“And He said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:29
My dear brethren, I do not come to address you after the manner of man’s wisdom, nor with words of human eloquence, but to speak to your souls of the things which concern your eternity; — to stir you up to seek in good earnest salvation for yourselves and for others. It is a light thing that you should be attracted and pleased, — even were I able to do so, — but it is no light matter that you should be moved to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, God working in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is a light thing that the admiration of many should be obtained; but it is no light matter that the multitudes who are now far from God should be moved to return to Him from whom they “have revolted and gone” (Jer 5:23). The ratification of an hour is all that depends upon the one; but eternity, — a sinner’s eternity, — hangs upon the other.
Therefore it is that I have chosen for this day’s meditations, a subject which affords but little scope for eloquence or fancy, but which allows me a very full opportunity of speaking simply and with searching closeness of your present religious state, and of pointing out to you what our text suggests as the remedy for the very worst state of spiritual malady under which an individual, or a church, can labour. It is for this end that I have chosen these words to discourse from, on the occasion of my coming amongst you, that I may, at the very commencement of my ministry, declare what appears to be one of the chief causes of our low and languid condition; — that I may show you how much, how very much depends upon the people of God, — upon their “prayer and fasting,” — in the way of securing the divine remedy.