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"But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen
every man his share, and his coulter, and his ax, and his mattock." --1
We are engaged in a great war with the
Philistines of evil. Every weapon within our reach must be used. Preaching,
teaching, praying, giving, all must be brought into action, and talents which
have been thought too mean for service, must now be employed. Coulter, and axe,
and mattock, may all be useful in slaying Philistines; rough tools may deal
hard blows, and killing need not be elegantly done, so long as it is done
effectually. Each moment of time, in season or out of season; each fragment of
ability, educated or untutored; each opportunity, favourable or unfavourable,
must be used, for our foes are many and our force but slender.
Most of our tools want sharpening; we need quickness of perception,
tact, energy, promptness, in a word, complete adaptation for the Lord's work.
Practical common sense is a very scarce thing among the conductors of Christian
enterprises. We might learn from our enemies if we would, and so make the
Philistines sharpen our weapons. This morning let us note enough to sharpen our
zeal during this day by the aid of the Holy Spirit. See the energy of the
Papists, how they compass sea and land to make one proselyte, are they to
monopolize all the earnestness? Mark the heathen devotees, what tortures they
endure in the service of their idols! are they alone to exhibit patience and
self-sacrifice? Observe the prince of darkness, how persevering in his
endeavours, how unabashed in his attempts, how daring in his plans, how
thoughtful in his plots, how energetic in all! The devils are united as one man
in their infamous rebellion, while we believers in Jesus are divided in our
service of God, and scarcely ever work with unanimity. O that from Satan's
infernal industry we may learn to go about like good Samaritans, seeking whom
we may bless!