Monday, May 4, 2009

Cry out!

When ravens want food, they do not cease crying till they have got it; there is no quieting a hungry young raven till his mouth is full, and there is no quieting a sinner when he is really in earnest till he gets his heart full of divine mercy. I would that some of you prayed more vehemently! “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” An old Puritan said, “Prayer is a cannon set at the gate of heaven to burst open its gates:” you must take the city by storm if you would have it.

You will not ride to heaven on a feather-bed, you must go on pilgrimage; there is no going to the land of glory while you are sound asleep; dreamy sluggards will have to wake up in hell. If God has made you to feel in your soul the need of salvation, cry like one who is awake and alive; be in earnest; cry aloud; spare not; and then I think you will find that my argument will be quite fair, that in all respects a reasonable, argumentative, intelligent prayer, is more likely to prevail with God than the mere screaming, chattering noise of the raven; and that if he hears such a cry as the raven’s, it is much more certain that he will hear yours.

From a sermon entitled "The Ravens' Cry," delivered January 14, 1866. Image by chantrybee under Creative Commons License.

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