Willie Brown - Norwood Special Meeting - April 6, 1948

Passing through on his way to Syria                         

                                        

 

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with thee

Where lies the Garden of Gethsemane.

There Thou didst drink that bitter cup for me

And poured Thy soul out in Thine agony.

                                         

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee,

Oh, help me watch one little hour with Thee.

My flesh is weak, but grant me grace and power

To be found watching in temptation’s hour.

 

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee,

I long to prove my love and loyalty

To Thee, my King, tho’ by the world disowned.

Thou art forever in my heart enthroned.

 

My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee,

As King in all Thy beauty soon I’ll see;

Thou wilt return and to Thy Kingdom come,

Awake me should I sleep within the tomb.

 

“Kidron” means very black or full of darkness.  A torrent which flows between Jerusalem and Mt. Olives. From the steep side of the heights on each side, and the thickness of the trees, the valley had a black appearance.

 

It is 27 years since I was here in Adelaide, and that was when I passed through on my way to South Africa.  Before I sing this hymn to you,  “My Saviour, I would cross the brook with Thee.” I want  to tell you that I have been to the Brook Kidron about which it was written, so would like to tell you a little about it so you will be able to better appreciate and understand the words of the hymn.  The brook Kidron is near Jerusalem, about half an hour’s walk from the city.  Jesus crossed that brook many times.  It held many memories for Jesus, for he crossed it on many outstanding occasions of his life, both happy and sorrowful.  I know that I am speaking to brothers and sisters to-night who have passed through difficult experiences, and though dark and bright experiences.  They can look back upon them as times when they crossed the brook Kidron with Jesus.  Jesus had to cross the brook Kidron every time he left Jerusalem to go up the Mt. of Olives to pray.  He had to cross the brook each time he went to the sacred home of May (sic) and Martha and Lazarus in Bethany.  He had to go down into the valley and cross the brook Kidron every time he entered into Gethsemane.  We know he went there often to pray and to get apart in quietness with his disciples because it tells us that. Judas also, that betrayed him, knew the place and led the soldiers there.  On that night of sorrow when he was betrayed he crossed the brook and entered into Gethsemane for the last time, and there he fought that terrible battle to submit his own will to the will of his Father.  His sweat was as great drops of blood, and while he agonized in prayer his disciples slept.  David, too, crossed the brook Kidron when Absolom took the Kingdom from him, and we read of him going up the Mt. Olive barefooted and with ashes on his head weeping as he went.  If we would walk the path of Jesus we will all be called upon to cross the brook Kidron, and it leads to many and varied experiences.

 

Deuteronomy 11: 10-12, “For the land wither thou goest to possess it is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowest thy seed and wateredst with thy foot as a garden of herbs, but the land whiter thou goest to possess it is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven, a land which the Lord thy God careth for.  The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.”

                                                                          

I must say that I count it a very great privilege to be standing here to-night before so many of God’s people, the majority of whom I have never seen before.  Sometimes I feel I owe such a deep debt to God and His people that I hardly know how I am going to face it up.  But there is one perfect way in which we can prove our gratitude to God and to His people, and that is by not withholding anything from Him or His service but giving Him that service without condition and without reserve.

 

I would like to speak a little about some of the mountains, and perhaps about some of the valleys mentioned in the Bible.  You will notice in the portion of Scripture I have read, that God reminded His people that the land He had called them into was not  like the land of Egypt, out of which He had called them.  As perhaps you know I have spent eight years in Egypt and about seven years in the promised land up in Lebanon and I don’t think there could be two countries of greater contrast than Egypt and Lebanon.  It is striking the difference in these two countries.  One of these differences is that Egypt is as level as this table, but everywhere you look in Palestine there are hills and valleys.  Another contrast is that in Egypt the people are never looking up to heaven for rain.  They don’t need it. They don’t want it, for it spoils their irrigation plans.  They are always looking to the earth, and they water it by foot.  This speaks of a different walk.  The land of Egypt is very, very fertile, with soil 30 feet deep, yielding up to three crops a year.  This is made possible by the hot sun and the water from the Nile.  (Description given of foot irrigation which propels the water up the furrows.)  But who waters the promised land?  It is God, it is God who controls the water from heaven, and His people are not looking down to the earth for their maintenance, but up to heaven.


In 1938, I and my companion first went to Palestine from Egypt and started to learn the Arabic, then later on we began to speak it a little.  People would say to us, “But you have been in Egypt.”  We asked, “How do you know?”  They say, “By your tongue.”  Our speech will testify to what country we belong. God can take our tongues as a result of us being in harmony with His will, and then these tongues will not remind people of Egypt, but will make plain to them that we seek a city whose builder and maker is God.


“The land wither ye go to possess it is a land of hills and valleys.”  The first of these mountains I’ll speak of to-night is Mt. Ararat, a 17,260 foot peak in the mountainous country of Armenia.  It is a mountain on which Noah’s ark rested when the waters of the flood subsided.  We will call it by a very nice name - the mountain of rest.  God has promised His people a rest. We need never be perplexed if we see that the control and plan of man is a failure.  That need never perplex us, for we see the promise God has given His people, the promise of rest like a bow of promise Noah saw in the Clouds on Ararat.


There is a picture of Jesus and His disciples that I like to dwell upon. Oh, I like to think of the Master, of those people whom He loved from the depth of His soul and saying, “Come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile.”  These was another time when He thanked God His Father that He had hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes, and then He turned to the people and said, “Come unto Me all ye who labour  and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Then He told them how to get it,  “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest for your souls.”  Let us allow Him to lead us into that rest.  You know Satan is out to do his best to rob us of the rest which is the portion of the true child of God.  He is active to keep us in the state of ferment.


Why did God put one family in the ark?  Because He wanted one family in the earth, and one way.  As the waters rose the ark rose.  There was only one place of rest in the whole of the world, and that was in the ark.  There were only waves and trouble and death outside.  There was only one family saved, there was only one place of safety.  Where is it in the world to-day? In the family of God and only there.  But there is the possibility of some little  leakage, something coming in from the outside to take away the rest and then there is trouble, and anxiety is caused, But there is rest in the fold, there is rest in the ark.  God rested the seventh day.


The first day of the week should be something very, very precious to us, something different from all the other days. It is the day of partaking of the emblems which remind us of God giving Heaven’s very best for us.  It is a day when we look away from material, legitimate things of life that take our time.


The children of Israel tilled the land  for six years and then the seventh year was a year of rest when it lay fallow.  It was to remind them that this world was only temporal, and that God has promised a better rest of which this was only a shadow.  Just think of the temptation to put in the plough during the seventh year. Ah, friend, there are temptations for the children of God to-day. How good to give the legitimate, material things their rightful place and not let them rob God.


There is something we needs must give to God.  it is a word with four letters, Time. We must give time to God. Another four-lettered word added to it makes it overtime.  It is difficult  sometimes for me to give God time, but  every time I do it I am very, very glad. Give God time, give Him overtime too.  In industry workmen demand extra rates for overtime.  God gives recompense, you give Him overtime and He’ll pay you double time.  When the reaping time comes you will not be sorry for any overtime you have given to God, or for anything you have put into the service of God.


There is something about this word “Rest” that appeals to me.  Don’t let Satan rob you of this inheritance.  You get rest when you give time to God.  Don’t allow something to come into the ark, something to come into your life, something to come into the church which will rob you of this promise of rest, the perfect rest of God.


The next mountain is Moriah, which is the mountain of choice, I like to speak to young people very much. There are young people in the meeting to-night, and I would like to speak to you now for a while.  Some of you know nothing yet of all the things which it is far better for you not to know.  I am glad that in my tender years when I was 16 ½ years of age I was sitting on Mt. Moriah, the mountain of choice, and first got on my knees and said, “Lord if there is anything in my life that you can use I give it to You. You can have it and have it forever.”  I like to go into homes where there are young people who, in their tender years, have given their hearts to Christ. After you have done that the devil will start to tell you that you have never gone out into the world and proved it for yourself and stained your garments with sins as others have done and then be redeemed so you can appreciate your salvation, and you cannot have a testimony as others have.  That is the voice of Satan.  The best little boy the world has ever seen was the one in the carpenter shop in Nazareth who left untouched everything that would spoil His life.


“The many standards earth has set,

The joy it offers warily

You left untouched, I’d be like thee,

Oh, noble youth of Galilee."


Don’t think that you are missing something by not going out and experiencing the world and what it holds but be thankful to God that He has given you shelter from it all and has preserved you from its blighting power.  One woman, the mother of three children, said to me, “I don’t know whether it would be better to let my children taste of the world and have a real experience of their own.”  I said, “ Would you like to give your children three drops of Lysol three times a day, or would you like to make it five drops?  No, you wouldn’t.   You would not even like to give them two drops.”  That’s what the worldly pleasures mean - Poison.   I like to think of those young folks’ lives that the world has never touched. Samuel was one.  He owed a great debt to that praying mother of his.  There was Timothy and others, those who made their choice for God when they were young.  Maybe there are here some, too, who would like to go in a little for the world. 

 

You  need never regret that you have never experienced it. If I would shed any tears at all over having left the world untried it would be for joy because of what God has saved me from.  You young folk in whom is the hope of the Gospel in future years, be thankful to God that He has saved and sheltered your lives from much that would only spoil and defile, and that He had kept you so that the world has never touched you.  Would you go to Hannah and say, "Wouldn't it be good for you to cut your little boy’s hair, just a bit? Cut it just a little shorter, it would do no harm.”  Hannah would say, “No, he is a Nazarite of God.”


At the age of 20, I was on Mt. Moriah again, face to face with another great choice of my life, which was to go out into the great harvest field.  I am awfully thankful that I made that choice.  Three and a half years later I was there again to make another choice, to go to another country.


That was in New Zealand in 1919.  About 18 months later I got a letter from a brother worker asking would I be willing to go to South Africa, and I wrote to him and said,


“Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go,

Anywhere with Jesus in this world below,

Anywhere with Him every joy must fade,

Anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid.”


That was 1921.  I was there nine years.  That choice led me through some dark difficult experiences and very lonely days, but I am glad of all those experiences gone through in seeking to do the will of God.  We learned the language and started meetings.  There was a twenty-eight year old boy who was born just after his father and mother came to those meetings we held when we were first there, and now he is in the harvest field.


After this we went further into South Africa, then in 1931 we went into Egypt to Port Said.  This is a very dark land. Another boy and I started to learn another language. Very little was accomplished for a long time, and we have to say very little is accomplished even yet, but the desert has begun to blossom.  In 1938, Willie Phyn and Fred Quick came to us.  Most of you here would have heard of how the Gospel has opened up to the Greek people.  My companion and I left Egypt and went to the mountains of Lebanon.


The Arabic is a very difficult language, but we learned it in 18 months.  When the ship came into port in this new land we went to our hotel room, and I prayed God to guide us  and God heard my prayer.  There was only one person we knew there and that was an Armenian who was friendly.  We experienced great loneliness, but I said to my companion that I felt sure we were to be in Lebanon.  We felt very much that we were strangers in a strange land. This  Armenian had a house upon Mt. Lebanon  and invited us to visit him.  Then we took a couple of rooms there.


The next day we went out for a walk and as we went up a little hill we heard some people singing, “Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” We met these people, who among them was a young woman who had for six years been a missionary in that country.  Another morning as we were going by for a walk we saw that woman sitting under a tree reading her Bible. Each morning as we passed by that way we saw the same thing.


One morning she asked would we not like to sit down and talk with her about these things. We did and after that we had many, many long talks sitting there on three stones under that tree.  She told us her sad life’s story, she was broken hearted and disappointed. After listening to our testimonies she said, ”Oh, that I could have an experience like that.”  It was one of the sweetest experiences of my life as we sat and talked to this needy soul under that tree in Lebanon 3 ½ miles from Beirut.


One day she asked, “Could we have a Bible reading?” We said “Yes,” and we read from Ephesians 4, my companion and I prayed.  That young woman started to pray but she burst into tears.  She said, “All my life I have been in darkness.”  She said how thankful she was that God had sent her life and light.  She sat there on that mountain of choice.  Then the war came and she had to leave the country and go back to her own country, Germany.  We didn’t hear of her for seven years. We wondered often what became of her, but we could get no news because the war had cut us off.  After the war some very sad letters came through.  She wrote, “ My clothes, my Bible which you gave me and all my possessions were taken from me, nut I am very, very glad that something I heard on the mountain side, that which you gave me there could not be taken from me.”  She had nothing left besides the clothes she stood in but nothing could rob her of the riches she found in Christ.


From this place on Mt. Lebanon, we went further and got into an Arab village.  Ten Arabs decided there.  The time came for us to move on and we returned for a little time to South Africa.  An old Arab in that village said he was very sorry we were going, for he was old and he knew he had not long to live.  He was 84 years old and when he died he wanted us to bury him.  I told him I thought I would see him again.


When we returned from Africa and visited this village again these Arab friends turned out to greet us, and there was this old man sitting at his tent door.  I will never forget the great joy on his face, and the warm welcome he gave us.  A few days later he was very sick.


We gathered around his bed, the ten of us, we read a portion in Luke 2 where Simeon said, “Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word.”  Then raising himself and sitting up on his bed the old Arab said, “ For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.” These were practically the last words we heard Him speak.


Our lives can be classified into three parts, the morning sacrifice, the midday sacrifice, and the evening sacrifice.  Do we consider that the first one, the morning sacrifice, costs the most, or perhaps you think the noonday sacrifice offered in the heat of the day costs the most?  I am inclined to think that it is the evening sacrifice.  You see that when some souls reach old age, the evening sacrifice of their lives costs them a great deal and brings a great deal of suffering.  The scripture speaks of Judah as the lion in three stages, in three degrees of victory. Genesis 49:9, “Judah is the lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, thou art gone up:  He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?”  Judah is the lion’s whelp: Judah is a lion , a strong lion; Judah is an old lion, who shall rouse up? At the zoo you see the little whelps, irresponsible but gambolling , knowing nothing of going out in the jungle.


It is nice to see young lives surrendered unto God even though they are not able to bear much responsibility. We can’t expect boys and girls to be men and women, they are something like the lion’s whelp.  Then there are the young people who can be likened to the young lion.  The young lion has more courage than wisdom sometimes the young ones are like that, they have a heart for God and courage but have not yet learned much wisdom.  They might act like Peter did when he cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest.  They are not always wise in what they say and do, they are not very good agents but they have a heart for God, and they go on from that to better service and ability.


Then it speaks of Judah as an old lion.  Who shall rouse him up?  They say an old lion will never spring until he is sure of his prey. Wisdom and experience has taught him to have this attitude. “I’ll wait.”  He hears the wind blowing and the leaves rustling and the hyena crying, but is he moved?  Who shall rouse him up?  These things leave him un-perturbed, if there is anything we should seek unto God for more than anything else it is for the guidance of God in our lives. There is much that is going on around us and many disturbing circumstances, but we can remain like the old lion, unmoved by these things and moved only bu the Spirit of God.  You might say, “But I have a bad temper, I was born like that.” Yes, but you were not born again like that.  But you say, “My father had it before me.” Yes, but your Heavenly Father has not got it.


May we know what it is to sit on this mountain of choice and let God guide us.  Oh, you young people, I envy you for God.  There is much in the world to prevent you from making that choice for God in the first place, and seek to hinder you from making the right choices right to the end.  Abraham felt it very much when he left Ur of the Chaldees.  It means a sacrifice in the beginning, and all along his journeyings he left many heaps of ashes from the sacrifices he made each one representing a right choice he made.  Then in the evening sacrifice of his life God said to him on Mt. Moriah, “Take now thy son,thine only son whom thou lovest.”  Abraham’s servants had accompanied him on the long journey to Mt. Moriah, but now he left them behind as he approached the mountain, and he and Isaac went on alone.  Perhaps he was afraid they might try to discourage him from giving the sacrifice God required, or that they might even try to prevent him and stay his hand, so he left these young men behind.  Don’t let any friends rob you of your sacrifice, and don’t let friends come too near or too far.  “Don’t be led captive by friend or by foe.”  Abraham left nothing to chance but went on and offered his evening sacrifice, and it was very precious to God.


Old Jacob was told, “The price of bread is Benjamin.” It was the evening sacrifice of his life.  He had made many other sacrifices, but this one touched a very tender spot in his heart.  It concerned his youngest son, Benjamin.  Joseph, down in Egypt had said that his brethren could have no more corn until they brought Benjamin to him.  Jacob said at first, “I will not let him go.”  Jacob sent an offering of balm and honey and spices  and myrrh and nuts and almonds but he did not have bread.  When did the bread come?  When he did not say “Take this or take that.” but “ take Benjamin?”  He said, “Take of the fruits of the land in your vessels, take also your brother Benjamin and go again to the man.”  Have you a little Benjamin in your hearts to-night?


If we want God’s best we must be prepared to let our best go, me must be prepared to let Benjamin go.  Why was Benjamin so loved by Jacob?  Because when his mother died at his birth, Jacob was both father and mother to that little baby boy.  Sometimes we see fathers and mothers in the evening of their lives encouraging their children to go into the harvest field when they could well do with them at home.  That is a sacrifice of great price in the sight of God.


We can imagine Jacob thinking that the demands of God were cruel, but he let Benjamin go.  When he went back to his home after seeing his sons go , he would be alone, but the price was worth it when it when after 22 years separation from Joseph they were united.  When the brother brought Benjamin to Joseph he sent wagons and provision to his father, and we see the old man getting upon the wagon and going to Egypt and meeting his son whom for so long he thought was dead.  Then there was bread in his life. Joseph broke bread abundantly to him. I would like to impress on you the need of sacrifice, the need all along the way of making these choices.


I will tell you of something I saw with my own eyes.  It was in the Belgian Congo, a land where the grass is up to 12 feet high.  We were going along speaking of the things of God, I looked ahead and said to my companion, “Henry, see what that is on the road.”  It was an eagle with his claws in his prey, a big iguana, a kind of lizard about four feet long, as we approached ,the eagle did not want to leave it, but he had to leave it and he went with his wings trailing. Henry said, “If its eyes are gone there is no hope.”  It was with a feeling of relief that as we drew near and saw the little dark eyes of the iguana gleaming.  The eagle tries to claw out the eyes of its victim, but we had come in time.  It was wounded and dragged itself slowly and painfully to the side of the road, but it still had its eyes and so still had a chance of life.  This spoke deeply to my heart in a way that I’ll never forget.  There are eagles in the world hovering over your life, eagles of worldliness and prosperity.  There are eagles of the flesh which will destroy your life.  There are eagles of the spirit hovering over young lives and old, to fall upon their prey and take away your spiritual eyesight.  Some of us are conscious of having been wounded in the battle , but the Spirit of God is hovering over your life also. He wants to preserve your heavenly vision. Only by God’s mercy are we kept in His way.


The third mountain is Mt. Horeb, or Sinai, which is the mount of preparation. God looked on His people and saw their need.  He looked on Moses and saw something in Him that He could use to meet the need of His people. He took him to Horeb to begin to prepare him for his work.  God looked at his feet and saw something there that had to be taken off.  One thing we need to be careful about is our feet. “Put off thy shoes from off they feet for the place whereon thou standest is Holy Ground.” Looking around at the Blackwood Park convention grounds today I thought, “This is holy ground.” When I go into your homes where fellowship is held and see the emblems of Calvary’s sacrifice I say to myself, “This is holy ground.”


After the deliverance from Egypt God led His people out to Horeb, away from the desert.  It is the desert mountain but it is there that we  get to know God.  Here it is called Mt. Sinai, and on it was the law given.  Sinai  means craggy or rugged.  It was the Mt. of Revelation.  Moses got a revelation of God, God revealed his mind to Moses and the people.  When I was in that country a man asked me would I like to go and see the desert. I said, “Yes, I would,” so we went out into the desert which was nothing but sand dunes miles out.  He said to me, ”Do you see the mountain away in the distance?”  I said, “Yes.”  He said, “That is Mt. Sinai.” As I looked at that mountain  I thought of an old man of 80 years climbing that mountain  and speaking with God, then going down again to tell the people to sanctify themselves. It means something to climb up sometimes, but it is there we get a vision.


I will mention here two of the valleys of scripture, the valley of vision and the valley of decision.  Sinai is a high crag, from the summit of which one can see clearly far around.  If God brings us to a place where we can see clearly, He wants us then to make up our minds and decide to be true to that revelation.  He shows us a vision and then wants us to make the choice of being willing to do His will.  God led His people away into a desert place, and there He revealed to them His will and made Himself known to them.  He called Moses apart into the mount, and there revealed His mind to him and fitted him to lead his people.


The law was given there and the first law was, “Thou shalt have no other god but Me.”  Anything or anyone else coming into your life to take the first place that God should have is idolatry. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me.”


The next mountain is Mt. Zion.  This is not Mt. Sion - They are two different mountains.  We will call this Mt. Zion, the mountain of confidence or trust.  In these days of darkness and sin, it is good to trust in the Lord.  “Zion the city of David.”  Psalms 125, “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mt. Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.”  A few thousand years have passed since that was written, but Mt. Zion still stands.  Many times men have betrayed our confidence in the Lord, in the Lord we shall not be moved, they shall abide forever in Jesus.  I have put my confidence in men and have been disappointed. Some I felt I could trust to the uttermost.  Don’t put too much confidence in men. “Blessed is the man who maketh the Lord his trust.”


There is something in the Bible to show us that some of God’s best have put their trust and confidence in man.  Paul wrote of Timothy in Philemon 2:30, “I have no man like minded who will naturally care for your state.”  Paul had very implicit faith and confidence in that young man.  There are some who inspire this trust in us, but such confidence can be betrayed.  We could act in such a way that others could fail to have the perfect bond of trust and fellowship that was between them.  Sometimes as I grasp the hand of my fellow servants I feel, Oh, that there might be something that would bind us together as one, that we might have that true fellowship which is not seeking its own.


Paul wrote that he had no other like minded as Timothy, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.”  To my mind Paul and Timothy stand as two stones of the great pyramid of Egypt.  It was built 5,000 years ago and still stands as one of the most mathematically perfect building in the world.  You could not put a postcard or a pen knife between any of the two stones.  I want to ask you a question, is it possible for someone to come along and put something between you and your brother and sister, something that will spoil unity?


Elijah and Elisha had this spirit of confidence between them, and it was  never betrayed.  David and Jonathan  were such close friends, Jonathan had such love for David.  It says that he loved David as his own soul.  They made that covenant between them.  When Saul’s anger rose against David it resulted in the two seats being empty at the King’s table.  But when David most needed a friend, when he was rejected and outcast, Jonathan said, “David, there is trouble brewing - Goodbye, David,” and he left him, he left him when he needed him the most, he left the Lord’s anointed.  It was the relationship with the one on the throne, his father, that held him back.  Let me ask you a question, is there some one or some relationship in your life that is holding you back from going outside the camp to have fellowship with the rejected master?  There are some very nice people in the world, but they are not willing to go “outside the camp.”  Don’t let them hold you back.


The next mountain is Mt. Sion or Hermon, Deuteronomy 4: 48,  This is the mountain of fellowship. Psalms 133 says, “ Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity, it is as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountain of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the Blessing, even life forever more.” This is the Psalm of fellowship.  How very much I appreciate the fellowship  and for 15 months we didn’t even get a letter. During that time our consolation was that in the place of prayer we could have fellowship and contact with the children of God and remember them there.  We knew we were remembered also by them in prayer - we had fellowship in prayer.


During the war we were going on one occasion to South Africa by ship.  The Japanese were still in the war then, and it was necessary for us to have a convoy.  I looked on the right hand and there was a destroyer; I turned and looked on our left hand and there was another destroyer.  What were they for?  They were guarding us,  I looked up and there was a plane, it was to protect us.  The destroyers were armed with guns.  Why?  For our protection.   The guns were not for me but for my enemies. As I walk the way of God I look on one side of me and am glad to see there a fellowship. I look on the other side of me and see another fellowship.


Then I look up into the face of God and see His love for men and I am glad He is our Father and that He is watching over us.  The Mohammedan’s Koran, which is their Bible, contains 90 different names for God;  He is called “The Wonderful One.”  “The Compassionate One.”  He is called by many beautiful names but there is not one word in the whole Koran which spells “Father.”  “Fellowship” is a wonderful word, but we can only have real fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ when  we have real fellowship with God our Father.  So Mt. Sion is the mount of fellowship.


We might speak of Mt. Hermon as the mount of blessing, the blessing which results from fellowship with God, “The dew of Hermon.”  Mt. Hermon is 19,000 feet high, and is snow-capped all year round.  It is called, “The mountain of perpetual snow.”  When we climb up to the summit we can see the whole of the Promised land,  the inheritance, the dew of Hermon is the symbol of the blessing that God promised His people, the dew that gave fruitfulness.  It was here on this mountain that Jesus took three of His disciples and was transfigured before them.  They saw Moses and Elias taking with Him, then a cloud passed over them, and when it lifted they saw no man any more save Jesus.  They heard God’s voice from the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him.” On the mountain they learned to get their eyes on Him alone.  Jesus promised His disciples fruitfulness as they continued to abide in Him.  There is a very fertile plain at the foot of Mt. Hermon.  The dew falls and the snow melts and runs down the mountain and makes the land very fruitful.  How can you and I be fruitful in the service of God?  Is it not when the water and the dew from Hermon is flowing from our lives and waters the flock of God.


There is that mountain mentioned in Matthew 5 where Jesus sat and taught His disciples. We could call it the mount of exhortation, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” etc.  then there is the mount Temptation,  the “exceeding high mountain” where the Devil tempted the Son of God with all the kingdoms of the world.  We have all been there on the mountain of temptation.  Not one of us can say we have always come unwounded and unscathed by the enemy. We have all failed there, but our Master never failed, and in our times of defeat He  has never failed us.  David, after many tears of victory, sat down and asked concerning his enemy, the one who had done him so much wrong and caused him so much suffering, “Is there any yet that is left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness.  That I may show the kindness of God unto him?"  The servant who was called said, ”Jonathan hath a son who is lame on his feet.”  It was not Mephibosheth’s own fault that he was lame.  When he was five years old, his nurse let him fall as she took him up and fled at the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan.  We are lame, it is not our own fault, it is not our fault that our lives are marred for we were born so of Adam.


David didn’t blame Mephibosheth for his lameness.  He sent and called him to him.  The King watched him limp towards him, and his heart was soft and filled with pity.  He said, ”I will surely show thee kindness for thy father Jonathan’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father, and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.”  There was the promise, “You shall eat at the King’s table as long as you live.”  If you want to show kindness to someone, show it to the one to whom  you would be least be inclined to naturally. Show it to the one you wouldn’t have much time or tolerance for.  Show “The kindness of God” to that one.  The kindness of God is a great thing.  You may have failed, you may be sitting in the meeting lame, fallen in the battle, but I’d like to reassure your heart that you can sit at the King’s table as long as you live.


God will show His kindness to you.  You may be lame, but you can keep going.  The following poem concerning one who slipped in the way but got up and limped on, though with aching feet, etc., limped on to rank among the brave whose aching wounds will be healed.  The exhortation is, not to lose the struggle but struggle on until the prize is gained.  You may have fallen, but limp on and on.  Time heals the wounds of each one who has fallen.  Two things linked with the love of God is to be long suffering and kind, so clearly seen in David.


Mt. Carmel is the mount of victory.  It was the scene of Elijah’s triumph over the prophets of Baal  and also where he returned the Shunamite woman’s son to life. Mt. Gilboah, the mountain of defeat where Saul and Jonathan fell.  Mt. Aamana, meaning fixed, the mount of purpose.  “Look from the top of Amana” with purpose fixed.


There is another mountain in Revelations 21:  John, at the end of his life, was upon that mountain; God carried him away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain and there showed  him the New Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.  God carried him there, perhaps he was too old to climb it, being then about 90 years of age.  This one we will call the Heavenly Mountain.  John was carried away from the earth and lifted above all earthly things and got a heavenly vision.  One old woman when she decided said to me, “I am finished with the world.”  I said to her, “Oh, no, the world is finished with you.”   The devil has a big scrap heap, and when people are old he casts them on it.  There are many people on it, cast there by him after he has got the best out of them. When you give your life to God, the world considers you are on the scrap heap, but God carried John away from all things of the earth to heavenly things.


On this heavenly mountain he saw the New Jerusalem with the Glory of God within her, and having a great and high wall with twelve gates and on the twelve gates were written the names of all the twelve tribes of Israel.  To this old fisherman of Galilee who had followed the Lamb of God as He walked upon the earth, God showed the twelve foundations of the wall of the city, each one having written on one of the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 


Don’t you think John would be a happy man that day?  His heart would be filled with joy as he realized his name was written by the finger of God on one of them, written there in that city which would never pass away.  God showed John what was  going to be his portion.  In Revelations 18, another city is spoken of, Babylon, of this world whose pride and power was destroyed and desolated in one hour.  Let us invest in the kingdom which will never pass away.  There are those in this meeting who are getting old and are living their last years, the evening part of their lives.  I would like to think that God would be able to take them up onto this mountain, this heavenly mountain and show them the beauties of His kingdom in a way they had never seen them before.


Now we come to the last mountain, Mount Calvary, the mountain of sacrifice.  This is a very touching study.  Jesus’ life finished with a valley and a mountain.  The last pages of His life were pages of suffering.  On that last night Jesus left the city with three of His disciples  and took that half hour’s walk down into the valley of Hinnom and crossed the brook Kidron.  He entered the Garden of Gethsemane and fought a terrible battle in prayer.


He went back to where He had left His disciples.  A stone’s throw away, and found them sleeping.  While they slept He went away again and prayed and His sweat was as drops of blood.  Some of God’s dear children when they near the end of their lives suffer terribly, it is the evening sacrifice. So Jesus at the end knew great battle and intense suffering.  He left the Garden weak physically but strong in the Spirit.  Some of the battles were fought when He was physically weak but strong spiritually.


The next day He walked from the city up Mt. Calvary, the little group of His disciples followed afar off.  He had been scourged by the soldiers and crowned with thorns.  He was terribly weak, the blood was streaming down His face and from his wounds.  It would be a struggle to get to the top, yet at the top of that hill of suffering he got a convert, the thief on the cross, a man forgotten by the world.  He said to Jesus as they hung there on the crosses, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into Thy kingdom.”  Jesus looked down from the cross, He looked on one of the most beautiful pictures any man could.  He saw His disciples and John, then a young man, and Mary His mother standing by the cross of Calvary.  Sometimes people think it is  something weak and feeble to be associated with the suffering and rejected Christ, but as I look into my brother workers’ and saints’ faces I am glad that without a shadow of doubt I am in fellowship with the cream of the earth.  Let us finish our lives with sacrifice.


In 1935 I went home to Scotland.  In 1936 I went into my father’s room where he lay sick, I took his hand and said “Good-bye” for the last time.  I felt a kind of loneliness as I left him.  Going away in my brother’s car I began to think of Jesus and his sacrifice.  I had not been long in Cairo when I remember going one day with Fred Quick and opening the little post office box 1147 and taking out a letter which told me that my father had passed away.  I felt I had lost something very, very precious that could never be regained.  A few years ago I went back home and his place was empty, but he left something evergreen - his life  and his testimony. 


My mother has been forty years serving God.  She is now 80 years of age.  Six weeks ago I walked into her room and said “Good-bye” to her for the last time, And I know I shall never see her again.  On parting from her I was glad that this world is not our home. When we are in this relationship with Christ we are never at home in the world.  I am not telling you this so that you will think that my sacrifice is anything, but these relationships are evergreen and last forever and ever.

 

When we think of Jesus and the home He left, and when we compare our own sacrifice in leaving home with that, ours seem so little.  Jesus’ life and example are evergreen before us.  This world is not my home, and so I count it worthwhile to go and sacrifice as He did.


There are other valleys in the Bible but I can only mention them briefly to-night.  There is the valley of dry bones, where God found every one of us.  The spies who were sent out to view the land brought back great bunches of grapes from the valley of Eschol, which would be the valley of fruit.  David slew Goliath in the valley of Elah.  When David was in the hold he thirsted for some water from the well at the gates of Jerusalem, and three of his mighty men fought through the hosts of Philistines when they were encamped in the valley of Rephaim, the valley of giants.  Jesus drank from the well of true fellowship.  Psalms 84 speaks of the valley of Baca which is the valley of weeping. “Blessed is the man, who passing through the valley of Baca make it well.”  I know some of you have passed through sorrow and weeping, but have you made it well? 


In Scotland we were told it was weakness for a man to weep.  There are tears and tears, but tears are no disgrace, for the best man that ever lived shed tears of which record has been left.  When He saw those two sisters, Mary and Martha, mourning at their brother’s grave, Jesus wept.  When He looked down over Jerusalem, the city which has despised its visitation and the things which pertained to its peace, Jesus wept.  In the days of His flesh He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.  If sometimes your eyes are moistened by tears because of what you have to pass through that last gate into the home where there will be no more tears nor pain.


I will never see many of you again.  I will be passing on, but while speaking to you I would like to tell you something you will be glad to hear.  In 1928 my companion and I were working among diamond diggers in South Africa.  Two men and their wives who heard our message made their choice for God.  We left there in 1930 and some time later we got a letter from some of those friends, saying, “My dear Willie, you will be very sorry to hear that our brother  ‘so and so’ is a leper.”  When we were there he had little blotches on his skin, but we didn’t think it was leprosy. But the man who saw him said it was leprosy and called a Doctor, who verified it.  The poor man called in three Doctors, one after the other, and they all verified it.  He couldn’t believe he was a leper, but it had to be faced up.  He had a wife and five children.


According to the law he had to leave home.  When the authorities’ car came to take him away, he was on his knees and he was reading that verse in  Psalms 39, “ And now Lord, what wait I for?  My hope is in thee.”  He greeted his wife and children for the last time before he left home never to return.  He was taken to an institution for lepers in Pretoria in which there were 900 Blacks and 300 white people. He still had his sight then. What did he do when he got there?  He didn’t sit there and grumble but began to speak to those other inmates of the love of Jesus.  He soon had one convert. Then he went to a man who had no legs and only one arm - he had lost three limbs because of leprosy.  Fanny said to him, “Don’t you think it is time for you to begin to serve God?”  The man said, ”No, I’m tired of life.”


A few days later Fanny went to him again and said, “Will you accept a New Testament?”  The legless man said, “Yes.”  Fanny said, “Will you read it?”  The man said, “Yes, I will.”  Not long after, Fanny and the man and a colored man, who also had given his heart to God, were holding a little meeting together when the legless man  came hopping along the ground with the New Testament between his teeth because he had no hands to hold it with.  He levered himself somehow with one hand and said, “I would like to make a start to serve God.”  A wonderful change came over that man. His nurse said, ”He used to be one of our most difficult patients, but he has changed.”  She, too decided, though sad to say she never went long.  But she was moved just the same.


After Fanny had been in the lepers compound for some time I got a letter from him which had been typewritten.  He said, ”My dear Willie, I have gone blind, I can’t see to write so I’m typing this letter.”  He wasn’t taken up with his own affliction but went on to tell me of the others there and how they were getting on and what interest was shown in the things of God.  I went to see him as soon as I could.  When we greeted each other I couldn’t shake hands with him because of his leprosy.  He said, “It is good to hear your voice but I can’t see you.”  We sat down and had a fellowship meeting with those few souls who were professing there.  We sang a hymn which Fanny chose:

 

Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust, my loving God in Thee,

Unwavering faith that never doubts, Thy choice is best for me,

Best tho’ my health and strength be gone, tho’ weary days be mine.

Shut out from much that others have, not my will, Lord, but Thine.

 

As we sang I looked around and saw that my companion was weeping. I wondered how I could ever get enough to speak in that meeting that morning.  I hoped then that I would never be found by God grumbling about anything again.  The legless man did not live very long.  About 20 were at his funeral.  The Government offered the lepers a radio each, and the only two who didn’t accept were Fanny and the colored man,  and they were both blind.  But some one came to them and read to them for half an hour each day, they were thankful for that.  They could have had any literature they wished, but they chose the Bible.

 

One day I thought of going to the camp.  My companion was busy that day, he had some letters to write so could not come, so I went to see the lepers by myself.  I found Fanny alone.  The first man was in the hospital sick and the other colored man was dead.  The authorities asked me would I like to bury him.  I did, and at the funeral I asked Fanny would  he like to say a few words. He did, and in speaking of this colored man with whom he had fellowship, he said, “It is wonderful how you can love someone whom you have never seen.”  Those words flashed to my mind immediately, “Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, ye love!”  Peter 1:8

 

Six lepers decided there in that compound through the faithful witnessing of that man, and they have gone on to be with Christ which is much better.  The time came when Fanny also died, and there were 200 friends at his funeral.  At the grave side our elder brother, Alec Pearce said, “God could trust him as He could trust very few, even tho’ it was under such circumstances.”  God entrusted him with that mission in the lepers’ compound.  The circumstances were not easy but God was able to work.

 

This land to which you journey is a land of hills and valleys, it is a land of ups and downs, but it is watered from above.  I’ll close with this verse:

O Saviour we plead for Thy mercy

And grace to be true each day.

Lord, be near as we pass through each valley

Till we get to the end of the way.

 

Hymns  93, “Through the night of doubt and sorrow.”

              16, “Lord Jesus lead, O lead me lest I stray.”

            182, “Come brothers on and forward, with us the Father goes.”