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Veterans never seek exculpation when a duty is to be done. They go right on and do it, notwithstanding the pressure.

You have had a great many vicissitudes here. I express my conviction that this is the most important pastorate in the whole South, and its maintaining the access to God, its availing itself of the door of opportunity which heaven has opened wide before you, largely depends upon the personal integrity of the members, their common sense, their pure and undiluted Christianity, their fidelity to the fundamental principles of the government of Jesus Christ.

So the special application is, now is the time for taking up our State mission collection. Now, if

you

off by himself has for a moment thought of sheltering under some kind of a plea, don't speak it out loud. Don't tell it. Wait until you get over it, and do not even dig a hole in the ground and whisper it there, lest weeds may come up, whose whistling by the power of the wind may tell your secret of shame. You want to do your duty as a stalwart church of Jesus Christ for State missions. There never was a time in our history when we could afford as little as now to step aside from our duty. The work has been enlarged wonderfully. It has been assailed. It is standing on trial. It has been blessed of God beyond any human expectation. It seems that this door that the Lord has opened to us is wider than any of us are able

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to measure, and we must go into it. You have opened up a door in this institution of learning that shows a vista so far-reaching, and so high climbing and so glory crowned, that it dazzles the eye to look up to it. Do not let us lose an inch. Do not let us turn aside an inch. Don't let us lower the flag an inch, and don't let us whimper an atom. Let children cry. Men and women in Jesus Christ do not want to plead the baby act. They want to be true to their allegiance to Jesus Christ in every time and in every hour. I know this church can pay that $1,000 the secretary asks for. We can pay it. The Master said, “I have set before thee an open door, the door of access.” Let us go in now, right up to the throne, and put the case before him in prayer. Let us pray, and then give the $1,000 and be done with it in five minutes.

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ENCOURAGEMENT TO PRAYER

“I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.' I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”—Isa. 45:19.

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HE exposition of this text presents some exceedingly broad views of the govern

ment of God. The children of Judah at this time were captives in Babylon. They were an utterly broken people. Their own city was destroyed and its temple. They were in bondage to a world-empire, that, so far as human wisdom could discern, was absolutely invincible. The people themselves, the children of Judah, were exceedingly degraded in their own estimation and in the estimation of others, by their sins, their long-continued bondage. Looked at humanly, it did not seem that one would speak sincerely who would say to these slaves, these degraded slaves in Babylon,“ Seek the face of God." There seemed to be no chance of moral recuperation. One would seem to be insincere who would say to these people, “ Ask God to deliver you from the power of Babylon, and restore you to your own country, and enable you to rebuild your temple and re-establish the worship of the true God.” No conditions that the human mind can conceive of, short of absolute impossibilities, could be harder than the circumstances surrounding these people when God said to them, “Seek ye my face. Seek my face for the purpose of securing forgiveness of your sins. Seek forgiveness, the absolute blotting out of every iniquity which you have committed. Seek my face with a view to your escape from this bondage. Seek my face with a view to the restoration of your city, the rebuilding of your temple and the re-establishment of its worship.” The declaration of the text is that God did not say " Seek ye my face in vain," and that it was not a command promulgated simply because it was right, with no possibility of its being obeyed. It was not said in vain. Let us look then at the difficulties in the way, that seemed to make that commandment vain.

The first difficulty was the seemingly invincible power of the world-empire, Babylon. How are you to pray against that? All the controlling influences of the world centered in Babylon. The power of the world was here. The city itself was deemed impregnable. In the whole world-horizon there could not be seen a banner that might be hopefully lifted up against Babylon, and yet Babylon must be overthrown before these people would receive or could receive what they were commanded to seek in prayer. Who, then, could overthrow Babylon? Now comes the first thought that shows the broad lines upon which the government of God rests. He says: “I have called one by name who shall break the power of Babylon. He is not yet born, but I can name him. His name will be Cyrus, and I have girded him, though he doesn't know me; and I have holden his right hand, though he doesn't know me.”

In other words, God was raising up an unconscious instrument of power, sufficient to overturn the world-supremacy of Babylon. It is sometimes flaunted in the face of the Christian religion that a great many fine sayings can be cited from the heathen, and a great many instances of virtue and integrity. They say: “Look at what Confucius said. Look at what Socrates said. Look at what Cyrus did.” Granted; but there never blossomed a virtue in the human heart, there never bloomed a grace in human life, there never was an instance of sterling personal integrity, there was never an instance of righteousness on any line, that was not superinduced by the Lord God himself. " Cyrus has not known me, but I have girded him. The qualities that are to make him a great general, the character that is to make him a mighty prince, the principles which are to make him famous and admirable, and that are to qualify him for the accomplishment of the great work set out before him, I gave him these. He does not know it. He was under my influence when he thus grew and matured. That temperance, that self-restraint, that physical

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