Dr. E. Winchester Donald preached the first sermon in his term of service at the University last night in Appleton Chapel. A large audience, attracted doubtless by the fact that Mr. Donald is soon to begin his work in Boston at Trinity, filled all the available space. The manly presentation of sound reasoning which characterized the preacher's work last night should attract large numbers of the students to morning prayers. The text was from the "Acts" 19th Chap. 11th verse, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul."
Through personality God does his work. The implied meaning in the text is that it is the divine idea that special miracles should be done by every man. The conviction that each man has a work which he and he alone can do, is what we should strive to get. When a man raises himself from his sorrowful introspection, looks over his own smallness and realizes that a certain amount of work is planned for him to do, then he ceases to be a mere imitation and becomes a man, an active force in the life of the world. If this conception of manliness and duty were universal, the whole aspect of life would be different. Every man, thus, is a messenger of God.
The question follows naturally, "how shall we know what our special work is?" Exactly here comes the office of prayer. It is promised in the Bible that when a man prays sincerely, his prayer will reach the Father and will in some way be answered. The outpourings of the heart will prove the answer to the question. Prayer would not have been made so natural had it not been intended that it should be answered.
We must remember that it is not the man by himself who is to work miracles, nor the tools which he uses, but the power of God working through the man. So it is that the banks and commerce and trade of our nation, the tools of men, are not to settle the destiny of the nation, but the spirit of the bankers and tradesmen. The Church is not guided by its external forms but by the godliness of the worshiper.
The question, then, comes to each man, "Am I doing the miracles which God wishes me to do, am I ready to say 'here am I, Lord, send me'? "