Drinking From Old Wells
 By Dave Butts

    I love the written word. Books, new and old, have made a major difference in my life. I have been taught, encouraged, rebuked, and given fresh vision by great authors. Some of my favorite books are still being written. The Lord is using my contemporaries to minister to me through their writings. However, I most often find myself irresistibly drawn to older authors. There seems to be a depth and a passion that is rarely matched today. It could be likened to drinking from the clear, cold water of an old well that goes deep. The Herald of His Coming has always drawn from these older wells and will continue to do so.

    I’d like to share with you some of my favorite quotes from a few of these authors. Some might be from centuries ago, while others are as recent as the last generation. My prayer is that your heart will be stirred, as mine was, while reading these gems from the past:

    "Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival – men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations." – C. H. Spurgeon

    "Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!" –Andrew A. Bonar

    "To arouse one man or woman to the tremendous power of prayer for others, is worth more than the combined activity of a score of average Christians." – A. J. Gordon

    "I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach. ...A minister’s highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." – H. MacGregor

    "The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church... grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil." – Leonard Ravenhill

    "Does it grieve you, my friends, that the name of God is being taken in vain and desecrated? Does it grieve you that we are living in a godless age? ...But, we are living in such an age and the main reason we should be praying about revival is that we are anxious to see God’s name vindicated and His glory manifested. We should be anxious to see something happening that will arrest the nations, all the peoples, and cause them to stop and to think again." – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

    "The history of missions is the history of answered prayer. From Pentecost to the Haystack meeting in New England and from the days when Robert Morrison landed in China to the martyrdom of John and Betty Stam, prayer has been the source of power and the secret of spiritual triumph." – Samuel Zwemer

    "We give ourselves to prayer. We preach a Gospel that saves to the uttermost, and witness to its power. We do not argue about worldliness; we witness. We do not discuss philosophy; we preach the Gospel. We do not speculate about the destiny of sinners; we pluck them as brands from the burning. We ask no man’s patronage. We beg no man’s money. We fear no man’s frown…Let no man join us who is afraid, and we want none but those who are saved, sanctified and aflame with the fire of the Holy Ghost." – Samuel Chadwick

    "The evangelization of the world in this generation depends first of all upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for men; deeper, far, than the need for money; aye, deep down at the bottom of our spiritless life is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, world-wide prayer." – Robert E. Speer

    "Oh, for closest communion with God, till soul and body, head, face, and heart – shine with Divine brilliancy! But oh! for a holy ignorance of our shining!" – Robert Murray M’Cheyne

    "Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it." – Matthew Henry

    "There is need of a great revival of spiritual life, of truly fervent devotion to our Lord Jesus, of entire consecration to His service. It is only in a church in which this spirit of revival has at least begun, that there is any hope of radical change in the relation of the majority of our Christian people to mission work." – Andrew Murray

    "The love-slave has no pleasure like that of serving his master. This is his joy, and his very ‘crown of rejoicing.’ The love-slave is altogether at his master’s service. He is all eyes for his master. He watches. He is all ears for his master. He listens. His mind is willing. His hands are ready. His feet are swift to sit at the master’s feet and look into his loved face, to listen to his voice and catch his words; to run on his errands, to do his bidding, to share his privations and sorrows, to watch at his door, to guard his honor, to praise his name, to defend his person, to seek and promote his interests, and, if needs be, to die for his dear sake; this is the joy of the slave of love, and this he counts his perfect freedom." – Samuel L. Brengle