Saturday, June 30, 2007

Kings shall bow before Him

In the winds I see his chariot wheels; I know that he approaches and when he approaches he “breaks the bow and cuts the spear in sunder, and burns the chariot in the fire;” and Christ Jesus shall then be king over the whole world. He is king now, virtually; but he is to have another kingdom; I cannot see how it is to be a spiritual one, for that is come already; he is as much king spiritually now as he ever will be in his Church, although his kingdom will assuredly be very extensive; but the kingdom that is to come, I take it, will be something even greater than the spiritual kingdom; it will be a visible kingdom of Christ on earth. Then kings must bow their necks before his feet; then at his throne the tribes of earth shall bend; then the rich and mighty, the merchants of Tyre, and the travellers where gold is found, shall bring their spices and myrrh before him, and lay their gold and gems at his feet;

“Jesus shall reign where’er the sun,

Does his successive journeys run;

His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,

Till moons shall wax and wane no more.”

Once more, beloved; Christ will have all his enemies put beneath his feet, in that great day of judgment. Oh! that will be a terrible putting of his foes beneath his feet, when at that second resurrection the wicked dead shall rise; when the ungodly shall stand before his throne, and his voice shall say, “Depart, ye cursed.” Oh! rebel, thou that hast despised Christ, it will be a horrible thing for thee, that that man, that gibbeted, crucified man, whom thou hast often despised, will have power enough to speak thee into hell; that the man whom thou hast scoffed and laughed at, and of whom thou hast virtually said, “If he be the Son of God, let him come down from the cross,” will have power enough, in two or three short words, to damn thy soul to all eternity: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Oh! what a triumph that will be, when men, wicked men, persecutors, and all those who opposed Christ, are all cast into the lake that burneth! But, if possible, it will be a greater triumph, when he who led men astray shall be dragged forth.

“Shall lift his brazen front, with thunder scarred,

Receive the sentence, and begin anew his hell.”

Oh! when Satan shall be condemned, and when the saints shall judge angels, and the fallen spirits shall all be under the feet of Christ, “then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, he hath put all things under him.” And when death, too, shall come forth, and the “death of death and hell’s destruction” shall grind his iron limbs to powder, then shall it be said, “Death is swallowed up in victory,” for the great shout of “Victory, victory, victory,” shall drown the shrieks of the past; shall put out the sound of the howlings of death; and hell shall be swallowed up in victory. He is exalted on high—he sitteth on his Father’s right hand, “from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”

From a sermon entitled, "Christ Exalted," delivered July 6, 1856

Friday, June 29, 2007

Walk humbly with your God

"Walk humbly with thy God."—Micah 6:8.

THIS is the essence of the law, the spiritual side of it; its ten commandments are an enlargement of this verse. The law is spiritual, and touches the thoughts, the intents, the emotions, the words, the actions; but specially God demands the heart. Now it is our great joy that what the law requires the gospel gives. "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." In him we meet the requirements of the law, first, by what he has done for us; and next, by what he works in us. He conforms us to the law of God. He makes us, by his Spirit, not for our righteousness, but for his glory, to render to the law the obedience which we could not present of ourselves. We are weak through the flesh, but when Christ strengthens us, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Only through faith in Christ does a man learn to do righteously, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God; and only by the power of the Holy Spirit sanctifying us to that end do we fulfil these three divine requirements. These we fulfil perfectly in our desire; we would be holy as God is holy, if we could live as our heart aspires to live, we would always do righteously, we would always love mercy; and we would always walk humbly with God. This the Holy Spirit daily aids us to do by working in us to will and to do of God's good pleasure; and the day will come, and we are pining for it, when, being entirely free from this hampering body, we shall serve him day and night in his temple, and shall render to him an absolutely perfect obedience, for "they are without fault before the throne of God."

From a sermon entitled, "Micah's Message for To-day," delivered August 22, 1889.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The faith that justifies us

Abram had faith in a promise which it seemed impossible could ever be fulfilled. A child was to be born of his own loins, but he was nearly a hundred years old, and Sarai also was said to be barren years before. His own body was now dead as it were, and Sarai, so far as childbearing was concerned, was equally so. The birth of a son could not happen unless the laws of nature were reversed; but he considered not these things, he put them all aside; he saw death written on the creature, but he accepted the power of life in the Creator, and he believed without hesitation.

Now, beloved, the faith that justifies us must be of the same kind. It seems impossible that I should ever be saved; I cannot save myself; I see absolute death written upon the best hopes that spring of my holiest resolutions; “In me, that is, in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing;” I can do nothing; I am slain under the law; I am corrupt through my natural depravity; but yet for all this I believe that through the life of Jesus I shall live, and inherit the promised blessing. It is small faith to believe that God will save you when graces flourish in your heart, and evidences of salvation abound, but it is a grand faith to trust in Jesus in the teeth of all your sins, and notwithstanding the accusations of conscience. To believe in him that justifieth not merely the godly but the ungodly (Romans 4:5). To believe not in the Savior of saints, but in the Savior of sinners; and to believe that if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous; this is precious, and is counted unto us for righteousness.

From a sermon entitled, "Justification by Faith—Illustrated by Abram’s Righteousness," delivered December 6, 1868.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

You have no idea how much He loves you!

"I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them."—John 17:9-10.

It is in our Lord's prayer, when he is in the inner sanctuary speaking with the Father, that we have these words, "All mine are thine, and thine are mine." It is not to you and to me that he is talking now; the Son of God is speaking with the Father when they are in very near communion one with the other. Now, what does this say to me but that the Father and the Son greatly value believers? What people talk about when they are alone, not what they say in the market, not what they talk of in the midst of the confused mob, but what they say when they are in private, that lays bare their heart. Here is the Son speaking to the Father, not about thrones and royalties, nor cherubim and seraphim, but about poor men and women, in those days mostly fishermen and peasant folk, who believed on him. They are talking about these people, and the Son is taking his own solace with the Father in their secret privacy by talking about these precious jewels, these dear ones that are their peculiar treasure.

You have not any notion how much God loves you. Dear brother, dear sister, you have never yet had half an idea, or the tithe of an idea, of how precious you are to Christ. You think, because you are so imperfect, and you fall so much below your own ideal, that, therefore, he does not love you much; you think that he cannot do so. Have you ever measured the depth of Christ's agony in Gethsemane, and of his death on Calvary? If you have tried to do so, you will be quite sure that, apart from anything in you or about you, he loves you with a love that passeth knowledge. Believe it. "But I do not love him as I should," I think I hear you say. No, and you never will unless you first know his love to you. Believe it; believe it to the highest degree, that he so loves you that, when there is no one who can commune with him but the Father, even then their converse is about their mutual estimate of you, how much they love you: "All mine are thine, and thine are mine."

From a sermon entitled, "Christ's Pastoral Prayer for his People," delivered September 1, 1889.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Christians who are enemies of the cross of Christ

The world will not care about my testimony with the lip, unless there be also a testimony in my daily life for God, for truth, for holiness, for everything that is honest, lovely, pure, and of good report. There is that in a Christian's character which the world, though it may persecute the man himself, learns to value. It is called consistency,—that is, the making of the life stand together, not being one thing in one place and another thing in another, or one thing at one time and quite different on another occasion.

It is not consistency to be devout on Sunday and to be dishonest on Monday. It is not consistency to sing the songs of Zion to-day, and to shout the songs of lustful mirth tomorrow. It is not consistency occasionally to wear the yoke of Christ, and yet frequently to make yourself the serf of Satan. But to make your life all of a piece is to make it powerful, and when God the Holy Ghost enables you to do this, then your testimony will tell upon those amongst whom you live. It would be ludicrous, if it were not so sorrowful a thing, to be spoken of even with weeping, that there should be professed Christians who are through inconsistency among the worst enemies of the cross of Christ. I heard, the other day, a story which made me laugh. A poor creature, in a lunatic asylum, had got it into his head that he was some great one, and he addressed a person who was visiting the asylum in the following words:—"I am Sir William Wallace; give me some tobacco!" What a ridiculous contrast between his proud assertion and his poor request! Who but a lunatic would have said such a thing? Yet alas! we know people who say, by their actions, if not in words, "I am a Christian, but I will take advantage of you when I can; I am one of the blood-royal of heaven, my life is hid with Christ in God, and my conversation is in heaven, but—but—I like worldliness, and sensual pleasure, and carnal mirth quite as well as other men!"

I say again, that this kind of thing would be superlatively ludicrous if it were not ineffably sorrowful, and it is, anyhow, utterly contemptible. If your life be not all of a piece, the world will soon learn how to estimate your testimony, and will count you to be either a fool or a knave, and perhaps both.

From a sermon entitled, "The Incomparable Bridegroom and His Bride," delivered June 10, 1886.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Do you have everlasting life?

I remember, when I first began to teach in a Sunday-school, that I was speaking one day to my class upon the words, “He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” I was rather taken by surprise when one of the boys said to me, “Teacher, have you got everlasting life?” I replied, “I hope so.” The scholar was not satisfied with my answer, so he asked another question, “But, teacher, don’t you know?” The boy was right; there can be no true testimony except that which springs from assured conviction of our own safety and joy in the Lord.

We speak that we do know; we believe, and therefore speak. Rest of heart, through coming to Christ, enables us to invite others to Him with great confidence, for we can tell them what heavenly peace He has given to us. This will enable us to put the gospel very attractively, for the evidence of our own experience will help others to trust the Lord for themselves. With the beloved apostle John, we shall be able to say to our hearers, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

Saturday, June 23, 2007

No tongue can utter half His greatness

Psa 8:1 - O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Unable to express the glory of God, the Psalmist utters a note of exclamation. O Jehovah our Lord! We need not wonder at this, for no heart can measure, no tongue can utter, the half of the greatness of Jehovah. The whole creation is full of his glory and radiant with the excellency of his power; his goodness and his wisdom are manifested on every hand. The countless myriads of terrestrial beings, from man the head, to the creeping worm at the foot, are all supported and nourished by the Divine bounty. The solid fabric of the universe leans upon his eternal arm. Universally is he present, and everywhere is his name excellent. God worketh ever and everywhere.

There is no place where God is not. The miracles of his power await us on all sides. Traverse the silent valleys where the rocks enclose you on either side, rising like the battlements of heaven till you can see but a strip of the blue sky far overhead; you may be the only traveller who has passed through that glen; the bird may start up affrighted, and the moss may tremble beneath the first tread of human foot; but God is there in a thousand wonders, upholding yon rocky barriers, filling the flowercups with their perfume, and refreshing the lonely pines with the breath of his mouth. Descend, if you will, into the lowest depths of the ocean, where undisturbed the water sleeps, and the very sand is motionless in unbroken quiet, but the glory of the Lord is there, revealing its excellence in the silent palace of the sea. Borrow the wings of the morning and fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, but God is there. Mount to the highest heaven, or dive into the deepest hell, and God is in both hymned in everlasting song, or justified in terrible vengeance. Everywhere, and in every place, God dwells and is manifestly at work.

Nor on earth alone is Jehovah extolled, for his brightness shines forth in the firmament above the earth. His glory exceeds the glory of the starry heavens; above the region of the stars he hath set fast his everlasting throne, and there he dwells in light ineffable. Let us adore him “who alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea; who maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.” (Job 9:8, 9.)

We can scarcely find more fitting words than those of Nehemiah, “Thou even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”

From: The Treasury Of David, Psalm 8

Friday, June 22, 2007

To get we must give

The whole of the human system lives by giving. The eye cannot say to the foot I have no need of thee and will not guide thee, for if it does not perform its watchful office the whole man will be in the ditch, and the eye will be covered with mire. If the members refuse to contribute to the general stock the whole body will become poverty-stricken, and be given up to the bankruptcy of death. Let us learn then from the analogy of nature, the great lesson that to get we must give; that to accumulate we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy we must make others happy; and that to get good and become spiritually vigorous we must do good and seek the spiritual good of others. This is the general principle.

From a sermon entitled, "The Waterer Watered," delivered April 23, 1865.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

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They don't make them like they used to!

Held by the cords of sin

It often strikes us with wonder that men do not receive the gospel of Jesus Christ, when we recollect that the gospel is so plain. If it were a great mystery one might excuse the illiterate from attending to it. If the plan of salvation could only be discovered by the attentive perusal of a long series of volumes, and if it required a classical training and a thorough education, why then the multitude of the poor and needy, whose time is taken up with earning their bread, might have same excuse; but there is under heaven no truth more plain than this, “He that believeth on the Lord Jesus hath everlasting life;” “He that believeth and is baptised, shall be saved.” To believe—that is, simply to trust Christ. How plain! There is no road, though it ran straight as an arrow, that can be more plain than this. Legible only by the light they give, but all so legible that be who runs may read, stand these soul-quickening words, “Believe and live.” Trust Christ and your sins are forgiven; you are saved. This is so plain a precept, that I may call it a very A B C for infants, yet men receive it not. Are they not indeed [held] by the cords of their sins when they refuse to obey?

From a sermon entitled, "Sinners Bound With The Cords Of Sin," delivered February 13, 1870.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

God is delivering you from temptation

If you are not just now being assailed by any temptation, it is because God is delivering you from it. Yet it may be that Satan is planning some fresh temptation with which to assail you; but, though he desires to have you that he may sift you as wheat, Christ is praying for you, that your faith fail not. We might have fallen into doctrinal error had it not been for God's restraining mercy. How apt thoughtful people are to be carried away by the particular novelty of the hour! It seems as if they could not resist the cogency of the argument by which the new teaching is supported, but we have been kept from yielding to it by having our hearts established in the faith, so that we have not believed every novel doctrine, but have judged it by the Word of God, and so have been kept from wandering into devious ways.

From a sermon entitled, "The Tenses," delivered May 13, 1880.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Give It To The King

Have you anything tonight that is dear to you? Resign it to him. Have you any costly thing like an alabaster box hidden away? Give it to the King; he is worthy, and when you have fellowship with him at his table, let your gifts be brought forth. Offer unto the King thanksgiving, and pay your vows unto the Most High.

But the King is gone from earth. He is seated at his table in heaven, eating bread in the kingdom of God. Surrounded now not by publicans and harlots, but by cherubim and seraphim, not by mocking crowds, but by adoring hosts, the King sits at his table, and entertains the glorious company of the faithful, the Church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven. He fought before he could rest. On earth he struggled with his enemies, and it was not till he had triumphed over all, that he sat down at the table on high.

There sit, thou King of kings, there sit until thy last enemy shall be made thy footstool. What can we do, brethren, while Christ sits at the table above? These hands cannot reach him; these eyes cannot see him; but our prayers, like sweet perfume, set burning here on earth, can rise in smoke to the place where the King sitteth at his table, and our spikenard can diffuse a perfume even in heaven itself. Do you want to reach Christ? Your prayers can do it. Would you now adore him; would you now set forth your love? With mingled prayer and praise, like the offering of the morning and the evening sacrifice, your incense can come up acceptably before the Lord.

From a sermon entitled "Fragrant Graces."

Monday, June 18, 2007

The dust on many men's Bibles will condemn them

Get alone again, dear friend,—especially dear young friend,—that you may diligently search the Scriptures. I am often astounded at the ignorance there still is of what is written in God's Word. Many persons who have even been in Sunday-schools for years, seem to be totally unaware of the plainest truths of the gospel of God's grace; but how can we know what is revealed unless we read and study it for ourselves?

Alas, the dust upon many men's Bibles will condemn them! God has been pleased, in this Book, to give us the revelation of the way of salvation, and we ought to rush to the Book with eager anxiety to know what God has said in it; but, instead of doing so, though we can get a Bible for sixpence, and perhaps have a copy in every room in our house, how little do we read it! If you truly desire to be saved, get alone for the earnest and hearty study of the Word of God. How often you may meet with persons who profess to be infidels, yet if you press them closely enough, you will find that they have never even read the New Testament through.

There are many more who are in doubt and anxiety, yet they have never gone to see what are the promises of God, and what the Lord is ready to do for them that seek him. I beseech you, as sensible and reasonable beings, do not let God speak to you, and you refuse to hear. You need to be saved from sin, in this Book God has revealed the way of salvation, therefore do not shut up the Book, and fasten the clasps, and leave it neglected. Oh, Book of books, the map of the way to glory; that man invokes a terrible curse upon his own head who refuses to study thee! He does, in effect, shut the gate of heaven against himself, and bar the road to everlasting bliss. If you would be saved, dear friend, sit alone, and consider your case, and then study God's thoughts concerning it.

From a sermon entitled Solitude, Silence, Submission, delivered June 13th, 1886.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

He will rejoice over thee with joy!

Think of this! Jehovah, the living God, is described as brooding over his church with pleasure. He looks upon souls redeemed by the blood of his dear Son, quickened by his Holy Spirit, and his heart is glad. Even the infinite heart of God is filled with an extraordinary joy at the sight of his chosen. His delight is in his church, his Hephzibah. I can understand a minister rejoicing over a soul that he has brought to Christ; I can also understand believers rejoicing to see others saved from sin and hell; but what shall I say of the infinitely-happy and eternally-blessed God finding, as it were, a new joy in souls redeemed? This is another of those great wonders which cluster around the work of divine grace!

"He will rejoice over thee with joy." Oh, you are trembling for the ark of the Lord; the Lord is not trembling, but rejoicing. Faulty as the church is, the Lord rejoices in her. While we mourn, as well we may, yet we do not sorrow as those that are without hope; for God does not sorrow, his heart is glad, and he is said to rejoice with joy—a highly emphatic expression. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, imperfect though they be. He sees them as they are to be, and so he rejoices over them, even when they cannot rejoice in themselves. When your face is blurred with tears, your eyes red with weeping, and your heart heavy with sorrow for sin, the great Father is rejoicing over you. The prodigal son wept in his Father's bosom, but the Father rejoiced over his son. We are questioning, doubting, sorrowing, trembling; and all the while he who sees the end from the beginning knows what will come out of the present disquietude, and therefore rejoices.

Let us rise in faith to share the joy of God. Let no man's heart fail him because of the taunts of the enemy. Rather let the chosen of God rouse themselves to courage, and participate in that joy of God which never ceaseth, even though the solemn assembly has become a reproach. Shall we not rejoice in him when he, in his boundless condescension, deigns to rejoice in us? Whoever despairs for the cause, he does not; wherefore let us be of good courage.

From a sermon entitled "A Sermon For The Time Present," delivered October 30, 1887.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Singing Savior

It is grand to think of Jesus singing. Read the twenty-second Psalm, and you will find Him doing it, as also in the Hebrews: “In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” Toward the end of His earthly career you hear Him bursting into song. Was not that a grand occasion just before His passion, when He was going out to die; we read that “after supper they sang a hymn.” If we had been bound to die that night, as He was, we should rather have wept or prayed than sang. Not so our Lord. I do not know what psalm they sang: probably a part of the great Hallel, usually sung after the Passover, which consists of those Psalms at the end of the book which are so full of praise. I believe the Saviour Himself pitched the tune and led the strain. Think of Him singing when near His hour of agony! Going to scorn and mockery, singing! Going to the thorn-crown and the scourge, singing! Going to death, even the death of the cross, singing! For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame! But now, what must that new song be which He leads in heaven? “They sang, as it were, a new song before the throne”; but it is He that leads the heavenly orchestra. How greatly He excels Miriam, the sister of Moses, when she took her timbrel and led forth the women in their dances, saying, “Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” This is called “the song of Moses, the servant of God and of the Lamb”; so I gather that the Lamb’s new song is after the same triumphant fashion: it is the substance of that which Moses’ song foreshadowed. In Christ Jesus the Lord our God has led captivity captive. Let us praise Him on the high sounding cymbals. Sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously. The powers of darkness are destroyed; sin, death, and hell are drowned in the atoning blood: the depths have covered them: there is not one of them left. Oh, “sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously.” “Ascribe ye greatness unto our God.”

From the sermon "Brought Up From The Horrible Pit," delivered August 13, 1882.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Christ our City of Refuge

By God’s commands certain cities were provided throughout all Canaan, that an Israelite who should slay his fellow at unawares, might flee there from the avenger of blood. The city of refuge no sooner received the manslayer than he was perfectly free from the avenger who pursued him. Once within the suburbs or through the gate, and the manslayer might breathe safely, the executioner would be kept at bay. In the same sense we are in Christ Jesus. He is God’s eternal city of refuge, and we having offended, having slain, as it were, the command of God, flee for our lives and enter within the refuge city, where vengeance cannot reach us, but where we shall be safe world without end.

From the sermon "The Believer A New Creature," delivered July 18th, 1869

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Partners with the Son of God

Dwell much upon this partnership with the Son of God, unto which you have been called: for all your hope lies there. You can never be poor while Jesus is rich, since you are in one firm with Him. Want can never assail you, since you are joint-proprietor with Him who is Possessor of Heaven and earth. You can never fail; for though one of the partners in the firm is as poor as a church mouse, and in himself an utter bankrupt, who could not pay even a small amount of his heavy debts, yet the other partner is inconceivably, inexhaustibly rich. In such partnership you are raised above the depression of the times, the changes of the future, and the shock of the end of all things. The Lord has called you into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ, and by that act and deed He has put you into the place of infallible safeguard.

From "All Of Grace"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The fear of man brings a snare

The fear of man has brought a snare to some of the greatest believers who have ever lived; and any child of God, whenever he fears the face of man, loses some of the dignity which appertains to that relationship. What a grand man Abraham was! Whenever I read his life I look up to him with astonishment and wish I had such faith as would make me resemble him in that respect. He marches across the page of history with such quiet stately dignity that kings and princes are dwarfed beside his great figure. How nobly did he say to the king of Sodom, “I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, lest thou shouldest say I have made Abram rich;” but oh, how small did he look when he said to Abimelech concerning his wife, “She is my sister.” She was his sister in a sense; there was some truth in what he said, but she was more than his sister so he was uttering a falsehood, for which he was rightly rebuked by the heathen prince.

You have in David another instance of how the fear of man can bring the mighty down. How brave he is as he goes out to slay Goliath, and how grandly he behaves when twice he spares the life of his sleeping enemy! Yet see him there at Gath when the servants of Achish frightened him so that he “feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.” The fear of man had brought down Israel’s future monarch to drivel like a madman.

Equally sad is the case of Elijah, that grandest of men, as I may truly call him. You see him in his grandeur as he cries “Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape;” and as he brings them down to the brook Kishon and slays them there, and then as he goes to the top of Carmel and prays till the rain descends upon the parched land. Yet after the excitement is over he is afraid of a woman, Jezebel, and the great Elias shrinks down into a frightened man who runs away and cries, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” So you see that “the fear of man bringeth a snare” even to the best of men; it drags them down from their high places and hurls them into the dust. Therefore may God preserve us from it!

From a sermon delivered on March 29, 1874

Monday, June 11, 2007

Comfort one another with these words is comfort which we may each one safely take, namely, that when Jesus comes the dead shall live. The Revised Version has it, “He that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live.” We do not know when our Lord will descend from heaven, but we do know the message of the angel, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” The Lord will come; we may not question the certainty of His appearing. When He cometh, all His redeemed shall live with Him. The trump of the archangel shall startle the happy sleepers, and they shall wake to put on their beauteous array; the body transformed and made like unto Christ’s glorious body shall be once more wrapt about them as the vesture of their perfected and emancipated spirits. Then our brother shall rise again, and all our dear ones who have fallen asleep in Jesus the Lord will bring with Him. This is the glorious hope of the church, wherein we see the death of death, and the destruction of the grave. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Then we are also told that when Jesus comes, living believers shall not die. After the coming of Christ there shall be no more death for His people. What does Paul say? “Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed.” Did I see a little school-girl put up her finger? Did I hear her say, “Please, sir, you made a mistake.” So I did; I made it on purpose. Paul did not say, “We shall not all die,” for the Lord had already said, “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die”; Paul would not say that any of us should die, but he used his Master’s own term, and said, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” When the Lord comes there will be no more death; we who are alive and remain (as some of us may be—we cannot tell) will undergo a sudden transformation—for flesh and blood, as they are, cannot inherit the kingdom of God—and by that transformation our bodies shall be made meet to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” There shall be no more death then. Here, then, we have two sacred handkerchiefs with which to wipe the eyes of mourners: when Christ cometh the dead shall live; when Christ cometh those that live shall never die. Like Enoch, or Elias, we shall pass into the glory state without wading through the black stream, while those who have already forded it shall prove to have been no losers thereby. All this is in connection with Jesus. Resurrection with Jesus is resurrection indeed. Life in Jesus is life indeed. It endears to us resurrection, glory, eternal life, and ultimate perfection, when we see them all coming to us in Jesus. He is the golden pot which hath this manna, the rod which beareth these almonds, the life whereby we live.

From a sermon entitled "Though He Were Dead," September 14, 1884.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Nothing comes out of a man that is not first in him

Remember, too, that the Lord Jesus Christ has always been inclined to work by the spiritual power of his servants. Nothing comes out of a man that is not first in him. You will not find God's servants doing great things for him, unless God works mightily in them, as well as by them. You must first yourself be endued with power from on high, or else the power will not manifest itself in what you do. Beloved, we want our church members to be better men and better women; we want baby-Christians to become men-Christians; and we want the men-Christians among us to be "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." God will work by his servants when they are adapted to his service; and he will make his instruments fit for his work. It is not in themselves that they have any strength; their weakness becomes the reason why his strength is seen in them. Still, there is an adaptation, there is a fitness for his service, there is a cleanness that God puts upon his instruments before he works mighty things by them; and Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever," in this matter, too.

All the good that is ever done in the world is wrought by the Holy Ghost; and as the Holy Spirit honours Jesus Christ, so he puts great honour upon the Holy Spirit. If you and I try, either as a church or as individuals, to do without the Holy Spirit, God will soon do without us. Unless we reverently worship him, and believingly trust in him, we shall find that we shall be like Samson when his locks were shorn. He shook himself as he had done aforetime; but when the Philistines were upon him, he could do nothing against them. Our prayer must ever be, "Holy Spirit, dwell with me! Holy Spirit, dwell with thy servants!" We know that we are utterly dependent upon him. Such is the teaching of our Master, and Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

From a Sermon entitled "The Unchangeable Christ," delivered on February 23rd, 1888.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Consider the goodness of God in creation

Consider the goodness of God in creation. Who could ever tell all God's goodness there? Why, every creek that runs up into the shore is full of it where the fry dance in the water. Why, every tree and every forest rings with it; where the feathered songsters sit and make their wings quiver with delight and ecstasy. Why, every atom of this air, which is dense with animalculae, is full of God's goodness. The cattle on a thousand hills he feeds; the ravens come and peck their food from his liberal hands. The fishes leap out of their element, and he supplies them; every insect is nourished by him. The lion roars in the forest for his prey, and he sendeth it to him. Ten thousand thousand creatures are all fed by him. Can you tell, then, what God's goodness is? If you knew all the myriad works of God, would your life be long enough to make all God's creative goodness pass before you?

From a Sermon (No. 3120) published on November 26th, 1908.