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pondent or cast down, look gloomy, are not full of praise, if we are not full of joy, the world will not want it. We will only drive men out of the kingdom of God. If we have a praise church we will have people converted. I don't care where it is, what part of the world it's in; if we have a praise church we'll have successful Christianity.
A young man went down to a church in the East, the pastor of which had become an old man. The people got asleep. The new man came and tried to rouse them, but it was no use. He preached and preached, and tried to get them aroused and go into the prayer meetings, but he could not. One night he said: "To-night we'll have no prayer meeting." They wondered what it meant; the idea that this young minister should do away with this prayer meeting which they had had for fifty years. They were astonished. "But," said he, "we will have a praise meeting." At the close of the meeting one elder came to another one: "What's he going to give up the prayer meeting for? Has he consulted you about it ?" "No." Well," replied the former, "that's a very serious matter; what is the meaning of a praise meeting?" They had been going along without any praise meeting, and they did not know what a praise meeting meant. They went to ask him but he wouldn't tell them, but said to wait till Friday night and they would see. They began to talk about it, and out of curiosity a great many came to see what it was. The young minister read some of tuose good old psalms. "Now," said he, "if you can think of anything in your past life that you have received from God, praise God for it. You have been asking God for everything, and it chills the church through. Now if you can think of any benefits you have received, praise God for them." They began to think and they found they had a good many things to praise God for. One man got up and praised God for a praying mother, who had led him to Christ. Another man got up and praised God for the Bible. Another praised God for this and that, and the result was that when the meeting was over, instead of getting up and walking out they stopped and shook hands with one another, and spoke to one another, and said, "I believe we are going to have a revival." My friends, if we don't thank God for what he has done for us, and be full of joy and gladness, the world will not come to Christ. Would to God that we had a praise church all over Christendom. Let Christ's name be in our churches. Let them praise Him for what He has done, and the world will come. Let the world know that this is the name in which we rust, that this is the name we speak well of; and when His Misciples begin to do this, then the world will realize the good
ness of His gospel. Thank God, the people of Chicago begin to talk about Christ; and if we can get men to talk about Christ in the steam cars, in the place of business, in the horse cars, in the streets-if we can get them to talk about Christ and His loveliness, it won't be long before thousands are converted in a day. May God bewaken up the Christians to praise Him for what He as done. Did you ever stop to think that the heart of man is the only thing that does not praise the Lord. The heavens declare His glory; the sun praises Him; the moon and stars praise Him. As the rain falls from heaven it praises God; all nature praises God; the very dumb creatures give Him praise, and it is only the heart of man that won't praise Him. Oh, how deceitful is the heart of man. He who gets the most temporal blessings is the man that praises God least. A man may be thankful for those blessings yet he does not praise Him. In fact, I don't believe that any man can praise God till he is born of God. You may be thankful for His blessings, but praising Him is another thing; praise is the occupation of heaven. Those people who do not praise God here, I don't know what they will do when they get into heaven; they will be strangely out of place there, because that is the occupation of heaven. The redeemed praise Him all the time. There was a little boy converted, and he was full of praise. When God cnoverts man or boy His heart is full of joy--can't help praising. His father was a professed Christian. The boy wondered why he didn't talk about Christ, and didn't go down to the special meetings. One day, as the father was reading the papers, the boy came to him and put his hand on his shoulder and said:
Why don't you praise God? Why don't you sing about Christ? Why don't you go down to these meetings that are being held ?" The father opened his eyes, and looked at him and said, gruffly: "I am not carried away with any of those doctrines, I am established." A few days after they were out getting a load of wood. They put it on the cart. The father and the boy got on top of the load and tried to get the horse to go. They used the whip, but the horse wouldn't move. They got off and tried to roll the wagon along, but they could neither move wagon or horse. "I wonder what's the matter ?" said the father. "He's established," replied the boy. You may laugh at that, but this is the way with a good many Christians. The reason is that they are not born of God, or else they have got so far away that they don't exactly know where they are. Now, if we are really born of God, if our heart is really filled with the spirit of God, we cannot help praising Him. I pity the Christian that has no praise in his heart. You are living a life of formalism—you are living on doctrines. You haven't got Christ in your soul if you
don't praise Him. Now, that ought to be the text. self have you praised God this peaceful day of thanksgiving. You say, Oh, yes, I've thanked Him." But have you spoken well of Christ? Have you spoken well of what He has done ? Have you sung, "Hallelujah! hallelujah!" for these six months or a year, for this is what they sing in heaven. If a man is born of God he can't help praising God. Fill this building with young converts and see how they will sing, "Oh! happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away." They cannot hear such songs without praising God. The first impulse of a young convert is to praise, and if he don't feel like praising the God who saved him, it is a true sign that he hasn't been converted by the grace of God; he has been born to some creed or profession, some man or some church, and not to the loving Son of God, because when Christ comes into the heart He brings joy. Now, take a servant of the devil, he don't praise. Fill this building full of unregenerated men, and try to get them to sing praises. You can't do it; their mouths are sealed; there is no praise in their heart. But you get this building filled with men with the Lord Jesus Christ in their hearts, they cannot help praising Him. How can a man, whose master is the devil, praise him? Have you ever heard a man rejoice in his service? I never heard one.
Now a great many of you say, "It is all very well for him to stand up there and talk about praise. If I was in a comfortable condition, good health, and everything I wanted, like a good many others I see, I would praise God." It is circumstances with a good many, but I have found people who were poor in this world's goods, in bad health, and yet continually praising God. I can take you to a poor burdened one, who has not been off her bed for ten years, and yet she praises Him more than hundreds of thousands of Christians. Her chamber seems to be just the ante-room of heaven. It seems as if that woman had just all the secrets of heaven. Her soul is full of the love of God, full of gladness, and she is poor. Like Elijah at the brook of Cherith, she is just fed by the Almighty; God provides for all her wants. Any man who knows God can trust Him and praise Him. He knows that the word of God is true, for he knows that He will care for him. He who cares for the lilies of the field, He, without whose knowledge not a sparrow can fall to the ground, He who knows every hair of our heads. Any man who knows this, cannot he rejoice? Is there anyone here, who, although he is poor, can find no reason to praise God? Some of those Christians who are so poor, but who have the love of God, would not give up their place for that of princes. Now my experience is that a man who lives nearest to God praises Him
most, whether he is rich or poor. The nearer he gets to heaven the more he praises Him. The man who is furthest from God praises Him least. Now, if there is any Christian here who cannot praise God, there is something between him and God, and take my advice and have it removed before you go to bed tonight. What the world wants is joyful Christianity, and if we have not that, we are not going to see a saved world. A backslider cannot see God. Fill this building with backsliders and see if they will sing praises. That prodigal off there in that foreign land would sing strangely: "Rock of ages, cleft for me." Men astray from God cannot praise. Do you think that Peter, when he had denied Christ could sing a song of praise to Him? The moment a man turns his back on God there is no praise. I think that is the reason there are so many quartet choirs in the churches. The people cannot sing themselves, and they have to hire people to sing for them, give them $4,000 or $5,000 per year, to sing the songs of praises. Look at a church filled with the children of God. The moment a minister gives out the song, their hearts burst with praise; they don't want anybody to sing for them. If they can't sing with their mouths, songs will bubble out of their hearts, but when a man is backslidden he wants artistic sounds, wants fine music to touch his ears, don't want it to affect his heart. Now, Israel could not sing there in Egypt when they were making bricks with straw; they could not sing with the crack of the slave-driver's whip in their ears, but when they got through the Red Sea, they struck up the song of redemption, and when a man is redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ he cannot help praising God. Do you know, I believe the devil is very wise in this. He don't want a singing church, he don't want a praise church. If we have a praise church, a singing church, he knows there will be a good many joining us. He knows that is the native air of heaven,
and the moment a child is born in heaven he catches the enthusiasm. I am told that once during a campaign the general of an army forbade the playing of the soldiers' native airs, because it made them so homesick and despondent that they could not fight. So when we hear the songs of Zion we are weaned from this world and want to go home. We feel that we are pilgrims and strangers here and we have a better world yonder.
Now, how is it that the church does not praise God more? I tell you I think it is very plain. The trouble is we have got settled down and gone to sleep. I never heard of a bird that sung in its nest, and I don't believe that any man ever did, and when a church gets settled down it goes to sleep. It is when the bird is on the wing that it sings; and so it is when the
church is up, it sings songs of praise. And it can sing in the dark; a nightingale can sing in the dark. Paul and Silas in the darkness of that Philippian jail sung songs of praise. When they put them into that jail Almighty God was with them. You know when Joseph went down to Egypt, how God was with him. When they put him in prison they had to lock God Almighty up with him, and Joseph sung songs of praise. But, my friends, if we are down in Egypt and have turned our backs on God, and been taken captive, we are dumb. It is only when we have been true to God that we can sing in the darkness. Now I am told that an English lark never sings when coming down; only when mounting up. That may be true or not, but when a church is coming down, it is not a praise church. When mounting up, and it knows it is coming nearer and nearer to God, it is full of praise. It cannot help it. When the lark is mounting up, up, up, when it is nearly out of sight so that you can scarcely see it, it sings sweetest. And so when the Christian is rising up near to Christ, so that you cannot see him, he gives out the sweetest notes of praise from his heart.
Now, I can imagine some of you saying, "I have got a good many things going against me: I've got a good many reasons for not praising God." I find there is no reason in the world why you should not praise God. If we have troubles, if we have sorrows or afflictions, we have brought them upon ourselves. They are only to wean us to God. Every good gift that we have had from the cradle up has come from God. If a man just stops to think what he has to praise God for, he will find there is enough to keep him singing praises for a week. As the flakes of snow come down from the heavens He showers His blessings upon us, and if we praise Him for them He will bless us more abundantly. Now, there are people always praising. If you are sick it is like good medicine to see them. Then there are other people always looking on the dark side. There was a man converted here some years ago, and he was just full of praise. He was living in the light all the time. We might be in the darkness, but he was always in the light. He used to preface everything he said in the meeting with "praise God." One night he came to the meeting with his finger all bound up. He had cut it, and cut it pretty bad, too. Well, I wondered how he would praise God for this; but he got up and said: “I have cut my finger, but, praise God, I didn't cut it off." And so, if things go against you, just think they might be a great deal worse. A soldier who came from the war always used to say he could tell when a Christian addressed a soldier. One man would say, "You lost your leg. Where did you lose it?" "In the