by R. L. Dabney

"...Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the
fields, for they are already white for harvest!"

Why did Paul, for instance, submit to dangers of death often?
Like his divine Master, he believed that a harvest of precious
souls was perishing for lack of Christian reapers.

We conclude then, that the church should feel and act
towards the human race substantially as though all without the
gospel were perishing forever.

We think our true compassion is to face the dire reality,
and thus rouse ourselves and you to that burning activity
which alone can mitigate it.

And now that I see a world threatened by the devouring fire
of hell, while the church slumbers that ought to stay the
destruction, must I not lift up my voice like a trumpet?

Now, have we thought what a plunge this is?
Have we followed with our minds the ruin of one poorest,
darkest, weakest pagan soul, through its progressive
depravity and despair, through its increasing capacities for
sinning and suffering, and through the never-ending, ever-
widening vistas of its immortality, till the woe (of that one
soul) is vaster than the wreck of a world?

And do we remember how frequently this ruin occurs?
Every blast of war, or pestilence, or famine which shakes the
human crop, strews hell with (the) precious seed of lost souls
as thickly as when the November wind sweeps the leaves of
some trackless wood into its silent lake...

While we sit here deliberating in cold debate, somewhere in
this field of death every second of time marks the dying gasp
of a human being!

Each stroke is another plunge into the pit,
and a new burst of another everlasting wail
joining the many-voiced (lamentation) of despair.

Oh! terrible world in which we live!
Oh! dread responsibility of this living harvest,
in the reaping of which we must race with death!