157. Prison Work

1. WHAT does Christ give us as one reason why He will bid the righteous welcome into His kingdom?
“I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.” Matt. 25:36.

2. What is pure and undefiled religion declared to be?
To visit those in affliction. James 1:27.

NOTE.-In 1909 there were 100,221 prisoners in 195 penal institutions in the United States, or an average of 112 to each 100,000.

3. What does God see when He looks down from heaven?
“For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.” Ps. 102:19,20.

4. For what purpose did God send His Son into the world?
“To bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.” Isa. 42:7.

5. For what work did Christ say He was anointed?
“To preach the gospel to the poor; . . . to preach deliverance to the captives, . . . to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18.

6. Why did the psalmist wish to be brought out of the prison-house of sin?
“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name.” Ps. 142:7.

7. Whose prison-house does Satan not open?
“That made the world, as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house [the grave] of his prisoners.” Isa. 14:17.

8. For what does the psalmist pray?
“Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve Thou those that are appointed to die.” Ps. 79:11.

9. How does God regard His people who are in prison?
“For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not His prisoners.” Ps. 69:33.

10. Why has the devil been permitted to cast some of God’s people into prison?
“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried. . . . Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev. 2:10. See Dan. 11:33-35.

NOTE.-Dr. William Dodd (1729-77), an unfortunate English divine, who, under stress of circumstances, became a heavy forger, was imprisoned at Newgate for a time, and finally executed. Upon visiting him, John Wesley found “a penitent and hopeful malefactor,” and in his “Journal” says: ” A real, deep work of God seemed to be already begun in his soul. Perhaps by driving him too fast, Satan has driven him to God, to that repentance which shall never be repented of.” Visiting him shortly before his execution, Mr. Wesley is reported to have replied to Mr. Dodd’s apologies for receiving him in the condemned cell, “Courage, brother; perhaps God saw that nothing else would do.” See “Life of John Wesley,” by Richard Watson, page 207.

11. How would God have us sympathize with those in bonds and adversity?
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them;
and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Heb. 13:3.

12. What blessed invitation will Christ finally extend to those who have ministered to the wants of the needy, and visited the sick and those in prison?
“Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matt. 25:34.