What is Success?
The Gospel has not lost its power; it is just as powerful today as it ever has been. We dont want any new doctrine. It is still the old Gospel with the old power, the Holy Ghost power; and if the churches will but confess their sins and put them away, and lift the standard instead of pulling it down, and pray to God to lift us all up into a higher and holier life, then the fear of the Lord will come upon the people around us.
It was when Jacob put away strange gods and set his face toward Bethel that the fear of God fell upon the nations around. And when the churches turn towards God, and we cease grieving the Spirit, so that He may work through us, we will then have conversions all the while. Believers will be added to the Church daily. It is sad when you look over Christendom and see how desolate it is, and see how little spiritual life, spiritual power, there is in the Church of God today, many of the church members not even wanting this Holy ghost power. They dont desire it; they want intellectual power; they want to get some man who will just draw; and a choir that will draw; not caring whether any one is saved. With them that is not the question. Only fill the pews, have good society, fashionable people, and dancing; such persons are found one night at the theater and the next night at the opera. They dont like the prayer-meetings; they abominate them; if the minister will only lecture and entertain, that would suit them. I said to a man some time ago, "How are you getting on at your Church?" Oh, splendid." Many conversions? "Well - well, on that side we are not getting on so well. But," he said, "we rented all our pews and are able to pay all our running expenses; we are getting on splendidly." That is what the godless call "getting on splendidly;" because they rent the pews, pay the minister, and pay the running expenses. Conversions! that is a strange thing. There was a man being shown through one of the cathedrals of Europe; he had come in from the country, and one of the men belonging to the cathedral was showing him around, when he inquired, "Do you have many conversions here?" "Many what?" "Many conversions here? "Ah, man, this is not a Wesleyan chapel." The idea of there being conversions there! And you can go into a good many churches in this country and ask if they have many conversions there, and they would not know what it meant, they are so far away from the Lord; they are not looking for conversions, and dont expect them.
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