Prove Me Now .... A Spiritual Personal Journal #35
Here is a part of the new book I am bringing out in August (God willing) from the papers of William C. Burns:
"Will none here, in like manner, bethink himself? Do you really believe, my dear friend, that God lives? You know that many people, without being professed infidels, do not in the least believe the children of God, when they say that there is such a thing as going away to be alone with God, making a request according to the will of God, and getting an answer to their prayer. They think that any idea of that kind is produced by the friction of mere feeling upon the heart; that it is an empty delusion or imagination. Well, but suppose one of you gets a step further than this daring infidelity, and the question is seriously agitated, within you, whether God is or is not. This is the hour, it may be, of your first real prayer; you go away into a secret place, whether in your dwelling or in the open field, it matters not; and your first impression is, there is a God, and I will call to Him. Satan says immediately, assuming, as it were, the garb of prudence or of common sense, “What! who are you speaking to? Nobody hears you, you are speaking to the air!” And then your own evil heart rises up and joins with him. Many a man thinks he believes in God, just because his faith is so purely nominal that Satan has never thought it worth disputing. His are prayers that never go higher than the back of the chair he kneels at. But, ah! if he took courage and, resolving to get at the truth, went away to pray, a thousand voices would cry within him, There is no God, no God! And some would give up the search here, and swallow the devil’s lie, and be ruined eternally. But then, some would not do this, the awakened sinner would not be so easily put off. He feels, as it were, that there is something at the other end of the line that he is casting upwards, and he will not let go his hold. And then, perhaps, he remembers something about that word of truth, which is called the lamp of the wanderer’s foot, and so he opens his Bible. Here again, Satan will perhaps meet him, and will likely whisper, “I am sure you have read that book all your life long and never got any good by it; it never then can be the word of God.” Ah! but, my dear friends, Satan’s lie won’t pass so easily now that he has been proved a liar; and being resisted, he will perhaps flee. So the man goes on’ some word of promise meets him, and, as he reads, he comes to more; and there another light has risen to cheer him onwards, till he finds in Emmanuel matchless fullness for his every need. And then he joins himself to the Lord’s dear people too, and unites with them in the work and labour of love, which they have to finish ere the “night,” which is at hand, “cometh,” and ere they hear the knock of the Judge who standeth before the door.
Oh, are you all “watching unto prayer,” beloved? I think some at least, are surely doing this. I am sure there were some who rose early this morning, perhaps “a great while before day,” to plead with the Captain of the Lord’s host that He would come forth this day in the midst of us, “conquering and to conquer.” Persevere, beloved in the Lord, “in due time ye shall reap if ye faint not.”
We would entreat every one of you to imitate the example of those who went round the city of Jericho. They were to compass it seven times; once would have done as well had the Lord appointed it so, but He teaches His people perseverance by these means; and then, at last, when Jericho did fall, what was the occasion of it? Nothing but the blowing of trumpets of rams’ horns – a weak breath. Oh, how the foolishness of man is used to work the purposes of the Lord! In the same way can he make a single sentence, pronounced by a little child, effect what no persuasion or eloquence could accomplish. When the wall of Jerusalem was to be rebuilt, every man went and builded opposite his own house. You that are a husband, begin this night; when you go home, speak to your wife tenderly and solemnly; beseech her to begin to consider “the things that belong to her peace,” and do not give up for one refusal. I confess that I often feel tempted to do this. I often say, “I’ll give up preaching, why continue it?” And so, when you go home, you may be tempted to say, “It’s all very well for the minister to tell me to speak to my household, but it is useless to attempt it.” My dear friend, remember the blowing of the rams’ horns. And let another take a servant apart and the brother his sister." (Parisis, Peter-John, The Complete Works of William C. Burns, 2011, Page 58.)