Saturday, August 30, 2008

Seeking and seeing the goodness of God


“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” — Psalm 65:11.

You also who are his people, I know that sometimes your souls grow faint. Weary with the wilderness, worn with its cares, torn with its briars, you come up to the house of God, and oh, if you come there to see your Master, and not merely to join in the routine of service; if you come there seeking after him, and panting for him as the hart panteth for the water brooks, you will find that the commonest services — poor though be the minister, and plain the place, and simple the people; though the music may have but little charm for the ear of taste, and the words of the speaker may have none of the trappings of oratory, yet sweet to you shall be the worship of God’s house, and you shall find that “his paths drop fatness.”

From a sermon entitled "Thanksgiving And Prayer," delivered September 27, 1863. Flickr photo by Louise Docker; some rights reserved.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Grace, not law!


The true believer has learned to look away from the killing ordinances of the old law. He understands that “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, for it is written: Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” He therefore turns with loathing from all trust in his own obedience to the ten commands, and lays hold with joy upon the hope set before him in the one commandment contained in my text, “This is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.” We sing, and sing rightly too —

“My soul, no more attempt to draw
Thy life and comfort from the law,”

for from the law death cometh and not life, misery and not comfort. “To convince and to condemn is all the law can do.” O, when will all professors, and especially all professed ministers of Christ, learn the difference between the law and the gospel?

From a sermon entitled "The Warrant Of Faith," delivered September 20, 1863. Flickr photo by Kevin Law; some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Unlikely Vessels

Pismo Sunset

Today's post is late - we apologize!

I have said, and it will come true, though I am no prophet nor the son of a prophet — I have said that the Lord will deliver this city and deliver this age, not by ministers from colleges — not by the sons of gentlemen or the inheritors of titles; but the men who will yet shake London, and bring about a religious revival, will come from St. Giles’s, and from Whitechapel, from the slums, and from the dens and kens of infamy. God will take such men by-and-by, and he is beginning to work it. There are one or two names that will come to your recollection — illustrious names in connection with the preaching in theatres: God will raise up more such, and you shall see that when human wisdom and creature devices have done their utmost to make the Church of God the dull lethargic thing it now is, God, in the plenitude of his might, will raise up some who have tasted that he is gracious, and have drunk deeply of the cup of his love, that will turn the world upside down.

From a sermon entitled "The Chief Of Sinners." Flickr photo by Jeremy Raff-Reynolds; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

God will honor faith

evening sunshine

Dear friends, those believers who have learned most to live by faith, possess the richest part of the land of promise. Other believers live in the land of Egypt, and are often making bricks without straw, but these dwell in the land which floweth with milk and honey. They have passed the wilderness, and having believed, they have entered into rest. The lot of the truly full-grown believer who stays himself upon his God alone, is well set forth in the promise, “His soul shall dwell at ease, and his seed shall inherit the earth.” He has his troubles, but faith makes them light; he has his wants, but faith never permits him to call them wants, for they are always supplied before the necessity begins to pinch him. Other men may, with all their watching and wisdom, come to nothing; they may rise up early and sit up late, and eat the bread of carefulness, and yet be poor; but they who stay upon God in temporals and spirituals, if heaven should shake, and if the pillars of the earth should be moved, and the sea should be dried up, yet their place of defense shall be munitions of rocks, “their bread shall be given them, and their water shall be sure.”

See this on a large scale in the case of our dear brother Muller’s institution, at Bristol. [Referring to George Müller.] We often see institutions sending out fresh begging appeals, there is some new claim upon their funds; the Lancashire distress has turned aside very much contribution from this object, and that society. Of course it is so, these societies usually lean on man, and rest upon an arm of flesh; but our Bristol brother, by prayer and faith makes known his wants unto God, and when does he want for any good thing? When needs he issue a begging appeal? Verily, I do believe that if all England were in famine, the orphan-house at Bristol would have sufficient. Whatever may happen, the Lord has promised to hear prayer, and he will honor faith: the cedars of Lebanon shall be full if all the trees of the plain be famished.

From a sermon entitled "The Cedars Of Lebanon," delivered September 13, 1863. Flickr photo by Chris Gin; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


In the Greek gymnasium, the training master would challenge the youths to meet him in combat. He knew how to strike, to guard, to wrestle. Many severe blows the young combatants received from him, but this was a part of their education, preparing them at some future time to appear publicly in the games. He who shirked the trial and declined the encounter with the trainer, received no good from him, even though he would probably be thoroughly well flogged for his cowardice. The youth whose athletic frame was prepared for future struggles, was he who stepped forth boldly to be exercised by his master. If you see afflictions come, and sit down impatiently, and will not be exercised by your trials, then you do not get the peaceable fruit of righteousness; but if, like a man, you say, “Now is my time of trial, I will play the man; wake up my faith to meet the foe; take hold of God; stand with firm foot and slip not; let all my graces be aroused, for here is something to be exercised upon;” it is then that a man’s bone, and sinew, and muscle, all grow stronger. We know that those who strive for the mastery, keep under their body, in order that they may come prepared in the day of contest, and so must the Christian use his afflictions, exercise himself by them to the keeping down of the flesh to the conquest of his evil desires, that he may be as strong as if his flesh were iron, and his muscles hardened steel.

From a sermon entitled "Chastisement - Now And Afterwards," delivered September 6, 1863. Flickr photo by Pixel Addict; some rights reserved.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow


The saints of old fell into sin, but they did not remain there. David cries “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Peter denies his Master, but he does not always remain a blaspheming, ungrateful coward. No, he comes back again to his Lord and Master, and makes the avowal, “Thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” You and I, I hope, can give a better proof still that we have tried it ourselves. We remember that dear hour when first we came to Christ. Oh, it was no fiction, no dream. We were weighed down with a thousand sins, but one look at Jesus took them all away; and since that time we have often been cast down.

There may be some of you who escape from doubts and fears, if you do, I greatly envy you, but I think that most of us get at times in such a position that we cry with David, “My soul lies cleaving unto the dust.” You feel as if you dare not come into the Lord’s presence; you cannot hope that he will hear your prayer; you cannot grasp the promises, they seem too good for such as you; you cannot look up to Christ to call him brother; “Abba, Father,” falters on your tongue; but, have you not known what it is to look to your Redeemer again just as you did at first? And then your love and joy have come back to you again once more, as if it had been a new conversion, and you have gone on your way rejoicing...

From a sermon entitled "The Red Heifer," delivered August 30, 1863. Flickr photo by Sharon Mollerus; some rights reserved.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Travel carefully through this life

sunrise off the bow

Mark you, men and brethren, if by any fault of our own we ever fall into the hand of our enemies, we need expect no mercy from them. And if without fault we be delivered for a little season into their hands, we have good reason to cry aloud to God, for whoever may be spared, the Christian never is. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offense in the true follower of Jesus. Nor do I very much regret this. Let it be so, and let it be a caution to us to walk very carefully before God in the land of the living. You young members of the Church, who are often engaged in your worldly calling, where a great number of persons are watching for your halting, let this be a special reason to walk very humbly before God. If you walk carelessly, remember the lynx-eyed world will soon see it, and then, with its hundred tongues, it will soon spread the story....

The cross of Christ is in itself an offense to the world; let us take heed that we do not add any offense of our own. It is “to the Jew a stumblingblock;” let us mind that we put no stumblingblocks where there are enough already. “To the Greek it is foolishness;” let us not add our folly to give point to the scorn with which the worldly-wise deride the gospel.

From a sermon entitled "No Illusion." Flickr photo by b k ; some rights reserved.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Shepherd seeking His sheep

Strange and marvellous are the ways which God has used to find his own. He would shake a whole nation with his strong right hand to find his own elect. He would shake all nations, and bring the whole world to unparalleled confusion before he would suffer one of the blood-bought pearls of his crown to be lost among the ruins of the fall. He must and will seek them out, as the shepherd seeketh out his sheep in the cloudy and dark day, bringing some of them down from the steep summit, others from the caverns among the crags; some from the river’s brink, others from the flood itself — all must be brought into one place, where they shall form one fold, under one Shepherd.

From a sermon entitled "Am I Sought Out?," delivered August 23, 1863. Flickr photo by Jule_Berlin; some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Believe in Him today!


I heard the other day a trembling woman — I hope she will yet be rejoicing in the Lord — I heard her saying she was afraid she never should be saved, and I told her I was afraid so too, for she would not believe in Christ, but was always raising questions, and doubts, and peradventures. Well, she said, she did not know whether the Lord had begun a good work in her. I told her I did not know that either, and that I did not enquire about it; I knew what the gospel said, and that was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” But she said, perhaps it was not God’s time. Ah! I said, “Today is the accepted time; today is the day of salvation.” Ah! she said, but she could not believe. I asked her why she could not believe. Could she not believe what Christ said? Was he a liar? Could she dare to say that she could not believe her God? Well, she did not exactly mean that, but then there were her sins. But, said I, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.”

From a sermon entitled "From Death To Life," delivered July 26, 1863. Flickr photo by The Jamoker; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

God cares for His servants

California Poppies

Those who work for God will find him a good master. He cares for oxen, and has commanded his Israel, “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.” Much more doth he care for his servants who serve him. “He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.” The reapers in Jesus’ fields shall not only receive a blessed reward at the last, but they shall have plenteous comforts by the way. He is pleased to pay his servants twice: first in the labor itself, and a second time in the labour’s sweet results. He gives them such joy and consolation in the service of their Master, that it is a sweet employ, and they cry, “We delight to do thy will, O Lord.” As heaven is made up of serving God day and night, so to true workers, their constantly serving God on earth brings with it a rich foretaste of heaven.

From a sermon entitled "Mealtime In The Cornfields," delivered August 2, 1863. Flickr photo by docentjoyce; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One consuming love


They who love Christ aright, love no one in comparison with him. The husband is dear; the father is cherished; the children are precious; but after all, Jesus Christ is better than all kindreds. We can look upon all and say, “Yes, it were a bitter pang to lose you, but we would sooner lose you all ten times over, than once lose our Savior;” for, oh! if we lose him, we have lost all, even if all else remained; but if all be gone, and we still keep our Savior, we have all in him. The Christian as he loves nothing in comparison, so he loves nothing in contradiction to Christ. Whatever comes between him and his Savior, the true lover of Jesus abhors and rejects in a moment.

From a sermon entitled "The Power Of Aaron's Rod," delivered July 26, 1863. Flickr photo by rachel_thecat; some rights reserved.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Buried with Him

Manasquan Inlet

Now, baptism is the mark of distinction between the Church and the world. It very beautifully sets forth the death of the baptized person to the world. Professedly, he is no longer of the world; he is buried to it, and he rises again to a new life. No symbol could be more significant. In the immersion of believers there seems to me to be a wondrous setting forth of the burial of the believer to all the world in the burial of Christ Jesus. It is the crossing of the Rubicon. If Caesar crossed the Rubicon, there would never be peace between him and the senate again. He draws his sword, and he throws away his scabbard. Such is the act of baptism to the believer. It is the crossing of the Rubicon: it is as much as to say, “I cannot come back again to you; I am dead to you; and to prove I am, I am absolutely buried to you; I have nothing more to do with the world. I am Christ’s, and Christ’s for ever.”

From a sermon entitled "Confession With The Mouth," delivered July 19, 1863. Flickr photo by b k; some rights reserved.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Return of the Prodigal


If thou hast no good thoughts or feelings, if hitherto thou hast been the most damnable of rebels against God, if up to this moment thy hard and impenitent heart has been at enmity against God and against Christ, yet if now, this very day, thou wilt believe that Christ incarnate, Christ died, Christ risen, Christ pleading, can save thee, and if thou wilt rest thy soul upon that fact, thou shalt be saved.

God, the infinitely loving father, is willing to receive thee just as thou art. He asks nothing of thee. O prodigal, thou mayst come back in thy rags and filthiness, notwithstanding that thou hast spent thy living with harlots; notwithstanding that the swine have been thy companions, and thou wouldst fain have filled thy belly with their husks; thou mayest come back without upbraiding, or so much as a word of anger, because thy Father’s only begotten Son has stood in thy stead, and in thy place has suffered all that thy many sins deserved. If thou wilt now trust in Jesus, the Lord, who loved thee with unspeakable love, thou shalt be this very day received into joy and peace, with a Father’s arms about thy neck, accepted and beloved; with thy rags stripped from off thee, clothed in the best robe; with the ring upon thy finger and the shoes upon thy feet, listening to music and dancing, because thy soul which was lost is found, thy heart which was dead has been made alive.

From a sermon entitled "Believing With The Heart," delivered July 12, 1863. Flickr photo by daita saru; some rights reserved.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A storm that clears the air

FOR the last few months I have been led to blow the silver trumpet, sounding forth the love and mercy of our God in Christ. Many times in your hearing I have preached a full Christ for empty sinners, and have set forth the freeness and graciousness of the divine proclamation which in the gospel is made to the chief of sinners. I have not, concerning that point, shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God. But I feel that I must now blow a blast upon the rough ram’s horn, for sometimes our congregations need to be reminded of the law and terrors of God, and of the judgment to come; our experience is, that the preaching of judgment is greatly blessed of God; we have remarked that a very large number of conversions have occurred under those sermons in which the declaration of God’s wrath against all iniquity has been the most plain and solemn.

A thunderstorm clears the air; there are pestilences which would gather beneath the wings of calm which can only be purged away by the lightning flash. When God sends his servant with heavy tidings, his message of alarm cleanses the spiritual atmosphere, and kills the sloth, pride, indifference, and lethargy, which otherwise might fall upon the people. As the sharp needle prepares the way for the thread, so the piercing law makes a way for the bright silver thread of divine grace. The lancet is quite as needful as the healing balm. The law is our pedagogue to bring us to Christ; like the old Greek pedagogue who led the boy to school, so the law leads us to Christ, who teaches and instructs us, and makes us wise unto salvation. Those who preached the law, as well as the gospel, in the [Puritan] times, were the most fruitful soul-winners. We find our blessed Lord and Master, whose heart was overflowing with compassion, and whose very nature was love, often dwelling upon the wrath to come; and indeed, his utterances are more telling and terrible than the most burning threatening from the lips of thundering seers of old.

From a sermon entitled "The Bridgeless Gulf," delivered July 5, 1863. Flickr photo by Hans Kylberg; some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The rainbow and God's grace

rainbow and clouds

“And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” — Genesis 9:16.

Beloved, there is this about Noah’s covenant, and about the covenant of grace, that it does not depend in any degree at all upon man; for, if you will notice, the bow is put in the cloud, but it does not say, “And when ye shall look upon the bow, and ye shall remember my covenant, then I will not destroy the earth,” but it is gloriously put not upon our memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon God’s memory, which is infinite and immutable. “The bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant.” Oh! it is not my remembering God, it is God’s remembering me. It is not my laying hold of his covenant, but his covenant laying hold on me, Glory be to God!

From a sermon entitled "The Rainbow," delivered June 28, 1863. Flickr photo by Bùi Linh Ngân; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today if you hear His Voice

forest sun

Remember you are either one or the other; you are either condemned or forgiven. Do not stand between the two. Let it be decided, and remember if you are condemned to-day, yet you are not in hell. There is hope yet. Blessed be God, still is Christ lifted up, and whosover believeth on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. The gate of glory is not closed; the proclamation of mercy is not hushed; the Spirit of God still goeth forth to open blind eyes and to unstop deaf ears, and still is it preached to you, to every creature under heaven — Whosoever believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that be believeth not shall be damned. Believe. God help you to believe. Trust Jesus; trust him now; and may the Lord grant that your name may be written among the some that believe, and not among the some that believe not.

From a sermon entitled "The Minister's Stocktaking." Flickr photo by mike138; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jesus understands

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” — 1 John 2:1.

You and I, who though saved are still sinners, may safely put our case into his hands, for see who he is — “Jesus Christ the righteous.” “Jesus.” Ah! then he is an advocate such as I want, for he loves me and takes an interest in me. Jesus is the name of one who became man for my sake. He knows what sore temptations mean, he understands what trials mean, what afflictions mean. I am glad I have one who will be interested in my welfare, and will plead for me as a friend for a friend, and as a brother for a brother. I thank God that though I sin I still have Jesus who is my
“brother born for adversity,” the friend of sinners, and will therefore plead the sinner’s part.

From a sermon entitled "The Sinner's Advocate," delivered June 21, 1863. Flickr photo by isado; some rights reserved.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What is needed for acceptable prayer

There need be no difficulty about the matter of prayer with a soul that needs help from Christ. Never question your power to pray acceptably if God has given you a sense of need. Say not — “I have no eloquence; I cannot arrange my words; I cannot fashion a suitable form of extemporaneous address.” Remember that none of these things are necessary. All that is wanted for acceptable prayer is, that in the name of Jesus, you will tell the Lord all the truth. You require no argument more moving than your misery; you need no description more glowing than your sad case itself affords you. Though you know not how to plead your cause as an advocate in a court of law, plead it as the publican in the court of mercy; the simple statement of your wants, and the sincere expression of your desire that those wants should be supplied, for Jesus’ sake, is all the prayer that God asks of you.

From a sermon entitled "Tell It All," delivered June 14, 1863. Flickr photo by Miyuki Utada; some rights reserved.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

To know the Lord early


Our sick-beds are often as the doorstep of heaven; even when we are cast down, there is a sweet solace in our sorrow, and a profound joy about our apparent grief which we would not give away; God gave it to us and the world cannot destroy it. They who love Jesus Christ early, have the best hope of enjoying the happiest days as Christians. They will have the most service, and the service of God is perfect delight. Their youthful vigor will enable them to do more than those who enlist when they are old and decrepit.

The joy of the Lord is our strength; and on the other hand, to use our strength for God is a fountain of joy. Young man, if thou give fifty years of service unto God, surely thou shalt rejoice all thy days. The earlier we are converted, having the longer time to study in Christ’s college, the more profound shall be our knowledge of him. We shall have more time for communion, more years for fellowship. We shall have more seasons to prove the power of prayer, and more opportunities to test the fidelity of God than we should if we came late. Those who come late are blessed by being helped to learn so much, but those that come in early shall surely outstrip them. Let me be young, like John, that I may have years of loving service, and like him may have much of intimate acquaintance with my Lord.

From a sermon entitled "The Young Man's Prayer," delivered June 7, 1863. Flickr photo by Wolfgang Staudt; some rights reserved.

Friday, August 8, 2008

He shall rejoice over thee with singing

Midsummer Sunset

In the making of worlds, he stands at a distance and speaks his will; but when he creates saints, and redeems his people, he comes out of his chambers — he rends the heavens and comes down, he reveals himself as a God nigh at hand; he standeth over his work as the potter over the clay upon the wheel. It is written, that when he made the heavens and the earth, that “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy;” but I never hear that God sang; there is nothing in the merely material universe to stir the Infinite heart; the work is not dear enough to him, nor so full of satisfaction as the grand work of redeeming love; but when he saved his people — when he created Israel for himself, I hear it said — “He shall rest in his love; he shall rejoice over thee with singing.”

From a sermon entitled "A Precious Drop Of Honey," delivered May 31, 1863. Flickr photo by ccgd; some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stop in to our store

But no commerce on Sunday, please.

Something I'm a little excited about - take a peek at our Christian Classics Store, powered by Amazon. We want to make available to you some of the greatest works of our Christian heritage. If you're looking for books which will have a shelf life of more than 2 or 3 years, this is your place!

You can find books by authors such as Augustine, Barclay, Chambers, Hannah Hurnard, C. S. Lewis, J. I. Packer, Oswald, Francis Schaeffer, Spurgeon and Tozer.

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By the way, what's Oh, that's a story for another day. ;)

The influence of the Spirit

Evening Sunshine

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” — Acts 2:1-4.

How absolutely necessary is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! It is not possible for us to promote the glory of God or to bless the souls of men, unless the Holy Ghost shall be in us and with us. Those who were assembled on that memorable day of Pentecost, were all men of prayer and faith; but even these precious gifts are only available when the celestial fire sets them on a blaze. They were all men of experience; most of them had been preachers of the Word and workers of miracles; they had endured trials and troubles in company with their Lord, and had been with him in his temptation. Yet even experienced Christians, without the Spirit of God, are weak as water.

Among them were the apostles and the seventy evangelists and with them were those honored women in whose houses the Lord had often been entertained, and who had ministered to him of their substance; yet even these favored and honored saints can do nothing without the breath of God the Holy Ghost. Apostles and evangelists dare not even attempt anything alone; they must tarry at Jerusalem till power be given them from on high. It was not a want of education; they had been for three years in the college of Christ, with perfect wisdom as their tutor, matchless eloquence as their instructor, and immaculate perfection as their example; yet they must not venture to open their mouths to testify of the mystery of Jesus, until the anointing Spirit has come with blessed unction from above. Surely, my brethren, if so it was with them, much more must it be the case with us. Let us beware of trusting to our well-adjusted machineries of committees and schemes; let us be jealous of all reliance upon our own mental faculties or religious vigor; let us be careful that we do not look too much to our leading preachers and evangelists, for if we put any of these in the place of the Divine Spirit, we shall err most fatally. Let us thank God for all gifts and for all offices, but oh, let us ever be reminded that gifts and offices are but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, unless the quickening influence be present.

From a sermon entitled "Pentecost," delivered May 24, 1863. Flickr photo by Chris Gin; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Peace by believing

Mountain Trail

Where then does lie the Christian’s conviction of his peace with God? Well it lies in this — that he is justified by faith. The process is plain.... Christ stood in my stead before God. I was a sinner doomed to die; Christ took my place; he died for me. Well, then, how can I perish? How can I be punished for offenses which have been punished already in the person of my substitute? God demands of me perfectly to keep his law. I cannot do it. Christ has done it for me — kept the law, magnified it, made it honorable. What more can God demand of me? I, a sinner, am washed in Jesu’s blood. I, guilty, am clothed in Jesu’s righteousness. You say “How? I cannot see it is so.” True, it is so by faith. God says that he who believes in Christ shall be saved — I believe in Christ; therefore I am saved. He says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned.” I believe on him; therefore I am not condemned. This is clear reasoning enough.

Very well then, the man who has believed in Christ has his sins forgiven, and the righteousness of Christ imputed to him, and therefore he is at peace with God. Now this is reasoning which no logic can gainsay. There is a rebel — first he is pardoned, next merit is imputed to him, and he is at peace with his lying, and a rebel no longer. There is a child; he has offended; his father takes him, accepts him for his elder brother’s sake, and he is at peace with his father. The thing is clear enough. Here is a reason for the hope that is within us, which we may give with meekness and fear, it is true, never with diffidence and timidity. We may venture to give it in the presence of the old dragon and defy him to break its force. We might give it even in the midst of a congregation of assembled demons, and defy them, if they can, to break its power. We may give it in the presence of the Eternal God, for he will never gainsay the word on which he has caused us to hope. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” It stands for ever. Stand here, and you stand so fast that no howling tempest of temptation can sweep you down.

From a sermon entitled "Peace By Believing." Flickr photo by Eric Ward; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lead us not into temptation

There is a weak point in every one of us; and remember, the strength of a rope is to be measured, not according to its strength in its strongest but its weakest part. Every engineer will tell you that the strength of a ship should always be estimated, not according to her strongest but her weakest part, for if the strain shall come on her weakest part, and that be broken, no matter how strong the rest may be, the whole ship goeth down. Now, I say there is a weak point in every man; indeed, where is there a point wherein we are not weak? Show me wherein our strength lieth. It lieth, surely, nowhere here, but only there in him who maketh us strong to do exploits in his name. Therefore, because of weakness and inclination to sin, let each man pray, and pray constantly, “Lead us not into temptation.”

From a sermon entitled "Lead Us Not Into Temptation," delivered May 17, 1863. Flickr photo by Francisco; some rights reserved.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hear Him calling

Oaia Island

“I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the
seed of Jacob, 'Seek ye me in vain.'” — Isaiah 14:19.

All the attributes of God say to a sinner, “Come, come; come to the throne of grace, and you shall have what you want.” Power puts out his strong arm and cries, “I will help thee; fear not.” Love smiles through her bright eyes, and cries, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with the bands of kindness have I drawn thee.” Truth speaks in her clear, plain language, saying, “He that seeketh findeth; to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Immutability says, “I am God, I change not, therefore ye are not consumed.” Every single attribute of the divine character — but you can think of these as well as I can — pleads for the man who prays, and I do not know — I never dreamed of a single attribute of Deity which could enter an objection. Therefore, methinks, if the thing really will glorify God, and not dishonor him, he will certainly do it.

From a sermon entitled "Comfort To Seekers From What The Lord Has Not Said," delivered May 10, 1863. Flickr photo by Piotr Zurek ; some rights reserved.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Prayer which sets forth His glory

Why God has been pleased to command us to pray at all it is not difficult to discover, for prayer glorifies God, by putting man in the humblest posture of worship. The creature in prayer acknowledges his Creator with reverence, and confesses him to be the giver of every good and perfect gift; the eye is lifted up to behold the glory of the Lord, while the knee is bent to the earth in the lowliness of acknowledged weakness.

Though prayer is not the highest mode of adoration, or otherwise it would be continued by the saints in heaven, yet it is the most humble, and so the most fitting, to set forth the glory of the perfect One as it is beheld by imperfect flesh and blood. From the “Our Father,” in which we claim relationship, right on to “the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,” which we ascribe to the only true God, every sentence of prayer honors the Most High. The groans and tears of humble petitioners are as truly acceptable as the continual “Holy, holy, holy,” of the Cherubim and Seraphim; for in their very essence all truthful confessions of personal fault are but a homage paid to the infinite perfections of the Lord of hosts. More honored is the Lord by our prayers than by the unceasing smoke of the holy incense of the altar which stood before the veil.

From a sermon entitled "The Power Of Prayer And The Pleasure Of Praise," delivered May 3, 1863. Flickr photo by piX1966; some rights reserved.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Time to grow up!

It is very pleasant to see the infant in the house. What joy there is in its tender cry. But suppose that our children were always to remain infants; that would be no happiness to the parent. If you had a son twenty years of age who still needed to be carried, who required still to hang upon the nurse’s breast, would you not consider it one of the most serious of calamities? But you say you would pity the child. Ah! so you would, but suppose it was his own willful fault; suppose the little one could, by some piece of willfulness, prevent itself from growing, and would not use the proper means for development; I think you would then wisely use the rod as well as show your pity. Twenty years of age and yet still in long clothes! Thirty years of age and still uttering a babbling cry! Forty years of age and still needing milk!

Ah! you smile, but did any of you smile at yourselves? How long have you been converted to God? How long have you known the Savior? Why, I have known some converts that have been in long clothes for thirty years after they were converted, and are babies still. If you asked them to speak for Christ, they could only say a word or two of mere babble; and as for their confession of faith, it was not a reason; they did declare the hope that was in them, but they did not give a reason for it, for they could not give one. Then there are some who grow so slowly that their faith is just as weak now as it was twenty years ago. They go tottering along, and cannot run alone yet. They will want always to have preached to them just the simple elements, and if you give them a piece of high doctrine they have not cut their wisdom-teeth yet...

From a sermon entitled "Strong Meat," delivered August 19, 1863. Flickr photo by Louise Docker ; some rights reserved.