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MASTER AND SERVANT

There is a very sweet story of Elijah and Elisha, and I love to dwell upon it. The time had come for Elijah to be taken up, and he said to Elisha, "You stay here at Gilgal, and I will go up to Bethel." There was a theological seminary there, and some young students, and he wanted to see how they were getting along; but Elisha said, "As the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." And so Elisha just kept close to Elijah. They came to Bethel, and the sons of the prophets came out and said to Elisha, "Do you know that your master is to be taken away?" And Elisha said, "I know it; but you keep still." Then Elijah said to Elisha, "You remain at Bethel until I go to Jericho." But Elisha said, "As the Lord liveth and my soul liveth, I will not leave thee." "You shall not go without me, "says Elisha; and then I can imagine that Elisha just put his arm in that of Elijah, and they walked down together. I can see those two mighty men walking down to Jericho, and when they arrived there, the sons of the prophets came and said to Elisha, "Do you know that your master is to be taken away?" "Hush! keep still," says Elisha, "I know it" And then Elijah said to Elisha, "Tarry here awhile; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan." But Elisha said, "As the Lord liveth and my soul liveth, I will not leave thee. You shall not go without me." And then Elisha came right close to Elijah, and as they went walking down, I imagine Elisha was after something; when they came to the Jordan, Elijah took off his mantle and struck the waters, and they separated hither and thither, and the two passed through like giants, dry shod, and fifty sons of the prophets came to look at them and watch them. They didn’t know but Elijah would be taken up right in their sight. As they passed over Jordan, Elijah said to Elisha, "Now, what do you want?" He knew he was after something. "What can I do for you? Just make your request known." And he said, "I would like a double portion of thy Spirit." I can imagine now that Elijah had given him a chance to ask; he said to himself, "I will ask for enough." Elisha had a good deal of the Spirit, but, says he, "I want a double portion of thy Spirit." "Well," says Elijah, "if you see me when I am taken up. you shall have it." Do you think you could have enticed Elisha from Elijah at that moment? I can almost see the two arm in arm, walking along, and as they walked, there came along the chariot of fire, and before Elisha knew it, Elijah was caught up, and as he went sweeping towards the throne, the servant cried, "My Father! My Father! The chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof!" Elisha saw him no more. He picked up Elijah’s fallen mantle, and returning with that old mantle of his master’s, he came to the Jordan and cried for Elijah’s God, and the waters separated hither and thither, and he passed through dry-shod. Then the watching prophets lifted up their voices and said, "The Spirit of Elijah is upon Elisha;" and so it was, a double portion of it.

May the Spirit of Elijah, beloved reader, be upon us. If we seek for it we will have it. Oh, may the God of Elijah answer by fire, and consume the spirit of worldliness in the churches, burn up the dross, and make us whole-hearted Christians. May that Spirit come upon us; let that be our prayer in our family altars and in our closets. Let us cry mightily to God that we may have double portion of the Holy Spirit, and that we may not rest satisfied with this worldly state of living, but let us, like Samson, shake ourselves and come out from the world, that we may have the POWER OF GOD.

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