Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Arise and call upon your God

flower petals

But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, "What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.” - Jonah 1:5, 6.

Yet further, let us remember that as Jonah was the only man in the ship whose prayer could be of any avail, so the children of God are the only men who can do any real spiritual service to the perishing world. All the cries of the shipmaster and his crew were addressed to the gods of their various countries, who had ears which could not ear, and hands which could afford no aid. Jonah was the only man who worshipped the Lord that made the sea and the dry land; hence, his prayers alone could save the ship. Now, the salvation of the world under God lies with the Church. Christ has finished the atonement; it is for the Church to finish the ingathering. Christ hath paid the purchase-price, and completed redemption by blood; it is for the Church to seek the Holy Spirit, and fully to redeem the world by power. Suppose, then, that you who fear God say, “This is no case of mine; I am not my brother’s keeper;” suppose that you waste opportunities, and throw precious time to the dogs, then the world must go down to its awful doom; but, mark you, its blood shall be upon your skirts.

This generation, under God, must have salvation given to it through our ministry, through our evangelists, through our Sunday Schools, through our missionaries, through our preachings and teachings; and if we do it not, the world will not stay from perishing while we are staying from laboring. Men will not live on until another generation worthier than we are shall have taken our places, but this generation must go down to the tomb, muttering curses between its lips against the faithless, wicked, unbelieving, inactive Church; and we must go down too, to meet the doom of those who had no real faith in Christ, or else they would have had a love for the souls of men; who had not the spirit of Jesus, or else they would with wooing entreaties, and with earnest efforts have brought men to the cross of Christ.

From a sermon entitled "What Meanest Thou, O Sleeper?," delivered September 14, 1862. Flickr photo by Axel Buhrmann; some rights reserved.

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