Mission Harvest © 2011 William J. Brannan
"From the admirable spirit which Christianity infuses into society, the apostle next takes us to the spirit which should regulate the believer's relations to the civil magistrate. It is most important that Christianity should leaven all these relations to the powers that be. "I could not," says Dr. Arnold, "name easily any branch of human conduct from which the influence of the gospel has been more completely shut out than this; any one on which worldly motives are avowed more boldly and more exclusively. In fact, many men seem to have vaguely confounded the gospel and the clergy in their notions about these matters; and because clergymen, like other men, have often interfered in them in the worst possible spirit, not setting an example of Christian conduct, but plunging into the lowest motives of passion or interest by which other men are actuated, there seems a sort of fear that the gospel itself will teach something mischievous to the public welfare or liberty. But, indeed, in all moral wisdom, in all duty, whether as private men or citizens, there is but one Master, even Christ, from whom we can draw nothing but what is pure and upright." It is most important, then, to see how the gospel handles the question of citizenship."
"The heart in which prayer is found constantly welling up is also a lively heart. We do not all possess lively hearts, nor do we all keep them when we get them, for some men appear to have fatty degeneration of the heart, after a spiritual manner, since their heart acts very feebly in prayer. They are lethargic and lifeless in devotion. Do we not all find ourselves at times in a cold state in reference to prayer? Brothers, I believe that when we cannot pray it is time that we prayed more than ever; and if you answer, "But how can that be?" I would say- pray to pray, pray for prayer, pray for the spirit of supplication. Do not be content to say, "I would pray if I could"; no, but if you cannot pray, pray till you can. He who can row down stream with a flowing tide and a fair wind is but a poor oarsman compared with the man who can pull against wind and tide, and nevertheless make headway. This our soul must endeavor to do."
"Many parents, by their godless behavior, bring their children into temporal and eternal ruin. Such children will some day have just cause to cry out against their parents (Sir. 41:10).-A punishment which is deserved must be inflicted upon the just condemnation of the proper authority, but even the mightiest earthly power has no right to torture a convict. The civil authority is indeed an avenger to punish the guilty, and it does not carry the sword in vain, but it ceases to be God's servant when it becomes bloodthirsty and delights in pain." - Peter Lange
"William Carey read Brainerd's life story, and the dynamo started within the young soul-winner's breast, finally landing him on India's coral strand. At the flame of Brainerd's molten soul, the candle of Edward Payson's heart was lighted under God. Thus from just the diary of the pain-racked, cowhide-clad apostle to the North American Indians, Payson caught the motivating inspiration, and began at 20 a prayer life that almost eclipsed Brainerd's. To add yet another soul-kinsman of Brainerd's, another master of prayer, who tottered into his grave at the "ripe old age" of twenty-nine years, we speak of Robert Murray McCheyne. This giant in prayer was first magnetized to this "greatest of all human offices that the soul of man can exercise" by reading about Brainerd."
- Leonard Ravenhill