« PreviousContinue »
Jesus, heaven, souls, victory? "Make way for liberty from sin and Satanic tyranny! Jesus, our great Captain, was the first to enter the breach, where he fell in death, but rose again, conqueror of hell, death and sin, and lives. to die no more. "His own arm brought salvation." He is with us now, as with his people in ages past. Millions now in glory once cried upon the earth, in revival conflict, with Jesus at their head, "Make way for Liberty!" and won it. It is our turn now. "Make way for Liberty!" Yes, and the slaves of sin and hell in this town shall soon their liberty receive. Hallelujah! To God and the Lamb Hallelujah! To the Holy Ghost be Hallelujah! Amen.
Forward, then, to the fight of faith! And, as a good brother said, "Be sure you take with you to the fight that great giant LovE!" Ay, so be it, Love unspeakable; this war must be led on by Love.
"STRIVE with spirit, soul and mind,
Fling the scabbard far behind,
'Heaven and Christ' the watchword be."
To God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, be all the glory! Let us pray.
THE effect of such discourses as the one contained in he preceding chapter is visible in the following passages from Mr. C.'s journal, in which various signs of victory over the -adversaries of the revival are recorded.
THE BEGINNING OF VICTORY.
December 14th.- Occasional flashes of divine power last night, "laying open the sepulchral recesses of iniquity,' as one expresses it, but closing again. "The people had a mind to work."- Neh. 4: 6. There were twenty-five saved, I learn. A good omen.
The Theban general, who marched with an army of six thousand men against an enemy four times his number, was annoyed, on setting out, Rollin tells us, by the prognosticators, who had marked this and that bad omen. But he cut them all short by quoting a verse from Homer to this effect: "There is but one good omen,- to fight for one's country; forward, men!" He marched on and won the victory, and a great one, too, and over Spartans as determined as devils, whose motto was to conquer or die! We have had some sad and bad omens, and not a few to prognosticate upon them. Last night we had good omens,
a general disposition to fight for Jesus with right good will; that is, with the weapons of faith and prayer. "If they are praying against us, they are fighting against
us," said a monarch of old. So the devil understands it! There was good fighting last night, then,-general prayer all over the house of our God. The leaders were flames of fire. The superintendent, the Rev. John Greeves, and his colleagues, Revs. Ryan and Brice, entered into the work with ardor.
The aspect of the congregation is changed, so bright, animated, and determined, and increased. I thought of the general who defeated the Lacedemonians three hundred and seventy-seven years before Christ. He ordered his army to their knees,- rather upon one knee,— with spear at rest on the ground, supported by the other knee, and covered with a shield, and in their looks defiance. The enemy charged upon them, were daunted by the unusual appearance, were repulsed and defeated! Thus appeared our spiritual troops last night. Grand sight and inspiring? The servants of the devil came flooding in to see what was the matter, but found something the matter with themselves before they retired. So they have carried out the news, and others will come, and the Lord will make bare his arm. Indifference must die the death. Public attention once fairly and fully awakened, we shall see that enemy no more here. Huddersfield people never do things by the halves, when fairly aroused, either for Christ or Satan.
Afternoon.-A spirit of prayer and power in my soul, with deep humility. It is wise in me to pause and reflect over things lately past. The events of that memorable night I refused to preach have been overruled for good. But remember, my soul, that impatience is a dangerous ROCK in a revival; must guard against it ever hereafter. One is as liable to get upon this rock in the calm of popular indifference as in a storm of persecution. A treacherous calm amidst a perilous current is often a greater tax
upon the wisdom of a pilot than a tempest. The Greek word for patience is a metaphor alluding to one who stands up invincibly under a burden,- a definition that does little credit to my patience on the night in question. I was rather inclined to cast the burden off my shoulder, and fly from it, as Moses did from the serpent in the wilderness. O, what feathers we are before the wind of temptation! Lord Jesus, do not leave me to myself ever!
However, it humbled me well, and those who invited me here. That was well. We were driven to prayer. Our cries reached the throne of God. We won the attention of the skies. It was not social prayer, but single, separate, and alone with God, like Jacob by the ford of Jabbok, or Moses by the Red Sea, when his heart cried to God, though his voice was silent. It would bear the Welsh preacher's definition of ejaculatory prayer. He said it is the Christian's secret hiding-place; his express to heaven in circumstances of difficulty and peril. But he had many comparisons, such as-It is the tuner of his religious feelings; it is his sling and his stone, with which he slays the enemy ere he is aware of it; it is the hiding of his strength, and of every religious performance. It is the rope of his spiritual belfry; the bell is in one room, the rope in another; he pulls, those near him hear nothing, but those in the distant room do. Moses laid hold of the rope of ejaculatory prayer, on the banks of the Red Sea, and pulled hard upon it; and though no one heard or knew anything about it in the lower chamber, the bell rang louder and louder in the upper one, till the whole place was moved, and God replied, "Wherefore CRIEST thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."- Ex. 14 : 15. Imaginative preachers these Welsh. The church would be nothing the worse for more of them.
Dec. 16, Monday morning.- Clouds of mercy overshadowed us yesterday, but not clouds without water. The Lord gave me searching words in answer to prayer; mighty through God to the pulling down of what never should have been up. Had masses of truth given me from above, with illustrations singularly black and portentous. "A storm a brewing," said a weather-wise one. It came like hail,- that is, harder than water. Words seemed weapons indeed, and the slain of the Lord not a few. To the Lord alone be all the praise! He doeth the works; but
"Sorrows remembered heighten present joy."
Jacob called his darling boy "Benjamin,"- that is, "son of my right hand; " but, for all that, he could not forget that his birth bereaved him of his lovely Rachel; could never forget the name given by his dying mother,— Benoni,- that is, "son of my sorrow." But his father called him Benjamin, "son of my right hand."-Gen. 35: 18.
These spiritual children are the sons of our sorrows. But, unlike Rachel, behold we live. Now they are our Benjamins, "born of God," and the sons of our right hand. How little some understand St. Paul, where he says, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you."-Gal. 4: 19. We will not forget they are our Benonis,- all the dearer for that recollection.
An old divine compares common blessings, that come without prayer, to the corn which grows up to the hand of the husbandman, with all its chaff and husks about it,some vanity or other about it, to remind him of the blasts of sin; or to acorns, which swine gather as they fall, without ever looking up to the tree from whence they fell. But blessings which come as the fruit of prayer are pure manna,