It is witnessed of David, that he “served the will of God in his generation.” Every generation has its peculiar work. The present age is distinguished, you know, by the progress of infidelity. We have long been exempted from persecution; and He whose fan is in his hand, perceiving his floor to stand in need of purging, seems determined by new trials to purge it. The present is a winnowing time. If we wish to serve the will of God in it, we must carefully attend to those duties which such a state of things imposes upon us.
In the first place, Let us look well to the sincerity of our hearts; and see to it that our Christianity is vital, practical, and decided. An army called to engage after a long peace requires to be examined, and every one should examine himself. Many become soldiers when danger is at a distance. The mighty host of Midianites were overcome by a selected band. A proclamation was issued through the army of Israel, ” Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return;” and after a great diminution from cowardice, the rest must be brought down to the water to be tried. Such, or nearly such, may be the trials of the church: those who overcome may be reduced to a small company in comparison of those who have borne the Christian name. So indeed the Scriptures inform us. They that obtain the victory with Christ are “called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Excerpt From “The Gospel Its Own Witness”, 1799
Fuller, Andrew, The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.