If the Lord be among us, the consequences will be, first, the conservation of true doctrine. The true God is not with a lie: he will not give his countenance to falsehood.
God is with those who speak the truth faithfully, hold it devoutly, believe it firmly, and live upon it as their daily bread. May it always, be said of this church, the Lord is there," and therefore they are sound in the faith, reverent towards Holy Scripture, and zealous for the honour of Christ!
Truth must be written on the heart as well as in the book. If the Lord be among his people, they will cling to the eternal verities, and love the doctrine of the cross, not by force of law, but because divine truth is the life of their souls.
Where God is present, the preservation of purity will be found. If the Lord is there, holiness will abound, and fruits of the Spirit will be seen on all sides; but if the Lord be once withdrawn, then flesh and blood will rule, and gender towards corruption, after its own manner; and the church will become a synagogue of formalists. Pray, my brethren, continually, that the Lord may dwell in our Zion, to maintain us in all holy obedience and purity of life.
Where God is, there is the constant renewal of vitality. No human power can keep a church from the frostbite which numbs and kills. Except the Lord be there, growth, life, warmth—are all impossible. Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, but cry day and night to him, O Lord, abide with us. Go forth with our armies. Make us to be the living children of the living God"!
When the Lord is there, next, there is continuing power. With God there is power in the ministry, power in prayer, power in all holy work.
Do you not all know persons who are not peculiarly gifted, and yet are eminently useful? You do not remark anything about them that is especially noticeable, and yet their whole career enlists attention by its power. Their words tell, for there is character behind them.
A consistent life gives force to a plain testimony.
Furthermore, whenever it can be said of an assembly, "the Lord is there," unity will be created and fostered. Show me a church that quarrels, a church that is split up into cliques, a church that is divided with personal ambitions, contrary doctrines and opposing schemes, and I am sure that the Lord is not there. Where there are envyings, jealousies, suspicions, backbitings, and dislikes, I know that the Holy Dove, who hates confusion, has taken his flight. God is love, and he will only dwell where love reigns. He is the God of peace, and will not endure strife. The children of God should be knit together. It would indeed be a shameful sight should children of his family fall out, and chide, and fight Saints who dwell with God love each other "with a pure heart, fervently." Some professors act as if they hated each other: I may not say, "with a pure heart," but I will say, "fervently." Where God is present the church is edified in love, and grows up, like a building fitly framed together, to be a holy temple in the Lord. Oh, for more of this unity!
Where the Lord is there is sure to be happiness. What meetings we have when the Lord is h