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bursting from the united heart and mouth of them : Jehovah, He is the Lord, He is the God !”

And now, does it not a little look like the time when, in the theatre, the audience has gone, and the lights are turned down, and the tragedy king puts off the kingly robes in which he had “ strutted and fretted” during his brief hour upon the stage ? It is the same figure.


man, few hours ago, stood before the king, and priests, and a corrupt nation, and, by the power of God given to him, swept the nation back into the arms of God again. It is the same man, broken, empty, down on the earth, with his face between his knees. All over! The king gone, the mighty multitude of people gone! Nobody but the servant up there on a pinnacle, looking for what does not seem to be coming—a sound or sign of rain. Now, I dwell on that, dear friends, because it is a powerful preaching picture—is it not?-of one side still of the life and work of the man of God: the praying side. The testifying side, that which brings us into collision with our fellow-men, is striking. When God strengthens us, when God makes us by His grace to be like an iron pillar or a brazen wall to our generation, there is something stirring and heroic in the position. To a man of Elijah's temperament there is “that stern joy that warriors feel” in “showing himself to Abab"; in flinging himself at “the very head and front” of the people's offending without fear, without care. Ah, yes! but then there is the other side ; aye, and looked at with baptized eyes, it is the grandest side, it is the mightiest side. Without this, the waiting on God, the other is phantom-like, false, fleeting, vain. Nothing outwardly heroic about it, true ; nothing of the magnetic multitude, or the magnificent, or the tragic. No; nothing

but the Invisible God there, and poor me here, and nothing to grapple to but just the bare word He has promised. To grip Him by that word, and hang, hang, HANG, till through that word of promise, pled in effectual fervent prayer, you move the arm that moves the world. And the erewhile burnished heavens are black with clouds, "and the big rain comes dancing to the earth," and the glory of God is revealed as the Faithful Promiser. That is the picture.

Now, after I saw that myself, however dimly, I wanted you to see it. The great need of prayer, and the power

of prayer, and the real though“ lonely splendour,” the awful grandeur of the Man who Prays! This is a man of like passions with ourselves, who, through faith, through prayer, shot the bolt and locked the heavens; and then after the blot had rusted in the lock for three years, the same wrist, with the same power, shot back the bolt and opened Heaven ;—the parched and thirsty land was drenched with blessing

Elijah said to Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain." Ahab represents kings, courts, earthly powers ; but, blessed be God, the mightiest power in the land is not with King, Court, or Parliament.

A sound of abundance of rain! How did Elijah hear that sound ? Nobody in all Israel heard that sound but just that one man. It was not by the hearing of the ear that he heard it. It must have been by the ear of faith. The skies above were glowing brass; the earth beneath cracked and

gazened” like a tub in the sun. Not a leaf stirred in all the sultry burning land; and yet Elijah said, “There is a sound.” We have a word in Scotland that alone can transmy friend.

late it: there is a “sough.” Away up among the hills of God, where all the blessings begin, Elijah's ear of faith heard the rushing of the winds; “these ministers of His that do His pleasure." He saw by faith that magnificent congress of the winds that Ezekiel saw, " Come from the four winds, O Breath, and breathe.” And he saw the winds coming, trooping, wheeling, getting ready for the rush, when God who holds them in His fists should "slip " them.

The sound of the abundance! First the sound, you see, To the ear of faith, very little, but enough. The sound ! Now, have we got that to-day? Sabbath-school teachers, preacher, you are working for Christ, lamenting the dryness, the leanness, and the emptiness; pluck up heart of grace,

For here is always our condition. If we would only stop and listen, even at the darkest and the driest, we would catch the sound of the abundance. That is to say, you have got the word of promise. Take it literally; every time you hear a promise of God quoted in your ear, there is the sound of the abundance. But ah ! how dull we are ; how unlike Elijah! God had said to him-it seems to be almost a chance word in the by-going—“Go show thyself unto Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.And Elijah heard and hung on to that. God said to him, “Go show yourself to Ahab; do My work and all My will, of that outward, perilous kind. Take your life in your hand, and be faithful to Me among My faithless people. Show thyself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth." And he has showed himself to Ahab. He has proclaimed God's truth, and God's people have come to Him again through the appointed way of accepted sacrifice; but the rain has not yet come. Oh, when is it going to come ?

The curse

has not been fully lifted, the full blessing has not come. So Elijah goes up hanging on to this word, in which there was the sound of the abundance that was to follow : I will send rain ui the earth."

Now, dear Church and people, let us get to our knees, for if we only think along the lines that Elijah's mind was led out upon, and open the ear of faith in London here, with all its leanness and witheredness, the ear can still hear that “sough.” The whole concave of heaven, if it comes to that, that stretches above the Church of Christ is just filled with the wind of God's grace, the breath of God's promise, the word that God has spoken, the “sound.” The sound, bless God and the abundance won't be far behind. As at Carmel, only much more abundantly, the sacrifice has been accepted; God has answered by fire, and the rain is coming. We have a standing promise of rain; Calvary and Pentecost need never be more than fifty days apart, I do believe, if we will only pray.

A sound of abundance of rain! The thing the Church can always depend upon in her darkest hour, is a revival. The unexpected is the thing that can always happen; the unlikely, the thing that to all human appearance is miles away, millenniums off, is just the thing that is for ever impending, if we read the signs of the times aright, if we know our God, and know what His promise means, and know how to bend the knee and wait. Revival, refreshing, gladness, greenness, righteousness, and peace flowing down our streets like a river, our health springing forth like a spring-day after the fogs of London, is the thing that is always just at the door, and might always be here. The check-string, so to speak, is for ever dangling at our hand, and the wonder is we do not pull it. All the machinery is at hand for a magnificent output of blessing on saints and of quickening to dead sinners, along this line :-faithfulness before the world, in an unflinching testimony, “ Go show thyself to Ahab”; “ lift up the Cross ”; and, equal holy boldness in presenting the promise before the Lord, I will send rain upon the earth.”

“So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down on the earth, and put his face between his knees. And said to his servant,


and look towards the sea. And the servant went up, and said, There is nothing. And Elijah said, Go again seven times.” Last Lord's Day morning we were at this subject of prayer, dealing with the importunate widow; and we found there the best idea for our help to be a weak woman, who won by her weakness. Just the same idea is here. Here is a man at his weakest; a man with nothing to hold on by. Nothing, I repeat, grand or striking; no priests to kill, no altar to build, no sermon to preach, no Ahab even to take by the beard and brazen it out with him. Nothing humanly heroic there; nothing to stir the pulses and quicken the blood, and brace the nerves and sinews; nothing between you and heaven, right up through the void there, but emptiness.

And I think that is striking enough. Don't you think 80 ? To rise from earth by effectual fervent prayer, and swell yourself into heaven, till your mouth is on God's ear, and your very praying breath striking on that blessed sensorium. Now, there is where we will have to come down; there is the other side of our work. Elijah, with his face between his knees, pleading the promise. What his prayer was, is not said. There are songs without words, and surely there are prayers without words. At any rate, there were no reporters there; there was nobody to hear him. I do not know that his prayer could have been reported. Preaching is difficult to report—true preaching; as some of us find. When you are preaching best, you are

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