MR. SPURGEON ON PRAYER FOR PINE WEATHER.
Afc the Metropolitan Tabernacle on -- Sunday, July 13, Mr. C. H. Spurgeon, preaching from the text, Hosea v. 15, “I will go and return to my place till ■ they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early,” refeiyed to what he designated our “ national troubles. ” He said : No one will deny that our country is passing through ar tune of great and grievous adversity. We have been perplexed now for, many months and for some years with .the perpetual rumors of war. No man iknew when he went to bed at night but • -what the journal of the morning would iiuForm him that we had plunged into .■so ne great war with certain of the greater iPowera of Europe. Our policy has been surah,, whether wise or not, that we have heeauiKscatantly on the verge of imperilling ourselves in long and serious conflicts, attd +.bi« of itself is a serious injury to 1 prosperity of any country, for trade aoel commence swim in the waters of peace, and when these waters are lashed with <ar when the breath of the rumor <af war .disturbs them, your trade - and coauaaerce are seriously injured. In .-addition ts> ifihis,' we have been engaged ;in two wars in which it was impossible ;for us to gaia ’honor,, .-since it was the : mighty going io war with the weak —in which the laurels ithat we gained, if there . '.had been any, would have been unworthy -,to put upon the brow of a, great nation. ißut disaster has followed axpon the heels «if disaster, and, what 5s often forgotten, ffhis JißSito be paid for, not only with the 'blood of our soldiers, but with the sinew ;and His muscle of our working men. 'That wliidk ought to have gone to the arts and to -Out progress of civilisation has been thrown like huge masses of flesh . into the mouth cf the lion to be devoured, amd shameful waste, I fear, may he followed by shocking w&nt, unless God in Hiis mercy shall interpose. On the back of ail this war thas oqbk> depression in trade. You cannot enter anybody’s house Irnt what there is .complaining ; even the most .cheerful of men begin at ’ i . last to Ut'Jk. -very to wonder - whether they nhalll be able to ‘‘ provide '-. things honest' m the sight of all men. ” : , They labor and t&ey toil, but their care is- ; little repaid. Sosse branches of industry) t seem to be utterly jwalysed, with little; ' prospect of being rewred, .and the land! itself, notwithstanding that it is not aoj . bad as some would make it, hath never-: ; theless eome under a clou I ojt ,ao unusually! , > dark and lowering character. And as if I , r tills wore not enough, the weather refuses ,;/'■! to assist the processes of husbandry. ' „ iPcobably the crop of hay that was needful t ” 'tfor the cattle has gone, and may scarcely
be looked for, and now great peril is upo the com. In some places it has probably suffered little as yet, but a continuance of such weather must deprive us of the most precious fruits of the earth, and men are beginning to cry out about it, and there is a request that there should be prayers put up in all the churches, that God would be pleased to look upon the land and deliver us in this hour of trouble. In the first matter, that of war, we may, by God’s goodness, get out of that. It may be possible that better principles may come to the front, and we may no longer be the universal snarlers and growlers at every nation under heaven. But as to the other two matters, what can we do ! We are powerless to quicken trade, we are certainly powerless to stay the bottles of heaven. If God wills it, the clouds will “return after the rain,” and deluge will follow deluge till the farmer’s hope is swept away. Prayer is therefore asked, and by some it is asked as if it were quite certain that if prayers were put up the rain would cease and the weather would be changed. Ido not think it. I know of many reasons why it may be possible that prayers, and such prayers as they are likely to be, will not be heard ; but, instead thereof, the threatened judgment of God may come upon us. God is a prayer-hearing God, but not always doth He answer us just according to our mind. We must not put much confidence in prayers which will probably be sincere in the mouths of a tenth of the people—l wish I could hope as much as that—and that will by others be regarded as absolutely ridiculous, and by many more as a mere matter of form •which it is proper to use, but in which no confidence whatever can be placed. Do not therefore say, if the rain should continue for a month to gether, that prayer was ordered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and God did not hear it. No ; but see what kind of prayer it is, and how little connected it will be with confession, how little it will be genuine, and how little it will be true, and then you will not wonder if my text is true in our own case. What, then, is to be done 1 This is to be done ; all hope for a country lies in the true believers in the midst of it. Remember Sodom, and how it would have been spared had there been ten righteous found there. Let us, then, make confession of sin. As the high priest went before God bearing the sin of the people, so act you as a priest before God in your quiet, retired personal prayer, and there confess the sins of the nation. If it will not repent, repent for it; stand as a sort of consecrated sponsor before God, and let the sin lie on your heart till it break it, and you repent before the Most High.
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