"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God will help her at the dawning of her morning."—Psa. 46:5. Leeser.
Who is this upon whom the great King of the universe hath so set his love, that though all the earth be in the wildest commotion she shall not be moved? Ah, it is she who in compliance with the invitation of the preceding Psalm (45:10,11) hath inclined her ear, forgetting her own people and her father's house that she might become the joyous bride of the King's Son. She has consecrated the remainder of her life to this one thing—the proving of her worthiness to fill the exalted station to which she is called. Gladly she bids farewell to her own people and her father's house—her human friends and relationships. Henceforth she has no further interest in the hopes, ambitions and aims which she once shared in common with them. The way which leads to the goal of her new ambitions and hopes she also realizes will be long and tedious, set with many a snare, and thronged with numerous foes. But her heart is fixed and she has put her trust in the omnipotent Jehovah, who lovingly assures her (Psa. 46:1) that he will be her refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble. And to-day, when the trials and dangers are most subtle and ever increasing, God is in the midst of his consecrated ones, his Church, and she is not moved; and every moment she is made to realize his presence and help and strong support. God is in the midst of her; nor shall she ever be moved until glory hath crowned what grace hath begun.
But where is this faithful Church to be found?—this people so set apart from the world, so faithful, so loyal and so true?—so ready always to recognize and accept the Lord's help? Does it gather here or there or yonder? and is God manifestly in the midst of its congregation as evidenced by its joyous songs and fervent prayers? Ah, no! it is a scattered flock; so much so that the world does not discover that there is such a people. The world knows them only as isolated and peculiar individuals who cannot assimilate even with the masses of those who bear the name of Christ. There is one in the quiet of country life whose chief interest is not in the harvest of his earthly crops, and who only plants and reaps thus that he may be able to devote himself so far as possible to the reaping of God's harvest. He has glorious tidings [R1318 : page 109] for his neighbors far and near, of the kingdom which is soon to be established in the earth. And there is a farmer's wife: in the midst of her busy cares the blessed sound of gospel grace has fallen on her ears. She feels at once like dropping the domestic duties and going abroad to tell the good news. But no; she remembers the Lord's teaching, that he that provideth not for his own house is worse than an unbeliever; and so she says, I will let my light shine here. These little ones around my feet shall learn to rejoice in the truth; my companion, my neighbors, my farm hands and all that I can reach through the mail or the press shall know of it; and all these domestic duties which I realize the Lord would not have me ignore shall henceforth be done with an eye single to his glory.
Here is an invalid and there is an aged saint. Their faith in the Word of God, regardless of the vain philosophies and traditions so commonly accepted, brings upon them many reproaches which are meekly born for Christ's sake, while they humbly endeavor to let their light shine upon those about them. And yonder in a crowded city are a few who dare to be peculiar—to separate themselves from the customs and habits of social life, to forego the pleasures and present advantages of former social ties, to speak the new and heavenly language, to sing their songs of hope and praise and by every agency within their grasp to send forth the glorious message of the coming kingdom. And then scattered far and near are some unencumbered with earthly cares and joyfully denying themselves, esteeming it a privilege to devote all their time and energy to the great harvest work.
Yes, "the Lord knoweth them that are his," and he is in the midst of them. He knows their loyalty to him and they know his voice and are ever ready to follow his leading. Thus no harm can overtake them. They will stand and not fall, and will in the end be crowned as victors. A thousand will fall at their side and ten thousand at their right hand in this day of trial, but they will be kept in the very midst of the wildest confusion. They may, as the trial proceeds and as the faint-hearted and unfaithful fall, be left to stand almost or entirely alone in their several localities; but then they will realize all the more the preciousness of being alone with God.
Trials and siftings are as necessary to the Church's prosperity and development as is the truth, and none of these things need discourage any. If some go out from us, it is because they were not of us (1 John 2:19), and those who still stand after such purification should be the dearer to one another, as they are to the Lord, and should the more endeavor to strengthen and comfort one another with his words.
The promise that God shall ever be in the midst of his faithful Church guarantees her steadfastness—"God is in the midst of her: she shall not be moved." His watchful eye is upon all the ways of his saints. He will give his angels [his messengers or servants] a charge concerning them [messages of truth and grace] and in their hands they shall bear them up, lest they dash against the hidden rocks of error and destruction. (Psa. 91:11,13.) There is therefore no saint of God so weak, or unlearned, or beset with subtle opposing forces, as not to be abundantly able to stand, even in this evil day, if he is only loyal and faithful to God. And his blessed help will be gloriously realized in the fruition of all their hopes in the dawning of the morning of their new life beyond the vail. MRS. C. T. RUSSELL.