Diseases Of The Heart
Before men ever began to study psychology, before a college ever established a chair of psychology, before scientists ever delved into the powers and functions of a human heart, God had given an explanation of the whole human make-up. Before men ever learned that there was something besides the physical, besides a disposition, and called it an “over-soul” or an “under-soul” or a “sub-conscious self” or by any other name, God had written what it was. God calls the human being a trinity. His word says in 1 Thessalonians 5:23:
“I pray God your whole spirit and souland bodybe preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Science may give its divisions of man as science sees him, but this is the whole man as God looks at him: spirit, soul, and body. It is easy for us, sometimes, to think that man is a highly developed body and forget that he has a soul. Then again, few people realize that still above a man’s soul, or his intellectual disposition, he has a spirit.
God made a wonderful thing when He made a man. If in our theories for the betterment of men we try simply to lift up their bodies, we will find we cannot do it. The handles by which to lift him are farther in. When we begin working on disposition, which is handled largely by education, byenvironment and training, we find we have not reached to the heart of this being yet. There are depths beyond. In the times of the greatest culture, in the times of the highest education, when the arts were at the highest point, man has fallen to the rottenest and lowest levels morally. And all of this because men have not recognized that man has a spirit. It is an awful thing when at the head of life on the Earth man goes wrong, for as the Bible tells us, everything else underneath man suffered and became a part of the fall. As well expect the babies to support the parents then, as environment or things to lift man back to his place of power.
Now, first of all, all the knowledge we have as a human being comes from impressions, and impressions taken together form ideas. God has so fixed our senses as to be little channels that lead sensations straight to the umpire in the brain for the decisions. The sensations are there collected and formed into ideas and through our impressions we come to all of our knowledge of the world about us.
I feel of this wood and I get an impression; then I feel of this book and I get another impression, and the minute I get two impressions my brain registers an idea of difference, and thus I collect all my ideas. I can collect them, and tell them apart, and name them. So I call this idea a book. I know this other as wood.
I look around and see red with my eye, I see pink over here, and blue over there. I might take a babe and enclose it in a perfectly white room; somebody might bring it food and take care of it; but unless somehow it got out to get other impressions than those afforded by the room it would have few ideas. It would be awfully hard to understand the world from a four-cornered room. That is why it is so hard on people to be sick, and why we love to bring them flowers and anything that will give them some kind of interest. I have done time in a hospital, and I know the charming sound of ice-water tinkling down the hall, and what a joy it is to have somebody stop at your door and bring it in to you.
The Sick Room
In a hospital in the city of Boston for weeks and weeks I was on my back with a pair of paralyzed legs, and they told me I would never walk again. I never will forget the joy of the ministration of those nurses there. One of the nurses one day brought me in a scrapbook. She heard me singing to myself—I used to lie there and sing as much as I could—and she tip-toed across the hall and said, “I know you must be lonely. Would you like to look at this scrapbook?” And as I joyfully welcomed it, she said: “I didn’t know but what you thought it might be childish.” No indeed, anything in the world to get my mind off four walls.
There were five little rounds in the foot of my bed and I counted my five times over and over: Five times one are five, five times one are five.I even looked for paper on the wall to see if there was nothing I could count, but they had painted everything off the walls, and there wasn’t anything to count but the cracks—seventeen of those in the ceiling.
Oh, we would not know much if God had not opened up our sense channels and allowed the impressions to come through. What infinite patience Miss Sullivan must have had with Helen Keller to bring all the sensations of life and signal them through the girl’s hand—a marvelous kind of patience.
Helen Keller has said that in her earlier experiences she used to throw herself on the floor and strain and howl and yell until people thought she was possessed with a demon, but she was only trying to get out of the shell. She knew there was something out there in the world, and the hunger to get out increased until sometimes she couldn’t stand the strain.
God has so constituted us that this restless being of ours longs for knowledge. Little Johnny toddling around wants to know: “Mamma, what is that? Mamma, what’s this?” And the mother says: “Oh Johnny, stop that everlasting asking”—but it is a good thing that she can’t stop his mouth, for that is the way that knowledge comes to him.
So God brings information, knowledge, to us through these marvelous channels. I sometimes wonder at the umpire that stands behind all eye-sight within my being, the umpire that stands behind all nerve sensations, all the feelings that come from the different organs of the body, the pains, and the peculiar sensations, and behind the ears, behind the taster, behind that which feels—an umpire that stands there and calls the balls and strikes; an umpire, a personality, a being, so endowed and so educated that as these sensations come he can call them off—“Red, red, red; blue, blue, blue; pain, anguish, suffering; trees; clouds; people,” can also classify these impressions into ideas and then arrange them carefully with their associates for use at any moment that memory calls; an automatic catalogue.
Many of you nurses have had to worry along about the names of the muscles and the nerves and all the rest of it that you have to learn in your course, and you are mighty thankful that you have a little messenger that runs up in some part of your brain and brings the messages at the right time, when you need them in an examination; those hard names that are enough to break anybody’s jaw. I remember a doctor came in and looked me over at the hospital, and I said: “Doctor, what is the matter with me?”
“Well,” he said—and then I couldn’t tell you his words, but my, he said such a lot, it was lovely! I said, “Doc, you sound like a menagerie to me.”
“Didn’t you understand what I was talking about?” he asked me.
“Well, I caught something about cardiac, and I think that has something to do with the heart, and then you said something about neurology and I know that means something about nerves, but Doc, I didn’t get the rest of that lingo. It is no wonder you can prescribe anything you want to for a man and he will swallow it, for if he is as bad off as your language makes him think he is, he’ll take a chance at any medicine. If I met that disease of mine in the middle of the road, I never would know it from common mumps.”
Know Our World
Now through our bodily senses we become acquainted with the world in which we live. We know when we are walking; we know the rocks and the dirt and the rivers and the hills and the flowers and the birds. We touch things, we handle things. Men can even handle some of the forces behind the things they see. Men in their chemical laboratories can mix together God’s elements with the wonderful powers behind them; and all this because God has opened channels into this umpire of a personality and allowed men to become cognizant of the world in which they live.
The Feeling Fingers
Men’s fingers can dig into human anatomy until they can locate every organ, trace the nerves and blood vessels and judge the condition of the heart. The eye of the surgeon watches as he makes the cut, and his fingers go down into the scar and by the sensations at the ends of his fingers he finds what he is looking for. One great surgeon said: “The greatest instrument we have is a pair of ears and our eyes and the ends of our fingers.” Some can diagnose cases by looking at them. Some physicians are so adept in it that they watch as a patient comes in and by their walk and the look of them sometimes they know exactly what is wrong with the man. How many a heart has been tested by a little pair of human ears! How much is detected by an ear, and that finger that can feel: listening with his finger to the pulse, then listening with his ear to the beating of that heart. A man may have a brilliant brain, but suppose the feeling isn’t there, suppose the eyes were not there. How many men in these callings have had to lay aside their practice because their ears had lost their cunning; how many men because of blindness have had to lay down some of the best work ever undertaken. The channels had ceased to work.
Life Is Not Cheap
Friends, if you have had a cheap appreciation of life, hear me tonight. If in any way life has become cheap to you, ask Almighty God to wake you up to what it means to walk on this Earth. Men are committing suicide today, but it is because they are blind, they are not conscious of what a wonderful thing it is to live. Oh, you should be so glad tonight if somehow, some way, God has given you an appreciation and a love of a human soul, of a human being. God has given you, my friend, the great privilege of walking around His world; you can ask God questions, you can ask the world questions, and God does not hold back from you. There is your laboratory—go in and pull out what you please. It is all there; as far as Earth is concerned.
Not Our Doings
God does not care how much you know; God does not care how much information you may have, nor how many things you may hold in your hand; the awful thing about it is that after God has made us so capable we walk around as if we owned the Earth of which we become conscious. How much of our scientific thinking today has put God on the outside; our knowledge has come through these sensations and these gates and openings God has given us; with that pair of eyes we can study through the night; with that set of fingers we can feel for ourselves; with these ears we can hear; and because of those things we become enamored of ourselves! This is one sad and awful heart disease of humanity.
Let us look next at the disposition or soul. When the Bible speaks of a soul, without the mixture of spirit, it means disposition. Animals have disposition. I know some animals that have a lot of it—a certain kind that I like to play with their heads and not their heels, because of their disposition. There is something in a lion that makes him a lion. Not his mane, not his paws, not his great muscle, but his disposition. There is something in the fox that makes him distinct from all the rest; his disposition; it is in his blood.
This thing is in flesh. Wherever you find flesh running on the Earth, you find some sort of disposition. You find horses that are mean and others that are good in disposition, and if you have ever busted broncos you know that when they roll their beautiful eyes back you had better let the other fellow ride them. You pick another kind, unless you love the hurricane deck in the howling storm.
Knowing Our Kind
Animals know their kind. Men know each other. There are disposition channels and soul impressions come very clearly. Little hands run out to feel another’s disposition.
Those of you who are in here tonight for the first time, in the first few minutes didn’t hear what I said, because you were sizing me up. You say, “I have heard about him and have seen his picture.” You give me the once-over and say, “Yes, I know what he is; I have him sized up.” There is something in your disposition that can go out exploring, and there are certain channels of sensations that bring back soul impressions to you, from another man’s disposition. It is not from physical phenomena; it is impressions of soul quality.
You may introduce one person to another, and they feel like drawing back their hand as if from a snake. The impression has made its way along a channel to the soul. We have no right, however, to size a person up the first time we see them. We must wait for more impressions, to form our ideas. If you want to know them real well, go camping with them. Some of them will wash the dishes, and the rest of them will never see the dishes at all. Some of them will clean up the bunk, and the rest of them won’t know the bunk is there.
Yes, we have been formed with a capacity for knowing our kind, becoming conscious of their dispositions. Through these channels we see that we become world conscious and man-conscious.
Dog Knows Dog
Dog even knows dog. Some friends made me a present of a blooded dog, one night at a reception. They kindly helped me on with my coat at the close of the evening; I slapped my pockets and the dog howled, and I reached in and pulled him out—just a little handful, with four black spots on him, and a little tail so tiny you couldn’t see it; when he tried to wiggle his little tail he had to wiggle his hips. I took the little fellow and raised him; I was a bachelor, glad for any company; and I taught him a few little tricks. When he was six months old, he had never seen another dog. The doctor across the street from me said to me: “Do you suppose that pup of yours would know another dog?”
“Let’s try it out,” I said. “You go over and get your old bulldog and I will bring the pup out.”
And as soon as that bulldog landed in my yard, my pup’s hips began to wiggle-wiggle-wiggle—he was the happiest little dog you ever saw in your life. He ran up to the bulldog and said in dog-language:
“Old pal, I have been looking for you for six months! I haven’t seen a thing but a human being all that time, and I am so glad to see you and talk dog to you and tell you how my dog-life is getting along!” Right away he woke up to the fact that he was a dog.
The doctor and I were sitting there talking, and all of a sudden the pup made one dive out of my lap and ran across the yard as hard as he could go, the dog hair up the back of his neck; he stood at the foot of a tree—and I don’t know what college had taught him that that animal up there was a cat and not a dog, but somehow he had the information.
Fish Knows Fish
Even the fish in the sea do not get mixed up. When the tide is coming just right, you will see a school of salmon there in the ocean, and coming along after them is another big school of fish—a school of herring. Little herring can keep together and not get mixed up with the salmon or the other sea creations. What ever taught them that they were herring, and not to get mixed up with that other crowd? I don’t know how they know, but they know. They know their own brand of fish.
Bird Knows Bird
The birds know their own kind. How glad they are to get among their own. The wild ducks pair off, over here, and over there, in the spring, but after a while the fall comes and they all gather in the air and away they go through the sky. Who in the world ever taught them that kind of quack-quack so that they could pass the telegrams around telling the crowd to take the Mississippi Central and meet down south at ducks’ paradise?
Our Kind a Great Delight
Here is what I am getting at: God made us not only body, but He made us soul also, and our greatest delight as human beings is to be with our kind. A lonely island might be beautiful for a time, if we were alone, but before long we would be very anxious to see our kind again. It is wonderful to be made capable of knowing the souls of others and enjoying them.
One Thing More
Now on top of this God says: “I pray your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless”—not only that body with all its senses by which it become world conscious, not only that soul with its capacity for understanding others but there also is the spirit.
God says in the beginning that He breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life. “And man became a living soul, living disposition.” It is one thing for you to take a photographic plate and develop it in a dark room. It is another thing for you to make that photographic plate a permanent affair by putting it through a certain kind of fixative bath. It is one thing to have a soul connected with human flesh, but it is another thing that God has breathed into man a living soul. Living, forever living! Living!
Friend, here is the vital thing: God has put the fixative in it, and somewhere, forever, that disposition will live on and on and on. I believe it tonight. It is the word of God. God help you to see the marvelous value of a human soul.
We become conscious of the world in which we live through impressions of the phenomena. We become conscious of the soul world through impressions of the souls of others, and know our kind.
But hear me tonight: God has breathed something into every man that makes him capable of God-consciousness, and he can never be satisfied until he touches God. Simply because I am world conscious is no sign that I have reached out and taken in the phenomena of the world. I am a living being, but I may be totally ignorant of the world’s phenomena. I may have all sorts of possibilities, but the sensations may have never come in, and I cannot reason things out and form them into ideas until the impressions have reached me. I may be a poor sort of a thing that the world calls a “rube,” because I have never come in contact with people. I have my brother, father, sister, back there on the farm, but I am an easy dupe for the world of folks because I have never had enough impressions of people to form ideas of soul qualities.
We Can Know God
Listen: Simply because a man has had the breath breathed into him is no sign that he knows God. It simply shows that he can know God; he has a hunger for God, and like Helen Keller kicked to get out to know the world, thank God there are some folks who say: “Take away what you will from me, but I am going to know God or I die.” I do not care what knowledge you may have tonight, if you do not know God you are a dissatisfied human being. God says: “This is eternal life, that they should know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.”
Can Know World, Souls and God
How do I know the world? Through phenomena; by handling it, examining it.
How do I know disposition? By having dispositions next to me, handling them, knowing them.
How do I ever know God? Jesus is all the phenomena of the personality of God offered to man by God. He is God’s revelation. If you turn that down you will be in hell’s darkness forever.
How am I to know the character of God? God has made the revelation of the whole thing in Christ Jesus. Here is love, and God is love.
Heart’s Disease Is Sin
God shows us that a heart has diseases that keep it from seeing God. That little baby is born with a good eye, but as it comes into the world some foul disease gets into its eye. That spirit of yours could see God, but listen: God looked into our hearts and said our “desire is evil continually.” We live on the sensations of the body, the sensations of the soul, and we do not give a rap whether we ever know God or not. What has done it? Sin. Sin is the thing that has blinded our eyes. Is there a specific for it? What is the specific for it? Thank God, He says, “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin—from all sin.”
Life Battles Disease
You nurses here tonight know what life will do against disease. You take a man who has a good constitution, a healthy body, and put him in the hospital, and you say: “He is in pretty bad shape, but his blood is good; his heart is beating hard now, but he will come out all right.” Why? Because life is doing its business, throwing off disease.
There is life in Jesus. That life streamed out and paid the debt and became victor even over death itself, and is resurrected and at the right hand of God. “Because I live, ye shall live also,” said Jesus. Patients are given certain kinds of food, the finest nourishments, infusions—what for? To supply life and drive back that germ and the other one, so that life can have a chance to come forth. Thank God, the life of Jesus Christ can be infused into a human heart so that sin will be driven back.
His Life Revealed
When Jesus stood before the tomb and told Lazarus to come forth from the grave, remember that Jesus was Life itself. He was the One who had breathed into Adam the breath of life and Adam became a living soul. Therefore Christ comes as the revelation of God, and within every man is a spirit that can accept this revelation. As easily as the eye can take in the sunset, as easily as a soul may take in a friend, so easily can our spirits accept Jesus Christ and find God. It was for this we came into the world. If we miss seeing God with our spirit, allowing His Spirit to enter our spirit, we miss it all, and it were better for us if we had never been born. But here is the great enemy of our spirits: Sin! Hear me—SIN!
If God were to reveal Himself now, you would drop like a dead man and cry out: “Oh, God, depart from me. I am a sinner!” A sinner cannot stand the white light of God.
The diseases of the heart are all the sins of men. And it is sin stands between you and God. The sin question must be settled before God can reveal Himself to you. Listen: When God speaks to your heart, when a Holy God begins to talk to you, there will come over your heart such an awful desire to get rid of sin that you will cry out: “Oh God, leave me or I die! I cannot stand to be in the presence of a Holy God.”
We Need Cleansing
How are you going to account to God for the way you have spent your time? For the sin that is in your life? For the low emotions in your nature? Friend, when you get a revelation of God through Jesus Christ, then you will begin to see that you need God.
Who will introduce you to God? Thank God, Jesus will do it. He stands as a mediator between God and man. He is the revelation of God. He is the one who makes propitiation for your sin, and you are accepted in the presence of God when you come in the name of Jesus, having been washed from your sin. Jesus is all the phenomena I will ever ask for; all my heart ever longs for; He is the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. As the delightful taste satisfies the tongue, as sleep satisfies the tired body, Jesus satisfies the soul! He cures all your heart’s diseases and casts out all your fears, and Himself sits on the throne of the heart and everything within you vibrates with his life.
Give Your Spirit a Chance
Oh, take Him in tonight; if you do not, what is there left? That spirit of yours, that has been created to live forever, where will it go? Here me: Somewhere, FOREVER, you are going to live. I do not care what men say about it, I hear what God says about it and what my own soul and my own spirit witness to the fact. Will you give your soul, your spirit, a chance to get God tonight? Will you give it one good square chance to meet Jesus? What does Jesus ask you to give up? Not a thing in the world but sin. What does He offer to give you? Cleansing from all your sins, you heart’s diseases; and eternal life—eternal blessing.Decide it tonight—God help you.
Take the highest animal there is: can God talk to him? No. But God can talk to you, and walk in you and live in you. He made you, spirit, soul and body. He made your spirit His best parlor, and you have no right to make it a rendezvous for the world. God wants to come and wash it clean and He can take the cobwebs out. Hear me, in God’s name! You have given your body a chance, you have taken good care, probably, of your body to find its delights and keep your disposition contented as far as possible; to have pleasant ways so that you can mix with people. But oh, you need to open your heart! Let Jesus cleanse it from all its disease so that your spirit can fellowship with God. He did not put your heart together carelessly, and you have got to account for it as sure as you are sitting in that pew tonight.
You have a soul, a body, a spirit tonight that can take God if you can say: “I will.” There is just one little step between you and Jesus. Will you take it tonight?
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
All the heart’s diseases go beneath His blood, and then the Spirit which can know God is fit for God to enter, and make Himself known in all His loveliness. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with Me.”
This is life. Anything else is death.
Which shall it be?