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All the People at Work for Jesus.

All the People at Work for Jesus.

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on May 01, 2013
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ALL THE PEOPLE AT WORK FOR JESUS.BY CHARLES H. SPURGEOI HAVE taken two texts from two successive chapters of the book of Joshua : the first is from Joshua the seventh, at the third verse. Thespies who were sent to Ai returned to Joshua and said to him, '' Let notall the people go up ; hut let about two or three thousand men go up andemite At*' This policy led to a disastrous defeat; and our other textgives us the Lord's command concerning the new attack. You will findit in the eighth of Joshua and the first verse : " I'he Lord said untoJoshua^ Fear not, neither be thou dismayed : take all the people of warwith thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, J have given into thy hand theking of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land"The two texts may be condensed into — first, tlie advice of the spies,to employ only a part of the people in the assault upon Ai, — ** Let notall the people go up " ; and, secondly, the command of Ood, to let everyfighting man go forth to the war, — " Take all the people of war withthee."Brethren, like Israel, we are called to war, and we have a greaterthan Joshua at our head, in whose name we conquer. There is an in-heritance which as yet has been held bv the adversary, and in the nameof God we have to drive him out. We are likely to experience diffi-culties very similar to those which were met with by the tribes ; and Idonbt not that their history (is it not written for our learning ?) willTOove exceedingly interesting to us, if we have a mind to consider it.We shall meet with the same defeats as they did if we fall into the samesins, and we shall win like victories if we are. obedient to the commandswhich God has given us, which are very similar to those addressed toIsrael of old. As in a glass we see ourselves in the twelve tribes, fromthe first day even until now, and in the texts before us there is a lessonfor ns, which may God, by his grace, enable us to learn. I pray theHoly Spirit to illuminate our minds while we read in the book of the826 llETROPOIilTl TABBAOLK ruU-tl.Win of tbe Lord, and as soldiers of Christ Team from varriora of oldtime.I. Let m consider the adticb of thh bpiks which led to sncb sshameful defeat.
And here we shall have to deal with tha error of suppoiing Viai a partrnly of the church wiH be suffirkjil toperfonn /he work of the ichoU ;— thata large proportion may be idle, and that the rest will be quite enonshto fight the Lord's battles. I feel it to be an eiTor which, though notperhaps theoretically held by any of us, is practiealiy to be Been nbresdin our churches, and needs to be met and put to an end.In Joshua's day this error sprang up among the IsraeKles becanti, vnaccount of their t^is, God was disjikased ivitlt tJiem, The commencemeDtof the chapter tells na that the Lord God was wroth because the chil-dren of Israel ha(.l committed a tniapaaa in the accursed thJDE; : for thesin of Achan the anger of the Lord was ktadlcd gainst the peopk That was the real reason of their defeat before Ai ; but out of tWsecret cause grew the more manifeat source of defeat — which was, that ■because God was displeased with them they were left to themselyes, sndhence they adopted a ihtal poliCT. When God is in the midst of &chnrch he guidea its coonaels, and directs the hearts of men to go abonthis work in the wisest manner. Is it not an old saying that " Whom the jfO(!B wish to destroy they firet make mad "? And is not the heathenproverb the shadow of the fact that men become foolish when they hg\tbroken the commands of God, and thus they are chastened for onefcult by being ptrmittcd to fall into another ? Even upon tjie I/ird'jown people a mensure of judicial blindness may come. You may depeadnpon it that when it becomes a doctrino that only special classes of meiiare to be expected to work in the church, there is soma great wrong inthe background. In that church which most of all has fallen into thisfallacT, and has driiwn the sharpest line between those called the clerg/(ind tne poor nnforttmate laymen outside, who perchance may do hw-Ihing for God, bet who cannot be expected, or indeed allowed to do acT-tbing in particular : in that church, I say, the deadliest errors have founda home. We, too, may take ic for granted that when we begin to leaicChristian work to be performed by a minister, or the visitation of thepoor to be solely done by a paid missionary, we have some Achan inthe camp, with a goodly Babylonish garment hidden in his tent. Theremost be an acoirscd thing somewhere or other which has caused u£to be left to BO gross a folly: either worldliness, or lukewarmneB,or love of ease, or deep declension of heart must He at the root of this■lovenly and sluggish policy. It is not God's mind that it should tcBO ; and he has endently left us to ourselves when this fatal method1b adopted. When the Holy Ghost rests upon the chnrch this folly iipractically avoided, nay, it is not even thought of, God grant to thechurches represented here to-day that they may walk in such soondneEiof doctrine and have such spirituality of life that they may be full of thedivine presence, and never dream for a moment of sending a portiononly of their members out to war, and leave tlie rest to sit still ! Wccannot leave the battles of our Lord to he fought by mercenary troops ;
the whole army of men made willing in the day of the Lord's powermnst go out nnder the command of our divine Joshua to meet the foe.iliL THB PBOPLB AT WOBK FOB JBBUS. 827Fortheonarey Ms evil ffoltcy arose out of preeumption engendered bySfuecess, But a little while ftgo all Israel had marched around Jericho forseren days, and on the seyenth day, when they shouted, the city wallsfell flat to the ground. Perhaps they began to say, '' Did those massirewalls fall when we compassed them about ? Israel, thou art a greatnation 1 And did they fall with nothing but a shout ? Then the Hit-tite and the Hiyite, and every other enemy, shall flee before us like chaff before the wind I What need can there be to carry all our baggage upthe hill to Ai ? What need to march so many men ? Two or threethousand will be quite sufficient to carry that small city by storm. Weean do wonders, and therefore we need not put forth all ouratiength!"Brethren, many dangers surround success ; it is not much of it that anyof V8 can bear. The full sail needs much ballast lest the boat be oversei.When in this or any other part of the world the church sees many con-Ttits as the fruit of her labours, when there are great gatherings, and agood deal of shouting, great interest excited, and multitudinous conver-aiffios, it is yery natural to calculate that the work has been easily done,ai^ needs no yery severe or general effort. The idea is fostered thatthere is no need now for continued house-to-house visitation, noneed for more missionaries, no need for regular plodding seryice in■ehool and cottage-meeting, no need to set our young men and womento work for Christ ! The drill and organization of the regular army isin danger of being lightly esteemed. • Blow the trumpet, and the wallswill come down easily enough. Jericho has fallen with shouting andmaiGhing, let us gather ourselves together and show that we are amighty people, who no longer need to go up unanimously and labori-lonaly in rank and order to the flght, as our fathers did.Ah, brethren, this evil spirit must be exorcised, for it cometh fromthe devil. God will not ble3s us if we tolerate this spirit. Why, someof us are too great altogether for our Lord Jesus to use in his work.Like Saul's armour, we are unfit for our David to put on if Goliath is tobe slain. We must be more sensible of weakness, more mindful that theconversion of souls is the work of omnipotence, or we shall see but littledone. We must ourselves believe more fully in the need of earnest work for God, and put forth all our strength, and strain every sinew for him,knowing that it is his power that worketh in us mightily when we strivewith all our hearts. We must learn that our great Leader means us

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