An Earnest Appeal

Christian reader, I feel constrained to make an earnest appeal to your heart and conscience, in the presence of Him to whom you and I are responsible, and to whom our hearts and ways are fully known. I do not mean to judge you, or speak provocatively to you. Neither do I wish to write in a bitter or complaining spirit. I only desire to stir up your pure mind––to wake up the energies of your new nature––to exhort and encourage you to a more earnest zeal and wholehearted devotedness in the service of Christ.

   The present is a deeply solemn moment. The day of God’s longsuffering is rapidly drawing to a close. The day of wrath is at hand. The wheels of divine government are moving onward with a rapidity truly soul–subduing. Human affairs are working to a point. There is an awful crisis approaching. Immortal souls are rushing forward along the surface of the stream of time into the boundless ocean of eternity. In a word, the end of all things is at hand: “The days are at hand, and the accomplishment of every vision” (Ez. 12: 23).

   Now, my reader, seeing these things are so, let us ask each other, how are we affected thereby? What are we doing in the midst of the scene that surrounds us? How are we discharging our fourfold responsibility, namely, our responsibility to God, our responsibility to the Church, our responsibility to perishing sinners, our responsibility to our own souls? This is a weighty question. Let us take it into the presence of God, and there survey it in all its magnitude. Are we really doing all we might do for the advancement of the cause of Christ, the prosperity of His Church, the progress of His gospel? I candidly confess to you, my friend, that I very much fear we are not making a right use of all the grace, the light, and the knowledge which our God has graciously imparted to us. I fear we are not faithfully and diligently trading with our talents, or occupying till the Master return. It often occurs to me that people with far less knowledge, far less profession, are far more practical, more fruitful, more honoured in the conversion of precious souls, more generally used of God. How is this? Are you and I sufficiently self–emptied, sufficiently prayerful, sufficiently single–eyed?

   You may, perhaps, reply, “It is a poor thing to be occupied with ourselves, our ways, or our works.” Yes, but if our ways and our works are not what they ought to be, we must be occupied with them––we must judge them. The Lord, by His prophet Haggai, called upon the Jews of old to "Consider your ways" (Hag. 1: 5), and the Lord Jesus said to five of the seven churches, "I know thy works" (Rev. 2, 3). There is a great danger of resting satisfied with our knowledge, our principles, our position, while at the same time, we are walking in a carnal, worldly, self–indulgent, careless spirit. The end of this will, assuredly, be terrible. Let us consider these things. May the apostolic admonition fall, with divine power, on our hearts, "See to yourselves, that we may not lose what we have wrought, but may receive full wages" (2 John 8).