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" pie praife thee, O God : let all the people praife
" thee. O let the nations be glad, and fing for
" joy : for thou fhalt judge the people righteoufly,
** and govern the nations upon earth. Let the
*' people praife thee, O God: let all the people
*' praife thee. Then fhall the earth yield her in-
" creafe: and God, even our own God, fhall blefs
" us. God fhall blefs us, and all the ends of the
'* earth (hail fear him/*



GREAT



GREAT EFFECTS FROM FEEBLE MEANS.

SERMON IV.

PREACHED AT ZION CHAPEL,

BEFORE THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY,

£Y THE

Rev. DAVID JONES,
OF LANGAN.

O^ Fr-lday^ May 13, 1;q5.



SERMON IV.



Judges vii. 2.

And the Lord /aid unto Gideo72, the People that are
with thee, are too irmnyforMe to give the Midw.n-
ites into their hands.



Wi



HEN I look around me at this vail con-
courfe of my fellow creatures, I cannot but recol-
le6l a circumftance which happened in Wales fome
years pafi:: at a large ajfociatiofi, where a great
number of Miniflers ufed to meet, an honeft, fim-
ple hearted exhorter (fo we call the lay preachers)
was fixed upon to preach on that day, before feve-
ral Minillei-s of fupcrior knowledge and talents in
the minifterial work; a friend of his called him
afide, and alked him how he felt himfelf at the
appointment, and if he thought he could ftand up
and open his mouth before fuch a vail number of
people? His reply was, ''^ Brother, I am 7iow going
*^ to preach Chrift crucified, to all thefe people, as to
'^ one fingle f:7iner y Thus may my Divine Mafter
enable me to fpeak a few things confiitent with
his holy will, before this reverend and venerable
afiembly.

The occafion of our meeting to day, as well as
of feveral other late meetings, leading to this, can-
not be unknown to the greateft part of my hear-

L ers.



Q8 GREAT EFFECTS

crs. The nature and intention of thcfe meetings
have, at different times, been opened and explain-
ed by very able and learned Minillcrs ; and, I be-
lie\'e, to the great fatisfadtion and joy of many.
The intention of the whole I take to be (imply
this ; to convey the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God, in the face of Jcfus Chrift, to the dif-
tant iflcs of the earth; to diftufe a beam of Gof-
pel day to thofe our fellow creatures, who fit in
darknefs and in the fhadow of death. A defign
more glorious, for what I know, than to create
another world. Ephef. i. IQ. To fend the im-
portant meflage of falvation, through the blood of
Jefus, to the remotefl parts of the earth. When
I view this awful fcene, that text of Scripture for-
cibly ftrikes my mind, Ifaiah xlix. 6. " And he
^^ faid^ It is a light thing — that thou fhouldcft be
"^ my fervant to raife up the tribes of Jacob, and
^' to reftore the prcferved of Ifrael : I will alfo give
" thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou may-
*' eft be my falvation unto the end of the earth."

We are now come to the clofe of thefe public
meetings; and every unprejudiced perfon, who
loves the caufe of Jcfus, cannot but moft fniccrely
congratulate this Society on that love and harmo-
ny which have hitherto prevailed among you, and
li'kewife on the pleafmg profpe6l of fuccefs before
}on.

And now, it feems, it is the lot of this unworthy
worm to Itand up here, and endeavour to flimulate
the camp to move under the all-conquering ban-
ner of the crofs, and put your glorious plan, for
the good of fouls, into execution; not diiliearten-
^ cd by mountains of difficulties and improbabilities
in your way, but being confident of this, that it i&
the fame thing with your Divine Mailer to carry-
on his purpofes in the world, by weak as well as by
firong mean:*.

This ib the grand truth inculcated ia the por-
tion



FROM FEEBLE MEANS. QQ

lion of Scripture now under confideration. Of
this wo have an aftonifliing inftance in the firlt
eflablifhmcnt of the religion of Jefus in the world.
The inftruments in God's hand, for that purpofe,
were mean and worihlefs in themfelves, (what a
contrail, in one fcnfe, between them and the cloud
of witnelTes now before me!) not nurfed up in the
fchool oi" Athens, not the wife men of Greece, but
the poor illiterate lifhermen of Galilee, and yet
they conquered many nations of the world, and
engaged them to fubmit to the do6lrine of the
crofs.

Gideon (the old tJireJher) is here prepared, by
the hand of the Lord, for a great undertaking —
the deliverance of Ifrael from the tyranny of Mi-
dian, who came as grafshoppers, and left na fuf-
tenance for poor Ifrael in the land. Chap vi. 4, 5.

An Angel appeared to him as he was threjhing.
This was God's way of old. Some of you may
think Him wifer now, perhaps you may. Of old
He took Mofes raid David from the ezves, Eliflia
from. 'the plough-tail, the Apoftles from t\\Q\tnets:
Paul probably from his tents, (if the devil fuifered
him to remain at iiis work, but I fuppofe many
hours were happily fpent with the high priefls.)
Thus our Lord wifely managed of old. " And
"•' the Lord looked upon Gideon," fee verfe 14 of
chap. (). it feems that what Gideon faid, reached
the Lord's heart, (to fpcak after the manner of
men) ; and he faid, " go in this thy might." In
what might? ver. 12. " The Lord is wiih thee."
That was his vnght. Go in this, and do by the
Midianites, as thou haft done by the vrheat, near
the wine prefs, and threfli them Itoutly and deftroy
them. Fear not, I will make thee a threfbing
inllrument, " and thou (lialt fave ifrael from the
'' hand of the Midianites." But wherewith, dear
Lord? I have neither men nor moiiey, and my fa-
vijlv IS poor m Manajkh. He Iiad mean thoughts

L J. of



100 GREAT EFFECTS

of himfelf ; but nothing the worfe for that. See 2
Sam. ix. S. and Luke i. 43. Real worth ks al-
ways modeft. But here comes his armour, and
here appears his ftrength. Ver. l6. "And the
'^ Lord faid unto him, Surely I will be with thee."
As good as an army of millions. Ifa. 52. 12.

But I muft proceed, for I would not, upon any
account, lical too much of your time. All this
>vas brought to a happy iflbe. — After many indul-
gences .(hewn him, to confirm his weak faith, we
find our general, in the beginning of Chap. 7. at
the head of an army of two and thirty thoufand
men! Well;, there axe fome hopes from fuch an
appearance: and yet, at this very time, it is proba-
ble Gideon hoped and wifhed for a greater num-
ber.— Perhaps Gideon and his friends were now
wifhing for thirty thoufand more — then it would
do, — we fhould then drive thefe grajshoppers owt
of our country.

' But hold, the Head General appears, let us hear
what He fays of this little army. " They are too
*•' inanyT And the Lord faid this ! See, my
brethren, how God is determined to thwart the
ways of men, when there is an apparent tendency
in any means to rob Him of his glory. The army
of the Midianitcs were a hundred thoufand more
than: they, Ghap. viii. 10. And yet Gideon's army
muft be reduced, if God fhould fet about the work
o/ dcli.vering. Human probability muft give up
the dQmmandi when the Lord of Hofts appears in
the iif-id. " llicy are too many for Me to give the
^MN-lidianites into your liands." The Lord will
take care 'of his own glory. God is fometimes
ready to coioj)lain of too much help, but never of
too little. We arc fometimes too early, but he is
nevpr too late.

We fe^ the manner by which Gideon's army is
rednccd, verfe 3, 4, 5, (), 7-

The iirii day of trial was a happy time for cow-
ard s^,



FROM FEEBLE MEANS. 101

ards, and they feemed to enjoy it; and the fecond
was k) ,oihc lazy and flothfal.

The firft charadler in ver. 5, evidences ilrength
of mind, and great willingnefs of foul for the work
of God; it implies a iledfaft refohition of heart to
be engaged for the Lord : as if thefe tappers had
faid — a drop hy the help of my hand, and away for the
field. The ilcond chara6ler, T mean fuch as lowed
down on the knee, feemed rather indifferent about
the fuccefs of the day; eafy and formal folks 1
and, I fuppofe, did not trouble their heads much
about thele Midianitcs, fo they had a plentiful
draught, and could indulge their weary limbs for
a while. Such are not wanted in the fervice, and^
to their no final 1 comfort, they fliall go home.

Verfe 7- " So the three hundred took vi6luals
'^^ in their hands, and their trumpets:" by this I
conclude they went to the battle unarmed, at leaf!:,
caiTied no arms in their hands, for in one hand
they took their victuals, and in the other hand
their trumpets. So it is evident that the falvation
wrought by them was of the Lord. Thus God
will own and blefs weak means; that we might be
encouraged to go on valiantly in his ftrength, when-
ever we are engaged in his caufc.

When the Lord was encouraging his people, in
their great poverty, to rebuild the temple, he tells
them by his Prophet, ^^ Not by might, nor by
*^ power, but by my Spirit, faith the Lord of Hofis."
Zech. iv. 6. "If I wanted to carry on my work
'^ by gold and liiver, thefe things are mine: but I
" will do it by my Spirit, that you may fee it is
'"^ 7?iy hand: faith the Lord of Hofls". This is the
Lord's feal; and all oppolition mufl vanilli be-
fore Him.

I trufi: the Lord will fo work for you, my breth-
;i*en, as that you may difcover his mighty hand
gracioufly directing your ftcps in the plan before



10^ 6REAT EFFECTS

you, and this will afford you the greatefl comfort
aTid falisfaction.

Too much dependence upon probable means
is very natural to fallen man. Goliah and Senna-
cherib are awful inftances of this: and Saul feemed
much difnppointed and chagrined at the appear-
ance of that flripling David^ when brought before
his majefty. 1 Sam. xvii. 33. But the lad foon
fettled the matter with him, as we fee in the fol-
lowing verfes. May you have a fliip load of fuch
lads, and they will fill the world with the found of
the Gofpel of Jcfus Chrift. They will blow the
Iriimfets, and never mind the pitchers.

And if we come to the New Teftament, we fhall
foon find a melancholy inftance of too much confi-
dence in human ftrength in Peter. " If all deny thee,
*^ I never will : nay I will die for thee.'' You know
how it happened. And when matters came to be
fettled by our gracious and merciful Lord, Peter
was afked, " Lovefl thou me more than theft?"
He modeflly replied — " / love Uicc^ but I will ne-
*^ ver get into the balance with any chriftian again,
*^ for I now fee I am nothing w^ithout thy divine
** fup])ort."

Many of us are like Philip at the opening
of a miraculous feall, in which the glory of the
fcafl- maker was to appear confpicuouily great
— ^John vi. 7. " Philip anfwered him, Two hun-
'' dred pcrmyworlh of bread is not fufficient for
*' them, that every one of them may take a little" —
And like Andrew, whofe carnal rcafoning alked,
in verfc (}, "but what are they among fo many?**
But let the people lit down in faith, and they Ihall
find plenty, and niore to take up, than was brought
befoie the multitude. This carnal rcafoning fre-
quently diiirefles the weak Chrillian. My own
unbelieving heart would have tempted me this
morning to furnifli myfelf with a paper popgun
for n)y prefent fup])ori; but thinking at the lame
time/that if I could not manage it with propriety,

I Ihould



FROM FEEBLE MEANS. 103

I (lionld be In the fituation of boys who xx^^Jlrwged
corks ww^cix their fhoulders to fwim, which (fliould
they, through neghgence, fall lower under the
body) tilt the heels uppermofl^ and the youth links
and dies. I fliall therefore truft myfelf to the
mercy of the ftream, and reft with confidence on
that precious promifc of our blefled Lord, " Lo, I
'' am with you alway, even unto the end of the
" wwld." Match, xxviii. 20.

That ardour and zeal, which at prefcnt feem to
engage your hearts in the work, can hardly be fuf-*
ficiently admired, yet it is a patient looking up to
God, and waiting in the duft for his bleffing, that
muft crown the work. As the cloud moves,, fo
will your fuccefs and profperity appear. Your
prefcnt profpe6l is like Elijah's little cloud, 1 Kings
xviii. 44. which by and by w^Ill, I humbly truft,
overfpread Otaheite, and all the Iflands, and produce
fuch a crop of precious fouls for Jefus, as will '• fill
*^ your mouth with laughter, and your tongue
*' with fmging." Pfalm cxxvi. 2.

Now this muft be a work of faith, grounded
upon this promife — Pfalm ii. 8. " Alk of me, and
^^ I v/ill give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
" and the uttermoft parts of the earth for thy pof-
" fefftoii." You muft have fciith for the work.
We ought not be too much elevated by human
probabilities; and, as Chriftians, we ought not to
be difmayed by improbabilities. It is the work of
faith to devour ail thefe as we go; and when we
come to the foot of the hill, we ought to look up
and fay, " Who art thou, O great mountain ? Be-
^^ fore Zerubbabel thou flialt become a plain."
There is never any danger in trufting God with
weak improbable means. Here the danger lies, in
the bias of the human heart to look more to great
means than to the great God, It is an eafy mat-
ter for a perfon to fay that part of the Lord's pray-
er — Giva us this day vur daily bread, when his pan-

try



104 ORE AT EFFECTS'

try is well filled with all manner of ncccfTiiry food
and delicacies: but here is the man that wins the
Lord's heart, who makes this fet'ition^ when there
IS not a bit in the houfe for the next meal !

When there is any peculiar work, God will look
out for himfelf peculiar inftrumcnts; not anfwer-
able perhaps to our narrow cxpe6lation, but fit for
the difcovcry of his power; and the work iTiall be
done.

Faith, when in its exercife, hath generally three
objed s in its view.

1 . Her own weaknefs. '^ We have no might
*^ againft this great co^tipany that cometh againft
"us: neither know we what to do." 2 Chron.
XX. 12.

2. The Jirength of her enemies. The Red Sea
before, a huge mountain on each lide, Pharaoh
and his mighty hoft behind ! O ! They were nicely
hemmed in for a glorious fight of God's falvation.

3. God in his promifey above all. Mofes had
this for him againft the Egyptians. " The Lord
*^ will fight for you. And ye fliall hold your
" peace". You be filent and wait. Let others
clatter as they may.

Thus it was with Eliflia when there was no rain
on the earth. He faid to Ahab, '^ Get thee up,
" eat and drink, for there is a found of abundance
"of rain." See 1 Kings xviii. 41 . Obferve, this
was before liis fervant faw the little cloitd: but how
did he hear the found of rain when all the atmof-
phcre was fo clear } Whence came this, learned
divines ? In the womb of the promife — Elijah heard
tlic found of much rain. See the ift verfe of chap.
3 8. "The word of the Lord came to Elijah — fay-
*' ing, Go fhew thyfclf unto Ahab, and I will fend
" rain upon the cailh." His faith refted upon the
promife, and he prepares for its accompli Him cut.

I nuift allow that at times the eye of faith hath
its motes in the bell of faintS;, and thcfc intercept

the



FROM FEEBLE MEANS. 105

the light of the fun. Mordccai had a mote in his
eye for a time, clear as his fdilh was, when Efther
coukl not fee the king for tliirly days. But this
mote was remos^cd, and he rejoiced to fee the fun.
Hear his voice when the clouds were difperfcd.
Efther iv. 14.^' If thou altogether holdell thy peace
^'^ at this time, then Ihall there enlargement and de-
" liverancc arife to the Jews from another place."
When he had the mote in his eye, he could fee
only the kings court ; — btit having it removed, he
doth not hmit the Holy One of JfraeL Tlicre was
another mote in David's eye: the hand of Saul be-
tween his foul and his God ; and he fpeaks in the
dark and fays, '' I ihall one day fall by the hand
^' of Saul." We read of another large inote in the
eye of Elijah's faith ; — that wicked Jezebel, when he
fied for his life, and came to Beerflieba. And w^hat a
mote was that in poor Peter's eye, when he looked
more upon the ivhul than upon his Lord? Matth.
xiv. 30. He began t( fiiik, — but cries out for help,
and his mafter faves 1 im.

Faith, when the eye is clear, w^ili do wonders.
If time would permit, I could give you fome few
infiances of its exploits, and that when outward
means ran low, and many improbabilities hung in
the way. Where fliall 1 begin ? I fliall mention
three remarkable inllances of the power of faith in
relying upon God in time of diflrefs: And may
the Spirit of the hving God adminifter comfort and
much encouragement to our fouls from them.

The fiift I ihall mention is Jonathan, that faith-
ful friend of David. Hear the language of this
young man's faith, to his armour-bearer, when
going forth againft the garrifon of the Philiftines.
1 Sam, xiv. 6. " Come, let us go over unto the gar-
*' rifon of thefe uncircumcifed: it may be the Lord
*' will work for us; for there is no reftraint to the
" Lord to fave by miuiy or by FEW." And fee
verfc 12. *"' Come up after me, for the Lord hath

M " delivered



10(5 GREAT EFFECTS

'^ delivered them into the hands of Ifrael.'* It may
be worth our notice here, — Jonathan moves in this
glorious attack upon the ground of the fromife, and
does not afcribe the glory of this victory to Jun^Jelf
and his armourAiLartr^ but to the God of Ifrael.
The promife was to Ifrael, 1 Sam. ix. l6. and
therefore his honefl difinterefled heart fr.y? — '• Tor-
*' the Lord hath dehvered them into the hand of
*^ Ifrael." He was a man of great faith.

Through weaker means we may fee God's great-
er ftrength.

Again, what fhall I fay of Afa's faith ? 2 Chron.
xiv. 1 1 . When there came out againft him an hoft
o( ^ tho2if(ind thoKJand, and three hiihdrea cho? lols?
What could Afa do againfl: fuch an army as this?
We find he runs to his God, to his ftrong tower:
hear him verfe 11 and 12. "It is nothing with
*' thee, O Lord, to help whether with many, or
" with them that have no power: help us, O Lord
*^ our God; for we reft on thee, and in thy name
*^ we go againfl this multitude. Let not man pre-
" vail againft thee." Here was great faith, and
the victory was very great alfo. He went forth in
the Lord's name and prevailed.

The third infiance of the power of faith that I
fhall mention is that which wc have in 2 Chron.
XX. when the children of Moiib and the children
of Ammon, and the inhabitants of Mount Seir,
came againft Jehofhaphat, who in this great dif-
trels repaired to the houfe of the Lord, and flood in
the midll of the congregation, and fliid, verfe 6.
" Art not thou God in heaven ? Moab and Am-
" mon are mighty, but thou ait niightier. Thou
*' fittell in Heaven, and overruleft all. This great
^' army is nothirg before thy power." And verfe
7, " Alt not thou our God?" Here he lays hold
on a covenant God, and cannot let him go. In
thcfe very words I fee to whom the vi(?l:ory
will fall. '' All Judah ftood before the Lord, with

*' their



PROM FEEBLE MEANS. 107

*^ their little ones, crying for help; and the Lord
^^ heard them." " Tlie Spirit of the Lord came
'^ upon Jahaziel, the fon of Zechariah,'^ verfe 14.
And he will direct them how and what to do in
this day of trial. He tells them — "The battle is
*' not yours, but God's. Ye fhall not need to
*^ fi2;ht in this battle — fland ye ftill, and fee the
*^ falvation of the Lord with you." As if he had
faid, " Look to God, and fing the grand chorus of the
*' Church of Chrift, and, while you are linging,
" your God will fight, and you fhall have the vic-
'' tory." And fo it was, verfe 21, 22. While the
Lord's mercy cndureth, his people mufl not be dif-
mayed ; but go on and fing. Here was a vidlory
never to be forgotten ! !

We have an account of a fimilar conqueft ob-
tained by the ancient Britons in the year 420 over
an army of Pi61s and Saxons, near Mould in
Flintfliire, at the time the Pahigian herefy attempt-
ed to rear its head in that country. The Britons
being unarmed, having Germanus and Lupus at
their head, when the Picls and Saxons came to the
attack, the two commanders (Gideon like) ordered
their little army to fhout hallehjah three times
over, at the found of which, the enemy, being
fuddenly ilruck with terror, ran away in the
grcateft confuiion, and left the poor orthodox Bri-
tons mailers of the field. ArchbiHiop Uflier treats
of this remarkable vidory in his writings. And I
have feen a ftone monument of this^ conquefi:,
which remains to this day in a field near Mouldy
with the following infcription in Latin.

Ad annum CCCCXX, Saxones Pi6tiq Bcllum ad-
vcrfus Britones, jun6tis viribus, fufciperunt in hac
Regione, Hodieq MAES GARMON appellata.
Cum in prcTclium defccnditur, Apollolicis Britonum
Ducibus, GEPvMANO,ct Lupo, CHRISTUS mi-
litabat. In Calbis ALLELUJAtcrtiorepetitum ex-

M z clamabant



lOS GREAT EFFECTS

clamabant. Hodile Agmen terrore proflernitur.
Triuinphant — nofiibus tulisfine fanguine. Palma
Fide lion Mribus obienta.

M. P.
In VICTORIyE ALLELUJATIC^ Memorlam.
N. G. M,DCC,XXXVI.

In the year four hundred and twenty the Sax*
ons and Pidls waged war with united forces againfi
the Britons on this fpot, and now called Maes-
Garmon*. When the battle was juft beginning,
Gennanus and Lupus being the apoilolic leaders
of the Britons, Chrift fought for them. Thrice
they fliouted Allelujah. The hoflile army fell
\vith panic before them. They are triumphant.
The enemy being routed, the vi6lory was won,
not by force, but by faith.

Nehcmiah Griffiths eredled this monument in
memory of the Hallelujah VicloryJ-.
M,DCC,XXXVI.

BlelTed be God, Hulldujuh has never left poor
Wales fince.

Now for a word or two to thofe who are deter-
mined to devote their all to this glorious under-
taking, in leaving their friends and relatives be-
hind, and embarking in this important meflage.
And, in the firft place, were I a fea-faring man, I

* German's Meadow.

t IMr. Nehemiah Griffith was uncle to the j^rcfent pofTcdbr
of thtt Rhyal eflate, where the event is recordtd to have hap-
pened. iNIr. M>iner, in his lecond volume oi'^ Church Hillory,
takes notice of the vi(f\orv, (page 526) thcnigh he mentions not
the haHehiiah as its caufe. Perhaps he might fuj^poie it might
fubjeft him to the reproach of credulity, and being inclined to
the f;;arn'^i/ous ; but he adds, (which* gives me a cleurei know-
ledge of our town's name ihan I had before) that Germanus
and l.upus, (vid. Beda. 1. Hifi.) in order to prea. h 10, and bap-
tize ;h'.' immcnfe multitudes who attended their nnniftry, had a
chuich y.c.'k' of bovighs of trees twifred together, from whence I
ftron^ly fufped came our Wydd Grug.

T.J.

fhould



FROM FEEBLE MEANS. lOQ

ffiould attempt to give you a full defcription of the
ihip to be employed. But an attempt of the fort
will only difcover my ignorance in that line.
Were I a young man of 24 years of age, I fhould
beg to be admitted as one of the happy company^
and humblv would I folicit the good captain to
have the following precious portion of Scriptui^
painted in large letters on the moft confpicuous
part of the vmln-mafi, '' FEAR NOT, FOR I
'' AM WITH THEE, BE NOT DISMAYED,
*' FOR I AM THY GODf and the (hip's crew
mull read it every morning before breakfafl.

As for the Captain, his qualifications are far be-
yond my conception; however, he will not be of-
fended if 1 beg my Divine Malter to furnifli hiru
with a goo<:l comfortable Jlorm coat, (for I dare fay
he expedls not a few in his long voyage) made up
of the following materials — the faith of Noah — the
meeknefs of Mofes — the wifdom almofl of a Solo-
mon — the patience of Job- — the intrepid fpirit of a
Zerubbabel — the fublimityofan Ifaiah, that he may
have daily intercourfe with the King above the
Ikies — the amiablenefs of a John — the humility of a
well fighted Peter — and the refolution of a Paul — »
clad with this (though perhaps in appeamnce much,
like Jofeph's jacquet) he will fail round the worlds
with Jcfus in his heart, and the Gofpel in his hand.

As for the Mijfionaries, I have a word to them.
May they be kept in the fchool of the Prophets
and of the Apoftles during the whole voyage; and
may the Fourth in the Furnace attend gracioufly at
their right hand^ to dire6l, fupport and comfort
them. In his ow^n wife and blefied time may He
land them fafe on the defired fhore; and, when
they begin to talk of Jcfus and his crofs in the
new world, O may that S})int of Truth, which at-
tended the Apoftles' preaching on the day of Pen-
teeoft, abundantly blefs their labourS;, to the con-
verfion of thoufands.


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