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than his Master. He knows nothing of an unknown God; but he does know the crimson guilt and the fearful sentence of the sinner. He does know the gift of free grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows the time for repentance. "Now is the accepted time.” He also knows the way of salvation. Christ is the way. "There is none other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved.” And in such knowledge and convictions — knowledge gained from the inspired Word and convictions wrought by experience of the Spirit's power — is found the secret of ministerial success.

Most grateful also and natural is the earnest spirit of this little book - an earnestness that throbs in every line, and inspires exertion everywhere, and to the last. Here is an urgency like that which runs through the teaching of the Master and his apostles. "Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” "As though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Timely and suggestive also is this book. Statistics show that in some towns, cities, and even States the church of Christ is not holding her own. With multitudes the pleasures and pursuits of this world are all-absorbing. There is a lowering of the law and a cheapening of the gospel. Sinners ignore the claims of Jesus Christ, and idle away their Sabbaths and their probation in unbelief. The very atmosphere is

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charged with the forces of skepticism. And just as a nation ignorant of the true God sets up wooden gods, so the people, when they have renounced the Christian religion, embrace superstitions that are hideous and errors that are deadly. And is the Church free from responsibility in all this? Are our robes, as Christian ministers, without stain? Whoever reads these pages attentively will find the impulses of his own heart prompting him to an earnestness and activity which are altogether the best antidote for the evils which afflict our day.

The gospel is God's gift to sinners. To understand and accept it makes a new man. If

any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” And the new creature must have a new home. How to build this home is briefly and forcibly told in this little book. Most heartily do I commend it, especially to young ministers, and pray that it may prove a guide and an inspiration to all who build " upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone."


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SHAWMUT CHURCH, Boston, July 30, 1883.




To build a church, the supreme object must be the salvation of men. It is the first business for which the church exists. God sent his son into the world that the world through him might be saved. Our Lord himself came to seek and to save that which was lost. The Holy Spirit, at Pentecost, endued the disciples with power to become witnesses for Christ everywhere. The first sermon was a bow drawn for sinners, and the prick of the arrow was felt in three thousand hearts. From that hour there were daily additions to the church. Here everything points directly to the salvation of men. While this end was kept in the forefront, the secret of success in building the church was an open secret.

To recover men lost by sin is the deepest motive which ever stirs the soul. It draws from God the greatest gifts he ever imparts. This passion for souls is the engine that moves the whole train. Divine power was not more conspicuous in the disciples than the human energy they put into their work. "This one thing I do,” says Paul. They all had an eye single to the exaltation of the cross. They passed by many good things to do this chief thing. First, and continually, they won souls. It was their mission from their Master.

This purpose of converting souls and gathering them into the fold, is to be kept uppermost to the last. This is what the church is here for. There is no true success if this fails. The church will not fill its other functions fitly, if this leading one is lost sight of. Culture goes for nothing if there are no new-born souls to cultivate. There is little building up without living stones to build with. But if there is success in converting men, there will be life and movement throughout the church. It is what the church lives on, the joy of new-born souls.

There are four sources from which to draw : the family, the Sunday-school, church-goers unsaved, and the great outside world. To keep four streams flowing into the church from these, is back of everything. In order to do this, ministers must be men of God, masters of gospel methods, filled with its spirit, and untiring fishers of men.

To build a church is to take hold in God's name and build it. Every victory for Christ costs prayer

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and toil and blood. It must be sweat through. The church will not grow in the chill air of this world, without somebody to love it, and yearn over it with watchful care, as the mother over the cradle. The pastor must give days and nights to it, counting all things as gain which he can possibly do for it, whatever the loss to him. Men do this in business and make no moan over their sacrifices. Should Christ's disciples do less? The strength put into business in this

age, if consecrated to saving men, would rapidly build powerful churches all over this land. Business men move mountains to rear their rolling-mills and grain-elevators and railways. The thunder of their captains fills the land. Ministers, with God overhead, often fail to move mole-hills. Much of their lack of progress is the sheer want of an enterprise and endeavor in keeping with the greatness of the object and reward. It never harms the religion of a church to let a living stream of honest business energy flow through. The religious life of a community would never lag behind the business life, if the same efforts were put forth in its behalf. We need work. I speak for St. James, the neglected saint of the New Testament. Men believe and pray, but fail to do. Though manna lies thick on the ground, God's people do not gather it. There is a soul to be saved at every Christian's elbow, yet the heart to do it is wanting. Some say the art is lost. Many of

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