SONG OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
CHRISTIANS WHO WERE TRUE TO GOD-
HUMBLE PEOPLE WHO WERE FAITHFUL
All Scripture passages quoted in this chapter have been approved by the
Church. When not otherwise stated, quotations are from the
Here is an interesting story from earlier times. It is a sweet story of how folk in earlier centuries came to know their precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The Waldenses were the first of all the peoples of Europe to obtain a
translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years before the
Reformation, they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native
tongue. They had the truth unadulterated. While, under the pressure of
long-continued persecution, some compromised their faith, little by
little yielding its distinctive principles, others held fast the truth.
Behind the lofty bulwarks of the mountains,-in all ages the refuge of the
persecuted and oppressed,- the Waldenses found a hiding place. Here, for
a thousand years, witnesses for the truth maintained the ancient faith.
God had provided for His people a sanctuary of awful grandeur, befitting
the mighty truths committed to their trust. To those faithful exiles the
mountains were an emblem of the immutable righteousness of Jehovah. They
pointed their children to the heights towering above them in unchanging
majesty, and spoke to them of Him with whom there is no variableness nor
shadow of turning, whose Word is as enduring as the everlasting hills.
God had set fast the mountains, and girded them ,with strength; no arm
but that of infinite power could move them out of their place. In like
manner He had established His law, the foundation of His government in
Heaven and upon earth. The arm of, man might reach His fellow-men and
destroy their lives; but that arm could as readily uproot the mountains
from their foundations, and hurl them into the sea, as it could change
one precept of the law of Jehovah or blot out one of His promises to
those who do His will. In their fidelity to His law, God's servants
should be as firm as the unchanging hills.
The mountains that girded their lowly valleys were a constant witness to
God's creative power, and a never-failing assurance of His protecting
care. Those pilgrims learned to love the silent symbols of Jehovah's
presence. They indulged no repining because of the hardships of their
lot; they were never lonely amid the mountain solitudes. They thanked
God that He had provided for them an asylum from the wrath and cruelty
of men. They rejoiced in their freedom to worship before Him. Often when
pursued by their enemies, the strength of the hills proved a sure
From many a lofty cliff they chanted the praise of God, and the armies
of their enemies could not silence their songs of thanksgiving.
Pure, simple, and fervent was the piety of these followers of Christ.
The principles of truth they valued above houses and lands, friends,
kindred, even life itself. These principles they earnestly sought to
impress upon the hearts of the young. From earliest childhood the youth
were instructed in the Scriptures, and taught to
sacredly regard the claims of the law of God. Copies of the Bible
were rare; therefore its precious words were committed to memory. Many
were able to repeat large portions of both the Old and the New
Testaments. Thoughts of God were associated alike with the sublime
scenery of nature and with the humble blessings of daily life. Little
children learned to look with gratitude to God as the giver of every
favor and every comfort.
Parents, tender and affectionate as they were, loved their children too
wisely to accustom them to self-indulgence. Before them was a life of
trial and hardship, perhaps a martyr's death. They were educated from
childhood to endure hardness, to submit to control, and yet to think and
act for themselves. Very early they were taught to bear
responsibilities, to be guarded in speech, and to understand the wisdom
of silence. One indiscreet word let fall in the hearing of their
enemies, might imperil not only the life of the speaker, but the lives
of hundreds of his brethren; for as wolves hunting their prey did the
enemies of truth pursue those who dared to claim freedom of religious
The Waldenses had sacrificed their worldly prosperity for the truth's
sake, and with persevering patience they toiled for their bread. Every
spot of tillable land among the mountains was carefully improved; the
valleys and the less fertile hillsides were made to yield their
increase. Economy and severe self-denial formed a part of the education,
which the children received as their only legacy. They were taught that
God designs life to be a discipline, and that their wants could be
supplied only by personal labor, by forethought, care, and faith. The
process was laborious and wearisome, but it was wholesome, just what man
needs in his fallen state, the school which God has provided for His
training and development.
While the youth were inured to toil and hardship, the culture of the
intellect was not neglected. They were taught that all their powers
belonged to God, and that all were to be improved and developed for His
The Vaudois [Waldensian] churches, in their purity and simplicity,
resembled the church of apostolic times. They held the Bible as the only
supreme, infallible authority. Their pastors followed the example of
their Moster, who "came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister." They fed the flock of God, leading them to the green
pastures and living 'fountains of His-holy Word. Far from the monuments
of human pomp and pride, the people assembled, not in magnificent
churches or grand cathedrals, but beneath the shadow of the mountains,
in the Alpine valleys, or, in time of danger, in some rocky
stronghold, to listen to the words of truth from the servants of Christ.
The pastors not only preached the gospel, but they visited the sick,
catechized the children, admonished the erring, and labored to settle
disputes and promote harmony and brotherly love. In times of peace they
were sustained by the free-will offerings of the people; but, like Paul
the tent-maker, each learned some trade or profession by which, if
necessary, to provide for his own support.
From their pastors the youth received instruction. While attention was
given to branches of general learning, the Bible was made the chief
study. The Gospels of Matthew and John they committed to memory, with
many of the Epistles; They were employed also in copying the Scriptures.
Some manuscripts contained the whole Bible, others only brief
selections, to which some simple explanations of the text were added by
those who were able to expound the Scriptures. Thus were brought forth
the treasures of truth so long concealed by those who sought to exalt
themselves above God.
By patient, untiring labor, sometimes in the deep, dark caverns of the
earth, by the light of torches, the sacred Scriptures were written out,
verse by verse, chapter by chapter. Thus the work went on, the
revealed will of God shining out like pure gold; how much brighter,
clearer, and more powerful because of the trials undergone far its sake,
only those could realize who were engaged in the work. Angels from
Heaven surrounded these faithful workers.
In a most wonderful manner the Word of truth was preserved uncorrupted
through all the ages of darkness. It bare not the stamp Of man, but the
impress of God. Men have been unwearied in their efforts to obscure the
plain, simple meaning of the Scriptures, and to make them contradict
their own testimony; but, like the ark upon the billowy deep, the Word
of God outrides the storms that threaten it with destruction.
As the mine has rich veins of gold and silver hidden beneath the surface,
so that all must dig who would discover its precious stores, so the Holy
Scriptures have treasures of truth that are revealed only to the
earnest, humble, prayerful seeker. God designed the Bible to be a lesson
book to all mankind, in childhood, youth, and manhood, and to be
studied through all time. He gave His Word to men as a revelation of
Himself. Every new truth discerned is a fresh disclosure of the
character of its Author. The study of the Scriptures is the means
divinely ordained to bring men into closer connection with their
Creator, and to give them a clearer knowledge of His will. It is the
medium of communication between God and man.
While the Waldenses regarded the fear of the Lord as the beginning of
wisdom, they were not blind to the importance of a contact with the
world, a knowledge of men and of active life, in expanding the mind and
quickening the perceptions. From their schools in the mountains same of
the youth were sent to institutions of learning in the cities of France
or Italy, where there was a more extended field for study, thought, and
observation than in their native Alps. The youth thus sent forth were
exposed to temptation, they witnessed vice, they encountered Satan's
wily agents, who urged upon them the most subtle heresies and the most
dangerous deceptions. But their education from childhood had been of a
character to prepare them for all this.
In the schools whither they went, they were not to make confidants of
any. Their garments were so prepared as to conceal their greatest
treasure,-the precious manuscripts of the Scriptures. These, the fruit
of months and years of tail, they carried with them, and, whenever they
could do so without exciting suspicion, they cautiously placed same
portion in the way of those whose hearts seemed open to receive the
truth. From their mother's knee the Waldensian youth had been trained
with this purpose in view; they understood their work, and faithfully
performed it. Converts to the true faith were won in these institutions
of learning, and frequently its principles were found to be permeating
the entire school; yet the church leaders could not, by the closest
inquiry, trace the so-called corrupting heresy to its source.
The spirit of Christ is a missionary spirit. The very first impulse of
the renewed heart is to bring others also to the Saviour. Such was the
spirit of the Vaudois Christians. They felt that God required more of
them than merely to preserve the truth in its purity in their own
churches; that a solemn responsibility rested upon them to let their
light shine forth to those who were in darkness; by the mighty power of
God's Word they sought to break the bondage which error had imposed. The
Vaudois ministers were trained as missionaries, every one who expected
to enter the ministry was required first to gain an experience as an
evangelist. Each was to serve three years in same mission field before
taking charge of a church at home. This service, requiring at the outset
self-denial and sacrifice, was a fitting introduction to the pastor’s
life in those times that tried men's souls. The youth who received
ordination to the sacred office saw before them, not the prospect of
earthly wealth and glory, but a life of toil and danger, and possibly a
martyr's fate. The missionaries went out two and two, as Jesus sent
forth His disciples. With every young man was usually associated a man
of age and experience, the youth being under the guidance of his
companion, who was held responsible for his training, and whose
instruction he was required to heed. These co-laborers were not always
together, but often met for prayer and counsel, thus strengthening
each other in the faith.
To have made mown the object of their mission would have insured its
defeat; therefore they carefully concealed their real character. Every
minister possessed a knowledge of some trade or profession, and the
missionaries prosecuted their work under cover of a secular calling.
Usually they chose that of merchant or peddler. They dealt in choice and
costly articles, such as silks, laces, and jewels, which in those times
could not be readily procured, and thus they found entrance where they
would otherwise have been repulsed. All the while their hearts were
uplifted to God for wisdom to present a treasure more precious than gold
or gems. They secretly carried about with them copies of the Bible, in
whole or in part, and whenever an opportunity was presented, they called
the attention of their customers to these manuscripts. Often an interest
to read God's Word was thus awakened, and some portion was gladly left
with those who desired to receive it.
The work of these missionaries began in the plains and valleys at the
foot of their own mountains, but it extended far beyond these limits.
With naked feet and in garments coarse and travel-stained as were those
of their Master, they passed through great cities, and penetrated to
distant lands. Everywhere they scattered the precious seed. Churches
sprung up in their path, and the blood of martyrs witnessed for the
truth. The day of God will reveal a rich harvest of souls garnered by
the labors of these faithful men. Veiled and silent, the Word of God was
making its way through Christendom, and meeting a glad reception in the
homes and hearts of men.
To the Waldenses the Scriptures were not merely a record of God's
dealings with men in the past, and a revelation of the
responsibilities and duties of the present, but an unfolding of the
perils and glories of the future. They believed that the end of all
things was not far distant; and as they studied the Bible with prayer
and tears, they were the more deeply impressed with its precious
utterances, and with their duty to make mown to others its saving
truths. They saw the plan of salvation clearly revealed in the sacred
pages, and they found comfort, hope, and peace in believing in Jesus. As
the light illuminated their understanding and made glad their hearts,
they longed to shed its beams upon those who were in the darkness of
They saw that under the guidance of the churches of the day, multitudes
were vainly endeavoring to obtain pardon by afflicting their bodies
for the sin of their souls. Taught to trust to their good works to save
them, they were ever looking to themselves, their minds dwelling upon
their sinful condition, seeing themselves exposed to the wrath of God,
afflicting soul and body, yet finding no relief. Thus conscientious
souls were bound by the erroneous doctrines. Thousands abandoned friends
and kindred, and spent their lives in convent cells. By oft-repeated
fasts and cruel scourgings, by midnight vigils, by prostration for weary
hours upon the cold, damp stones of their dreary abode, by long
pilgrimages, by humiliating penance and fearful torture, thousands
vainly sought to obtain peace of conscience. Oppressed with a sense of
sin, and haunted with the fear of God's avenging wrath, many suffered
on, until exhausted nature gave way, and without one ray of light or
hope, they sank into the tomb.
The Waldenses longed to break to these starving souls the bread of life,
to open to them the messages of peace in the promises of God, and to
point them to Christ as their only hope of salvation. The doctrine that
good works can atone for the transgression of God's law, they held to be
based upon falsehood. Reliance upon human merit intercepts the view of
Christ's infinite love. Jesus died as a sacrifice for man because the
fallen race can do nothing to recommend themselves to God, The merits of
a crucified and risen Saviour are the foundation of the Christian's
faith. The dependence of the soul upon Christ is as real, and its
connection with Him must be as close, as that of a limb to the body, or
of a branch to the vine.
The teachings of the Church had led men to look upon the character of
God, and even of Christ, as stern, gloomy, and forbidding. The Saviour
was represented as so far devoid of all sympathy with man in his
fallen state that the mediation of priests and saints must be invoked.
Those whose minds had been enlightened by the Word of God longed to
point these souls to Jesus as their compassionate, loving Saviour,
standing with outstretched arms inviting all to come to Him with their
burden of sin, their care and weariness. They longed to clear away the
obstructions which Satan had piled up that men might not see the
promises, and come directly to God, confessing their sins, and obtaining
pardon and peace.
Eagerly did the Vaudois missionary unfold to the inquiring mind the
precious truths of the gospel. Cautiously he produced the carefully
written portions of the Holy Scriptures. It was his greatest joy to
give hope to the conscientious, sin-stricken soul, who could see only
a God of vengeance, waiting to execute justice. With quivering lip and
tearful eye did he, often on bended knees, open to his brethren the
precious promises that reveal the sinner's only hope. Thus the light of
truth penetrated many a darkened mind, rolling back the cloud of gloom,
until the Sun of Righteousness shone into the heart with healing in
His beams. It was often the case that some portion of Scripture was read
again and again, the hearer desiring it to be repeated, as. if he would
assure himself that he had heard aright. Especially was the repetition
of these words eagerly desired: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son
cleanseth us from all sin:” St. John 1:7. "As Moses lifted up the
serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: that
whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish; but may have life
everlasting." St. John 3:14,15.
Many were undeceived in regard to the claims of Church. They saw how vain
is the mediation of men or angels in behalf of the sinner. As the true
light dawned upon their minds, they exclaimed with rejoicing,
"Christ is my priest; His blood is my sacrifice; His altar is my
confessional" They cast themselves wholly upon the merits of Jesus,
repeating the words, "Without faith it is impossible to please
God." Hebrews11 :6. "There is no other name under heaven given
to men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4: 12.
The assurance of a Saviour's love seemed too much for some of these poor
tempest-tossed souls to realize. So great was the relief which it
brought, such a flood of light was shed upon them, that they seemed
transported to Heaven. Their hand was laid confidingly in the hand of
Christ; their feet were planted upon the Rock of Ages. All fear of death
was banished. They could now covet the prison and the fagot if they
might thereby honor the name of their Redeemer.
In secret places the Word of God was thus brought forth and read,
sometimes to a single soul, sometimes to a little company who were
longing for light and truth. Often the entire night was spent in this
manner. So great would be the wonder and admiration of the listeners
that the messenger of mercy was not infrequently compelled to cease his
reading until the understanding could grasp the tidings of salvation.
Often would words like these be uttered: "Will God indeed accept my
offering? Will He smile upon me? Will He pardon me?" The answer was
read, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (R.S.V.).
Faith grasped the promise, and the glad response was heard, "No more
long pilgrimages to make; no more painful journeys to holy shrines. I
may come to Jesus just as I am, sinful and unholy, and He will not spurn
the penitential prayer. 'Thy sins are forgiven thee.' Mine, even mine,
may be forgiven!"
A tide of sacred joy would fill the heart, and the name of Jesus would be
magnified by praise and thanksgiving. Those happy souls returned to
their homes to diffuse light, to repeat to others, as well as they
could, their new experience; that they had found the true and living
Way. There was a strange and solemn power in the words of Scripture that
spoke directly to the hearts of those who were longing for the truth. It
was the voice of God, and it carried conviction to those who heard.
The messenger of truth went on his way; but his appearance of humility,
his sincerity, his earnestness and deep fervor, were subjects of
frequent remark. In many instances his hearers had not asked him whence
he came, or whither he went. They had been so overwhelmed, at first with
surprise, and afterward with gratitude and joy, that they had not
thought to question him. When they had urged him to accompany them to
their homes, he had replied that he must visit the lost sheep of the
flock. Could he have been an angel from Heaven? they queried.
In many cases the messenger of truth was seen no more. He had made his
way to other lands, he was wearing out his life in some unknown dungeon,
or perhaps his bones were whitening on the spot where he had witnessed
for the truth. But the words he had left behind could not be destroyed.
They were doing their work in the hearts of men; the blessed results
will be fully known only in the Judgment.
The persecutions visited for many centuries upon this God-fearing people
were endured by them with a patience and constancy that honored their
Redeemer. Notwithstanding the crusades against them, they continued to
send out their missionaries to scatter the precious truth. They were
hunted to the death; yet their blood watered the seed sown, and it
failed not of yielding fruit.
Thus the Waldenses witnessed for God, many centuries ago. Their work is
to be carried forward to the close of time by those who also are willing
to suffer all things for "the Word of God, and, for the testimony
of Jesus." The Apocalypse 1:9.
This chapter was adapted from the book, Great Controversy.
"Blessed are all they that trust In Him." -Psalm2:13
- PART SEVEN
LESSONS FROM THE MOST ANCIENT WRITINGS OF THE SAINTS
LESSONS FROM THE GOD OF HEAVEN THROUGH THE MOST ANCIENT SAINTS
All Scripture passages quoted in this chapter have been approved by the
Church. When not otherwise stated, quotations are from the Rheims-Douai.
Did Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, base His teachings on the Holy
Scriptures? When we stop to think about it, this is a very important
question. Both the Church and the Scriptures themselves answer with a
Pope Benedict XV, in his encyclical Spiritus Paraclitus, wrote these
words: "When Christ preached to the people, whether on the mount by
the lakeside, or in the synagogue at Nazareth, or in His own city of
Capernaum, He took His points and His arguments from the
Bible."-Benedict XV, Spiritus Paraclitus.
And that is what we find in the Sacred Scriptures. Christ used the Bible,
and the Bible only, to prove what He said was true.
Following His baptism, our Lord Jesus Christ went to the synagogue on the
Sabbath day and took part in the service by reading from Isaias 61:1-2.
"And He came to Nazareth, where He was brought up: and He went into
the synagogue, according to His custom, on the Sabbath day; and He
rose up to read. And the book of Isaias the prophet was delivered unto
Him. "And as He unfolded the book, He found the place where it was
written: The Spirit of the. Lord is upon Me. Wherefore He hath anointed
Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent Me to heal the
contrite of heart, to preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to
the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable
year of the Lord, and the day of reward.
"And when He had folded the book, He restored it to the minister,
and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on
Him."-St. Luke 4: 16-20.
Christ, our Saviour, then told the people that the prophecy He had just
read from Isaias was at that very time being fulfilled. This was clear
evidence that Jesus was the Messiah of whom the Old Testament prophets
"And He began to say to them: This day is fulfilled this Scripture
in your ears." St. Luke 4:21.
Our Saviour said that He did not come to destroy or abolish the Old
Testament, but to fulfill it; that is, bring to completion its
"Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I
am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For amen I say unto you, till
heaven and earth pass; one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law,
till all be fulfilled." -St. Matthew 5:17-18.
In declaring His divinity, Christ quoted from Psalm 82:6 and then added,
"The Scripture cannot be broken." "The multitude answered
Him; We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever, and how
gayest Thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?
Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among
you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not
And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth."-St.
John 12:3435. '.
When Jesus was asked how a person could possess eternal life, He
answered, "What is written?" Christ then showed that it took
more than reading-but doing. The words of Scripture must be lived out in
"And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting Him, and saying,
Master, what must do to possess eternal life? But He said to him: What
is written in the law? How readest thou? He answering said: Thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and
with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbor as
thyself. And He said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and
thou shalt live."-St. Luke 10:25-28.
The lawyer's question to Christ revealed that, while he read the law, he
did not practice it Our Saviour told the lawyer that, unless he obeyed
the law fully, he could not be saved.
"But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my
neighbour?"-St. Luke 10:29.
Our Lord mentioned the days of Noe. -But if we did not have the Old
Testament-and without reading Genesis 6 to 8 -we would not know what the
"days of Noe" were.
"Likewise as it came to pass in the days of Noe, so shall it be also
in the days of the Son of man. They did eat and drink, they married
wives; and were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into
the ark:, and the flood came and destroyed them all."-St. Luke
What were "the days of Lot"?
"Likewise as it came to pass, in the days of Lot: they did eat and
drink, they bought and sold, they-planted and built. And in the day that
Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and
destroyed them all, Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man
shall be revealed."-St. Luke 17:28-30.
Without the Book of Genesis, we would not know the meaning of these
things. All of the Bible is important, if we would know the will of God
for our lives today.
Christ urged us to "remember Lot's wife," "Remember Lot's
wife."-St. Luke 17:32.
A strong warning was contained here, yet we would not know what it meant
if we had not read it in the Old Testament (Genesis 18 and 19). How can
we remember something of which we know nothing? It is vital that we,
today, read the Bible-all of it!.
Christ predicted the downfall of Jerusalem, which occurred in A.D. 70.
He told the people to carefully study the book of Daniel, so they would
be prepared for the coming crisis. Great importance was attached to this
prophecy. If a person refused this prophecy, what would be the result?
"When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which
was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he
that readeth let him understand "St. Matthew 24:15.
Our Saviour tells us to search the Scriptures. He said that they
testified of Him. We must study the Bible in order to know our Lord. The
Sacred Scriptures alone reveal His character.
"Search the Scriptures, for you think in them to have life
everlasting; and the same are they that give testimony of Me.” -St.
Jesus said "Have you not read this Scripture?" Were our Lord on
earth today and were He to ask whether we were reading the Scriptures,
what would we answer? Throughout His ministry, Christ emphasized the
importance of studying the Bible.
"And have you not read this Scripture, the stone which the builders
rejected, the, same is made the head of the corner."-St. Mark
hi the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Luke, Jesus was talking to two
disciples. Unbelief in the Holy Scriptures had caused them to doubt the
Messiahship of Christ. Our Lord would not have been betrayed and
forsaken by His followers had they been studying and believing the
prophecies of the Old Testament about the Messiah. How urgent it is for
us today to "believe in all things which the prophets have
"Then He said to them: 0 foolish, and slow of heart to believe in
all things which the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have
suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory?"-St. Luke
What a wonderful Bible study that must have been!
Our Lord and Saviour began with Genesis and followed His topic all the
way through the Old Testament. We today should also carefully study the
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them
in all the Scriptures, the things that were concerning Him."-St.
Later in the same chapter, Christ met with more of His disciples. His
resurrection was past, yet He was telling them the importance of
studying the Bible. "And He said to them: These are the words which
I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be
fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets,
and in the psalms concerning Me.” St. Luke 24:44.
Our Lord opened the minds of the disciples to an understanding of the
scriptures. He will do the same for us today, as we humbly pray for
"Then He opened their understanding, that they might understand the
Scriptures." -St. Luke 24:45,
We err in doctrine when we do not understand the Scriptures. The
Scriptures and the power of God are closely connected.
We can see that our Saviour taught from the Old Testament Scriptures, and
that He stressed their importance. He intended that all His followers
study and accept the Bible as their standard of faith, doctrine, and
"And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the
Scriptures, nor the power of God."-St. Matthew 22:29. "
Jesus, our Lord, said that it is those who hear and keep the Sacred
Scriptures-the Holy Bible-who will be blessed. How important it is that
we today be men and women of the Word. Only then can we have the close
walk with Rim that we so much need!
"But He said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it."-St. Luke 11:28.