"David tarried still at Jerusalem." 2 Sam. 11: 1. David was a mighty man of God. He began to serve the Lord in his youth. As a poet he was deeply spiritual; as a statesman, wise and far-seeing; as a warrior, fearless and aggressive. He went on from strength to strength. Present himself in the battles, he bravely endured hardship and led the forces on to victory. But a change came. Instead of going out with Joab and the others to war, he began to study his ease. But in doing this he lost his sturdy aggressiveness, and settled down to snug comfort. " David tarried still at Jerusalem." We know the results. His inactivity brought temptation and a fall from which he never regained his early power.
There is a lesson in his experience for us as ministers. Many do valiant service in their youth, but quite early in life, even, begin to think of lighter work,—an office, or a pastorate of some church. Their early passion for souls, their burning zeal to defend the truth, their willingness to labor from cottage to cottage in hard, small country districts, and thus to suffer for Christ, indeed their entire service begins to decline. The advent movement itself today is in danger of losing its first spirit of militant though spiritual propaganda, without which we cannot succeed.
The other day I heard a young laborer say that the pioneers of this message had an easier time. " Then the truth was new, and the field unworked; while now, in many cities and States, we, find but burned-over territory."
He was indeed mistaken. The truth was never so clear, the evidences of the coming of the Lord were never so abundant, the longing to hear this message was never so deep as to-day. We can win more souls. We can in every way build up the work much more rapidly than ever before. And we can do this if we hold fast to a strong spirit of advance. An army is measured by its morale, its courage and initiative. God expects many fold more from us who to-day stand in our prime than from men earlier in the movement. They toiled in the day of little things. We are living in " the day of His power." Every minister, in our ranks needs to keep alive in his heart the first love, and a heroic spirit of a forward movement, an earnest, soul-winning evangelism to the glory of God.