Monday, June 30, 2008

Eternal life comes from God

yellow flower

The eternal life which God gives his people is in no sense whatever the fruit of their exertions; it is the gift of God. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not by nature wells, or streams, they are but cisterns into which the living water flows. They are but as the empty vessel; sovereign mercy puts them under the conduit-pipe, and they receive grace upon grace till they are filled to the brim.

He that talks about winning salvation by works; he that thinks he can earn it by prayers, by tears, by penance, by mortification of the flesh, or by zealous obedience to the law, makes a mistake; for the very first principle of the divine life is not giving out, but receiving. It is that which comes from Christ into me which is my salvation; not that which springs out of my own heart, but that which comes from the divine Redeemer and changes and renews my nature. It is not what I give out, but what I receive, which must be life to me.

From a sermon entitled "Life And Walk Of Faith," delivered December 7, 1862. Flickr photo by Flemming Christiansen; some rights reserved.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The fairest of ten thousand


He is the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace... Get up from your beds of sloth; rise from your chambers of ease; go forth, go forth to pray, to labor, to suffer; go forth to live in purity, leaving Babylon behind; go forth to walk with him alone, leaving even your kinsfolk and acquaintance if they will not follow with you. Wherefore tarriest thou at home when the King is abroad? “Behold the Bridegroom cometh, come ye forth to meet him...”

Today let your eye rest upon him. Let your eye behold the head that today is crowned with glory, wearing many crowns. Behold ye, too, his hands which once were pierced, but are now grasping the scepter. Look to his girdle where swing the keys of heaven, and death, and hell. Look to his feet, once pierced with iron, but now set upon the dragon’s head. Behold his legs, like fine brass, as if they glowed in a furnace. Look at his heart, that bosom which heaves with love to you, and when you have surveyed him from head to foot exclaim, “Yea, he is the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely.”

From a sermon entitled "The Royal Pair In Their Glorious Chariot," delivered November 30, 1862. Flickr photo by Miyuki Utada; some rights reserved.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Joy cometh in the morning

pink flower and waterdrops

A man who knows that his trials will not last long, can be cheerful under them. If he sees a Father’s hand in the midst of every adversity, and believes that when he is tried he shall come forth like gold from the furnace; if he knows with the Psalmist that “weeping may endure for the night, but that joy cometh in the morning,” why then grief has lost its weight, and sorrow has lost its sting; and while the man weeps he yet rejoices, seeing the rainbow of the covenant painted on the cloud. Happy man, who, under bereavement, under crosses, and losses, can still cast his burden upon God, and can say, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation!”

The Christian man is bound to live above his sorrows; he weeps, for “Jesus wept;” he may mourn, for the faithful have been mourners often, but he must not so mourn and weep as to be eaten up with grief; over the tops of the rolling waves he must see the haven of peace, and rejoice evermore.

From a sermon entitled "A Drama In Five Acts," delivered November 23, 1862. Flickr photo by Louise Docker; some rights reserved.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who is like the Lord?

Golden sun

“Who is like unto the Lord our God?”

The challenge will never be answered. None can be compared with him for an instant; Israel's God is without parallel; our own God in covenant stands alone, and none can be likened unto him. Even those whom he has made like himself in some respects are not like him in godhead, for his divine attributes are many of them incommunicable and inimitable. None of the metaphors and figures by which the Lord is set forth in the Scriptures can give us a complete idea of him; his full resemblance is borne by nothing in earth or in heaven. Only in Jesus is the Godhead seen, but he unhesitatingly declared “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”

“Who dwelleth on high.”

In the height of his abode none can be like him. His throne, his whole character, his person, his being, everything about him, is lofty, and infinitely majestic, so that none can be likened unto him. His serene mind abides in the most elevated condition, he is never dishonoured, nor does he stoop from the pure holiness and absolute perfection of his character. His saints are said to dwell on high, and in this they are the reflection of his glory; but as for himself, the height of his dwelling-place surpasses thought, and he rises far above the most exalted of his glorified people.

From the Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 113:5. Flickr photo by law_keven; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Christ has borne our punishment

Blue Iris

Any theology which offers the pardon of sin without a punishment, ignores the major part of the character of God. God is love, but God is also just — as severely just as if he had no love, and yet as intensely loving as if he had no justice. To gain a just view of the character of God you must perceive all his attributes as infinitely developed; justice must have its infinity acknowledged as much as mercy. Sin must be punished. This is the voice which thunders from the midst of the smoke and the fire of Sinai — “The soul that sinneth it shall die;” “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” “Sin must be punished” is written on the base of the eternal throne in letters of fire; and, as the damned in hell behold it, their hopes are burned to ashes. Sin must be punished, or God must cease to be.

The testimony of the Gospel is not that the punishment has been mitigated or foregone, or that justice has had a sop given it to close its mouth. The consolation is far more sure and effectual; say ye unto the daughter of Zion that “the punishment of her iniquity is accomplished.” Christ hath for his people borne all the punishment which they deserved; and now every soul for whom Christ died may read with exultation — “The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished.” God is satisfied, and asks no more. Sin deserved God’s wrath; that wrath has spent itself on Christ. The black and gathering clouds had all been summoned to the tempest, and manhood stood beneath the dark canopy waiting till the clouds of vengeance should empty out their floods. “Stand thou aside!” said Jesus — “Stand thou aside, my spouse, my Church, and I will suffer in thy stead.”

From a sermon entitled "A Message From God For Thee," delivered November 16, 1862. Flickr photo by Rosana Prada; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor

Lake Yanchep

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich.”

His heart is made of tenderness, his bowels melt with love. In all our afflictions he is afflicted. Since the day when he became flesh of our flesh, he hath never hidden himself from our sufferings. Our glorious Head is moved with all the sorrows which distress the members. Crowned though he now be, he forgets not the thorns which once he wore, amid the splendors of his regal state in Paradise he is not unmindful of his children here below. Still is he persecuted when Saul persecutes the saints, still are his brethren as the apple of his eye, and very near his heart. If ye can find in Christ a grain of selfishness, consecrate yourselves unto your lusts, and let Mammon be your God. If ye can find in Christ a solitary atom of hardness of heart and callousness of spirit, then justify yourselves... But if ye profess to be followers of the Man of Nazareth, be ye full of compassion; he feeds the hungry lest they faint by the way; he bindeth up the broken in heart and healeth all their wounds; he heareth the cry of the needy and precious shall their blood be his sight; therefore be ye also tenderhearted also very affectionate the one toward the other.

From a sermon entitled "Christian Sympathy," delivered November 9, 1862. Flickr photo by Franco Caruzzo; some rights reserved.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Christ has finished the work

Dogwood Blossoms

All that has to be done to save a soul Christ has done already. There is no more ransom to be paid; to the last drachma he hath counted down the price. There is no more righteousness to be wrought out; to the last stitch he has finished the garment. There is nothing to be done to reconcile God to sinners; he hath reconciled us unto God by his blood. There is nothing wanted to clear the way to the mercy-seat; we have a new and living way through the veil that was rent, even the body of Christ. There is no need of any preparation for our reception on the part of God. “It is finished,” was the voice from Calvary; it meant what it said, “It is finished.” Christ hath finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness.

From a sermon entitled "Christ - Perfect Through Sufferings," delivered November 2, 1862. Flickr photo by Heather Katsoulis; some rights reserved.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

God has spoken

Pentas Flowers

There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case, but you may not know of it, and therefore miss its comfort. You are like prisoners in a dungeon, and there may be one key in the bunch which would unlock the door, and you might be free; but if you will not look for it you may remain a prisoner still, though liberty is near at hand. There may be a potent medicine in the great pharmacopoeia of Scripture, and you may still remain sick, though there is the precise remedy that would meet your disease, unless you will examine and search the Scriptures to discover what “He hath said.”

Should we not, beside reading Scripture, store our memories richly with the promises of God? We can recollect the sayings of great men; we treasure up the verses of renowned poets; ought we not to be profound in our knowledge of the words of God? The Scriptures should be the classics of a Christian, and as our orators quote Homer, or Virgil, or Horace, when they would clinch a point, so we should be able to quote the promises of God when we would solve a difficulty or overthrow a doubt. “He hath said,” is the foundation of all riches and the fountain of all comfort, let it dwell in you richly as “a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.”

From a sermon entitled "Never! Never! Never! Never! Never!," delivered October 26, 1862. Flickr photo by Louise Docker; some rights reserved.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Better is a day in your courts

"For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand."

Of course the Psalmist means a thousand days spent elsewhere. Under the most favorable circumstances in which earth's pleasures can be enjoyed, they are not comparable by so much as one in a thousand to the delights of the service of God. To feel his love, to rejoice in the person of the anointed Savior, to survey the promises and feel the power of the Holy Ghost in applying precious truth to the soul, is a joy which worldlings cannot understand, but which true believers are ravished with. Even a glimpse at the love of God is better than ages spent in the pleasures of sense.

“I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

The lowest station in connection with the Lord's house is better than the highest position among the godless. Only to wait at his threshold and peep within, so as to see Jesus, is bliss. To bear burdens and open doors for the Lord is more honor than to reign among the wicked. Every man has his choice, and this is ours. God's worst is better than the devil's best. God's doorstep is a happier rest than downy couches within the pavilions of royal sinners, though we might lie there for a lifetime of luxury. Note how he calls the tabernacle “the house of my God;” there's where the sweetness lies: if Jehovah be our God, his house, his altars, his doorstep, all become precious to us. We know by experience that where Jesus is within, the outside of the house is better than the noblest chambers where the Son of God is not to be found.

From the Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 84:10. Flickr photo by Kevin Lau ; some rights reserved.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Citizens of Heaven

What is meant by our being citizens in heaven? Why, first that we are under heaven’s government. Christ the king of heaven reigns in our hearts; the laws of glory are the laws of our consciences; our daily prayer is, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The proclamations issued from the throne of glory are freely received by us, the decrees of the Great King we cheerfully obey. We are not without law to Christ. The Spirit of God rules in our mortal bodies, grace reigns through righteousness, and we wear the easy yoke of Jesus. O that he would sit as king in our hearts, like Solomon upon his throne of gold. Thine are we, Jesus, and all that we have; rule thou without a rival.

From a sermon entitled "Citizenship In Heaven," delivered October 12, 1862. Flickr photo by Misty; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A word of warning to foolish virgins


We have seen - who has not that has had any experience in the religious world? - we have seen our leaders turn their backs in the day of battle; and our teachers fail to sustain their own character. Ah! And we have the painful conviction that there are others who are not discovered yet, whose sins do not go beforehand unto judgment, but follow after; who are nevertheless tainted at the core. There are the many covetous professors who are as grasping and as grinding as if they never professed to be Christians; and you know that “covetousness is idolatry.” There are the many time-serving Christians, who hold with the world and with Christ too; and ye know that we cannot serve two masters. There are the many secret sinners among Christians, who have their petty vices which come not under human observation, and who, because they are thought to be good, write themselves down among the godly; now we know there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and woe to them when their secret sins shall be published on the house-tops.

Then we have the legal professors, who trust to their own works, and shall find that the curse of Sinai shall wither them. And what shall I more say? Have we not many who are not so inconsistent that we could put our finger upon any open sin sufficient to deserve excommunication, but who are guilty of enormous spiritual wickedness? They are dead, they bring forth no fruit; their hearts are hard as a millstone with regard to the conversion of sinners; they have not faith of God’s elect; they do not live by faith; they have not the spirit of Christ, and therefore they are none of his. God knoweth we have sought to use all care and diligence in this Church, both to keep out unworthy persons and to cast out unhallowed livers; but, despite all that, we cannot but be conscious, and we tell it you faithfully, that the enemy still continues to sow tares among the wheat. The gold is mixed with the dross and the wine with water: for evil men thrust themselves into the heritage of the Lord. When our muster-roll shall be revised at last, how many out of our more than two thousand members will be found to be base-born pretenders unto godliness! O my brethren, I conjure you, by the precious blood of Christ, which was not shed to make you hypocrites, but shed that a sincere people might show forth His praise; I beseech you, search and look lest at the last it be said of you, “Mene, Mene Tekel, thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

From a sermon entitled "Self-Delusion," delivered October 19, 1862. Flickr photo by Eric Hill; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Faith Overcomes

Blue Sky

The devil cometh out against us; but we are more than a match for him when our faith is firm. Upon the shield of our faith we catch his arrows, and by the sword of our faith we smite him to the very heart. There is no temptation that ever can assail a believer, but faith can certainly supply an antidote. If I believe in Jesus I have his promise that I shall overcome, and I shall overcome, because I believe that promise. Even if I should get beneath the devil’s foot, and he should lift his sword to smite me, if I could say, “Rejoice not over me, O mine enemy, for when I fall yet shall I rise again,” I should rise, and victory would be mine. Faith overcometh even hell itself and its crowned monarch: for defense it is a panoply, and for attack it is our battle-axe and weapons of war.

From a sermon entitled "Faith Omnipotent," delivered October 12, 1862. Flickr photo by Yago Veith; some rights reserved.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Gospel to every creature

Golden Sunrise

I want to say to every sinner, “You are in a state in which there is nothing morally that can qualify you for being saved, but Jesus Christ meets you where you now are.”

Remember first, that when the gospel was first sent into the world, those to whom it was sent, were manifestly without any moral qualification. Did you ever read the first chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans? It is one of those awful passages in Scripture, not intended to be read in congregations; but to be read and studied in the secrecy of one’s chamber. The apostle gives a portrait of the manners and customs of the heathen world, so awful, that unless our missionaries had informed us, that it is exactly the photograph of life in Hindustan at the present moment, infidels might have declared that Paul had exaggerated.

Heathendom in the time of Paul, was so desperately wicked that it would be utterly impossible to conceive of a sin, into which men had not fallen; and yet, “We turn unto the Gentiles,” said the apostle; and yet the Lord himself commanded, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” What! To Sodomites, whose very smallest sin is adultery, and fornication; to thieves and murderers, to murderers of fathers and mothers? Yes, go and preach the gospel to them! Manifestly, the fact that the world was steeped up to its very throat in the filth of abominable wickedness, and yet the gospel was sent to it, proves that Christ does not seek for any qualification of morality, or righteousness in man, before the gospel is available to him. He sends the Word to the drunkard, to the swearer, the harlot, the vilest of the vile; for such is the gospel of Christ intended to save.

From a sermon entitled "Good News For You," delivered October 5, 1862. Flickr photo by Ron Almog; some rights reserved.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Do all things without disputing


Dispute not with God; let him do what seemeth him good. Dispute not with your fellow Christians, raise not railing accusations against them. When Calvin was told that Luther had spoken ill of him, he said, “Let Luther call me devil if he please, I will never say of him but that he is a most dear and valiant servant of the Lord.” Raise not intricate and knotty points by way of controversy. Remember, you have adversaries upon whom to use your swords, and therefore there is little need that you should turn their edges by dashing at the armor of your fellows. Dispute not even with the world. The heathen philosophers always sought occasions for debate; be it yours to testify what God has told you, but court not controversy. Be not ashamed to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, but never do it in a spirit of mere debating, never because you wish to gain a victory, but only because ye would tell out what God hath bidden ye reveal.

From a sermon entitled "Believers - Lights In The World," delivered September 28, 1862. Flickr photo by Meena Kadri ; some rights reserved.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jesus the Beloved

branch in the water

“This,” said the mysterious voice from heaven in the midst of the waters of Jordan, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And again, at the resurrection of Lazarus there came the same voice from heaven, announcing the perpetuity of the Father’s love. None of us can tell how dear Jesus must be to his Father. We have, however, abundant proofs of the fact that he is very near unto him, for he is privy to all his Father’s counsels. From the counsels of the Most High, Christ was never absent.

“When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.”

“Let us make man,” said God, “in our own image,” - calling Christ into creation’s work. “Without him was not anything made that was made,” is the declaration of John the divine. Beside this, we know that everything which is done of the Father by his divine decree is that he may glorify his Son; while, on the other hand, the Son lived and died, and lives again that he may glorify the Father. Such is their mutual interest in one another that we cannot suppose a relationship closer, nor a love more intense than that which exists between the Father and the Son. It were foolish and ridiculous in me to attempt to dive into the awful depths of the divine unity. We know that the Father is one with the Son, and that Jesus is one with Jehovah. The unity of essence is a well so deep, that I cannot expect to find its bottom; and the love which springeth up from this essential unity must be more deep and profound than the wit of man can guess, or than the language of man can utter. I repeat the confession of our ignorance, it is impossible for us to form even a guess of the intensity of the affection that must exist between the eternal Father and Jesus Christ, his Son; since their essential union from which this affection springs is a doctrine beyond our comprehension, and is meekly to be received of our faith. Certainly we know that never was the term “beloved” so full of meaning, never did human word become so divinely rich as when God himself, by the Holy Ghost, applied it to Jesus the beloved of the Father.

From a sermon entitled "Accepted In The Beloved," delivered September 21, 1862. Flickr photo by Miyuki Utada; some rights reserved.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We boast in God alone

“In God we boast all the day long.”

We have abundant reason for doing so while we recount his mighty acts. What blessed boasting is this! it is the only sort of boasting that is bearable. All other manna bred worms and stank except that which was laid up before the Lord, and all other boasting is loathsome save this glorying in the Lord, which is laudable and pleasing.

“And praise thy name for ever.”

Praise should be perpetual. If there were no new acts of love, yet ought the Lord to be praised for what he has done for his people. High let the song be lifted up as we bring to remembrance the eternal love which chose us, predestinated us to be sons, redeemed us with a price, and then enriched us with all the fullness of God.

From the exposition of Psalm 44, verse 8, within "The Treasury of David." Flickr photo by Flemming Christiansen; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Messenger of the Covenant

lake grass

Moses was messenger of the covenant of works, and his face shone, for the ministration of death was glorious; but Christ is the messenger of the covenant of grace. O let his face shine in your esteem, you saints of the Lord, for the ministration of life must be more glorious, far! Christ comes to us to tell us all that God will tell. The revelation of God is Christ. If you would know God, he that has seen Christ has seen the Father. God’s word is Jesus, he speaks fully by him. Would you know the Father’s decree? “I will declare the decree,” saith Christ. Would you know his character? See every attribute of God in the man, Christ. Would you know his designs? See the designs of God effected in the works of Jesus. Would you know in fact all that is knowable of God? Understand that you can see it, not in nature, nor in providence, but in Jesus...

From a sermon entitled "The Messenger of the Covenant," delivered September 7, 1862. Flickr photo by Sharon Mollerus; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Arise and call upon your God

flower petals

But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, "What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.” - Jonah 1:5, 6.

Yet further, let us remember that as Jonah was the only man in the ship whose prayer could be of any avail, so the children of God are the only men who can do any real spiritual service to the perishing world. All the cries of the shipmaster and his crew were addressed to the gods of their various countries, who had ears which could not ear, and hands which could afford no aid. Jonah was the only man who worshipped the Lord that made the sea and the dry land; hence, his prayers alone could save the ship. Now, the salvation of the world under God lies with the Church. Christ has finished the atonement; it is for the Church to finish the ingathering. Christ hath paid the purchase-price, and completed redemption by blood; it is for the Church to seek the Holy Spirit, and fully to redeem the world by power. Suppose, then, that you who fear God say, “This is no case of mine; I am not my brother’s keeper;” suppose that you waste opportunities, and throw precious time to the dogs, then the world must go down to its awful doom; but, mark you, its blood shall be upon your skirts.

This generation, under God, must have salvation given to it through our ministry, through our evangelists, through our Sunday Schools, through our missionaries, through our preachings and teachings; and if we do it not, the world will not stay from perishing while we are staying from laboring. Men will not live on until another generation worthier than we are shall have taken our places, but this generation must go down to the tomb, muttering curses between its lips against the faithless, wicked, unbelieving, inactive Church; and we must go down too, to meet the doom of those who had no real faith in Christ, or else they would have had a love for the souls of men; who had not the spirit of Jesus, or else they would with wooing entreaties, and with earnest efforts have brought men to the cross of Christ.

From a sermon entitled "What Meanest Thou, O Sleeper?," delivered September 14, 1862. Flickr photo by Axel Buhrmann; some rights reserved.

Monday, June 9, 2008

God is mighty to save

tree at sunset

When God says to a sinner, “Live,” all the devils in hell cannot keep him in the grave. If the Lord should say to a blasphemer here today, “Live,” that blasphemer must become a saint. Saul of Tarsus is on the road to Damascus to arrest the saints of the living God. A strong hand might seize the bridle of his charger and throw him to the ground; but Saul is not to be stopped like this; he will rise from the ground the same Saul, to go to Damascus as bloodthirsty as ever. But see what divine grace can do! A voice from heaven and a light above the brightness of the sun, and Saul is crying out, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Within three days he is baptized, he becomes a preacher; and Saul that was called Paul becomes a leader in the hosts of the Most High. My Master can do the like today. Mighty to save is he.

From a sermon entitled "Ezekiel's Deserted Infant," delivered September 7, 1862. Flickr photo by Chris Gin; some rights reserved.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

God will guide us


In the great and in the little, Jehovah reigneth. Standing in the chariot of providence he holds the reins, and when the coursers seem to be wild and to know no bit or bridle, he guideth them according to his will. O rest thou in this, believer: he shall guide thee with his counsel. But this counsel also represents the written word - his decree is his counsel, his written Word is our counsel, his counsel to us.

Happy is the man who has God’s word always to direct him! What would the mariner be without his compass? What would the Christian be without the Bible? This is the unerring chart, the map in which every shoal is described, and all the channels from the port of destruction to the haven of salvation mapped, and marked by one who has sailed along the sea. Blessed, blessed be thou, O God, that we may trust thee to guide us now and guide us even to the end!

From a sermon entitled "Flesh And Spirit - A Riddle," delivered August 31, 1862. Flickr photo by Louise Docker; some rights reserved.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The sin of oppression

purple flower

Oppression, too... is another great sin. The prophet speaks of selling the poor for a pair of shoes; and there are such who would grind the widow and the orphan to the last extreme, and make their laborers toil for nought. How many businessmen we have, who never knew what “bowels of mercy” were. Men form themselves into societies, and then exact an outrageous usury upon loans from the unhappy men who fall into their hands. Cunning legal quibbles, and crafty evasions of just debts, often amount to heavy oppression, and are sure to bring down the anger of the Most High.

From a sermon entitled "The Loaded Waggon," delivered August 24, 1862. Flickr photo by Madalena Pestana; some rights reserved.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We need the Holy Ghost


We as a Church, and I may speak freely for my own flock, we long, to see Christ glorified. It is to this end we seek to train up our sons, young men in our much-loved college, that they may go forth as preachers of the Word. We have agencies by which we hope to do something in our generation for our Master, but what is everything we can do without the Holy Ghost? Let us, therefore, pray without ceasing. Oh, without prayer what are the Church’s agencies, but the stretching out of a dead man’s arm, or the lifting up of the lid of a blind man’s eye? Only when the Holy Spirit comes, is there any life and force and power. Cry then mightily unto God, O ye who seek to glorify Christ, for without the Holy Spirit ye utterly fail.

From a sermon entitled "The Holy Spirit Glorifying Christ," delivered August 17, 1862. Flickr photo by Roby Ferrari; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Attentive to the preaching of the Word

Field of Grain

Carry home what of truth you can. Take notes in your heart. And when you have gathered and have your hands full, take care to discriminate. Ruth, we are told, threshed her corn and left the straw behind, and took home the good wheat. You do the same. There is much straw in all our sermons, much that our Master would not have us say, for we are poor, poor creatures, and but fallible like yourselves, but leave the straw behind, and take home the good wheat; and do us this service - do not take home the straw and leave the wheat as some do. There are many foolish gleaners who, if there be one word of ours awry will tell it to our discredit, but our Master’s words they will forget.

From a sermon entitled "A Sermon For Gleaners," delivered August 10, 1862. Flickr photo by Giuseppe Zeta; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

True belief, true discipleship

Portugal Sunset

Probably there are numbers in this assembly to whom the Christian religion has always been a subject of respectful interest; they have never blasphemed the name of Christ; they have not doubted the inspiration of Scripture; nay, they have studied God’s Word; they have given a degree of attention to its doctrines, and they intend yet more fully to examine its revelations. How pleasant and hopeful are such marks of interest, but how far are many of these enquirers from true discipleship for their unhumbled hearts are not obedient to the dictates of the gospel; the cross is to them, too heavy a load to carry; they have not made up their minds to wear “Christ’s yoke;” they had rather see his holiness and see his disciples imitate him, than themselves take up the cross daily and follow him.

My hearers, allow me to remind you very solemnly, that a speculative religion which has curiosity as its impulse, a search after knowledge as its rule, and self-esteem as its root, can never save the soul. It is not for you to criticise, but to repent; it is not for you to judge, but to believe; it is not for you to admire, but to obey; it is not for you to praise and applaud, but cheerfully to bow your necks to imitate and follow Christ. Nothing short of a religion which subjects us to personal service of Christ, which gives us a new heart and a right spirit, and compels us to feel that we are not our own, but bought with a price - nothing short of this will ever give lasting peace of mind, or bring us to the place where we shall see the face of God
with delight.

From a sermon entitled "Christ's Servant - His Duty, And Reward," delivered August 3, 1862. Flickr photo by Francisco Antunes; some rights reserved.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A faithful Creator

Lake Pukaki

With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him? When He balanced the clouds, and laid the foundations for the earth, who taught Him the laws of gravity? Who has weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Was He not alone? No parliament of angels bowed at His right hand, for He created even them. No archangel bowed his head and offered advice to the Most High, for the archangel himself is but a creature. Cherubim and seraphim might sing when the work was over, but help in the work they could not. Look now, what star did the angels make? What spot of earth is the creation of an archangel? Look to the heavens above or to the deeps beneath, where do you see the impress of any hand but God’s, and that hand a solitary one?...

Roll then your burden on your God if you are alone, for alone with Him you have the best of company. If you had the hosts of heaven with you, what would you be without your God? If all the Church were at your back, terrible as an army with banners, your defeat would be certain if the Holy Ghost did not dwell in you. I tell you, man, if all the saints and angels in earth and heaven should unite to speed you in your object, yet, if your God should stand aloof from you, you would labor in vain and spend your strength for nothing. But with Him you shall prevail though all men forsake you.

From a sermon entitled "Creation - An Argument For Faith," delivered July 27, 1862. Flickr photo by Vera & Jean-Christophe; some rights reserved.