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Pray For The Kingdom, 



OR, THOUGHTS ON 



TliY KINGDOM GOME." 



BY / 

REV. JOHN S. McCtU 
Wichita, Kansas 



* FEB 13 1911 



Tray For the Peace of Jerusalem." — Fs. 122: 6. 



FBESS OF THB MIRBOH, 

WJ CHITA, KANSAS. 

l89o. 



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COPTRIOHTBD 

BY 

JOHN S. MCCLUNQ, 

1895. 




Single copies sent postage paid, 25 cents. Five copies sen1 
postpaid to one address, $1,00. When pastors, or others, ordei 
twenty or more copies sent in one package, they to pay carriage 

15 cents each. The cash must accompany all orders. Usual ratei 

Write names and directions plainly. Address, Rev 
cClung, Wichita, Kansas. 



CONTENTS. 



Chapter i. 
The Dapendence of the Gospel for Success on 
Prayer. 

Chapter ii. 
Bible Exhortations to Constancy In Prayer. 

Chapter hi. 
All Christians Should Learn to Pray. 

Chapter iv. 
Conditions of Successful Prayer. 

Chapter v. i 

What Prayer Can Accomplish. 

Chapter vi. 
Further Illustrations of the Results of Prayer. 

Chapter vii. 
For What Shall We Pray? 

Chapter viii. 
For What Shall We Pray?— Continued. 

Chapter ix. 
Personal Responsibility. ,^ 

Chapter x. 
Obstacles in the Way. 

Chapter xi. 
Youngs People's Societies and the Coming: of 

the King-dom. 

Chapter xii. 

Will You Not Pray for the King-dom? 



PREFACE. 



This book is the outgrowth of a sermon 
on the patition, "Thy king"doin come." There 
was reason to believe that the discourse caused 
many to see their duty in a new light, and 
spurred them to greater earnestness in prayer. 
It has been impressed upon me that it would 
be well to present these considerations to a 
larg-er audience, and, as far as I could, to 
awaken God's people to greater importunity in 
prayer. I trust the Lord led me in this, and 
that His blessing will attend the humble effort. 

If this little volume proves as helpful as it 
should, it must be kept in easy reach and be 
made a devotional companion. It must be read 
and re-read, so that these great interests per- 
taining- to tl^e king"dom of God may be kept 
vividly before the mind, and warmly open the 
heart. 

One g-reat trouble with us is, we are so apt 
to forget all about the welfare of Zion. Not so 
with the Jvord: "I have graven thee upon the 
palms of iny hands; thy walls are continually 
before me." His eyes are never taken off His 
church, and if ours were ever turned in that 
direction how much more constant and earnest 
our prayers would be. 

And let me sug-g-est that there is no better 
time or place to plead with God in behalf of 



the king-dom tkan at ttie family altar. There 
is something so beautiful, so touching-, in the 
entire circle joining- in fervent prayer for the 
spread of the g-ospel and for the salvation of 
the perishing-. But alas! this is asig-ht too sel- 
dom witnessed in these latter days. In so many 
Christian homes the family altar has been 
broken down; in so many others it was never 
erected. How much batter and deeper the re- 
lig-ious influence upon all connected with the 
family when the incense of morning- and even- 
ing- prayer ascends in the home. Here is some- 
thing- that demands the utmost dilig-ence of 
pastors. 

Before parting- with my readers I desire 
to make two requests. One is, that they may 
overlook the literary and other defects of this 
little volume. The other, that all who read it 
may earnestly pray that the Lord may bless 
the reading- of these pag-es to stimulating- His 
people to g-reater prayerfulness and to g-reater 
activity in the service of Christ. 

John S. McCi,ung. 
Wichita, Kansas, 
August 6, 1895. 



PRAY FOR THE KINGDOM. 



CHAPTER 1. 

The; Dependence; of the Gospei. for Suc- 
cess ON Prayer. 

"Thy Kingdom Come." 

'T'HE form of prayer which our Lord taug-ht 
^ his disciples has been universally admired ; 
so beautiful, so brief, yet so comprehensive. 
It g-ives utterance to all the needs of humanity; 1, 
while it embraces all that pertains to the r? 
king-dom of God. And it should never be j 
forgotten that the first petition in this sum- t 
mary is prayer for the king-dom; teaching- by^ 
implication that our first and most import ant * 
prayers should be for the prosperity of Zion. 
Hence if we follow the instructions of tjhe dear 
Master, we will plead first and above all for 
the building- up of his king-dom. 

But this is not the way we usually do; we 
are apt to ask for almost everything- else, then 
we may, in a few sentences, pray for "The 



8 

peace of Jerusalem." In so many public 
prayers, at least, intercession for the success 
of the Lord's work is left away in the back- 
g-round. It has been remarked that some of 
the most noted preachers of our land in their 
public prayers do not mention sacred or relig"- 
ious interests, outside of those of their own 
churches. Often, too, in prayer meeting-s the 
petitions do not take a much wider rang-e. But 
this is not as it should be. We should feel the 
deepest concern for the welfare of the Redeem- 
er's king-dom in all the earth. Our interest in 
His cause should not be limited by the narrow 
boundaries of our church community, but our 
hearts should g-o out toward "the reg-ions be- 
yond." This we must do if we tenderly remem- 
ber and faithfully obey the command of our 
Saviour. 

And the object of these pag-es is to try and 
stir up God's people to greater prayerfulness in 
behalf of Zion. I want to influence His people, 
as far as in me lies, to plead importunately, to 
wrestle mig"htily with the God of Jacob for the 
advancement of his kingdom. May His divine 
blessing abundantly yest upon the effort, 



) 



And at tlie very beg-inning of this little 
book, in which Christians are so earnestly 
entreated to g"ive themselves unto prayer, it 
will be well to notice an inference that may 
be drawn. Persons might suppose the author 
considered that prayer was everything-; that it 
was all that is necessary to advance the king- 
dom of God. But he begs leave to assure his 
readers that this treatise is not built upon one 
idea; but that while the attention is turned to 
one great means of advancing the kingdom, 
still other agencies are by no means over- 
looked. The cause of Christ cannot be built 
up without active efifort. The gospel must be 
preached; the word of life must be given to 
dying men. Without this, prayer is in vain. 
Just so, we cannot content ourselves by pray- 
ing without giving of our means, without mak- 
ing sacrifices for our holy religion. Praying 
without paying will not convert the world. 
These means of grace are all necessary; they 
must be employed to accomplish the Lord's 
work. 

But this book is based on the assumption 
that at this age of the church, prayer is not 



10 

keeping- pace with the other ag-encies em- 
ployed; is not offered in due proportion. 
Hence so many efforts are without avail; the 
power is lacking", so that there are not the 
results there should be from the ag-encies 
used. More prayer is needed to secure divine 
efficiency and g-rander results. And one rea- 
son, no doubt, why more prayer is not offered 
is because the connections between it and the 
coming- of the king-dom is not fully understood. 
The importance, the absolute necessity of 
prayer is not realized. Christians in general 
appear to think tha.t it is well to pray for the 
success of the g"ospel; that this sacred duty 
should not be neg-lected; yet few seem to com- 
prehend the fact that we cannot expect any 
gracious results without prayer. 

But this is the case, for the g-ospel, of 
itself, is powerless; the truth of itself cannot 
chang-e the hearts and lives of men. It makes 
no difference how earnestly the g-ospel may be 
preached, how forcibly the truth may be pre- 
sented, this alone cannot bring- men into the 
king-dom. "Not by migfht, nor by power, but 
by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts." 



11 

"Without me ye can do nothing-." The word 
needs to be accompanied, as at Pentecost, by 
the power of the Hol}^ Ghost; as at Corinth, 
"In demonstration of the Spirit and of power," 
or as at Thessolonica, "Our g-ospel came not 
unto you in word only, but also in power 
and in the Holy Ghost." And when the divine 
Spirit accompanies the word, producing con- 
viction and conversion, it is in answer to 
pray^er. He does not come unbidden, unsoug-ht. 
He does not visit churches and communities in 
saving-' power without being entreated. The 
Father bestows his Spirit upon those "who ask 
him." When the Holy Spirit descends, bring- 
ing the blessings of salvation, we may not 
know who, but some have been praying. It is 
true that the Lord loves the souls of men; 
loved them so as to provide a most costly re- 
demption, and now his great, compassionate 
heart yearns to save. Yet for all this he "will 
be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it 
for them." "Ask and ye shall receive, seek 
and ye shall find;" these are the only condi- 
tions on which success is promised. 

Of course we must not overlook nor under- 



12 

value the intercession of our great Hig-h Priest, 
still if prayer is not oifered we have no reason 
to expect the cause of Christ to make any 
advance, or that sinners will be brought to the 
Saviour. It is like this: There may be a loco- 
motive, complete in all its parts, still that per- 
fect machine can accomplish nothing- till steam 
gives it power. So in the Lord's work the 
most earnest efforts may be pxit forth, yet 
there may be no results, because the power of 
the Holy Spirit, which comes in answer to 
prayer, is lacking. Hence if earnest cries do 
not ascend to Israel's God, if there are no 
earnest wrestlings, the most faithful work can- 
not be expected to produce any results. 

Turn to Paul's epistles and see how he 
implores Christians to pray for him. "Breth- 
ren, pray for us. " ' 'Praying- always, with all 
prayer and supplications in the Spirit .... and 
for me." "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that 
the word of the Lord may have free course and 
be g-lorified." With such burning words as 
these, he entreated the prayers of others on his 
behalf. He seemed assured that he could be 
successful iu his work only in answer to 



13 

prayer. And if he, the g-reat inspired apostle, 
was thus dependent for results on the prayers 
of others, how much more are the Lord's ser- 
vants now dependent for success on the prayers 
of others in their behalf. 

Here, doubtless, is the reason why there 
is such a wide difference in the success of the 
same minister in different fields of labor. At 
times a man has had remarkable success; there 
is almost a constant revival, and all the lines 
of church work move on splendidly. On the 
strength of his reputation he is called to 
another charg-e. But how are the mig-hty 
fallen! Here his labors are fruitless and he 
utterly fails. Often the true explanation, no 
doubt is, one was a prayerful people, while 
the other was not. Would that it could be 
impressed upon Christians — burnt into them, 
that the prosperity of Zion depends on the 
prayers offered in her behalf. For then far 
more of those who really regard her welfare 
would be almost chained to their knees in 
earnest, wrestling prayer for her at the throne 
of grace. 



CHAPTER II. 

Bible Exhortations to Constancy in 

Prayer. 

A S these pag-es will be occupied so largely 
^~^ in urg-irrg- Christians to constancy in 
prayer, it will be well to show Scripture 
authority for this. To most people this 
mig-ht seem unnecessary, but this is a strange 
world, and there are some who seem to be 
afraid of people being too prayerful. They do 
not deem it wise to press the matter of devot- 
ing a good portion of the time to prayer. 
Religious newspapers have refused to publish 
articles that exhorted to greater devotion in 
prayer, yet their columns were open to almost 
g.ny other contributions from the same pen. 
But it is easy to show that there is not much 
danger of going beyond the exhortations and 
the examples of the word. 

Our Saviour spoke a parable "To this 
end, that men ought always to pray and not 
to faint." If we follow the example of the 
poor widow who is here commended we will 



IS 



come with importunity before the lyord. If 
our petitions are not granted at once, we will 
press our suit. We also have the example of 
the Man of sorrows himself. When upon earth 
he spent much of his time in prayer. We are 
told how he often retired alone to pray; some- 
times rising- a g-reat while before day, or g^oing- 
out into a mountain and continuing- "all nig-ht 
in prayer unto God." The old patriarch 
wrestled the whole nig-ht, till the breaking- of 
the day, and still refused to let go without 
the blessing-. The Psalmist declares. "Even- 
ing-, morning-, and at noon will I pray and cry 
aloud." "At midnig-ht will I arise and g-ive 
thanks unto thee because of thy rig-hteous 
judg-ments." "But I g-ive myself unto prayer'» 
There, too was "Anna, a prophetess," tliat 
honored handmaid of the Lord, she "departed 
not from the temple, but served God with fast- 
ing's and prayers nig-ht and day." When 
Herod cast Peter into prison, "Prayer was 
made without ceasing- of the church unto God 
for him." Then when we g-et over to Paul's 
epistles he commands in the most unmistak- 
able lang-uag-e to g-ive ourselves to prayer. 



16 

As "Pray without ceasing-," "Continuing' in- 
stant in prayer," "Praying- always, with all 
prayer and supplication in the Spirit," "Con- 
tinue in prayer." Thus the call to unceasing- 
prayer ring-s out clear and distinct all through 
the word. 

It is plain to be seen, then, that there is 
no dang-er of g-oing- beyond the precepts of the 
Bible in this respect. We cannot g-ive too 
much of our lives to prayer. And I want to 
exert what influence I can in this little book, 
to induce Christians to give more of their time 
to prayer. I do want that they should plead 
more earnestly, more importunately, *^hy 
kingdom come. " More of God's people should 
make prayer to a greater extent the occupation 
of their lives. This should be their business, 
the main thing to which their life is really de- 
voted. In the morning begin to pray; as the 
hours pass by continue in prayer, and so week 
by week and year by year. It is not meant by 
this that the person cannot engage in some 
occupation, for a person can ardently pursue his 
calling yet give his days to prayer. We are not 
to suppose that we can engage in prayer only 



17 

wlien we take time and kneel down. It should 
be clearly understood that acceptable prayer 
can be offered at any time, and in any place. 
While lying" on the bed awake at night, while 
walking- or riding- along- the road, or while the 
hands are busily employed in daily toil. When- 
ever the mind is free to think and the lips to 
move, then acceptable prayer can ascend. Some 
have the sweetest seasons of communion with 
God while they are most busily eng-aged at 
work. 

The impressions will remain with me to 
my death that were made in my youth by read- 
ing an account of "The Praying Reaper." It 
was before the days of modern machinery, 
when they reaped the grain with a sickle. 
This man went out in the morning to reap, 
and he spent the whole day in prayer. He 
found at night he had reaped more i:han any 
day during the harvest, and it had been one of 
the happiest of his life. He alwaj'^s looked 
back to it as a day of Heaven upon earth. And 
who can tell what the prayers of that godly 
man accomplished that day? Were we faith- 
ful in improving our opportunities we could 



IS 

all have such days of Heaven upon earth. 

But let no one imag-ine that because we 
can pray acceptably while busy at work, that 
this willsuflice, and that hence we need not take 
any time for prayet. The Lord cannot be put 
off in that manner. It is a difl&cult matter to 
cheat the Almig-hty. If we are not willing- to 
g-ive some of our time to devotion the Lord is 
likely to reject that which we offer during- our 
working- hours. 

If we want to g-ive our time to the Lord in 
the way that will be most useful, we cannot do 
better than to spend it in prayer. It is prayer 
that moves the Lord to exert his power to ad- 
vance his king-dom; this is according- to the 
method of his administration. He has g-iven 
prayer that prominent place; constituted it the 
great ag-ency for building- up his cause on the 
earth. Since this is the case there is little 
danger of spending- too much time at the 
throne of g-race. There is something- very 
touching- in the life of the late Dr. Bonar. He 
had always been a man of prayer, but as the 
years rolled by his seasons of devotion leng-th- 
ened, so that in his later years that venerable 



■?^m3i;-!S!5'r5!K^lC«p!^^^B5p^;^!^^g| 



19 

man was not satisfied unless he had spent from 
three to six hours in prayer, out of the twent}''- 
four. And while his ministry was wonderfully 
successful, yet eternity may reveal that he ac- 
complished more for the kingdom of God by 
his prayers than he did in any other way. 

Some mig-ht suppose that a life of prayer 
must be somewhat g-loomy. That it would to 
some extent cast a dark shadow over the life. 
But nothing- could be further from the truth. 
The one who g-ives his life to prayer dwells 
nearer, perhaps, than all others "In the secret 
place of the Most Hig-h; abiding- under the 
shadow of the Almig-hty." This constancy in 
prayer keeps the person near to God, in har- 
mony and sympathy with him. Thus iiis pres- 
ence, favor and love are secured, so that the 
"Peace of God, that passeth all understand- 
ing-," pervades the heart and life. Do we want 
to lead happy lives? We cannot render this as 
certain in any other w^ay as by g-iving- our lives 
to prayer. 

A word of caution may here be in place, 
(thoug-h it is uncertain how often it mig-ht 
prove to be necessary, ) ag-onizing- prayer makes 



20 

a greater drain upon the vital forces than the 
hardest mental labor. Prudence and g-ood 
judg-ment should be exercised, lest the powers 
of endurance be overtaxed. Some by pleading- 
too long- and earnestly have broug-ht on mental 
prostration. Care should be taken that we 
maintain our standing-, in every respect, as 
wise, prudent Christians. 



CHAPTER III. 

AlIv Christians Should Lkarn to Pray. 

JVA ANY who read the title of this chapter 
^ *^ will think it a blunder, or a contradic- 
tion. For, as thej believe, all Christians, as a 
matter of course, do learn to pray. Would that 
all did; but it is a sad fact that there are too 
many prayerless Christians; that is, those who 
at least do not pray before others. Nearly 
every pastor knows this too well. In almost 
every church there are those who give evidence 
of piety, yet as far as taking- part inprayer before 
others is concerned their lips are sealed; under 
no consideration can they be induced to make 
the attempt. Some of these, I am sorry to say, 
when closely questioned, have to admit that 
they are nearly, or quite, strangers to secret 
prayer. This is a mortifying fact, still there 
is scarcely a pastor, who has exercised fidelity 
on this point, but has found those among his 
people who are leading lives destitute of prayer. 
One great reason why there are so many 
church members who will not pray before 
others, is that pastors do not urge this duty 



22 ^ ' ^ 

upon those received into the church, as they 
should. There is so much in g-etting- started 
rig-ht, and if, when .young- people and others 
are received on profession, pastors should urg-e 

this duty upon thdm, the most of them would 
begin this duty. Then is the time to com- 
mence a life of prayer, and if neglected then it 
is so much harder to begin in after years. Still 
at whatever period in life people begin to pray, 
they usually find it hard at the commencement. 
There are scarcely any who do not find it a 
difl&cult task at first; perhaps they are ashamed 
that they cannot pray any better, and are dis- 
couraged. But the only way is to keep on and 
learn to pray by praying. Just as the case of 
a man who became noted in the history of our 
country.* He had been a member of the church 
for years, but had never taken part in prayer 
meeting. One Sabbath his pastor preached on 
the subject. After the sermon he told the pas- 
tor he was convinced that it was his duty to 
take part, and to call on him hereafter. So the 
next prayer meeting the pastor requested him 
tb lead in prayer. He did wretchedly, however, 

•Stonewall Jackson. 



Pv.- „., •^.--■»-T..'-^i™.^s^p!5JJf|^S!(l|9,gf^ip^i,^ 



23 



yet lie said to tlie pastor: **I feel that it is my 
duty, and I want you to call on me." After a 
few attempts the pastor went to him and said 
kindly: "Perhaps I had better not call on you." 
But he persisted: "It is my duty, call on me." 
He blundered along" and learned to pray, and 
the petitions that fell from his lips in later 
3^ears were simply marvelous. He will be re- 
membered for his prayers almost as much as 
for his brilliant deeds. 

Let no one seek to excuse himself or her- 
self from praying- because it is hard. If this 
excuse were valid, as we have seen, then all 
would be exempt. We should faithfully meet 
this obligation, the same as any other. The 
way to look at it is, ' 'It is my duty, and by the 
help of God I will keep on trying- until I can 
pray." And in almost every case where a per- 
son is faithful it is not long- before prayer be- 
comes easy and affords the sweetest enjoyment. 
But whether it becomes easy and yields enjoy- 
ment or not, it is a sacred duty, and every 
Christian should learn to pray. 



CHAPITER IV. 

Conditions of Successful Prayur. 

TN order to pray acceptably and prevailingfly 
for the coming- of the king-dom several 
thing-s are necessary. Only a few of these can 
be mentioned. One is a deep interest in the 
welfare of the church and of the souls of men. 
These interests need to be deeply, warmly 
cherished; they should lie very near the heart. 
We should bear something- of the love for 
those precious interests that the Lord himself 
bears. We should have such a deep concern 
for the welfare of the church that we can cry 
with the Psalmist: "If I forg-et thee, O Jeru- 
salem, let my rig-ht hand forg-et her cunning-." 
And our hearts should be so burdened for the 
salvation of our fellow men that we can say 
with the apostle: "Brethren, my heart's desire 
and prayer to God for others is that they 
may be saved." "I have g-reat heaviness and 
continual sorrow in my heart" for those on the 
way to ruin. Or with the weeping- prophet: 
"O that my head were waters, and mine eyes 
a fountain of tears, that I mig-ht weep day and 



»''™^-7'"^«i?»S«»%lSpb<ffi«WW!!(»!- 



25 

nig-ht for the slain of the daug-hters of mj peo- 
ple. " Our prayers will not amount to very mucli 
unless we do have something" of this deep solic- 
itude for the welfare of the chur9h and for the 
souls of men. 

We must also have an earnest desire for 
the coming- of the king-dom. This naturally 
follows. If. we feel a deep, heartfelt interest in 
the welfare o^ Zion, as a matter of course we 
must desire her prosperity. If our hearts are 
burthened for the salvation of the perishing-, we 
will long^ to see them broug-ht to Jesus. We 
will feel that we cannot endure it unless others 
secure eternal life. We need to g-et the welfare 
of the church and of the souls of men on our 
very heart of hearts; then with burthened, 
breaking- hearts, we can but plead, "Thyking-- 
dom come." 

Ag^ain, if our prayers are g-oing- to avail 
anything- we must seek to lead blameless lives 
before God and before our fellow men. If we 
lead inconsistent, unholy lives, no difference 
how earnestly we mig-ht plead in behalf of 
Zion the Lord would turn away and refuse to 
answer; "If I reg-ard iniquity in my heart, 



26 

tiie Lord will not hear me." Then if the un- 
saved see us leading- inconsistent, wicked lives 
it turns them ag-ainst religion. O how many 
professed Christians do such a world of harm 
by their manner of life. Ah, if we desire to 
advance the interests of the king-dom we must 
endeavor to walk very closely in the footsteps 
of the holy Saviour. "What manner of persons 
oug-ht we to be in all holy cottversation and 
g-odliness." Let not the frequenters of the 
theatre, the dance, the card table or the wine 
suppers; or the profane, the impure or the g"am- 
bler imag"ine that their prayers are acceptable, 
and that thus they can help in the Lord's work. 
No amount of prayer that such can offer 
can counterbalance the evil they are doing- to 
their own souls and to the souls of others by 
their manner of life. Any such practices as 
these separate between us and our God, and 
cause him to hide his face from us that he will 
not hear. One reason, no doubt, why there are 
not greater results from the volume of prayer 
that does ascend, is that it takes so much prayer 
to counteract the bad effects of the inconsistent, 
unholy lives of so many church members. So 



27 

much prayer is utterly neutralized. That is a 
hard statement, and would to God it were not 
true. When will the Israel of God come out 
fully from the world and be separate — a pecu- 
liar people? When will the caf^ of salvation 
be freed of dead weig*hts? If all who have 
named the name of Christ should lead holy, 
consecrated lives and would be as active in the 
Master's service as they should be and as 
prayerful; in a very few decades the whole 
world could be broug-ht to Christ. 

Only one thing" more can be mentioned. 
We should not only pray; we should also put 
forth corresponding- efforts for the upbuilding- 
of the king-dom. "Faith without works is 
dead." Work, as well as prayer, is required 
to build up the cause of the Redeemer, and 
every one who wishes that cause well should 
improve every opportunity for active service. 
There may be instances where persons are so 
situated that they have no opportunity of 
rendering- active service; under these circum- 
stances prayer is the whole duty. But such 
cases are rare; generally when the prayer is 
earnestly offered: "I/ord what wilt thou have 



28 

me to do?" some line of usefulness will be 
opened. 

It is too bad that there is such an amount 
of talent wrapped up in napkins in our 
churches; so much latent talent, so much cap- 
ital unemployed, and hence that bring-s in no 
returns. So few, comparatively, eng-ag-ed in 
Christian work. Many in our churches who 
are best fitted for usefulness do nothing-. They 
seem to think that all they were brought into 
the king-dom for, was merely to be saved. 
They do not consider that the dear Master, 
has any demand upon their time, their talents, 
and all that they have. Hence they simply 
fold their hands and try to g-et to Heaven just 
as easily as possible. There are church mem- 
bers of thirty or forty years standing- who 
never yet have made any efforts to win others 
to Christ and to Heaven. It is to be feared 
that many in that brig-ht world will wear 
"starless crowns." When will the drones be 
g-ot to work? When can the latent talent and 
power in the churches be utilized? 

At the same time there are a g-reat many 
who complain and are deeply g-rieved because 



ry^^^r^^^ss^^'^i^m 



29 

there is notliing* for them to do. At times per- 
sons cannot find just the kind of work in which 
they wish to engag-e. All cannot be Sunday 
school teachers, or superintendents, or preach- 
ers; yet there are few, as has been said, who 
earnestly ask the Lord what he would have 
them do, and are willing- to do what comes to 
their hands, but what they can find something- 
in reach to do. And there is one line of effort 
and usefulness that is open for all; there is one 
department that is not overcrowded, and never 
will be; no Christian can ever excuse himself 
because there is nothing he can do — all can 
pray. 



CHAPTER V. 

What Prayer Can Accomplish. 

TJERK, perhaps, some are ready to say: 
^ ^ "But we want a work that amounts to 
something-; a line of effort by which we can 
accomplish visible, tang-ible results. If we 
merely pray how can we be certain that we 
have really ever done any g-ood?" 

No doubt many Christians sincerely think 
that it would be but little they could do 
throug-h prayer; hence they do not feel to 
spend much time in pleading- **Thy king-dom 
come;" while the facts are, perhaps, that there 
is no other line of effort that promises as large 
results; there is no other means by which we 
can accomplish as g-reat and lasting- g-ood > 
nothing- in which we can eng-ag-e that really 
may do as much to advance the king-dom of 
God as prayer. 

Yet it is a severe test of our faith, ior in 
the nature of the case we can know so little of 
the results. Much of the prayer offered for 
the coming- of the king-dom is of such a nature 
that nothing- can ever be known of the an- 



31 

swers. In other departments we can often see 
the direct results of our efforts; but we can 
never know in this life just how much our 
prayers have accomplished. We have simply 
to leave our prayers in the hands of a faithful 
Promiser. Our faith, however, should b« 
strong- enoug-h so that we can confidently leave 
the case in his hands. And when "the mists 
have rolled away" no one will be disappointed 
at the results of his earnest wrestling-s before 
the throne of grace. 

For if a person was so situated that he 
should devote his entire lifetime to praying* for 
the King-dom, he would accomplish g-rander 
results than he could in any other way. Just 
devote the life to prayer, make that the daily 
occupation, the one business in which he en- 
gag-es, and no one need fear of being" dis- 
appointed when he opens his eyes in eternity 
and sees the fruits of his life. Let me give a 
few examples of what persons have accom- 
plished by their prayers: 

A -pastor had charg-e of a church forty 
years, and all through, those years were almost 
a continuous revival, precious souls in large 



32 

numbers under his ministry kept coming- to 
Christ. He did not know to what to attribute 
his success. At the end of those years one of 
the members ofhischurch died. He never had 
been very prominent, but in securing- informa- 
tion for the funeral services he learned that 
this brother had spent every Saturday night 
till twelve o'clock for the last forty years in 
praying for the blessing- of God to rest upon 
the labors of his pastor the next day. When 
the pastor learned of those forty years of 
prayer in his behalf he knew very well where 
those forty years of revival came from. 

Many years ago, in Virginia, there was a 
church in which religion was at a very low ebb. 
There had been no revival for a long time and 
the young people were growing up very irre- 
ligious. This greatly troubled an old gray- 
headed elder, and one Saturday night he went 
and knelt down on a bridge near the church 
and spent the whole night in prayer for the 
blessing to be sent. During the services in the 
church the next day a revival began .which 
swept through that country. That old gray- 
headed man wrestled alone in prayer and prese. 



33 

vailed. And often one person does wrestle 
alone with Israel's God and prevail; as in the 
following- instance g-iven by Prof. Charles G, 
Finney: 

A pious man in western New York was 
sick with consumption. He was poor, and Wcis 
sick for years. An unconverted merchant of 
the place used to kindly send him things for 
his comfort, or for his family. At length it 
occurred to him that the best return he could 
make for this kindness would be to pray for 
the man's salvation. He began to pray, his 
soul became enthused, and he was led on to a 
wider field. He knew some thirty churches 
and ministers, in whom he felt an interest. 
He set apart certain times to pray for a revival 
in their churches. He also selected some mis- 
sion stations in foreign lands. He was. very 
earnest in prayer; he was in such an agony of 
soul and he struggled so hard for the blessing- 
that at times his family feared he would des- 
troy his life. In his diary he would write that 
on such a day he was able to offer the prayer 
of faith, as he called it, for the out-pouring- of 
the Spirit on such a church, and he trusted 



34 

there would soon be a revival there. And the 
revivals came in very nearly the order he had 
noted that he had been enabled to offer the 
prayer of faith. These places included the 
mission stations in heathen lands and the place 
where he lived. This latter was a deep and 
widespread work of g-race, during- which the 
merchant was hopefully converted. It is within 
the bounds pf truth to assert that there were 
few persons living- at that time who accom- 
plished more for the Lord than that hopeless 
invalid. 

There was the case of another invalid, as 
related by Mr. Moody: A little cripple lay on 
her dying bed. She had given her heart to the 
Saviour, and she was distressed only because 
she could do nothing to secure the salvation of 
others. Her pastor visited her and hearing 
her complaint, told her that while lying on her 
sick bed she could pray for those she desired 
to be saved. He told her to write the names 
down and then to pray earnestly for them. He 
went away and thought no more of it. 

Soon a deep religious interest sprung up 
in the place, and the churches became nightly 






crowded. The little cripple was eag-er to hear 
of the progress of the work and anxiously in- 
quired the names of those converted. A few 
weeks later she died, and among- a roll of 
papers that was found under her pillow was 
one bearing" the names of fifty-six persons, 
every one of whom had been converted during- 
the meeting-s. By each of the names was a 
little cross, by which the poor crippled saint 
had checked off the names as they had been 
reported to her. 

One more case showing- the possibilities of 
prayer must be g-iven: The pastor of one of 
the leading- churches in a larg-e state, and an 
eminently successful "soul-winner," dates his 
success in the Master's work to the realization 
by himself and his people of the power of con- 
stant and united prayer. Up to that time he 
had been fairly successful in his ministry, but 
not more than ordinary. Since this baptism 
of prayer cind of earnest labor came upon him, 
and largely throug-h him upon his people, it 
can be justly said that there has been a con- 
stant revival. Multitudes have been g-athered 
into the fold, and he has g-rown wonderfully 



36 

In power and usefulness as a g-ospel preacher. 
What mig-ht not be accomplished if pastors, 
with their people generally, became baptized 
with this spirit of prayer? What g-racious 
revivals could be recorded; what wonderful 
victories. 

In view of these instances, and others like 
them that could be g"iven, how groundless the 
fear that the seasons of prayer are wasted; 
that it is time thrown away. Who has accom- 
plished more, in the sameleng-th of time, than 
those did in the examples just given? True 
we cannot always know the results of our 
prayers, but we can anchor our souls upon the 
promises of God, and confidently leave all in 
his hands. Many of God's dear people are 
doing- this; relying- upon the sure promises 
they are beseiging the throne of grace in be- 
half of Zion. But their prayers are so compre- 
hensive, covering as they do almost every de- 
partment of the broad field, that it is utterly 
impossible for them to determine when, where 
or how their petitions are answered. Yet their 
confidence is such that they sweetly rest on 
the faithfulness of Jehovah. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Further Illustrations of the Results op 

Prayer. 

"\^ERE it possible for us to know the real 
history of the Lord's work in all ag"es 
and in all places, we could easily see how the 
prosperity of the king-dom depends on prayer. 
But this we cannot fully know; so much of the 
church's history remains unwritten. As it is, 
however, many wonderful illustrations of the 
ag-ency of prayer can be g-iven. There was the 
day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost came 
in such overwhelming- power, and three thous- 
and were converted in one day. But the one 
hundred and twenty had tarried in Jerusalem 
pleading- "the promise of the Father." They 
had held a ten days' prayer meeting- and then 
the mig-hty power of God was displayed. It is 
safe, perhaps, to say, that if they had not thus 
waited upon God there would have been no 
Pentecost. Just so during- all the history of 
the church from that till now, in almost every 
instance when the Holy Spirit has descended to 



3S 

turn men to God, the work of grace can be 
traced to special prayer. 

As in Scotland, some centuries ag"o, a band 
of Christians spent the whole nig"ht in prayer. 
The next day at that place there were five 
hundred converts under one sermon by Mr. 
Living-stone. It was the same at Enfield where 
Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon 
from the text, "Their feet shall slide in due 
time." For months there had been most g"ra- 
cious revivals in that section, but the church 
at Enfield had not shared in "the showers of 
blessing-," and they began to fear lest they 
should be passed by. So a number of the mem- 
bers met and spent all the night in prayer. 
During- the delivery of the sermon the next 
day the Spirit came in wondrous power. The 
convictions of many were overwhelming; some 
crying out in terror, caught hold of the seats, 
really thinking that their feet were sliding 
into perdition. 

The extensive revivals of modern times 
have nearly all been preceded and accompanied 
by special prayer. The sweeping- revival of 
1857 in this country was born in a prayer meet- 



39 

ing. That deep and thoroug-h work of grace 
in the north of Ir^and in 1858 traced directly 
to special, wrestling- prayer as its source. The 
same is true of the great awakening- in Scot- 
land the following- year. There had been such 
extensive revivals in America and in Ireland, 
the brethren in Scotland yearned for a similar 
blessing- to visit their churches. They ag-reed 
to pour out their hearts before God in prayer, 
and he was true to his promise. 

There have been revivals of g-reat power 
concerning- which no record seems to have been 
left, as to whether they had been preceded by 
gfreat prayerfulness or not. That in the south- 
ern states early in this century was such, when 
the Cumberland church beg-an. And yet such 
revivals as these may have been prayed down. 
We have simply received no account of the 
matter. The prayers, too, may have been 
offered in distant lands. 

Take the work of the leading- evang-elists 
at present; to a man they depend on prayer for 
their success. When they ag-ree to hold a series 
of meeting-s at any place they arrang-e for 
Special prayer services to be held weeks, often 



40 

montlis before they g-o to beg- In their work. 
At times these men, when they have g^one to 
the place and found a state of coldness and 
prayerlessness on the part of Christians, they 
have refused to g-o on with the work. They 
consider that to do so, under such circum- 
stances, would be a waste of time, and utterly 
useless. 

And these evang-elists are nearly, if not 
all, men of g-reat prayerf ulness. They zeal- 
ously devote all the tim^they possibly can to 
prayer. _It, would not be courteous to these 
brethren to itivade-th^ir privacy by turning- a 
search-lig-ht upon their seasons of devotion, 
but without mentioning- names some of their 
habits in this respect may be g-iven: Thirty 
years ag-o a young- man was converted in a 
meeting- held in one of our larg-e cities by a 
man who had an international reputation. 
Under God he accomplished a wonderful work. 
This young- man, from peculiar circumstances, 
spent a g-reat deal of time with the evang-elist, 
and he told me that they would hardly have 
reached their room when the evang-elist would 

say, "Let us pray; let us lay these cases before 



^"TV^^^!?^/^ 



41 

the Lord." He said that the evang-elist spent 
nearly the entire time between meeting-s in 
prayer. Years ag"o there was a man, not very 
widely known, but he was eminently a man of 
God, and w^as very successful in revival work. 
He was deaf — could not hear the ring- of a bell 
or a rap on his door. The families where he 
was entertained during- a meeting- always knew 
where to find him when they w^anted him to 
come to his meals — in his room on his knees 
in prayer. 

It was my privileg-e once to participate in 
a meeting- nnder the leadership of one whose 
labors it has pleased the Lord to bless above 
those of most of others; he has almost uniform 
success. After holding- from three to six ser- 
vices during- the day and evening-, he would 
spend the most of his nights in prayer. Pour 
to six in the morning- frequently found him 
still on his knees, in his room, before God in 
prayer. If we should g-o on and notice the lead- 
ing- evang-elists of former, as well as of modern 
times, we would find them, perhaps, to a man, 
eminent for prayer. They pay the price for 
success in their work. 



42 

Thus it has ever been; those who have 

accomplished great thing-s for God have been 

men of prayer. Crushed almost with a sense 
of their own helplessness; deeply realizing- 
"Without me ye can do nothing-," they have 
been driven to God as their only refug-e, and 
he has not failed them. "The eternal God is 
their refug-e, and underneath are the everlast- 
ing arms." Had it not been for his prayers 
Martin Luther could not have set Europe on 
fire; but for his prayers John Knox could not 
have secured Scotland. 

Then there is One before whose name all 
others pale, as stars before the sun — the blessed 
Christ. He came to do a work such as was 
never entrusted to another in the universe, 
and he, "the Man of sorrows," was pre-emi- 
nently a man of prayer. He laid the founda- 
tions of his kingdom in praj'er, as well as in 
tears and blood. Glimpses are left of his habits 
in this respect; so often it is recorded he retired 
alone for prayer. At times he spent the whole 
night in praj'er, "The morning- star finding 
him where the evening star left him." If there 
had been a phonograph on these occasions 



rv^T5^>T!;w;a^^_:;:§S63Bg5 



'^ 43 

when he wrestled with the Father, to have 
caug"ht aud transmitted those tearful petitions 
as thej ascended for his church, what wonder- 
ful cries could be heard. Just such breathing-s, 
no doubt, as we find in the I7th of St. John, 
No one can doubt but that these prayers have 
been answered on during- all the centuries, and 
will be answered to the end. But he prayed 
not merely while on earth; he has ascended to 
the rig-ht hand of God, "where he ever lives to 
make intercession." He is pleading- now for 
his church, and is not his example one for all 
his people to imitate? How can they be his 
followers and fail to copy his example in this 
respect? 

The testimony of the entire history of the 
church is that prog-ress and prosperity depend 
on prayer. ' 'Except the Lord build the house, 
they labor in vain that build it." In no line of 
Christian work can success be expected with- 
out earnest, importunate prayer. 

In view of all this how is it that so many 
prof essed , Christians are either almost or en- 
tirely prayerless, as far as the cause of the Re- 
deemer is concerned? No difference how earn- 



44 

estlj some pray for themselves they scarcely 
ever plead with God for the prosperity of Zion, 
or if their prayers ever do turn in this direc- 
tion they are cold, dead, heartless. "We often 
wonder, when we think of it, why the Lord 
does not make short work of it and speedily 
bring- about the conversion of the whole world, 
yet when we reflect upon the prayerlessness of 
so many Christians, the wonder rather is that 
the king-dom of God advances as rapidly as it 
does. O, it is too bad that so few, compara- 
tively, plead "Thy king-dom come." The ten- 
der command of our Saviour rests upon us 
thus to pray. There are such promises assur- 
ing* us that the Lord will g-raciously hear and 
answer. Millions perishing- yet in darkness 
and millions perishing- from under the sound 
of the g-ospel appeal to them for their prayers. 
How can any of the Lord's people, in view of 
all this, refrain from prayer? What can drive 
them to their knees if all this does not? 



CHAPTER VII. 
For What Shall We Pray? 

\17HEN Christians attempt to praj for the 
upbuilding- of the king-dom they are 
often at a loss to know for what to plead. And 
frequently when they have mentioned a few 
thing-s thej^ run out, and it seems to them 
there is nothing- more to be said. Even when 
experienced Christians in prayer meeting- pray 
for the cause of Christ, the poverty of their 
ideas is often surprising-. But if any should 
devote themselves to a life of prayer they need 
not be at any loss for petitions to present. 
There are enoug-h objects that tenderly appeal 
to our prayers to occupy all the hours of every 
day. When any attempt to present these ob- 
jects, in all their phases, taking- a survey to 
some extent of the wide field, new objects come 
crowding- upon them; there appears to be no 
limit to the vast rang-e of view. The field is 
the world, embracing- every feature of the work 
and all the varied interests involved. 

Look at it: There, for instance, are the 
Jews. They were once the chosen people, the 



46 

seed' of Abraham, the friend of God, the breth- 
ren of our Lord, as coneerning- the flesh. It is 
heart-rending- to think of their condition, for 
they are still spurning- the dear Saviour. Nine- 
teen centuries after the advent of their Mes- 
siah they are still rejecting- him through blind 
unbelief, and are g^oing- down to darkness and 
death without hope. How many generations 
more of that people are to perish ere they "look 
upon him whom they have pierced and mourn?" 
How long, O Lord, how long? We may be con- 
fident of this, if that volume of prayer was 
offered for them that should be, their eyes 
would soon be opened to behold in Jesus of 
Nazareth their long-expected Messiah. "All 
Israel" then would soon "be saved." There is 
no people that appeals more strongly and ten- 
derly to our prayers than ancient Israel. 

Again, take the present condition of Eur- 
ope, and what spiritual desolations are wit- 
nessed there. In all those vast countries there 
is very little true piety. The teeming millions 
of that continent, to such an extent, are living 
in worldliness and sin; either rejecting religion 
altogether, or else satisfied with its mere 



47 



empty forms. The relig-ious condition of that 
country is dreadful, when we think of its mil- 
lions hastening- to ruin. Yet there are hopeful 
indications. The fields appear to be whitening 
for the harvest. Of late years there is a great 
demand for the word of God, and the Bible is 
being widely circulated. The Scriptures are 
in reach of a large portion of that people. Now 
if the Holy Spirit should descend to quicken 
the word; to bring the truth home to their con- 
viction and conversion,millions in Europe could 
be brought to Christ. How God would be glor- 
ified and what a precious harvest of souls 
would be saved were those people turned to 
the Lord. How can Christians keep from, 
praying for those perishing millions? 

There, too, is Africa, that dark continent. 
The light is now penetrating its jungles ajid 
plains. Mission stations are not only dotting 
its shores, but also the far interior. Mission- 
aries following in the track of Livingstone 
and Stanley have carried the gospel to the 
very heart of that almost inaccessible land. 
Oases are beginning to "make the wilderness 
and the solitary places glad." And many of 



48 

the dark faces of that people are being- lit up 
with the joy the g-ospel alone can bring-. It is 
a very fruitful, hopeful mission field; there is 
a g-reat readiness to receive the g-lad tidings of 
salvation, and if the I^ord's people only remem- 
bered that benig-hted land in prayer as they 
should, "Ethopia would soon stretch out her 
hands unto God." 

So, of almost every land. The outlook is 
hopeful in almost every quarter. The harvest 
of the world appears to be ripening-; all seem- 
ing-ly that is needed to the gathering- in of an 
immense harvest is the power of the Holy 
Ghost to bring- the word home to the heart 
with saving- power. And, let it be repeated, 
he comes in answer to prayer. How can the 
Lord's people neglect to pray for the perishing 
at such a time as this. O that every Christian 
J^ )iivould take to pleading with brokenness of 
heart, "Thy kingdom come," and "Come O 
Spirit, breathe upon these slain, that they may 
live." Were this course pursued, a scene re- 
sembling the last resurrection could be wit- 
nessed in nearly all the earth. For then the 
Holy Spirit would be "poured out on all flesh," 



7-^5 F|^3^w?F!T^^7ir 



49 

and the dead in tresspasses and sins would be 
raised up to a new life. Immense armies would 
be raised up to serve the living- God and 
"nations would be born in a day." 

It seems clear that the g-reat need of the 
kingdom of God today is a greater volume of 
prayer. Prayer has hardly kept pace with the 
aggressive work of the church. This is an 
age of great activity, and the work has been 
fruitful. Yet the gospel has been taken to 
such multitudes who have not embraced it. 
Millions upon millions in home and in heathen 
lands are perishing under the sound of the 
gospel, and from within reach of the Saviour's 
arms. Now, without stopping the sower, the 
reaper ought to catch nearer up. How can 
this be done? By greater pray erf ulness on 
the part of God's people. For then the gospel, 
brought home to the heart by the divine Spirit, 
will be made "the power of God unto the sal- 
vation" of vast multitudes of these who are 
now rejecting it. 



46 

seed of Abraham, the friend of God, the breth- 
ren of our Lord, as coneerning the flesh. It is 
heart-rending- to think of their condition, for 
they are still spurning- the dear Saviour. Nine- 
teen centuries after the advent of their Mes- 
siah thej are still rejecting- him throug-h blind 
unbelief, and are g"oing- down to darkness and 
death without hope. How many g-enerations 
more of that people are to perish ere they "look 
upon him whom they have pierced and mourn?" 
How long-, O Lord, how long-? We may be con- 
fident of this, if that volume of prayer was 
offered for them that should be, their eyes 
would soon be opened to behold in Jesus of 
Nazareth their long--expected Messiah. "All 
Israel" then would soon "be saved." There is 
no people that appeals more strong-ly and ten- 
derly to our prayers than ancient Israel. 

Ag-ain, take the present condition of Eur- 
ope, and what spiritual desolations are wit- 
nessed there. In all those vast countries there 
is very little true piety. The teeming- millions 
of that continent, to such an extent, are living- 
in worldliness and sin; either rejecting- religion 
altog-ether, or else satisfied with its mere 



47 

empty forms. The relig-ious condition of that 
country is dreadful, when we think of its mil- 
lions hastening^ to ruin. Yet there are hopeful 
indications. The fields appear to be whitening- 
for the harvest. Of late years there is a gfreat 
demand for the word of God, and the Bible is 
being widely circulated. The Scriptures are 
in reach of a larg-e portion of that people. Now 
if the Holy Spirit should descend to quicken 
the word; to bring- the truth home to their con- 
viction and conversion,millions in Europe could 
be broug-ht to Christ. How God would be glor- 
ified and what a precious harvest of souls 
would be saved were those people turned to 
the Lord. How can Christians keep from 
praying for those perishing millions? 

There, too, is Africa, that dark continent. 
The light is now penetrating its jungles and 
plains. Mission stations are not' only dotting 
its shores, but also the far interior. Mission- 
aries following in the track of Livingstone 
and Stanley have carried the gospel to the 
very heart of that almost inaccessible land. 
Oases are beginning to "make the wilderness 
and the solitary places glad." And many of 



48 

the dark faces of that people are being- lit up 
with the joy the gfospel alone can bring-. It is 
a very fruitful, liopeful mission field; there is 
a great readiness to receive the g"lad tiding-sof 
salvation, and if the Lord's people only remem- 
bered that benig-hted land in prayer as they 
should, "Ethopia would soon stretch out her 
hands unto God." 

So, of almost every land. The outlook is 
hopeful in almost every quarter. The harvest 
of the world appears to be ripening; all seem- 
ing-ly that is needed to the g-athering- in of an 
immense harvest is the power of the Holy 
Ghost to bring the word home to the heart 
with saving power. And, let it be repeated, 
he comes in answer to prayer. How can the 
Lord's people neglect to pray for the perishing- 
at such a time as this. O that every Christian 
would take to pleading with brokenness of 
heart, '*Thy king-dom come," and "Come O 
Spirit, breathe upon these slain, that they may 
live." Were this course pursued, a scene re- 
sembling- the last resurrection could be wit- 
nessed in nearly all the earth. For then the 
Holy Spirit would be "poured out on all flesh," 



49 

and the dead In tressipasses and sins would be 
raised up to a new life. Immense armies would 
be raised up to serve the living- God and 
"nations would be born in a day," 

It seems clear that the g-reat need of the 
king-dom of God today is a greater volume of 
prayer. Prayer has hardly kept pace with the 
aggressive work of the church. This is an 
age of g-reat activity, and the work has been 
fruitful. Yet the g-ospel has been taken to 
such multitudes who have not embraced it. 
Millions upon millions in home and in heathen 
lands are perishing under the sound of the 
gospel, and from within reach of the Saviour's 
arms. Now, without stopping- the sower, the 
reaper oug-ht to catch nearer up. How can 
this be done? By greater pray erf ulness on 
the part of God's people. For then the gospel, 
broug-ht home to the heart by the divine Spirit, 
will be made "the power of God unto the sal- 
vation" of vast multitudes of these who are 
now rejecting- it. c\ 



£)L. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

For What Shall Ws Pray? — Continued. 

A S was said, when Christians are urged to 
*^ pray for the coming- of the king-dom, so 
many of them feel that there is really so little 
for which to pray, and their praj'^ers are lim- 
ited to a very few objects. Their attention 
has never been broug-ht to survey the wide 
field, the broad expanse that lies spread out. 
The author wants to make these papers as 
helpful as possible, hence he will present some 
further sugg-estions as to the field our petitions 
may cover. This will be entirely unnecessary 
in the case of many, yet there are many who 
think the range is so narrow and circum- 
scribed. It is so important to lead such out, 
and get them to gain some conception of the 
immensity of the field this petition of the 
Lord's prayer covers. 

In making suggestions, then, let me say 
first of all, do not forget to thank God for 
what he has done; give him full credit. So 
often in our approaches to the throne we merely 
present petitions; we act as if the Lord had 



51 

never enlarg*ed 7,'ion, sent a revival, or saved 
a soul. There should be more thanksg-iving- 
and praise, more expressions of gfratitude in 
our prayers. There can be no doubt that if 
we were more thankful for the spiritual mer- 
cies bestowed we would have far more of these 
blessing's for which to be thankful. | 

Of course our own personal interests are 
not to be overlooked; our needs, our friends, 
pastor, church, our country. 

We should earnestly plead for the church 
at larg-e; that Christians may have deep, fer- 
vent piety; that they may be built up in Christ, 
sound in the faith; that they may lead consis- 
tent, prayerful, consecrated, holy lives, active 
and useful in the Master's service. 

That ministers may be holy men of God, 
full of faith ai^d prayer, wonderfully anointed 
of the Holy Ghost; that they may have g-reat 
wisdom and fidelity; that they may have an 
abiding" sense gf the sacredness of their calling-, 
and of the eternal interests involved in their 
work; that they may preach a pure gospel, and 
be abundantly blessed in building- up believers 
and in saving dying- men. 



S3 

That every means of grace may be blessed; 
that the word may everywhere be accompanied 
by divine power. Here I want to emphasize, 
the word is powerless of itself, only as it is 
followed by the Holy Spirit, can it prove "the 
wisdom and the power of God unto salvation." 
How God's people should plead then, if pos- 
sible above everything- else, that the gospel, 
however presented, may ever3^where be at- 
tended by the convicting and converting 
power of the Holy Ghost. Want of pra3^er 
for the Holy Spirit is perhaps the great reason 
why so many efforts to win men to Christ are 
without avail. 

We should plead earnestly for the child- 
ren and youth, that they may be kept from 
snares, follies and all evil influences. That 
the schools may not be irreligious, tending to 
lead them astray. That they may early be 
brought into the fold, instructed and trained 
up in the service of God. That they may grow 
up intelligent, industrious, useful, prepared for 
the duties and responsibilities of the life here, 
and that to come. 

That the lyord may choose young men who 



S3 

shall preach the g-ospel, at home and abroad. 
That they may be thoroug-hly qualified and 
equipped for this great work. Also that He 
may select young- women and prepare them to 
g"0 as missionaries, teachers or physicians to 
the heathen. 

That the g"0spel may be sent into all the 
earth, so that the untold millions who have 
never yet heard of Christ may soon learn 
the way of salvation. That the missionaries 
may be comforted and sustained in their work, 
and may have great success. That the heathen 
may readily receive the g"Ospel, be rapidly 
converted. That the heathen converts may 
stand firm, be trained up for the service of 
Christ, and be prepared to g-o forth to others 
yet in darkness, Laafiiiiig tne word, ot lite. ~^o 
that all the ends of the earth may soon hear 
and turn to the Lord. 

That g"reater benevolence be g"iven to the 
Lord's people; that they may g"ive more 
largely of their means to spread and sustain 
the g-ospel. That all may appreciate what 
a sweet privilege it is to g"ive, and that 
the treasuries of all benevolent enterprises 



54 

and institutions may be abundantly supplied. 

For the overthrow of intemperance, pro- 
fanity, gambling-, Sabbath-breaking-, and all 
the sins and vices that hinder the success of 
the gospel and ruin the souls of men. For 
the destruction of Mohamedanism, Romanism, 
and all forms of false religion and of error, 
that deceive men and keep them from embrac- 
ing the gospel of Christ. Where any special 
danger threatens the cause of Christ, that it 
may be averted. This is so often the case in 
foreign missions — as during the late China- 
Japan war; the present designs of the French 
against Madagascar, and the present (August, 
1895) uprising against foreigners — especially 
the missionaries — in China. 

For the speedy "binding" of Satan, and 
the removal of all hindrances to the success 
of the Lord's work. For the pouring out 
of the "Spirit on all flesh." For the triumph 
of the gospel in all lands, and the speedy con- 
quest of the whole world to Christ. 

Now these are but a few suggestions. 
This list might be enlarged almost indefin- 
itely. Many will wonder why these topics 

y 



55 

were mentioned, while others of equal import- 
ance were not. "The field is the world," and 
it is not possible to cover the entire g-round. 
It would be well for each one to make out a 
list of those thing-s which weig"h most heavily 
upon his heart, and that seem to him of 
greatest importance, and then bear these 
up before the Ivord. In this vast sweep, dif- 
ferent persons will usually be led out in 
different directions, so that by this wide 
rang-e of prayer the entire field will be more 
nearly covered. 

Would that the eternal welfare of our 
ruined humanity could be laid more heavily 
upon the hearts of God's dear people, so 
that they could not help crying- to the Lord 
with tearful earnestness for our guilty 
world. Thank God this does rest as a 
heavy burden on many hearts, and it almost 
chains them to their knees. At times when 
some are bearing- these precious interests 
before the Lord, the needs of our lost world 
start up before them with such startling 
vividness, that they are almost overwhelmed, 
and they can hardly bring themselves to cease 



56 



from prayer. O that this number were multi- 
plied bj the hundred. 



"'W'^ 



CHAPTER IX. 

PlERSONAI, RkSPONSIBILITY. 

/^NK great hindrance to the advancement 
^-^ of God's king-dom is that the great mass 
of Christians do not realize their individual 
responsibility. Thej are unwilling- to recog- 
nize that any responsibility rests upon them, 
hence they are not ready to shoulder any of 
the burden of carrying- on the Lord's work. 
They do not consider that they are person- 
ally under obligation to use their efforts to 
advance the cause of Christ and secure the sal- 
vation of their fellow-msn. Thus the church 
is not awake. She does not come up to the 
help of the Lord. Too many are "at ease in 
Zion." Plead with them personally and try 
to g-et them to lay hold of the work and they 
are ready to say, "What is that to me?" "Am 
I my brother's keeper?" It is amazing that 
any who have a hope of eternal life can be in- 
different to the eternal welfare of others, and 
unwilling to put forth efforts to save the per- 
ishing. It seems impossible that any of God's 
people could look with unconcern upon those 



58 

around them — perhaps in their own family — 
g-oing- to ruin. 

In the autumn of 1869 a steamer on the 
Mississipi river, heavily laden with precious 
human freig-ht, took fire. In a little while the 
proud steamer was a sheet of flames. While 
all was terror and confusion, twelve men 
jumped into the yawl and made for the shore, 
thoug-h the boat would have carried forty or 
fifty persons as well. Having* arrived safely 
on land, eleven of those men stubbornly re- 
fused to return to save others, though two 
hundred of their fellows were struggling in 
the river, ready to sink into a watery grave. 
Ivang-uage fails to express our condemnation 
of such a course. They had escaped the dan- 
g"ers of fire and water unharmed, yet they 
would not make the least effort to save their 
fellow-men struggling there in the jaws of 
death. 

But what shall be said of those who have 
been saved by the free grace of God, yet who 
will not do anything toward rescuing others. 
Having escaped the jaws of eternal death, 
their fellow-men perishing in sin around them 



^-!n?5:_ .jjPM 



59 

have strong-er claims upon them to put forth 
efforts to rescue them than those about to be 
destroyed by the billows of fire or water had 
upon those hard-hearted wretches, who coolly 
looked upon that scene of destruction. It is 
enoug-h to make the heart sick to see the utter 
indifference of so many Christians in regfard 
to the salvation of others. Those who neglect 
this sacred duty render themselves liable to 
be called to a fearful account before the bar 
of God. 

The great reason why we should put forth 
our utmost efforts to secure the salvation of 
men, is because God is glorified in every 
soul that is saved. And if we are his people 
we are under the strongest obligations to do 
all we can to promote that glory; this is to be 
the ruling purpose of the new life. And there 
is nothing that brings such a tribute of glory 
to the God of Heaven as the salvation of guilty 
men. In redemption new attributes of the 
divine character are displayed, and all his per- 
fections are made to shine forth with new 
luster. The divine power and wisdom are 
seen from the visible creation. "The heavens 



60 

declare the g"lory of God and the firmanent 
showeth his handiwork." But the divine love 
and mercy — these tenderer characteristics — 
are manifested in redemption. Here alone we 
see the g-reat heart of God — his boundless 
love, his infinite mercy. "Here the whole 
deity is known." No wonder the "ang-els de- 
sire to look into" these things, for here only, 
as far as we are informed, can they perceive 
certain traits of the deity. For, as far as we 
know, ours is the only race of fallen intelli- 
gcences to which mercy has ever been shown. 
So that God is more honored in the salvation 
of one soul than in the creation of a world, 
because new and hig-her attributes are dis- 
played in the scheme of saving- mercy. All 
created intelligences will behold the redeemed 
of our race with greater admiration, with 
more rapturous praise, than all creation be- 
side. To all eternity the redeemed will stand 
as so many monuments, commemorative of the 
divine love and mercy. And while eternity 
lasts, Jehovah will look with infinite satisfac- 
tion upon the redeemed, the work of all else 
nearest his heart. Redemption is his crowning 



■-• S»T»S1(^>,^^ 



61 

work, his masterpiece. If then we have rig-ht 
affections toward God we must g'ive ourselves 
earnestly to the work of saving- men, which is 
the work uppermost in his mind and heart. In 
being- zealous for the upbuilding- of his king-- 
dom we are zealous for his glorj. 

Then how we should feel for the unsaved! 
For it is such an awful thing- for a soul to be 
lost. It is impossible for us to fully weig-h 
eternal wretchedness; but O how dreadful to 
be banished forever from the presence of God; 
to have to dwell under his awful wrath against 
sin, a prey to fiery remorse; a companion of 
the damned from all worlds. And all this 
without one ray of hope for the future. That 
dreadful word "forever" is written upon the 
penalty of the law; upon the divine justice; 
over the entrance to the dark prison-house; 
upon the flames of hell. And shall we be in- 
different to the fate of our fellow-creatures? 
Shall we look with unconcern upon the multi- 
tudes thronging- the way to destruction and 
make no attempt to save them? When we 
are so aroused, when our fellows are in tem- 
poral danger, and will risk our lives even for 



62 

their help, shall we be indifferent when they 
are in danger of eternal destruction? How 
can we ever appear insensible to their eternal 
interests? 

Thank God some are alive to these great 
concerns; some are burdened for the eternal 
welfare of dying- men. Such was Henry 
Martyn, of precious memory. Seeming-ly 
almost any position in the realm of Britian 
was open to him. He turned away from them 
all, and from one dearer to him than life, to 
bury his talents — as some look at it — as a 
missionary in India. After laboring there 
for years, without seeing scarcely any results, 
he cried: "I could bear to be torn limb from 
limb if I could but hear a Hindoo ask, 'What 
must I do to be saved?' " 

This same all-consuming fire burned in 
the heart of a young man who sought appoint- 
ment as a missionary. Said he to the Board 
of Missions: "Gentlemen, send me to Africa, 
send me to Africa. I know the climate is a 
deadly one, but if I can but die there I ask no 
more." And as he lay dying in that torrid 
clime, turning to his friends he said: "Never 



'^^^^^^fff^^^^SBSpRPI- 



63 

mind me; let thousands of us di2, only let 
Africa be saved." 

This passion for souls had possession of 
a Welsh preacher. "I am," said he, "a broken- 
hearted man. God has given me such a sight 
of the value of precious souls that I cannot 
live if they are not saved." This all-absorbing- 
desire for the salvation of men is felt by 
thousands in the ministry. Ever before their 
eyes is a great throng rushing to destruction, 
and the query forces itself upon them, "What 
can I do to rescue them?" Often this feeling 
is so intense they can scarcely eat or sleep. 
Plenty of men, women and children in our 
churches have a yearning desire for the wel- 
fare of the unsaved. Their very "heart's de- 
sire and prayer to God" is that . the perishing 
may be brought to Christ. 

But the question is, how can this desire 
help but glow in the breasts of all Christians? 
When the glory of God is so intimately in- 
volved and the souls of men are beyond all 
value, w^hy are not all believers pleading with 
burthened hearts for a display of his saving 
power everywhere? If Christians were only 



t>4 

awake and on the alert! In a church or com- 
munity where a few become burdened for 
souls and are crying- to God for salvation, we 
say a revival has beg-un. Now should this be- 
come g-eneral throug-hout Christendom, if be- 
lievers, the world over, were to become deeply 
concerned for the unsaved, and should wrestle 
on their bshalf "with strong- crying- and 
tears," how the windows of Heaven would 
open; what mig-hty blessing-s would descend in 
all parts of the earth. 

And how often the Beloved comes to his 
people while they are absorbed in worldly 
cares and pleasures, seeking- to arouse them 
from their slumbers. He knocks tenderly, 
lovingly. His voice comes plaintively, "What, 
could ye not watch with me one hour?"- He 
needs their prayers, their service, their in- 
fluence. And there he stands knocking-, plead- 
ing-, "Till his head is filled with the dew, and 
his locks with the drops of the nig-ht." Yet 
multitudes of his people, in love with slum- 
ber, satisfied with their ease, resist all these 
tender appeals, and the dear Saviour has to 
turn weeping- away. Dear reader has he thus 



-■^'^^s's^^^gi 



65 

been calling to jou, and shall he call longer in 
vain? 

And is not the Lord at the present time 
saying to the church universal, "Now it is 
high time to awake out of sleep." "Awake, 
awake, put on thy strength O Zion." But the 
only way for the church to awake is for the 
individual members to awake. That is the 
very thing I want to do; as far as I can secure 
the attention of God's people I want to say, 
"Brother, sister, you are personally respon- 
sible for the prosperity of the kingdom, and 
for the salvation of dying men. By the help 
of God rise clear up to your responsibility, so 
as to clear your skirts of the blood of all men." 
How can you bear the thought, my dear friend, 
of giving up your account at last to God, and 
of facing the unsaved within your influence 
then, unless you have endeavored, as far as 
you could, to bring them to Christ? Would 
that there were a trumpet that could as effec- 
tually waken slumbering Christians as the one 
that will be heard on the resurrection morning 
awakening the dead. 



CHAPTER X. 

ObstacivES in the Way. 

'T^HERE have been frequent occasions for 
•^ mentioning- the difficulties in the way 
of building- up the cause of the Redeemer. 
These obstacles may be divided into those that 
are preventable — as far as Christians are con- 
cerned — and those that are not preventable. 
It vp^ould not be profitable, perhaps, to notice 
those which are beyond our power to prevent, 
but I wish to consider some of the other class, 
so that they may be avoided. As far as in us 
lies, we should remove every obstacle out of 
the way of the advancement of the king-dom, 
and we should be extremely careful that we 
place none in the way. But too often Christians; 
by their conduct, do place hindrances in the 
way, thus perhaps preventing- the answer to 
their most fervent prayers. 

One g-reat dang-er threatening- the church 
of the future is that the Sabbath school child^ 
ren do not attend church. Nearly the only 
exception to this is where the parents live in 
the country, hence, on account of the convey 



67 

ance, the cliildren of necessity have to remain 
for church, but take it in towns and cities; at 
the close of the school a break is made for the 
door, and nearly every scholar leaves the house 
of God, to be seen there no more till time for 
school the next Sabbath. And so many of 
these scholars, when they g-et up in their 
teens, graduate from the Sunday school; then 
they are done with the church. Any number 
of people, with families growing* up around 
them, seldom or never attend a place of wor- 
ship. Speak to them about it, they will reply, 
"O yes, we used to attend Sunday school, but 
we were never accustomed to attend church." 
Now, as far as Christian parents are con- 
cerned, this, to a g-reat extent, can be reme- 
died. It is their duty to see that their child- 
ren go to church. While it is best, if possible, 
to avoid compulsion, if the proper course is 
pursued they can usually secure their attend- 
ance. In city churches some children have 
grown up and have never known anything else 
but to be at the church services. As a rule 
these early come to the Saviour and become 
pillars in the church. On the other hand 



k. 



6d 

those who have only gone to the Sabbath 
school, if they are converted they do not 
usually have a clear understanding- of the gos- 
pel and of Christian duty, as they have not 
been accustomed to go to church, so often 
they are by no means regular in their attend- 
ance. So there is a great liability of their 
abandoning their profession, or at best plod- 
ding on, mere nominal members. Christian 
parents should endeavor by all means to cor- 
rect this neglect of the sanctuary by their 
children. There is not a more beautiful sight, 
nor one more inspiring to the pastor, than to 
see the children at churc?. 

Another danger is a disregard of the Sab- 
bath. Religion cannot be maintained without 
the observance of the Sabbath, and the near- 
er the distinction is broken down between 
this and other day^ the less power the religion 
of the Lord Jesus will exert. And this dis- 
tinction in these latter days is becoming 
pretty well obliberated. I do not refer now 
to Sabbath deseqration by the railroads, by 
Sunday excursions, concerts in the parks, 
base ball games, open saloons, etc., only in so 



69 

far as Christians lend their influence and their 
patronag-e to these monstrous sins. I refer 
more particularly to the Sabbath desecration 
that has been creeping- into Christian homes, 
such as doing- marketing- and other unneces- 
sary work on the Sabbath; traveling- on the 
Lord's day, especially on the trains; reading- 
Sunday newspapers and other improper read- 
ing- on the Sabbath. 

This is not near the end of the list, but it 
is enoug-h to show how Sabbath distinc'';ion is 
fading out; how the day is disregarded by 
many professors of religion. Here is a loud 
call for reform. It is astonishing how many 
members of churches will put off going a 
journey of business, pleasure or visiting until 
the Sabbath. We cannot say really that the 
Sunday trains and newspapers would have to 
stop if members of churches should withold 
their patronage, but it would be a serious loss 
to these institutions of iniquity. And it seems 
there ought to be piety and principle in the 
churches to stop a great deal of it. This pro- 
fanation of the Lord's day by professed 
Christians is a reproach to religion, in the 



70 

eyes of worldly people, and no doubt causes 
the Lord very often to refuse to bestow his 
blessing" upon the church. 

Then the almost constant chang-e of pas- 
tors is a great hindrance to the Lord's work. 
It used to be that when a young- man was set- 
tled in his first charge he was expected to 
spend his entire ministry there. But we, es- 
pecially in the west, have fallen upon, evil 
times, in this respect. The averag-e leng-th of 
the pastorate, in the denominations that 
choose their own pastors, is not much over 
two years. The pastor and his family hardly 
become acquainted with the people, so as to 
do efficient work, when they have to leave. 
Inhere are many reasons for this sad state of 
a (fairs. One of the most common is a disposi- 
tion on the part of so many church members to 
t.ike up little, trivial thing's ag-ainst the pas- 
tt)r. Often these are really not worthy of men- 
tion, yet they are brooded over, tzdked about, 
till the poor man has to leave. But so fre- 
quently in driving" him away the church is 
split into two factions, and when the next man 
comes, one or the other is opposed to him, and 



71 

soon fig-hts him awaj. Thus a squabble is 
at times kept up from one g-eneration to 
another. 

And there is nothing- that more effectually 
prevents the Lord's work than such strife. 
The Holy Spirit is grieved away and the peo- 
ple of the world are turned ag-ainst the church 
and often to infidelity. When a pastor is set- 
tled every member who desires the welfare of 
the cause of Christ should accept the situation 
and do his utmost to make his work a success. 

Sometimes, however, it is the pastor's 
fault. He is ambitious, restless or discour- 
ag-ed, so he tears himself away. And often 
the Lord whips him for it, just as he fre- 
quently does a clique in a church that unjustly 
turns the pastor away. Both pastor and peo- 
ple often see afterwards that it would have 
been better to have reg-arded that shrewd 
advice: 

'"Tis better to endure the ills we have 

Than fly to others that we know not of. '* 
Or the advice of the apostle, "Be content 
with such thing's as ye have." Is there no 
way to stop this constant change, which en- 



73 

tails such dreadful hardships upon the pastor 
and his family, and works such injury to the 
cause of Christ. 

The tendency to ritualism is another dan- 
ger now threatening the Protestant churches. 
This is a very insidious foe. It comes clothed 
in such an innocent garb and glides in so 
stealthily. But it is nevertheless a deadly foe 
to religion. The history of the church shows 
that it blights and destroys true piety. And 
it is so congenial to the human heart. We 
would so much rather pay our worship by 
mere forms and ceremonies than by sincere 
heart worship. But our Saviour declared- 
"God is a Spirit, and they that worship hitu 
must worship him in spirit and in truth." 
The Almighty cannot be put off by a set of 
rites and ceremonies, however beautiful or 
aesthetic. 

And there is no question, ritualism is 
creeping into our churches. Look at the way 
Christmas and Easter are observed, and Good 
Friday and other days are being taken up. 
Great strides have been taken in this direction 
di^ying the \a^t few years. If many of our 






73 

fathers and motliers wlio went tome to their 
rest only twenty or thirty years ag-o should 
return to earth and enter their old church on 
Easter morning they would perhaps exclaim, 
"What, am I in a Catholic church?" Nowldonot 
say that this has g-one so far as to be actually 
wrong-, but the danger is, "Whereunto these 
things may grow." After the Arab's camel 
got his nose into ,the tent it was not long be- 
fore he was clear in, and there was no room 
for anything else. It seems now that the 
camel of ritualism was getting his nose pretty 
well into some of our churches, and the sad 
havoc that ritualism has wrought in what was 
once pure, spiritual churches, ought to be a 
warning to all who desire a pure church to be 
maintained. The only safe way is to adhere 
to the old Latin adage, "Obsta principia," 
("resist the first beginnings.") Don't let the 
destroye%get a foothold. Zealously maintain 
a simple, spirit ual worship. 

Still another danger that appears to be 
growing, is an inordinate selfishness. This is 
the natural tendency. As the country in- 
creases in wealth the love of pleasure and of 



74 

luxury is liable to increase, and people are un- 
willing- to make self-denials for tlie sake of 
Christ. I was startled lately by what a re- 
turned missionary . said to me. He had been 
gone some ten years, and he said since his re- 
turn he could notice that during- that time a 
desire for self-indulg-ence and luxury had been 
g-rowing- among- the churches, and an unwill- 
ing^ness to make sacrifices for the Master. He 
was fearful for the consequences upon the 
work of foreig-n missions. He may have been 
mistaken, yet it is evident that there is not 
that willing-ness to make any and every sacrifice 
for the dear Master, there shoul d be. Christians 
are so far from reaching the example of him 
"Who thoug-h he was rich, yet for our sakes 

became poor." 

And just in the degree that Christians are 
selfish; loving ease and luxury, and unwilling 
to make sacrifices, in that degree Ihey are 
shorn of their power, consequently in the same 
degree the cause of the Redeemer must lan- 
guish. There is an intimate and direct con- 
nection, in this respect, as cause and effect. 
Nor was there ever a time when the Lord's 



75 

work demanded greater sacrifices than now; 
in wrestling- prayer, in devoting- time, effort 
and money to the work, and in g^iving- self up 
to be wholly the Lord's. Why is it that all 

God's people cannot rise to the thoug-ht of the 

exalted privileg-e of making- sacrifices for the 
precious Saviour and for the souls of men. 

But I wish to speak more particularly of 
g-iving- our means. What a crying- need there 
is for money now, to carry on the Lord's work. 
What larg-e and white fields, at home and 
abroad, cannot be improved for lack of means. 
In benig-hted lands many of the heathen, re- 
mote from mission stations, have learned some- 
thing- of the g-ospel, and of the blessed results 
of the work of the missionaries. And they 
often come long distances, pleading- that mis- 
sionaries may be sent to them. But, althoug-h 
there are applicants at home waiting- to be 
sent to just such opening-s, yet these requests 
so often have to be denied for lack of funds. 
And how hard to refuse these pressing- en- 
treaties. There needs to be a revival, at pres- 
ent, on the line of benevolence. So many are 
unwilling to give of their abundance; others 



76 

are unwilling* to exercise economy and self- 
denial in order that they may be able to g"ive; 
as a consequence the chariot wheels of salva- 
tion frequently move slowly, and precious souls 
have to perish in darkness, without a knowl- 
edge of the Saviour. 

Will not every one give then, "As God 
has prospered him?" That is the standard, 
and it is certainly a reasonable x)ne. And no 
person loses anything by giving. The Lord 
usually more than makes it up. Then, if we 
give from the right motive, we are "laying up 
treasures in Heaven," increasing our gracious 
and eternal reward. Besides, our money will 
do such good employed in the Lord's work; 
will bring such glory to our divine Chfist, and 
will help to save undying souls. It seems 
wondrous strange that all Christians cannot 
rise to the appreciation of the "luxury of giv- 
ing." It is a duty to give — yes, it is a sacred 
duty — ^but, O, my friend, it is a far sweeter 
privilege. 

Here I want to address any of my readers 
to whom the Lord has given large wealth. 
There are many true Christians, in nearly all 



77 

denominations, who, in the providence of 
God, have great possessions — some are mil- 
lionaires. Brethren, one of the most desirable 
things in the world is to have large wealth, so 
as to be able to make large benefactions to 
worthy objects, and it thus affords such an 
opportunity of helping on the kingdom. But, 
brethren, it will be a fearful thing to meet our 
Judge if we have kept our talents selfishly 
hoarded up, instead of employing them in the 
Master's service. Large wealth brings in- 
creased responsibility, and may God deliver 
you from the awful fate of your money burn- 
ing on your conscience like molten lava in the 
eternal world. 

Meet your responsibilities, then, brethren. 
Give largely of your means to the cause of 
your Master, and thus be prepared to receive 
an approving verdict from your final Judge. 
"He is worthy." He has redeemed you with 
his own heart's blood, and has bestowed upon 
you all that you possess. Bring, then, your 
princely gifts and lay them at your Redeemer's 
feet. And bestow your gifts during your life- 
time — at least a share of them — while you can 



78 

be jour own executor. It seems rather selfish 
to hold onto our money till we can hold no 
long-er, then make provision for giving- it to 
the Lord. Besides, when it is bequeathed, so 
often it never reaches its object — the lawyers 
g-et it. There is also such a satisfaction in 
knowing- that our money is doing good while 
we are living. 

One great reason why so many persons of 
large wealth do not give more largely is they 
feel that they must leave their fortune to their 
family and relatives. Now God forbid that I 
should advocate wronging the dear ones. 
They should be well cared for. Due provision 
should be made for them. That is but just 
and right. But let me remind the wealthy 
that they are under greater obligations to 
their Redeemer than to any earthly relations, 
and He, of all others, should not be wronged. 
And frequently the fortune that is left for the 
family does them no real good; it goes in 
legal contests; or if it does reach the family it 
really proves a curse to some of them. 

In view of what constantly comes under 
observation, there can be no very strong 



79 

inducements to bequeath larg« fortunes to 
relatives. 

Oh that the Lord's j)eople who have been 
entrusted with g-reat wealth, or with only 
moderate means, may lay these things to 
heart, especially at this time, when there is 
such a crisis for funds to carry on the work. 
If some of our multi-millionaires would give a 
million or more dollars for the work of foreign 
missions, what an amount of good they could 
do. Funds are so needed for that work, and 
at present there are larger results, in the way 
of conversions, in proportion to the number of 
workers, in foreign than in work at home. 
And the pressure for money for the work at 
home is about as great. What an opportunity 
for people of wealth to come to the help of the ^ 
Lord. This is an emergency that will deter- j 
mine whether the love of Christ or of self is 
stronger — a testing time. May the Lord open 
hearts to respond to humanity's need in such a 
way as to show the sweet, the all-constraining' 
power of Jesus' love. 



^ 



CHAPTER XI. 

Young Pbopi^e's Societies and the Coming 
OF THE Kingdom. 

'yHE "Christian Endeavor" and the other 
^ societies for young- people are one of the 
most hopeful features of the church of the 
future. They wonderfully brig-hten the pros- 
pect for the spread of the gospel. These 
societies are doing- such a work in helping- 
and encourag-ing- young- converts, and in de- 
veloping- and training- them for the Lord's 
service. This is a work that has always 
been needed, and it is curious that some 
method such as this had not been devised 
centuries ago. Every person is ready to ask, 
*'How did the church manage to do so long- 
without them?" 

One of the best features of these societies 
is that they accustom the young- people to 
take part in prayer. Young Christians need to 
learn to pray. They should be drawn out in 
prayer from their very entrance upon the new 
life. Unless they take up this duty then, tUey 
are apt to neglect it afterward. Now these 



81 

societies come rig-lit in and tend to do this very 
thing-, and the proportion of young- people who 
take part in prayer now is vastly g-reater than 
it was during- the last generation. Where 
these societies have done their work the situ- 
ation in a church cannot be like one that was 
reported some years ag-o. There were some 
seventy or eig-hty members in the church, and 
of all that number only four or five would take 
part in the prayer meeting's. 

Not only so, the young- people are now 
put to work; these societies g-et them right 
into the traces. They are thus trained for 
active service. Usually pastors now lean 
g-reatly upon their young- people. When they 
want anything done they know just where to 
lay the hand upon the ones to do it. 

Thus new blood and vigor are brought 
into almost every department of the Lord's 
work. 

When we think back we are zdmost aston- 
ished that the churches accomplished as much 
as they did when there was so much latent 
power, useless material, such undeveloped 
resources. Sirice these energies have been 



82 

awakened and this latent power broug-ht into 
activity, her growth must be more rapid, her 
conquests must be greater. To me, the 
young- people's societies is one of the grandest 
movements of modern times. 

But while all this is true, I am pro- 
foundly convinced that, as yet, these societies, 
or at least many of them, are far from do- 
ing- as efficient work as they should. There 
are "Dead flies in the ointment." As I have 
attended these societies, in different places, 
several defects in the method of conducting- 
them have deeply impressed me. One of the 
most serious is the little time devoted to 
prayer. Not always, but so largely. Oftsn 
there are only one or two brief prayers in the 
whole hour. Now this is not waiting upon 
the Lord for his blessing as they should. 
They should earnestly seek the divine bless- 
ing to rest down on all the varied interests. 

Again, this affords little opportunity to 
draw those who need it out in prayer. And 
if the young people do not learn to pray in 
these societies they fail in a very important 
particular. 



83 

Then is so many instances there is a de- 
fect in the Bible study. The leader, perhaps, 
copies the references on slips; he takes these 
to the meeting", hands them around, and the 
members simply read these verses from the 
slips. Here there is no real study of the 
word. Even the leader did not search out 
references bearing- on the topic, he merely 
copied them from some paper. The leader 
and every member ought to "Search the 
Scriptures" for passages bearing on every 
topic, and they should be able to give some 
thought which the passage contains. 

Frequently, also, there is very little 
speaking in the meetings, and the young are 
not led out in this direction. Even on "con- 
secration," or experience dajy nearly all con- 
tent themselves by reading a verse. I have been 
surprised to see those who had been members 
of the church for years and ought to be able to 
to speak intelligently and with profit; yet they 
scarcely ever pretend to say a word. Now 
those who attend these meetings should gather 
ideas and learn to express them. If they do 
not, the society does not do the work it should. 



84 

But, as has been said, these societies, 
with their defects, have done a great work. 
They are training- up and fitting- the present 
g-eueration for service, as no former one has 
ever been. They are an important factor in 
the future prog-ress of the church. They 
possess almost untold possibilities for useful- 
ness. And owing- to the ag-ency of these 
societies, I, for one at least, am looking- for- 
ward for a more speedy and powerful coming- 
of the king-dom of Christ. 

Here let me beseech all young- Christians 
who read these pag-es to lay themselves out in 
prayer for the upbuilding- of the king-dom. 
Take a deep concern, young- friends, in these 
g-reat interests. Rest not satisfied until the 
welfare of Zion and of the souls of men weig"h 
heavily upon your hearts. Kndeavor to get 
into full sympathy with the dear Saviour in 
what he endured to provide redemption. 
You know the self-denial and the dreadful 
anguish it cost him. Try to attain something- 
of that same love for perishing- men, and a 
willing-ness to make any sacrifice to win them 
to Christ and to Heaven. 



" -- «7- fV^I'iU^''«"t'' 



85 

Also reflect much upon the worth of the 
soul, and what an awful thing- it is for any to 
be lost. If these thing's lie tenderly on your 
hearts, the love of Christ and of the souls of 
men will constrain you to do all in your power 
to save men. O if these thing-s are only im- 
pressed upon you, there will be no trouble 
about you praying- for them. You could not 
help but pray. Pour out your very hearts in 
prayer for the perishing". Wrestle as long- as 
you live in behalf of the dying. Thus only 
can your skirts be clear. 

Remember, young- friends, your responsi- 
bility; that to an extent you are accountable 
for the salvation of lost men. It will be a fear- 
ful thing- when we stand before the bar of 
God, not to be able to say with the Apostle: 
"I am clear of the blood of all men." And if 
you beg-in to pray for the perishing in your 
early years and follow it up as long as you 
live, eternity only can reveal what your 
prayers have accomplished. When, also, you 
come to stand before the throne, you will 
have a crown studded with the brightest 
jewels to lay at your Redeemer's feet. And 



86 

you will hear from his gracious lips the ap- 
proval, "Well done, g-ood and faithful ser- 
vant." And in the eternal world many will 
come and thank you for being- the means of 
their salvation. 

What say you, young- friends? Will you 
lead a life of prayer? Will you plead with 
brokenness of heart for the perishing-, and do 
what you can by personal effort for their sal- 
vation? Or will you g-ive the lost, occasion to 
complain, "No man cares for my soul?" 



CHAPTER XII. 

Win You Not Pray For The Kingdom. 

T N VIEW, therefore, of the glor j of God and 
^ the salvation of immortal souls, I do en- 
treat all God's people to g-ive themselves to 
lives of prayer. Brethren, plead as the days, 
months and years roll by for the upbuilding- of 
the Redeemer's kingdom, and for the eternal 
welfare of dying men. The soul is so prec- 
ious; svich eternal interests are involved in the 
case of every human soul; it is such an awful 
thing for anyone to go down to darkness and 
death; yet what multitudes are perishing! As 
you consider the vast multitudes who have 
never heard of the way of life and are perish- 
ing in darkness, and the millions in. Christian 
lands who enjoy the light, but are spurning 
the Saviour, how can you fail to plead that 
God may bring all men to a saving knowledge 
of the Lord Jesus? O, if all Christians only 
did this, how much more rapidly the kingdom 
of God would come, and how many more 
would be spared from dying "Without God 
and without hope!" Will not those in our 



88 

churches especially, who are long-ing- for some- 
thing* to do for the dear Master, take to 
pleading- with all the heart "Thy King-dom 
Come"? 

And would that I could induce ag-ed 
Christians to spend the remainder of their 
days in prayer. There are many ag-ed minis- 
ters who have had to retire from active ser- 
vice; and there are other Christians who are 
reg-retting- that their days of usefulness are 
past, and that all they can now do is to await 
the summons, "It is enoug-h, come uphig-her." 
Yet if these worn out veterans should spend 
what remains to them of life in pleading- for 
the coming- of Christ's king-dom, they could ac- 
complish more, perhaps, than in their days of 
active service. Thus their declining- years 
mig-ht bear the most abundant fruit. 

And would it not be a grand thing for all 
Christendom to observe a year of special 
prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 
all the earth, and for the salvation of men? 
We are so inclined to do what everybody else 
is doing — even if it is praying — that if a 
twelve months were set apart for special pray- 



89 

er, so many more would join in earnest pray- 
er. "The Week of Prayer" has secured the 
most gracious results; large harvests of prec- 
ious souls have been g-athered into the fold as 
the fruit of its observance. What grand re- 
sults then mig-ht reasonably be expected if all 
the Lord's people, in all parts of the earth, 
were to spend a year in wrestling- for the de- 
scent of the Holy Spirit, and" for the salvation 
of the perishing-? Could a/^^ear be thus sac- 
redly observed, I believe under God it would 
secure the salvation of untold multitudes, and 
g-ive a new impetus to the spreading- abroad 
of the kingdom of God's dear Son over all the 
earth. The Lord's people never yet have 
proved him by prayer as they should. When 
will the sacramental hosts of God come up to 
their duty in this respect? 

And there is an emergency on the church 
now that demands greater watchfulness and 
prayer fulness, because of new obstacles that 
have to be met. During the past, when the 
church had adopted new measures, secure'd 
better equipments, and thus been prepared for 
a more eflficient, aggressive service, Satan has 



90 

set himself to counterect these new agencies. 
Everyone knows full well that during- the 
last two or thrfee generations new methods 
and new machinery have been employed in 
the Lord's work, and this has been a period 
of wonderful activity and of surprising re- 
sults. But the Prince of Darkness has not 
been asleep in the meantime, nor has he 
given up the cause as lost. He has set up 
new engines, adopted new tactics, and the 
church of today has to face some of the most 
difficult problems and meet some of the 
greatest obstacles of her entire history. If 
she is not girded with new force she will be 
worsted in the contest. Unless the mighty 
power of God undertakes in her behalf she 
will enter the new century in a crippled con- 
dition. Hence the providence of God and 
the welfare of the kingdom demand at pres- 
ent a higher standard of piety, a holier, 
more consecrated life, a greater degree of 
prayerfulness. I believe that through divine 
grace Christians will meet this demand, and 
that greater achievements await the church 
in the immediate future. But unless they 



't.i^r j'T^-K^^-'Sf-r- 



91 

do come up to the occasion wide-spread dis- 
aster and defeat may be expected. 

Yes the prospect is hopeful, but it will 
be what WE make it. Would that we could 
come up to our possibilities. There is reason 
to believe from the word of God that a time 
is coming- when our world shall receive a 
most gracious visitation from the presence 
of the Lord. A time when he will literally 
"Pour out his Spirit on all flesh," when 
upon all the world around there will be one 
universal revival. Millions upon millions will 
turn to the Lord, and "Nations will be born 
in a day." But we can be assured that that 
day will not come until a corresponding- vol- 
ume of prayer ascends for that wonderful 
blessing". It is perhaps within bounds to 
assert that the Christians of the present gen- 
eration could bring- about this g-lorious time, 
and secure these wonderful results. Breth- 
ren shall we do what we can to bring- this 
about? Do we really desire that all the 
"ends of the earth should turn to the Lord?" 
And are we willing- to pay our part of the 
price? 



92 

I must speak these burning- words. They 
have been on my heart for years. I have 
also been trying" in my humble "way to observe 
this importunity in prayer. And I entreat 
ministers to dwell more earnestly on the duty 
of prayer, and to try and induce their people 
to plead more importunately for the enlarg-e- 
ment of Zion. I do entreat every child of 
God who reads these pages, for the sake of 
the precious Christ who redeemed you, and 
for the sake of dying- men, cry unto God 
with brokenness of heart for the building- up 
of his king-dom and for the salvation of 
the lost. Wrestle mig-htily in prayer for 
the prosperity of the church, and for the 
eternal welfare of the perishing. And don't 
let your g-oodness be "As the morning- 
cloud, and as the early dew," but persevere in 
prayer. 

Shall the great multitudes g-o on to ruin 

and the love of Christ and the souls of 

men not impel us to plead for their salva- 
tion? Oh that the "Spirit of g-race and 

of supplication" may be poured out more 
richly upon all God's dear people, so that 



95 

they may cty more earnestly, more impor- 
tunately "Thy kingdom come." 



"Even So Come Lord Jesus." 



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