save you.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

True religion is wrapped up in five short words

(George Everard, "Talks about Home Life" 1878)

True religion is wrapped up in five short words
, "Come unto Me! Follow Me!"

You who have come to Jesus — now you want every day to try . . .
  to be like Him,
  to think as He thought,
  to speak as He spoke,
  to act as He acted.

I have read a tract which gives a motto that may help you. It was written over the mantel of a clergyman, and taught many lessons to him and all who lived in the house. It was this — What Would Jesus Do?

Try to think of this motto, if you would live a holy life.

What Would Jesus Do? This may teach you to be kind and humble, and not to be vain or conceited, or cross or self-willed or selfish; but to overcome all pride and bad tempers, and be meek and lowly in spirit.

What Would Jesus Do? This may teach you above all things to hate sin in every shape — every lie, every impure word, all theft and envy and malice.

"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." John 13:15

"Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21

"Whoever claims to live in Him, must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:6

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Comfort, safety, strength, holiness!

(George Everard, "Talks about Home Life" 1878)

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
 with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted
 in every way, just as we are." Hebrews 4:15

There is no comfort, but in Christ's bosom.

There is no safety, but by Christ's side.

There is no strength, but in Christ's arm.

There is no holiness, but in Christ's footsteps.

Look up and see Christ, the merciful and gracious
Savior, bending over you in most tender compassion.
He is very near to you. He marks . . .
  each sigh,
  each desire,
  each tear,
  each prayer.
He thinks upon and sympathizes you.

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with  confidence,
 so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in
 our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

   ~  ~  ~  ~

My strong Castle!

(George Everard, "Beneath the Cross" 1877)

"Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her Beloved?" Song of Songs 8:5

We need continually to be reminded that all strength and consolation is found in . . .
to Christ,
in Him,
 taking to Him in prayer every need and concern, and
from His hands every blessing that a God of love can bestow.

I shall, moreover, abide in SAFETY while I thus lean on Christ. Resting in Jesus, reposing in His love — no harm can possibly come near me. Nothing in earth or in Hell can injure one hair of my head, while I stay my soul on Him. I am safe from condemnation. However guilty I am, conscious of evil and failure in heart and life — yet He cannot and will not condemn me. Will He condemn the soul for whom He died, and who is clinging to Him as his sole reliance? Will He take His poor feeble child, resting in His bosom, and cast him away from His presence? Ah, never will He do this — but He will confess him as His own, and set him before His face forever!

In this position I am safe, too, from the assaults of the enemy. In myself I am too weak to resist the least temptation — but in Christ, as my Shield and my Fortress, I can overcome the greatest. He is stronger than the strongest. Until Satan can overcome Christ, he cannot destroy the soul that is trusting in Him.

Here, too, is my Refuge — whatever storm may blow or tempest may beat, I run to my Savior and hide in Him.
In poverty or pain,
in disappointment or desolation,
in anguish of mind or sorrow of heart —
the living, loving Redeemer is my strong Castle! Therefore will I fear nothing. I have peace in Christ, though I have tribulation in the world. Though every earthly tie is broken, and every human comforter is gone — yet I lean on Him as the Friend, the Helper and Support of all who cleave to Him.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A Crown of Thorns!

(George Everard, "The Crown of Thorns!" 1877)

"When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head" Matthew 27:29

A little before this, our Lord had been scourged — the stripes which our sins deserved, had fallen upon Him. Very soon after, His hands and feet were pierced with nails — and the head of Christ has now its wounds also. That head so often bowed with grief for another's woe — that head which received from Mary's loving hand the precious ointment — now has, from the rough, unfeeling hands of the soldiery, this strange coronation. The cruel thorns pierce His brow, and there flows afresh the blood which redeems a lost world from sin.

A Crown of Thorns! I prize it far more than any crown of human glory; for it tells me of Christ, and His grace and love! It opens out to me fresh views of His work. It brings me nearer to the Savior whom I love.

A Crown of Thorns! It well points out the path of Jesus as "the Man of Sorrows."

We have here and there, a thorn that pierces the foot as we journey along our pilgrimage — we cannot escape it if we would.

Paul had his thorn in the flesh — and each Christian, ever since Paul's day, has had his thorn too — perhaps many.

But Christ alone had the crown of thorns; for He was the King of sufferers — the chief among all the children of sorrow and affliction. Ah, this shall be my refuge in days of trouble! Should my head be racked with pain — should it be fevered and restless through disease, or be wearied with anxiety and care — I will think of the thorn-crowned Savior! I will remember that in all my affliction, He was afflicted — and that He can sympathize for me in the least, or in the greatest sorrows.

I will remember, too, that the thorns He wore, extracted the pain from mine. For to Him they came as part of the great atoning sacrifice for man's guilt — but to me pain and sorrow come as wholesome discipline, to heal the diseases of my soul. Thus the sight of Christ wearing His crown of thorns, shall confirm my faith in His sympathy, and shall enable me more patiently to bear my cross!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Go, sickness, smite that man, lay him low on a bed of languishing, of suffering, of pain!

(George Everard, "The Home of Bethany" 1873)

"Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha." John 11:1

"Lord, he whom You love is sick!" John 11:3

"Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus." John 11:5

Even in the brightest, happiest home — a home where Christ is sincerely loved — dark days come. Thus was it at Bethany. Sickness comes, and with it distress and anxiety and fear. Lazarus is laid low, and the sisters watch by his sick-bed with sorrowful, trembling hearts. He is the stay of their home, their guardian, their protector, perhaps their provider also. And so they send a message to the Savior. They tell Him of their trouble. They think it enough to leave it in His hands. Doubtless He will come to support them in their hour of sorrow, as He has cheered and instructed them in happier seasons.

Here is Christ loving Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. And yet side by side with it we read of the brother being sick, and great sorrow coming to the home, in spite of Christ's love.

Yet, after all, is it not Love's usual way? Divine love works, not so much for the present comfort of its object — as for the joy that lasts eternally. It . . .
  strikes heavy blows,
  sends trials of various kinds,
  commands the storm and tempest,
  kindles the furnace,
  brings down the flail of threshing,
  cuts to the quick with the sharp pruning-knife —
and all because it is love, and because the purposes of love must be fulfilled.

Sickness often shows to men, the realities of life.
With too many, life passes by as in a dream.
For the present everything is pleasant and fairly comfortable.
Business prospers, and there is an average amount of comfort.
So days and weeks and months roll on.
Life speeds away like the express train.
One milestone on life's journey after another is left behind.
And all the while, the great object of life is left out of sight!

There is a long, long life that follows when this short life is over.
This present life is our sowing time — and that the reaping time.
Every day the soul is receiving a stamp, an impression, that will never be lost.
All around there are elements of untold evil or good to us, according as we use them.
All this is hardly thought of, or forgotten perhaps altogether — when times are good.

But God sends a sickness, a fever, an attack of some painful disorder, a broken limb, a severe accident of some kind. "Go, sickness, smite that man, lay him low on a bed of languishing, of suffering, of pain! Show him . . .
  how frail he is,
  how uncertain is life,
  how soon he may be carried to his long home!
Bid him recall . . .
  the days that are past,
  the sins he has committed,
  the mercies he has received,
  the ingratitude he has shown to One who has watched over him and blessed him from his youth!"

Then, it is, by the grace of the Spirit, a man begins oftentimes to turn to God.
His sins stand out clear before him;
he thinks of the judgment to come;
he looks into the grave and sees how utterly unprepared he is;
he brings to mind messages he has heard from the lips of Christ's ministers;
he talks with himself,
  "What have I been doing?
   Where am I going?
   Where is my hope and confidence?"
Then, perhaps, the light tale or novel is laid aside, the newspaper is less cared for — the dusty Bible is brought out, and Jesus is sought sincerely!

It is ever thus, that God sanctifies His people in the school of affliction. The quiet graces of the Christian character are especially drawn forth at such times. Patience and hope and simple trust in God's love, a firmer reliance on the promises of Holy Scripture — all these are often the direct and evident fruits of suffering and pain.

Let not the Christian, then, be weary of this trial of sickness, or of others which the Father may appoint. Despair not if trials seem almost beyond endurance. At the end you will see that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

He may not respond as you desire, but He will act wisely and kindly.
He is your Shepherd — therefore will He lead you in the right way.
He is your Physician — therefore will He appoint the best medicine.
He is your High Priest — therefore will He never forget you, but will bear your name on His breastplate of love perpetually.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Love's delay!

(George Everard, "The Home of Bethany" 1873)

"So, when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was." John 11:6

"So when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days." John 11:17

Love's delay!
How frequent do we find it in God's dealings with His people!

Why is this? Why does prayer often arise — and yet so long a period pass before the answer comes? Why does the faithful Jehovah give promises so sure and certain — and yet permit many a year to pass before they are fulfilled?

The ways of God are very unlike the ways of man. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways. When we might expect Him to act in one way — we find Him acting in the very reverse.

Sometimes God keeps His people waiting, because great works are long in maturing. The gourd springs up in a night, and perishes in a night. But the giant oak grows more slowly — yet abides for a century. So God's works are great and glorious, and last forever. This very story of Bethany, through more than eighteen centuries, has been a rock of strength to all God's sorrowful ones. The work of redemption, so long delayed, is to be the theme of endless praise by saints on earth and in Heaven.

God keeps His people waiting oftentimes, that He may deepen spiritual feeling, that He may quicken their souls to more earnest prayer.

Joseph had to wait very long, before he could see the purpose of God's dealings with him; but at last he saw the reason for it all. The betrayal, the exile, the false accusation, the dungeon, the thirteen years of trial and suffering — all these manifested the more fully the wonder-working providence of the great Disposer of all things.

Ah, sorrowing Christian, watch and wait and pray at mercy's gate — and for all your waiting shall there be a double recompense! What are a few days of weeping — compared with the joys of eternity?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

It is by a quiet, abiding continuance in holy living and holy walking

(George Everard, "Words of Counsel to the Newly Converted" 1866)

"So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him: If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine!" John 8:31

Steadfast perseverance in well-doing is the best proof that your profession is sincere. It is by a quiet, abiding continuance in holy living and holy walking, that you will prove yourself to be in truth one of the Lord's followers.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Never are we weary of pondering this story of Divine grace and mercy!

(George Everard, "Welcome Home! Plain teachings from the story of the Prodigal" 1871)

"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate!" Luke 15:22-24

Never are we weary of pondering this story of Divine grace and mercy!

The younger son is again at home. He is welcomed, forgiven, loved. He has felt the embrace of the fatherly arms, and the kiss of reconciling love.

Wonderful are the resources of Heavenly Love! God . . .
  enriches the poor and needy,
  exalts the humble,
  lifts up the perishing one from guilt and condemnation,
  and crowns him with favor, glory, and immortality!

Divine love gives with no grudging hand or stinted measure, but according to its own fullness, "Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Then, by a strange transformation

(George Everard, "Practical Readings in the Life of Our Lord" 1884)

Once I noticed some men catching the fish in a small pond. What was their purpose? The pond was drying up through the heat of summer, and they were taking the fish to place them in a moat always full of fresh, pure water.

Just so, I thought, does Christ take men out of the world, where everything must shortly fail — and places them in the deep ocean of God's eternal love, where they shall be satisfied forever with His joy.

Then, by a strange transformation
— the fish whom He has caught, become His fishermen. Peter was caught himself, and then was sent forth to catch others. Those who know the blessedness of His love, join with the Master in letting down the gospel net.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Was there ever a better student in divine knowledge?

(George Everard, "At the Feet of Jesus" 1884)

"Mary seated herself at the Lord's feet and was listening to His teaching." Luke 10:39

Holy Scripture abounds in promises to the humble.
"He exalts the humble and meek."
"He who humbles himself shall be exalted."
"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

To take the lowest place, to sit down in the lowest room — is the sure road to true peace on earth and a throne of glory hereafter. By this path our Master went before, and we must endeavor to walk in His footsteps.

For this purpose, let us keep close to the Savior. For all that we need, let us abide "at His feet."

Let us look at the feet of Jesus, as the place for the LEARNER. And was there ever a better student in divine knowledge than Mary of Bethany? While her sister was hard at work, desiring to honor Christ by providing for His need — Mary sat quiet and still, calmly drinking in the words of grace and wisdom and love that flowed from His lips. His words sank very deep. She was filled with faith and love and reverence and holy joy and strength of soul. She was prepared for days of sorrow that lay before her. She learned well the lesson of His love, which led her in future days to bring her box of ointment and anoint Him for His burial.

Like Mary, come to the footstool of Jesus. Be a willing pupil in His school. Ever hearken to the voice that speaks to us from God.

The written Word is to us, in place of the teachings of the Incarnate Word. And in the study of the Word, nourish a quietness and stillness of spirit as in the very presence of Jesus. Believe it, that Christ is as near to you, as to Mary as she sat at His feet. And in the consciousness of this, avoid all hurried, hasty reading. Watch against the mind being preoccupied with business or anything of earth. Realize Christ close beside you, and let this thought calm and refresh your spirit, and prepare you to receive whatever instruction you need.

And as you read, be ever looking to Jesus for divine illumination. We can imagine Mary looking up again and again to the Savior when anything seemed beyond her. Then He would open her understanding, give her some fresh word of explanation, and make it all plain.

Only catch the humble, teachable spirit of Mary — and doubtless you shall have Mary's blessing and reward.

It is a blessed thing to be with Christ, as a lowly, teachable learner, drinking in the words of eternal life.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Freedom from the dominion of sin!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

There is no more galling yoke to be found, than . . .
  the thraldom of evil passions, tyrant lusts, sinful habits and customs,
  uncontrolled tempers which burst forth like a hurricane,
  temptations which hurry a man onward toward the precipice of utter ruin,
  the dark trinity of "the world, the flesh, and the devil" —
all drawing a man along the pathway that leads to eternal death! Here is a foe that is terrible indeed!

Yet in Christ, there is freedom from the dominion of sin, and from all the power of the enemy.

Satan is strong, for he is a roaring lion. But Christ is stronger, for He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah — yes, the almighty Shepherd, who can guard the weakest of His flock from the treachery and deceit of the evil one.

Sin is strong, and it has conquered and destroyed its myriads in every age; but Christ is stronger, for He is our Joshua, and He can put every enemy beneath our feet. If united to Christ by true faith, "sin shall not have dominion over you." Being no longer under the law, but under grace, Christ reigns in you by His Holy Spirit, and by the same Spirit can make you more than conqueror over every snare of the tempter.

Christian, remember always the secret of success in the sore conflict you have to wage. Let "the joy of the Lord" be "your strength." Apart from Christ, there is nothing but defeat. You may resolve to do better, you may strive against your besetting sin — but if it is in your own might, you will fail. But draw near to Christ, and keep Him in view continually. Hide deep in your heart His own word of promise, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Fly to Him as your stronghold, whenever danger is at hand. Make Him your shield, when the shafts of the wicked one are aimed for your destruction.

I often think of a lesson I learned one snowy day in Birmingham. A big lad was unmercifully snow-balling a smaller boy. But when the little fellow saw me coming, he got behind me and kept me on the slant between himself and his enemy, until he was able to escape from him.

Ah, here is a lesson for me, thought I. Let me ever make Christ my shield. Let me ever put Him between me and my temptations; between me and my cares, and fears, and perils — and He will answer for them. No evil can overcome His power; and when I thus trust in Him, no sin or evil can overcome me.

Thus will you find strength for victory. You will be delivered from the sin which once was too strong for you. More and more the Spirit of Christ shall fashion you in His image and likeness. More and more shall the evil nature be mortified and kept under control, and Christ Himself make your heart His dwelling-place.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

You are only a steward of whatever you possess

(George Everard, "Mind Your Steps!" 1884)

"Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise" Ephesians 5:15

Be careful in the expenditure of money. You can never be reminded too often that you are only a steward of whatever you possess. The gold and the silver belong to the Lord Almighty, and He puts them into your hand to use according to His will.

What would you think of a steward, through whose hands ten or twenty thousand pounds were received yearly in rents — were he to go and expend it in waste and luxury, or to use it in speculation, or risk it in gambling?

And what must Christ think of you, if thousands of dollars a year are in your hands — if you spend it upon self and pleasure and the world — and neglect to honor Him with the first-fruits, and give but little for His cause and the interests of His kingdom?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

I know no more fearful quagmire than this!

(George Everard, "Guidance and Help" 1874)

"What is truth?" John 18:38

This question of Pilate, and the spirit in which he put it to our Lord, seem very much to represent the tone of modern opinion. There is a strange uncertainty abroad as to religious truth.
Nothing is true — everything is true — according as you regard it.
Absolutely in itself, truth is nowhere.
Relatively, truth is everywhere.
To the Christian, Christianity is true.
To the Hindu, his sacred books are true.
One thing is true to one man, and one to another.

But as to that which is true indeed — sacred, unchangeable, eternal truth — men seem to disbelieve its existence. And yet in science, history, and all secular matters, men judge not so. They examine and inquire and search diligently as to the foundation of a fact, and then, with tolerable certainty, they speak of it as either true or false.

And why do men act otherwise in religion? What is it but something mistaken for charity or tolerance, which leads them astray? They will condemn nothing as false — and therefore hold nothing as undoubtedly true. I know no more fearful quagmire than this! It is the grave of all rest and peace of soul. It leaves men without an inch of solid ground on which to place their foot. Far more hopeful is the condition of a man who believes an idol to be God — than He who believes God and His truth are nowhere to be found.

"Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth!" John 17:17

"Jesus answered: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The Great Physician and His Patients!

(George Everard, "The Great Physician and His Patients" 1874)

In Christ is the most perfect skill to discern the peculiar features of each case. He sees the working of all this sin and corruption and hardness of heart — and He can counteract it all by His all-sufficient grace. Before you have spoken a word, when you kneel down and cast yourself upon His mercy — He is prepared to forgive and save. Christ knows beforehand all that you are, and cannot fail to support His tempted or afflicted child.

In Christ there is also a Divine power not only to discern, but completely to effect a cure in every case of spiritual disease. When He was upon earth, none were sent away unhealed. The blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb, the palsied and the lepers, those possessed with devils and those laid low with fever — all alike were healed immediately by the touch of Jesus. "The whole multitude sought to touch Him; for virtue went out of Him, and healed them ALL."

Thus completely and surely does Jesus restore all who come to Him. He can . . .
  open the eyes long closed in the night of ignorance,
  strengthen those who have yet had no power to walk in God's ways,
  unstop the ear long deaf to the sweet voice of the Gospel,
  teach the prayerless lips to plead with God,
  remove the paralysis of a careless indifference,
  cleanse souls from the leprosy of debasing lusts,
  cast out the evil spirits of envy, and hatred, and unbelief,
  save men from the fever of covetousness, and every evil temper.

His power, when on earth, reached to the very worst cases of disease. The man full of leprosy, and the woman whom other physicians had tried in vain to benefit — both came, and others just as hopeless, and were alike healed. Yes, and I see Jesus day by day saving such as man might reckon beyond the reach of His saving arm.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

O almighty Father, the God of mercy, love and peace

(George Everard, "Before His Footstool" 1874)

O almighty Father, the God of mercy, love and peace
— receive us graciously as we kneel before You this day. Every day we have to thank You for fresh mercies, and to confess before You our perpetual backslidings.

As week by week rolls by, teach us to see more clearly the shortness of time, and the nearness of eternity. Our joys and sorrows are but for a moment — but You have promised an eternal weight of glory to Your children. Help us, Father, to seek those things which are above.

O draw us to Yourself, and open our eyes to see the vanity of things below. Keep us from making the pursuit of wealth our chief aim in life. If riches increase, teach us to use them for You. May we so pass through temporal things, that we lose not the eternal things. May we seek first Your kingdom and righteousness, and may we be assured that all other needful things shall be added unto us. In all our labors and sorrows, may we glorify You.

O Merciful Redeemer, be ever by our side. In our daily conflicts stand by us and help us. Uphold us with Your right hand — and then we shall not fall. Make us in all things, to follow in Your footsteps and to keep Your commandments. Teach us to count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Your love. May we reckon a little with Yourself, far better than every earthly blessing without Your Presence.

We entreat You, O Father, draw us closer to Yourself by the cords of Your love. Grant us cheerfulness in doing Your will, and grace to live in holy consistency with Your will.

When life is over, and You shall make up Your jewels, may none whom we love be found missing among Your saints.

We commit ourselves now into Your Fatherly keeping. Be with us and guard us from all danger. Receive our prayers, we humbly beseech You, and forgive us all our sins through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

We are pensioners upon Your goodness

(George Everard, "Before His Footstool" 1874)

We praise You, O Father, for all the bounties of Your providence. Day by day we are pensioners upon Your goodness. You open Your hand and spread our table, and give us all things richly to enjoy. We praise You still more for the unsearchable riches of Your grace and mercy in Christ Jesus.

O exalted and glorified Redeemer, manifest Your everlasting love toward us, and draw us to Yourself by the cords of Your love. May we  know You, as bearing their sins on the cross, and now pleading our cause above.

O Lord Jesus, lead us to Your cross, and bid us tarry there awhile, that we may ponder all You have suffered for us. We thank You for Your exceeding great love in thus dying for us, and for the innumerable benefits You have purchased for us by Your precious blood. Teach us all the lessons You would have us learn as we thus behold You wounded and bruised for our transgressions. O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, make us to abhor the sins which crucified You. Make us to shrink from the very least evil. May we never crucify You afresh by cherishing any willful iniquity.

Slay in us all pride and self-sufficiency, and make us broken and contrite in heart. Give unto us meek submission to every trial appointed for us. You bore Your heavy cross to redeem us — may we cheerfully bear our lighter cross in obedience to Your will. You drank even to the dregs the bitter cup of wrath which our sins deserved — may we willingly drink the cup of sorrow or suffering which for our good You do put into our hands.

May we ever manifest the reality of our faith, by the holiness of our lives. Help us to walk each day in the footsteps of Christ. Help us to glorify You in all we do. As day by day so quickly rolls by, teach us to see the shortness of our sojourn on earth. In the midst of life, we are in death. We bring our years to an end, as a tale that is told. We know not what a day or an hour may bring forth. O teach us how frail we are, and make us diligent in redeeming the time.

O Savior, may we know that we are Yours, and that none shall pluck us out of Your hand. Keep us by Your mighty power from all the evil that is in the world. May Your love abide in us, and may we never be drawn aside by the love of earthly things. Sanctify us by Your truth, and may Your Word be our constant meditation. Bind us so closely to Yourself that we may be united together in love and sympathy. May Your life be our pattern, and Your glory the aim of our lives.

Grant to us the spirit of true penitence and contrition. Take from us the heart of stone and give unto us the heart of flesh. Heal all our spiritual infirmities. Take away from us all indifference and deadness of spirit. Open our eyes, that we may behold Your marvelous love more clearly.

Let Your everlasting arms be beneath us, and when heart and flesh fail, be the strength of our heart and our portion forever.

Remember toward us Your loving-kindness and tender mercies. Deliver us, O God, from all our troubles, and bring us to Your heavenly rest, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Wash away all my guilt in Your sin-atoning blood!

(George Everard, "Before His Footstool" 1874)

O blessed Savior, the only hope of lost and perishing sinners — on You I lay all my sins. Wash away all my guilt in Your sin-atoning blood.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

There ought to be no drones in the hive!

(George Everard, "Zionward, Help on the Way to the Better Land" 1873)

"You also go and work in my vineyard!" Matthew 20:4

"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus!" 2 Timothy 2:3

There ought to be no drones in the hive, and no idlers in the vineyard — but all should be workers, laborers, helpers, soldiers — laboring, praying, toiling, fighting to make their influence felt on all sides, and to leave their mark on the world and the Church when they have left it. The great motive must ever be Christ's love. "Christ's love compels us!" 2 Corinthians 5:14

    Am I a soldier of the cross,
    A follower of the Lamb?
    And shall I fear to own His cause,
    Or blush to speak His name?

    Must I be carried to the skies
    On flowery beds of ease,
    While others fought to win the prize,
    And sailed through bloody seas?

    Are there no foes for me to face?
    Must I not stem the flood?
    Is this vile world a friend to grace,
    To help me on to God?

    Sure I must fight if I would reign;
    Increase my courage, Lord;
    I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
    Supported by Your Word!

    Your saints in all this glorious war
    Shall conquer, though they die;
    They see the triumph from afar,
    By faith's discerning eye!

    When that illustrious day shall rise,
    And all Your armies shine
    In robes of victory through the skies,
    The glory shall be Thine!

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord!" 1 Corinthians 15:58

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Keep looking up!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD. In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up!" Psalm 5:3

A sailor lad was climbing the mast for the first time. After a while he began to grow dizzy, and feared lest he might fall. "What shall I do?" he anxiously cried out to the captain, who was watching him from below. "Keep looking up, my boy!" was the answer he received. He obeyed, and soon lost his fear, so that he was able steadily to move along the rigging.

In another and a more important sense, this direction is applicable to every Christian. Whatever your position is, whatever are your fears or dangers — keep looking up! Think of God, of your soul and its salvation, of Christ, and of forgiveness through Him. Lift up your eyes to Him who dwells in the heavens. Expect help from above. Your Father is ever ready to support you. Your Almighty Savior is ever pleading your cause. Therefore you can never be disappointed. The look of faith will ever have a response from the heart and hand of God.

Keep looking up! Be sure that the Lord cannot disregard the upward glance of the weakest of His children as they turn to Him.

Imagine a little child in fear and trembling. Perhaps the peril is great, and he cannot speak — but he turns a wistful look for help to his father who is near. Would any parent disregard such a look? Would not the father run to support the child who thus appealed to his love? And shall it not be so with our Father in Heaven? Has He not far more than any parent's love? Will He refuse to help and comfort the one who thus relies upon Him?

Keep looking up! Here is a message for a believer who would hold fast and make progress in grace and holiness. From first to last, the strength is in Jesus, and not in yourself. You have no power to stand for a moment, or to advance one step along the narrow way. But keep looking up, and all will be well.

While Peter looked to Jesus, he was able to walk in safety over the rough and boisterous waves; but when he looked off from Jesus, he began to sink. So fix your eye constantly on the Savior.
He can bring you through a thousand temptations;
He can hold you up and keep you safe;
He can strengthen you with might by His Spirit in the inner man;
He can endue you with wisdom and power for every call of duty;
He can make you, day by day, more holy and more like Himself in all things.

As you keep looking to Him, He will transform you into His lovely image by the renewing of your mind. "We, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord."

Keep looking up! Here is a message for the pilgrim who is cast down and sorely tried by the difficulties and sorrows of the narrow way. You are passing through much tribulation. You have to endure days and nights of suffering, or perhaps it may be you have to witness the failing health of one dear to you. Or perhaps your means are very insufficient, and you look in vain for friends to assist you.

But whatever is the trial — look above it! Don't fix your eye on that bitter trial, on that dark providence — but on Him who sits above the water-floods. When you can't see His hand — trust His heart! Be sure that there is a silver lining in the dark cloud, and that redeeming love has appointed all your sorrows. Christ Himself is ever near you. He is by your side, close by you in tender pity and compassion. He will never fail you, nor ever forsake you. He will make all things work together for your good. He will bring you through all your wilderness journeys, to His bright House of Glory. Therefore keep looking up! "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!" Hebrews 12:2

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Ah, child of sorrow!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

A lady had a young acacia tree in her garden; and from its associations, she had a special interest in its growth. But the storm came, and a rough blast broke the main stem, and the tree was bending low on the ground. Then the question arose, could nothing be done for the favorite tree? Was it destroyed beyond recovery? There certainly seemed but little hope, yet an effort might be made. A part of the bark was still unbroken, so she took the stem and gently lifted it up into its former position. She then carefully bound up the wound, and so fastened the tree that the wind could not again disturb it. Very earnestly did she watch the result; and she soon found that her efforts were not unrewarded. The sap arose and healed the wound, forming gradually a knotted ring around the tree. By-and-by it became firm and strong, and grew and flourished in her garden.

The story reminds us of the grace and mercy of Christ. He is tender and pitiful towards the fallen one. He binds up the bleeding, broken heart. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. When His child cast down — He can lift up. He can strengthen that which is weak, and uphold it with His own right hand.

The Lord can raise up those that are bowed down by sorrow and affliction. There are some who are utterly crushed and broken. They seem to have a double portion of life's trials. Loss follows loss, and one disappointment comes quickly on the heels of another. Business proves unsuccessful, and means of subsistence are reduced, and it is hard to bear up under the pressure of daily cares.

Or, perhaps, a sudden blow has made life a wilderness. A great sorrow has fallen upon the heart, and all is dark and desolate. But Jesus can heal and restore. He can give peace in the hour of trouble and distress. He can give songs in the night, and lift up the soul that lies prostrate in the dust.

Ah, child of sorrow! do not brood perpetually over this terrible loss, this event that has come upon you. Look up, and see Jesus near. He pardons your sin through His blood, and will comfort you in your sorrow by His presence and His love.

Yes, believe it, Christ has power to reach those who seem most hopeless. He will not upbraid the feeble, erring one. The wound may be grievous, and the bruise may seem incurable. But there is a Healer, a good Physician, who has a remedy that can meet it. He delights in lifting up. He sends His Holy Spirit to awaken a new desire. He brings home the recollection of some gracious promise. He stirs up the heart to pray. He fulfills the longing of the humble seeker. "He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory."

Therefore, poor fallen one, look unto Jesus, and He will remember you in mercy. He will restore your soul, and cheer your broken, trembling spirit.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A holy shrinking from all evil

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

One important feature in the life of every true child of God, is their hatred and fear of sin. Wherever the Holy Spirit dwells, there will be a holy shrinking from all evil. Once, perhaps, they thought but little of sin. If they might gain some advantage, if they might enjoy a taste of this world's pleasure, if they might escape some trouble or difficulty — unless the sin were of a very heinous character, they did not hesitate about its commission. But now the fear of God reigns within the heart, and a tender conscience makes them flee from its approach.

We ought to dread sin, because it is such ingratitude against a God of love.
The love of God to man shines forth everywhere.
It is seen in every gift of His providence.
It is seen in the beauty of this fair world as it came from His hand.
It is seen in His patience and forbearance towards sinners.
It is seen in every page of His holy Word.
It is seen, above all, in the gift of His Son to be our Savior and our Redeemer.

But every sin is an act of rebellion against God.
It casts contempt upon His law.
It sets up man's will against the will of the Creator.
It tramples upon His mercy and goodness.
It wounds the heart of Him who died for us.
It grieves the Holy Spirit.
Hence we ought to dread sin more than anything else. We ought to be willing to suffer any pain or loss rather than grieve and dishonor God.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A good soldier of Christ Jesus!

(George Everard, "Daily Warfare!" 1866)

"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs — he wants to please his commanding officer." 2 Timothy 2:3-4

One requisite for a good soldier is separation to Christ's service. Each soldier is to be separate from the world around. He is peculiar in the privileges he enjoys, he must be peculiar also in the character he bears.

A Christian ought to be recognized wherever he may go, not by a loud profession, but by a clear one — by a life of marked holiness, by watchfulness against sin, and by abstinence from all questionable amusements. A willingness to bear reproach for Christ, is frequently one of the greatest acts of heroism.

Immediate, implicit obedience is another mark of a good soldier.

The duty of a soldier is, not to reason — but to obey. Into what hopeless disorder would an army be thrown, if each one in the ranks were to question, before he obeyed, the orders of his superior officer. A ready ear for the word of command is essential to good discipline, and consequently to success.

Our part, likewise, is promptly, readily to obey the word of our Captain. Our inquiry must be, "Lord, what will You have me to do?" And when this is clear, we have simply to carry it out. The hardest and the easiest precepts have the same authority — and must have the same regard and obedience. It may be that the path marked out for you may bring with it great loss or inconvenience — yet swerve not from it. The rough road of thorough obedience is far better in the end — than the smooth, flowery path of self-pleasing.

Abraham found it so, when first he left his home, and afterwards, at God's bidding, was willing to sacrifice his beloved Isaac.

The three Hebrew young men found it so, when, rather than bow down to the golden image, they braved the burning fiery furnace.

Take heed not to excuse yourself from the performance of difficult or unpleasant duties. Some evil thing may be cherished, which ought to be abandoned — whatever the matter be, search it out, and delay not. For the honor of Christ, for your own peace, it is well to do so.

Never are we so safe and happy, as when, like little children, we leave ourselves wholly at the disposal of our loving Father in Heaven.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Let there be light!

(George Everard, "Shine as Lights!" 1882)

"God has made his light shine in our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6.

Christ, the true Light, must dwell within you. He must . . .
  illumine all that is dark,
  transform all that is of the world,
  and purify all that is corrupt and debased.


It is a blessed moment, when God's voice is heard within the human soul. The word is given, "Let there be light!" and forthwith the soul, wrapped in the slumber of spiritual death, awakes — and behold, all things are new! The midnight darkness is past, and the light of grace has begun to shine.

There must be the light of self-knowledge. The Spirit of God reveals sin — and humbles the sinner. Hitherto satisfied with a form of religion, he sees himself to be a sinner guilty of damnation. He knows that he is a law-breaker, and the curse of the law is upon him. He willingly casts aside his former self-righteous excuses, and takes the lowest place. From a broken spirit arises the cry: God be merciful to me, the sinner!

Then comes the light of pardoning mercy. Sin is revealed, that it may be completely forgiven. The soul trusts in the atoning blood, and the conscience is purged from the guilt of the past. Oh, the blessed light that shines into the soul when the free mercy of our God is manifested! Christ has become sin for me — and I am righteous in Him. "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."

There comes moreover the light of Christ's presence and love. Has the light so shone within your soul, that Christ Himself is everything, and all else in comparison is nothing worth?

Be content with nothing less. Do not be satisfied with a certain amount of Christianity. You must have Christ Himself, as the life and refuge and portion of your soul. You must have Christ FOR you — your Righteousness, your Advocate, your High Priest before the throne of God. You must have Christ IN you, by His Spirit dwelling in your heart by faith, and making you more and more like Himself in holiness and love. And as you begin, so you must continue. You must fix your eye steadfastly on Christ, and then draw out of His fullness grace, sufficient for all your need.

Trust Him fully — give Him your boundless, unlimited confidence. His riches are unsearchable. His power exceeding great, beyond your utmost necessity. And this power and treasury of grace are all in the hand of infinite Love and unshaken Faithfulness!

Thus let your eye be ever toward the Lord Jesus. Look to Him day by day, and very frequently through the day. Regard Him as ever being near at hand to help you in temptation or in trouble. His loving presence will exercise at all times a calming, soothing influence in your heart. Dwell in the holy atmosphere of His presence — and you will shrink more and more from all that is evil. The more we abide in the secret of Christ's presence — the more shall we turn from anything that is contrary to His mind and Spirit.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Would you be about your Father's business?

(George Everard, "A New Year's Resolve!" 1882)

"I must be about My Father's business" Luke 2:49

Would you be about your Father's business?

Then you must strive to keep clear of sin. This is the one thing that God hates. Therefore, if you wish to do His will — you will avoid it, and watch against it, however attractive be the form in which it appears.

Learn the holy art of discovering the wiles of the wicked one. Let a tender conscience be one of your choice treasures, and let it speak out about sin wherever it puts its foot. It may be in a book, in a pleasant companion, in an evening's amusement. It may strive to do you a mischief in the inner shrine of your own heart, or in the sanctuary of God's house. It may come across you in the street, or in the house of business. It may look so small, that friends may think you over-scrupulous in so judging it. It may come to you as an angel of light, and promise you even spiritual advantages if you consent to it.

But keep a careful look-out. Judge righteous judgment. Look at everything in the light of God's presence and God's Word — and when you see the evil, do not touch it with your little finger!

Guard, too, against all occasions of wrong-doing. Do not make danger and temptation for yourself. Do not tarry near danger. Do not play with fire or poison, or go near the edge of the precipice. But keep far away from sin, and everything likely to lead to it, and make it your constant aim and prayer to be kept from the very least deviation from God's holy law.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The only sinless infant that was ever seen on earth!

(George Everard, "The Glory of the Incarnate Savior!" 1884)

"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Though this gospel tells us nothing of the story of Gabriel's visit and the subsequent history of His conception and birth — yet are they clearly implied in the words of the Apostle.

"Will God in very deed dwell with man on the earth?"

In Paradise, He came and walked with man as a friend walks with a friend.

Through the Jewish dispensation, He dwelt with His people in type and shadow in the temple, in the pillar-cloud, and by the Angel of His presence manifested from time to time.

But now in the fullness of time, He has come and dwelt with man as never before. We know the wondrous story, "I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people — for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." We visit the stable at the inn, and we behold the only sinless infant that was ever seen on earth; the sinless One — yet the sin-bearer, the Savior!

And what is the special glory of Christ in His incarnation? Surely, it is the glory of His condescension.
So high — yet so lowly!
The God whom the Heaven of heavens cannot contain — yet wrapped in swaddling-clothes and lying in a manger!
The Upholder of all things — and yet nourished at a mother's bosom!
The King of the Eternal Palace, the One who dwelt in the High and Holy Place — and yet "no room for Him in the inn."

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If you wish to be holy and earnestly long to be made like Christ in all things!

(George Everard, "Holy Living!" 1882)

Who can estimate too highly the value of a holy life? It is the purpose of Christ's redeeming work: He "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).

Holiness is absolutely essential to the enjoyment of true peace. Whatever doctrines persons hold, or spiritual feelings they may enjoy — they are of no real benefit to them unless they lead to a holy walk. Sin is like an aching tooth, and wherever it is permitted to abide, there can be no true spiritual rest or peace.

Moreover, holy living is one of the mightiest powers for good in the Church of Christ.

A Christian who is living a very holy and devoted life cannot fail to be a blessing wherever he lives, and the least word he speaks for Christ is mighty because backed up by his own example.

Therefore seek to be holy.
You are God's representative in an evil world.
You are to adorn the doctrine of Christ in all things.
You are to strive to be a blessing to others.
You desire to enjoy the peace of God which passes understanding.
Therefore you must be holy.
You must make it your distinct aim every day you live, to perfect holiness in the fear of God.

If you wish to be holy and earnestly long to be made like Christ in all things — then you must weigh well the teaching of the Word of God. You must follow the light which that Word affords.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The great Giver!

(George Everard, "" 1882)

"You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing!" Psalm 145:16

God is the great Giver!
He is always giving.
From eternity He has been giving.
He is giving at this moment.
From ages past He has never ceased to give for one single moment.
He will ever give.

In His Providence, God gives all things needful to supply the needs of the vast population of our world.
He gives His sun to bring to us warmth and light and fruitfulness.
He gives His wide ocean to be a highway from nation to nation, and its treasures of fish to supply the necessities of multitudes.

Every drop of rain,
every grain of corn,
every specimen of gathered fruit,
every bird of the air,
every flock of sheep,
every herd of oxen —
all are His merciful gifts to undeserving sinners.

But beyond all, look at the gifts of His grace.
He gives His own blessed Word of Truth — a very mine of wealth to such as have learned to value it aright.
He gives Heaven's very best treasure — His well-beloved Son, to be a ransom for our sins.
He gives the grant of a free and full pardon through Christ.
He gives His blessed Spirit, the Comforter, to dwell in our hearts.
He gives the glorious privilege of adoption into His family.
He gives peace that passes understanding.
He gives grace sufficient for each time of need.
In short, "He gives grace and glory — no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly!" Psalm 84:10

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The sin of murmuring and discontent

(George Everard, "Little Foxes, and How to Catch Them!" 1878)

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." 1 Timothy 6:6-8

The sin of murmuring and discontent has its root in the fallen nature of man. It tells of a wrong state of heart. It springs from the will not being subdued to the will of God. Men forget their own sinfulness, and that they receive far less of evil than their iniquities deserve. They forget that, "God does according to His will in Heaven and in earth, and that He gives no account of any of His matters." They forget that this world is not to be our Paradise, but a training school for one above. They forget the constant mercies that a merciful Father is ever bestowing — while they fix their eye on the sorrow or disappointment that has come upon them.

Be sure that contentment can never be obtained by any change of place or circumstances.

True peace and contentment is not to be found in one spot or another. Neither is it to be found in the removal of a particular grievance, or in some additional means of comfort or happiness.

The apostle Paul gives us his own example, and the secret of it. Few have had more to endure than he — few have had more privations. He had often been "in cold and hunger and nakedness." He had often been homeless and friendless. He had been exposed to the violence of bitter enemies, and to the fierce raging of the tempest. He had been reviled and beaten and stoned, and often at the very gate of death. But he had learned to take it patiently, yes, joyfully. He could truly say that he had learned "in whatever state he was, therewith to be content."

And how was this? It was by leaning upon Christ. It was by looking to Him for grace and help. It was by the inward might of His Spirit. It was by depending upon Him for strength continually.

If you are Christ's, if you have His love in your heart, and you may well be content. You have His loving, unchangeable presence. You have His sure and faithful promise: "Be content with such things as you have: for He has said: I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Brother, sister in Christ, open your eyes and see the unsearchable riches stored up for you in this promise, and in all the promises assured to you in Him. You have the everlasting love of the great King. You have all your need supplied out of God's full bounty. You have a clear title to an inheritance above. You have a horizon of bliss, that stretches out farther and farther —  far out of mental sight. Think of all this, and see if you have not reason to be content.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

You are always preaching sermons!

(George Everard, "Words of Help and Encouragement " 1871)

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven!" Matthew 5:16

The true Christian must shine in the household where God has placed him. He is compared to a candle, and the nearer you come to a candle, the more you see its light. It ought to be so with each of you. But alas! does not conscience whisper that it has been too often the very reverse? I have known young women at the Bible Class, who could give the best answers, and who could write letters full of religion — and yet their profession was as hollow as a drum. They could not live a week in a family without wasteful extravagance, yes more, they practiced deceit and dishonesty, and thus gave the plainest proofs that they had not as yet the guiding principle of the fear of God. But I hope better things of you. I trust you may be desiring to walk circumspectly, and to do God's will in everything. If this be so, I am sure you will value a few friendly hints as to your home duties.

Make it your great aim and principle, that you home life is to be a daily sermon on the reality and happiness of the gospel. Perhaps you think that only Christ's Ministers have to preach sermons. You are greatly mistaken. Whether you know it or not, you are in the pulpit every day. You are always preaching sermons to aid the cause of Christ — or to hinder it. Every word you speak, and every action you do, is a sermon which many listen to. Sometimes you are telling those around you in this way, that religion is only an empty form to be used on Sunday. Sometimes you tell them that you prefer the sinful indulgences which Satan offers, to all the wine and milk and heavenly provisions of the Gospel feast. Or it may be the other way. You may be preaching better sermons in your daily life, than even our best and wisest preachers can in the pulpit. Your life may tell more — it may have a more lasting effect on men's hearts and consciences — than any spoken address can possibly have. If it is so, blessed forever are you! Your glory shall be brighter and more manifest one day than that of the most successful preachers who may have lacked the grace to live as they preached.

To vary the illustration, I would compare your life, not to a sermon, but to the sound of the church bell — and I want there to be a clear ring about it! I want it to be distinct and plain, that everyone may know what you are. Your life, especially in your own home, must bear witness that this has been a reality. Your life must give no uncertain sound, but give forth by God's grace, the clear ring of truth, love, and godliness.

To carry this out, take care, in the least things as in the greatest, to act as in God's sight. Remember that there is an eye always upon you. It is the eye of One who loves you, and who delights in seeing you strive to please Him.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong!

(George Everard, "Strong & Free! A Book for Young Men" 1882)

"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong!" 1 Corinthians 16:13

What a benefit and comfort to yourself and to many beside will it be, if you are strong in moral principle and decision of character — and free from the slavery and bondage of bad habits. Be strong to do the right, to go forward in the path of straightforward honesty and integrity of purpose, in spite of legions of enemies and hosts of difficulties.
Speak truly, live truly, act truly.
Be strong to resist whatever is of evil.
Abhor and reject every temptation to turn aside.

Be firm as a rock against every enticement to pleasure or profit, at the cost of a good conscience. Be able to say "No," to mean it, and to stick to it, though the deceptive tempter has a tongue as smooth as oil and as musical as a siren's note.

Avoid the very first step in evil. Don't go a little way in the wrong direction, imagining that you can easily make up what is lost.

My young friend, beware of a single blot on the conscience! Keep clear of associates with whom you are not safe. Watch against the appearance of evil. Turn from the spot where danger is likely to meet you. There is a pain about the first act of sin; but when the conscience is accustomed to what is wrong, a man will go anywhere and do anything, and will feel but little the sin he is committing.

"My son, be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 2:1. Trusting in His grace, leaning on His mighty arm, strengthened with all might according to His glorious power — in the very highest sense you shall know what it is to be "strong and free."

You shall be strong! You shall be strong to fight His battles and to endure hardness as a good soldier of His cross.
You shall be strong to run the heavenly race and to win a bright crown of glory.
You shall be strong to do right, however hard and difficult at times it may be.

And you shall be free! You shall break off the fetters of former sin.
You shall enjoy the liberty of a conscience set free from the bonds of guilt.
You shall have freedom of access into God's presence, as a dear child, crying Abba, Father.
You shall experience that Christ's yoke is an easy one and His burden light, because you bear it in the spirit of grateful love.

Yes, abiding in Christ, waiting upon the Lord in humble, continual prayer, you shall be "strong and free." Like the eagle mounting higher and higher, you shall rise nearer to God, and drink in more of the joy of communion with Him. You shall live a joyful, heavenly life while here below — and rise at length to share the joys which are at Christ's right hand.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

We must take Jesus for our portion!

(George Everard, "Bright and Fair! A Book for Young Ladies" 1882)

"You are my refuge — my portion in the land of the living." Psalm 142:5

We must take Jesus for our portion — the source of all our comfort and joy.

Most look to Him for a few crumbs of happiness — and then go get most of it from the world. They take one draught of the living water — and then go back to the broken cisterns.

You are to rely upon His tender sympathy in all your cares, trials, and difficulties. You are never to look upon yourself as left alone to bear the very least of them — but to remember you are one with Him, and He knows and provides, and will order all for good.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!" Psalm 73:26

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The great clock of eternity has only just begun to tick!

(George Everard, "Bright and Fair! A Book for Young Ladies" 1882)

Life is great beyond all expression, because eternity is inseparably linked to it. If upon the use of one day or one hour, the comfort and happiness of the rest of your life depended — you would be very careful to use it aright. But infinitely greater is the disproportion between our little day of life here — and the vast eternity that follows. Yet upon the one hangs the other.

How shall we think of eternity? How shall we measure it? How shall we grasp it? How shall we get at least some faint idea of that ever-abiding, unending existence, which stretches away into the far horizon, and whose boundary we can never reach?

Take it in this way. Suppose that for every flower that blooms in summer time you could count a thousand years — and add together the sum of all.

Suppose that, for every leaf that trembles in the breeze you could also count a thousand years — and then could add together these two sums.

In a similar manner, for every bird or insect that flies in the air, for every living creature that treads the earth, for every fish that is found in the mighty deep — count a thousand years.

Then, if you can, add together these vast totals, and imagine the time they demand, and remember that, when these cycles of ages have rolled by, the great clock of eternity has only just begun to tick!

And this great eternal future hangs on this short passing life! What a reality does this give to it! What a vast importance attaches to every moment of it!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Friend, do not waste your life!

(George Everard, "Bright and Fair! A Book for Young Ladies" 1882)

Friend, do not waste your life! Do not throw it away. Do not reckon it of small value.

You will find it, if well improved, a means of bringing spiritual light, and health, and comfort to those around you and to many beside. If only your life is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and spent for the glory of God — then think how much you may make of it.

The influence of a holy example,
the fruit of lips filled with divine truth,
a purse closed to all extravagance and luxury — but open to the claims of sorrow and distress, a heart devoted to Christ's cause and the souls he died to save — each of these may be a fountain of temporal and spiritual good to many of your fellow-creatures.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The privilege of prayer

(George Everard, "The Privilege of Prayer" 1885)

"Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

None can tell the privilege of prayer — if only it is real and true.
Prayer is the great feeder and sustainer of the Divine life.
Prayer fans the flame of grace, and makes it burn brighter and brighter.
Prayer counter-plots the devil, and confounds all his devices.
Prayer gives force and power to every effort for the good of others.

Therefore pray.
Pray in sincerity.
Pray frequently.
Never, never grow weary of prayer.

Prayer and praise are the bounden duty of man towards the Creator who formed him capable of worship. Do not neglect prayer, or hurry over it, or be content with a few words in bed. Look upon a day without prayer as . . .
  a positive sin,
  a robbery of your own soul,
  an injury to those connected with you,
  and a dishonor to God Himself.

Make a reality of your prayers.
Beware of lip prayers, for God searches the heart.
Beware of mere formal, unfelt prayers.
Speak to God as to a kind Father or a loving Friend.

Be very real in every prayer you offer. Whether it is short or long, only let it be the genuine expression of your desires, and it will not be lost.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

You may be cast adrift by life's storms on some barren shore

(George Everard, "The Eyes of Jehovah and the Eyes of Man" 1885)

"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him." 2 Chronicles 16:9

Consider the merciful eyes of Jehovah looking down from above. Take in this grand truth in all its rich fullness of blessing. Where is there one in any quarter of the world whose "heart is perfect toward God"? That is, where is there one who relies upon God's promises in Christ, and who makes it his aim to honor and please Him?

Upon such a one, the merciful eyes of a God of love are fixed. All the wide world over is this true. There may be but one servant of God in a house, or one in a village, or even in a dark, benighted land — but to discover and find out such, the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth.

This truth is for you, my friend — if the fear of the Lord is reigning in your heart. And it will be true for you in the years that may lie before you. In days to come you may be dwelling all alone, or in the midst of those with whom you can have no sympathy. You may be cast adrift by life's storms on some barren shore of failing means or depressing trial. You may be the prisoner of a darkened chamber, or be shut up for months in a merchant vessel crossing the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. You may be a worshiper of the true God in a land of idols — or your lot may be cast as a Christian soldier among scenes of war and bloodshed.

But those eyes are still upon you for good. They are ever on the look-out to mark your cares, your needs, your difficulties, and your sorrow. And more than this. Where the eyes of the Lord are — there too are His outstretched arm and mighty hand. Not only do His eyes behold the woes and weakness of His child in pity — but He is present in power to perform that which His eyes discern to be requisite. "The eyes of the Lord run . . . to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him."

My friend, rejoice in this. Your Father's eye beholds you in loving kindness. Your Father's hand is with you to do all that you need. That hand can uphold you when falling, and can raise you up when in the very depths. That hand can ward off every threatening blow, and utterly beat down the cruel enemy of your soul. That hand can . . .
  strengthen you for the work that lies before you,
  clear away high mountains of difficulty, and
  make you more than conqueror over the most persistent temptations.
Yes, it can hold you up through the river of death, and set you at last before His face in the land of light and love!

Thank God, you have an Almighty Guardian who strongly holds with you, and will maintain your cause even to the end. God is with you. His eye is upon you. His arm, His hand, His presence are enough. "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

This sacred Feast

(George Everard, "The Lord's Supper " 1885)

"And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 1 Corinthians 11:24

The central idea of the Lord's Supper is the remembrance of the death of Christ. A true remembrance of the Lord Jesus, awakened by the Spirit of remembrance (John 14:26), becomes a mighty power in the soul.

It deepens contrition and humility. Think of the Savior stooping so low to bear your guilt. Think of your sins as fixing the nails in His hands and feet, and encircling His head with the crown of thorns. Think of all the shame and the anguish which fell upon Him through your iniquities — and this more than anything will lead you to own and hate the evil you have done.

It gives peace to the troubled conscience. Nothing gives such assurance of free and perfect forgiveness, as a believing remembrance of the Lamb of God. To see His wounds, to see His blood shed upon the cross and sprinkled before the mercy-seat for you — assures you that your iniquity is forgiven, and your sin covered.

It awakens lively gratitude. Who can remember the Savior's love in His self-sacrifice, without desiring to love Him more?

Therefore prize and value this sacred Feast. Never neglect it. Never turn away from it. But come again and again. Come in a spirit of faith, looking unto Jesus in your heart. Come in a spirit of devout thankfulness, praising Him for all His grace and love.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The consolations of the Spirit!

(George Everard, "The Promise of the Comforter" 1868)

"I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things." John 14:25-26 (Amplified Bible)

The term "Comforter" — includes the idea of help and strength afforded. The Spirit gives power to the faint, strengthening with might in the inner man, upholding the soul along the homeward path. He helps our infirmities, placing, as it were, His own shoulder beneath the load of our cares and sorrows.

Without the special help  of the Spirit . . .
  not one throb of spiritual life,
  not one holy desire,
  not one joyful hope,
  not one drawing of love —
can exist within the soul. May He Himself assist our meditations, and reveal to us the fullness of His own grace and love!

The consolations of the Spirit depend much upon the fact that He is a living, personal Friend and Helper of Christ's flock. He was to take Christ's place, to be His Substitute on earth. Because Christ had gone away, He would come to abide with those who would otherwise have been left comfortless. Far greater is the benefit we thus derive from Him as our Almighty, Personal Comforter and Helper, than it would be possible to obtain from any mere gift, however precious it might be.

We might imagine a man living all alone by himself with very insufficient means for his support in some remote and solitary part of the country. Very acceptable might be a present of money, or food, or clothes, or an interesting book. But how much more would it promote his happiness, if you could send one to live with him — a congenial companion, a kindly counselor, a ready helper, a friend in need — one who had both the desire and the ability to supply all that was lacking.

The parallel will hold in the case of the believer. He is often solitary, for his home is above, and He finds but little sympathy from many around. He is poor and needy, without any goodness or merit of his own, without wisdom and without strength. But the Spirit makes His abode with Him, imparting all that is needful, and by His presence bringing sunshine into the sad and sorrowful heart.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Her tears are both her confessions and her prayers!

(George Everard, "At the Feet of Jesus" 1884)

"When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." Luke 7:37-38

Let us look at the footstool of Jesus, as the place of PENITENCE. It is a blessed thing to go to Jesus as a sinner — humbled for the past, confessing and acknowledging the evil of years gone by, and looking to Him for the free mercy that He loves to give.

I love to see the spirit of this woman. Far, far away, has she been on the mountains of sin and vanity — but the Good Shepherd has drawn her back by the mighty attraction of His grace. And here is the outcast, the perishing one, at the footstool of the Redeemer of mankind.

The scornful Pharisee may look on in bitter contempt–he may despise the woman and misjudge the loving Savior. But the woman does not depart from Him who alone can whisper to her forgiveness, peace and hope. She has no words to utter. Her tears are both her confessions and her prayers. Sobs and sighs are heard, rivers of tears bathe the Savior's feet, as she waits upon Him for the pardon she seeks.

Here we see sincere sorrow, and godly repentance. Here are those sacrifices of a broken and a contrite heart, which God will not despise.

Nourish the same mind. Your sin may have been as great as hers — or you may have been kept free from all open vice. Still you need a deep view of your own vileness as before God. You need a humbled, self-abasing spirit, pleading nothing but your own misery — and God's mercy.

But let us mark here, penitence in the Savior's presence. It was not remorse hardening itself into unbelief and despair — but it was sorrow casting itself upon a merciful Savior. It was the silver thread of repentance, intertwined with the golden thread of faith in Christ. She knew she was a great sinner, and she owned and lamented it — but she knew also that Christ was a great Savior; and herein was her hope and consolation.

Let it be so with you. Open your eyes to see your sin in all its magnitude, in all its hatefulness — but also open your eyes to see your Savior near to You, ready to heal every wound, ready to forgive every sin. Go by faith into His presence, and believe that you are welcome. Go to His footstool, and tarry there in humility and faith. Look on Him bruised for your iniquities, and wounded for your transgressions. Go near and kiss those feet once nailed to the cross for your sin!

Go and stand by Him, and hearken to His forgiving voice. Go and wait before Him until you hear His word of life, "Your sins are forgiven you, go in peace!"

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Here is the key that unlocks the heart, and opens the hand!

(George Everard, "Poor, Yet Rich" 1884)

"But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny." Mark 12:42

This poor woman was rich in love to God. Never would she have given her last farthing in God's service — unless His love had reigned in her heart. Out of love to God, Abraham gave his son. Just so, out of love to God, this woman gave her two mites.

Amidst all her distress, it was a joy to her that her best treasure could never be lost, for her heart was set on God. He was her portion, her sustenance, her exceeding great reward. Here is the key that unlocks the heart, and opens the hand!

Where human love is supreme, we know that nothing is too good or too great to bestow on its object. Even so, where the love of God is uppermost, it will lead to willing sacrifices and to a desire to keep back nothing from Him who deserves it all.

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Every soul saved by Christ!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

Every soul saved by Christ is a jewel of priceless worth — taken out of the mire of sin and ignorance, and fixed in the Redeemer's crown, to shine brightly there for evermore!

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A young girl gave it a few crumbs!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward"" Matthew 10:42
A young bird lay on the ground, apparently quite unable to fly. A young girl gave it a few crumbs, and put it in a safe warm corner in the garden. The next morning she gave it a few more crumbs, and took it up in her hand, and then threw it up a short distance. The little creature, refreshed and strengthened by the care it had received, spread its wings and flew away, quite happy and strong.

And what may not a little Christian care and kindness do for some weak one who may be ready to perish?

All such thoughtful considerateness is very pleasing to the Savior, and not a cup of cold water or a few crumbs of the bread of life thus bestowed, shall ever lose their reward. 

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Never, never look to self for anything!

(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"What do you have, that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" 1 Corinthians 4:7

There is nothing in SELF in which we can glory. In self there is nothing but darkness, hardness, weakness, poverty, misery, and sin! No single good thing ever did come, or ever could come from sinful man. Try to bring anything of yourself as a ground of acceptance with God, and you must invariably fail. Of yourself you cannot . . .
  think a right thought,
  cherish a right feeling,
  utter a right word, or
  do the least action pleasing to God.
Never, never look to self for anything!

Never despair because you find your own resources utterly in vain. God knew it beforehand, and He tells you so repeatedly in His Word.

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Avoid the least contagion of evil

(George Everard, "Guidance and Help" 1874)

"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life!" Revelation 2:10

In the Christian life, nothing is more essential than faithfulness. It is that which stands foremost and distinguishes the true Christian from the false. Without it, all other apparent signs of grace are but a sham and a pretense. Faithfulness is that which Christ mainly respects.

You must be true to Christ, and let nothing tempt you to seek other reward at the expense of losing His approval and His smile. Often place yourself in His presence, and ask Him if what you do is pleasing in His sight.

Carefully must you watch against the very least thing that will cast a slur on the name of Him whom you love, or the Gospel which you profess. Avoid the least contagion of evil — the very touch of anything that defiles. Turn away from all doubtful paths. Let there be genuine, straightforward honesty and truth in all business transactions. Suffer all loss, even unto death, rather than the loss of a good conscience. By no means attempt to serve two masters, for nothing more surely will destroy all your peace and lead to final ruin.

To be faithful to Christ, it is also needful to use diligently for Him the talents committed to you. Whatever you have is but trust-money, for which the Lord will require an account. Our gold and the silver, the years of our life, the influence we possess with others, our temporal comforts, our natural gifts, our spiritual advantages — all these are to be laid out at interest in the Lord's service.

You must be faithful also in carrying the cross, and in meeting reproach for Christ's sake, as you try to follow the Savior. But the cross will last but a little while — and then the gain will be eternal.

Faithful unto death! Only so long will trial and temptation assail us. A few more days and years perhaps we may have still to battle on. A few more days of sorrow, mingled as He will have it, with seasons of quietness and joy — and our warfare will be accomplished and the victory won.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The secret of strength to every Christian

(George Everard, "In the Secret Place" 1880)

Faithful, sincere, believing prayer is the secret of strength to every Christian. It is the channel by which he receives daily help, wisdom, grace, and consolation from above.

A worldly spirit
must be avoided if prayer is to be true and effectual. If the harp is out of tune, if the strings are loose or broken — then how can it give forth a delightful strain of pleasant melody? Just so, if you come to the throne of grace with a mind preoccupied with a thousand eager, feverish worldly desires — then how can you offer such hearty spiritual worship as will be music in the ear of our Father in Heaven? If you would pray and praise aright — then watch continually that you are not conformed to the world.

If worldly thoughts are allowed to lodge in the heart — if you set up an idol of money or pleasure or human praise or anything else, in the sanctuary which belongs to God — if you indulge yourself in that which is your own besetting snare — be sure that you will lose all comfort in prayer. Either prayer will conquer sin — or sin will take away all power in prayer.

Mere lip-service in prayer is another deadly foe to effectual prayer.
It is the shell without the kernel.
It is the husk without the wheat.
It is the body without the soul.
It is the form without the power or reality.
You may repeat the most beautiful words by rote, you may utter the Lord's Prayer hundreds of times over — but if there is no earnest desire for the things you ask, then what does it profit you? God looks at the heart, and He sees the emptiness and worthlessness of all such seeming devotion. Beware of it as one of the greatest perils. It is in vain that you worship God and draw near to Him with your lips — while your heart is far from Him. He will never accept it at your hands. "In Spirit and in truth" is the one great requisite.

A sigh, a groan, a look, an inward longing of the soul has in it more of real, true prayer, than any number of words merely repeated from the memory, or read from a book, without the deep feeling of an humble, believing heart.

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

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O Lord, remind us that all below is passing away

(George Everard, "Before His Footstool" 1874)

O merciful and heavenly Father, receive us graciously as we kneel before You this day. Every day we have to thank You for Your unfailing goodness toward us, and to confess before You our perpetual backslidings.

Deliver us, O Lord, from being burdened by earthly cares and anxieties, and may we cast them continually on You. Deliver us from making an idol of worldly gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. Break every chain that binds us too closely to the world, and knit our hearts to You, that we may love You above all.

O Lord, remind us that all below is passing away, and that we must soon enter upon our eternal state. O that we may ever keep eternity in view! It will profit us nothing to gain the whole world, if we lose our own souls and Your everlasting kingdom. Keep us, we beseech You, in the way of life. Cleanse us from all our iniquities in the blood of the Lamb.

We bless You for every comfort and every mercy which You have provided for us. But we beseech You to enable us to set our affections on those things which are above, and not on things below. Keep us from being dazzled by the world's attractions, or turned away from You by its riches or its honors. We would choose the pearl of great price as our treasure, and be willing to sell all rather than lose it. Help us to count all things but loss that we may win Christ, and reckon His reproach greater riches than any earthly good.

If by one sinful word or deed we might gain the whole world, give us grace to refuse the tempting prize. May we love You with supreme affection, and long for nothing in comparison of Your presence here and Your glory hereafter.

Teach us to seek those things which are above, and may we live as strangers and sojourners on earth.

Most gracious Father, teach us that we are strangers and sojourners upon earth. Here we have no continuing city. But lead us onward to the better country. We shall soon lie down to rest awhile beneath the sod — but You will call us forth from the grave to live forever in Your Presence! O teach us to look forward in blessed hope. Enrich us with all the grace of Your Holy Spirit, and in due season receive us to Your glory and kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

O Heavenly Father

(George Everard, "In the Secret Place" 1880)

O Heavenly Father, I praise You most for Your love in the gift of Jesus. May I prize Him above all things, and may I love Him with my whole heart.

Give me a deep sense of my own sinfulness, and teach me to place all my hope in the death of Your Son. I thank You that You have given Him to be both a sacrifice for sin — and also an example of godly life. Grant, O Lord, that I may trust only in His finished work — and evermore walk in His footsteps.

O Holy Savior, form in me the same mind which shone so brightly in You! Renew me in Your own image! Make me meek and lowly in heart. May I ever be ready to take the lowest place, if only I can glorify You or comfort Your sorrowing ones.

O Lord, be with me through this day, and every day of my life. Hold me up — and I shall be safe. Stretch out Your hand, and lift me up whenever I fall.

Keep me, O Father, from all evil, and help me to walk before You all the day long.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

O Almighty God

(George Everard, "In the Secret Place" 1880)

O Almighty God, renew me day by day by Your Spirit. Change me into Your own image. Sweeten my temper, and may I never grieve Your Holy Spirit by bitter and angry words. Cleanse and sanctify my thoughts, and purify me from everything that is evil. Give me a single eye to Your glory. May I ever please You in will and deed. May it be my delight to do Your will, and to finish the work You have put into my hands.

Keep me firm on the Rock of Ages. You know, O Lord, that I am often cast down and discouraged. My sins are too strong for me. My heart is cold and prone to wander. I fail to make progress as I desire. But teach me, Lord, still to cleave to You. Without You I can do nothing. As a branch in the Vine, may I abide in You.

O Lord Jesus, I leave myself in Your hands. Let Your grace be sufficient for me, and make Your strength perfect in my weakness.

When my days on earth are passed, may I see Your face and be with You where You are in Your glory. Fulfill, O Lord, these my petitions, and keep me and all I love through this night and evermore, for Your name's sake.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Almighty and Everlasting God

(George Everard, "In the Secret Place" 1880)

Almighty and Everlasting God, whose name is Holy, I would humbly come to Your footstool. I am frail and feeble, but You are great and glorious. I am vile and sinful in Your sight, but You are of purer eyes than to behold evil. O give me true humility! Give me a broken and a contrite heart! Make me to know my iniquity and my sin! O Father, I have sinned against You, and am no more worthy to be called Your child. But receive me graciously and love me freely, for Jesus' sake. Through Him may I ever rejoice in You as my Father and my God.

O Savior, lead and guide me all through the coming day! Make Your way plain before my face. Deliver me from every snare and danger. Chasten and correct me, if it is needful. Only leave me not to follow the sinful devices of my own heart. Show me what I ought to do, and every hour give me grace and strength to do it. Help me continually to trust in You for all I need, and may I ever love You and keep Your commandments.

O Lord, be my Teacher. Fix as a nail in a sure place, whatever truth I need for my soul's profit. Teach me the importance of eternal things. Show me more of my exceeding sinfulness. Open the eyes of my understanding that I may know You more perfectly, as all my salvation and all my desire. Draw forth Your graces in me. Fill me with faith, love, hope, and zeal. Free me from all worldliness and unbelief, and make me active and diligent in doing Your work.

I thank You, O Lord, that You have laid down Your life for Your sheep. Freely cleanse me from every guilty stain in the fountain of Your precious blood. Break the bonds of every sin, and set me free to serve You with gladness. As You have given Yourself for me, may I give up all to You and follow You faithfully all the days of my life.

O God, hear these my humble petitions. Grant to me whatever You know I need that I have failed to ask. Grant unto me pardon and peace. Cleanse me from all my sins, and may I serve You with a quiet mind, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Hear me, and grant me exceeding abundantly above all I ask or think, for Your name's sake.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Prayer before Reading the Bible

(George Everard, "In the Secret Place" 1880)

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the precious jewel of Your Holy Word. I thank You that every portion of it is given by the inspiration of Your Spirit, and is profitable for my instruction in the way of life.

O merciful Lord, send to me Your Spirit to guide me into all truth. Shine upon every page, and teach me whatever I need to know. Open my eyes to behold the wonders of Your love and mercy. Out of Your Word reveal to me my exceeding sinfulness, and bring me in true humility to Your footstool. Show to me the glory of Christ. May I learn more of His free grace and of His full salvation. Point me to Him as my only Hope and Savior. Through Your Word may I trust wholly in Him, and grow more like Him in holiness and love. Sanctify me by Your Word.

O Father, may I search Your Word continually and prize it more than all the treasures of the world. Keep me from reading any book which will take away my delight in it, and keep me from everything in my daily life that is contrary to its precepts. O make Your Word to me a living word, and may those about me see that I follow its holy teaching.

Hear me, O Father, and be my teacher, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Help me, O Lord!

(George Everard, "In the Secret Place" 1880)

Help me, O Lord, to spend well the days or years that yet remain. My days on earth are as a shadow. My life is as nothing before You. But teach me, O Lord, to live always as in Your sight. I give myself afresh to You this day. I lay myself and all that I have at Your feet. May I be wholly Yours. May Your Spirit sanctify me both in body and soul. Make me more holy, and useful than I have ever been before. From this day bless me indeed, and make me a blessing wherever I go. Guide and direct me in all my ways, and uphold me with Your own right hand. Support and comfort me in every sorrow. Never leave me nor forsake me, but bring me in safety to Your kingdom.

Sanctify me through Your Word, and cleanse me from every secret sin.

Reveal to me the path of holiness — and enable me ever to walk in it.

O Father, teach me to trust in You at all times, and when life is over may I sit down forever with You in Your glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

O Eternal God, I flee to Your mercy as my Refuge and my Hope

(George Everard, "In the Secret Place" 1880)

O Eternal God, I flee to Your mercy as my Refuge and my Hope. I dare not trust in anything I have done. My best days have been full of sin. O God, save me and deliver me, for Your mercy's sake. Wash me from every sin in the blood of Jesus. Look upon me, O Father, in Him. May His righteousness cover every spot and stain of evil.

O Lamb of God, comfort and cheer me with Your presence. When I pass through the river, be with me. Let not the waters overflow me. O keep me from all doubt and fear, and may I stay my soul on You. May Your sure promise be the pillow of my soul!

Blessed Savior, help me to rest in You. In this solemn hour be very near to me, and hide me in Your wounded side.

May Your everlasting arms be underneath me. Hold me up, that I sink not. O Savior, bring me safely to the land of everlasting life, there to reign with You, world without end.

O Lord, what shall I render unto You for all Your benefits toward me? May I yield to You afresh, the life which You have preserved. Teach me to serve and please You more and more, and may I live only to glorify You.

As I pass through the waves of this troublesome world — be my Refuge and Strength. And when the journey of life is past — may I reach the haven of eternal rest, for Your name's sake. Amen.