Friday, November 30, 2007

Tempted in all points like we are

As to our future troubles for next year and the remnant of our days, Jesus Christ has borne them all before. As for temptation, he “has been tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” As for trials and sorrows, he has felt all we can possibly feel, and infinitely more. As for our difficulties, Christ has trodden the road before. We may rest quite sure that we shall not go anywhere where Christ has not gone.

From a sermon entitled "The Vanguard And Rereward Of The Church," delivered December 26, 1858. Flickr photo by Michael Kirwan; some rights reserved.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

His greatness is unsearchable

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.”

Worship should be somewhat like its object - great praise for a great God. There is no part of Jehovah's greatness which is not worthy of great praise. In some beings greatness is but vastness of evil: in him it is magnificence of goodness. Praise may be said to be great when the song contains great matter, when the hearts producing it are intensely fervent, and when large numbers unite in the grand acclaim. No chorus is too loud, no orchestra too large, no Psalm too lofty for the lauding of the Lord of Hosts.

“And his greatness is unsearchable.”

...Song should be founded upon search; hymns composed without thought are of no worth, and tunes upon which no pains have been spent are beneath the dignity of divine adoration. Yet when we meditate most, and search most studiously, we shall still find ourselves surrounded with unknowable wonders, which will baffle all attempts to sing them worthily. The best adoration of the Unsearchable is to own him to be so, and close the eyes in reverence before the excessive light of his glory. Not all the minds of all the centuries shall suffice to search out the unsearchable riches of God: he is past finding out; and, therefore, his deserved praise is still above and beyond all that we can render to him.

From The Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 145:3.

Flickr photo by Steve Jurvetson; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christ the Spotless Lamb

Flickr photo by Evgeni Dinev; some rights reserved.

Christ Jesus, too, like the lamb, was not only a divinely appointed victim, but he was spotless. Had there been one sin in Christ, he had not been capable of being our Savior; but he was without spot or blemish — without original sin, without any practical transgression. In him was no sin,though he was “tempted in all points like as we are.”

Here, again, is the reason why the blood is able to save, because it is the blood of an innocent victim, a victim the only reason for whose death lay in us, and not in himself. When the poor innocent lamb was put to death, by the head of the household of Egypt, I can imagine that thoughts like these ran through his mind. “Ah!” he would say, as he struck the knife into the lamb, “This poor creature dies, not for any guilt that it has ever had, but to show me that I am guilty, and that I deserved to die like this.” Turn, then, your eye to the cross, and see Jesus bleeding there and dying for you. Remember, “For sins not his own, he died to atone;”

Sin had no foothold in him, never troubled him. The prince of this world came and looked, but he said, “I have nothing in Christ; there is no room for me to plant my foot — no piece of corrupt ground, which I may call my own.” O sinner, the blood of Jesus is able to save thee, because he was perfectly innocent himself, and “he died the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.”

From a sermon entitled "The Blood," delivered December 12, 1858.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jesus' High Priestly Prayer

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundations of the world.” John 17:24.

In our Saviour’s prayer heaven’s greatest privilege is also included. Mark, we are not only to be with Christ and to behold his glory, but we are to be like Christ and to be glorified with him. Is he bright? So shall you be. Is he enthroned? So shall you be. Does he wear a crown? So shall you. Is he a priest? So shall you be a priest and a king to offer acceptable sacrifices for ever. Mark, that in all Christ has, a believer has a share. This seems to me to be the sum total, and the crowning of it all — to reign with Christ, to ride in his triumphal chariot, and have a portion of his joy; to be honored with him, to be accepted in him, to be glorified with him. This is heaven, this is heaven indeed.

And now, how many of you are there here who have any hope that this shall be your lot? Well said Chrysostom, “The pains of hell are not the greatest part of hell; the loss of heaven is the weightiest woe of hell;” to lose the sight of Christ, the company of Christ, to lose the beholding of his glories, this must be the greatest part of the damnation of the lost. Oh, you that have not this bright hope, how is it that you can live? You are going through a dark world, to a darker eternity. I beseech you stop and pause. Consider for a moment whether it is worth while to lose heaven for this poor earth. What! Pawn eternal glories for the pitiful pence of a few moments of the world’s enjoyments! No, stop I beseech you; weigh the bargain before you accept it. What shall it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul, and lose such a heaven as this?

From a sermon entitled "The Redeemer's Prayer," delivered April 18, 1858.

Flickr photo by Eric Hill; some rights reserved.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The very hairs of your head are all numbered

I believe my text means literally what it says.

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

God’s wisdom and knowledge are so great, that he even knows the number of the hairs upon our head. His providence descends to the minute particles of dust in the summer gale, he numbers the gnats in the sunshine, and the fishes in the sea. While it certainly doth control the massive orbs that shine in heaven, it doth not blush to deal with the drop that trickles from the eye.

From a sermon entitled "Providence," delivered April 11, 1858.

Flickr photo by Christian Abend ; some rights reserved.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The causes of true revival

Every revival has been commenced and attended by a large amount of prayer. In the city of New York at the present moment, there is not I believe, one single hour of the day, wherein Christians are not gathered together for prayer. One church opens its doors from five o’clock till six, for prayer; another church opens from six to seven, and summons its praying men to offer the sacrifice of supplication. Six o’clock is past, and men are gone to their labor; Another class find it then convenient such as those, perhaps, who go to business at eight or nine — and from seven to eight there is another prayer meeting. From eight to nine there is another, in another part of the city, and what is most marvellous, at high noon, from twelve to one, in the midst of the city of New York, there is held a prayer meeting in a large room, which is crammed to the doors every day, with hundreds standing outside. This prayer meeting is made up of merchants of the city, who can spare a quarter of an hour to go in and say a word of prayer, and then leave again; and then a fresh company come in to fill up the ranks so that it is supposed that many hundreds assemble in that one place for prayer during the appointed hour. This is the explanation of the revival.

If this were done in London — if we for once would outvie old Rome, who kept her monks in her sanctuaries, always at prayer, both by night and by day, — if we together could keep up one golden chain of prayer, link after link of holy brotherhood being joined together in supplication, then might we expect an abundant outpouring of the Divine Spirit from the Lord our God. The Holy Spirit as the actual agent — the Word preached, and the prayers of the people as the instruments — and we have thus explained the cause of a true revival of religion.

From a sermon entitled "The Great Revival," delivered March 28, 1858.

Flickr photo by Roberto Ferrari; some rights reserved.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Rejoice evermore

The first thing you have to do is to “rejoice evermore.” The man who never rejoices, but who is always sorrowing, and groaning, and crying, who forgets his God, who forgets the fullness of Jehovah, and is always murmuring concerning the trials of the road and the infirmities of the flesh, that man will lose the prospect of enjoying a peace that passeth all understanding. Cultivate, my friends, a cheerful disposition; endeavor, as much as lieth in you, always to bear a smile about with you; recollect that this is as much a command of God as that one which says, “Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart.”

Rejoice evermore, is one of God’s commands; and it is your duty, as well as your privilege, to try and practice it. Not to rejoice, remember, is a sin. To rejoice, is a duty, and such a duty that the
richest fruits and the best rewards are appended to it. Rejoice always, and then the peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds. Many of us, by giving way to disastrous doubts, spoil our peace. It is as I once remember to have heard a woman say, when I was passing down a lane; a child stood crying at the door, and I heard her calling out, “Ah, you are crying for nothing; I will give you something to cry for.” Brethren, it is often so with God’s children. They get crying for nothing. They have a miserable disposition, or a turn of mind always making miseries for themselves, and thus they have something to cry for. Their peace is disturbed, some sad trouble comes, God hides his face, and then they lose their peace. But keep on singing, even when the sun does not keep on shining; keep a song for all weathers; get a joy that will stand clouds and storms; and then, when you know how always to rejoice, you shall have this peace.

From a sermon entitled "How To Keep The Heart," delivered February 21, 1858.

Flickr photo by southernpixel; some rights reserved.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Come before His presence with thanksgiving

“Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving.” Psalm 95:2a

Everywhere God is present, but there is a peculiar presence of grace and glory into which men should never come without the profoundest reverence. We may make bold to come before the immediate presence of the Lord - for the voice of the Holy Ghost in this Psalm invites us, and when we do draw near to him we should remember his great goodness to us and cheerfully confess it. Our worship should have reference to the past as well as to the future; if we do not bless the Lord for what we have already received, how can we reasonably look for more? We are permitted to bring our petitions, and therefore we are in honour bound to bring our thanksgivings.

Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in the US!

From the Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 95.

Flickr photo by zehhhra; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thou shalt love thy neighbor

“Well I believe,” says one, “I never speak an unkind word of any of my neighbors. I do not know that I ever hurt a person’s reputation in my life. I am very careful to do my neighbor no damage. When I start in business I do not let my spirit of competition overthrow my spirit of charity. I try not to hurt anybody.”

My dear friend, that is right as far as it goes, but it does not go the whole way. It is not enough for you to say you do not hate your neighbor, you are to love him. When you see him in the street it is not sufficient that you keep out of his way, and do not knock him down. It is not sufficient that you do not molest him by night, nor disturb his quiet. It is not a negative, it is a positive command. It is not the not doing, it is the doing. You must not injure him it is true, but you have not done all when you have not done that. You ought to love him.

“Well,” says one, “When my neighbors are sick round about; if they be poor, I take a piece from the joint for dinner, and send it to them, that they may have a little food and be refreshed, and if they be exceedingly poor, I lay out my money, and see that they are taken care of.”

Yes, but you may do this, and not love them. I have seen charity thrown to a poor man as a bone is thrown to a dog, and there was no love in it. I have seen money given to those who needed it with not one half the politeness with which hay is given to a horse. “There it is, you want it. I suppose I must give it to you, or people will not think me liberal. Take it, I am sorry you came here. Why don’t you go to somebody else’s house? I am always having paupers hanging on me.”

Oh, this is not loving our neighbor, and this is not making him love us. If we had spoken a kind word to him, and refused him, he would have loved us better than when we gave to him in an unkind manner. No, though you feed the poor, and visit the sick, you have not obeyed the command, unless your heart goes with thy hand, and the kindness of your life bespeaks the kindness of thy soul. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor.”

From a sermon entitled "Love Thy Neighbor," delivered March 18, 1857.

Flickr photo by Wouter; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Take God for your compass

When we get into trouble the first thing we do is to knock at our neighbour’s door. “Have you heard about my trouble? Come and give me your advice.” If your neighbor were prudent he would say, “My brother, have you gone to God first? I will give you no advice till God has given you his counsel?” It is laughed at as an enthusiastic idea that men should ever take counsel of God. “Oh,” say some, “it is superstitious to imagine that God will ever give to his people guidance in their temporal affairs.” It would be superstitious to you perhaps; but it is not to a David, and it is not to any other child of God. He says, “My soul, wait only upon God.”

Christian, if you would know the path of duty take God for your compass; if you would know the way to steer your ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped, if we would let God take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we would leave to his sovereign will to choose and to command. The old Puritans said, “As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself he’ll cut his own fingers;” and that is a great truth. Said another old divine, “He that goes before the cloud of God’s providence goes on a fool’s errand;” and so he does. We must mark God’s providence leading us; and then let us go. But he that goes before providence will be very glad to run back again.

Take your trouble, whatever it is, to the throne of the Most High and on your knees put up the prayer, “Lord, direct me.” You will not go wrong.

From a sermon entitled "Waiting Only Upon God," delivered August 2, 1857.

Flickr photo by Mel; some rights reserved.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The nail and the scepter

Man seeks to win his glory by the slaughter of others — Christ by the slaughter of himself: men seek to get crowns of gold — he sought a crown of thorns: men think that glory lies in being exalted over others — Christ thought that his glory did lie in becoming “a worm and no man,” a scoff and reproach amongst all that beheld him. He stooped when he conquered; and he counted that the glory lay as much in the stooping as in the conquest. Christ was glorified on the cross, we say, first, because love is always glorious. If I might prefer any glory, I should ask to be beloved by men.

Surely, the greatest glory that a man can have among his fellows is not that of mere admiration, when they stare at him as he passes through the street, and throng the avenues to behold him as he rides in his triumph; the greatest fame, the greatest glory of a patriot is the love of his country — to feel that young men and maidens, old men and sires, are prepared to fall at his feet in love, to give up all they have to serve him who has served them. Now, Christ won more love by the cross than he did ever win elsewhere.

O Lord Jesus, thou wouldst never have been so much loved, if thou hadst sat in heaven for ever, as thou art now loved since thou hast stooped to death. Not cherubim and seraphim, and angels clad in light, ever could have loved with hearts so warm as thy redeemed above, or even thy redeemed below. Thou didst win love more abundantly by the nail than by thy scepter. Thine open side brought thee no emptiness of love, for thy people love thee with all their hearts. Christ won glory by his cross. He was never so lifted up as when he was cast down; and the Christian will bear witness, that though he loves his Master anywhere, yet nothing moves his heart to rapture and vehemence of love, like the story of the crucifixion and the agonies of Calvary.

From a sermon entitled "Christ Lifted Up," delivered July 5, 1857.

Flickr photo by rachel_thecat; some rights reserved.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Praying for loved ones

I have a young man here who has been lately converted. His parents cannot bear him; they entertain the strongest opposition to him, and they threaten him that if he does not leave off praying they will turn him out of doors. Young man! I have a little story to tell you. There was once a young man in your position: he had begun to pray, and his father knew it. He said to him, “John, you know I am an enemy to religion, and prayer is a thing that never shall be offered in my house.” Still the young man continued earnest in supplication. “Well,” said the father one day, in a hot passion, “you must give up either God or me. I solemnly swear that you shall never darken the threshold of my door again, unless you decide that you will give up praying. I give you till tomorrow morning to choose.

The night was spent in prayer by the young disciple. He rose in the morning, sad to be cast away by his friends, but resolute in spirit, that come what might he would serve his God. The father abruptly accosted him — “Well, what is the answer?” “Father,” he said, “I cannot violate my conscience, I cannot forsake my God.” “Leave immediately,” said he. And the mother stood there; the father’s hard spirit had made hers hard too and though she might have wept she concealed her tears. “Leave immediately,” said he. Stepping outside the threshold the young man said, “I wish you would grant me one request before I go; and if you grant me that, I will never trouble you again.” “Well,” said the father, “you shall have anything you like, but mark me, you go after you have had that; you shall never have anything again.” “It is,” said the son, “that you and my mother would kneel down, and let me pray for you before I go.” Well, they could hardly object to it; the young man was on his knees in a moment, and began to pray with such unction and power, with such evident love to their souls, with such true and divine earnestness, that they both fell flat on the ground, and when the son rose there they were; and the father said, “You need not go, John; come and stop, come and stop;” and it was not long before not only he, but the whole of them began to pray and they were united to a Christian Church.

So do not give way. Persevere kindly but firmly. It may be that God shall enable you not only to have your own souls saved, but to be the means of bringing your persecuting parents to the foot of the cross. That such may be the case is our earnest prayer.

From a sermon entitled "Prayer The Forerunner Of Mercy," dated June 28, 1857.

Flickr photo by Art G. ; some rights reserved.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Prayer precedes the blessing

Wherever in Holy Writ you shall find the blessing you shall find the prayer that went before it. Our Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest blessing that men ever had. He was God’s best boon to a sorrowing world. And did prayer precede Christ’s advent? Was there any prayer which went before the coming of the Lord, when he appeared in the temple? Oh yes, the prayers of saints for many ages had followed each other. Abraham saw his day, and when he died Isaac took up the note, and when Isaac slept with his fathers, Jacob and the patriarchs still continued to prey; yea, and in the very days of Christ, prayer was still made for him continually: Anna the prophetess, and the venerable Simeon, still looked for the coming of Christ; and day by day they prayed and interceded with God, that he would suddenly come to his temple.

Aye, and mark you, as it has been in Sacred Writ, so it shall be with regard to greater things that are yet to happen in the fulfillment of promise. I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will one day come in the clouds of heaven. It is my firm belief, in common with all who read the Sacred Scriptures aright, that the day is approaching when the Lord Jesus shall stand a second time upon the earth, when he shall reign with illimitable sway over all the habitable parts of the globe, when kings shall bow before him, and queens shall be nursing mothers of his Church. But when shall that time come? We shall know its coming by its prelude when prayer shall become more loud and strong, when supplication shall become more universal and more incessant, then even as when the tree putteth forth her first green leaves we expect that the spring approacheth, even so when prayer shall become more hearty and earnest, we may open our eyes, for the day of our redemption draweth nigh. Great prayer is the preface of great mercy, and in proportion to our prayer is the blessing that we may expect.

From a sermon entitled "Mercy, Omnipotence, and Justice," delivered June 21, 1857.

Flickr photo by Per Ola Wiberg; some rights reserved.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I waited patiently for the Lord

“I waited patiently for the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1)

Patient waiting upon God was a special characteristic of our Lord Jesus. Impatience never lingered in his heart, much less escaped his lips. All through his agony in the garden, his trial of cruel mockings before Herod and Pilate, and his passion on the tree, he waited in omnipotence of patience. No glance of wrath, no word of murmuring, no deed of vengeance came from God's patient Lamb; he waited and waited on; was patient, and patient to perfection, far excelling all others who have according to their measure glorified God in the fires. Job on the dunghill does not equal Jesus on the cross. The Christ of God wears the imperial crown among the patient.

Did the Only Begotten wait, and shall we be petulant and rebellious? “And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” Neither Jesus the head, nor any one of the members of his body, shall ever wait upon the Lord in vain. Mark the figure of inclining, as though the suppliant cried out of the lowest depression, and condescending love stooped to hear his feeble moans. What a marvel is it that our Lord should have to cry as we do, and wait as we do, and should receive the Father's help after the same process of faith and pleading as must be gone through by ourselves! The Saviour's prayers among the midnight mountains and in Gethsemane expound this verse. The Son of David was brought very low, but he rose to victory; and here he teaches us how to conduct our conflicts so as to succeed after the same glorious pattern of triumph. Let us arm ourselves with the same mind; and panoplied in patience, armed with prayer, and girt with faith, let us maintain the Holy War.

From the Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 40.

Flickr photo by Nicole ; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Omniscience of God

All these things are known of God. We have often had very clear proof of God’s knowing what is in man’s heart, even in the ministry. Some months ago, whilst standing here preaching, I deliberately pointed to a man in the midst of the crowd, and said these words — “There is a man sitting there that is a shoemaker keeps his shop open on Sunday, had his shop open last Sabbath morning, took ninepence, and there was fourpence profit out of it. His soul is sold to Satan for fourpence.” A City Missionary when going round the West end of the town, met with a poor man of whom he asked this question- “Do you know Mr. Spurgeon?” He found him reading a sermon. “Yes,” he said, “I have every reason to know him; I have been to hear him, and under God’s grace I have become a new man. But,” said he, “shall I tell you how it was? I went to the Music Hall, and took my seat in the middle of the place, and the man looked at me as if he knew me, and deliberately told the congregation that I was a shoemaker, and that I sold shoes on a Sunday; and I did, sir. But, sir, I should not have minded that; but he said I took ninepence the Sunday before, and that there was fourpence profit; and so I did take ninepence, and fourpence was just the profit, and how he should know that I’m sure I cannot tell. It struck me it was God had spoken to my soul through him; and I shut up my shop last Sunday, and was afraid to open it and go there lest he should split about me again.”

I could tell as many as a dozen authentic stories of cases that have happened in this Hall, where I have deliberately pointed at somebody, without the slightest knowledge of the person, or ever having in the least degree any inkling or idea that what I said was right, except that I believed I was moved thereto by the Spirit, and so striking has been the description, that the persons have gone away and said, “Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did: he was sent of God to my soul, beyond a doubt, or else he could not have painted my case so clearly.” And not only so, but we have known cases in which the thoughts of men have been revealed from the pulpit. I have sometimes seen persons nudge with their elbow, because they have got a smart hit, and I have heard them say, when they went out, “That is just what I said to you when I went in at the door.” “Ah !” says the other, “I was thinking of the very thing he said, and he told me of it.” Now, if God thus proves his own Omniscience by helping his poor, ignorant servant, to state the very thing, thought and done, when he did not know it, then it must remain decisively proved that God does know everything that is secret, because we see he tells it to men, and enables them to tell it to others. Oh ye may endeavor as much as ye can to hide your faults from God; but beyond a doubt he shall discover you.

From a sermon entitled "God The All-Seeing One," delivered February 14, 1858.

Flickr photo by Thomas Mues; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The coming of Messiah

The coming of Messiah was the desire of the godly in all ages, and though he has already come with a sin-offering to purge away iniquity, we look for him to come a second time, to come without a sin-offering unto salvation. O that these weary years would have an end! Why tarries he so long? He knows that sin abounds and that his people are down-trodden; why comes he not to the rescue? His glorious advent will restore his ancient people from literal captivity, and his spiritual seed from spiritual sorrow. Wrestling Jacob and prevailing Israel shall alike rejoice before him when he is revealed as their salvation. O that he were come! What happy, holy, halcyon, heavenly days should we then see! But let us not count him slack, for behold, he comes, he comes quickly! Blessed are all they that wait for him.

From the Treasury Of David, exposition of Psalm 14.

Flickr photo by Andrew Larsen; some rights reserved.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Guiltless in the sight of God

As soon as a repenting sinner is justified, remember, he is justified for all his sins. Here stands a man all guilty. The moment he believes in Christ, his pardon at once he receives and his sins are no longer his; they are cast into the depths of the sea. They were laid upon the shoulders of Christ, and they are gone. The man stands a guiltless man in the sight of God, accepted in the beloved. “What!” say you, “do you mean that literally?” Yes I do. That is the doctrine of justification by faith. Man ceases to be regarded by divine justice as a guilty being; the moment he believes on Christ his guilt is all taken away. But I am going a step further. The moment the man believes in Christ, he ceases to be guilty in God’s esteem, but what is more, he becomes righteous, he becomes meritorious, for, in the moment when Christ takes his sins he takes Christ’s righteousness, so that, when God looks upon the sinner who but an hour ago was dead in sins, he looks upon him with as much love and affection as he ever looked upon his Son. He himself has said it — “As the Father loved me, so have I loved you.” He loves us as much as his Father loved him.

From a sermon entitled "Justification By Grace," delivered April 5, 1857.

Photo by James Jordan ; some rights reserved.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The eye of faith

I have heard of a church clergyman who was once waited upon by his church warden, after a long time of drought, and was requested to put up the prayer for rain. “Well,” said he, “my good man, I will offer it, but it’s not a bit of use while the wind’s in the east, I’m sure.”

There are many who have that kind of faith: they believe just so far as probabilities go with them, but when the promise and the probability part, then they follow the probability and part with the promise. They say, “The thing is likely, therefore I believe it.” But that is no faith, it is sight. True faith exclaims, “The thing is unlikely, yet I believe it.” This is real faith. Faith is to say, that “Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day.” Faith is to look through that cloud, not with the eye of sight, which sees nothing, but with the eye of faith, which sees everything, and to say, “I trust him when I cannot trace him; I tread the sea as firmly as I would the rock; I walk as securely in the tempest as in the sunshine, and lay myself to rest upon the surging billows of the ocean as contentedly as upon my bed.”

From a sermon entitled "Rahab's Faith," delivered March 1, 1857.

Photo by Angela Sevin; some rights reserved.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Who is Jesus?

It is one of the mysteries of the Christian religion, that we are taught to believe that Christ is God, and yet a man. According to Scripture, we hold that he is “very God,” equal and co-eternal with the Father, possessing, as his Father does, all divine attributes in an infinite degree. He participated with his Father in all the acts of his divine might; he was concerned in the decree of election, in the fashioning of the covenant; in the creation of the angels, in the making of the world, when it was wheeled from nothing into space, and in the ordering of this fair frame of nature. Before any of these acts the divine Redeemer was the eternal Son of God. “From everlasting to everlasting he is God.”

Nor did he cease to be God when he became man. He was equally “God over all, blessed for evermore,” when he was “the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief,” as before his incarnation. We have abundant proof of that in the constant affirmations of Scripture, and, indeed, also in the miracles which he wrought. The raising of the dead, the treading of the billows of the ocean, the hushing of the winds and the rending of the rocks, with all those marvellous acts of his, which we have not time here to mention, were strong and potent proofs that he was God, most truly God, even when he con descended to be man. And Scripture, most certainly teaches us, that he is God now, that he shares the throne of his Father — that he sits “high above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named,” and is the true and proper object of the veneration, the worship, and the homage of all worlds.

From a sermon entitled "A Mighty Savior," delivered January 4, 1857.

Photo by; some rights reserved.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Exaltation of Christ

Look at him! Can your imagination picture him? Behold his transcendent glory! The majesty of kings is swallowed up; the pomp of empires dissolves like the white mist of the morning before the sun, the brightness of assembled armies is eclipsed. He in himself is brighter than the sun, more terrible than armies with banners. See him! See him! Oh! hide your heads, ye monarchs; put away your gaudy pageantry, ye lords of this poor narrow earth! His kingdom knows no bounds; without a limit his vast empire stretches out itself. Above him all is his, beneath him many a step are angels, and they are his; and they cast their crowns before his feet. With them stand his elect and ransomed, and their crowns too are his. And here upon this lower earth stand his saints, and they are his, and they adore him; and under the earth, among the infernals, where devils growl their malice, even there is trembling and adoration; and where lost spirits, with wailing and gnashing of teeth for ever lament their being, even there, there is the acknowledgement of his Godhead, even though the confession helps to make the fire of their torments.

In heaven, in earth, in hell, all knees bend before him, and every tongue confesses that he is God. If not now, yet in the time that is to come this shall be carried out, that every creature of God’s making shall acknowledge his Son to be “God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.” Oh! my soul anticipates that blessed day, when this whole earth shall bend its knee before its God willingly; I do believe there is a happy era coming, when there shall not be one knee unbent before my Lord and Master. I look for that time, that latter-day glory, when kings shall bring presents, when queens shall be the nursing mothers of the church, when the gold of Sheba and the ships of Tarshish, and the dromedaries of Arabia shall alike be his, when nations and tribes of every tongue shall

“Dwell on his name with sweetest song,
And infant voices shall proclaim

Their early blessings on his name.”

From a sermon entitled "The Exaltation of Christ," delivered November 2, 1856.

Photo by Paul Thomas; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Honor and humility

A good man may have honor in this life. Daniel had honor before the people; Joseph rode in the second chariot, and the people bowed the knee before him. God often clothes his children with honor in the face of their adversaries, and makes the wicked confess that the Lord is with them in deed and in truth. But God forbids our making that honor a cloak for pride, and bids us seek humility which always accompanies as well as precedes true honor....

Now let us briefly enquire, in the first place, what is humility? The best definition I have ever met with is, “to think rightly of ourselves.” Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self. It is no humility for a man to think less of himself than he ought, though it might rather puzzle him to do that. Some persons, when they know they can do a thing, tell you they cannot; but you do not call that humility? A man is asked to take part in some meeting. “No,” he says, “I have no ability;” yet, if you were to say so yourself, he would be offended at you. It is not humility for a man to stand up and depreciate himself and say he cannot do this, that, or the other, when he knows that he is lying. If God gives a man a talent, do you think the man does not know it? If a man has ten talents he has no right to be dishonest to his Maker, and to say, “Lord, thou hast only given me five.”

It is not humility to underrate yourself. Humility is to think of yourself, if you can, as God thinks of you. It is to feel that if we have talents, God has given them to us, and let it be seen that, like freight in a vessel, they tend to sink us low. The more we have, the lower we ought to lie. Humility is not to say, “I have not this gift,” but it is to say, “I have the gift, and I must use it for my Master’s glory. I must never seek any honor for myself, for what have I that I have not received?”

From a sermon entitled "Pride and Humility," delivered August 17, 1856.

Photo by Poagao; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The finished work of Christ

“This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” — Hebrews 10:12, 13.

He has done all that was necessary to be done, to make an atonement and an end of sin. He has done so much, that it will never be necessary for him again to be crucified. His side, once opened, has sent forth a stream deep, deep enough, and precious enough, to wash away all sin; and he needs not again that his side should be opened, or, that any more his hands should be nailed to the cross. I infer that his work is finished, from the fact that he is described here as sitting down. Christ would not sit down in heaven if he had more work to do. Sitting down is the posture of rest. Seldom he sat down on earth; he said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” Journey after journey, labor after labor, preaching after preaching, followed each other in quick succession. His was a life of incessant toil. Rest was a word which Jesus never spelled. He may sit for a moment on the well; but even there he preaches to the woman of Samaria. He goes into the wilderness, but not to sleep; he goes there to pray. His midnights are spent in labors as hard as those of the day — labors of agonizing prayer, wrestling with his Father for the souls of men. His was a life of continual bodily, mental, and spiritual labor; his whole man was exercised. But now he rests; there is no more toil for him now; there is no more sweat of blood, no more the weary foot, no more the aching head.

No more has he to do. He sits still. But do you think my Savior would sit still if he had not done all his work? Oh! no beloved; he said once, “For Zion’s sake I will not rest until her glory goeth forth like a lamp that burneth.” And sure I am he would not rest, or be sitting still, unless the great work of our atonement were fully accomplished.... No; the very fact that he sits still, and rests, and is at ease, proves that his work is finished and is complete.

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

Photo by Janne; some rights reserved.

Monday, November 5, 2007

God is everywhere

Take the wings of the morning and fly beyond the most distant star, but God is there. God is not a being confined to one place, but he is everywhere; he is there, and there, and there; in the deepest mine man ever bored, in the unfathomable caverns of the ocean; in the heights, towering and lofty; in the gulfs that are deep, which fathom can never reach. God is everywhere. I know from his own words that he is a God who filleth immensity; the heavens are not wide enough for him; he graspeth the sun with one hand and the moon with the other; he stretcheth himself through the unnavigated ether, where the wing of seraph hath never been flapped, there is God, and where the solemnity of silence has never been broken by the song of Cherub, there is God. God is everywhere.

From a sermon entitled "Omniscience," delivered June 15, 1856.

Photo by Evgeni Dinev; some rights reserved.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Love Christ and His Truth

Love Christ and love Christ’s truth because it is Christ’s truth, for Christ’s sake and if you love the truth you will not let it go. It is very hard to turn a man away from the truth he loves.

“Oh!” says one, “I cannot argue with you about it, but I cannot give it up: I love it, and cannot live without it; it is a part of myself, woven into my very nature; and though my opponent says that bread is not bread, and I cannot prove that it is, yet I know I go and eat it; it is wonderfully like it to me, and it takes away my hunger. He says that stream is not a pure stream. I cannot prove that it is, but I go and drink of it, and find it the river of the water of life to my soul. And he tells me that my gospel is not a true one: well, it comforts me, it sustains me in my trials, it helps me to conquer sin and to keep down my evil passions, and brings me near to God, and if my gospel be not a true one, I wonder what sort of thing a true one is: mine is wonderfully like it, and I cannot suppose that a true gospel would produce better effects."

That is the best thing to do, to believe the Word, to have so full a belief in it, that the enemy cannot pull you away.

From a sermon entitled "The Form Of Sound Words," delivered May 11, 1856.

Photo by spiralz; some rights reserved.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Not of this world

A Christian is as essentially different from a worldling as a dove is from a raven, or a lamb from a lion. He is not of the world even in his nature. You could not make him a worldling. You might do what you liked; you might cause him to fall into some temporary sin; but you could not make him a worldling. You might cause him to backslide; but you could not make him a sinner, as he used to be He is not of the world by his nature. He is a twice-born man; in his veins run the blood of the royal family of the universe. He is a nobleman; he is a heaven-born child. His freedom is not merely a bought one, but he hath his liberty by his new-born nature. He is begotten again unto a lively hope. He is not of the world by his nature; he is essentially and entirely different from the world.

There are persons in this chapel now who are more totally distinct from one another than you can even conceive. I have some here who are intelligent, and some who are ignorant; some who are rich, and some who are poor; but I do not allude to those distinctions: they all melt away into nothing in that great distinction — dead or alive, spiritual or carnal, Christian or worldling. And oh! If ye are God’s people, then ye are not of the world in your nature; for ye are “not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world.”

From a sermon entitled "The Character of Christ's People," delivered November 22, 1855.

Photo by spiralz; some rights reserved.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Spirit is the source of our success

I see no reason why I should not, tomorrow, preach a sermon which should be the means of the salvation of all who heard it, if God the Spirit were poured out. The word is able to convert, just as extensively as God the Spirit pleases to apply it; and I can see no reason why, if converts come in by ones and twos now, there should not be a time when hundreds and thousands shall come to God. The same sermon which God blesses to ten if he pleased he could bless to a hundred. I know not but that in the latter days when Christ shall come and shall begin to take the kingdom to himself, every minister of God shall be as successful as Peter on the day of Pentecost. I am sure the Holy Spirit is able to make the word successful, and the reason why we do not prosper is that we have not the Holy Spirit attending us with might and energy as they had then. My brethren, if we had the Holy Spirit upon our ministry, it would signify very little about our talent. Men might be poor and uneducated, their words might be broken and ungrammatical, there might be no polished periods of Hall [note: I am unsure if this is a reference to Christopher Newman Hall or Robert Hall; probably the latter], or glorious thunders of Chalmers; but if there were the might of the Spirit attending them, the humblest evangelists would be more successful than the most pompous of divines, or the most eloquent of preachers.

It is extraordinary grace, not talent, that wins the day; extraordinary spiritual power, not extraordinary mental power. Mental power may fill a chapel but spiritual power fills the Church. Mental power may gather a congregation, spiritual power will save souls. We want spiritual power. Oh! we know some before whom we shrink into nothing as to talent, but who have no spiritual power, and when they speak they have not the Holy Spirit with them; but we know others, simple hearted worthy men who speak their country dialect, and who stand up to preach in their country place, and the Spirit of God clothes every word with power, hearts are broken, souls are saved, and sinners are born again. Spirit of the living God I, we, want thee. Thou art the life, the soul; thou art the source of thy people’s success; without thee they can do nothing, with thee they can do everything.

From a sermon entitled "Gospel Missions," delivered April 27, 1856.

Photo by Romeo II Pedrera; some rights reserved.