2438. “Two Immutable Things.”

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No. 2438-41:529. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, October 30, 1887, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, November 10, 1895.

“Yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you,” says the Lord GOD, “and you became mine.” {Eze 16:8}

1. During this last summer, I took a little journey into the country, since I had an opportunity of preaching and visiting in the region where I lived as a little child, and where I afterwards spent some of my school-boy days. Everything was very vividly interesting to me, much more so than it could have been to anyone who was a stranger to the district. Now I want some of you, especially you who love the Lord, to go back in thought to your early days when you were children in grace; indeed, go back even further than that, to the time of your spiritual birth, those first hours when your love for your Lord was true and fervent, and everything all around you was fresh and bright and joyful.

2. Biographies are generally interesting if they are biographies; that is to say, if the events of the person’s life are truly told; but I think that the most interesting biography to any man is his own life. Take that book down from the shelf, and look into it. You say that you have not kept a diary; well, perhaps not, but you have one in your memory. You may have read Pepys’ Diary, or Evelyn’s Diary; they are interesting, but I want to get you to read your own. Turn over the pages of the book of memory, and think of those first times when you sought and found the Saviour, when you repented, when you believed, when you yielded yourself up to Jesus, when he took you to be his, and you took him to be yours. I am sure that this exercise will awaken many happy thoughts, and I feel equally certain that it will suggest many regrets; but the happiness will be good for you if it arouses your gratitude, and the regrets will be good for you if they deepen your penitence. I want you, then, to go back for a little time, and think of what God did for you then, and of what he has done for you since. You are called to this retrospect by such a chapter as the one before us, which is God’s own statement of how he dealt with the chosen nation. It is also, in a parable, the Lord’s declaration of how he has dealt with us. He remembers it, and he would have us remember it; and in the words of our text he reminds us of the covenant he made with us: “ ‘Yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you,’ says the Lord God, ‘and you became mine.’ ”

3. Beloved, the time of our conversion, the time when we joyfully knew that we were saved, was a covenanting time. The covenant itself, as for God’s part in it, was made with Christ on our behalf even before the earth was; it is older than the hills, it is as ancient as God himself. But, as far as we are concerned, the covenant comes into practical, real connection with ourselves when we believe in the Lord Jesus, rely on his atoning sacrifice, and depend on his promises of grace. I repeat that converting times are covenanting times. We made a covenant with God then; we said, —

    ’Tis done! the great transaction’s done;
       I am my Lord’s, and he is mine:
    He drew me, and I follow’d on,
       Charm’d to confess the voice divine.
    High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
       That vow renew’d shall daily hear:
    Till in life’s latest hour I bow,
       And bless in death a bond so dear?

The covenant was also on God’s part, for he has promised to save all those who trust him; and that promise became ours when we trusted his dear Son. All the promises of the covenant of grace became promises made particularly to ourselves when we received the seal of the covenant by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. It is a somewhat exceptional thing that, in this chapter, God does not say anything about Israel’s part of the covenant; he seems to pass that over as though it were not worth mentioning. The nation had so entirely forgotten it, and had been so altogether untrue to it, that the whole stress of the chapter seems to lie on what God did, how God kept the covenant. Though the sin of the people is brought to their memory, yet the Lord does not say to them, “You entered into covenant with me,” but he says, “ ‘I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you,’ says the Lord God, ‘and you became mine.’ ” So, at this time, I shall not say much about the covenant that you made with God; do not forget it, and do not forget that you have often forgotten it. You covenanted with God that you would be his, and you meant it when you made the promise; you know how far you have been true to it; but what I want to remember myself, and for you to remember, too, is God’s covenant with us, what he promised to do for us, and what he has done for us. Let this thought dwell in our minds, that it may renew our love for our Lord, and make us continually to know that we are truly his because he has made a covenant with us.

5. Here, then, is our text: “ ‘Yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you,’ says the Lord God, ‘and you became mine.’ ” My remarks on it will be, first, that it was a covenant freely made; secondly, it was a covenant entirely of love; thirdly, it was a most sure covenant; and in closing, I will try to show you that this covenant involves very gracious results.

6. I. In the first place, IT WAS A COVENANT FREELY MADE.

7. The context tells us that this child, with whom God entered into covenant, was one who could not have had any claim on him. It was a covenant which he made at his own suggestion, out of the greatness of his own love, for the nation of Israel, of which he speaks, had nothing in its pedigree to suggest it. The Lord says, “Your birth and your nativity is of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite.” Yet Jehovah entered into covenant with that people. And now, if you look back on your pedigree, —

    What was there in you that could merit esteem,
       Or give the Creator delight?

There are some who do not believe in the depravity of human nature. I must believe in it if I am myself a fair example of human nature; and every man who has watched his own heart, and has any idea of the sin which dwells within him, will know that his origin is tainted, that from the very first there is a tendency to evil, and only evil; and, therefore, that there is nothing in him concerning his birth that can command or deserve the favour of God. If God enters into covenant with unfallen man, man is so insignificant a creature that it must be an act of gracious condescension on the Lord’s part; but if God enters into covenant with sinful man, he is then so offensive a creature that it must be, on God’s part, an act of pure, free, rich, sovereign grace. When the Lord entered into covenant with me, I am sure that it was all of grace, nothing else but grace; and I think that all of you who know what that covenant means, and can claim an interest in it, will say, “In my case, at any rate, it was of grace, and of grace alone.” It was a covenant freely entered into by divine grace, for our pedigree did not suggest it.

8. There was also nothing in our condition to commend it. This poor child had never been washed or clothed, she was left in all her filthiness to die; there was nothing about her to commend she to the attention of the passer-by. And what were we by nature? Oh, dear friends, let us think, with shame and confusion of face, of what we used to be before we knew the Lord.

    Backward with humble shame we look
       On our original;
    How is our nature dash’d and broke
       In our first father’s fall!

9. Not all of us were open, profligate sinners; some were, however. If I speak of drunkards, and swearers, and fornicators, and the like, I may add with the apostle, “And such were some of you; but you are washed.” And others of us, who were not permitted to run in these evil ways, yet with our hearts, with our thoughts, with our tempers, and with our spirit, we sinned grievously in the sight of God. When I remember what a den of unclean beasts and birds my heart was, and how strong was my unrenewed will, how obstinate and rebellious against the sovereignty of the divine rule, I always feel inclined to take the very lowest room in my Father’s house; and when I enter heaven, it will be to go among the less than the least of all saints, and with the chief of sinners.

10. Yes, dear friends, it is only too true there was nothing in our condition to commend us to God, or to induce him to enter into covenant with us. It was just because he would do it, because he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy; because, when he is showing the greatness of his mercy, he feels that he may as well show it where it is most needed; so he looks out, not for merit, but for misery; not for deservings, but for undeservings. According to the riches of his grace, he abounds in mercy towards the very worst of us, pardoning our sin, passing by our transgression, and blotting out our iniquity.

11. It was, then, a covenant freely entered into because there was nothing in our condition to commend it.

12. It was also a covenant freely made because there was nothing in our beauty to warrant it. Indeed, there was a total absence from us of everything that might be considered attractive and beautiful. Are you now penitent? Yet, then, your heart was harder than adamant stone. Are you now believing? Then, you were an unbeliever. Are you now zealous for God? Then, you were rather zealous against him, or if not, you were quite indifferent to divine things. Is there any virtue, is there any praise, is there anything of good repute in you? It was not there when God entered into a covenant with you. If there was any beauty in the wife who is mentioned in this parable, it was after the marriage; but before, she was cast out, she was not grown. Whatever there was there, was undeveloped, and worse still, unclean. And in that day when Jesus took us to himself, and we took him to be our Saviour, there was nothing as yet apparent of what his grace has now accomplished in us; it was totally absent then. Oh, brothers and sisters, let us praise and magnify that free grace that ever entered into covenant with you and with me!

13. That is the first point, it was a covenant most freely made.

14. II. But we cannot linger long on any one part of our glorious subject; so we notice, in the next place, that IT WAS A COVENANT ENTIRELY OF LOVE.

15. Taking our text in its context, we learn that this covenant was a marriage covenant. It is a very wonderful thing that God should enter into a marriage covenant with his people; but he has done so. The Lord Jesus Christ has taken on himself our nature, and has become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh; so that, when Paul is speaking of marriage, he says, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and both of them shall be one flesh.” And then he adds, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church,” which means that Christ has joined himself to his people, and become one in nature with his chosen henceforth and for ever. The Lord Jesus Christ has taken his people to be henceforth as joined to him as the wife is joined to her husband. They become one; and so Christ makes his people one with himself. This is a very easy thing to say, but it is an almost impossible thing to comprehend and understand. Can it be really so, my soul, that you are wedded to the Son of God? Is it really so that he says, “Yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you,” and that covenant is a covenant of marriage by which he has joined with him all his people to his own heart, world without end? Catch that thought if you can, and enjoy all the comfort of it; but give God the glory for such wonderful condescension.

    On such love, my soul, still ponder,
       Love so great, so rich, so free;
    Say, whilst lost in holy wonder,
       Why, oh Lord, such love to me?
       Grace shall reign eternally.

16. That it was a covenant, which was meant to be entirely of love, is proved by the way in which it was carried out. See how it is said, “Then I washed you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with olive oil. I clothed you also with embroidered work, and shod you with badgers’ skin, and I clothed you with fine linen, and I covered you with silk. I decked you also with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain around your neck. And I put a jewel on your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head”; and so on. This is a covenant all of love, for these are all love-tokens, love-gifts to the beloved one.

17. Now, will you go back in thought, and remember when you used to receive those gifts from the Lord? You remember when your ears were hung with earrings. Oh, what hearing that was! You did not grumble at the preacher then, you enjoyed listening to him whenever you could. You would be up early, and work hard in order to get a half holiday, So that you might go and hear the gospel. Your ears were hung with earrings then. And, oh, how you rejoiced in God as he gave you humility, and patience, and zeal, and love, and all the precious jewels out of the divine jewel case! You hardly thought you had them, but other people could see them, and they told you that they were there; and they would sometimes say, “How beautiful God has made you by his grace!” Do you remember that? You cannot have forgotten, I hope, those happy times when love-tokens came to you so fresh and frequent! Those evening meditations, how delightful! That sitting up in bed at midnight, enjoying the presence of your Lord; those morning prayers; those quiet walks! Oh, how precious were many texts of Scripture! How delighted you often were with the visits of the Spirit of God, when he brought home this and that great truth to your soul with overwhelming comfort!

18. I am only reminding you what the Lord has done for you. As for myself, he has been all love, and goodness, and kindness, and nothing else to me. Truly, a blessed Husband have you been to my soul, oh Jehovah! I cannot find fault with you; neither am I able to find words with which to praise you sufficiently for all the love and kindness you have bestowed on me. Do you not say the same? I think you do. As we sang just now, —

    Dost thou ask me who I am?
    Ah, my Lord, thou know’st my name;
    Yet the question gives a plea
    To support my suit with thee.
    Thou didst once a wretch behold,
    In rebellion blindly bold,
    Scorn thy grace, thy power defy:
    That poor rebel, Lord, was I.
    Once a sinner near despair
    Sought thy mercy seat by prayer
    Mercy heard and set him free;
    Lord, that mercy came to me.
    Many days have pass’d since then,
    Many changes I have seen;
    Yet have been upheld till now:
    Who could hold me up but thou?

Let us praise the name of the Lord for the covenant which, in the way it has been carried out, has proved to be a covenant all of love.

19. And, dear friends, I would not have you forget that it must be a covenant all of love which God has made with such creatures as we are, because it could bring the Lord no profit. What benefit could he get from us? He may well say, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world is mine, and its fulness.” What glory can we bring to Omnipotence? What tribute can we render to him who is Possessor of heaven and earth?

    Could my zeal no respite know,
    Could my tears for ever flow?

of what use would they be to him? No; if the Lord enters into covenant with us, it cannot be for any gain to himself; it must be only out of a desire to benefit us. Therefore, let us bow in reverent adoration of the unselfish, self-created love of God for us which we have known since that dear hour which brought us to his foot, and he entered into covenant with us, and we became his own. Surely I have said enough on this topic to suggest many a grateful thought within the minds of all God’s people.

20. III. But now I want to carry you with me to another point; that as, thirdly, IT WAS A MOST SURE COVENANT; “I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you.”

21. The covenant which God makes with believers is intended to remain for ever. It is not something which may be broken in a few hours, like a child’s toys; it is an everlasting covenant. Read that 60th verse: “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant.” How I love to get among the everlasting things! You know, in Canada, they build palaces of ice in the winter-time, and they are very beautiful things; but then, when spring comes, where are those palaces? And in summer, the very foundation on which they were built has melted back into the St. Lawrence. God does not make with his believing people covenants like those ice palaces; his covenant stands secure, though earth’s old columns bow. If God has promised to save you, — as he has done if you believe in Jesus, — he will save you in the teeth of death and hell. Rest assured of this, and say with David, “He has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” Here is something to rest on: “I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you.” He intended it to remain.

22. And in proof that he intended it to remain, he ratified it by an oath. Even among men, where there is an oath, there should be an end of all question; and if Jehovah lifts his hand to heaven, and swears, who shall, after that, dare to suggest that a question is possible? In the day in which we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, he did, as it were, swear to us: “Surely, blessing, I will bless you.” “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.” We needed nothing more than the promises of Jehovah to rest on; but, “God, willing more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.” My soul, be full of comfort, for the God who entered into covenant with you has ratified that covenant by an oath.

    His oath, his covenant, and his blood,
    Support me in the sinking flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay:
       On Christ the solid rock I stand,
       All other ground is sinking sand.

23. To make a covenant even surer than by an oath, men were accustomed to seal it by a sacrifice. They shook hands, and then they said, “Let us kill a young bull, let us slaughter a lamb, and the blood shall be the sign that this covenant is made between us.” Now, beloved, you who believe have the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, to confirm the covenant of grace. God cannot break it; if you believe in Jesus, he must save you, by the pledges of his own Son’s life and death. If you truly believe that Jesus is the Christ, you are born by God. If you believe that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. If you are trusting only in him, he cannot, he will not cast you away, for the sacrifice of his Son makes the eternal covenant sure. Is not the blood of Jesus called “the blood of the everlasting covenant?” And in this we see the covenant most surely established.

24. I would have you notice, in our text, that the covenant is remembered by God. It is he who says, “I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you.” He does not forget it; he does not want to forget it; he does not intend to forget it. He says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” The Lord remembers what he did when he swore that he would save his people, and when he gave Christ to make the covenant sure.

25. Yet once more, this covenant will be remembered by him for ever. I will read again that sixtieth verse: “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant.” And then the sixty-second verse: “And I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” He made a covenant with Noah that he would not again destroy the earth with a flood, and he promised to hang his rainbow in the cloud as a sign of that covenant; and he has done so to this day. He has not destroyed the earth with a flood, and his covenant, which he has made with the greater Noah, who is our true Rest, stands firm, and shall still stand firm when heaven and earth have passed away.

26. I want you to think with deepest gratitude of this wondrous condescension, that God should ever have entered into such a covenant with you and with me. Why, if I believed what some preach about the temporary, trumpery salvation which only lasts for a time, I would scarcely be at all grateful for it; but when I know that those whom God saves he saves with an everlasting salvation, when I know that he gives to them an everlasting righteousness, when I know that he settles them on an everlasting foundation of everlasting love, and that he will bring them to his everlasting kingdom, oh, then I marvel, and I am astonished! Such a blessing as this is to be given to you, and given to me!

    Pause, my soul! adore, and wonder!
    Ask, “Oh, why such love to me?”

27. Sit still and meditate until your hearts burn within you because of this amazing love.

28. IV. I finish by noticing that THIS COVENANT INVOLVES VERY GRACIOUS RESULTS. Let me read the text again: “ ‘Yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you,’ says the Lord God, ‘and you became mine.’ ” Read those last three words again: “You became mine.”

29. Beloved, if God has entered into covenant with us, we have become the Lord’s. Whose were you before? The world’s? Your own? The devil’s? Well, we will not dispute with the many claimants; but now you can say, “Oh Lord our God, other lords besides you have had dominion over us: but by you only will we make mention of your name.”

30. “You became mine.” Do you remember the place, — perhaps it was your own little room, — where, as a youth you sat, after having long prayed and wept? And at last you felt that Jesus was yours; and you sat still, and you said to yourself, “Yes, I am his, every bit of me. He has bought me with his blood, I am his.” Do you remember those first few days in which you felt half-afraid to do anything lest you should grieve that dear Lover of your soul? Then you wanted to do everything so that you might please him whose servant you had become. I remember a verse of Scripture, which, as a young believer, I used to often repeat: for it was very dear to me. I daresay you love it too; it is this: “Bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar.” We felt then that we were wholly Christ’s; do we feel it as much now? “You became mine.” To come back to the marriage covenant of which the Lord speaks, — when the husband put the ring on his bride’s finger, he said to her, “You have become mine.” Do you remember when you felt on your finger the ring of infinite, everlasting, covenant love that Christ put there? “You became mine.” Oh, it was a joyful day, a blessed day! Happy day, happy day, when his choice was known to me, and fixed my choice on him!

31. Now, beloved, we ought to be the Lord’s more and more. Ever since we became his, we have been the objects of his love and mercy. He has done everything for us. I cannot tell you what he has done, nor can I tell you what he has not done; for everything that could be desired and wished for, Christ has done for you and for me. This long list which he gives here of how his spouse was clothed, and shod, and adorned, and crowned, reminds me of that verse in the 103rd Psalm where the list of benefits reaches its climax: “Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Well now, after having experienced the blessings of this covenant, we ought to love our Lord Jesus Christ better than ever, and we ought to feel that we are more and more completely his than we ever were in our lives.

32. If that is our feeling, it will lead us practically to renew the bond of the covenant. “You became mine.” After all that the Lord has done for us, let us become his again; let us come and yield ourselves up to him once more. If any of you have backslidden, or grown cold towards your Lord, come and renew your vows to the Most High. Say, with me, “My Saviour, I do not repent of having yielded myself to you; but I do repent that I have not more fully carried out my resolve to be totally yours. If I had never trusted and loved you before, I would desire to begin to trust you and love you now, for you are unutterably lovely, you are unspeakably worthy of the confidence of every redeemed man and woman.” Let us each come, and lay our hand once more on that dear head which was bowed with the burden of our sins, and look up into that dear face which has brightened our life so often with its love-glances; and let us now surrender ourselves fully, perfectly, joyfully, over again to him whose we are, and whom we serve. May God help you to do it!

33. And you who have never done so, may you come to Jesus this very moment! Your only hope lies in him. God says by the mouth of his servant Isaiah, “Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” There is no covenant between God and man except in Jesus Christ. Come, then, and take Christ as your Saviour; and God has sworn to you, and entered into a covenant with you, that he will never cast you away, but you shall be his in that day when he makes up his jewels. May God grant it, for his name’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Eze 16:1-3,5-16,60-63}

In this very remarkable chapter, God describes his ancient people Israel under the metaphor of an infant who had been cast away, but who he had cared for and tended, and on whom he had lavished much love, making her the object of his choice, on which his very heart was set. Yet this specially-favoured one had gone astray, and committed all kinds of wickedness; but for all that, the love of God had not been withdrawn. The whole chapter is a graphic picture of the way in which Israel and Judah went after false gods, and forsook the only living and true God.

1, 2. Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

This is a very necessary command, for unless men know their disease they will not apply to the great Physician. Only he who knows that he is poor will be willing to accept alms. It is, therefore, a necessary part of the duty of God’s servants to make sinners know their evil ways: “Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations.”

3. And say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem; "Your birth and your nativity is of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite.

Abraham, the father of the nation, came from beyond the flood; but here, because of the sin of the people, God attributes their birth to the place of their settlement rather than to that chosen and noble man. They had lived so long in Canaan that they had grown to be Canaanites. Their habits were so evil that there was little choice between the Israelites and the Amorites and Hittites whom God had struck in his wrath. So the Lord says: “Your birth and your nativity is of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite.”

Then, in the fifth verse, he describes the condition of the nation when it was in Egypt, when no one cared for it: —

5. No eye pitied you, to do any of these to you, to have compassion on you; but you were cast out in the open field, to the loathing of your person, in the day that you were born.

You remember that Pharaoh tried to destroy all the male children of the captive Israelites. No mortal eye had any compassion for the downtrodden race in the house of bondage; but God looked down from heaven in love, and compassion, and grace.

6, 7. And when I passed by you, and saw you polluted in your own blood, I said to you when you were in your blood, ‘Live’; yes, I said to you when you were in your blood, ‘Live.’ I have caused you to multiply as the bud of the field,

Israel came out of Egypt greatly multiplied, a great people; and when they settled down in Canaan they still increased until they became a numerous and powerful nation.

Remember that all this description applies to us spiritually. There was a day when we seemed polluted, and cast away, and left to perish; but God in great mercy passed by, and said to us, “Live.”

8, 9. Now when I passed by you, and looked on you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you,"says the Lord GOD, "and you became mine. Then I washed you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with olive oil.

How wondrously the Lord did all this for us! Our washing, and our anointing, we never can forget.

10. I clothed you also with embroidered work, and shod you with badgers’ skin, and I clothed you with fine linen, and I covered you with silk.

All that God could do for Israel, he did. That poor poverty-stricken nation increased and multiplied until, in the days of David and Solomon, it was of high repute among the nations, and extremely rich and wealthy. Even so God has dealt with us; he “has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” We who, a little while ago, were cast out as helpless and worthless, he has greatly enriched with heavenly treasure.

11-13. I decked you also with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain around your neck. And I put a jewel on your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were decked with gold and silver; and your clothing was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered work;

The work of the Lord Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit have made marvellously glorious “embroidered work” for our spiritual adornment. Well does good Dr. Watts sing, —

    How far the heavenly robe exceeds,
       What earthly princes wear!
    These ornaments, how bright they shine!
       How white the garments are!
    Strangely, my soul, art thou array’d
       By the great Sacred Three!
    In sweetest harmony of praise
       Let all thy powers agree.

13, 14. You ate fine flour, and honey, and olive oil: and you were extremely beautiful, and you prospered into a kingdom. And your renown went out among the heathen for your beauty: for it was perfect through my beauty, which I had put on you," says the Lord GOD.

Doubtless, these words apply to Israel; but they are still more appropriate to us when we are covered with the righteousness of Christ, and made beautiful in his beauty.

15, 16. "But you trusted in your own beauty, and played the prostitute because of your renown, and poured out your fornications on everyone who passed by; it was his. And of your garments you took, and decked your high places with various colours, and played the prostitute there: the same things shall not come, neither shall it be so."’ ”

As soon as ever the Israelites grew rich and powerful, they began to build altars to the false gods. The very treasures that God had given them, they desecrated to the making of idols; and God calls this a spiritual prostitution, turning aside from the one true God, who was the Husband of the nation, to follow after false gods. It is a bad sign in any of us when God’s blessings are themselves made into idols. If you begin to worship your wealth, your health, your children, your learning, or anything that God has given you, this is extremely provoking to the Most High; it is a breach of the marriage covenant between your soul and God.

The rest of the chapter is rather for private reading than for the public assembly. It gives a truly awful picture of the sin of Israel, and heaps up most dreadful descriptions of the way in which the people turned aside from God. I confess that, after reading to the end of this chapter, I am astonished to think that it should close as it does. It is an amazing example of the immutable love of God. Turn to the 60th verse.

60. ‘Nevertheless —

Blessed “nevertheless!”

60, 61. ‘Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant. Then you shall remember your ways, and be ashamed,

Infinite mercy makes men ashamed of their sinfulness. Great pardon produces both humility and holiness. The ungodly think that, for God to forgive great sin will be to give a licence to it, but the Lord knows that it is not so. He understands that the greatness of his forgiving love will be the reason for the pardoned sinner’s hatred of sin: “Then you shall remember your ways, and be ashamed,” —

61-63. When you shall receive your sisters, your elder and your younger: and I will give them to you for daughters, but not by your covenant. And I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am the LORD: so that you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more because of your shame, when I am pacified towards you for all that you have done,’ says the Lord GOD.”

Pardon from God for great sin is a silencer for all our pride. We never dare open our mouths again because of our shame; yet the blessed silence of a grateful heart makes true music before the throne of God, and when the Lord opens our lips, then our mouth shall proclaim his praise.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence — Gratitude For Providence” 214}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God — ‘The Lord Is My Portion’ ” 661}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Public Worship, Prayer Meetings — Holy Importunity” 981}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God — The Heart Given To God” 658}

Ready in December. Cloth Gilt, 3s. 6d.

New Book by Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon.

Ten Years After!

A Sequel to “Ten Years of my Life in the Service of the Book Fund.”

“My dear friends will be glad to hear that there is every prospect of my new book, Ten Years After! being ready in December. I have long owed a heavy debt of thankful love to my gracious God for enabling me to tell something of his goodness, and to praise him for the help so abundantly given to my work. I am an utterly insolvent debtor, I have nothing with which to pay; yet the debt increases daily, weighing me down with benefits, and the completion of my second story of glad service seems to me a crowning mercy, calling out from my heart a very tender psalm of thanksgiving.”

“Very few of those who read the book will know how much I owe to my Lord. They will scarcely recognize the unskilled hand, the faulty style, the feeble pen, I brought to the task; because, in answer to my call for help, He helped me, and in some wonderful way, which I can never understand, but am content to bless him for, he has given me the words in which to proclaim his praise.”

“Naturally, I am hoping that every friend, who feels an interest in the worker and the work, will procure a copy of the book, and, instead of lending it to others, will persuade them to purchase it for themselves, as only in this way can the sale be a prosperous one; but I intend to put away from my mind, as far as I can, all concern and anxiety about its success. I have written it for God’s honour and glory. There is not a grain of praise or credit due to me, either in its details or their descriptions. I have been as dependent on the Lord for everything concerning it, as a little child on her father for daily bread, or as a flower in the garden for air, and rain, and sunshine from heaven. Therefore, since from my Lord’s hands I received it, into his hands I return it, so that he may bless it; and there I intend to leave it.”

“I know, from past delightful experience, that he can make it acceptable and even edifying for his people; and I am trusting him to ‘undertake for me’ again in this matter, according to his promise, ‘My kindness shall not depart from you.’ ” — From Mrs. Spurgeon’s Personal Notes in “The Sword and the Trowel, ” November, 1895.

God the Father, Acts, Creation and Providence
214 — Gratitude For Providence
1 When all thy mercies, oh my God,
   My rising soul surveys,
   Transported with the view, I’m lost
   In wonder, love, and praise.
2 Oh how shall words, with equal warmth,
   The gratitude declare
   That glows within my ravish’d heart!
   But thou canst read it there.
3 To all my weak complaints and cries
   Thy mercy lent an ear,
   Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt
   To form themselves in prayer.
4 When in the slippery paths of youth
   With heedless steps I ran,
   Thine arm unseen convey’d me safe,
   And led me up to man.
5 Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
   It gently clear’d my way:
   And through the pleasing snares of vice,
   More to be fear’d than they.
6 When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
   With health renew’d my face;
   And when in sins and sorrow sunk,
   Revived my soul with grace.
7 Through every period of my life
   Thy goodness I’ll pursue;
   And after death, in distant worlds,
   The glorious theme renew.
8 When nature fails, and day and night
   Divide thy works no more,
   My ever grateful heart, oh Lord!
   Thy mercy shall adore.
9 Through all eternity to thee
   A joyful song I’ll raise;
   But oh! eternity’s too short
   To utter all thy praise.
                        Joseph Addison, 1712.

The Christian, Dedication To God
661 — “The Lord Is My Portion”
1 From pole to pole let others roam,
      And search in vain for bliss;
   My soul is satisfied at home,
      The Lord my portion is.
2 Jesus, who on his glorious throne
      Rules heaven, and earth, and sea,
   Is pleased to claim me for his own,
      And give himself to me.
3 His person fixes all my love,
      His blood removes my fear:
   And while he pleads for me above,
      His arm preserves me here.
4 His word of promise is my food,
      His Spirit is my guide:
   Thus daily is my strength renew’d,
      And all my wants supplied.
5 For him I count as gain each loss,
      Disgrace for him renown;
   Well may I glory in his cross,
      While he prepares my crown!
                        John Newton, 1779.

Public Worship, Prayer Meetings
981 — Holy Importunity <7s.>
1 Lord, I cannot let thee go,
   Till a blessing thou bestow;
   Do not turn away thy face,
   Mine’s an urgent pressing case.
2 Dost thou ask me who I am?
   Ah, my Lord, thou know’st my name;
   Yet the question gives a plea
   To support my suit with thee.
3 Thou didst once a wretch behold,
   In rebellion blindly bold,
   Scorn thy grace, thy power defy:
   That poor rebel, Lord, was I.
4 Once a sinner near despair
   Sought thy mercy-seat by prayer;
   Mercy heard and set him free;
   Lord, that mercy came to me.
5 Many days have pass’d since then,
   Many changes I have seen;
   Yet have been upheld till now:
   Who could hold me up but thou?
6 Thou hast help’d in every need,
   This emboldens me to plead;
   After so much mercy past,
   Canst thou let me sink at last?
7 No — I must maintain my hold,
   ‘Tis thy goodness makes me bold;
   I can no denial take,
   When I plead for Jesus’ sake.
                     John Newton, 1779.

The Christian, Dedication To God
658 — The Heart Given To God
1 Oh happy day, that fix’d my choice
   On thee, my Saviour, and my God;
   Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
   And tell its raptures all abroad.
2 ‘Tis done! the great transaction’s done:
   I am my Lord’s, and he is mine:
   He drew me, and I follow’d on,
   Charm’d to confess the voice divine.
3 Now rest, my long divided heart;
   Fix’d on this blissful centre, rest:
   With ashes who would grudge to part,
   When call’d on angels’ bread to feast?
4 High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
   That vow renew’d shall daily hear:
   Till in life’s latest hour I bow,
   And bless in death a bond so dear.
                     Philip Doddridge, 1755.

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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