A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Evening, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. *11/9/2012
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal. [De 32:39]
1. There is only one God: Jehovah is his name — the “I AM.” That one God will not tolerate a rival. Why should he? He made all things, and sustains all things. Should a creature that his own hands have made be set up in rivalry with him? If it is a great man like Nebuchadnezzar, if he says, “Behold this great Babylon which I have built,” God will send him to graze among the young bulls, and make him to know that no man is great in the sight of God. What a provocation it must be to God to see men bowing down before idols fashioned by their own hands! What a degradation to man that he should worship gold, or silver, or wood, or stone; but what a grievous dishonour to the great God of all! And it seems to me to be the worst of all dishonours when God sees the image of his own dear Son made into an idol, and the representation of the cross on which redemption was made lifted on high so that before it men may prostrate themselves in worship. This must touch his sacred soul, and vex him even to the uttermost, for God is God alone, and besides him there is no one else; he will not give his glory to another, neither his praise to carved images. In the text before us the great ego is seen. The Lord says, “I, even I.” That ego is so great that it fills all places: and, therefore, there can be no room for another. “I, even I, am God, and there is no god with me.” “Besides me,” he says in another place, “there is no one else.” Oh, to have such lofty thoughts of God that we can have no consideration for anything that would rob him of the glory which is so exclusively his own. Gladly would we burn with a holy jealousy which abhors the idea of a rival god, and casts the name of Baal out of its mouth with utter loathing.
2. In the text the Lord claims the sovereign prerogative of life and death. He says, “I kill, and I make alive.” It is he from whom we first of all receive our being. His hand kindles the torch of life, and from him comes the quenching of the flame. No angel’s arm could save us from the grave; nor could a myriad of angels confine us there when once again he shall command us to rise. God kills and God makes alive. Royal personages have usually been very jealous of the prerogative of life and death, but our great God has it without bound or limit. He reigns supreme. “I kill,” he says, “and I make alive.”
3. From the context in which the text stands it is clear that the Lord alludes to the making of nations, or to the destroying of nations. It was God who made Israel to be a people; it was God who cast out the Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites from being nations before him: it was God who raised up Chaldea, and Babylon, and then strengthened Persia to break Babylon in pieces, and Greece to destroy Persia, and Rome with an iron foot to break down Greece; and when the time had come it was he who spoke to the city of the seven hills, and she, too, lost her royal power. Kingdoms and thrones belong to the Lord, and the shields of the mighty are lifted on high or laid in the dust as he wills. Although they do not regard it, there is a King of kings and Lord of lords; and when the long page of history shall be unrolled, and men shall be able to see the end from the beginning with enlightened eyes, they shall know that, all through, the disregarded and neglected God, the unseen and even unthought of God, was still reigning for evermore. Across the page of earth’s long record shall be written in a very royal hand, “I kill, and I make alive.” In providence God is absolute, the blessed and only Potentate whose sovereign will knows no dispute.
4. At this time, however, I purpose to carry this great truth away from the realm of providence into the kingdom of grace; and we shall confine ourselves to that second sentence — “I wound, and I heal.” On this word we shall make three observations, the first being that no one except the Lord can wound or heal; secondly, that the Lord can wound and heal; and, thirdly, that the Lord does wound and heal, — three thoughts which are closely connected, and yet are marked by instructive shades of difference.
5. I. First, NO ONE EXCEPT THE LORD CAN WOUND OR HEAL.
6. To begin at the beginning — the Lord alone can spiritually wound. When we have to deal with human hearts our first effort has to be to wound them. Naturally, man thinks himself whole-hearted, and in sound health, but he is not so. The great object of the gospel ministry, at first, is to convict men of sin, to humble them before God: in fact, to wound them, to cut them to the heart. But no man can wound without the Lord. I speak with any no limitations on my utterance, no preacher can truly wound the human heart. He may speak very honestly and plainly; he may speak with deep pathos and true affection; he may wield at times the thunders of God, and immediately the soft and gentle bands of love may be in his hand; but in no way can the preacher get at the heart of men unless his Master is with him. Charm ever so wisely, oh wise man, the adder is deaf, and it is in vain that you use your enchantments. As well convince the wild winds, or convert the wayward waves, as hope to touch the human heart until God makes bare his arm. It is the Holy Spirit’s work to convict of sin, and until he exerts his power the preacher may preach himself dumb with weariness and blind with weeping, but no result can possibly follow. And what is true of preachers is true of all the teachers in the Sunday School, of all the earnest folk who go around to speak personally to men, indeed, and of the most tender mother and the most earnest father. There is no wounding the child’s heart; there is no breaking it down into contrition by the most tender arguments or the wisest counsels. You will come back and say as we have done, “Who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”
7. Yes, dear friends, and the most solemn truths which in themselves have a natural tendency to wound the heart, nevertheless cannot do it apart from the work of God himself. There is the sword, and in itself it is sharp and cutting, but no man can handle it. The eternal arm must be revealed, or the hide of behemoth will not feel the weapon. A sword will cut through a coat of mail if a Coeur-de-Lion has the wielding of it; but it will not wound to killing in a child’s hand. God must take the Scripture in his hand and use it to the dividing of joints and marrow, or sinners will escape its power. There are terrible truths in the Bible which ought to make men shake, but they hear them, they deny them, they even laugh at them, and continue in sin. There are sweet truths which ought to make a rock shed tears, but you may tell of Gethsemane’s bloody sweat and the five dear wounds of him who was found guilty of excess of love, and yet men will hear it and go their way, each man to his farm and to his business, and forget it all. I grant you the truths are powerful, but not until the mighty God applies them to the heart and conscience.
8. And in addition to truth, providence itself may come and work upon the heart of men, but cause no wounding of the right kind. I have seen the ungodly brought to destitution and poverty by their extravagances, and brought to sickness and death’s door by their lusts, and yet they have not been wounded. They have seen the result of sin, they have even felt it in the marrow of their bones, and yet the dogs have gone back to their vomit. They have still clung to their idols and held to their abominations. The burnt child dreads the fire, but the burnt sinner thrusts his hand into the flame again. We have seen men so sick that they have trembled at the thought of death, and it has been supposed from what they said that they were really impressed, and if they were restored to health would lead another life: but, alas, we have seen them restored to health and sinning worse than before. The wicked break his bands asunder, they cast his cords from them. All the terrors of providence — bereavements, losses, sicknesses — all have failed with the unregenerate. Their adamantine heart has turned the edge of the plough which sought to break it up. Men have wearied all the agencies of grace and providence, but yet they have not been wounded: their heart is stout as that of leviathan, “yes, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.” No one can effectively wound the heart except God alone.
9. Now, the same thing is true about the healing: no one except the Lord can heal. Of course that is true with regard to those who were never wounded. No one can heal such people. I have known some preachers who try to do that, though it has always seemed to me to be poor work to try to heal men who have never been wounded, to preach mercy to people who think that they have no sin, to preach grace to men who dream that they have merits of their own. Christ did not do so; he said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” There is no healing, then, for those who are not wounded; and equally there is no healing for those who are wounded, except God lays his hand to their wound. Have you ever met spiritually wounded people? If you have, if you are a believer, your whole heart has gone out towards them, and, drawing examples from your own experience and promises from the word of God and sweet encouragements from gospel doctrine, you have laboured to pour a healing balm into their bleeding wounds. But have you not often failed? Indeed, apart from the Spirit of the living God, have you not always failed, and must you not fail? Ah, dear friends, it is one thing to talk about a wounded spirit, but it is quite another thing to feel a wounded spirit; and you may talk about healing, too, but it is quite another thing to receive the healing, and quite another thing to apply it. Let God cut a man with his great sword as he once struck me, and I warrant you that no ordinances will heal him. “No,” says a friend, “come and hear a sermon.” He hears it; but the preaching makes him worse, and he feels more sad than ever. I have known people foolish enough to persuade such seekers to come to the communion table. They have only eaten and drunk condemnation to themselves. While they have been at the table they have known themselves to be intruders, and their hearts have bled more than ever. You can easily pacify a man whose sense of sin is a mere pretence, just as you may soon heal the imitation of a wound; but it is not so with one who has the arrows of the Lord rankling within him, he needs divine surgery. As for the hypocritical penitent, give him outward sacraments and he believes that he is all right; but if God has wounded him all the sacraments under heaven will never minister consolation to him. He must go to God for that, for only in Christ Jesus can it be found. All the preachers, indeed, and all the doctrines of the Bible, sound and true as the preachers may be, and inspired as the doctrines certainly are, will fail to comfort a bleeding soul until the eternal Lord shall bow himself from his throne in heaven and bind up the broken in heart. I know it is so. Gospel truth is sufficient in itself to comfort all who mourn, but it will comfort no one as long as the natural unbelief of the heart remains. Get a hold of a lacerated spirit, torn with unbelief, and see what you can do. Say, “Trust in the Lord, my friend,” and he replies, “I cannot trust.” Tell him Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and he says he knows that, but he cannot get hold of it. Go on to tell him how the Lord receives the very chief of sinners. Do your duty with him, for whether you can heal him or not you are bound to set the gospel before him: but you shall find that you have worked in vain if you have gone in your own strength, and forgotten the prayerful spirit and the humble reliance which are so necessary for success. God can use you to heal a broken heart, but you cannot do it yourself.
10. Unconverted hearer, do not look to us as though we could do anything for you, but look to Jesus only. Ah, friend, if I could wound you, and if I could heal you, it would do you no good. If I could convert every sinner here, of what use would the human conversion be? Have you never heard of Mr. Rowland Hill being met one evening by a drunken man, who staggered up to him and said, “Hallo, Mr. Hill, I am one of your converts!” “Ah,” said Mr. Rowland Hill, “very likely, but you are not one of God’s converts, or else you would not be drunk.” Now, our converts, if they are our converts, will be very poor productions. If one man can convert you, another man can unconvert you. What is done by the flesh can be undone by the flesh. “You must be born again. Unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Unless there is a work of grace in the soul which the will of man, the will of the flesh, blood, birth, education, teaching can never work; unless, I say, there is a supernatural power exercised upon us, we shall never see the face of God at the last day with acceptance.
11. So there is the first truth — God alone can wound and God alone can heal.
12. II. And now, secondly, THE LORD CAN WOUND AND HE CAN HEAL.
13. What a mercy this is, and how comfortingly it encourages the Christian to go about his work! The Lord can wound. He can pierce the most unlikely heart. Look at Saul of Tarsus. You would never have thought when he was hurrying to Damascus to drag the saints to prison that he would ever be humbled and made to cry out, “What will you have me to do?” The Lord knew his man, and just when he was on the brow of the hill, and could see Damascus in the plain, and was ready to devour the saints, the Lord let fly an arrow. Down went one Saul of Tarsus, so wounded that it took three days to extract the arrow. This was wonderful; for Saul was like leviathan, of whom we read, “The sword of him which reaches him cannot take hold: the spear, the arrow, nor the habergeon,” [a] yet the arrow of the Lord laid him low. The Lord can wound men in very unlikely places. I have known the arrow of conviction to come home to a man who had not entered a place of worship for years. Such is the infinite sovereignty of God that he calls them a people that were not a people, and even those who did not seek him he seeks out. Indeed, even in the haunts of sin a man is not safe from the arrows of God — I mean the arrows of God’s infinite love. God can still touch the conscience. Leviathan, you know, is wrapped around with scales, “shut up together as with a close seal”; yet there is a weak point even in leviathan. The cunning hunter knows how to find it; and there are some men so sceptical, so atheistic, so obstinate, so profane, so abominable, that no one dares to come near them; yet have we known it — tell it to the praise of sovereign grace — the Lord has struck even these with his great and strong sword, and afterwards he has healed them by his mighty grace. Never despair of anyone. If salvation were man’s work you might despair; but since it is God’s work, despair of no one. The wretch who is the nearest approach to an incarnate devil may still become as an angel of God. Such is the grace of God that, though men make a league with death and a covenant with hell, he can break their leagues and disannul their covenants, take the prey from between the jaws of the dragon, and get renown for himself.
14. The Lord can wound, then. He can wound some who have been sitting under the gospel for years and have defied its power. My arrows have rattled against your harness, and I have said, “It is all in vain”; but I pray my Master that one of these days when I am drawing a bow at random, he may be pleased to direct it between that joint of the harness which I feared did not exist, that little joint where the shoulder piece does not fit close to the breastplate. I have feared that you were encased as in the scales of leviathan, of which we read, “One is so near to another that no air can come between them: they are joined one to another”; yet the Lord can send in his arrow, and make the proud heart feel the power of his glorious truth. The most thoughtless, the most careless, the most abandoned are still within range of the Lord’s bow.
15. What a very sweet side of the truth is the second part of it — namely, that he can heal. There are some awful cases of bleeding wounds! I wonder whether I have in this audience any souls desperately wounded. I have known the heart to bleed as though it would bleed to death beneath the sword of conviction. Some are driven to despair, and have been ready to commit suicide in the bitterness of their souls. Let it ring out like a trumpet, so that these poor despairing ones may hear it, — the Lord can heal. There is no case so desperate that Jehovah Jesus cannot recover it. Despair! you must let your captive go. Despondency! you must open your prison-house when Jesus comes. Has he not come out from the Father on purpose so that he may release the captives and say to the enslaved ones, “Go free.”
16. The wounds which God gives are apt to fester. You remember how the psalmist said, “My wounds stink and are corrupt.” When there is bad blood, we have known men’s wounds to become horrible; and some souls who have had their conscience awakened have become a terror to themselves. “I cannot be saved,” they say. “I cannot pray. How should such a wretch as I am ever pray? I cannot hope for mercy. It would be an astonishment to heaven and hell, too, if I ever found mercy.” Listen to me, and let your own heart believe it; you may certainly recover. God, who does all things, and to whom nothing is impossible, can heal your wounds though they reek with corruption. If you do lie at hell’s gate, if you seem to be half in Tophet already, his arm is strong enough to help you now. If you will look to Christ lifted up on the cross, there is pardon, life, acceptance, joy, and heaven for you, even for you. He who wounded you will heal you, he who has broken you will bind you up. He who has killed you will make you alive. Let your ears take in the joyful message which I am told to deliver to you, — “I wound, and I heal.”
17. Yet let me charge you not to look for a cure anywhere except to God in Christ Jesus. Shun the thought of being healed unless the Lord shall heal you. I dread lest a wounded soul should go to a minister or to a priest, or to the most religious person in the world, and think to get healing from a man. Your wounds are meant to drive you to your God. Seek him, and no one else. To your knees now in your private bedroom, or if you do not have one, get alone even in the street, for you can be alone in a crowd; but go to God with your bleeding heart. Tell him, “I am a sinner: Lord, I am all but a damned sinner. I have been such an offender that I scarcely dare to hope; but I hear that you can heal me and give me comfort. Oh, for the sake of Jesus be merciful to me. I thank you that you have wounded me; it would be better for me to be wounded than to be as indifferent and careless as I used to be; but now, Lord, do not altogether break me to pieces and treat me as an enemy, my spirit fails unless you comfort me. Oh, look upon me!” If you cannot say as much as that, yet let your tears drop and look up, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Only cry to him, and you shall find a healing; for God can heal you and no one else. Away with those who dream that outward religiousness can do you any good. Away, away with the deceivers who would tell you that they can give you pardon. No man living can absolve his fellow sinners: the pretence is the superlative of blasphemy. God is in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation, and we are glad to proclaim that word, and point you to the Lord Jesus who is exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins.
18. III. Now I come to my third and last point, and that is — THE LORD DOES WOUND AND DOES HEAL. I have two things here tonight. I will only show them to you, and then I am finished. First, I have a bundle of arrows which I have seen shot at different times from the bow of God in order to wound men. I cannot shoot them at you just now, but I will show them to you.
19. I have known him to shoot this arrow at a man, — the arrow of continual gentleness. He has been very good to the sinner, and continued his kindness to him for years. Augustine tells of one to whom God was so wonderfully kind, and the man was so incredibly bad, that at last he grew astonished at God’s goodness, and since the Lord continued to load him with benefits, he turned around and cried, “Most benevolent God, I am ashamed of being your enemy for any longer. I confess my sin and repent of it.” How I wish that this arrow would pierce your hearts! It is one which readily penetrates a noble mind. The more gross and animal natures do not feel it, but where God has left some little spark of nobility, a man more readily feels, “I cannot go on and sin against a God so good.” It is a very sharp arrow, but it is dipped in love, and it wounds most sweetly.
20. Here is another, — God is angry with the wicked every day. Oh, if that truth would go home to some of you, “God is angry with me, for I have broken his holy law”; surely it would cut you to the quick. I do not like anyone to be angry with me; but oh, to have the Lord angry with me! How could I endure it? Dear hearer, I hope you will feel the smart of this warning. It is very easy for you to hear it and for me to speak it, but if you once feel it, it will tear your heart and fill your loins with agony.
21. Another arrow — “He who does not believe is condemned already.” You are not merely to be condemned at the last day, you are condemned now. You are not in a state of probation; you have already been proved, and you have failed, and you are walking this earth at this moment as a condemned criminal. Ah, if that barbed iron were to enter your soul, it would wound you indeed.
22. Here is another arrow, — “The wicked shall be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God.” “These shall go away into everlasting punishment.” Many have been playing with that arrow recently; it is an edged tool, and he had best beware who toys with it. Let the Lord send it home, and it will kill a man’s proud hopes and vain presumptions as quickly as any arrow in the quiver of the Almighty.
23. Here is another, — “You have destroyed yourself.” Your present state of ruin and danger is your own fault. You have brought it upon yourself, and you have no one to blame except yourself that you are a lost man. Ah, that will rankle and pain the soul as though a sword were in the bones.
24. And here is another, — “You are dead in sin. You have destroyed yourself, but you cannot save yourself.” I have seen a man get that into his flesh a little way, and he has raved with anger. He has bitten his lips and said, “I will never hear that preacher again. Why, he made out my case to be hopeless.” The man is sure to come again. He is like a great fish in a stream, with a hook in his jaws. He will draw out a good deal of line, and we will let him have it, but he must come to a stop before long with that solemn truth to hold him. He struggles hard; but that sharp text is not soon dislodged from the heart — “Oh Israel, you have destroyed yourself.”
25. Thus I might continue to show you a sample of the weapons with which God wounds men: he has his two-edged sword, his spear, his arrows, his battle-axe, and weapons of war. You say, “I do not feel them.” No, and I cannot make you feel them. I have told you before that it is not my arm that can wield them; but when God is pleased to use any of these, the people fall under him. “Well,” one says, “I do not think that I shall be wounded.” No, but I am glad you are in the battle, because when the arrows are flying they may strike you as well as anyone else. I have had to deal with wounded ones whom I never counted upon seeing in such a condition. Oh, what gashes have I seen in men who had been given to all kinds of fashionable sins, and who had sneered at religion; they have come here at first from the most miserable motives, but they have had to come again and weep and cry before the Lord with broken hearts. You never know where bullets may find their billets. You who are the servants of the devil are on dangerous ground when you come near a faithful ministry. Indeed, I will alter it, you are on blessed ground, where the slain of the Lord have been many; and where the people of God are earnestly praying for you now. I know at this moment they are sending up the prayer, “Lord, send the arrows home: send the arrows home.” Their prayers prevail with God, and he will bare his arm. There is no mistake about this matter, he “will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion.” When he puts his arm to the work, who shall stand against him? He will do all his pleasure. Glory be to his blessed name, he can wound, and he does wound according to his eternal purpose.
Now I will hold up before you the bottle of balm. When a soul is
wounded, the Lord applies his sacred surgery to the heart. He has
healed some of us. The particular bottle of balm which he used in
healing me is one which I know well, and shall never forget. This was
the label, “Look to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I
am God, and besides me there is no one else.” Why, do you know? I was
afraid of God until I heard that God was in Christ, and that I was to
look to God in Christ, and that the very God whom I dreaded would
save me. That revelation came home with divine power to my soul! The
preacher said, “Look. This is all that is needed.” “There,” he said,
“a fool can look; a little child can look; a half idiot can look; a
dying man can look.” “Look,” he said, “and it is done.” Did I really
understand him — that I was only to look to Christ dying on the cross
for me and see God making an atonement for my sin in the person of
his Son — that I was only to look, and I should live at once? It was
even so, and I did look. My burden passed away, and from that hour I
can say what Cowper has so sweetly said in the hymn: —
E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
Oh, what a bottle of balm that is — redeeming love! How sweetly it drops into the soul! The Lord shows the wounded man that though he is full of sin, he can put that sin away without any violation of justice when the soul believes in Jesus. Now let the balm drop down into the wound for a minute. “All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned everyone to his own way” — that fact gives us wounds. But now “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”: no balm of Gilead was ever so potent as that. Poor guilty sinner, if you will now trust Christ, your sin is yours no longer; it was laid almost two millennia ago upon the back of Christ, your great Surety; he was punished for it, and he has cast it into the depths of the sea. You are forgiven; go in peace.
Here is another drop of balm, — When a man is wounded he feels that he
cannot help himself; but then there comes in this precious truth — that
the Spirit of God can do it. God has sent the Spirit of his Son, and
that Spirit helps our infirmities, so that though we do not know what
we should pray for as we ought, that Spirit is waiting to help us to
pray. Oh you wounded ones, may the great Spirit show you at this time
the person of the dear Son of God — God and man. May he show you that
person wounded, covered with a bloody sweat, and put to death; and
may he sweetly whisper in your ear tonight, “He was your substitute:
he bore so that you might never bear the wrath of God.” Then you will
say as you go out of this house, “He can heal, for he has healed
me. He has made me leave my despair, and even my doubts, behind
me. Now I will sing to my Beloved a song: —
Jesus has become at length
My salvation and my strength.”
28. So I have preached to you nothing except God in Christ Jesus, and I am glad to have him to preach to you. Suppose that there is a bad young man here at this time, who has left his home, and run away from his father. He has done wrong, very wrong: and, instead of going to a tender, loving father and saying, “Father, forgive me,” he is afraid of punishment, and therefore he has run away. There is an advertisement for him in the paper, inviting him to come home. Now, what does he have to do to be right with his father? This poor, wandering, wayward, lost boy has gotten among the very scum of London, and he is being ruined and starved to death. What must he do? Boy, you must go home to your father; go home to your father. He loves you; he is pining for you; he is grieved at heart about you. Oh, if he saw you tonight, it would break his heart to see you in your rags! He wants you to come home. Do you not see that it would be very foolish for that lad to say, “I shall get into an institution,” or “I shall try to earn money.” Your father is rich, good, wise, and kind; the best thing you can do is to go home to your father. Going home to your father, all will be right. Now, take up the parable. All of us have left our Father, and have journeyed into a far country. We shall never get right again except by going back to him from whom we have gone astray. And Jesus — God in Christ Jesus — is waiting to welcome us; he is grieving over us now. We only have to go to him, for he says that he will never cast out one who comes to him. “I do not know how he can receive me,” one says. Well, go anyway and try him. “I cannot pray.” You can pray, dear friend. “But not properly.” Do not try to pray properly. Pray your heart out as you can, and ask to be helped. I know that some poor souls are in such a state that they would be glad if we would write them out a prayer. I was talking only a little while ago to one in distress, and he said to me, “Oh, Mr. Spurgeon, you do not know how ignorant we are, and when we are under a sense of sin you do not know how foolish we are. If you would sometimes put the very words into our mouths it would do us good.” And I thought he was right, because I find the Lord saying in Scripture, “Take with you words and say”; and he tells them what to say.
Come now, poor soul, if you want to find God, let us pray for a
minute. “Oh God, save us, for you alone can do it. By your great
mercy heal our wounds, or otherwise we must bleed to death. We cast
ourselves upon your promise in Christ Jesus your Son; now grant us
your salvation, we beseech you, for his sake. Amen.”
[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — De 32:1-39]
[See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — Incomprehensible And Sovereign” 187]
[See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Work of Grace as a Whole — ‘Grace Reigns’ ” 233]
[See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Work of Grace as a Whole — All Due To Grace” 235]
[a] Habergeon: A sleeveless coat or jacket of mail or scale armour. OED.
Letter From Mr. Spurgeon
Dear Friends, — I had intended to be home to preach on April 6, but as dear friends at home press me to make the rest longer, I have so far yielded as to wait here another week; and I now propose to be home on the 13th of April. My knees are still feeble, but in all other respects I feel fit to return. Moreover, I long to be preaching in my own pulpit among my own people, and I must come home, though I somewhat dread the cold weather. Please pray for me, so that I may have an active mind in a body which will allow its full exercise, and that the blessing of God may rest on my future labours far more than on those of past years. I find that funds are coming in very slowly for the College, and the Colportage Society has a pressing need. Earnest fellow workers will only need to know this.
Yours to serve in love for Jesus’ sake,
Mentone, March 20. C. H. Spurgeon
God the Father, Attributes of God
187 — Incomprehensible And Sovereign
1 Can creatures to perfection find
Th’ eternal, uncreated Mind?
Or can the largest stretch of thought
Measure and search his nature out?
2 ‘Tis high as heaven, ‘tis deep as hell;
And what can mortals know or tell?
His glory spreads beyond the sky,
And all the shining worlds on high.
3 God is a King of power unknown;
Firm are the orders of his throne;
If he resolves, who dare oppose,
Or ask him why, or what he does?
4 He wounds the heart, and he makes whole;
He calms the tempest of the soul;
When he shuts up in long despair,
Who can remove the heavy bar?
5 He frowns, and darkness veils the moon;
The fainting sun grows dim at noon;
The pillars of heaven’s starry roof
Tremble and start at his reproof.
6 These are a portion of his way,
But who shall dare describe his face?
Who can endure his light, or stand
To hear the thunders of his hand?
Isaac Watts, 1709.
The Work of Grace as a Whole
233 — “Grace Reigns”
1 Grace! ‘tis a charming sound!
Harmonious to the ear!
Heaven with the echo shall resound,
And all the earth shall hear.
2 Grace first contrived the way
To save rebellious man;
And all the steps that grace display
Which drew the wondrous plan.
3 Grace first inscribed my name
In God’s eternal book:
‘Twas grace that gave me to the Lamb,
Who all my sorrows took.
4 Grace led my roving feet
To tread the heavenly road;
And new supplies each hour I meet
While pressing on to God.
5 Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes o’erflow;
‘Twas grace that kept me to this day,
And will not let me go.
6 Grace all the work shall crown,
Through everlasting days;
It lays in heaven the topmost stone,
And well deserves the praise.
Philip Doddridge, 1755;
Augustus M. Toplady, 1776.
The Work of Grace as a Whole
235 — All Due To Grace
1 All that I was, my sin, my guilt,
My death, was all mine own;
All that I am, I owe to thee,
My gracious God alone.
2 The evil of my former state
Was mine, and only mine;
The good in which I now rejoice
Is thine, and only thine.
3 The darkness of my former state,
The bondage — all was mine;
The light of life in which I walk,
The liberty — is thine.
4 Thy grace that made me feel my sin
It taught me to believe;
Then, in believing, peace I found,
And now I live, I live.
5 All that I am, e’en here on earth,
All that I hope to be,
When Jesus comes and glory dawns,
I owe it, Lord, to thee.
Horatius Bonar, 1856.