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to their mind, they will not attend it. This thing ought not so to be.
14. Why the World is not converted.
The world is not converted. The melancholy fact stares us in the face. Yet the world is to be converted. That delightful truth shines conspicuous on the pages of the Bible. Why is it not already converted ? It ought to have been converted ere this. Eighteen centuries ago it was well nigh converted. But now the world is far, very far from being con verted. It "lieth in wickedness." What is the meaning of it? Why is it not converted? Whose is the fault? Look not up to heaven with the inquiry, as if the reason was to be found there, among the mysteries of the eternal Mind. Look elsewhere. The fact we deplore results not from any lack of benevolent disposition in God. No. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." What could he have felt or done more? The object of his love, the world—its gift, his Son! Could it have been more comprehensive, or more munificent ? Nor is the reason found in any deficiency in the atonement made by Christ, for
he is the propitiation " for the sins of the whole
of Christ to be with them is also without restriction. See what goes before, and what comes after that great commission. The words which precede it are, “ All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” The words which follow, are, “ And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." You must look some where else than upward for the reason why the world is not converted. Look beneath, around, within.
I propose to assign a few reasons why the world is not converted.
1. The world does not wish to be converted. That which is to be the subject of conversion, is a foe to it. It resists the influence that would convert it to God. What means that language, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man ?" Striving implies opposition offered. The opposition is made by the will. The universal will of man resists the work of the Spirit of God. And that thing, the will, is a tremendous obstacle opposed to conversion. It is
more than a match for all the motives you can bring to bear upon it. It wont move for motives. The Lord alone can master it. 0! if the world had of itself been willing to be converted, it should long ere this have been brought back to God! It is but to be willing and the thing is done.
2. The devil, who in the Bible is called “the god of this world,” is opposed to its conversion. Now, it must be very much in the way of the world's conversion, that not only itself but its god is opposed to it. The will is a powerful foe of itself, but when the will is in league with Satan, who is called the adversary, by way of eminence, what an enemy the combination must produce! The devil and the heart, what a formidable alliance! Satan is sincere in his opposition to the conversion of the world, i. e. he is really opposed to it. He does not merely pretend to be. And he is in earnest. His heart is in the work of opposing the world's conversion--and he does all he can to prevent it. The friends of the conversion of the world do not all they can to promole it. Would that they did ! But Satan does all he can to prevent it. Ah, why cannot we do as much for Christ as his enemies do against him? Why don't Christians do all they can? Satan does all he can—and that is a great deal, for he was one of those angels " that excel in strength," and though by his fall he lost all holiness, he lost no power. He is as potent as ever-possessed of very great energy, ind he exerts it all in the enterprise of opposing God in the conversion of the world. And he does not stand still and exert his power, but goeth “to and fro in the earth.” Yea, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." He does not wait for his prey, but hunts for it. Yet he has not always the lion look, for sometimes “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light;" nor does he always roar. He can let his voice down to the softest whisper, which the ear he breathes it into alone can hear; and Satan does not act alone. He is assisted by myriads of kindred spirits. They were many, we are told, that possessed one manyes, a legion. How many they must be in all ! and all engaged in the same opposition—aye, and multitudes of men are even now in league with them, engaged in the devils' work as heartily as if they were of that race.
Is not this a strong reason why the world is not converted ? Have I not given two such reasons ? But I have a stronger :
3. The church is not heartily in favor of the world's conversion. And when I affirm this of the church, I refer not to those who rest in the form of godliness, and have but a nominal life. No wonder the unconverted, though they may be members of the visible church, should not be concerned for the conversion of others. But I mean that real Christians, who have themselves been converted, are not hearti y in favor of it. Yes, the converted part of the
world are not heartily in favor of the conversion of the great remainder! And this is the principal reason why it is not converted. What if the world is not in favor of it, and Satan is not? It was never intended that the world should be converted by their iustrumentality, but in spite of their opposition ! But that the church, to whom is given the commission, to whom is committed the instrumentality which God blesses for conve
version, and to whom even Christ looks with expectation, should not enter into the work with all her soul and strength, how strange and how lamentable! I know that Christians say they are in favor of it, and I will not question their sincerity, but I wish they gave such proof of being sincere and in earnest as Satan and his allies do. Actions have a tongue, and they speak louder than words. Satan's actions declare unequivocally that he is a foe to the world's conversion: Do our actions proclaim as unequivocally that we are its friends ? We say we desire the world's conversion; but what say our prayers, our contributions, our efforts, our conduct? We talk as if we desired it, but do we pray, do we contribute, do we labor, do we live as if we desired it? In this matter our unsupported word will not be received as proof.
Why, if we who love the Lord are heartily in favor of the world's becoming his, are we so divided among ourselves ? The enemies of the world's conversion are united. Yes, they forget their private