« PreviousContinue »
The War Cry, No. 114.-FEB. 23, 1882.
MAN'S CHIEF GOOD.
Notes of an Address by Mrs. BOOTH, at Manchester,
on Sunday Morning, January 29th, 1882.
As I look round this morning, the question presents itself to me: “Is there no way of showing people, -and especialy young people, before the terrible, trying, and harrowing experience of a lifetime, which it seems to take most people to learn it-is there no way of teaching people the great truth, the one end which God has in view in human life, yea, in allowing the race to continue, and in His dealings with the race all the way through, the one great lesson which we must learn if ever we get to Heaven, namely, THAT GOD IS THE GREAT GOOD, the one satisfying portion for the human soul ?" Then, I said, “O Lord, do THOU teach it to them. Reveal to them by Thy Spirit that Thou art the end for which they were created."
Satan has deluded the race by getting them to imagine that other ends, and things, and beings are the great good for which they were made. One young man sets his eyes on a beautiful young woman, loves her, and thinks that she will be his great good. She will be a great good, if she is a godly girl, but not THE great good for which he was made, and therefore if he stops short there, he will miss his mark, and God will perhaps have to take her away from him, to show him his mistake, and to lead him to seek his happiness in God.
Others think that getting on in the world, getting fame, reputation, or wealth will be their great good; they toil, and labour, and take a great deal more pains for it than will do them good, or satisfy them if they attain it. Oh! how many of these disappointed men I have talked to! Men whose life was almost gone, as their silver locks and tottering limbs testified, and, as they have looked back on their life, they have admitted, directly or indirectly, as I heard a man say a few days ago, “Yes, my life has been a mistake!” Such people try to satisfy their souls with that which can never satisfy them. Happy if, at last, like the prodigal, they find out their mistake, and turn to God before ALL IS LOST FOR EVER!
Others make their family their great good. They say, “I will make that boy this, and that girl the other;" but there is hardly a parent on earth can do with his children what he desires, and he finds that even his children are not his great good. I hear there are some of you that say
« Amen” to that; but you will have bitterer things yet. God is bound to disappoint you, if He would save you, while you place your affections and ambitions on anything short of Himself. He made you FOR HIMSELF, and He will have you for Himself, or He
will have to shut you up with the devil and his angels. The universe will only be divided into two parts at last,--those who will be for God, and those against Him. If you do not take Him for your great good now, you will be reckoned amongst those who are against Him then. Those beings that have affinities for each other gather together. If there were no God, and souls continue what they are, if after death your inclinations and dispositions are evil, you will go with the evil. The good will all go to the right hand, because right is right; and the bad will all go to the left, because wrong is wrong.
I have had rather a sharp tussle with the enemy this morning. As I was coming along in the bath chair I was taking myself to task, for I like to come to the foundation of things, and see where I am. It is fearfully possible for anyone to get wrong, for the Devil has a new trap for each day. I was pulling myself up before some questions which Satan had been thrusting before me. As I was reading in private this morning, this line struck me very forcibly—“Because thou hast trusted in thy way, and hast not trusted in the Lord," etc.
I said, “Oh, Lord! am I trusting in my way in anything?” Then I examined myself thus :-I said, “ Supposing this were to happen so, and that were to happen so, all contrary to my way-to my poor judgment of what is the best. What would I do then?” and my heart said, “I would still trust in Thee, O Lord! Nay, if Thou should strip me of everything, and leave me naked and desolate, I would still trust in Thee, and still seek Thy kingdom; and if there were a possibility for me to be sent to hell, I would set UP FOR THEE there! That was enough for the Devil ; he went off, and has not troubled me since; and as we were singing
“ Jesus has satisfied,” I said, “ Yes, he does !” I have had many a hard battle, and been worsted many a time in learning this lesson of life--that God is THE GOOD OF HIS CREATURES. God is a jealous God. You know how you husbands would feel if you thought you had a rival in your wife's heart; or you wives, in your husband's; or you parents, in your children's. God is a jealous God, and he will be the first and last, and All and in All to the soul. He will have all creatures subordinate to Him, and used for, and in Him, and if you will do that, He will give you a happy time of it; but, if not, you will have a rough time of it. He cannot save you till you are brought to it, and if you won't make up your mind to it, you will be stripped and whipped again and again till you do, and if you will not, after all, you will be cast into hell. Now make your choice. I have made mine, and I will go through with it, and see how it ends. It has begun very nicely. I thought as I heard my third boy speak, “Yes! I would rather have him there than sitting on an emperor's throne, and swaying a sceptre over an empire.” Now, this is what God wants of every one of you.
says, “ If you will choose Me, I will choose you. My eyes run to and fro over the whole earth, to show Myself strong on the behalf of those who will thus choose Me. If your heart is perfect towards
Me in this sense, I will put my great, long arm down, and I will hold you up and confound your enemies, vindicate your character, and bring out your righteousness as the sun. Trust Me, and I will look after you. I will choose your wife, or your husband, if you are to have one, guide you and provide for you, be near you when sick, and with you when dying. Whether I allow your head to be cut off like John the Baptist's, or let you be martyred like Peter, never mind, I WILL BE WITH
shall be WITH ME FOR EVER. Now, will you thus choose Me? Will you, will you ?” The Lord help you, now and for Amen.