Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

the Son will reveal Him" (Luke 10: 22). “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (1 Cor. 1: 21). In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul says, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2: 1).

(1 Cor. 2: 1). To the Romans Paul writes, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1: 16). “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 1: 17).

Christ sends His disciples to deliver a certain message in His name. When the Lord sent Jonah to Nineveh, he said unto him, "Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.” Jonah did not, as is too much the case nowadays, offer bribes or inducements to the people of Nineveh to come and hear him. But Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now, Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown" (Jonah 3: I). The result was, the people believed God, proclaimed a fast, put on sack-cloth, and turned from their evil way and were forgiven. On the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles began to preach in Jerusalem, no bribes or inducements were offered to draw men to hear the Gospel. According to the command of Jesus, they remained in prayer with the disciples, until they received power from the Holy Ghost. When they recived that power they commenced preaching Christ, using almost entirely words from that portion of the Holy Scriptures known to us as the Old Testament, foretelling the coming of Christ, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Telling them that Christ had come; and they, although they had seen the signs and wonders attesting Him, had rejected Him. “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."

“Therefore, let all the house of Israel know, assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now, when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ** * And the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2: 14-41). Immediately after the day of Pentecost, Peter preached again, using almost the same words; and the record says, “Many of them which heard the word believed, and the number of men was about five thousand” (Acts 3: 12-26; 4: 4). Since that time, in all countries, and in all ages, where the same Gospel has been faithfully preached, the same results have followed. Luther in Germany, John Knox in Scotland, John Wesley in England, Whitfield and Moody, by preaching Christ and the simple Gospel, have been the means of bringing tens of thousands to Christ. The great aim of these reformers was not to reform men, but to renew them; not to attack specific sins, but to destroy the root of every sin by a change of the heart. This they accomplished by preaching Christ, and the doctrines of grace; the only way to reform and to elevate man. The only way ordained by Christ to save man. The only way attended and made effectual by the power of the Holy Ghost.

These results have always followed preaching Christ among the heathen. The Moravians labored in Greenland for several years without success. One of them, while translating Matthew's Gospel, was visited by a number of the natives, who desired to know the contents of the book. The missionary gratified their desire; told them of man's fall by sin, and his recovery by Christ; enlarged with energy and feeling upon the price of redemption, and then read from the book in his hand the history of our Saviour's agony in the garden. The account goes on to state, “Now, the Spirit of God began to work," and from that time the work went on with great speed and power, and a large number of consistent and steadfast converts were made. The same results followed the preaching of David Brainerd, who died over a century ago, at the early age of twentynine; greatly beloved, and greatly lamented. His missionary labors were among the Indians in New Jersey. They were ignorant and stupid, steeped in sensuality, given over to the love of strong drink, without natural affection, and full of prejudices against white men. Their lan. guage was not known by the missionary, who was compelled to preach to them by an indifferent interpreter; and his instructions, when understood, were zealously opposed by wicked white men. Yet, notwithstanding all these obstacles, the Spirit of God was poured out upon them. Within the short space of eleven months, seventy-seven of these poor creatures were converted. From being drunken, howling savages, they became devout and intelligent Christians. Mr. Brainerd states in his remarks concerning the work:

“I can not but take notice that I have in general, ever since my first coming among the Indians in New Jersey, been favored with that assistance which, to me, is uncommon, in preaching Christ crucified, and making Him the centre and mark to which all my discourses among them were directed,

“It was the principal scope and drift of all my disccurses to this people for several months together, (after having taught them something of the being and perfections of God, His creation of man in a state of rectitude and happiness, and the obligations mankind were thence under to love and honor Him), to lead them into an acquaintance with their deplorable state by nature, as fallen creatures; their inability to extricate and deliver themselves from it; the utter insufficiency of any external reformations and amendments of life, or of any religious performances of which they were capable, while in this state, to bring them into the favor of God, and interest them in His eternal mercy; thence to show them their absolute need of Christ, to redeem and save them from the misery of their fallen state; to open His all-sufficiency and willingness to save the chief of sinners; the freeness and riches of divine grace, proposed “without money and without price,” to all who will accept the offer; thereupon to press them, without delay, to betake themselves to Him, under a sense of their misery and undone state, for relief and everlasting salvation; and to show them the abundant encouragement the Gospel pro

« IndietroContinua »