“But ye should say, Why persecute we him,
seeing the root of the matter is found in me?”
In almost every plant it is at the root that disease begins. If ever you see even a plant in a flower-pot unhealthy, depend upon it there is something wrong at the root. It is overwatered or underwatered, or from some other cause the root has become diseased, and what is called “root-action is suspended or unhealthy. So it is in religion: if there is anything wrong with a man, it is almost sure to be something wrong at the root. “The root of the matter,” Job said, “is found in me.” Job could appeal unto God that the root of his religion was right.
If “the root” had been wrong, “the matter” would not have been right;but as long as the root was sound, like “the teil tree” of which the prophet speaks, though “it cast its leaves, the substance would still be in it,” to put forth in due time boughs like a plant (Isa. 6:13). If a man’s religion has no root, or if the root be injured by disease, it will be sure to discover itself in his profession. He cannot have a prosperous soul—prosperous inwardly and prosperous outwardly—unless the root be deep in the soil, and unless it be full of active fibres, drawing up secret nourishment from that river the streams whereof make glad the city of God. Then he shall be “as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jer. 17:8).
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869