1 timothy 4:8
Great Texts of the Bible
The Value of Godliness

Bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come.—1 Timothy 4:8.

The figure here employed is a favourite one with St. Paul. It is that of the gymnasium, the athletic contest, that physical training which played so large a part in the education of Greece. Sometimes it is the race; sometimes the wrestling or boxing match. “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.” “Every one that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” In these and many other passages, St. Paul would have us learn that life must be taken seriously and in earnest. It is a fight for the mastery, a race for a crown. In this passage he teaches by a contrast—the contrast between “bodily exercise” and “exercise unto godliness.” The one is profitable “for a little,” the other “for all things.” The one has a promise for this life, the other both for this life and for that which is to come. We can see at once that over against what is at best but partial, the Apostle places that which is complete and eternal.

Bodily exercise, St. Paul says, profiteth somewhat, or rather (as R.V.) is profitable for a little. It is as if an old man were writing to a young man to-day, and should begin by saying: “Do not neglect your bodily health; take exercise daily; go to the gymnasium.” But spiritual exercise, this writer goes on, has this superior quality, that it is good for both worlds, both for that which now is and for that which is to come. Therefore, “exercise unto godliness.” “Take up those forms of spiritual athletics which develop and discipline the soul. Keep your soul in training. Be sure that you are in good spiritual condition, ready for the strain and effort which life is sure to demand.”


The Value of Bodily Exercise

“Bodily exercise is profitable for a little.”

1. Two views have been held as to the meaning of the words “bodily exercise.” Many refer it exclusively to those ascetic practices the excess of which St. Paul so severely condemns, such as forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats. If we take that meaning, then we learn that “bodily exercise,” in the sense of the discipline of the flesh, has its use and its proper place in every Christian life. We cannot do without it. It is “profitable—for a little.” That is to say, it is useful within narrow limits; but it is only a means to an end, a part of a much larger whole; the great thing is “exercise unto godliness.” This is undoubtedly part of the lesson, but it can hardly be the exclusive meaning. To those to whom St. Paul wrote, the words “bodily exercise” would convey just the same meaning as they convey to us, viz., that exercise which is necessary for our bodies, which helps to develop our physical powers for useful ends.

In ancient times training of the body formed a larger part of general education. To excel in the gymnasium or to win the prizes at the games was to some men the highest ambition. Such an ambition, St. Paul tells us, is excellent in its way. It “is profitable for a little.” It has its use. But it is not everything. There is a higher aim than this, one which does not exclude this lower one, but which dignifies it, regulates it, and places it in its right relation to all other aims and ideals. The aim of all aims is godliness. For that let us exercise ourselves, and then bodily exercise will fall into rank along with the exercise of mind, of conscience, of spirit, taking its noble part in enabling us to present the entire man, all his complex powers and energies, as a whole burnt-offering to be consumed in the service of God.

In old days the masters of an English public school concerned themselves with the work of the boys only, and did not trouble their heads about how the boys amused themselves out of school. Vigorous boys organized games for themselves, and indolent boys loafed. Then it came home to school authorities that there was a good deal of danger in the method; that lack of employment was an undesirable thing. Thereupon work was increased, and, at the same time, the masters laid hands upon athletics and organized them. Side by side with this came a great increase of wealth and leisure in England, and there sprang up that astonishing and disproportionate interest in athletic matters which is nowadays a real problem for all sensible men. But the result of it all has been that there has grown up a stereotyped code among the boys as to what is the right thing to do. They are far less wilful and undisciplined than they used to be; they submit to work, as a necessary evil, far more cheerfully than they used to do; and they base their ideas of social success entirely on athletics. And no wonder! They find plenty of masters who are just as serious about games as they are themselves; who spend all their spare time in looking on at games, and discuss the athletic prospects of particular boys in a tone of perfectly unaffected seriousness.1 [Note: A. C. Benson, The Upton Letters, 42.]

2. “Bodily exercise is profitable for a little.” Therefore, as it is profitable, it must not be forgotten. “A sound mind in a sound body”: there is no really sound and satisfactory thinking to be got from those whose bodily health is depressed by neglect or asceticism; a good constitution is a great endowment to be able to place at the disposal of the Master. Therefore we may make our very bodily exercise part of a sacred curriculum. Nothing is more sorrowful, it is true, than to see a man who is only a well-developed animal; nothing is more delightful than to see a man who combines with enjoyment of every healthy pursuit of recreation and physical training a noble ambition to be possessed of a well-disciplined and fully-developed soul. For “godliness is profitable for all things.” We are building an eternal fabric. We are perfecting that which, when the house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, will inhabit “an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

The word here translated “exercise” is the word for gymnastic training. A man is to grow strong and sound and agile by spiritual athletics. He is to exercise his spirit. He is to practise godliness. He is to practise self-denial, for instance. He is to habituate himself to pray and to think. He is to cultivate his gifts in the sacred service. He is not to let his talents rust, not to bury them, but to employ them profitably. There is about this advice all the suggestion of real, thorough, steady discipline. This is no game to be played at. The training will be severe and exacting. The moral fibres are to be firmly knit; the relaxed will is to be braced and invigorated; the weakly, sentimental, emotional nature is to be strengthened and toned. The mind and the heart alike are to receive a sturdy and masculine development, until the Christian man is formed, as a very spiritual athlete, capable of fighting the good fight of faith and the battle of life, and coming out more than conqueror through Christ.

“Bodily exercise” may stand for all disciplines of man and his actions, in the name of religion, that are of an outward kind. Of course, in our current sense of the words, bodily exercise is a very good thing; and so, in the above sense, is it good if it be a godly exercise; if the end be not mere restraint, nor mere outward regulation, in the complex exactitude of which we find a satisfaction because of its parade, and because it occupies an else weary leisure.1 [Note: T. T. Lynch, Three Months’ Ministry, 27.]

Some have begun to think that in English schools and universities too much time is given to athletic sports, and that they absorb too largely the thoughts and interests of the English youth. Edward Bowen, however, attached the utmost value to games as a training in character. He used to descant upon the qualities of discipline, good-fellowship, good-humour, mutual help, and postponement of self which they are calculated to foster. Though some of his friends thought that his own intense and unabated fondness for these games—for he played cricket and football up to the end of his life—might have biassed his judgment, they could not deny that the games ought to develop the qualities aforesaid. “Consider,” he writes, “the habit of being in public, the forbearance, the subordination of the one to the many, the exercise of judgment, the sense of personal dignity. Think again of the organizing faculty that our games develop. Where can you get command and obedience, choice with responsibility, criticism with discipline, in any degree remotely approaching that in which our social games supply them? Think of the partly moral, partly physical side of it, temper, of course, dignity, courtesy.… When the match has really begun, there is education, there is enlargement of horizon, self sinks, the common good is the only good, the bodily faculties exhilarate in functional development, and the make-believe ambition is glorified into a sort of ideality. Here is boyhood at its best, or very nearly at its best. Sursum crura!… When you have a lot of human beings, in highest social union and perfect organic action, developing the law of their race and falling in unconsciously with its best inherited traditions of brotherhood and common action, you are not far from getting a glimpse of one side of the highest good.”1 [Note: J. Bryce, Studies in Contemporary Biography, 351.]


The Superior Value of Godliness

“Godliness is profitable for all things.”

1. The beginnings of agnosticism were accompanied by a very widespread tendency towards profitless and more or less baseless religious speculation. St. Paul is quite sure that there are a great many things that we cannot know, and into which it is profitless to inquire. He would restrain the attention of Christians and fix it upon those things which are certainly disclosed and certainly profitable. And what he means by godliness, especially in this Epistle to Timothy, is what we can best call practical religion, which is profitable, he declares, for two things. Having promise of the life which now is, it is able in infinite ways to redeem it, consecrate it, enrich it, and fill it with new and high hopes and joys and a sense of power. And it has also the promise of the life which is to come: not that this other-worldliness was to reduce to insignificance the things of here and now, but, on the contrary, that the sense of the infinite extension of the forces of good and evil which are at work amongst us in our present experience should give to Christians both an infinite awe and an infinite hope, a sense that it was worth while to do our best because the value of life was raised to infinite power by infinite possibilities.

It is not the things of life that make life; it is life itself—its action, the doing of things. Healthy, physical, intellectual, and spiritual energy is life indeed, and not what you and I possess. These might be shut off from us, and we could still worship and work in enjoyment without them. There is a line of poetry I often repeat to myself, because I think it conveys one of Christ’s finest truths—“How good is life, the mere living!” The mere exercise of function is ample enjoyment; the doing of things that give pleasure to others will yet be found sufficient. One would not want anything else to live for in a world filled with such action. It would be sufficient happiness. Christ saw that men were smothered under the incidents of life; that they had hidden its real meaning and use; that, instead of rejoicing in heroic, brave, clean lives, men were crushed down under the abundance of the things they possessed. Their interests were so many, life itself—not only the future life, but this life here—had lost its meaning for them. They had lost the joy, the health, the spontaneity of true life—the grandest things a man could possess. As He said, “they had lost their own souls.” We mistake position, rank, wealth, connexions, and honours—all incidents—for life. We are in bondage; and you know how often our Saviour uses the expression, and promises us freedom by the truth. He says the truth shall make you free—the truth about life, the reality of that, shall free you from the bondage of these incidents, shall make all of them take their proper places, and possess their proper proportions.1 [Note: The Life of William Denny, 317.]

2. This is the goal to which all exercise in godliness must tend—godly habits, a godlike character, and a fitness for the work which God has for us to do. It was for this that Jesus Christ lived and died. It was to redeem us from all iniquity, to bring us to God, to conform us to His own likeness. We must live much in the life of Jesus Christ; we must meditate more often on His character and work; we must stay our souls more constantly on His great sacrifice for us, and let the love of His atonement melt and warm our hearts. We shall then find in such contact with Him a new motive and a new power, and we shall need both if we are to succeed. For the best of efforts, the most noble self-denial, will be in vain unless we are in touch with Jesus Christ as the sole source of power. Then only will the “promise” spoken of in the text be fulfilled; then only shall we secure in this world what life promises to man. Everything in existence lives for some use; that use is its promise to the world. The sun is fashioned to give light by day, and it promises light. The world is formed to be the habitation of God’s children; it is adorned as a king’s palace, and all the resources of wealth and pleasure which it is capable of affording it promises to man. All things give their promises according to the faculty that is in them; and as they redeem their promises they manifest the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. A worldly state of mind and spirit limits the range of our faculties and finally destroys them, while it dissolves the harmony which God has established between us and all things around us—in a word, sin robs life of its promise. A godly state of mind secures the promise, makes life joyful, and cements the harmony of souls. Godliness is to a man’s spirit, even in this life, what the warm bright air of a summer morning is to the birds and flowers. This is the atmosphere in which they can most freely expand themselves, which moves and tunes their songs of praise. We know what the glow of health is in the body. To enjoy this life truly, there must be a glow in the soul. Godliness sets the vivid blood rushing through its channels, and makes every act and utterance musical with joy.

The old language in which the Gospel comes to us, the formality of the antique phrasing, the natural tendency to make it dignified and hieratic, disguise from us how utterly natural and simple it all is. I do not think that reverence and tradition and awe have done us any more grievous injury than the fact that we have made the Saviour into a figure with whom frank communication, eager, impulsive talk, would seem to be impossible. One thinks of Him, from pictures and from books, as grave, abstracted, chiding, precise, mournfully kind, solemnly considerate. I believe it in my heart to have been wholly otherwise, and I think of Him as one with whom any simple and affectionate person, man, woman, or child would have been entirely and instantly at ease. Like all idealistic and poetical natures, He had little use, I think, for laughter; those who are deeply interested in life and its issues care more for the beauty than the humour of life. But one sees a flash of humour here and there, as in the story of the unjust judge, and of the children in the market-place; and that He was disconcerting or cast a shadow upon natural talk and merriment I do not for an instant believe. I think that the Christian has no right to be ashamed of light-heartedness; indeed I believe that he ought to cultivate and feed it in every possible way. He ought to be so unaffected, that he can change without the least incongruity from laughter to tears, sympathizing with, entering into, developing the moods of those about him. He must be charming, attractive, genial, everywhere; if he affects his company at all, it must be as innocent and beautiful girlhood affects a circle, by its guilelessness, its sweetness, its appeal. I have known Christians like this, wise, beloved, simple, gentle people, whose presence did not bring constraint but rather a perfect ease, and was an evocation of all that was best and finest in those near them.1 [Note: A. C. Benson, Joyous Gard (1913), 200.]

3. Now exercise means effort, often painful effort. No athlete is crowned unless he strives; and he that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. As Charles Simeon, whose influence was so great at Cambridge in the early years of the nineteenth century, quaintly put it: “My dear young friends, you can’t go to heaven in an arm-chair.” For exercise unto godliness means effort. It means self-denial, the practice of self-discipline. Every athlete, we know, goes into training. So must the man who will exercise himself unto godliness. There are many things which are harmless, and at times even useful, but the man in training avoids them that he may win the prize. He keeps under the body and is temperate in all things. We have, it is true, come to appreciate exercise so far as concerns the body, and any healthy-minded young man to-day is almost ashamed of himself if he has not a well-developed body, the ready servant of an active will. We have even begun to appreciate the analogy of body and mind, and to perceive that the exercise and discipline of the mind, like that of the body, reproduces its power. And yet it remains true that a great many people fancy that the soul can be left without exercise; that indeed it is a sort of invalid, which needs to be sheltered from exposure and kept in-doors in a sort of limp, shut-in condition. Now the apostolic doctrine is this: “You do not grow strong in body or in mind without discipline and exercise. The same athletic demand is made on your soul.” All through the writings of this vigorous, masculine, robust adviser of young men, we find him taking the athletic position. Now he is a boxer: “So fight I, not as one that beateth the air.” Now he is a runner, looking not to the things that are behind, but to the things before, and running, not in one sharp dash, but, with patience, the race set before him. It is just as athletic a performance, he thinks, to wrestle with the princes of the darkness of this world as to wrestle with a champion. It needs just as rigorous a training to pull against circumstances as to pull against time. It appears to him at least not unreasonable that the supreme interest of an immortal soul should have from a man as much attention and development as a man gives to his legs, or his muscle, or his wind.

Another name which is exceedingly precious to me, I cannot forbear to mention here—that, namely, of Philip Edward Pusey—Dr. Pusey’s only son. Disabled from taking Holy Orders by reason of his grievous infirmities (he was deaf and a cripple), his prevailing anxiety was to render God service in any way that remained to him; and, by his father’s advice, he undertook to edit the works of Cyril of Alexandria. In quest of MSS., he visited with indomitable energy every principal library—in France, Spain, Italy,—Russia, Germany, Turkey,—Greece, Palestine, Syria. At the Convent of S. Catharine at the foot of Sinai, the monks remembered him well. They asked me (March 1862) if I knew him. “And how is Philippos?” inquired the monks of Mount Athos of their next Oxford visitor. With equal truth and tenderness Dean Liddell (preaching on the occasion of his death) recalls “the pleasant smile with which he greeted his friends; his brave cheerfulness under life-long suffering; his delight in children; his awe and reverence for Almighty God. Most of you must have seen that small emaciated form, swinging itself through the quadrangle, up the steps, or along the street, with such energy and activity as might surprise healthy men. But few of you could know what gentleness and what courage dwelt in that frail tenement. In pursuing his studies, he shrank from no journey, however toilsome; and everywhere won hearts by his simple engaging manner, combined with his helpfulness and his bravery. To such an one death could have no terror: death could not find him unprepared.”1 [Note: J. W. Burgon, Lives of Twelve Good Men, i. p. xv.]


The Peculiar Profit of Godliness

“Having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come.”

1. “Having promise of the life which now is.” That does not mean that the godly man is invariably the successful man. Looking only to the individual life of men, it would be absurd to maintain that there is any invariable connexion between religion and outward prosperity and happiness, or that prosperous infamy and goodness crushed by poverty and misfortune are sights seldom or never seen. It is easy to adduce innumerable instances in which health, wealth, worldly success, all the gifts of fortune seem to be showered on the selfish and the base, and the life of the best and noblest is embittered by ill-health or grinding poverty, or darkened by care, anxiety, and disappointment. But the answer is that, in judging of the ameliorating influences of religion, it is impossible to test its inherent power by looking only to the lives of individual men. For no individual, however good and holy, can isolate himself from others, or keep off from himself those outward ills that are the fruit not of his own but of other men’s sins. If we take not individual instances but the general experience of mankind, we shall find that from all the constituents and surroundings of human life a higher and richer profit is to be extracted than that which pertains to our outward welfare and happiness. And that profit has not only relation to a future world and our preparation for it; it is to be got here and now. It is a harvest of inestimable good which is to be reaped from and amidst the life that now is. It is the good or godly men who make the most of life—who extract the richest profit out of life.

In the early part of 1868, a Christian business man wrote to me for advice in his peculiarly difficult business affairs. His letter showed that he had a desire to walk in the ways of the Lord, and to carry on his business to the glory of God; but his circumstances were of the most trying character. I therefore wrote to him to come to Bristol, that I might be able to advise him. Accordingly he undertook the long journey, and I had an interview with him, through which I saw his most trying position in business. Having fully conversed with him I gave him the following counsels:—

(1) That he should day by day, expressly for that purpose, retire with his Christian wife that they might unitedly spread their business difficulties before God in prayer, and do this, if possible, twice a day.

(2) That he should look out for answers to his prayers, and expect that God would help him.

(3) That he should avoid all business trickeries, such as exposing for sale two or three articles marked below cost price, for the sake of attracting customers, because of its unbecoming a disciple of the Lord Jesus to use such artifices: and that if he did so, he could not reckon on the blessing of God.

(4) I advised him, further, to set apart out of his profits week by week a certain proportion for the work of God, whether his income was much or little, and use this income faithfully for the Lord.

(5) Lastly, I asked him to let me know month after month how the Lord dealt with him.

The reader will feel interested to learn that from that time the Lord was pleased to prosper the business of this dear Christian brother, so that his returns from the 1st March 1868, up to 1st March 1869, were £9138, 13s. 5d., while during the same period the previous year they had been only £6609, 18s. 3d.1 [Note: Life of George Müller, the Modern Apostle of Faith, 190.]

2. But to induce a man to become religious out of regard to the ulterior advantages of religion would be to base religion on a motive which destroys it. No man is even at the threshold of the religious life so long as he has an eye to anything to be gained or got by religion—indeed we may even say, till there is nothing else he would not be ready to sacrifice rather than renounce or prove faithless to it. Integrity, purity, justice, goodness are things we should choose, even if no pleasure or profit come of them, even at the cost and sacrifice of all the pleasant things of life. A conscientious man is not one who does his duty because, or so long as, it promotes his interests. There are innumerable things in the world he may dearly prize; but when these and duty clash, when it comes to be a question whether he shall give up these or be a liar or a knave, can he retain the faintest title to the name of a good man if he be not prepared to sacrifice all the world holds dear rather than be betrayed into baseness and dishonour? And if godliness or religion means love to God, reverence and devotion to the infinite Truth and Righteousness, love and loyalty to Him who was its highest manifestation on earth—must not this, above all others, be a principle which needs no prop of external profit to secure its dominion over the soul?

There is no resource for it, but to get into that interminable ravelment of Reward and Approval, virtue being its own reward; and assert louder and louder,—contrary to the stern experiences of all men, from the Divine Man, expiring with agony of bloody sweat on the accursed tree, down to us two, O reader (if we have ever done one Duty),—that virtue is synonymous with Pleasure. Alas! was Paul, an Apostle of the Gentiles, virtuous; and was virtue its own reward, when his approving conscience told him that he was “the chief of sinners,” and if bounded to this life alone, “of all men the most miserable”?1 [Note: Carlyle, Miscellanies (Essay on Diderot).]

My dear friends, dwell in humility; and take heed that no views of outward gain get too deep hold of you, that so your eyes being single to the Lord, you may be preserved in the way of safety. Where people let loose their minds after the love of outward things, and are more engaged in pursuing the profits and seeking the friendships of this world than to be inwardly acquainted with the way of true peace, they walk in a vain shadow, while the true comfort of life is wanting. Their examples are often hurtful to others; and their treasures thus collected do many times prove dangerous snares to their children. But where people are sincerely devoted to follow Christ, and dwell under the influence of His Holy Spirit, their stability and firmness, through a Divine blessing, is at times like dew on the tender plants round about them, and the weightiness of their spirits secretly works on the minds of others. And though we may meet with opposition from another spirit, yet, as there is a dwelling in meekness, feeling our spirits subject, and moving only in the gentle, peaceable wisdom, the inward reward of quietness will be greater than all our difficulties.2 [Note: The Journal of John Woolman.]

3. “That which is to come.” The promise of heaven does not throw the interest of life wholly into the future; it rather brings the future to us than tells us coldly to tarry for the future. “Heavenly things” are of the highest secular value. For as health lightens labour and makes pleasure keener, so a cheerful goodness, which thinks of the end often while on the way; counts love the chief treasure in the midst of any abundance; likes to have a neighbour, to help him, and to be helped by him—this cheerful goodness will be the most patient and prosperous worker, and relish most its reward. It is obvious that the will of God, when regarded by us with true confidence, must infuse both temperance and vigour into our action; obvious that peace with God, and a thankful acknowledgment of Him, must sweeten pleasure; and obvious, yet again, that submission to His will, as not only firm but good, must alleviate present distress. When, anxiously, we watch by the bed-side, and listen for a breath, and wonder whether the scarcely-moving tide of life will ebb utterly away, or return once more, with the prayer “Thy will be done” there is mingled a sense that, if that Will ordain death, it will conduct through death into life. Thus, when the promise can no more affect the life of one departing, in giving a hope for the future, it gives, too, a benefit for the life of those who must yet remain here awhile. In last hours, in lowest fortunes, in loud confused scenes, in unwitnessed privations, in the strong man’s battle with his foes, and the weak man’s battle with his infirmities—it is a fact, that faith in God has been, not only the alleviator of distress, but its conqueror. The love that comprehends and transcends all earthly love, the supreme motive of self-surrendering, self-abnegating love and devotion to God in Christ, lends a consecration to the humblest, lowliest life on earth, and sheds an invisible glory over all the acts that spring from it, so that all the world and all life is a field from which love is for ever reaping its golden harvest of profit.

“The Will of God!” Let us, to animate and endear every thought of it, remind ourselves often of its blissful purposes. True, it is sovereign; let us bow low before its sovereignty, its irresponsible and unknown ways. But in all its infinite range it is the will of Him whom we know in Jesus Christ, and who has told us such gracious things about it through Jesus Christ. If it wills for us immediately toil and trial, contradictions, disappointments, tears—as it sometimes does, as it once did for our Lord and Life—what does it always will ultimately, and with infinite skill and power to attain its end? It wills, He wills, “that not one of his little ones should perish.” He wills, “that every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him should have everlasting life, and be raised up again by Christ Jesus at the last day.” He wills “our sanctification.” He wills, as His Son wills, that they whom He has “given” to His Son should “be with him where he is, to behold his glory.” In belonging to such a God, for every part and detail of our lives, is there not both peace and glory? In accepting, loving, bearing, doing, the will of such a God, is there not a blissful light upon every step of our road home? That road, even step by step, was trodden before us by the Son of Man, who took on Him the form of a bond-servant, of a slave—the Apostle boldly uses the word—the slave of the will of His Father. As He came down to tread it, He said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” As He trod it, He said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Not my will but thine be done.” And it is He who by His Spirit dwells in us, and we in Him. Lord Jesus Christ, who thus workest in me, work on and evermore, work now, both to will and to do; to will now not my choice but Thine; to do now Thy will from the soul. Amen.1 [Note: H. C. G. Moule, All in Christ, 62.]

Author of man’s mystic lot,

God, Thy ways as ours are not:

Thou hast destined us to be

Seized by death, yet safe in Thee:

Love Immortal casting out

Feverish fear, and freezing doubt.

In the spaces of the night,

In the depths of dim affright,

Jesus, with our trials tried,

Do not Thou forsake my side!

Childlike on Thy faithful breast

Hold my heart, and bid me rest.

Like a sword above my head

Death is hanging by a thread;

Yet, O gracious Lord on high,

Surely Thou wilt hear my cry,

By Thy life laid down for me

Turning death to victory!

Only this can light the grave,

Thou hast died:—and Thou wilt save:—

Thou by lying low in earth

Hast assured our second birth,

Bidding in the sunless tomb

Amaranthine roses bloom.

If the spirit shivering shrink

From annihilation’s brink,

Through the soul like sunshine come,

“Death is but another womb:

Born through woe to human breath,

Ye are born to God through death.”

Nearer than the nearest by,

Be beside me when I die!

With Thy strength my weakness nerve

Ne’er through fear from faith to swerve;

So, Death’s storm-vex’d portal past,

Safe in Thee to sleep at last.1 [Note: F. T. Palgrave, Amenophis and Other Poems.]

The Value of Godliness


Beveridge (W.), Theological Works, iv. 424.

Brown (J. B.), The Divine Life in Man, 175.

Caird (J.), University Sermons, 282.

Davies (J. P.), The Same Things, 76.

Edgar (S.), Sermons, 164.

Fox (W. J.), Collected Works, iii. 155.

Fürst (A.), Christ the Way, 221.

Gotwald (L. A.), Joy in the Divine Government, 87.

Grant (W.), Christ our Hope, 10.

Gurney (T. A.), The First Epistle to Timothy, 191.

Horne (C. S.), The Life that is Easy, 31.

Horton (R. F.), This Do, 133.

Lambert (J. C.), The Omnipotent Cross, 128.

Leach (C.), Sermons to Working Men, 101.

Little (J.), Glorying in the Lord, 211.

Lynch (T. T.), Three Months’ Ministry, 25.

Norton (J. N.), Every Sunday, 359.

Peabody (F. G.), Mornings in the College Chapel, i. 15.

Pulsford (J.), Our Deathless Hope, 115.

Talmage (T. de W.), Sermons, iv. 232.

Williams (T. L.), Thy Kingdom Come, 128.

Bible Champion, xvi. 22 (C. H. Fowler).

Cambridge Review, x. Supplement No. 245 (G. Salmom).

Christian World Pulpit, xli. 116 (R. F. Horton); liv. 151 (T. Stephens); lxviii. 299 (C. Gore); lxxv. 216 (R. F. Horton).

Church of England Pulpit, x. 168 (T. W. Drury).

Twentieth Century Pastor, xxxiv. 17 (J. G. Henderson).

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