For more than a century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon's works have been consistently recognized, and their usefulness and impact have continued to the present day, even in the outdated English of the author's own day.
Why then should expositions already so successful and of such stature and proven usefulness require adaptation, revision, rewrite or even editing? The answer is obvious. To increase its usefulness to today's reader, the language in which it was originally written needs updating.
Though his writings have served other generations well, just as they came from the pen of the author in the nineteenth century, they still could be lost to present and future generations, simply because, to them, the language is neither readily nor fully understandable.
My goal, however, has not been to reduce the original writing
to the vernacular of our day. It is designed primarily for you who desire to
read and study comfortably and at ease in the language of our time. Obviously
archaic terminology and passages obscured by expressions not totally familiar in
our day have been revised. However, neither Spurgeon's meaning nor intent have
been tampered with. Some may take exception with any alteration of the
manuscript, however I am more concerned that the modern reader be able to
benefit from the work without being obstructed by unnecessary difficulties. No
substantive or doctrinal alterations have been made. I feel quite certain that
if Spurgeon were alive today, he would speak the language used today.--Tony
All Scripture references are taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
#101 - #200
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
101 - The Poison of False Teaching
There have been many, destroyed by poisons, given to lull them to sleep; many have been ruined by the cry of "peace, peace," when there is no peace; hearing gentle things, when they ought to be hearing things that convict their hearts. Cleopatra's asp was brought in a basket of flowers; and men's ruin often lurks in fair and sweet speeches. But the Holy Spirit's comfort is safe, and you may rest on it. Let him speak the word, and there is a reality about it; let him give the cup of consolation, and you may drink it to the bottom; for in its depths there are no residue, nothing to intoxicate or ruin; it is all safe.
102 - The Wisdom of the Gospel
The gospel is the sum of wisdom; a collection of knowledge; a treasure-house of truth; and a disclosure of mysterious secrets. In it we see how justice and mercy may be associated; here we see unalterable law entirely satisfied, and sovereign love carrying away the sinner in triumph. Our meditation on it broadens the mind; and as it opens to our soul in successive flashes of glory, we stand astonished at the profound wisdom manifest in it. Yes, dear friends! if you seek wisdom, you will see it displayed in all its greatness; not in the firmness of the earth's foundations: not in the measured march of the clouds of the sky, nor in the perpetual motions of the waves of the sea; not in the vegetation with all its intricate forms of beauty, nor in the animal with its marvelous tissue of nerve, and vein, and sinew; nor even in man, that last and loftiest work of the Creator. But turn aside and see this great sight!-an incarnate God upon the cross; a substitute atoning for mortal's guilt; a sacrifice satisfying the vengeance of Heaven, and delivering the rebellious sinner. Here is essential wisdom; enthroned, crowned, and glorified. Admire, you men of the earth, if you are not blind; and you who glory in your learning bow your heads in reverence, and admit that all your skill could not have devised a gospel that is one so just to God, so safe to man.
103 - The Compelling Power of the Cross
What is it that makes the young man devote himself, as a missionary, to the cause of God, to leave father and mother, and go into distant lands? It is a thing of power that does it; it is the gospel. What is it that constrains the far away minister, in the midst of cholera, to climb up that creaking staircase, and stand by the bed of some dying creature who has that tragic disease? It must be a thing of power which leads him to risk his life; it is love of the cross of Christ which urges him to do it. What is that which enables one man to stand up before a multitude of his fellows, all unprepared it may be, but determined that he will speak nothing but Christ, and Him crucified? What is it that enables him to cry, like the war horse of Job, in battle, Yes! and more glorious in might? It is a thing of power that does it: it is Christ crucified.
What encourages that timid female to walk down that dark road some wet evening, that she may go and sit by the victim of a contagious fever? What strengthens her to go through that den of thieves, and pass by the depraved and perverted? What influences her to enter into that house of death, and there sit down and whisper words of comfort? Does gold make her do it? They are to poor to give her gold. Does fame make her do it? She will never be known nor written among the mighty women of this earth. What makes her do it? What impels her to it? It is the power, the thing of power; it is the cross of Christ: she loves it, and she therefore says, Were the whole realm of nature mine, As a present it would be far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.
104 - Look to Calvary
O Young man, build your studio on Calvary! there raise your observatory, and scan by faith the lofty things of nature. Take a recluse's cell in the garden of Gethsemane, and wash your face with the waters of Siloam. Let the Bible be your standard classic-your last appeal in matters of contention. Let its light be your illumination, and you will become more wise than Plato, more truly learned than the seven sages of antiquity.
105 - An Old Fool
O man! of all fools, a fool with a grey head is the worst fool anywhere. With one foot in the grave, and another foot on a sandy foundation, how will I depict you, but by saying to you as God said to the rich man, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?"
106 - The Rejection of the Gospel
When the gospel was first preached, instead of being accepted and admired, one universal hiss went up to heaven; men could not bear it; its first preacher they dragged to the edge of the cliff, and would have sent Him down headlong; yes, they did more-they nailed Him to a cross, and there they let Him spend His dying life in agony such as no man has borne since. All His chosen ministers have been hated and abhorred by the worldly; instead of being listened to, they have been scoffed at; treated as if they were rubbish, and the very scum of mankind.
Look at the holy men in the early days of the church, how they were driven from city to city, persecuted, afflicted, tormented, stoned to death, wherever the enemy had power to do so. Those friends of men, those real philanthropists, who came with hearts big with love, and hands full of mercy, and lips pregnant with celestial fire, and souls burned with holy influence; those men were treated as if they were spies in the camp, as if they were deserters from the common cause of mankind; as if they were enemies, and not, as they truly were, the best of friends. Do not suppose that men like the gospel any better now than they did then. There is an idea that you are growing better; but the heart within is still the same. The human heart of today dissected, would be just like the human heart a thousand years ago; the gall of bitterness within that breast of yours, is just as bitter as the gall of bitterness of Simon of old. We have in our hearts the same inherent opposition to the truth of God; and hence we find men, just as in the past, who scorn the gospel.
107 - Staying Alive in Christ
If you feel at any time "death working in you," as doubtless you will, withering the bloom of your religious devoutness, chilling the fervor of your devotions, and quenching the allegiance of your faith, remember, He who first aroused you to life in Christ must keep you alive. The Spirit of God is like the sap that flowed into your poor dry branch, because you were grafted into Christ, and by that sap alone you can ever bring forth fruit to God.
108 - The Trinity
A gospel without a Trinity! it is a pyramid built upside down on its apex. A gospel without the Trinity! it is a rope of sand that cannot hold together. A gospel without a Trinity! then, indeed, Satan can overturn it. But, give me a gospel with the Trinity, and the might of hell cannot prevail against it; no man could any more overthrow it than a bubble could split a rock, or a feather break a mountain in half. Get the thought of the three persons, and you have the essence of all divinity. Only know the Father, and know the Son, and know the Holy Spirit to be one, and all things will appear clear. This is the golden key to the secrets of nature, and he who understands this, will soon understand as much as mortals ever can know.
109 - Read Your Bible
You know more about your ledgers than your Bible; you know more about your magazines and novels than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A mouthful of foam when you are done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that a man writes, a best seller of the day, is greedily devoured.
110 - The Science of Jesus Christ
The science of Jesus Christ is the most excellent of sciences. Let no one turn away from the Bible because it is not a book of learning and wisdom. It is. Would you know astronomy? It is here: it tells you of the Son of Righteousness and the Star of Bethlehem.
Would you know botany? It is here: it tells you of the plant of renown-the Lily of the Valley, and the Rose of Sharon. Would you know geology and mineralogy? You shall learn it here: for you may read of the Rock of Ages, and the White Stone with the name engraven thereon, which no man knows except he that receives it.
Would you study history? Here is the most ancient of all the records of the history of the human race. Whatever your science is, come and bend over this book; your science is here. Come and drink out of this pure fountain of knowledge and wisdom, and you will find yourself made wise unto salvation.
111 - God's Gift of Change
Have you now a sweet temper, whereas you once were hot-blooded? Do not boast of it; you will be angry yet again if He allows you. Are you now pure, whereas you were once unclean? Do not boast of your purity; it is a plant, the seed of which was brought from heaven; it never was within your heart by nature; it is God's gift, and God's alone.
112 - The Attraction of Christ
Our world has two forces; it has one tendency to run off at a tangent from its orbit; but the sun draws it by a centripetal power, and attracts it to itself, and so between the two forces it is kept in a perpetual circle. Oh! Christian, you will never walk right, and keep in the orbit of truth, if it were not for the influence of Christ perpetually attracting you to the center. You feel, and if you do not always feel, it is still there-you feel an attraction between your heart and Christ, and Christ is perpetually drawing you to Himself, to His likeness, to His character, to His love, to His breast, and in that way you are kept from your natural tendency to fly off and be lost in the wild fields of sin. Bless God, that Christ lifted up draws all His people unto Him in that fashion.
113 - Free Will
"Do you see the cat? She sits there, and will lick her paws and keep herself clean." "I see that," said the other. "Well," said the first speaker, "Did you ever hear of one of the hogs taken out of the pigsty that ever acted like the cat?" "No," he said. "But he could if he wanted to," said the other. "Yes! truly he could if he wanted to; but it is not according to his nature, and you never saw such a thing done, and until you have changed the swine's nature, he cannot perform such a good action, and God's Word says the same thing of man."
114 - Tell It to God
Cast your troubles where you have cast your sins; you have cast your sins into the depths of the sea, there cast your troubles also. Never keep a trouble half an hour on your own mind before you tell it to God. As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing, tell it to your Father in heaven. Remember, that the longer you take telling your trouble to God, the more your peace will be impaired. The longer the frost lasts, the more likely the ponds will be frozen.
115 - The Wisdom of the Holy Spirit
How wise the Holy Spirit is! He takes the soul, lays it on the table, and dissects it in a moment; He finds out the root of the matter, He sees where the evil is, and then He applies the knife where something is required to be taken away, or puts dressing and ointment where the sore is, and He never makes a mistake. O, how wise is the blessed Holy Spirit; from every other comforter I turn and leave them all, for You are He who alone gives the wisest consolation.
116 - Commanded to Smile
Cultivate a cheerful disposition; endeavor as much as you can to always wear a smile; remember that this is as much a command of God as that one which says, "You shall love the Lord with all your heart."
117 - The Perfect Preacher
Christ Jesus was an exciting preacher; He sought all means to set a pearl in a frame of gold, that it might attract the attention of the people. He was not willing to place Himself in a local church, or to preach to a large congregation, like our good brethren in the city, but would preach in such a style that people felt they must go to hear Him. Some of them gnashed their teeth in rage and left His presence in anger, but the multitudes still thronged to Him to hear and to be healed. It was no commonplace experience to hear this King of preachers, He was too straightforward to be dull, and to humane to be incomprehensible.
118 - Our Watchman
It was once said by Solon, "No man ought to be called a happy man until he dies," because he does not know what his life is to be; but Christians may always call themselves happy men here, because wherever their tent is carried, they cannot pitch it where the cloud does not move, and where they are not surrounded by a circle of fire. "I myself will be a wall of fire around them, and I will be their glory within." They cannot live where God is not the head of the house, watchman, and safeguard of salvation.
"All my ways shall ever be
Ordered by His wise decree."
119 - The Peace of Christianity
Oh! you that are not Christians, it would worthwhile to be Christians, if it were only for the peace and happiness that religion gives. If we had to die like dogs with no future, still this religion would be worth having to make us live here like angels. Oh, if the grave were what it seems to be, the goal of all existence, if the black nails of the coffin were not so bright with stars, if death were the end and our lamps were quenched in darkness, when it was said, "Dust to dust and earth to earth; "yet it would be worthwhile to be a child of God, only to live here.
120 - Dreams
We dream of everything in the world, and a few things more! If we were asked to tell our dreams, it would be impossible. You dream that you are at a feast; Behold! the foods change into a flying horse, and you are riding through the air; or again, suddenly transformed into a morsel for a monster's meal. Such is life. The changes occur as suddenly as they happen in a dream. Men have been rich one day, they have been beggars the next. We have witnessed the exile of monarchs, and the flight of a king: or, in another direction, we have seen a man, neither reputable or honorable in status, at a single stride exalted to a throne; and you who would have shunned him in the streets before, were foolish enough to throng your streets to stare at him. Ah! such is life. Leaves of the tree were not more easily moved by the winds, nor are dreams more variable: "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth."
121 - Bible Light
It is better to have two lights than only one. The light of creation is a bright light. God may be seen in the stars; His name is written in shiny letters on the darkness of night; you may discover His glory in the ocean waves. Yes, in the trees of the field; but it is better to read it in two books than in only one. You will find it here more clearly revealed; for He has written this book Himself, and He has given you the key to understand it, if you have the Holy Spirit. Yes, beloved, let us thank God for this Bible; let us love it; let us count it more precious than much fine gold.
122 - Cloudy Future
How foolish are those men who wish to pry into the future; the telescope is ready, and they are looking through; but they are so anxious to see, that they breathe on the glass with their hot breath and they dim it, so that they can discern nothing but clouds and darkness.
123 - Hypocrisy
Every now and then we turn over fair looking stone which lies upon the green grass of the professing church, surrounded with the growth of apparent goodness, and to our astonishment we find beneath all kinds of filthy insects and loathsome reptiles, and in our disgust at such hypocrisy, we are driven to exclaim, "All men are liars; there are none in whom we can put any trust at all." It is not fair to say so of all; but really, the discoveries which are made of the insincerity of our fellow creatures are enough to make us despise our kind, because they can go so far in appearances, and yet have so little soundness of heart.
124 - The Blood Stained Book
Our Bible is a blood-stained book. The blood of martyrs is on the Bible, the blood of translators and believers. The pool of holy baptism in which you have been baptized is a bloodstained pool: many have had to die for the vindication of that baptism which is the answer of a good conscience towards God. The doctrines which we preach to you are doctrines that have been baptized in blood-swords have been drawn to kill the confessors of them; and there is not a truth which has not been sealed by them at the stake, or the block, or far away on the lofty mountains, where they have, been slain by hundreds.
125 - God's Eyes on Us
God might, if He pleased, wrap himself with night as with a garment; He might put the stars around His wrist for bracelets, and bind the suns around His brow for a crown; He might dwell alone, far, far above this world, up in the seventh heaven, and look down with calm and silent indifference, upon all the doings of His creatures; He might do as the heathens supposed their false god did, sit in perpetual silence, sometimes nodding his awful head to make the fates move as he pleased, but never taking thought of the little things of earth, disposing of them as beneath his notice, engrossed within his own being, swallowed up within himself, living alone and retired; and I, as one of his creatures, might stand at night upon a mountain-top, and look upon the silent stars and say, "You are the eyes of God, but you do not look down on me; your light is the gift of His omnipotence, but your rays are not smiles of love to me. God, the mighty, Creator, has forgotten me; I am a despicable drop in the ocean of creation, a leaf in the forest of beings, an atoll in the mountain of existence. He does not know me; I am alone, alone, alone." But it is not so, beloved. Our God is of another order. He notices every one of us; there is not a sparrow or a worm that continues to live apart from His decrees. There is not a person upon whom His eye is not fixed. Our most secret acts are known to Him. Whatsoever we do, or endure, or suffer, the eye of God still rests upon us, and we are under His smile-for we are His people; or under His frown-for we have sinned against Him.
126 - The Power of God
Any farmer can get a good crop out of good soil; but God is the farmer who can grow cedars on rocks, who can not only put the hyssop upon the wall, but put the oak there too, and make the greatest faith spring up in the most unlikely place. All glory to His grace! The great sinner may become great in faith. Be of good cheer, then, sinner! If Christ should make you repent, you have no reason to think that you will be the least in the family. Oh! no; your name may yet be written among the mightiest of the mighty and you may stand as a memorable and triumph instance of the power of faith.
127 - Seeing Jesus
If we look at something in the pitch blackness of the dark, we cannot see it; but we have done what we were told. So, if a sinner only looks to Jesus, He will save him, for Jesus in the dark is as good as Jesus in the light; and Jesus, when you cannot see him, in as good as Jesus when you can.
128 - The Anchor of Calvary
There was an evil hour once when I released the anchor of my faith; I cut the cable of my belief; I no longer moored myself tight to the coasts of the Revelation of God; I allowed my vessel to drift with the wind; I said to reason, "You be my captain;" I said to my own brain, "You be my rudder;" and I started on my mad voyage. Thank God, it is all over now; but I will tell you its brief history. It was one hurried sailing over the tempestuous ocean of free thought. I went on, and as I went, the skies began to darken; but to make up for that deficiency, the waters were brilliant with the glitter of brilliancy. I saw sparks flying upward that pleased me, and I thought, "If this is free thought, it is a good thing." My thoughts seemed like gems, and I scattered stars with both my hands; but before long, instead of these flashes of glory, I saw grim fiends, fierce and horrible, come up from the waters, and as I rushed on, they gnashed their teeth, and grinned at me; they seized the bow of my ship and dragged me on, while I, in part, was impressed at the swiftness of my motion, but yet shuddered at the terrific rate with which I passed the old landmarks of my faith. As I hurried forward with an awful speed, I began to doubt my very existence; I doubted if there were a world, I doubted if there were such a thing, as myself. I went to the very verge of the dreamy realms of unbelief. I went to the very bottom of the sea of Unbelief. I doubted everything. But here the devil foiled himself: for the very extravagance of the doubt, proved its absurdity. Just when I saw the bottom of that sea, there came a voice which said, "And can this doubt be true?" At this very thought I awoke. I started from that death-dream, which, God knows, might have damned my Soul, and ruined my body, if I had not awoke. When I arose, faith took the helm; from that moment I no longer doubted. Faith steered me back; faith cried, "Away, away!" I cast my anchor on Calvary; I lifted my eye to God; and here I am, "alive, and out of hell."
129 - Traveling to Our Destiny
This world is turning around on its axis once every twenty-four hours; and besides that, it is moving around the sun in the 365 days of the year. So that we are all moving; we are all flitting along through space. And as we are traveling through space, so we are also moving through time at an incalculable rate. Oh! what an idea it is, if we could we grasp it! We are all being carried along as if by a giant angel, with broad outstretched wings, which he flaps to the sound of thunder, and flying before the lightning, makes us ride on the winds. The whole multitude of us are hurrying along-to a place that will be decided by the test of our faith and the grace of God; but it is certain, we are all traveling. Do not think that you are stable things; do not fancy that you are standing still; you are not. Your pulses each moment beat the funeral marches to the tomb. You are chained to the chariot of rolling time; there is no slowing of the horses, or leaping from the chariot; you must be constantly in motion.
130 - A Trip to Heaven
CHRIST is the chariot in which souls are drawn to heaven. The people of the Lord are on their way to heaven, they are carried in everlasting arms; and those arms are the arms of Christ. Christ is carrying them up to His own house, to His own throne; in time His prayer-"Father, I want those you have given Me to be with Me where I am" shall be completely fulfilled. And it is being fulfilled now, for He is like a strong charger drawing His children in the chariot of the covenant of grace unto Himself. Oh! blessed be God, the cross is the plank on which we swim to heaven; the cross is the great covenant transport which will weather out the storms, and reach its desired heaven. This is the chariot, the sides are made of gold, and the bottom of silver, it is lined with the purple of the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ.
132 - Pilgrimage of a Pious Life
A pilgrim sets out in the morning, and he has to journey many days before he gets to the shrine which he seeks. What varied scenes the traveler will behold on his way! Sometimes he is on the mountains, and in time he will descend into the valleys; here he will be where the brooks shine like silver, where the birds sing out, where the air is balmy, and trees are green, and luscious fruits hang down to gratify his taste; and in time he will find himself in the arid desert, where no life is found, and no sound is heard, except the screech of the wild eagle in the air, where he finds no rest for the sole of his foot – the burning sky above him, and the hot sand beneath him – no roof of trees, and no house to rest himself; at another time he finds himself in a sweet oasis, resting by the wells of water, and plucking fruit from palm trees. One moment he walks between the rocks in some narrow gorge, where all is darkness; at another time he ascends the hill, Mizar; now he descends into the valley of Baca; and in time he climbs the hill of Bashan, “a high hill is Bashan;” and yet again going into a den of leopards, he suffers trial and affliction. Such is life—ever changing. Who can tell what may come next? Today it is fair, the next day there may be the thundering storm; today I may need nothing, tomorrow I may be like Jacob, with nothing but a stone for my pillow and the heavens for my curtains. But what a happy thought it is, though we do not know where the road winds, we know where it ends. It is the straightest way to heaven to go round about. Israel’s forty years wanderings were, after all, the nearest path to Canaan. We may have to go through trail and affliction; the pilgrimage may be a tiresome one, but it is safe; we cannot trace the river upon which we are sailing, but we know it ends in floods of bliss. We cannot track the roads, but we know that they all meet in the great metropolis of heaven, in the center of God’s universe. God help us to pursue the true pilgrimage of a pious life!
133 - Life's Goal
There is no loss in being a Christian, and making God the first object; but make anything else your goal, and with all your running, should you run ever so well, you shall fall short of the mark; or if you gain it, you shall fall uncrowned, unhonored to the earth. “My soul, wait only upon God.”
134 - The Simple Gospel
If it would take me seven years to describe the way of salvation, I am sure you would all long to hear it. If only one learned doctor could tell the way to heaven, how would he be sought after! And if it were in hard words, with a few scraps of Latin and Greek, it would be all the better. But it is a simple gospel that we have to preach. It is only “Look!” “Ah!” you say, “is that the gospel? I shall not pay any attention to that.” But why has God ordered you to do such a simple thing? Just to take down your pride, and to show you that he is God, and that beside him there is none else. Oh, mark how simple the way of salvation is. It is, “Look! Look! Look! Four letters, and two of them alike! “Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth.”
135 - What is Faith?
Faith is to say, that “mountains, when hidden in darkness, are as real as in the day.” Faith is to look through that cloud, not with the eye of sight, which sees nothing, but with the eye of faith, which sees everything, and to say, “I trust him when I cannot see him; I tread as firmly as I would on the rock; I walk as securely in the tempest as in the sunshine, and lay myself to rest upon the surging billows of the ocean as contentedly as upon my bed.”
- Holy Spirit Power
As a man does not make himself spiritually alive, so neither can he keep himself so. He can feed on spiritual food, and so preserve his spiritual strength; he can walk in the commandments of the Lord, and so enjoy rest and peace, but still the inner life is dependent upon the Spirit as much for its future existence as for its birth. I do truly believe that if it should ever be my lot to put my foot upon the golden threshold of Paradise, and put this thumb upon the pearly latch, I would never cross the threshold unless I had grace given me to take that last step whereby I might enter heaven. No man himself, even when converted, has any power, except as that power is daily, constantly, and perpetually infused into him by the Holy Spirit.
- Waiting Upon God
Oh! It is a happy way of smoothing sorrow, when we can say, “We will wait only upon God.” Oh, you agitated Christians, do not dishonor your religion by always wearing a frown of concern; come, cast your burden upon the Lord. I see you staggering beneath a weight which He would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him nothing but a small amount of dust. See! The Almighty bends his shoulders, and he says, “Here, put your troubles here.”
138 - School of Trouble
Most of the great truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. No man is competent to judge in matters of the kingdom, until first he has been tried; since there are many things to be learned in the depths which we can never know in the heights. We discover many secrets in the caverns of the ocean, which, though we had soared to heaven, we never could have known. He shall best meet the needs of God’s people as a preacher who has had those needs himself; he shall best comfort God’s Israel who has needed comfort; and he shall best preach salvation who has felt his own need of it.
- Meeting with the Lord
If I desired to put myself into the most likely place for the Lord to meet with me, I would prefer the house of prayer, for it is in preaching, that the Word is most blessed; but still I think I should equally desire the reading of the Scriptures; for I might pause over every verse, and say, “Such a verse was blessed to so many souls; then, why not to me? I am at least in the pool of Bethesda; I am walking among its porches, and who can tell but that the angel will stir the pool of the Word, while I lie helplessly by the side of it, waiting for the blessing?”
- Obedience that Will Not Save
Oh! It is not some heretic flush upon the cheek of consumptive irresolution that God counts to be the health of obedience. It is not some slight obedience for an hour that God will accept at the Day of Judgment. He said “continued;” and unless from my early childhood to the day when my gray hairs descend into the tomb, I shall have continued to be obedient to God, I must be condemned. Unless I have from the first dawn of reason, when I first began to be responsible, obediently served God, until, like a shock of corn, I am gathered into my Master’s barn, salvation by works must be impossible to me, and I must (standing on my own footing), be condemned. It is not, I say, some slight obedience that will save the soul. You have not continued “in all things which are written in the book of the law,” and therefore, you are condemned.
141 - Eyes on Christ
Remember to turn your eyes heavenward, and your heart heavenward, too. Remember that you need to put a round yourself a golden chain, and to securely fasten one end of it in heaven. Look to Christ; do not fear. There is no stumbling when a man walks with his eyes looking up to Jesus. He that looked at the stars fell into the ditch; but he that looks at Christ walks safely.
142 - Support of God
Behold the unpillared arch of heaven; see how it stretches its gigantic span; and yet it does not fall, though it is unpropped and unsupported, “He hangs the world on nothing.” What chain is it that holds up the stars, and keeps them from falling? Lo, they float in space, held up by his omnipotent arm, who has laid the foundations of the universe. A Christian should be a second exhibition of God’s universe; his faith should be an unpillared confidence, resting on the past, and on the eternity to come, as the sure groundwork of its arch. His faith should be like the world, it should hang on nothing but the promise of God, and have no other support but that; and he himself like the stars, should float in the space of confidence, needing nothing to uphold him but the right hand of the Majesty on high.
144 - Faith to the Rescue
So mighty is the ever-rushing torrent of sin, that no arm but that which is as strong as Deity can ever stop the sinner from being hurried down to the gulf of black despair, and, when nearing that gulf, so impetuous is the torrent of divine wrath, that nothing can snatch the soul from eternal hell but an atonement which is as divine as God himself. Yet faith is the instrument of accomplishing the whole work. It delivers the sinner from the stream of sin, and so, laying hold upon the omnipotence of the Spirit, it rescues him from that great whirlpool of destruction into which his soul was being hurried.
145 - Melted and Purified
Man is like a great icicle, which the sun of time is continually thawing, and which is soon to be water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up. Who can recall the departed spirit, or inflate the lungs with a new breath of life? Who can put vitality into the heart, and restore the soul from hell? No one. It cannot be gathered up. The place will never see it again. But here is a sweet thought to cheer us. This water cannot be lost, but it will descend into the soil to filter through the Rock of Ages, at finally will spring up a pure fountain in heaven, cleansed, purified, and made clear as crystal. How terrible if, on the other hand, it should percolate the black earth of sin, and hang in horrid drops in the dark caverns of destruction!
146 - Rushing to Destruction
And all these—all this vast gathering of human souls, are joining in one cry—all moving in one direction. Oh, thought, at which the faithful well may weep; their cry is self, their course is sin. Here and there are the chosen few struggling against the mighty tide; but the masses, the multitude, still, as in the days of David, are hurrying their mad career in search of a imaginary good, and reaping the fruit of the futile search in disappointment, death and hell.
147 - Missing the Joy
Perhaps the most miserable people in the world are the very careful ones. You that are so anxious about what shall happen to morrow that you cannot enjoy the pleasures of today, you who have such a peculiar cast of mind that you suspect every star to be a comet, and imagine that there must be a volcano in every grassy mead, you that are more attracted by the spots in the sun than by the sun itself, and more amazed by one dry leaf on the tree than by all the verdure of the woods—you that make more of your troubles than you could do of your jobs—I say, I think you belong to the most miserable of men.
148 - Look to Christ!
From the cross of Calvary, where the bleeding hands of Jesus drop mercy; from the garden of Gethsemane, where the bleeding pores of the Savior sweat pardons, the cry comes, ‘Look to me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth.” From Calvary’s summit, where Jesus cries, “It is finished,” I hear a shout, “Look, and be saved.” But there comes a vile cry from our soul, “No, look to yourself! Look to yourself!” Ah, look to yourself, and you will be damned. That certainly will come of it. As long as you look to yourself there is no hope for you. It is not a consideration of what you are, but a consideration of what God is, and what Christ is, that can save you. It is looking from yourself to Jesus. Oh! there are men that quite misunderstand the gospel; they think that righteousness qualifies them to come to Christ; whereas sin is the only qualification for man to come to Jesus. Good old Crisp says, ”Righteousness keeps me from Christ: those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but only they that are sick. Sin makes me come to Jesus, when sin is felt; and in coming to Christ, the more sin I have the more cause I have to hope for mercy.”
149 - The Growth of Sin
You cannot, though you may think you can, preserve a moderation in sin. If you commit one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier upon the Alps; the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone on the memorial of stones today, the next day you will add another, until the heap, built stone by stone, shall become a very pyramid. Set the coral insect at work, you cannot decree where it shall do its work. It will not build its rock as you command, it will not stop until it shall be covered with weeds, until the weeds shall decay and there shall be soil on it, and an island shall be created by tiny creatures. Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle.
150 - Building towards Heaven
Soon, soon, the saints of the earth shall be saints in light; their hairs of snowy age shall be crowned with perpetual joy and everlasting youth; their eyes bathed with tears shall be made bright as stars, never to be clouded again by sorrow; their hearts that tremble now are to be made joyous and strong, and set forever like pillars in the temple of God. Their follies, their burdens, their griefs, their woes, are soon to be over; sin is to be slain, corruption is to be removed, and a heaven of spotless purity and of unmingled peace is to be theirs forever. But it must still be by grace. As was the foundation so must the capstone be; that which was laid as the first stone on earth, will receive its capstone in heaven.
151- True Wisdom
To know one's self to be foolish is to stand on the doorstep of the temple of wisdom; to understand the unfairness of any position is half way towards amending it; to be quite sure that our self confidence is a heinous sin and folly, and an offense towards Gods, and to have that thought burned into us by God's Holy Spirit is going a great length towards the absolute casting our self-confidence away, and the bringing of our souls in practice, as well as in theory, to rely wholly on the power of God's Holy Spirit.
152 - The Death Struggle
Oh! How solemn will be that hour when we must struggle with that enemy, Death! The death-rattle is in our throat--we can scarce articulate--we try to speak; the death-glaze is on the eye: Death has put his fingers on those windows of the body, and shut out the light forever; the hands nearly refuse to lift themselves, and there we are, close on the borders of the grave! Ah! that moment, when the spirit sees its destiny; that moment of all moments the most solemn, when the soul looks through the bars of its cage, on the world to come! No, I cannot tell you how the spirit feels, if it is an ungodly spirit, when it sees a fiery throne of judgment, and hears the thunders of Almighty wrath, while there is but a moment between it and hell. I cannot picture to you what must be the terror which men will feel, when they realize what they often heard of!
153 - True Friendship
True friendship can only be made between true men. Hearts are the soul of honor. There can be no lasting friendship between bad men. Bad men may pretend to love each other, but their friendship is a rope of sand, which shall be broken at any convenient season; but if a man has a sincere heart within in him, and is true and noble, then we may confide in him.
154 - Guaranteed Goodness
Who can find a stain in the character of Jesus, or who can tarnish his honor? Has there ever been a spot on his shield? Has his flag ever been trampled in dust? Does he not stand as the true witness in heaven, the faithful and just? Is it not declared of him that he is God who cannot lie? Have we not found him so up to this moment; and may we not, knowing that he is "Holy, holy, holy Lord," confide in him, that he will stick closer to us than a brother? His goodness is the guarantee of his fidelity; he cannot fail us.
155 - The Bible Weapon
This Bible is the stone that will break philosophy into powder; this is the mighty battering-ram that will dash all systems of philosophy into pieces; this is the stone that a woman may yet hurl upon the head of every Abimelech, and he will be utterly destroyed. O Church of God! Do not fear; you will do wonders; wise men will be confounded, and you will know, and they too, that he is God, and that beside him there is no one else.
156 - Our Father, Our Friend
He who would be happy must have friends; and he who would be happy hereafter, must, above all things, find a friend in the world to come, in the person of God, the Father of his people.
157 - False Profession
A mere profession, is but painted pageantry to go to hell in: it is like the plumes on the hearse and the trappings on the black horses which drag men to their graves, the funeral array of dead souls. Take heed above everything of a waxen profession that will not stand the sun; take care of a life that needs to have two faces to carry it out; be one thing, or else the other. If you make up your mind to serve Satan, do not pretend to serve God; and if you serve God, serve him with all your heart.
158 - Think of Christ
You may think of a doctrine forever, and get no good from it, if you are not already saved; but think of the person of Christ, and that will give you faith. Take him everywhere, wherever you go, and try to meditate on him in your leisure moments, and then he will reveal himself to you, and give you peace.
159 - True Love
What! Is Christ your Brother, and does he live in your house, and yet you have not spoken to him for a month? I fear there is little love between you and your Brother, for you have no conversation with him for so long. What! Is Christ the Husband of his church, and has she had no fellowship with him for all this time?
160 - Truth All Wrapped Up
You have seen mummies, wrapped around and around with folds of linen. Well, God's Bible is like that; it is a vast roll of white linen, woven in the loom of truth; so you will have to continue unwinding it, roll after roll, before you get the real meaning of it from the very depth; and when you have found, as you think, a part of the meaning, you will still need to keep on unwinding, unwinding, and all eternity you will be unwinding the words of this wondrous volume.
161 - Revival
It is easy to find hundreds that have departed from the truth, but you must count by ones who know how to groan over their departure. The true believer, however, when he discovers that he needs revival, will not be happy; he will begin at once that incessant and continuous strain of cries and groans which will at last prevail with God, and bring the blessing of revival down.
162 - Pure Desire
When a man has fifty different desires, his heart resembles a pool of water, which is spread over a marsh, breeding mist and pestilence; but when all his desires are brought into one channel, his heart becomes like a river of pure water, running along and fertilizing the fields.
163 - The Everlasting Praise of Christ
Even if it were possible that the innumerable company of the redeemed could perish, and their immortality were swallowed up in death, yet even then, daily Christ would be praised! If all of mankind would suddenly disappear, then look at the heavens! See the starry host; see the mighty throng of cherubs and seraphs? Let men be gone and they shall praise him; let the troops of the glorified cease their notes, and let no sweet melodies ever come from the lips of sainted men and women; yet the cherubs and seraphs of God would number at least twenty thousand, even many thousands of angels, who always chant his praise. There is an orchestra on high, the music of which shall never cease, even if mortals were extinct and all the human race swept from existence. Again, if all the angels were gone, still daily would he be praised; for, are there not worlds on worlds, and suns on suns, and systems on systems, that could forever sing his praise? Yes! The ocean-that house of storms-would howl out his glories; the winds would swell the notes of his praise with their ceaseless gales; the thunders would roll like drums in the march of the God of armies; the endless void of space would become vocal with song; and would burst forth into one universal chorus-Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Still the Lord God omnipotent reigns! And if these ceased to exist; if creatures ceased to exist, he who always lives and reigns, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells, would still be praised; praised; praised in himself, and glorious in himself; for the Father would praise the Son, and the Spirit would praise him, and mutually blessing one another and rendering each other beatified, still "daily would he be praised,"
164 - Secure Near Christ
This city of refuge had very large suburbs around it, extending out to one-half mile from the city walls, and was used for grazing the cattle of the priests, and approximately one-half of this area was used for fields and vineyards. Now, no sooner did the man reach the outside of the city, the suburbs, than he was safe; it was not necessary for him to get within the walls, but the suburbs themselves were sufficient protection. Learn, therefore, that if you just touch the hem of Christ's garment, you shall be made whole; if you only lay hold of him with "faith as small as a mustard seed," with faith which is scarcely believing, but is truly believing, then you are safe. "A little genuine grace ensures the death of all our sins." Get within the borders; grab hold of the hem of Christ's garment, and you are secure.
165 - Destroying Yourself
It is sad for you, that your pulse should beat a march to hell. Sad! That the clock, like the muffled drum, should be the music of the funeral march of your soul. Sad! Sad! That you should fold your arms in pleasure, when the knife is at your heart. Sad! Sad! For you, that you should sing, and make jokes, when the rope is around your neck, and trap door is loose beneath your feet! Sad! For you, that you should go your way, and live merrily and happily and yet be lost! You remind me of the silly moth that dances around the flame, singeing itself for a while, and then at last plunging to its death.
Such are you! Young woman, with your butterfly clothing, you are leaping around the flame that shall destroy you! Young man, light and trivial in your conversation, gay in your life, you are dancing to hell; you are singing your way to damnation, and promenading the road to destruction. Sad! sad! that you should be making your own death clothes; that you should every day by your sins be building your own gallows; that by your transgressions you should be digging your own graves, and working hard to pile the wood for your own eternal burning. Oh! That you were wise, that you understood this, that you would consider your coming end. Oh! That you would flee from the wrath to come!
166 - Envy the Dead
The saints in Jesus, when their bodies sleep in peace, have perpetual fellowship with him--yes, better fellowship than we can enjoy. We have but the transitory glimpse of his face; they gaze upon it every moment. We see him "in a glass, darkly;" they behold him "face to face." We sip of the brook by the way; they plunge into the very ocean of unbounded love. We look up sometimes, and see our Father smile; look whenever they may, his face is always full of smiles for them. We get some drops of comfort; but they get the honeycomb itself. They have their cup filled with new wine, running over with perennial, unmixed delights. They are full of peace, full of joy forever. They "sleep in Jesus." Such a description of death makes us wish to sleep too. O Lord, let us go to sleep with the departed! O happy hour! When a clod of the valley shall be our pillow! Though it is hard, we shall not be affected by it. Happy hour, when earth shall be our bed! Cold shall be the clay, but we shall not know it; we shall slumber and we shall rest. The worm shall hold a carnival within our bones, and corruption shall run all over our bodies; but we shall not feel it. Corruption can only feed on the corruptible; mortality can only prey upon the mortal. "We know 'tis common: all that live must die, passing through nature to eternity."
167 - Sing of Incarnation
Salvation is God's highest glory. He is glorified in every dewdrop that twinkles in the morning sun, He is magnified in every flower that blossoms in the forest, although it is unseen, and wastes its sweetness in the forest air. God is glorified in every bird that sings out; in every lamb that skips through the meadow. Don't all the fishes in the sea praise him. From the tiny minnow to the huge Leviathan, don't all the creatures that swim in the water bless and praise his name? Don't all created things extol him? Is there anything beneath the sky, except man, that does not glorify God? Don't the stars exalt him, when they write his name on the midnight blue of the heavens in their golden letters? Don't the lightnings adore him when they flash his brightness in arrows of light, piecing the midnight darkness? Don't thunders extol him when they roll like drums in the march of the God of armies? Don't all things exalt him, from the least even to the greatest? But sing, sing, O Universe, till you have exhausted yourself, you can't sing a song so sweet as the song of Incarnation. Though creation may be a majestic organ of praise, it cannot reach the compass of the golden song--Incarnation! There is more in that than in creation, more melody in Jesus in the manager, than there is in worlds on worlds rolling their grandeur a round the throne of the Most High.
168 - Unlikely Choices
God builds for himself a palace in heaven made of living stones: Where did he get them? Did he go to the quarries of Paris? Has he brought forth the richest and the purest marble from the quarries of perfection? No, you saints, look to "the hole of the pit where you were dug out of, and to the rock where you were cut from!" You were full of sin; far from being stones that were white with purity, you were black with defilement, seemingly utterly unfit to be stones in the spiritual temple, which should be the dwelling-place of the Most High. And yet he chose you to be trophies of his grace, and of his power to save. When Solomon built himself a palace, he built it of cedar; but when God built for himself a dwelling forever, he did not cut down the grand cedars, but he dwelt in a bush, and has preserved it as his memorial forever, "The God that dwells in the bush." Goldsmiths make exquisite forms from precious material; they fashion the bracelet and the ring from gold: --God makes his precious things out of base material; and from the black pebbles of the defiling brooks he has taken up stones, which he has set in the golden ring of his immutable love, to make them gems to sparkle on his finger forever. He has not selected the best, but apparently the worst of men, to be the monuments of his grace; and when he wanted to have a choir in heaven that would with tongues harmonious sing his praises--a chorus that would forever chant hallelujahs louder than the noise of many waters, and like great thunders, he did not send Mercy down to seek earth's songsters, and select us from those who have the sweetest voices: He said, "Go, Mercy, and find the dumb, and touch their lips, and make them sing. The virgin tongues that never sang my praise before, that have been silent till now, shall break forth in rhapsodies sublime, and they shall lead the song; even angels shall but attend from behind, and catch the notes from the lips of those who once were dumb." "The tongue of the dumb shall sing" God's praises hereafter in heaven.
169 - THE MANY
What a thousand thoughts rise around these two words! The million-peopled city, the populous town, the widespread country, this isle, kingdoms, empires, continents, the world, all seem to issue forth like armies from the hundred-gated Thebes, at the mention of that word, "The many." Here we see the toiling peasant and his lordly squire, the artisan and the princely merchant, the courtier and the king, the young, the old, the learned and the unlearned, all gathered within the compass of a word.
170 - Hypocrite
O hypocrite, you think that you shall excel, because the minister has been duped, and gives you credit for a deep experience; because the deacons have been entrapped and think you to be eminently godly; because the church members receive you to their houses, and think you a dear child of God too! Poor soul! Perhaps you may go to your grave with the delusion in your brain that all is right with you; but remember, though like a sheep you are laid in your grave, Death will find you out. He will say to you, off with your mask, man! Away with all your robes! Up with that whitewashed sepulcher! Take off that green turf; let the worms be seen. Out with the body; let us see the reeking corruption! And what will you say when your abominably corrupt and filthy heart shall be opened before the sun, and men and angels hear your lies and hypocrisies laid bare before them? Will you play the hypocrite then? Soul, come and sing God's praises in the Day of Judgment with false lips! Tell him now, while a widow's house is in your throat, tell him that you love him! Come, now, you that devour the fatherless, you that rob, you that do uncleanness! Tell him now that you make your boast in the Lord! Tell him that you preach his word; tell him that you walk in his streets; tell him you make it known that you were one of the excellent of the earth! What! Man, is your babbling tongue silent for once? What is the matter with you? You were never slow to talk of your godliness. Speak out, and say "I took the sacramental cup; I was a professor." Oh how changed! The whitewashed sepulcher has become white in another sense; he is white with horror. See now; the talkative one has become dumb; the boaster is silent; the formalist's garb is torn to rags, the moth has devoured their beauty; their gold and their silver has become tarnished. Ah! it must be with every man who has thus lied to God and to his own conscience.
171 - Mighty Champions
There never shall come a day when the church shall be without mighty champions for the truth, who fail to declare the whole counsel of God; but continually, to the latest period of time, men shall be raised up to preach free grace in all its sovereignty, in all its omnipotence, in all its perseverance, in all its immutability. Until the sun grows dim with age, and the comets cease their mighty revolutions--till all nature quakes and totters with old age, and, palsied with disease, dies away--the voice of the ministry must and shall be heard, "and daily shall He be praised." Men cannot put out the light of Christianity: the pulpit is still the critical narrow pass of Christendom, and if there were but two godly ministers they would stand in the pass and repulse a thousand--yes, ten thousand. All the hosts of mankind shall never vanquish the feeble band of Christ's follower's, while He sends forth his ministers. On this we rely as a sure word of prophecy: "You teachers shall no more be removed into a corner;" and we believe that by this ministry daily shall Christ be praised.
172 - The Fight
Heaven is a place of complete victory and glorious triumph. This is the battlefield; there is the triumphal procession. This is the land of the sword and the spear; that is the land of the wreath and the crown. This is the land of the garment rolled in blood and the dust of the fight; that is the land of the trumpet's joyful sound--that is the place of the white robe and of the shout of conquest. Oh, what a thrill of joy shall shoot through the hearts of all the blessed when their conquests shall be complete in heaven, when death itself, the last of foes, shall be slain--when Satan shall be dragged captive at the chariot wheels of Christ--when He shall have overthrown sin and trampled corruption as the mire of the streets--when the great shout of universal victory shall rise from the hearts of all the redeemed!
173 - The Pursuit
The eagle is a bird noted for its swiftness: I remember reading an account of an eagle attacking a fish-hawk, which had obtained some booty from the deep, and was bearing it aloft. The hawk dropped the fish, which fell towards the water; but before the fish had reached the ocean, the eagle had flown more swiftly than the fish could fall, and catching it in its beak, it flew away with it. The swiftness of the eagle is almost incalculable; you see it, and it is gone; you see a dark speck in the sky yonder; it is in an eagle soaring; let the fowler imagine that in time he shall overtake it on some mountain's craggy peak, it shall be gone long before he reaches it. Such is our life. It is like an eagle hurrying to its prey; not merely an eagle flying in its ordinary course, but an eagle hurrying to its prey. Life appears to be hurrying to its prey--the prey is the body; life is ever fleeing from insatiate death; but death is too swift to be outrun, and as an eagle overtakes his prey, so shall death.
174 - Snares
There is not a place beneath which a believer walks that is free from snares. Behind every tree there is the Indian with his barbed arrow; behind every bush there is the lion seeking to devour; under every piece of grass there lies the adder. They are everywhere.
175 - Presumption
You saw only yesterday a strong man in your neighborhood brought to the grave by sudden death; it is only a month ago that you heard the bell toll for one whom once you knew and loved, who procrastinated and procrastinated until he perished in procrastination. You have had strange things happen in your very street, and the voice of God has been spoken loudly through the lip of Death to you. Yes, and you have had warnings too in your own body, you have been sick with fever, you have been brought to the jaws of the grave, and have looked down into the bottomless vault of destruction. It is not long ago since you were given up: all said they might prepare a coffin for you, for your breath could not long be in your body. Then you turned your face to the wall and prayed; you vowed that if God would spare you, you would live a godly life, that you would repent of your sins; but to your own confusion you are just what you were. Ah! let me tell you, your guilt is more grievous than that of any other man, for you have sinned presumptuously, in the very highest sense in which you could have done so. You have sinned against reproofs, but what is worse still, you have sinned against your own solemn oaths and covenants, and against the promises that you made to God. He who plays with fire must be condemned as careless; but he who has been burned out once, and afterwards plays with the destroying element, is worse than careless; and he who has himself been scorched in the flame, and has had his locks all hot and crisp with the burning, if he again should rush headlong into fire, I say he is worse than careless, he is worse than presumptuous, he is mad. But I have some such here. They have had warnings so terrible that they might have known better; they have gone into lusts which have brought their bodies into sickness, and perhaps this day they have crept up to this house, and they dare not tell to their neighbor who stands by their side what is the loathsomeness that even now breeds upon their body. And yet they will go back to the same lusts; the fool will go again to the stocks, the sheep will lick the knife that is to slay him. You will go in your lust and in your sins, despite warnings, despite advice, until you perish in your guilt. How worse than children are grownup men! The child who goes for a merry slide upon a pond, if he be told that the ice will not bear him, turns back in fear, or if he daringly creeps upon it, how soon he leaves it, if he hears but a crack upon the slender covering of the water! But you men have conscience, which tells you that your sins are vile, and that they will be your ruin, you hear the crack of sin, as its thin sheet of pleasure gives way beneath your feet; yes, and some of you have seen your comrades sink in the flood, and lost; and yet you go sliding on, worse than childish, worse than mad are you, thus presumptuously to play with your own everlasting state. O my God, how terrible is the presumption of some! How fearful is presumption of any! Oh ! that we might be enabled to cry, "Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins."
176 - Eternal Love
Oh! you kind and affectionate hearts, who are not rich in wealth, but who are rich in love--and that is the world's best wealth--put this golden coin among your silver ones, and it will sanctify them. Get Christ's love shed abroad in your hearts, and your mother's love, your daughter's love, your husband's love, your wife's love, will become more sweet than ever. The love of Christ does not cast out the love of relatives, but it sanctifies our loves, and makes them sweeter by far. Remember the love of men and women is very sweet; but all must pass away; and what will you do, if you have no wealth but the wealth that fades, and no love but the love which dies, when death shall come? Oh! To have the love of Christ! You can take that across the river of death with you; you can wear it as your bracelet in heaven, and set it up as a seal upon your hand; for his love is "strong as death and mightier than the grave."
177 - Love God!
Behold, him whom you cannot behold! Lift up your eyes to the seventh heaven; see where, in dreadful majesty, the brightness of his gown makes the angels veil their faces, lest the light, too strong for even them, should strike them with eternal blindness. See him, who stretched the heavens like a tent to dwell in, and then weaves into their tapestry, with golden needle, stars that glitter in the darkness. Mark him who spread the earth, and created man upon it. And hear you what he is. He is all-sufficient, eternal, self existent, unchangeable, omnipotent, omniscient! Will you not reverence him? He is good, he is loving, he is kind, he is gracious! See the bounties of his providence; behold the plenitude of his grace! Will you not love Jehovah, because he is Jehovah?
178 - True Love
It seems too costly for him who is the Prince of Life and Glory to let his fair limbs be tortured in agony; that the hands which carried mercies should be pierced with accursed nails; that the temples that were always clothed with love should have cruel thorns driven through them. It appears too much. Oh! Weep, Christian, and let our sorrow rise. Is not the price all but too great, that your beloved should for you resign himself?
179 - Wisdom
It is marvelous that the men who most of all speak against faith are remarkable for gullibility. One of the greatest unbelievers in the world, who has called himself a free-thinker from his birth, is to be found now tottering into his tomb, believing the wildest absurdity that a child might make up. Not caring to have God in their hearts, forsaking the living fountain, they have hewn out to themselves cisterns which are broken, and hold no water. Oh! That we may each of us be more wise, that we may not forsake the good old path, nor leave the way that God has prepared for us. What wonder we should travel among thorns and briars, and tear our own flesh, or worse than that, fall among dark mountains, and be lost among the chasms, if we despise the guidance of an unerring Father.
180 - Our Cunning Enemy
A cunning enemy we have to deal with; he knows our weak points; he has been dealing with men for these last six thousand years; he knows all about them. He is possessed of a gigantic intellect: though he be a fallen spirit; and he is easily able to discover where our sore places are, and there it is he immediately attacks us. If we are like Achilles, and cannot be wounded anywhere but in our heel, then at the heel he will send his dart, and nowhere else.
181 - The Song of Death
There are some that are like what is fabled of the swan. The ancients said the swan never sang in his life-time, but always sang just when he died. Now, there are many of God's desponding children, who seem to go all their life under a cloud; but they get a swan's song before they die. The river of their life comes running down, perhaps black and miry with troubles, and when it begins to touch the white foam of the sea there comes a little glistening in its waters. So, beloved, though we may have been very much discouraged because of the burden of the way, when we get to the end we shall have sweet songs. Are you afraid of dying? Oh! Never be afraid of that; be afraid of living. Living is the only thing which can do an mischief; dying never can hurt a Christian. Afraid of the grave? It is like the bath of Esther, in which she lay for a time, to purify herself with spices, that she might be fit for her Lord. The grave fits the body for heaven. There it lies: and corruption, earth, and worms, only refine and purify our flesh. Do not be afraid of dying; it does not take any time at all. All that death is, is emancipation, deliverance, heaven's bliss to a child of God. Never fear it; it will be a singing time. You are afraid of dying, you say, because of the pains of death. No, they are pains of life-of life struggling to continue. Death has no pain; death itself is only one gentle sigh--the chain is broken, and the spirit is set free. The best moment of a Christian's life is his last one because it is the one that is nearest heaven; and then it is that he begins to strike the keynote of the song which he shall sing for all eternity.
182 - The Mysterious Spirit of the Living God
It may be, that during a sermon two men are listening to the same truth; one of them hears as attentively as the other and remembers as much of it; the other is melted to tears or moved with solemn thoughts; but the one though equally attentive, sees nothing in the sermon, except, maybe, certain important truths well set forth; as for the other, his heart is broken within him and his soul is melted. Ask me how is it that the same truth has an effect upon the one, and not upon his fellow: I reply, because the mysterious Spirit of the Living God goes with the truth to one heart and not to the other. The one only feels the force of truth, and that may be strong enough to make him tremble, like Felix; but the other feels the Spirit going with the truth, and that renews the man, regenerates him, and causes him to pass into that condition, that gracious condition which is called the state of salvation. This change takes place instantaneously. It is as miraculous a change as any miracle of which we read in Scripture. It is supremely supernatural. It may be mimicked, but no imitation of it can be true and real. Men may pretend to be regenerated without the Spirit, but regenerated they cannot be. It is change so marvelous that the highest attempts of man can never reach it. We may reason as long as we please, but we cannot reason ourselves into regeneration; we may meditate till our hairs are gray with study; but we cannot meditate ourselves into the new birth. That is worked in us by the sovereign will of God alone.
183 - No man can serve two masters.
Mark Anthony yoked two lions to his chariot; but there are two lions no man has ever yoked together--the lion of the tribe of Judah, and the lion of the pit. These can never go together. Two opinions you may hold in politics, perhaps, but then you will be despised by everyone, unless you are of one opinion or the other, and act as an independent man. But two opinions in the matter of soul-religion you cannot hold. If God be God, serve him, and do it thoroughly; but if this world is God, serve it, and make no profession of religion. If you are a worldling, and think the things of the world are the best, serve them; devote yourself to them, do not be kept back by conscience; ignore your conscience, and run into sin. But remember, if the Lord is your God, you cannot have Baal too; you must have one thing or the other. "No man can serve two masters." If God is served, he will be a master; and if the devil be served, he will not be long before he will be a master; and "you cannot serve two masters." Oh! Be wise, and do not think that the two can be mingled together.
184 - If God is God
If God is really worthy of our worship, and you really think so, I demand that you either follow him, or else deny that he is God at all. Now, professor of Christianity, if you say that Christ's gospel is the gospel, if you believe in the divinity of the gospel, and put your trust in Christ, I demand that you follow the gospel, not merely because it will be to your advantage, but because the gospel is divine. If you make a profession of being a child of God, if you are a believer, and think and believe religion is the best, the service of God the most desirable, then I do not come to plead with you because of any advantage you would get by being holy; it is on this ground that I put it, that the Lord is God; and if he is God, it is your business to serve him. If his gospel is true, and you believe it to be true, it is your duty to carry it out. If you say, Christ is not the Son of God, carry out your Jewish or your infidel convictions, and see whether it will end well. If you do not believe Christ to be the Son of God, if you are a Muslim, be consistent, carry out your Muslim convictions, and see whether it will end well. But, take heed, take heed! If however, you say God is God, and Christ is the Savior, and the gospel is true; I demand of you, only on this account, that you carry it out.
185 - Not Far from Home
O Children of God! Death has lost its sting, because the devil's power over it is destroyed. Then cease being afraid of dying. You know what death is: look him in the face, and tell him you are not afraid of him. Ask grace from God, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of the master's death, you may be strengthened for that dreaded hour. And mark me, if you so live you may be able to think of death with pleasure, and to welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die: to lie upon the breast of Christ, and have one's soul kissed out of one's body by the lips of divine affection. And you that have lost friends, or that may be bereaved, do not sorrow as those that are without hope; for remember the power of the devil is taken away. What a sweet thought the death of Christ brings us concerning those who are departed! They are gone, my brethren; but do you know how far they have gone? The distance between the glorified spirits in heaven and the militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home.
"One gentle sigh the spirit breaks,
We scarce can say 'tis gone,
Before the ransomed spirit takes
Its station near the throne."
We measure distance by time. We are apt to say that a certain place is so many hours from us. If it is a hundred miles away and there is no railroad we think it a long way; if there is a railway, we think we can be there in no time. But how near must we say heaven is? For it is just one sigh and we get there. Why, my brethren, our departed friends are only in the upper room, as it were, of the same house; they have not gone far off; they are upstairs, and we are down below.
186 - Be careful of your pleasures
It is said that where the most beautiful cacti grow, there the venomous serpents are to be found at the root of every plant. And it is so with sin. Your fairest pleasures will harbor your grossest sins. Take care; take care of your pleasures. Cleopatra's asp was introduced in a basket of flowers; so are our sins often brought to us in the flowers of our pleasures.
187 - Love your Creator
God, the Almighty, though he might use instruments, was nevertheless the sole creator of man. Though he is pleased to bring us into the world by the agency of our pregenitors, yet is he as much our Creator as he was the Creator of Adam, when he formed him out of clay and made him. Look at this marvelous body of your: see how God put the bones together, so as to be of the greatest service and use to you. See how he has arranged your nerves and blood-vessels: mark the marvelous machinery which he has employed to keep you in life! O thing of an hour! Will you not love him that made you? It is impossible that you can think of him who formed you in his hand, and molded you by his will, and yet you will not love him who has fashioned you?
188 - Think again of the end
You may think you can live fine without Christ, but you cannot afford to die without him. You can stand very securely at present, but death will shake your confidence. Your tree may be fair now, but when the wind comes, if it has no roots in the Rock of Ages, down it must come. You may think your worldly pleasures good, but they will then turn bitter as wormwood in your taste; worse than gall shall be the sweetest of your drinks, when you shall come to the bottom of your poisoned bowl.
189 - The Blood-stained Page
No inferior hand has sketched even so much as the most minute parts of providence. It was all, from its Alpha to its Omega, from its divine preface to its solemn comclusion, marked out, designed, sketched and planned by the mind of the all-wise, all-knowing God. Therefore, not even Christ's death was exempt from it. He that wings an angel and guides a sparrow, he that protects the hairs of our head from falling prematurely to the ground, was not likely, when he took notice of such little things, to omit in his solemn decrees the greatest wonder of earth's miracles, the death of Christ. No; the blood-stained page of that book, the page which makes both past and future glorious with golden words, that blood-stained page, I say, was as much written by Jehovah as any other.
190 - Like the Swift Ships
You may easily conceive how swiftly the mariner flies from a threatening storm, or seeks the port where he will find his home. You have sometimes seen how the ship cuts through the billows, leaving a white furrow behind her, and causing the sea to boil around her. Such is life, says Job, "like the swift ships," when the sails are filled by the wind, and the vessel dashes on, dividing a passage through the crowded water. Swift are the ships, but swifter far is life. The wind of time bears me along. I cannot stop its motion; I may direct it with the rudder of God's Holy Spirit; I may, it is true, take in some small sails of sin, which might hurry my days on faster than otherwise they would go; but nevertheless, like a swift ship, my life must speed on its way until it reaches its haven. Where is that haven to be? Shall it be found in the land of bitterness and barrenness, that dreary region of the lost? Or shall it be that sweet haven of eternal peace, where not a troubling wave can ruffle the quiet glory of my spirit? Wherever the haven is to be, that truth is the same, we are "like the swift ships."
191 - Focus on Christ
There is one great event, which every day attracts more admiration than do the sun, and moon, and stars, when they march in their courses. That event is, the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. To it the eyes of all the saints who lived before the Christian era were always directed; and backwards, through the thousand years of history, the eye of modern saints are looking. Upon Christ, the angels in heaven perpetually gaze. "Which things the angels desire to look into," said the apostle. Upon Christ, the myriad eyes of the redeemed are perpetually fixed; and thousands of pilgrims, through this world of tears, have no higher object for their faith, and no better desire for their vision, than to see Christ as he is in heaven, and in communion to behold his person. Beloved, we shall have many with us, while we turn our face to the Mount of Calvary. We shall not be solitary spectators of the fearful tragedy or our Savior's death: we shall but dart our eyes to that place which is the focus of heaven's joy and delight, the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
192 - Means of Grace
Happy is the nation which is blessed with the means of grace. No man was ever saved by the means of grace apart from the Holy Spirit. You may hear the sermons of the man whom God delights to honor; you may select from all your divines the writings of the man whom God did bless with a double portion of his Holy Spirit; you may attend every meeting for prayer; you may turn over the pages of his blessed book; but in all this, there is no life for the soul apart from the breath of the Divine Spirit. Use these means, we exhort you to use them, and use them diligently; but remember that in none of these means is there anything that can benefit you unless God the Holy Spirit shall own and crown them. These are like the conduit pipes of the market place; when the fountain-head flows with the water then they are full, and we do derive a blessing from them; but if the stream is held back, if the fountain head does cease to give forth its current, then these are wells without water, clouds without rain; and you may go to ordinances as an Arab turns to his skin bottle when it is dry, and with your parched lips you may suck the wind and drink the whirlwind, but receive neither comfort, nor blessing, nor instruction, from the means of grace.
193 - The Little Things
If little things have done great things, let us try to do great things also. You do not know, you atoms, but that your destiny is sublime. Try and make it so by faith; and the least of you may be mighty through the strength of God. Oh for grace to trust God, and there is no telling what you can do. Worms, you are nothing, but you have eaten princes; worms, you are nothing, but you have devoured the roots of cedars, and laid them level with the earth; worms, you are nothing, but you have piled rocks in the deep, deep sea, and wrecked mighty navies; worms, you have eaten through the keel of the proudest ship that ever sailed the ocean. If you have done this yourselves, what can't we do? Your strength lies in your mouths; our strength lies in ours too. We will use our mouths in prayer, and in constant adoration, and we shall conquer yet, for God is with us, and victory is sure.
194 - Sin of Presumption
It would be presumption for any man to climb to the top of the spire of a church, and stand upon his head. "Well, but he might come down safe it he were skilled in it." Yes, but it is presumptuous. I would no more think of paying any money to watch a man ascend in a balloon, than I would to watch a poor wretch cut his own throat. I would no more think of standing and gazing at any man who puts his life in a position of peril, than I would of paying a man to blow his brains out. I think such things, if not murders, are murderous. There is suicide in men's risking themselves in that way; and if there is suicide in the risk of the body, how much more in the case of a man who puts his own soul in jeopardy just because he thinks he has strength of mind enough to prevent its being ruined and destroyed. Sir, your sin is a sin of presumption; it is a great and grievous one; it is one of the master pieces of iniquity.
195 - A Penny's Worth of Righteousness
While you have a rag of your own you shall never have Christ; while you have a penny's worth of your own righteousness, you shall never have him; but when you are nothing, Christ is yours; when you have nothing of yourself to trust in, Jesus Christ in the gospel is your complete Savior; he bids me tell you he came to seek and to save people just like you.
196 - The Grace of Election!
There is no difference, by nature, between the elect and others: those who are now glorified in heaven, and who walk the golden streets, dressed in robes of purity, were by nature as unholy and defiled, and as far from original righteousness, as those who, by their own rejection of Christ, and by their love of sin, have brought themselves into the pit of eternal torment, as a punishment for their iniquities. The only reason why there is a difference between those who are in heaven and those who are in hell, rests with divine grace, and with divine grace alone. Those in heaven must inevitably have been cast away, had not everlasting mercy stretched out its hand and redeemed them. They were by nature not one bit superior to others. They would as certainly have rejected Christ, and have trodden under foot the blood of Jesus, as did those who were cast away, if grace--free grace--had not prevented them from committing this sin. The reason why they are Christians is not because they naturally willed to be one, nor because they did by nature desire to know Christ, or to be found of him; but they are now saints simply because God made them so. He gave them the desire to be saved; he put into them the will to seek after him; he helped them in their seekings, and afterward brought them to feel that peace which is the fruit of justification. But by nature they were just the same as others; and if there is any difference, we are obliged to say that the difference does not lie in their favor. In very many cases, we who now "rejoice in hope of the glory of God" were the very worst of men! There are multitudes that now bless God for their redemption who once cursed him; who implored, as frequently as they dare to do, with oaths and swearing, that the curse of God might rest upon their fellowmen and upon themselves. Many of the Lord's anointed were once the very castaways of Satan, the sweepings of society, the refuse of the earth, those whom no man cares for, who were called outcasts, but whom God has now called desired ones, seeing he has loved them.
197 - Trust God
Doubt the Eternal, distrust the Omnipotent? O traitorous fear! Do you think that the arm which created the heavens, and sustains the earth, shall ever be weak? Shall the brow which eternal ages have rolled over without scathing it, will eventually be furrowed by old age? What! Shall the Eternal fail you? God is too wise to error, too good to be unkind; stop doubting him, and begin to trust him, for in so doing, you will put a crown on his head, but in doubting him you trample his crown beneath your feet.
198 - Ringing the Bell in Heaven!
Keep prayer going; don't neglect your prayer meetings. Christmas Evans gives us a good idea about prayer. He says, "Prayer is the rope in the belfry; we pull it, and it rings the bell up in heaven." And so it is. Be sure that you keep that bell going. Pull it well. Come up to prayer meetings. Keep on pulling it; and though the bell is up so high that you cannot hear it ring, depend upon it it can be heard in the tower of heaven, and is ringing before the throne of God, who will give you answers of peace according to your faith. May your faith be large and plentiful, and so will your answers be!
199 - Never say Never
There is enough tinder in the heart of the best men in the world to light a
fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God should quench the sparks as
they fall. There is enough corruption, depravity, and wickedness in the heart of
the most holy man that is now alive to damn his soul to all eternity, if free
and sovereign grace does not prevent it. O Christian! You have need to pray this
prayer. But I think I hear you saying, "Is your servant a dog that I should
do this thing? So said Hazeal, when the prophet told him that he would slay his
master; but he went home, and took a wet cloth and spread it over his master's
face and choked him, and did the next day the sin which he abhorred before. Do
not think it is enough to abhor sin; you may yet fall into it. Do not say, "I
never can be drunken, for I have such an abhorrence of drunkenness;" you may
you are most secure. Do not say, "I can never blaspheme God,
for I have never done so in my life;" take care, you may yet swear most
profanely. Job might have said, "I will never curse the day of my
birth;" but he lived to do it. He was a patient man; he might have said,
"I will never murmur; though he slay me yet will I trust in him;" and
yet he lived to wish that the day were darkness wherein he was brought forth. Do
not boast then, O Christian! By faith you standest. "Let him that thinks
he stands take heed lest he fall."
200 - Tiresome Prayer
We never read that Joshua's hand was weary with wielding the sword, but Moses' hand was weary with holding the rod. The more spiritual the duty, the more apt we are to tire of it. We could stand and preach all day; but we could not pray all day. We could go forth to see the sick all day, but we could not be in our closets all day one- half so easily. To spend a night with God in prayer would be far more difficult than to spend a night with man in preaching. Oh! Take care, Church of Christ, that you do not cease your prayers!
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Spurgeon Collection" by:
Bible Bulletin Board
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