Friday, February 27, 2009
My dear friends, if your faith is only a sunshiny faith, get rid of it, for you may not have many bright days between this and heaven. If your godliness can only walk with Christ when he wears silver slippers you had better give it up, for Christ very often walks barefoot. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness, when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when our spirits are depressed, when we are driven from the enjoyment of assurances into the desert land, and cannot see the light of our Father’s countenance A faith that can say in the midst of the direst trouble, “though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,” this is heaven-born faith indeed. I believe in my Lord, because he is a God that cannot lie, faithful and true to his every word, and, therefore, let the whole creation go to rack and ruin, my faith shall not waver or give up its confidence.
From a sermon entitled "The Believer Sinking In The Mire." delivered. Image by Misserion under Creative Commons License.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The various motions of the air remain a mystery to all but the infinite Jehovah. My brethren, the like mystery is observed in the work of the Spirit of God. His person and work are not to he comprehended by the mind of man. He may be here tonight, but you cannot see him: he speaks to one heart, but others cannot hear his voice. He is not recognizable by the unrefined senses of the unregenerate. The spiritual man discerns him, feels him, hears him, and delights in him, but neither wit nor learning can lead a man into the secret. The believer is often bowed down with the weight of the Spirit’s glory, or lifted up upon the wings of his majesty; but even he knows not how these feelings are wrought in him. The fire of holy life is at seasons gently fanned with the soft breath of divine comfort, or the deep sea of spiritual existence stirred with the mighty blast of the Spirit’s rebuke; but still it is evermore a mystery how the eternal God comes into contact with the finite mind of his creature man, filling all heaven meanwhile, and yet dwelling in a human body as in a temple occupying all space, and yet operating upon the will, the judgment, the mind of the poor insignificant creature called man.
We may enquire, but who can answer us? We may search, but who shall lead us into the hidden things of the Most High? He brooded over chaos and produced order, but who shall tell us after what fashion he wrought? He overshadowed the Virgin and prepared a body for the Son of God, but into this secret who shall dare to pry? His is the anointing, sealing, comforting, and sanctifying of the saints, but how worketh he all these things? He maketh intercession for us according to the will of God, he dwelleth in us and leadeth us into all truth, but who among us can explain to his fellow the order of the divine working? Though veiled from human eye like the glory which shone between the cherubim, we believe in the Holy Ghost, and therefore see
him; but if our faith needed sight to sustain it, we should never believe at all.
From a sermon entitled "The Holy Spirit Compared To The Wind." Image by Misserion under Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
God would have his people work according to his own revealed will. We must be very tender and jealous here. Whatever may he the opinions about the alteration of the constitution of our Missions, I do trust that we shall, all of us, when we come together, recognize the authority of God, and feel that we can only expect to have his guidance, his help, his blessing, when we walk according to the path which he has marked for us. If I go upon a tour, I do not expect to see certain sights which have been guaranteed to me by my friend, unless I agree to follow the little chart which he has mapped out for me. I cannot expect to have that sublime view of the Alps if I refuse to climb a certain spot and stand there and view the glacier and the snow peak glittering in the sun. And I cannot expect to have God’s blessing in my ministry and in the Sunday School class, unless I keep to “It is written;” and in all things have a tender conscience, and am jealous of myself lest I err.
How much more, then, in this greater work in which the whole Church is engaged! My brethren and sisters let us see to it, that in all things we compass this city of Jericho according to the divine order, for only so may we expect to see her walls come crumbling down.
From a sermon entitled "Jericho Captured." Image by Mirko Macari under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Again, a husband loves his wife with a constant love, and so does Christ his Church. He will not cast her away tomorrow having loved her today. He does not vary in his affection. He may change in his display of affection, but the affection itself is still the same. A husband loves his wife with an enduring love; it never will die out: he says, “Till death us do part will I cherish thee;” but Christ will not even let death part his love to his people. “Nothing shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
A husband loves his wife with a hearty love, with a love that is true and intense. It is not mere lip-service. He does not merely speak, but he acts; he is ready to provide for her wants; he will defend her character; he will vindicate her honor; because his heart is set upon her. It is not merely with the eye that he delighteth now and then to glance upon her, but his soul hath her continually in his remembrance: she has a mansion in his heart from whence she can never be cast away. She has become a portion of himself; she is a member of his body, she is part of his flesh and of his bones; and so is the Church to Christ for ever, an eternal spouse.
From a sermon entitled "A Glorious Church," delivered May 7, 1865. Image by atomicjeep under Creative Commons License.
Monday, February 23, 2009
For despite all the outcry of modern times against that doctrine, it is written in heaven and is a sure and precious truth to he received by all the faithful, that we are justified by faith through the righteousness of Christ Jesus imputed to us. See what Christ has done in his living and in his dying, his acts becoming our acts and his righteousness being imputed to us, so that we are rewarded as if we were righteous, while he was punished as though he had been guilty.
This justification then comes to sinners as an act of pure grace, the foundation of it being Christ’s righteousness. The practical way of its application is by faith. The sinner believeth God, and believeth that Christ is sent of God, and takes Christ Jesus to he his only confidence and trust, and by that act he becomes a justified soul, It is not by repenting that we are justified, but by believing; it is not by deep experience of the guilt of sin; it is not by bitter pangs and throes under the temptations of Satan; it is not by mortification of the body, nor by the renunciation of self; all these are good, but the act which justifieth is a look at Christ. We, having nothing being nothing boasting of nothing, but being utterly emptied, do look to him whose wounds stream with the life-giving blood, and as we look to him, we live and are justified by his life. There is life in a look at the crucified One, and life in the sense of justification. He who a minute before was in himself a condemned criminal fit only to be taken to the place from whence he came and to suffer divine wrath, is at once, by an act of faith made an heir of God, joint heir with Jesus Christ, taken from the place of condemnation and put into the place of acceptance, so that now he dreads no more the wrath of God; the curse of God cannot touch him, for Christ was made a curse for him, as it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”
From a sermon entitled "Justification And Glory," delivered April 30, 1865. Image by Flemming Christiansen under Creative Commons License.
Friday, February 20, 2009
If you really love him, it will not be a question of whether you shall do something, the only question will be, “What can I do?” and you will say in your pew this morning, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” He has spared your lives, he has given you health and strength, provided you with spirituals and temporals, he has made your heart leap for joy at the sound of his name, he has plucked you out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay, he has taken you out of the black bondage of the prince of darkness, and made you his sons and daughters; he has put the ring of his eternal love upon your finger, your feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
“This world is yours, and worlds to come,
Earth is your lodge, and heaven your home.”
There is a crown for your head and a palm branch for your hand, and pavements of gold for your feet, and felicities for ever for your entire soul; and even your body is to be raised again from the dust and fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for you.” Now what will you do for him?
From a sermon entitled "The Waterer Watered," delivered April 23, 1865. Image by Flemming Christiansen under Creative Commons License.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Depend upon it, you that live unto yourselves, that save your wealth when you ought to give it, are not indulged with that fellowship with Jesus which others have, who have consecrated themselves and their substance wholly to the Lord. I am sure that by not giving, you miss infinite pleasure; I speak not now concerning your safety, I believe you are saved through faith in Christ Jesus; but if you do not devote yourselves and all that you have to the Master’s cause, you never will be admitted to those choicer joys, to those more intimate fellowships, which belong to those who live close to their Savior in consecration.
Find me the happiest Christians, and I am sure they are those who are most attached to their Lord. Tell me who they arc that sit oftenest under the banner of his love, and drink deepest draughts from the cup of communion, and I am sure they will he those who give most, who serve best, and who abide closest to the bleeding heart of their dear Lord. Perhaps for this reason Mary was privileged by the grace of God to be the first to see the risen Savior.
From a sermon entitled "Jesus Appearing To Mary Magdalene," delivered April 16, 1865. Image by Flemming Christiansen under Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Go to him, whatever may be the trouble which weighs you down. Do not suppose your case too bad, for nothing is too hard for the Lord, and dream not that he will refuse to undertake temporals as well as spirituals; he careth for you in all things. In everything you are to give thanks, and surely in everything by prayer and supplication, you may make known your wants unto God. In times when the cruse of oil is ready to fail, and the handful of meal is all but spent, then go to the all-sufficient God, and you shall find that they who trust in him shall not lack any good thing.
Furthermore, our God is the refuge of his saints when their enemies rage. When the host was passing through the wilderness they were suddenly attacked by the Amalekites. Unprovoked, these marauders of the desert set upon them, and smote the hindermost of them, but what did Israel do? The people did not ask to have a strong body of horsemen, hired out of the land of Egypt for their refuge, or even if they did wish it, he who was their wiser self, Moses, looked to another arm than that of man, for he cried unto God. How glorious is that picture of Moses, with uplifted hands, upon the top of the hill giving victory to Joshua in the plain below. Those uplifted arms were worth ten thousand men to the hosts of Israel; nay, twice ten thousand had not so easily gotten a victory, as did those two extended arms, which brought down Omnipotence itself from heaven. This was Israel’s master-weapon of war, their confidence in God. Joshua shall go forth with men of war, but the Lord, Jehovah-nissi, is the banner of the fight, and the giver of the victory. Thus, dear friends, the Eternal God is our refuge. When our foes rage, we need not fear their fury. Let us not seek to be without enemies, but let us take our case and spread it before God. We cannot be in such a position, that the weapons of our foes can hurt us, while the promise stands good: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that riseth against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.” Though earth and hell should unite in malice, the Eternal God is our castle and stronghold, securing to us an everlasting refuge.
From a sermon entitled "Present Privilege And Future Favor," delivered March 22, 1865. Image by Nattu under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Many a believer has fallen, not to break his neck - that is impossible, - but he has broken some important bone, and he has gone limping to his grave! We can recall with grief some men once eminent in the ranks of the Church, who did run well, but on a sudden, through stress of temptation, they fell into sin, and their names were never mentioned in the Church again, except with bated breath. Everybody thought and hoped they were saved so as by fire, but certainly their former usefulness never could return.
It is very easy to go back in the heavenly pilgrimage, but it is very hard to retrieve your steps. You may soon turn aside and put out your candle, but you cannot light it quite so speedily. Friend, beloved in the Lord, watch against the attacks of Satan and stand fast, because you, as a pillar in the house of God are very dear to us, and we cannot spare you. As a father, or as a matron in our midst, we do you honor, and oh! -we would not be made to mourn and lament - we do not wish to he grieved by hearing the shouts of our adversaries while they cry “Aha! Aha! so would we have it,” [Psalm 35:25] for alas! there have been many things done in our Zion which we would not have told in Gath, nor published in the streets of Askelon, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised should rejoice, and the sons of the Philistines should triumph. [2 Sam. 1:20] Oh may God grant us grace, as a Church, to stand against the wiles of Satan and his attacks, that having done his worst he may gain no advantage over us, and after having considered, and considered again, and counted well our towers and bulwarks, he may he compelled to retire because his battering rams cannot jar so much as a stone from our ramparts, and his slings cannot slay one single soldier on the walls.
From a sermon entitled "Satan Considering The Saints," delivered April 9, 1865. Image by Baston under Creative Commons License.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Phocian paid for the poison which killed him: and the sinner pays dearly for the sin which proves his ruin. The worldling often taunts the Christian because he expends his money on his religion. The Christian may well reply to the sinner, “I wish that your taunt were more true, for I fear that I do not spend one-tenth so much in the service of God as you do in the service of your vices.” Very few except the most generous of Christians, could venture to say that they spend as much upon their God as profligates squander upon their lusts.
From a sermon entitled "Travelling Expenses On The Two Great Roads," delivered April 2, 1865. Image by mike138 under Creative Commons License.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Behold here, a person innocent, without taint within, or flaw without; a person meritorious, who magnified the law and made it honorable — a person who served both God and man even unto death. Nay, here you have a divine person — so divine, that in the Acts of the Apostles Paul calls his blood the “blood of God.” Place innocence, and merit, and dignity, and position, and Godhead itself, in the scale, and then conceive what must be the inestimable value of the blood which Jesus Christ poured forth. Angels must have seen that matchless blood-shedding with wonder and amazement, and even God himself saw what never before was seen in creation or in providence; he saw himself more gloriously displayed than in the whole universe beside.
From a sermon entitled "The Precious Blood of Christ," delivered March 26, 1865. Image by Flemming Christiansen under Creative Commons License.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Association with inconsistent Christians has been the downfall of many young believers. The devil delights to use God’s own birds as a decoy for his nets. “I could not have thought it,” says the young Christian, “that men whom I esteemed as saints would have acted so.” “Well, well,” is the next reflection, “if these are good men, and go to heaven, and yet act so ill, then I need not be so precise;” and thus, by a course of reasoning which sin makes as easy as casting up accounts by a ready reckoner, we arrive at the conclusion, that perhaps what we avoided as a sin, may have been no sin at all, and we therefore indulge in it without stint, and step by step come down to the level of this evil generation. He who handles edged tools, is apt to cut his fingers, and none the less so because the knife is made of the best steel. Let us walk warily among men, like a man with naked feet when going over thorny ground, lest our hurt be grievous.
From a sermon entitled "A Warning Against Hardness of Heart," delivered March 19, 1865. Image by Audrey under Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
We ought not to tolerate for a minute the ghastly and grievous thought that God will not answer prayer. His nature, as manifested in Christ Jesus, demands it. He has revealed himself in the gospel as a God of love, full of grace and truth; and how can he refuse to help those of his creatures who humbly in his own appointed way seek his face and favor? When the Athenian senate, upon one occasion, found it most convenient to meet together in the open air, as they were sitting in their deliberations, a sparrow, pursued by a hawk, flew in the direction of the senate. Being hard pressed by the bird of prey, it sought shelter in the bosom of one of the senators. He, being a man of rough and vulgar mold, took the bird from his bosom, dashed it on the ground and so killed it. Whereupon the whole senate rose in uproar, and without one single dissenting voice, condemned him to die, as being unworthy of a seat in the senate with them, or to be called an Athenian, if he did not render succor to a creature that confided in him.
Can we suppose that the God of heaven, whose nature is love, could tear out of his bosom the poor fluttering dove that flies from the eagle of justice into the bosom of his mercy? Will he give the invitation to us to seek his face, and when we as he knows, with so much trepidation of fear, yet summon courage enough to fly into his bosom, wilt he then be unjust and ungracious enough to forget to hear our cry and to answer us?
Let us not think so hardly of the God of heaven.
From a sermon entitled "The Golden Key Of Prayer," delivered March 12, 1865. Image by Audrey under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
What was it made Christ a physician at all? Was is not because men were sick with sin? Suppose they had been perfect, would Christ have ever been a Savior if men had not been lost? Brethren... it would have been a folly, a monstrous folly, on his part, to undertake an office which was not required of him. It is sin which makes room for his work as a Savior. I say it — you will understand me — he is only a Savior because there are sinners, and his Saviorship is based upon our sinnership. He takes that position because he is wanted. Again, what was the main thought which was upon him when he was compounding his great medicine? What was it made him shed great drops of blood? Was it human guilt, or human merit, think you? Why guilt, and guilt alone.
What made him give his back to the scourgers, and his cheeks, to the smiters? What made him stretch his arms to the cross and give his feet to the nails? What made him bear the unsufferable wrath of Almighty God? Was it man’s goodness? Why you cannot think of such a thing; it was human vileness, villany, degradation, iniquity, which made such sufferings as these all needful. As I see then Christ in his great surgery, compounding the Almighty medicine which is to expel the disease from the veins of humanity, I see him every moment thinking of sin! sin! sin! Man’s sin makes him die.
And now that he is in heaven, beloved, what is it that Christ is thinking of there? “He maketh intercession” — what, for? For the righteous? If they were self-righteous, perfectly righteous, they would not need intercession from him. “He maketh intercession for the transgressors.” He is exalted on high — what for? To reward the good? Nay, verily, but to give repentance and remission of sins — evidently to those who have no repentance and whose sins have need to be forgiven. Up in heaven, Christ still has his eye upon sinners — sinners are the jewels whom he seeks. Where, again, was Jesus Christ when he was on earth? Did he not spend the most of his time among sinners? Was he not always dealing out healing to the sick, life to the dead, and so on? You might ask again, on the other hand, to whom is the gospel sent? What is it? “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
From a sermon entitled "The Great Physician And his Patients," delivered March 5, 1865. Image by Ville Miettinen under Creative Commons License.
Monday, February 9, 2009
To the true Christian, Christ is the object of his life. As speeds the ship towards the port, so hastes the believer towards the haven of his Savior’s bosom. As flies the arrow to its goal, so flies the Christian towards the perfecting of his fellowship with Christ Jesus. As the soldier fights for his captain, and is crowned in his captain’s victory, so the believer contends for Christ, and gets his triumph out of the triumphs of his Master. “For him to live is Christ;” — at least, it is this he seeks after, and counts that all life apart from this is merely death in another form. That wicked flesh of his, that cumbrous clay, those many temptations, that Satanic trinity or the world, the flesh, and the devil, all these mar his outward actions; but if he could be what he would be, he would stand like the bullock at Christ’s altar to be slaughtered, or march forward like a bullock in Christ’s furrow to plough the blood-bought field.
He desires that he may not have a hair of his head unconsecrated, nor heave one breath which is not for his Savior, nor speak one word which is not for the glory of his Lord. His heart’s ambition is to live so long as he can glorify Christ better on earth than in heaven, and to be taken up when it shall be better for him and more honorable for his Master that he should be with Jesus where he is. As the river seeks the sea, so, Jesus, seek I thee! O let me find thee and melt my life into thine for ever!
From a sermon entitled "Christ Our Life - Soon To Appear," delivered February 26, 1865. Image by Ville Miettinen under Creative Commons License.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Now I have been preaching only to the people of God, and there is a large number of my hearers that are not of this happy family. I would I were preaching to them also; but the time has fled. Let me say this word of encouragement to them, the grace that called us can call you. You cannot
save yourself, but he can save you, and here is a promise which he gives you, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” To call upon that name is to invoke it in prayer; venture upon it in fact, and trust it by faith. If you believe in Christ, you shall be saved. I know not who you may be; to every creature under heaven the same gospel is preached, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou” — I know not to whom that refers just now — “thou” - though thou be the vilest sinner living — “thou shalt be saved.” Trust Christ now and your sins are gone; rest on him and you are snatched from the kingdom of evil and put into the republic of life; you become members of Christ’s body, you are saved —
“Oh, believe the message true,
God to you his Son has given.”
Cast yourself upon him; trust his grace, and heaven is yours for ever.
From a sermon entitled "The Special Call And The Unfailing Result." Image by Rietje Swart under Creative Commons License.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
You never heard a saint on his knees yet tell the Lord that he had a good nature, that he did not need renewing. Saints, as they grow in grace, are made to feel more and more acutely the evil of their old nature. You will find that those who are most like Christ have the deepest knowledge of their own depravity, and are most humble while they confess their sinfulness. Those men who know not their own hearts may be able to boast, but that is simple ignorance, for if you will take down the biographies of any persons esteemed among us for holiness and for knowledge in the things of God, they will find them frequently crying out under a sense of inward carnality and sin.
From a sermon entitled "Human Depravity and Divine Mercy," delivered February 19, 1865. Image by yugoQ under Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?”
It is uphill work for the creature to reach the Creator. Where is the mighty climber who can scale the towering heights? Nor is it height alone; it is glory too. Whose eye shall see the King in his beauty and dwell in his palace? In heaven he reigns most gloriously; who shall be permitted to enter into his royal presence? God has made all, but he will not save all; there is a chosen company who shall have the singular honour of dwelling with him in his high abode. These choice spirits desire to commune with God, and their wish shall be granted them.
The solemn enquiry of the text is repeated in another form. Who shall be able to “stand” or continue there? He casteth away the wicked, who then can abide in his house? Who is he that can gaze upon the Holy One, and can abide in the blaze of his glory? Certainly none may venture to commune with God upon the footing of the law, but grace can make us meet to behold the vision of the divine presence. The question before us is one which all should ask for themselves, and none should be at ease till they receive an answer of peace. With careful self-examination let us enquire, “Lord, is it I?
From The Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 24:3. Image by 29cm by under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Thy sins, like Egypt’s hosts, are many and mighty; Christ’s worthiness is like the flood of the Red Sea, able to drown the whole, so that not one of their host shall be left; they shall sink into the bottom like a stone. Thy sins are like Noah’s flood, which drowned all mankind; Christ’s worthiness is like Noah’s ark, which swims above the tide and mounts the higher as the flood grows deeper. The deeper thy sin the more is Christ’s merit exalted above the heavens when Jehovah forgives thee all thine iniquities. Think not little of Christ. I would not have thee think little of sin, but still think more of Christ. Sin is finite; it is the creature’s act. Christ is infinite; he is omnipotent. Whatever then thy sin may be, Christ is greater than thy sin, and able to take it away.
From a sermon entitled "For Christ's Sake," delivered February 12, 1865. Image by Andrew Larsen under Creative Commons License.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The Lord Jesus is ever in direct and open antagonism to Satan. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed,” has been most emphatically fulfilled. Christ has never tolerated any truce or parley with the evil one, and never will. Whenever Christ strikes a blow at Satan, it is a real blow, and not a feint, and is meant to destroy, not to amend. He never asks Satan’s help to subdue Satan, never fights evil by evil; he uses the weapons which are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds; and he uses them ever with this intention, not to dally with Satan, but to cut up his empire, root and branch. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
There is a deadly, implacable, infinite, eternal hatred between Christ and that sin of which Satan is the representative. No compromise can ever be thought of, no quarter will ever be allowed. The Lord will never turn from his purpose to bruise Satan under his feet and to cast him into the lake of fire. Hence there was nothing more libelous than the assertion of certain Pharisees in Christ’s day, that he cast out devils through Beelzebub, the Prince of devils. O base suggestion, that the Lord of glory was in league with the dunghill Deity, the Prince of devils. He never fights the Lord’s battles with the devil’s weapons, he has not the most distant affiance with evil. It is not possible that he should be the friend and patron of that spirit of unhallowed charity which for the sake of peace would give tolerance to error. No, he never allies himself with Satan, to advance the kingdom of God, but he comes against him as a strong man armed, determined to fight until he wins a decisive victory.
From a sermon entitled "The Strong One Driven Out By A Stronger One," delivered February 5, 1865. Image by James Jordan under Creative Commons License.