Second, select some definite work too great for us to do alone, as the preparation of a sermon that shall have unusual power of persuasion to change action, the conduct of a prayer meeting of remarkable interest, the casting out of some devil of evil speech or action, the conversion of one individual, the raising of more money for some of God’s purposes, and then go about the work, not alone, but in such a way that God can lead and we help. Let the fasting and prayer not be lacking. When the right direction comes let Jonathan take his armor-bearer and climb up on his hands and knees against the Philistines, let Paul go to Macedonia, Peter to Cornelius, Wesley send help to America. Bishop Foss said, in regard to several crises in a most serious sickness, that Christ always arrived before it came. So in regard to work to be done. The Lord was in Nineveh before Jonah, in Caesarea before Peter, and will be in the heart of every sinner we seek to get converted before we arrive. Any man who wants to do an immense business should seek a good partner. We are workers together with God. What is being done worthy of the copartnership?
WHEN THIS WORLD IS NOT*
Reprinted from the _Methodist Review_.
“The day of the Lord will come . . .; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
What is there after that?
To this question there are three answers:
I. There are left all of what may be called natural forces that there were before the world was created. They are not dependent on it. The sea is not lost when one bubble or a thousand break on the rocky shore. The world is not the main thing in the universe. It is only a temporary contrivance, a mere scaffolding for a special purpose. When that purpose is fulfilled it is natural that it should pass away. The time then comes when the voice that shook the earth should signify the removal of “those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” We already have a kingdom that cannot be moved. “The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
It should not be supposed that the space away from the world is an empty desert. God is everywhere, and creative energy is omnipresent. Not merely is a millionth of space occupied where the worlds are, but all space is full of God and his manifestations of wisdom and power. David could think of no place of hiding from that presence. The first word of revelation is, “In the beginning God created the heaven.” And the great angel, standing on sea and land when time is to be no longer, swears by Him who “created heaven, and the things that therein are,” in distinction from the earth and its things that are to be removed. What God created with things that are therein is not empty. Poets, the true seers, recognize this. When Longfellow died one of them, remembering the heartbreaking hunt of Gabriel for Evangeline, and their passing each other on opposite sides of an island in the Mississippi, makes him say of his wife long since gone before: