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the faint, to strengthen us with all might by his Spirit in the inner man. His power was exerted in his apostles, who became remarkable for holiness and usefulness; and that same power has been given to all in measure, who have ardently desired it, and earnestly sought it. If we have it not, it is because we do not set our hearts on it, and diligently seek it, or because we seek it for some impure and improper purpose. For God was never more willing to give than he is now. The promise was never more true than it is now. The throne of grace was never more accessible than at present. And surely the world and the church never more needed the power of God than now. It was possessed in fulness once, it has been displayed gloriously in times past; and as Jesus, the giver of power, is the same to-day, in our need of it, as he was yesterday, when his church possessed and exercised it, the reason must be sought in ourselves, why we have it not.
Let us then realise our want of power, and the responsibility that rests upon us on this subject. Let us not blame others, but ourselves. Let us not make God's sovereignty the scape-goat to carry away our sins of neglect, indifference, and want of faith and fervour in prayer; but let us humble ourselves before God for our selfishness, love of ease, and conformity to the world, and a worldly minded church. Let us also
take off our dependence from every creature, and from every thing in man, and fix it on the power of God alone. Then we shall not draw back because of difficulties, tremble before our foes, or pronounce any thing impossible. Let us believe the promise of the Saviour to his waiting, watching, praying disciples, “ Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."
Precious Saviour, he went to heaven to procure the Holy Spirit for his church, and promised to send that Divine Comforter in his stead to abide with, work in, and work by his disciples, and he kept his word! That word still stands good, that he will give the Holy Spirit unto them that ask him. Let us then believe his promise, and pray with downright earnestness and perseverance for the power of God. It is no use our complaining, finding fault with others, or wishing for a different state of things in the world or the church, without this. This is the great remedy for all our evils, and this remedy may be obtained, but not in the way many persons take; no, we must deeply feel our need, deplore our condition, realise our guilt, confess our sins, and, in dependence on divine grace, make up our minds to give the Lord no rest until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high. God is willing, are we? God is ready, but not to sanction our coldness. indifference, and worldliness. He will give, but we have no right to expect until we feel our need, believe the promise, and plead it in faith with perseverance. God may say us nay, if we are willing to be put off with nay; but if like Jacob at Peniel, if like Elijah at Carmel, if like the Syropheni. can woman, we will not be put off, but show that we are sincere and earnest, he will open the windows of heaven and pour us out a full blessing. “Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, therefore will he be exalted that he may show mercy unto you.” O Lord, give power to pray, power to believe, power to persevere, and then give the power we need to work with success!
Jehovah is a God of might;
6 Tom," said a soldier to his comrade, who was a Christian, “what a fuss you religious people make about faith. If I hear a sermon, or if I read a tract, or if I talk to one of your sort it is always "faith, faith, faith.' Now what is the reason that you make so much of faith P"
“ The reason is this : because faith lays at the root of all real religion. Everything good springs from faith. Unless I believe there is a God, and that he hears prayer, I shall never worship him. Unless I believe there is a law, and that what I have is the law of God, I shall not know what sin is, or whether I am a sinner or no. Unless I believe that the Bible is God's book, I shall never be affected or influenced either by its precepts or promises, its threatenings or its invitations. And unless I believe that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, I shall not call upon him, plead with him, or trust in him to save me; and unless I have faith in Christ as my Saviour, I shall never know peace with God, or meet death with courage and comfort. So, you see, faith is of the greatest importance.
“ Well, but you know most of us believe in God, and the Bible, and Jesus Christ; and yet it does not make us like you and others who are called religious people."
“True, you admit there is a God that the Bible ‘is true—and that Jesus Christ came into the world and died and rose again, and then ascended to Heaven-but you have no true faith for all that.”
“How can that be, believing is believing, isn't it? And if I believe as I said, why of course I do believe, and yet my believing don't make me like you."
“No, because what you call believing is only a cold assenting to certain facts--the heart is not touched. Now, with the heart man believeth unto salvation. Your faith is only the faith of the head, and therefore it does not influence your conduct. You believe your father is alive. Now suppose that to-morrow morning you get a letter from the old man, and he tells you he is very anxious to see you and converse with you, and wishes you to get a furlough and come to him, and encloses a bank-note for ten pounds to pay your expenses, what would be the effect?
“Why, of course I should think about my old home, and try to gratify my father; because he has been a good father to me, though I was not the best of sons to him; and so I shall try to obtain leave of absence, get my note cashed, and soon be on the way to the old cot."
“Well, then, how is it? you say you bo