GlaxoSmithKline accused of producing 'defective' Parkinson's Drug which turned married father into gay sex addict

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British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline was today accused of producing a ‘defective’ Parkinson’s Disease drug which turned a happily married father into a gay sex addict.

Didier Jambart, 52, appeared before a court in the French city of Nantes, to demand £390,000 in compensation from the company.

He began taking ReQuip tablets in 2003 after he was prescribed it to treat Parkinson’s disease, but then his behaviour changed beyond recognition.

Mr Jambart became a compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing.

His dangerous sexual encounters led to him being raped, he claimed.

‘After first taking the drugs I was bursting with energy,’ said Mr Jambart. ‘I would get up at four in the morning and run ten-and-a-half kilometers, but later, it went more than too far.

‘My life was ruined, my family and I were treated like we had the plague.’

Mr Jambart said he became so depressed that he attempted suicide eight times.

‘I have to take this matter to court – it may be a David and Goliath struggle but after all I’ve been through I want to get my dignity back,’ he said.

ReQuip – which is also known as Ropinirole - was known to produce strange side effects on some users, but a warning only appeared on its package in 2006 – a year after Mr Jambart started taking it, said Mr Jambart’s lawyers.

Jacques-Antoine Robert, a lawyer representing GlaxoSmithKline in the case, said scientific knowledge at the time of Mr Jambart’s problems did not suggest ‘any indication of the effects of Ropinirole’.

He admitted there was a possibility of an ‘extremely rare reaction’ but said that the evidence did not point to his GlaxoSmithKline producing a ‘defective drug’, as Mr Jambart’s lawyers claim.

Jacqueline Houdayer, the president of the CADUS patients’ aid group in France, said she had been contacted by 100 other people who had suffered similar side effects to Mr Jambart.

Last year former British IT manager Peter Shepherd, 60, ended up in court after he underwent an astonishing personality change when prescribed Cabergoline – another Parkinson’s disease drug - by his GP in 2001.

Mr Shephard told how he became a sex-crazed transvestite and blew 400,000 pounds on a luxury lifestyle.

A judgement in the Didier Jambart case is expected today.

Strange Sex Laws

In the USA, the FDA does not currently regulate sex toys, so many of them are toxic. Learn which sex toys are safe and which ones are not.
In Florida, having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.
In Tibet, many years ago, the law required all women prostitute themselves. This was seen as a way to gain sexual experience prior to marriage.
"Female breasts," according to the Arizona Supreme Court, don't constitute "private parts" under state law.
The Asiatic Huns punished convicted male rapists and adulterers with castration. Female adulterers were merely cut in two.
The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation.
The T'ang Dynasty Empress Wu Hu passed a special law concerning oral sex. She felt that a woman pleasuring a man represented the supremacy of the male over the female. Therefore, she insisted all visiting male dignitaries show their respect by pleasuring her orally when meeting. The empress would throw open her robe and her guest would kneel before her and kiss her genitals.
In London, it's illegal to have sex on a parked motorcycle.
There is, in fact, an Illinois law that prohibits a number of things—one of which is a public erection, another is nude dancing. The prohibition against the public erection has never been challenged in the Supreme Court, but the prohibition against nude dancing has.
In 100 A.D., the Teutons, an Germanic tribe, would punish anyone caught as a prostitute by suffocating them in excrement.
The vow of a Roman vestal virgin lasted 30 years. If she engaged in sex before then, she was punished by being buried alive.
In 17th century Spain, it was illegal for anyone other than a woman's husband to see her bare feet. A woman could freely expose her breasts, but feet were considered sexual and had to be covered in the presence of men other than her husband.
The Romans would crush a first-time rapist's gonads between two stones.
In China, women are prohibited from walking around a hotel room in the nude. A woman may be naked only while in the bathroom.
The early Christian church forbade couples from having sex on Wednesdays, Fridays and of course, Sundays.
In Pompeii, a special law was directed at prostitutes. They had to dye their hair either blue, red or yellow in order to be able to work.
In Indiana, mustaches are illegal if the bearer has a "tendency to habitually kiss other humans.
Six thousand years ago, Egyptians, the first to punish sex crimes with castration, would completely castrate a male convicted of rape. A women found guilty of adultery would find herself without a nose, the thinking being that without a nose, it would be harder to find someone to share in her adulterous ways.
In Krakow, Poland it's not only a crime to have sex with animals, but three-time offenders are shot in the head.
Up until 1884, a woman could be sent to prison for denying a husband sex.
In Maryland, it is illegal to sell condoms from vending machines with one exception—prophylactics may be dispensed from a vending machine only "in places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises."
While not as extreme as the ancient Israelite punishment for adultery (stoning), Greek men still had their fair share of discomfort when their pubic hair was removed and a large radish was shoved up their rectum.
In Alabama, it's against the law for a man to seduce "a chaste woman by means of temptation, deception, arts, flattery or a promise of marriage."
In Nepal, Bangladesh and Macao it is against the law to view movies containing simulated lovemaking or the pubic area of men and women. The law also does not allow kisses to be shown in any film that includes actors from these three countries.
It's illegal to have sex with a corpse anywhere in the United States.
An 18th century French prostitute could be spared punishment if she were willing to join the opera.
There are men in Guam whose full-time job it is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins, who pay them for the privilege of having sex for the first time.
Under the law in Guam, it is forbidden for virgins to marry.
In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed to kill her adulterous husband, but may only do so with her bare hands. The husband's lover may be killed in any manner desired.
An 18th century French prostitute could be spared punishment if she were willing to join the opera.
In Mississippi, S & M is against the law. Specifically, "The depiction or description of flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is nude or in undergarments or in a bizarre or revealing costume for the purpose of sexual gratification."
During the Middle Ages, if you were guilty of bestiality you'd be burned at the stake, along with the other party to your crime.
As recently as 1990, these states had laws against the use of dildos: Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington D.C.
In Minnesota, it is illegal for any man to have sexual intercourse with a live fish. Dead ones are apparently alright!?!
In Detroit, couples are not allowed to make love in an automobile unless the act takes place while the vehicle is parked on the couple's own property.
In Oxford, Ohio, it's illegal for a woman to strip off her clothing while standing in front of a man's picture.
An excerpt from Kentucky state legislation: "No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club."
The only acceptable sexual position in Washington, DC is the missionary position. Any other sexual position is considered illegal.
In Michigan a woman isn't allowed to cut her own hair without her husband's permission.
It is illegal for any member of the Nevada legislature to conduct official business wearing a penis costume while the legislature is in session.
In Ventura County, California cats and dogs are not allowed to have sex without a permit.
Under Lebanese law, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is expressly forbidden.
A law in Fairbanks, Alaska does not allow moose to have sex on city streets.
In Kingsville, Texas there is a law against two pigs having sex on the city's airport property.
Women can sell items and be topless in Liverpool, England—but only in tropical fish stores.
In the state of Texas it was a misdemeanor if two men engage in oral sex and or anal sex. The Supreme Court overruled this law in 2003. The same law didn't apply to men and women engaging in the same activity with each other.
In Romboch, Virginia, it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with the lights on.
In the state of Utah, sex with an animal, unless performed for profit, is not considered sodomy and therefore is legal.
Anywhere in the U.S., It's illegal to use any live endangered species (except for insects) in public or private sexual displays, shows or exhibits depicting cross-species sex.
In the quiet town of Connorsville, Wisconsin, it's illegal for a man to shoot off a gun when his female partner has an orgasm.
It is illegal for a man and woman to have sex "on the steps of any church after the sun goes down" in Birmingham, England.
In the state of Washington there is a law against having sex with a virgin under any circumstances (including the wedding night).
A Tremonton, Utah law states that no woman is allowed to have sex with a man while riding in an ambulance. In addition to normal charges, the woman's name will be published in the local newspaper.
It's against the law in Willowdale, Oregon, for a husband to curse during sex.
Sodomy laws have been repealed—or are ignored—in most states, but not Georgia, where a man was sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in oral sex. With his wife. With her consent. In their home.
An Oklahoma state representative once proposed a bill requiring that a man explain the dangers of pregnancy and obtain a woman's written consent before the two could legally engage in sexual intercourse.
In Oblong, Illinois, it's punishable by law to make love while hunting or fishing on your wedding day.
No man is allowed to make love to his wife with the smell of garlic, onions, or sardines on his breath in Alexandria, Minnesota. If his wife so requests, law mandates that he must brush his teeth.
Warn your hubby that after lovemaking in Ames, Iowa, he isn't allowed to take more than three gulps of beer while lying in bed with you—or holding you in his arms.
Bozeman, Montana, has a law that bans all sexual activity between members of the opposite sex in the front yard of a home after sundown—if they're nude.
An ordinance in Newcastle, Wyoming, specifically bans couples from having sex while standing inside a store's walk-in meat freezer.
In hotels in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, every room is required to have twin beds. The beds must always be a minimum of two feet apart when a couple rents a room for only one night. And it's illegal to make love on the floor between the beds.
The owner of every hotel in Hastings, Nebraska, is required to provide each guest with a clean and pressed nightshirt. No couple, even if they are married, may sleep together in the nude, nor may they have sex unless they are wearing one of these clean, white cotton nightshirts.
An ordinance in Newcastle, Wyoming, specifically bans couples from having sex while standing inside a store's walk-in meat freezer.
A state law in Illinois mandates that all bachelors should be called master, not mister, when addressed by their female counterparts.
In Norfolk, Virginia, a woman can't go out without wearing a corset. (There was a civil-service job—for men only—called a corset inspector.)
In Merryville, Missouri, women are prohibited from wearing corsets because "the privilege of admiring the curvaceous, unencumbered body of a young woman should not be denied to the normal, red-blooded American male."
It's safe to make love while parked in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Police officers aren't allowed to walk up and knock on the window. Any suspicious officer who thinks that sex is taking place must drive up from behind, honk his horn three time and wait approximately two minutes before getting out of his car to investigate.
A law in Helena, Montana, mandates that a woman can't dance on a table in a saloon or bar unless she has on at least three pounds, two ounces of clothing.
Lovers in Liberty Comer, New Jersey, should avoid satisfying their lustful urges in a parked car. If the horn accidentally sounds while frolicking behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, the couple can face a jail term.
A Florida sex law: If you're a single, divorced, or widowed woman, you can't parachute on Sunday afternoons.
Women aren't allowed to wear patent-leather shoes in Cleveland, Ohio—the thinking is that a man might see the reflection of something he shouldn't.
Maryland prohibits the selling of condoms through vending machines in gas stations and stores—with one major exception. Prophylactics may be dispensed by a vending machine only "in places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises."
Vending-machine condom sales are banned in such states as Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In Texas, no one other than a "registered pharmacist" may sell condoms or other kinds of contraceptives "on the streets or other public places." No, not even physicians. Anyone who tries to make a few extra bucks doing this will be severely prosecuted for the dire act of "unlawfully practicing medicine."
Kentucky and Idaho limit condom sales to medical practitioners and licensed pharmacists, but their license to sell the items may not be hung on a wall where it can be seen by customers.
Maine licenses condom sellers and the license must always be on public display.
Nevada, with 35 legal bordellos, has no condom problem. The use of condoms in Nevada brothels is compulsory.
Both Indiana and Ohio have laws that prohibit male skating instructors from having sexual relations with their female students. This misdeed, called "the seduction of female students," is prosecuted as a felony. This statute applies only to male teachers. It seems female skating instructors may have sex with male students.
Authorities in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, passed a special piece of legislation governing sexual activities in the toll-collection booths on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The law, which pertains only to female toll collectors, prohibits them from engaging in sex with a truck driver in the confines of a booth.
The city fathers in Clinton, Oklahoma have banned local men from masturbating while observing a couple making love in the back seat of a parked car in a drive-in theater.
In North Carolina, it's illegal for a man to peep through a window at a woman—yet it's not against the law for a woman to peep into a room occupied by a man. (Nor is it a violation of the law if a man peeps at another man.)
Until the law was repealed in 1975, California husbands and wives could both get a 15-year penitentiary term for engaging in certain sexual practices. They were specifically prohibited from engaging in any oral activities, even in the privacy of their own bedroom.
In Skullbone, Tennessee, the law bans a woman from "pleasuring a man" while he is sitting behind the wheel of any moving vehicle. Any man stopped and found with the front of his pants undone can be fined a minimum of $50 and serve 30 days in jail.
In California, adultery is punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or one year in prison.
In Arkansas, offenders are fined a mere $20 to $100.
Single guys and gals caught in the act of sex in Michigan can be fined as much as $5,000, and they could be sentenced to as many as five years in prison.
Single adults in Texas who are apprehended while having sex are charged with a misdemeanor and given a $500 fine.
Branchville, South Carolina, retains an old piece of legalese covering those who "lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed, and cohabit together, in a public or non-public place." The amorous couple can be punished with a $500 fine and as much as a six-month prison term.
Rhode Island prohibits unmarried people from partaking of bedroom activities under any circumstances. However, if caught, the lovers are both fined $10.
Unmarried adults in Arizona who decide to fool around a little are committing a serious felony. Anyone single, man or woman, caught having sex can be sent to the penitentiary for three full years.
South Dakota threatens a 10-year prison term for "copulation by means of mouth."
Utah has made this same act a misdemeanor. There, oral sex brings a six-month jail term and a $299 fine.
Rhode Island labels it an "'abominable, detestable crime against nature," and such activity brings a seven-to-10-year stretch in the penitentiary.
It is outlawed in New Mexico where participation is punishable by a $5,000 fine and a two-to-10-year sentence.
Kansas gives one month in jail and a $500 fine for anyone who gets caught with a Hooker.
In Nevada prostitution is legal.
A man can be incarcerated for from one-to-10 years in an Arizona or Washington, DC, prison for causing his wife to be a prostitute.
A man can also get 10 years in Arkansas and 20 years in Maine and Michigan for placing "his spouse in a brothel." In Missouri, it's a "high misdemeanor" for a fellow to "force" his wife to sell sexual services on the streets.
Don't import an Asian woman and make her a prostitute in California. If you're caught, you could get a year in prison and a $500 fine.
Buckfield, Maine, has a rather unusual law regarding cab drivers and sex. The legislation declares that no taxi driver "will be allowed" to charge a fare to any passenger who gives him sexual favors" in return for a ride home from a nightclub or other "establishment which serves alcoholic beverages," or any "place of business" selling liquor.
Carlsbad, New Mexico, retains a law making it illegal under certain conditions for couples to have sex in a parked vehicle during their lunch break from work. The car or van must have tightly drawn curtains to stop strangers from peeking inside while the activity is taking place.
An old law in Cattle Creek, Colorado bans a man or his wife from making love while bathing in any lake, river or stream.
It's against the law in Beanville, Vermont, for a road map to be printed and sold or given away if it contains advertising of a "lewd or lascivious nature." The ban specifically includes ads for massage parlors and hot tubs, as both are believed to be of a "sensual bent."
It's against the law to make love to a virgin, whatever the circumstances, anywhere in the state of Washington. According to the wording of the legislation, it's a major crime even to marry and then spend the night with a virgin bride in that city.
In Anniston, Alabama an old ordinance bans women from using promises of certain physical activities to pay off a bet on a match they are playing. Nor may they initiate sex while hanging around a pool hall.
Women who go out on the streets alone at night in Kansas City, Kansas, can be arrested under an obscure 1901 city ordinance. Any unattended females can be picked up by the police if they are "in the streets or any public place without lawful business and without giving a good accounting of themselves."
The city of Cottonwood, Arizona banned people from having sex in a vehicle with "flat wheels." If the vehicle with flat wheels is parked, and you're caught making love in the front seat, it's a $25 fine. But if you're caught playing around while in the back seat, the fine is doubled.
Connecticut still retains an old law forbidding any kind of "private sexual behavior between consenting adults." This odd law makes absolutely no distinction between married and single couples.
The Louisiana House of Representatives hurriedly approved a unique anti-streaking law. Under it, streakers can be sentenced to five years in the state penitentiary and given a $2,000 fine for streaking "while intending to arouse the desires of minors." Streaking with only the "intent of arousing sexual desire" brings a violator a $100 fine and one year in prison.
In Nebraska, buggery, or anal copulation, can bring a whopping 20 years in the penitentiary. And buggery in Pennsylvania can bring transgressors a $5,000 fine and 10 years at hard labor.
South Carolina's Code of Laws 16-412 includes "the abominable crime of buggery." A $500 fine and five years in prison are the punishment.
Buggery in Maryland brings a one-to-10-year prison term.
Anyone in Kansas caught engaging in this activity (anal sex) draws a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
Indiana and Wyoming both have laws against anyone's enticing, alluring, instigating, or helping a person under 21 to masturbate. This activity is known in legal circles as an act of "self pollution."
Michigan law prescribes five years in prison for a man who engages "in acts of gross indecency, either in public or private." This includes mutual masturbation by two men or the simple act of solitary masturbation.
New Jersey law threatens men with a three-year sentence for "mutual masturbation." The law covers anyone "who, in private, is a party to an act of lewdness or sexual indecency with another."
No one may have sex while riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle in Norfolk, Virginia, where an old ordinance outlaws anyone from doing so while cruising down a city street.
Procuring or employing an Alabama girl from 10 to 18 years old for prostitution brings a relatively mild $300 to $500 fine and six months in jail.

Prostitutes in South Dakota are still prohibited from plying their trade out of a covered wagon.
It's "an excusable act of passion" in Colombia, South America, for a man to murder his wayward wife when he finds the woman in bed with her lover. If the husband "personally witnesses the corrupt sexual activity," he's allowed to shoot his unfaithful spouse. Such adultery-related homicides aren't even prosecuted.
The use of chili sauce and similar hot spices on jail and prison food is outlawed in Peru. An edict was handed down by the Interior Minister because these items were claimed to "have aphrodisiac qualities" and would "arouse sexual desires."
Censorship laws in Brazil are strict. Explicit guidelines govern pornography. No newspaper, magazine, or book is allowed to discuss any aspect of homosexuality. Pictures of nude couples can't be included in any publication. No photographs even "suggesting" sexual activity are allowed. Banned, too, are photos of women attired in bikinis or short-shorts. And no more than one bare female breast may legally be shown on any given page of a newspaper, magazine, book, or other publication.
Don't try to fool around while skinny-dipping anywhere near Georgetown, Guyana. Getting caught while bathing in the nude is punishable with a coat of fresh paint. The bathers are then taken to the outskirts of Georgetown and left to fend for themselves. The law is even tougher in its effort to discourage people from having sex while skinny-dipping. The lovers are first given a coat of paint, then both parties "will be attached to an ass and taken on a tour of the village." Finally, they'll be dropped at the edge of town and told in no uncertain terms to not bother coming back.
Sodomy has long been a serious offense in Peru. A person who has engaged in it is first dragged through the streets on a rope. Hanging comes next. Finally, the corpse is burned while fully clothed.
Cautin Province in Chile has an edict banning the hanging on the walls of Playboy centerfolds and other sexy pinups in any home or public building. The reason according to this decree? "It's more worthwhile to admire a good landscape than a photograph of a naked woman."
In Paramaribo, Suriname, a man who rapes a single woman won't be punished— if the rape victim agrees to marry her attacker.
Featherbeds were long ago outlawed in Buenos Aires, Argentina because "such an indulgence induces and encourages lascivious feelings."
The alpaca (a variety of llama) appears to be the most popular four-legged bedmate for many single Peruvian guys. So prevalent, apparently, is this sexual deviance that an old law still outlaws the activity. Unmarried young men are prohibited from even having a female alpaca live in their homes or apartments.
The law in Guatemala pulls no punches in dealing with single women who have been accused of illicit lovemaking. Supposed female "fornicators," when seen in the streets, are to be stopped, spat upon, and beaten by the citizens of the community Single men aren't punished at all when they've been caught in the act.
It's against the law in Belize for any man to have sex with or marry his own aunt. Masked vigilantes are allowed to take the law into their own hands and severely punish the lawbreaker, who is tied to a tree and then flogged.
Passionate kissing in public places has been outlawed in Sorocaba, Brazil. The specific kind of kiss that was banned was "the cinematographic kiss, in which salivas mix to swell the sensuality."
Panama doesn't mess around when it comes to homosexuals and homosexuality. The law declares, "If any one of these males who commit this vile practice against nature with other males, he shall be degraded, and shall remain in perpetual exile." The penalty meted out for homosexual behavior is castration. The law also covers people who aren't homosexual themselves but associate with homosexuals. "Guilt by association" brings a penalty of a shaven head, one hundred lashes, and banishment.
The law in Honduras doesn't prohibit homosexuality, yet neither does it condone the practice. Sodomy, however, is strictly banned regardless of whether it's homosexual or heterosexual.
A man in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, is required by law to divorce his wife as soon as he discovers that she's committed adultery. He's in serious trouble should he fail to do so; the hapless husband may then be prosecuted for his unwillingness to take the proper and necessary course of action. A wife, on the other hand, is not permitted to divorce her husband when he's caught in bed with another woman. Such things are simply to be expected when it comes to men, says the law.
Peru still keeps on the books an old piece of legislation that dates all the way back to 1583. Passed by the Third Provisional Council of Lima, it states, "If there is anyone among you who commits sodomy, sinning with another man, or with a boy, or with a beast... Let it be known that it carries the death penalty."
In Uruguay, a husband who catches his spouse in bed with another man is given an option under the current law. He has the right to kill both the wayward wife and her lover—or he can choose to slice off his wife's nose and castrate her lover.
It's a violation of the law in Valparaiso, Chile, for any man to marry a certain kind of woman—he must never take for his bride a woman who has committed adultery. Such a woman is to be condemned forever.
A married woman in La Paz, Bolivia, is not allowed to drink more than a tiny bit of wine. One who does is considered by law to be morally and sexually lax, and her husband may divorce her for one sip too many.
A married woman in Venezuela may be accused of committing adultery, but a simple unsubstantiated accusation isn't enough to merit her punishment. All the woman has to do is "swear" her innocence and she's cleared of all charges.
Masturbation is outlawed in French Guiana because of the "danger it presents to the masturbator." The law notes that such a physical act "is recognized as a common cause of insanity." Ridiculous? Well, it wasn't but a few years ago that young people in the United States were taught that masturbation would make them go blind!
El Salvador certainly isn't the best place for a married woman to have a fling. Any "married woman who lies with the male who is not her husband" can get a six-year prison term and a $30 fine. The amount of the fine is awarded to the woman's husband as his indemnity!
A husband in Honduras is guilty of adultery only when he has a mistress and when he "keeps her in a notorious manner."
A person can be arrested in San Jose, Costa Rica, for "keeping a common bawdy house." Or he or she may be charged with "keeping a place... for the practice of indecency."
A woman can legally be a prostitute in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. But it's against the law for a prostitute to solicit customers on the streets or in other public places.
Having sex with a relative is a serious infraction in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Anyone who violates this law is punished either by exile or by hanging.
In Limon, Costa Rica, both parties in an adulterous relationship are in for real trouble: Each person is subject to being beaten and drowned in punishment for their deed.
The law among the Tupies of Brazil stipulates that once a woman is married, she's required to be faithful. The same standard doesn't apply to the husband. He's allowed to have as many mistresses as he can afford to keep.
Adultery isn't always a crime in Caracas, Venezuela. It depends on how long a couple has been married. Anyone, male or female, can play around and not be prosecuted, so long as they've been married for fewer than 12 months. After one full year of marital bliss, the same sexual activities become serious criminal offenses.
Young women in Bogoti, Colombia, are not permitted to be out alone on the streets after the sun goes down. Why? Because other people might think that they are prostitutes. The law allows the police to arrest such suspects.
A widow in Paramaribo, Suriname, who plans to remarry is required by law to first make love with a man. The statute even specifies who should be her bed partner: a member of her deceased husband's immediate family.
The law in Montevideo, Uruguay, bans a man from making love to his wife during her menstrual period. Nor is he allowed even to touch her between the waist and the knees. Anyone who violates this law is fined and publicly administered 200 lashes.
Personal revenge is allowed by law in Paraguari, Paraguay, when a man catches his wife in bed with someone else. He's permitted to kill his wife's lover, and his adulterous spouse, on the spot. But the wronged husband must take immediate action to be considered guiltless under this law—he isn't allowed to wait and do it later. On the other hand, a wife who catches her mate in bed with a lover is not entitled to any of these privileges.
The law in Durango, Mexico, governs when a couple may have sex after the woman's period begins. Five days must be allowed from the start of the menstrual flow. Seven more days must pass for "purification." A husband must not touch his wife in any manner with his hands. Then, after these 12 days have passed, the woman must bathe. Only then can the couple make love. Anyone caught violating this old law could receive the death penalty.
A bride in Ecuador had better be prepared for her wedding night. According to the law, the girl can be returned to her parents if her new husband determines that she is not a virgin.
When a bride is deflowered in Cali, Colombia, the law says, it must be done by the husband while making love. And this initial lovemaking must take place while the bride's mother sits close by and witnesses the activity.
Promiscuity isn't illegal in Valencia, Venezuela, so long as it's kept within certain specified boundaries. The single man or woman, says the law, shouldn't ever have sex with anyone who's deformed or who is known to be an "idiot."
Single women in Costa Rica are banned from all forms of sex. Activities specifically prohibited by the law include prostitution, fornication, and "any kind of lewd activities or behavior" with a man.
A law found in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, won't allow a man of any age to engage in sex with certain relatives and other people. Specific taboo relatives include the man's mother and his mother's sister. Nor may he have a sexual relationship with an unrelated woman and her daughter at the same time.
The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was apparently a man much obsessed with unique sexual legislation. According to one of the great Ayatollah's decrees, lovemaking during times of fasting was illegal in Iran. His edict read, "Coitus invalidates the fast, even if the penis has penetrated the vagina only as far as the circumcision scar, and even if ejaculation does not occur. If the penis does not penetrate up to the circumcision scar, and no ejaculation takes place, the fast is valid."
Lawmakers in Jordan have legislated what they consider to be the most desirable amount of sexual activity between married couples. A husband, they order, is to make love "with the wife at least once every four months."
In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the police can arrest a person for "committing an action that would be harmful to the general public." This might be the official charge for something as harmless as kissing a woman on her cheek in a public place. The penalty is 10 days in jail for both the kisser and the kissee. Also, adultery in Abu Dhabi is punishable by death.
According to Lebanese law, a woman must be executed for fornicating with any animal— wild or domesticated.
Saudi Arabia treats adulterers with firmness. Both of the guilty parties are quickly picked up by the authorities. They are securely tied in a cloth sack and stoned to death. Or the penalty for adultery might be somewhat more humane, according to the way the Saudis look at things. The guilty woman may be shot in front of her illicit lover, who is then publicly beheaded.
Conviction of adultery in an Islamic court depends entirely on the testimony of four male witnesses or eight female witnesses. Or an accused woman can condemn herself. All she must do is stand and admit three times that she actually committed the criminal act.
"Sperm is always impure," decreed the Ayatollah Khomeini, "whether it comes from coitus or from involuntary emissions while asleep." Therefore, Iranians are forced by law to go through ablution—or the ritualistic washing away of impurities as in a religious rite—after being involved in certain kinds of sexual activities. (Ablution isn't necessary, however, if the sperm stays inside the woman's vagina after lovemaking is completed.) According to Iranian law, a man is required to perform his ablutions if he ejaculates while having sexual relations with an animal.
Citizens of most Middle Eastern countries are forbidden to eat lamb under certain circumstances covered by Islamic law. The law reads, "After having sexual relations with a lamb, it is a mortal sin to eat its flesh."
In Oman, if a man has sex with a camel, a cow, or a ewe, the law says that the animal's milk becomes impure and is no longer suitable for human consumption. Oman law requires that the animal must immediately be killed and then burned. The person who sodomized the beast is required to pay its owner the dead animal's full market value.
According to Lebanese law, a woman must be executed for fornicating with any animal—wild or domesticated.
The law in Iran actually suggests that sex play by their male population "with wild animals is not recommended, especially with a lioness." What is recommended instead is coitus with domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, donkeys, lambs and, yes, of all things—pigeons.
Sodomy is also commonplace in parts of the Middle East. Again, special legislation can be found in Iran to cover this form of sexual activity. The law declares that if a man's penis fully penetrates another man's anus, ablution is also a necessity, but this time for both parties to the sex act.
Kuwait covers all the bases when it comes to sexual feelings. It's illegal there for a married man to glance at another woman "in a sensual manner." Nor can any male, married or single, lustfully look at a statue of a female or at a female animal.
In Syria, a man is forbidden to "look at the body of a woman who is not his wife under any circumstances. It is also forbidden for a woman to look at the body of a man who is not her husband. It is forbidden to look at the genitals of others, even in the mirror or in a pool's reflection."
According to Iranian law, Islamic religious laws "must be obeyed and carried out by all—without exception and without argument. There is no other right, no other duty but obedience." This Middle Eastern country's Retribution Bill details the punishments for sex-related crimes such as fornication, homosexual activity, prostitution, and being a pimp. Each of these is punishable by death. Public morality is strictly enforced. Any man or woman even accused of adultery is shot.
Prostitution is a serious criminal offense in Yemen. Transgressors are simply rounded up and publicly beheaded.
No type of contraceptive may be brought into Saudi Arabia under any circumstances. The passage of legislation banning contraceptives quickly followed a World Moslem League ruling that "birth control was invented by the enemies of Islam." Anyone caught smuggling condoms, other contraceptive devices, or birth-control pills into the country is punished with a term of six months in prison. Even physicians are thoroughly covered by Middle Eastern law when it comes to checking a woman's pubic area.
Lawmakers in Bahrain have decreed that a male doctor can legally examine a woman's genitals. But any examination must be done indirectly. Says the law, "If a doctor must touch a woman's genitalia for medical reasons, he must not look directly at her genitals. He may do this only by seeing their reflection in a mirror."
Egypt has an unusual piece of legislation that prohibits a woman from belly dancing unless her navel is covered with gauze. Technically, according to this law, a female in Egypt may dance in public while wearing absolutely nothing more than a piece of gauze on her belly button.
Colonel Muammar el Qaddafi's Libya has a scale of prices to be paid for prospective wives by eligible single men. They must be willing to pay the equivalent of as much as $35,000, a handful of gold coins, one healthy camel, and a number of sheep. All of these things go to the bride-to-be's father. Many Libyan males who can't afford these prices travel to Egypt and Tunisia, where a wife can be had for around $200.
The law in Doha, Qatar, requires that if a naked Muslim woman is surprised by a man while bathing or dressing, she must first cover her face, not her body.
In King Ibn Saud's Saudi Arabia, rapists are held in jail until Friday of each week (Friday in Saudi Arabia is the Sabbath). They are then taken from the jail and dragged to the town square. Each rapist is unceremoniously beheaded right after the midday prayers are concluded.
No unmarried woman in Qatar is allowed to give birth. Such a woman is banned from using any hospital in the region. Nor can she receive any kind of medical assistance. A pregnant female who happens to be single must either flee the country or do the best she can by going it alone.

A rigorous code of Muslim sexual behavior was passed down by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. His followers in Iran and throughout the Middle East uphold these as holy laws to be applied sternly. They are to be obeyed and are not subject to change. Here are a number of Khomeini's most unusual sex-related laws. What does a person who isn't able to hide his or her genitals with "anything in particular when undressed" do? The hand is a suitable covering, according to the law.
Eating the meat of donkeys, horses, or mules is against the law if the animal when alive was sodomized by a Muslim man. If this transpired, the animal must immediately "be taken outside the city and sold."
The law in Doha, Qatar, requires that if a naked Muslim woman is surprised by a man while bathing or dressing, she must first cover her face, not her body.
A man who perspires when he ejaculates doesn't have to worry according to Muslim law. His sweat isn't impure, but he's not allowed to pray so long as his clothing or body are still sweaty.
What must a Muslim man do who makes love to his wife when he should be abstaining? The fellow is required to avoid praying so long as he feels or looks as if he is still sweating from the illicit activity.
The law clearly states that a Muslim man can't marry a woman who was breast-fed as a baby by his grandmother or his mother.
Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. The person undertaking the cleansing ritual commits a serious violation of the law if he or she sneaks a peek. The sex organs of a dead person must always be covered with a brick or a piece of wood during the ritual.
A Muslim man who makes love to his aunt isn't allowed to marry her daughters, his first cousins. But a man who marries his first cousin and then commits adultery with her mother can't get an annulment. A Muslim man who gets married and then makes love to his wife is somewhat restrained insofar as his future sex life. He is strictly prohibited from making love to his wife's daughter or granddaughter, even if they are hers by a previous marriage.
Muslim males are also banned from marrying their own mother, sister, stepmother, or mother-in-law. Nor may they make love to their wife's paternal or maternal grandmothers or her great-grandmothers.
When a Muslim woman begins to menstruate while having sex, the man must immediately withdraw. If he can't and ejaculates instead, the fellow must, per the law, donate money to the poor. If he can’t afford this, then something, however little, must be given to a beggar on the streets. Should this not be possible, the man then must, as a last resort, beg for God's forgiveness.
Marriage contracts commonly guarantee a wife's virginity in the Middle East. If the woman turns out not to be a virgin as promised, the husband may have their marriage annulled.
A Muslim husband is in serious trouble if he's incapable of making love to his wife. Under these circumstances, she's allowed by law to have the marriage annulled, and the husband is required to pay her damages (one-half of the dowry as spelled out in the marriage contract).
A married Muslim woman who is caught committing adultery must be sternly repudiated by her husband. After the husband finally divorces the unfaithful woman, however, he must pay her the full amount of her dowry.
No Muslim wife may refuse or even ignore her husband's sexual advances. Any woman who does is to be judged guilty and can't get food, clothing, and a place to live from him. Nor can such a woman ask her husband to have sex with her in the future. However, should they divorce, he must pay her damages that constitute part or all of her dowry.

In recent decades, China has indoctrinated its citizens to ignore their sexual interests. Transgressors are severely chastised. Is prostitution punished? Yes! And with heavy penalties. Nevertheless, officially speaking, there are no laws against prostitution anywhere in Red China. Why? Because, according to a member of the Communist Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, "There is no prostitution in China. However, we do have some women who make love for money."
Bestiality laws in Bangkok, Thailand? There are none. Any man who "forcibly subdues and has sexual intercourse" with a female dog is merely charged with Cruelty to animals." The culprit is fined a small amount of money. If the female dog happens to be in heat, the fine is slightly higher.
In Bakersfield, California, anyone having intercourse with Satan must use a condom. (An asbestos one we presume.)

Paulys 2011 Backyard Garden 1

here in our lovely 6b zone, we are planning on planting some russet and irish potato, red and yellow onion, okra, bush green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash and some pumpkin. we are late in planting the potato and onion, but that's ok. it almost froze last night, better safe than sorry.

oh i love this awesome yellow cart. so much gets hauled around.

jen is seemingly happy in these pictures. that's because these pictures were taken at the beginning of the garden experiment.

you probably won't see jen anymore. she gave up after cultivating weeds away. she left me to dig up the remaining ground.

here you see some adjustment. the grass had begun to get on my nerves, and i wanted to get the pumpkin patch kinda away from the back door.

it's the 28th of march. late planting for potatoes, but it's gonna happen today.

Radiation Level At Fukushima Reactor No. 2 At Its Highest Level Recorded So Far, Neutron Beam Observed 13 Times

Per the Japan Nuclear Agency: the Radiation level at Fukushima reactor No. 2 at its highest level recorded so far. From Reuters: “Radiation at the crippled Fukushima No.2 nuclear reactor was recorded at the highest level since the start of the crisis, Japan’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday. An agency spokesman said 500 millisieverts per hour of radiation was measured at the No.2 unit on Wednesday. Engineers have been trying to fix the plant’s cooling system after restoring lighting on Tuesday.” And some more truthy news from Kyodo:

Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.

TEPCO, the operator of the nuclear plant, said the neutron beam measured about 1.5 kilometers southwest of the plant’s No. 1 and 2 reactors over three days from March 13 and is equivalent to 0.01 to 0.02 microsieverts per hour and that this is not a dangerous level.

The utility firm said it will measure uranium and plutonium, which could emit a neutron beam, as well.

In the 1999 criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant run by JCO Co. in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, uranium broke apart continually in nuclear fission, causing a massive amount of neutron beams.

In the latest case at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, such a criticality accident has yet to happen.

But the measured neutron beam may be evidence that uranium and plutonium leaked from the plant’s nuclear reactors and spent nuclear fuels have discharged a small amount of neutron beams through nuclear fission.

Fukushima Reactor 3 might blow, contamination alerts on tap water

In rural areas, gas, food price hikes are double trouble

original article

HELENA, Mont. — Twice a week, Myriam Garcia puts snow chains on her 22-year-old gas guzzler and noses two miles down the hill from her trailer in rural western Montana. Then, instead of turning south and driving the 45 miles to Helena for grocery shopping like she used to, she parks on the side of the road and waits for a friend or neighbor heading into town to give her a lift.

In Helena, Jackie Merenz loads her beat-up SUV with juice boxes, graham crackers and apple sauce she bought at Walmart for her 6-year-old daughter's birthday party. The 60-mile round trip she makes twice a week for groceries hits her wallet hard — the food stamps don't go far, gas prices are skyrocketing and to top it off, her husband had to stop working after getting injured.

Living out in Montana's Big Sky Country often means driving long distances for the basic necessities, and people on tight budgets like Garcia, 49, and Merenz, 26, have long been creative in making ends meet.

But with food prices up nearly 4 percent last month — the biggest leap in 36 years — and the national average for a gallon of gas at a whopping $3.57, this economic double-whammy is stretching family budgets to the breaking point.

"It took me $50 to fill up my car yesterday. And it will be gone in three days, probably," Merenz said. "We already live in HUD housing, we're already on Medicaid, we already have food stamps — and we still struggle."

Merenz and her husband Richard moved to a small house in Boulder, Mont., two years ago after he had sinus surgery and the doctor told him the Oklahoma humidity was not good for him. He got a job at the Montana Developmental Center, which caters to people with developmental disabilities and behavioral problems.

But then in December, a patient broke his nose, knocking Richard Merenz out of work and leaving him in need of two operations. It couldn't have come at a worse time, with the rising prices of milk and baby food for their three children ages 6, 2 and 8 months.

"Right now, we're just kind of winging it," Jackie Merenz said.

Merenz, balancing 2-year-old son Taylor on her hip as she loads the last boxes of Capri-Sun, said she's had to pay $200 more a month in groceries the last couple of months — on top of the food stamps she uses. Her daughter Andrea's birthday party will be simple, featuring pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with her kindergarten friends.

About 75 miles north of the Merenzes, Garcia lives on 20 acres of pristine country near Craig. She's lived there for 12 years in a trailer that's off the electrical grid, raising chickens and three sons. The children are now grown. Garcia is disabled and receives Social Security payments.

Now gas prices have forced her frugality to an extreme. She runs her generator three hours a day, flipping it on to watch the news at 5 p.m. and for chores afterward. Sometimes the choice comes down to paying for fuel for her home and car or buying food.

"Before, I had three boys so I was always creative with a limited amount of funds. Now I have to be even more creative because gas is so high," Garcia said.

She uses a wood stove and a propane heater for warmth and takes housesitting jobs in Helena whenever she can to cut down on expenses.

"That is a big, big help. Especially in the wintertime. I get to eat, I get to do laundry and there's no expenditure on gas once I get there," she said. "It is kind of a nice little break where you have electricity at the flick of a button and you don't have to arrange your day around electricity and gas."

When she's back home and has to make the twice-weekly journey into town, she tries to avoid driving the long stretch of highway into Helena by carpooling whenever she can. She'll arrange rides with friends and neighbors, splitting the cost of gas.

"I can't really afford to drive to town. If I can drive into town once a month, I'm lucky," she said. "A lot of time people from Craig are leaving for town and I'll catch a ride with them. But I'm too scared to get in with strangers."
Story: Rising gas prices eating into other spending

She's holding out for summer, when her garden will yield fresh vegetables and her chickens start laying again, giving her some relief from rising prices. But she is convinced the cost of gas and food will only keep going up, and she is preparing for even more frugal measures.

Garcia said she'd like to see the nation's lawmakers take a page from Lee Iacocca, who took an annual salary of just $1 when he set about turning around Chrysler in the 1980s. Politicians should do the same now to help turn around the U.S., Garcia said, and funnel the salary they forego back into Medicare and food and services for children.

"I'd like to see them step up. They already have income, they're already very wealthy — many of them are," she said. "Our country's in trouble. It wouldn't be forever. But it would give me faith and hope because I love America."

Ma Bell gains weight (again)

original article

NEW YORK — AT&T Inc. said Sunday it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion that would make it the largest cellphone company in the U.S.

The deal would reduce the number of U.S. wireless carriers with national coverage from four to three, and is sure to face close regulatory scrutiny. It also removes a potential partner for Sprint Nextel Corp., the struggling No. 3 carrier, which had been in talks to combine with T-Mobile USA, according to Wall Street Journal reports.

AT&T is now America's second-largest wireless carrier and T-Mobile USA is the fourth largest. The acquisition would give AT&T 129 million subscribers, vaulting it past Verizon Wireless' 102 million. The combined company would serve about 43 percent of U.S. cellphones.

For T-Mobile USA's 33.7 million subscribers, the news doesn't immediately change anything. Because of the long regulatory process, AT&T expects the acquisition to take a year to close. But when and if it closes, T-Mobile USA customers would get access to AT&T's phone line-up, including the iPhone.

The effect of reduced competition in the cellphone industry is harder to fathom. Public interest group Public Knowledge said that eliminating one of the four national phone carriers would be "unthinkable."

"We know the results of arrangements like this — higher prices, fewer choices, less innovation," said Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn, in a statement.

T-Mobile has relatively cheap service plans compared with AT&T, particularly when comparing the kind that don't come with a two-year contract. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said one of the goals of the acquisition would be to move T-Mobile customers to smart phones, which have higher monthly fees. AT&T "will look hard" at keeping T-Mobile's no-contract plans, he said.

AT&T's general counsel, Wayne Watts, said the cellphone business is "an incredibly competitive market," with five or more carriers in most major cities. He pointed out that prices have declined in the past decade, even as the industry has consolidated. In the most recent mega-deal, Verizon Wireless bought No. 5 carrier Alltel for $5.9 billion in 2009.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Rebecca Arbogast said the deal will face a tough review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department. She expects them to look market-by-market at whether the deal will harm competition. Even if regulators approve the acquisition, she added, they are likely to require AT&T to sell off parts of its business or T-Mobile's business. Verizon had to sell off substantial service areas to get clearance for the Alltel acquisition.

To mollify regulators, AT&T said in a statement Sunday that it would spend an additional $8 billion to expand ultrafast wireless broadband into rural areas. Instead of covering about 80 percent of the U.S. population with its so-called Long Term Evolution, or LTE network, AT&T's new goal would be 95 percent, it said. That means blanketing an additional area 4.5 times the size of Texas. The network is scheduled to go live in a few areas this summer, but the full build-out will take years.

The offer would help the FCC and the Obama administration meet their stated goals of bringing high-speed Internet access to all Americans. They see wireless networks as critical to meeting that goal — particularly in rural areas where it does not make economic sense to build landline networks.

AT&T said its customers would benefit from the cell towers and wireless spectrum the deal would bring. In some areas, it would add 30 percent more capacity, AT&T said.

"It obviously will have a significant impact in terms of dropped calls and network performance," Stephenson said.

AT&T would pay about $25 billion in cash to Deutsche Telekom, Germany's largest phone company, and stock that is equivalent to an 8 percent stake in AT&T. Deutsche Telekom would get one seat on AT&T's board.
Story: Investors should get prepared for a wild week

Like Sprint, T-Mobile has been struggling to compete with much larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and its revenue has been largely flat for three years. Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile USA's subscriber count has stalled at just under 34 million, though it posts consistent profits.

Deutsche Telekom has been looking at radical moves to let it get more value out of its U.S. holding, including a possible combination with a U.S. partner.

There was a big hurdle to a T-Mobile USA-Sprint deal: The two companies use incompatible network technologies. The same hurdle would apply in a Verizon Wireless-T-Mobile USA deal. But the networks of AT&T and T-Mobile use the same underlying technology, so to some large extent, AT&T phones can already use T-Mobile's network, and vice versa.
Story: Minneapolis tops list of best cities to find a job

The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies. Dallas-based AT&T can increase its cash portion by up to $4.2 billion, with a reduction in the stock component, as long as Deutsche Telekom receives at least a 5 percent equity ownership interest in the buyer.

The agreement doesn't leave room for other buyers to jump in with a higher bid, AT&T said.

AT&T would finance the cash part of the deal with new debt and cash on its balance sheet and will assume no debt from T-Mobile.

AT&T Inc. has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but the deal isn't set to close until a year from now, and it will likely face tough regulatory scrutiny. Here's what a completed deal could mean for customers:

Bigger choice of phones for T-Mobile subscribers. T-Mobile, as a much smaller carrier than AT&T, doesn't get as many exclusives on top-line phones, and it doesn't have the iPhone. This won't be a big benefit to T-Mobile subscribers who don't have contracts — if they want the iPhone today, they can sign up with AT&T or Verizon Wireless. But subscribers under contract would find it easier to upgrade to an iPhone.
Fewer pricing plans to choose from. T-Mobile and AT&T have different offerings, some of which might disappear from the market.

No more unlimited data plans. AT&T has stopped offering unlimited data plans in favor of plans with monthly data usage caps and overage fees. T-Mobile USA still offers "unlimited" data for smartphones for $30 per month, but slows down downloads after 5 gigabytes of traffic in a month. If the deal closes, current "unlimited" subscribers would likely be grandfathered in, but AT&T would probably stop offering the plan to new subscribers.

Better network coverage. Combining the two networks will improve performance is some areas, because there will be more towers available. However, today's AT&T phones can't use T-Mobile's 3G wireless data network, and vice versa, because they run on different frequencies.

Wider rural broadband coverage. AT&T is pledging to increase spending on the construction of a new ultrafast broadband network by $8 billion, to cover rural areas.

The big question is whether the combination would let AT&T, Verizon and Sprint raise prices on wireless service once competition from T-Mobile disappears. AT&T points out that prices have fallen through a decade of mergers in the industry, but public-interest groups are raising concerns.

100 miles of goop? 100 miles of lies!

on the front page of today is the following story. and they say it has nothing to do with the oil spill. i say it's either oil... or their bullshit.

here's the story

100 miles of 'goop' spotted in Gulf of Mexico

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — The Coast Guard said on Sunday that miles-long patch of discolored goop floating in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be caused by river sediment.

The Coast Guard collected and tested samples of a dark substance after receiving varying reports on Saturday of possible pollution floating on and beneath the water's surface.

The largest sighting described the substance as stretching 100 miles into the Gulf, south of Grand Isle, Louisiana.

An analysis found only trace amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons, oil and grease — all at levels well within the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's clean water standard.

Sediment carried down the Mississippi River and possibly agitated by dredging is believed to have caused the dark substance, according to a Coast Guard news release.

The Coast Guard also investigated on Sunday an oily substance washing up along the Louisiana shoreline.

Samples of that substance will be tested. It is not suspected to be residual oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in April.

Sadhu Sundar Singh - Excerpts, Sermons, Sayings

Knowing vs. Knowing About Christ

"There is a great difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Him...There is no difference between nominal Christians and non-Christians. When we know Him everything is different and we are living in a new world -- a new atmosphere. Heaven begins on earth for us. Those who know Him know that Jesus is everything to them. They can bear witness because they have been living with Him...
If we only know of Jesus as a good man, a great example, it is no help to us. Those who know Him know Who He is. If we live in Him He will reveal Himself to us and we shall bear witness -- not for a day or a night only..."

"When I used to know about Jesus Christ I used to hate Him because I didn't understand Him; but since I know Him I bear witness and I am not ashamed to suffer...[A friend of mine who was tortured and put to death because he testified of Christ explained to his persecutor,] 'When a Hindu woman is willing to burn herself with her dead husband, should I be ashamed when He is living?...I wish I could show you my heart -- I have such peace in my heart. I can only give my testimony.'"...

"People misunderstand Him when they don't know Him, but when they know Him they love Him. When I knew about Him I used to hate Him. Now I have heaven on earth. Heaven is in my heart..."

"Christ is not merely a great man who is dead and gone; He is the incarnation of God, the Saviour of the world. We must live in Him -- then we shall have a message for the world and we shall see Him again in glory. We shall be crowned in this world. It is such a joy to live for Him and bring others to Him."

"I was going to commit suicide. Hinduism [offered] no spiritual help. Prayer is the most essential thing. Without prayer we cannot understand Jesus. We are living in Hell. Many know about Him but they do not live in Him."

On World Religions

(Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Counterfeits of Christianity)

"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at My saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:5-8)

"Christianity [spiritual regeneration through Jesus Christ] is the only religion which is universal."

The Sadhu pointed out that Arjuna was more merciful than Sri Krishna. "Sri Krishna commanded Arjuna to kill, but Christ healed the ear of Malchus" [Luke 22:51; John 18:10].

"With regard to the doctrine of Karma, it is true that man receives the consequences of his deeds; but the difference between the teaching of Christ and Hindu teaching is this -- that a Christian performs deeds because he is saved and a Hindu in order to be saved."

With regard to Transmigration he said, "Hindu teaching is that God's spirit and man's spirit are both co-existent from eternity. But since in so many cycles of birth I have been unable to attain moksha, what certainty or assurance have I that I shall be able to attain in the future?
I do not remember anything at all of my previous existence, so what does it profit me if I am now reaping the rewards and punishments of my deed in that existence?
If Transmigration be true we are compelled to believe that sin is the creator of the universe!"

He spoke of Hindu yoga. When he was small his father had a Sastri and a Sannyasi in the home, the former to teach the boy the sacred books and the latter yoga practices. "The strange thing is," said the Sadhu, "that a man according to yoga teaching is not to look to God but at the tip of his nose. Moreover, the thoughts which have been the subject of meditation of the yogi previous to entering the state of trance, present themselves in a very vivid way during trance. So we can understand the discrepancies of teaching amongst yogis. One says, 'There is no God,' another, 'There is only one God,' another, 'There are many gods,' another, 'All is God.'"

" is impossible for those who don't know God to come to Him except through Christ. He is the only Saviour. It is only Jesus who has revealed the Father. The Gyana Marga of the Hindus is only for a few; but if it is true it ought to be for every body."

He was asked, "Do you ever ask for food anywhere?"
He said, "Hindu sadhus do, but I never do so. When my Heavenly Father sees that I need food, He arranges it for me."

Regarding the Buddha, he said that he respected him for the strength of his intellect and the purity of his life; but in the Sadhu's opinion he was lacking in humility and for that reason did not attain knowledge of God. Had he trly longed for God, he would have gone to the Sannyasi whom he had first met. For it is only through humility that we can know God.

"A Buddhist said to me, 'Extinction of desire is salvation'...'No,' said I, 'extinction of evil desire -- I agree with you there. But it is impossible not to have desire. The desire to kill desire is desire and the desire to kill that desire is also desire. Desire has been given to us that it may be satisfied. There is water given to quench my thirst and I am satisfied through prayer'...I have begun to live in heaven now in Jesus Christ. Through prayer I know Him and it is the duty of those who know Him to bear witness."

"A Mohammedan preacher went to preach Islam in Scandinavia. There the people asked him what they would have to do in the event of their becoming Moslems. Amongst the five duties prescribed, he mentioned the month's fast when they would have to fast from sunset but feast during the night. They laughed and told him that Mohammedanism was evidently not meant for that part of the world where at one time of the year there is no night!"

A Rabbi whom he saw at the Jews' Wailing Place [Wall] in Jerusalem was greatly annoyed when the Sadhu told him that he should weep because of his own stony heart and not on the stone wall of the Temple.

Counterfeits of Christianity:
A friend arranged for him to interview the Pope, but when he discovered that many formalities had to be observed, he was unwilling. For he believes neither in the infallibility of the Pope nor that of the Roman Church.

"Those who use mental pictures will be ashamed in the end. I derive no help from a crucifix....but make use of whatever whatever helps spiritual progress."

He was asked about Theosophy. He called it Anglicized Hinduism. In America he found many people who had sorely repented their having ever accepted it.

On Rationalism, Skepticism & Philosophy

Experience must precede reasoning. In the snows of the Himalayas he showed a fellow-traveller a hot-water spring. The man began to argue and to reason that the thing was impossible, when the Sadhu invited him to put his hand in the water. On discovering for himself that the water was really hot as the Sadhu had said, the man now began to adduce many reasons as to why it should be hot. Asked what he thought of Higher Criticism and Modernism, he replied that it was all "spiritual influenza" -- it would pass away, but not before killing a good many people.

He thanked God that he had been enabled to go to the West. Before he went, he thought that there must be something in Modernist theories, otherwise so many men would not write so many books. Besides, Christianity had been in force for so many centuries in the West. But when he discovered how busy these scholars were and how much of their knowledge was second-hand and not the fruit of their experience with Christ, he announced that all their speculations would not move him an inch from his faith.

"It is not by education or philosophy that we know Him. When I was in Australia, I was asked, 'What do you think of our civilization?' -- I said, 'Do you mean your education or your manners of society? In that case I say, you are trained animals, trained to do a certain thing in a certain way.' "Man, know thyself" -- and he who knows God knows himself. He is the truly civilized man in the image of God in which he was created..."

"Trying to understand spiritual truth through the intellect means increase of self. Men search for God and find Him unknowable... But: He is known through the heart, not through philosophy. The only way for us to understand the infinite God is by becoming infinite and that is impossible. He must become finite and He is so in Jesus."

"How are we to deal with people who are utterly indifferent to religion?"
He replied, "God Himself can do nothing with such people so what can you and I do? Orthodox and strict Hindus and Mohammedans are better than many of the reformed liberals. The latter are stones in their own community and if they come over into the Christian Church they will be stones there too. Far better a man who is strict in the observance of his own religion."

On Western Post-Christianity

"I have been asked, 'Is Christianity a failure in Europe? I have seen some true servants of Christ in Europe.' Christ has not been a failure, but people have failed to understand Him. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness know Him. He reveals Himself to such people -- those who spend time in prayer. We see our face sometimes not in a mirror but in a river, but when there are waves in the river we are not able to see ourselves. When our lives are full of hurry and bustle we fail to see ourselves, but in a quiet place we see ourselves and we shall be entirely changed -- a new life. Then we shall not be ashamed. We shall know Him by living with Him -- and we must live in Him through a life of prayer."

A friend arranged for him to interview the Pope, but when he discovered that many formalities had to be observed, he was unwilling. For he believes neither in the infallibility of the Pope nor that of the Roman Church.

In Germany he was asked about the survival of the fittest. He told them it was not a strange thing at all -- the fit will survive of themselves. "But in my experience," he said, "what I have seen is the survival of the unfit. And that is where God's glory comes in."

"How are we to deal with people who are utterly indifferent to religion?"
He replied, "God Himself can do nothing with such people so what can you and I do? Orthodox and strict Hindus and Mohammedans are better than many of the reformed liberals. The latter are stones in their own community and if they come over into the Christian Church they will be stones there too. Far better a man who is strict in the observance of his own religion."

"A great professor in America once asked me, 'Why do we need to go to the Father through Christ?'
I answered, 'Did Jesus lie when He said, "No man cometh to the Father but by Me?"'...
'But,' said he, 'there is no mediator in the Parable of the Prodigal Son'...
I replied, 'Are you so wise and cannot understand that? There was no need of a mediator there. The son had lived with the father before leaving him. He had enjoyed his fellowship. He knew him and new the way back to him. But it is impossible for those who don't know God to come to Him except through Christ. He is the only Saviour. It is only Jesus who has revealed the Father. The Gyana Marga of the Hindus is only for a few; but if it is true it ought to be for every body.'"

He thanked God that he had been enabled to go to the West. Before he went, he thought that there must be something in Modernist theories, otherwise so many men would not write so many books. Besides, Christianity had been in force for so many centuries in the West. But when he discovered how busy these scholars were and how much of their knowledge was second-hand and not the fruit of their experience with Christ, he announced that all their speculations would not move him an inch from his faith.

"We are called to work for Him. Are we misled by Modernists and Higher Criticism? Is our faith shaken? If we believe that Christ was merely a great man then we have no message for the world. We will have to jump down into Hell to hide ourselves for every shame. We are to be fishers of men and are we still fishermen? The angels would have been glad to preach the Gospel in this world for five minutes, and that would have been enough. But the privilege is not granted to them. Only saved sinners can preach the Gospel."

"The Gospels are genuine; we find proof of that in the Gospels themselves. They were written by simple unlettered men. If the Gospels were not genuine, more care would have been taken in their composition and arrangement; there would have been more method. For example, the parables would all have been arranged in one place, the miracles in another and so on; but they all have been mixed up!"

People read many books about the Bible, but very few read the Bible itself. The Sadhu himself read very little besides the Bible.

On Women

Also see Pandita Ramabai (A great woman liberated through Christ)

He was asked about the position of women. He spoke of the great and good work which women have accomplished in the past in the world, going on to speak of many women of today through whom the world has greatly benefited in every aspect of life, especially the religious. Then he added significantly, "Spirit has no gender".

He often speaks of his mother and of what he owes to her. "My mother's lap was the best university in the world for me".

Someone asked him whether he thought it would be advisable to have Hindu women who have come to believe in Christ as their Saviour, baptised in the seclusion of their own homes. He said he did not believe in baptising secretly; there was no meaning in accepting Christ unless He were publicly confessed. The persecution and suffering which that entails, whether for a man or a woman, is the very best thing for the testing and strengthening of the new believer's faith and love towards the Lord.

The Sadhu constantly stressed the importance of confessing our Lord before men and bearing testimony to Him; while at the same time recognizing the great difficulties which women in especial must face in India in order to confess Christ, because of social conditions and social customs, referring in this connection to some of his own relatives.

The Sadhu has a sister. He tells her sometimes, "You are my sister after the flesh but do you know that I have many sisters in the world who are real sisters of mine and we shall dwell together in Heaven? In this spiritual sense you have not become my sister yet."

Parables of Truth

"When a man is in a state of sin, he has no sense of sin. A man dives into the water. On his head are lakhs of maunds of water but he does not feel their weight at all. But on coming out of the water if he lifts a vesselful of water he thoroughly understands how heavy the water is. In the same way, when a man is sunk in sin he has no sense of sin, but once he is delivered he is conscious of the least sin."

"It may take a long time to know about a flower, but it doesn't take long to smell its sweet fragrance. It doesn't take long to enjoy Him. I know Him -- that is enough for me. People have been quenching their thirst with water, not knowing that it is hydrogen and oxygen. So with the water of life. If salvation is for a few then it is not universal, and if it is not universal it is not true."

"'How can I believe there is life hereafter? -- Heaven and Hell?' I was asked by a professor.
'But,' said I, 'we find the proof in ourselves.'
'Can you give a proof about the future life?' he asked.
'Certainly. Eggs at first contain only liquid matter, then a young bird is gradually formed. Supposing the mother-bird tells the young one, "You will come out of this shell. You will see mountains, hills, clouds, fields and also your mother." What if the chicken says, "No, you are telling a lie. What proof have I?"
"Why, those wings, those eyes have been given to you. You can't use them in the egg shell. You can't see anything but yourself. Your eyes and wings are proof that you are being prepared for a world to come." When the chick came out of his shell he saw everything and his mother and he could enjoy everything.'
So we shall come out and see our Heavenly Mother-Father. Why these desires? Longings for peace? There is no room to satisfy all human desires in this life. But we shall see our Saviour and the saints in Heaven. In this body we could not see them. But all eggs do not get hatched. They need the Mother's warmth. So too we need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to make us warm. We must receive the warmth and heat from Him in prayer."

"When I was in America a wealthy man was telling me of his experience. 'What do you think is the most precious thing in this drawing room?' he asked, 'Some say it is that beautiful picture or these precious stones. But the most precious thing in my house is that tiger skin. One day when I was hunting with my brother a tiger was shot. But he was not killed -- only wounded and still breathing. My brother fired and the tiger jumped on him and so my brother was killed but the tiger was killed too. These scars are my brother's blood. My brother gave his life for me. So this is the most precious thing in my house.'
So when we read the word of God we learn that our Brother gave His life for us. There is no precious thing in the world than this. It has the mark of our Brother's blood."

"I have a stone in my hand. I hit somebody with it -- the man's head is broken and he dies. As long as the stone was in my hand it was in my power, but once the stone was out of my hand it was out of my power. And it was too late, the man was dead. If I repent -- that only means I won't throw any more stones in the future. But the man is already killed! In the future, we shall receive strength, but we must hold fast for the present otherwise we are in danger of losing what we have.
There is a danger of losing the gifts or the blessings which we have been receiving from our Heavenly Father. If there had been no danger of losing our crown, our Lord would not have given warnings. So, 'Watch and pray.' Gifts, blessings, spiritual life and crown, there is a difference between having these things and receiving them again. Those who repent may obtain forgiveness if they go to our Heavenly Father, but those who postpone may find it too late."

"It is an excellent plan to entertain noble and lofty thoughts in the mind at all times; for by the Law of Association one good and noble thought attracts another."

"A tree grows and develops in the light and heat of the sun. There is infinite space above the tree, yet when the tree has reached a certain height it cannot increase any more. Why cannot it increase? The power of gravitation of the earth draws it down. We are spiritual beings and are to grow upwards and not downwards though things in this world draw us down.
The heat of the sun makes a tree grow, but by the heat of the same sun another tree dries up. When a worm or an insect has entered a tree, the life of the tree is being gradually destroyed; then the heat of the sun instead of giving it strength helps the process of decay. We have life within us and are to grow through the light of the Sun of Righteousness. To what degree is it possible for us to increase? To this degree, 'Be ye therefore perfect as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.'"

"When government began to mint coins, men began to make counterfeit coins. So in the Spiritual life, the Evil One provides counterfeits of every virtues.

In the spiritual life we can do much harm when we fully intend doing good; just like the man in Burma who rushed to pour buckets of water in his house which had suddenly caught fire and found that in that great oil-region he was pouring kerosene oil instead."

On Prayer

"Those who think that prayer is asking are only beggars. I have not seen any beggar understand the truth of Christianity."

"Every day whenever we spend time in prayer and realize His presence, we must hold these things fast in our heart. Without prayer it is impossible. Prayer is not asking for this thing or that thing, but for the Giver of blessing Himself -- that He may live in us. See how wonderful our Saviour is!"

"Some people are very thankful when their prayer is answered. But the people who think that prayer is merely asking are greatly mistaken. God gives Himself. Even wicked are receiving all kinds of things from God. If the Holy Spirit were given without prayer, we should not be able to appreciate Him. But the people who receive Him can't live without prayer. They may fall, they may make mistakes, but they know the value of prayer; and those who know the value of a life of fellowship will never cease."

"Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness know Him. He reveals Himself to such people -- those who spend time in prayer. We see our face sometimes not in a mirror but in a river, but when there are waves in the river we are not able to see ourselves. When our lives are full of hurry and bustle we fail to see ourselves, but in a quiet place we see ourselves and we shall be entirely changed -- a new life. Then we shall not be ashamed. We shall know Him by living with Him -- and we must live in Him through a life of prayer."

"Prayer is to live in Him for others. We can't stop breathing in the air of the Holy Spirit, and by the Holy Spirit we are being prepared for the world to come -- for the Kingdom of God where we are going to spend eternity. We have not been created to live in this world forever but to get ready for our Heavenly Home."

"A child two or three days old does not know anything about this world -- about his mother and about milk, but he knows how to suck milk. He does not know Khasi or Hindi, but he knows how to suck. God has provided milk for the child in his mother's breast, but it does not flow into the child's mouth. He has to suck and he gets stronger and stronger every day. God is our spiritual Mother and we experience that when we lead a life of prayer. We have desire. This desire is to be satisfied, and only He can meet the needs of the human heart. Everybody knows something about prayer. A child can cry."

"St. Paul was such a practical man of God that he didn't tell others to do what he didn't try to do himself. He lived a life of prayer, he never ceased to pray. When on a long journey, he prayed. He knew the value of prayer from experience. He knew how important and essential it is. Just as breathing and circulation of the blood are functions of the body, so prayer is a function of the soul. The circulation of the blood will not continue forever, the beating of the heart will stop, but prayer will continue. Prayer is to breathe in God -- to breathe in the air of the Holy Spirit. Those who cannot breathe are dead. We breathe in our sleep, so , 'Pray without ceasing.' To live in Him we are to breathe in Him Who is our life."

"A naturalist noticing that certain beautiful birds flew away to a hot country at the beginning of winter, had a great desire that the birds should stay, but was unable to retain them. So he thought of another plan. He got some of these birds' eggs from a hot country. He thought that if these young ones were born in a cold country they would think they belonged to the cold country. But when the winter came they flew away. No one told them, but they went back again to the country whence they had come. They had that instinct, that sense which told them. So we too are going to fly away from here."

"If eggs are not properly hatched they become rotten. So we too are in danger of perishing from sin. But we are being prepared and we shall fly from our shell into our heavenly home. Even animals know their master but we don't know our Creator. We cannot change His will but through prayer we can understand His will. What is necessary for His will, will be given to us to carry out His plans. We are being changed. When the egg is being hatched it is changed; then, in time, the chick will become like the mother-bird. The liquid matter is changed until it becomes a young bird which becomes like its mother. In prayer we are being hatched and changed and prepared to be like Him.
...all eggs do not get hatched. They need the Mother's warmth. So too we need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to make us warm. We must receive the warmth and heat from Him in prayer."

"Why doesn't God give spiritual blessings without prayer? There was Saul. Saul received a kingdom and the Holy Spirit, but he did not pray for the Holy Spirit and was not anxious. The result was that he lost both. Through prayer we are being prepared. We are receiving a blessing through the prayer of preparation. Instead of donkeys Saul found a kingdom. If we receive the Holy Spirit before we are ready we shall lose Him. But if we are ready then our lives will be entirely changed. But if we lose Him we are worse than before. Such men are the incarnation of the devil -- their condition afterwards is worse."

"This is a warning from the Lord Himself. 'Hold fast thy crown.' All will be clear if we live a life of prayer. We must spend time in prayer -- then we shall know who our Saviour is. We receive blessings even through our mistakes. But our God works quietly. He never makes a noise...
God give me strength and power that I may not lose this blessing. My prayer is to continue. Then Heaven will begin on earth for all who have had this experience. Then we shall see others entering into the kingdom of God. We shall see with our spiritual eyes and fly away and be with our Saviour and be in His Kingdom forever.
May God help us so that we may live in Him in this life -- and that is only possible through prayer which is the vital breath of life -- before we enter into the Heavenly Kingdom where we are going to live with Him forever.

We must begin in our home on earth, otherwise we shall feel out of place in Heaven. If we live in Him now, we shall be prepared to live with Him forever..."

"May God help us to pray without ceasing."

On Persecution, Suffering and Discipleship

"...a little girl thirteen years of age was going from her village to another when she was met by a Lama who said to her, "Your father has become a Christian and that is, I suppose, why you are a Christian too."
She replied, "A Christian Sadhu came to our village to tell of Christ. My family has become Christian -- I am a Christian because I know from my own experience that Christ is my Saviour." The Lama seized her and shut her up in a dark room with the door locked for twenty-four hours without food or water. At the end of the twenty-four hours the Lama though she would ask to be freed. To his great amazement he found her singing. He shut her up for three days more without food or water. When he opened the door this time he didn't find her singing but she was on her knees in a corner of the room talking to somebody. He could see her lips moving but her eyes were shut. He began to listen to what she was saying. "Lord, I thank Thee for this honour of suffering for Thee." Christ was living in her otherwise it would have been impossible for her.
"Lord, forgive that Lama. Open his spiritual eyes that he may see Thy glory."
The Lama burst into tears, and taking off his turban he laid it on her feet and said, "I am like your grandfather in age, but today you have become my guru." To the Sadhu whom he met afterwards, he said, "I didn't learn as much from you as I learnt from the girl."
"I was so thankful. Can't we have that experience? She is on her way to perfection and has given her life to work for her Saviour."

"When I was preaching between Nepal and Tibet, I was asked in one place not to preach Christianity. But I said, 'I must give my testimony to what my Saviour has done for me.' I was arrested and put in prison for six months. An excellent opportunity of preaching the Gospel! I preached to the criminals but was forbidden.
The jailer said, 'You were put into prison on account of your preaching and here you are preaching again!'
I said, 'I can't keep quiet, I must tell about my Saviour.' Then he told the prisoners not to listen.
They said, 'You have failed to make us better. If listening to him makes us better you ought to be glad.' The jailer was terrified lest all the criminals become Christians and took me away. This time I was put into the jailer's cowhouse as there was no other separate room. The place was full of mosquitoes. My clothes were taken away and my legs and arms put into stocks. Then a basketful of leeches were put on my body. There were leeches round my eyes shutting them, and they were sucking away all my blood. It was very painful. I confess my weakness. God wanted to show me myself. I almost wanted to cry. 'By tomorrow,' I thought, 'I shall be dead from loss of blood.' When I was praying, however, I felt something like electricity all through my body and my prison was changed to Heaven. 'Will heaven be better than this?' I forgot the leeches, and though I am no singer I began to sing a Hindi hymn. Such wonderful joy! In the midst of suffering I had no external comfort of any kind but I experienced such wonderful peace from my living Saviour.
I had given St. Mark's Gospel to the man who had reported me, who immediately tore it up. He came to look at me in astonishment with the jailer. 'What do you think of him?' he asked the jailer.
'I think he is mad,' replied the jailer.
'If by becoming mad one can become so happy, then I should like to become mad too,' said the man."

"These eighteen years He is everything to me -- the life of my life and I am never sorry. My relations ask, 'Are you not sorry now that you have to suffer?'
'I am only sorry I did not follow Him before eighteen years ago.'"

"It is a great pity any of us are living without this wonderful Saviour. We must follow Him. We must be with Him and then we shall be on our way to perfection. Unless we follow our Saviour we cannot be saved. There is a wonderful fish which can change its colour, but a blind fish cannot change its colour."

"Nobody will be allowed to enter into Heaven who has not a face like Jesus Christ. That is the only ticket, otherwise we shall find ourselves out of place there. Only those who follow Him will feel at home there. Are we willing to follow Him? There will be no hiding place in Heaven -- only in Hell. I who used to persecute Him, I who used to tear up Scripture, I must follow Him."

Sadhu Sundar Singh - At the Masters Feet







This little book was published in Urdu in India, where also an English translation was issued.
In the preparation of this translation we have been fortunate in having the co-operation of the Sadhu himself, and in concert with him certain alterations have been made with a view to remove obscurities and give added point and clearness wherever possible. While striving to provide a careful translation, a certain freedom of expression has been made use of wherever necessary, at the same time care has been taken to preserve the true spirit and meaning of the original.
To those who, like ourselves, have had the good fortune to see the Sadhu at his work in India, the whole atmosphere of the book is familiar. In true Oriental fashion one has seen him seated on the ground in the midst of a large number of eager inquirers of both sexes and all classes. His bearing on such occasions one can never forget. His simplicity and plain common sense often lay open the very heart of a spiritual problem, and his quiet humour raises an occasional ripple of amusement, which again subsides into a feeling of reverence as the deeper significance of his answers makes itself felt.
The man himself, in his own gracious and dignified personality, makes an indelible impression on the mind. He becomes more than a charming memory; he remains as a compelling force in the lives of many who have sat with him at the Master's feet.
This little book goes out as an emanation from a mind chastened and refined by experience and prayerful meditation, and chosen by the Lord of love and mercy to make Him known in life as well as in word.
Arthur Parker
Rebecca J. Parker


The words of Christ -
"Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." (John xiii.13)
"Take my yoke upon you and learn of me . . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matt. xi.29)

There is nothing so perfect in the world as to be quite above objection and criticism. The very sun which gives us light and warmth is not free from spots, yet notwithstanding these defects it does not desist from its regular duty. It behooves us in like manner to carry on to the best of our ability what has been entrusted to us, and strive constantly to make our lives fruitful.
When the truths set forth in this book were revealed to me by the Master they deeply affected my life, and some of them have been used by me in my sermons and addresses in Europe, America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. At the request of many friends I have now gathered them together in this little book, and though it is possible that there are defects in setting them forth, I am sure that those who read them with prayer and an unprejudiced mind will benefit from them as I have.
It would be impossible for me to set forth these truths that have been revealed to me except in parabolic language, but by the use of parables my task has been made comparatively easy.
It is my prayer that as God by His grace and mercy has blessed me by these truths, so also they may be a blessing to every reader.

Your humble servant,
Sundar Singh

First Vision

Once on a dark night I went alone into the forest to pray, and seating myself upon a rock I laid before God my deep necessities, and besought His help. After a short time, seeing a poor man coming towards me I thought he had come to ask me for some relief because he was hungry and cold. I said to him, "I am a poor man, and except this blanket I have nothing at all. You had better go to the village near by and ask for help there." And lo! even whilst I was saying this he flashed forth like lightning, and, showering drops of blessing, immediately disappeared. Alas! Alas! it was now clear to me that this was my beloved Master who came not to beg from a poor creature like me, but to bless and to enrich me (2 Cor. viii.9), and so I was left weeping and lamenting my folly and lack of insight.

Second Vision

On another day, my work being finished, I again went into the forest to pray, and seated upon that same rock began to consider for what blessings I should make petition. Whilst thus engaged it seemed to me that another came and stood near me, who, judged by his bearing and dress and manner of speech, appeared to be a revered and devoted servant of God; but his eyes glittered with craft and cunning, and as he spoke he seemed to breathe an odour of hell.
He thus addressed me, "Holy and Honoured Sir, pardon me for interrupting your prayers and breaking in on your privacy; but is is one's duty to seek to promote the advantage of others, and therefore I have come to lay an important matter before you. Your pure and unselfish life has made a deep impression not only on me, but upon a great number of devout persons. But although in the Name of God you have sacrificed yourself body and soul for others, you have never been truly appreciated. My meaning is that being a Christian only a few thousand Christians have come under your influence, and some even of these distrust you. How much better would it be if you became a Hindu or a Mussulman, and thus become a great leader indeed? They are in search of such a spiritual head. If you accept this suggestion of mine, then three hundred and ten millions of Hindus and Mussulmans will become your followers, and render you reverent homage."
As soon as I heard this there rushed from my lips these words, "Thou Satan! get thee hence. I knew at once that thou wert a wolf in sheep's clothing! Thy one wish is that I should give up the cross and the narrow path that leads to life, and choose the broad road of death. My Master Himself is my lot and my portion, who Himself gave His life for me, and it behooves me to offer as a sacrifice my life and all I have to Him who is all in all to me. Get you gone therefore, for with you I have nothing to do."
Hearing this he went off grumbling and growling in his rage. And I, in tears, thus poured out my soul to God in prayer, "My Lord God, my all in all, life of my life, and spirit of my spirit, look in mercy upon me and so fill me with Thy Holy Spirit that my heart shall have no room for love of aught but Thee. I seek from Thee no other gift but Thyself, who art the Giver of life and all its blessings. From Thee I ask not for the world or its treasures, nor yet for heaven even make request, but Thee alone do I desire and long for, and where Thou art there is Heaven. The hunger and the thirst of this heart of mine can be satisfied only with Thee who hast given it birth. O Creator mine! Thou hast created my heart for Thyself alone, and not for another, therefore this my heart can find no rest or ease save in Thee, in Thee who hast both created it and set in it this very longing for rest. Take away then from my heart all that is opposed to Thee, and enter and abide and rule for ever. Amen."
When I rose up from this prayer I beheld a glowing Being, arrayed in light and beauty, standing before me. Though He spoke not a word, and because my eyes were suffused with tears I saw Him not too clearly, there poured from Him lightning-like rays of life-giving love with such power that they entered in and bathed my very soul. At once I knew that my dear Saviour stood before me. I rose at once from the rock where I was seated and fell at His feet. He held in His hand the key of my heart. Opening the inner chamber of my heart with His key of love, He filled it with His presence, and wherever I looked, inside or out, I saw but Him.
Then did I know that man's heart is the very throne and citadel of God, and that when He enters there to abide, heaven begins. In these few seconds He so filled my heart, and spoke such wonderful words, that even if I wrote many books I could not tell them all. For these heavenly things can be explained only in heavenly language, and earthly tongues are not sufficient for them. Yet I will endeavour to set down a few of these heavenly things that by way of vision came to me from the Master. Upon the rock on which before I sat He seated Himself, and with myself at His feet there began between Master and disciple the conversation that now follows.


The Disciple,--O Master, Fountain of life! Why dost Thou hide Thyself from those that adore Thee, and dost not rejoice the eyes of them that long to gaze upon Thee?
The Master,--1. My true child, true happiness depends not upon the sight of the eyes, but comes through spiritual vision, and depends upon the heart. In Palestine thousands looked upon Me, but all of them did not thus obtain true happiness. By mortal eyes only those things can be perceived that are mortal, for eyes of flesh cannot behold an immortal God and spiritual beings. For instance, you yourself cannot see your own spirit, therefore how can you behold its Creator? But when the spiritual eyes are opened, then you can surely see Him who is Spirit, (John iv.24), and that which you now see of Me you see not with eyes of flesh, but with the eyes of the spirit.
If, as you say, thousands of people saw Me in Palestine then were all their spiritual eyes opened, or did I Myself become mortal? The answer is, No! I took on a mortal body so that in it I might give a ransom for the sins of the world; and when the work of salvation was completed for sinners (John xix.30), then that which was immortal transfigured what was mortal into glory. Therefore after the resurrection only those were able to see Me who had received spiritual sight (Acts x. 40,41).
2. Many there are in this world who know about Me, but do not know Me; that is they have no personal relationship with Me, therefore they have no true apprehension of or faith in Me, and do not accept Me as their Saviour and Lord.
Just as if one talks with a man born blind about different colors such as red, blue, yellow, he remains absolutely unaware of their charm and beauty, he cannot attach any value to them, because he only knows about them, and is aware of their various names. But with regard to colors he can have no true conception until his eyes are opened. In the same manner until a man's spiritual eyes are opened, howsoever learned he may be, he cannot know Me, he cannot behold My glory, and he cannot understand that I am God Incarnate.
3. There are many believers who are aware of My presence in their hearts bringing to them spiritual life and peace, but cannot plainly see Me. Just as the eye can see many things, yet when someone drops medicine into the eye does not see it, but the presence of the medicine is felt cleansing the inner eye and promoting the power of sight.
4. The true peace which is born of My presence in the hearts of true believers they are unable to see, but, feeling its power, they become happy in it. Nor can they see that happiness of mind or heart through which they enjoy the peace of My presence. It is the same with the tongue and sweetmeats. The faculty of taste which resides in the tongue and the sweetness it perceives are both invisible. Thus also I give My children life and joy by means of the hidden manna, which the world with all its wisdom knows not nor can know (Rev. ii.7).
5. Sometimes during sickness the faculty of taste in the tongue is interfered with, and during that time, however tasty the food given to the sick person may be, it has an ill taste to him. In just the same way sin interferes with the taste for spiritual things. Under such circumstances My Word and service and My presence lost their attraction to the sinner, and instead of profiting by them he begins to argue about and to criticize them.
6. Many believers again--like the man born blind, on receiving his sight--are able to see Jesus as a prophet and the Son of Man, but do not regard Him as the Christ and the Son of God (John ix.17, 35-37), until I am revealed to them a second time in power.
7. A mother once hid herself in a garden amongst some densely growing shrubs, and her little son went in search of her here and there, crying as he went. Through the whole garden he went, but could not find her. A servant said to him, "Sonny, don't cry! Look at the mangoes on this tree and all the pretty, pretty flowers in the garden. Come, I am going to get some for you." But the child cried out, "No! No! I want my mother. The food she gives me is nicer than all the mangoes, and her love is sweeter far than all these flowers, and indeed you know that all this garden is mine, for all that my mother has is mine. No! I want my mother!" When the mother, hidden in the bushes, heard this, she rushed out and, snatching her child to her breast, smothered him with kisses, and that garden became a paradise to the child. In this way My children cannot find in this great garden of a world, so full of charming and beautiful things, any true joy until they find Me. I am their Emmanuel, who is ever with them, and I make Myself known to them (John xiv.21).
8. Just as the sponge lies in the water, and the water fills the sponge, but the water is not the sponge and the sponge is not the water, but they ever remain different things, so children abide in Me and I in them. This is not pantheism, but it is the kingdom of God, which is set up in the hearts of those who abide in this world; and just as the water in the sponge, I am in every place and in everything, but they are not I (Luke xvii.21).
9. Take a piece of charcoal, and however much you may wash it its blackness will not disappear, but let the fire enter into it and its dark colour vanishes. So also when the sinner receives the Holy Spirit (who is from the Father and Myself, for the Father and I are one), which is the baptism of fire, all the blackness of sin is driven away, and he is made a light to the world (Matt. iii.11, v.14). As the fire in the charcoal, so I abide in My children and they in Me, and through them I make Myself manifest to the world.


The Disciple,--Master, if Thou wouldst make a special manifestation of Thyself to the world, men would no longer doubt the existence of God and Thy own divinity, but all would believe and enter on the path of righteousness.
The Master,--1. My son, the inner state of every man I know well, and to each heart in accordance with its needs I make Myself known; and for bringing men into the way of righteousness there is no better means than the manifestation of Myself. For man I became man that he might know God, not as someone terrible and foreign, but as full of love and like to himself, for he is like Him and made in His image.
Man also has a natural desire that he should see Him in whom he believes and who loves him. But the Father cannot be seen, for He is by nature incomprehensible, and he who would comprehend Him must have the same nature. But man is a comprehensible creature, and being so cannot see God. Since, however, God is Love and He has given to man that same faculty of love, therefore, in order that that craving for love might be satisfied, He adopted a form of existence that man could comprehend. Thus He became man, and His children with all the holy angels may see Him and enjoy Him (Col. i.15, ii.9). Therefore I said that he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father (John xiv.9-10). And although while in the form of man I am called the Son, I am the eternal and everlasting Father (Isa. ix.6).
2. I and the Father and the Holy Spirit are One. Just as in the sun there are both heat and light, but the light is not heat, and the heat is not light, but both are one, though in their manifestation they have different forms, so I and the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father, bring light and heat to the world. The Spirit, which is the baptismal fire, burns to ashes in the hearts of believers all manner of sin and iniquity, making them pure and holy. I who am the True Light (John i.9, viii.12), dissipate all dark and evil desires, and leading them in the way of righteousness bring them at last to their eternal home. Yet We are not three but One, just as the sun is but one.
3. Whatever worth and power and high faculty God has endowed man with must be brought into action, otherwise they gradually decay and die. In this way faith, if it is not truly fixed on the living God, is shattered by the shock of sin and transformed into doubt. Often one hears something like this, "If this or that doubt of mine be removed I am ready to believe." That is as though one with a broken limb should ask the doctor to take away the pain before he sets the limb. Surely this is folly, for the pain comes from the breaking of the limb, and when that is set the pain will of itself pass away. Thus by the act of sin man's tie with God has been snapped, and doubts, which are spiritual pains, have arisen. It needs must, therefore, that the union with God be again renewed, then those doubts which have arisen regarding My divinity and the existence of God will of themselves disappear. Then in place of pain there will come that wonderful peace which the world cannot give nor take away. Thus it was that I became flesh, that between God and poor broken men there might be union, and they might be happy with Him in heaven for evermore.
4. God is love, and in every living creature He has set this faculty of love, but especially in man. It is therefore nothing but right that the Lover who has given us life and reason and love itself should receive His due tribute of love. His desire is to all He has created, and if this love be not rightly used, and if we do not with all our heart and soul and mind and strength love Him who has endowed us with love, then that love falls from its high estate and becomes selfishness. Thus arises disaster both for ourselves and for other creatures of God. Every selfish man, strangely enough, becomes a self-slayer.
This also I have said, "Love thy neighbour as thyself." Now although in a sense all men are neighbours one of another, yet the reference is especially to those who habitually live near each other, for it is an easy matter to live at peace with one who is near at hand for a few days only, even though he be unfriendly; but in the case of one who has his dwelling near you, and day by day is the cause of trouble to you, it is most difficult to bear with him, and love him as yourself. But when you have conquered in this great struggle it will be more easy to love all others as yourself.
When man with all his heart, mind, and soul loves God, and his neighbour as himself there will be no room for doubts, but in him will be established that Kingdom of God of which there should be no end, and he, melted and moulded in the fire of love, will be made into the image of his heavenly Father, who at the first made him like Himself.
5. Also I manifest Myself by means of My Word (the Bible) to those who seek Me with a sincere heart. Just as for the salvation of men I took on a human body, so My Word also, which is Spirit and Life (John vi.63) is written in the language of men, that is, there are inspired and human elements united in it. But just as men do not understand Me, so they do not understand My Word. To understand it a knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek tongues is not a necessity, but what is necessary is the fellowship of that Holy Spirit, abiding in whom the prophets and apostles wrote it. Without doubt the language of this Word is spiritual, and he who is born of the Spirit is alone able fully to understand it, whether he be acquainted with the criticism of the world or be only a child, for that spiritual language is well understood by him since it is his mother tongue. But remember that those whose wisdom is only of this world cannot understand it, for they have no share in the Holy Spirit.
6. In the book of nature, of which I also am the Author, I freely manifest Myself. But for the reading of this book also spiritual insight is needed, that men may find Me, otherwise there is a danger lest instead of finding Me they go astray.
Thus the blind man uses the tips of his fingers as eyes, and by means of touch alone reads a book, but by touch alone can form no real estimate of its truth. The investigations of agnostics and sceptics prove this, for in place of perfection they see only defects. Fault finding critics ask, "If there is an Almighty Creator of the world why are there defects in it, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, eclipses, pain, suffering, death, and the like?" The folly of this criticism is similar to that of an unlearned man who finds fault with an unfinished building or an incomplete picture. After a time, when he sees them fully finished, he is ashamed of his folly, and ends by singing their praises. Thus too, God did not in one day give to this world its present form, nor will it in one day reach perfection. The whole creation moves onward to perfection, and if it were possible for the man of this world to see from afar with the eyes of God the perfect world in which no defect appears, he too would bow in praise before Him and say, "All is very good" (Gen. i.31).
7. The human spirit abides in the body very much as the chicken in the shell. If it were possible for the bird within the shell to be told that outside of it was a great widespread world, with all kinds of fruit and flowers, with rivers and grand mountains, that its mother also was there, and that it would see all this when set free from its shell, it could not understand or believe it. Even if anyone told it that its feathers and eyes, ready now for use, would enable it to see and to fly, it would not believe it, nor would any proof be possible till it came out of its shell.
In the same way there are many who are uncertain about the future life and the existence of God, because they cannot see beyond this shell-like body of flesh, and their thoughts, like delicate wings, cannot carry them beyond the narrow confines of the brain. Their weak eyes cannot discover those eternal and unfading treasures which God has prepared for those who love Him (Isa. lxiv.4, lxv.17). The necessary condition for attaining to this eternal life is this, that while still in this body we should receive from the Holy Spirit by faith that life-giving warmth which the chicken receives from its mother, otherwise there is danger of death and eternal loss.
8. Again, many say that the thing, or the life, that has a beginning must of necessity have an end. This is not true, for is not the Almighty who is able at His will to make from naught a thing which is, also able by the word of His power to confer immortality on that which He has made? If not He cannot be called Almighty. Life in this world appears to be liable to decay and destruction, because it is in subjection to those things which are themselves the subject of change and decay. But if this life were set free from these changeful and decaying influences, and brought under the care of the eternal and unchanging God, who is the fountain and source of eternal life, it would escape from the clutch of death and attain to eternity.
As for those who believe on Me, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand" (John x.28). "I am the Lord God Almighty that is and was and is to come" (Rev. i.8).


The Disciple,--Master, it is clear to almost everyone that to disobey God and to cease to worship Him is sin, and the deadly result is seen in the present state of the world. But what sin really is is not absolutely clear. In the very presence of Almighty God, and in opposition to His will, and in His own world, how did sin come to be?
The Master,--1. Sin is to cast aside the will of God and to live according to one's own will, deserting that which is true and lawful in order to satisfy one's own desires, thinking thus to obtain happiness. Yet in so doing one does not obtain real happiness or enjoy true pleasure. Sin has no individuality, so that no one can say of it that someone created it. It is simply the name of a state or condition. There is only one Creator and He is good, and a good Creator could not have created a bad thing, for to do so would be against His very nature. And apart from the one Creator there is no other who could have created sin. Satan can only spoil that which has already been created, but he has not the power of creating anything. So sin is not a part of creation, nor has it independent existence such that it could be created. It is simply a delusive and destructive state of being.
For instance, light is something which has real existence, but darkness has not; it is only a state, the absence of light. Thus sin or evil is not a self-existent thing, but simply the absence or nonexistence of good. This dark state of evil is most terrible, for because of it many miss the right course, and making shipwreck on the rocks of Satan fall into the darkness of hell and are lost. For this reason I who am the Light of the world became manifest in the flesh, so that those who put their trust in Me should not perish, for I rescue them from the power of darkness and bring them safe to that desired and heavenly haven, where there is neither name nor sign of darkness (Rev. xxi.23, xxii.5).
2. You ask how this dark state of sin came to be in the very presence of the Lord of creation. It arose because Satan and men, of their own motion in an unlawful and wrong way, sought to carry out their own desires. And if you ask why God did not make man in such a way that he could not fall into such a state, the answer is that if he had been constructed like a machine he could never have attained to that state of happiness which is reached only by action in accordance with one's own choice. Adam and Eve fell into the wiles and deceit of Satan because in their sinless state they did not know there were such things as lies and deceit. Before this, Satan himself did not know of the existence of that pride by reason of which he was cast out of heaven, for before him no such thing as pride existed. And although both in men and Satan this state of sin came to be, God by His almighty power has given that state a new aspect, so that even from it He has brought forth the noblest results.
First of all, the boundless love of God was made manifest in the incarnation and redemption, which under other circumstances would have remained hidden; and in the second place, the redeemed, after having tasted the bitterness of sin, will more richly enjoy the happiness of heaven, just as after a taste of bitterness the sweetness of honey gives greater delight. For in heaven they sin no more, but in meekness and obedient love they serve their Father God, and abide with Him in joy for evermore.
3. Men are keen on discovering faults in the sun and moon, such as spots and eclipses, but to the spots and eclipses of sin they give no heed. From this you may measure how great that darkness in men is, when the very light they have is darkness (Matt. vi.23). Just as the body of the leper by reason of his disease becomes numb and insensible, so the heart and mind of man by reason of sin become dull and insensate, and bring to him no sense of disgust or pain. But the time will come when he will awake to its terrible ravages, and then there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
4. Many who are immersed in sin are unaware of its load, just as one who dives into the water may have tons of water upon him, but is wholly unaware of its weight until he is choked in death. But he who emerges from the water and seeks to carry some away soon finds its weight, however little he takes up; and he who, finding the burden of his sin, comes to Me in penitence will freely receive true rest, for it is such I come to seek and to save (Matt. xi.28, Luke xix.10).
5. It is not necessary that every single member of the body should become useless and weak before death occurs. A weakness of, or a blow upon, the heart or the brain will suffice to bring an end to life, however strong and healthy other parts of the body may be. Thus one sin by its poisonous effect on the mind and heart is sufficient to ruin the spiritual life not of one only, but of a whole family or nation, even of the whole race. Such was the sin of Adam. But as one word from Me could bring Lazarus from the tomb, even so it is sufficient to give eternal life to all.
6. Sometimes it happens that an animal or bird after long association with man returns to its own kind, but they, instead of welcoming it, set upon it and do it to death, the reason being that by its long residence and familiarity with man, its habits and manner of life have entirely changed. In the same way as animals do not admit to their society those of their kind that have come under man's influence, how can the saint and angels in heaven welcome those sinners who have lived in intimate relations with wicked men? This does not mean that saints and angels have no love for sinful men, but the holy atmosphere of heaven will itself be distasteful to such men. For clearly, when in this world sinners dislike the company of good men, how can they be happy in their company throughout eternity? To them a heaven of that sort would be as distasteful as hell itself.
Do not suppose that God or His people will turn sinners out of heaven and cast them into hell, for God who is Love, never cast anyone into hell, nor ever will do so. It is the foul life of the sinner that will bring him to hell. Long before the end of life brings heaven and hell near to us, there has been set up in every man's heart, according to his good or evil nature, his own heaven or hell. Therefore whosoever longs to be saved from that eternal torment, let him truly repent of his sins and give his heart to Me, that by My presence with him and the Holy Spirit's influence, he may become for ever a child of the kingdom of God.
7. A rebel against a king or government in this world may save himself by taking refuge in another country, but where shall a rebel against God flee for safety? Wherever he goes, even in heaven or hell, he will find God ever present. (Psa. cxxxix.7,8). He will find his safety only in repentance and submission to his Lord.
8. For Adam and Eve the fig leaves were too scanty a covering, so God gave them coats of skin. In this way, too, man's good deeds are as useless as the fig leaves to save him from the wrath to come. Nothing will suffice save My robe of righteousness.
9. The moth thinks not of the burning and destructive power of the flame, but fascinated by its brilliancy rushes into it and perishes. So man, regardless of the destructive and poisonous power of sin, and feeling only its allurement, rushes in to his eternal destruction. But My light rescues the sinner from death, and bestows upon him life and enduring happiness. Man was so made as to be capable of appropriating the precious gift of My true light.
10. Sin is not an illusion or a thing of the imagination, but in this state of spiritual darkness, by the exercise of the evil will of man, such living seeds of evil have come into existence as will for ever infect his spirit and finally destroy it--just as smallpox in quite a short time will destroy the beauty of a man for all time, turning it to repulsive ugliness. As God did not create wickedness, so also He did not create disease and bodily pains. They are simply the natural issue of man's disobedience. Pain and disease also are not things of the imagination, but are the outward and visible fruits of the hidden unseen disease of sin, whether it be one's own sin or that of the family of which one is a member. When all these members repent and are united with Me, My health-giving blood circulates through all, healing all their internal and unseen diseases and giving to them health for all eternity. For such a state of health man was created, that he might for ever dwell in happiness with his Lord and Master.


The Disciple,--Master, in these days some learned men and their followers regard Thy atonement and the redemption by blood as meaningless and futile, and say that Christ was only a great teacher and example for our spiritual life, and that salvation and eternal happiness depend on our own efforts and good deeds.
The Master,--1. Never forget that spiritual and religious ideas are connected less with the head than with the heart, which is the temple of God, and when the heart is filled with the presence of God the head also is enlightened. For the mind and the eyes of the understanding are useless without the true light, as the natural eyes are without daylight. In the dark one may mistake a rope for a snake, just as the wise of this world pervert spiritual truth and lead astray simple minds. So Satan when beguiling Eve made use not of the sheep or the dove but of the serpent, the most crafty of all the animals. So he takes the wisdom of the wise and the skill of the learned, and of them makes instruments suited to his purpose. But it is not enough to be learned and clever; one must also have the innocence of the dove, therefore I have said, "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matt. x.16).
2. My cross and atonement do the same for believers as the serpent of brass did for the Israelites, for whoever looked up to that with the eyes of faith was saved (Num. xxi.9, John iii.14,15). There were some, however, who, instead of believing, thought of it as brass only and began to criticize and say, "If Moses had provided an antidote, or were to give us some powerful drug or special medicine for these venomous serpents, that would be a proper object of faith, but what power has this pole over poisonous venom?" They all died. In these days too, those who cavil about the method of salvation which God has appointed will perish in the poison of their own sin.
3. A young man fell down a precipice and was so much injured, and lost so much blood that he was at the point of death. When his father took him to the doctor he said, "The life is the blood, and the supply of this young man's blood is exhausted; but if anyone is prepared to sacrifice his own life he may recover, otherwise he will die." The father, whose heart was overflowing with love for his son, offered his own blood, and this being injected into the young man's veins he recovered. Man has fallen from the mount of holiness and lies broken and wounded by his sins, and by reason of those wounds his spiritual life has ebbed away and he is near to death. But for those who believe in Me I pour forth my own everlasting and spiritual blood, that they may be saved from death and obtain eternal life. For this purpose have I come that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John x.10), and thus live for evermore.
4. In ancient times men were forbidden to drink the blood of animals, or to eat certain foods, in the belief that they would thus escape certain diseases; and also lest, as a man has an animal body, his animal propensities might be strengthened by eating flesh and drinking blood. But now "My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed" (John vi.55), for they give spiritual life, and by them perfect health and heavenly happiness and joy are received.
5. The forgiveness of sins does not mean full salvation, for that can only come with perfect freedom from sin. For it is possible that a man should die from the disease of his sin, though he has received full pardon for it. For instance, a man had his brain affected owing to an illness of long standing, and whilst thus affected he made an attack upon another man and killed him. When sentence of death was pronounced upon him, his relatives explained the circumstances and appealed for mercy for him, and he was granted pardon for the sin of murder. But before his friends could reach him with the good news, indeed while they were on the way, he had died of the sickness by reason of which he had committed the murder.
What advantage was this pardon to the murderer? His real safety would have been to be cured of his disease, and then he would have had real happiness in his pardon. For this reason I became manifest in the flesh that I might deliver penitent believers from the disease of sin, from its punishment and from death; thus taking away both cause and effect. They will not die in their sins, for I will save them (Matt. i.21), and they shall pass from death to becomes heirs of eternal life.
6. To many people life is full of peril, and they are like that hunter who caught sight of a honeycomb on the branch of a tree overhanging a stream. Climbing up, he began to enjoy the honey, quite unaware of the fact that he was in peril of death, for in the stream beneath him lay an alligator with open jaws waiting to devour him, while around the foot of the tree a pack of wolves had gathered waiting for him to descend. Worse still, the tree on which he sat had been eaten away at the roots by an insect and it was ready to fall. In a short time it did fall, and the unwary hunter became the prey of the alligator. Thus, too, the human spirit, ensconced in the body, enjoys for a short time the false and fleeting pleasures of sin gathered in the honeycomb of the brain, without a thought that it is in the midst of this fearsome jungle of the world. There Satan sits ready to tear it to pieces, and hell like an alligator waits with open mouth to gulp it down, while, worst of all, the tiny unseen insect of sin has eaten away the very roots of the body and life. Soon the soul falls and becomes an everlasting prey to hell. But the sinner who comes to Me I will deliver from sin, from Satan, and from hell, and will give him eternal joy "which none shall take away from him" (John xvi.22).
7. Satan with crafty speech and enticements draws men to him and swallows them down just as a snake fascinates little birds by the magnetism of its glittering eye, and makes a prey of them. But to those who believe on Me I give deliverance from that old serpent and from the seductions of this soul-destroying world. I set them free so that, as a bird, easily resisting the force of gravity which is in the earth, flies freely through the open heaven, they mount on the wings of prayer and reach at last the abode of safety and their hearts dear home, drawn by the sweet attractions of My love.
8. Just as a man with jaundice sees everything yellow, so to the sinner and the philosopher truth itself takes on the form and fashion of his sin or his theories, and it is not a matter of much surprise if such people go a step further and count Me a sinner like themselves. But My work, which is the salvation of sinners, does not depend on the good opinion of the world, but for ever moves on its undisturbed way in the lives of believers. Just as Levi, being still in the loins of Abraham, paid tithe to Me though he was not yet born, so all generations of believers have in Me, offered upon the cross, the atonement and ransom for their sins, though they were not at that time even born; for this salvation is for all races of men in the world.
9. This saying, that a man can by his own effort and good works acquire salvation, is foolish and absurd so long as the man is not born again. World-rulers and teachers of morality say, "Become good by doing good," but this is what I say, "Become good yourself before doing good works." When that new and good life has been entered upon, good deeds will be the natural result.
It is only a fool that will say that a bitter tree by constantly bearing fruit will at last become sweet. As a matter of fact a bitter tree can become sweet by being grafted on a sweet tree, so that the life and qualities peculiar to the sweet tree will pass into the bitter one and its natural bitterness will pass away. This is what we call a new creation. So too the sinner may have the desire to do what is right, and yet the only result is sin; but when he repents and by faith is grafted into Me the old man in him dies, and he becomes a new creature. Then from this new life which has its origin in salvation good deeds come forth as fruit, and this fruit abides for ever.
10. There are many who have learnt from experience that man's natural goodness cannot give true peace of heart, nor can it give him a certainty of salvation or eternal life. The young man who came to Me seeking eternal life is a case in point. His first thought with regard to Me was wrong, as is that of some worldly-wise men and their followers at the present day. He thought Me to be one of those teachers who are like whited sepulchres, and in whose lives there is not a particle of true goodness. Therefore I said to him, "Why do you ask Me about goodness? There is none good but One." But he failed to see in Me the one giver of goodness and life; and when I sought to admit him to My companionship and make him a truly good man, and bestow life upon him, he became sad and left Me. His life, however, makes one thing perfectly clear, and that is that his keeping the commandments and his goodness did not satisfy him or give him the assurance of eternal life. If his good works had given him peace he would not have come to inquire of Me, or had he come he would not have left Me in sorrow, but, believing My words, would have gone away rejoicing.
Not long afterwards the young man Paul recognized Me, and the desire of his heart was completely fulfilled. Instead of turning away in sadness he gave up all that he had and followed Me (Phil. iii.6-15). So everyone who ceases to trust in his own righteousness and follows Me shall receive from Me true peace and everlasting life.


The Disciple,--Sometimes this question is asked, "Since God is fully aware of our needs, and knows how to supply them in the best way, not for the good only but for the evil, how should we pray to Him about them? Whether our necessities be temporal or spiritual, can we by our prayers alter the will of God?"
The Master,--1. Those who ask such a question show clearly that they do not know what prayer is. They have not lived a prayerful life, or they would know that prayer to God is not a form of begging. Prayer does not consist in an effort to obtain from God the things which are necessary for this life. Prayer is an effort to lay hold of God Himself, the Author of life, and when we have found Him who is the source of life and have entered into communion with Him, then the whole of life is ours and with Him all that will make life is perfect. To evildoers God, out of love for them, gives what is necessary for their life in this world, but their spiritual necessities He does not even show to them, as they have no spiritual life.
Were He to bestow such spiritual blessings upon them, they would not be able to appreciate them. But on those who believe gifts of both kinds are bestowed, especially spiritual blessings, with the result that very soon they pay little regard to temporal blessings, but fix their love on the unseen and spiritual. We cannot alter the will of God, but the man of prayer can discover the will of God with regard to himself. For to men of this kind God makes Himself manifest in the hidden chamber of the heart, and holds communion with them; and when His gracious purposes are shown to be for their good, then the doubts and difficulties of which they complain pass away for ever.
2. Prayer is, as it were, a breathing in of the Holy Spirit, and God so pours His Holy Spirit into the life of the prayerful that they become "living souls" (Gen. ii.7; John xx.22). They will never die, for the Holy Spirit pours Himself by means of prayer into their spiritual lungs, and fills their spirits with health and vigour and everlasting life.
God, who is Love, has freely bestowed on all men those things which are necessary for both the spiritual and temporal life, but since He offers salvation and His Holy Spirit to all as freely, they are lightly esteemed. But prayer teaches us to value them, because they are as necessary as air and water, heat and light, without which life is impossible. The things for our spiritual life God has freely provided, but men so lightly regard them that they offer no thanks to their Creator; but on the other hand, His gifts of gold, silver, and precious jewels, which are scarce and obtained with great difficulty, they highly esteem, though with such things the hunger and thirst of the body cannot be assuaged, nor the longings of the heart be satisfied. With such folly do men of the world act with regard to spiritual things, but to the man of prayer are given true wisdom and eternal life.
3. This world is like a widespread ocean in which men sink and are drowned, but marine animals carry on their life in the deepest water, because they occasionally come to the surface and, opening their mouths, take in a certain amount of air, which enables them to live in the depths. So they who rise to the surface of this life-ocean, by means of private prayer breathe in the life-giving Spirit of God, and find even in this world life and safety.
4. Although fish spend their whole life in the salt water of the sea, yet they do not themselves become salty, because they have life in them; so the man of prayer, though he has to live in this sin-defiled world, remains free of the sinful taint, because by means of prayer his life is maintained.
5. Just as the salt water of the sea is drawn upwards by the hot rays of the sun, and gradually takes on the form of clouds, and, turned thus into sweet and refreshing water, falls in showers on the earth (for the sea water as it rises upwards leaves behind it its salt and bitterness), so when the thoughts and desires of the man of prayer rise aloft like misty emanations of the soul, the rays of the Sun of Righteousness purify them of all sinful taint, and his prayers become a great cloud which descends from heaven in a shower of blessing, bringing refreshment to many on the earth.
6. Just as the waterfowl spends its life swimming in the water, yet when in flight its feathers are perfectly dry, so men of prayer have their abode in this world, but when the time comes for them to fly aloft they pass from this sin-polluted world and arrive without spot or stain at their everlasting home of rest.
7. The ship, quite properly, has its place in the water, but for the water to flow into the ship is both unsuitable and dangerous. So for a man to have his abode in this world is right and good for himself and others, for, keeping himself afloat, he will be able to help them to arrive along with himself at the haven of life. But for the world to find its way into his heart means death and destruction. Therefore the man of prayer ever reserves his heart for Him who formed it to be His temple, and thus both in this world and that which is to come he rests in peace and safely.
8. We all know that without water it is impossible to live; but if we sink beneath it we choke and die. While we need to make use of and drink water, we ought not to fall into and sink beneath it. Therefore the world and worldly things must be used with discretion, for without them life is not only difficult but impossible. For this very purpose God created the world that men might make use of it, but men should not drown themselves in it, for thus the breath of prayer is stopped and they perish.
9. If by ceasing to live the life of prayer the life of the spirit begins to fail, then those worldly things which are intended to be useful become hurtful and destructive. The sun by its light and heat makes all vegetable things to live and flourish, and also causes them to wither and die. The air also gives life and vigour to all living beings, but itself is the cause of their decomposition. Therefore "Watch and Pray."
10. We ought so to live in this world that though we are in it we are not of it, and then the things of this world instead of being hurtful will be useful, and will help the growth of the spiritual life; but only on this condition, that the spirit ever keeps its face turned towards the Sun of Righteousness. Thus it sometimes happens that in a plot of unclean and filthy ground flowers spring up and flourish, and the sweet scent of the flowers overpowers the evil smell of the place. The plants, turning towards the sun, receive from it light and heat, and the filth instead of being hurtful to the plants fertilizes them and helps them to grow and flourish. So, too, the man of prayer as he prays turns his heart to Me, and receives from Me light and warmth, and amidst the ill odours of this evil world the sweet scent of his new and holy life glorifies Me, and there is produced in him not sweet odours only, but also fruit which shall abide for ever.


1. To pray does not imply that without prayer God would not give us anything or that He would be unaware of our needs, but it has this great advantage, that in the attitude of prayer the soul is best fitted to receive the Giver of blessing as well as those blessings He desires to bestow. Thus it was that the fullness of the Spirit was not poured out upon the Apostles on the first day, but after ten days of special preparation.
If a blessing were conferred upon one without a special readiness for it, he would neither value it sufficiently nor long retain it. For instance, because Saul obtained the Holy Spirit and the kingship without seeking for them he very soon lost them both, for he had set out from home not to obtain the Holy Spirit but to look for his lost asses (1 Sam. ix.3; x.11; v.13-14; xxxi.4).
2. The man of prayer alone can worship God in spirit and truth. Others are like the sensitive plant; during worship, affected by the teaching and presence of the Holy Spirit, they shrivel up, as it were, and bowing their heads become serious, but scarcely have they left the church before they brighten up and go on as before.
3. If we do not take care of a tree or a shrub which bears good fruit or flowers, it will degenerate and go back to its wild state. In the same way, if the believer, through the neglect of prayer and the spiritual life, ceases to abide in Me, he will, because of this carelessness, fall from that state of blessedness, and sinking again into his old sinful ways be lost.
4. When we see a crane standing motionless on the side of a tank or lake, we may suppose from his attitude that he is musing on the glory of God or the excellent quality of the water. But no such thing! He stand there motionless for hours, but the moment he catches sight of a frog or small fish he springs upon it and gulps it down. Just such is the attitude and method of many with regard to prayer and religious meditation. Seated by the shore of the boundless ocean of God, they give no thought to His majesty and love, or to His divine nature that cleanses from sin and satisfies the hungry soul, but are wrapped up in the thought of acquiring some specially desired object, by means of which they may more fully indulge in the delights of this fleeting world. Thus they turn away from the fountain of true peace, and, immersing themselves in the fading joys of this world, with them also die and pass away.
5. Water and petrol both come from the earth, and though they seem to be alike and even the same, they are in nature and purpose exact opposites, for the one extinguishes fire and the other adds fuel to it. So also the world and its treasures, the heart and its thirst for God are alike His creation. Now the result of the attempt to satisfy the heart with the wealth and pride and honours of this world is the same as if one tried to put out a fire with petrol, for the heart can only find ease and satisfaction in Him who created both it and the longing desire of which it is conscious (Ps. xlii.1,2). Therefore whoever now comes to Me I will give to him that living water so that he will never again thirst, but it shall be in him a well of water springing up into eternal life (John iv.14).
6. Men try in vain to find peace in the world and the things of the world, for experience plainly shows that true peace and satisfaction are not to be found in them. They are like the boy who found an onion and began peeling off its skins in the hope of finding something inside it, just as one finds in a box on taking the lid off. But his was an altogether futile expectation, since he found nothing but the last skin, for an onion is nothing but a collection of skins. And this world and all that belongs to it has been proved to be vanity of vanities (Eccles. xii.8), until men discover the true fountain of peace (Isa. lv.1; Jer. ii.13; Rev. xxii.17).
7. The world is like a mirage, and the truth seeker, hoping to find something to satisfy his thirsty spirit, starts off in search of it but meets with nothing but disappointment and despair. The water of life cannot be found in man-made tanks or cracked cisterns; but those who approach Me in prayer with a pure heart will find in Me, who am the source of the living water, that from which they may obtain satisfaction, invigoration, and eternal life (Isa. lv.1; Jer. ii.13; Rev. xxii.17).
A woman was traveling along a mountain track, carrying her child in her arms, when the child, catching sight of a pretty flower, made such a spring out of its mother's arms that it fell headlong down the mountain side, struck its head upon a rock, and died on the spot. Now it is perfectly clear that the safety and sustenance of the child were to be found in its mother's bosom, and not in those fascinating flowers which were the cause of its death. So acts the believer whose life is not a life of prayer. When he catches sight of the fleeting and fascinating pleasures of the world he forgets My love and care which are far greater than those of the mother, and, neglecting that spiritual milk which I provide for him, leaps out of My arms and is lost.
9. The sustenance which the mother provides is so arranged that it cannot be obtained without some effort on the part of the infant. So also My children whom I bear in My bosom cannot obtain without seeking, the spiritual milk which is able to save their souls. And as the child does not need to be taught, but knows by instinct where and how to obtain its food, so those who are born of the Spirit know by a spiritual instinct, and not from worldly philosophy or wisdom, how to pray and to obtain from Me, their spiritual Mother, the milk of eternal life.
10. I have infused into man's nature hunger and thirst, that he may not in sheer heedlessness regard himself as God, but that day by day he may be reminded of his needs and that his life is bound up with the life and existence of Someone who created him. Thus being made aware of his defects and necessities, he may abide in Me and I in him, and then he will ever find in Me his happiness and joy.


1. To pray is as it were to be on speaking terms with Me, and so by being in communion with and abiding in Me to become like Me. There is a kind of insect which feeds upon and lives among grass and green leaves and becomes like them in colour. Also the polar bear dwelling among the white snows has the same snowy whiteness, and the tiger of Bengal bears upon its skin the marks of the reeds among which it lives. So those, who by means of prayer abide in communion with Me partake, with the saints and angels, of My Nature, and being formed in My image become like Me.
2. When for but a short time I drew Peter, James, and John into communion with Me upon the Mount, I showed them somewhat of My glory, and of all the saints two only, Moses and Elias, appeared to them; they were so captivated with that brief glimpse of heavenly glory that they wished to erect three tabernacles in order to live there (Matt. xvii.1-5). How wonderful, then, will be the happiness of those who abide in Me, and with saints and angels innumerable enter into their longed-for heaven, and share with Me My full glory which knows no loss nor shadow of change (John xvii.24; James i.17). The man of prayer shall never be alone, but he shall abide with Me and My holy ones for ever (Matt. xxviii.20; Zach. iii.7-8).
3. It is not a great thing to control and make use of wild animals, lightning, the wind, and light, and other powers of nature, but to gain the mastery over the world and Satan and self, with all its passions, is of a truth a most momentous and necessary thing. Upon those only who live a life of prayer do I bestow the power to overcome all the might of the enemy (Luke x.17,20), so that even while they live in this world they abide with Me in the heavenly places (Eph. ii.6), and Satan being below and they above he is never able to reach them, but they abide for ever with Me in safety and without a tremor of fear.
Although men have now obtained control over the powers of nature they are not to travel beyond the bounds of the air, while the man of prayer, having mastered Satan and self, can range at will the everlasting heavens.
4. Just as the bee collects the sweet juice of the flowers and turns it into honey without injuring their colour or fragrance, so the man of prayer gathers happiness and profit from all God's creation without doing any violence to it. As bees also gather their honey from flowers in all sorts of different places and store it in the honeycomb, so the man of God gathers sweet thoughts and feelings from every part of creation, and in communion with his Creator collects in his heart the honey of truth, and in enduring peace with Him at all times and in all places, tastes with delight the sweet honey of God.
5. Now is the time to obtain and keep in the vessels of our hearts the oil of the Holy Spirit, as the five wise virgins did (Matt. xxv.1-13); otherwise like the five foolish ones we shall meet with nothing but grief and despair. Now also you must collect the manna for the true Sabbath, otherwise there will be nothing left you but sorrow and woe (Ex. xvi.15,27). "Pray, therefore, that your flight may not be in the winter," that is, in time of great distress or the last days, "or on the Sabbath day," that is, the reign of a thousand years of eternal rest, for such an opportunity will never occur again (Matt. xxiv.20).
In the same way as climate produces a change in form, colour, and the habits of growth in plants and flowers, so those who maintain communion with Me undergo a development of their spiritual nature in habit, appearance, and disposition; and putting off the old man they are transformed into My own glorious and incorruptible image.
With my finger I wrote upon the ground the sinful state of each of those who, regardless of their inner vileness, brought the woman taken in adultery for condemnation, so that they left her one by one and went away abashed and ashamed. With My finger, too, I point out in secret to My servants their wounds of sin, and when they repent, with a touch of the same finger I heal them; and in the same way as a child grasps his father's finger and by it help walks along with him, so I with My finger lead My children along the road from this world to their home of rest and everlasting peace (John xiv.2,3).
7. Oftentimes men pray to the Father in My name, but do not abide in Me, that is, they take My name into their mouths and on their lips, but not into their hearts and lives. That is the reason why they do not obtain what they pray for. But when I abide in them and they in Me, then whatever they ask from the Father they receive, because they pray under the direction of the Holy Spirit in that condition. The Holy Spirit shows them what will glorify the Father and be best for themselves and for others. Otherwise they will get such an answer as a bad son got from a governor whom his father had served with great courage and honour. When the son presented a petition in his father's name and asked for some employment and favour, the governor pointed out to him his evil life and habits, and said, "Do not petition me in your father's name, but first go and act according to his example. Let his high worth be not on your lips only, but carry it into your life, and then your petition will be accepted."
8. Between the prayers of those who worship and praise Me with their lips only and of those who do so from their heart there is a very great difference. For instance, one who was a true worshipper was constantly praying for another that his eyes might be opened and that he might accept the truth, while the other was a worshipper in name only often prayed in his enmity against My true worshipper that he might be struck blind. Finally the prayers of the true worshipper were heard by the loving will of God, and he who was formerly only a hypocrite received spiritual sight. With his heart full of joy this man became a true believer, and a sincere and lasting brother of My true servant.
9. Prayer makes things possible for men which they find impossible by other means, and they experience such wonderful things in life as are not only opposed to the rules and opinions of worldly wisdom, but are held to be impossible altogether. Scientific men do not recognize that He who set all created things in order and made laws for them, cannot be imprisoned behind the bars of his own laws. The ways of the great Lawgiver are inscrutable, because His eternal will and purpose is the blessing and prosperity of all His creatures, and the reason the natural man cannot grasp this fact is because spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. ii.14).
The greatest of all miracles is the new birth in man, and to the man who has experienced this miracle all others become possible. Now in very cold countries a bridge of water is a common sight, because when the surface of a river is frozen hard the water beneath still flows freely on, but men cross over the icy bridge with ease and safety. But if one were to speak of a bridge of water spanning a flowing river to people who are constantly perspiring in the heat of a tropical clime, they would at once say that such a thing was impossible and against the laws of nature. There is the same great difference between those who have been born again and by prayer maintain their spiritual life, and those who live worldly lives and value only material things, and so are utterly ignorant of the life of the soul.
10. He who desires by prayer to obtain from God the blessing of a spiritual life must believe and obey without questioning. The man who came to Me with a withered hand, when I commanded him to stretch out his hand instantly obeyed, and so his hand became whole as the other (Matt. xii.10-13). But suppose instead of that instant obedience he had begun to argue and say, "How can I stretch out my hand? If I had been able to do that, why should I have come to Thee? First of all heal my hand, and then I shall be able to stretch it out." All this would have been considered very reasonable and to the point, but his hand would never have been healed.
He who prays must believe and be obedient, and stretch out to Me in prayer his weak and withered hands, and then it will be for Me to give him spiritual life, and according to his need it shall be granted to him (Matt. xxi.22).


The Disciple,--Master, what is the real meaning of service? Is it that we serve the Creator and then His creatures for His sake? Is the help of man, who is after all but a mere worm, of any value to God in caring for His great family, or does God stand in need of the help of man in protecting or preserving any of His creatures?
The Master,--1. Service means the activity of the spiritual life and is the natural offering prompted by love. God, who is Love, is ever active in the care of His creation, and His desire is that His creatures and especially man, whom He formed in His own image and likeness, should never be idle. In the care and preservation of His creatures God needs the help of none, for He created them in such a way that without His help they could not continue to exist, and He it is who has provided all that is required to satisfy their desires. In true service of others there is this great advantage that it helps him who serves--just as it happened to you in Tibet. When you were in fear of death on account of the bitter cold, you saw one lying buried in the snow and at the point of death, you went to him and lifting him on to your shoulders carried him forward, and the efforts you made produced heat in your body which also passed into his, and both he and you were saved, so that in rescuing him you saved your own life. This is the true end of service. No one can live alone and deprived of the help of others. Should anyone receive help from another, and be unwilling to return such assistance as he can, such an ungrateful fellow would have no right to expect any help from any one at all.
2. Until a man brings into the service of God and man faculties and powers with which God has endowed him, he will not receive from God the help He alone can bestow. As soon as man does his part God will complete it. For instance, the removal of the stone from the grave of Lazarus was man's work, and it was not necessary for God to put forth His power to do that; but when the people had rolled away the stone, then God, that is Myself, did that which was beyond the power and skill of man, for I gave life to the dead. Even after that there was work for man to do in releasing Lazarus from the grave-clothes that he might be perfectly free (John xi.39,41,44).
So with regard to those who are dead in sin. It is the work of My disciples to roll away the gravestones of hindrance and difficulty, but to bestow life is My work. Often, too, some who have received spiritual life still remain in bondage to their old bad habits and evil associations, and it is the duty of My children to lead them into perfect freedom; and to render this great service they should ever be alert in heart and soul.
3. A certain king on his deathbed spoke to a faithful servant of his as follows: "It has been my custom when setting out on a journey to send you before me to announce me and make preparations for my reception. I am going to the land of the dead. Go, therefore, and inform them that I am about to join them." At first the honest servant did not understand what his lord meant, but as soon as he saw that his meaning was that he should die and thus precede him to the land of the dead, the faithful fellow, without a moment's hesitation or doubt, plunged a sword into his heart, and thus entered the country of the dead, there to await his lord. Thus it is the duty of those who serve Me, who am the Lord of Life and the King of kings (Acts iii.15; Rev. xix.16), to carry the gospel of salvation to those who are dead in sin, and to be ready even to give their lives for Me, who came to earth for their salvation and will come yet once more (Rev. ii.10).
4. A rebellious son once left his father's house and joined a band of robbers and became in time as bold and ruthless as the rest. The father called his servants and ordered them to go to his son and tell him that if he would repent and return home all would be forgiven, and he would receive him into his home. But the servants, in dread of the wild country and fierce robbers, refused to go. Then the elder brother of the young man, who loved him as his father did, set off to carry the message of forgiveness. But soon after he had entered the jungle a band of robbers set upon him and mortally wounded him. The younger brother was one of the band, and when he recognized his elder brother he was filled with grief and remorse. The elder brother managed to give the message of forgiveness and then, saying that the purpose of his life was fulfilled and love's duty done, he gave up the ghost. This sacrifice of the elder brother made so deep an impression on the rebellious youth that he went back in penitence to his father and from that day forward lived a new life. Is it not right, therefore, that My sons should be prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to bring the message of mercy to those of their brethren who have gone astray and are ruined in sin, just as I also gave My life for the salvation of all?
5. My children are like salt in the world (Matt. v.13). If the salt crystals are not dissolved they cannot transmit their flavour. So with My children. If they are not melted in the fire of love and the Holy Spirit, and made into a living sacrifice, they will not be able to bring a single soul that spiritual and heavenly life by which they may be saved. They will be no better than Lot's wife who became a pillar of salt (Gen. xix.26). But just as for your sakes I was melted in Gethesemane (Luke xxii.44), and on the cross gave up My life that I might save the lives of men, for life must be paid for with life, so you also are called upon to give up your lives and thus bring the savour of spiritual life to others and deliver them from death.
6. A certain murderer, instead of being hanged, was sent into battle, and there he fought for his king and country with such dauntless courage that although he was severely wounded he came back a conqueror. After the victory he was brought into the court again to be sentenced. The king, seeing on his body the marks of his wounds, cancelled the sentence of death, and not only forgave his crime, but also highly rewarded him and raised him to a post of honour. So those who on My side fight in the Holy War against Satan with courage and boldness that they may save their brethren and sisters, shall not only receive from Me the forgiveness of their sins, but in the kingdom of God I will bestow on them a crown and a kingdom (James v.20; Rev. iii.21).
7. As the pipe that is used to convey clean water is itself kept clean by the water which passes through it, so those, who through the Holy Spirit carry the Water of Life to others, are themselves purified and become heirs to the kingdom of God.
8. The best way for the believer to be fitted for the reception of the Holy Spirit and for service is to be obedient to the heavenly voice and immediately, as far as ability goes, to begin to serve. As to become a good swimmer it is useless to receive instruction unless one enters the water and strikes out for oneself, and only by constantly practising, first in shallow water and then in deep, can one become an adept in the art, so, in order to learn how to save the souls of those who are sinking in the dark waters of sin, the best way is to enter the only real and practical school of divinity, which is union with Myself (Acts iv.13).
9. There are some who are kept back from serving by the thought of their lack of ability, and do not remember that My strength gives power in weakness (2 Cor. xii.9). They are like invalids who, though they have recovered from their disease and are taking nourishing food, yet remain weak because they do no work and take no proper exercise. What such believers need is that they should put their trust in Me and set out to save sinners from destruction.


1. Love is the touchstone by which the reality of truth is perceived, and by it shall all men know that ye are My disciples (John xiii.35). I also make use of the sword of justice, so that at first sight some are inclined to think that, like Solomon, I intend to finish My work without mercy (1 Kings iii.16-28), but My object, like his, is to apply the touchstone of love which will bring out the truth, and show that you are the children of that God of Love who gave His life to save yours. You ought therefore to abide in that love and serve one another, and even give your lives to serve others, as I also gave My life for you. Then as I live ye shall live also (John xiv.19).
2. If ye are My disciples indeed your service of love will bear much fruit (John xv.8). And if men speak evil of you and pelt you with reproaches, pray for them, and instead of reproaching them let them taste the sweet fruit of your love.
Mischievous boys, when they catch sight of sweet fruit on a tree, pelt it with stones, and the tree without a murmur drops upon them, instead of stones, its charming fruit. For the tree has no stones to throw, but what God has given it, it gives without complaining. Be not cast down by ill treatment, for the fact that men fling abuse at you is full proof that yours is a fruitful life. Though they treat you thus from envy and spite, yet by that means the glory of your heavenly Father is made manifest. Do not suppose that God hungers after glory, or that there is anything lacking in His glory that man can supply. By no means! The object of His love is to lift that mean creature man out of the sinful state into which he has fallen and bear him upwards to His heaven of glory. Thus He gives not glory to Himself but to man by cleansing and purifying him, and in this the wonder and majesty of His love is made manifest.
3. To those who by their labours have enabled many to turn from sin and find righteousness in Me, I will grant such glory that they shall first of all shine like the stars, and then being made perfect shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The stars fade and disappear at the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, but the wish of My Father is that His sons should be made perfect like Himself and shine with Him in everlasting glory, rejoicing for ever in His boundless and eternal love.
4. There are little creatures far inferior to man, like the firefly, with its flickering light, and certain small plants among the vegetation in the Himalayas, which by their faint phosphorescent radiance illuminate as far as they can the dark jungle where they live. Tiny fish also that swim in the deep waters of the ocean give forth a glimmering light which guides other fish and helps them to elude their enemies. How much more ought My children to be lights in the world (Matt. v.14) and be eager in self-sacrifice to bring into the way of truth, by means of their God-given light, those who by reason of darkness are liable to become the prey of Satan.
5. If they do not use these heaven-sent powers in the service of God and His creatures they are in danger of losing for ever those heavenly gifts. This is what has happened to certain fish that live in the deep waters of dark caves, also to some hermits in Tibet, for both have lived so long in darkness that they have entirely lost their sight. In like manner the ostrich, through not using its wings, has lost altogether the power of flight. Take heed, therefore, not to neglect whatever gifts or talents have been entrusted to you, but make use of them that you may share in the bliss and glory of your Master (Matt. xxv.14-30).
6. Sometimes when there is some great act of service to be done, I choose for My purpose those who are little esteemed in the eyes of the world, for they make no boast of their own power or wisdom, but putting their entire trust in Me, and accounting what little ability they possess as of no great value, they devote all they have and are to My work for men (1 Cor. i.26-30). For instance, when I fed in the wilderness five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, you will remember that I did not perform this miracle by the agency of My disciples, for they were full of doubt and perplexity and wished to send the multitude away hungry (John vi.9). My servant on that occasion was a little lad whom I had cured of the palsy. Filled with a desire to hear My words he determined to follow Me. His poor mother wrapped up in his clothes some barley cakes and dried fish, enough for two or three days journey, so when inquiry was made for food for the multitude this faithful little lad at once brought all that he had and laid it at the disciples feet. Though there were wealthy people there who had with them much better food, such as wheaten cakes, they were not prepared to give them up; so it was from the barley cakes of this boy, My namesake, that by My blessing the multitude was fed with the choicest food.
7. There are many who are so wanting in gratitude that whatever blessings are bestowed upon them, even to the extent of miracles being performed for their benefit, they still remain dissatisfied and ungrateful. Such people can never be used for the service and blessing of others, but are like the man whom I healed after he had suffered for thirty-eight years from an incurable disease, for instead of being grateful and believing on Me he did not even trouble to remember My name (John v.12-13). From such people the world can hope for no blessing; it comes only from those who, like the poor widow, are ready to give up all they have, even all their living (Luke xxi.2-4).
8. For true service and the performance of duty My servants must be ready to offer even life itself--like that faithful soldier who remained at his post in the bitter cold and falling snow till he froze to death, and like a statue still kept his place, though the others of the watch went off to warm themselves at the fire. When the king came and saw him standing fixed and faithful still in death, he took off his crown and placed it for a space upon his head, saying: "Such a faithful soldier and servant is worthy of the honour and glory of my diadem. Would that he had lived, for then I would have made him the head of my kingdom!" Such must my faithful servants be in the service to which I have appointed them, and to those who finish their work with like faith and courage I will grant a fadeless crown of eternal kingship (2 Tim. iv.4, 5-8).
9. Many there are who have wasted the precious time given to them for My service, but even now there is an opportunity for them to rouse themselves and make the best use of the time that remains to them. They are like a hunter who, while wandering in the jungle, picked up some pretty stones on the bank of a stream. Unaware of their value he used them one by one in his sling to shoot at the birds seated on the trees near the river, and so one by one they fell into the water and were lost. With one still in his hand he returned to the city, and as he passed along the bazaar a jeweller caught sight of it, and told the silly fellow that it was a valuable diamond for which he could get thousands of rupees. When he heard this he began to bewail himself and say, "Woe is me! I didn't know their value, and have been using many of these diamonds to shoot at birds by the riverside, and they have fallen into the river and are lost, otherwise I should have been a millionaire. Still I have saved this one, and that is something gained." Every day is like a precious diamond, and though many priceless days have been wasted in the pursuit of fleeting pleasures, and are for ever sunk in the depths of the past, you should awake to the value of what remains, and bringing it into the best possible use gather for yourself spiritual riches. Use it in My service, who have given to you life and all its priceless blessings, and by using them to save others from sin and death you will obtain an everlasting and heavenly reward.


The Disciple,--What is the meaning and purpose of the cross, and why do pain and suffering exist in the world?
The Master,--1. The cross is the key to heaven. At the moment when by My baptism I took the cross upon My shoulders for the sake of sinners, heaven was opened, and by means of My thirty-three years bearing of the cross and by death upon it, heaven, which by reason of sin was closed to believers, was for ever opened to them.
Now as soon as believers take up their cross and follow Me they enter heaven through Me (John x.9) and begin the enjoyment of that unbounded bliss which the world cannot understand, for heaven is closed to unbelief. Hope and experience will teach the unbeliever that joy follows pain, but that that joy does not endure. But I give to My children ease in pain, and perfect happiness and peace. Those who joyfully take up My cross are themselves upborne by it, and ever supported by that cross they enter heaven at last.
2. Pain arises out of man's perverse and rebellious nature, just as tropical heat is irksome and painful to those who live in cold lands, and bitter cold to those who live in tropic climes. Heat and cold depend on the relation of the earth to the sun. So man, by the exercise of his own free will, enters into a state of agreement or disagreement with God, and inasmuch as the laws of God are intended for the spiritual health and happiness of man, opposition to them brings about spiritual pain and suffering. Now God, instead of altogether removing these states of opposition and rebellion to His will, makes use of them to make clear to man that this world was not created to be his home, but is to him a foreign land (2 Cor. v.1,2,6).
This world is but to prepare him for a perfect and eternal home, and the oft-repeated blows of ill-fortune are intended to keep his spirit awake, lest he should become careless, and falling away from the truth share in the ruin of this unstable world. He is meant to come into communion with his Maker and, after being freed from the suffering and misery of this fleeting life, to enter into His heaven of eternal happiness and peace.
3. Pain and suffering are bitter as poison, but it is also well known that sometimes the antidote of a poison is itself a poison. And thus I sometimes employ pain and suffering as bitter medicines in order to promote the spiritual health and vigour of My believers. As soon as their perfect health is secured there will be an end of all suffering. Their pain is no pleasure to Me, for My one object is their eternal well-being (Lam. iii.31,33).
4. Just as after a shock of earthquake springs of sweet water sometimes emerge in desert places, and the arid wastes are irrigated and become fruitful, so in certain cases the shock of suffering opens up within the heart of a man hidden springs of living water, and in place of murmurings and complainings there issue from him streams of gratitude and joy (Ps. cxix.67,71).
5. As soon as a child enters the world it is most necessary that it should begin to cry and scream, so that its breath may have free play and its lungs be brought into full use; and if for some reason it does not cry out it must be slapped till it does so. Just so with perfect love. I sometimes cause My children to cry out by the blows and stings of pain and suffering, that the breath of prayer may have free course through the lungs of their spirit and they may thus gain fresh vigour and abide in endless life.
6. The cross is like a walnut whose outer rind is bitter, but the inner kernel is pleasant and invigorating. So the cross does not offer any charm of outward appearance, but to the cross-bearer its true character is revealed, and he finds in it the choicest sweets of spiritual peace.
7. When I became incarnate, I bore the cruel cross for man's salvation, not for the six hours of My crucifixion only, or even for the three and a half years of My ministry, but for the whole thirty-three and a half years of My life, in order that man might be delivered from the bitterness of death. Just as it is painful to a cleanly man to stay for even a few minutes in a filthy and unclean place, so those who abide in Me find it most distasteful to have to live among vicious people; and this is the reason why some men of prayer, distressed by the foulness of sin, have abandoned the world and gone to live as hermits in deserts and caves. Consider this, then, when men who have been sinners themselves feel the presence of sin so hard to bear that they cannot endure the company of their own kind, so much that they leave them, and never wish to return to them again, how extremely painful and hard a cross must Mine have been, that I, the Fountain of Holiness, should have had to live for more than thirty-three years constantly among men defiled with sin. To understand this and rightly to appreciate it is beyond the powers of man's mind, and even the angels desire to look into it (1 Pet. i.12). For before the creation they knew that God is Love, and yet it was to them a most wonderful and amazing thing that the love of God should be such that, in order to save His creatures and to bring to them eternal life, He should become incarnate and bear the cruel cross.
8. In this life even I share the cross of those who abide in Me, and enter into their sufferings (Acts ix.4). Though they are creatures and I am their Creator, yet, just as the body and the spirit, though separate entities, are yet so intermingled that if even the smallest part of the body feels pain the spirit immediately becomes conscious of it; so I am the life and spirit of My children, and they are, as it were, My body and members. I share their every pain and grief, and at the right moment give them relief.
9. As I Myself bore the cross I am able to deliver and keep in perfect safety those who are crossbearers, even while they walk amid fires of persecution. I was with the three young men in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, which with all its raging had no power to hurt them (Dan. iii.23-5; 1 Peter iv.12-13). So those who by the baptism of the Holy Spirit have received the new life will never feel the fires of persecution nor any hurtful thing, for they ever abide in Me in eternal peace and safety.


1. In the bitter cold of winter the trees stand bare of leaves, and it seems as if their life, too, had departed for ever, yet in the spring time they put forth new leaves and beautiful flowers, and the fruit begins to show itself. So was it with Me in My crucifixion and resurrection, and so it is with my faithful cross-bearers (2 Cor. iv.8-11; vi.4-10). Though they seem to be crushed and dead beneath their cross they still put forth the beautiful flowers and glorious fruits of eternal life which abide for ever.
2. In grafting a sweet tree on to a bitter one, both feel the knife and both are called upon to suffer in order that the bitter may bear sweet fruit. So, too, in order to introduce good into man's evil nature, it was necessary that first of all I Myself and afterwards believers also should suffer the agonies of the cross, that they might in future for ever bear good fruit, and thus the glorious love of God be made manifest.
3. If in this world men persecute and slander you do not let this surprise or distress you, for this is for you no place of rest, but a battlefield. Woe to you when men of the world praise you (Luke vi.26), for this proves that you have taken on their perverse ways and habits. It is against their very nature and temper to praise My children, for light and darkness cannot exist together. If for the sake of appearances evil men act contrary to their nature and cease to persecute you, yours is the greater injury, for their influence enters into your spiritual life, and your spiritual progress is hindered.
Further, to put your trust in the world or in worldly men is to build your house upon the sand, for today they will raise you aloft and tomorrow will so cast you down that there will be no trace left of you, for they are in all things unstable. When I went up to Jerusalem at the Passover, they all with one voice began to cry out, "Hosanna! Hosanna!" (Matt. xxi.9), and only three days after, when they saw that what I said was against their life of sin and self-seeking, they at once changed over and began to cry, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" (Luke xxiii.21).
4. If through some misunderstanding some, or even all, believers turn against you and cause you pain, you must not count it a misfortune, for if in all honesty and faithfulness under the guidance of the Holy Spirit you continue to do your duty, remember that God Himself and all the hosts of heaven are on your side.
Do not allow yourself to be discouraged, for the time is at hand when all your good designs and purposes and all your unselfish love will be made known to the whole world, and, in the presence of all, honour will be done to you for your labours and faithful service.
I, too, for the salvation of men, had to renounce all things, and was Myself renounced by all, yet at the last I regained all and everything. Neither be surprised if the world desert you, for it has deserted God Himself, so that in this you are seen to be a true son of your Father.
5. Do not suppose that those who live in luxury and seem to be always successful in worldly affairs are all true worshippers of God, for the opposite is often the case. It is possible for sheep to wander away from the fold and the shepherd, and find in the jungle good pasturage, but they are all the time in danger of being torn to pieces by wild beasts, which will indeed be their fate in the end. But those who abide in the fold with the shepherd, though they may appear to be sick and feeble, are certainly free from danger and in the shepherd's care. This is the difference between believers and unbelievers.
6. The life of the believer and that of the unbeliever show great similarity in their beginning, but when their end comes, they are as diverse as the snake and the silkworm. The snake, however many times he casts his skin, remains a snake and nothing else, but the silkworm, when it casts off its unsightly cocoon, becomes a new creature, and as a dainty pretty moth flies about in the air. So the believer, casting aside this body, enters into a state of spiritual glory and flies about for ever in heaven, while the sinner after death is but a sinner still.
Though the silkworm, cramped within the cocoon, is in a state of depression and struggle as though upon a cross, yet this very condition of strife and difficulty gives strength to its wings, and fits it for the life that is to be. So My children, while in the body, are in a state of spiritual struggle and conflict, and look forward to their release with sighs and longing, but through the bearing of the cross I give them strength, and they become fully prepared and fitted for that state of endless life (Rom. viii.23).
In the midst of this spiritual warfare, and even while they are bearing their cross, I give them a truly wonderful peace of heart, that their courage may not fail. For instance, when a faithful martyr of Mine had borne witness to Me in word and deed, his enemies took him and hung him up to a tree head downwards. In this condition such was his peace of mind that he was utterly unconscious of the pain and disgrace to which he was subjected, and turning to his persecutors said, "The way you have treated me does not distress or dismay me, for I can expect nothing else in a world where everything is upside down, and where one can see nothing upright. In accordance with your own nature you have turned me as you think upside down, but in reality I am right side up. Just as when a slide is put into a magic lantern wrong way up it shows the picture correctly, so though now in the eyes of the world I am upside down, I am for ever right side up before God and the heavenly world, and I praise Him for this glorious cross."
8. For believers it would sometimes be an easy thing to become a martyr to My Name, but I also need living witnesses who will daily offer themselves as living sacrifices for the salvation of others (1 Cor. xv.31). For death is easy, but it is hard to live, for a believer's life is a daily dying. But those who are thus ready to lay down their lives for My sake shall share My glory and live with Me for ever in fullness of joy.
9. Should pain and suffering, sorrow, and grief, rise up like clouds and overshadow for a time the Sun of Righteousness and hide Him from your view, do not be dismayed, for in the end this cloud of woe will descend in showers of blessing on your head, and the Sun of Righteousness rise upon you to set no more for ever (John xvi.20-22).


The Disciple,--Master, what are heaven and hell, and where are they?
The Master,--1. Heaven and hell are the two opposite states in the spiritual realm. They have their origin in the heart of man and it is in this world that their foundations are laid. Since man cannot see his own spirit, so neither can he see these two states of the soul. But he has experience of them within him, just as he feels pain from a blow and perceives sweetness from eating sweetmeats. The wound caused by the blow may increase until it caused the greatest pain and finally ends in death and decay, as on the other hand the sweetmeats may by digestion promote strength. In the same way the pain of a sinful act and the happiness of a good deed may to some extent be apparent immediately, yet the full penalty or reward for them will be perceived only on entry into the spiritual realm.
2. In this world man is never satisfied for long with one thing, but is ever in search of a change of circumstances or surroundings; for which it is clear that the fleeting things of this world never can satisfy him, for he wants something that is stable and unchanging and always agreeable to his tastes and desires. When in his search he finds this reality in Me, the desire for all further change comes to an end, because one does not grow wearied of perfect society and complete happiness, for this is the one demand of both body and spirit. In truth, to obtain a true peace is the one object of the human soul. Sometimes there comes to the heart of man, without any thought or desire of his own, a sudden sensation of pleasure or pain which is an emanation from the spiritual world of heaven or hell. These come to him again and again, gradually one or other of these prevails, according to his spiritual habit, and by steadily appropriating one of these he makes a final choice. In this way the foundation of heaven or hell is built up in a man's heart while still in this world, and after death he enters into that state which, in this life, his desires or passions have prepared him for.
3. Some say that desire is the root of all pain and sorrow, therefore it is not right to desire happiness in heaven or in communion with God, for salvation consists in killing all desire. To say this is as great a folly as to tell a thirsty man to kill his thirst instead of giving him water to drink, for thirst or desire is part of life itself. To take away desire or thirst without satisfying them is to destroy life, and this is not salvation but death. Just as thirst implies water, and water is intended to remove thirst, so the existence of desire in the soul implies the existence of true happiness and peace. When the soul finds Him who planted within it that desire, it receives far greater satisfaction than the thirsty man does from water, and this satisfaction of the soul's desire we call heaven.
4. There are many in this world who are like the man who died from thirst although he was in the midst of the boundless waters of the ocean, for sea water could not quench his thirst or save his life. Just so there are men who are living in the boundless ocean of love, and yet because the fresh water of God's grace is bitterness to them in their disobedience and sin, they perish with thirst. But for those who repent of their sin and turn to Me fountains of living water gush up from that sea of love, and they find in Him who loves them satisfaction and enduring peace. This, too, we call heaven.
5. There are many who have conceived such a love and devotion to the world that though by the example and teaching of My children their hearts are often lifted heavenwards, yet drawn down by the force of gravity, like stones that have been thrown upwards, they fall back into the world and finally slip into hell. But when man turns his heart to Me in true repentance, I cleanse the temple of his heart with the whips of love and make it a heavenly abode for the King of kings. This earthly life is such that the glory and pomp of kings are seen but today, and tomorrow are mingled with the dust. But those who become sons of the kingdom of God have glory and honour, thrones and crowns, and of their kingdom, which is heaven, there is no end.
6. Sinners in order to increase their pleasures steal the good things of others, and that is why men, good as well as bad, lock up their houses when they go abroad. And this locking up of goods must go on as long as men's hearts are locked against their Lord and Maker. When, however, the lock of the heart is open to Him whoever stands knocking at the door (Rev. iii.20), the desires and longings of the heart will be fulfilled. Then there will be no further need for the locking up of houses, for instead of stealing each other's goods and doing each other mischief all will serve one another in love. For when men give to God what is due to Him they will seek only what is good. Thus they enter into His wondrous joy and peace; and this is heaven.
7. When I gave My life upon the cross for the sons of men that I might save sinners from hell and lead them into heaven, two thieves, one on each side of Me, met death at the same time. Although to all appearance we all three suffered a like fate, from a spiritual point of view there was a vast difference. One of them shut up his heart against Me and met his death unrepentant, but the other opened his heart to Me in true repentance, and in communion with Me found life, and that very day entered Paradise with Me (Luke xxiii.39-43). This Paradise exists not only beyond the grave, but begins in the hearts of men now, though it is hidden from the eyes of the world (Luke xvii.21). A faithful martyr of Mine was at the point of death after suffering untold agonies at the hands of his persecutors, and was so filled with the joy of heaven that he turned to them and said, "O that I could open my heart to you, and show you the wonderful peace I have, which the world can neither give nor take away! Then you would be convinced of its truth, but it is the hidden manna which is unseen and unseeable." After his death those foolish folk tore out his heart, hoping to find something precious in it, but they found nothing, for the reality of that heaven is known only to those who accept it and find in it their joy.
8. The womb of Mary, where in a fleshly form I had My abode for a few months, was not a place so blessed as the heart of the believer in which for all time I have My home and make it a heaven (Luke ix.27,28).
9. There are many who long for heaven yet miss it altogether through their own folly. A poor begger sat for twenty-one years on the top of a hidden treasure chamber, and was so consumed with the desire to be rich that he horded up all the coppers that he received. Yet he died in a miserable state of poverty, utterly unaware of the treasure over which he had been sitting for years. Because he sat so long on the same spot a suspicion arose that he had something valuable buried there. So the Governor had the place dug up and discovered a hoard of valuables, which afterwards found its way into the royal treasury. My word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart (Deut. xxx.14).
10. Those who know nothing of the spiritual life declare that it is impossible to experience real peace and heavenly joy in this grief-stricken world. But those who have experience of the spiritual life know that just as one finds here and there in the midst of the ice fields of the polar regions flowing streams of hot water, so in the midst of this cold and sorrow-laden world there are to be found flowing in the hearts of believers restful streams of heavenly peace, for the hidden fire of the Holy Spirit glows within them.
11. Although God made all men of one blood and created all in His own form and likeness, He has made them to differ in character, temperament, and powers. For if all the flowers in the world were of the same colour and scent, then the very face of the earth would lose its charm. The sun's rays as they pass through coloured glass do not change the colours, but only bring out their varied beauty and charm. In the same way the Sun of Righteousness, both in this world and in heaven, through the God-given virtues of believers and saints continually makes manifest His unbounded glory and love. Thus I abide in them and they in Me, and they will have joy for evermore.


The Disciple,--Master, some people say that the comfort and joy that believers experience are simply the outcome of their own thoughts and ideas. Is this true?
The Master,--1. That comfort and abiding peace which believers have within themselves is due to My presence in their hearts, and to the life-giving influence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. As for those who say that this spiritual joy is the result only of the thoughts of the heart, they are like a foolish man who was blind from his birth, and who in the winter time used to sit out in the sunshine to warm himself. When they asked him what he thought of the sun's heat he stoutly denied that there was such a thing as the sun, and said, "This warmth which I am now feeling on the outside comes from within my own body, and is nothing more than the powerful effort of my own thoughts. This is utter nonsense that people tell me about something like a big ball of fire hanging up in the sky." Take heed, therefore, lest anyone captures you "with philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men and after the rudiments of the world." (Col. ii.8).
2. If true happiness depended on the thoughts of man, then all philosophers and deep thinkers would be filled to overflowing with it. But with the exception of such of them as believe in Me, those who are wise in the philosophy of this world are altogether devoid of happiness, except for a kind of fleeting pleasure which they derive from following out certain rules of their own.
But I have so created man that he has a natural fitness for the reception of the Holy Spirit by means of which alone is he able to receive this heavenly life and joy. As in charcoal there is a natural fitness to receive fire, but without oxygen the fire cannot enter it, so unless the oxygen of the Holy Spirit finds an entrance into a man's soul he will remain in darkness and will never enjoy this true and lasting peace (John iii.8).
3. This fitness of heart and thoughts of man is like that of the strings of a guitar or violin. When these are tightened and made to harmonize, then by the touch of the plectrum or the bow the most charming music is produced; but if that is not done the touch of the bow only produces discords. And the production of sweet sounds when the strings all harmonize is again dependent on the air, by the force and motion of which sound is carried into the ear. In the same way, to harmonize the thoughts and imaginations of men the presence of the stimulating breath of the Holy Spirit is necessary. When that is present there will be produced heavenly airs and joyous harmonies in men's hearts, both in this life and in heaven.
The Disciple,--Master, sometimes I am conscious that my peace and happiness have departed. Is this because of some hidden sin of mine, or is there some other reason unknown to me?
The Master,--1. Yes, this is sometimes due to disobedience, but occasionally I appear to leave My children for a short time and then they become lonely and restless. Then while they are in that condition I am able to reveal to them their actual selves and their utter weakness, and teach them that apart from Me they are nothing but dry bones (Ezek. xxxvii.1-14); so that they may not in a constant state of rest and peace forget their essential condition, and, deeming themselves to be God, fall through pride into the punishment of hell (1 Tim. iii.6; Jude 6; Isa. xiv.12-17). In this way they are trained and educated; and when they humbly and meekly abide in Me, who created them, they will enjoy eternal happiness in heaven.
2. Sometimes it happens that when I enter into My children and fill them with the fullness of the Spirit, they overflow with such divine happiness and joy that they are not able to endure the glory and blessing that is theirs, and so fall into a state of faintness or even unconsciousness. For flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor temporal things those which are eternal, until men are set free from the power of vain mortality and raised into glory (1 Cor. xv.50,53; Rom. viii.19-22). Then shall My will be done on earth in every creature, even as it is done in heaven. Then shall pain and suffering, sorrow and sighing, woe and death be for ever done away, and all My children shall enter into the kingdom of My Father, which is joy in the Holy Ghost, and they shall reign for ever and ever (Rom. xiv.17; Rev. xxi.4; xxii.5).


Dear Master, Thy varied blessings and gifts have filled my heart to overflowing with gratitude and praise. But the praise of heart and tongue do not suffice me until I prove by my deeds that my life is devoted to Thy service. Thanks and praise be to Thee that Thou hast brought me, unworthy though I am, out of death into life and made me to rejoice in Thy fellowship and love. I know not as I ought either myself or my sore need, but Thou, O Father, knowest full well Thy creatures and their necessities. Nor can I love myself as Thou lovest me. To love myself truly is to love with heart and soul that boundless love which gave me being, and that love Thou art. Thou hast therefore given me but one heart, that it might be fixed on one only, on Thee, who didst create it.
Master, to be seated at Thy feet is better far than to sit upon the lordiest throne of earth, for it means to be enthroned for ever in the eternal kingdom. And now, on the altar of these sacred feet I offer myself as a burnt sacrifice. Graciously accept me, and wheresoever and howsoever Thou wilt, use me for Thy service. For Thou art mine, and I belong to Thee, who didst take this handful of dust and make me in Thine own image and didst grant me the right to become Thy son.
All honour and glory and praise and thanksgiving be unto Thee for ever and ever. Amen.