SOME people object to revivals of religion because they think them productive of a temporary enthusiasm. But I contend that this enthusiasm is the grace of God being shed abroad in the heart. We generally find that when the grace of God is beginning to work, people begin to sing. It is said that larks never sing when they are flying downwards; but as they soar upwards they begin to sing, and continue to do so throughout their upward flight. So it is in religious awakenings; when new-born souls become alive unto God, they soar upwards and sing with joy. Let no one hastily condemn enthusiasm; let us not be guilty of marking out the way for God to come and bless our souls.
How To Keep Apart From The World.
The best way is to keep out of it, and to be so actively engaged in the service of God as not to have any time or inclination for worldly amusements.
Consecration To God's Service.
What we want is to be out-and-out on the Lord's side, brain and heart both on fire for the Lord. It is said of David's mighty men that they were right aud
left handed. They were wholly consecrated; they could use their left or their right hands for the king. That is what we want now, men who are righthanded and left-handed for the King of glory; men who can use their eyes, and tongues, and ears, and everything for the Lord Jesus.
I Would rather a thousand times be five minutes at the feet of Christ than listen a lifetime to all the wise men in the world. If you want to get heavenly wisdom you must pass through God's college. Do you know where that is? Why, at the feet of Christ. Mary found her place there. A man may go to Oxford or Cambridge, or anywhere else, but if he has not been to God's seminary he will never be fit for heaven. Christ puts the truth so plain that even the little children can get hold of it.
A Man must believe he is lost before he can be saved. One reason why many are not saved is because they do not believe they are lost. They fold their filthy rags of self-righteousness about them, instead of acknowledging that they are miserable sinners.
Is The Bible True? Is the Bible a myth, is the Bible a sham 1 If it is, why, then away with it! But if it be true that man is lost, and that Christ is come to save him, then let us earnestly seek the kingdom of God. Oh! do not put off the salvation of your soul for another hour; but let this be the day, let this be the hour that you accept of the gift of God. Make up your mind you will not give yourself rest until you have sought the kingdom of God; until for you the great question of eternity is settled.
Ask Great Things Of God.
We must ever recollect that there is nothing too hard for the Lord. It is as easy for God to save a drunkard or backslider as it is for me to lift my hand. God delights in doing great things, and nothing can please Him more than when we ask for a great blessing. It would have been blasphemy if any one had asked God to send His Son into the world to die for us. But since He sent His Son, what will He not give us 1
The Little Lone One.
I Sometimes think if an angel were to wing its way to heaven, and tell them that there was one little child here on earth—it might be one of those shoeless, coatless ones you call a street Arab,—with no one to lead it to the cross of Christ, and if God were to call the angels round His throne and ask them to go and spend, ay, fifty years, in teaohing that child, there would not be an angel in heaven but would respond gladly to the appeal. We should see even Gabriel saying, "Let me go and win that soul to Christ." We should see Paul buckling on his old armour again, and saying," Let me go back again to earth that I may have the joy of leading that little one to his Saviour." Ah! we need rousing, there is too much apathy amongst professing Christians. Let us pray God that He may send His Holy Spirit to inspire us with fresh energy and zeal to do His work.
The Heavenly Seeker.
We are told that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. And every man or woman is> either lost or found. Yes, either saved or lost. And Christ takes the place of the Seeker. No sooner did the news reach heaven that Adam had fallen, than God came down to him. Adam ought to have gone up and down the garden of Eden crying out, "My God, where art Thou 1 I have sinned, I have sinned and fallen!" Instead of that he went away and hid himself. But God came down, and His voice it was that was heard in Eden, "Adam, where art thou?" It was the voice of Christ, the voice of love. And, from the time of Adam's fall until the present, God has always taken the place of the Seeker. No man or woman has been saved but He sought them first. We do not seek after Him until He first seeks after us. We do not go to Him by nature. Our nature is to go away from Him, as with Adam when he hid away from a loving God. It is not the lost sheep from the fold hunting up the Shepherd, but it is the Shepherd seeking after the lost sheep. As Isaiah has told us, "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way," and the great Shepherd, in His love, has come down after us.
The Devil's "Ifs."
No sinner ever came to Christ but the devil tried to trip him up on the way. We must get rid of the devil's "ifs." But ah! how they have got into the Church!
A Blessing For All.
When Christ commenced His ministry in the wonderful sermon on the mount there was blessing, blessing, blessing upon blessing. He came to bless man, not to condemn man. Zacchseus needed blessing, and He gave it him. Poor blind Bartimaeus needed blessing, and He gave it him. If there is some Zacchseus, some poor blind beggar now needing blessing, Christ will bless that needy one. The Son of man is come for that purpose; He left heaven and a throne for that. And so the vilest man can be saved if he will. The Lord is able and willing to save. "He is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Anxiety The Harbinger Of Hope. Seek, oh! seek the kingdom of God; and be sure of this, it won't take an anxious sinner long to meet an anxious Saviour.
How To Read The Bible.
One of the best ways to read the Bible, and to become well versed in its teachings, is to read it with the help of a concordance or text book; searching out parallel passages, and comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Every Christian should obtain time daily to read and meditate upon the Scriptures, and accompany the exercise with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. It is of some importance to have a Bible of a good readable type. There is reason to apprehend that persons are sometimes deterred from reading their Bibles because they find the type small and illegible.
The Time Of Grace.
Is it not a fact that every man and woman may find G odif they will 1 "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found," is the divine injunction. But the way that scripture reads implies that there is a time coming when man will not be able to find God, when men shall seek and not find. We read of such a thing. We read of their knocking at the door when it is shut. We read of their seeking with tears, but seeking too late. Not but what there was a time. I believe there is a time in the history of every man when he can accept the gift of God if he will; when he can press into the kingdom of God if he will.
When the Church revives, then is the time that our faces begin to lighten up; and it is this joy of heart and of countenance that draws men to the cross. I believe men would go to the cross much quicker than they do, were it not for the unduly doleful expressions that many Christians put on. God wants His children to be happy. Christ desires us to have hearts not merely just full of love and nothing more; He would have them gushing up and overflowing with divine love, because our joy is His joy, and the joy of the Lord is our strength.
Be In Earnest.
We all like to see a man in earnest, and going into business with all his heart. We do not like a halfhearted man. Should not we be just as much in earnest about the salvation of our souls as about the accumulation of wealth 1 Let a war break out, and there be a chance of men achieving honour on the battle-field, and see how they will come forward and volunteer. They will leave their homes, their wives, and their children, and go thousands of miles away, if there be a chance of gaining honour, just for a few short fleeting years in this world. If men are thus willing to give up everything for wealth or honour in this life, how much more ought we to be willing to give up everything for the life to come! The gift of God i8 life without end, eternal life. You will admit that this is worth more than everything else. If you do, why don't you ask for it 1 God says you shall find Him if you seek Him with all your heart.
I Have no doubt that those who would not pray when the ark was building prayed when the flood came; but their prayer was not answered. I have no doubt that when Lot went out of Sodom, Sodom cried to God; but it was too late, and God's judgment swept it from the earth. It is not too late to obtain salvation now, but it may be at twelve o'clock to-night. I cannot
find any place in the Bible where I can say you may find this promised for to-morrow. I am not justified in saying that. It is only written, " Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
The Greatest Of Mistakes.
Those who begin to work for Christ may, it is true, make mistakes; but although they may make some great mistakes, they have a very indulgent Master. But there are many people who make a terrible mistake, the biggest of all mistakes, and that is, they never do anything at all.
Christ The Quickener.
Some time ago I had to preach a funeral sermon, and I turned to my Bible to see what kind of sermon Christ preached on such occasions; but I found, after turning over its pages, that He never preached any funeral sermons. If He had, why, the dead bodies would have come to life again. As a certain minister once said, it was a good thing that Christ called Lazarus by name, for if He had not, all the dead that were buried there would have been up out of their graves again. God grant that the Lord Christ by His power may quicken our dead souls!
What Is "believing?"
Two young men told me the other day that they stumbled over the word "believe." I said I would give them another, and asked them if they could "trust." One said, " Is that all 1" I replied it was; they had simply to trust God for salvation. Yes, all we can do is to tell people how to trust and believe. If they cannot get hold of the words " trust" and "believe," yet another word, the word "receive," may be used in further illustration of believing.
Two Bidding For The Soul.
Thehe are two who are bidding for your soul and mine—the Lord Jesus and Satan. Satan bids, and he offers that which he cannot give. He is a liar, and has been from the foundation of the world. I pity the man who is living on the promises of the devil. He will never satisfy. But the Lord Jesus is able to give all that He offers. And what does He offer? He offers peace and joy and comfort that the world knows not of. He offers eternal life in the kingdom of God. He offers a seat in His mansions. We are to sit with Him upon His throne. May God help you to make a ri^ht choice. Make up your mind you will not rest until the great question of eternity is settled, until you have crossed the border-land, and pressed into the kingdom of God.
Nearing Heaven. We want treasure in heaven to attract our hearts up there. Then the world will have very little influence aver us. Our hopes will be all fixed on things above. Like men going up in a balloon, when they have ascended a little height, things down here begin to look very small indeed. What had seemed very grand and imposing, now seem as mere nothings; and the higher they rise the smaller everything on earth appears,—it gets fainter and fainter as they rise, till the railway train, dashing along at express speed, seems just like a thread, and scarcely appears to be moving at all, and the grand piles of buildings seem now like mere dots. So it is when we get near heaven, earth's treasures, earth's cares, look very small and trifling.
The Dread Alternative.
I Would like to ask a question of every man and every woman, and I should like each one just to take the question home with them—" Am I saved, or am I lost?" It must be one thing or the other. There
is no neutrality about the matter. A man cannot be saved and lost at the same time; it is thoroughlyimpossible. Every man, every woman, must either be saved or lost, if the Bible be true; and if I thought it was not true, I should not be preaching, and I would not advise you to come if you think the Bible is not true; but if the Bible be true, every man and every woman must either be in the ark or out of it, either saved or lost.
Hearing For Others.
I Have noticed that in the fifty-first Psalm the word "me," or its equivalent, occurs thirty-three times. I much fear that now-a-days nine-tenths of the sermons preached are lost through the habit of hearing, not for ourselves, but for others. The application is passed over from one to another, until both text and sermon are passed out of the place of worship altogether.
How The Saviour Seeks.
There are different ways in which the Son of man seeks men. He very often seeks them through some faithful minister. Many of you have sat under faithful ministers; you have heard heart-searching sermons, and the truth has gone down deep into your hearts, and you have been touched, and the tears have trickled down your cheeks, and you have felt" almost persuaded to be a Christian." That was the Son of God seeking for your soul! Some of you have perchance been startled by a tract put into your hand, entitled, perhaps, "Eternity! where will you spend it 1" and the arrow has gone home. You may have been troubled, and may have pulled out that arrow and tried to forget it. That was the Son of God seeking for your soul! Some of you may have had a faithful Sabbath-school teacher, who has wept over your soul in your earlier days, who prayed for you and pleaded with you to become a Christian. That was the Son of God seeking for your soul! Many of you have had godly praying parents, who have prayed day and night for your soul. Through the prayers of such a father, such a mother, the Son of God was seeking you! Many of you have, been laid upon a bed of sickness, and have had time to meditate in the silent watches of the night ; at that period the Spirit of God has come into your chamber, has come to your bedside, and you have been troubled about eternity and about the grave, and where you would spend eternity, and how it would be beyond the grave. That was the Son of God seeking for your soul! Some of you have lost friends; and where is the man or woman who has not lost some loved ones 1 When death came and took those loved ones from you, you were greatly troubled. The Spirit of God strove in you for weeks and months, and yet the Spirit left you because you strove against and resisted the workings of the Holy Ghost. In all these and many other ways the Son pf man seeks. Can you say that the Son of God never sought for you? Is there any person that can say, "I have lived twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years, and the Son of man never sought for my soul" 1 I do not believe that man or woman lives.
The Luxury Of Winning Souls. I Want to hear friends who have been working in the inquiry-room give the benefit of their experience. The best of the whole Christian work lies in the inquiry-room, and I pity the man or woman who has never enjoyed the luxury of leading a soul to Christ.
The Joy Of Salvation. "kestore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;" so prayed king David. But how many professing Christians in these days go through life with aspects which
prejudice religion in the eyes of non-professors! whereas a sense of happiness should give to their countenances a heavenly glow and a heavenly smile. When the Church of Christ realizes its blessedness, and is seen to be full of joy and gratitude, those who stand without will be found flocking into the kingdom of God.
Souls That Shine.
"They that be wise shall shine." It is not said may shine; there is no uncertainty about it. And all men like to shine—we may as well be honest, and own up the truth about it,—scientific men, statesmen, ministers—all men, like to shine; and the verse tells us who are going to shine eternally. What we do for Christ will live eternally. But if the sole motive of action is merely to shine, the result will be only disappointment. There was a woman who broke a little alabaster box for Christ, and her act is remembered still.
The Water Of Life.
It is recorded in history of a man condemned to death, that when he came to lay his head on the block the prince asked him if there was any one petition that he could grant him, and that all the condemned man asked for was a glass of water. They went and brought him a tumbler of water, but when he got it his hand trembled so that he could not bring it to his mouth. The prince said to him, "Your life is safe until you drink that water." Immediately the man took the prince at his word, and dashed the water to the ground. They could not gather it up, and so his life was saved. And you can save your soul by taking God also at His word. The water of life is offered by Him to all,— "Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." Take it, take it now, and you will live.
Is The Heart Loyal?
God uses human instruments for His work. Sometimes it is a wonder to me that He does not take the work out of our hands and put it into the hands of angels, or some others better able to do it. There are but few now that say, "Here am I, Lord; send me;" the cry now is "Send some one else. Send the minister, send the church officers, the churchwardens, the elders, but not me. I have not got the ability, the gifts, or the talents." Ah! honestly say you have not got the heart; for if the heart is loyal, God can use you. It is really all a matter of heart. It does not take God a great while to qualify a man for his work, if he has the heart for it. He may not have many talents, but if he makes good use of what he has, God will soon increase those talents.
Inquire The Way.
I Think it would be a good thing if ministers after preaching asked if there was anything the people did not understand. I do not know though what ministers would say if the people cried out as they did on the day of Pentecost, " What must we do to be saved 1" But if a man does not preach to wake up a spirit of inquiry his labour must be almost in vain. Some of the sweetest truths Christ taught was when He was asked a question. If I had lost my way in London I should inquire of the first person I met. Here we are lost in this dark wilderness, and do not know the way to our Father's mansion. Surely, then, we should inquire the way.
The Home Of God.
"Hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and when Thou hearest, forgive." Then God has a home, and heaven is His dwelling-place. How far away that home of God, that heaven, is I do not know. But one thing I do know; it is not so far away but God can hear us when we pray. God can hear every prayer that goes up to Him there from this sin-cursed earth. We are not so far from Him but that He can see our tears, and hear the faintest whisper when we lift our hearts to Him in prayer. Do we not read, "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, aud will heal their land." That is God's own word, "I will hear from heaven," and "I will forgive their sin."
Work Its Own Reward.
Christian workers themselves profit by their work, for it does more to take the wrinkles out of the brows and shorten the long faces of some professing Christians than anything else in the world. What we want is to get out of "Doubting Castle," and we can only do it by throwing all our energies into the work of Christ.
Good News For The Lost.
If there is a man or woman who believes they are lost, I have good news to tell them—Christ will come after you. He came to save you, He came to bless you. Do not let this hour pass, then, without just accepting salvation as the gift of mercy from a loving God. He wants to deal out mercy and grace for every soul. The Son of man is come—what for 1 To seek and to save. Do you think He is not able to save? Is He not willing to save? There is not any man but knows deep down in his heart that Christ is able and willing to save. Oh! let Him save you while you are on praying ground; while God is talking to you, and offering you salvation without money and without price. The gift of God is eternal life. That is the gift now offered. Who will have it 1 Who will take the gift 1 Who will accept the free gift of God?
Co-workers With Christ.
'when Jesus, along with His little band of disciples, came to the grave wherein Lazarus was laid, they found it covered by a stone. Jesus could have removed the stone Himself, but, notice, He bade His followers to remove the stone. And we find that after the Master had restored the dead man to life, He also said to them," Loose him, and let him go." The Master could have loosed him, but He said to His disciples, "You loose him." "What lesson does the Master mean to teach us by this i He means to teach His followers that whilst He alone can speak the word of life to dead souls, and bring them to life, He wants us to remove the stone, and to loose the poor souls and let them go. He would have us to be eo-workers with Him. Jesus! Master! teach us how to loose their bands!
The Divine Power Of The Gospel.
If there is going to be a great work done here, God must do the work. It is not any new gospel that is wanted; it is not any new power. It is the same old power—the power of the Holy Ghost; and it is the same old story—the story of redeeming love—nothing new. The world is running here and there after something new, and they come and hear the old, old story, and they say, "Well, it is not anything new after alL" No, and I want you to understand, if you have come here expecting to hear something new, you will be disappointed. We have not come with any new gospel, but are just going to preach the same old truths that your ministers before Lave been preaching. And not only that, but we are come in weakness; and if you are leaning upon man you will be disappointed. "Cursed is the man that maketh the arm of flesh his trust." But if we lean upon God, and all our expectations are from Him, we shall not be disappointed. What we want is to cease from man, and get done with man, and look right away straight from man up to God. The Incentive To Service .
SoMb one has said, there was not a man in all Saul's army but knew that God could use him to meet Goliath; but there was only one that believed that God would use him, and God used that one. And what we want is not to believe that God can use us, but that God will use us. Forty days had the giant come out and pointed his finger at and defied all Israel. Forty days was Saul trembling from head to foot—and he was a head and shoulders taller than any one else in his army—but he was not the man God had chosen to meet the giant. It was the little stripling, the youngest son of Jesse, the smallest and the weakest of his sons; and God used him, and went with him, and God delivered the giant into his hands. And God will use the weak ones here if they will only let Him. God can take up the learned and the unlearned, and there is not a man living whom God cannot use if he is willing to be used.
The whole life of man is but as a moment compared with the eternity beyond, and some have been halting during nearly the whole of it. There are a great many "border people," who are apparently neither in the enemy's territory nor that belonging to God. They are, so to speak, on the fence, and ready to take either side, according to circumstances. They try to serve God by keeping up a godly appearance, but their godliness is only an empty form. It will be a glorious day for Christianity when the line of demarcation is clearly drawn, and when true Christians shall know their friends from their foes. Oh! let us not be wavering, undecided, like Pilate, Felix, and Agrippa, but be men of character and earnestness like Daniel and like Paul.
The Friend Of The Poor.
Jesus came from heaven down to earth. He left all grandeur behind Him, He passed by palaces and thrones—to be born in a manger! He was born lowly, that He might raise men up to God. The poor have a friend in Jesus. If no one else loves them, Jesus loves them. He came to give them liberty, to proclaim to them the gospel of God's grace.
The Saviour's Call.
Jesus stopped right under the tree in which Zacchseus was, and all at once He looked up and saw Zacchseus, and said to him, "Zacchseus, make haste and come down." I can just imagine Zacchseus saying to himself, "I wonder who told Him my name? I was never before made known to Him." But Christ knew all about Zacchseus; and, sinner, Christ knows all about you; He knows your name, your dwelling-place. Do not think God does not know you. If you would try to hide yourself from Him, bear in mind you cannot do so. He knows where each one is; He knows all about our sins. He said to Zacchseus, "Make haste and come down." He might have added, "This is the last time I shall pass this way, Zacchseus." And thus also He speaks to sinners,—" This may be the last time I shall pass this way." Yes, this may be your last chance of eternity. He may be passing away from some soul now. Oh! sinner, make haste and come down and receive Him."
The Phalanx Of Victory.
If we only love one another, and pray for one another, there will assuredly be success in our work for God. God will not disappoint us. "When General Grant was in front of Eichmond, and his army had been repulsed in the Wilderness, he called together his co-commanders and held a council of war, and asked them what they thought he had better do. There were present General Sherman and General Howard, now leading generals, and all thought he had better retreat. He heard them through, and then broke up the council and sent them back to their head-quarters; but before morning an orderly came round with this despatch from the general,—" Advance in solid column on the enemy at daylight." That was what took Eichmond, and broke down the rebellion in our country. Fellow-Christians, let us advance in solid column against the enemy; let us lift high the standard ; and in the name of our God let us lift up our voice, and let us work together, shoulder to shoulder, and keep our eye single to the honour and glory of Christ. Let us pray that we may get self out of the way, that Christmay be all and in all; and then we shall have great success. Let the watchword of each one of us be, "Here am I; send me."
Beauties. • "when Christ's disciples came to Him and said, "Lord, teach us how to pray as John taught his disciples," He taught them to pray thus :—" Our Father which art in heaven,"—not down here. Heaven is His dwelling-place. God has His throne there now, God has His dwelling-place there now- Oh, let us make heaven real to ourselves. I believe heaven to be a City quite as real as London is. "What we want is to make heaven real to ourselves, and hell real, and God real, and Christ real; and then to live as if we believed these things to be real.
Job's captivity was turned when he began to work
for others, and I believe there are hundreds and
thousands of people walking in darkness, which would
soon be swept away, if they would just get outside of
0 themselves, and work and pray for their fellows. The moment people look straight away to Christ, and work for Him, then it is that the clouds are dispersed and light breaks in, and shines all round about their path.
The Men For God's Service.
The moment we get ready to receive the baptism that comes from on high, that moment the power will come. "Why!" says Jonathan, "there is no restraint in the Lord; He can save by few as well as bymany." Well, we are few, and what we want is just to let G-od work. I think John Wesley said, if he had one hundred men that loved no one but God, and feared nothing but sin, he would set up the kingdom of God on earth, and shake the gates of hell, in twelve months. And I believe he would have done it. One hundred such men never lived at one time. Talk about Alexander making the world tremble with his army, talk about Napoleon making the world tremble with his army, why! the tentmaker of Tarsus made the world tremble without any army at all. Saul of Tarsus! I would give more for one man like him in God's service than for ten thousand of the men who are mixed up with the world.
All Men Sought By Christ.
Last night, a man told me that he was anxious to be saved, but Christ had never sought for him. I said, "What are you waiting for?" "Why," said he, "I am waiting for Christ to call me ; as soon as He calls me I am coming." Now, I do not believe there is a man living whom the Spirit of God has not striven with at some period of his life; I do not believe there is any person but that has been called; I do not believe that there is a person anywhere but that the Son of God has sought for, and is seeking for, him.
Tbe Curtain Lifted.
When a man is full of the Holy Ghost heaven does not seem far away; he can see by the eye of faith clearly into the city, and can see Christ standing at the right hand of God. Stephen was full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and the curtain was lifted and he looked in; and there he saw his blessed Lord and Saviour, whom he loved, standing at the right hand of God: "he being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." Heaven was real to Stephen, Christ was real, He was a real living Person, and he saw Him there. And that it is which will make heaven so attractive to us— Christ will be there!
Work For Jesus.
It is a privilege to work for Jesus; I am tired of hearing about the "duty" of so doing. Oh ! if every Christian would resolve not to let a day pass without offering to some individual a personal invitation to come to Christ, in one twelvemonth there would not be a man or a woman in England who would not have heard such an appeal. If Christ died for us, we ought surely to be prepared to speak a word for Him. I have found this practice has been a great help in keeping my own heart warm. I have felt that my words themselves were cold and icy when I was not working for the salvation of others. There are some who say, "We don't have any sympathy with these special efforts;" and I sympathize with that objection. I believe it is the privilege of the child of God to make continuous efforts for the salvation of others, every day throughout the year.
The Vision Of The King.
One glimpse of Christ will pay us for all we are called upon to endure here,—to see the King in His beauty, to be in the presence of the King! And then, oh! the sweet thought, we shall be like Him when we see him! And we shall see Him in His beauty, we shall see Him high and exalted. "When He was down here ou earth it was the time of His humiliation, when He was cast out from the world, spit upon, and rejected; but God hath exalted Him and put Him at the right hand of power, and there he is now, and there we shall see him by and by. A few more tears, a few more shadows, and then the voice of God shall say, " Come up hither," and into the presence of the King we shall go.
Unity Among Christians.
What is wanted is unity among God's people. Where there is Christian union I do not believe any power, earthly or infernal, can stand before the work. When the Church, the pulpit, and the pew get united, and God's people are all of one mind, Christianity will become like a red-hot ball rolling on its way over the earth; all the hosts of death and hell will never stand before it. I believe that men will then come flocking into the kingdom by hundreds and thousands. "By this," says Christ, "shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye love one another."
The True Ground Of Eejoicing.
Jesus sent out seventy of His disciples on evangelistic work, two and two. They had been over the length and breadth of the land on this mission of love and mercy, preaching Christ's kingdom, and a great and mighty revival had taken place. (People talk about revivals, but if Christians would only follow Christ's example and go out thus over the whole land, there would be a greater revival than has ever yet been seen.) Those seventy disciples came back with great joy; they hastened to Him, exclaiming, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name."
But Christ replied, "That is good, and you do well to rejoice, but I can tell you something of far greater importance to rejoice over. It is this: rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven." There, too, is the subject-matter for our rejoicing. If we are His, our names are written in heaven.
Medicine For The Soul.
Men don't like to have Christ preached faithfully; but it is just what they don't like to have that we must give them. I learned that long ago. The very medicine that we don't like is the medicine that we ought to have, and the very truths that men object to, and that make them angry, are the truths that bring them to the cross of Christ. What we want is to preach Chrizt in season and out of season,—
"Tell the old, old story
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and His love."
Why, the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone. The very stone that they would not have was the very stone that God chose, and upon this stone He is building His Church now—upon the Eock of Ages. It is Christ, yes, Christ that men want, and then they will get sure food for eternity.
It is the privilege of every child of God to know that he is saved. And yet I find so many people living in Doubting Castle. Why, it is salvation by doubts now-a-days instead of by faith ; there are so few that dare to say, " I know that my Redeemer liveth, I know in whom I have believed." We find most Christians now-a-days shivering and trembling from head to foot—they do not know whether they are saved or not.
The Holy Dead.
The Scriptures give us strong reason to believe that our departed friends who have died to Christ are safe with Him. So that not only God the Father, Christ the Son, and angels, but the redeemed saints are in Heaven. "We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." I believe Paul thought when he left the body he should see the King in His beauty, that he would behold the Lord himself. "For," says he again, "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better."
The Curse Of Sectarianism.
Nothing is a greater hindrance to the work of God than the spirit of sectarianism. There are hundreds of thousands falling and dying around us, and the churches are idly discussing the way to reach them. May God sweep away these barriers—may these miserable walls be broken down! If Christians would adjourn all their differences till the millennium, they could then settle matters in twenty-four hours Let them be of one mind, for nothing can keep away the blessing but the sectarian feeling. Away with party strife and back-biting! If I had a drop of sectarian blood in my veins, I would let it out before commencing to preach!
What Is Faith?
"What is faith 1" The Bible definition of faith is perhaps as good as any one that we know of. We are told, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Now faith is— what? The substance, or, as you have it in the margin of your Bibles, '- the ground" or "confidence." In other words, faith is dependence upon the veracity of another. Why, all the relationships of life are carried on on this principle of faith! Let men lose confidence one in another, and see how quickly business would cease in the commercial world. Let men withdraw their confidence from each other, and see what changes would take place in the course of tomorrow.
Lay not up treasure down here. God commands you not to do it... You must obey; lay it not up on earth, but lay it up in heaven. God does not forbid that: store up as much as you like there. Gather your treasures, there, it will lead you upward; but do not gather earthly treasure, it will result in disappointment. Lay it up in heaven.
The "want Op The World.
It was not enticing words, it was not eloquence that Paul had. Why, he said his speech was contemptible! He did not profess to be an orator; but he preached Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God, Christ and Him crucified. And this is what the whole world wants—Christ and Him crucified. And the world will perish for want of Christ. Let every man and woman that loves the Lord Jesus begin to publish thetidings of salvation. Talk to your neighbours and your friends. Eun and speak to that young man! Talk to him of heaven and of the love of Christ! Tell him that you want to see him saved; and bear in mind this, that God is far more willing to bless us than we are to have Him. Let us then keep close to Christ.
Answers To Prayer.
The Scripture is full of such answers; every page of it encourages prayer. God will have us pray, and He will answer prayer. Surely we have all found out that in our own experience; if not it is our own fault. "The arm of the Lord is not shortened, that it cannot save." It is our own prayers that are shortened, and that are weak and faithless. Oh, let us " ask in faith, nothing wavering." Some people are like the disciples in Jerusalem praying for the release of Peter; their prayers were answered, and Peter stood at the door, but they could not believe it; they said it must be his spirit. But oh ! let us take God at His word. He says, "While they are yet speaking, I will answer." Is not that encouragement sufficient 1 He delights to hear our prayers, He will not weary with our often coming.
The Faith That Saves.
Somebody has said there are three things about faithknowledge, assent, and laying hold; and that it is the last clause that is safe. Yes, it is not the knowledge. A great many people say, "I know Christ is able to save." They give their assent, and say, "I believe;" but that does not save. It is the last clause, the laying hold, that saves.
The Spikit Of Elijah.
What we want is the spirit of Elijah, and our God is the same as Elijah's God. It was [in the power of prayer that he stood before Ahab; and what we want is to get hold of God in prayer, and to have power from heaven—not human power, but power from on high. And God is ready and willing to give us of that almighty power.
The Waiting Savious.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock," says the Saviour : " if any man will hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me." I beseech you open the door, and let the heavenly visitor in. Do not turn Him away any longer. Do not say with Felix, " Go thy way this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." Make this the convenient season ; make this the day of your salvation. Eeceive the gift of God now, open the door of your heart, and say, " "Welcome, thrice 'welcome into this heart of mine;" and Jesus will come. Do you invite Him, and see how quickly He will come. Nay, He is come. "The grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation unto all men."
The Loss Of A Soul.
Oh! that the loss of a soul may arouse us, that we may know what it means! I believe the world is asleep, and the Church too. I do not believe there would be a dry eye if we could for five minutes get a glimpse of a lost soul. We mourn with men who have lost health; we pity them, we sympathize with them, and we say, "It is very sad." We mourn with men who have lost wealth, and we think it is very sad. But what is health, what is wealth, compared with the soid 1
The Two Pbayebs.
Who may use the prayer which Jesus taught to His disciples " Our Father which art in heaven "? Examine its context. The disciples, when alone with Jesus, said, "Lord, teach us to pray." And this was the answer they got; they were taught this precious prayer: "In this manner pray ye, Our Father which art in heaven." It was taught by Jesus to His chosen disciples; then it is only for Christians. No man who is unconverted can, or has any right to, pray thus. Christ taught His disciples, not all men, to pray like this. A man must be born again before he has any right to breathe this prayer. It is the second birth that makes us "sons of the living God." What right has any man living in sin and in open enmity with God to lift up his voice and say," Our, or my, Father "?
"What shall I do, then?" cries some poor lost sinner ; "I want to be saved, I want to find Christ, I want to escape eternal judgment. What am I to do? I must pray." Yes, poor sinner, poor lost one, you may pray, but yours at present is a very different prayer from the Lord's Prayer. It is this, "God be merciful to me a sinner!"—" Lord, save me, I perish!"—" Have mercy on me, Thou Son of David!" These are the prayers for you, poor sinner. If you cry to God, "He will hear," He hath promised, and "faithful is He that hath promised." He will bend a willing ear to the voice of your supplication, He will save you. And then, washed in the blood of the Lamb, made clean and holy through His merits, clothed in the white robe of His righteousness, then you can pray, along with the rest of God's family, " Our Father which art in heaven."
You Can Be Saved If Tou "will.
Oh ! let the news flash into your soul, sinner, that you can be saved if you wilL God is able to save. God is willing to save. God is waiting to save. Now, at this present time, make up your mind that you will be saved. Make up your mind that you will press into the kingdom. God invites you to come. He invites you to come just as you are. Listen to His gracious invitation,—" Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out."
It is the duty of Christians to be about their Master's business, and to be the representatives of Christ on earth, for He is their representative in the court of heaven. The world watches with lynx eyes the conduct of professors, and if men observe that Christians do not reproduce in their actions the life of Christ, they conclude that religion is a fable and a myth, and devoid of all reality. But if the followers of Christ will be consistent in their walk, and mutually unite in sympathy and combined effort, the hosts of Satan will fall before them, discomfited and subdued.
The Stbeam And The Fountain.
A 6EEAT many people spend their time trying to make themselves better, which is like trying to make a stream pure when the fountain is bad. You may spend a great many years at that, my friends; and you will be only losing your time at it after all. What you require is to make the fountain good, and then the stream will be pure. And in the same way, when the heart is right the life will be right. First make the tree good, and then the fruit will be good. Now the remedy for sin is Christ in the heart; if He is in the heart, we have power within us to resist and overcome sin.
Jesus Our Elder Brother.
Jesus our elder Brother has gone before us, and is now above, preparing mansions for us, looking for us, expecting us. He is waiting to welcome home His own people. Oh! it is sweet in an earthly place to have some one looking out for you, expecting you, longing for you; and that is what makes heaven so sweet, so dear to us. He is there who hath bought us, who hath redeemed us with His own precious blood, who hath given Himself a ransom for us!
Dying Without Hops.
It is terrible for a man to die outside the Ark. It is a terrible thing for a man to die without hope and without mercy, especially in this gospel land, where he is exalted to heaven with privileges, where the gospel is proclaimed faithfully from Sunday to Sunday, yea from day to day, and even from hour to hour. You say it is sad to see a man lose his wealth and become poor; sad to see a man lose his reputation. But bear in mind, with respect to these there is hope. A man can come to Christ if he has lost his reputation and his character. Christ will "receive" men who have not got any reputation; Christ will "receive" men who have not got any character; and they may have a seat in the kingdom of God. But if a man dies without God, then there is no hope! You go to the grave and weep over it; for the Star of Bethlehem will never shine over that grave!