Parish Papers eBook

Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about Parish Papers.
in God’s name, and with the full assurance that we are not working alone, but “together with God.”  We can visit any spot in heathendom, cheered and borne up by the same assurance amidst every difficulty, discouragement, and danger.  Whatever else is doubtful, this, at least, is certain, that in every endeavour to save sinners, we are but expressing our sympathy with Jesus in His love to them, in His longing to see of the travail of His soul, and to be satisfied in their salvation; and that when experiencing the deepest sorrow because men will not believe, we are only sharing the sufferings of Him who mourned on account of unbelief, and wept over lost Jerusalem because it would not know the things of its peace.  All this is as certain as that there is such a living person as the Saviour, unchanged in character, everywhere present, seeing the evil and the good, hating the one and loving the other, whose labour and whose joy is that God’s name should be hallowed, His kingdom come, and His will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

Oh, how depressing, how deadening, to have any doubts as to this reality of the interest which our God and Saviour takes in the good of human souls!  How must the dread thought silence the tongue, wither the heart, and paralyse the hand, that however ardent the wish influencing us to be good ourselves, or to do good to others, God is indifferent to both, and has no real interest in either—­as if we had more love, more holiness, and more desire that the kingdom of righteousness should advance, than the loving and holy God!  Nay, how is it possible for us to have any true love at all to human friends unless it is first kindled by Him, and is in sympathy with Him, who loved His neighbour as Himself?

Let me here remind you of the only other alternative set before you,—­it is the awful one of being a “labourer together” with Satan.  Our Lord rejects neutrality; for such is really impossible.  He recognises the no real friend as a positive enemy.  “He that is not with me is against me;” “He who gathereth not scattereth;” “Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” but must serve either.  Now, Satan has a work on earth.  It is this spirit which “worketh in the children of disobedience.”  Will we, then, work with him in his desire to destroy our own souls?  Will we have “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,” and take part with that wicked one in his dread work of opposing the kingdom of light, and advancing the kingdom of darkness in the world?  Will we assist him in tempting others to evil,—­in entangling souls more and more in the meshes of sin,—­in propagating error and opposing truth?  And will we, by our words and example, by our coldness or open opposition, help to keep any man back from Christ, or to drag down to hell a neighbour or friend, a brother, sister, or child?  A labourer together with Satan!  Oh, consider the possibility of this being the record at judgment of our history, that we may start, as from a nightmare, from so hideous an imputation!  Instead of anything so inconceivably dreadful being true of us, may we know and love the Father, through the Son, and by His Spirit, and thus realise more and more in all our labours the strength and blessedness of being “labourers together with God!”

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Parish Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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