THE DAY WE LIVE IN.
“Who knoweth whether
thou art come to the kingdom for such a
time as this?”—ESTHER iv. 14.
Esther the beautiful was the wife of Ahasuerus the abominable. The time had come for her to present a petition to her infamous husband in behalf of the Jewish nation, to which she had once belonged. She was afraid to undertake the work, lest she should lose her own life; but her uncle, Mordecai, who had brought her up, encouraged her with the suggestion that probably she had been raised up of God for that peculiar mission. “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther had her God-appointed work; you and I have ours. It is my business to tell you what style of men and women you ought to be in order that you meet the demand of the age in which God has cast your lot. If you have come expecting to hear abstractions discussed, or dry technicalities of religion glorified, you have come to the wrong church; but if you really would like to know what this age has a right to expect of you as Christian men and women, then I am ready in the Lord’s name to look you in the face. When two armies have rushed into battle the officers of either army do not want a philosophical discussion about the chemical properties of human blood or the nature of gunpowder; they want some one to man the batteries and swab out the guns. And now, when all the forces of light and darkness, of heaven and hell, have plunged into the fight, it is no time to give ourselves to the definitions and formulas and technicalities and conventionalities of religion.
What we want is practical, earnest, concentrated, enthusiastic, and triumphant help.
I. In the first place, in order to meet the special demand of this age, you need to be an unmistakably aggressive Christian. Of half-and-half Christians we do not want any more. The Church of Jesus Christ will be better without ten thousand of them. They are the chief obstacle to the Church’s advancement. I am speaking of another kind of Christian. All the appliances for your becoming an earnest Christian are at your hand, and there is a straight path for you into the broad daylight of God’s forgiveness. You may have come into this Tabernacle the bondsmen of the world, and yet before you go out of these doors you may become princes of the Lord God Almighty. You remember what excitement there was in this country, years ago, when the Prince of Wales came here—how the people rushed out by hundreds of thousands to see him. Why? Because they expected that some day he would sit upon the throne of England. But what was all that honor compared with the honor to which God calls you—to be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty; yea, to be queens and kings unto God? “They shall reign with Him forever and forever.”