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The School Of Obedience Part 4

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There is one of the deeper and more spiritual aspects of this truth to which I have not alluded. It is something that as a rule does not come up in the early stages of the Christian life, and yet it is needful that every believer know what the privileges are that await him. There is an experience into which whole-hearted obedience will bring the believer, in which he will know that, as surely as with his Lord, obedience leads to death.

Let us see what this means. During our Lord's life, His resistance to sin and the world was perfect and complete. And yet His final deliverance from their temptations and His victory over their power, His obedience, was not complete until He had died to the earthly life and to sin. In that death He gave up His life in perfect helplessness into the Father's hands, waiting for Him to raise Him up. It was through death that He received the fullness of His life and glory.

Through death alone, the giving up of the life He had, could obedience lead Him into the glory of G.o.d.

The believer shares with Christ in this death to sin. In regeneration he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into it. Owing to ignorance and unbelief he may know little experimentally of this entire death to sin.

When the Holy Spirit reveals to him what he possesses in Christ, and he appropriates it in faith, the Spirit works in him the very same disposition which animated Christ in His death. With Christ it was an entire ceasing from His own life, a helpless committal of His spirit into the Father's hands. This was the complete fulfillment of the Father's command: Lay down Thy life in My hands. Out of the perfect self-oblivion of the grave He entered the glory of the Father.



It is into the fellowship of this a believer is brought. He finds that in the most unreserved obedience for which G.o.d's Spirit fits him, there is still a secret element of self and self-will. He longs to be delivered from it. He is taught in G.o.d's Word that this can only be by death. The Spirit helps him to claim more fully that he is indeed dead to sin in Christ, and that the power of that death can work mightily in him. He is made willing to be obedient unto death, this entire death to self, which makes him truly nothing. In this he finds a full entrance into the life of Christ.

To see the need of this entire death to self, to be made willing for it, to be led into the entire self-emptying and humility of our Lord Jesus,-this is the highest lesson that our obedience has to learn -this is, indeed, the Christlike obedience unto death.

There is no room here to enlarge on this. I thought it well to say this much on a lesson which G.o.d Himself will, in due time, teach those who are entirely faithful.

IV. OF THE VOICE OF CONSCIENCE.

In regard to the knowledge of G.o.d's will, we must see and give conscience its place, and submit to its authority.

There are a thousand little things in which the law of nature or education teaches us what is right and good, and in regard to which even earnest Christians do not hold themselves bound to obey. Now, remember, if you are unfaithful in that which is least, who will entrust you with the greater? Not G.o.d. If the voice of conscience tells you of some course of action that is the n.o.bler or the better, and you choose another because it is easier or pleasing to self, you unfit yourself for the teaching of the Spirit, by disobeying the voice of G.o.d in nature. A strong will always to do the right, to do the very best, as conscience points it out, is a will to do G.o.d's will. Paul writes, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.' The Holy Ghost speaks through conscience: if you disobey and hurt conscience, you make it impossible for G.o.d to speak to you.

Obedience to G.o.d's will shows itself in tender regard for the voice of conscience. This holds good with regard to eating and drinking, sleeping and resting, spending money and seeking pleasure,-let everything be brought into subjection to the will of G.o.d.

This leads to another thing of great importance in this connection. If you would live the life of true obedience, see that you maintain a good conscience before G.o.d, and never knowingly indulge in anything which is contrary to His mind. George Muller attributed all his happiness during seventy years to this, along with his love of G.o.d's Word. He had maintained a good conscience in all things, not going on in a course he knew to be contrary to the will of G.o.d. Conscience is the guardian or monitor G.o.d has given you, to give warning when anything goes wrong. Up to the light you have, give heed to conscience. Ask G.o.d, by the teaching of His will, to give it more light. Seek the witness of conscience that you are acting up to that light. Conscience will become your encouragement and your helper, and give you the confidence, both that your obedience is accepted, and that your prayer for ever-increasing, knowledge of the will is heard.

V. OF LEGAL AND EVANGELICAL OBEDIENCE.

Even when the vow of unreserved obedience has been taken, there may still be two sorts of obedience-that of the law, and that of the gospel. Just as there are two Testaments, an Old and a New, so there are two styles of religion, two ways of serving G.o.d. This is what Paul speaks of in Romans, when he says, Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law but under grace' (6:14), and further speaks of our being freed from the law,' so that we serve in newness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter' (7:6); and then again reminds us, Ye received not again the spirit of bondage unto fear, but ye received the Spirit of adoption' (8:15).

The threefold contrast points very evidently to a danger existing among those Christians of still acting as if they were under the law, serving in the boldness of the letter and in the spirit of bondage. One great cause of the feebleness of so much Christian living is because it is more under law than under grace. Let us see what the difference is.

What the law demands from us, grace promises and performs for us.

The law deals with what we ought to do, whether we can or not, and by the appeal to motives of fear and love stirs us to do our utmost. But it gives no real strength, and so only leads to failure and condemnation. Grace points to what we cannot do, and offers to do it for us and in us.

The law comes with commands on stone or in a book. Grace comes in a living, gracious Person, who gives His presence and His power.

The law promises life, if we obey. Grace gives life, even the Holy Spirit with the a.s.surance that we can obey.

Human nature is ever p.r.o.ne to slip back out of grace into the law, and secretly to trust to trying and doing its utmost. The promises of grace are so divine, the gift of the Holy Spirit to do all in us is so wonderful, that few believe it. This is the reason they never dare take the vow of obedience, or, having taken it, turn back again. I beseech you, study well what gospel obedience is. The gospel is good tidings.

Its obedience is part of that good tidings-that grace, by the Holy Spirit, will do all in you. Believe that, and let every undertaking to obey be in the joyous hopefulness that comes from faith in the exceeding abundance of grace, in the mighty indwelling of the Holy Spirit, in the blessed love of Jesus whose abiding presence makes obedience possible and certain.

VI. OF THE OBEDIENCE OF LOVE.

This is one of the special and most beautiful aspects of gospel obedience. The grace which promises to work all through the Holy Spirit is the gift of eternal love. The Lord Jesus (who takes charge of our obedience, teaches it, and by His presence secures it to us) is He who loved us unto the death, who loves us with a love that pa.s.seth knowledge. Nothing can receive or know love but a loving heart. And it is this loving heart that enables us to obey. Obedience is the loving response to the divine love resting on us, and the only access to a fuller enjoyment of that love.

How our Lord insisted upon that in His farewell discourse! Thrice He repeats it in John 14-'If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments.'

He that keepeth My commandments, he it is that loveth Me.' If a man love Me, he will keep My word.' Is it not clear that love alone can give the obedience Jesus asks, and receive the blessing Jesus gives to obedience? The gift of the Spirit, the Father's love and His own, with the manifestation of Himself; the Father's love and His own making their abode with us: into these, loving obedience gives the a.s.sured access.

In the next chapter He puts it from the other side, and shows how obedience leads to the enjoyment of G.o.d's love-He kept His Father's commandments, and abides in His love. If we keep His commandments, we shall abide in His love. He proved His love by giving His life for us; we are His friends, we shall enjoy His love, if we do what He commands us. Between His first love and our love in response to it, between our love and His fuller love in response to ours, obedience is the one indispensable link. True and full obedience is impossible, except as we live and love. This is the love of G.o.d, that we keep His commandments.'

Do beware of a legal obedience, striving after a life of true obedience under a sense of duty. Ask G.o.d to show you the newness of life' which is needed for a new and full obedience. Claim the promise, I will circ.u.mcise thine heart, to love the Lord thy G.o.d with all thy heart; and thou shalt obey the Lord thy G.o.d.' Believe in the love of G.o.d and the grace of our Lord Jesus. Believe in the Spirit given in you, enabling you to love, and so causing you to walk in G.o.d's statutes. In the strength of this faith, in the a.s.surance of sufficient grace, made perfect in weakness, enter into G.o.d's love, and the life of living obedience it works. For it is nothing but the continual presence of Jesus in His love can fit you for continual obedience.

VII. IS OBEDIENCE POSSIBLE?.

I close with once again, and most urgently, pressing home this question. It lies at the very root of our life. The secret, half-unconscious thought that to live always well-pleasing to G.o.d is beyond our reach, eats away the very root of our strength. I beseech you to give a definite answer to the question.

If in the light of G.o.d's provision for obedience, of His promise of working all His good pleasure in you, of His giving you a new heart, with the indwelling of His Son and Spirit, you still fear obedience is not possible, do ask G.o.d to open your eyes truly to know His will. [4]

If your judgment be convinced, and you a.s.sent to the truth theoretically, and yet fear to give up yourself to such a life, I say to you too, Do ask G.o.d to open your eyes and bring you to know His will for yourself. Do beware lest the secret fear of having to give up too much, of having to become too peculiar and entirely devoted to G.o.d, keep you back. Beware of seeking just religion enough to give ease to the conscience, and then not desiring to do and be and give G.o.d all He is worthy of. And beware, above all, of limiting' G.o.d, of making Him a liar, by refusing to believe what He has said He can and will do.

If our study in the school of obedience is to be of any profit, rest not till you have written it down-Daily obedience to all that G.o.d wills of me is possible, is possible to me. In His strength I yield myself to Him for it.

But, remember, only on one condition. Not in the strength of your resolve or effort, but that the unceasing presence of Christ, and the unceasing teaching of the Spirit of all grace and power be your portion. Christ, the obedient One, living in you, will secure your obedience. Obedience will be to you a life of love and joy in His fellowship.

[4] [I once again refer to a new book, The Two Covenants and the Second Blessing, for further exposition of the sufficiency of the grace of the New Covenant to fit us for entire obedience.]

VIII. OBEDIENCE TO THE LAST COMMAND.

Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations.' -Matt. 28:19.

Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'-Mark 16:15.

#8216;As Thou didst send Me into the world, even so send I them into the world' - John 17:18; 20:21.

Ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be My witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth.'-Acts 1:8.

All these words breathe nothing less than the spirit of world conquest.

All the nations,' all the world,' every creature,' the uttermost parts of the earth,'-each expression indicates that the heart of Christ was set on claiming His rightful dominion over the world He had redeemed and won for Himself. He counts on His disciples to undertake and carry out the work. As He stands at the foot of the throne, ready to ascend and reign, He tells them, All authority hath been given unto Me in heaven and on earth,' and points them at once to all the world,' to the uttermost parts of the earth,' as the object of His and their desire and efforts. As the King on the throne, He Himself will be their helper: I am with you alway.' They are to be the advance guard of His conquering hosts even to the end of the world. He Himself will carry on the war. He seeks to inspire them with His own a.s.surance of victory, with His own purpose to make this the only thing to be thought of as worth living or dying for-the winning back of the world to its G.o.d.

Christ does not teach or argue, ask or plead: He simply commands. He has trained His disciples to obedience. He has attached them to Himself in a love that can obey. He has already breathed His own resurrection Spirit into them. He can count upon them. He dare say to them: Go ye into all the world.' Formerly, during His life on earth, they had more than once expressed their doubt about the possibility of fulfilling His commands. But here, as quietly and simply as He speaks these divine words, they accept them. And no sooner has He ascended than they go to the appointed place, to wait for the equipment of a heavenly power from their Lord in heaven, for the heavenly work of making all the nations His disciples. They accepted the command and pa.s.sed it on to those who through them believed on His name. And within a generation, simple men, whose names we do not even know, had preached the gospel in Antioch and Rome and the regions beyond. The command was pa.s.sed on, and taken up into the heart and life, as meant for all ages, as MEANT FOR EVERY DISCIPLE.

The command is for us, too, for each one of us. There is in the Church of Christ no privileged clan to which alone belongs the honor, nor any servile clan on which alone rests the duty, of carrying the gospel to every creature. The life Christ imparts is His own life, the spirit He breathes is His very own Spirit, the one disposition He works is His own self-sacrificing love. It lies in the very nature of His salvation that every member of His body, in full and healthy access with Him feels himself urged to impart what he has received. The command is no arbitrary law from without. It is simply the revelation, for our intelligent and voluntary consent, of the wonderful truth that we are His body, that we now occupy His place on earth, and that His will and love now carry out through us the work He began, and that now in His stead we live to seek the Father's glory, in WINNING A LOST WORLD BACK TO HIM.

How terribly the Church has failed in obeying the command! How many Christians there are who never knew that there is such a command! How many who hear of it, but do not in earnest set themselves to obey it!

And how many who seek to obey it in such way and measure as seems to them fitting and convenient.

We have been studying what obedience is. We have professed to give ourselves up to a whole-hearted obedience. Surely we are prepared gladly to listen to anything that can help us to understand and carry out this our Lord's last and great command: the gospel to every creature.

Let me give you what I have to say under the three simple headings: Accept His command. Place yourself entirely at His disposal. Begin at once to live for His kingdom.

I. ACCEPT HIS COMMAND.

There are various things that weaken the force of this command. There is the impression that a command given to all and general in its nature is not as binding as one that is entirely personal and specific; that if others do not their part, our share of the blame is comparatively small; that where the difficulties are very great, obedience cannot be an absolute demand; that if we are willing to do our best, this is all that can be asked of us.

Brethren! this is not obedience. This is not the spirit in which the first disciples accepted it. This is not the spirit in which we wish to live with our beloved Lord. We want to say, each one of us-If there be no one else, I, by His grace, will give myself and my life to live for His kingdom. Let me for a moment separate myself from all others, and think of my personal relation to Jesus.

I am a member of Christ's body. He expects every member to be at His disposal, to be animated by His Spirit, to live for what He is and does. It is so with my body. I carry every healthy member with me day by day, in the a.s.surance that I can count upon it to do its part. Our Lord has taken me so truly up into His body that He can ask and expect nothing else from me. And I have so truly yielded myself to Him that there can be no idea of my wanting anything but just to know and do His will.

Or let me take the ill.u.s.tration of the Vine and the branches.' The branch has just as much only one object for its being as the vine-bearing fruit. If I really am a branch, I am just as much as He was in the world-only and wholly to bring forth fruit, to live and labor for the salvation of men.

Take still another ill.u.s.tration. Christ has bought me with His blood.

No slave conquered by force or purchased by money was ever so entirely the property of his master, as my soul, redeemed and won by Christ's blood, given up and bound to Him by love, is His property, for Him alone to do with it what He pleases. He claims by divine right, working through the Holy Spirit in an infinite power, and I have given a full a.s.sent, that I live wholly for His kingdom and service. This is my joy and my glory.

There was a time when it was different. There are two ways in which a man can bestow his money or service on another. In olden time there was once a slave, who by his trade earned much money. All the money came to the master. The master was kind and treated the slave well. At length the slave, from earnings his master had allowed him, was able to purchase his liberty. In course of time the master became impoverished, and had to come to his former slave for help. He was not only able, but most willing to give it, and gave liberally, in grat.i.tude for former kindness.

You see at once the difference between the bringing of his money and service when be was a slave, and his gifts when he was free. In the former case he gave all, because it and he belonged to the master. In the latter he only gave what he chose.

In which way ought we to give to Christ Jesus? I fear many, many give as if they were free to give what they chose, what they think they can afford. The believer to whom the right which the purchase price of the blood has acquired, has been revealed by the Holy Spirit, delights to know that he is the bond slave of redeeming love, and to lay everything he has at his Master's feet, because he belongs to Him.

Have you ever wondered that the disciples accepted the great command so easily and so heartily? They came fresh from Calvary, where they had seen the blood. They had met the risen One, and He had breathed His Spirit into them. During the forty days, through the Holy Ghost He had given His commandments unto them.' Jesus was to them Savior, Master, Friend, and Lord. His word was with divine power; they could not but obey. Oh, let us bow at His feet, and yield to the Holy Spirit to reveal and a.s.sert His mighty claim, and let us unhesitatingly and with the whole heart accept the command as our one life-purpose: the gospel to every creature.

II. PLACE YOURSELF AT HIS DISPOSAL.

The last great command has been so prominently urged in connection with Foreign Missions that many are inclined exclusively to confine it to them. This is a great mistake. Our Lord's words, Make disciples of all nations; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,' tell us what our aim is to be-nothing less than to make every man a true disciple, living in holy obedience to all Christ's will.

What a work there is to be done in our Christian churches and our so-called Christian communities ere it can be said that the command has been carried out! And what a need that the whole Church, with every believer in it, realize that to do this work is the sole object of its existence! The gospel brought fully, perseveringly, savingly to every creature: this is the mission, this ought to be the pa.s.sion, of every redeemed soul. For this alone is the Spirit and likeness and life of Christ formed in you.

If there is one thing that the Church needs to preach, in the power of the Holy Ghost, it is the absolute and immediate duty of every child of G.o.d, not only to take some part in this work, as he may think fit or possible, but to give himself to Christ the Master, to be guided and used as He would have. And therefore I say to every reader who has taken the vow of full obedience-and dare we count ourselves true Christians if we have not done so?-place yourself at once and wholly at Christ's disposal. As binding, as is the first great command on all G.o.d's people, Thou shalt love the Lord thy G.o.d, with all thy heart,' is this the last great command too- The gospel to every creature.' Ere you know what your work may be, ere you feel any special desire or call or fitness for any work,-if you are willing to accept the command, place yourself at His disposal. It is His as Master to train and fit and guide and use you. Fear not; come at once and forever out of the selfish religion which puts your own will and comfort first, and gives Christ what you see fit. Let the Master know that He can have you wholly. Enroll yourself at once with Him as A VOLUNTEER FOR HIS SERVICE.

G.o.d has in these few past years filled our hearts with joy and thanksgiving at what He has done through the Student Volunteer Movement. The blessing it is bringing the Christian Church is as great as that coming to the heathen world. I sometimes feel as if there were only one thing still needed to perfect its work. Is there not a need of an enrollment of Volunteers for Home Service, helping its members to feel that as intense and undivided as is the consecration to which the Volunteer for foreign work is stirred and helped is the devotion Christ asks of every one, whom He has bought with His blood, for His service in saving the world? What blessings have not these simple words, It is my purpose, if G.o.d permit, to become a foreign missionary,' brought into thousands of lives! It helped them into the surrender of obedience to the great command, and became an era in their history. What blessings might not come to many who can never go abroad, or who think so, because they have not asked their Master's will, if they could take the simple resolve By the grace of G.o.d I devote my life wholly to the service of Christ's kingdom! The external forsaking of home and going abroad is often a great help to the foreign volunteer, through the struggle it costs him, and the breaking away from all that could hinder him. The home volunteer may have to abide in his calling, and not have the need of such an external separation-he needs all the more the help which a pledge, given in secret, or in union with others, can bring.

The blessed Spirit can make it a crisis and a consecration that leads to a life utterly devoted to G.o.d.

Students in the school of obedience study the last and great commandment well. Accept it with your whole heart. Place yourselves entirely at His disposal.

III. AND BEGIN AT ONCE TO ACT ON YOUR OBEDIENCE.

In whatever circ.u.mstances you are, it is your privilege to have within reach souls that can be won for G.o.d. All around you there are numberless forms of Christian activity which invite your help and offer you theirs. Look upon yourself as redeemed by Christ for His service, as blessed with His Spirit to give you the very dispositions that were in Himself, and take up, humbly but boldly, your life calling, to take part in the great work of winning back the world to G.o.d. Whether you are led of G.o.d to join some of the many agencies already at work, or to walk in a more solitary path, remember not to regard the work as that of your church, or society, or as your own but as the Lord's. Cherish carefully the consciousness of doing it unto the Lord,' of being a servant who is under orders, and simply carrying them out; your work will then not, as so often, come between you and the fellowship with Christ, but link you inseparably to Him, His strength, and His approval.

It is so easy to get so engrossed in the human interest there is in our work, that its spiritual character, the supernatural power needed for it, the direct working of G.o.d in us and through us, all that can fill us with true heavenly joy and hope is lost out of sight. Keep your eye on your Master, on your King, on His throne. Ere He gave the command, and pointed His servants to the great field of the world. He first drew their eyes to Himself on the throne: All power is given Me in heaven and on earth.' It is the vision, the faith, of Christ on the throne that reminds of the need, that a.s.sures us of the sufficiency of His divine power. Obey, not a command, but the living Almighty Lord of Glory; faith in Him will give you heavenly strength.

These words preceded the command, and then there followed, Lo, I am with you alway.' It is not only Christ on the throne-glorious vision!-that we need, but Christ with us here below, in His abiding presence, Himself working for us and through us. Christ's power in heaven, Christ's presence on earth-between these two pillar promises lies the gate through which the Church enters to the conquest of the world. Let each of us follow our Leader, receive from Himself our orders as to our share in the work, and never falter in the vow of obedience that has given itself to live wholly for His will and His work alone.

Such a beginning will be a training time, preparing us fully to know and follow His leading. If His call for the millions of dying heathen come to us, we shall be ready to go. If His providence does not permit our going, our devotion at home will be as complete and intense as if we had gone. Whether it be at home or abroad, if only the ranks of the obedient, the servants of obedience, the obedient unto earth, are filled up, Christ shall have His heart's desire, and His glorious thought-the gospel to every creature-find its accomplishment!

Blessed Son of G.o.d! Here I am. By Thy grace, I give my life to the carrying out of Thy last great command. Let my heart be as Thy heart.

Let my weakness be as Thy strength. In Thy name I take the vow of entire and everlasting obedience. Amen.

NOTE ON THE MORNING WATCH.

By, the observance of the morning watch is commonly meant the spending of at least the first half-hour of every day alone with G.o.d, in personal devotional Bible study and prayer.

There are Christians who say that they do not have time to devote a full half-hour to such a spiritual exercise. It is a striking fact that the busiest Christians const.i.tute the cla.s.s who plead this excuse the least, and most generally observe the morning watch. Any Christian who will honestly and persistently follow this plan for a month or two will become convinced that it is the best possible use of his time, that it does not interfere with his regular work, and that it promotes the wisest economy of time....

In India, in China, in j.a.pan, hundreds of students have agreed to keep the morning watch....

The practical question for each of us is, Why should not I keep the morning watch? Next to receiving Christ as Savior, and claiming the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we know of no act attended with larger good to ourselves and to others than the formation of an undiscourageable resolution to keep the morning watch.'

These quotations are from an address by John R. Mott. At first sight the closing statement appears too strong. But think a moment, what such a revelation implies.

It means the deep conviction that the only way to maintain and carry out the surrender to Christ and the Holy Spirit, is by meeting G.o.d very definitely at the commencement of each day, and receiving from Himself the grace needed for a walk in holy obedience.

It means an insight into the folly of attempting to live a heavenly life without rising up into close communion with G.o.d in heaven, and receiving from Himself the fresh bestowal of spiritual blessings.

It means the confession that it is alone in personal fellowship with G.o.d, and in delight in His nearness, that proof can be given that our love responds to His, and that we count His nearness our chief joy.

It means the faith that if time enough be given for G.o.d to lay His hands on us, and renew the inflowings of His Spirit, our soul may be so closely united to Him that no trials or duties can separate us from Him.

It means a purpose to live wholly and only for G.o.d, and by the sacrifice of time and ease to prove that we are willing to pay any price to secure the first of all blessings the presence of G.o.d for all the day.

Let us now look again at that sentence-, Next to receiving Christ as our Savior, and claiming the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we know of no act attended with larger good to ourselves or to others than the formation of an undiscourageable resolution to keep the morning watch.'

If our acceptance of Christ as Lord and Master was whole-hearted, if our prayer for and claiming of the Holy Spirit to guide and control was sincere, surely there can be no thought of not giving G.o.d each day sufficient time, our very best time, for receiving and increasing in us what is indispensable to a life for Christ's glory and in His service.

You tell me there are many Christians who are content with ten minutes or a quarter of an hour. There are, but you will certainly not as a rule find them strong Christians. And the Students' Movement is pleading with G.o.d, above everything, that He would meet to train a race of devoted, whole-hearted young men and women. Christ asked great sacrifices of His disciples; He has perhaps asked little of you as yet.

But now He allows, He invites, He longs for you to make some.

Sacrifices make strong men. Sacrifices help wonderfully to wrench us away from earth and self-pleasing, and lift us heavenward. Do not try to pare down the time limit of the morning watch to less than the half-hour. There can be no question about the possibility of finding the time. Ten minutes from sleep, ten from company or amus.e.m.e.nt ,ten from lessons. How easy where the heart is right, hungering to know G.o.d and His will perfectly!

If you feel that you do not feel the need of so much time, and know not how to wait, we are content you should speak of your quiet time, or your hour of prayer. G.o.d may graciously, later on, draw you out to the morning watch. But do not undertake it unless you feel your heart stirred with the determination to make a sacrifice, and have full time for intimate intercourse with G.o.d. But if you are ready to do this, we urge you to join. The very fact of setting apart such a period helps to awaken the feeling: I have a great work to do, and I need time for it.

It strengthens in your heart the conviction: If I am to be kept all this day without sin I must have time to get near to G.o.d. It will give your Bible study new point, as you find time, between the reading, to be still and bow in humility for the Holy Spirit's hidden working, and wait till you get some real apprehension of G.o.d's will for you, through the Word. And, by the grace of G.o.d, it may help you to begin that habit of specific and definite intercession of which the Church so surely stands In need.

Students! you know not whether in your future life your time may be more limited, your circ.u.mstances more unfavorable, your Christian earnestness feebler. Now is the accepted time. Today, as the Holy Ghost saith. Listen to the invitation of your brethren in all lands, and fear not to form an undiscourageable resolution to spend at least half an hour each morning with G.o.d alone.

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