Thursday, January 31, 2008

Give your soul to Christ

There are more souls lost by thoughtlessness than anything else. If you want to go to heaven there are a great many things to think of; if you want to go to hell it is the easiest thing in the world. You can go and swear and drink as you like; it is only a little trifling matter of neglect to destroy your soul. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Well, then, if you begin to think, let me propose to you just this. The way of salvation is mapped out before your eyes tonight. He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. To believe is to trust. Trust him who hangs upon the tree and you are saved. Just as you are, guilty, helpless, weak and ruined, give up your soul to Christ.

From a sermon entitled "A Divine Challenge," delivered April 22, 1860. Flickr photo by Allison; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A few men with grit in them

Whenever the world reproaches you, say, “Well, I thank you for that word, I will strive to deserve it better: if I have incurred your displeasure by my consistency, I will be more consistent, and you shall be more displeased, if you will. If it be a vile thing to serve Christ, I will serve him more than I have ever done, and be viler still; if it be disgraceful to be numbered with the poor, tried, and afflicted people, I will be disgraced. Nay, the more disgraced I am, the more happy shall I be, I shall feel that disgrace is honor, that ignominy is glory, that shame and spitting from the lips of enemies, is but the same thing as praise and glory from the mouth of Christ.” Instead of yielding, go forward, show your enemies that you do not know how to go back, that you are not made of the soft metal of these modern times.

It is said by an old writer, that in the olden times men used to take care of their houses, but now the houses take care of the men; that they used to eat off oaken porringers, and then they were oaken men; but now they are willow men, can bend anyhow, they are earthenware men, which can be dashed to pieces. Scarcely in politics, in business, or in religion, have you got a man. You see a lot of things which are called men, who turn the way the wind blows; a number of preachers that turn north, south, east and west, just according as the times shall dictate and their circumstances and the hope of gain shall drift them. I pray God to send a few men with what the Americans call “grit” in them; men who when they know a thing to be right, will not turn away, or turn aside, or stop, men who will persevere all the more because there are difficulties to meet or foes to encounter; who stand all the more true to their Master because they are opposed; who, the more they are thrust into the fire, the hotter they become, who, just like the bow, the further the string is drawn, the more powerfully will it send forth its arrows, and so, the more they are trodden upon, the more mighty will they become in the cause of truth against error.

From a sermon entitled "The Jeer Of Sarcasm, And The Retort Of Piety," delivered April 8, 1860. Flickr photo by b k ; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


You have no need to sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth, upon which rests the curse; so you have no need to teach men to complain, they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow. If we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated. It will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in it. Paul says, “I have learned to be content;” as much as to say he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth.

From a sermon entitled "Contentment," delivered March 25, 1860. Flickr photo by Per Ola Wiberg; some rights reserved.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Prayer Closet

Man, if thou livest without prayer, thou art a Christless soul; thy faith is a delusion, and thy confidence which results from it, is a dream that will destroy thee. Wake up out of thy death-like slumbers; for as long as thou art dumb in prayer, God cannot answer thee. Thou shalt not live to God, if thou dost not live in the closet, he that is never on his knees on earth shall never stand upon his feet in heaven; he that never wrestles with the angel here below, shall never be admitted into heaven by that angel above. I know I speak to some today that are prayerless ones. You have plenty of time for your counting-house, but you have none for your closet. Family prayer you have never had; but I will not talk to you about that. Private prayer you have neglected. Do you not sometimes rise in the morning so near the time when you must keep your appointments, that — you do kneel it is true, but where is the prayer? And as to any extra occasions of supplication, why, you never indulge yourselves in them. Prayer with you is a sort of luxury too dear to indulge in often.

Ah! but he who has true faith in his heart, is praying all day long. I do not mean that he is on his knees; but often when he is bargaining, when he is in his shop, or in his counting-house, his heart finds a little space, a vacuum for a moment, and up it leaps into the bosom of its God, and it is down again, refreshed to go about its business and meet the face of man.

From a sermon entitled "Characteristics of Faith," delivered May 27, 1860. Flickr photo by Benjamin; some rights reserved.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Taught by the Holy Spirit

To know that Christ is my Redeemer, is to know more than Plato could have taught me. To know that I am a member of his body, of his flesh and of his bones; that my name is on his breast, and engraver on the palms of his hands, is to know more than the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge could teach to all their scholars, learn they never so well. Not at the feet of Gamaliel did Paul learn to say-”He loved me, and gave himself for me.” Not in the midst of the Rabbis, or at the feet of the members of the Sanhedrin, did Paul learn to cry — “Those things which I counted gain, I now count loss for Christ’s sake.” “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” No, this must have been taught as he himself confesseth — “not of flesh and blood, but of the Holy Ghost.”

From a sermon entitled "The Teaching of the Holy Ghost," delivered May 13, 1860. Flickr photo by John Morgan; some rights reserved.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What we owe to the Spirit

THERE are many choice gifts comprehended in the Covenant of Grace, but the first and richest of them are these two — the gift of Jesus Christ for us and the gift of the Holy Ghost to us. The first of these I trust we are not likely to undervalue. We delight to hear of that “unspeakable gift” — the Son of God, who bare our sins, and carried our sorrows, and endured our punishment in his own body on the tree. There is something so tangible in the cross, the nails, the vinegar, the spear, that we are not able to forget the Master, especially when so often we enjoy the delightful privilege of assembling round his table, and breaking bread in remembrance of him.

But the second great gift, by no means inferior to the first — the gift of the Holy Spirit to us — is so spiritual and we are so carnal, is so mysterious and we are so material, that we are very apt to forget its value, aye, and even to forget the gift altogether. And yet, my brethren, let us ever remember that Christ on the cross is of no value to us apart from the Holy Spirit in us. In vain that blood is flowing, unless the finger of the Spirit applies the blood to our conscience; in vain is that garment of righteousness wrought out, a garment without seam, woven from the top throughout, unless the Holy Spirit wraps it around us, and arrays us in its costly folds. The river of the water of life cannot quench our thirst till the Spirit presents the goblet and lifts it to our lip. All the things that are in the paradise of God itself could never be blissful to us so long as we are dead souls, and dead souls we are until that heavenly wind comes from the four corners of the earth and breathes upon us slain, that we may live. We do not hesitate to say, that we owe as much to God the Holy Ghost as we do to God the Son.

From a sermon entitled "The Teaching of the Holy Ghost," delivered May 13, 1860. Flickr photo by Jim Champion; some rights reserved. by

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The old doctrines of grace

In fact, books now appear, which teach us that there is no such thing as the Vicarious Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. They use the word Atonement, it is true, but in regard to its meaning, they have removed the ancient landmark. They acknowledge that the Father has shown his great love to poor sinful man by sending his Son, but not that God was inflexibly just in the exhibition of his mercy, not that he punished Christ on the behalf of his people, nor that indeed God ever will punish anybody in his wrath, or that there is such a thing as justice apart from discipline. Even sin and hell are but old words employed henceforth in a new and altered sense. Those are old-fashioned notions, and we poor souls who go on talking about election and imputed righteousness, are behind our time. Ay, and the gentlemen who bring out books on this subject, applaud Mr. Maurice, and Professor Scott [ed. note: of University College in London], and the like, but are too cowardly to follow them, and boldly propound these sentiments. These are the new men whom God has sent down from heaven, to tell us that the apostle Paul was all wrong, that our faith is vain, that we have been quite mistaken, that there was no need for propitiating blood to wash away our sins; that the fact was, our sins needed discipline, but penal vengeance and righteous wrath are quite out of the question....

We are content to remain among the vulgar souls who believe the old doctrines of grace. We are willing still to be behind in the great march of intellect, and stand by that unmoving cross, which, like the pole star, never advances, because it never stirs, but always abides in its place, the guide of the soul to heaven, the one foundation other than which no man can lay, and without building upon which, no man shall ever see the face of God and live.

From a sermon entitled Christ — Our Substitute, delivered April 15, 1860. Flickr photo by jack ; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More in love with Jesus every day

Certain I am, if we have seen Christ, the very Christ, and have verily seen him, we shall be more deeply in love with him every day; whereas at first we thought him lovely, we shall come to know him so; and whereas once we thought anything we could do would be too little, we shall come to think that everything we could do would not be enough. I question that man’s love altogether, who has to say of it, that it grew cold after a little season.

From a sermon entitled "Personal Service," delivered May 3, 1860. Flickr photo by I Craig ; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Growing in Grace

“Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” (Job 8:7)

Our beginnings are very, very small, but we have a joyous prospect in our text. Our latter end shall greatly increase; we shall not always be so distrustful as we are now. Thank God, we look for days when our faith shall be unshaken, and firm as mountains be. I shall not for ever have to mourn before my God that I cannot love him as I would. I trust that he in my latter end will give me more of his Spirit, that I shall love him with all my heart, and soul, and strength. We have entered into the gospel school; we are ignorant now, but we shall one day understand with all saints what are the heights and depths, and lengths, and breadths, and know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. We have hope that, as these hairs grow grey, we shall “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Time, that ploughs its furrow in the brow, we hope will sow the seeds of wisdom there. Experience, which shall furrow our back with many a sorrow and a wound, shall nevertheless, we trust, work patience, and hope that maketh not ashamed, and holy fellowship with Christ and his sufferings, and nearer and sweeter fellowship than as yet we have come to know.

From a sermon entitled "The Beginning, Increase, And End of the Divine Life," delivered April 29, 1860. Flickr photo by Dani; some rights reserved.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ruthlessness against sin

Christ will not allow us to spare a single sin. We may not select some favorite evil, and say, I will give my heart wholly up to God, but this vice is to be spared. Nay, nay, my hearers, ye are not Christ’s if ye have one tampered lust, one sin which you fondly indulge. Sin you will, even though you be Christ’s, but if you indulge sin, if you love it, and delight in it, if it is not to you a plague and a curse, you have no reason whatever to conclude that your name is on his breast, or that you belong to Christ at all. Suppose a house attacked by seven thieves. The good man of the house has arms within, and he manages to kill six of the thieves; but if one thief survive, and he permits him to range his house, he may still be robbed, perhaps still be slain. And if I have seven evil vices, and if by the grace of God six of these have been driven out, should yet indulge and pamper one that remaineth, I am still a lost man. I am not his so long as I willingly yield, and joyfully hold fellowship with a single evil and false thing. I contend not for creature perfection, I believe it to be impossible for us to attain it in the present life, but I do contend for perfection in purpose, perfection in design, and if we wantonly and wilfully harbour a solitary sin, we are no friends of Jesus Christ.

From a sermon entitled "Full Redemption," delivered April 22, 1860. Flickr photo by Christopher Walker; some rights reserved.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sow the seed

The preacher of the gospel is like the sower. He does not make his seed; it is given him by his divine Master. No man could create the smallest grain that ever grew upon the earth, much less the celestial seed of eternal life. The minister goes to his Master in secret, and asks him to teach him his gospel, and thus he fills his basket with the good seed of the kingdom. He then goes forth in his Master’s name and scatters precious truth. If he knew where the best soil was to be found, perhaps he might limit himself to that which had been prepared by the plough of conviction; but not knowing men’s hearts, it is his business to preach the gospel to every creature — to throw a handful on the hardened heart, and another on the mind which is overgrown with the cares and pleasures of the world. He has to leave the seed in the care of the Lord who gave it to him, for he is not responsible for the harvest, he is only accountable for the care and industry with which he does his work. If no single ear should ever make glad the reaper, the sower will be rewarded by His Master if he had planted the right seed with careful hand. If it were not for this fact with what despairing agony should we utter the cry of Esaias, “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” Our duty is not measured by the character of our hearers, but by the command of our God. We are bound to preach the gospel, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear. It is ours to sow beside all waters. Let men’s hearts be what they may the minister must preach the gospel to them; he must sow the seed on the rock as well as in the furrow, on the highway as well as in the ploughed field.

From a sermon entitled "The Parable of the Sower," delivered April 15, 1860. Flickr photo by Steve; some rights reserved.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Contending for the faith

Stand to God’s Word and you stand safely. Alter one dot of the i, one cross of the t, and you are nowhere at all; you are in an enemy’s country, and you cannot defend yourself. When we have got Scripture to back us up we defy the world; but when we have nothing but our own whims or the work of some great preacher, or the decree of a council, or the tradition the Fathers, we are lost. we are trying to weave a rope of sand, we are building a house of cards, that must totter to the ground.

The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible is the religion of Christ’s Church. And until we come back to that the Church will have to suffer. She will not carry the ark up to the hill of Zion; she will not see His kingdom come, or his will done in earth as it is in heaven, till she has done with those bullocks and that new cart, and goes back to the New Testament plan of keeping consistently to the truth as it is in Jesus, and contending earnestly for the faith.

From a sermon entitled, "Importance Of Small Things In religion," delivered April 8, 1860. Flickr photo by Steve Jurvetson; some rights reserved.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Raised in Power

“It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.”

The same body that is weak, shall be raised in power. We are puny things here; there is a limit to our labors, and our usefulness is straitened by reason of our inability to perform what we would. And oh, how weak we become when we die! A man must be carried by his own friends to his own grave; he cannot even lay himself down in his last resting-place.... But that powerless body shall be raised in power.... I believe that when I shall enter upon my new body, I shall be able to fly from one spot to another, like a thought, as swiftly as I will; I shall be here and there, swift as the rays of light. From strength to strength, my spirit shall be able to leap onward to obey the behests of God; upborne with wings of ether, it shall flash its way across that shoreless sea, and see the glory of God in all his works, and yet ever behold his face. For the eye shall then be strong enough to pierce through leagues of distance, and the memory shall never fail. The heart shall be able to love to a fiery degree, and the head to comprehend right thoroughly. It doth not yet appear what we shall be.

But, brethren and sisters, to come back to reality, and leave fiction for a moment, though it doth not appear what we shall be, yet we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And do you know what we shall be like, if we shall be like him? Behold the picture of what Jesus Christ is like, and we shall be like him. “I saw,” saith John, “one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.” Such shall we be when we are like Christ; what tongue can tell, what soul can guess the glories that surround the saints when they start from their beds of dust, and rise to immortality.

From a sermon entitled "Resurgam," delivered April 1, 1860. Flickr photo by rachel_thecat; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

He labored not for himself but for others

The three years of Christ’s ministry were three years of ceaseless toil. He never rested: one wonders how he lived at all. It is but little marvel that his poor body was emaciated, and that his visage was more marred than that of any man. What with stern conflicts with Satan in the desert — conflicts so severe, that, if you and I were to undergo them, they might make our hairs turn grey in a single night; what with conflicts with the crowd of men who all seemed to rise up at once against him, like warriors armed to the teeth, while he stood like a defenseless lamb in the midst of cruel wolves — what with preaching, with more private teaching, with healing the sick and the lepers, restoring the maimed, the deaf, the blind; going about everywhere doing good, and never ceasing in his journeys, walking every inch of his way on foot, save when he was tossed on the stormy bosom of the lake, in some small boat which belonged to his disciples — never having a home wherein to dwell, crying, “the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” — surely never man labored like this man. That three years of our Savior’s ministry reads like the history of three centuries. It is the life of a man who is living at a matchless rate. His minutes are all hours; his hours all months; his months all years; or longer still than that. He does enough in one day to give a man eternal fame, and yet, thinking nothing of it, he goes to something yet more arduous; and on, and on, and on, he toils his whole life through. The most hard working man among us has his hours of sleep. Give us but sleep and we can do anything, we rise up from our beds like giants refreshed with new wine, to run our course anew. But Jesus sleeps not.

“Cold mountains and the midnight air,
Witness the fervor of his prayer.”

He has stood up to preach all day long; he has fed thousands. and at last he faints. His disciples take him even as he is, for he cannot walk, his strength is gone; and they carry him down to the boat and lay him there. He shuts his eyes, he is about to have some little repose but they come to him, and cry, “Master, why sleepest thou? Awake! we perish.” And he arises to rebuke the waves, and finds himself on another shore, and in another field of labor, upon which he enters at once without delay. He seems to have known no moment of repose. He preaches day by day, he prays by night. He seemed to be a sun that never had a setting, always shining always progressing in his mighty course. Oh! there never was such a worker, never such a toiler as this Lord Jesus, who toiled not for himself but for others.

From a sermon entitled "Jesus About His Father's Business," delivered March 4, 1860. Flickr photo by Aube insanite; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Neglecting the Word of God

No State has any right to dictate what religion I will believe; but nevertheless, there is a true gospel, and there are thousands of false ones. God has given you judgment, use it. Search the Scriptures, and remember that if you neglect this Word of God, and remain ignorant, your sins of ignorance will be sins of willful ignorance, and therefore ignorance shall be no excuse. There is the Bible, you have it in your houses; you can read it. God the Holy Spirit will instruct you in its meaning; and if you remain ignorant, charge it no more on the minister; charge it on no one but yourself, and make it no cloak for your sin.

From a sermon entitled "A Blast Of The Trumpet Against False Peace," delivered February 26, 1860. Flickr photo by Tam Tam; some rights reserved.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Boundless love

Oh! I know my sins reach from the east even to the west — that aiming at the eternal skies they rise like pointed mountains towards hearer. But then, blessed be the name of God, the blood of Christ is wider than my sin. That shoreless flood of Jesus’ merit is deeper than the heights of mine iniquities. My sin may be great, but his merit is greater still. I cannot conceive my own guilt, much less express it, but the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, cleanseth us from all sin. Infinite guilt, but infinite pardon. Boundless iniquities, but boundless merits to cover all.

What if thy sins were greater than heaven’s breadth, yet Christ is greater than heaven. The heaven of heavens cannot contain him. If thy sins were deeper than the bottomless hell, yet Christ’s atonement is deeper still, for he descended deeper than ever man himself as yet hath dived — even damned men in all the horror of their agony, for Christ went to the end of punishment, and deeper thy sins can never plunge. Oh! boundless love, that covers all my faults.

My poor hearer, believe on Christ now. God help thee to believe. May the Spirit now enable thee to trust in Jesus. Thou canst not save thyself. All hopes of selfsalvation are delusive. Now give up, have done with self, and take Christ. Just as thou art, drop into his arms. He will take thee; he will save thee. He died to do it, and he lives to accomplish it. He will not lose the spirit that casts itself into his hands and makes him his all in all.

From a sermon entitled "Sin Immeasurable," delivered February 12, 1860. Flickr photo by Laszlo Ilyes; some rights reserved.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A harvest of souls

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed, and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.” — Amos 9:13.

God is about to send times of surprising fertility to his Church. When a sermon has been preached in these modern times, if one sinner has been converted by it, we have rejoiced with a suspicious joy; for we have thought it something amazing. But, brethren where we have seen one converted, we may yet see hundreds; where the word of God has been powerful to scores, it shall be blessed to thousands; and where hundreds in past years have seen it, nations shall be converted to Christ. There is no reason why we should not see all the good that God hath given us multiplied a hundredfold; for there is sufficient vigor in the seed of the Lord to produce a far more plentiful crop than any we have yet gathered.

God the Holy Ghost is not stinted in his power. When the sower went forth to sow his seed, some of it fell on good soil, and it brought forth fruit, some twenty fold, some thirty fold, but it is written, “Some a hundred fold.” Now, we have been sowing this seed; and thanks be to God, I have seen it bring forth twenty and thirty fold; but I do expect to see it bring forth a hundred fold. I do trust that our harvest shall be so heavy, that while we are taking in the harvest, it shall be time to sow again; that prayer meetings shall be succeeded by the enquiry of souls as to what they shall do to be saved, and ere the enquirers’ meeting shall be done, it shall be time again to preach, again to pray; and then, ere that is over, there shall be again another influx of souls, the baptismal pool shall be again stirred, and hundreds of converted men shall flock to Christ.

From a sermon entitled "A Revival," delivered January 26, 1860. Flickr photo by Tim ; some rights reserved.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Unto thee, O Lord

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul... (Psalm 25:1)

It is but mockery to uplift the hands and the eyes unless we also bring our souls into our devotions. True prayer may be described as the soul rising from earth to have fellowship with heaven; it is taking a journey upon Jacob's ladder, leaving our cares and fears at the foot, and meeting with a covenant God at the top. Very often the soul cannot rise, she has lost her wings, and is heavy and earth-bound; more like a burrowing mole than a soaring eagle. At such dull seasons we must not give over prayer, but must, by God's assistance, exert all our power to lift up our hearts. Let faith be the lever and grace be the arm, and the dead lump will yet be stirred. But what a lift it has sometimes proved! With all our tugging and straining we have been utterly defeated, until the heavenly loadstone of our Saviour's love has displayed its omnipotent attractions, and then our hearts have gone up to our Beloved like mounting flames of fire.

From the "Treasury of David," exposition of Psalm 25:1. Flickr photo by Martin Gommel; some rights reserved.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The treasures of His grace

Ocean, Sun and Sky

There is no limit to his understanding, nor is there to his grace. As his knowledge comprehends all things, so does his grace comprehend all the sins, all the trials, all the infirmities of the people upon whom his heart is set. Now, my dear brethren, the next time we fear that God’s grace will be exhausted, let us look into this mine, and then let us reflect that all that has ever been taken out of it has never diminished it a single particle. All the clouds that have been taken from the sea have never diminished its depth, and all the love, and all the mercy that God has given to all but infinite numbers of the race of man, has not diminished by a single grain the mountain of his grace.

From a sermon entitled "The Treasure Of Grace," delivered January 22, 1860. Flickr photo by Ali West; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The road to Heaven

The road to heaven, my brethren, is BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. It is not by well-doing that you can be saved, though it is by ill-doing that you will be damned if you put not trust in Christ. Nothing that you can do can save you. Albeit that after you are saved it will be your delightful privilege to walk in the ways of God and to keep his commandments, yet all your own attempts to keep the commandments previous to faith, will but sink you deeper into the mire, and will by no means contribute to your salvation. The one road to heaven is BY FAITH IN CHRIST.

From a sermon entitled "The King's Highway Opened And Cleaned," delivered January 8, 1860. Flickr photo by Chunyan LING; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Planted by the rivers of water

There are many men who are exceedingly well read in heathen mythologies; who can tell you the history of any one of the heathen gods, but who at the same time know very little of the history of Jehovah, and cannot rehearse his mighty acts. In our schools to this day there are books put into the hands of our youth that are by no means fit for them to read — books which contain all kinds of filth, and if not always filth, yet all kinds of fables and vanities, which are simply put into our hands when we are lads, because they happen to be written in Latin and Greek; and, therefore, I suppose it is imagined that we shall all the better recollect the wickedness that is contained in them, by having the trouble of translating them into our own mother tongue. I would that instead of this, all our youth were made acquainted with the history of the Lord our God. Would that we could give them for classics some books which record what he hath done, the victories of his glorious arm, and how he hath put to nought the gods of the heathen and cast them down even into the depths. At any rate, the Christian will always find it to be useful to have at hand some history of what God did in the days of yore.

The more you know of God’s attributes, the more you understand of his acts; the more you treasure up of his promises, and the more you fully dive into the depths of his covenant, the more difficult will it become for Satan to tempt you to despondency and despair. Acquaint thyself with God and be at peace. Meditate on his law both day and night, and thou shalt be like a tree planted by the rivers of water; thy leaf shall not wither; thou shalt bring forth fruit in thy season, and whatsoever thou doest shall prosper. Ignorance of God is ignorance of bliss; but knowledge of God is a divine armor, by which we are able to ward off all the blows of the enemy. Know thyself, O man, and that will make thee miserable; know thy God, O Christian, and that will make thee rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

From a sermon entitled "Dilemma And Deliverance," delivered December 4, 1859. Flickr photo by William and Lisa Roberts; some rights reserved.

Monday, January 7, 2008

For the sake of Christ

“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” — Matthew 26:13.

This is something, my brethren, which I wish you to remember. How much of what we do in the cause of religion, fails to have any excellence in it because we do not perform it for Christ’s sake! We go up to preach, perhaps, and we do not feel that we are preaching for Christ. Perhaps we are preaching with a sincere desire to do good to our fellow-men: so far so good; but even that is not so grand a motive, as the desire to do it for him who loved us, and gave himself for us. Do you not often catch yourself, when you put a coin into the hand of the poor, thinking there is a virtue in it? And so there is, in one sense; but do you not find yourself forgetting, that you should do that for him, and give that as unto Christ, giving unto the poor, and lending unto the Lord? Sabbath-School teachers! I ask you also: do you not find, in teaching your class, that you often forget that you should be teaching for him? Your act is done rather for the church, for the school, for your fellow-men, for the poor, for the children’s sake, than for Christ’s sake.

But the very beauty of this woman’s act lay in this, that she did it all for the Lord Jesus Christ. You could not say she did it for Lazarus, or did it for the disciples; no it was exclusively for him. She felt she owed him all, it was he who had forgiven her sins; it was he who had opened her eyes, and given her to see the light of heavenly day; it was he who was her hope, her joy, her all, her love went out in its common actings to her fellow men — it went out towards the poor, the sick, and the needy. but oh! it went in all its vehemence to him. That man, that blessed man, the God man, she must give something to him. She could not be content to put it in that bag there; she must go and put it right on his head. She could not be content that Peter, or James, or John, should have a part of it; the whole pound must go on his head; and though others might say it was waste, yet she felt it was not, but that whatever she could give unto him was well bestowed, because it went to him to whom she owed her all.

From a sermon entitled "Woman's Memorial." delivered November 27, 1859. Flickr photo by John; some rights reserved.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Come unto Me

“Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29)

Do not believe what the devil tells you. He says that Christ is not ready to forgive; Oh! He is more willing to forgive then you are to be forgiven. Do not believe your heart, when it says, that Christ will shut you out, and will not pardon you: Come and try him, come and try him; and the first one that is shut out, I will agree to be shut out with him. The first soul that Christ rejects after it has put its trust in him — I risk my soul’s salvation with that man. It cannot be. He never was hard-hearted yet, and he never will be. Only believe, and may he himself help thee to believe. Only look to him, and may he himself open thine eyes and enable thee to look, and this shall be a happy morning.

From a sermon entitled "Man's Ruin and God's Remedy," delivered November 20, 1859. Flickr photo by Vijay; some rights reserved.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Saving souls

When God is pleased to pour out his Spirit upon a church in a larger measure than usual, it is always accompanied by the salvation of souls. And oh, this is a weighty matter, to have souls saved. Some laugh, and think the salvation of the soul is nothing, but I trust, beloved, you know so much of the value of souls that you will ever think it to be worth the laying down of your lives, if you might but be the means of the saving of one single soul from death. The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners, and love to his blessed Master, will be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away, that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others. He will be like the stout, brave fireman, who careth not for the scorch or for the heat, so that he may rescue the poor creature on whom true humanity hath set his heart. He must, he will pluck such a one from the burning, at any cost and expense to himself.

Oh the zeal of such a man as that Whitfield to whom I have alluded! He says in one of his sermons, “My God, I groan day-by-day over the salvation of souls. "Sometimes,” he says, “I think I could stand on the top of every hackney-coach in the streets of London, to preach God’s Word. It is not enough that I can do it night and day, laboring incessantly by writing and by preaching, I would that I were multiplied a thousand-fold, that I might have a thousand tongues to preach this gospel of my blessed Redeemer.” Ah, you find too many Christians who do do not care about sinners being saved.

From a sermon entitled "One Antidote For Many Ills, delivered November 9, 1856. Flickr photo by Jackie ; some rights reserved.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Working as unto the Lord

I dare say some of you think when ministers preach or go about to do their pastoral duty, that of course Christ is very much pleased with them. “Ah,” says Mary, “I am only a poor servant girl; I have to get up in the morning and light the fire, lay out the breakfast things, dust the parlor, make the pies and puddings for dinner, and clear away the things again, and wash them up — I have to do everything there is to do in the house — Christ cannot be pleased with this.” Why Mary, you can serve Christ as much in making beds, as I can in making sermons; and you can be as much a true servant of Christ in dusting a room, as I can in administering discipline in a church.

Do not think for a single moment that you cannot serve Christ. Our religion is to be an everyday religion — a religion for the kitchen as well as for the parlor, a religion for the rolling pin, and the jack-towel, quite as much as for the pulpit stairs and the Bible — a religion that we can take with us wherever we go. And there is such a thing as glorifying Christ in all the common actions of life. “Servants be obedient to your masters, not only to those who are good and gentle, but to the froward.” You men of business, you need not think that when you are measuring your ribbons, or weighing out your pounds of sugar, or when you are selling, or buying, or going to market, and such like, that you cannot be serving Christ. Why a builder can serve Christ in putting his bricks together, and you can serve Christ in whatever you are called to do with your hands, if you do it as unto the Lord, and not unto men. I remember Mr. Jay once said, that if a shoeblack were a Christian, he could serve Christ in blacking shoes. He ought to black them, he said, better than anyone else in the parish; and then people would say, “Ah, this Christian shoeblack, he is conscientious; he won’t send the boots away with the heels half done, but will do them thoroughly.” And so ought you. You can say of every article you sell, and of everything you do, “I turned that out of my hands in such a manner that it shall defy competition. The man has got his money’s worth; he cannot say I am a rogue or a cheat. There are tricks in many trades, but I will not have anything to do with them; many get money fast by adulteration in trade, but I will not do it, I would sooner be poor than do it.”

Why, the world says, “there is a sermon in that grocer’s window — look, you don’t see him telling lies to puff his goods: there is a sermon there.” People say as they pass by, “It is a godly man that keeps that shop, he cannot bring his conscience down to do what others do. If you go there, you will be well treated, and you will come out of his shop and say, I have spent my money well, and I am glad that I have dealt with a Christian man.” Depend upon it, you will be as good preachers in your shops as I shall be in my pulpit, if you do that; depend upon it...

From a sermon entitled "Christ's Estimate of His People," delivered January 23, 1859. Flickr photo by Detlef Reichardt; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The blessings of the righteous

The righteous man is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Now, a tree that is planted by the rivers of water sends out its roots, and they soon draw sufficient nourishment. The tree that is planted far away upon the arid desert has its times of drought, it depends upon the casual thundercloud that sweeps over it, and distills the scanty drops of rain. But this tree planted by rivers of water has a perennial supply. It knows no drought, no time of scarcity. Its roots have but to suck up the nourishment which pours itself lavishly there. “Not so the ungodly, not so.” They have no such rivers from which to suck their joy, their comfort, and their life. As for the believer... if earth shall fail him, then will he look to heaven. If man forsake him, then he looks to the divine man Christ Jesus. If the world should shake, his inheritance is on high. If everything should pass away, he has a portion that can never be dissolved. He is planted not by brooks that may be dried up, far less in a desert, which only has a scanty share, but by the rivers of water.

From a sermon entitled "The Chaff Driven Away," delivered October 23, 1859. Flickr photo by Adam Baker; some rights reserved.