Will you not revive us again: that your people may rejoice in you?
I. THE CAUSES OF RELIGIOUS DECLENSION.
1. I have known trials in business the occasions of religious declensions — trials which ought to have led to God in prayer, who can by His mighty arm take us over them, but which have so absorbed the mind and so worried the spirit, that instead of their leading to God the man has sat down and sighed his soul away in sorrow.
2. I have known the very opposite of trials, namely, worldly prosperity, a cause of religious declension. The sea has been all calm, the tide has set in our favour, the breeze has filled our every sail, and with full sails our vessel has entered into the haven, and we have sought to make earth, not heaven, our home; our prosperity we have put down to our own ingenuity, and not to the goodness of God.
II. THE EVIDENCES OF RELIGIOUS DECLENSION.
1. Remissness in secret prayer.
2. Neglect of family prayer.
3. Neglect of the public means of grace.
III. THE REMEDY FOR RELIGIOUS DECLENSION.
1. There is a remedy (2 Samuel 14:14; Jeremiah 30:17; Malachi 3:7; 2 Chronicles 17:4).
2. The means to be used for revival.
(1) We must become alarmed about our state, and apply for the remedy.
(2) We must humble ourselves before God.
(3) We must make a full surrender of ourselves.
IV. THE BLESSEDNESS OF A REVIVED RELIGIOUS STATE. It is the blessedness of —
1. Restored spiritual health.
2. Rejoicing in the God who gave it.
3. Joy in common with others.
(A. M. Brown, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?