FROM THE MOMENT THE PRODIGAL decided to remain in the far country, it was line upon line, precept upon precept. The hand of his father was against him – in love it is true – but still against him – and the position became worse and worse. “Behold I am against thee” is an awful scripture, yet it occurs very often in the Bible; and not only is the hand of God against the reprobate – against those who are given up and let alone – but against every man who, feeling himself to be a wanting, needy creature, endeavors to supply his wants with anything that is not God. If God be for us, who can be against us? but if God be against us, who can be for us? Vain, then, is all human aid; vain is the help of any citizen of this country. If God be against us, utterly vain and worse than useless is every device and plan of man to do good to himself.

By joining himself to a citizen of this country the prodigal made his position worse than ever; he sent him into his fields to feed swine!

No son of the father ever yet joined himself to a citizen of this country who did not send him into his fields to feed swine.

Let me try and explain what I mean.

The world is divided into two classes, and only two: the children of God and the children of the wicked one – the clean and the unclean, the sheep and the swine. Those who are washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ are the sheep – the clean – the children of God; those who are not washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ are the swine – the unclean, the children of the wicked one. And not only does everybody belong to one or other of the two classes mentioned, but from every one of us there is an influence constantly going forth, which is feeding sheep or feeding swine – an influence which has a power for good or evil over those with whom we associate, and which is helping forward the cause, either of God or the devil in the world.

BROWNLOW NORTH