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    January 21, 1897

    “Power and Freedom” The Signs of the Times, 23, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Power belongs to the Lord alone. It is not safe to trust men with power. When men have power and use it they always become tyrants. The Lord has all power, and in the thought of that is the most wonderful revelation of love, and kindness, and long-suffering, and freedom.SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.1

    With absolutely all power, with the hearts of men in his hands, the Creator of men, living in the flesh and giving his life to us, so that we live upon his life, has never exercised his power over against our wills. Such is the Lord. Then no one who knows the Lord, and who yields to him and his power, will have anything of arbitrariness; there will be nothing savoring of force or compulsion in him. No man who knows the power of God, which is love, will try to compel others to agree with him; and of course no body of men who know the Lord will do so.SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.2

    It is the Lord’s power that is to work in men. That power we see in all the visible creation. There is a mighty power there, as vegetation; but no arbitrariness. That power will work its way out wherever there is an opening; but it works in quietness. That power has dwelt in us, yet never has been exercised against our will. Can we conceive of any freedom greater than that? It is the freedom the Lord has guaranteed to men, and he himself will maintain it.SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.3

    The very fact that the Lord has never compelled us to do anything, should show us that his will is not something against man. The Lord has revealed his will to us that we may choose it. His will is life and righteousness. When we choose that his will shall be done in us, then he will do it; for he has all power to work it. He “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” And when we give him the privilege, yielding our way to his way, our judgment to his judgment, although he works in us, yet we are still free.SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.4

    This is religious liberty, the liberty that is to be proclaimed to men. There are many who profess to know the Lord, who are zealous and sincere, who yet do not know the Lord, because they think he is pleased to have them dictate as to how people shall serve him. The only way this can be counteracted, as far as it ever will be, is to proclaim the Lord, and the freedom of the Lord, to everybody.SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.5

    Those only can proclaim the freedom of the Lord, who knows it. when we recognize the fact that the Lord has been with us all the years, and yet waiting, having all power, and yet refusing to use one particle of it against our will, we shall know what it is that the Lord wants to be proclaimed to men. And this message will be proclaimed in love, for that is the power of the Lord.SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.6

    It is his power alone that is to be manifested. We stand where Christ stood: “I can of mine own self do nothing.” We can say: “His power is dwelling in me, because I am willing it shall. I am zealous of good works. I know his power is sufficient to work them. It have tried to manufacture them, and could not; now I yield to him, that he may work in me that which is good through Christ Jesus.”SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.7

    Then it is his power working in us mightily, and that power will work only that which is persuasive and gentle. There will be no compulsion of others, and the man who knows the Lord will always be a free man. “With freedom hath the Lord made us free.” The Gospel proclaims liberty to the captive; let us exercise it, and enjoy it. E. J. W.SITI January 21, 1897, page 33.8

    “The Greatness of His Gentleness” The Signs of the Times, 23, 3.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the words of Hosea of the Lord says, “I will be as the dew unto Israel.” The figure conveys the idea of gentleness, refreshing, and strength. Fresh every evening, the dew what’s the fields, and gives the real fighting and strength which vegetation needs for the growth it must make with each day’s sun.SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.1

    Thus it is with grace, and the mercies of the Lord. “They are new every morning.” There must be daily growth, and every day we must have the refreshing and reviving from the Lord. He reveals Himself to the bleeding heart as gently and noiselessly as the dew distills upon the blade of grass; but there is strength in His mercies, that fortifies the soul in distress of sin, and in the heat, “when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.2

    There is so much lost to many because they’re not content to rest daily and the Lord, and drinking and of His quiet presence. When Job, in his time of affliction, spoke of the days of his strength, when he was eyes to the blind, and feet to blame, and the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him, he said: “My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch. My glory was fresh in me.” Chapter 29:19, 20. The message to every believer is, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” This glory seen upon the Christian, as fresh and glistening as a dew-bespangled meadow in the morning sun, is the testimony of the Christian life.SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.3

    The Lord often uses the figure of the dew and the rain to describe the nature of His word,—the word by which we are born again, and grow, and are sanctified. He says by Moses: “My doctrine shall drop is the rain, My speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as showers upon the grass.” Deuteronomy 32:2. “For as the rain cometh down... so shall My word be.” Isaiah 55:10, 11.SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.4

    It is a divinely appropriate simile. Faraday showed that there is stored in a dew drop sufficient electric force to rend a rock. Each drop of dew or rain is bringing life and power into vegetation; and thus the force that would shatter the rock, if pent up, is working itself out in perishing delicate tissues, and caring the water of life to all animate creation.SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.5

    So it is God’s word. “No word from God shall be void of power,” said the angel to marry; and the Lord says, “Is not My word... like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” The power of the word is the almighty power of God. And there is in it the same combination of power and gentleness, carried to an infinite degree. All the power is for the faint and the weary, and the word comes as a still small voice to the soul. In the heart of the believer it becomes a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. It is everlasting strength, and everlasting consolation.SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.6

    This mingling of gentleness and strength that is in the word, reproduces itself in those who take the word in its fullness. “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.” Hosea 14:5. The glory of the Lord is risen upon the believer, and he will reflect the beauty and the grace of Jesus’ character. In His meekness and humility, and Divine beauty of soul, He was “the Lily of the valley;” and to those who take Him He brings the same life that He lived. They are made partakers of the Divine nature.SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.7

    Then there is the infinite strength of His character, which He also shares with those who are His. The life, for beauty, it is as the lily, but for the strength, it casts forth its roots as the cedars of Lebanon. It is rooted and grounded in love, rooted and built up in Him. The firmness and constancy of the character that is rooted in the word cannot be shaken though all the world is removed. It is a rare combination, this blending of consummate gentleness and grace with unflinching firmness and unyielding strength. It can only come as the gift of God.SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.8

    The Lord works this in the believer; for it is His own way of dealing with His children. His Providences may appear otherwise to the natural heart and eyes, but in the end every soul that is subdued wholly to God will recognize His infinite tenderness in all His ways. David was a rough and stirring school of instruction, but in the end he was able to say, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.”SITI January 21, 1897, page 35.9

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