“Come from the four winds, O breath!”
If the Holy Spirit does not come, and give spiritual life, we may preach until we have not another breath left, but we shall not raise from the tomb of sin even the soul of a little child, or bring a single sinner to the feet of Christ.
Look sir, you may study your sermon; you may examine the original of your text; you may critically follow it out in all its bearings; you may go and preach it with great correctness of expression; but you cannot quicken a soul by that sermon.
You may go up into your pulpit; you may illustrate, explain, and enforce the truth; with mighty rhetoric you may charm your hearers; you may hold them spellbound; but no eloquence of yours can raise the dead.
Another voice than yours must be heard! Other power than that of your thought or persuasion must be brought into the work, or it will not be done.
You may organize your societies, you may have excellent methods, you may diligently pursue this course and that; but when you have done all, nothing comes of it if the effort stands by itself.
Only as the Spirit of God shall bless men by you, shall they receive a blessing through you.
Whatever your ability or experience, it is the Spirit of God, who must bless your labour.
We are nothing; you are nothing.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts,” is a message that should make us lie in the dust, and utterly despair of doing anything in and of ourselves, seeing that all the power is of God alone.
It will do us good to be very empty, to be very weak, to be very distrustful of self, and so to go about out Master’s work.