with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh
in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure.”
To will and to do. It is His own good will and
pleasure that the soul shall be fitted and lifted
up to its high destiny through this co-working.
It was His power to raise it to that condition without
man’s participation or conscious acquiescence;
but it was His will and pleasure to enact this law
of salvation. Looking across the circumference
of the individual soul, what says this law?
“Go ye out into all the world and preach the
gospel to every creature, and, lo, I am with you unto
the end,”—not as an invisible companion,
not merely with the still, small voice of the Comforter
to cheer you in trial, weakness and privation; but
with you as a co-worker
, with the irresistible
energies of the Spirit of Power. He might have
done the whole work alone. He might have sent
forth twelve, and twelve times twelve legions of angels,
and given each a voice as loud as his who is to wake
the dead, and bid them preach His gospel in the ears
of every human being. He might have given a
tongue to every breathing of the breeze, an articulate
speech to every ray of light, and sent them out with
their ceaseless voices on the great errand of His
love. It was his power to do this. He
did not do it, because it was His will and pleasure
to put Himself under this law we have followed so
far; to make men His co-workers in this new creation,
and co-heirs with Him in all its joy and glory.
So completely has He made this law His rule of action,
that, for eighteen hundred years, we have not a single
instance in which the life and immortality which He
brought to light have been revealed to a human soul
without the direct and active participation of a human
instrumentality. So completely have His meekest
servants on earth put themselves under this law, that
not one of them dares to expect, hope, or pray that
He will reveal Himself to a single benighted heathen
mind without this human co-working.
Thus, begin where you will, in the flower of the field
or the hyssop by the wall, and ascend from sphere
to sphere, until there is no more space in things
and beings created to draw another circumferential
line, and you will see the action and the result of
this great law of Co-operative Activities.
When I first looked within the lids of that hollyhock,
and was incited to read the rudimental lessons of
the new leaves that man’s art had added to its
scant, original volume, I had no thought of finding
so much matter printed on its pages. I have
transcribed it here in the order of its paragraphs,
hoping that some who read them may see in this life
of flowers an interest they may have partially overlooked.
VISIT TO A THREE-THOUSAND-ACRE FARM—SAMUEL JONAS—HIS AGRICULTURAL
OPERATIONS, THEIR EXTENT, SUCCESS, AND GENERAL ECONOMY.