Spurgeon GEMS volume 5
The Song of Death
There are some that are like what is fabled of the swan. The ancients said the swan never sang in his life-time, but always sang just when he died. Now, there are many of God's desponding children, who seem to go all their life under a cloud; but they get a swan's song before they die. The river of their life comes running down, perhaps black and miry with troubles, and when it begins to touch the white foam of the sea there comes a little glistening in its waters. So, beloved, though we may have been very much discouraged because of the burden of the way, when we get to the end we shall have sweet songs. Are you afraid of dying? Oh! Never be afraid of that; be afraid of living. Living is the only thing which can do an mischief; dying never can hurt a Christian. Afraid of the grave? It is like the has of Esther, in which she lay for a time, to purify herself with spices, that she might be fit for her Lord. The grave fits the body for heaven. There it lies—and corruption, earth, and worms, only refine and purify our flesh. Do not be afraid of dying; it does not take any time at all. All that death is, is emancipation, deliverance, heaven's bliss to a child of God. Never fear it; it will be a singing time. You are afraid of dying, you say, because of the pains of death. No, they are pains of life-of life struggling to continue. Death has no pain; death itself is only one gentle sigh—the chain is broken, and the spirit is set free. The best moment of a Christian's life is his last one because it is the one that is nearest heaven; and then it is that he begins to strike the keynote of the song which he shall sing for all eternity.
The Mysterious Spirit of the Living God
It may be, that during a sermon two men are listening to the same truth; one of them hears as attentively as the other and remembers as much of it; the other is melted to tears or moved with solemn thoughts; but the one though equally attentive, sees nothing in the sermon, except, maybe, certain important truths well set forth; as for the other, his heart is broken within him and his soul is melted. Ask me how is it that the same truth has an effect upon the one, and not upon his fellow—I reply, because the mysterious Spirit of the Living God goes with the truth to one heart and not to the other. The one only feels the force of truth, and that may be strong enough to make him tremble, like Felix; but the other feels the Spirit going with the truth, and that renews the man, regenerates him, and causes him to pass into that condition, that gracious condition which is called the state of salvation. This change takes place instantaneously. It is as miraculous a change as any miracle of which we read in Scripture. It is supremely supernatural. It may be mimicked, but no imitation of it can be true and real. Men may pretend to be regenerated without the Spirit, but regenerated they cannot be. It is change so marvelous that the highest attempts of man can never reach it. We may reason as long as we please, but we cannot reason ourselves into regeneration; we may meditate until our hairs are gray with study; but we cannot meditate ourselves into the new birth. That is worked in us by the sovereign will of God alone.
No man can serve two masters.
Mark Anthony yoked two lions to his chariot; but there are two lions no man has ever yoked together—the lion of the tribe of Judah, and the lion of the pit. These can never go together. Two opinions you may hold in politics, perhaps, but then you will be despised by everyone, unless you are of one opinion or the other, and act as an independent man. But two opinions in the matter of soul-religion you cannot hold. If God be God, serve him, and do it thoroughly; but if this world is God, serve it, and make no profession of religion. If you are a worldling, and think the things of the world are the best, serve them; devote yourself to them, do not be kept back by conscience; ignore your conscience, and run into sin. But remember, if the Lord is your God, you cannot have Baal too; you must have one thing or the other. "No man can serve two masters." If God is served, he will be a master; and if the devil be served, he will not be long before he will be a master; and "you cannot serve two masters." Oh! Be wise, and do not think that the two can be mingled together.
If God is God
If God is really worthy of our worship, and you really think so, I demand that you either follow him, or else deny that he is God at all. Now, professor of Christianity, if you say that Christ's gospel is the gospel, if you believe in the divinity of the gospel, and put your trust in Christ, I demand that you follow the gospel, not merely because it will be to your advantage, but because the gospel is divine. If you make a profession of being a child of God, if you are a believer, and think and believe religion is the best, the service of God the most desirable, then I do not come to plead with you because of any advantage you would get by being holy; it is on this ground that I put it, that the Lord is God; and if he is God, it is your business to serve him. If his gospel is true, and you believe it to be true, it is your duty to carry it out. If you say, Christ is not the Son of God, carry out your Jewish or your infidel convictions, and see whether it will end well. If you do not believe Christ to be the Son of God, if you are a Muslim, be consistent, carry out your Muslim convictions, and see whether it will end well. But, take heed, take heed! If however, you say God is God, and Christ is the Savior, and the gospel is true; I demand of you, only on this account, that you carry it out.
Not Far from Home
O Children of God! Death has lost its sting, because the devil's power over it is destroyed. Then cease being afraid of dying. You know what death is—look him in the face, and tell him you are not afraid of him. Ask grace from God, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of the master's death, you may be strengthened for that dreaded hour. And mark me, if you so live you may be able to think of death with pleasure, and to welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die—to lie upon the bosom of Christ, and have one's soul kissed out of one's body by the lips of divine affection. And you that have lost friends, or that may be bereaved, do not sorrow as those that are without hope; for remember the power of the devil is taken away. What a sweet thought the death of Christ brings us concerning those who are departed! They are gone, my brethren; but do you know how far they have gone? The distance between the glorified spirits in heaven and the militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home.
"One gentle sigh the spirit breaks,
We scarce can say 'tis gone,
Before the ransomed spirit takes
Its station near the throne."
We measure distance by time. We are apt to say that a certain place is so many hours from us. If it is a hundred miles away and there is no railroad we think it a long way; if there is a railway, we think we can be there in no time. But how near must we say heaven is? For it is just one sigh and we get there. Why, my brethren, our departed friends are only in the upper room, as it were, of the same house; they have not gone far off; they are upstairs, and we are down below.
Be careful of your pleasures
It is said that where the most beautiful cacti grow, there the venomous serpents are to be found at the root of every plant. And it is so with sin. Your fairest pleasures will harbor your grossest sins. Take care; take care of your pleasures. Cleopatra's asp was introduced in a basket of flowers; so are our sins often brought to us in the flowers of our pleasures.
Love your Creator
God, the Almighty, though he might use instruments, was nevertheless the sole creator of man. Though he is pleased to bring us into the world by the agency of our pregenitors, yet is he as much our Creator as he was the Creator of Adam, when he formed him out of clay and made him. Look at this marvelous body of your—see how God put the bones together, so as to be of the greatest service and use to you. See how he has arranged your nerves and blood-vessels—mark the marvelous machinery which he has employed to keep you in life! O thing of an hour! Will you not love him that made you? It is impossible that you can think of him who formed you in his hand, and molded you by his will, and yet you will not love him who has fashioned you?
Think again of the end
You may think you can live fine without Christ, but you cannot afford to die without him. You can stand very securely at present, but death will shake your confidence. Your tree may be fair now, but when the wind comes, if it has no roots in the Rock of Ages, down it must come. You may think your worldly pleasures good, but they will then turn bitter as wormwood in your taste; worse than gall shall be the sweetest of your drinks, when you shall come to the bottom of your poisoned bowl.
The Blood-stained Page
No inferior hand has sketched even so much as the most minute parts of providence. It was all, from its Alpha to its Omega, from its divine preface to its solemn conclusion, marked out, designed, sketched and planned by the mind of the all-wise, all-knowing God. Therefore, not even Christ's death was exempt from it. He who wings an angel and guides a sparrow, he that protects the hairs of our head from falling prematurely to the ground, was not likely, when he took notice of such little things, to omit in his solemn decrees the greatest wonder of earth's miracles, the death of Christ. No! the blood-stained page of that book, the page which makes both past and future glorious with golden words, that blood-stained page, I say, was as much written by Jehovah as any other.
Like the Swift Ships
You may easily conceive how swiftly the mariner flies from a threatening storm, or seeks the port where he will find his home. You have sometimes seen how the ship cuts through the billows, leaving a white furrow behind her, and causing the sea to boil around her. Such is life, says Job, "like the swift ships," when the sails are filled by the wind, and the vessel dashes on, dividing a passage through the crowded water. Swift are the ships, but swifter far is life. The wind of time bears me along. I cannot stop its motion; I may direct it with the rudder of God's Holy Spirit; I may, it is true, take in some small sails of sin, which might hurry my days on faster than otherwise they would go; but nevertheless, like a swift ship, my life must speed on its way until it reaches its haven. Where is that haven to be? Shall it be found in the land of bitterness and barrenness, that dreary region of the lost? Or shall it be that sweet haven of eternal peace, where not a troubling wave can ruffle the quiet glory of my spirit? Wherever the haven is to be, that truth is the same, we are "like the swift ships."
Focus on Christ
There is one great event, which every day attracts more admiration than do the sun, and moon, and stars, when they march in their courses. That event is, the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. To it the eyes of all the saints who lived before the Christian era were always directed; and backwards, through the thousand years of history, the eye of modern saints are looking. Upon Christ, the angels in heaven perpetually gaze. "Which things the angels desire to look into," said the apostle. Upon Christ, the myriad eyes of the redeemed are perpetually fixed; and thousands of pilgrims, through this world of tears, have no higher object for their faith, and no better desire for their vision, than to see Christ as he is in heaven, and in communion to behold his person. Beloved, we shall have many with us, while we turn our face to the Mount of Calvary. We shall not be solitary spectators of the fearful tragedy or our Savior's death—we shall but dart our eyes to that place which is the focus of heaven's joy and delight, the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Means of Grace
Happy is the nation which is blessed with the means of grace. No man was ever saved by the means of grace apart from the Holy Spirit. You may hear the sermons of the man whom God delights to honor; you may select from all your divines the writings of the man whom God did bless with a double portion of his Holy Spirit; you may attend every meeting for prayer; you may turn over the pages of his blessed book; but in all this, there is no life for the soul apart from the breath of the Divine Spirit. Use these means, we exhort you to use them, and use them diligently; but remember that in none of these means is there anything that can benefit you unless God the Holy Spirit shall own and crown them. These are like the conduit pipes of the market place; when the fountain-head flows with the water then they are full, and we do derive a blessing from them; but if the stream is held back, if the fountain head does cease to give forth its current, then these are wells without water, clouds without rain; and you may go to ordinances as an Arab turns to his skin bottle when it is dry, and with your parched lips you may suck the wind and drink the whirlwind, but receive neither comfort, nor blessing, nor instruction, from the means of grace.
The Little Things
If little things have done great things, let us try to do great things also. You do not know, you atoms, but that your destiny is sublime. Try and make it so by faith; and the least of you may be mighty through the strength of God. Oh for grace to trust God, and there is no telling what you can do. Worms, you are nothing, but you have eaten princes; worms, you are nothing, but you have devoured the roots of cedars, and laid them level with the earth; worms, you are nothing, but you have piled rocks in the deep, deep sea, and wrecked mighty navies; worms, you have eaten through the keel of the proudest ship that ever sailed the ocean. If you have done this yourselves, what can't we do? Your strength lies in your mouths; our strength lies in ours too. We will use our mouths in prayer, and in constant adoration, and we shall conquer yet, for God is with us, and victory is sure.
Sin of Presumption
It would be presumption for any man to climb to the top of the spire of a church, and stand upon his head. "Well, but he might come down safe it he were skilled in it." Yes, but it is presumptuous. I would no more think of paying any money to watch a man ascend in a balloon, than I would to watch a poor wretch cut his own throat. I would no more think of standing and gazing at any man who puts his life in a position of peril, than I would of paying a man to blow his brains out. I think such things, if not murders, are murderous. There is suicide in men's risking themselves in that way; and if there is suicide in the risk of the body, how much more in the case of a man who puts his own soul in jeopardy just because he thinks he has strength of mind enough to prevent its being ruined and destroyed. Sir, your sin is a sin of presumption; it is a great and grievous one; it is one of the master pieces of iniquity.
A Penny's Worth of Righteousness
While you have a rag of your own you shall never have Christ; while you have a penny's worth of your own righteousness, you shall never have him; but when you are nothing, Christ is yours; when you have nothing of yourself to trust in, Jesus Christ in the gospel is your complete Savior; he bids me tell you he came to seek and to save people just like you.
The Grace of Election!
There is no difference, by nature, between the elect and others—those who are now glorified in heaven, and who walk the golden streets, dressed in robes of purity, were by nature as unholy and defiled, and as far from original righteousness, as those who, by their own rejection of Christ, and by their love of sin, have brought themselves into the pit of eternal torment, as a punishment for their iniquities. The only reason why there is a difference between those who are in heaven and those who are in hell, rests with divine grace, and with divine grace alone. Those in heaven must inevitably have been cast away, had not everlasting mercy stretched out its hand and redeemed them. They were by nature not one bit superior to others. They would as certainly have rejected Christ, and have trodden under foot the blood of Jesus, as did those who were cast away, if grace—free grace—had not prevented them from committing this sin. The reason why they are Christians is not because they naturally willed to be one, nor because they did by nature desire to know Christ, or to be found of him; but they are now saints simply because God made them so. He gave them the desire to be saved; he put into them the will to seek after him; he helped them in their seekings, and afterward brought them to feel that peace which is the fruit of justification. But by nature they were just the same as others; and if there is any difference, we are obliged to say that the difference does not lie in their favor. In very many cases, we who now "rejoice in hope of the glory of God" were the very worst of men! There are multitudes that now bless God for their redemption who once cursed him; who implored, as frequently as they dare to do, with oaths and swearing, that the curse of God might rest upon their fellow men and upon themselves. Many of the Lord's anointed were once the very castaways of Satan, the sweepings of society, the refuse of the earth, those whom no man cares for, who were called outcasts, but whom God has now called desired ones, seeing he has loved them.
Doubt the Eternal, distrust the Omnipotent? O traitorous fear! Do you think that the arm which created the heavens, and sustains the earth, shall ever be weak? Shall the brow which eternal ages have rolled over without scathing it, will eventually be furrowed by old age? What! Shall the Eternal fail you? God is too wise to error, too good to be unkind; stop doubting him, and begin to trust him, for in so doing, you will put a crown on his head, but in doubting him you trample his crown beneath your feet.
Ringing the Bell in Heaven!
Keep prayer going; don't neglect your prayer meetings. Christmas Evans gives us a good idea about prayer. He says, "Prayer is the rope in the belfry; we pull it, and it rings the bell up in heaven." And so it is. Be sure that you keep that bell going. Pull it well. Come up to prayer meetings. Keep on pulling it; and though the bell is up so high that you cannot hear it ring, depend upon it, it can be heard in the tower of heaven, and is ringing before the throne of God, who will give you answers of peace according to your faith. May your faith be large and plentiful, and so will your answers be!
Never say Never
There is enough tinder in the heart of the best men in the world to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God should quench the sparks as they fall. There is enough corruption, depravity, and wickedness in the heart of the most holy man that is now alive to damn his soul to all eternity, if free and sovereign grace does not prevent it. O Christian! You have need to pray this prayer. But I think I hear you saying, "Is your servant a dog that I should do this thing? So said Hazeal, when the prophet told him that he would slay his master; but he went home, and took a wet cloth and spread it over his master's face and choked him, and did the next day the sin which he abhorred before. Do not think it is enough to abhor sin; you may yet fall into it. Do not say, "I never can be drunken, for I have such an abhorrence of drunkenness;" you may fall where you are most secure. Do not say, "I can never blaspheme God, for I have never done so in my life;" take care, you may yet swear most profanely. Job might have said, "I will never curse the day of my birth;" but he lived to do it. He was a patient man; he might have said, "I will never murmur; though he slay me yet will I trust in him;" and yet he lived to wish that the day were darkness wherein he was brought forth. Do not boast then, O Christian! By faith you stands. "Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."
We never read that Joshua's hand was weary with wielding the sword, but Moses' hand was weary with holding the rod. The more spiritual the duty, the more apt we are to tire of it. We could stand and preach all day; but we could not pray all day. We could go forth to see the sick all day, but we could not be in our closets all day one- half so easily. To spend a night with God in prayer would be far more difficult than to spend a night with man in preaching. Oh! Take care, Church of Christ, that you do not cease your prayers!
You cannot get to heaven by your works. You might as well seek to reach the stars on a treadmill, as to go to heaven by works; for as you take one step, you will always be where you were before. If you cannot be perfect, God will not save you by works.
The worm is not to complain, because God did not make it an angel, and the fish that swims the sea must not complain because it has no wings to fly into the highest heavens. God had a right to make his creatures just as He pleased, and though men and women may dispute His right, He will hold and keep it intact against all comers. He protects His right and makes proud men and women acknowledge it, in all His gifts He continually reminds us of His sovereignty.
The God of the Present
Don't you know that God is an eternal self-existent Being; that to say He loves now, is, in fact, to say He always did love, since with God there is no past, and can be no future. What we call past, present, and future, He wraps up in one eternal now. And if you say He loves you now, you say He loved you yesterday; He loved you in eternity past; and He will love you forever; for now with God is past, present, and future.
Those who go off to fight, boasting that they can do it, will return with their banners trailed in the dust and with their armor stained with defeat; for God will not go with the man or woman who goes in their own strength.
Think of God
Let your mind think on the great doctrines of the Godhead—consider the existence of God from before the creation of the world; See Him who is, and was, and is to come, the Almighty; let your soul comprehend as much as it can of the Infinite and Eternal God, and I am sure, if you have minds at all, they will shrink with awe. The lofty archangel himself bows before his Master's throne; and we will cast ourselves into the dust when we feel what lowly nothings, what insignificant specks we are when compared with our completely magnificent Creator.
Faith is the gift of God. Does my earthly, natural father love me because he fed me, and because he clothed me? No, he clothed and fed me because he loved me, for his love was prior to his gift. His gifts did not cause him to love me, because he loved me before he gave them. And if any man or woman says, "God loves me because I can do this or that for him," they talk nonsense.
Peace and Joy
Peace is the flowing of the brook, but joy is the rushing of the waterfall when the brook is filled and bursts its banks, and gushes down upon the rocks.
The Lasting Works of Man
Many men and women have said of their works, "They will last forever;" but how disappointed they have been! In the age following the flood, they made the bricks and built the Tower of Babel, and they thought, "This will last forever." But God confused their language; they never finished it. By His sovereignty he scattered the men and women and left the tower as a monument to their folly. Pharaoh and the Egyptian monarchs built their pyramids, and they said, "They will stand forever," and yes it is true that they still stand today; but the time is approaching when age will devour even these great monuments. So it is with all the proudest works of man, whether they have been his temples or his kingdoms, he has written "everlasting" on them; but God has ordained their end, and they have passed away. The most stable things have vanished like shadows and bubbles of the moment, quickly destroyed at God's command. Where is Babylon? Where are the cities of Persia? Where are the high places of Edom? Where are the temples of the heroes of Greece? Where are the vast armies of the Roman Emperors? Have they not all passed away? And though in their pride they said, "This kingdom is an everlasting one; this queen of the seven hills (Rome) will be called the eternal city," its pride is dimmed; and she who sat alone, and said, "I will not be a widow, but instead a queen forever," she has fallen, has fallen, and in a little while she will sink like a millstone in the flood, her name being a curse and a byword, and her site the habitation of wild animals.
Man calls his works eternal—God calls them transitory; man conceives that they are built of rock—God says, "They are built of sand, or worse than that—they are built of air." Man says he erects them for eternity—God blows on them for a second, and where are they? Like the fragments of a vision, they are passed and gone forever.
God's Spirit and Man's Spirit
God's Holy Spirit and man's sin cannot live together peacefully; they may both be in the same heart, but they cannot both reign there, nor can they both be quiet there; for "the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature;" they cannot rest, instead there will be a perpetual warring in the soul, so that the Christian will have to cry out, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" But in due time—the Spirit will drive out all sin, and will present us blameless before the throne of his Majesty with great joy.
The boasted power of man's reason has not changed in the last one hundred and fifty years! It has piled up one thing, and then on another day it has laughed at its own handiwork, demolished its own castle, and constructed another one, and the next day a third. It has a thousand dresses. Once it came out dressed like a fool with its bells, heralded by Voltaire; then it came out a bragging bully, like Tom Paine; then it changed its course, and assumed another shape, until finally, we have it in the base, perverted secularism of the present day, which looks only at the earth, keeps its nose on the ground, and like the animal, thinks this world is enough; or looks for another world by seeking this one. Why, before one hair on his head will turn gray, the last secularist will have passed away; before many of us are fifty years of age, a new heresy will come. They will have altered their name, assumed a fresh shape, put on a new form of evil, but still their nature will be the same; opposing Christ, and endeavoring to blaspheme His truths. On all their systems of religion, or non-religion—for that is a system too—it may be written "Transient; fading as the flower, fleeting as the meteor, frail and unreal as a vapor." But of Christ's religion, it will be said, "His name will endure forever."
You know, when we have been taking some kind of medicine, and our mouth has been impregnated with a strong flavor, whatever we eat acquires that taste. You have got your mouth out of taste by taking in some of the world's delicacies; you have some of the powder of the pastries of Sodom hanging on your lips that spoils the glorious flavor of your meditation on Jesus. In fact, it prevents you from meditating on Christ at all. It is only a hearing of the meditation with your ear; not a receiving of it with your hearts.
Warning of Judgment
Warn the boater before he enters the current, and then, if he is swept down the rapids, he destroys himself. Warn the man before he drinks the cup of poison, tell him it is deadly—and then, if he drinks it, his death lies at his own door. And so, let us warn you before you depart this life; let us preach to you while your bones are still full of marrow, and the sinews of your joints are still fastened.
The Man Without the Spirit
Friend, you don't have the Holy Spirit. You are nothing better—whatever you are, or whatever you may be—than the fall of Adam left you. That is to say, you are a fallen creature, having only capacities to live here in sin and to live forever in torment; but you don't have the capacity to live in heaven at all, for you do not have the Holy Spirit; and therefore you are unable to know or enjoy spiritual things. And mark this, a man may be in this state, and be a carnal man, and yet he may have all the virtues that could grace a Christian; but with all these, if he doesn't have the Holy Spirit, he has not advanced an inch further than where Adam's fall left him—that is, condemned and under the curse. Yes, and he may practice religion with all his might—he may share in the Lord's Supper and be baptized, and may be the most devout person in church; but if he does not have the Holy Spirit he has not moved a solitary inch from where he was, for he is still "a slave to sin," a lost soul. Further, he may pick up religious phrases until he talks very fast about religion; he may read biographies until he seems to be a deeply taught child of God; he may be able to write an article on the deep experience of a believer; but if this experience is not his own, if he has not received it by the Holy Spirit of the living God, he is still nothing more than a carnal man, and heaven is to him a place to which there is no entrance.
Further, he might go so far as to become a minister of the gospel, and a successful minister too, and God may bless the word that he preaches to the salvation of sinners, but unless he has received the Holy Spirit, even if he is as eloquent as Apollos, and as earnest as Paul, he is nothing more than a mere man, without a capacity for spiritual things.
No, to top it all, he might even have the power of working miracles, as Judas had—he might even be received into the Church as a believer, as was Simon Magus, and after all that, though he had cast out devils, though he had healed the sick, though he had worked miracles, he might have the gates of heaven shut in his face, if he had not received the Holy Spirit. For this is the most important thing, without which all others are in vain—the receiving of the Holy Spirit of the living God.
Alone with Christ
Some persons say they cannot bear to spend one hour in quiet solitude; they have nothing to do, nothing to think about. Surely no Christian will ever talk like that, for if I can but give him one word to think of—Christ—let him dwell on that forever; let me give him the word Jesus, and only let him try to think it over, and he will find that an hour is not enough, and that eternity is not half enough time to utter our glorious Savior's praise.
Showers of Blessings
When God sends rain upon the church, He "sends showers of blessings." There are some ministers who think, that if there is a shower on their church, God will send a shower of work. Yes, but if He does, He will send a shower of comfort. Others think that God will send a shower of gospel truth. Yes, but if He sends that, He will send a shower of gospel holiness. For all God's blessings go together. They are like the sweet sister graces that danced hand in hand. God sends showers of blessings. If He gives comforting grace, He will also give converting grace; if He makes the trumpet of judgment blow for the bankrupt sinner, He will also make it sound a shout of joy for the sinner that is pardoned and forgiven. He will send "showers of blessings"
The Outpouring of the Spirit
The hour is coming, and has now come, when the Holy Spirit will be poured out again in such a wonderful manner, that many will go here and there to increase knowledge—the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the surface of the great deep; when His kingdom will come, and His will, will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven. We are not going to be dragging on forever like Pharaoh, without wheels on his chariot. My heart exults, and my eyes flash with the thought that very likely I will live to see the outpouring of the Spirit; when "the sons and the daughters of God again will prophesy, and the young men will see visions, and the old men will dream dreams." Perhaps there will be no miraculous gifts for they will not be required; but yet there will be such a miraculous amount of holiness, such an extraordinary fervor of prayer, such a real communion with God, and so much vital religion, and such a spread of the doctrines of the cross, that every one will see that truly the Holy Spirit is poured out like water, and the rains are descending from above. For that let us pray; let us continually work for it, and seek it of God.