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with life and with love from the plenitude of His resources, and the invincibility of His searching and pervasive energies. What social error or evil-what political combination--what power of faction, delusion or obduracy can stand up against the Omnipotent, or outwatch and outwit the Omniscient Spirit of God, if His Sovereignty once move forth? But this Spirit has placed His influences, so to speak, before us under the condition and requirement of instant, united and continued supplication. He with whom is this all-sufficing and all-commanding "residue of the Spirit," waits "to be enquired of." All His past gifts have not drained the reservoir or trenched on the treasure-heap. He bids us ask assured that we are to receive, and to knock importunately at the door even when seemingly barred, until it be opened. His choicest pledge of favor is the Spirit of grace and supplication. And as a praying Church opened the fetters and prison doors of Peter, whilst all Jerusalem waited for the victim, and Herod's soldiers, chained bodily to the prisoner, seemed to assure his fate, so now the Hearer of Prayer but awaits new and heartier appeals from our globe to call forth new wonders, that as they come gushing downward from His throne shall surprise and disappoint the nations yet, as of old, in their inveterate delusion, banded against His King in Zion. He awakens prayer; He directs and inspires prayer; He responds to, crowns and surpasses the requests of prayer: and as of old reiterates His gracious challenge to the Church," Concerning the work of My hands command ye Me."

II. But what are the CHANNELS selected by this Mighty Worker in shaping the affairs and in controlling the hearts of the nations? They are not always in the

line of established human precedents; nor do these floods always respect the dykes or follow the channels of secular interests and usages and prejudices. The strangest changes, perplexing and appalling human leaders, are often wrought by His Providence outwardly; and by His direct, internal influence also in the hearts and moral state of men. These changes can alter unexpectedly the whole face of a land making, in the inspired language of our prophecy, the wilderness into a fruitful field, and causing the fruitful field, in comparison with its new counterpart, to be accounted as a forest. This was illustrated when out of the imperial household that had absorbed Esther, and out of the banqueting chamber of despotism once promising only riot and violence, and out of the very feast to which had been invited as a honored guest Haman, the sworn enemy of the Jews, there issued the sentence that swung that persecutor from his own gibbet; soon to be followed by the decree that bade the Jews stand in each city of the empire in their own defence. An earlier edict had sold them to the slaughter. The laws of the Medes and the Persians did not allow the aspect of regal fallibility and mutability, which would be presented if a decree once made should ever be rescinded. But it might be counterpoised. And so the older judgment of general massacre for the Hebrew race, left constitutionally unrepealed, there came as its supplement the second decree summoning the race thus sealed for death to assume the sword in general selfdefence. The Jew did not wait to debate the question, on general principles, whether of right it were not better to exscind the old rule of immutability and infallibility. Practically, freedom was set before the Jewish patriot; and in the name of his God he accepted and achieved the boon thus placed within his reach,

These wide and sudden changes, which it is the prerogative of God's Spirit and Providence to effect, were illustrated still more signally when the greater light of the gospel dispensation, as compared with the shadows of the Jewish Levitical economy, made the wilderness of the Gentile world more acquainted with the great truths of religion, and more profusely adorned with the real fruits of holiness than the Jewish people had been ; so that their fruitful field seemed in comparison a forest, and so that, in the principle of the Divine government so peremptorily stated by the Messiah, its Administrator, the last became first and the first were made the last. But was all this spiritual and celestial bestowment, however noiseless its downward lapse, without wars and rumors of wars, as overspreading the earth? Came there not overthrow and exile, and bereavement, and persecution, and most relentless martyrdoms? These must be even in the van and in the train of the Prince of Peace. God's plough and harrow went tearing the sod as God's hand rained the harvest-seed of His kingdom.

In the Church and in the world, the Most High, who is wondrous in working, can yoke the stormiest of instrumentalities into the service of His own benignant cause. Look at Stephen, the martyr. How was his character, in all the Christian graces that illustrated it, and that made his removal so great a cause of lamentation to devout men, a beautiful realization of the benediction of Isaac on his son: fragrant is holiness, "the smell of a field blessed of the Lord." Yet great as was the fertile promise of that field, even it might be counted a forest compared with the higher spiritual attainments and the wider spiritual achievements of Saul of Tarsus; whom yet that Almighty Spirit found a very thicket and forest

of thorns, briars and poison-weeds, but whom the Spirit of God converted into a very Eden of the Lord's favor and presence. Such is the Lord's potent "husbandry."

The Modern Missions of the Christian Church that have carried the Bible into so many tribes on the eastern continent and in the islands of the southern seas, moved in the train of the terrific wars of the great French Revolution. Mirabeau and Robespierre and Danton knew nought of Carey and Martyn; but the French anarchists leavened in God's Providence our race for the great social changes which invited and welcomed these missionary outgoings. When the carnival of Terror and Blood trampled over the surface of France till it was a field of mire and gore, the God of the centuries was leading on, by invisible bands, the blessed troops of the Sunday-School Teacher, the Tract Distributor, the Home Evangelist, the Foreign Missionary, and the Bible Translator. And these moral, disturbing forces of the gospel that God sees fit to send forth, in the company or in the train of great secular convulsions, are by the hasty reasoners of the world most unjustly held responsible for the social convulsions which man's wickedness has really extorted from Divine Justice-convulsions which these moral reformers do beyond all other classes the most to lighten, to terminate and to heal. Sidney Smith, in rude scoffings which it would have been worth the sacrifice of half his literary honors could he have recalled and cancelled, sneered at the early Indian Missions of our churches as the work of "consecrated cobblers ;" and predicted, as the result of their continuance, and of the failure of the British Government to suppress them by the strong hand of power, the murderous overthrow of British dominion in the East-the "cutting," to use his sinewy English, "of every Englishman's throat in the

East." How did God put scorn on the scoffer and honor on his maligned servants, when out of the influence and religious trainings of that very Serampore thus denounced and thus derided, He brought a Havelock, wedded to a daughter of that missionary colony, himself, in the language of Sir Henry Hardinge, " Every inch a soldier and every inch a Christian ;" and sent him, in the hour of sorest peril to the eastern dominion of England, to be in his heroic march to Lucknow, one eminent instrument under God of saving to the British Crown her vast Indian Empire.

Repentance it is that sets us in the way of God's tes timonies, and brings around a people His potent and invincible benediction. And trials and battles and revolutions often are God's chosen enginery to induce and precipitate repentance. So Manasseh, caught among thorns, remembered his sins, and sought the forgotten God of his fathers. Then and thus "judgment dwells in the wilderness." In out of the way avenues, there is seen starting up some mighty witness for forgotten duty and neglected truth, the echo of an awakening national conscience, or the precursor of an overwhelming national judgment. It is here a John the Baptist, clad in camels' hair, and preaching in the wilderness of Judah to silken citizens and courtiers, the stern realities of Judgment and Eternity. It is there a poor miner's son, Luther, studying the Scriptures in his monastery; or thinking on the true way of salvation as he travels on his knees at Rome up the stairs of Pilate's palace; or translating the Bible in his Patmos as he called it, the desert refuge of the Castle of Wartburg. So Wesley and Whitfield, poor students in the halls of Oxford; so a Brainerd, expelled wrongfully from his college in New Haven; so a Carey fighting poverty, and in a country school pondering sadly

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