"WHY, THEN, DO WE NOT SEE THE SAME RESULTS?
We do in kind, but not in number. Why not in both? Is not the answer to be found in Acts i.14?
"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication."
Is not the Church of to-day weak in the knee? Do we pray as the men and women did who waited for the promise of the Father in the upper room? Peter would pray. He had all the instinct of a preacher, and would feel his heart bound at the thought that he was to be a witness of God's readiness to pardon. His prayer would differ from many others. How he would plead for the power that would crown him with the diadem of a preacher! There was a time when he had prayed -- "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man." Now, his cry would be -- "Come to me, let not my sins cause Thee to stay, but come quickly." There are many of us who feel we need to cry to Peter's Saviour and Lord, for we have allowed doubts to hide His face, or self-indulgence to fence Him about. Let every preacher who reads these words unite with us in pleading for a Pentecost that shall renew our commission, and make all men to know that a risen Saviour is our King, and a promised Comforter our portion,
WHAT A BLOW TO SOCINIANISM, BOTH OF IDEA AND WORD, WOULD A 'SECOND PENTECOST' BECOME!
We do not here mean to dwell on the example shewn to the Church by the accord in prayer, the many pleading, so differently, and yet in harmony; we are writing now for preachers, knowing that hundreds of workers will read every line we write, and we are thus led to enquire further --
HOW FAR PETER'S SERMON IS LIKE THE SERMONS WE PREACH?
Some who have read it, as it is printed, have said, "We should not have invited such a preacher to our circuit:" but such people forget that the accompaniments of preaching cannot be printed. Who can write down the spiritual atmosphere? Who can reproduce the tone of voice in which Peter spoke? How can he describe what some of us have felt -- the unction -- the never-to-be-forgotten emotions of the soul? Depend upon it, these were present in a remarkable manner.
But beside all this, there are the Bible facts. Peter knew his Bible and could quote it. How familiar he must have been with the Old Testament! Could he have found, in any part of the book, passages more telling and more suitable? If we knew our Bible better, we should not need to do as the manner of some is, round off common-place ideas of our own, with pretty poetry of someone else's!
Then, the preacher was not afraid to tell the congregation what sins they had committed. Many of them were what is called "good sort of people, went to place of worship, and paid their way," &c. But it was true, "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." Let us who preach, cry to God to give us His Spirit, that we may tell those who hear us of their sins. How are they to be convinced of sins, if they are not told of them?
Nor was Peter satisfied with the good feeling, or even with seeing the people moved. It was not enough for him that his hearers were pricked in the heart, he would have them do more. Would he not have said to many of those who have gone into the inquiry-room, "I am not satisfied that you are in earnest. You want God to save you in your sins." Repentance is impossible to those who are not conscious of guiltiness. And, without repentance, faith holds the cup of water to one who was never thirsty. Do you wonder that it is loathsome? He might drink if it were not so pure,
BUT IT TAKES THIRST TO RELISH WATER!
This is a tempting subject, we could say much more, but we will only add, that the last word in the chapter, which tells of "Peter the Preacher," gives the result of such sermons as his --