DID IT? THEN SUNKEN THINGS MAY RISE.
The axe had fallen into the river, to the great sorrow of the man who had used it. He was an honest man, for he mourned over the fact that it was borrowed. "It has sunk to rise no more;" and yet it swam! Why lose hope of the fallen and degraded? They are no lower down than the axe head was when at the bottom of the Jordan. "The iron did swim." How? for
SUNKEN THINGS DO NOT RAISE THEMSELVES.
If the axe had been let alone, it might have been at the bottom of the river now. The man who felt its loss called on a higher power than his own. He told his sorrow to one who had sympathy for him. Do we cry unto God about those who have sunk out of our reach? The lapsed masses, as we call them, were not all born so. Many of them have been Sunday scholars, and some of them church members. How do we feel about them? Does the thought of their degradation ever bring an "alas!" from our hearts? Elisha's God is nearer to us than the prophet was to the man who lost the axe. "Call on Him WHILE He is near."
"The iron did swim." How was it done?
SOMEBODY SHOWED IT THE WAY.
An example was put before it. A stick was thrown in, and the iron imitated it. O, the power of a godly example! Let us who work among the ungodly show them the way to live. Let the churches move over the places where the degraded lie. We shall never lift them while we remain in our beautiful churches and chapels. Only this week we saw the iron made to swim, by the personal contact of ministers and well-dressed people taking hold of the street folk, and cheerily inviting them into God's house. A man may be only "a stick" when in the pulpit; but in hearty personal dealing with the degraded, he may be one who can make the iron to swim.
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A good man, the other day, was advising Ministers to preach more on the doctrine of "Entire Sanctification." One of them replied,
"LET US LIVE IT, THAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PREACH IT."
Perhaps both were right; one thing is certain, that the way to make the doctrine more popular is, to have more of those who believe it to "live it." We might greatly increase the number of preachers, for every Christian might preach. Women as well as men, we might preach every day, for every duty would be a pulpit, and every trial an oration. No one would complain the sermons were too long; for all people are willing that you should never cease to do them good. What say you reader! Will you enter the ranks of this Ministry?