There will be a shaking…

“Wherever I go it is the almost universal complaint that the former times were better than now. Everywhere it is the solemn conviction of Christians that the Church is in a very wrong position. Go where you please you will hear one confession, one doleful, lamentable groan, that the Church is cold and lifeless; not dead, but Laodicean – and I believe that Laodicea is the most correct picture of the Church at the present moment. We are neither hot nor cold, and Christ is angry with us. Where is the zeal – the zeal of Whitfield? Ah, where are the men that weep for perishing sinners? Where are the minister that weep for souls as if it were for life or death? Where are the Baxters now, whose knees shake when they climb their pulpit stairs, because they feel how solemn is their position, and whose cheeks are guttered with tears because they know the doom of perishing sinners, and long to snatch them from the fire? Where are your Rowland Hills now, who descend to common language to reach the common people? Ay, and where are your praying men and praying women? There are many of them – but where are those who pray with all their hearts as if they meant it? Ah, heaven knows, the Church is just now where it ought not to be. But, oh! Christians, sit not down in despair; think not that God has given us over. “Ascribe ye greatness unto our God.” In the very worst of times God can bring us out again. In the times of Arius, when the world was gone aside to disbelief, the divinity of Christ, God found an Athanasius, who in bold stern language put to flight the Arians, and stood up for God. When the world had gone aside to Pelagianism, he found an Augustine, who uttered the words of grace and delivered the world from that mesh of errors. When the Church had gone into foul delusions, there was the monk found who shook the world – the Luther to proclaim the truth. And when the doctrines needed purity, there was the Calvin to cast salt into the troubled waters and make them calm and limpid, so that to the very bottom man could see. And when in later times the Church of England, and the church in England had sunken very low, all men said God had given up his church; there were six young men in the college of Oxford. God only knows how they came there, and how they were converted. Those six – Wesley and Whitfield being of the number – waked the world again from its dark and long slumber. And when we had relapsed again, God found the successors of Whitfield – the Romains, the Topladys, the John Newtons, the Rowland Hills – men like Christmas Evans, like John Berridge; these came to bear the standard of the Lord and to support His truth. And mark you now, God has got the man somewhere; ay, the men somewhere, and they will come out yet. There will be a shaking one of these days; the men shall come yet to move the church once more. We shall not for ever sleep; we shall not for ever lie still. There will be a revival throughout this land, I do believe, such as our fathers never saw. The times shall come when the heavens shall blossom with righteousness, and the heavens shall drop with dew. For the time we all heartily pray, for the time we earnestly wait. ‘Ascribe ye greatness unto our God.’” Charles Spurgeon

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