A CUP OF WATER "IN MY NAME"
by J. C. MUSSELMAN.
In Mark 9:41 we read: "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."
These words have a literal, present meaning as well as a future, spiritual one; for the plain, simple fact is set forth that a cup of water given in God's name, '' because ye belong to Christ," is sure of a reward. Both the giver and the receiver belong to Christ; and though this fact may not be recognized by either, it is none the less true; and it is for this reason that God would have even the smallest act of mercy, kindness, or hospitality done "in his name."
It is also evident that we are not to take the narrow view of giving a cup of water simply because of the request. No; it is " because ye belong to Christ " that it is to be given, and it is of first importance that this should be fully recognized and appreciated, in order to obtain the reward promised. If we give only a cup of water or a dinner, how can God reward us for what we have done? How can a blessing accompany the bare gift that brought no new knowledge of God?
It is easy enough to give in his name, and with the understanding that it is "because ye belong to Christ," if each understands the simple act of giving as manifested in Christ, who gave himself—all of self. But many "have not so much as heard whether there be " any Christ, and many more fail to realize the fact that they are his.
So, with your gifts, impart a knowledge of Christ as the Friend and Saviour of all. Find out whether the recipient acknowledges this fact, and then deal with him either as a fellow comrade in Christ or as a needy child of God. So shall you give " in his name."
'' While our Saviour is the great source of illumination, forget not, O Christian, that he is revealed through humanity. God's blessings are bestowed through human instrumentality. Christ himself came to the world as the Son of man. . . . Every individual disciple of the Master, is Heaven's appointed channel for the revelation of God to man." M.B.40.2
THE USES AND ABUSES OF WATER.
The body may be described as a living form through which a stream of matter flows; and water is the principal element that composes this stream. Sixty per cent of the entire body is composed of water. This is distributed as follows: the bones contain twenty-two percent; the muscles, seventy-five per cent; the liver, sixty-nine percent; the kidneys, eighty two per cent; the blood, eighty per cent; while the different secretions of the body contain from ninety to ninety-nine per cent.
WATER PRE-EMINENTLY THE LIQUID FOR MAN
If we had a basketful of oranges, we could add a considerable quantity of beans without increasing the bulk. A handful of sand could be tossed in, and it would disappear between the beans. Then we might take a quantity of fine emery dust, and this would be lost amid the particles of sand. And after all this, the bulk would be no greater than at the beginning.
This is a crude illustration of the ability of water to absorb other substances. And the fact that it can carry in solution so many things, is what makes it such a particularly useful agent in the human body. Man will die much more quickly if deprived of water than if deprived of food.
It is by the means of water that the nourishing elements of the food are carried to different parts of the body; likewise nearly all the excretory products are carried away dissolved in water. Some of the most important physiological processes that take place in the human system are absolutely dependent upon the presence of water for their performance.
WATER THE TISSUE CLEANSER.
Water is the best fluid to cleanse the body. We use it outside to cleanse the surface, and nature is continually washing the inside in a similar manner. In fact, every cell in the body performs its action surrounded with water: even a thin covering of fluid surrounds the entire brain. So, after all, we, like the fishes, really live in the water. The total amount of fluid taken into the body every day is about four and one-half pounds. In other words, the average person in one month drinks his own weight in water. This same quantity leaves the body more or less laden with impurities. The kidneys carry off forty-six per cent of the total amount that is eliminated; the skin, thirty-per cent; the lungs, twenty; the alimentary canal, four. If water is taken into the system more or less laden with filth, it will necessarily be limited in its ability to carry off impurities. It will be like trying to wash clothes in water that is already as much soiled as are the clothes. The water is likewise very liable to contain living organisms, which may be the active cause in producing such disorders as typhoid fever, malaria, etc.
USE OF WATER AT MEALS.
While it is a matter of such extreme importance to secure the necessary amount of liquid to encourage the different tissue changes that must take place in the body, and to insure proper elimination, it does not at all follow that it is either helpful or healthful to drink any considerable quantity of liquid during the meal. It has become very deeply fixed in the public mind that eating and drinking are parallel functions, and must go together. The habit of drinking a great deal of fluid at meals is extremely pernicious in many ways:—
First, nature is never wasteful. If the salivary glands find that the mouth is full of fluid, they do not take the trouble to supply saliva, because there is moisture enough in the mouth; but, unfortunately, water can not digest starch. It is a noticeable fact that those foods which contain a large per cent of liquid, contain practically no starch.
Second, the food is not sufficiently masticated, as the water tends to wash it down into the stomach prematurely.
Third, in the stomach it dilutes the gastric juice, which in many cases is already too weak, and thus protein digestion is retarded.
Fourth, it actually hinders the mechanical work that the stomach should perform upon the food elements. A simple illustration will make this clear. If a rubber bag be filled with water, and a cooked potato be dropped into it, no amount of pressing or rolling of the bag will mash the potato, for the force will all be expended upon the water; but if the water be poured out, then the potato can be crushed easily. The same principle applies to the stomach. If it is filled with water, the three series of muscles that make up its walls may contract vigorously, but their force is simply spent upon the fluid, and the churning process does not have an opportunity to work upon the food substances.
EVILS RESULTING FROM THE HABITUAL USE OF
WATER AT THE EXTREMES OF TEMPERATURE.
Drinking or sipping hot water, as near the boiling point as the tongue and tissues of the mouth will allow, has a paralyzing influence upon the stomach, particularly if long continued. On the other hand, and perhaps more pernicious, is the habitual use of ice water and iced foods. Laboratory experiments have demonstrated that the stomach digestion takes place only at a temperature very near one hundred degrees. A glass of ice-cold lemonade, hastily swallowed at mealtime, may readily cause almost a complete suspension of digestive activity for at least half an hour. At the same time, this temperature does not hinder the activity of any germs that may have been taken into the stomach with the food, and thus they have abundant opportunity to produce various fermentations and decay. Yet such persons will wonder why they are suffering from digestive disturbances.
THE WATER OF LIFE
'' And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Rev.21:1. " Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water." Ps.65:9. This last
Scripture would indicate that the water which now flows upon this earth has its origin in the river of life; but sin, as in many other things, has wrought considerable change in the pure water intended for man's use. God's standard is one of absolute purity, but Satan is ever seeking to lower this standard. His policy toward the water of life is one of contamination, thereby seeking to make it harmful, instead of serviceable, to man. In the Scriptures water is used as a symbol, not only of the cleansing power of God, but also of the work of the Holy Spirit. It was David who said: ''Purge me, . . . and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Ps.51:7.
WATER AS A SYMBOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
" And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." Acts 2:17.
In referring to the Holy Ghost, God says, "I will pour out of my Spirit." Physiology teaches us that three fourths of the human body is liquid; that we live, as it were, under water; that we think and act under water, the entire physical man being ever bathed in the liquid. Our bodies are, as it were, baptized in water. What a beautiful symbol of the baptism of the Holy Ghost! Just as, the physical man must live, think, and act under water, so the soul, the spiritual man, should maintain its existence and carry on all its functions under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the water of the soul, the water of life indeed.
"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 wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." John 4:10.
Here Jesus speaks of the living water, which he himself gives to those who ask for it. Just as physical thirst may be quenched by water, so the thirst of the soul may be quenched by the waters of life. God is just as willing to give us the latter as the former, for it is written, If any man hunger and thirst after righteousness, he shall be filled.
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." John 7:37.
Will the soul so yield itself to the cleansing—washing —of the Spirit of God, which is presented to us in the symbol of water, that this Spirit may be in us a well of water springing up unto everlasting life ? For, as Christ has said, in John 7:38, "He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
THE TISSUE CLEANSER OF THE SOUL.
Just as water is the great tissue cleanser of the body, so the Spirit of God is the great moral tissue cleanser, which is to permeate every fiber of the soul, to wash, to cleanse, and keep it pure. Undoubtedly this is the great truth brought to our view in John 15:3, where Jesus said: '' Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
The word of God is to us the well of salvation, from which arid through which we are to obtain the water of life, the Spirit of God. " Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isa.12:3. The word of God is not the Spirit of God, but it is the channel through which man obtains the Spirit. Do you desire to be filled with the Spirit, baptized of the Spirit, led of the Spirit ? Then make sure that your soul is filled with the word of God, which to us is the vehicle of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is within man, seeking to cleanse the man; and what we need to do is to place at his disposal the cleansing power of the word of God, with which to do the work. "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word. " Eph.5:26.
Thus water is the symbol of the Spirit of God, or, rather, of the Spirit of God using the word of God for the purpose of cleansing, purifying, and sanctifying those who have yielded their lives and wills to the influence of this word. Just what the water of this world does for the physical man, is what the water of life will do for the soul when recognized and received. The word of God is the great spiritual purifier, through which all things spiritual must be made to pass, in order to make sure that we receive into our moral nature none of the counterfeits, perversions, or contaminations that the adversary of souls is seeking at present to disseminate everywhere. These ordinary things of time very often have linked with them the extraordinary truths of eternity.
We are to be filled with the Spirit: '' And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but,be filled with the Spirit." Eph.5:18.
We are to be baptized with the Spirit.
'' But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." Acts 1:8. Thus, with the Spirit in us and about us, we are, as it were, baptized — completely immersed — in the Spirit.
Our every thought, movement, and impulse should be born of the Spirit.
R.H. Sept. 25,1900Copyrighted, 1900, by David Paulson and W. S. Sadler