Is this your Gospel Meeting?
Does it not often happen at our public preaching’s that when the formal address is delivered, a hymn sung, and a word of prayer offered, all disperse, without any attempt at individual work? I speak not now, mark you, of the preacher—who cannot possibly reach every case, but (if the scores of Christiana who have been listening to him. They have seen strangers enter the room, they have sat beside them ; they have, it may be, noticed their interest, seen the tear stealing down the check ; and yet they have let them go away without a single loving effort to reach them, or to follow up the good work. Old experienced Christians have been present, but, instead of pausing with the fond hope that God would graciously use them to speak a word in season to him that is weary, they hasten away as though it were a matter of life and death that they should be home at a certain hour ! Is there not a. want of that deep, personal, loving interest in souls which will express itself in a thousand ways that act powerfully on the heart ?
Now I feel persuaded that much of (his might be remedied if those Christians who attend the gospel preaching’s were more on the look oat for souls : if they would attend, not so much for their own profit, as in order to be co-workers with Cod, in seeking to bring souls to Jesus. No doubt it is very refreshing to Christians to hear the gospel fully and faithfully preached. But it would not be the less refreshing because they were intensely interested in the conversion of souls, and in earnest prayer to God in the matter. And, besides, it could in no wise interfere with their personal enjoyment and profit to cultivate and manifest a lively and loving interest in those who surround them, and to seek at the close of the meeting to help any who may need and desire to be helped. It has a surprising effect upon the preacher, upon the preaching, upon the whole meeting, when the Christians who attend are really entering into, and discharging their high and holy responsibilities to Christ and to souls, ft imparts a certain tone and creates a certain atmosphere which must be felt in order to be understood.
It is my firm persuasion that no Christian is in a right condition, if he is not seeking in some way to bring souls to Christ. And, on the same principle, no assembly of Christians is in a right condition if it be not a thoroughly evangelistic assembly. We should all be on the look out for souls ; and then we may rest assured we should sec soul-stirring results. But if we arc satisfied to go on from week to week, month to month, and year to year, without a single leaf stirring, without a single conversion, our state must be truly lamentable.
(Extracted from "Papers 01; Evangelization " by C. H. M )