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" So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trwmpets : and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, amd they took the city." josh, vi, 20.
Jericho was a strong city, a beautiful city, called the city of palm trees. The gates were closed, the men of valor were shut in, did not show themselves. It was besieged. That was one of the queerest spectacles ever presented in military operations. The soldiers, and priests, and populace attacking the first city in the Promised Land. By Grod's direction they marched around the city once a day for six days, in silence. On the seventh day they marched around seven times ; on the seventh round the priests blew the trumpets, and the people shouted with a great shout, and the walls fell right down and they took the city. This incident is typical in its nature. 11
370 SERMO S. The manner of the taking of this city symbolizes the manner of setting up and propagating Christianity in all ages of the world, symbolizes the manner of the destruction of the kingdom of the
devil. At the sounding of the trumpets and the shouting of the people the walls fell, foreshadowing and illustrating the truth of the declaration, in operating the means of grace, that " it is not by might nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord." It was not the blowing of the trumpets nor the shouting of the people that brought down the walls ; yet if the trumpets had not been blown and the people had not shouted, after God directed it to be done, the walls would not have fallen. I do not desire to urge this in defence of religious shouting. I may stop, however, to remark, that whilst there has been much objection made to it and a good deal of contention about it, it is neither unscriptural nor senseless. Extravagant manifestations, excessive and extreme exhibition of feeling, are both unnatural and unscriptural; but a natural expression of inward peace and joy under proper circumstances is both scriptural and natural. When we are pleased we smile; when we are merry we laugh; when we are rejoiced we shout. A shout is the consummation of a smile. The boy shouts in his sport, the wine-bibber over his glass, the politician at the polls, the soldier
THE FALLI G OF THE WALLS OF JERICHO. 371 over his victory, and the Christian over his spiritual triumphs. ot every boy will shout when delighted, nor every politician when successful, nor every soldier when triumphant, nor every Christian when rejoiced. It is perfectly natural for some persons to shout when conscious of peace with Grod, and I have always thought it strange that they should be complained at. I have come to regard it thus, that it is not the shouting that
is offensive, but the thing which produces it. It proceeds from a professed knowledge of sins forgiven and an experimental sense of G-od's indwelling presence in the soul. Persons who think themselves religious have not this experience, and conclude that those who have it, have not, and rail out against them. It cannot be the shouting. Who has any prejudice against or objects to the boy shouting after hoop or over his top? Who ever heard of anybody objecting to the shouting of the politician, except the opposition ? All join the soldier in his shout of victory. So all who believe in the cause which produces it, approve Christian shouting. I may remark further in this connection, that the genuine shout of the sincerely pious tends to advance Christ's cause. The shout at the polls inspires the hearts of the candidate's friends — the shout that runs along the lines as the enemy begins to waver nerves the heart and strengthens the arm of the
372 SERMO S. soldier, and often perches victory upon his banners — so at the shouting of the pious, Grod causes the wall which the sinner has built around his heart to tumble down. The devil has been confused by a shout many a time, when the most skillful have been beaten by him in argument. I would to God that the good old days of shouting would return upon the Church. So much, then, for shouting. I draw this proposition from the incident recited in the text, that the means instituted by God, though simple, are sufficient for success in propagating Christianity. In propagating Christianity the plan of operation is different, and we
are required to act from different considerations from those that actuate us in worldly affairs. We are to walk, and work, and fight by faith, and not by sight. Here is found the grand peculiar feature of the Christian system. "Whilst we use the means appointed, it is faith that God will work through these means that gives the victory. The Apostle says: "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days." God has appointed certain means, plain and simple, for the accomplishment and development of the plan of salvation; and in order to success, it is only necessary to use those means with the belief that they are sufficient. Back of all these means, and instrumentalities, and efforts
THE FALLI G OF THE WALLS OF JERIOHO. 373 of our own, the Holy Spirit is placed to give success. "It is not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." Faith is the link that connects the means and the Holy Spirit. It is the channel through which the Holy Spirit comes to our aid. In becoming a Christian the individual proposes two things. First, his own salvation, and, secondly, the salvation of his fellows. In securing his own salvation he must only use the means appointed. These are sufficient. He must pray, search the Scriptures, hear God's word preached — "faith Cometh by hearing" — ^visit the sick, clothe the naked ; have faith in them — this links them to the Holy Spirit, and the work is done. This faith is regarded as a great mystery — some peculiar something that is unearthly. ot at all is it so. Every man has the principle of it in him. Every man acts upon it every day. Men sow,
and plant, and reap by it; embark in merchandise ; engage in speculation ; expend money in qualifying themselves for professions and different departments of business. You embark in business, venture your capital in it, because you have confidence in your own ability to manage it. You have faith in your tact, and skill, and judgment. So in religion ; we are to have faith in the means which God has appointed. If you have as much faith in God as you have in your-
374 SERMO S. selves, it will save you. Ah, but you say, you can't see how praying, and reading, and hearing the preaching of Grod's word, has any connection with cleansing the heart. Faith opens the spiritual eye to it. It is "the evidence of things not seen." I reckon it was right difficult for men to see how shouting and sounding a trumpet caused a solid wall to tumble and fall. All a man has to do is with sincerity and honesty to follow the prescription — begin and then God begins — draw nigh and then God draws nigh. He need not stop to ask any questions, but let him build the altar, lay the sacrifice upon it, and God will send down the fire and consume it. The great difficulty with us, we feel that the means appointed are insufficient, and we wish to strengthen them a little, and this always causes failure. There must be ^n exact compliance with the terms — no departure from them, no addition to or subtraction from them. Everything must be done as directed — nothing more or less. See how exact God is. He refused Moses an entrance into the promised land because he smote the rock twice with his rod, instead of speaking to it, as
directed. After a man is converted — regenerated — then he goes on to perfection by the use of the means — simply a trust in their efficacy. Here I notice two extremes. First, a trust in God with-
THE PALLI G OP THB WALLS OP JERICHO. 375 out the use of the means ; and secondly, a use of the means without trust in God. The first class embraces those persons who have a blind superstitious trust ; who, instead of using the means, vainly imagine that Grod will do everything for them, and in His own way crown them with success. The second class embraces those who attach more importance to the use of means than to a trust in Grod ; such think that much depends upon themselves. This latter class is much the larger. Christians trust to themselves too much — rely too much upon instrumentalities of their own appointing. In their worldly affairs this is more apparent. In the maintenance of their families such Christians rely almost exclusively on their own skill and exertions. As proof of this, they feel that their business would suffer if they should close their shop or store to attend the week service in the sanctuary, or evening lecture. They withhold their substance from the Lord, thinking they lose just the amount they contributC; as though the Lord was dishonest — not paying interest. Thus it is in all their spiritual exercises ; there is a want of trust in the means, and hence all this lifelessness, want of power and deadness in the service of God. Then again, there are those who can rely upon the means instituted very well in prosperity, but cannot do so in adversity. They can trust God very well in
376 SERMO S. the day time, but not in the night ; in sunshine but not in storm. Such trust in God only a part of the time, and with only a portion of the heart. Again, a trust in and reliance upon the means which God has instituted is only necessary to secure success to Christians in their associated capacity. I know these means are simple, very plain, and, in the eyes of the world, mean. Christ's entrance into the world was quite unostentatious — no pomp, no pageant attending it. He passed His minority in obscurity ; when He entered upon His ministry He surrounded Himself with no noble, splendid, glittering attendants ; a plain man, clad in ordinary dress, going about doing good^ was He. And of His ambassadors He said, " For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." He chose those fishermen, and tentmakers, and sent them out, poor, yes, without scrip and with but one coat; told them to pray, and taught them how to do it ; take the word of God and search the Scriptures, read these chapters and verses ; take a little bread and wine and represent my death and passion, in remembrance of me ; take a little water and apply it as a sign
THE FALLI G OF THE "WALLS OF JERICHO. 377
of inward washing ; proclaim redemption in my name to every creature, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end. This to human eyes, for the conquest of the world, seemed hopeless. But it was and is just such a process as walking around a walled city and blowing trumpets and shouting. The introduction of the kingdom of redemption was astonishingly simple and plain ; the means also. Take one for illustration and look closely, and this will suffice for the whole. Take the sacrament of the Lord's supper, as we are to partake of it presently. How simple and unostentatious, and what striking accord is it with all the other means which Grod- has instituted ! What is it— its design? "This do in remembrance of me." It is to keep alive the memory of His death. It is His monument. Though simple, it is sufficient to accomplish the end designed in it. Men build monuments of stone and brass to perpetuate the memory of the deeds of the brave and the heroic; to keep alive and fresh the memories of the pious and virtuous ; and I like it. I like to see the monument lifting up its broad front into the heavens, and with its lofty shaft piercing the clouds. I like to read the inscriptions upon its sides. It is just and wise, it elevates our common humanity. ow this sacrament is Christ's monument. o splendidly polished stones put together, no burnished brass, no It*
378 SERMO S. inscriptions in blazing capitals, but a table, a vessel for the wine, which any hand may press from the grape ; bread which any housewife may prepare, and a white napkin. It is moveable,
may be taken down and put up, may with ease and facility be constructed in all climes and in any age. It is like the salvation it symbolizes, it is not costly in gold. Earthly monuments sometimes linger for means to complete them, but there is no church so poor that is not able to erect this monument. Though simple, I declare it is grand and sublime in its simplicity. Men who walk by sight, though, wish to know how this can accomplish the end. " What good does a little bread and wine do ?" they ask. "It is useless. The memory of His death could be kept alive without it, and there are other means of grace sufficient." The eye of faith only sees it. It would not amount to much if Christ did not manifest himself in the sacrament, and keep His promise too, " I am with you." The' Holy Spirit develops His atonement upon us in it, and this power is kept and communicated from generation to generation. See the father as he leaves his little boy at the seat and comes to this sacrament. As he bows at the altar what is it that makes his great frame shake ? What fills him with such emotion ? Why those tears ? Thus it accomplishes its object, and yet it is so simple.
THE FALLI G OP THE "WALLS OF JERICHO. 379 but in striking accord with all the means used. Men cannot see how these means are sufficient to accomplish the end. either could they see how they could make the walls fall by blowing trumpets and shouting ; but as the walls fell, so, by using the means, Christianity spread with a rapidity beyond all precedent, and continued to do so until those who controlled it undertook to mend the means. In these latter days there seems to be a spirit to mend these means. There
is a growing spirit to add to and strengthen the instrumentalities, to attach a little pomp, make it attractive. Many act as if they thought a fine house, splendidly painted pews, arched galleries, and shaded windows, and carpeted aisles, and glittering steeples, were essential to the success of G-od's Church. These good natured people are much more concerned to have these things than to have a flame of pure, holy, humble, selfdenying, cross-bearing piety, burning upon the altar. In their eyes the glitter and tinsel of the dome is of much more consequence than the brightness of the shekinah upon the cloud resting over the mercy seat. The tone of the bell and music of the orchestra are looked to with more interest than that melody of the soul that is in unison and accord with the redeemed and angels' harps. Thus it is that wealth is sought after and the rich are pressed to enter Christian commu-
380 SERMO S. nions, with a zeal that makes an honest Christian's face tingle. Why, in a church in my own knowledge, in a church meeting when the state of things was being deplored, a pious brother urged the necessity of more piety for success, and another member arose and said they needed more wealth — more wealthy members. This is the feeling of many who do not express it. See how it is. Let a rich man or lady indicate an inclination to join the church, and just see how they are petted, and caressed, and nursed, but a poor man is hardly noticed ; very often he will be in the church and his probation almost ended before this class of persons know that he has even joined. ow, my brethren, all this sort of thing is a mistake, it is wrong, it is trusting too much to human
instrumentalities, and it is antagonistic to the spirit of the Gospel. Grod regards not the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of His hands. "Hath not G-od chosen. the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom ?" There is no objection to fine churches, if a fervid piety glows on the hearts of the members ; no objection to rich people, if they bring with their wealth a sanctified heart — and without this they are a curse to any church, for they always have most influence and that influence is against piety, unless they are pious ; hence Bishop Asbury's prayer in the first house dedicated to God.
THE PALLI G OF THE WALLS OF JERICHO. 381 Again, we see this tendency to trust in human instrumentalities in the great stress laid upon and the importance attached to the educational enterprises of the age, in their connection with the Church. It is getting to be the feeling that every town and . village must have a church school or the Church will go down ; our children must be educated into the Church, convicted by the power of letters, rather than by the fire of the Holy Grhost. We have no objection to education — to schools. They are all proper and right, and we warmly support them, but we must keep distinctly confined their proper position. We must break down that disposition that is constantly inclining us to attach an undue importance to education. We should not in the least allow that trust which should be placed in Grod and in the use of the simple means which he has instituted, to be transferred to schools and colleges, making them primary when they should be secondary.
The great lesson we derive from what has been said, and which we wish to impress upon your hearts and minds is, that in order to success we need only to trust in God in the use of the means which He has appointed. o matter how simple they may be, we must remember that the kingdom of Christ comes not with observation ; was not introduced into the world with external show, and pomp, and splendor, but lives and marches on
382 SERMO S. steadily without it. Christ did not press into His service wealth, or worldly wisdom, or the patronage of power ; He might have done it. He might have come with sword, and cannon, and spear, and horses, and chariots, dressed in glittering robes, and followed by flashing armies ; but He came humbly, instituted a few simple means that all may use, and trusting in G-od in the use of them, success is certain. Whenever, in obedience to Grod's command, the trumpets are blown, and the people shout, the walls will tumble down.
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