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“How They Grow”: Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series How They Grow

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.

Luke 12:27



anctification is a very common word in both the Old and the New Testaments.  It is also a subject treated more or less in all complete systems of theology.  In nearly all catechisms the question is asked, “What is sanctification?” and some answer is given.  It is a libel on the intelligence of the evangelical Christendom of the age to deny knowledge of the doctrine and faith in it.  The fact is, all Christians believe in it, only they have their way about receiving it.  Indeed, after all, the question is not about the truth of the doctrine, but about the obtainment of the grace.  Nobody wants other than a holy heaven; for this reason all men want some way of being made holy, though naturally few at first prefer God’s way. [continue reading…]

Soul-Help Papers: Prefatory Notes

This entry is part 1 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers (Isaiah Reid)

Public Domain1

Introduction to Soul-Help Papers
Isaiah Reid
Des Moines, Iowa 1904

There are many problems that come up every day in the ordinary affairs of life, but the great problems are the soul problems. These deal directly with character and destiny.  In this book some of these, in a natural, familiar way, are taken up and discussed for the benefit of the common reader. Longer and more philosophic papers might with this class of readers lose their interest. Briefer articles might not sufficiently carry the information. A book of a different character might teach you how to make more money. The writer of these pages would rather help you to build more stately soul-mansions.

Every soul has its Tarshish ships and its St. Bernard passes.2 The sidelights of those who have been over the road may help the reader in finding his way. With the hope that such will be the case with every reader of these pages, this little book is committed to the great book-reading world, wherever it may go. It is the hope of the writer that sometime in the Sweet By and By, both writer and reader shall meet and find joy and blessing in former acquaintance, though it be only by way of a book. Till then, goodbye.



The Can’t-Get-Over Places

This entry is part 17 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers (Isaiah Reid)

Public Domain1

Chapter 16 of Soul-Help Papers
Isaiah Reid

Rachel weeping for her children
and would not be comforted because they are not.
— Matthew 2:18 —

“Now he is dead, wherefore should I fast?
Can I bring him back again?
I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
— 2 Samuel 12:23 —

And Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David.
— 1 Samuel 18:20 —

And she [Michal] despised him [David] in her heart.
— 2 Samuel 6:16 —

And Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, took sackcloth and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

— 2 Samuel 21:10 —

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
— Proverbs 15:17 —“What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.”
— John 13:7 —

“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.”
— Job 1:21 —

Chapter title overlaid on a rayed-sunrise-behind-a-cloud image, a photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash.com“What do you do about these places
in your heart’s history,
these places that you can’t get over?” 2

You have probably found places in your life’s journey that you could not get over. Things happened, as we say, that seemed bitter as death, and yet the cup would not pass, and you had to drink it; and yet having drained it to the dregs, its bitterness did not pass away from your lips, nor the old sweetness come back to your fond heart. There was a grave in the actual cemetery and another in your deepest love. [continue reading…]

Daffodil Days

Rev. Isaiah Reid

Copyright © 20071

'Daffodil Day's' title image on a a photo of multiple daffodils.“This flower trumpet also tells of transformed life.”2

Daffodil days are here again. There are season days that come but once a year. Especially are these marked in springtime and autumn. Such days are peculiarly illustrated. The finest designs and engravings are put in Nature’s Almanac during these weeks. They may vary some at times, but are as regular in their marking of the seasons as the stars. We can mark months and years by God’s floral designs. The Daffodils and Easter are almost synchronous. This year they came two days before Easter. Though not first in the list of blooms, yet they lift their trumpets as if to proclaim the special gladness of the hour. They seem born to announce something special. Other flowers have their story, but what came these to announce? Nothing but the best things, for they are so pure and so royally adorned in the richest of gold, surrounded by their white perianth lifted high above their linear leaves of green. Out of the black mold,3 into rich green, then a corolla of white out of which is lifted the golden trumpet. And, as if this were not enough, fragrance is added, as if this trumpet was both an instrument of announcement and a censer waving in a temple service, dispensing incense with every passing whisper of the winds. [continue reading…]

“How They Grow”: Part 10

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series How They Grow

Living by Dying Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone,·but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.

John 12:24

That which you sow is not quickened except it dies.

1 Corinthians 15:36

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.

Colossians 3:5

If you mortify the deeds of the body you shall live.

Romans 8:13

If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.

2 Timothy 2:11

If your eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it from you.

Matthew 5:29

To have life through death seems like a strange paradox.  Thinking of making spiritual advance by what reasonably appears to be extinguishment of the very life we want enlarged is a way we would never choose of ourselves.  And yet there is a real sense in which “to die is gain,” (Philippians 1:21) in the line of spiritual progress. [continue reading…]

Tarshish Ships: Permission, or Approval of God?

This entry is part 2 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers (Isaiah Reid)

Public Domain1

Chapter 1 of Soul-Help Papers
Isaiah Reid

He gave them their request;
but sent leanness unto their souls.
— Psalm 106:15 —

And he found a ship going to Tarshish.
— Jonah 1:3 —

Chapter title overlaid on a rayed-sunrise-behind-a-cloud image, a photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash.comPerhaps you should re-think
that ship ride you just arranged…2

The Lord evidently permitted these uncertain, backsliding Israelites to do certain things He did not endorse. When we will go our way and will not go His way, the Lord often makes our wrath, or disobedience, to praise Him,3 by making our own way result in such defeat and disaster that it brings us to see where we are. Leanness or defeat of soul is the medicine that we find brings us to see where we are and what we are. [continue reading…]

The Founding of the Iowa Holiness Association


Editor’s Note: This was originally a two-part article which appeared in a series of Isaiah Reid’s titled “The Real Happening Series.” 1  Even as far back as 1901 (the year these “Founding” articles were written), the history of the early years of the Iowa Holiness Association (IHA) was beginning to fade away.  What Reid wished to keep alive for his beloved IHA, we reintroduce here as the organization prepares to hold another of its annual, week-long camp meetings to promote the cause of holiness and heart purity.


t was the early spring of 1879.  There was no Holiness Association in Iowa.  At least three National camp-meetings had been held in the state. 2  These awakened great interest, and the work was followed up by a pastor here and there who was in the experience.  Outside of the Methodist Church there was throughout the whole state a great ignorance of the doctrine, and much speaking against such an experience.  And yet beginning specially with these great National camp-meetings, there were hundreds of hungry hearts wanting to find such a blessing, but not knowing how. [continue reading…]

“How They Grow”: Part 11

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series How They Grow

 Life Through Death As dying, and behold we live.
2 Corinthians 6:9

As we gain life by being brought by divine power “from death unto life,” 1 so we retain and enlarge life by continuing the process of passing from death unto life.  We must not fall to thinking that we can die of ourselves, or do the execution ourselves, for we cannot.  “To kill and make alive” belongs to God. 2  But it is ours to recognize the fact that life is by the way of death, and to submit to God.  Nor must we fall to inventing methods of capital punishment and torture for ourselves, like the old Ascetics, or invent crosses, and flagellations and penances.  The true “death route” is God’s appointment, and not the plan we may fix up for ourselves. [continue reading…]

Our St. Bernard’s Passes or Open Doors

This entry is part 3 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers (Isaiah Reid)

Public Domain1

Chapter 2 of Soul-Help Papers
Isaiah Reid

“How oft would I have gathered thy children.”
Matthew 23:37

And he would not go in.
Luke 15:28

Neglect not the gift that is in thee.
1 Timothy 4:14

Chapter title overlaid on a rayed-sunrise-behind-a-cloud image, a photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash.com“Be strong and very courageous” to walk
through the door when God opens it.2

The other day I saw one of my schoolboy comrades. Nearly a generation has passed since we last met. He did not know me, nor would I have known him had I not gone to see him, and was told before we met that it was he. Among other things, he said, and it seemed to press him heavily: “Do you remember a talk we had in the harvest field one time just before you went away to begin your studies,3 and you tried to persuade me to go also, and I thought I did not need to? And here I am now, and have only been a poor clodhopper ever since. It was the mistake of my life.” [continue reading…]

Ungranted Desires

This entry is part 19 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers (Isaiah Reid)

Public Domain1

Chapter 18 of Soul-Help Papers
Isaiah Reid

“‘I pray Thee, let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.’ But the Lord… would not hear me.”

— Deuteronomy 3:25-26 —

Chapter title overlaid on a rayed-sunrise-behind-a-cloud image, a photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash.com“I think it is God’s plan
that our desires shall find realization,
but they must be in His order.”2

There were many others with Moses and Aaron whom the Lord did not permit to go over and see the goodly Canaan. With Moses especially, and perhaps with many others, the reason was not because Moses was not fully saved. There was no unsettled account. He made one break, but that had been settled at once. If ever a saint had a death in which the tokens of salvation were manifest, it was the case of this grand man among men, perhaps the grandest and most noble of Old Testament characters, if not of all Bible characters. So God’s reason for not granting his desire must not be laid in the fact that there was something lacking with his salvation, or that there was something wrong with his relationship to God. [continue reading…]

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series God's Ways and Man's Methods
Author Bio Introductory Chapter 1

God’s Ways and Man’s Methods
of Becoming Holy, Contrasted
Isaiah Reid
Editor of THE HIGHWAY, 1
And Late Pastor 2 of the Presbyterian Church,
Nevada, Iowa

Originally published from The Highway Office

Transcribed and annotated by Jim Kerwin
Co-edited with Denise Kerwin
Copyright © 2010


In answer to the request of many readers of THE HIGHWAY, in which the bulk of the matter of the following pages first appeared, and in hopes that greater numbers may be reached and influenced for good, they are hereby sent forth in permanent form.  May the God of all Grace bless these pages to all who read them.  Your brother in Jesus,

Nevada, Iowa, July 16, 1880 3 [continue reading…]

“How They Grow”: Part 12

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series How They Grow

Advance by Self-Denial He who finds his life shall lose it. Matthew 10:39

He who loses his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 10:39

He who loves his life shall lose it. John 12:25

He who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life. John 12:25

If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16:24

But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 1 Timothy 5:6

Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Hebrews 11:25

When Jesus spoke of “losing life” and “hating life” and “saving life” and “finding life,” He must have used the word life in two senses.  The contrast evidently is between life in this world and life after this world.  When He speaks of “loving” and “hating” in the above text it is evident He does not mean in the absolute sense of either of these words, for we are commanded not only to live, but to provide for living this life, and there is a sense in which we are not to hate it.  The prohibition refers to over-loving it.  [continue reading…]

God’s Way Or My Way?

This entry is part 4 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers (Isaiah Reid)

Public Domain1

Chapter 3 of Soul-Help Papers
Isaiah Reid

“Not My will, but Thine be done.”
— Luke 22:42 —

Chapter title overlaid on a rayed-sunrise-behind-a-cloud image, a photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash.comEven measles can be a blessing that God can use
to alter the course of a life.2

I suppose it is one of the hardest lessons we have to learn, that adjustment to God in spirit and in providence is the true way to happiness. Usually we are so full of our own way and purpose that some of us have, like Jonah, to make attempted trips to Tarshish, in the way of carrying out our plans, to find God’s plan. At any rate, it is a great revolution to exchange our plan for His. In doing so, He may, and often does, “make us willing in the day of His power,”3 even though He “leads us by a way we know not.”4 And why need God lead us by a way that we see?  We usually cry, “I can’t understand all this! I don’t know what God means by it; if I could only see why He does it, then I could be satisfied.” Our choosing our way is one thing; His directing of our steps is quite another thing. He disposes our plans and, though allowing us to choose our way by directions He has given, directs our feet into a way we never would have planned for ourselves. [continue reading…]

Walking and Talking

This entry is part 20 of 22 in the series Soul-Help Papers (Isaiah Reid)

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Chapter 19 of Soul-Help Papers
Isaiah Reid

Chapter title overlaid on a rayed-sunrise-behind-a-cloud image, a photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash.com“And the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face,
as a man speaks unto his friend.”2

I found myself saying in my heart to Jesus early one morning, “Let me walk with You today.” The thought-reply was, “If you walk with Me you will have to go where I go,” and “Two cannot walk together unless they be agreed.”3 In the depths of my being I knew I wanted just this. It was in my heart to be in perfect accord, and only to go where He went in the ordinary conception of the word. [continue reading…]