in Galatians about love, the fruit of the Spirit being love, joy, peace,
suffering, meekness and temperance. The way this writer has put it -- and I
think it is very beautiful -- is that joy is love exultant, peace is
love in repose,
and long suffering is love enduring. It is all love, you see, a gentleness
is love in society, and goodness is love in action, and faith is love on the
battle-field, and meekness is love at school, and temperance is love in
Now there are a great
many that have got love and they hold the truth. I should have said they have
got truth, but they don't hold it in love, and they are very unsuccessful in
working for God. They are very harsh, and God cannot use them. Now let us
hold the truth, but let us hold it in love. People will stand almost any kind
of plain talk if you only do it in love. If you do it in harshness it bounds
back and they won't receive it. So what we want is to have the truth and at
the same time hold it in love.
Then there is another
class of people in the world that have got the truth, but they love so much
that they give up the truth because they are afraid it will hurt some one's
feelings. That is wrong. We want the whole truth anyway. We don't want to give
it up, but hold it in love, and I believe one reason why people think God don't
love them is because they have not this love. I met a lady in the inquiry-room
today, and I could not convince her that God loved her, for she said that
if He did love her He would not treat her as He had. And I believe people are
all measuring God with their own rule, as I said the other day, and we are
not sincere in our love, and we very often profess something we really don't
possess. Very often we profess to have love for a person when we do not, and
we think God is like us.
Now God is just what
He says He is, and He wants His children to be sincere in love; not to love
just merely in word and in tongue, but to love in earnest. -That is what God
does. You ask me why God loves. You might as well ask me why the sun shines.
It can't help shining, and neither can He help loving, because He is love Himself;
and any one that says He is not love does not know anything about love. If
we have got the true love of God shed abroad in our hearts we will show it
in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it.
We will show
it in everything we say or do.
VERY NICE TO THEIR FACES
There is a good deal
of what you might call sham love. People profess to love you very much, when
you find it is all on the surface. It is not heart love. Very often you are
in a person's house, and the servant comes in and says such a person is in
the front room, and she says: "Oh, dear, I am so sorry he has come, I can't
bear the sight of him ;" and she'll get right up and go into the other room
and say, "Why, how do you do? I am very glad to see you! " [Laughter.] There
good deal of that sort of thing in the world.
I remember, too, I was
talking with a man one day and an acquaintance of his came in, and he jumped
up at once and shook him by the hand-why I thought he was going to shake his
hand out of joint, he shook so hard-and he seemed to be so glad to see him
and wanted him to stay, but the man was in a great hurry and could not stay,
and he coaxed him and urged him to stay, but the man said no, he would come
another time; and after that man went out my companion turned to
me and said, "Well, he is an awful bore, and I am glad he's gone." Well, I began
to feel that I was a bore, too, and I got out as quickly as I could. [Laughter.]
That is not real love. That is love with the tongue while the heart is not true.
Now, let us not love in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. That is
the kind of love God gives us, and He wants the same in return.
Now, there is another
side to this truth. A man was talking to me out here the other day that he
didn't believe there was any love at all; that
Christians professed to have love, but he didn't believe men could have two
coats, and I think he reflected on me, because I had on my overcoat at the
time and he hadn't got
any. I looked at him and said: "Suppose I should give you one of my coats, you
would drink it up before sundown. I love you too much to give you my coat and
have you drink it up."
A good many people are
complaining now that Christians don't have the love they ought to have, but
I tell you it is no sign of want of love that we don't love the lazy man. I
have no sympathy with those men that are just begging twelve months of the
year. It would be a good thing, I believe, to have them die off. They are of
no good. I admit there are some that are not real, and sincere, and true, but
there are many that would give the last penny they had to help a man who really
needed help. But there are a good many sham cases-men that won't work, and
the moment they get a penny they spend it for drink. To such men it is no charity
to give. A man that won't work should be made to work. I believe there is a
great deal more hope of a drunkard or a murderer or a gambler than there is
of a lazy man.
TOO LAZY TO STAY CONVERTED
I never heard of a lazy
man being converted yet, though I remember talking once with a minister in
the backwoods of Iowa about lazy men. He was all discouraged in his efforts'
convert lazy men, and I said to him, "Did you ever know a lazy man to be converted?" "Yes," said
he; "I knew of one, but he was so lazy that he didn't stay converted but about
six weeks." And that is as near as I ever heard of a lazy man being converted,
and if there are any here today saying they don't love us because we don't give
them any money, I say we love them too well. We don't give to them because it
Some years ago I picked
up several children in Chicago and thought I would clothe them and feed them,
and I took special interest in those boys to see what I could make of them.
I don't think it was thirty days before the clothes had all gone to whisky
and the fathers had drank it all up. One
day I met one of the little boys for whom
I bought a pair of boots only the day before. There was a snow-storm coining
up and he was barefooted. "Mike," says I, "how's this? Where are your boots
and mother took them away," said he. There is a good deal that we think is
charity that is really doing a great deal of mischief; and the people must
because we don't give them money to aid them in their poverty that we don't
love them, for the money would go into their pockets to
get whiskey with.
POVERTY SOMETIMES A BLESSING
It is no sign that we
are all hypocrites and insincere in our love that we don't give money. I believe
if the prodigal son could have got all the money he wanted in that foreign
country he would never have come home, and it was a good thing for him that
he did get hard up and to live on the husks that the swine ate. And it is a
good think that people should suffer. If they get a good living without work,
they will never work. We can never make anything of them. God has decreed that
man shall earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, and not live on other people.
But I am getting away
from the subject. I only wanted to touch upon this subject because a good
many are complaining that Christian people don't help them. I have sometimes
or twenty letters a day, coming from Kansas, and Europe even, asking us to
take up a collection. They say: "Here is a poor woman. Just get the people
to give a penny apiece." Suppose we began doing that sort of thing. We should
have to have somebody to look up this man or this woman and find if they
are worthy. If we took up one collection, we would have to take up five hundred.
I never found a person true to Christ but what the Lord would take care of
them. I think it is a good thing for people to suffer a little until they
back to God. They will find that God will take care of them that love Him.
A great many say, "Oh, I love God." It is easy enough, to say this, but if
you do love God He knows about it, be assured. He knows how much you love
Him. You may deceive your neighbors, and think you love God, and assume a
of love, when there is really no
love in your heart.
Now it says
in 1 Corinthians 8: "But if any man love God, the same is known of him." God
is looking from heaven down into this world just to find that one man.
God knows where
he lives, the number of his house, and the name of the street he lives
in. In fact, He has the very hairs of your head numbered, and He will
care of you. He will not let any of His own children come to want, He will
not let any of those that come to want suffer, He will provide for their
wants if they are only sincere, but He don't want any sham work, When the
here He was all the time stripping those Pharisees of their miserable selfrighteousness.
They professed great love for Him while their hearts were far from God.
Let us not profess to love God with our tongue and lips, while our lives
far from it.
DON'T KNOW THEIR OWN
Another class say, "I
don't know whether I love God or not. I am really anxious to know whether or
not I love God." Now, if you are really anxious it won't take you long to find
out. You cannot love God and the world at the same time, because they abhor
each other. They are at enmity, always have been and always will be. It is
the world that crucified God's Son; it was the world that put God's Son to
death. Therefore, if we love the world it is a pretty good evidence that the
love of the Father is not in us. We may say our prayers and go through some
religious performances, but our hearts are not right with God because we cannot
love God and the world at the same time. We have got to get the world under
our feet and the love of God must be first in our hearts or else we have not
got the love of God.
The command we have is
that he who loveth God loveth his brother also. Now, if we have got our heart
full of enmity and jealousy and malice toward any of God's children it is
a sure sign that the love of God is not in our hearts. To love a man that
me that don't require any goodness; the greatest infidel can do that; but
to love a man that reviles me and lies about me and slanders me-that takes
grace of God. I may not associate with him,
but I may love him. I may hate the sin, but love the sinner, And that is
one of the tests by which
to find out whether you have love in your heart. The first impulse of the
young convert is to love every one, and to do all the good he can, and that
sign that a man has been born from above, born of God, and that he has got
real love in his heart; and these tests God gives us
that we may know.
CHRISTIAN LOVE OPPOSED
The question is, do you
love the world? Had you rather go to a theatre than to prayer-meeting? Had
you rather go to a dance than to commune with the godly? If so it is, then
it is a good sign that you have not been converted and not born of God. That
is a test. People want to know whether they love God or not; let them turn
to that test and they will find out If your heart is set on the world and you
had rather not be with God's people, it is a sure sign that you have not been
Well, there is another
class of people who say, "I don't see if God really loves me and I love Him,
why I am called upon t have so many afflictions and troubles." Just turn a
moment to the 8th
chapter of Romans, the 28th verse: "And we know that all things work together
for good to them
that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose." It is not
a few things; not a part of them, but all work together for good. Give a man
prosperity and how quickly he turns away from God, and so it is a little trouble
here, and a little reverse here, and some prosperity there, and taken all together
it is the very thing we need.
If you just take your
Bibles you will find that God loves you. There is no one in this wide world,
sinner, that loves you as God loves you. You may think your father loves
you, or your mother loves you, or a brother or a sister, but let me tell
can multiply it by ten thousand times
ten thousand before it can equal" God's love. "While we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." Can you have greater proof of God's love and Christ's love? "Greater
love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends." Christ laid down his life for
his enemies. Ah, my
it will take all eternity
for us to find out the height and breadth and length and depth of God's love.
PROTECTED BY THE FLAG
How men with an open
Bible can say that God don't love them is more than I can understand. But
the devil is deceitful and puts that into their heads. Let me beg you, beg
go to Calvary and there you may just for a moment catch a glimpse of God's
love. There was a man came from Europe to this country a year or two ago,
and he became dissatisfied and went to Cuba in 1867 when they had a great
war there. Finally he was arrested for a spy, court-martialed, and condemned
to be shot. He sent for the American Consul and the English Consul, and went
on to prove to them that he was no spy. These two men were thoroughly convinced
that the man was no spy, and they went to one of the Spanish officers and
said, This man you have condemned to be
shot is an innocent man." "Well," the Spanish officer says, "the man has been
legally tried by our laws and condemned, and the law must take its course and
the man must die."
And the next morning
the man was led out; the grave was already dug for him, and the black cap was
put on him, and the soldiers were there ready to receive the order, "Fire," and
in a few moments the man would be shot and be put in that grave and covered
up, when who should rise up but the American Consul, who took the American
flag and wrapped it around him, and the English Consul took the English flag
and wrapped it around him, and they said to those soldiers, "Fire on those
flags if you dare!" Not a man dared; there were two great governments behind
those flags. And so God says, "Come under my banner, come under, the banner
of love, come
under the banner of heaven." God will take good care of all that come under His
Oh, my friends, come
under the banner of heaven today. This banner is a banner of love. May it
float over every soul here, is the prayer of my heart. God don't will the death
of any who will come under His banner of love. It is pure love, and sinner,
may the love of God bring you into the fold is the prayer of my heart. I read
once of a young man who left his father, and at last that father died and the
boy came to the funeral, and there was not a tear that flowed over his cheeks
during all the funeral. He saw that father laid down into the grave, and he
did not shed a tear. When they came to break the will, and the boy heard that
the father had dealt kindly with him and had given him some property, he began
to shed tears. When that boy heard his father's will read, his heart was broken,
and he came to his father's God.
0 sinner, if you want
to find out God's love, take this last will and testament of Jesus Christ.
He showed his love by going to Calvary; He showed his love by His death
agony there. He loves you with an. everlasting love; He don't want you to
O, may you love Him in return.