By some means or other, first the ministers, and then the Churches, got on “the down grade,” and in some cases, the descent was rapid, and in all, very disastrous. In proportion as the ministers seceded from the old Puritan godliness of life, and the old Calvinistic form of doctrine, they commonly became less earnest and less simple in their preaching, more speculative and less spiritual in the matter of their discourses, and dwelt more on the moral teachings of the New Testament, than on the great central truths of revelation.
The Brazen Serpent monument by Giovanni Fantoni, photo by David Bjorgen. The sculpture, on Mt. Nebo in Jordan, commemorates God’s command to Moses to raise a sculpture of a snake on a pole in order to heal Israelites dying of snakebites.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:14-15)
Take two men of the past generation: Dwight L. Moody of this country, and Charles Haddon Spurgeon of London - two men that moved two continents, undoubtedly, a little closer toward God. Plain men, men from humble beginnings, but men who yielded their lives over to the guidance and empowerment of God, and two continents were lifted closer to Heaven by some degree, because of these two men. Great journalists from near and far traveled to sit at the feet of Spurgeon and Moody, if, happily, they might discern the hidings of their power. And they watched these men as they moved about and opened the Scriptures and spoke therefrom, concerning the oracles of God. They were seeking to discern the hidings of power in these men. And God was saying to them all along, “Your faith is not to stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” Paul tells us why our Lord has made choice, as he has made choice, of certain humble instrumentalities to carry on his work. “God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty.” And Paul tells us why: “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
It is time to wake up, get up, and stay up. God’s alarm clock is going off every minute. We scan weather reports and study the news but we cannot discern the signs of the times. Blessed is the man who has set his watch by God’s clock, who knows what hour it is by the Eternal Timepiece that has never sounded a false alarm.