Saturday, May 31, 2008

What are we doing for Christ?

New Washoe City, Nevada

Oh, it is enough to make us Christians ashamed to think how sinners will confess their god! Hear them at night, as they reel home through the streets, they are not ashamed of their lord and master. Hear how they swear, and defy heaven! They are ashamed of nothing for their lord; and yet we, who have heaven for our reward, and such a Christ to serve, and one so good and gracious to us - look at us - look at us! What poor lovers of our Savior are we! What poor lovers of the souls of men! I know this is not true of all of you, for there are some of you who love men’s souls. I have delighted to see in many of you that deep earnestness which makes you yearn for the conversion of others. You will sometimes take your stand at the corner of the street, and though you cannot speak as you would, yet, the tears running down your cheeks prove your earnestness. There are many women among you, too, who have spoken a good word for Christ in strange places, and have never been ashamed of him. But oh! there are some of you, the members of this Church, over whom the angels of glory might weep, for what do you for Christ? What do you give to Christ?

From a sermon entitled "Am I Clear Of His Blood?," delivered July 20, 1862. Flickr photo by Rick Cooper; some rights reserved.

Friday, May 30, 2008

True Repentance


If I avoid sin today because I am afraid of being lost if I commit it, I have not the repentance of a child of God; but when I avoid it and seek to lead a holy life because Christ loved me and gave himself for me, and because I am not my own, but am bought with a price, this is the work of the Spirit of God. And again, that change of mind, that after carefulness which leads me to resolve that in future I will live like Jesus, and will not live unto the lusts of the flesh, because he hath redeemed me, not with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with his own precious blood - that is the repentance which will save me, and the repentance which he asks of me.

O ye nations of the earth, he asks not the repentance of Mount Sinai, while ye do fear and shake because his lightnings are abroad; but he asks you to weep and wail because of him; to look on him whom you have pierced, and to mourn for him as a man mourneth for his only son; he bids you remember that you nailed the Savior to the tree, and asks that this argument may make you hate the murderous sins which fastened the Savior there, and put the Lord of glory to an ignominious and an accursed death. This is the only repentance we have to preach; not law and terrors; not despair; not driving men to self-murder - this is the terror of the world which worketh death; but godly sorrow is a sorrow unto salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

From a sermon entitled "Faith And Repentance Inseparable," delivered July 13, 1862. Flickr photo by J. E. Fee; some rights reserved.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The sin of hypocrisy

Shenandoah National Forest

A Christian can be no hypocrite. Hypocrisy, like all other sins, lurks in man till the very last; but a believer hates to pretend to be what he is not. A man who has once tasted that the Lord is gracious, is a true and transparent man in his profession. If any suppose him to be better than he is, he does not wish to wear feathers that are not his own; he would not be glorified by another man’s labors, nor build upon another man’s foundation; hypocrisy he utterly detesteth, and would sooner die a pauper than live a pretender. Any man among you who has tasted that the Lord is gracious, will, I am sure, without my exhortation this morning, loathe all malice, guile and hypocrisy.

From a sermon entitled "A Sermon For Men Of Taste," delivered July 6, 1862. Flickr photo by Vijay; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Friend of Sinners


A vague notion is abroad in the world that the benefit of Christ’s passion is intended only for good people. The preaching of some ministers, and the talk of some professors, would lead the uninstructed to imagine that Christ came into the world to save the righteous, to call the godly to repentance, and to heal those who never were sick. There is in most sinners’ consciences, when they are aroused, a frightful fear that Christ could not have come to bless such as they are, but that he must have intended the merit of his blood and the efficacy of his passion for those who possess good works or feelings to recommend them to him.

Dear friends, you will clearly see, if you will but open one eye, how inconsistent such a supposition is with the whole teaching of Scripture. Consider the plan itself. It was a plan of salvation and of necessity, it was intended to bless sinners. Wherefore salvation if men be not lost, and for whom salvation but for the ruined? The plan was based in grace, but how “grace” unless it was meant for persons who deserve nothing? If you have to deal with creatures who have not sinned, and have been obedient, what need of grace?

From a sermon entitled "The Friend Of Sinners," delivered June 29, 1862. Flickr photo by rachel_thecat; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Your religion is not vain

blue flower

...I know a man who was as stingy a soul as could be, once, and now he is as generous a man as walks God’s earth. There is another, he was not immoral, but he was passionate, and now he is as quiet as a lamb. It is grace that has altered these characters, and yet you tell me that this is a fiction! I have not patience to answer you. A fiction! If religion does not prove itself to be true by these facts, then do not believe it; if it does not, when it comes into a neighborhood, turn it upside down, sweep the cobwebs out of its sky, clean the houses, take the men out of the public-houses; if it does not make swearers pray, and hard-hearted men tender and compassionate, then it is not worth a button. But our religion does do all this, and therefore we boldly say, it is not a vain thing.

From a sermon entitled "Religion - Reality!," delivered June 22, 1862. Flickr photo by Dawn; some rights reserved.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A soft heart

Mountain Flowers

Hearts of stone make no bones, as we say, about great mischiefs; but hearts of flesh repent even at the very thought of sin. To have indulged a foul imagination, to have flattered a lustful thought, and to have allowed it to tarry even for a minute is quite enough to make a heart of flesh grieved and rent before God with pain. The heart of stone says, when it has done great iniquity, “Oh, it is nothing, it is nothing! Who am I that I should be afraid of God’s law?” But not so the heart of flesh.

Great sins are little to the stony heart, little sins are great to the heart of flesh - if little sins there be. Conscience in the heart of stone is seared as with a hot iron; conscience in the heart of flesh is raw and very tender; like the sensitive plant, it coils up its leaves at the slightest touch, it cannot bear the presence of evil... God give us such a blessedly tender conscience as that.

From a sermon entitled "The Stony Heart Removed," delivered May 25, 1862. Flickr photo by Josef F. Stuefer; some rights reserved.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gospel doctrine

Gutenberg Bible
Gutenberg Bible

Depend upon it, doctrinal ignorance will always make Churches weak; but where saints are fed upon the finest of the wheat, and are made to suck of the honey out of the rock, and to eat of the manna and fatness of Gospel doctrine, they will, all other things being equal, become the strongest and most valiant believers on the face of the earth. There is a tendency in these times to depreciate the value of Gospel doctrines. Oh! I beseech you, be not led astray of this error. There are in the Word of God certain things really taught.

Do not believe that the Bible is a lump of wax to be shaped just as you please. Do not imagine that “Yes” is right, and that the “No” which contradicts it is right too. The Lord has written this Book intending to teach us something, and a moderate understanding, sanctified by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, will enable you to know what the Lord does mean to teach you... Do not, I beseech you, say, “Oh, it does not much matter what doctrines I hold.”

From a sermon entitled "The Love Of Jesus, What It Is, None But His Loved Ones Know," delivered June 18, 1862. Flickr photo by David Jalbert-Gagnier; some rights reserved.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The counsel of the Lord stands forever

Olympic Mountain Range

He changes not his purpose, his decree is not frustrated, his designs are accomplished. God has a predestination according to the counsel of his will, and none of the devices of his foes can thwart his decree for a moment. Men's purposes are blown to and fro like the thread of the gossamer or the down of the thistle, but the eternal purposes are firmer than the earth.

“The thoughts of his heart to all generations.”

Men come and go, sons follow their sires to the grave, but the undisturbed mind of God moves on in unbroken serenity, producing ordained results with unerring certainty. No man can expect his will or plan to be carried out from age to age; the wisdom of one period is the folly of another, but the Lord's wisdom is always wise, and his designs run on from century to century. His power to fulfil his purposes is by no means diminished by the lapse of years. He who was absolute over Pharaoh in Egypt is not one whit the less today the King of kings and Lord of lords; still do his chariot wheels roll onward in imperial grandeur, none being for a moment able to resist his eternal will.

Exposition of Psalm 33:11 from "The Treasury Of David." Flickr photo by B Mully; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our duty is our delight


The thought of delight in religion is so strange to most men, that no two words in their language stand farther apart than “holiness” and “delight.” Ah, but believers who know Christ, understand that delight and faith are so blessedly married, that the gates of hell cannot prevail to divorce them. They who love God with all their hearts, find that his ways are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are peace. Such joy, such brimful delights, such overflowing bliss, do the saints discover in their Lord, that so far from serving him from custom, they would follow him should all the world cast out his name as evil.

We fear not God because of any compulsion, our faith is no fetter, our profession is no prison; we are not dragged to holiness, nor driven to duty. No, sirs, our religion is our recreation, our hope is our happiness, our duty is our delight.

From a sermon entitled "Sunshine In The Heart," delivered June 15, 1862. Flickr photo by saintrain; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Take the road of service


If you ask me where is Christ on earth, I point you to his faithful Church, called by his Spirit. As Christ was the world’s hope, so is the Church the world’s hope, and she must take up the charge as if there were not another. Instead of sending some to this town and some to that, she must hear her Master say, “Give ye them to eat.” I do fear, dear friends, that we are many of us getting into a very easy state about perishing men, because we keep out of their way. To stop your ears to the cries of the hungry, or shut your eyes to the wants of the widow and the fatherless, is not the way to relieve famine. Nor is it the way of doing good in the world, to avoid the haunts of the poor, and to leave the dens of desolation and sin.

It is ours to touch the leper with our healing finger, not to shrink from his presence; it is ours to go and find out the stripped, and wounded, and helpless of the sons of men, and then to pour in the oil and the wine. Leave the priest and the Levite, if they will, to pass by on the other side. Your Master asks of you, Christian, practical, personal service, and your Christianity is worth nothing unless it makes you heed his word - “Give ye them to eat” -unless it makes you as individual members, and as an united body do God’s work for the world’s sake and for Jesus Christ’s sake. I will tell you, the people of my charge, that the world’s salvation is given instrumentally into your hands. As far as your power lies, you are to consider yourselves as the world’s hope, and you are to act as such.

From a sermon entitled "Compassion For the Multitude," delivered June 1, 1862. Flickr photo by J. E. Fee; some rights reserved.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The angels keep watch


Unseen by us, the angels of God keep watch and ward around us. They bear up the Church’s foot lest she dash it against a stone. They cover her head in the day of battle lest the fiery shafts should penetrate her helmet; by night and by day the watchers of God keep constant guard over the blood-royal of heaven. Let us not be deceived in this matter, thinking that we have to deal here with a fancy or a myth. Angels have more to do with this world than we dream. They are more potent influences for the saints’ good than ever we have known, for they are the ten thousand chariots of God, the ten thousand times ten thousand saints of the Most High who stand in their battle array this day. If your eyes be opened, you will be able to say with the Prophet - “More are they that are with us than they that be with them.”

Reckon the angels as your friends; put them not down as though they were weak and feeble, but believe them to be strong, and then ye shall not doubt but that the Church shall be preserved as the apple of God’s eye.

From a sermon entitled "The Lord's Care Of His People," delivered April 27, 1862. Flickr photo by Tobias; some rights reserved.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Father of Lights

Lake Geneva

The love of God changes us into its own image, so that what the Lord saith concerning us, we also can declare concerning him. God is love essentially, and when this essential love shines forth freely upon us, we reflect it back upon him. He is like the sun, the great father of lights and we are as the moon and the planets we shine in rays borrowed from his brightness. He is the golden seal, and we, his people, are the wax receiving the impression. Our heaven is to be likeness to Christ, and our preparation for heaven consists in a growing imitation of him in all things. See, brethren, how the Lord gives the word, and our heart, like an echo, repeats every syllable.

The Lord loveth his people, and we love him because he first loved us; he hath chosen his saints, and they also have made him the chosen heritage. The saints are precious to Jesus, and unto us who believe he is precious, Christ lived for us, and for us to live is Christ: we gain all things by his death, and for us to die is gain. The Church is the looking-glass in which Christ sees himself reflected; she is like a fair songstress taking up the refrain of Jesus’ canticles of love, while he sings, “My sister, my spouse,” she answers, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.”

From a sermon entitled "Choice Portions," delivered May 25, 1862. Flickr photo by Eric Hill; some rights reserved.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The praying man

If there were an edict issued that no man should pray at all, the really praying man would go into Daniel’s lions’ den, for he could no more cease to pray than cease to breathe. Can the hart in the wilderness cease from panting for the water brooks? Can a sick child cease from crying for its mother? So the living soul cries after God because he cannot help panting after him. He must pray or he must die, he must find grace or perish and therefore in his sore extremity - from an intense and awful agony of heart he cries again and again, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” This is the prayer that God heareth; such are the petitions which are acceptable to the Lord Jehovah.

From a sermon entitled "Joseph And His Brethren," delivered May 11, 1862. Flickr photo by Rosana Prada; some rights reserved.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

His glorious advent

Rocky Mountain National Park

Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When the LORD brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. (Psalm 14:7)

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 downtrodden; 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 Psalm14. Flickr photo by Adam Baker; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Redeeming grace and dying love

Cromarty Firth

Brethren, if you would think for awhile upon the whole work of God, taking in it the Fall as being foreseen and foreknown, until the day when all the chosen seed shall meet around the throne, I think you will be struck with its glory as a whole. It was within the compass of the power of God to make creatures that would love him, to make beings that would be attached to him by the very closest ties; but - I speak with reverence - I do not see how omnipotence itself, apart from the fall and the redemption by the sacrifice of Christ, when he gave himself to die for us; could have made such creatures as the redeemed will be in heaven. Brethren, if we had never fallen and never been redeemed, we could never have sung of redeeming grace and dying love. We could not, and the angels could not; we could not have known the heights and depths, and lengths and breadths of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.

Feasted with heavenly food, we might have admired his bounty, but not as we now do when we eat the flesh of Christ; made to drink the wine pressed from heaven’s own clusters, we might have blessed the giver of the feast, but not as we now can do, when we drink the blood of Jesus as our sweet wine; pure and holy, we could have praised him, and we should have done so, but not as we now can, when we have “washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” There is a nearer relationship now than there could have been in any other way, if God had not taken humanity into alliance with himself, if the Word had not been made flesh and dwelt among us.

From a sermon entitled "Another And A Nobler Exhibition," delivered May 4, 1862. Flickr photo by Calum Davidson; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

God the I AM

Saint John River

With God, indeed, there is neither past, present, nor future. He takes for his name the “I AM.” He does not call himself the “I WAS,” for then we should conceive that he used to be something which he is not now; that some part of his character had changed, or some attribute ceased from existence, for there is an ominous sound of annihilation in the sound of the word, “He WAS.” Is it not rather a knell for the dead, than a name for the living? Nor does our Lord God speak of himself as the “I SHALL BE,” for that might lead us to imagine that he is not now something which he is to be in the ages to come: whereas, we know that his being is perfect, his essence infinite, his dominion absolute, his power unlimited, and his glory transcendent. Development is out of the question, he is all to-day that he will be in future.

Of the Lord Jesus we read that he is the Everlasting Father, and yet he has the dew of his youth. Childhood, manhood and old age belong to creatures, but at the right hand of the Most High they have no abode. Growth, progress, advancement, all these are virtues in finite beings, but to the Infinite the thought of such change would be an insult. Yesterday, to day, and tomorrow, belong to dying mortal, the Immortal King lives in an eternal today. He is the I AM; I AM in the present; I AM in the past and I AM in the future. Just as we say of God that he is everywhere, so we may say of him that he is always; he is everywhere in space; he is everywhere in time. God is today in the past; he is today already in the future; he is today in that present in which we are.

From a sermon entitled "God's Estimate Of Time," delivered April 27, 1862. Flickr photo by Sean McGrath; some rights reserved.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Accepted before God


The doctrine of the atonement is very simple. It just consists in the substitution of Christ in the place of the sinner; Christ being treated as if he were the sinner, and then the transgressor being treated as if he were the righteous one. It is a change of persons; Christ becomes the sinner; he stands in the sinner’s place and stead; he was numbered with the transgressors; the sinner becomes righteous; he stands in Christ’s place and stead, and is numbered with the righteous ones. Christ has no sin of his own, but he takes human guilt, and is punished for human folly. We have no righteousness of our own’ but we take the divine righteousness; we are rewarded for it, and stand accepted before God as though that righteousness had been wrought out by ourselves. “In due time Christ died for the ungodly,” that he might take away their sins.

From a sermon entitled "The Old, Old Story," delivered March 30, 1862. Flickr photo by Kevin Law; some rights reserved.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Now is Christ risen from the dead

Garden Tomb

So clear is the evidence of Christ’s resurrection, that when Gilbert West -a celebrated infidel - selected this subject as the point of attack, sitting down to weigh the evidence and to digest the whole matter, although filled with prejudice, he was so startled with the abundant witness to the truth of this fact, that he expressed himself a convert, and has left as a heritage for coming generations a most valuable treatise, entitled “Observations on the Resurrection of Christ.” He laid down certain laws of evidence to begin with, and then went to the matter as though he had been a lawyer examining the pros and cons of any matter in dispute; and this, which is the fundamental doctrine of our faith, seemed to him so exceedingly clear that he renounced his unbelief, and became a professor of Christianity....

We believe that the very best attested fact in all history is the resurrection of Christ. Historical doubts concerning the existence of Napoleon Buonaparte, or the stabbing of Julius Caesar, or the Norman Conquest, would be quite as reasonable as doubts concerns the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. None of these matters have such witnesses as those who testify of Him - witnesses who were manifestly truthful, since they suffered for their testimony, and most of them died ignominious and painful deaths as the results of their belief. We have more and better evidence for this fact than for anything else which is written in history, either sacred or profane. Oh! How should we rejoice, we who hang our salvation wholly upon Christ, that beyond a doubt it is established that, “now is Christ risen from the dead.”

From a sermon entitled "Resurrection - Christ The Firstfruits," delivered April 20, 1862. Flickr photo by James Emery; some rights reserved.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Preaching the wrath to come

The Lord Jesus, though the most loving of spirits, was the most awful1 of preachers; and in his sermons, while there is everything that could melt and woo, there is no lack of the great and terrible thunderbolt, and the sounding forth of wrath to come, and the judgment which must await the impenitent. But again, you will say to me, wherefore speak you thus? Why not dwell upon more pleasant themes? Because, as the Lord my God liveth, before whom I stand, I would be free of the blood of all men.

1 - in the old-fashioned sense of awe-inspiring or terrifying

From a sermon entitled "The Portion Of The Ungodly," delivered April 13, 1862. Flickr photo by Joe; some rights reserved.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fishers of men

Avoch Bay

The preacher is compared to a fisherman. The fisherman’s vocation is a toilsome one; woe be to that minister who finds his calling to be otherwise. The fisherman must go forth in rough weathers, and at all hazards; if he should only fish in a calm sea he may often starve. So the Christian minister, whether men will receive the word with pleasure, or reject it with anger and wrath, must be ready to imperil reputation and risk comfort; yea, he must hate his own life also, or he is not worthy of the heavenly calling.

The fisherman’s is a rough occupation; no dainty fingers may come in contact with his nets. It is not a trade for gentlemen, but for rough, strong, fearless men, who can heave a rope, handle a tar-brush, or scour a deck. The ministry is not meant for your dainty souls who would go delicately through this world without a trial, an offense, an insult, or a sneer. Such work is meant for men who know how to do business on great waters, and can go abroad upon the sea, not fearing the spray or the waves. The fisherman’s calling, too, must be carried on perseveringly; it is not by one grand haul that a man makes his fortune; he must constantly cast forth his net. One sermon makes not a preacher; he who shall but now and then deliver himself of some carefully prepared oration, is no true minister of God. He must be instant in season and out of season; he must cast his net in all waters; he must in the morning be at his work, and in the evening he must not withhold his hand. To be a fisherman, a man must expect disappointments; he must often cast in the net and bring up nothing but weeds.

The minister of Christ must reckon upon being disappointed; and he must not be weary in well-doing for all his disappointments, but must in faith continue in prayer and labor, expecting that at the end he shall receive his reward.

From a sermon entitled "The Two Draughts Of Fishes," delivered April 6, 1862. Flickr photo by Dave Conner; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Clothed in white garments

Phillippines Sunrise

It seems that the elders sitting around the throne were represented to the illuminated eye of John as “clothed in white raiment.” Not in raiment of party-colors, whereon there were some spots, and yet some signs of whiteness. They are without fault before the throne of God; they have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” and the Spirit of God also has so thoroughly renewed them, that they are “without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing;” they have been presented holy and unblameable before the throne of God. Brothers and sisters, in this too, they are an example to us.

Oh that the Spirit of God might keep the members of this Church, that our garments might be always white. Perfection we must not hope to see here; but oh, we must aim after it. If one should never unite with a Christian Church till he found one which is perfect and free from all fault, then such a man must be a schismatic for ever, for with no Christian people could he ever join. Yet, this is what we aspire unto - to be faultless before God. We desire so to walk, and so to act among men, that our conduct may never bring a slur upon our profession - that our language, our actions, our motives, everything that is about us, may witness to the fact that we have been with Jesus, and have learned of him.

From a sermon entitled "The Elders Before The Throne," delivered March 23, 1862. Flickr photo by Benjie Ordoñez; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

He has never left us alone

O Lord God! Thou hast not left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have had our cloudy days, but our sun has never set until we have had glimpses of sunlight from heaven; we have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience - at least, I can speak of my own positively - is, that he who hath been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh. He hath said, “I will never, never leave thee, and will never, never, never forsake thee.” Do not think I repeat these “nevers” too often; I repeat the text just as I find it in the Greek. What we have known of our faithful God, goes to show that he will keep us to the end, and even to the last he will be our helper.

From a sermon entitled "The Danger Of Doubting," delivered March 16, 1862. Flickr photo by b k ; some rights reserved.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Worshipping for the wrong reasons

We have heard of some country towns - I do not think it takes place much in London, for it does not pay - where people ask “Which is the most respectable congregation in this town? We must take a seat there.” Now what are they doing when they pretend to be worshipping God? Why, sirs, if that be the reason why they go to a certain place of worship, they are following their trade on the Lord’s day, and as far as the sin of it goes, they might as well have their shop open as shut, for they carry their shops on their backs to the place of worship. We suspect that some come among us for this reason.

Christ had such followers. There were loaves and fishes to be given away, and therefore they fell into raptures; “What a sweet preacher! What a profitable ministry! We are so fed under him:” and they flocked in multitudes to listen to him that they might afterwards eat and be filled. I remember one case of this kind that came under my own knowledge. Preaching about in the country, I had often noticed in a certain county, a man in a smock frock who was a regular follower. He seemed to be amazingly attentive to the service, and thinking that he looked an extremely poor man, I one day gave him five shillings. When I preached twenty miles off he was there again, and I gave him some more help fancying that he was a tried child of God. When I was preaching in another place in the same county, he was there again, and the thought suddenly struck me whether that man did not find something more attractive in the palms of my hands than in the words of my lips, so I gave him no more. The next time I saw him he put himself in my way, but I avoided him; and then at last being again in the same county, he came up and asked me to give him something. “No,” I said, “you will not have anything now; I see what you have come for; you have only come pretending to delight in the Word, and to be so profited by it, whereas it is profit you get out of me, not profit from the gospel.” These people - there are such in all congregations - ought, at least, to be well aware that their pretended worship of God is detestable in his sight.

From a sermon entitled "God Or Self - Which?," delivered March 9, 1862. Flickr photo by Sharon Mollerus; some rights reserved.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lord, have mercy

Cliff flowers

If it were a hard way of salvation, man would like it; but because it is so easy we cannot bear it. We are so proud, that to be saved on charity; to come to Christ and trust him to save us; to have done with saving ourselves, and to let him do it all - Oh, this is so humbling. It will just suit you then, poor soul, for you have said in the words of my text, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Come thou before God and say, “Lord, by his agony and bloody sweat, by his cross and passion, by his precious death and burial, have mercy upon me,” and he will answer thee when thou makest mention of the blood, and he will say - “Thy sins which are many are forgiven thee.”

Oh! There is hope yet, lost soul; there is hope yet! To the very gates of hell let my voice ring this morning - lost soul, there is hope yet. If thou hast passed those gates there is no hope; but this side the gate of hell there is hope for thee. Not in thyself but in Jesus is thy help found. Look to him; he dies; one look will save you. Look to him; he lives; he pleads before the Father’s throne. Faith in the living Savior will make you a living soul. May God in his mercy empty you of self, and then faith is easy, but until you are brought there, faith is impossible.

From a sermon entitled "A Sight Of Self" delivered March 2, 1862. Flickr photo by Sharon Mollerus; some rights reserved.

Friday, May 2, 2008

More milestones for The Daily Spurgeon!

Spurgeon preaching
Spurgeon preaching in Surrey

Thanks, gentle readers, for your continuing support! We continue to grow steadily, blessing people every day, I trust, with golden nuggets from Spurgeon. Here's what's happening:
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Rise up!

He speaks to each denomination according to its need, but to the same import, “Rise up and come away; leave deadness and coldness and wrong-doing and hardness and harshness, and bitterness of spirit; leave idleness and slothfulness and lukewarmness; rise up and come away. Come away to preach the Gospel amongst the heathen; come away to reform the masses of this wicked city; come away from your little-heartedness; from your coldness of spirit, come away: the land is, before you; go up and possess it.”

Come away, your Master waits to aid you: strike! He will strike with you; build! he will be the great master builder: plough! He himself shall break the clods; arise and thresh the mountains, for he shall make you a sharp threshing instrument having teeth, and the mountains shall be beaten small until the wind shall scatter them like chaff, and you shall rejoice in the Lord. Rise up, people of God, in this season of revival, and come away! Why sleep ye? "Arise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”

From a sermon entitled "A Sermon For Spring," delivered February 23, 1862. Flickr photo by Jeff Kubina; some rights reserved.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Great and precious promises

Sunset stream

The promises of God are to the believer an inexhaustible mine of wealth. Happy is it for him if he knows, how to search out their secret veins and enrich himself with their hid treasures. They are to him an armory containing all manner of offensive and defensive weapons. Blessed is he who has learned to enter into the sacred arsenal, to put on the breastplate and the helmet, and to lay his hand to the spear and to the sword. They are to the believer a surgery in which he will find all manner of restoratives and blessed elixirs; he shall find therein an ointment for every wound, a cordial for every faintness, a remedy for every disease. Blessed is he who is well skilled in heavenly pharmacy and knoweth how to lay hold on the healing virtues of the promises of God. The promises are to the Christian a storehouse of food. They are as the granaries which Joseph built in Egypt, or as the golden pot wherein the unrotting manna was preserved. Blessed is he who can take the five barley loaves and fishes of promise and break them till his five thousand necessities shall all be supplied, and he is able to gather up baskets full of fragments.

The promises are the Christian’s Magna Charta of liberty, they are the title deeds of his heavenly estate. Happy is he who knoweth how to read them well and call them all his own. Yea, they are the jewel room in which the Christian’s crown-treasures are preserved - the regalia, secretly his today, but which he shall openly wear in paradise. He is already a king who hath the silver key with which to unlock the strong room; he may even now grasp the scepter, wear the crown, and put upon his shoulders the imperial mantle. O how unutterably rich are the promises of our faithful, covenant-keeping God!

From a sermon entitled "Obtaining Promises," delivered February 16, 1862. Flickr photo by Tommy Jørgensen; some rights reserved.