1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
The truth has made great headway since the early days of Dr. Thomas. At that time its friends were few, now they can be counted by the thousand. This progress has not been achieved apart from much toil. Who the toilers have been, God knows, and they will not be forgotten by Him in the promised day of recompense.
"Every man," saith His unbreakable word, "shall receive his own reward according to his own labour" (1 Cor. 3:8). As we review the lives of our departed brethren-those who have established the truth so surely in our midst, and who wearied not in well-doing-we think that the secret of their influence lay in their strong recognition of God and their unbounded faith in the unerringness of the Scriptures.
They made their hearers feel that God is a reality, and His word unfailing. To them the truth was more than a mere subject-it was the handing on of a message from the All-seeing Eternal. They took hold of the truth as a precious, beautiful, and very sacred thing. To them it was no toy, no carnal weapon, nor was it handled for the purpose of bringing praise and glory to self.
They esteemed it (and their words and deeds are evidence of this) as a priceless gift of God, to be employed solely for His exaltation, and the enlightenment and salvation of man. They shrank not from being humbled by it-from suffering on its account.
If God is to bless our preaching, as He did theirs, we shall have to follow in their steps. We shall have to show the same humility, courage, ardour, enthusiasm, and devotion. Like these faithful predecessors, we shall have to be always up and doing, making the advancement of truth the great aim of our life. Idleness in this matter is the parent of manifold mischief.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, May 1907
6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
I cannot understand endless space; I cannot understand my own existence? What has that to do with it? If we cannot understand these things, they are facts, and it is with facts we have to do with. We are here in a boundless universe. We are at the conflux of two endless times. We have appeared now and we did not appear before, and in the ordinary course, we shall shortly disappear.
These are the facts we have to deal with. It is the part of a mooning fool to stand still and do nothing because of the inability to grasp the mighty fact. It is the part of common sense to note them, accept them, adjust itself to them, rejoice in them.
And it is not the part of common sense to exclude any part of them, and especially when that omission deranges the rest. It is the part of common sense to see that the Bible is part of the facts, as well as Homers Iliad; that Christ is as much part of the worlds history as Julius Caesar; that God is as much a demonstrated reality in the career of the human race upon the earth as the existence of gravitation in the motion of the heavenly bodies.
Ignore them, and human life is much more of a riddle than before. They cannot be ignored. They are there. They are truth and the kernel of all truth, having this importance for us that they give light to the darkness of the present life and invest the terrible universe with the glory and comfort of the Fathers wisdom and care, and kindle the terrifying future with the radiance of gladsome hope.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
God ceaselessly urges men to wake up and look at the real facts of life. Foolishness simply injures the doer of it, and benefits no one. The course of life He prescribes is the course of wisdom and peace. But they stare emptily at Him and continue in their childish amusements. Does not this show that natural man is the most foolish of all the animal creation?
The Scriptures tell us that many creatures-the ox, the ass, the ant, spider, coney, locust-all are wiser than man.
"The ox knoweth his owner"
-man knows not his Maker.
"The ass knoweth his master's crib,"
but man does not recognize the Source of all his benefits.
"Go to the ant," says Solomon, "Consider her ways, and be wise." The ants take advantage of a time of opportunity, and prepare for the future. But man-busy about passing things-fails to store up the one thing that will be any good to him when the Bridegroom comes-the spiritual oil in his vessel.
"The conies make their houses in the rocks,"
but man prefers to build his vast edifices on the shifting sand.
"The locusts go forth all of them by bands."
United and irresistible, nothing can stop the locusts or turn them from their purpose. But how few men display these characteristics in the pursuit of eternal life-the highest possible purpose!
"The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces."
The patient, tireless, spinning industry of the spider. But how few men really and earnestly take hold with their hands, and how few will ever attain to the King's palaces!
Of these four weak creatures, Solomon declares,
"They are exceedingly wise."
They represent in Solomon's allegory the wise virgins, the ones who at present store in their lives and minds the divine treasures of spiritual wisdom which will cause their lamps to shine forth brightly in the day of judgment.
Bro Growcott - BYT 4.20.
10 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Are we tired of exercising our mind thus? Do we begin to feel apathy with regard to understanding?
What then? Well, what happens to any man who tires on any road? Suppose he be a traveller in the snowy wastes of Russia; he tires, lies down, is frozen to death or eaten by wolves. Or suppose he be in the arid deserts of Africa; he tires, lies down, dies, and the vultures devour his flesh. Or suppose a man be in business, and tires in the direction of his affairs. He has splendid prospects, but he tires. What comes of it but failure and ruin?
Now then, are we going to tire here? Are we going to cease the exercise of the understanding on matters which are of the supremest importance of all?
If so, what is before us? Nothing but present misery and future perdition. 'Present' misery, for where can we get satisfaction and joy if not in the way of godliness. There is no satisfaction in folly.
...the Truth... is a place of comfort and peace. Whatever else we do, let us not weary in the way of understanding. It is a spring of life even now, and a source of glory inconceivable in time to come. Let us open our eyes. Let us look at God. He comes to be a fact to us at last. Understanding sees He must be, and the whole mind and feeling at last sets in the conviction that He is.
Seasons 1: 8