2227. Wanted — Volunteers

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No. 2227-37:541. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, March 22, 1891, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, October 25, 1891.

And next to him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the Lord; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. {2Ch 17:16}

1. It was a great thing for King Jehoshaphat to have such a pious captain, one who could command an army, and at the same time obey the commands of God. Christian men ought greatly to value Christian servants, especially if such people are employed in positions of trust. If we can have godly men to occupy our offices, and transact our business, we should be very grateful, and do our best to encourage and cheer them. It is true that sometimes those who make the loudest profession of religion are the least trustworthy; but that very fact shows that there is something in the religion they falsely profess, which, if really laid hold of, makes a man more upright and reliable. Otherwise why should it be counterfeited? The larger the responsibility, the more necessary it is to have men who can be depended on to manage the business. It was for the great benefit of Jehoshaphat, as king, that he should have a godly captain over so large a part of his army as two hundred thousand mighty men of valour.

2. It was also a great thing for the country of Judah to have a godly man in such a position. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule, the people mourn.” I hope that in England there will be an increasing desire that those people who represent us in parliament, or who legislate in any way, should be men of good character. The day will yet come when it will be judged that those who are immoral are not the men to make our laws, or to see that those laws are carried out. It is, however, a great blessing for a country to have godly men in high places who will see to it that right is done, that justice is maintained, and that the ends of true religion are promoted. Happy is the nation that has godly officers to discharge its business, men who fear God, and fear no one else besides!

3. I wonder how this man, Amasiah the son of Zichri, came to be a servant of God. We have no history of his experience. We could almost wish that we had; but since it is not recorded, it makes us feel that although men and women cannot tell us the way in which they were led to yield to Christ, yet if their lives show that they are serving God we must be well content. If you are saved, even though you cannot tell us when or how the great change was accomplished, we will rejoice in the fact of your salvation. Amasiah is a man of whom we do not know anything beyond this — he “willingly offered himself to the Lord.” There must have been a turning-point in his career, a time when first he knew the grace of God, which accomplished such a change in him. There must have been a waking up to the feeling that God deserved his love and his life. There must have been a time of quickening into spiritual consecration. We are told nothing about that, therefore we must leave it under the veil which Scripture draws over his history. But if I say little about his exercises of soul, and press onward to a very practical point, I earnestly desire that the inward enlightenment that he enjoyed may be known by many of you; and that God the Holy Spirit may work on your hearts, and bring you out of the bondage and servitude of sin into the glorious liberty of the gospel, which will make you capable of willingly offering yourselves to the Lord.

4. I am here as a recruiting sergeant. I have no ribbons with me, nor shillings; but I cast a longing eye on many here present who as yet do not belong to my Master, and I fervently hope that they may be enlisted in his service. Often I have seen the recruiting sergeant lingering around certain streets, and looking at every young man passing by. I have known him to address some young gentleman who wondered that he should ever have been spoken to about such a thing; and who in his offended dignity felt a great deal more inclined to kick the sergeant than to give him a civil answer. But the officer has said to him, “I beg your pardon, sir; but I thought such a smart-looking fellow as you would be just the kind of man to take the Queen’s shilling”; and, soothed by the compliment, the gentleman has gone on his way laughing. He wanted no Queen’s shilling, and was not at all inclined for army service. I would desire to be as bold in addressing you as the sergeant is in his calling, and if I should intrude upon some young gentleman who should feel angry because of my persistence, I shall not at all object. I shall say, “Very well, but you must excuse my feeling that the more ability and influence you have, the greater is the reason why you should be converted to Christ, that you might serve my Master.” God knows how I rejoice over the poorest, the most ignorant, the most depraved of men or women, when they are brought to Christ; but I do like sometimes to see those come to him who have some life in them, and some talent about them, and who can, by consecrating themselves to the Lord, do for his cause and kingdom, by his grace, a real service in the days to come. There is hard fighting to be done, and my Lord calls for men who will not be afraid to do it. Let all the heroism of your manhood impel you to this blessed service. You are not asked to serve the Lord because he promises you ease and pleasure; you are rather called to “endure hardness” as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. As we sang just now: —

   Ye that are men, now serve him
      Against unnumbered foes;
   Your courage rise with danger,
      And strength to strength oppose.

5. I am going to use the account of this Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the Lord, as an illustration of what, I trust, will be true about many of my hearers. Oh, that the Holy Spirit may draw out someone who shall become a very apostle in these times, a standard-bearer for the Lord Jesus, who shall —

   “Lift high his royal banner”

among the sons of men!

6. I. First, let me say that Amasiah is distinguished from the other mighty men of King Jehoshaphat by the fact that HE MADE IT HIS LIFE-WORK TO SERVE THE LORD. He “willingly offered himself to the Lord,” and he was accepted, and became a lifelong servant of Jehovah, the God of Israel.

7. It should not need much talk to make men feel that this is a reasonable service. To serve your Maker, who created you that you should glorify him, is surely a natural thing to do; and it becomes a thing to be more expected when you are asked to serve your Redeemer, who shed his blood so that you might be set free from sin, and “yield your members servants to holiness.” Would it not be a right thing for you to offer yourself to him who yielded himself to the death for us?

   Offered was be, for greatest and the least;
   Himself the Victim, and himself the Priest.

This is an argument Amasiah did not have, yet he found reason enough to serve the Lord. How much stronger is the claim on you! And if this plea needs to be strengthened still further, think that you are called to serve him with whom you hope to dwell for ever in heaven. It ought to be an instinct of every reasonable soul to set about such service instantly. Ordinary gratitude should cause every Christian man to say to his Lord, “Whom else should I serve? I owe to you my very being, my new life, and all I possess. In you I live; by you I am daily fed. Why should I not serve you?”

         Thine am I by all ties;
            But chiefly thine,
         That through thy sacrifice
            Thou, Lord, art mine;
   By thine own cords of love, so sweetly wound
   Around me, I to thee am closely bound.

8. Moreover, this is honourable service. Men like a service that seems to reflect some kind of glory on them. To serve a great man, makes even the footman feel as if he was himself a great man, too; at least, I have seen some of these gentlemen give themselves mighty airs, under the notion that they were as grand as their master. But to serve God really gives honour and glory. Oh sirs, if this is not done in mere pretence, but in reality, what a grand life a man must lead who is the servant of God! To serve him whom angels serve, whom archangels serve, whose service is perfect freedom, is the most honourable service to which a man can attain. There is nothing humiliating or debasing about it, but everything that tends to lift us upward, and to make us grow in spiritual force. To serve God is to reign. Every man becomes a king in proportion as he really serves the Lord.

9. Further, this is a remunerative service, the most remunerative in all the world. The devil spoke a truth that he did not intend to speak when he said, “Does Job serve God for nothing?” God never lets his servants serve him for nothing. He may not always give them gold or worldly prosperity; but he will give them a reward more satisfying to them than these things, more grateful to their hearts than all the treasures of the Indies. I never met a man who served God who complained about his wages. Indeed, it is so much a work of grace that the work itself is a gift to us. The privilege of serving God — indeed, call it the high honour, the delight, the great gain of being a servant of God — if there were no other reward, this would suffice us. I can sympathize with him who said —

   Dismiss me not thy service, Lord,
      But train me for thy will,
   For even I, in fields so broad,
      Some duties may fulfil;
   And I will ask for no reward
      Except to serve thee still.

But the fact is that, in serving the Lord, we have, through grace, “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We experience that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us. “We know that all things work together for good” to us while we are here, and that the best part of our religion is still to come, for —

   After death its joys shall be
      Lasting as eternity.

He whose life is devoted to the service of God must have a blessed life. It is not always a happy life in the judgment of men, yet it is still happy in the judgment of God, and in the estimation of the believer himself. The servants of God have a happy service.

10. I may also say that this is safe service. God will not put you into a position of danger when you enter his service. If you serve men, they may tempt you to do wrong. Many a young man, who has entered an office or a shop, has found himself commanded to do what no honest man ought to expect another to do. Many a young woman has taken her position in a family where temptation has been like Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace to her. But if you serve God, he may test you, but he will never tempt you to sin. In following closely after him you will be in safe places, and the more you are obedient to the will of God the more secure you will be from temptations within and without. Obedience will keep you from peril. The grace of God will preserve you from all evil.

11. After all, I am not like that recruiting sergeant, who, if he tries to get a man to serve under the colours, has to put it very prettily. He tells about the merry times that soldiers have, but he does not say much about wounds and wooden legs. He does not talk much about bleeding to death on the battle-field, nor about being discharged at last with no pension to live on after your best days have been given in your country’s service. No; he always picks out the bright colours, and praises “Her Majesty’s Service” as if it were all pipe-clay {a} and red coats and fine feathers and glory, and I do not know what else besides. Now, I do not have to do that. There is no fault in my Master’s service that I need to conceal from you. All round it is the best, the happiest, the most glorious position that a man can occupy; and though I would ask you to count the cost before you enrol yourself under his leadership, you may rest assured that you can never calculate the value of the reward that Christ has in store for all his faithful followers. Therefore, without any reserve, I may fairly come to each man here and say, “Like Amasiah, the son of Zichri, offer yourself willingly to the lord.”

12. II. Now, to go a step further, notice, in the second place, concerning this man Amasiah, HE WAS A READY VOLUNTEER, “who willingly offered himself to the Lord.” There is much truth in the old proverb, that “one volunteer is worth twenty pressed {conscripted} men.” Service willingly rendered has a fragrance and a bloom about it that makes it most delightful and acceptable.

13. He needed no pressing. Some of you need so very much persuading, that you are hardly worth having when at last we get you. There is such a thing as pressing a man so long that all the juice is gone out of him, and you have only the husk of the man when you do manage to get him. Amasiah needed no pressing at all, for in his soul there was an ardent desire to serve the living God; he “willingly offered himself to the Lord.”

14. He needed no hunting out. How many even of church members seem to be like Saul when he was elected king, and they could not find him! “Where is that tall fellow, head and shoulders above the rest of the people?” At last someone said that he had hidden himself among the baggage. Many of our young men today are among the baggage; and there are numbers both of men and women who ought to be coming forward for the Lord’s service instead of hiding among the rubbish. My dear friend Mr. Pearce, the superintendent of our Sunday School, says that he needs more teachers. There are plenty who might engage in the work, but they are among the baggage. Let them imitate Amasiah, “who willingly offered himself to the Lord.”

15. Amasiah was a self-sufficient man. He needed no looking after, when he had once come out. We have some Christians who will keep right as long as someone else looks after them. How many such there are in all churches! You must always be watching them, or else they will be up to mischief, or growing cold, ceasing to attend the means of grace, getting into bad company, and going back to the world. Amasiah was not of that kind. He “offered himself willingly to the Lord”; and having done so, he stood by his consecration vow.

16. He needed no leader. On the contrary, he took the lead himself over two hundred thousand men. We have many who will follow pretty well. We want some who will not need leading except by our great Leader, the Lord Jesus; men who know what they know, believe what they believe, know how they ought to act, and are resolved so to act, and will do it even to the end. It was a fine motto which a distinguished worker once adopted: “Resolved, that I will act as if there was no one else also to act, not waiting for others.” This is the spirit which we long to see among the Lord’s people: not a spirit of lawlessness and disorder, but of loyalty and independence; a spirit which will not timidly wait until everyone else is ready, but, knowing the will of God, will at all costs go forward to do it. Amasiah, the leader of this host of “mighty men of valour,” would be certain to be a man of valour himself. Like leader, like followers: he who would lead brave men must himself be brave. We need in this generation more men, who, in Christ’s service, shall perform deeds of daring, as British soldiers do to win the Victoria Cross, which has inscribed on it the words, “For valour.” Christ has very royal rewards for those who faithfully serve him. I should like to meet a band of brave young men ready to render valiant service to my Lord, young men with backbones; there have not been many of that kind made recently; they are today generally soft down the back. Most men I meet are very squeezable, men of india-rubber that yield every way. But we want for Christ and for his cause some who cannot be turned aside, to offer themselves willingly to the Lord, doing it decidedly, at once, and from the bottom of their hearts. May God grant by his Spirit that some such may by this sermon be led to the knowledge and service of the Lord!

17. III. The third point about Amasiah is that, while he was a volunteer, HE OFFERED HIMSELF TO THE LORD.

18.Himself” — it was the best thing he had. Some of you, perhaps, do not have anything else to offer. Then, do as he did — willingly offer yourself. I have heard of a little boy at a public meeting where there was a missionary collection, when the collector came to him, he asked him to hold the plate a little lower. Thinking he wanted to see his money drop into the plate, and, being a kindly man, he held the plate down low. “Please, sir, it is not low enough; would you mind putting it on the floor?” The collector good humouredly put it down, and then the boy said, “I have not even a penny to give to the collection, so I want to get into the plate, and give myself to God.” It was a simple thing to do; but that is exactly what we desire that many may do at this good hour. Willingly offer yourselves, like Amasiah, to the Lord.

19. He made no reserve concerning what he had. He gave himself, his money, his ability, his position, his influence. All was yielded up to the Lord. “Well,” one says, “I give so much to the weekly offering.” Do you? I am glad to hear it; but have you given yourself? “I sometimes go out and sing a sacred song at a meeting,” you say. That is quite good; you give your voice; but have you given yourself? “I have joined the church,” another says. That, too, is a very proper thing to do if you are really a believer; but it is not all, nor is it the first thing; you have given us the distinguished privilege of having your name written on our church roll; but have you given yourself to the Lord? It is said of Amasiah, that he “willingly offered himself to the Lord.” You have often found, I do not doubt, a chrysalis. You have perhaps said, as you stooped to pick it up, “I will take that home, and see what kind of butterfly comes out of it.” You have kept it and kept it, and nothing has ever come out of it, because the butterfly had already flown. Many people around us are like that. We hope that they are going to do something, but nothing ever comes out of our chrysalis. There is nothing living inside, and hence there is never any flutter of life, nor flight of wings. But when a man gives himself to the Lord willingly, making no reserve concerning what he has, then we have something worth having. I like to sing —

   Yet if I might make some reserve,
      And duty did not call,
   I love my Lord with zeal so great
      That I should give him all.

20. Notice yet another thing about Amasiah, which, I think, must have been true: he made no reserve concerning what he did. He gave himself to the Lord, as much as to say, “Lord, put me here, and I will stay here. Put me there, and I will stay there. Make me a great man, and I will serve you. Make me a little man, and I will serve you. Give me health and strength, and I will serve you. But if you choose rather to send me sickness, and lay me on a bed of languishing, I will still serve you.” In some such way I can imagine that Amasiah gave himself up to the service of the King of kings. This is how we should come to Christ; willing when he says “Go,” to go; when he says “Come,” to come; when he says “Do this,” to do it; willing to do his will, as the little girl said the angels do it, “without asking any questions”; and so numbering ourselves among the company who stand ready to obey their Master’s least word —

   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs but to do or die.

Christ must be the absolute Master of the saved soul; and the soul that is truly saved is willing either to go or stay, as may seem best to his Lord; for it is to the Lord whom he has given himself; to one who henceforth is to rule and reign over his whole life. I trust that some to whom these words come will offer themselves like this, making no reserve concerning what they shall do, and —

   Where duty calls or danger,
   Be never wanting there.

21. When Amasiah willingly offered himself for the Lord’s service, he made no reserve concerning when it should be. He probably gave himself to the Lord while he was a young man. He began with all his heart to serve God in his youth; and when he was in middle life, and his children were all around him, he was still unfalteringly the servant of God. When he grew grey, and others ventured to think that he had better retire from active service, he might think it wise to give up some of his work, but never would he retire from the service of his God; for he had willingly offered himself to the Lord. He made no reserve about serving up to a certain time, and then quitting; but he would serve his God while he had breath in his body.

22. And he made no reserve concerning how that service should be rendered. As I have already said, he would serve in health, but he would serve him in sickness too. Indeed, and he would serve God by doing nothing at all, if such was his will. One of the hardest works for saints to do is to do nothing. When they get so infirm that they cannot leave their room, or even their bed; perhaps their very voice fails them, so that they cannot speak; then what difficult work it is to say with the heart, “Lord, I served you when I laboured for you, and I will serve you when I cannot labour for you. I trusted you when I could speak about you, and I will trust you now that I cannot speak about you. I am your servant. If my Lord tells me to do anything, I will do it; if he gives me no command, yet I will still be his servant. In life and in death my ear shall be bored to my master’s door-post!” In this manner, I suppose, Amasiah willingly offered himself to the Lord. Have you not sometimes seen the telegraph boys, standing or sitting still at the post office when there is no message to be delivered? They are as much doing their work by waiting as when they carry to its destination the dispatch which has been flashed along the wires. In waiting they serve, and in the same way they most truly serve the Lord who give up all idea of self-pleasing, and go or stay, as best pleases him, to whom they willingly offer themselves to be his servants.

23. I have been explaining what kind of volunteers I want to enlist for my Lord. I wonder whether the Holy Spirit is saying to some young man, “You are the man. You should willingly offer yourself to the Lord,” or whether he is gently suggesting to some dear sister, “You are the beloved by the Lord, and may serve him like Deborah or Dorcas if you will only give yourself now.” You remember how Zinzendorf was converted to Christ by seeing, as Düsseldorf, Stenburg’s picture of Christ on the cross, and at the bottom these words —

   All this I did for thee;
   What has thou done for me?

I pass on the question to you, though I cannot paint the picture or make you see the vision. If Christ has redeemed you, why, it follows, as a matter of course, that you will consider that you are not your own, for you are bought with a price, and, like Amasiah, you will willingly offer yourself to God. As you survey the wondrous cross on which he died, you will surely be constrained to say with Dr. Watts: —

   Were the whole realm of nature mine,
   That were a present far too small;
   Love so amazing, so divine,
   Demands my soul, my life, my all.

24. IV. Now, I have a fourth observation to make, which is important, though it may not seem so. When Amasiah willingly offered himself to the Lord, HE DID THIS IN A SECULAR CALLING.

25. He did not stipulate to be a prophet. I do not know how it is, but when a certain type of young man gets it into his head that he will serve God, the next thing is that he wants to see me about how he can get into the ministry. Perhaps I look at him, and I see that his mouth was never made for preaching. You can see by the appearance of his eyes that they were never made to look a congregation in the face. When he begins to talk, you can tell that he might possibly make a good learner for the next twenty years, and then, perhaps, he would be able to teach a class of boys; but the boys would soon be tired of him, for they would probably find out even then that they knew as much as he did. Some have no gift for instructing others, but that need not hinder them from serving Christ as they can. Remember, Amasiah did not say, “Lord, I will give myself to you, if you will let me be a prophet.” No! He willingly offered himself to the Lord, to be what the Lord would have him to be; and so he remained a soldier. He was in the army, and never went to any college, and never preached a sermon in his life; but he “willingly offered himself to the Lord.” You may willingly offer yourself to the Lord, and go and keep a shop, selling articles unadulterated, sixteen ounces to the pound, and twelve to the dozen, unless you make it thirteen. You may willingly offer yourself to the Lord, and be a shoemaker: there have been consecrated cobblers before now, as both Sunday Schools and foreign missions can testify. You may willingly offer yourself to the Lord, even though your daily calling is that of a chimney-sweep; that is a very necessary business, and though your face may become blackened by it, your heart may be clean all the time. You may willingly offer yourself to the Lord, and be on the roads breaking stones, praying your Master all the while to break stony hearts. There is no lawful occupation in which a man cannot thoroughly serve the Lord. It is a great privilege and blessing to be set apart to the work of winning souls; but we must never separate that work from all the rest of the callings of life, as though it alone were sacred, and all the rest were secular and almost sinful. Serve God where you are. Good woman, go on looking after those dear children now that your husband has been called home; you will be serving God by bringing up those boys and girls in the knowledge of Christ: may God help you to do it! Go on, dear daughter, helping mother; you need not aspire to be shaking a kingdom; shake the bed well tomorrow morning. There are many people who have some very exalted ideas in their heads, who will serve God best by just doing commonplace work in a commonplace way, and will probably never be permitted to do anything else; at least, that will be the case until they step down from their stilts, and get rid of their lofty notions.

26. Yet it cannot have been very easy for Amasiah to live wholly for God as a soldier. His was a difficult calling; though, I suppose, in his days, it was not so difficult as it is now. But he did it, whether his occupation was difficult or not. Wherever your lot is cast, remain in your calling, and glorify God in it, as this man did. “For he who is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he who is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.” Even if your lot is cast in a barrack room, be bold to confess your Master: many a man has become a soldier of Christ by seeing his comrade in the regiment kneel down and pray. With the memory of many a hero, both in the army and out of it, we may be certain that, however difficult the place, the grace of God is sufficient for us as it was for Amasiah.

27. Not only did he serve the Lord in this hard place, but he rose to eminence in it. I do not know how he began. When I saw him last — that is, when I last looked at my text — he was the commander of two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. A fine position that! He had become one of the five great generals of Jehoshaphat’s army. Where he began I cannot tell; but it is quite certain that, in fearing God, he was not hindered in his promotion. The man who fears God need not be hindered one whit in rising in the world; that is to say, if it is worth while rising in the world; for there are some kinds of elevation so disgraceful, that they are better shunned than sought. It is, in many cases, a great thing for a man to be kept down. A good doctor of divinity, whom I knew well, met a Christian man on the street, shook hands with him, and congratulated him. The man said, “I do not know, Dr. Jeter, why you congratulate me, for I have had a world of trouble; in fact, I have failed in my business.” To which the good doctor replied, “I congratulate you, because you failed honestly; you are the only man whom I have seen for years who has done that.” Then he shook hands with him again, and said, “My dear fellow, I do thank God that you failed honestly.” But no man need fail because he serves God. No man needs to stay in the mud for ever because he becomes a Christian; for “godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of what is to come.”

28. Yet another thing we may venture to say of Amasiah. He left an honourable record. Here is a man in Jehoshaphat’s army who willingly offers himself to the Lord, and rises to be commander of two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. It reminds me of Havelock and his saints in The Indian Mutiny. There was a stern battle to be fought, and the general said, “Send for Havelock {b} and his saints,” and they soon accomplished the task. When you get men who thoroughly serve God in whatever position of life they are, they are fearsome fellows. They will do the thing where others only talk about it; for God does help, even in the ordinary concerns of daily life, those who put their trust in him. They shall never be confounded. “The angel of the Lord camps all around those who fear him, and delivers them.” They can say, “By you I have run through a troop: by my God I have leapt over a wall.” Moreover, “The memory of the just is blessed”; the footprints they leave behind them help others on in the blessed way; and when they fall asleep, they are among the blessed dead who “rest from their labours”; — they could not do that if they had been idle here — “and their works follow them.”

29. I am still working away, you see, at my main point. I am wanting to get that fine young fellow into my Lord’s army. I am praying God the Holy Spirit to influence men and women to say, “We will willingly offer ourselves to the Lord. We will serve him with our whole heart and soul.” May God grant that it may be so!

30. V. I am finished when I add these words — Amasiah not only served the Lord himself, but HE IS AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS. Let us make the best application of the sermon by working it out in our own lives.

31. First of all, he is an example to the young. He was probably a young man when he “willingly offered himself to the Lord.” Why wait to grow older in sin, before entering the glorious service of Christ? The world has nothing that can satisfy your heart: turn from its folly, and choose the nobler path. If you are only a child, still I appeal to you; the earlier you offer yourself to the Lord, the better it will be for all the future of your life.

32. Amasiah is an example, also, to men of position. He held a high office, but he “willingly offered himself to the Lord.” Young man of fortune and rank, I have a message from the Lord for you! Offer yourself willingly to the Lord. As you would be saved by the precious blood of Christ and the free grace of God, come and lay yourself down at those dear feet that bled for your salvation; you do not know what work the Lord still has for you to do.

33. He is also an example to men who are rising in the world; for he was such. I speak to some of you who have not risen yet, but you are rising. You are doing well, as the world has it. God is prospering you. I would lay my hand upon your shoulder, young man, and say, “Since God is blessing you so, willingly offer yourself for his service. You know that you are not saved by the offering of yourself to Christ: you are saved by Christ offering himself for you, a sacrifice for sin. But if he has saved you, then come and offer yourself to the Lord. The children do not now cry for bread to you, as they used to do. No, thank God, those sad days are over with you! The wife does not have to wear rags, as she once did. God has been gracious to you, and helped you prosper in the world, and now, by the gratitude that you have for him, ask yourself whether you cannot serve him, and may he by his sweet love bring you to do so!” My Lord ought to have you. Shall he not have you? I remember how Mr. Rowland Hill once held an auction over Lady Anne Erskine, who drove up in her carriage to the edge of the crowd, while Mr. Hill was preaching. He said “Ah! I see Lady Anne Erskine.” a careless, thoughtless woman she was then, and he said, “There is a great contention about who shall have her. The world wants to have her. What will you give for her, oh world? ‘I will give her fame and name and pleasure.’ And sin wants to have her. What will you give for her, oh sin? ‘A few paltry transient joys.’ And Satan wants to have her. What will you give for her, Satan? And the price was very low. At last Christ came along, and he said, ‘I give myself for her. I give my life for her, my blood for her.’ ” And turning to her ladyship, Mr. Hill said, “You shall have her, my Lord Christ, if she does not object.” “My lady, which shall it be?” he said; and she bowed her head, and said that she accepted Christ’s offer, and would be sold to him, and be his for ever.

34. I do not know how to pick anyone out here for auction, but I would sell some of you to my Master if I could, without money and without price, except what he paid for you when he poured out his life on the accursed tree. Where are the volunteers? Perhaps it is some bright boy that I have to get for Christ; or some dear girl whom the Lord intends to have now; or some of these young men. Never did any one truly offer himself to the Lord without being accepted; indeed, your offer of yourself to the Lord proves that you are already his in the covenant of his grace. Oh, how happy are those who, in their youth, willingly offer themselves to God! But, indeed, my Lord will take into his service people of all ages, both sexes, all ranks, and conditions. He does not care what your possessions may be; but whatever they are, offer yourself and them to him, to whom they rightfully belong. He will take the poorest and weakest; but still I should like to win for my Master some man in the very strength of his days, with ability to think and power to speak, who will now say, “I have found my vocation. God calls me to Christ to find salvation in his wounds; and to be his servant. It shall be all my business here below to magnify his blessed name.” May God grant it, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

[Portions Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — 2Ch 17 Ro 12]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 119” 119 @@ "(Song 2)"}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Courage and Confidence — Stand Up For Jesus” 674}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Give Me Christ” 606}


{a} Pipe-clay: A fine white kind of clay, which forms a ductile paste with water; used for making tobacco-pipes, and also (esp. by soldiers) for cleaning white trousers, etc. Hence allusively, excessive attention to the minutiae of dress and appearance in the management of regiments. OED.
{b} Major General Sir Henry Havelock KCB (April 5, 1795-November 24, 1857) was a British general who is particularly associated with India and his recapture of Cawnpore from rebels during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. See Explorer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Havelock"

Mr. Spurgeon’s letter to the congregation at the Tabernacle will tell sermon readers how he is, and also his plans for going away. He and Mrs. Spurgeon especially ask that no letters may be sent to “Westwood” during their absence, since there will be no one there to answer them. All donations should be directed to the Secretary, Stockwell Orphanage, Clapham Road, London. The work of the Book Fund, both concerning receipts and grants, must absolutely cease while Mrs. Spurgeon is away from home.

                                      October 18, 1891.
To My Beloved Flock At The Metropolitan Tabernacle

Dear Friends, — Since you all prayed for me so persistently, I would entreat you to praise with me most heartily. My stay by the sea has accomplished wonders. I feel I am a different man altogether, and my doctor gives me hope that when I have received a solid building up I shall not be much the worse for the terrific processes through which I have passed. “Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” I am very, very weak, and restoration to strength must be expected to be gradual. The inevitable fall of the temperature is a great peril to me, for several reasons; and hence my medical friend wishes that I were away. I hope to leave on Monday, 26th. Pray that I may safely perform the journey, and Mrs. Spurgeon also; “A thousand miles” is a serious word for such feeble folk. “The Lord will perfect what concerns me”; and when I return to you in peace we will hold a public thanksgiving, and bless our healing Lord.

I shall leave you in the hands of our God. As a church of the living God, you are as “a city set on a hill, which cannot be hidden.” Your love and unity and prayer and faith are known everywhere. Will these bear the further strain which will be put upon them by the absence and feebleness of the Pastor? I believe they will; but let each one see to it that the service with which he or she may be individually concerned is carried on with more than past efficiency. Souls must be saved, and Jesus glorified, whether the usual leader is present, or another, or no leader at all. May the Lord hear my prayer for you, even as he has heard yours for me! I am far too feeble to make any public appearance, or I would come and plead that now, in the hour of your testing, you may be found as pure gold which does not fear the continuance of the heat.

I ask your co-operation with my brother, and Mr. Stott, and all the officers, in all the regular work and service of our Lord. I have called Dr. Pierson from America, with the view of an advance all along the line. I was bearing the cause on my heart, and thinking that since you had heard so many different men it might be good if, before my return, someone could be with you for a season — the same preacher for a time. No one suggested Dr. Pierson to me; it came from my heart, and I think I was led by the Lord. This beloved brother is the author of several powerful works on the side of the truth, and a man of burning missionary zeal. I have had the closest fellowship of heart with him as a champion of the faith. Long ago he said to me that he would give up every occupation to serve me, AND I BELIEVED HIM. I sat down and wrote him; but the remarkable fact is that he had already written me, so that the next day I heard from him, hinting that a time had come when his former offer might be renewed. I believe it is of the Lord. I am responsible for the action and I look not for blame, but for the obvious approval of my Lord. Let nothing flag. There may be some deficiencies to be made up on my return, but let these be as light as possible. If friends took the seats, there would be none. I am not going to burden myself with any care. I leave the flock with the Great Shepherd of the sheep, and feel that you will be both led and fed. May the Lord grant that whether I speak or am silent, rejoice or suffer, live or die, all may be for his glory and the progress of his gospel! I am a debtor now to all the churches and to all classes of society. The sympathy shown to me every day almost breaks my heart with gratitude. Who am I! One thing I know: I am your loving servant in Christ Jesus, and the Lord’s messenger to many souls, who never saw me, but who have read the sermons. To you at the Tabernacle I am very near of kin. MAY GOD BLESS YOU!

                            Yours in our One Head,
                            C. H. Spurgeon


Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 119 (Song 1)
1 Oh how I love thy holy law!
   ‘Tis daily my delight;
   And thence my meditations draw
   Divine advice by night.
2 How doth thy word my heart engage!
   How well employ my tongue!
   And in my tiresome pilgrimage
   Yields me a heavenly song.
3 Am I a stranger, or at home,
   ‘Tis my perpetual feast:
   Not honey dropping from the comb,
   So much allures the taste.
4 No treasures so enrich the mind,
   Nor shall thy word be sold
   For loads of silver well refined,
   Nor heaps of choicest gold.
5 When nature sinks, and spirits droop,
   Thy promises of grace
   Are pillars to support my hope,
   And there I write thy praise.
                     Isaac Watts, 1719.


Psalm 119 (Song 2)
1 Oh that the Lord would guide my ways
   To keep his statutes still!
   Oh that my God would grant me grace
   To know and do his will!
2 Oh send thy Spirit down, to write
   Thy law upon my heart!
   Nor let my tongue indulge deceit,
   Nor act the liar’s part.
3 From vanity turn off my eyes;
   Let no corrupt design,
   Nor covetous desires arise
   Within this soul of mine.
4 Order my footsteps by thy word,
   And make my heart sincere;
   Let sin have no dominion, Lord,
   But keep my conscience clear.
5 My soul hath gone too far astray,
   My feet too often slip;
   Yet since I’ve not forgot thy way
   Restore thy wandering sheep.
6 Make me to walk in thy commands,
   ‘Tis a delightful road;
   Nor let my head, or heart, or hands,
   Offend against my God.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719


Psalm 119 (Song 3)
1 My soul lies cleaving to the dust;
   Lord, give me life divine;
   From vain desires and every lust,
   Turn off these eyes of mine.
2 I need the influence of thy grace
   To speed me in thy way,
   Lest I should loiter in my race
   Or turn my feet astray.
3 When sore afflictions press me down,
   I need thy quickening powers;
   Thy word that I have rested on
   Shall help my heaviest hours.
4 Are not thy mercies sovereign still,
   And thou a faithful God?
   Wilt thou not grant me warmer zeal
   To run the heavenly road?
5 Does not my heart thy precepts love,
   And long to see thy face?
   And yet how slow my spirits move
   Without enlivening grace!
6 Then shall I love thy gospel more,
   And ne’er forget thy word,
   When I have felt its quickening power
   To draw me near the Lord.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719.


Psalm 119 (Song 4)
1 My soul lies grovelling low,
      Still cleaving to the dust:
   Thy quickening grace, oh Lord, bestow,
      For in thy word I trust.
2 Make me to understand
      Thy precepts and thy will;
   Thy wondrous works on every hand,
      I’ll sing and talk of still.
3 My soul, oppress’d with grief,
      In heaviness melts down;
   Oh strengthen me and send relief,
      And thou shalt wear the crown.
4 Remove from me the voice
      Of falsehood and deceit;
   The way of truth is now my choice,
      Thy word to me is sweet.
5 Thy testimony stands,
      And never can depart;
   I’ll run the way of thy commands
      If thou enlarge my heart.
                        Joseph Irons, 1847


Psalm 119 (Song 5)
1 Consider all my sorrows, Lord,
   And thy deliverance send;
   My soul for thy salvation faints;
   When will my troubles end?
2 Yet I have found ‘tis good for me
   To bear my Father’s rod;
   Afflictions make me learn thy law,
   And live upon my God.
3 This is the comfort I enjoy
   When new distress begins:
   I read thy word, I run thy way,
   And hate my former sins.
4 Had not thy word been my delight
   When earthly joys were fled,
   My soul oppress’d with sorrow’s weight,
   Had sunk amongst the dead.
5 I know thy judgments, Lord, are right,
   Though they may seem severe;
   The sharpest sufferings I endure
   Flow from thy faithful care.
 6 Before I knew thy chastening rod
      My feet were apt to stray;
   But now I learn to keep thy word,
      Nor wander from thy way.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719.


Psalm 119 (Song 6)
1 Oh that thy statutes every hour
   Might dwell upon my mind!
   Thence I derive a quickening power,
   And daily peace I find.
2 To meditate thy precepts, Lord,
   Shall be my sweet employ;
   My soul shall ne’er forget thy word;
   Thy word is all my joy.
3 How would I run in thy commands,
   If thou my heart discharge
   From sin and Satan’s hateful chains,
   And set my feet at large!
4 My lips with courage shall declare
   Thy statutes and thy name;
   I’ll speak thy words though kings should hear,
   Nor yield to sinful shame.
                           Isaac Watts, 1719


Psalm 119 (Song 7)
1 Father, I bless thy gentle hand;
   How kind was thy chastising rod;
   That forced my conscience to a stand,
   And brought my wandering soul to God!
2 Foolish and vain, I went astray
   Ere I had felt thy scourges, Lord;
   I left my guide, and lost my way;
   But now I love and keep thy word.
3 ‘Tis good for me to wear the yoke,
   For pride is apt to rise and swell;
   ‘Tis good to bear my Father’s stroke,
   That I might learn his statutes well.
4 Thy hands have made my mortal frame,
   Thy Spirit form’d my soul within;
   Teach me to know thy wondrous name,
   And guard me safe from death and sin.
5 Then all that love and fear the Lord,
   At my salvation shall rejoice;
   For I have hoped in thy word,
   And made thy grace my only choice.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719.


The Christian, Courage and Confidence
674 — Stand Up For Jesus <7.6.>
1 Stand up! Stand up for Jesus!
      Ye soldiers of the cross!
   Lift high his royal banner;
      It must not suffer loss:
   From victory unto victory
      His army shall he lead,
   Till every foe is vanquish’d,
      And Christ is Lord indeed.
2 Stand up! Stand up for Jesus!
      The trumpet call obey;
   Forth to the mighty conflict,
      In this his glorious day;
   Ye that are men, now serve him,
      Against unnumber’d foes;
   Your courage rise with danger,
      And strength to strength oppose.
3 Stand up! Stand up for Jesus!
      Stand in his strength alone:
   The arm of flesh will fail you;
      Ye dare not trust your own:
   Put on the gospel armour,
      And watching unto prayer,
   Where duty calls, or danger,
      Be never wanting there.
4 Stand up! Stand up for Jesus!
      The strife will not be long;
   This day the noise of battle,
      The next the victor’s song.
   To him that overcometh
      A crown of life shall be;
   He with the King of Glory
      Shall reign eternally.
                        George Duffield, 1858.


The Christian, Contrite Cries
606 — Give Me Christ <7s.>
1 Gracious Lord, incline thine ear,
   My requests vouchsafe to hear;
   Hear my never ceasing cry;
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
2 Wealth and honour I disdain,
   Earthly comforts all are vain;
   These can never satisfy,
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
3 Lord, deny me what thou wilt,
   Only ease me of my guilt;
   Suppliant at thy feet I lie,
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
4 All unholy, all unclean,
   I am nothing else but sin;
   On thy mercy I rely,
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
5 Thou dost freely save the lost!
   Only in thy grace I trust:
   With my earnest suit comply;
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
6 Thou hast promised to forgive
   All who in thy Son believe;
   Lord, I know thou canst not lie;
   Give me Christ, or else I die.
7 Father, dost thou seem to frown?
   I take shelter in thy Son!
   Jesus, to thy arms I fly,
   Save me, Lord, or else I die.
               William Hammond, 1745.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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