The Perils and Needs of Our Churches.

The church of God should continually “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3), and in these darkening and disastrous days, our testimony should not be like muffled bells, but clear and distinct. “The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle” (Ps 78:9). Was it cowardice, or expediency, or a fatal love of ease? We cannot but remember the words, “Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men” (Ps12:1). “Faithful,” that is, men of truth; “Amen men,” as Luther called them. Openness, as opposed to reticency, straightforwardness, thoroughness and steadfastness are qualities absolutely needed now; courage is required to call things by their right names; but righteous judgment is rare, and deflections, slight at first, may become gigantic at last.

Are our Churches thus bearing witness? Is there deep desire for pure doctrine, gracious experience, and godly practice? Is there that tenderness of conscience and solemn and sanctified purpose which well become those upon whom the Lord has had mercy? Doctrine, without spiritual life, can never save the soul. In former years, when many churches were prosperous, there was a setting of experimental religion in the forefront, that is, a vital experience of the liberating and sanctifying effects of truth made manifest in the walk and life.

We need doctrine, crystalised in the strictest form, and preached by called and anointed men, who feel the power of it in their hearts and show its holy effects in blameless lives. Reality, vitality, power! May we have these by the gift and operation of the Holy Ghost! Then will there be a true revival. We have need to pray, personally and collectively, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps 139:23,24).


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