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going to override them, in the end, or that they are to find their grave in the fascinating golf links. No! there is One who sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; and His plans go forth, soundless, silent, except as they come into operation. But they never are broken; they never are drawn back; and the world has to learn more and more clearly, every century, that the banners of God are those which never go down in any struggle, and that whoever walks and works with God is sure of the triumph.
Then do not let us forget that this is the sublime interval in history between the ascension of the Master and His second coming in power and glory, to judge the world! In a grand and awful time'' the hymn says-and I repeat it:
“We are living, we are dwelling,
In a grand and awful time,' when the heavens have been luminous with the splendor of the ascension, and are destined to be luminous again with the awful glory of the coming for judgment; and now is our time for work—for work with the energy of the divine Spirit whose dispensation this is. That Spirit wrote His gospel by the inspiration of human minds, and by the instruments of human hands, on leaves of parchment and papyrus. He is writing His
gospel now, at large, through His inspiration of human minds and guidance of human hands over the expanses of the continents. But it is the same gospel-the gospel of sin, the gospel of atonement, the gospel of regeneration, the gospel of future judgment, and of future glory for the believing. That is the gospel; and we are to go with Him in extending the knowledge of that and in writing it ourselves. Wheresoever we have the opportunity, that is our work; a work greater, more momentous, wider in its relations, than any other done upon the earth.
Let us not forget then the meanness, the misery and evilness, of human society, where the gospel does not enter and pervade it. Let us not forget the recoverableness to God of every person and every people, if the divine energies are rightly used. Let us not forget that the gospel of Christ is the power at which men laugh and say, “You are trying to quarry mountains with sunbeams; you are trying to lift masses of masonry with aerial or, at best, with silken threads." It is the gospel of Christ which is to be the power to lift mankind, and glorify God, on all the continents, in all the earth. The passion of love for Christ, stimulated by everything that we read or hear, quickened by the Spirit in our hearts, is the power that is to loosen amassed wealth and make it fluent, that is to vitalize dead wealth and make it active, that is to
enter into every languid heart and inspire it for service. And then the view of the divine Providence working in history toward one result, steadily steering toward one haven and port,—the earth renewed in righteousness and beautiful before God; and then this dispensation of the Spirit, in which we have our time! After the resurrection, a disciple said, “I go a-fishing. Likewise said they all. It seems strange that even after that miracle, which has shot its radiance everywhere upon the history of the world, any disciple should have yielded to such an impulse. But now shall we, after the ascension and when the skies are still glowing with it, after Pentecost. has opened heavenly principalities and powers to our view and our experience, under the shadow of the great white throne that is to be set in heaven-shall we go to building and bargaining, to mining and merchandising, as our chief aim in life, and omit this sublimest service which angels, it seems to me, must bend above the battlements of heaven to see in its progress, and to make their hearts and harps jubilant in its vitality and success?
Oh, my friends, let us remember, wheresoever we labor, that our errand is to make this complex, complete, energetic missionary motive more clear to every mind, more thoroughly vigorous and energetic in every heart. Everything else must be postponed! Do not let us spend our strength in picking the gospel to pieces, to see if we can't put it together again in a better fashion! Do not let us spend our strength in any denominational controversies or collisions. Let us give ourselves, with all our power, to making this immense missionary motive operative throughout all the churches, throughout and in all Christian hearts; till He shall come whose right it is to reign, and take unto Himself His great power, and rule, King of nations as well as King of saints. Let us recognize this as the one truly magnificent errand for man the earth. Let us be filled with the Divine Spirit, that we may accomplish it the more perfectly. Let us never intermit the service. And if, as we grow older, we grow weary with cares and labors, and it may be with sorrows, and are disposed sometimes to think we may now rest, let us remember the word of Arnauld, the illustrious Port Royalist, whom even his passionate enemies, the Jesuits, admitted to be great, of whom it is recorded that when some one said to him, “You have labored long, now is your time to rest !” his reply was, “Rest? Why rest, here and now, when I have a whole eternity to rest in ?” God in His grace open that tranquil and luminous eternity to each of us, where we may find rest in nobler praise and grander work, forevermore; and unto Him be all the praise !