The Signs of the Times


July 1, 1889

Christ the Living Fountain

[Morning talk at Chicago, April 9, 1889.]


Brethren and sisters, I do hope that this precious opportunity of drawing near to God may not pass without improvement. I hope you will all have an assurance of the blessing of God. You should seek to retain every ray of light and knowledge that has shone upon you here; but you cannot do this unless you walk in the light, accepting and acting upon it. The Lord desires to give us his rich blessing. It is not his will that anyone should labor in his cause without his help and favor. He does not require his children to go in feebleness of heart to win souls for eternal life. There is fullness in him, and it is our privilege to come and obtain that fullness, to receive richly of his Spirit. ST July 1, 1889, par. 1

This morning my attention was drawn to the story of the woman who came to the well to draw water, and found Jesus, weary and thirsty, resting at the well while his disciples went into the village to buy bread. When she had drawn the water, Jesus said to the woman, “Give me to drink.” She was surprised that he should ask this favor of her, and inquired, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” Jesus referred in these words to the divine grace which he alone can bestow, and which is as living water, purifying, refreshing, and invigorating the soul. ST July 1, 1889, par. 2

Jesus had said to the woman, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” The woman of Samaria was in ignorance of the divine Son of God; but we know today who has spoken these gracious words. It is necessary that we have a knowledge of Christ, that we have an acquaintance with him, so that we may know his willingness to bless. In him is all fullness of divine grace, and he says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” God giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; “but,” says the apostle, giving instruction to him who feels his lack of wisdom, “let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” ST July 1, 1889, par. 3

It would not be for our good if the Lord should give us what we ask for without faith. We would not render gratitude to the Giver if we received a gift that we did not attribute to his agency. Jesus wants to give us his light, and we should educate our souls to grasp the promises of God by living faith. He will give us the gift of salvation. We may have his richest blessing, and we should earnestly seek for the favor of God. The reason why we are not rejoicing in the freedom of the sons of God, is because we have piled up rubbish and barred the door of our hearts. Let us sweep it away, open the door, and let the Saviour in. ST July 1, 1889, par. 4

We cannot afford to keep Jesus outside. We cannot afford to let him pass by. We cannot afford to be without the knowledge of Christ. Says Jesus, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” We want Jesus to abide in our families and in our churches. We should give ourselves, soul and body, to his work, and submit ourselves to the training process that is to fit us for Heaven. ST July 1, 1889, par. 5

Many of us have idols in our hearts. But you will fail to find satisfaction in the things of this life. Jesus says, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” What is the meaning of these words? They mean that when your mind is attracted by heavenly things, when you dwell upon Christ, then your idols are crucified, and you are satisfied with the love of God. But how little are thoughts of Christ brought into our lives! How few talk of Jesus! How little he is lifted up! ST July 1, 1889, par. 6

There are many who try to correct the life of others by attacking what they consider are wrong habits. They go to those whom they think are in error, and point out their defects. They say, “You don't dress as you should.” They try to pick off the ornaments, or whatever seems offensive, but they do not seek to fasten the mind to the truth. Those who seek to correct others should present the attractions of Jesus. They should talk of his love and compassion, present his example and sacrifice, reveal his Spirit, and they need not touch the subject of dress at all. There is no need to make the dress question the main point of your religion. There is something richer to speak of. Talk of Christ, and when the heart is converted, everything that is out of harmony with the word of God will drop off. It is only labor in vain to pick leaves off a living tree. The leaves will reappear. The ax must be laid at the root of the tree, and then the leaves will fall off, never to return. ST July 1, 1889, par. 7

In order to teach men and women the worthlessness of earthly things, you must lead them to the living Fountain, and get them to drink of Christ, until their hearts are filled with the love of God, and Christ is in them, a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Language cannot describe the peace and fullness of the joy of the true Christian. Let us seek to drink of the Fountain of life. ST July 1, 1889, par. 8

Do not come at your brethren to pick at their faults, to make a drive at their peculiar traits of character. Educate them to better habits, and better traits, by the power of your own example. If you make it evident that you have come to correct them, you will only arouse their combativeness, and do more harm than if you had not come at all. Reveal Jesus to them, that they may behold him and become like him. If you cultivate fault-finding, and take it upon yourself to correct your brethren, you will soon have no other religion save that of picking flaws and finding defects. You cannot benefit the sinner by coming to him in your own way and in your own strength. Christ alone can save him. ST July 1, 1889, par. 9

Let us press forward to the mark for the prize of our high calling which is in Christ Jesus. Press forward to the perfection of Christian character; be not satisfied with anything less than the fullness of God. You may attain unto the heights of character that Christ has made every provision for you to reach through his divine grace, growing up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ. Temptation will come upon you every day, but you must lay hold of the strength of Christ. Christ is our righteousness. We are not to depend on feeling, but by faith rest in the arms of his love, and claim to be the sons and daughters of God. He will make his strength perfect in our weakness. He will take the poor earthen vessels, make them vessels unto honor, and glorify himself through them; and through his love we shall love others, as he has loved us. ST July 1, 1889, par. 10