Mission Harvest © 2011 William J. Brannan
"When cast by providence among sinful persons who respect us, we ought to be peculiarly watchful. The hatred of the ungodly when poured upon Christians in the form of persecution, is seldom harmful to their spiritual nature, but the friendship of the world is always to be suspected. When the servants of the high priest allowed Peter to warm his hands at the fire, had Peter been a wise man, he would have been afraid that evil would come of it. We are disarmed by kindness, but it is never safe to be disarmed in an enemy's country. "Who," says the old proverb, "could live in Rome and yet be at war with the pope?" Who can have much to do with sinners and not have something to do with their sins? The smiling daughters of Moab did more mischief to Israel than all Balak's frowning warriors. All Philistia could not have blinded Samson if Delilah's charms had not deluded him. Our worst foes will be found among our ungodly friends. Those who are false to God, are not likely to be true to us. Walk carefully, believer, if thy way lie by the sinner's door, and especially if that sinner hath acted a friendly part to thee."
"The fetters on thy hands may not be broken by thy feeble fingers, but the hammer of the Almighty can break them in a moment. Let them be laid on the anvil of providence and be smitten by the hand of omnipotence, and then they shall be scattered to the winds. Up, man! up. Like Samson, grasp the pillars of thy troubles, and pull down the house of thine affliction about the heads of thy sins, and thou thyself shalt come out more than conqueror."
"Once more. The man who is asleep is in a state of insecurity. The murderer smiteth him that sleeps; the midnight robber plundereth his house that resteth listlessly on his pillow. Jael smiteth a sleeping Sisera. Abner taketh away the spear from the bolster of a slumbering Saul. A sleeping Eutychus falleth from the third loft, and is taken up dead. A sleeping Samson is shorn of his locks, and the Philistines are upon him. Sleeping men are ever in danger; they cannot ward off the blow of the enemy or strike another. Christian, if thou art sleeping, thou art in danger. Thy life, I know, can never be taken from thee, that is hid with Christ in God. But oh! thou mayest lose thy spear from thy bolster; thou mayest lose much of thy faith; and thy cruse of water wherewith thou dost moisten thy lips may be stolen by the prowling thief: Oh! thou little knowest thy danger."
"Beloved brethren, we cannot afford to remain in any state lower than the very best; for, if so, our work will not be well done. Time was when we preached with all our might. When we began to preach, what preaching it was for zeal and life! In looking back, it must increase our self-humiliation if we perceive that, in our younger days, we were more real and intense than we are now. We preach much better, so the critics say; and we know that there is more thought and more accuracy in our sermons, and that we use better elocution than we did in our young days; but where are the tears of our early ministry? Where is the heart-break of those first sermons in our first sphere? Where is the passion, where is the self-annihilation that we often felt when we poured out our very life with every syllable we spoke? Now, sometimes, we go into the pulpit resolved that we will do as we did then, just as Samson went out to shake himself as he had done aforetime. He had snapped the cords and bands before, and he was going to do the same again; but the Lord had departed from him, and he was weak as another man. Brethren, what if the Lord should depart from us? Alas for us, and for our work!
Nothing can be done if the Holy Spirit be withdrawn; indeed, nothing truly good will be attempted." - Spurgeon
"Supernatural work needs supernatural power; and if you have it not, do not, I pray you, attempt to do the work alone, lest, like Samson, when his locks were shorn, you should become the jest of the Philistines. This supernatural force is the power of the Holy Ghost, the power of Jehovah Himself. It is a wonderful thing that God should condescend to work His marvels of grace through men."