“ And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. ” Psalm lxxxix. 23.
Man does not realize how much of life’s work the Lord really does. If he knew from science all the wonderful things nature does for and in the body, and were to trace the spiritual analogy, he would readily see how much the Lord does for and in the spirit. It is marvellous to consider how many laws of nature, that is, of the Lord in nature, are designed to conquer the foes of man and beat them down ; it is yet more marvellous to consider the wealth of love and wisdom that fights man’s battles for him in the spiritual plane.
”I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Mark xii. 26.
There is one form of revelation to the celestial man, the man who loves ; another to the spiritual man, the man who knows ; and yet another to the natural man, the man who obeys.
“And He shall rule them with a rod of iron. ” Revelation ii. 27.
The evils which dwell in the natural mind of man the Lord chastises, breaks, and destroys by means of natural forms of the Divine Truth.
“My people hath been lost sheep ; their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away from the mountain.” Jeremiah i. 6.
Had the learned men and teachers of old only remained upon a certain kind of dogmatic ground ; had they remained in that kind of ground, which measures the height of the Holy City in literal feet, and gauges the swiftness of the flight of angels’ wings against the star drift of clouds athwart the evening sky. But alas ! they did not. They so keenly emphasized a simple belief in Christ that the real human Love of the God-Man was forgotten and the innocence of human souls neglected. (“Sheep” signifies innocence ; “mountain” signifies love.)
”From the top of the rocks I see Him; from the hill I behold Him.” Numb. xxiii. 9.
All laws lead to Him. Whether we trace the infinity, eternity, and immutability of the law of gravitation, or whether we trace the infinity, eternity, and immutability of the laws which govern the growth of a soul, it is always the same. That infinity, eternity, and immutability — that persistent Unit back of all law is the Lord, the Divine Humanity, the God-Man.
From the highest points of science-rock which men have reached, from the best states of neighborly love (“hills”) which they have reached, you will always see “no man save Jesus only.” And blessed the eyes that have learned to recognize Him and to say unto Peter as John did : ” It is the Lord.”
“He is not a God of the dead, but a God of the living.” Mark xii. 27.
A truth not applied to life is a truth; a truth applied to life is a Divine Truth.
“And she brought forth a man child.” Revelation xii. 5.
With much labor and difficulty does the Church conceive of, and finally give birth to, the doctrine of the Lord.
“Truly vain the hills, the multitude of mountains; truly in Jehovah our God is the salvation of Israel.“ Jeremiah iii. 23.
Men may understand much, they may love much; but after all and after all, it is the Lord who builds souls and creates character.
”Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.” Psalm ii.7.
Every Divine Truth constantly seeks ultimation and manifestation in the material and substantial spheres of human life.
”Who brought forth water out of the rock of flint.” Deut. viii. 15.
Out of the barrenness of a literal interpretation of God’s Word and God’s World there comes forth presently to many of us the glorious water of life — we begin to understand the inner spiritual verity of things — and when it has come to pass it seems to the startled mind that this man or that, this writer or the other, this revelator or another, this system of philosophy or that exposition of truth, has opened the rock and permitted the inner verity to leap forth. We can see the rod that smites the rock ; we can see the hand that holds the rod ; we can see the face of the man whose hand that is : but there the sight of many stop, and not so many are ready to “see the voice that spake” — to realize that none of these are the real cause of spiritual insight. The real cause lies back of and beyond them all. It is the Lord.
“For My people have committed two evils : they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and have hewn them cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah ii. 13.
In the course of ages and centuries the Church has forsaken the Divine Truth. She has lost from sight the fountain head of all truth the Sole Divinity of the Saviour. She has hewn for herself all manner of dogmas and traditions, and has shapen them into memory-cisterns, wherein age forgets what youth has learned.
”There will I make the horn of David to bud; I have ordained a lamp for Mine Anointed.'” Psalm cxxxii. 17.
In the internal man the Divine Life is revealed as a wondrous power, which unfolds in unknown and unknowable ways ; in the external there is a loving-watchful care over the development of Divine Truth, which most lives fail to realize in its beautiful fulness.
“In the beginning was the Word.” John i. 1.
All things originally are matters of revelation.
”John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying. This is He of whom I spake. He that cometh after me is preferred before me ; for He was before me.” John i. 15.
There are many other sayings of John’s, but none so powerful as this. For the literal Word speaks to man concerning the Church, and it is of great import ; it speaks to him of life, and it is to him of much import ; and it speaks to him of his own soul, and its voice is loud, as the voice of a multitude of truths (of “many waters”). But not until it speaks to man of Him, is the real and final message fully delivered. When man has studied into the internal sense of the Word and learned to see its gleam between the pictured images of the letter, and has learned the story of the God-Man as that internal sense tells it, then has he gained a knowledge of the very first purpose which was in the Mind of the Great One when He wrote the Wonder-Book.
“In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them ; and they shall know that I am Jehovah. ” Ezekiel xxix. 21 .
In the progress of regenerate life man perceives that all his power proceeds from the spiritual man, and that by steady steps of instruction the more interior intelligence of life is opened out,
“If a man die and leave no son, then ye will cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. ” Numb. xxvii. 8.
There are certain conditions of the mind which cannot find expression in any form of truth. These the soul will express in the forms of affection. An essay on “mother love” is a useless and lifeless anomaly. But the coo of a mother to her babe speaks volumes.
”To many thou shall give more inheritance, and to few thou shall give less inheritance.” Numb. xxvi. 54.
In strong characters hereditary traits are strong, in weak ones they are weak.
“The same was in the beginning with God.” John i. 2.
Revelation and Divine Truth coincide in their initiaments, for one is the manifesting forth of the other.
“He must increase, but I must decrease. ” John iii. 30.
In the life of the regenerating, and therefore also of the regenerate, man, all that pertains to things natural and to temporal condition is constantly decreasing — a constantly vanishing factor ; while all that pertains to things spiritual and to eternal conditions is as steadily increasing — a constantly augmenting factor.
”In all their affliction was He afflicted.” Isaiah lxiii. 9.
The purpose for which the Lord came to the earth was to run through a cycle of human experiences, in order that Infinity might learn the limitations of that which is finite; not to learn for the sake of self-instruction, for the all-wise knoweth all things; — and that would be thinking of God as looking from Infinity to finiteness, — but for the sake of speaking a language which human minds could understand — and that is thinking of man as looking from finiteness toward Infinity. The universe is an expression of Divinity of which only the wisest of the learned can catch a fleeting glimpse; the Word as a Book is an expression of the Divinity which comes in varying and shifting form to many minds ; but the Humanity, the Man of Galilee, the Man of Sorrow, the God-Man, is an expression of Divinity which can talk to all men in all tongues at all times.
”And He said to them, Amen, I say unto you there are some of them that stand here which shall not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Mark ix. i.
There are in every character certain traits which go on into the eternal life (though many, such as the languages of earth, memory of earth, etc., die with the body).
“Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. ” Numb, xxiii. 23.
Neither natural truth nor spiritual truth is altered one jot or tittle by the fact that man may entertain some false or erroneous view of it. I may think of the sun as a dinner plate, I may think of it as a furnace of fire, I may think of it as an inhabited globe, I may think of it as a hole in the spiritual world, and may be utterly wrong in every one of these thoughts yet the sun will keep on shining. ” There is no enchantment against Jacob.” No amount of error will set aside a natural truth. And again. I may think of heaven as a myth swathed in clouds, I may think of it as an eternity of unearthliness, I may think of it as a series of shelves, whereon my angels are neatly labelled and stacked, I may think of it as a condition of eternal helpfulness and sympathy to those who need no help or sympathy, and be dreadfully wrong in all of them ; yet heaven will still weave its own sweet self into the child-heart of humanity, into the mother-heart of the race, into the manhood of men. “There is no divination against Israel.” No amount of falsity will set aside a single spiritual truth.
Author: A. Roeder (1900)