The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Palm Tree Blessing, by W. E. Shepard

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Title: The Palm Tree Blessing

Author: W. E. Shepard

Release Date: July 9, 2011 [EBook #36662]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by David E. Brown, Hazel Batey, Bryan Ness and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

Transcribers Note:
Page 7 cocoanut changed to cocoa nut
Page 7 overtops changed to over tops
Page 33 ensample changed to example
Page 68 reoice changed to rejoice
Page 68 Bastile changed to Bastille
Page 72 in-coming changed to incoming
Page 73 undercurrents changed to under-currents
Page 107 caldron changed to cauldron
Page 111 strengeneth changed to strengthenth
Page 112 scarifice changed to sacrifice
Page 151 inclosed changed to enclosed
Page 152 usally changed to usually
Punctuation has been moved inside enquotes where it was outside

The Palm Tree Blessing

A discourse on the various characteristics of the palm tree, illustrating the many features of the sanctified, Christian life.

By Evangelist W. E. Shepard

Author of "Wrested Scriptures Made Plain" Etc.




The Palm Tree Is Noted for Its Beauty 7


The Palm Tree Is Noted For Its Straightness 11


The Palm Tree Is Noted for Its Perennial Freshness 14


The Palm Tree Is Noted for Its Fruitfulness 19


The Palm Tree Is Noted for Sweetness of Its Fruit 26


The Palm Tree Bears Fruit in Its Old Age 34


The Palm Tree Is Noted for Its Utility 41


The Palm Tree Is Appreciated 56


The Palm Tree Will Grow in the Desert 66


The Palm Tree Finds the Water 71


The Palm Tree Gets Others Started 76


The Palm Tree Mounts Heavenward 81


The Palm Tree Is Peculiar in Its Growth 86


The Palm Tree Has a Rough, Coarse Exterior, But Is Soft at the Heart 89


The Life of the Palm Tree Is at the Center 96


The Palm Branch Is the Symbol of Victory 113


The Palm Tree Will Not Admit of Grafting 128


The Palm Tree Is Adapted to Warm Climates 142


Palm Tree Peculiarities 146

a. The Explosive Flower.

b. The Living Sacrifice.

c. The Foreign Missionary.

d. Differences in Size and Form.


"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree."—Psalm 92:12.

Wherever the Holy Spirit in the inspired Word has made any statement concerning anything, whether in regard to flowers, fruit, agriculture, horticulture, stock raising, minerals, earth, sea, sky, stars, science, religion, or what not, rest assured that statement is absolutely correct. There may be some statements which are hard to understand at first, but which may become perfectly clear when proper light is thrown upon them.

The Word of God abounds in comparisons. It says the wicked are "like the troubled sea," the backslider like the dog "turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." In the first Psalm it says the ungodly "are like the chaff which the wind driveth away," but on the other hand the godly are "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

Wherever God has compared the godly or the ungodly with anything, He certainly understood the case and made no mistake.

If one is not sure of his spiritual standing, it might be well to select something to which God has likened him, and then note the difference.[Pg 6]

Among the most beautiful comparisons in the Word is this: "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree."

The object of this little book is to show some of the characteristics of the palm tree blessing. Let the reader not forget to keep before his mind the thought of measuring up, and in that way be able to determine whether he belongs to the class mentioned. Please do not think of neighbor So-and-so, but keep your thought on your own personal experience.

The Palm Tree Blessing

[Pg 7]



It is certainly one of the most beautiful trees in nature. That is why so many are used in decorating the premises. People do not plant scrub oaks in their gardens, but they plant nature's beauties.

In the palm tree realm we have a large variety, of different sizes, such as date, fan, and cocoa nut, and in them all it seems that God laid Himself out to make something charming to behold.

When He compared the saint with the palm tree, it signified that there is something in him that is beautiful. One may be counted homely, or disfigured by some mark of nature or accident; but in spite of all he can have God's beauty shining out from his face and life. It matters not how he may be marked with some naturally undesirable feature, in spite of all, the palm tree saint has the effulgence of the upper-world glory, which over tops it all, and there shines forth real, heavenly beauty. So there is hope for all.[Pg 8]

That beautiful daughter of King David, and sister to Absalom, who was the finest looking man of his day, was called Tamar, which is the Hebrew word for palm. Doubtless she was called Tamar on account of her beauty. Absalom named his daughter Tamar for this same reason: "And unto Absalom there was born three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance."

Moses was so close to God and heaven during those days on the mount, that his face literally shone. And just in proportion as people today get close to the upper world, will God cover them with His celestial cosmetics. This far surpasses the paint and powder and Circassian cream of a frivolous and fashion-loving world. If people only knew it, the more of these—and of dead birds, rag posies, and glittering gewgaws—they put on, the more unbecoming they appear, and the more any natural beauty they chance to have is covered up. Whenever a woman besmears her face with paint and powder, hoping to cover up what she may think to be unseemly, she might as well carry a placard bearing this inscription:

To whom it may concern: This is to certify that I am homely, and am trying to cover up the fact by the use of paint and powder, thus hoping to deceive the public.


"The King's daughter is all glorious within." And because of this it works out, and so, with God's glory upon one, surely there is no need of the world's adornments to supplement God's handiwork. "The ornament[Pg 9] of a meek and quiet spirit" is the adorning which all should seek, and all may obtain.

The climax of trinket wearing is to be found in the heathen world. There they deck themselves literally from head to heel. They puncture ears, lips, and nose to find more room for their jewelry. God's arraignment of His people in the third chapter of Isaiah for patterning after the heathen customs is appalling, and we wonder that the translators of the Bible had the ingenuity to ferret out all the different kinds of trumpery in that dead language and find their proper expression in English. When the writer was a boy going to a country school, he was told by the teacher that barbarians wore jewelry, and in proportion as people did the same today they were barbarian. We once stepped into a restaurant in the city of Omaha, and noticed a woman seated at one of the tables. The sight of her hand eclipsed anything we had ever seen. There were rings galore. We do not remember the number on her fingers, but she had so many, it looked as if she had not room enough on her fingers, so she actually had one on her thumb. Doubtless she thought this added to her beauty. We once saw a fortune teller with large rings in her ears, three chains around her neck, seven rings on her fingers and eight bracelets on the wrists.

How different is all this from the beauty which the Holy Spirit gives! We have seen the faces of some saints that verily shone with the brightness of the indwelling Christ within. Sometimes in deathbed scenes[Pg 10] God has lifted the curtain just enough to let a little of heaven's halo fall across the features, and how it lighted up the face and made it radiant with a glory which at once was known to be unearthly. God surely knows how to beautify His people.


[Pg 11]


There is something in the very nature of this remarkable production, that scarcely allows of any departure from the perpendicular. The palm tree will grow straight. One seldom sees a crooked one. We remember seeing one, but it was dead.

Now, if we have the palm tree blessing, we are spiritually straight. God's people are straight. They are straight in their homes, in the church, in their business, with the world, with each other and with God. In their business deals they will not stoop to any underhanded trickery either on a big scale or little. They will even swear to their own hurt and change not. They will put themselves out to hunt up the conductor in order to pay their nickle fare before they leave the car. They never leave the counter with a surplus of change if they know it. They are careful about not using many words in buying and selling. They never cover up the defects and make prominent the good points in their deals. They endeavor to observe the Golden Rule, doing unto others as they would have others do to them. They will surely overcome any stingy element in their makeup, if previously possessed with such a factor. They will not lavish[Pg 12] their homes and let God's cause languish. Their earthly store belongs to God, and they recognize His right to draw upon them whenever He chooses.

One of the greatest stumbling blocks to the world today is the crookedness of so many so-called saints. The world knows when we walk straight. They may call one an old fogy, brand him as a fanatic, say he has gone crazy over religion, but at the same time they will say, "He pays his grocery bills." And perchance a sinner is dying and wants prayer, he will send for the very one he called fanatical and crazy. Do you think, dear reader, that you would be the one he would call upon for prayer?

The story is told of a man who was felling a tree, and was buried beneath the branches as it fell. On being extricated he was found to be mortally injured. A physician was summoned, and saw at once that the poor man must soon die. Being interested in his spiritual welfare, he told the man plainly that he could not live, and advised him to make his preparation to meet God, suggesting at the same time that he send for a certain neighbor who was a deacon in the church. Upon the mention of this deacon's name, the dying man recoiled, and said, "I hate him. He has lived alongside of me for years and has never said a word to me about my soul."

It is said that the palm tree has such a natural tendency to grow straight, that it will not grow crooked though heavy burdens be placed upon it. It will push up in spite of all the load, and simply remain straight.[Pg 13] How like God's true saint! Satan has many burdens with which to break his back, or cause him to deviate from the straight course, but with this blessing, he is enabled to rise in spite of all and be a perfectly perpendicular pilgrim. Praise the Lord! Business burdens, domestic duties, religious responsibilities would crowd in and hold us down, or shift our course upward, but He who carries our cares, and bears our burdens will bring us up straight if we but look constantly to Him.


[Pg 14]


The palm tree is an evergreen. It always has a fresh, green crown on top, on the heavenly side. Some parts may wither; some leaves fade and fall in time, but up at the top is a never-fading, fresh, beautiful crown that basks in the open sunlight and is a beauty to behold. Now, pilgrim, press up alongside of this characteristic and see if you have the mark.

The palm tree blessing is always a fresh blessing. Those who are so fortunate as to have this experience have a freshness about them that makes others desire it. There is nothing stale nor dry in their testimonies or prayers. With this beautiful characteristic, one does not say over the same old testimony, repeat the same stereotyped prayer at family worship, nor ask the same blessing at the table over and over. You might note the next time you say grace at the table, and then ask yourself if you have the palm tree blessing.

How refreshing some people's testimonies always are! We are sure to get something new. Even if it is old, it is set forth in a new garb, and people enjoy it and get blessed. They have a perennial freshness in their lives, and a storehouse from which to draw, so[Pg 15] that they are always enabled to bless a congregation whenever they are present.

There are some saints that are always in demand in meetings because they are so juicy and blessed. There is such a crown of rejoicing toward heaven in it all, that the meeting is sure to rise in interest and power whenever they take part.

Have you ever noticed a meeting that begins to rise with each succeeding testimony? One speaks and the spiritual thermometer goes up a little, then another in the Spirit talks out his heart, and up goes the temperature another degree or so, and thus it rises till it reaches a good, warm level, when suddenly some one arises and instantly down goes the thermometer. The meeting has cooled off several degrees. What was the matter? Will you kindly notice the next time you testify, and see if the thermometer goes up or down? Then ask yourself about this blessing, providing you cooled the meeting off.

What is the reason, when some people talk or pray, the saints seem to be so glad? They take it for granted that they are going to get something helpful and interesting, and that the meeting will get a boost. On the other hand, why is it when certain others take part, there is a sort of inward sigh, "uttered or unexpressed," and a settling down to endure the ordeal till he gets through? We will let the reader answer. Oh, to be fresh, and free, and full of the Spirit all the time!

The Word declares that "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." The liberty of the Spirit[Pg 16] always makes a meeting fresh and helpful. One of the prevailing hindrances in the Christian life is quenching the Spirit. The command is, "Quench not the Spirit" and we have no right to disobey that injunction any more than any other. We have seen people pray through at the altar and get wonderfully blessed and have much of the freedom of the Spirit, and after a few days when the Spirit desired again to manifest Himself through them, they have shrunk back through timidity, quenched the Spirit and leaked out in their experience. Does God make provision for any one to have any less liberty and freedom of Spirit later on in his Christian life? I trow not. Look to it then that you do not frustrate the grace of God in your hearts. If you were ever turned loose in a meeting, or, under the blessing of God you ran off with the meeting, see to it that you lose not your liberty, for the Lord may call upon you some other time to swing loose and take things by storm.

The story is told of Amanda Smith, the colored evangelist, who felt one time that she should lift her hand in the service and say, "Glory to God." At first she wondered if that was best under the circumstances, but felt the prompting was of the Lord, so she lifted her hand and shouted it out. Immediately the blessing of God was precipitated upon the congregation and a wonderful time of freedom was the result. We knew a brother who said he felt impressed once to do a similar thing, but he allowed something to hold him back, and so grieved the Spirit, and he declared it[Pg 17] took him two weeks to pray back to God. It pays to obey God. He will surely put His Spirit upon those whom He can trust. He will give all the liberty we will use. We never need to pray for freedom in the meetings, for all we have to do is to help ourselves. Imagine a child coming home hungry, and asking his mother for some bread and butter. His mother says, "There is the pantry, child, help yourself." The child teases further for bread and butter. Once more the kind parent informs him that the cupboard is handy, and he may help himself. But the child continues to beg. What attitude would that parent finally take? It would probably result in a good spanking. Imagine a child of God continually teasing the Lord for liberty, when He is constantly saying, "Help yourself." The freedom will surely be on hand when we step out and do our part.

The amusing story is told of Frederick Douglas who rose from slavery to quite a place in history. When in bondage in the South, he was wont to pray the Lord to give him his freedom. But he said the Lord did not answer his prayer. Again and again he prayed, but the Lord did not answer his petition. "One night," said he, "I went out and set my eyes on the North Star, and scratched gravel behind, and then the Lord answered my prayer." No wonder the paper he afterwards edited was called the North Star. If more people who are in bondage to fear, and are longing at the same time for deliverance, would do as this[Pg 18] man of color did—set their spiritual eyes on the pole star of freedom, and scratch gravel—they would soon find their prayers for liberty answered.


[Pg 19]


In the orient, where the date palm thrives the best, it is astonishing the quantity of delicious fruit it bears. It affords one of the chief industries, and is one of the principal articles of food.

Seeing the inspired Word declares that the righteous flourish like the palm tree, it stands to reason that the righteous bear an abundance of spiritual fruit. Fruit-bearing is the chief characteristic of the saint. "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life" (Rom. 6: 23). A nonfruit-bearing holiness is a nonentity.

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:2). In other words, every Christian who ceases to bear fruit, becomes a backslider and is cut off; while every one that bears fruit, keeps connected with the True Vine, and gets cleansed, or sanctified. This statement simply means, then, that one must get cleansed, or lose what grace he has. These are solemn truths, and each one should look well to his fruit bearing, and continue in the same.[Pg 20]

"Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22, 23). All palm tree saints are in the fruit business. There is no law, says the text, against such a business. There is no law written in the Bible, or upon our hearts that opposes it. There is no law of nature that runs counter to it. The law of the land does not forbid one having love, joy, peace, or any of the other varieties. Even formal ecclesiastical law does not oppose one having love, joy, peace, or the others mentioned; but sometimes it raises a hue and cry, and brings forth a storm of persecution when the outward manifestations of this fruit intrude into their graveyard quietness, and thus disturb their death.

God gave the Israelites specific instructions what to do when they gained the Promised Land. He told them when they entered Canaan they were to take of the fruit of the land and put it into a basket and go to the proper place and say to the priest, "I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord swore unto our fathers for to give us" (Deut. 26:3). The spiritual application is this: When one arrives at Canaan today, he should immediately have a fine basket of the fruit of the land, and go to the church and tell preacher and people, that in the providence and mercy of God he has received a clean heart full of pure love, or in other words, he has been sanctified wholly. But he must have his basket of fruit. Alas! too many are testifying these[Pg 21] days to being "saved and sanctified and sweetly kept," and when one looks for the basket of fruit, there is "nothing but leaves," or perchance some peelings, stems and shells.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "You may fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time; but you can't fool all the people all the time." The palm tree saint does not fool any of the people any of the time. He simply has his basket of fruit with him, and if one is inclined to doubt his testimony, all he has to do is to look into his basket and behold the grapes, figs, and pomegranates of Canaan. This is what tells so on others who have not as yet arrived at the station. When they see such delicious displays from the land of Beulah, their mouths begin to water, and there is an inward longing for some of the same kind. But what a stigma upon the religion of Jesus Christ, when one lays claim to Canaan experience, and has nothing to show for it but an empty basket!

When the spies returned from their Canaan exploration they brought of the fruit to Moses and said, "We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it" (Num. 13:27). They carried the unmistakable proof with them. Let us see to it that our testimonies are accompanied with their proper proof.

There is altogether too much failure in Christian service, because of the excuse of lacking in talent. It is true that some have more talent than others, but does that excuse those of one talent? The terrible punishment[Pg 22] inflicted upon the one who nicely wrapped his one talent in the napkin and laid it away, ought to alarm any who may be tempted to do likewise. Those who are favored with more talents are held more responsible to God for the use of them. It seems that God is not especially hunting for brains to use in His service, as He is looking for clean channels. If He can get the man of ten talents all consecrated to Him, very well and good; He will certainly use him to His own glory; but He is also ready to work with and through the simple-minded as well. And frequently we find Him doing more through such a channel than where there is ten times the talent. We copy the story of what God did through a half-idiot boy as printed in the Herald of Holiness:

"One time," said Dr. Broughton, "I remember beginning a meeting in an old, conservative church in one of the most conservative towns of the South. A large crowd had gathered to hear my first sermon. It was not much of a sermon, however, that they heard, but a good deal of proposition making.

"To begin with, I asked for all fathers who had unsaved sons to stand up. Nobody stood, however, except a little boy about twelve years old, who sat far back in the congregation. He arose. He was not satisfied to stand, he got up on the seat and lifted his hands. He was determined to be seen. Everybody laughed at the mistake, and I said, 'Young man, that will do; sit down.' My next proposition was to mothers, but not a mother stood. The same little boy stood up, however.[Pg 23] 'That will do,' said I; 'sit down.' Then I went for the brothers and sisters. I made five propositions that night, and he responded to every one of them, and he was the only one that paid any attention to them whatever. I went away from that meeting very much humiliated. The same was true of the services on the next night and on through the services of three days. To every proposition I made, he responded, and he was the only one who did. Finally, a deacon of the church came to me and said: 'That boy is a half idiot. The fact is, he is a whole idiot, and those people are coming to see him perform. That is what they are coming for.'

"'Well,' said I, 'what do you think I ought to do about it?'

"'Why,' said he, 'stop him, of course.'

"I said, 'Stop him? Never! He is the only sign of life I have seen in this town. I feel like paying him to go around with me to worry old conservative deacons. Talk about that boy! Why, he is the only spark of hope the church has in this town so far as I have been able to see. I would not think of putting that light out.'

"'Well,' said the deacon, 'he has thrown a damper on your meetings.'

"I said, 'No, brother, you can not throw a damper on an icehouse, and this old thing has been frozen over for twenty years.'

"'All right, said he, 'let the boy go on.'

"So it went on for the rest of the week. Now and[Pg 24] then some other simple soul would stand for prayer, but very seldom.

"At the close of the sermon the next Sunday morning, when I gave out the invitation for those who wished to join the church to come forward, that boy walked up to the front. I asked the usual questions and took the vote and he was received.

"That night as I came into the church a man arose and said: 'Brother Broughton, I want to ask a prayer for a man who is in this house, one of the honored citizens of our town and a man of eighty-five years of age, who has not been in a church for twenty-five years until tonight. He has been known as a skeptic, but I see him here tonight, and I think he will pardon me for making this request. I feel so deeply the weight of his soul.'

"As soon he sat down the old man arose and said: 'Friends and neighbors, I am the man you are about to pray for. I want to tell you why I am here tonight. This little boy who sits here by my side is my grandson. You know that he is an unfortunate lad. It is because of that we have loved him so. This morning he came home and threw his arms around my neck and said, "Oh, grandpa, I have got religion, and have joined the church. And grandpa, I am so happy that I don't know what to do. I wish grandma was here. Oh, grandpa, you know she went to heaven three months ago and I have nobody to talk to about Jesus."' The old man said, 'Just as the child said that, something struck my heart that had not struck it before since I was a[Pg 25] boy and left home to go to college. You can call it what you please, but if you can, by your prayers, bring the grace of God into my heart, I will be thankful.' Before we left that night he was converted.

"The next morning the little fellow went out in the town and climbed over his father's bar counter, for he was a barkeeper, and said, 'Papa, won't you come and go with me to hear our preacher?' He promised he would that night, which he did, and at two o'clock the father was converted.

"The next day he went out, declaring he was going to be a missionary to his fellow saloon keepers. He got them, every one of them, to close up their places and come to church. There were seven in number, and during that week six out of the seven gave their hearts to God, and all of them agreed to close up their business. A great revival broke out in that town which extended all through the county, and several counties, and in six months' time there was not a barroom in that county. Every barkeeper agreed to quit the business, and so far as I know, there has never been one in the county until this day.

"Such a gracious revival of religion! How did it all come about? Not by preaching; not by great manipulations; not by great singing, valuable as these all may be—they did not bring it about. It came about through a little half idiot boy, who had no better sense than to trust God the best he knew and do his level best."


[Pg 26]


All palms are not of the same variety, but the date palm is the one specially noted for its sweet fruit. When the orientals dry their dates and press them and ship them into our country, we then learn how nearly akin to sugar they are.

The righteous shall flourish in sweetness. Full salvation surely sweetens one's life and disposition. A sour holiness is a sham holiness. Some professors of religion look and act as if they were pickled instead of preserved.

When God described the beauties and benefits of Beulah Land, He told the people it was a land of honey. Honey was one of the leading commodities of Canaan. One of the prime factors of the palm tree blessing is spiritual honey. It is certainly a sweet experience, both in its inward enjoyment and outward manifestation. In the various tests of life one will find the inward proclivities making way to the surface, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak. Sister, do you find yourself saying, "Praise the Lord," when the clothes line breaks, or the bread burns? What comes to the surface when your children tug at your apron by the hour in their fretfulness? How is it[Pg 27] when your neighbor's chickens clean up your radish and turnip patch? or husband scolds, or the older children are disobedient and saucy? It is true one may be tried in these disappointing ordeals, and have the smile of heaven at the same time, but is there an overcoming sweetness in it all that convinces others that you have the palm tree blessing?

Perhaps husband is smiling, as wife reads these lines; but how do you feel when the horse balks, or the cow kicks the milk all over you? What do you say when hammering, and you hit the wrong nail? How is your equilibrium at the midnight hour in zero weather when wife hunches you under the fifth rib and notifies you that baby has the colic and requests you to get up and make a fire? Do you smile and say, "Certainly, dear," or do you growl and let her do it? Think of the palm tree blessing next time.

A minister once asked his colored servant why he didn't get along better, while she always seemed so happy. She replied that it was because he read his Bible wrong. He could not understand that, for he certainly knew how to read the Bible. She finally told him, where the Bible said "Glory in tribulation," he read it, "Growl in tribulation."

The grace of gentleness and sweetness under trying circumstances is so scarce in this world, that it is indeed refreshing when we come in contact with it. It is said of the mother of John and Charles Wesley, that one of the children once asked some privilege and was denied with a "no." The child was persistent and asked[Pg 28] again, and the answer was again, "no." For some reason the interrogation was requested time and again, and the patient mother responded "no" twenty times, and the last time in the same tone of voice as the first. We might question the propriety of allowing a child to be so persistent, but we could not question the propriety of suffering long, with kindness on the farther end of it. We have been struck before now at the agitation and seeming impatience of some leading holiness preachers when some disturbance was made in the meeting; when a child cried, some one went out, or some unusual noise or commotion occurred. Almost anybody can keep sweet when everything goes their way, but the time to prove that a part of one's stock in trade is honey, is when the trying ordeals of life press in, and people are looking on to see if he has what he has been shouting over in the meeting.

There is a clause in the Bible that reads thus: "The God of all grace." I do not know how much our God has, but it says in another place, "He giveth more grace." We believe that in every exigency of life, the grace of our God is sufficient. If a policeman on the street of some large city met with some opposition as he was endeavoring to do his duty, he would have the privilege, if unable to cope with the opposition alone, to call upon another officer. If these two were unable to overcome, they could have the whole police force of the city at their disposal. If this power was not sufficient they could have the state militia, and perchance this should fail, the whole government is back[Pg 29] of him, and would call out the regular army. That police officer has the whole government ready to back him up in doing his duty. So it is with the faithful child of God. When he is suffered to pass through some trying ordeal, and the present stock of grace is not sufficient, "He giveth more grace," and the "God of all grace" is at his disposal, and "God is able to make all grace abound toward" him, and He would call out the whole stock of grace of heaven before He would allow the faithful soul to fail who relied upon Him.

These testing trials are what make solid Christian character. What would the giant oak on the mountain side amount to, if it were not for the storms that surge against it? These storms cause the roots to take stronger hold, and thus they grapple with earth and rock and become practically immovable. When the storms of trial and persecution sweep up against the pure in heart, they cause them to cleave the more to their Protector and send the roots of faith and love deeper into the Rock beneath.

What does the Word mean when it says, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth?" Does it not mean that these testings of faith are worth much more than gold nuggets which one might find in the street? Then why do we not act that way? Imagine one walking along the road and stumbling against a big chunk of fine gold, and then looking down at the mouth and complaining at his misfortune. No, if such a one had been discouraged just before, we think this sudden find would dispel[Pg 30] all his sorrow. How would it do for us to act as if we had found a nugget of gold, the next time some great trial crosses our path? Would it be inconsistent to shout "Glory to God! I have something that is worth more to me than gold tried in the fire?" "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations," for "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation." Suppose one should come into a meeting and testify that he had more trials than anybody in the world. We have heard testimonies that tend in that direction. Usually the witness looks as if it were about true. But what does God's Word say about it? "My grace is sufficient for thee." We believe that all true pilgrims, as they journey through life, have at times all they can stand of trials and testings. And yet, "there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13). Now, in the light of these Scriptures, we see, that in proportion to one's trials, temptations, and testings, God puts alongside the sufficient grace to bear them. If one has more trial than another, and holds true to God, it only shows that he has more grace than another. Now, why doesn't the brother in the meeting who testifies that he has more trials than anybody else, look up and shout himself hoarse at the abundance of grace the Lord has for him? Let us[Pg 31] not be infidels, but actually believe the Word of God, and act as if we believed it. Amen!

If the Devil can get us to grunt and growl when he kicks us, it encourages him to kick the more. Notice those pestiferous boys at school. See them poking fun at that crying lad who declares he is going to tell his mother. The more he cries the more encouraged they feel to impose upon him. Now watch them as they ply their game on some independent chap. He just laughs at them and says, "I don't care." Their fun is spoiled and one of them says, "Come on, boys, we can't have any fun out of him." Why not try this method on the Devil? Instead of crying and complaining, and pitying yourself, just shout, "Glory to God!" when he kicks you. He may try it again, but shout "Hallelujah!" right in his face. Methinks he will say, "I don't understand that Christian; the more I kick him, the more he praises the Lord and shouts."

The explanation of Psa. 40:11 by that sunny, happy-hearted Christian known as Aunt Sophia may not be far out of the way. "Let thy loving kindness and thy truth continually preserve me." Aunt Sophia said, "Dat just like de deah Lawd. He puts His trusting children right in de big saucepan of His lub, and He sweetens dem wif de sweetness of His grace, so dey nebber get sour. And when you see one who is cross and fretful and gloomy, bress you, honies, dey is not preserved; dey's only pickled!"

There is nothing in the Scriptures that would indicate that any part of the Christian life was made[Pg 32] up of sour material. "Vinegar never catches flies," and a sour, long-faced professor of religion is certainly a poor sample of Christ's handiwork. When the sweetness of the palm tree blessing enters the soul, the long face in the direction of north and south, shortens up, and lengthens out east and west. A preacher once entered a grocery store, and casting his eyes about, he discovered some packages on a shelf, with the following label on them: "Warranted to keep sweet in all climates." The company sending out the goods, evidently had much faith in their enduring qualities. They surely knew that the contents might be subjected to heat and cold, wet and dry, high and low altitudes, at home and abroad. Yet they were ready to put on the goods, "Warranted to keep sweet in all climates." Surely, when our Preserver has put the finishing touches on His goods, He has included an element of grace which warrants them to keep sweet in all climates. It does not seem hard for some to keep sweet when all goes their way; when nothing crosses their path; when all is fair sailing; but let the nagging, disappointing, galling trials incident to this life press in upon the soul, and the look, tone and talk are changed. The preserves have been changed to pickles. Such a one could not well influence another by his life and example to become a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus.

We may not always be aware of it, but surely others are watching us. Can we say with Paul, "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which[Pg 33] walk, so as ye have us for an ex sample? (Phil. 3:17). Again, "Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you" (Phil. 4:9).


[Pg 34]


It is a very long-lived tree. At the age of about thirty it seems to have reached its height in fruitfulness, but will continue its prolific yield for seventy years more under proper conditions, so that at the century mark it is still flourishing. It is said that it bears its very sweetest fruit in its old age.

In the realm of grace God has not planned for spiritual declension in old age. The free grace of God is just as willingly bestowed then as in decades before. The next verses which follow the statement: "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree," bring out this glorious truth. "Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing" (Psa. 92:13, 14).

Do we not often see old people, after they have possibly professed holiness for many years, in their declining days, take on a fretful, cross, murmuring spirit, and make it hard to get along with them? Instead of the little children delighting to be around them, if they should express themselves, they would say, "What is the matter with grandpa; he is getting so crabbed and cross?" One of the saddest and also one of the[Pg 35] most dangerous calamities that can befall an old Christian, is to lose the sweetness and juice and fruitfulness of early piety.

"The trees of the Lord are full of sap." This sap life is characteristic of the palm tree, and he who lacks the sweet juice of fresh life bubbling up in his heart should inquire into his experience.

One of the most encouraging and soul-inspiring examples to young converts is the victorious faith and activities of the aged saints. How it blesses our souls when we stand in the presence of such an octogenarian. The fire still burning within, he is ready to pray, shout or testify at a moment's notice. There are many of God's old palm trees, though they may have the word "superannuated" attached somewhere, yet they are ever active in bringing forth fruit. Like the old horse that was superannuated from the fire department, and was used in a delivery wagon, when he heard the fire bell ring, he champed his bits and struck off down the road and never stopped till he had backed up to the fire. Live meetings and revival fires set some of these old war horses going, and one would think they were surely renewing their youth. They love the way and will not rust out with advancing years.

Look at the unceasing and untiring activities of John Wesley, much of it after he had crossed the line of fourscore years. The following information concerning him is current in religious papers:[Pg 36]


"His travels were immense, amounting to about 290,000 miles, or about twelve times the circumference of the globe, making about 5,000 miles a year.

"He preached before the days of steam or electricity, twenty sermons a week, and often more. Most of these sermons were preached in the open air, and often amid showers of brickbats, rotten eggs, and personal violence calculated to test the strongest nerve. A Baptist preacher recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his pastorate. It was announced as an unusual fact that he had preached an average of three sermons a week during the fifty years. But John Wesley preached on an average, for fifty-four years, three sermons a day. The Baptist clergyman had preached during the time a little over 8,000 sermons. Mr. Wesley preached in fifty-four years, more than 44,000 sermons. This did not include numberless addresses and exhortations on a great variety of occasions.

"For many years he was editor of the 'Arminian Magazine,' a periodical of fifty-six pages—the work of one man in these times.

"He wrote and published a commentary on the whole Bible in four large volumes.

"He compiled and published a dictionary of the English language—no small undertaking.

"He wrote and published a work of four volumes on natural philosophy.

"He wrote and published a work of four volumes on ecclesiastical history.[Pg 37]

"He wrote and published comprehensive histories of England and Rome.

"He wrote grammars of the Hebrew, Latin, Greek, French, and English languages.

"He wrote, abridged, revised, and published a library of fifty volumes known as the 'Christian Library,' and some time after he re-read, revised, corrected, and published the whole in thirty large volumes. This library contains one of the richest collections found in the English language.

"He wrote a good-sized work on electricity.

"He prepared and published for the common people three works on medicine.

"He published six volumes of church music. His poetical works, in connection with his brother Charles, amounted to not less than forty volumes. Charles wrote most of them, but they passed under the keen revision of John, without which we doubt if Charles Wesley's hymns would have been what they are—the most beautiful and soul-inspiring to be found in the English language.

"In addition to these multiplied publications, we have seven large volumes, including sermons, journals, letters and controversial papers known as 'Wesley's Works.' It is claimed that Mr. Wesley's works, including abridgments and translations, amounted to at least two hundred volumes. It is difficult to understand how a man could have found time to accomplish so much literary labor while perpetually on the wing.

"In addition to all this, Wesley was a pastor and[Pg 38] did more real pastoral work than nine-tenths of the pastors of these times. One has only to read his journals to be convinced of this. For a time he visited all the class and band meetings, and had special charge of the select societies. He appointed all the class and band leaders, stationed all the preachers, and had a general oversight of the many thousands of his followers.

"He improved every moment of the day. Mr. Fletcher, who was for some time his traveling companion, says of him, 'His diligence is matchless. Though oppressed with the weight of seventy years, and the care of 30,000 souls, he shamed still, by his unabating zeal and immense labors, all the young ministers of England, perhaps, of Christendom. He has frequently blown the gospel trumpet and rode twenty miles before most of the professors who despise his labors have left their downy pillows. As he begins the day, the week, so he concludes them, still intent upon extensive service for the glory of the Redeemer and the good of souls.

"'From four o'clock in the morning until ten at night every moment was occupied in loving efforts to save the lost; and he never lost ten minutes from wakefulness at night, as he himself affirmed. His motto was, "always in haste, but never in a hurry." "Leisure and I have taken leave of each other." "Ten thousand cares are no more to me than ten thousand hairs on my head." "I am never weary with writing, preaching or traveling," are a few of the utterances of this[Pg 39] remarkable man. And in the midst of all this wonderful activity he says, "I enjoy more hours of private retirement than any man in England."'"

No wonder he could shout on his dying bed with the heavenly halo around his head and say, "The best of all is, God is with us."

Look at that apostle of faith, George Muller, after he had prayed in millions of dollars, cared for thousands of orphans, preached in many lands and sent missionaries throughout the world, still active for God between eighty and ninety years of age.

Thomas Mayhew was one of those early missionaries to the North American Indians. When on his way to the old country to seek further aid for his work, he was lost at sea. His old father, then past his seventieth year, regarded this sad bereavement as God's call for him to fill the place made vacant by the death of his son. He immediately began to study the Indian language, and went forth to carry on the mission of his son, which he did until his death at the age of ninety-three. In his travels, the old man would often have to walk twenty miles through the woods to preach to the Indians. Surely, this was better than idle sorrow. It was bringing forth fruit in old age. He had the palm tree vitality and blessing.

I am thinking just now of an aged minister. For over half a century he has served God in the regular ministry, and now although over six years past the "allotted time" of life, he is untiring in his work and zeal for God. He is up to date in all the departments[Pg 40] of the work. He is superintendent of the home department of the Sunday school, and does work like a pastor in his regular visitations. He enters open doors and preaches many sermons. He is a most zealous advocate of prohibition, and stands in the forefront ranks in pushing that important work, and is president of the prohibition work in his community. His zeal for the foreign missionary field is most inspiring, and by faith, with all the other blessings of giving that he takes upon himself, he has just taken a native missionary to support from his limited means. While he is so active on all the live issues of the church, and is at his post to push and pull, yet he is seemingly most at home in the battle for souls. You can count on him at the revival unless he is providentially hindered. And when the seekers line up at the altar, he is at hand to pray and shout the battle on. He has the word "superannuated" applied somewhere, but we think it a misnomer and that a more appropriate word would be "superabundant."


[Pg 41]


The uses to which the different palm tree varieties are put are something marvelous in the extreme. There is nothing like it in all the vegetable world. All parts are utilized, from the trunk and branches to the sap. From the branches they make cages for poultry, and fences for gardens. From the leaves they manufacture couches, baskets, bags, and mats. From the fiber they make thread, ropes, and rigging. From the sap is manufactured a drink, while seeds are ground up for provender for camels.

The following will show some of the many uses of the various kinds of palms: Fuel, clothing, building material, tents, cages, crates, fences, thatching, bridges, masts, boats, oars, canes, umbrellas, umbrella sticks, couches, baskets, bags, matting, mattresses, hammocks, pillows, cushions, carpets, sail cloth, oakum, paste-board, kites, thread, fishlines, bowstrings, ropes, rigging, tables, stands, chairs, bedsteads, cradles, window blinds, brooms, brushes, utensils, cooking vessels, weapons, shields, tools, hooks, spear tips, arrow heads, needles, fans, ornaments, hats, bonnets, musical instruments, paper, writing paper, candles, wax, resin, tannin, dying materials, medicines, tonics, refreshing[Pg 42] drinks, vinegar, sugar, starch, meal, bread, sago, syrup for cooking, substitute for salt, oil for butter, oil for light and lubrication, and for making soap. And the carnal ingenuity of depraved man has even discovered how he can get drunk on the fermented juices. Besides all these a substance is used in tanning leather. The shell of the stems is used for making gutters, timber for flooring and wharf material, stems for blowpipes for poisonous arrows. One kind of palm is used in the construction of rude suspension bridges. Another affords a substitute for ivory. One part is used for fattening hogs. It is said that the various uses are declared to be three hundred sixty. Thus we see that it could be of some use about every day in the year. Reader, are you flourishing like this, and good for something every day in the year?

God certainly intends us to be useful. It means something to fill one's sphere in the world as Christ intended. There is something more to do than to plow corn, milk cows, and feed hogs; something more than to keep house, wash clothes and scrub floors. There is more at hand than the mere avocations of life, necessary as some of them are. God never called anybody to labor alone for the perishable things of this life. "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth." The real business of every Christian is primarily to serve God, and glorify Him; the other services are merely incidental. The old shoemaker had it right. When asked what his business[Pg 43] was, he replied: "My business is to serve the Lord; but I make boots and shoes to pay expenses."

Even those who are shut indoors through feeble health may find avenues for usefulness, and do service that will tell for eternity. In Pasadena, Cal., is a blind girl, and almost entirely deaf, yet she applies herself to the Lord's work, and makes articles for sale, devoting the proceeds to the foreign missionary work.

A remarkable story has been published in the Ladies' Home Journal of March 1, 1911, showing what a girl can do without hands and arms. Through the kindness of The Curtis Publishing Company, we are permitted to insert the article in this book. It was written by the young lady herself.

"I was not born a cripple. Even as a child I did not always have to make hands of my feet. Indeed, till I was nine years old, I not only had arms and hands like other children, but I was also a strong, healthy, normal child like my two brothers, who were older than I, and my sister, who was two years younger. Our family was in poor and humble circumstances as far back as I can remember. My parents were both English, but my father became naturalized as a citizen of this country in 1882—the year in which I was born.

"Since I grew up I have learned that my father and mother were in good circumstances at the time of their marriage, and for some ten or twelve years afterward; that my father was a steady, hard-working, kindly man; and that he and my mother were devoted to one another and were very happy together. But after the[Pg 44] birth of my brothers my mother was taken ill and was in poor health for a long time. Then, just as she was at the worst of her illness, my father lost his position, and matters speedily began to go from bad to worse. A tendency to strong drink, which he had kept well curbed for my mother's sake, now began to get the better of him. Her failing health made it impossible for her to look out for him as she had hitherto done. The new work which he succeeded in obtaining was hard and distasteful, and the family grew poorer and poorer until at last there were times when we had not enough of food and clothing, and the charitable societies of Chicago, where we lived, began to look after us.

"In the summer just before my ninth birthday, I was one of a number of children who were sent into the country for a two-weeks' outing by the managers of a fresh air fund. Those were the two pleasantest weeks of my life. The beautiful, green country, the grass, flowers, trees, and birds delighted me. I was well and robust, and I ran and picked flowers and played and enjoyed myself to the utmost. A few weeks after I came home from this wonderful outing my mother died, and I became the housekeeper of the family. I was then just nine years old. I did the work as well as I could, although there was not much to do nor much to do it with, in the bare place which we called 'home,' in the basement of a small city dwelling. Soon after I had lost my mother's companionship I lost my sister's also, for she was adopted[Pg 45] by well-to-do people, whose identity I did not know and have never learned.

"On the afternoon of the following Thanksgiving day, while my brothers were playing outdoors and my father and I were alone in the house, I was puttering about when I found a bottle filled with what I afterward knew must have been whisky. Being only a child, and possessed of a child's thoughtless curiosity, I took a long drink from the bottle. The effect was almost instantaneous. I grew weak and stupefied. At that moment my father, who was in an adjoining room, told me to go and put some wood on the kitchen range. I said that I felt sick and could not go, but he insisted and I obeyed. No sooner had I got the lids off the range, however, than the combined effect of the liquor and the heat overpowered me, and I fell forward upon the open fire, unconscious.

"My younger brother, who came in from play and lifted me off, saved me from death. But at the hospital it was found necessary to amputate both my arms. The burns about my neck and chest were severe, but not serious, and two months later I was discharged from the hospital. A state society for the care of children had already arranged with my father to take full control of me. A fund contributed to by generous people far and near was raised for my support and education, and after spending some months in a nursery I became an inmate of the Home for Destitute Crippled Children in Chicago.

"In this home I was given instruction in the common[Pg 46] school studies, and I learned to write and sew with my feet. After four years I was transferred by the Illinois Home Society to the care of a private family in Wisconsin, where I lived for eight years, going to the public school and practically completing the high school course. During all this time I continued to learn how to make hands of my feet, and I have kept on perfecting myself in this necessary acquirement ever since. It has, of course, taken a great deal of perseverance and determination, and has required constant effort and practice, coupled with no little physical skill and suppleness. But it must be borne in mind that for nearly twenty years I have been without hands and arms, and that during most of this time I have had to wait on myself. So my feet have been in almost continual training. I have never found a task too hard to undertake nor too tedious to finish, and no one appreciates the truth of the old saying, 'Where there's a will, there's a way,' better than I do.

"As a result, I have learned to dress myself, almost completely. I can take a bath by myself, wash my face, brush my teeth, put on most of my clothes, and comb my hair when it is not too long. I can put on and take off my eyeglasses. I can use the scissors to cut paper, cloth, or any other material with which I am working, and then thread the needle, knot the thread and do the necessary sewing. I can sweep and dust, mop and scrub, and even blacken stoves. I can sketch and draw, although I have never had a lesson in these accomplishments and have acquired the little knowledge[Pg 47] and skill I possess in this art solely by practice. In the same way I have also learned to sharpen my own pencils, opening and closing the knife myself. I have even made articles of furniture, such as small bookcases and writing desks, sawing all the lumber, driving the nails, putting on the hinges, and finally varnishing the completed article. In short, I do with my feet almost anything that others do with their hands.

"At the close of my high school course I found myself, at the age of twenty-one, left practically on my own resources. The fund which had been raised for me was exhausted, the obligation of the state society which had taken charge of me had ceased, my father had passed away, my brothers were poor and could not help me, and my sister had gone out of my life. For a while I earned a little money by selling my drawings, name-cards and other work. Then I gave exhibitions, in homes and elsewhere, of my skill with my feet. Eventually I found it possible to attend Taylor University at Upland, Indiana, and while there the hope I had long cherished of some day being able to be of some help to poor, deserving, crippled children took shape and my life work was made plain to me.

"A Home for Disabled Children was planned and eventually started in Maywood, Illinois. I took special studies to qualify me to handle properly and capably the work of financial secretary of the Home. During the year and a half between the starting of the Home and the writing of this article five children have been[Pg 48] cared for and a great deal of improvement has been observed in all of them.

"It is not the intention to overcrowd the Home with children, or make it institutional in any way, but to give them a real home with good care and Christian training, and also an education which will enable them to become self-supporting. In this way I hope to show that even a girl without arms, born and raised under the most unfavorable circumstances, can accomplish much good by lending a 'helping hand' to other cripples, and thus make their lives better, sweeter and more useful."

This lady's name is Kittie Smith, and the written article would be much more interesting could we accompany it with the dozen or more illustrations in the Ladies' Home Journal, where she is seen writing a letter, using the telephone, making fancy-work, drinking water at dinner, using the typewriter and cutting out material for a dress. Pictures of her drawings, the desk, the table and quilt she made are also given.

Here is a lady, educated, trained, and equipped for a life of special usefulness, who has had to battle through difficulties which would tend to discourage the stoutest hearts. Yet, in spite of all, she is engaged in Christian work and proving to the world what one is enabled to do who will.

We have lately seen the half-tone picture in Popular Mechanics, of a man who had lost both legs and both arms in a railroad accident, yet he makes his living by selling the pictures which he paints. He brings[Pg 49] into requisition his chin and the stump of his right arm in handling the brush.

About fifty years ago there was a member of the British Parliament by the name of Cavanaugh. This man was born with no legs whatever and with no arms, save stumps half way up to his elbows. His penmanship was good, using a false hand for his writing. He was wheeled in each time by a valet, and was the only member who was allowed to address the Parliament without standing.

There are some men who will not down, even from the standpoint of the world. May we not take a lesson from these "unfortunates" and rise above every impediment, and yet succeed in the kingdom of God?

How many powerful revivals have occurred, when it was discovered that they were the result of the faithful, intercessory praying of some shut-in saint, who had on the prayer list the very ones who got saved!

Let me cite a quotation from Charles G. Finney's Revival Lectures:

"A pious man in the western part of this state (New York) was sick with consumption. He was a poor man, sick for years. An unconverted merchant in the place had a kind heart, and used to send him now and then something for his comfort, or for his family. He felt grateful for the kindness, but could make no return, as he wanted to do. At length he determined that the best return he could make would be to pray for his salvation. He began to pray and his soul kindled, and he got hold of God. There was no revival[Pg 50] there, but by and by, to the astonishment of everybody, this merchant came right out on the Lord's side. The fire kindled all over the place, and a powerful revival followed, and multitudes were converted.

"This poor man lingered in this way for several years, and died. After his death, I visited the place, and his widow put into my hands his diary. Among other things, he says in his diary: 'I am acquainted with about thirty ministers and churches.' He then goes on to set apart certain hours in the day and week to pray for each of these ministers and churches, and also certain seasons for praying for the different missionary stations. Then followed, under different dates, such facts as these: 'Today,' naming the date, 'I have been enabled to offer what I call the prayer of faith for the outpouring of the Spirit on——church and I trust in God there will soon be a revival there.' Under another date, 'I have today been able to offer what I call the prayer of faith for such a church, and trust there will soon be a revival there.' Thus he had gone over a great many churches, recording the fact that he had prayed for them in faith that a revival might soon prevail among them. Of the missionary stations, if I recollect right, he mentions in particular the mission of Ceylon. I believe the last place mentioned in his diary, for which he offered the prayer of faith, was the place in which he lived. Not long after noting these facts in the diary, the revival commenced, and went over the region of country, nearly I believe, if not quite in the order in which they had been mentioned in his[Pg 51] diary; and in due time news came from Ceylon that there was a revival of religion there. The revival in his own town did not commence till after his death. Its commencement was at the time when his widow put into my hands the document to which I have referred. She told me that he was so exercised in prayer during his sickness, that she often feared he would pray himself to death. The revival was exceedingly great and powerful in all the region; and the fact that it was about to prevail had not been hidden from this servant of the Lord. According to His Word, 'The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.' Thus, this man too feeble in body to go out of his house, was yet more useful to the world and the Church of God, than all the heartless professors of the country. Standing between God and the desolations of Zion, and pouring out his heart in prevailing prayer, as a prince he had power with God, and prevailed." (Finney's Lectures, pp. 112, 113).

Fanny Crosby was blind, yet see how she has blessed the world with her thousands of beautiful hymns, written even down to her old age. Let the weak ones look up and take on fresh courage. "My grace is sufficient for thee," and "He giveth more grace," are promises that should encourage those who are seemingly shut off from opportunities of service. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." The avenue to God in prayer, and the way to hearts are still open. Be of some service still. Like the palm tree, every Christian can be of much use in the world.[Pg 52]

Three young ladies had just graduated from school and were talking over their ambitions in life. One said her great ambition was to be an author and write some great book. Another said her ambition was to be an artist and paint some great picture which might be hung up in some gallery for people to see. The other young lady was silent, and hung her head. Her teacher saw her and remarked that she had not yet expressed her ambitions in life. Finally, she replied: "I know that I do not amount to much, and that I have not much talent, but I was just thinking that my greatest ambition is so to live in this world, that when Jesus finally sees me coming, He can say, 'There comes one who has filled just the niche in the world that I wanted her to fill.'"

As all parts of the palm tree are utilized, so will all of the palm tree saint be consecrated to God, so that God may call upon him at any time for any service which He in His infinite wisdom may require. But it will take a complete yielding up of all one's parts; his spirit, soul and body; his hands to work, his feet to walk, his eyes to see, his ears to hear, his tongue to talk, his mind to think, his heart to love, his talents, time, and earthly store at God's disposal, his family, his service, his all simply abandoned to the Holy Ghost.

Reader, this is the way to be useful, and the way to have all there is of you used. If you are not thus consecrated, look into your experience.

Fifty years ago seven shoemakers in a shop in the city of Hamburg said, "By the grace of God we will[Pg 53] help to send the gospel to our destitute fellow-men." It is said that in twenty-five years they had established fifty self-supporting churches, had gathered ten thousand converts, had distributed four hundred thousand Bibles and eight million tracts, and had carried the gospel to five million of their race. How many men would it take like that to carry the gospel to the world in twenty-five years?

Mrs. Adelaide L. Beers, wife of Rev. Alexander Beers, principal of the Free Methodist Seminary at Seattle, Wash., has furnished the following information concerning a family who moved to Seattle a number of years ago. It beautifully illustrates the thought before us of utility in the Christian life. It not only illustrates utility itself, but like the palm tree, utility of all parts.

Mr. and Mrs. M——, formerly of Goldendale, Wash., had a family of six boys and two girls. Having received the blessing of entire sanctification, and wanting their children educated for God, they felt they could not endanger their souls by placing them in worldly, Christless schools.

They owned a farm at Goldendale, but had little means available. They were not daunted, however, by the difficulties in the way, but with the heroic spirit of the "ancient worthies," they arranged to move to Seattle. The mother took the train, while as many as could, rode in a large wagon, and the others walked, leading several horses and cows. In turn they rode and walked, making the wearisome journey across the[Pg 54] mountains, filled with hope and courage for the future. Soon after the mother's arrival in Seattle, a girl baby was born, being the ninth and last child.

The first year of their stay in their new home was one of great hardship and self-denial. They lived on the plainest food, while every member of the family except the baby worked very hard to obtain a livelihood. The two older girls were already saved and sanctified and were placed at once in the Free Methodist Seminary. The boys were soon entered as students, and one by one converted to God. Two of the little boys, with knee trousers were clearly saved in the children's meeting which was regularly conducted by Mrs. Beers.

A few years of consecrated service and Christian education have passed and we sum up the results. A faithful father and mother have trained their family for heaven, and gladly yielded their all to Christ. The mother has left the toils and cares of earth, and has gone to be with Jesus. One is now at the head of the Free Methodist missionary work in China. Another has been accepted as a missionary to China by the General Missionary Board and is to labor with his brother. One of the daughters is a successful missionary, laboring with her husband, who is at the head of the missionary work in Japan. She received her call while a student in the Seattle Seminary. Another heard the Macedonian call and gladly left all to go to China. One son is filling the principal's chair at the Free Methodist Seminary at Spring Arbor, Mich.,[Pg 55] while another is principal of a high school in Seattle. All the family are saved, and are proving the Scripture true: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." While Sister M—— has finished her work and gone home to heaven, "her children rise up and call her blessed."


[Pg 56]


Search the world over; call for a consensus of opinion in civilized countries and heathen lands, and ask them what is the most appreciated tree in the world, and see if they do not with one voice exclaim, "The palm tree."

In the civilized portions of the globe where the various kinds are not brought into requisition for their extensive utility, yet the beauty of the trees demands that they have a place in the front yards to decorate their surroundings. If any tree at all is used to beautify the place, it is quite sure to be a palm. And when the climate does not admit of outside growth, the hothouse will have its various kinds. But where is there a tree in the world that furnishes so much material for practically all the necessities of life where the palm is indigenous? When we think of the great variety of food, and furniture, building material, and the hundreds of useful articles of every description that are made from some part or other of this most valuable tree, it stands to reason that it occupies the very foremost place of utility and appreciation. There are some places in the world that the inhabitants practically live from the products of the palm. The appreciation[Pg 57] of it could hardly be estimated. Take it away and the people perish.

In the realm of grace, there is an experience that is most appreciated. It is appreciated most by those who are the most familiar with it. It appeals little to those in spiritually frigid zones, who are utterly foreign to its utility; but by those of a warmer climate who know of its valuable properties, it is prized above rubies and diamonds. Just as the Icelander or Greenlander cares nothing for the palm, and perhaps knows nothing of its merits, so the people who dwell in spiritual Arctics do not appreciate the possibilities of this full salvation grace. Ask the possessor of the palm tree blessing what it is worth, and language at once fails. It becomes his very life from day to day. It furnishes his spiritual necessities of life. Cut off its supplies and he would be stranded as quickly as the islander in the tropics, without his real palm.

Let the definite seeker after this blessing reach the point of actual possession, and he will have to pass the station of utmost desire and appreciation. He will reach a want in his soul that will surpass every other desire. He will sell all to purchase that field. It is the pearl of great price to him.

Why do not more people obtain it? Because they are not willing to part with that which stands in the way of its possession. When God says, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled," He gave us a divine philosophy concerning the proper seeking. He wants a seeker to[Pg 58] appreciate what he is after. That which costs nothing is rarely properly appreciated. That which costs a struggle and "all that he hath," will be held in high esteem. The crucifixion route which results in the death of "the old man," and the incoming of the fulness of God, puts one where he would rather part with life itself than this pearl of great price.

We have been amazed at seekers at the altar of prayer; at the listless, lifeless way they have sought. Many times they fail even to make an audible prayer. This is prima facie evidence of a lack of appreciation. When the hunger reaches practical starvation, and the desire becomes sufficient, then the seeker will lay aside all conventionalities and press his claims regardless of people present or opposing foes, and lay hold on the precious prize.

How often have we observed the half-hearted seeker make his indifferent prayer and wait awhile and go away without the blessing sought, when at a later time, when intensity took the place of listlessness, and hunger pressed the soul, the agonizing heart pressed through spiritual chloroform, broke loose the padlock from the lips, and soon was rejoicing in the freedom of full salvation! One time the writer was conducting a meeting in Knoxville, Tenn., and a sister came to the altar a number of times. She wanted the blessing, but did not seem to be enough in earnest, although she prayed aloud each time she came. Finally, we said to the sister, "If you will do what I ask you to do, you will get through in five minutes." Of course she wanted[Pg 59] to know what that was and she certainly would like to get through. We told her to pray like a house afire. Immediately, she took us at our word and started in according to our suggestion. It occurred so suddenly that we wondered if we had not made a mistake and had a fear that it would not be as predicted. To make sure, and unbeknown to the sister, we took out our watch, and timed the prayer. In just three and a half minutes the fire fell and our seeker obtained her heart's desire. While pastor in the city of Los Angeles we had a member who was seeking the blessing of holiness periodically. She would come to the altar and weep and make a nice little prayer, but failed to reach the line of intensity adequate for the blessing. Obtaining nothing she would depart and not be at the altar again for perhaps a couple of months. When a service would reach a specially high tide of power and victory this lady would be down with others seeking holiness. Revival meetings were in progress and she was at the altar one evening, and, as usual, was not receiving. We tried to show her that she should constantly seek till she found; that she should come to the altar every time she had an opportunity till she got through. Finally, we asked her if she would promise to come to the altar one hundred times in succession without a letup, if she did not get the blessing before the hundred times were expired. After awhile she promised thus to do. Immediately we took out our pencil and right under her face we wrote the number 100 on the altar rail, and pointing to it, said, "You[Pg 60] have now promised to come to this altar one hundred times in succession providing you do not get through before." She assented. The following night she was faithful to her promise and got through that night. Intensity, desire, appreciation and determination are all factors in real seeking. Why do so many fail? There is a reason. Here is a soul that seeks one, two, three, or more nights and then ceases. On being asked why the seeking ceased the answer is, "Well, I tried and I did not get anything, and what is the use of trying further?" Now, the Lord took that all in at the start. He knew that the seeking was going to let up, and of course could not consistently bestow the gift under such conditions. If the Lord can look down the road and see that the seeker is going to give up at the end of a week or a month, He certainly has not the gift for one who does not value it more than that. But if He can look down the road and see a pile of bleached bones, or in other words, one who will die in the attempt before he will give up, He sees a heart that is about prepared to receive it now.

We once heard the story of a man who was real hungry for holiness. He was in attendance at some spiritual gathering where a number of people were professing the experience. He cast about in his mind to find some holy man whom he might get to pray with him. After selecting his man, he asked him if he would go into the woods and pray with him that he might obtain the experience of sanctification. The brother was only too glad to go and was ready for the trip[Pg 61] at once. The anxious seeker said, "I have made up my mind that if I do not obtain the blessing at once I am going to remain all night in prayer. Will you stay with me?" The brother responded in the affirmative. "But wait," said the seeker. "If I do not obtain the first night I am going to remain the second night. Will you remain with me?" After a little thought he again answered in the affirmative. He was ready to start, when the seeker declared he was going to remain the third night, then the fourth, until it amounted to a whole week. When he obtained the promise of his friend to stay by him, they started for the woods. After looking about for a good, grassy spot, and one that was nicely sheltered from the dew of the night he said, "This is a good place; let us pray." His knees scarcely touched the grass when he shouted, "Glory to God, I've got it!" Certainly! A good week of solid prayer ought to clear the way for anybody to enter in, and that honest, determined soul had virtually done that thing by faith, and God saw that he was bound to pray through, and so He cut the work short in righteousness and bestowed it upon him on the spot.

There is something about an intensified determination that God honors. The fact is, that He honors faith, and when the seeking soul gets into the state of mind where he feels that he wants the grace more than life, and is determined to have it at any cost, it invariably opens up the way of faith, and the victory at once is his. We once heard of a young man at a campmeeting who was seeking the Lord. When he[Pg 62] came to the altar he curled up with his head in his arms and was perfectly mute. He would neither pray nor answer a question. While others were saved around him, he remained silent, and would leave without any help. This was repeated time and again. He always curled up the same way, and would never say a word to God or man. Finally, the workers, seeing they could not get anything out of him nor help him in any way, agreed among themselves to let him entirely alone. After this he came as usual to the altar, took his usual position, and while others around were praying through, he obtained nothing and went away. After a while it seemed to dawn upon his benighted mind that everybody had forsaken him, and that he had better pray for himself. Accordingly, he threw up his hands and screamed for help at the top of his voice. The merciful Christ, who said, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out," was right present to take him in. In an instant he had the victory and leaped to his feet and shouted, "Glory to God! If it had not been for Jesus Christ, I never would have been saved." Certainly not.

When all earthly hopes are gone, and one is thrown out alone on the merits of Jesus Christ, it is then that faith takes hold and the victory comes. It is certainly a sad sight at the altar when some daughter is crying her way to God in a penitential grief, to have her foolish mother kneel down beside her and begin to stroke her and say, "My dear child, you have always been a good girl." Immediately note how the girl drops the[Pg 63] Lord and goes to leaning on her mother. The repentance stops at once, self-pity takes its place, a soul is arrested in getting saved and may possibly be lost forever. And yet this is being done continually.

Mr. Charles G. Finney tells of a woman in one of his meetings who was much burdened on account of her sins. Mr. Finney was stopping at her house and daily he was called upon to come and pray for the woman. He responded from time to time and prayed for her the best he knew how, but found out that it was doing no good. Finally, the Lord showed him that the woman was depending upon his prayers instead of the Lord. The next time she asked him to come and pray for her, he said, "I will pray for you no more." Heartbroken and alarmed she threw herself on the mercy of the Lord and was saved at once. Christ must be depended upon alone. Other props must go. He needs no earthly help to save a sinner or sanctify a believer.

And when the struggle is over and the pearl of full salvation is found, it will be observed that the harder the struggle and the more it cost, the more will it be appreciated. It is quite apparent that the cause of the fearful decadence of religion on every hand is the failure of obtaining the real thing on the one hand, and the failure to appreciate on the other. How some can claim Christ today and sell Him out tomorrow, is a marvel. The way to appreciate anything is to note what one will be with it, and what he will be without it. What is one with this great pearl in his possession?[Pg 64] He is safe for both worlds. He is saved from inward and outward sin. He has "joy unspeakable and full of glory." He has a life of usefulness ahead and a certainty of everlasting bliss in glory, where he will bear the palm of victory, wear the crown of glory, walk the gold-paved streets of the New Jerusalem, enjoy the presence of Christ and the angels and redeemed loved ones, and sing and shout and shine and serve forevermore. This surely will pay. On the other hand, to fail, means a life of sin and sorrow and suffering here, a loss of souls which one might win to Christ, an awful death bed, a frightful judgment day, and an eternity of remorse and horror and darkness and death and damnation.

Reader, how much is Christ worth? How much do you appreciate His gift? Let us ask some who let it slip. Judas, what is it worth? What is Christ worth to you? The answer is, "Sixteen dollars and ninety-six cents." That was his price for the Savior; the price of a slave in the olden times if he were killed by a beast; the lowest price placed upon a human being. Demas, how much is it worth? The answer is, "The love of this present world," for that is what he obtained. Saul, what is your salvation worth? "The gratifying of a jealous disposition," for he sold out on that line, till it turned to anger, then hatred and then murder, till finally he was utterly forsaken by God, and he turned into a spiritualist, consulted the witch of Endor, went into battle, committed suicide and passed off from the stage of action here. Solomon,[Pg 65] what was yours worth? "Outlandish women," is the answer, not from Solomon's lips, but from the inspired pen of Nehemiah. "Nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin." Young lady, what was the price of your soul? "Mother, hang my fine dresses upon the wall and let me see them. There, mother, is the price of my soul," and she passed out into the darkness of the outer world. Again, young lady, what is the price of your soul? "That young man. I gave up Christ for him. I had to decide between the two, and I took him. Christ has been a stranger to me ever since." Shall we sell out Christ for pleasure, or people, or pursuits, or popularity? God forbid. Let us raise the price of our soul and appreciate the gift of God and let nothing come between.


[Pg 66]


It is such a hardy, thrifty tree, that if it has any chance at all, it will thrive where other trees will fail. Even in the hot sands of the Sahara, its green foliage is seen, and it grows in spite of discouraging environments.

The Holy Spirit made no mistake when He declared that a certain class should flourish like the palm tree. Where will it flourish? Any place in a proper climate where it has half a chance. By the rivers of water, on the rugged mountain side, by the rocky hedges, in the desert sands where scorching sun and swirling simoon have beat upon it, there it grows. It is a flourishing tree.

In the realm of gospel grace, God has made provision for saints to flourish under circumstances that are a wonder to the world.

The outward condition of some of God's people is indeed deplorable. They are surrounded with deepest poverty, in the poorest of health, with a number of small children depending upon them, and in addition to all, they are away from former home and friends. Some women are actually undergoing all this, and to make the desert worse, they have a profligate, abusive[Pg 67] husband further to burden their life. And yet, "the God of all grace" has come into these lives who have abandoned themselves to the Holy Ghost, and proved to them that they are of God's own hand planting, and through His sustaining grace they have flourished in their experiences, even in such desert places. I have no doubt if the reader will cast about in his mind he can recall those of like experience.

"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. * * * And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (Isa. 35:1, 2, 10).

There is nothing else in the world that will cause deep, settled satisfaction in the human heart when the surroundings are of the desert nature. The people of the world draw their pleasure and satisfaction from the things of the world, but these are not calculated to satisfy the longings of the heart. No matter how much one may have in the way of worldly riches, worldly honors, worldly pleasures, there is always a void in the soul, a something that is not satisfied. The human heart is so big, that if the whole world were poured into it, it would not fill one crack or crevice.

When God made the animal creation, He designed that all their pleasure should be obtained from their surroundings—from the things in this world, whether[Pg 68] it be the fish in the stream, the bird in the air, or the wild animal that roams over mountain and glen. But when He made man He put into him desires, hopes, and ambitions that reach out and above this mundane sphere. He never intended that man should draw his satisfaction and enjoyment just from this world. Outside of grace, no one is satisfied, because he is out of his natural, normal, creative element. The little bird, or fish, or other animal is satisfied because it is in its creative sphere. Man, living in sin and away from God and holiness, is dissatisfied, because he is out of his proper element. What is man's creative sphere? "Created in righteousness and true holiness." That is the way God created man, and until man gets back to God, in communion with Him and heaven, he never will have a satisfying portion. "For he satisfieth the longing soul and filleth the hungry soul with goodness" (Psa. 107:9). Without any of this world's goods in the way of riches, honors or pleasures, one abandoned to the Holy Ghost will have a deep sense of soul-satisfaction, and will rejoice in the midst of dismal, desert surroundings.

When Madame Guyon was in the Bastille, a prisoner of the Lord, she declared the Lord made the old stones of the murky wall to shine like rubies.

One of the happiest men it was ever my lot to meet, was one who had nothing of this world to cause his happiness. He was an inmate of the poorhouse at Placerville, Cal. He occupied a small, dingy bedroom all alone, and lay on a cot, afflicted in body, and never[Pg 69] expected to leave it till Jesus said, "Come up higher." While engaged in evangelistic services in that city, we visited him more than once. It was a benediction to enter his presence and behold his smiling face and hear his praises to God. It seemed he was living four-fifths in heaven. He was certainly flourishing like the palm tree in that desert. We had a feeling of sorrow for the dear brother in his affliction, and lent him a book on divine healing, hoping that he might get the inspiration of faith, and trust the Lord to heal him. After we thought he had time to read the little book, we called on him again and asked him what he thought of it, and his answer was about as follows: "I have been thinking that it would be best to let good enough alone. I am getting along so well here and am so blessed, I do not know how it might turn out if I should get well."

Another man, one of the most contented and happy that I ever saw, was a born cripple. He had one arm and a part of another; was so crooked in his lower limbs that it was with great difficulty that he could propel himself with the use of canes. This brother from poverty's dale would hobble out on Fourth street in San Francisco, with his little carpet-bag stool, and basket of trinkets for sale, and sit there reading his Testament, and shine for God. One day this brother handed a man a five dollar gold piece, desiring him to go and get it changed. The dishonest man never returned, but the dear brother never murmured, only said that he could not afford to lose it. Just about[Pg 70] that time a stranger came by and purchased some little article and handed him a five-dollar gold piece and would not accept any change. "In some way or other, God will provide."

Every night found this happy, sanctified cripple at the gospel mission with shining face and victorious testimony. He usually closed his testimony with these words: "This has been a little the best day I ever had in all my life." Brother Cooley is now rejoicing where the streets are made of gold.

Why will souls not learn to seek their pleasure from the right source? With the failure of multiplied millions who have gone on before and those who are now trying to fill their cup with earth's deceiving joys, shall I be such an egotistical fool as to think I can succeed in something when all before me tried and failed? The way of true success is laid down in the Word; "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Josh. 1:8).


[Pg 71]


This marvelous production of nature is not hindered by the scorching sun of the desert, nor is it dependent upon the copious showers of rain. If the rain comes, all well and good; but if it fails, the palm flourishes right on anyway. But it will get to water. If it does not come down from above, then it sends down its roots till they drink at the subterranean stream below. Water it must have and water it will find.

Now, if God has a people that flourish this way, it signifies that they will get where there is the water of life. If the "showers of blessing" are falling in the revival meeting, or campmeeting, or at the regular preaching service, they are sure to be present if possible and "take of the water of life freely." Perchance they are out on some spiritual desert far from any means of grace where the gospel sound is never heard; there they are not dependent upon the revival rains, but they send down the roots of faith till they strike the under-currents, and then with joy they "draw water out of the wells of salvation."

How refreshing to meet with such independent specimens of God's handiwork! If they get to the place of worship where God's people are free, they are a whole campmeeting in themselves. Out of them are[Pg 72] flowing "rivers of living water," because of the Spirit's incoming. They never dry up, nor freeze up, because they keep in touch with the living stream from the heavenly fountain head, and bask in the spiritual tropics where the Sun of righteousness has arisen upon them.

Oh, for more palm tree saints! May we all be so in touch with the reservoir of the skies, that we may say, "All my springs are in thee." Then, no matter whether our lot is with many pilgrims or none, we may flourish on and shine and shout, and show to the world that we are in touch with hidden springs. Amen!

It is certainly a puzzle to the world and worldly minded professors, when one, who has no visible means of enjoyment, keeps up a happy, cheerful experience, and though her lot or his lot is extremely dry, and barren of what generally goes to make people happy, yet the hidden stream is flowing, and that soul is drinking of the fountain that never runs dry. The deep, underlying current has been found and is supplying a peace which the world can not give, nor can it take away.

When the martyrs went to the stake, they had a triumphant tread and a victorious faith and a well-spring of joy which were indeed an enigma to the persecutors.

Who can understand Madame Guyon in her dismal prison cell singing her sweet song, a hundred times happier than those outside, or realize the triumphant joy of the Apostle Paul as he faces the axman's block,[Pg 73] and expresses a gladsome victory over it all, unless he is acquainted with the deep undercurrent of full salvation life?

What would have become of the Apostle John on Patmos' lonely isle, shut off from all associations with kindred spirits on earth, with no prayermeeting nor fellowship such as he had been so accustomed to enjoy, had he not known the way to the hidden springs which brought him in contact with the Eternal? There was no place to banish this pilgrim saint that would shut him off from the water of life. When human hands banished him to an island in the sea, thinking they could cut off his supply, he proved to the world that he could reach the hidden springs and be in touch with the Infinite, in spite of his banishment. God's holy ones are a conundrum to the world. "For we are made a spectacle [theater in the margin] unto the world, and to angels, and to men," and they do not understand the mystery of the hidden glory and springs of life, the very angels desiring to look into some of these mysteries (1 Peter 1:12).

There are some people, when we have not seen them for a few months, we hardly dare to ask them how they are prospering, for fear they will drop their heads and say, "Well, not so well as I would like." They have not been drinking at the fountain. They did not send down their roots and find the under-currents of saving grace; and the result is, they have no victorious testimony to the power of Jesus to save. On the other hand, there are certain individuals, though we have not[Pg 74] seen them for years, we scarcely think of asking them how they are getting along, for we have known of their overcoming life so long, that we naturally take it for granted that it is still well with their souls. We do not expect anything different from the past, except more of it. Many years ago we received a postal card from a brother in a distant city relative to some business. It being a business card, the most of it was printed matter, even his name being printed. The card closed with these words: "Yours saved, H. W. S.——." In thinking the matter over, we observed that in all probability the brother had several hundreds of the cards printed, and he knew very well that it would take some time, perhaps weeks or months, before the last card would be sent out. The thought then was, Brother S——, how did you know that when the last card would be sent out, it would still be, "Yours, saved, H. W. S——?" How did you know but it would be, "Yours, backslidden, H. W. S——?" The fact was, that Brother S—— had made no calculation on backsliding, and he figured that the last card would be just as true as the first. Eight or ten years passed and we received a note from this same brother. Instead of signing his name the way he did before, it was, "Yours saved to the uttermost, hallelujah, H. W. S——." Now, after years had passed and gone, he could still sign his name the same, only more of it.

In the economy of grace, God has made no provision for one to have less grace than in the past. The best experience of one's life should be up-to-date. It is[Pg 75] a sad epoch in one's life when he can take a retrospect and look down the lane of long ago and see a better experience than now. That person has certainly headed toward Egypt that sees the highest plane of his Christian experience, and then gets the consent of his mind to live on a lower plane. "Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection." When the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea they sang and shouted and had a hallelujah time; but their slogan was, "On to Canaan." When finally, the survivors and those who were born on the way crossed the River Jordan, they built a monument, which signified that they had come over there to stay.


[Pg 76]


Where this remarkable tree finds root, and grows, it is almost sure, sooner or later, to cause other palms to spring up; so that it does not need to be alone.

Take it out in the sands of the Sahara, when this product of nature gets started, others spring up, then more, and they bring the moisture to the surface, till the green grass begins to spread, and the springs come, till finally the beautiful oases are found here and there, and make the stopping places for the desert caravans, where the travelers find rest and coolness in the shadows and water for man and beast. There are places in the orient where the Arabs have planted these palms on purpose to start an oasis. Refreshing spot! Prolific palm trees! Reader, are you still measuring up? Are you growing alone? Has no other tree started because of your life and influence? May be you are saying, "We do not have any holiness meetings or prayermeetings where we live." But why? If not, why not? Is there not a kitchen in your house? What hinders you from having a good prayermeeting, or Sunday school there? Be careful, or you will not find yourself flourishing like the palm tree. Surely, you ought to get another tree started; then, by that one's[Pg 77] influence, get another, then another, till springs arise in your desert place, and the spiritual oasis will call for the desert traveler to come and rest and drink.

Never rest contented to grow alone; it is too lonesome. It is neither like nature nor grace. Get some one else saved, or find out the reason why. We know a man who once held a prayermeeting in a schoolhouse six months before anybody else attended. Finally, they began to come and it resulted in a revival. See the persistence of some of the foreign missionaries. Think of the hardships of those early pioneers who blazed their way through dark continents, and with a determination to win, they pressed their way through and with faith and prayer and continuous efforts, they saw the fruit of their labor in others finding Christ as their personal Savior. With David Livingstone's heart in the middle of Africa, his sun-dried mummy in Westminster Abbey, his spirit in the glory world, do you not think he is glad he got others started to carry on his work in the land of darkness? If John G. Paton, taking his life in his hands, could go into the New Hebrides, and there brave the awful hardships and dangers of those cannibal islands, and finally win out and see them converted to God like a nation born in a day, does it not look as if you, my dear reader, ought to start the work somehow in your midst, and get hold of God by fasting and prayer, and never give up till an oasis is started in your community? "Where there is a will, there is a way." It takes grit and grace, but God's storehouse has never yet been exhausted, and[Pg 78] there is yet the man to be born that has proved all the possibilities of grace.

Cast about in your mind and think of that person, perhaps only a lassie or lad, that found Christ, and though persecuted at home at first, yet, by faithful perseverance, finally won the whole family to God. Think of that one who dropped into the revival meeting some distance from his home and found the Lord, and then carried the fire back to his own community and the revival broke out there. Think of those faithful pilgrims who have moved far out into some frontier settlement and stood firm for God and holiness, and finally got a meeting started and today the church flourishes in their midst. They had the experience that flourishes like the palm tree.

There is something in the very nature and heart of the palm tree saint that longs and plans for the planting of God's kingdom among men. If one is so situated that he is isolated from sanctified people, he is not going to sit down on the stool of do-nothing and wither up and die; but he will begin to cast about and see what he can do to start a Sunday school, or a prayermeeting, or send for a holiness preacher. He must get other palms started in his community. Dr. Carradine tells the story of the two women at the toll bridge in Kentucky who got the blessing of sanctification and set about praying for a holiness meeting in their community. They prayed long and faithfully and would not give up. Somebody heard of their experience and visited them, then wrote an article about them and[Pg 79] put it in the paper. A preacher providentially saw the article many miles from their abode, but it so got hold of his heart that he made up his mind to see them and get the same thing. God honored his desire and faith and was answering their prayer at the same time. This brother received the blessing and so preached it that others in his church received the same. At the conference this brother was persecuted on account of the newfound blessing of holiness, but he had grace enough to stand and endure and not retaliate. Dr. Carradine saw the abundant grace in this brother's heart and life, and it made him hungry for the same thing. In due time the persecuted brother was invited to hold a revival meeting in Dr. Carradine's church, which resulted in the doctor's getting the experience himself. Time passed on and finally the prayers of these two faithful women were answered, in that Dr. Carradine held a meeting in their town and led a number of others into the experience. These two palm tree saints felt a spiritual loneliness in being there without others growing, and so they never rested till they had a grove of them.

A certain preacher who was also a carpenter in southern California, was about to move to some new place. He carefully thought the matter over and decided to move to a place where he hoped in the near future to plant a grove of palm tree saints. He thought he and his family might form a nucleus and thus establish the church of his choice (for it was a holiness church) in that place. Accordingly he went, and worked at his trade and preached what he could and[Pg 80] got as many interested as he was able, and after a while the writer, together with a fine band of workers, went to this town and pitched a tent and began to preach holiness. Before we left we established a church, with this brother as pastor, and now after a very few years, this brother is enjoying holiness in the heavenly world, and the church planted in that town is flourishing, having built a church and parsonage. There is something in it that wants to get others started. That is the secret of successful missionary work among the heathen. Carey leaves the cobbler's bench and sails across the seas and soon has his palm grove growing in India's soil. Paton moves to the Hebrides and jeopardizes his life among the savages, but never lets up till he sees the groves flourishing in that dark and dreary land. Livingstone plunges into darkest Africa alone, but he does not remain alone; God reaches those black and benighted savages and turns them into saints, and the oases begin on African soil. And so on all over the world today are being planted God's palm tree saints who are getting others started and the big world is now being dotted with palm tree groves. Thank God forever. Reader, where are you living? Is your abode far off from sanctified people? Do not get discouraged; God answers prayer. Do your best, and the first thing you know you will have some one to take his place by your side to push the work, and who knows but that in a short time there may be a flourishing community of full salvation saints there?


[Pg 81]


It would seem that the variety of palms which climbs upward into the sky, was bent on getting as far from the earth and as near heaven as possible. They ascend till they outstrip the other trees, and seemed determined to get above swamp, miasma and everything else of a groveling nature. There, in their exalted sphere, they wave their perennial boughs, and bear their fruit, and bask in the beautiful sunshine, and live in an element truly above the world.

Are you flourishing like that? Is there something divine in your very being that makes you ambitious to rise as far above this world of sin and as near heaven as it is possible to get? Can you sing from experience,

"I rise to walk in heaven's own light,
Above the world and sin;
With heart made pure and garments white,
And Christ enthroned within?"

God has chosen us to sit together in heavenly places above the mist and fog and spiritual malaria of this sin-laden world. With the palm tree blessing in our souls, we are not yearning for the flesh-pots of Egypt. The leeks and garlic and onions of the past Egyptian[Pg 82] diet have no charms for such a one. He has risen to heavenly heights, where he catches the smiles of his Savior and is enabled really to look down on things terrestrial.

When Pharaoh was pressed by Moses and Aaron to let the children of Israel go, he first refused, then tried to compromise by letting them worship the Lord "in the land." When this failed, he tried the second compromise and said he would let them go, "only ye shall not go very far away." Pharaoh was certainly a long-headed schemer. He knew if they did not get very far away, he would not have very far to go after them. Then, again, he knew if they were not very far away, and had a hard time to get something to eat, they would not have far to get back and fill up on garlic and onions.

It is just that way with Pharaoh's antitype, the Devil. He first refuses to let his subjects go. Then if they are bound to go and be Christians he tries to get them to do their religion "in the land;" that is, remain in the world and be worldly professors. How many are really deceived at this point! When the Devil sees that this compromise will not take, he tries the next one and says if they are bound to be Christians, all right and good, but "ye shall not go very far away."

How many poor deluded souls bite at this bait! They do not get very far away from Egypt, and certainly the Devil has not very far to go after them. Then, when they fail to get enough in their religion[Pg 83] to satisfy the longing desires of their hearts, they naturally turn toward the flesh-pots of Egypt, and should they feel abashed because of their church profession in going outright to the theater, dance, card parties and other worldly amusements, they get them up in the name of the church and religion, and have a fourth class performance in the church, or enjoy the fun and frolic of strawberry festivals, bean suppers, oyster stews, grab-bags, fish ponds, and so on ad libitum. They may try to hide the smell of their Egyptian diet, but anybody can tell when one has been eating onions and garlic.

Thank God some folks got such a boost when they left Egypt, that they never long for any of the former life. Like the palm tree, they are above it all.

Imagine the Apostle Paul attending the performances which some churches have these days! There are pilgrims scattered over the world today so lofty in their spiritual makeup, that to stoop to the level of the pleasures of the worldly professors would be so utterly incongruous that it would border on the ridiculous.

The palm tree blessing is a high blessing. It is the "higher life" indeed. "And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it" (Isa. 35:8).

"There is a path which no vulture's eye hath seen." This is the path of the pilgrim. It is so high that the vulture in his aerial flights has never yet been able to look down upon it. Pity such a person? Never! The world thinks they are looking down upon us, but[Pg 84] no worldling on this mundane globe ever looks down on the palm tree saint as he walks the narrow, heavenly trail, practically oblivious of conditions below. Let not any worldling think that he is looking down on God's holy ones; they are looking down on him and they are so far above, that he looks like a mere dot upon the surface.

The minds of many are turned toward the airships of the day. The aviators are vying with each other in long distances, speed, altitudes, and endurance; but the palm tree saints have solved the problems of aviation long ago. They have an heirship, though it may not be spelled exactly like those of the world, yet, for altitude, endurance, speed, and long traveling, it perfectly eclipses them all. The aviator of the world may break the world's record today, and break his neck tomorrow, but the possibilities of the Christian aviator are exceedingly charming and the dangers are reduced to naught. He is safer in his heirship than on the earth. Borne upward on the wings of faith, pushed onward by the propeller of perfect love, with a lateral stability which is a marvel to many who gave him "just three weeks to hold out," he is still rushing on toward the meridian sun, and has been out of sight for years. He never expects to come down again. Some day he will fly so far away from earth's attraction, and get so near heaven, that the gravitation, inversely to the square of their distances, will pull so in the other direction, that he will sail into glory and drop his pardon and purity biplane[Pg 85] on the gold-paved streets of the New Jerusalem, amidst the shouts and cheers of the angelic host and the multitudes that have sailed in before, there to enjoy an eternal "aviation meet" with prizes and crowns of glory for all.


[Pg 86]


We have in the botanical world the exogenous and the endogenous tree. The exogenous tree grows by adding to its exterior. Year after year adds layers or rings to the outside, thus increasing its size. It is in this way that scientists are enabled to determine the age of trees. Some of the mammoth trees of California show an age of many hundred years. Most of the trees with which we have to do are of the exogenous type.

The endogenous tree increases by internal growth. The palm tree is endogenous. Its growth is internal; out from the center and out at the top.

How exact to the analogy was the Holy Spirit when He inspired the statement, that "the righteous shall flourish like the palm tree"! The palm tree saint does not have his growth from the external, pushing out along the lines of earth, and parallel to things of the world; but his growth is internal, and upward toward God and heaven, and perpendicular or diametrically opposed to the world, the flesh and the Devil.

When the Holy Spirit gave us a picture of the sinner, it was "spreading himself like a green bay tree." A glance at the margin of this text will reveal that the green bay tree indicates one that is growing in its own[Pg 87] soil. It has never been transplanted. It remains in the same old conditions and environments. It spreads out on the earth and clings to things terrestrial. Thus, the sinner, growing in the same soil, in the same surroundings and conditions of sin year after year, having never been transplanted nor translated from nature's darkness to the marvelous light of God, pushes out along worldly lines and worldly pleasures, knowing nothing of the internal developments of grace, nor upward growth toward God and glory.

Whenever a professing Christian spreads out with worldly ambitions, is determined to lay up his treasures upon earth, hungering more for the adjoining quarter section of land than for the mansions beyond, determined to have a name down here at the risk of having none in heaven, he certainly is far from the palm tree type.

With Christ crowned inside, and all the elements of Christian growth firmly planted within the heart, no wonder there are inward developments unseen by mortal eye, that expand the saint's soul more and more as the years roll on, and enable him to rise more and more above terrestrial things to heights in the heavenlies.

With the secret of growth internal, it is not hindered by elements external, for one's life "is hid with Christ in God." How comforting, then, to the soul, to know that his secret growth is so far from external things, that neither trials, tests, troubles, tribulations, persecutions, disappointments, losses, crosses, circumstances,[Pg 88] men, nor devils can necessarily hinder him from pushing out and up in the divine life.

In the earlier days of persecution of holiness professors, how often the fighting faction has tried to snow some of God's fire-baptized saints under, only to see them rise up through the snowdrift, with perennial freshness and smiling face ready for the next cold blizzard of snow. Or, perhaps it was a wet blanket suddenly thrown over them and their testimony, but the fire within only burnt its way through and turned the wet into steam and proved the possessor to be practically invulnerable. It is indeed hard to cut off one's growth when it comes from within. There may be a momentary check at times when unforeseen obstacles are thrust in one's way, but the growth producing qualities within assert themselves and burst out with increasing force which make the tormentors wonder "what next?"


[Pg 89]


In spite of its symmetry, its wonderful beauty and its perennial freshness, the palm tree has rather a harsh exterior. But being an endogenous tree, its pithy interior makes it always soft at the center, or heart.

In the realm of grace, we often find some of God's best saints with a somewhat coarse-grained exterior. They may be uncouth, unlettered, uncultured, and reared in the backwoods, but they can look up with Job and say, "He maketh my heart soft."

While Christian education is to be prized, and culture to be much esteemed, there are some who have not had these advantages, yet have proved by actual experience that God's grace is free for all, and a clean, soft heart can abide beneath a rough exterior.

Methinks Elijah, with his rough garments and shaggy hair, had underneath his crude exterior one of the softest hearts of his time. John the Baptist, with camel's hair clothing, leathern girdle, and locust pabulum had a kind, soft heart within.

Sometimes God's people are much misunderstood because of their natural uncouthness and blunt manners,[Pg 90] when, if their hearts could be seen, they would appear whiter than snow and softer than silk. Thank God, He knows.

The beautiful blessing of "perfect love" has been often misunderstood. Some seem to think it is a sort of lovey-dovey, sentimental something that makes its possessor smile on everybody and everything no matter what the moral quality may be. Perfect love sometimes assumes the rugged type, and deals along drastic lines. It can weep with those who weep, but when there is a very critical operation to perform, there may be no place for tears just then, for tears would blind the eyes.

Elijah, whose heart was full of perfect love, came to a place where the false prophets had to be exterminated, and he had grace and grit enough to carry out the heaven-appointed program.

John the Baptist, whose experience Jesus Christ himself did not question, could face the hypocritical church members and say, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance" (Matt. 3:7, 8).

No, perfect love deals death blows where death blows are needed. A mad dog is running loose in the street. Children are playing on the opposite corner. Some one rushes out with a bludgeon in his hand, and jeopardizes his life, but he lays out the mad dog. Some sentimental on-looker asks, "Was that love that prompted you to treat that dog thus?" He answers,[Pg 91] "Yes; love for those innocent children over on the corner."

A man is drowning. In vain he struggles and screams. He is about to perish, when a stalwart specimen of humanity swims out and deals the poor man a terrible blow in the proper place to stun him. He ceases to struggle, and the expert life-saver swims ashore and lays his man at the feet of rejoicing friends. Some one says, "Was that love that made you strike that poor, helpless man?" He replies, "Yes; if I hadn't stunned him, he would have drowned himself and me too."

A freight train was pulling into an Illinois town in the night. The crew saw a building on fire and had reason to believe that a friend was upstairs in a certain room. The train was stopped and two men rushed to the scene of the fire. Up the stairs they mounted and never stopped to knock at the chamber door, but rushed to the slumberer. There was no time for ceremonies. They grabbed the man and dragged him down the stairs most abruptly. They had scarcely reached the outside when the stairway fell in, and had they been a minute later all would have been lost. Imagine that rescued victim complaining of harsh treatment, skinned shins and sprained ankles! Love made the rescuers adopt speedy and most drastic measures and nothing else would have saved.

When the writer was a small boy in Iowa, a presiding elder of the M. E. church lived in his town. He was an exceedingly corpulent man, weighing something[Pg 92] over three hundred fifty pounds. One day he was taken very sick and a physician prescribed for him, leaving the medicine in the form of powders for him to take. The great, big preacher looked at the small powders and then at his bigness, and said to himself: "I am so large I think I would better take two of them." He accordingly took a double dose and soon discovered that they were putting him to sleep. His family and friends saw the awful mistake he had made, and determined to use desperate measures to keep him awake, or they well knew they would soon have a dead presiding elder on their hands. Accordingly, love went to work. They walked him about, switched him, and punished him in any way their quickened ingenuity could invent. In vain he begged them to let him alone and sleep, but they threshed him and punished him till they wore off the effect of the opiate and saved his life. Would any one question the promptings of love that led those people to give their presiding elder such a beating? I trow not.

Did Jesus Christ love when He drove the money changers out of the temple at the end of a whip? Did Daniel have love when he faced the wicked Belshazzar and told him of his sins at the risk of his own life? Was there love in Jeremiah's heart when he swore to the truth and changed not, even if he did land in the dark, miry dungeon? Where was Joshua's love when he put his foot on the necks of the Canaanitish kings? What about Samuel and Agag? Look over the history of the Old and New Testaments and note some of the[Pg 93] rugged measures taken by God's prophets and others, and see that it was not always of the easy-going, soft-gloved, alligator-teared type.

In the far North, when it was an object to get the mail over those bleak, barren plains, with the thermometer many degrees below zero, one frightfully frigid morning the express driver was bundled up for his long, cold ride in his sleigh. Just as he was about to start, a rather scantily dressed woman came up with a baby in her arms, and told the driver that she had just received news of her husband's death, and she must go to him. He remonstrated with her and tried to show her that she could never stand the cold trip; that she would certainly freeze on the way. But his words were futile, for she climbed into the sleigh and was determined to go to her husband. Finding that he could not prevail upon her to desist, he tucked her in the bottom of the sleigh, piled the straw around, placed the wraps about her and her baby and started on. As they progressed, the cold grew more and more intense. The icy flakes began to fill the air, and the wind was cutting its way through to the very marrow. Finally, the driver saw the poor woman nodding, and discovered the sleepy droop of her eyelids. He thought, "Oh, the poor woman is freezing to death and what shall I do?" He hastily tried to think of some way of saving her life, when suddenly he stopped the sleigh, and quietly, without saying a word, took the baby from her arms and lifted the freezing form of the woman into the road; then he took the babe in his own arms and[Pg 94] drove on. At first she staggered and stumbled around and then seemed to come to herself and discovered that the driver was actually running off with her baby. The chase then began in good earnest. He managed to keep just far enough ahead to encourage her in her desperate run. Finally, he saw the glow return to her cheek, and knew that the warm blood was again coursing through her body, and then he quietly let her in, placed the babe in her arms, snugly tucked them in and drove on to their destination. At the journey's end she said, "Oh, how I thank you for what you did! If you had not done that, my baby would have been an orphan tonight." Rough treatment was that; but it was prompted by love. Judging from the exterior appearance, it surely looked rough and frightfully cruel; but a heart of kindness was beneath it all.

A certain phrenologist was giving a public exhibition showing the science of phrenology. A well-known citizen was on the platform having his cranium and physiognomy examined, the result of which was being communicated to the audience. The man had some very prominent bumps and features which indicated a disposition far from pleasant, and the examiner was telling it out to the congregation as one striking, ugly point after another was discovered. As the phrenologist proceeded from one statement to another, delineating the man's character, the congregation first smiled, and then burst into laughter. The professor was actually describing the man opposite to what he really was. They knew the man, and it excited their risibilities to[Pg 95] see the scientist so far miss the mark. Of course it was embarrassing to him, but on concluding his talk, the gentleman who had been examined asked if he might say a word. He then told the people that the phrenologist had told the truth and had given a very accurate description of his natural disposition; that he had perfectly pictured out his former life; that the reason why he was not that way now, was because of the grace of God that had come into his life. Grace had made the change, but the old, rough exterior was not worn off, and the phrenologist had judged from the appearance.

Let us not judge by the external simply. Like the palm tree, one may be crude and rough outside, but inside he may meet the loving approbation of God.


[Pg 96]


This is unlike the life of all the exogenous trees, which is at the surface, or rather just beneath the bark. When the life-giving sap circulates along the length of these trees, it moves in its course close to the outside surface. When the maple tree is tapped they catch this flow of sap, because it is near to the outside. When farmers want to destroy a tree, all they have to do is to girdle it, or, in other words, cut the bark down to the wood all around the tree, and thus stop the circulation of sap, and the tree soon withers and dies. Such a tree can not stand too much abuse. If it is chopped and hacked and peeled, or girdled, it seems to discourage it, and it gives up and dies. Not so with the palm tree. It has its life at the center. One may rip it and peel it and girdle it, and it grows just the same; it has a hidden life. We have actually seen a row of palms which had been burnt, and yet they had pushed out of their dismal darkness, and thrown out fresh foliage. They do not get discouraged and quit when the odds are against them.

Does the reader still find himself flourishing like the palm tree? The perplexing and persecuting times[Pg 97] will come more or less to all of us, and then how we will need the palm tree blessing!

Take the professor of religion minus the real possession, and let him be placed under the distressing ordeal of certain lines of adversity. Let him be cut with the cruel tongue of the talker, peeled with popular prejudice, girdled with the scalpel of the religious dissecter, crunched by cruel cannibals who love to devour one another, and see how quickly the spiritual sap ceases to flow. See how soon he withers and shrinks up and says, "What is the use of trying any more; I might as well give up my religion." He may not come out openly and above board and declare his intentions, but that is about the outcome. But see how it works on the palm tree saint, whose life is "hid with Christ in God." Drag him through the streets by the hair of his head as they did John Wesley; incarcerate him as they did John Bunyan; incinerate him as they did the martyrs of old; excommunicate him and revile him as they did some in our own day; ecclesiastically decapitate him and skin him alive and girdle him clear around, and then see him leap and dance, and sing and shout "Hallelujah! You can't hurt me, for I have the palm tree blessing, and my life is hidden inside." The sap flows right on, and, though the outside may be somewhat worse for the wear, yet the Christ-life within surmounts it all and shouts its victorious way over all obstacles.

Had the early saints not known this wonderful blessing, they surely would have failed in the struggles[Pg 98] of life. Hear the Apostle Paul as he faces the guillotine block: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

Hear the Apostle John on that dreary Isle of Patmos: "He that overcometh, shall inherit all things." "These are they which come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

See the martyrs all down the ages with an inner current of joy as they faced fagots, and with unfaltering step gave up their lives and flew to heaven in chariots of fire. There were no outside punishments that could cut off their life flow. It was hidden so deep that stripes, nor stocks, nor sword, nor stones, nor any other kind of affliction or infliction could reach its fountain head.

There are those of our present day who know by actual experience the joys of this inner, invulnerable gift. Had it not been for this, they would have been swept into the vortex of discouragement and despair long ago. O, the unspeakable joy of a life that is not superficial, but hidden so deep that the Devil's darts or any of his devices can not reach it!

How is it that sister can sing and smile when a[Pg 99] thousand trials conspire to cut off the flow of holy joy? Because she has the palm tree blessing, and her life of devotion and blessing is not external where the things of earth can reach it.

When one murmurs and complains, and finds fault with environments and the things which would tend to annoy, let him know that he is living at the external, and does not know the joys of internal rest where these things do not intrude. Thank God for an inner current of holy life, which flows on, supplying the life more abundant and keeping the soul in blessed equipoise amidst the surging of life's storms.

So we see that the palm tree is endowed with an abundant life. Jesus said in John 10:10, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." The palm tree is certainly a fine type or illustration of life more abundant. Now, if the Christian is to measure up alongside of this characteristic, then he must have that which Jesus meant by the more abundant life. It is not sufficient to have life in Christ; he must have it abundantly.

What is this life more abundant? Look at the schoolboys as they file out of school. They can scarcely contain themselves, having been pentup through the day. Some are yelling, some are running and some are manifesting their life in other ways. They seem to have more than they know what to do with. Look at the stall-fed calf. See it gamboling over the meadow. Notice the lambs frisk and frolic. Every action signifies abundant life. This is all physical life; yet[Pg 100] the Holy Ghost coming into the believer's heart and life will impart the spiritual life more abundant. Wherever there is life, we may hope to see the manifestation of that life. If there is life more abundant, then we may hope to see more abundant manifestations of that life. The sinner is dead in trespasses and sins. The believer is made alive in Jesus Christ. The difference between a Christian and a sinner is the difference between a living body and a corpse. If a funeral was in progress and Jesus Christ should come by as He did when the procession was on the way from Nain to the cemetery, and speak life into the dead body, how long would it be before the person in the coffin would find it out, and also the people looking on? When a soul is born again, regenerated by power divine, there are manifestations of that life, and the individual certainly finds it out, and it is obvious to those who know him. Where there are no manifestations of life it is certainly taxing to one's credulity to believe there is life. The other day we read in the paper of a funeral in progress, and in the midst of the service the child who was dead or supposed to be, arose in the casket and looked quietly around. The grandmother sitting near by was so shocked at the sight that she instantly fell over dead. It would not take the observers long to ascertain that the child on the one hand was alive and that the grandmother on the other hand was dead. There is too much in these latter days that passes for life when it is death. It is certainly a marvelous experience to be made alive unto God. We pick up a paper and read of[Pg 101] a certain revival where hundreds and perhaps thousands have been converted. The question is: Have they really been made alive from the dead, or have they simply made a resolution and joined the church?

We have never been very visionary, nor have we been carried away in trances; but we did have a dream once that we felt sure was from the Lord; at least the interpretation came so clearly and quickly at the moment of waking, that we have felt the Lord's hand was in it. The dream ran thus: We had gone into a cemetery and followed a lady into a tomb. At the center of this tomb was a casket. The lady walked up to the casket and quietly lifted the lid and laid it aside. She then gently placed her hands inside the casket and lifted out of it the form of a young man. This young man seemed to come to life as she took him out. She then placed him on her lap, took a clothes brush and nicely brushed his clothes. He then stood up. We were standing near the wall, and this young man was observed to roll a cigarette between his fingers and looking our way, asked for a match. We had none for that purpose and never do. Immediately we said, "Just out of the grave and yet he continues in his sins." Then the lady gently took this young man and laid him within the casket, and he was as dead as before. The lid was placed in shape and immediately we awoke, whereupon a voice seemed to say clearly, "This is a modern revival." And is it not true? Do they not have many who stand up or sign their names and join the church? They seem to have a little life[Pg 102] for awhile; are brushed up and stood up, when, lo, and behold the old sinful life clings to them, and in a few days they are back in their old state of death just as dead as before. Surely, this is not the kind of life Jesus came to bring.

Now, if in the incipient life which Jesus brings, there are manifestations of the same, does it not hold true that in the life more abundant there should be expected greater manifestations of that life? We read that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc. This obtains in the justified relation, when the power of an endless life begins to work in the heart and life of an individual. Then when that life becomes more abundant in the sanctified experience, the love, joy, peace, and all the rest are more abundant. In pardon we have love; in purity, perfect love. In pardon we have joy; in purity, fulness of joy. In pardon we have peace; in purity perfect peace. In pardon we have salvation; in purity, full salvation. In pardon we have life; in purity life more abundant. Surely, the sanctified soul ought to manifest more love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and the rest of the imparted graces than those who do not enjoy sanctification. Alas, too many who profess this "second blessing, properly so-called," do not manifest it in their lives. The palm tree abundance seems to be wanting. When our dear mother was very old, and did not always get her letters properly connected in her letter writing, one time she wrote us a letter in which she spoke of the blessing of sanctification. She got all the letters[Pg 103] in, but placed the "c" before the "a" and made it spell "scantified." We thought that was true of far too many; their sanctification is scantification; alas, far too scant.

We had this life more abundant wonderfully illustrated on a certain occasion while holding a meeting in the city of Indianapolis. We stepped into a doctor's office and observed a platform about four feet square. This platform was perfectly insulated by having glass feet beneath. The object of the platform was to form a place for an individual to sit and then fill him full of electricity. A chair was placed on this platform, and we were asked to take a seat on it. At first we were somewhat dubious. We had read of the electrocuting chair, and did not know to just what extent the lightning might be turned on. After a little persuasion, and looking at the matter rather philosophically, thinking that others had been there without being killed, we ventured to take a seat. At once the power was turned on and in a moment every hair on our head was standing straight up, we observed in the mirror. The power went through and through our body from head to foot. It felt glorious, and no one needed to tell us that something was going on inside. The doctor placed his hand near our body, and a sharp crack was heard, a spark of lightning flew out to meet him. Every time the hand approached any part of us, the report was heard and lightning would flash. Our friend was sitting near and he was asked to shake hands with us, whereby he responded, "No, you don't."[Pg 104] He felt there was too much going on for him to trifle with lightning that way. Now, we would not want to convey the thought, that necessarily when one obtains the blessing of holiness there will be felt electric shocks throughout his being; but we do mean to say that when an individual places himself and all that he has on God's platform of consecration, and becomes perfectly insulated from this world, that God will turn on the power of the sanctifying baptism with the Holy Ghost, and that individual will surely know that the mighty work has taken place. And not only the one who receives the blessing will be cognizant of the fact, but others who come in contact with him will ascertain the same. To say that one has the blessing of holiness, but has no power, is to say what is not true. To say, "I am still sanctified, but I have lost the power," is to speak contradictory to the Word of God. There are some things which God has joined together, and surely we have no right to put them asunder. When the individual becomes perfectly insulated from the world and worldliness, and makes proper connection with the dynamos of the skies, something is surely going to happen.

Once we heard a preacher tell an experience he had when a telegraph operator. It sometimes fell to his lot to go down the line and see what caused obstructions to the messages. One time while out on such duty he observed the line was broken. Usually he took along with him a telegraph instrument with which to send and receive messages. This time he had neglected to[Pg 105] carry such an instrument. He saw the importance of sending back a message, but having no instrument, he did not see how it could be done. At length he thought of placing the two ends of the wire together, and by joining them in the proper way he could use the Morse code of dots and dashes, etc. He accordingly tried the experiment and it worked so successfully that he managed to get a message through to the office. The next thing was, how could he get a message from the office to himself? He could not hear the dots and dashes as they might pass along the wire to him. Finally, the thought struck him, that he could make his body a means of transmission of the message. Accordingly, he took hold of one end of the wire with one hand and the other wire with the other hand, when here came along the message and passed right through his body, making the dots and dashes of the system perceptibly realized by the jerking of the hands and arms. Here he had hold of one wire connected with the office, and with the other hand he had grasped the wire that connected with the other side and through him came the message. Would to God that more people had learned the secret of perfect insulation, and could have their very being so transformed that they would become channels through which the Holy Ghost could pour His own messages of divine truth out on a careless and deceived world! We need to become channels of life, abundant life to a lost and ruined world.

The world is perishing for life. The old humdrum of lifeless religion is too repulsive. When a certain[Pg 106] noted preacher was asked why more people did not attend church, the answer was, "Because they can not stand the humdrum." There is something about life that is attractive. A jumping, laughing, rollicking baby always attracts attention. The frisking lamb, the playing pups, the rollicking children, all attract. Folks don't like death. Funerals are sad. Graveyards are quiet places. The heart of man cries out for life. God puts a spiritual hunger within the breast for the life more abundant. The lifeless, emotionless, joyless prayermeeting or preaching service never had its origin in the pentecostal upper room. They are not the congregations of Spirit-filled, fire-baptized souls. David said, "My cup runneth over." Isaiah said in that memorable twelfth chapter, that people would do five things: praise, pray, testify, sing, and shout. Then he gives as a cause for it all, that "Great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." And it is true to the letter. When God gets in the midst of people there are these beautiful manifestations. The people praise the Lord, call upon His name, make mention that His name is exalted, sing and shout. When the meeting dies, these things are wanting. "Life, life, eternal life!" Let this be our cry till the dead wake up, and the slumbering church arouses from its stupor, and the pulpit pulsates with pentecostal fire.

The last thing a person wants to meet is death. No wonder it is termed an enemy. If then death is so dreaded in the material world, why should we not abhor spiritual death? Thank God we do not need[Pg 107] to have it around. With Christ the very embodiment of life, who was dead, but now is alive forevermore; with heaven's mighty reservoir of the elixir of life at our command, there is no need of spiritual cemeteries. We do not have to leak out our life because somebody said so; because some persecutor said something detrimental to us, or used some weapon of war against us. Did not martyrs of old face death at every turn? Paul said, "I die daily." He was in constant jeopardy. He never could tell when an angry mob would swoop down upon him, or he would be cast to the wild beasts. Yet none of these things moved him. He had a life like the palm tree, so hidden inside that external things did not affect. Indeed some of the early martyrs seemed to be endowed with miraculous physical life. It is recorded that the Apostle John was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil, but was miraculously delivered, the oil having no effect on him.

When Blandina, a Christian lady, was undergoing such tremendous tortures by her persecutors, though weak in her constitution, yet she sustained such aid from heaven, that her tormentors several times became weary in their wicked work, and declared that she must have been supported by some invisible power.

Sanctus was a deacon at Vienne. He was tortured for Jesus' sake and bore it all with marked fortitude and exclaimed, "I am a Christian." When red-hot plates were applied repeatedly to the most sensitive parts of his body, till the sinews were contracted, still he remained unmovable, inflexible in his steadfastness,[Pg 108] and he was again placed in prison. In a few days he was brought forth again, when his tormentors were wonderfully astonished to find that his wounds were healed and his body sound and perfect. He was again put to the torture, but being unable to take his life, he was again remanded to prison, where soon afterward he was beheaded.

We may not be called upon to suffer physical torture at the hands of heartless persecutors in these days, but "They that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." We surely will have it in some form if true to God. The world does not love our Christ. Jesus told His own brothers that the world could not hate them, but it hated Him, because He told them their deeds were evil. When our persecutors come, what are we going to do? If we have the palm tree blessing, we have a life hidden so deep that the world can not reach it. This life is a heart life. It does not lie on the surface where the enemy's tortures can reach it. Look at the sainted martyrs in the early day; how they endured the afflictions that were heaped upon them, without a murmur, and would not flinch, nor compromise a hair's breadth. Their tormentors were taxed to the extreme in devising modes of suffering by which they hoped to succeed in getting the Christians to deny Christ. In order to show the real hidden life of the palm tree saint we will record the case of two martyrs as told in "The Historic Martyrs of the Primitive Church," by A. J. Mason.

Probus was presented. "Put away all foolish language,"[Pg 109] said Maximus, "and tell me what you are called."

"My first and best name is Christian; my second, by which men call me, is Probus."

"Of what station in life?"

"My father was a Thracian, but I was born at Sida in Pamphilia. I am a civilian, but a Christian."

"Little good you will get from that name. Follow my advice, and sacrifice to the gods, that you may receive honor from the emperors, and be a friend of mine."

"I do not want the honor of the emperors, nor am I anxious for your good offices. I had a considerable property, but I gave it up, to serve the living God through Christ."

"Take off his cloak. Gird him up. Put him at the stretch. Beat him with thongs of rawhide."

The compassionate centurion, Demetrius, again spoke: "Spare yourself, man; you see your blood running to the ground."

"My body is at your disposal," answered Probus. "But your punishments to me are an anointing with sweet ointments."

After a time Maximus began again his attempts at persuasion: "Will you not have done with this madness now? Do you persist in it, unhappy man?"

"I am not mad. I am wiser than you. I do not serve devils."

"Turn him over and beat him on the belly."

"Lord, help thy servant."[Pg 110]

"As you beat him, say, 'Christian man, where is your helper?"

"He has helped, and He helps me still. I care so little for your punishment, that I will not obey you."

"Think of your body, unhappy wretch. All the floor is covered with the blood from it."

"Let me tell you this: the more my body suffers for Christ's sake, the better it is for the health of my soul."

"Put him in irons, and stretch him to the fourth hole. Let him have no attention paid to him."

Tarachus is then brought before Maximus.

"Well, well, Tarachus," said Maximus. "I suppose that the reason why people honor old age is because of the greater wisdom in counsel that comes with it. Therefore, give yourself good advice, and do not today persist in your former notions, but sacrifice to the gods, and earn the praise of piety."

"I am a Christian," answered Tarachus, "and I pray that you and your emperors may earn the same praise, and may put away all hardness of heart and blindness, and be quickened by the true God to a higher and better grounded conviction."

"Knock his mouth with stones, and say to him, 'Cease your folly.'"

"If I were not of sound mind, I should be a fool as you are."

"See, your teeth are all loosened. Have pity on yourself, unhappy man."

"Nothing that you can do hurts me, not if you were[Pg 111] to cut off all my extremities. I stand steadfastly before you in Christ which strengtheneth me."

"Follow my advice. You had better. Come and sacrifice."

"If I knew that I had better do it, I should not suffer as I do."

"Strike him on the mouth and tell him to cry out."

"When my teeth are dashed out, and my jaws crushed, I can not cry out."

"Will you not even now comply, impious man? Come to the altars, and pour a drink-offering to the gods."

"Though you have stopped my voice so that I can not cry out, you can not hinder the thoughts of my soul. You have made me bolder and firmer."

"I will take down your firmness, ruffian."

"I am at your disposal. Whatever you devise, I shall be more than a match for you in the name of God who strengtheneth me."

"Open his hands and put fire in them."

"I am not afraid of your fire, which endures for a moment; but I am afraid lest, if I were to obey you, I should become a partaker of the eternal fire."

"Look, your hands are consumed with the fire. Will you leave off your madness, senseless man, and sacrifice?"

"You talk to me as if I had begged you not to use your arts of persuasion upon my body. I am proof against all that you are doing to me."[Pg 112]

"Tie his feet and hang him aloft by them; then send up a thick smoke in his face."

"I thought nothing of your fire; do you suppose that I shall be afraid of your smoke?"

"Consent to sacrifice, now that you are hung up."

"You may sacrifice, sir; you are accustomed to sacrificing—even to sacrificing men. But God forbid that I should do so."

"Put strong vinegar, mixed with salt up his nostrils."

"Your vinegar is sweet and your salt has lost its saltness."

"Mix mustard with the vinegar and pour it into his nostrils."

"Your officers are deceiving you, Maximus; they gave me honey instead of vinegar."

"I will think of some punishment for you next court day, and I will put an end to your folly."

"And I shall be the readier for your devices."

"Take him down; put him in chains and give him over to the gaoler. Call the next."


[Pg 113]


"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. * * * These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:9, 14).

"When this cruel war is over," and the last enemy, death, has been conquered, and every tribulation has been passed through triumphantly, then we shall come forth on the victor's side, clothed with white robes, and waving our palm branches gloriously, having overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

When Jesus made that triumphal entry into Jerusalem, just before His crucifixion, the rejoicing followers acknowledged His kingly victories, and did homage by preparing His way, and "took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried,[Pg 114] Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord" (John 12:13).

Not only did the palm branch have the significance of victory in the Bible, but certain countries have used it as a token of victory and rejoicing, a symbol or evidence of superiority or success. In our present day, "to bear the palm" means to come off victoriously. This expression has evidently been borrowed from the ancient symbol.

What other tree in all the world could so well be used to signify victory? When we think of its beauty, its perpendicular straightness, its perennial freshness, its sweet and abundant fruitfulness even in old age, its almost incomprehensible utility, its successful development where other trees fail, its natural propensity to ascend heavenward, its marvelous hardiness with its internal and upward growth, does it not stand to reason that the palm branch should be the most fitting type of Christian triumph and joyous victory? No other tree could be used so well to symbolize the victory of him who is fighting under the banner of King Emmanuel.

Now, if we are to flourish like the palm tree, then we shall flourish with victory.

We are taught in the Word that "we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:37). This means that the palm tree saint can fight and win and be ready to fight again.

David's fight with Goliath illustrates it. He marched out against his enemy and God's enemy with[Pg 115] five sling stones, and the first throw something entered Goliath's head that made an impression which he never got over. And then the stripling, shepherd lad had four more stones to kill four more giants if necessary.

In the economy of God's grace He never arranged for us to be succumbers, but rather overcomers. Read the marvelous promises of Revelation for those who overcome. There are seven of them, and note the ascending scale.

1. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

2. "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."

3. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

4. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. * * * And I will give him the morning star."

5. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."

6. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem,[Pg 116] which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."

7. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne."

Wonderful stepping stones to the throne! Seven steps and into glory!

Let us examine them in their order:

1. He eats of the tree of life. Death has slipped away and eternal life has come. He is living forever now. We eat of earth's food to live here, and we eat of the tree of life to live forever.

2. He has promise of a safe passage and a proper landing. He shall not be hurt with the second death. Insurance in the King's Insurance Company, secures a positive guaranty against the second death. Wrapped in the asbestos robes of full salvation, makes one immune from the fires of perdition.

3. He eats again; but now it is hidden manna. Hidden manna was inside the holy of holies. Thus, he reaches the "second blessing" properly so-called. Now arises special persecution and calumny; but the great Judge in casting the ballot for the condemned, puts in the white stone for acquittal: hence, he receives the white stone at this stage. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31).

4. Power, the positive side of holiness is now particularly manifested. Also, the night of trouble, trial, testing, temptations, and tears will pass away. The[Pg 117] "morning star" is seen. He is looking toward the sun-rising, toward the morning when the Sun of righteousness shall appear.

5. Now, the "white raiment" of a holy life shines forth particularly. His outward life and testimony give him away. His hidden life manifests itself outwardly and differentiates itself from all other life. The inward glory is shining out to the surface, and his life is seen and felt. In proportion to the inward glory will the outward effulgence be manifested. Jesus, on the mount of transfiguration, let the inward glory out through His garments, and they became garments of light.

Now comes the announcement that his name will not be blotted out of the book of life. While it is possible to pass the point in sin, where the soul fixes its destiny for damnation, so it seems that there is a point in the progress of spirituality and grace and overcoming, that fixes the soul's destiny for glory. His name is confessed before God and the angels. The veil is getting very thin here, between the overcoming pilgrim and paradise. In fact he is living mostly in heaven now.

6. He is now counted a pillar in a peculiar sense. Like the pillars of ancient Egypt and Babylon where great monarchs carved their names, battles, victories, marvelous achievements, and chiseled their pedigree and dynasty, so God takes this time-honored, battle-scarred, self-sacrificing pilgrim at this stage and makes him an illustrious pillar in the temple of God, and writes in his favor his victories and exploits, his overcoming[Pg 118] life. He is to go no more out. As some are sealed for eternal damnation in this life, so he is sealed for eternal glory.

"I will write upon him." Yes, God will carve upon him victories and conquests. He will write upon him the city of God—his sure destination. Like the address on a sealed letter, with the government of the country back of it to see that it arrives safely at its destination, so with God's "epistles," "sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise," with the address of his destination plainly written thereon, and with the government of all heaven interested in seeing him through, we see the overcoming saint nearing the Great White Throne. The end is near; he is overcoming to the last. He has been ascending the steps, till now he sees inside the pearly gates, and one step more will put him inside.

7. Here he is in glory at last, and a place with Jesus in His throne. Exalted place! With Christ, the great Overcomer, he sits down with Him in His throne. It is more than finite minds can comprehend. Surely, it will pay to be true to Jesus and be a final overcomer.

When we read these wonderful promises to the overcomer, and see with what precision and certainty he is made to ascend the spiritual scale to glory, we scarcely wonder, that before we reach the close of Revelation we hear the sudden announcement: "He that overcometh shall inherit all things."

"And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4). The overcoming, victorious life is the only kind that satisfies the soul and[Pg 119] qualifies for spiritual success in this world. The outside world is looking upon us, and if they do not see something in us beyond that which they see in themselves, there will be no inducement from our standpoint for them to make any change.

God has provided a life in which it is possible to "rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks." The psalmist said, "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth." No person can, by mere volition, bring himself into a frame of mind to bless the Lord at all times and have His praise continually in his mouth. The harassing trials and nagging disappointments incident to earthly life are too many and too severe to admit of the everlasting praise life without the grace of God within. And many with a measure of God's grace have not become acquainted with the secret of continual praise. Let us look at two statements, one in the Old Testament, and the other in the New Testament.

"All these things are against me" (Gen. 42:36).

"All things work together for good" (Rom. 8:28).

The first statement comes from Jacob; the second from the Apostle Paul. Paul said he had learned whatsoever state he was in, therewith to be content (Phil. 4:11). Jacob was looking at the mere external, and judging accordingly. What were the things that were against Jacob? "Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away. All these things are against me." But Jacob, you are very much mistaken. The very[Pg 120] things you say are against you, are all working together for your good. Joseph, right now is in Egypt, the governor of that land, and is not dead as you suppose. Simeon is all right under Joseph's watchful care, and Benjamin will be in the best of hands. Joseph went before, to be a loadstone to draw Simeon there, and Simeon is a loadstone to draw Benjamin there, and Benjamin will be a loadstone to draw you there and all the rest of the family to preserve you alive and to bring about God's wonderful plan and providence in the Hebrew nation. No; the trouble with Jacob was with his foresight; had that been half as good as his hindsight he never would have said what he did.

Perhaps Paul did not have so much to contend with in his day. Let us see. "In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches" (2 Cor. 11:23-28).[Pg 121] In spite of all these, hear his overcoming, victorious faith say: "All things work together for good."

There is probably no department in the Christian life which is more desired and for which more prayer is offered, than the victory department. There are so many trials, disappointments and annoyances from day to day, that if one allows them to overcome him he is constantly confronting failure and chagrin. But to know that one is from day to day and moment to moment living in the praise and overcoming life, gives him a joy and satisfaction that is simply glorious in the extreme.

There are many Christians who go through the world in a sort of up-and-down, to-and-fro, in-and-out, zigzag way that is certainly discouraging. To have victory today and defeat tomorrow, keeps one on edge all the time, not knowing which way the battle is going to turn. A lesson from the Book of Joshua is encouraging. When he began that wonderful series of conquests just after crossing the Jordan into Canaan, it was victory after victory. Here is a sample of the records: "And he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho." Then follows like statements in almost the identical language except that the cities are different, showing that he took the last city and conquered it and its king in precisely the same manner as he did the one before. God had previously promised him that he should have just that kind of victory in Canaan. "Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will[Pg 122] without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites" (Joshua 3:10). Notice two things in this: It was to occur in Canaan, and there were to be seven nations conquered. Is not this typical of Holy Ghost victory in the sanctified life? Canaan is a type of holiness, and seven is the perfect number. God wants us to have perfect victory from day to day over all our foes, and He will supply that which will enable us to overcome.

So many so-called soldiers of the cross are living simply on the defensive with scarcely a thought of spiritual, aggressive warfare. Look at the great battles that have been won in the world's history. Were not most of them won by the aggressive side? Look at the whole armor of God as the inspired pen of Paul pictures it out in the sixth chapter of Ephesians; the helmet for the head, the breastplate for the vital organs of the body, the shield for the whole man, and a sword to do aggressive execution. We see the whole front of the man protected, but what about the back? There is no protection for that part of the body, for God's soldiers are not expected to turn their back to the foe. If they do, they are sure to be hit. When the writer was a boy, accompanied by other boys, he discovered an old Indian burying ground on the beach bluff near Santa Barbara, California. They had seen indications of such a place, and were diligently searching for the exact spot. Finally, they discovered some[Pg 123] rib bones sticking out of the bank, where the constant washing of the waves had in time crumbled the bank down. With shovels in hand they went about the delightsome task of uncovering the dead, with the hopes of finding wampum, arrowheads, pottery or any other relics which might have been buried with their owner. Finally, a section of an Indian's backbone was unearthed, and upon examination it was found that an arrow head had pierced the vertebra, just missing the spinal cord, and was wedged in like a nail driven into a board. The question might be asked: "How did the arrow head get into that Indian's backbone?" Evidently, because the Indian was on the retreat, and his enemy shot him in the back.

Where is the victorious life, when life is spent simply in the humdrum of daily routine of selfish interests? No wonder people have an up-and-down experience. No wonder they never get anywhere outside of the treadmill of life. God wants us to branch out and bless the world and be conquerors. In the Garden of Eden we read about the wonderful river that flowed through it and watered it; but it was not self-centered nor self-contained; it branched out. So it is in sanctified human experience today; the Edenic stream of full salvation flows through the soul, but it does not stop there and center itself in the individual. The stream waters one's life and experience, but it flows out and on to bless others also. The Edenic stream started out as one stream, but the account tells us that it branched out into four streams and watered the world around. So[Pg 124] it is with that soul who will let the Holy Ghost have His way with him. Out of his inmost being will flow rivers of living water. This fourfold Edenic stream went out in four directions, to the four quarters of the earth, so to speak. Four is the human number of the Bible, and when one gets the Holy Ghost, he is expected to branch out to the people everywhere and water the world with the precious water of life. Holiness is not self-centered. It consists of two elements—purity and power. If one has the thought of purity alone when he seeks the blessing, he has a one-sided idea of it. There is a power side which enables the possessor to conquer. Purity for the individual, and power for the world; or in other words, power for aggressive warfare.

Whoever became a conqueror that stayed always in one little, beaten path? The world is so big, the possibilities are so great, and the grace of God so boundless, that it looks as if we all ought to set our stakes for bigger results in the Christian life. One day we were passing along a street in a certain city and observed a gentleman constructing a very peculiar piece of frame work, and our curiosity was so aroused that we went over and asked him what he was building. He answered, "I am building a razzle-dazzle." He then explained what that was. He said that a razzle-dazzle was something like a merry-go-round, except that as it went round and round it also went up and down. We thought how many people in their so-called Christian life are riding the razzle-dazzle. They[Pg 125] want to be going and moving, but they are going round and round, and not only that, they are going up and down, up and down, and never getting anywhere in their experience. Now, we never were much in favor of running off on tangents, but in this case we think it would be very advantageous to strike a tangent and take a bee-line for Canaan.

Many are hindered in their victorious life by the "little foxes which spoil the vines." Their spiritual wall which surrounds them seems to admit so many of the aggravating cares, that they find themselves frequently overcome thereby. "Salvation, will God appoint for walls and bulwarks" (Isa. 26:1). "But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise" (Isa. 60:18). When we remember that "God is our salvation," and "Our God is a consuming fire," and this God, the consuming fire, is the wall of salvation around us, we believe the wall is so high that the devil's little foxes can not jump over it; so thick they can not bore through it, and so deep they can not dig under it. This is surely a blessed protection for those on the inside. But the promised protection of God is still more. He will insphere His trusting child and make him doubly safe, and make his surrounding simply glorious. Notice the divine insphering: "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even forever" (Psalm 125:2). Here is the Lord all around us. "Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" (Psa. 16:8). The Lord is by our side. "Underneath[Pg 126] are the everlasting arms" (Deut. 33:27). The Lord is beneath us. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1). The Lord is over us. And we are also taught that we may abide in Him and He will abide in us. Think of this marvelous protection: the Lord all around us, by our side, underneath us, over us, in us and we in Him. Then shall we allow the trifling things of earth to conquer us and spoil our experience? How often we hear one say words like this: "I wouldn't give up my experience for all the world," and then possibly in an unguarded moment go down over something not worth a quarter. We once heard of a sailor that had braved the sea and storms for years, and finally got drowned in a bucket of water. While drinking he had some fit or accident which caused him to fall, so that his face was buried in the water and he was strangled to death. Be careful of the little things; they are sometimes more dangerous than the bigger ones. A brother was once accosted by one of the Lord's workers and asked how he was getting along in his Christian experience. He replied that he got along very well usually through the day, but when he went home from his work in the evening, his wife nagged at him so much that he invariably lost out. He would be blessed along through the day, but when that nagging spirit of his wife got started, even though he would hold out for some time and keep the victory, yet as sure as he would open his mouth, the victory was gone. He told the worker that he had an[Pg 127] experience like a pelican. He then described how the pelican would start out in the morning and load up its big pouch with fish, and then in the evening it would start for home, whereupon the little birds would get after it and peck it first on one side of the bill and then on the other, till the poor pelican would throw its head around from one side to the other, and finally its mouth would fly open and out would go the fish, which was just what the birds were after. He said he had a pelican experience; that he would get along well through the day, but the constant annoyance of the wife in the evening would finally cause him to open his mouth, and away would go his victory. Many a blessing has been lost, simply by opening the mouth. It is much harder sometimes to keep the mouth shut than to open it. "So he openeth not his mouth," was the attitude of Him who was our example.


[Pg 128]


For many years the process of grafting has been known and practiced by horticulturists. This is accomplished by taking a scion, usually of the previous year's growth, from a shrub or tree, and inserting it into another shrub or tree more or less closely related to the first. It must be so inserted that the cambium layer of the scion, that is, the layer of formative tissue between the bark and natural wood, is closely united to that of the stock. In time, these two parts grow together into a perfect union. The scion thus inserted will derive its life and strength from the original root and stock, but will bear its fruit according to the nature of the scion.

When we come to the palm tree, we find something that is opposed to this method and will not respond. It will not yield to any mixture. It has not the qualifications that admit of grafting processes. It can neither be grafted in with any other tree, nor can any other tree be united with the palm. It will not mix. It is an endogenous tree, and the cambium layer does not obtain. It has no joining tissue that can be thus united with any other plant.

Did the Omniscient Inspirer of the Word make any[Pg 129] mistake when He said, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree?"

The Word of God is diametrically opposed to unholy mixtures. Hear the word of the Lord in Deut. 22:9-11. "Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together."

Who has not seen the evil effects of mixing the planting of various seeds together, such as melons and pumpkins, or other incompatible varieties? Why not yoke an ox and an ass together? They are neither mated in size, breed, nor disposition. It makes a lopsided pair. One is classed with the clean animals, and the other with the unclean. We once saw an oriental picture in the back part of a Bible where some native was plowing with an ox and an ass together, and they had the appearance of being ashamed of themselves. It looked as if the poor plowman would have a hard job to get any work out of the pair.

But why not the mixed garment, of woolen and linen? "They shall be clothed with linen garments, and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat" (Eze. 44:17, 18). God did not want them to chafe and sweat in[Pg 130] performing their religious service; hence, the prohibition of the mixture in garments.

In this we find a beautiful lesson for spiritual experience. We have too much of the linsey-woolsey type of religion in our day. How God must abhor unholy mixing up!

In this threefold prohibition we see the three sides of religion. Pure religion consists of three things: doctrine, service, and experience. First, they were not to mix the seed. What does seed typify? Read the parable of the sower in the eighth chapter of Luke. "The seed is the word of God." Here we have the thought: it is the doctrine of God. One part of religion is doctrine, and we must not be mixed in this respect. When the Bible speaks of that teaching which comes from God, it is put in the singular and called "doctrine." When it comes from men or devils it is called "doctrines." God's doctrine is one; men and devils' are many. Paul admonished Timothy to take heed unto the doctrine. In Paul's time, and in the times of the early fathers, heresy abounded. In our own time, Christendom is rent with heresy. Unscriptural doctrine obtains everywhere. Universalism proclaims the mercy of God reaching "from everlasting to everlasting." So, in the ultimate outcome, all, because Christ died for all, will be housed safely, in spite of a Christ-rejecting life. Unitarianism, as the name suggests, believes in one God; hence, rejects the deity of Jesus Christ, and being Universalists also in belief, they are all going to get in by the example of the[Pg 131] Savior. While the Universalist believes that God is too good to damn him, the Unitarian believes that he is too good to be damned. Then comes along the soul-sleeper, who mixes with his doctrine the heresy of no conscious existence after death till the resurrection, and the utter annihilation of the wicked following the judgment, all of which is in direct opposition to the plain teaching of the Word. Mormonism comes in with its deluded adherents and claims a new revelation in the Book of Mormon, and repudiates hell, flaunts its mantle of polygamous fornication over its dupes, and gives the world a mixture indeed. Christian Science, the greatest misnomer in modern parlance, foists its counterfeit religious currency over our fair land and makes the unwary deny the existence of sin, death, Devil, and the real personality of God himself. The blood atonement of our Savior is obnoxious to them, and hell is not in their creed. Surely theirs is a mixed seed, with scarcely any real truth. Then springs up the ignis fatuus fallacy of Russellism with its promised "Millennial Dawn," spreading out the "Plan of the Ages" so that its deceived votaries discount the deity of Christ until His resurrection. They claim that His body was not resurrected, but may have passed off into gases; that one is not born again till he is resurrected; that hell is a farce; that the world will have a further chance of being saved after death. Not content with these forces, the disseminator of mixed seeds raises up a regiment of Higher Critics, who, with their Jehoiakim penknives, have cut and[Pg 132] slashed the blessed, inspired Word of God till it is beyond recognition as it comes from their hands. To follow their vandalism is to get into the meshes of mysticism and doubt, and wonder what part, if any, is to be relied upon as actual inspiration. Then we have the "New Thought," and the "New Theology," and the "Aquarian Gospel," and their name is Legion, the "isms" that are foisted upon gullible humanity in these latter days. Occasionally one pokes up his personality above the horizon and declares himself Jesus Christ, when, lo, and behold a following! Sad indeed is it that so many people and many good people, have been beguiled into the unscriptural teaching couched in the creed of the so-called "Tongues Movement." When it first claimed the attention of the Christian world their theory was first, justification, in which all sins were forgiven; then following this experience came sanctification, which involved the cleansing of the heart from all inbred sin; following this definite work, comes the baptism with the Holy Ghost, accompanying which is the speaking in tongues as an evidence of said baptism. No one must rest satisfied that he has received his Pentecost till he has spoken in tongues. Then the factions began to arise. Leaders opposed each other, and all spoke in tongues as claimed. Their creed began to change, and now one of the leading factions of the movement ridicules the thought of sanctification as a second work of grace, and declares, that while sanctification does come in, yet all the cleansing one gets is in the first work when pardon takes place; that is,[Pg 133] all inbred sin is then eradicated from the heart. They still hold to the baptism with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues. Many of the good people of the land have been caught in this theological mix-up, and have dropped out of the old-time holiness ranks. What does it all signify? It signifies a mixing of seed—a mixing of doctrine. The theocracy of the Old Testament forbade it in the literal, and the inspired Word also forbids it in the spiritual, in the present dispensation.

A person who is mixed in his doctrine is a dangerous element in the community. His work is not to settle, root and ground others in the faith, but rather to unsettle them. "A heretic after the first and second admonition, reject." Has it ever occurred to the reader that heresy is one of the works of the flesh, or carnal mind? Read it in Gal. 5:20. The Conservator of orthodoxy is the Holy Ghost in a purified heart. Outside of that, where is the hope of preserving inviolate the purity of the doctrine of God? Let me illustrate how this works. There enters an intelligent, so-called expounder of the truth, into a pulpit, and he proceeds to teach the people. There sits in the congregation one with a purified heart, in whom dwells the Holy Ghost, the Author of the inspired Word. As this ingenious mixer of seed throws out some good truth, he adroitly mixes into it his heresy, and makes it so plausible, that, if possible, it would deceive the very elect. His arguments are so clear, and he uses the Scriptures so well to prove his statements, that even to the minds of the[Pg 134] most spiritual, it seems that he has made the points scripturally plain. The head responds and says, "It looks that way," but the Holy Ghost dwelling in that purified heart causes a shrinking. The soul closes in, and the listener says, "I do not feel right somehow. I am not comfortable." What is the matter? It is the blessed Conservator of orthodoxy, the Preserver of the purity of the Word of God operating in that heart to hinder it from accepting heresy. But here sits another who has not been so fortunate as to have the element of inbred sin purged from the heart; hence, has not the abiding fulness of the Holy Spirit in the heart. The speaker appeals to him in the same way he did to the other. The head nods assent, for he certainly makes it plain. But he has that in his heart from which heresy springs, and so the heresy from this man appeals to its kindred spirit in the listener, and the result is, it is swallowed down, the poison has done its work, and another victim is numbered. Oh, reader, is it of small import that we should be filled with the Holy Ghost, and thus have our spiritual Protector always guarding us from poisonous seed? We would not want to take the stand that this is the infallible rule with all people, but we do certainly believe that this is the secret of some remaining firm and immovable in doctrine, while others are swept from their moorings.

The next department of religion we wish to notice in connection with wrong mixtures is that of service. The ox and the ass were not to be yoked together.[Pg 135] This signifies service. Service constitutes a large portion of our religion. Without proper service to God we could not hope to continue in the grace of God. Certainly it stands one in hand to know what kind of service he should engage in.

The world and the religion of Jesus Christ were never calculated to mix. It is the unholy mixtures all down the ages that have brought the stigma upon the Church of God. It always causes trouble. "And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?" The children of Israel fell into line with the murmurings of the mixture they had on hand. God's plan has always been for His people to be separated people. That is the reason He took them out of Egypt. He warned them before they ever got to Canaan, that they must remain separated from the inhabitants of the land. They were not to intermarry; they were not to mix. When Balaam utterly failed to curse the children of Israel for Balak's sake, because the Lord would not let him, yet on his departure he told Balak how he could succeed anyway. He told him to mix up with the children of Israel in an unholy and abominable alliance. He did so and brought the curse and plague of God upon Israel, and thousands were slain thereby. When Nehemiah was sent to rebuild Jerusalem, he found a terrible state of affairs had arisen by the intermarriage of the Jews with the women of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. There were a lot of little half-breeds running[Pg 136] around that could not talk the Jews' language. So Nehemiah had a great cleaning up time on his hands.

God has called His Church to stand out clean and spotless from the world. What a power she would have been had she always taken the separated, clean way! But how sad to see those who profess to be followers of the meek and lowly Nazarene, courting the world and mixing with them in their pleasures, pride, popularity, and polluted politics!

One of the saddest things to behold today is the reckless transgression of that plain command, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." See the unhappy homes everywhere, because Christians did not counsel with God and His Word in taking a life-partner. Oh, the anguish, and heartaches, and backslidings, because the plain Word was not followed! There was a certain Christian lady, who neglected to follow the Guide Book in this important step, and right soon after the marriage she knelt down to offer a little prayer to God, and His voice was heard clear and distinct: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." It was too late now to remedy the affair, but the same word was in the Book before she got into trouble. For thirty years this lady wandered on in darkness thereafter and never heard the voice of God, till in mercy she was brought back to saving grace.

How many there are who take upon them the name of Jesus Christ and yet are mixed up in secret societies and labor unions. Let the world have these institutions if they want, for they are simply worldly. Their[Pg 137] methods and practices and pleasures are not conducive to spiritual life. It is a wrong mixture. "Come out from among them and be ye separate."

Let me not pass by another mixing which does not have the blessing of God upon it. It is that of partnership in business with the unsaved. How many of God's people have found themselves in serious difficulty on account of unscriptural business partnership. More than once God has had to force the alternative upon one of His children to buy out or sell out; that he could not continue in such alliance to the glory of God. We have been astonished and grieved at the careless and reckless way so many professing Christians, yea, holiness people have disregarded this command of separation, and allowed themselves to be drawn into stock companies with the unsaved. Is it not an unequal yoking together? Shall we take God's money, and put it in the control of the world? No wonder so many who have been so fortunate as to possess a little of this world's goods have suddenly found their money taking wings and flying away. Had they counseled with God in the business, they would not have been beguiled into the unequal yoking with unbelievers. Let us not think we can fly in the face of the plain Word of God and take matters in our own hands with impunity.

Neither should we yoke up in church fellowship with those who are not saved. We would not take the stand, that perchance some might not be taking the track, that it should bar us from church membership, but when the mass of members are not obeying God,[Pg 138] and are opposed to holiness, and are worldly in their trend, it is no place for one who wishes to be spiritual and keep blessed. How long will it be if one mixes in with such a crowd till he will be like them? We once were passing through the state of Colorado and saw from the car window a beautiful, clear stream of water join with another stream that was dark and muddy. How long did it take the crystal stream to become muddy like the other? It certainly did not clarify the muddy current, but the muddy current mixed right into it and all became impure.

Poor Ephraim ought to stand out as a warning to those who think they can mix with the world with impunity. Hear the Word on his case: "Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned." Poor, unturned cake. He had mixed so much among the people that he did not have fire enough to bake him on both sides; it did not pay to turn him over. What is an unbaked cake good for? It is so sticky that it will adhere to almost anything. Ephraim adhered to this people and that, and met with sad failure. Sticky, soggy, heavy, indigestible, unpalatable! Who wants it? "Hot cakes" is the call, and not cold, unturned ones.

The next department of religion we wish to notice is that of experience. Here we have the prohibition of the linen and woolen garments mixed. What is closer to a person than his garments? God has seen fit to express salvation under the fitting emblem of garments. "For fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Rev.[Pg 139] 19:8). "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14). "Let thy garments be always white, and let thy head lack no ointment" (Eccl. 9:8). "Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem" (Isa. 52:1). "He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness" (Isa. 61:10). We have given these beautiful Scriptures to show that garments are used to symbolize Christian experience. Now, as the garment is the closest thing that comes to a person, so one's experience is the closest thing in his religion. It certainly gets up close to a man. God forbade under the theocracy the wearing of linen and woolen garments mixed. This mixture causes chafing and sweat and hardship that He wanted avoided in their religion. But in this present day we find, alas, too frequently a linsey-woolsey religion.

Let us carry out the figure. Linen is the pure, clean, vegetable creation, and is used to signify the righteousness of the saints. Wool is the product of the animal, and is carnal; hence, signifies the carnal element in one's experience. This carnal element sometimes called the flesh, obtains in every Christian's heart until he obtains the baptism with the Holy Ghost, wherein his heart is thus made pure.

"Neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee" (Lev. 19:19). As the Word of God was against the garment of this mixture, so that experience today that is allowed to remain in the[Pg 140] heart whereby there is righteousness and carnality dwelling together is forbidden. There must not remain carnality where grace has taken up its abode. There will be spiritual sweating and chafing, and one's religion will be hindered and thwarted, and in all probability there will be failure in the end. As it was scientifically incompatible, the mixing of linen and woolen together for a garment, so it is spiritually incompatible, the mixing of righteousness and carnality in the same heart. There is always more or less chafing and hardships and discouragements. "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye can not do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17). Thank God, in the economy of grace there is provided an elimination of the carnal element of one's experience, leaving the pure, clean linen of righteousness. Then the chafing, and galling, and spiritual perspiration, working against carnal odds, will cease.

Now for a word of application. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree" in preclusion of uniting or mixing with others. There is something in the very nature of the palm that precludes the graft, or intermixing. There is something in the spiritual makeup of the holy, palm tree saints that have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. They are a class by themselves. They will not mix their religion with the world. In doctrine they are clean, true, clear, and scriptural. They are holding to the old landmarks which their fathers have set. They are not running[Pg 141] after the new fads under the guise of religion. They are settled, rooted and grounded in the truth. In service they are separate from the world. They are not mixing with the fun, frolic and general pastime and pleasure of the worldly element. They scrupulously adhere to the admonition to "come out from among them" and not to be unequally yoked together in any way. In experience, they have no admixture of the carnal and spiritual elements. They have had their hearts cleansed from all sin, and are really clothed with the pure, spotless garment of salvation. They lack that cambium layer of formative tissue that unites them to any other stock. Of course the world hates them for standing out against them and failing to unite. The worldly minded church members steer clear of them, for these members retain a formative tissue that will admit of joining with the world and allowing the world to join with them; but the palm tree saints stand aloof; they do not mix.


[Pg 142]


Our God is the God of nature as well as of grace. Trees thrive best when in the sphere that nature intended them for. The palm tree is especially a hot climate tree, and when taken out of its proper place it stands to reason that it will succumb. It can not stand the cold. It was not made that way. It matters not how hot the place may be, even in the broiling sun of the desert, it will thrive. But place it in the cold regions, and death will inevitably be the result.

The palm tree saint has this same characteristic in the spiritual realm. A red-hot meeting is his delight. His very nature calls out for the fire which burns in meetings where God has His way. The warmer the meetings the better he likes them, and the better he thrives. He can not stand the cold. God did not make him to stand cold meetings, and so he is not responsible for it. Cold meetings seem to chill him to the marrow. And should he providentially be placed in such a sphere, he would feel that he must do something to start the circulation or he would soon be frozen to death. Why do not more people have the wisdom of those in cold climates? To illustrate: A man starts out on a load of wood to take it to the market several[Pg 143] miles away. The thermometer is many degrees below zero. A friend meets him in the way and informs him that he saw him nodding as he came down the road; that his nose is white and that frost has gathered on his eyebrows. The poor man still has sense enough left to see his danger, and he at once jumps off the load and begins to kick his toes against the sled, and swing his arms around his body in that peculiar, cold-climate style to warm himself. After a most heroic effort he finds himself thoroughly awake, and the warm blood again coursing through his veins, and he says to himself, "I will not allow that to happen again."

How often have we seen an iceberg in the pulpit, icicles in the pews, and polar breezes sweeping through the place! Surely, to live in that climate long would be to freeze to death. One would have to make a tremendous stir if he hoped to keep up circulation in such a place. And should the stir be made, there would be a hue and cry of fanaticism, wild fire, crazy, or such like. But the Holy Ghost never intended Christians to live in such an element. He never intended palm tree saints to live in refrigerators. One may ask if refrigerators are not good for something. Surely, they are. One can preserve a dead chicken well in one of them, but put a live chicken in and it will soon chill and die. The idea of thinking that a lot of little, new-born babes could live and thrive in church refrigerators! No, they must have warmth. It is their nature, and when one goes contrary to nature, bad results will surely follow. Thank God there is a warm climate for those who must[Pg 144] have it. Let us see to it that we live under the warm rays of the Sun of righteousness, and in an element conducive to spiritual growth and health.

There is a mistaken idea abroad concerning unity. Because there is no outward eruption, and because things seem to run smooth, they take it for granted that there is oneness. There is such a thing as being frozen together instead of melted together. Jesus prayed for His disciples that they might be sanctified, that they all might be one. It is the sanctifying baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire that makes people one in the proper and scriptural sense. If one had any fire in which to keep warm, and should attempt to live in some frozen regions, they would soon cool him off, and he would be frozen together with them. The story is told of an eagle floating down the Niagara river on a cake of ice. He was enjoying a feast on a lamb which was frozen to the ice. After a while the eagle neared the falls, but he was not afraid, because he could fly. Finally, as the water got swifter, the eagle was seen to spread his wings and prepare for the escape. When he saw that he could remain no longer with impunity, he attempted to spring from the ice, when, lo and behold, he found himself frozen to the cake of ice. With an awful screech and wings flapping he went over the falls to destruction. May the Lord save us from too much self-confidence and from remaining where death and destruction are inevitable, and where freezing and falling go together.

Quite a number of years ago the writer and another[Pg 145] evangelist were invited to a certain church in New Orleans for revival services. A certain, noted evangelist had formerly served in that church as pastor, and great good had resulted from his ministry. The pastor at this time stated in his invitation to us, that should we accept it, it must be with the understanding that we were not to preach holiness as a second work of grace; that the church had previously undergone quite an upheaval on that line, but now things had quieted down, and peace was now reigning instead. It might be of some interest to know if we accepted his invitation. Our answer was about on this line: "We thank you for your invitation to assist in meetings in your church, but inasmuch as you have placed an embargo on the stream of holiness as a second work of grace, which is the only way any one ever received it, we feel if we should accept the invitation under such conditions we would be selling Jesus Christ at a less figure than Judas got for Him. And furthermore, may not that peace and quietude of which you speak relative to the church, be the quietude of the graveyard instead of a live church?" Suffice it to say, we did not receive any further invitation.

It is a very easy thing to compromise both as preachers and laymen, and accommodate ourselves to cooled off environments, till we are a very part of the thing ourselves. As long as God has provided a warm home for His sheep and lambs, let us see to it that we have the benefit of the same. Amen!


[Pg 146]


We are told in Titus 2:14, that pilgrims are a peculiar people. They have characteristics exclusively their own. They belong wholly to the Lord, and are unlike other people. To the world they appear singular, strange.

These people are peculiar in the source of their enjoyment, in their conversation, in their dress, and in other ways which differentiate them from the world. One saint may have a peculiarity which is not in any other. He may have a peculiar way in manifesting his emotions when he gets blessed, or in some striking manner of speech, or sphere of service, or mode of dress. So it is with different varieties of the palm. Some have peculiar characteristics which indeed belong only to their species, and some are strikingly curious. The Christian life is illustrated so plainly by some of these, that we will note a few.


There is a certain palm which buds out in enormous clusters. It is said that "the flowers occur in an enormous cluster, at first ensheathed by large and frequently wooden spathes, which often burst with an explosion." Much fault has been found with some[Pg 147] of God's palm tree saints because they have a peculiarity akin to this. To hinder this explosive emotion in them might hinder their spiritual life itself. For them to quench the Spirit, would be to thwart the plan and purpose of God himself. Many precious souls have been tempted and tried because they seem to be put up different from some others. They have wished to be more quiet, and have wondered why they have to shout so much. Some always have a gush of tears and have gone so far as to ask the Lord to dry their tears, and when the Lord answered their prayer, they invariably were made lean, and prayed again for Him to open the fountain. On whatever plan of peculiar disposition we may be built, let us thank God for it and let the Holy Ghost have His way in all the minutia of life. All people do not shout, and all do not laugh, but all get blessed if the Lord has His way. We must not be tried over those whose blessings do not fall within our desired method, nor should we be discouraged because the manifestations of the Spirit within us are not exactly like some others whom we admire.

"The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." The emotions which follow these operations of the Spirit vary according to the peculiar makeup of the individual. If there were a row of various combustibles, such as shavings, salt, powder, gasoline, etc., and fire were put to each one of them, there would be manifestations according to their various characteristics. The shavings would quietly blaze up, the salt would flicker, the powder[Pg 148] would blow up and that would be the end of it, while the gasoline would blaze all over and keep on till all was burned. So, when the fire of the Holy Ghost is turned loose on a lot of consecrated saints, the manifestations of the Spirit will vary according to the peculiar characteristics of the spiritual material on hand. When all do the same thing it might be an evidence of custom or training, and not of the Spirit's manifestation, for God does not confine Himself in ruts. What could be more stirring, and conducive to conviction than a body of fire-baptized souls under the control of the Holy Ghost, some shouting, some laughing, some crying, and some leaping and dancing, while others might be praying or exhorting; all letting the Spirit work through them severally as He will. Such scenes never fail to produce conviction upon an audience. The altar is frequently filled with weeping penitents after such a scene.

Yes, in nature we have the explosive element in the palm; so in grace we have the bursting forth of holy emotions, the upgush of heavenly raptures, and as a help and forewarning the Word tells us, "Quench not the Spirit."

When a soul swings loose in the Spirit and becomes so free as to shout, or laugh, or jump for joy, it is reasonable to suppose that it is the mind of the Spirit for that soul to retain his freedom, not allowing himself to be tied up so that such demonstrations could not be duplicated should God so desire. Alas, how many have failed right here! We have noted the freedom[Pg 149] of a new, Spirit-filled soul. How the peculiar manifestation of the Spirit blest the meeting, and the "profit withal" was apparent. Later on we have observed how the Holy Spirit tried to duplicate the freedom and blessing, but the dear soul felt timid or backward and simply failed to keep abandoned to God. The inevitable result was, that the heart closed up, the Spirit was grieved, and dryness and leanness were the result. Let no one dare say, "I am abandoned to the Holy Ghost" and then not let Him have His way with him in every particular. To be consecrated means more than simply saying it. If some one should place a thousand dollars on deposit in my name in some bank and hand me over the bank book, telling me it all belonged to me, and for me to draw upon it for any purpose up to the amount of the deposit, I would certainly feel free to do with it as I pleased without any fear of his interference. If I wanted five dollars for groceries, I could draw on the deposit. If I wanted fifty dollars for missionary work, it is on deposit. It is all mine; I can handle it as I please. Consecration is putting our all—body, soul, and spirit, time, talent, earthly store, family, future, service, all we have and know, and all we do not know into heaven's bank on deposit and then handing the bank book over to the Holy Ghost, saying, "Draw on the deposit for anything which Thou in Thy infinite wisdom desirest." Be sure, then, that the Holy Ghost will take us at our word. When He makes a draw for some particular demonstration such as shouting, or taking a trip down[Pg 150] the aisle, or laughing, or crying, remember He controls the deposit and has a right to do as He pleases with what has been turned over to Him. If our time is placed in His hands He has a right to direct it. If our money is placed at His disposal, we must let Him say in what channels it shall be used. It means much to say, "I am all the Lord's."


The Coquito palm of Chile is a tree about fifty feet in height, with a spreading crown of leaves. From its trunk a syrup is obtained called miel de palma, which is much esteemed by the Chileans and foreigners in cookery. This syrup is obtained by cutting down the tree, and lopping off its crown of leaves, when the sap flows from the wound, and is carefully collected. By cutting off a fresh slice from the wound daily, or when the flow of sap becomes weak, it may be kept flowing for several months. A good tree is said to yield as much as ninety gallons of sap, which on being boiled down assumes the consistency of treacle or molasses.

Here we have a beautiful and fitting illustration of the daily and living sacrifice of a palm tree saint. If the righteous flourish like the palm tree, might it not be well to emulate this peculiar characteristic? When Paul admonished the Roman Christians to present their "bodies a living sacrifice," he did not mean for them simply to obtain the blessing of holiness and then stop and thereafter settle down and enjoy themselves. He meant not only a sacrifice to be offered up[Pg 151] at the given time, but to remain offered up. Our sacrifice is to remain a living sacrifice. The Christian life is one sacrificed to God's cause for the sake of glorifying God and being used in His service. The very word sacrifice means something offered up in devotion. Then if it is offered up to another, can we claim it as our own? If we are to be like this peculiar palm, then we are ready to be "poured forth" as Paul said he was to the Philippians. Here is this sacrificed palm, with its very life poured out from day to day for the benefit of humanity. And this is kept up till there remains nothing but the trunk. Oh, what a symbol of the constant, daily outpouring of one's life and strength for the benefit of a lost world! Look at David Brainerd, David Livingstone, Henry Martyn, yea, thousands of faithful men and women missionaries who have literally poured out their lives, and died for their fellow-men.

The sacrifice element in the Christian life is further illustrated in another kind of palm known as the Cabbage palm. The terminal bud, or "cabbage," is enclosed among many thin, snow-white, brittle flakes. It has the flavor of the almond, but of greater sweetness, and is boiled and eaten with meat. As its removal causes the death of the tree, it is regarded as an extravagant delicacy only rarely to be enjoyed.

Here we find the illustration of the martyr element of the palm tree saint. Paul said, "I am now ready to be offered." Stephen gave himself a living sacrifice to God, and right away lost his life. The martyrs[Pg 152] are numbered by thousands. Is not this an extravagant method of spreading the gospel? It may be from a human standpoint, but God in His infinite wisdom can see beyond our shortsightedness, and permits such to be. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." If there were more persecution today there would doubtless be a better type of Christians. We should possess the martyr spirit. The word "witness" in the original is martyr. And surely many of those early Christians proved it. Every consecrated soul should involve in his consecration the possibility of losing his life for Jesus; then, if he ever faces the issue, he is prepared for it, and if he never has to face such an issue, he might consider it so much clear gain.


The peculiarity of a certain kind of palm, known as the Great Rattan is its wandering or traveling characteristic. The stems of this very peculiar variety are of prodigious length extending for hundreds of feet; it is stated from twelve hundred to eighteen hundred feet, clinging by hooks attached to their leaves to the trunks and boughs of neighboring trees, or trailing on the ground. They are extremely hard externally and usually smooth.

Here we have a beautiful illustration of the missionary spirit. We are living in a day when many of God's dear palm tree saints are flourishing like this Great Rattan. They have the missionary spirit. They have those spiritual hooks attached to their experience[Pg 153] which enable them to cling to others with a tenacity which is not human. They are endowed with a spiritual sturdiness which in truth enables them to "endure hardness as good soldiers." They cross mountains, deserts and oceans, and live among the heathen to win them to Christ. What we need in these days of self-ease and luxury is more of this Great Rattan movement. We need more pilgrims to foreign lands. If we are not called ourselves with this peculiar characteristic, then let us help those who are thus called. We can help them with our money and with our prayers.

We all have a call to the foreign field in one sense: "Go ye into all the world." If God has let you off in person, then see to it that you have a part anyway in evangelizing the world. If I can not go, I can send. If I can not reach them by word of mouth, I can by way of the throne. If I can not preach and teach in the foreign land, I can pray and pay in the homeland. Amen!

With the thought of the missionary and also of the living sacrifice before us, we have the perfect combination of the two in the self-sacrificing experience of some of the early pioneers in the foreign lands. We, in the home lands, can scarcely realize the toils and hardships and dangers that some of these heroes of the cross waded through. We think of the dauntless Livingstone, who penetrated Africa's jungles in order to plant the gospel in that benighted region. Lost to home and the world for years, no wonder people considered him worth looking up, and sending a Stanley in search for him. But he was doing a work which[Pg 154] would open up nations to hear the Word of life. Though he had to bury his loved one on the bank of the Zambesi, yet "with undaunted courage, he set his face toward new paths." How the natives loved this man—this living sacrifice. He was the means in God's hands of bringing them light for darkness, comfort for sorrow, life for death. He was the foe of the slave stealers, and delivered the poor helpless mortals from their grasp. He toiled on in solitude, and gave his very life to make a way to this dark and heathen world. Finally, far from the shore, and thousands of miles from home, he took sick. He was a man of prayer, and one morning when the native men looked into his abode, they found only the body of this devoted follower of the Lamb; he was dead on his knees. Those dusky, devoted souls determined to do the best they could in memory of their apostle, and knowing that his great, loving heart was centered in Africa, they took out his heart and buried it beneath a tree. They then let the hot sun dry the body and those loyal hands carried the remains many, many miles to the seashore, where, what was left of the faithful missionary was shipped to England. And now, with the heart of David Livingstone in the middle of Africa, his body in Westminster Abbey, his soul in heaven, we have an example of the grace of God in helping a man to give up his life for a lost world.

Let us take a glance at Henry Martyn. Leaving England as a young man in feeble health, for six years he worked against fearful odds in India. There in that[Pg 155] disease-ladened land and in Persia he pursued his arduous task of learning three languages utterly adverse, such as Hindustani, Arabic, and Persian. In these three languages he translated the entire New Testament in six years. This is one of the most astonishing of intellectual feats on record. Besides these translations he made others and when we remember that he was burning up with consumptive's fever, and yet kept right on till, in order to perfect his translation in Persian, he made a trip to that country, and crossing burning, sand deserts with his own body literally burning up with fever, he was surely a living sacrifice. His passionate love for the Savior and the souls of lost men, made him suffer on in weakness and sickness, until the short candle of his life consuming at both ends finally flickered out in that faraway foreign land between Persia and the western shore, and where a lone headstone marked the spot where one of God's sainted heroes lay down and died. How small it makes me feel as I write these lines!

Another example is that of David Brainerd, the apostle to the Indians before the colonies became independent. This young man, who died in his thirtieth year in the home of Jonathan Edwards, was one of those early pioneers of gospel work among the wild and pagan Indians. He was another living sacrifice, very feeble in body, dying by inches with consumption, yet toiled on without murmuring, and praying till his body would be bathed in perspiration, he battled almost against hope till finally God gave him marvelous success[Pg 156] among those benighted savages. A few lines from the journal of this marvelous man of prayer may stir up more of a spirit of prayer and self-sacrifice in the reader:

"June 14, 1742.

"I set apart this day for secret fasting and prayer, to entreat God to direct and bless me with regard to the great work which I have in view, of preaching the gospel—and that the Lord would return to me and show me the light of His countenance. Had little life and power in the forenoon. Near the middle of the afternoon, God enabled me to wrestle ardently in intercession for my friends. But just at night the Lord visited me marvelously in prayer. I think my soul never was in such an agony before. I felt no restraint; for the treasures of divine grace were opened to me. I wrestled for absent friends, for the ingathering of souls, for multitudes of poor souls, and for many that I thought were the children of God, personally, in many distant places. I was in such an agony from sun half an hour high, till near dark, that I was all over wet with sweat; but yet it seemed to me that I had wasted the day and done nothing. Oh, my dear Savior did sweat blood for poor souls! I longed for more compassion towards them. Felt still in a sweet frame, under a sense of divine love and grace, and went to bed in such a frame, with my heart set on God.

"April 30, 1743.

"The presence of God is what I want. I live in the most lonely, melancholy desert, about eighteen miles[Pg 157] from Albany; for it was not thought best that I should go to Delaware river. I board with a poor Scotchman. His wife can talk scarce any English. My diet consists mostly of hasty pudding, boiled corn, and bread baked in the ashes, and sometimes a little meat and butter. My lodging is a little heap of straw, laid upon some boards a little way from the ground; for it is a log room, without any floor, that I lodge in. My work is exceedingly hard and difficult. I travel on foot a mile and a half, the worst of ways, almost daily, and back again; for I live so far from my Indians. I have not seen an English person in this month. These, and many other circumstances, equally uncomfortable, attend me. The Lord grant that I may learn to 'endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.'

"August 15, 1743.

"Spent most of the day in labor to procure something to keep my horse on in the winter. Enjoyed not much sweetness in the morning; was very weak in body through the day, and thought that this frail body would soon drop into the dust, and had some very realizing apprehensions of a speedy entrance into another world. In this weak state of body, I was not a little distressed for want of suitable food. I had no bread, nor could I get any. I am forced to go or send ten or fifteen miles for all the bread I eat; and sometimes it is moldy and sour before I eat it, if I get any considerable quantity. And then again I have none for some days together, for want of an opportunity to send for it, and can not find my horse in the woods to[Pg 158] go myself; and this was my case today. But through divine goodness I had some Indian meal, of which I made little cakes, and fried them. Yet I felt contented with my circumstances, and sweetly resigned to God. In prayer I enjoyed great freedom, and blessed God as much for my present circumstances, as if I had been a king; and thought that I found a disposition to be contented in any circumstances. Blessed be God!

"January 23, 1744.

"I think I never felt more resigned to God, nor so dead to the world, in every respect, as now. Am dead to all desire of reputation and greatness, either in life or after death. All I long for is to be holy, humble, and crucified to the world.

"March 2, 1744.

"Was most of the day employed in writing on a divine subject. Was frequent in prayer and enjoyed some small degree of assistance. But in the evening God was pleased to grant me divine sweetness in prayer especially in the duty of intercession. I think I never felt so much kindness and love to those who, I have reason to think, are my enemies—though at that time I found such a disposition to think the best of all, that I scarce knew how to think that any such thing as enmity and hatred lodged in any soul. It seemed that all the world must needs be friends. I never prayed with more freedom and delight for myself, or dearest friend, than I did now for my enemies.

"March 3, 1744.

"In the morning, spent (I believe) an hour in[Pg 159] prayer, with great intenseness and freedom, and with the most soft and tender affection toward mankind. I longed that those who, I have reason to think, bear me ill will, might be eternally happy. It seemed refreshing to think of meeting them in heaven, how much soever they had injured me on earth. I had no disposition to insist upon any confession from them, in order to reconciliation and the exercise of love and kindness to them. Oh, it is an emblem of heaven itself, to love all the world with a love of kindness, forgiveness, and benevolence; to feel our souls sedate, mild and meek, to be void of all evil surmisings and suspicions, and scarce able to think evil of any man upon any occasion; to find our hearts simple, open, and free, to those that look upon me with a different eye! Prayer was so sweet an exercise to me, that I knew not how to cease, lest I should lose the spirit of prayer. Felt no disposition to eat or drink, for the sake of the pleasure of it, but only to support my body, and fit me for divine service. Could not be content without a very particular mention of a great number of dear friends at the throne of grace; as also the particular circumstances of many, so far as they were known.

"July 24, 1744.

"Rode about seventeen miles westward, over a hideous mountain, to a number of Indians. Got together near thirty of them; preached to them in the evening and lodged among them. Was weak, and felt in some degree disconsolate; yet could have no freedom in the thought of any other circumstances or other business[Pg 160] in life. All my desire was the conversion of the heathen; and all hope was in God. God does not suffer me to please or comfort myself with hopes of seeing friends, returning to dear acquaintances, and enjoying worldly comforts.

"November 22, 1744.

"Came on my way from Rockciticus to the Delaware. Was very much disordered with a cold and pain in my head. About six at night, I lost my way in the wilderness, and wandered over rocks and mountains, down hideous steeps, through swamps, and most dreadful and dangerous places, and, the night being dark, so that few stars could be seen, I was greatly exposed. I was much pinched with cold, and distressed with an extreme pain in my head, attended with sickness at my stomach; so that every step I took was distressing to me. I had little hope for several hours together, but that I must lie out in the woods all night, in this distressed case. But about nine o'clock, I found a house, through the abundant goodness of God, and was kindly entertained. Thus I have frequently been exposed, and sometimes lain out the whole night; but God has hitherto preserved me, and blessed be His name. Such fatigues and hardships as these serve to wean me from the earth; and, I trust, will make heaven the sweeter. Formerly, when I was thus exposed to cold and rain, I was ready to please myself with the thoughts of enjoying a comfortable house, a warm fire, and other outward comforts; but now these have less place in my heart, (through the grace of God),[Pg 161] and my eye is more to God for comfort. In this world I expect tribulation; and it does not now, as formerly, appear strange to me. I do not in such seasons of difficulty flatter myself that it will be better hereafter; but rather think how much worse it might be; how much greater trials others of God's children have endured, and how much greater are yet, perhaps, reserved for me.

"October 5, 1746.

"After sermon, baptized two persons. Administered the Lord's Supper to the Indians, besides divers dear Christians of the white people. It seemed to be a season of divine power and grace; and numbers seemed to rejoice in God. Oh, the sweet union and harmony then appearing among the religious people! My soul was refreshed, and my religious friends of the white people, with me. After the sacrament, could scarcely get home, though it was not more than twenty rods; but was supported and led by my friends, and laid on my bed; where I lay in pain till some time in the evening; and then was able to sit up and discourse with friends. Oh, how was this day spent in prayers and praises among my dear people! One might hear them, all the morning before public worship, and in the evening, till near midnight, praying and singing praises to God, in one or other of their houses. My soul was refreshed, though my body was weak."

Just before his death he wrote a letter to his brother Israel, who was then in college. A part of this letter we give as follows:[Pg 162]

"It is on the verge of eternity I now address you. I am heartily sorry that I have so little strength to write what I long so much to communicate to you. But, let me tell you, my brother, eternity is another thing than we ordinarily take it to be when in a healthful state. Oh, how fixed and unalterable! Oh, of what infinite importance it is, that we be prepared for eternity! I have been just a dying, now for more than a week; and all around me have thought me so. I have had clear views of eternity, have seen the blessedness of the godly, in some measure, and have longed to share their happy state, as well as been comfortably satisfied, that through grace I shall do so; but oh, what anguish is raised in my mind, to think of eternity for those who are Christless, for those who are mistaken, and who bring their false hopes to the grave with them! The sight was so dreadful, I could by no means bear it. My thoughts recoiled, and I said, under a more affecting sense than ever before, 'Who can dwell with everlasting burnings!' Oh, methought, could I now see my friends, that I may warn them to see it, that they lay their foundation for eternity sure. * * * If you have reason to think you are graceless, O give yourself and the throne of grace no rest, till God arise and save! But if the case should be otherwise, bless God for His grace, and press after holiness.

"My soul longs, that you should be fitted for, and in due time go into the work of the ministry. I can not bear to think of your going into any other business in life. Do not be discouraged, because you see your[Pg 163] elder brothers in the ministry die early, one after another. I declare, now I am dying, I would not have spent my life otherwise for the whole world.

"Oh, my dear brother, flee fleshly lusts, and the enchanting amusements as well as the corrupt doctrines of the present day, and strive to live to God. Take this as the last line from your affectionate and dying brother."

About a year and six months before this faithful, self-sacrificing servant of God passed to his reward, he wrote in his diary something which most beautifully sets forth the thought we are trying to bring out in the illustration of the living sacrifice life of the missionary.

Under date of May 22, 1746, he wrote:

"If ever my soul presented itself to God for His service, without any reserve of any kind, it did so now. The language of my thoughts and disposition now was, 'Here I am, Lord, send me. Send me to the ends of the earth. Send me to the rough, savage pagans of the wilderness. Send me from all that is called comfort in earth, or earthly comfort. Send me even to death itself, if it be but in Thy service, and to promote Thy kingdom.' At the same time I had as quick and lively a sense of the value of worldly comforts as I ever had; but only saw them infinitely overmatched by the worth of Christ's kingdom, and the propagation of His blessed gospel. A quiet settlement, a certain place of abode, the tender friendships of life, appeared as valuable to me, considered absolutely and in themselves, as ever before; but considered comparatively,[Pg 164] they appeared nothing. Compared with the value and preciousness of an enlargement of Christ's kingdom, they vanished as stars before a rising sun. Sure I am that though the comfortable accommodations of life appeared valuable and clear to me, yet I did surrender and resign myself, soul and body, to the service of God, and to the promotion of Christ's kingdom, though it should be in the loss of them all. I could not do any other, because I could not will or choose any other. I was constrained, and yet chose, to say, 'Farewell, friends and earthly comforts, the dearest of them all, the very dearest, if the Lord calls for it. Adieu, adieu; I will spend my life to my latest moments, in the caves and dens of the earth, if the kingdom of Christ may thereby be advanced.'

"I felt extraordinary freedom at this time in pouring out my soul to God for His cause, especially that His kingdom might be extended among the Indians, far remote; and I had a great and strong hope that God would do it. I continued wrestling with God in prayer for my dear little flock here, and more especially for the Indians elsewhere, as well as for dear friends in one place and another until it was bedtime, and I feared I should hinder the family. But oh, with what reluctancy did I feel myself obliged to consume time in sleep! I longed to be a flame of fire, continually glowing in the divine service, and building up Christ's kingdom, to my latest, my dying moment."

And God granted him his desire to his dying moment. David Brainerd was truly a living sacrifice as[Pg 165] a missionary to the pagan Indians, and won many of them to Christ, where he is rejoicing with them in glory today.


Here we find some very noted peculiarities. There are so many shapes and sizes in the various departments of the palm tree world that one is lost in wonder. Here is one gigantic tree two hundred feet high, while another is only a few feet in height and both real palms. Some leaves attain the enormous proportions of thirty-five feet in length by five or six feet in breadth, while on other varieties the leaves are only a few inches in length. Some palms have no flowers at all, while another known as the Talipot palm throws up a branching inflorescence to a height of thirty feet above the foliage, and it has been estimated that such an inflorescence has included as many as sixty millions of flowers.

When we see such differences in size and propensities, we are reminded of the vast differences in the Christian world. Some saints loom up indeed like the giants of the forest, while others are more like house plants. Some are so full of stupendous works for God's kingdom, and are accomplishing such herculean tasks, while others seem to be more adapted for the mantelpiece, or things to look at. We find the same differences obtaining on other lines. In the physical world is a Samson who can carry off the gates of Gaza, while here is another who can scarcely carry himself. In[Pg 166] the intellectual world there are men who can walk through the heavens as we would stroll through a town; they weigh the planets in their scales, and tell the composition of stars and their distances; while others are still wondering if this world is not flat. In the financial realm we find a man who can lug whole railroad systems, or trans-Atlantic steamers on his shoulders, or thousands of tanks of Standard oil. On the other hand we see some who would starve to death if they were left to themselves. We know of one man who had been trying for years to save up enough money on which to get divorced. We would not be too hard on those, who, in the spiritual realm, are not able to walk off with mountains on their shoulders; they may not be endowed with any special gifts, and yet they may be the Lord's weak children.

We would not sit in judgment on any of God's children. Christ came to save all who will put their trust in Him, and if one is naturally endowed with great and peculiar talents, so much the more responsibility rests upon him; but if one does not possess the extraordinary, he may be a trustful follower of the Lamb after all. And yet we have known of some who certainly did not seem possessed with anything above the ordinary, yet because of their fidelity to Christ and their abandonment to the Holy Ghost, were really blessed in usefulness beyond the ordinary. There is no telling what the Lord will do with the weak ones if they will only let Him put over against them His strength. So, as in the palm tree realm, there is[Pg 167] such a variety in size and form, so in the Christian world we have the babe and the man, the weak and the strong, the tiny, trusting heart who is scarcely known around the corner, and the giant of God who wields his influence throughout the nation. So, whether we are little or big, weak or strong, if we have the assurance that we belong to God's kingdom, let us look up and rejoice evermore. We may be tempted to discouragement when we see the stupendous accomplishments of some of the palm tree saints, but we must remember that God requires from us only that which we are able to perform. So while we may not do what some others do, yet we can all, without an exception, measure up in our individual sphere and prove that the Word of God is true, that "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree."

Reader, in closing this little message to you, let me entreat you, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to introspect your heart and life and see if you possess a spiritual life which would warrant you in believing that you are flourishing like the palm tree. Amen!

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Palm Tree Blessing, by W. E. Shepard


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