The Freighted Ship
LET us think as we read the Master's words, if we in our own hearts have known the joy the Lord had given to him? And let us fall down before the Lord and adore Him, because He did not measure the love and joy that He poured forth into the Master's heart, by his knowledge, and his light, but regarded only the longing of the Master's heart after Him. So that the Master could say, "When the true light of God ariseth, the light that is God Himself, then must all created light vanish and fade. When the uncreated Light shines forth and glows and beams, then must needs the created light wax pale and dim, as a little candle in the noonday sun. O children, could a man but see this glorious Light for one short moment, he would say that the glory and the joy of all the world fade and disappear in the glory and the joy of that little moment -- and it is now, in our mortal bodies, that we can know such joy and gladness."

How are we to have such joy in our hearts as this?

Many must have asked this question in those sad dark days. For there was little around but sorrow and strife, and suffering and death, and many marvelled at the Master's peace and gladness, and wondered whence it came.

Then the Master explained this to them, and said, "The Holy Ghost speaks oftentimes to our hearts. Sometimes by teachers, sometimes when we are all alone, and it is as if He said, Dear man, if thou wouldst but leave thyself to Me, and be led by Me, I would work in thee, and by thee.'

"O children, it is sad and strange that men are dull and deaf when this wise and loving Friend thus counsels them. They like to try their own ways, and to do blindly those things which are right in their own eyes. And thus they hinder the sweet and blessed teaching of the Holy Spirit, and His words spoken to them are as it were a strange tongue that they do not understand. How well would it be at such moments to cease from all works and to be still, to listen and be silent. For when God speaketh, let all the earth keep silence before Him. His work and thine will never go on together. He must work and thou be still, or if thou workest, He worketh not.

"But in one moment of that stillness, the Holy Ghost will lift thy heart far into the heights of heaven -- far above thy works and ways -- far above thy thoughts and imaginings. And this does God delight to do with His beloved children.

"But many there are who are like men adrift on a great sea with a treasure in their ship, and they know not which way to steer, and they drift far far away into the darkness and the mist, and their treasure is wet with the rain, and they are lost, and sorrowful.

"And if then there came a true and stately man, and said to them, Follow me, and turn your rudder round, I will lead you by a glad and shining way, where the light is fair and clear, and all is still and glorious, and where the sun shines, and where your treasure will be safe and dry, and where you need no more toil in rowing, as now you do,' who would not say in the gladness of his heart, We have found the Man who can steer the treasure safely over the stormy sea of this world below, and keep it from all harm, and land it in the haven at last.'

"O children, such is the Guide whom God has given. Trust the treasure of your soul to Him. But is it not so with you, that when the drops of temptation and sin fall upon your treasure, you go off to your confessor, and wander farther and farther into the mist and darkness?

"But were you to turn to God, and confess to Him, you need no more. And the Holy Ghost would speak to your hearts, and lead you in the fair and shining way, and blessed are ye if ye will but follow Him."

chapter xvii the heritage of
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