Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 7, 1951

Simplicity Of The Divine Economy --- No. 5

Benjamin Franklin

How was the gospel spread in this country fifty years ago? Men went everywhere and preached the word. Why did they go? The love of Christ constrained them. They were full of the love of God; they were unspeakably happy, and wanted to make the whole world happy. They had themselves been saved by the grace of God, and they wanted to carry that grace that saved them to all men. They realized that the whole world lay under the power of the wicked one, and they could not rest without an effort to bring men to the Savior. They found "the knowledge of salvation,' and were moved by the love that moved the Savior, and brought him to the world; and could not be persuaded that they were true to him, if they did not extend that knowledge of salvation to their fellow creatures. How shall we ever clear our skirts, and prepare ourselves to stand in the presence of Him who laid down his life for us, if we carry not this knowledge of salvation; this "glorious gospel of the blessed God;' this "good news of great joy to all people?'

What We Need

We need two things: 1. To be full of the knowledge of salvation ourselves; and 2. To go everywhere preaching it. This cannot be done mechanically, or by a few men working at it, as a trade, for money, and all the balance doing nothing only paying a little money. This never did the work in any part of the world, and never can. The building of God is built up of lively stones; not simply a part of it, but the whole building. Their hearts are full of the great theme of redemption; their souls are overflowing with the love of God; their very songs pour forth, 'peace on earth and good will to men;' their exhortations burn with zeal and ardor that move everything around them; their prayers have an unction that appears like opening the very gates of heaven; their conversations manifest a solicitude in the cause, a divine concern for the recovery of man, the reclamation of a race of polluted, degraded and lost mortals, that appear without limit; their hearts are full, their tongues will not be silent. If they were to hold their peace, the stones would cry out. Their eyes gleam with eloquence, delight and happiness, as they fluently proceed with their wonderful theme.

These are genuine missionaries of Jesus, in the true spirit of missionaries, and their work manifests itself, not in getting up great organizations, confederations, conventions, speeches, etc., etc., but in lives spent in spreading the gospel, extending the knowledge of God among men, and recovering them from the manacles of sin and death. They wait not for a great assembly, a fine meeting-house, a pulpit, or any great occasion, to preach Christ. They wait not to hunt a text, get up a sermon, etc., etc.; not for Sunday, but on any day, anywhere—in the private circle, in public, in business—where a lost human being will give heed to a few words; they issue forth the words of everlasting life. Their minds are stored with these words of salvation and life; their hearts are full to overflowing, and their desire to save man is unbounded.

Those thus redeemed, and realizing the value of their redemption; the great price that bought them; and what it is to be delivered from guilt, from condemnation, justified, made partakers of the "divine nature;' to be filled with all the fulness of God, and be seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and made a guest among the saints in light; and join in all the expectancies of the riches, and treasures, and honors, and glories, and sublimities of the New Jerusalem, the everlasting city of our God, with all the saints of all ages; in the "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, whose Maker and Builder is God;" in "the new heaven and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness'—may most assuredly lift up their hearts to him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, and adore, and praise and honor him forever and ever! These glorious expectancies are sufficiently lofty for the mightiest spirit among the sons of men. They beggar all human effort at description, and are transcendently beyond all that we ask or think, or that ever entered into the heart of man. "We know not what we shall be; but we know this, we shall see Jesus, and be like him; for we shall see him as he is.'

Let Jesus be the theme in all our preaching, our exhortations, our prayers, and our songs; let the desire continually be: "Make us, Lord Jesus, daily more like thee;' let his words dwell upon our lips, his example be our pattern, and learn to love him and do the things that are pleasing in his sight; let the ambition be to look to him and honor him.

Small Things

The work of the Lord is done in small items. Hr waters the earth with mere drops of rain. The earth is cultivated by diffusing the laborers over it. The work of the Lord to be done in this world is widely extended over its surface; and men must go where it is to do it. We need no great convocations to do any of it. We can instruct saints, meet and worship in small assemblies, or preach to the people of the world, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, without any large gatherings of the people. No matter, then, about any great assemblies in this world.

But when the King of kings and the Lord of lords comes, and he shall gather his elect from the four quarters of the globe; gather them from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South; out of every nation and kingdom, and tongue, and tribe, and people—we shall see the grand throng, the great assembly that John saw, which no man can compute. The Lord shall then stand before them and cry, "Father, here am I, and here are the children that thou gavest me.' Then shall they, in one mighty chorus, unite in ascribing blessing and glory, and honor, and dominion, and might, to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! Shall we be there in that great day, and shall we be counted worthy and accepted by Him. Let us strive to that end; labor to enter into that rest, so that we may be able, as the beloved John, to say, "Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come!'