2262. Christ’s Curate In Decapolis

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No. 2262-38:301. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, April 27, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, June 26, 1892.

And they began to beg him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the boat, he who had been possessed with the demon entreated him that he might be with him. However Jesus did not permit him, but says to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and has had compassion on you.” {Mr 5:17-19}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 109, “Going Home — a Christmas Sermon” 104}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2262, “Christ’s Curate in Decapolis” 2263}
   Exposition on Mr 5:1-20 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2262, “Christ’s Curate in Decapolis” 2263 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Mr 5:1-24,35-43 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2507, “He Ran, and He Ran” 2508 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Mr 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3306, “Satan, Self, Sin and the Saviour” 3308 @@ "Exposition"}

1. That is a striking name for a man, “he who had been possessed with the demon.” It would stick to him as long as he lived, and it would be a standing sermon wherever he went. He would be asked to tell the story of what he used to be, and how the change came about. What a story for any man to tell! It would not be possible for us to describe his life while he was a demoniac — the midnight scenes among the tombs, the cutting himself with stones, the howling, the frightening away of all the travellers who went near him, the binding with chains, the snapping of the manacles, the breaking of the fetters, and a great many details that he alone could enter into when he told the story among his own familiar friends. With what pathos would he tell how Jesus came that way, and how the evil spirit forced him to confront him! He would say, “That was the best thing that could have happened to me, to be brought to the Master of that desperate legion of demons, which had encamped within my nature, and made my soul to be its barracks.” He would tell how, in a moment, out went the whole legion at the word of Christ.

2. There are some people who could tell a story very like this man’s, a story of slavery to Satan, and deliverance by the power of Christ. If you can tell such a story, do not keep it to yourself. If Jesus has done great things for you, be always ready to speak of it, until all men shall know what Christ can do. I think that great sinners who have been saved are especially called upon to proclaim the good news, the gospel of the grace of God. If you have been valiant against the truth, be valiant for the truth. If you were not lukewarm when you served Satan, do not be lukewarm now that you have come to serve Christ. There are some of us here who might bear the name of “the man who was born blind,” or “the leper who was healed,” or “the woman who was a sinner”; and I hope that we shall all be willing to take any name or any title that will glorify Christ. I do not find that this man ever prosecuted Mark for libel because he wrote concerning him as “he who had been possessed with the demon.” Oh, no! He admitted that he was possessed with the demon once; and he glorified God that he had been delivered by the Lord Jesus.

3. I. I am going to make a few observations upon the passage I have chosen for a text; and the first observation is this, SEE HOW MEN’S DESIRES DIFFERED. We find in the seventeenth verse that, “they began to beg him to depart out of their coasts.” In the eighteenth verse, “he who had been possessed with the demon entreated him that he might be with him.” The people wanted Christ to go away from them; the man whom he had cured wanted to go wherever he might go. To which class do you belong, my dear friend?

4. I hope you do not belong to the first class, the class of the many who beg Jesus to depart from them. Why did they want him to go?

5. I think it was, first, because they loved to be quiet, and to dwell at ease. It was a great calamity that had happened; the swine had run into the sea. They did not want any more such calamities, and evidently the Person who had come among them possessed extraordinary power. Had he not healed the demoniac? Well, they did not want him; they did not want anything extraordinary. They were easy-going men, who would like to go on the even tenor of their way, so they asked him to be good enough to go away. There are some people of that kind still living today. They say, “We do not want a revival here; we are too respectable. We do not want any stirring preaching here; we are very comfortable. Do not disturb our peace.” Such men, when they think that God is at work in any place, are half inclined to go elsewhere. They want to be quiet; their motto is, “Anything for a quiet life.” “Leave us alone, let us go on our old way,” is the cry of these foolish people, as it was the cry of the Israelites, when they said to Moses, “Leave us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians.”

6. Possibly these people wanted the Saviour gone because they had an eye for business. That keeping of the swine was a bad business. As Jews, they had no business with it. They may have said they did not eat them themselves, they only kept them for other people to eat; and now they had lost the whole herd. I wonder what all those swine would have brought for their owners. As they began calculating how much they had lost, they resolved that the Saviour must go out of their coasts before they lost anything more. I do not wonder that, when men sell intoxicating liquors, for example, or when they follow any trade in which they cannot make money except by injuring their fellow men, they do not want Christ to come that way. Perhaps some of you would not like him to see you pay those poor women for making shirts. I am afraid, if Jesus Christ were to come around, and go into some business people’s homes, the husband would say to his wife, “Fetch down that book where I enter the wages, and hide it away; I should not like him to see that.”

7. Oh, dear friend, if there is any such reason why you do not want Christ to come your way, I pray that the Holy Spirit may convince you that you do need him to come your way. He who has the most objection to Christ is the man who most needs Christ. Be sure of this, if you do not desire to be converted, if you do not wish to be born again, you are the person above all others needing to be converted, and to be born again. Is it not a most unwise decision when, for the sake of swine, we are willing to part with Christ? “For what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” He will get a corner in the newspaper, saying that he died worth so many thousands of pounds; and that will not be true, for he was never worth a penny himself. Who would give a penny for him now that he is dead? It will cost money to get rid of him, but he cannot take it with him. He was not worth anything; he used his money for selfish purposes; and never used it for the glory of God. Oh, the poverty of an ungodly rich man!

8. I do not wonder that these people, taken up with themselves, and with the world, prayed Christ “to depart out of their coasts.” May he not, even though you may not care to hear him, stay somewhere on the shore? No; when men get stirred up against religion, they go to great lengths in trying to drive it away from their midst. Many a poor man has lost his cottage, where he had a few prayer meetings, because the landlord not only did not want Christ himself, but, like the dog in the manger, would not let others have him who did want him. Are any of you in that condition?

9. I hope that I have some here who are of another kind, like this poor man, who entreated him that he might be with him. Why did he want to be with Jesus? I think he wanted to be his attendant to show his gratitude. If he might only wait on Christ, loosen the latchets of his shoes, and wash his feet, or prepare his meals, he would feel himself to be the happiest man on earth. He would love to be doing something for the One who had cast a legion of demons out of him.

10. Next, he wished not only to be an attendant to show his gratitude, but a disciple so that he might learn more about him. What he did know about Christ was so precious, he had personally had such an experience of his gracious power, that he wanted to be always learning something from every word of those dear lips, and every action of those blessed hands. He entreated him that he might be with him as a disciple who wished to be taught by him.

11. He also wanted to be with him as a comrade, for now that Christ must go, exiled from Decapolis, he seemed to feel that there was no reason why he should remain there himself. “Lord, if you must leave these Gadarenes, let me leave the Gadarenes, too! Do you go, oh Shepherd? Then let me go with you. Must you cross the sea, and be going where I do not know? I will go with you to prison and to death.” He felt so linked with Christ that he entreated him that he might be with him.

12. I think that there was this reason, also, one of fear, motivating his prayer. Perhaps one of that legion of demons might come back again, and if he could stay with Christ, then Christ would turn the demon out again. I should not wonder that he felt a trembling about him, as if he could not bear to be out of the sight of the great Physician, who had healed him of so grievous an evil. I would say to all here, that we are never safe unless we are with Christ. If you are tempted to go where you could not have Christ with you, do not go. Did you ever hear the story of the devil running away with a young man who was at the theatre? It is said that John Newton sent after Satan, and said, “That young man is a member of my church.” “Well,” replied the devil, “I do not care where he is a member; I found him on my premises, and I have a right to him”; and the preacher could not give any answer to that. If you go on the devil’s premises, and he carries you off, I cannot say anything against it. Go nowhere where you cannot take Christ with you. Be like this man, who longs to go wherever Christ goes.

13. II. Now, secondly, SEE HOW CHRIST’S DEALINGS DIFFER, and how extraordinary they are. Here is an evil prayer: “Depart out of our coasts.” He grants it. Here is a pious prayer: “Lord, let me be with you.” “However Jesus did not permit him.” Is that his way, to grant the prayer of his enemies, and refuse the petition of his friends? Yes, it is so sometimes.

14. In the first case, when they begged him to depart, he went. Oh, dear friends, if Christ ever comes near you, and you get a little touched in your conscience, and feel a throb of something like spiritual life, do not ask him to go away; for if he does go, if he should leave you to yourself, and never come again, your doom is sealed! Your only hope lies in his presence; and if you pray against your one hope, you are a suicide, you are guilty of murdering your own soul.

15. Jesus went away from these people because it was useless to stay. If they wanted him to go, what good could he do for them? If he spoke, they would not listen. If they heard his message, they would not heed it. When men’s minds are set against Christ, what else is to be done except to leave them?

16. He could spend his time better somewhere else. If you will not have my Lord, someone else will. If you sit there in your pride, and say, “I do not want the Saviour,” there is a poor soul in the gallery longing for him, and crying, “Oh, that I might find him to be my Saviour!” Christ knew that, if the Gadarenes refused him, the people on the other side of the lake would welcome him on his return.

17. By going away, he even saved them from still greater sin. If he had not gone, they might have tried to plunge him into the lake. When men begin to beg Christ to depart out of their coasts, they are bad enough for anything. There might have followed violence to his blessed person, so he took himself away from them. Is it not an awful thing that, if the gospel ministry does not save you, it is helping to damn you? We are a savour to God, always sweet; but in some men, we are a savour of death to death, while in others we are a savour of life to life. Oh my hearers, if you will not come to Christ, the seat you occupy is misappropriated! There might be another person sitting there, to whom the gospel might be very precious; and our opportunities of preaching it are none too many. We do not like to waste our strength on stony ground, on hard bits of rock that repel the seed. Rock, rock, rock, will you never break; must we continue to sow you, though no harvest comes from you? May God change you, rock; and make you good soil, so that the truth may yet grow upon you! The evil prayer, then, was answered.

18. The good prayer was not answered. Why was that? The chief reason was, because the man could be useful at home. He could glorify God better by going among the Gadarenes, and among his own family, and telling what God had done for him, than he could by any attention he could pay to Christ. It is remarkable that Christ took no one to be his personal servant, or personal attendant during his earthly ministry. He did not come to be ministered to, but to minister. He did not desire this man to be with him to make him comfortable; he told him to go back to his family, and make known the power of Jesus Christ, and seek to win them for God.

19. Perhaps, too, his prayer was not answered, lest his fear should have been sanctioned by it. If he did fear, and I feel morally certain that he did, that the demons would return, then, of course, he longed to be with Christ. But Christ takes that fear from him, and as good as says to him, “You do not need to be near me; I have healed you so that you will never be sick again.” A patient might say to his doctor, “I have been so very ill, and through your skill have been restored to health, I should like to be near you, so that, if there should be any recurrence of my malady, I might come to you at once.” If the doctor should reply, “You may go to Switzerland, or to Australia, if you like”; it would be the best evidence that the doctor had no fears about him, and it ought to put an end to his doubts.

20. You see, then, how Christ’s dealings differ with different men. Have I not known some to continue in sin, and yet prosper in business, heaping up wealth, and having all that heart could wish for? Have I not known others to repent, and turn to God, and from that very day they have had more trouble than they ever had before, and their way has been strangely rough? Yes, I have seen them, too; and I have not envied the easy ways of the wicked, neither have I felt that there was anything very amazing about the rough ways of the righteous; for, after all, it is not the way that is the all-important matter, it is the end of the way; and if I could travel smoothly to perdition, I would not choose to do so; and if the way to eternal life is rough, I take it with all its roughness. At the foot of the Hill Difficulty, Bunyan makes his pilgrim sing —

   The hill, though high, I covet to ascend,
   The difficulty will not me offend;
   For I perceive the way of life lies here.

21. III. My third point is this: SEE HOW GOOD A THING IT IS TO BE WITH JESUS. This man entreated the Lord that he might be with him.

22. If you have been saved recently, I expect you have a longing in your heart to be with Christ always. I will tell you what form that longing is likely to take. You were so happy, so joyful, and it was such a blessed meeting, that you said to yourself, “I am sorry it is over; I should like this meeting to have been kept on all night, and the next day, and never to end.” Yes, you were of the mind of Peter, when he wanted to build the three tabernacles on the holy mount, and to stay there for the rest of his days; but you cannot do it; it is no use wishing for it. You must go home to that drinking husband or that scolding wife, to that ungodly father or that unkind mother. You cannot always stay in that meeting.

23. Perhaps you have another idea of what it is to be with Christ. You are so happy when you can get alone, and read your Bible, and meditate, and pray, and you say, “Lord, I wish I could always do this; I should like to always be upstairs in this room, searching the Scriptures, and having communion with God.” Yes, yes, yes; but you cannot do it. There are the children’s socks to be mended, there are buttons to be put on the husband’s shirts, and there are all kinds of odds and ends to be done, and you must not neglect any one of them. Whatever household duties come upon you, attend to them. You wish that you did not have to go to the city tomorrow. Would it not be sweet to have an all-night prayer meeting, and then to have an all-day searching the Scriptures? No doubt it would; but the Lord has not so arranged it. You have to go to business, so just put on your weekday clothes, and think yourself none the less happy because you have to show your religion in your daily life.

24. “Ah, well!” one says, and this I very often hear, “I think that I should always be with Christ if I could get right out of business, and give myself up to the service of the Lord.” You especially think that it would be so if your were a minister. Well, I have nothing to say against the ministry of the gospel. If the Lord calls you to it, obey the call, and be thankful that he has considered you faithful, putting you into the ministry; but if you suppose that you will be nearer to Christ simply by entering the ministry, you are very much mistaken. I daresay that I had about as many of the other people’s troubles brought to me this morning, after I had finished preaching, as would last most men for a month. We have to bear with everyone’s trouble, and everyone’s doubt, and everyone’s need for comfort and counsel. You will find yourself encumbered with much serving, even in the service of the Lord; and it is very easy to lose the Master in the Master’s work. We need much grace lest this insidious temptation should overcome us even in our ministry. You can walk with Christ, and sell cloth. You can walk with Christ, and sell groceries. You can walk with Christ, and be a working man or a longshoreman. You can walk with Christ, and be a chimney-sweep. I do not hesitate to say that, by the grace of God, you can walk with Christ as well in one occupation as another, if it is an honest one. It might be quite a mistake if you were to give up your business, under the notion that you would be more with Christ if you became a city missionary, or a Bible woman, or a colporteur, or a captain in the Salvation Army, or whatever other form of holy service you might desire. Keep on with your business. If you can polish shoes well, do that. If you can preach sermons badly, do not do that.

25. “Ah!” one says, “I know how I would like to be with Christ.” Yes, yes, I know; you would like to be in heaven. Oh, yes; and it is a laudable desire, to wish to be with Christ, for it is far better than being here! But, mind you, it may be a selfish desire, and it may be a sinful desire, if it is pushed too far. A holy man of God was once asked by a fellow servant of Christ, “Brother So-and-so, do you not want to go home?” He said, “What?” “Do you not want to go home?” He said, “I will answer you by another question. If you had a man working for you, and on Wednesday he said, ‘I wish it was Saturday,’ would you keep him on?” The other thought that he would need a large amount of patience to do so. Why, you know what a fellow is who is always looking for Saturday night, do you not? You will be glad to see the backside of him before Saturday comes, for he will be no good for work. Have I any right to be wanting to go to heaven if I can do any good for you here? Is it not more of a heaven to be outside of heaven than inside, if you can be doing more for God outside than in? Long to go when the Lord wishes; but if to remain in the flesh is more for the good of the church and the world, and more for the glory of God, waive your desire, and do not be vexed with your Master when, after having prayed that you may be with him; it has to be written of you as it was of this man, “However Jesus did not permit him.”

26. Still, it is a very delightful thing to be with Jesus.

27. IV. But now, in the fourth place, SEE THAT THERE MAY BE SOMETHING EVEN BETTER THAN THIS. In the sense which I have mentioned, there is something better even than being with Christ.

28. What is better than being with Christ? Why, to be working for Christ! Jesus said to this man, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and has had compassion on you.”

29. This is more honourable. It is very delightful to sit at Jesus’ feet; but if the most honourable post on the field of battle is the place of danger; if the most honourable thing in the State is to have royal service allotted to you; then the most honourable thing for a Christian is not to sit down, and sing, and enjoy himself, but to get up, and risk reputation, life, and everything for Jesus Christ’s sake. Dear friend, aspire to serve our Lord; it is a more honourable thing even than being with him.

30. It is also better for the people. Christ is going away from the Gadarenes; they have asked him to go, and he is going; but he seems to say to this man, “I am going because they have asked me to go. My leaving them looks like a judgment upon them for their rejection of me; but yet I am not going away altogether. I am going to stay with you; I will put my Spirit upon you, and so will continue with you. They will hear you although they will not hear me.” Christ, as it were, resigns the pastorate of that district; but he puts another in his place, not as good as himself, but one whom they will like better; not as powerful and useful as himself, but one better adapted to them. When Christ was gone, this man would be there, and the people would come to him to hear about those swine, and how they ran down into the sea; and if they did not come to him, he would go and tell them all about it; and so there would be a permanent curate left there to discharge the sacred ministry, now that the great Bishop had gone. I like that thought. Christ had gone to heaven, for he is needed there, and so he has left you here, dear brother, to carry on his work. You are not equal to him in any respect; but yet remember what he said to his disciples, “He who believes in me, the works that I do he shall do also; and he shall do greater works than these; because I go to my Father.” That is why Christ does not permit you to be with him at present. You must stay for the sake of the people among whom you live, as “he who had been possessed with the demon” had to remain for the sake of the Gadarenes, to whom he might testify concerning Christ.

31. His remaining, also, was better for his family; and do you not think that, often, a man of God is kept out of heaven for the sake of his family? You must not go yet, father; those boys still need your example and your influence. Christian mother, you must not go yet; I know that your children are grown up, and they are grieving you very much; but still, if there is any check upon them, it is their poor old mother, and you must stay until you have prayed them to God; and you will do so yet. Be of good courage! I believe that there are many here who might be in heaven, except that God has some who he intends to bring in by them, so they must stay here for a little longer. Though infirm in body, shattered in nerve, and often racked with acute pain, perhaps with deadly disease upon you, and wishing to be gone, you must not go until your work is done.

32. “However Jesus did not permit him.” This demoniac must go home, and tell his wife and his children what great things the Lord had done for him. Many eminent preachers have pictured the scene of his going home, so I will not try to do it. You may only imagine what it would be like if it were your case; and you had been confined to an asylum, or had been almost too bad even for that. How glad your friends were to have you taken away, and then how much more glad to find you come back perfectly well! I can imagine how the man’s wife would look through the window when she heard his voice. Has he come back in a mad fit? How the children will be filled with terror at the sound of their father’s voice until they were assured that there was indeed a change in him! Ah, poor sinner, you have come here tonight! Perhaps you forget that your children often have to hide away under the bed when father comes home. I know that there are such people around, and they may even find their way into the Tabernacle. May the Lord have mercy upon the drunkard, and turn his cups bottom upwards, and make a new man of him! Then, when he goes home, to tell of free grace and dying love, and of the wonderful change that God has accomplished in him, he will be a blessing to his family and to all around him. It may be, dear friend, that you have to stay here until you have undone some of the mischief of your early life. You have to bring to God some of those whom you tempted, and led astray, and helped to ruin.

33. So, you see, dear friends, there is something better even than being with Christ; that is working with Christ.

34. V. But, lastly, CONSIDER THAT THERE IS YET A CASE WHICH IS BEST OF ALL.

35. We must always have three degrees of comparison. What is the best state of all? To be with Christ is good; to be sent by Christ on a holy errand, is better; but here is something that is best of all, namely; to work for him, and to be with him at the same time. I want every Christian to aspire to that position. Is it possible to sit with Mary at the Master’s feet, and yet to run around like Martha, and get the dinner ready? It is; and then Martha will never be encumbered with much serving if she does that, and she will never find fault with her sister Mary. “But, sir, we cannot sit and stir at the same time.” No, not as for your bodies; but you can as for you souls. You can be sitting at Jesus’ feet, or leaning on his breast, and yet be fighting the Lord’s battles, and doing his work.

36. In order to do this, cultivate the inner as well as the outer life. Endeavour not only to do much for Christ, but to be much with Christ, and to live entirely on Christ. Do not, for example, on the Sabbath day, go to a class, and teach others three times, as some whom I know do; but come once and hear the Master’s message, and get your soul fed; and when you have had a spiritual feast in the morning, give the rest of the day to holy service. Let the two things run together. To be always eating, and never working, will bring on gluttonous indulgence, and spiritual indigestion; but to be always working and never eating, — well, I am afraid that you will not bear that trial so well as the gentleman who yesterday ate his first meal after forty days of fasting. Do not try to imitate him. It is not a right and wise thing to do; but very dangerous. Get spiritual food as well as do spiritual work.

37. Let me say to you, again, grieve very much if there is the least cloud between you and Christ. Do not wait until it is as thick as a November fog; be full of sorrow if it is only like a tiny, fleecy cloud. George Müller’s observation was a very wise one, “Never come out of your room in the morning until everything is right between you and God.” Keep in perpetual fellowship with Jesus; and so you can be with him, and still be serving him at the same time.

38. And mind this, before you begin Christ’s service, always seek his presence and help. Do not enter upon any work for the Lord without having first seen the face of the King in his beauty; and in the work often recall your mind from what you are doing, to him for whom you are doing it, and by whom you are doing it; and when the work is completed, do not throw up you cap, and say, “Well done, self!” Another will say to you, eventually, “Well done!” if you deserve it. Do not take the words out of his mouth. Self-praise is no recommendation. Solomon said, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” When we have done all, we are still unprofitable servants; we have only done what it was our duty to do. So, if you are as humble as you are active, as lowly as you are energetic, you may stay with Christ, and yet go about his errands to the ends of the earth; and I consider this to be the happiest experience that any one of us can reach this side of the gates of pearl. May the Lord bless you, and bring you there, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Mr 5:1-20}

1, 2. And they came over to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Our Lord crossed the Sea of Galilee on purpose to rescue this poor man from the power of the unclean spirit that possessed him. He knew that there were many who needed him on the Galilean side of the lake, and he could foresee the storm that would threaten to sink the little boat; yet he calmly said to his disciples, “Let us pass over to the other side.” {Mr 4:35} As soon as the great Physician landed, a dreadful apparition appeared. “Our of the tombs,” an uncanny place, rushed a man, howling and yelling like some wild beast; or worse still, under the influence of Satan, who had taken possession of him.

3, 4. Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: because he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been pulled asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

See how the world deals with furiously guilty men. It tries to fetter them, or else to tame them; to keep them in check by fear of punishment, or else to subdue them to a gentleness of morality: this is poor work! Christ neither binds nor tames; he changes and renews. Oh, that everywhere his aid were sought, and not so much reliance placed on the fetters of law, or the power of morals!

5. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

It must have been dreadful for travellers to pass that way at night, or to meet this terrible madman at any hour of the day. But how terrible must have been the poor creature’s own condition! We get just a glimpse of it from the words, “always in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones.” See what Satan does with those who are in his power.

6. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

The devil does not like doing it; but if it will serve his purpose, he will pretend to be a worshipper of Christ. He comes here sometimes; he goes to all kinds of places of worship, and makes men turn worshippers who have no worship in their hearts; for there is no end to the depth of his cunning, and many are those who have served the devil best when they have pretended to worship Christ.

7. And cried with a loud voice, and said, “What have I to do with you, Jesus, you son of the Most High God? I implore you by God, that you do not torment me.”

Using the lips of this poor man, Satan spoke in him and through him. He is afraid of Christ. This dog of hell knows his Master, and crouches at his feet. He beseeches the “Son of the Most High God” not to torment him before his time.

8. For he said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.”

Christ never wastes words over the devil. He speaks to him very shortly and very sharply. It would be good sometimes if we could be more laconic when we are dealing with evil. It does not deserve our words just as it did not deserve Christ’s words. Jesus said to the devil, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.”

9, 10. And he asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion: for we are many.” And he besought him much that he would not send him away out of the country.

The devil can pray; he did so in this case. It is not because a man is fluent in prayer that we are sure of his salvation. It is not because a man prays with such fervour that his knees knock together, that we may conclude that he is a saint. It may be that he is trembling through fear of God’s judgment. Satan besought Christ much.

11, 12. Now there was there near to the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the demons besought him, saying, “Send us into the swine, so that we may enter into them.”

Satan would rather vex swine than do no mischief at all. He is so fond of evil that he would work it upon animals if he cannot work it upon men. What unanimity there is among the evil spirits! “All the demons besought him, saying, ‘Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.’ ”

13. And immediately Jesus gave them permission.

The devil cannot enter even a pig without Christ’s permission. So he cannot tempt you, my friend, without our Lord’s permission. You may rest assured that even this great monster of evil is under Christ’s control. He cannot molest you until Jesus gives him permission. There is a chain around the roaring lion, and he can only go just as far as the Lord allows him.

13, 14. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were drowned in the sea. And those who fed the swine fled,

At which we do not at all wonder. Who would not flee when they saw the power of Christ like this?

14, 15. And told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him who was possessed with the demon, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

You would have thought that it would have been said, “They marvelled, and they praised Christ for this great and wonderful deed.” No, “They were afraid.” If you see another converted, do not be afraid; but rather have hope that you may be saved yourself. What a beautiful sight these people saw: “they come to Jesus, and see him who was possessed with the demon, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind!” That thought ought to have made them rejoice instead of being afraid. There are still people who are afraid of what will happen when they see those whom Christ has blessed spiritually as he had healed this man.

16, 17. And those who saw it told them what had happened to him who was possessed with the demon, and also concerning the swine. And they began to beg him to depart out of their coasts.

If Jesus should come to you tonight, do not ask him to go away. Open wide the door of your heart, and entreat the Lord to come in, and dwell there for ever and ever. This narrative teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ will go away if he is asked to do so; he will not remain where his absence is preferred to his company.

18-20. And when he was come into the boat, he who had been possessed with the demon entreated him that he might be with him. However Jesus did not permit him, but says to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and has had compassion on you.” And he departed, and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him: and all men marvelled.

He was told to proclaim what great things the Lord had done for him. He went and proclaimed what great things Jesus had done for him. Did he make any mistake? Oh, no! It is only another name for the same Person: for Jesus is the Lord; and when you speak of him as divine, and talk about him in terms fit only for God, you only speak properly; for so he deserves to be praised. “And all men marvelled.” So our Lord left them all wondering. Leaving this one messenger to bear testimony to him, he went his way elsewhere, to carry blessings to many others on the other side of the lake. The man appears to have gone through the wide district that bore the name Decapolis, and his testimony to the power of Christ was so convincing that, when the Saviour revisited that part of the country, he had a very different reception from what he received on this occasion. {Mr 7:31-8:10}

{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — ‘Who Loved Me, And Gave Himself For Me’ ” 797}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven — Let Me Be With Thee” 847}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Longing To Be With Jesus” 806}
The Sword and the Trowel
Contents of Second Conference Number, July, 1892
The Great Shield of Faith. Address delivered by the late beloved President, C. H. Spurgeon, at the opening of the Fourth Annual Conference of the Pastors’ College Evangelical Association, at Upton Chapel, Lambeth, April 20, 1891.
The Gospel for the Times. Paper read by Principal David Gracey, at the Conference, May 4, 1892.
The Cure for the Fainting Heart. Conference Sermon on Jonah 2:7 preached by W. Y. Fullerton, May 6.
Memorials to our Late President. His “armour-bearer’s” paper, read at the Conference Memorial Service, May 5.
The Influence of the President’s Death. By Pastor John Horne, Springburn, Glasgow.
Mr. Spurgeon’s Early and Later Ministry. By R. Shindler.
Sketch of Principal David Gracey.
Fifth Annual Report of the Pastors’ College Students’ Visitation Society.
Notice of Books.
Notes (Mrs. Spurgeon and her Book Fund. Mr and Mrs. Thomas Spurgeon and Pastor Charles Spurgeon. Dr. Pierson and the Tabernacle. In Memoriam notice of Mrs. John Jewell Penstone. Metropolitan Tabernacle Sunday-school Home and Foreign Missionary Society, College. College Missionary Association. Evangelists. Orphanage. Colportage. Personal Notes — Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons in Russia, Scotland, and various parts of England.)
Lists of Contributions — Pastor’s College, College Missionary Association, Stockwell Orphanage, Colportage Association, Society of Evangelists, For the General Work of the Lord as most required, and C. H. Spurgeon Memorial Fund.
Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Colportage Association.

72 pages. Price 3d. Post free, 4d.
London: Passmore & Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
797 — “Who Loved Me, And Gave Himself For Me” <8.8.6.>
1 Oh Love divine, how sweet thou art!
   When shall I find my willing heart
      All taken up by thee?
   I thirst, I faint, I die to prove
   The greatness of redeeming love,
      The love of Christ to me!
2 Stronger his love than death or hell;
   Its riches are unsearchable:
      The first-born sons of light
   Desire in vain its depths to see;
   They cannot reach the mystery,
      The length, and breadth, and height.
3 God only knows the love of God:
   Oh that it now were shed abroad
      In this poor stony heart;
   For love I sigh, for love I pine:
   This only portion, Lord, be mine,
      Be mine this better part.
4 Oh that I could for ever sit
   With Mary at the Master’s feet;
      Be this my happy choice:
   My only care, delight, and bliss,
   My joy, my heaven on earth, be this,
      To hear the Bridegroom’s voice.
                        Charles Wesley, 1746.


The Christian, Aspirations for Heaven
847 — Let Me Be With Thee
1 Let me be with thee where thou art,
   My Saviour, my eternal rest!
   Then only will this longing heart
   Be fully and for ever blest.
2 Let me be with thee where thou art,
   Thy unveil’d glory to behold;
   Then only will this wandering heart
   Cease to be faithless, treacherous, cold.
3 Let me be with thee, where thou art,
   Where spotless saints thy name adore;
   Then only will this sinful heart
   Be evil and defiled no more.
4 Let me be with thee, where thou art,
   Where none can die, where none remove;
   Where life nor death my soul can part,
   From thy blest presence and thy love.
                     Charlotte Elliott, 1836.


The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
806 — Longing To Be With Jesus
1 My soul amid this stormy world,
      Is like some flutter’d dove:
   And fain would he as swift of wing,
      To flee to him I love.
2 The cords that bound my heart to earth
      Are broken by his hand;
   Before his cross I found myself
      A stranger in the land.
3 That visage marr’d, those sorrows deep,
      The vinegar and gall,
   These were his golden chains of love
      His captive to enthral.
4 My heart is with him on his throne,
      And ill can brook delay;
   Each moment listening for the voice,
   “Rise up, and come away.”
5 With hope deferr’d, oft sick and faint,
      “Why tarries he?” I cry:
   Let not the Saviour chide my haste,
      For then would I reply:
6 “May not an exile, Lord, desire
      His own sweet land to see?
   May not a captive seek release,
      A prisoner to be free?
7 “A child, when far away, may long
      For home and kindred dear;
   And she that waits her absent lord
      May sigh till he appear.
8 “I would, my Lord and Saviour, know,
      That which no measure knows:
   Would search the mystery of thy love,
      The depths of all thy woes.
9 “I fain would strike my harp divine
      Before the Father’s throne,
   There cast my crown of righteousness,
      And sing what grace has done.
10 “Ah, leave me not in this base world,
      A stranger still to roam;
   Come, Lord, and take me to thyself,
      Come, Jesus, quickly come!”
                  Robert C. Chapman, 1837.

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).

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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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