Our Needs and Outlook
The needs of a truly Christian Church are supplied by Christ, and, whatever be our needs, it will be well to be looking to Him. Who says through the Apostle, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” What are some of our needs?
Men for ministry
We need men of God for the ministry. We require men who are willing to devote their lives to the preaching of the Gospel, and to seek to point poor sinners to Christ, and to strengthen the Lord's people. There is no grander work on earth. And here we issue an appeal to the young men who fear God to come to the help of the Lord against the mighty. It is true there will be much to be borne for the Saviour's sake. There will be sacrifices to be made, and burdens to be endured, but never could a kinder and truer Master be found. Moreover, their bread will be given them, and their water will be sure, for so has the Master promised. In addition, there will be the great joy of spending and being spent for Christ, and, no doubt, of being the instrument of saving souls. What a joy is this! What pleasure unspeakable it will afford to meet in the better land a soul that has been won for Christ through one's labours. Was it not this joy that the saintly Rutherford anticipated when he said, as rendered into verse:
“Oh, if one soul from Anwoth
Meet me at God’s right hand,
My heaven will be two heavens
In Immanuel’s land.”
And, above all, there will be the approbation of the Master Himself: and His words of welcome: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” We appeal to the young men of our Church to ponder this matter. The ranks of the ministry are thinning, and there is an increasing call for those whose hearts the Lord has touched. Many seem to fear the course of training required, and the expense it involves, but if they come trusting in God, all difficulties will be removed, and the path be made straight and plain.
Again, we need men and women for the Mission field. We send money to the Missions, but this is not enough. Among all our young people, are there none to say, “Here am I, send me”? The days of the greatest blessing to the Church have been those when she was most attentive to the needs of others. May we soon have the great joy of seeing some of our very own in the Mission field.
Also, our Church needs people who are loyal to its principles. We have no need to be ashamed of those principles, but reason rather to be proud of them. If there was any cause to be ashamed of them we should desert them. But if we believe them to be in accord with the will of the Master, we should not be afraid to proclaim them, and elders and people should loyally stand behind the ministers when this is done. In addition, our young people should ever be encouraged to examine and study the distinctive principles of our Church, and her former contendings for the truth. I am persuaded that one of the reasons why there is such a falling away among the churches today is because of lack of interest in such matters. Let us continue to do what we can to remedy this evil.
The outpouring of the Spirit
Above all, we need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Without this, all is vain. Paul indeed may sow, and sow abundantly, and Apollos may water without sparing, but unless God give the increase, all is in vain. And that blessing; comes in different ways. Sometimes there is a great outpouring, which seems to come all at once, as was the case with Israel at Mizpeh. Then again there are the gentle showers, or the distilling of the peaceful dew, one soul being brought to Christ after another, and all so peacefully and quietly that, to outward observation, there is little to indicate the presence of revival. But, in whatever way the Lord be pleased to send it, we hope it may be His good will to send it soon, and that our eyes may be privileged to behold it. Let us pray that this may be so.
People of true piety
Our Church needs many men and women of true piety, devoted much to prayer. Where revivals have come in days gone by, it has generally been found that they were preceded by the earnest, entreating prayers of a faithful band, sometimes very few in number. May the gracious Lord be pleased to remember the prayers being offered, and to add to the company of intercessors.
Our outlook for the future
We close by referring briefly to the outlook of our Church. As to the future, we would say that is in the hands of God. Secret things belong to Him. We have been passing through a time of stress and trial. But there are indications of better days. Both spiritually and materially we appear to be on the upgrade. And I have no doubt whatever as to the ultimate success of the principles for which we stand. These are founded on the Word of God and must prevail. We shall pass away, but the principles for which we contend will remain. God will take care of His own truth. And this truth is a precious heritage. We have received it of God, that it might be transmitted to our children. It is not only our privilege to do this, but also our duty. We dare omit no part of it. If we did we should be unfaithful to our God, to ourselves, and to the generation to come. Let us then continue boldly and fearlessly to declare the whole counsel of God, being assured that
“His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.”