MAN’S PURPOSE AND GOD’S PURPOSE
The church of God are called according to His purpose.
“There are many devices in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” “A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” “The wrath of man shall praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He will restrain.”
The foregoing scriptures are beautifully exemplified in the following instance:Â—
G.T. was a son of parents who were for many years lovers of Jesus, and humble, but sincere followers of the Lamb. He grew up
an enemy to the cross of Christ, and very early broke away from the house of God, to which he had been accustomed to attend with his parents, and ran into all kinds of wickedness, to the grief of his mother, whose prayers for her son were constant. Amongst other instances of his determined opposition to the people of God, it is said that he made a vow never to enter the chapel where his parents worshipped. But God, who had thoughts of love and mercy towards this wanderer, took means peculiarly His own, to bring down the pride of his heart, and destroy its enmity. As he was engaged one day in his usual employmentÂ—agricultureÂ—he found, to his dismay, that his sight was failing him; although a young man, he was growing blind. This affliction increased rapidly, and soon he was obliged to give up his employment. Still his affliction increased; and, notwithstanding all his efforts to obtain relief, he became blind.
Now was the time for the Lord to appear. To his astonishment, the people whom he had despised and hated, became his greatest friends. He suffered himself to be led to that house of prayer he had in his ignorance vowed never to enter; and then the Word of the Lord found him out. It was fixed as an arrow in his soul. The Lord’s servant was addressing the people on the words of PaulÂ—”That I may win Christ and be found in Him.” That was the first word he heard with power in the heart; and from that time he diligently attended the means; and gradually his mind was enlightened, and the sorrows of his heart rose up as a flood. The knees that had never been bent in the worship of God, now yeilded to the deep necessity felt; the mouth that had been more accustomed to the oath or profane jest, now sent forth cries to the God of salvation, to Jesus, for mercy; and in due time he found mercy. While sitting in his house, literally sitting in darkness, the Lord arose upon his soul with a glorious light, and the voice of the Lord was heard speaking peace to his poor troubled heart. Soon after he was constrained to come forth and confess Christ, by a public profession of His name; and sometime after that, by a mysterious movement of Providence, a way was opened for him to live (rent free) in the house adjoining the chapel. Thus his purposes were cut off, and the Lord’s purposes of love and mercy toward him were established. For two years he adorned the doctrine of Christ by a daily testimony, to all who would hear him, of his salvation. He was entirely dependent upon others, and the charity of the brotherhood, being wholly unable to provide for himself, his wife, and his child.