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The Unselfishness of God

The Unselfishness of God

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Published by cincational
The Unselfishness of God
and How I Discovered It
The Unselfishness of God
and How I Discovered It

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Published by: cincational on Jul 02, 2011
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11/12/2013

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The Unselfishness of God  and How I Discovered It 
 
 A Spiritual Autobiography
 
ByH.W.S.(Mrs. Pearsall Smith)
 Fleming H. Revell Company1903
Contents
 
Click hereto read each chapter as a separate file.
1.
 
I
 NTRODUCTION
 2.
 
M
Y
P
ARENTS
 3.
 
M
Y
Q
UAKER 
C
HILDHOOD
 4.
 
Q
UAKERISM
 5.
 
Q
UAKER 
³T
RUTH
´
AND
Q
UAKER 
³M
INISTRY
´ 6.
 
Q
UAKER 
³O
PPORTUNITIES
´ 7.
 
Q
UAKER 
G
UIDANCE
 8.
 
Q
UAKER 
³Q
UERIES
´
 
9.
 
T
HE
³S
UGAR 
-S
COOP
´
 
B
ONNET
 10.
 
T
HE
³H
AT
T
ESTIMONY
´ 11.
 
³P
LAINNESS OF
S
PEECH
´ 12.
 
F
RIENDS
'
 
³T
ESTIMONIES
´
 
A
GAINST
F
ICTION
,
 
M
USIC
,
AND
A
RT
 13.
 
Q
UAKER 
S
CRUPLES
 14.
 
T
HE
F
IRST
E
POCH IN
M
Y
ELIGIOUS
L
IFE
(T
HE
A
WAKENING
) 15.
 
M
Y
S
EARCH
 16.
 
E
CLIPSE OF
F
AITH
 17.
 
A
 
ENEWED
S
EARCH
 18.
 
S
ECOND
E
POCH IN
M
Y
ELIGIOUS
L
IFE
(R 
ESTORATION OF
B
ELIEF
) 19.
 
T
HE
A
SSURANCE OF
F
AITH
 20.
 
T
HE
OMANCE OF THE
ELIGIOUS
L
IFE
 21.
 
Q
UESTIONINGS
 22.
 
T
HE
T
HIRD
E
POCH IN
M
Y
ELIGIOUS
L
IFE
(T
HE
ESTITUTION OF
A
LL
T
HINGS
) 
 
23.
 
T
HE
U
 NSELFISHNESS OF
G
OD
 24.
 
E
FFECT OF
M
Y
V
IEWS ON
M
Y
P
UBLIC
W
ORK 
 25.
 
T
HE
F
OURTH
E
POCH IN
M
Y
ELIGIOUS
L
IFE
(T
HE
L
IFE OF
F
AITH
) 26.
 
T
HE
W
AY OF
E
SCAPE
 27.
 
A
 
D
ISCOVERY
,
NOT AN
A
TTAINMENT
 28.
 
T
HE
S
ECRET OF A
H
APPY
L
IFE
 29.
 
T
HE
L
IFE OF
F
AITH
,
 
Q
UAKER 
D
OCTRINE
 30.
 
H
OLINESS
C
AMP
M
EETINGS
 31.
 
T
HE
L
OVELY
W
ILL OF
G
OD
 32.
 
O
LD
A
GE AND
D
EATH
 
1INTRODUCTION
 ON the fly leaf of my Bible I find the following words, taken from I know not where: ³Thisgeneration has rediscovered the unselfishness of God.´If I were called upon to state in one sentence the sum and substance of my religious experience,it is this sentence I would choose. And no words could express my thankfulness for having been born into a generation where this discovery has been comparatively easy.If I am not mistaken, the generation before mine knew very little of the unselfishness of God;and, even of my own generation, there are I fear many good and earnest Christians who do notknow it yet. Without putting it into such words as to shock themselves or others, many Christiansstill at bottom look upon God as one of the most selfish, self-absorbed Beings in the universe, far more selfish than they could think it right to be themselves,²intent only upon His own honour and glory, looking out continually that His own rights are never trampled on; and so absorbed inthoughts of Himself and of His own righteousness, as to have no love or pity to spare for the poor sinners who have offended Him.I grew up believing God was like this. I have discovered that He is exactly the opposite. And it isof this discovery I want to tell.After more than seventy years of life I have come to the profound conviction that every need of the soul is to be met by the discovery I have made. In that wonderful prayer of our Lord¶s inJohn 17, He says, ³And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, andJesus Christ whom Thou has sent.´ This used to seem to me a mystical saying, that might perhaps have a pious esoteric meaning, but certainly could have no practical application. Butevery year of my religious life I have discovered in it a deeper and more vital meaning; until nowat last I see, that, rightly understood, it contains the gist of the whole matter. To know God, as Hereally is, in His essential nature and character, is to have reached the absolute, and unchangeable,and utterly satisfying foundation, upon which, and upon which only, can be reared the wholesuperstructure of our religious life.
 
To discover that He is not the selfish Being we are so often apt to think Him, but is instead reallyand fundamentally unselfish, caring not at all for Himself, but only and always for us and for our welfare, is to have found the answer to every human question, and the cure for every human ill.But how to make this discovery is the crucial question. In our present stage of existence we havenot the faculties developed that would make it possible for us to see God as He is in His essentialand incomprehensible Being. We need an Interpreter. We must have an Incarnation. If I shouldwant to make a colony of ants know me as I am in the essential essence of my being, I wouldneed to incarnate myself in the body of an ant, and speak to them in their own language, as oneant to another. As a human being I might stand over an ant-hill and harangue for a lifetime, andnot one word would reach the ears of the ants. They would run to and fro unconscious of myspeech.To know God, therefore, as He really is, we must go to His incarnation in the Lord Jesus Christ.The Bible tells us that no man hath seen God at any time, but that the only begotten Son of theFather, He hath revealed Him. When one of the disciples said to Christ, ³Show us the Father, andit sufficeth us,´ Christ answered²³Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou notknown me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Showus the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words Ispeak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.´Here then is our opportunity. We cannot see God, but we can see Christ. Christ was not only theSon of God, but He was the Son of man as well, and, as a man to men, He can reveal His Father.Whatever Christ was, that God is. All the unselfishness, all the tenderness, all the kindness, allthe justice, all the goodness, that we see in Christ is simply a revelation of the unselfishness, thetenderness, the kindness, the justice, the goodness, of God.Some one has said lately, in words that seem to me inspired, ³Christ is the human form of God.´And this is the explanation of the Incarnation.I do not mean, however, to say that no one can have any revelation of God to their souls exceptthose who believe the Bible, and who know Christ as He is there revealed. I believe reverentlyand thankfully that ³God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation, he that feareth Him andworketh righteousness is accepted with Him.´ God has ³not left Himself without a witness´ atany age of the world. But what I do believe is exactly what is declared in the opening words of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that God, who ³at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past to the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,´ who isthe ³brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person;´ and that, therefore, althoughwe may find many partial revelations elsewhere, if we would know Him as He really is, we canonly see Him fully revealed in His ³express image,´ the Lord Jesus Christ.It was a long time before I found this out, and, until I did, I was, as my story will show, as reallyignorant of Him as the most benighted savage, notwithstanding the fact that I lived in a Christiancommunity, and was brought up in a Christian Church, and had the open Bible in my hand. Godwas a terror to me, until I began to see Him in the face of Jesus Christ, when He became an

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