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The Certain Success of Evangelistic Labor.

The Certain Success of Evangelistic Labor.

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLIAM G. T. SHEDD, D.D.,



Isaiah It. 10, 11. — "For as the rain oometh down and the snow
from heaven, and returneth not tnither, but watereth the earth, and
maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and
bread to the eater ; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my
month : it shall not return unto me void ; bnt it shall accomplish thai
which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
BY WILLIAM G. T. SHEDD, D.D.,



Isaiah It. 10, 11. — "For as the rain oometh down and the snow
from heaven, and returneth not tnither, but watereth the earth, and
maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and
bread to the eater ; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my
month : it shall not return unto me void ; bnt it shall accomplish thai
which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 18, 2013
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THE CERTAI SUCCESS OF EVAGELISTIC LABOR.BY WILLIAM G. T. SHEDD, D.D.,Isaiah It. 10, 11. — "For as the rain oometh down and the snowfrom heaven, and returneth not tnither, but watereth the earth, andmaketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, andbread to the eater ; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of mymonth : it shall not return unto me void ; bnt it shall accomplish thaiwhich I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."It is the duty of the Christian Church to preach thegospel to every creature, because Christ the Head of theChurch has commanded it so to do. It follows from this,that every individual member is obliged to contribute tothis result, in proportion to his means and opportunities.o one believer is charged with the performance of thewhole work. St. Paul was not bound to evangelize theentire globe, but only to preach as far and as wide as hecould. The work that is assigned to the Church as awhole cannot be devolved upon a few persons, and no singlegeneration is required to perform the service of all thegenerations of believers. On the contrary, each and everydisciple of Christ has laid upon him a certain portion of this Christian service which he is solemnly bound torender. The command to the single Christian: "Gowork this day in my vineyard," is as imperative as thecommand to the whole Church : " Go preach my gospel toDigitized by VjOOQ ICSUCCESS OF EVAGELISTIC LABOB. 401
 
every creature." The entire labor of evangelizing theglobe is thus distributed among the generations of Chris-tians, and among the innumerable individuals composingthem, and if each one were as faithful in his own sphereand time as was the apostle Paul, this sinful and miserableworld would present a far different appearance from whatit now does.Inasmuch as each and every disciple of Christ is thusbound to contribute his share towards the evangelization of the globe, it becomes an interesting and important ques-tion, whether the work is feasible. May it not be thatthe Church is attempting too much ? The larger part of the world is still pagan, and totally ignorant of God inChrist ; and a considerable part of nominal Christendomconsists of unrenewed men who are as distant from heavenas the heathen, so far as the new birth is concerned. Incomparison with the entire human family, the Church of Christ, as the hymn tells us, is still" ' A little spot enclosed by grace,Out of the world's wide wilderness."How can the Church at large, and the individual Chris-tian, be certain that they are not undertaking a work thatis intrinsically impossible of performance? o laborerdesires to spend his strength for nought. It was one of the torments of the pagan hell, perpetually to roll a stoneup a hill, and just as it reached the summit, perpetuallyto see it slip from the hands and roll back to the bottom.It was another of the torments of Tartarus, to draw waterin a sieve forever and f orevermore. These futile labors of Sisyphus, and the daughters of Danaus, are emblematicof that species of effort which cannot succeed, by reasonof an intrinsic infeasibility. o man can conquer theforce of gravitation. He may resist it, but he cannot con-
 
Digitized by VjOOQ IC402 THE CERTAI 8UCCE8Sqtier it ; the stone and the drop of water will eventuallyfall to the ground, in spite of the most persevering effortsto the contrary. Is the endeavor to preach the gospeleverywhere, and instrnmentally to convert the souls of allmen, a labor of this kind! Is the Church engaged inthe toil of Sisyphus f If so, it is work without hope, and" Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,And hope without an object cannot live."Unless the people of God have sure and strong reasons forbelieving that the enterprise in which they are engaged — the endeavor to put a Bible into every man's hand, and toimpress its truths upon his heart — is within the compass of possibility, they ought to cease from their labors. Andif, on the other hand, they have in the purposes, promises,truth, and power of God, an infallible certainty of successin this endeavor, then they ought to toil with a hundred-fold more energy, and a hundredfold more courage.We propose to mention some of the reasons that makeit certain that evangelistic labor will succeed ; that theeffort of the Church to preach Christ crucified will no morefail of its effect, than the rain will fail to water the earth,and cause the seeds that are sown in it to germinate.I. "We argue and derive the certainty of success in evan-gelistic labor, in the first place, from the nature of Divinetruth. There is something in the quality and characteris-tics of the doctrine which we are commanded to preach toevery creature, that promises and prophesies a triumph.The word of God is both living, and quickening. This isimplied in the figure which the prophet Isaiah employs in

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