Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not for common purposes


Brothers and sisters, have we ever realized this truth as we ought to do? When a vessel, cup, altar, or instrument was set apart for divine worship, it was never used for common purposes again. No man but the priest might drink out of the golden cup; the altar might not be trifled with; God’s brazen lacer was not for ordinary ablution; even the tongs upon the altar and the snuffers for the lamps were never to be profaned for any common purpose whatsoever. What a suggestive and solemn fact is this! If you and I be sanctified by God the Father, we ought never to be used for any purpose but for God. “What,” say you, “not for ourselves?” My brethren, not for ourselves. Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price. “But must we not work and earn our own bread?” Verily ye must, but still not with that as your object. You must still be “diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Remember, if ye be servants, ye are to serve not with eye service as men pleasers, but serving the Lord. If any man shall say “I have an occupation in which I cannot serve the Lord,” leave it, you have no right in it; but I think there is no calling in which man can be found, certainly no lawful calling, in which he may not be able to say, “Whether I eat or drink, or whatsoever I do, I do all to the glory of God.”

From a sermon entitled "Threefold Sanctification," delivered. Flickr photo by Louise Docker; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Christians indeed

Under God the Holy Spirit our only hope for the increase of the Church and for the conversion of the world lies in the development of energy within us, in the bringing out of earnestness in Christian souls. Oh! it was not scholarship that converted the heathen world at first, for on the slabs in the catacombs we have decisive evidence that the first Christians could scarcely spell their own names. It was not the pomp of learning, the pride of philosophy, or the power of eloquence, which made the early confessors so mighty; it was their singular earnestness. The Church was all on fire. She was like a volcano; she might not be high and lofty as some of the surrounding hills, but they had summits clothed with frost, while she sent forth earnest truths like streams of lava, which burned their way, and covered all the lands. Christians in those days were Christians indeed. They believed what they professed; they knew what they spoke; they testified what they had seen; and they spoke with an unconquerable, untameable energy, which smote even the iron power of Rome and dashed it into shivers. So must it be today, and indeed so is it. Look around you; who are the most useful men in the Christian Church today? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts.

From a sermon entitled "Life In Earnest," delivered February 2, 1862. Flickr photo by John Haslam; some rights reserved.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Christ is coming


Now we believe and hold that Christ shall come a second time suddenly, to raise his saints at the first resurrection; this shall be the commencement of the grand judgment, and they shall reign with him afterwards. The rest of the dead live not till after the thousand years are finished. Then shall they rise from their tombs at the sounding of the trumpet, and their judgment shall come and they shall receive the deeds which they have done in their bodies. Now, we believe that the Christ who shall sit on the throne of his father David, and whose feet shall stand upon Mount Olivet, is as much a personal Christ as the Christ who came to Bethlehem and wept in the manger. We do believe that the very Christ whose body did hang upon the tree shall sit upon the throne; that the very hand that felt the nail shall grasp the scepter; that the very foot that was fastened to the cross shall tread upon the necks of his foes. We look for the personal advent, the personal reign, the personal session and assize of Christ.

From a sermon entitled "The Two Advents of Christ," delivered December 22, 1861. Flickr photo by Calum Davidson ; some rights reserved.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Serving Him out of gratitude and love

Anything that you do by which to save yourself is a selfish act, and therefore cannot be good. Only that which is done for God’s glory is good in a Scriptural sense. A man must be saved before he can do a good work; but when saved, having nothing to get and nothing to lose; standing now in Christ, blessed and accepted — he begins to serve God out of pure gratitude and love. Then, virtue is possible, and he may climb to its highest steeps, and stand safely there without fear of the boasting which would cast him down, though he will feel even then that his standing is not in what he has done, nor in what he is, nor in what he hopes to be, but in what Christ did, and in the “It is finished,” which made his eternal salvation secure.

From a sermon entitled "Grace Exalted - Boasting Excluded," delivered January 19, 1862. Flickr photo by Jim; some rights reserved.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Be anxious for nothing


Do you see that Christian there with the sparkling eye, and the light footstep, the man who is swift to run upon his Master’s errands? That man has many troubles, but when he wakes in the morning if he retains remembrance of them, he bows his knee and leaves them with his God: he goes home, and the day has had much of sorrow in it, but he shakes the weight from his own shoulder and leaves his burden upon God. That man, with all his troubles, is more blessed than yonder professor, who has very little to vex him except that he vexes himself, by making every little thing a ground for fretfulness, magnifying every small mischance into a strange calamity, and by losing all patience, when all things suit not his proud will and dainty taste. Oh brethren! It is an ill thing for Christians to be sad. Let them rejoice, “Rejoice in the Lord always,” but they never can so long as they indulge in anxious cares.

From a sermon entitled "A Cure For Care," delivered January 12, 1862. Flickr photo by Hans Splinter; some rights reserved.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints

Rose of Sharon

Shall we sorrow when the Master hath taken away what was his own? “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” The gardener had a choice flower in his beds. One morning he missed it. He had tended it so carefully that he looked upon it with the affection of a father to a child, and he hastily ran through the garden and sought out one of the servants, for he thought surely an enemy had plucked it, and he said to him, “Who plucked that rose?” And the servant said, “I saw the master walking through the garden early this morning, when the sun was rising, and I saw him bear it away in his hand.” Then he that tended the rose said, “It is well; let him be blessed; it was his own; for him I held it; for him I nursed it and if he hath taken it, it is well." So be it with your hearts. Feel that it is for the best that you have lost your friend, or that your best relation has departed. God has done it. Be ye filled with comfort; for what God hath done can never be a proper argument for tears. Do ye weep, ye heavens, because God hath veiled the stars? Dost thou weep, O earth, because God hath hidden the sun? What God hath done is ever ground for sonnet and for hallelujah. And even here, o’er the dead as yet unburied, our faith begins to sing its song — “’Tis well, ‘tis well; ‘tis for the best, and let the Lord’s name be praised now as ever.”

From a sermon entitled "The Royal Death Bed," delivered December 22, 1861. Flickr photo by Audrey; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The joy of being forgiven

Giant dahlia

Talk not of the joys of the dance, or of the flush of wine; speak not of the mirth of the merry, or of the flashes of the ambitious and successful. There is a mirth more deep than these; a joy more intense; a bliss more enduring than anything the world can give. It is the bliss of being forgiven; the bliss of having God’s favor and God’s love in one’s soul; the bliss of feeling that God is our Father; that Christ is married to our souls; and that the Holy Ghost dwelleth in us, and will abide with us for ever.

From a sermon entitled "Too Good To Be True! A Paradox!," delivered December 15, 1861. Flickr photo by Louise Docker; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One generation shall praise His works to another

Sunlight on crocuses

“Instead of thy fathers shall be the children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.” — Psalm 14:16.

Men of faith are followed by men of faith. They who trust God, when they die, shall be succeeded by others who shall walk in the same divine life, and shall see the same promises fulfilled. The love which burned in the heart of one, when quenched there by death, shall burn in the breast of another; the hope that gleamed from one joyous eye, shall soon gleam from the eyes of another whom God has raised up to be his successor. The work shall not stop for want of a workman, supplication shall not cease for want of righteous men to pray; the offering of praise shall not be stayed from the absence of grateful hearts to offer joyous songs. God shall be pleased to raise up one after another, according as it is written, “Moses my servant is dead, but behold, Joshua shall go before you.”

From a sermon entitled "The True Apostolical Succession," delivered December 15, 1861. Flickr photo by Sally; some rights reserved.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Giving offense

Jesus Christ had spoken certain truths which were highly objectionable to the Pharisees. Some of his loving disciples were in great fright, and they came to him and said, “Knowest thou not that the Pharisees are offended?” Now, our Savior, instead of making any apology for having offended the Pharisees, took it as a matter of course, and replied in a sentence which is well worthy to be called a proverb, — “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” Now we have oftentimes, as Mathew Henry very tritely remarks, a number of good and affectionate but very weak hearers. They are always afraid that we shall offend other hearers. Hence, if the truth be spoken in a plain and pointed manner, and seems to come close home to the conscience, they think that surely it ought not to have been spoken, because So-and-so, and So-and-so, and So-and-so took offense at it.

Truly, my brethren, we are not all slow to answer in this matter. If we never offended, it would be proof positive that we did not preach the gospel. They who can please man will find it quite another thing to have pleased God. Do you suppose that men will love those who faithfully rebuke them? If you make the sinner’s heart to groan, and waken his conscience, do you think he will pay you court and thank you for it? Nay, not so; in fact, this ought to be one aim of our ministry, not to offend, but to test men and make them offended with themselves, so that their hearts may be exposed to their own inspection. Their being offended will discover of what sort they are. A ministry that never uproots will never water; a ministry that does not put down will never build up. He who knoweth not how to pluck up the plants which God hath not planted, scarcely understandeth how to be a worker of God in his vineyard. Our ministry ought always to be a killing as well as a healing one, — a ministry which kills all false hopes, blights all wrong confidences, and weeds out all foolish trusts, while at the same time it trains up the feeblest shoot of real hope, and tends comfort and encouragement even to the weakest of the sincere followers of Christ.

Do not, then, be needlessly alarmed about our ministry. Just give us plenty of elbowroom to strike right and left. Let not our friends encumber us. Whether they be friends or foes, when we have to strike for God and his truth, we cannot spare whoever may stand in our way. To our own Master we stand or fall, but to no one else in heaven or on earth.

From a sermon entitled "The Weeding of the Garden," delivered December 8, 1861. Flickr photo by Sergio; some rights reserved.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blessed are the peacemakers

Cannon Beach

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9.

However peaceable we may be in this world, yet we shall be misrepresented and misunderstood and no marvel, for even the Prince of peace, by his very peacefulness, brought fire upon the earth. He himself, though he loved mankind, and did no ill, was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.” Lest, therefore, the peaceable in heart should be surprised when they meet with enemies, it is added in the following verse, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Thus the peacemakers are not only pronounced to be blessed, but they are compassed about with blessings. Lord, give us grace to climb to this seventh beatitude! Purify our minds that we may be “first pure, then peaceable,” and fortify our souls, that our peaceableness may not lead us into surprise and despair, when for thy sake we are persecuted among men.

From a sermon entitled "The Peacemaker," delivered December 8, 1861. Flickr photo by Matt McGee; some rights reserved.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It is finished!

Sunset on lake

If you and I had been constrained to make satisfaction to God’s justice by being sent to hell we never could have said, “It is finished.” Christ has paid the debt which all the torments of eternity could not have paid. Lost souls, ye suffer today as ye have suffered for ages past, but God’s justice is not satisfied, his law is not fully magnified. And when time shall fail, and eternity shall have been flying on, still forever; forever, the uttermost never having been paid, the chastisement for sin must fall upon unpardoned sinners. But Christ has done what all the flames of the pit could not do in all eternity; he has magnified the law and made it honorable, and now from the cross he cries — “It is finished.”

From a sermon entitled "It Is Finished," delivered December 1, 1861. Flickr photo by Per Ola Wiberg; some rights reserved.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A day of rest

Thistle with Bee

You know what Solomon says. He says — “If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct;” by which he means to say, if the man would stop and whet his tool, it would be sharp, and he would not need to expend half the strength, while he would do far more work. But here you have some who think the Sunday must be all work, work, work; instead of which, if they were to stop to whet the edge of the tool, they would do far more in the end, while their soul would not be half so soon worn out.

You have heard persons say, “I would sooner wear out than rust out.” There is no occasion for either, if we would but keep this day of rest as a perfect rest to our heart and soul; but that we can never do unless we love Christ, for a Sabbath is an impossibility to an unconverted man. If we would but, as Christians resting in Christ, keep this first day of rest, giving our souls thorough ease, there would be no fear of the brain giving way, we should labor on, even to a good old age, and then die in peace, and our works would follow us. I cannot expect you to believe me if I should say, you can carry on your business all the days of the week without care, without diligence, without very earnest thought. We must be “diligent in business,” and you must put both your hands to the wheel, if you would make it go. But do leave the wheel alone to-day.

From a sermon entitled "Abram And The Ravenous Birds ," delivered November 24, 1861. Flickr photo by John Haslam; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Resist the devil

fallen leaf

When Satan attacks us as an angel of light, we need not so much resist by open antagonism as by flight. There are some temptations which are only to be overcome by running away from them, but when Satan roars we most raise the shout and the war-cry. To run then, would be cowardice, and must entail certain destruction. Suppose now that Satan roars with persecution,(and it is a poor roar that he can raise in that way now) or, suppose you are slandered, vilified, abused — will you give way? Then are you undone. Will you say, “No, never, by him that called me to this work, I will see this battle out, and in the name of him who has been my helper hitherto, I set up the banner; and cry — Jehovah-Nissi: the Lord of hosts is our banner, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” You have done well, you have resisted, and you will win the day.

Hath he assailed you with some temptation obnoxious to your spirit? Yield an inch, and you are undone, but become more watchful, and more vigilant over yourself in that particular sin, and resistance must certainly bring victory. Or has he injected blasphemy? Resist. Be more prayerful every time he is more active. He will soon give it up, if he finds that his attacks drive you to Christ.

From a sermon entitled "The Roaring Lion," delivered November 17, 1861. Flickr photo by Jeff Kubina; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Man does not live by bread alone

wheat field

This bread, you see, is the Word of God. Now, the Word is given to us first here in the Bible, as it is written; it is given to us, secondly, from the lips of God’s own chosen and appointed ambassadors. He that despises either of these two, will soon find himself growing lean in spirit. The book, the Word, is like the flour, but the sermon is the bread, for it is through the sermon that the Word is, as it were, prepared for human palates, and brought so that human souls may be able to receive it. The moment the Church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her. It has been through the ministry that the Lord has always been pleased to revive and bless his Churches, and you will notice, that these revivals in which it was boasted that there were no ministers engaged, have come to nought ere long; for those that stand, are those in which God gets to himself glory and honor, by using instrumentality.

It is a wrong idea altogether, that God is glorified by putting instrumentality aside. That is not his glory. His glory is, that in our infirmity he still triumpheth, and that with his own right hand he is able to lay hold upon some jaw-bone of an ass, and yet slay therewith heaps upon heaps of Philistines. It is the weakness of the instrumentality used that has a tendency to glorify God, and hence he very seldom is pleased to work without some means or other. Most Christians who have grown rich in grace, have been great frequenters of the house of prayer.

From a sermon entitled "Bread For The Hungry," delivered November 10, 1861. Flickr photo by Francois Schnell; some rights reserved.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trust Him with your soul

Canyonlands National Park

Do you feel the force of what has been said? O my hearers! Do you feel that it is a solemn thing to have been at ease so long? Do you tremble? Are you saying, “O that I might be saved! O that God would have mercy upon me!” He will do it. He will. The Gospel is free to you still as it always has been, and lo, we preach it to you. All he asks of you is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved. He has not asked an impossible thing, a hard thing, — that which takes weeks to do. It is done in an instant and when his Spirit is present, it is done at once and completely. “But what is to believe in Christ?” say you. It is to trust him — trust him with your soul — trust him with your soul just as it is.

From a sermon entitled "Scourge For Slumbering Souls," delivered November 3, 1861. Flickr photo by Wolfgang Staudt; some rights reserved.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Shield of Faith

Like the Spartans, every Christian is born a warrior. It is his destiny to be assaulted; it is his duty to attack. Part of his life will be occupied with defensive warfare. He will have to defend earnestly the faith once delivered to the saints, he will have to resist the devil, he will have to stand against all his wiles; and having done all, still to stand. He will, however, be but a sorry Christian if he acteth only on the defensive. He must be one who goes against his foes, as well as stands still to receive their advance. He must be able to say with David, “I come against thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom thou hast defied.” He must wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. He must have weapons for his warfare — not carnal — but “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” He must not, I say, be content to live in the stronghold, though he be then well guarded, and munitions of stupendous strength his dwelling place may be; but he must go forth to attack the castles of the enemy, and to put them down, to drive the Canaanite out of the land.

From a sermon entitled "The Shield Of Faith," delivered October 27, 1861. Flickr photo by Audrey; some rights reserved.

Friday, April 11, 2008

We walk by faith and not by sight

Gullfoss Waterfall

The sight of Christ it seems, did but little good to those who had it, not even to his disciples, for they were sorry dolts, even though he was the Master. It was only when the Spirit came down at Pentecost, that they began to know Christ, and to understand what he had said to them, though he himself had said it. And truly ‘tis better to see Christ by faith than it is to see him by sight, for a sight of him by faith saves the soul; but we might see him with the eye, and yet crucify him, yet be found amongst the greatest rebels against his government and power.

From a sermon entitled "The Glory Of Christ — Beheld!," delivered. Flickr photo by Kristín Sig; some rights reserved.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

God the Righteous Judge

Sunburst over Craig Dunain

It is impossible to reconcile Old Testament history with the effeminate notion of neological divinity1, that God is only a universal Father, but not a governor and a judge. If these gentlemen will quietly read some of those awful2 passages in the Old Testament, they cannot — unless they should deny the inspiration of the passage, or attempt to tone down in meaning — they cannot but confess that they see there far less a loving parent than a God dressed in arms, of whom we may say, “The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name. Thy right hand, O Lord, thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces thine enemies.” A God without justice is what this modern church is seeking after. These new doctrines would fashion a deity destitute of those sublime attributes, which keep the world in awe, and command for him the reverence of his creatures.

1By which he means some a newly-devised system of theology.
2In the old-fashioned sense of the word which means awe-inspiring or terrifying.

From a sermon entitled "Not Now, But Hereafter" delivered September 22, 1861.

Flickr photo by Calum Davidson; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Our growing fellowship with the Father

Monument Valley

...O brethren, though I say we have fellowship with the Father, yet how little we have of it compared with what we hope to have! This fellowship is like the river in Ezekiel, at the first it is up to the ankles, and afterwards it is up to the knees, and then up to the loins, and then it becomes a river to swim in. There be, I fear, few of us who have waded where there is a river to swim in, but, blessed be God, though it be only up to the ankles, yet we have fellowship, and if we have but a little of it, that little is the seed of more, and the certain pledge of greater joys to come.

From a sermon entitled "Fellowship With God," delivered September 15, 1861. Flickr photo by Wolfgang Staudt; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Natural and Spiritual Men

Bee and blossom

THE Apostle Paul knows of only two classes of men — natural and spiritual. Before his eye all other distinctions are extinguished. Barbarian or Scythian, bond or friar, male or female, circumcision or uncircumcision — all these varieties among men are mere accidents in his esteem. He does not stay to divide men, according to the symptoms of their nature. They may be devout men, such as make a profession of godliness, men of morality, men who have commenced sin, or men who have become adepts in it. He knows better than merely to judge of men by their symptoms; he takes either their diseased state or their healthy state, and so divides them. He lays the axe at the root of the trees, and doing so, he perceives only two classes of men — the natural and the spiritual.

Under the term “natural,” the apostle includes all those persons who are not partakers of the Spirit of God; it matters not how excellent, how estimable, how intelligent, how instructed they may be. If the Spirit of God hath not given to them a new and higher nature than they ever possessed by their creature birth, he puts them all down at once in the list of natural men. They are what they are by nature. They never professed to have received the Spirit of God. He puts them down, therefore, as natural men. On the other hand, all into whom the Spirit of God has come, breathing into them a new and diviner life, he puts down under the other head of spiritual men. They may be as yet but babes in grace; their faith may be weak; their love may be but in its early bud; as yet their spiritual senses may be little exercised, perhaps their faults may be in excess of their virtues, but inasmuch as the root of the matter is in them, and they have passed from death unto life, out of the region of nature into that which is beyond nature — the kingdom of grace — he puts them down also, all of them in one list, as spiritual men.

From a sermon entitled "Natural Or Spiritual?," delivered September 1, 1861. Flickr photo by Steve Jurvetson; some rights reserved.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Pray for your brother


You cannot harbor enmity in your soul against your brother after you have learned to pray for him. If he hath done you ill, when you have taken that ill to the mercy-seat, and prayed over it, you must forgive. Surely you could not be such a hypocrite as to invoke blessings on his head before God and then come fourth to curse him in your own soul. When these have been complaints brought by brother against brother, it is generally the best way to say, “Let us pray before we enter into the matter.” Wherever there is a case to be decided by the pastor, he ought always to any to the brethren who contend, “Let us pray first,” and it will often happen that through prayer the differences will soon be forgotten.

From a sermon entitled "Intercessory Prayer," delivered August 11, 1861. Flickr photo by German Mayer ; some rights reserved.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Joint heirs with Christ

Who shall accuse the Redeemer? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of him who rose again from the dead? Nor can any creature accuse his saints, nor can heaven, or earth, or hell disprove our rights or infringe upon our title so long as his title stands undisputed and indisputable. We shall see his face; the devils in hell cannot hinder it; we shall possess the promised rest, still the fiends that are beneath shall not rob us of the heirloom. And, believer, there is no fear that Christ shall be the possessor of nothing or heir of little things. He is the Son of God the infinitely rich, and God will not give to his Son a petty dowry or a trifling portion. “Ask of me,” saith he, and he gives him unlimited permission to ask, not as Herod who would give only the half of his kingdom, but as one who would give everything to his Son whom he hath appointed heir of all things, and by whom he make the worlds. And O my soul, thy portion cannot be slender nor thy dowry narrow, since it is the same inheritance which Christ has from his Father’s hands.

From a sermon entitled "The Joint Heirs And Their Divine Portion," delivered July 28, 1861. Flickr photo by Brandi Tressler; some rights reserved.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Perceiving the Presence of God

Spring Flower

If you would feel God’s presence, you must have an affinity to his nature. Your soul must have the spirit of adoption, and it will soon find out its Father. Your spirit must have a desire after holiness, and it will soon discover the presence of Him who is holiness itself. Your mind must be heavenly, and you will soon detect that the God of Heaven is here. The more nearly we become like God, the more sure shall we be that God is where we are. To a man who has reached the highest stage of sanctification the presence of God becomes a more sure fact than the presence of anything else beside. In fact, he may even get to such a state that he will look upon the fields, streets, inhabitants and events of the world as a dream, a passing background, while the only real thing to him will be the unseen God which his new nature so clearly manifests to him, that his faith becomes the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things which sense cannot perceive. Likeness to God is first necessary for the clear perception of his presence.

From a sermon entitled "Jacob's Waking Exclamation." Flickr photo by Denise Avila; some rights reserved.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Through faith in His Blood


He does not ask you to perform a pilgrimage and blister your weary feet, or to thrust an iron in your back and swing yourself aloft as does the Hindoo, he asks you not to lie on a bed of spikes or starve yourself till you can count your bones. He asks no suffering of you, for Christ has suffered for you. All he asks is than you would return to him, and what is that? That you would be unfeignedly
sorry for your past sin, that you would ask his grace to keep you from it in the future, that you would now believe in Christ who is set forth to be the propitiation for sin, that through faith in his blood you may see your sin for ever put away and all your iniquity cancelled. That is neither a hard nor a cruel demand.

From a sermon entitled "Our Miseries, Messengers Of Mercy," delivered July 14, 1861. Flickr photo by Jackie ; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Holiness Unto The Lord

Spring Blossoms

I would, my dear brethren, that you would make your common toils Holiness unto the Lord. Come to look upon your meals as though they were sacraments, your clothes as though they were priestly vestments; your common words as though you were preaching daily sermons; and your every-day thoughts as though you were thinking for the Sabbath of holy things. It is not to be always talking religion, but to be talking religiously that makes the Christian; it is not to be performing outward symbols, it is to be possessing the inward spirit. I do believe that there is more piety in going to visit the poor and needy and scattering your substance among them; more piety in teaching the poor ignorant ragged child, more piety in seeking to help some poor struggling tradesman, than there is in many a long prayer, and many a sanctimonious whine, ay and in many a long and eloquent discourse.

That common piety which like common sense is oftenest the uncommonest of all, is what we need to have, and if I could make one man among you become thus consecrated, I should think I had, under God, done as much as though I poured you out in scores upon the plain of Hindostan, or sent you to edify the Chinese, or to instruct the Ethiopian. We want you as missionaries here; we want you as missionaries in daily life, and we must have you too, or else the Church will not increase, nor will the name of Christ be magnified.

From a sermon entitled "A Peal Of Bells," delivered July 7, 1861. Flickr photo by Noël Zia Lee; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Incorruptible seed

Rain and Grass

The child of God in his new nature never dies. He can never see death. Christ, who is in him, is the immortality and the life. “He that liveth and believeth in Christ shall never die.” And yet again, “Though he were dead yet shall he live.” When we are born again, we receive a nature which is indestructible by accident, which is not to be consumed by fire, drowned by riveter, weakened by old age, or smitten down by blast of pestilence; a nature invulnerable to poison; a nature which shall not be destroyed by the sword; a nature which can never die till the God that gave it should himself expire and Deity die out. Think of this, my brethren, and surely you will find reason to rejoice. But perhaps, you ask me, why it is the new nature can never die? I am sure the text teaches it never can. “But not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, even of the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever.”

From a sermon entitled "The New Nature," delivered June 30, 1861. Flickr photo by Iain Cuthbertson; some rights reserved.