All the People at Work for Jesus

   (No. 1358)

   DELIVERED ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, MAY 9, 1877,

   BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT

   CHRIST CHURCH, WESTMINSTER BRIDGE ROAD.

   [On Behalf of the London Missionary Society.]

   I HAVE taken two texts from two successive chapters of the book of
   Joshua. The first is from Joshua the seventh, at the third verse. The
   spies who were sent to Ai returned to Joshua and said to him, "Let not
   all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and
   smite Ai." This policy led to a disastrous defeat and our other text
   gives us the Lord's command concerning the new attack. You will find it
   in the eighth of Joshua and the first verse--"The Lord said unto
   Joshua, Fear not, neither be dismayed: take all the people of war with
   you, and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king
   of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land."

   The two texts may be condensed into--first, the advice of the spies, to
   employ only a part of the people in the assault upon Ai--"Let not all
   the people go up." And, secondly, the command of God to let every
   fighting man go forth to the war--"Take all the people of war with
   you." Brethren, like Israel, we are called to war and we have a greater
   than Joshua at our head, in whose name we conquer! There is an
   inheritance which as yet has been held by the adversary and in the name
   of God we have to drive him out. We are likely to experience
   difficulties very similar to those which were met with by the tribes
   and I doubt not that their history, (is it not written for our
   learning?), will prove exceedingly interesting to us if we have a mind
   to consider it.

   We shall meet with the same defeats as they did if we fall into the
   same sins. And we shall win like victories if we are obedient to the
   commands which God has given us, which are very similar to those
   addressed to Israel of old. As in a glass we see ourselves in the 12
   tribes, from the first day even until now, and in the texts before us
   there is a lesson for us, which may God, by His Grace, enable us to
   learn. I pray the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds while we read in
   the book of the wars of the Lord and as soldiers of Christ learn from
   warriors of old time.

   I. Let us consider THE ADVICE OF THE SPIES which led to such a shameful
   defeat. And here we shall have to deal with the error of supposing that
   only a part of the Church will be sufficient to perform the work of the
   whole--that a large proportion may be idle--and that the rest will be
   quite enough to fight the Lord's battles. I feel it to be an error
   which, though not perhaps theoretically held by any of us, is
   practically to be seen abroad in our Churches and needs to be met and
   put to an end.

   In Joshua's day this error sprang up among the Israelites because, on
   account of their sins, God was displeased with them. The commencement
   of the chapter tells us that the Lord God was angry because the
   children of Israel had committed a trespass in the accursed thing.
   Because of the sin of Achan, the anger of the Lord was kindled against
   the people. That was the real reason of their defeat before Ai, but out
   of that secret cause grew the more manifest source of defeat--because
   God was displeased with them, they were left to themselves and,
   therefore, they adopted a fatal policy. When God is in the midst of a
   Church, He guides its counsels and directs the hearts of men to go
   about His work in the wisest manner.

   Is it not an old saying that, "Whom the gods wish to destroy they first
   make mad?" And is not the heathen proverb the shadow of the fact that
   men become foolish when they have broken the commands of God and thus
   they are chastened for one fault by being permitted to fall into
   another? Even upon the Lord's own people a measure of judicial
   blindness may come. You may depend upon it that when it becomes a
   doctrine that only special classes of men are to be expected to work in
   the Church, there is some great wrong in the background!

   It is that Church which most of all has fallen into this fallacy and
   has drawn the sharpest line between those called the clergy and the
   poor unfortunate laymen, who, perhaps, may do something for God, but
   who cannot be expected, or, indeed, allowed to do anything in
   particular. In that Church, I say, the deadliest errors have found a
   home! We, too, may take it for granted that when we begin to leave
   Christian work to be performed by a minister, or the visitation of the

   poor to be solely done by a paid missionary, we have some Achan in the
   camp with a goodly Babylonian garment hidden in his tent.

   There must be an accursed thing somewhere or other which has caused us
   to be left to so gross a folly! Either worldliness, or lukewarmness, or
   love of ease, or deep declension of heart must lie at the root of this
   slovenly and sluggish policy. It is not God's mind that it should be so
   and He has evidently left us to ourselves when this fatal method is
   adopted. When the Holy Spirit rests upon the Church, this folly is
   practically avoided. No, it is not even thought of! God grant to the
   Churches represented here today that they may walk in such soundness of
   doctrine and have such spirituality of life that they may be full of
   the Divine Presence and never dream for a moment of sending only a
   portion of their members out to war and leave the rest to sit still! We
   cannot leave the battles of our Lord to be fought by mercenary troops!
   The whole army of men made willing in the day of the Lord's power must
   go out under the command of our Divine Joshua to meet the foe!

   Furthermore, this evil policy arose out of presumption engendered by
   success. Just a little while ago all Israel had marched around Jericho
   for seven days and on the seventh day, when they shouted, the city
   walls fell flat to the ground! Perhaps they began to say, "Did those
   massive walls fall when we compassed them about? O Israel, you are a
   great nation! And did they fall with nothing but a shout? Then the
   Hittite and the Hivite and every other enemy shall flee before us like
   chaff before the wind! Why, can there be any reason to carry all our
   baggage up the hill to Ai? What need to march so many men? Two or three
   thousand will be quite sufficient to carry that small city by storm. We
   can do wonders and, therefore, we need not put forth all our strength!"

   Brethren, many dangers surround success! It is not much of it that any
   of us can bear. The full sail needs much ballast lest the boat is
   swamped. When in this, or any other part of the world, the Church sees
   many converts as the fruit of her labors--when there are great
   gatherings and a good deal of shouting, great interest excited and
   multitudinous conversions, it is very natural to calculate that the
   work has been easily done and needs no very severe or general effort.
   The idea is fostered that there is no need, now, for continued
   house-to-house visitation. There is no need for more missionaries. No
   need for regular plodding service in school and house meetings. No need
   to set our young men and women to work for Christ! The drill and
   organization of the regular army is in danger of being lightly
   esteemed. Blow the trumpet and the walls will come down easily enough!
   Jericho has fallen with shouts and marching--let us gather ourselves
   together and show that we are a mighty people who no longer need to go
   up unanimously and laboriously in rank and order to fight the fight as
   our fathers did!

   Ah, Brothers and Sisters, this evil spirit must be exorcised, for it
   comes from the devil! God will not bless us if we tolerate this spirit.
   Why, some of us are altogether too great for our Lord Jesus to use in
   His work! Like Saul's armor, we are unfit for our David to put on if
   Goliath is to be slain. We must be more sensible of weakness, more
   mindful that the conversion of souls is the work of Omnipotence, or we
   shall see but little done. We must, ourselves, believe more fully in
   the need of earnest work for God and put forth all our strength and
   strain every sinew for Him, knowing that it is His power that works in
   us mightily when we strive with all our hearts. We must learn that our
   great Leader means us not only to shout and blow rams' horns, but to
   employ all the strength of every man in our ranks in His glorious
   cause. May we be delivered from the presumption which leads to the
   foolish course which Israel pursued.

   Let us not forget that these children of Israel were forgetting their
   commission and violating the command of God. It is a terrible Truth of
   God that the tribes had been brought out of Egypt that they might be
   the executioners of Divine Vengeance upon races which had committed
   capital crimes for which the Lord had condemned them to be rooted out.
   The reward of the ministers of justice was to be the land which the
   infamous ones had polluted. They were charged to make no alliances with
   them, nor to intermarry with them--but to execute them for their
   crimes--and the commission was not given to some of the Israelites, but
   to all of them, for all were to be rewarded by a portion of the land.
   The charge was not given to Joshua and to the elders only, but to all
   the tribes.

   As they all expected to have a dwelling place in Canaan, so they were
   all expected to conquer the territory by their own exertions. They were
   all an enlisted host for God and He never ordained that only a part
   should go forth in His great controversy with the condemned Canaanites.
   If we ever neglect to render universal service as a Church in the cause
   of Christ, we shall depart from our trust and call, for the Lord has
   sent all His disciples to testify of Him and contend

   against sin. He has sent us all to make known, everywhere, according to
   our ability, the glad tidings of His salvation! And He has not given
   this command to this or that man, or to this or that body of men, but
   to all His chosen!

   Every member of the body has its own office and no part of it can be
   allowed to lie dormant. To none has He said, "Go your way, eat the fat
   and drink the sweet and find fault with those who do the work." But to
   all His saints our Lord Jesus says--"As My Father has sent me, even so
   I send you." Every Christian is described in Scripture as being a
   light, a light not to be hidden, but seen of men. Every child of God is
   described as forming a part of that "city set on a hill which cannot be
   hid." It is not only the ministers who are the salt of the earth and
   the light of the world--but "you are the salt of the earth." "Fou are
   the light of the world"--all of you without exception!

   Each one, in his own proportion and in his own place, is to be used as
   a vessel in the great house of the Lord and we shall get away from our
   true position and our high calling if we excuse ourselves or our
   brethren from personal service and then go and take part in public
   meetings and thank God for what other people have done on our behalf!
   These Israelites, in the new fashion which they were trying to set up,
   were departing from their own model. That model was, doubtless, the
   siege of Jericho. In that siege there was much dependence upon God, but
   there was no neglect of instrumentality! And, though all they did was
   to go round the city and shout, yet in so doing they were literally
   fulfilling orders and doing all that was commanded.

   Yes, if this would bring down the walls they did it thoroughly--they
   marched as bid and shouted as desired. They all went round Jericho!
   They did not, some of them, sit in their tents and look on while the
   others paraded--they all filed out in order. It might seem to be a
   perfectly needless procession, but it was commanded by God and they all
   united in it. In martial array they all compassed the city and all gave
   the shout--and down came the walls--and then and there every man went
   up to them, leaping over the ruined walls to strike his foe in the name
   of the Lord! That was their precedent and pattern and they were
   departing from it very sadly when they said, "Let not all the people
   labor there."

   What, then, is our model as a Church? Is it not Pentecost? Is it not
   those earliest days, that dawn of Christianity, that golden era to
   which we always look back as the heroic age of our holy faith? In that
   day did they not break bread from house to house, all of them? Did they
   not sell their lands and lay the price of them at the Apostles' feet?
   Was there not a burning enthusiasm throughout the entire company of
   disciples? We know it was so! And if we are to see, again, the triumphs
   of those primitive times, we must go back to primitive practice and
   every man and woman and child in the Church must be consecrated to the
   Divine service!

   "Child," did I say? Yes, verily, for, "out of the mouths of babes and
   sucklings you have perfected praise." I suppose there is not one person
   present who heard that famous sermon by Matthew Wilks upon the
   universal service rendered by idolaters to their false gods, from the
   text, "The children gathered wood, and the fathers kindled the fire,
   and the women kneaded their dough to make cakes to the queen of
   Heaven." The preacher's argument on that occasion was that which I
   would now press upon you, that all should take part in the work of the
   Lord! Distinct offices but united aims! Diverse operations but the same
   spirit! Many and yet one--so let it be! Would to God that the Church
   would recognize this more fully and so come back to the great
   precedents of her warfare.

   Again, this error which we are carefully to avoid was, no doubt, the
   dictate of carnal wisdom. Spies were never of much use to Israel--two,
   only, of the first 12 were faithful--what did Israel want with spies?
   Better far had it been to walk by faith! To Ai they must send spies
   instead of going up at once in the confidence of faith? Evil came of
   it, for these spies counseled that only part of the people need labor
   up the hill. And, Brothers and Sisters, the best ministers of Christ,
   worthy of all honor, would be the cause of great mischief if once their
   carnal wisdom should make them think that they can supersede primitive
   plans with wiser inventions! I dare say the men-at-arms would have said
   that Israel's numbers were a hindrance to efficient fighting and that
   the common sort were in the way of trained warriors and encumbered the
   battle.

   I know that some able Brethren are of this mind. Have they not said in
   acts, if not in words, "That young man is preaching--we wish he would
   be quiet! He makes such blunders in the Queen's English! He has a great
   deal of zeal, but there is no little danger in it. And those good
   Sisters--we know they do a good deal of work which was never done
   before, but--"and they shake their heads at them." That is often the
   main contribution of the more prudent sort to the service of God! They
   generously lavish upon the younger folks their grave looks and their
   shakes of the head at

   innovation and zeal. There is the Sunday school--well, that is a proper
   thing because it is a recognized agency--but if it were started today
   for the first time, many would shake their heads at that, also!

   City mission work, again, is a tried and proved mode of operation, but
   in days gone by there was thought to be peril in lay agency, especially
   as the men were not college trained. Well, my Brothers and Sisters,
   there are many more holy agencies yet to be invented and though they
   will, none of them, be perfect, our wet blankets will not improve them!
   Better far will it be to help the good and, as for the little mischief
   which may come of imperfect agencies, let the wise men supply the
   antidote and rectify the blunders. Anything is better than lethargy and
   death! Thank God that our people have a mind to do good! If their zeal
   is inclined to wildfire, let us not quench it, but try to use it for
   holy purposes! After all, fire, wild or otherwise, is what we need!

   If we have the fire from Heaven in the form of zeal for God's Glory, it
   can easily be regulated, but the most terrible calamity is to have no
   fire at all. "But," says one, "may not the ignorant and indiscreet
   advocacy of the Truth of God, by unqualified persons, do a great deal
   of harm to the cause we love?" It may. But is the Truth of God you
   believe so weak as to be in any serious danger from such an occurrence?
   Is not the Truth of God invincible and fully able to take care of
   herself? All she has to fear is the cramping and imprisoning agency of
   excessive prudence! With Weakness for her guardian, and Folly for her
   defender, she is yet safe! The God who protects her from her foes can
   assuredly save her from her friends! The danger lies in our carnal
   wisdom which would cover the light with a bushel to prevent its being
   blown out--and wrap the talent in a napkin because it is only one.

   We very frequently hear it said that there is no need for so much
   excitement and exertion and this, too, has come from our prudent men.
   We ought to take it coolly, they say--the thing went rightly enough in
   our grandfather's days-- the great men of the past did very well
   without all this stir! Well, we have observed those wet blankets are
   still on sale and may be had at wholesale prices! Now, Brothers and
   Sisters, I do not know what you think about it, but I, for one, feel
   that there is much work to be done and very little time to do it in. If
   I plunge into the work with all my might, I shall do none too much,
   but, at any rate, all my little might is demanded by such a cause.
   There is a blessed leisure of the heart which sits at Jesus' feet, but
   I am sure that it is not inconsistent with that violence which the
   kingdom of Heaven suffers--"and the violent take it by force."

   There were people who complained, in the days of Wesley and Whitefield,
   because their zeal caused a great deal of fanaticism. But, thank God,
   the blessed fanaticism spread throughout the land and it is not
   extinct, even now, nor shall it be, by God's Grace, but it shall go on
   increasing till Christ shall come! Let us bring up our men, the whole
   of the tribes, weak though they are--and though their weapons are no
   better than the axes and coulters with which Israel fought the
   Philistines! Let us spring upon our foe as one man, even as in the days
   of old! Let us all go up to Ai and, as surely as God was with His
   people, then, so surely will He be with our compacted hosts today--and
   the world shall learn, again, that there is a God in Israel!

   Only once more upon this point. These children of Israel, in sending to
   the war only part of the men, were breaking in upon the Divine design.
   The Lord never intended to have two peoples, but one. And so we read
   that the Reubenites and the Gadites came over Jordan to the war,
   although their portion was already conquered. It was the Divine intent
   that they should be one army of the living God, each separate son of
   the seed of Abraham belonging to that army and fighting in it. He meant
   that not some, only, but all should see the mighty works of His hands
   working with them to overthrow their adversaries. When Jericho fell,
   all saw it. And if Ai should fall before the Divine power, they must
   all be there to see, with their own eyes, the glory of the Lord!

   I am sure it is so with the Church of God today. Our Lord means to keep
   all His chosen ones as one army and to instruct them all as one unit.
   And when are we most manifestly one? When we get to work! If you come
   to declamation upon your own peculiar points, I shall wish you good
   morning. But if you are going to work for Jesus, suffer me to go with
   you. I have marked the history of organizations formed for no practical
   purpose and they have invariably come to an end--and I do not know that
   we need weep over the fact! But work to be done for Jesus is a mighty
   bond of union. Our God does not mean that His ministers should, alone,
   see all the deathbeds and be the sole spectators of the dying triumphs
   of His people. No, our Brothers and Sisters must visit, too, and have
   their faith strengthened and their prospects brightened!

   He does not wish that preachers, alone, should see all the converts and
   encourage all the desponding ones. No, His wisdom perceives that it is
   good for all His servants to behold the trophies of His Grace and know
   how to use the encouragements of His promises! The Lord does not ordain
   that one or two, alone, should mourn over the evil of the hearts of men
   and do battle with sinners. No, He means all His servants, in their
   measure, to learn the lessons which holy warfare would teach them. Not
   to deal practically with souls is perilous to ourselves! Men who spend
   their time providing us with marvelous essays and papers in the reviews
   are, most of them, unsound in the faith. But if they went out into the
   world of real life to save men. If they had to battle personally with
   hard hearts and evil passions in actual conversion work, they would
   find that their fine-spun theories are of no use.

   They would learn that the Puritan faith of our forefathers is the
   sturdiest of all weapons and the best adapted for the world as it
   is--and that the old Truth of God is the sword with which, alone, you
   can pierce the hearts of men. Work for Jesus is an education for a
   Christian! What an education it would be for the philanthropist to see
   what the agricultural laborer eats, or rather does not eat! What a
   lesson for the sanitary reformer to see with his own eyes where the
   people lodge! What an education for a man of wealth to spend a night or
   two in the crowded chambers where our London workmen dwell!

   And in the same way, holy service is a training for us. In order to
   really know man's Fall and the way of redemption we must go among the
   people and labor for their conversion. Therefore our Lord will not
   excuse any of us from service in this war because it would be to our
   great damage to be away from it! It is for our encouragement and growth
   that we should take our share in it. I will finish this part of my
   subject with a parable. In the days of chivalry a certain band of
   knights had never known defeat. In all battles their name was terrible
   to the foe. On their banners was emblazoned a long list of victories.

   But in an evil hour the leader of the knights summoned them in chapter
   and said--"My Brothers, we cause ourselves too much toil. We have a
   band of skilled warriors versed in all the arts of battle. These are
   quite sufficient for ordinary conflicts and it will be wise for the
   many, that they tarry in the camp and rest, or furbish their weapons
   for extraordinary occasions. Let the champions go alone. Yonder knight
   with his sword can cleave a man in two at a single stroke. And his
   comrade can break a bar of iron with his axe! Others among us are
   equally powerful, each one being a host in himself. With the terror of
   our name behind them, the chosen champions can carry on the war while
   the rest divide the spoil."

   The saying pleased the warriors well, but from that hour the knell of
   their fame was rung and defeat defiled their standard. When they came
   together they complained of the champions because they had not
   sustained the honor of the order and they bade them exert themselves
   more heroically. They did so, but with small success. Louder and louder
   were the notes of discontent and the demands for new champions. Then
   one of the oldest of the knights said--"Brothers, why do you blame us?
   The mistake lies here--in the old time, when the enemy assailed us, a
   thousand men were up in arms and we who led the van knew that a gallant
   army followed at our heels. But now you have made us solitary champions
   and the adversary takes heart to defy us, finding us unsustained. Come,
   all of you, with us to the fray, as before, and none shall stand
   against us."

   Brothers and Sisters, you need not that a man interpret this for you.

   II. In the second place, my text contains THE COMMAND THAT ALL ISRAEL
   SHOULD GO FORTH TO THE FIGHT. "Take all the men of war with you." I
   will mainly address myself to my Brothers in Christ and what I have to
   say to them I say humbly, speaking mainly to myself. Brothers, we must
   have all our Church members go to the war. I know this is our theory,
   but in practice we do not accomplish it. The baggage of our army is too
   heavy. The camp followers are too many. We need to turn out the drones
   and we need an increase of true working bees. How is it to be done? We
   must be, ourselves, deeply impressed with the evil brought upon idle
   Christians by their idleness and the evil which they bring upon the
   rest of the Church.

   Only suppose a Christian--I will treat it as a mere supposition--living
   an idle life. Give him nothing to do and he will become morbid with
   introspection, or he will grow quarrelsome, contending with all who
   hold opinions contrary to his own. Or he will dishonor the name of
   Christ by sin. You know when it was that David fell with regard to
   Bathsheba. It was at the time when kings go forth to battle and he
   tarried at Jerusalem. He had not fallen into that sin if he had not
   played the sluggard at home. Where was his duty as commander-in-chief?
   Was it not in the camp? Indolence is temptation! Certain of our
   Churches are suffering from unsound teaching, but they are suffering as
   much from lack of

   work. The moss is growing upon them, the rust is eating them up. The
   gold is becoming dim, the silver is losing its brightness and all for
   lack of use!

   Oh, Brothers, if we stand at the foot of a barren tree in the vineyard
   of Christ, we know what must happen. As we look upon it and see no
   fruit, our emotions ought to be those of bitterest sorrow for the axe
   is prepared for those that bear no fruit! Alas, that we should have
   Church members, not inconsistent in moral character, but excellent in
   many ways and yet cumberers of the ground! There is a great deal of
   charity about, of an evil sort, because it does not face the truth in
   honest desire for men's good. Let us be too truly charitable to indulge
   in such fatal charity! Let us sigh and cry when we think of our useless
   Church members as branches of the vine that bear no fruit, of whom the
   Master has said that they shall be taken away--"For every branch in Me
   that bears not fruit He takes away." "Men gather them and cast them
   into the fire and they are burned."

   What sorrow will fill our hearts if we reflect upon this! If we regard
   fruitless professors in this light, it will go further than anything
   else to make us successful in exciting all our Brothers and Sisters to
   active service! We need to be impressed with the mischief which idlers
   cause to others. One sickly sheep infects the flock! One member who
   does nothing lowers the tone of the whole body! The indolence of
   prominent professors is not merely the waste of their own labor, but of
   that of scores of others. Leading persons are looked upon as a sort of
   model for the rest and if So-and-So is content merely to fill his place
   in the pew and subscribe so much or, rather, so little, per annum, then
   others will say, "We shall be up to the standard if we do the same."

   Every man in an army who is not efficient and really serviceable is on
   the enemy's side. What can the enemy more desire than that the opposite
   army may be encumbered with the sick? What can be better news for them
   than to hear that the hospitals are crowded, for then they know that a
   large number of men are occupied with the sick and detained from the
   fight. The enemy claps his hands and cries, "These sick men are worth
   many a gun to us." Oh, useless professor! You cannot serve the devil
   better than by joining a Church and doing nothing! I want my Brothers
   to feel all this most keenly. I doubt not they do feel it, but I want
   to feel it more vividly myself, for when we get into a truly sensitive
   condition-- when we who are ministers are alive upon this point--we
   shall stir up the people of God, all of them, and we shall see greater
   things than these!

   Moreover, Brothers, we must hunt out the sin which leads to the evil
   against which we contend and I believe it is lack of vital godliness in
   many cases. I do not know how my friend, Mr. Newman Hall, finds it--I
   suppose he does not suffer much from it. But I know pastors who say
   they have very respectable members but nothing can be done with them.
   In some cases, Prayer Meetings are given up because the rich members
   come home from the city and dine at the hour which is usually selected
   for the Prayer Meeting and so they cannot attend. Dining is a most
   important business--it would seem to be more important than praying!
   Businessmen are so fatigued! It is a fact that we find carpenters and
   bricklayers and other workmen delighting in our Prayer Meetings. Is
   this because they do not work so hard as your city men?

   In some quarters it is found impossible to carry on Church work
   effectively because the very persons who should be workers and officers
   are resolved that their liberal giving and Sunday worship shall be the
   whole of their assistance to the cause of Christ. As to laying
   themselves out for holy work, they look in your face with wonder--as if
   they thought you had lost your senses when you propose any very arduous
   service to them! Now, this shirking of prayer and service is to be
   exposed and denounced in all faithfulness! It is often the sin which
   grows out of too much ease, self-indulgence and luxurious living. It
   seems as if the more God gives a man, the less return he is inclined to
   offer. Whatever the secret sin of the Church may be, let us try to
   discover it and then, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, endeavor to
   educate all our members to work for the Lord. There must be a continual
   insisting upon the personal obligations of Christians.

   We who are known as Baptists are of opinion that Baptism, as the
   personal act of a Believer, is a good lesson to our people as to their
   personal responsibilities. But I will not, for a moment, suppose that
   my Paedobaptist Brethren are less earnest in enforcing the same Truth
   of God. You, also, believe firmly in the personality of true religion.
   You teach the need of personal faith and consecration. Then we are
   agreed upon the great benefit of urging upon each man the duty of
   personal work for Christ. "What are you doing for Christ?" is a
   question to be asked of all! We must make every Believer feel that he
   is not his own, but bought with a price--that no amount of giving can
   compensate for personal labor for his Lord--that even he who, by
   sickness and infirmity, cannot actually work should render his
   contribution to the general

   effort by continual prayer. No one must appear before the Lord empty,
   but either by active or passive service must prove his gratitude to
   God!

   And then, while each is responsible, neglect by one is injurious to the
   common service of the whole. I saw a cart standing, this morning, on
   the roadside with one wheel chained--there was no fear of its moving
   with that one wheel fast. Sometimes one chained wheel in a Church will
   hinder all. We are all parts of a great machine and the stopping of one
   part does not simply mean the one stoppage, but the hindering of the
   whole organization! If a piece of bone in the body becomes dead, it is
   not simply useless, but it becomes the focus of mischief and the cause
   of pain. It begins to decay, disease forms and serious evil comes of it
   to the entire frame. A dead professor who is content to enjoy the
   doctrines without fulfilling the precepts of the Gospel becomes a
   source of serious danger in the Church of Jesus Christ--and we know it,
   indeed, to be so!

   My Brothers, dwell upon the importance of the enterprise in which we
   are engaged and so act as to make others feel its importance. Why take
   all that trouble about furbishing up a doubtful point of divinity,
   which is of no earthly use when it is furbished up? Why all that Sunday
   morning spent in discussing far-fetched points of belief? What is this
   but sheer trifling? Some are greatly given to what they call,
   "thinking"--"dreaming" is the truer word! Better by half, plunge the
   old Gospel sword at once into men's hearts and slay their sins in the
   name of the Lord, than stand quibbling about certain characters upon
   the hilt of the weapon! One sermon about nothing will do more harm than
   all your speculations will do good!

   Men come to forget that the Gospel is meant to save souls and look upon
   it as a mass of interesting subjects. Certain sermons are said to be
   "intellectual treats"--I think that is what I have heard them called.
   Our religion does not mean that! It means fighting with sin! It is, if
   anything at all, one of real downright practical work for Jesus Christ
   and we must show that it is so. Our teaching nothing in elaborate
   language will make our people think that practical godliness is a small
   matter and that intellect is better than piety! We must make men feel
   that to save a soul is better than to possess all knowledge, or even to
   gain the whole world! While others are making a new gospel with a
   little "g," let us labor to save souls by the old one. May God enable
   us to preach in awful earnest and by this means, God the Holy Spirit
   quickening us, we shall get all our people to march forward to the
   battle of their God!

   Above all, let us pray for more Divine Grace. We must never read the
   story of old times and say, "What a splendid denomination ours has
   been! Can we not rest on our laurels?" Impossible! You must win fresh
   ones! Napoleon used to say, "Conquest has made me what I am, and
   conquest must maintain me." And it is so with Christians. You must
   advance! You must outdo the exploits of the past and eclipse the deeds
   of your sires, or you will show yourselves unworthy of them. The battle
   thickens, and how shall we meet the growing demands upon us except by
   seeking for sevenfold Grace? Our spiritual stamina needs to be
   increased!

   If we were to collect a number of men all wheezing and coughing and
   only fit for the Consumption Hospital, and set them to work upon a
   railway, we might commend them for their diligence, but they would
   never accomplish much. On the other hand, gather together a company of
   burly, brawny men and they will say, "Who are you, O strong mountain?"
   and, before it can answer, it will be turned to a plain! See how they
   use the pick and the shovel! Vital strength is their motive force. O
   God, strengthen us! We are willing, some of us, but our strokes are
   feeble! Grant us, we beseech You, more of Your Holy Spirit and we shall
   accomplish great things! Strength delights in work, feebleness is
   afraid of it. Spiritual strength will produce universal spiritual
   service for the Lord Jesus Christ.

   I have done when I have looked into the future for a moment. If it
   should ever come to pass that the minister and all his people went
   forth to the war for King Jesus, what would happen? I seem to be in
   Paradise when I think of it! If all, without exception, who name the
   name of Jesus, went earnestly into His vineyard, what life there would
   be and what unity in all the Churches! There would be no longer a name
   to live, but real living! There would be no divisions if all were,
   alike, zealous for the Glory of the common Master! You would not hear
   of Church meetings which are scenes of disturbance and Churches where
   pastors are unhappy--such things would be regarded as extinct animals
   of the ages gone by! Then we should hear no complaints of our not being
   strong enough to do the work of our great cities and scattered hamlets.
   The most feeble Church, if everyone did his share, would be strong
   enough for its position.

   Moreover, there would be no lack of funds for any holy enterprise. Ah,
   if God's treasure received from all as it receives from some, we should
   almost have to tell the people to stay their hands because we should
   scarcely know how to

   use all their gifts! But the wealth which belongs to Christ and the
   service kept back from Him canker in men's coffers-- and the amount of
   which the Lord is robbed is almost beyond computation! The Missionary
   Societies, very well sustained on the whole, do not receive more than a
   tenth or a hundredth part of what God's people ought to give to so
   wonderful a work! If the merchant prince who contributes what is
   thought to be a handsome sum to Christ, only gave in the same
   proportion as many a pious girl who has to earn her living at so many
   stitches for a penny--and if all gave as the few are giving--we should
   soon supply all nations with missionaries!

   And if this were the case, what enterprises would be undertaken? What
   overflowing of Christian zeal should we perceive? We should be sending
   out messengers to discover every region which remained unconquered and
   we should at once be up and doing it, too! Then the mission field would
   be strong with men of most noble fitness. I do not know what you think
   about it, but it seems strange to me that we, here in this little
   island, are so closely packed together and yet a few scores or hundreds
   only go into the mission field. "Some of us have large spheres here and
   we cannot be expected to go, can we?" I answer, the ablest preacher
   that ever lived is not too good for missionary work! The most useful
   man at home is probably the fittest for the foreign field.

   Let us each question his own heart as to the claims of the heathen. For
   my own part, I dare not sleep till I have honestly considered whether I
   ought to go or not. We tell our young men in the College that they must
   prove that they have not to go, or else their duty is clear. If some of
   the men of Israel had said to Joshua, "We cannot go to Ai," Joshua
   would have replied, "You must prove that you cannot go or you may not
   be excused." All other things being equal, ministers should take it for
   granted that it is their duty to invade new territory unless they can
   prove to the contrary. When I think of the number of young men who are
   well educated and can read a capital paper at the Mechanics'
   Institution and profess to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, it
   grieves me to see their talents dedicated so largely to meaner ends!

   Oh, bleeding Lamb, it does seem strange that we have a greater passion
   for literature than for You! We care more for fleeting than for
   enduring things! France is needing the Gospel. See what one beloved
   Brother in Paris has been able to do--are there none who can do the
   same for other cities in that neighbor country? Here and there a good
   man can say, "I have made a competency"--why not live and employ it
   where you can lay it out personally for the spread of the Redeemer's
   Kingdom? Such a thing is being done by a few--it is not, therefore,
   impossible--and you who follow the grand example shall have your
   reward.

   Look what Pastor Harms did in the village of Hermansburg, how he
   stirred up all the people until they gave themselves and their property
   to the Lord and built a ship for the mission and went forth in it to
   Africa--company after company--to evangelize! Should it not be the
   ambition of a minister to feel that if he stays at home he will at
   least, by the Holy Spirit's help, produce missionaries by the scores in
   the village where he labors! I know the day comes that he will be
   thought most happy who suffered and labored most for Christ. When this
   great fight is over, he who is most scarred will be most honored, and
   he who dwelt at home at ease will think himself but sparsely blessed
   because he did not do his share in the war.

   Let us be all at work for Christ and His redeemed Church! All at work,
   at all times and in all ways for Christ! It is for that I plead--and
   then we will take another motto and say--The world for Christ and
   Christ for every nation under Heaven! This will be accomplished when
   the Spirit has awakened us all. O blessed Spirit, convert the Church
   and it will convert the world!