2567. The Single-Handed Conquest

by on

No. 2567-44:193. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, January 6, 1856, By C. H. Spurgeon, At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, April 24, 1898.

I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people there was no one with me. {Isa 63:3}

1. It is said of some stupendous works of architecture that, although you see them every day, you are struck with wonder and admiration every time you see them; and that, although you should live close to them, and have your eyes perpetually fixed on them, yet your admiration of them would by no means decrease, for they are so matchless in symmetry, such patterns of art, and such marvellous displays of the skill of man. I do not know whether that is true; I believe that the best and grandest achievements of mortals lose their glory when they are too closely examined, and that the frequency of our sight of them very much lessens our wondering admiration. But this I know is true concerning Christ Jesus our Lord, — you may see him every day, but the more often you see him, the more you will wonder at him, and call him “Wonderful.” You may even have communion with him every hour, but the frequency of your conversation, and the constancy of your fellowship will be so far from diminishing your awe, your love, your respect, your devout adoration of him, that the more you know him, the more your wonder and admiration of him will increase.

2. Now, who could be expected to know so much about Christ as Christ’s own Church? Yet, in the opening of this chapter, you find that even she bursts out with such exclamations as this: “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This one who is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?” She had often seen him before; she had often viewed him under that aspect; doubtless she had seen him as the Conqueror of mighty heroes, Master over princes, and the Lord of the kings of the earth; but at a fresh view of him, she was so utterly astonished that she could not help crying out, “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?”

3. Live near to Jesus, brethren; live with Jesus; live in Jesus; and you will find him a theme of such excellent and such endless contemplation that, instead of being tired and weary with the subject of your meditation, you will find it more easy to begin again than it was to begin at first; more interesting and more pleasing to consider him in the fiftieth year of your knowledge of him than it was in the first hour that you knew him. Think much of him, and you will have no reason to think lightly of him; constantly meditate on him, and you will admire and wonder at his goodness all the more.

4. We have our Saviour here answering the questions of his Church, which she, in wonder, had asked him: “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this one who is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?” “I who speak in righteousness,” he says, “mighty to save.” And when she asks him again, “Why are you red in your apparel, and your garments like him who treads in the wine-vat?” he replies, “I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people there was no one with me.”

5. Very briefly, as the Spirit shall help us, we shall notice, first, the interesting metaphor employed; secondly, the glorious fact stated; thirdly, the solitary Conqueror described; and then, fourthly, we shall offer some sweet and salutary considerations suggested, so that we may be refreshed by our meditations. Let our souls be calm and quiet while we contemplate the awfully-solemn and sublimely-grand spectacle of the Conqueror of men and the Conqueror of hell treading the wine-press alone.

6. I. First, then, here is AN INTERESTING METAPHOR EMPLOYED: “I have trodden the wine-press.”

7. You must understand the circumstances to which these words relate. This is Jesus speaking after his conquest over his foes; — not Jesus before the battle, but Jesus after it; — not Jesus buckling on the harness, not Jesus becoming the babe of Bethlehem, but Jesus after the battle is fought, and the victory is won. There were certain enemies who opposed the salvation of God’s people, there were innumerable foes who stood in the way of the deliverance of his chosen, but Christ undertook to conquer them; and now, on his return, he not only declares that he has overcome them, but he uses an expressive metaphor to illustrate some of the facts in that wondrous feat of conquest: “I have trodden the wine-press.”

8. First, this denotes the supreme contempt with which the mighty Conqueror regarded the enemies whom he had overcome. It is as if he had said, “I have overcome the many foes of my people; and I compare my victory over them to nothing but the treading of the wine-press. Angels sing my praise, the hosts of the redeemed in heaven swell the sublime chorus as, in exultant strains, they declare how I have broken the dragon’s head, and have put down the strength of the oppressor; they tell how mighty kings have been slain in my wrath, and giants in my hot displeasure; but as for myself, I say little about it, I only declare that I have trodden the wine-press, and have considered my enemies as easy to conquer as if they had been grapes beneath my feet. My people’s crimes may have been tremendous, and their enemies mighty; but coming up, ‘with dyed garments from Bozrah,’ I have crushed their foes and my foes just as easily as a treader of grapes treads them underfoot: I have trodden them as in a wine-press.” Oh ungodly sinner, perhaps you think that it will take God great trouble to destroy you with an utter destruction; but it will not! It may be you think that God will need to exert much power to send your guilty spirit to the loathsome dungeons of hell; but, ah! it will require no might from him. If you should continue to be his foe, he will tread you beneath his feet as easily as you could tread grapes beneath yours. What are the berries of the vine beneath the feet of the wine-presser? And what shall your soul and body be, when the feet of Jesus tread on them? In vain your ribs of steel; in vain your sinews of bronze; in vain your bones of adamant, — if you had such. If your spirit were clothed with scales like leviathan’s; yet under the feet of Jesus you would be like ripe grapes, the juice of which flows out freely. Indeed! terrible shall be the meaning of that metaphor when Christ shall say of sinners, at the last day, “I have trodden them down as he who treads grapes presses out the juice, ‘I have trodden the wine-press.’ ”

9. But, note that, there is in the metaphor an intimation of toil and labour; for the fruit of the vine is not bruised without hard work. So the mighty Conqueror, though, in contempt, he says his foes were as nothing but the grapes of the vintage to his might; yet, speaking as a man like us, he had something to do to overcome his foes when he fought with them in the garden. Sometimes, the wine-presser is wearied with his labour; although he takes hold of the strap which is placed above him, and jerking, and dancing, and laughing, and singing all day, he presses out the juice of the grapes, yet often he wipes the sweat from his brow, and is tired with his toil. So our blessed Lord, albeit he could have crushed the enemies of his Church, like moths beneath his finger, had enough to do to overcome them in the garden. It was no little pressing of the foot which was needed, when he bruised the old dragon’s head in Gethsemane. Then he —

       Bore all incarnate God could bear,
    With strength enough, but none to spare.

10. My soul, meditate on this glorious Wine-Presser! Those sins which would have crushed you to pieces, he had to tread beneath his feet. How it must have bruised his heel to tread on those sins! Oh how powerfully he must have trodden on those crimes of yours, breaking them into less than nothing! How did it force from him, not sweat like ours, but drops of blood, when he could say, “I have trodden the wine-press.” Yet, toil as it was, labour as it might be, costing him tears and groans, he could say, “I have done it; the great work is fully accomplished; ‘it is finished’; ‘I have trodden the wine-press alone.’ ”

11. Moreover, in the metaphor employed, there is an allusion to the staining of the garments. We see it is so in the verse before the text, “Why are you red in your apparel, and your garments like him who treads in the wine-vat?” The garments of the wine-presser would naturally be sprinkled all over with the juice, spurting up from beneath his feet. Ah, my soul, stand here, and solemnly contemplate your Saviour, sprinkled with his own blood! Look at him, when only eight days old, already shedding blood for you! And go on to the time when he began the shedding of his blood again in Gethsemane’s garden! See how, in one gory robe, he is enveloped; not like the kings of the earth, in garments of Tyrian-dyed purple, but like the King of misery, dressed in a crimson robe of blood. Go, and see the blood as it flows from his temple, when the thorn-crown lacerates his brow! Weep, when the accursed flagellation of the cruel Roman is tearing off thongful after thongful of his quivering flesh! Pursue him in his weary via dolorosa, as he treads the streets of Jerusalem! Stop, and see how each stone on which he treads is stained with his precious blood! Then see how his hands begin to gush down streams of blood, as the rough iron tears them asunder! See him now crucified, hung on the cross, plunged into the lowest depths of misery!

    See from his head, his hands, his feet,
       Sorrow and love flow mingled down
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
       Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
    His dying crimson, like a robe,
       Spreads o’er his body on the tree.

12. Oh Jesus, from the crown of your head to the sole of your foot, you were sprinkled with blood! Your inward man was stained with blood, and your outward man, too; you were covered all over in blood, you glorious Presser of our sins beneath your foot! We will not ask again, “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this one who is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?” We know why your garments are red; you have trodden the wine-press of the wrath of God.

13. So we have explained briefly, as best we could, the interesting metaphor employed by our Lord.

14. II. And now we come to consider THE GLORIOUS FACT STATED: “I have trodden the wine-press.”

15. Christian, I want your attention for a moment! Come with me, my brother, — not to heaven, nor even to hell, but to the great wine-press which the Saviour trod. You understand the form of the Eastern wine-presses, how they were built up, in order that a great quantity of grapes might be put into them, to be trodden by the foot of the wine-presser. Come here, then, and look over the edge of this great wine-press, in which your Saviour stood and trampled on your behalf; gaze down into its depths.

16. The first thing that you will see in that wine-press is, your sins. Look down attentively. In the middle of the wine-press there are the crimes of your youth, like unripe grapes lying there in thick clusters. There lie the sins of your manhood, dark with the black juice of Gomorrah. Do you see them, like the grapes from the vine of Sodom? And do you not see the full clusters, like the vine of Sibmah? Look there, and see the fruits of your middle age; and there the sins of your old age, too! They are all put into the mighty wine-press. Come, then, you chief of sinners, there lie your sins, and there lie mine, all mingled in one mighty heap! But wait; the Wine-Presser enters, and puts his foot on them. Oh! contemplate how he presses them; do you see him in Gethsemane, treading your sins to pieces? Come, and look again. There lie the skins — the broken skins — of all your guilt; but there is no guilt there, and there are no crimes there now. They are gone, gone, gone! He says, “I have trodden the wine-press.” Look back on those sins, and weep; for they are still your sins; but, at the same time, do not weep with bitter and despairing anguish, as if you would be punished for them, for all the black juice, the venom of your guilt, is pressed out, and has run away. Christ has caught it in his cup of gall, and drained it to its very dregs. I ask you to look down there; for if you have eyes of faith, you will see all your sins destroyed. Try and look; do not let the devil put his hands over your eyes; but look, and if some dark crime, unconfessed to man, still rankles in your heart, look, it is there! And if some cruel injury to your neighbour, or some dire crime to your Maker, still haunts you, look, it is there, — it is trampled on just as much as the other. Little sins and great sins, too, are all trampled to pieces, nor could you find one of them even by diligent seeking.

    Did I search to find my sins,
       My sins could ne’er be found.

They are there, believer, trodden into less than nothing! They are gone, they are all gone! “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes rather, who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Look there, Accuser, into the wine-press! Look there, Conscience, into the wine-press! Look there, Satan! Do you see the bruised pieces of my former sins? They are all gone; my sins have ceased to be.

    Covered is my unrighteousness;
    From condemnation I am free.

17. But come, believer, and you will see, next, something in Christ’s wine-press which, perhaps, you did not expect to see. There is Satan lying, with bruised head. How often does he come to afflict you now! How terribly does he sometimes roar in your ears, and tell you that hell must be your portion! How does he try to keep you from your Saviour’s blood! How frequently has he striven to deprive you of peace, although God loves you! I beseech you, tell Satan tonight to come with you to the wine-vat of Gethsemane; and when he looks in there, he will see himself. Indeed, take Satan, and put him into the wine-vat, and Christ will bruise his head again for you. But there he is, Christian! Do not fear that he can harm you; he may torment, but he cannot destroy you, for he is chained. He may roar, but he cannot bite; he may frighten, but he cannot injure you; he may startle, but he cannot devour you. He goes about, seeking whom he may devour; but he may not devour you. He may go around and look, as long as he likes; but he will never find you, for the Lord has said concerning you, that you never shall be destroyed. Whenever you have a sharp conflict with Satan, tell him about the wine-vat, and rejoice over him; and as Luther said, “Laugh at the devil.” Laugh at him, and tell him to remember Gethsemane’s wine-vat; ask him what he thinks of that, and how he likes the bruising he received there. It was a desperate blow which he gave our Lord in Gethsemane; but it was a heavier blow that our Lord gave him when he took away his power, extracted his sting, and left him — still an enemy, but a conquered one, for Christ trampled him in the wine-vat.

18. Look again, Christian! Do you see there — just between your sins and the devil, that lies bruised there, — an ugly monster? He is a bony, skeleton looking thing; do you recognise him? It is your last enemy: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Look at him. Do you see that his skull is broken, and his bones are broken, too? Do you see how death is now a dismantled monarch? There he lies; and yet you are afraid of him, though he lies there broken, bruised, battered, injured, ruined, destroyed! There they are, — death, the devil, and your sins together; an infernal trio, for ever trampled beneath the mighty Conqueror’s feet! He said, “Oh death, I will be your plagues; oh grave, I will be your destruction”; and so he was; and, from now on, we will go to the wine-vat, whenever our adversaries disturb and afflict us.

19. What else do you have to oppose you, Christian? I do not know what it is; but it is all here. Whatever your enemy, go, look into the wine-vat, and see it dead there. Giant Despair took the pilgrims to a place where he showed them the bones of certain pilgrims whom he had devoured, and told them it would assuredly be so with them. Do this, with all your doubts and fears, just as Despair did with the pilgrims; say to them, “Doubts and fears, do you see the bones of my old doubts and fears that have been trampled there? In a day or two, you shall be with them.” Take today’s sins, and tell them that they shall be just where yesterday’s were, — drowned in the blood of Jesus, and slain by his blessed sacrifice. And when Conscience convicts you of your crimes, take him to this wine-press. It will slay any guilt if you take it there, for it is written, “I have trodden the wine-press alone.” It is done; it is finished; sins, doubts, fears, hell, death, destruction, and self, too, — all are trodden beneath the conquering foot of Jesus, the Wine-Presser, who has “trodden the wine-press alone.”

20. III. Now, Christian, come to consider THE SOLITARY CONQUEROR DESCRIBED: “I have trodden the wine-press alone.”

21. The great lesson God will teach the world is, “I am God, and besides me there is no one else”; and especially in redemption, he will have it that the glory shall be all his. Hence, Christ never allowed anyone to share with him the toil of redemption, nor will he allow anyone to share its honours. And, moreover, there was no one who could help him; no one could take any part in the work of redemption, since there was no one able to bear so much as an atom of that mountain of his people’s guilt which pressed on his heart, and no one able to drink so much as a tithe of a drop of that cup which he had to drink to the very dregs. He did it all alone, as the fifth verse of this chapter declares: “I looked, and there was no one to help; and I wondered that there was no one to uphold: therefore my own arm brought salvation to me; and my fury, it upheld me.”

22. Come, now, believer, and let us look at the lonely Jesus. How lonely he was in this world, during the few short years of his ministry! I think there never was such a lonely man, living among so many, as the Lord Jesus Christ was. He stood in the crowd, and the congregation listened to his preaching; and though many heard with joy, there was no one who could give such sympathy as he needed. He went to a solitary place, and talked with his disciples; but they could not sympathize with him. John did so a little, for he laid his head on Christ’s bosom; but it was poor sympathy that even John could give. Jesus must have been to a very great extent always a most lonely man. Who is so pure, that they could match his unsullied purity? Who is so perfect, that they could live with immaculate perfection? Who is so wise as to talk with the Wonderful counsellor? Who is so far-seeing as to be able to commune with the Prophet of all the ages? Who is so benevolent as to speak with the gracious Jesus; and who so sorrowful as to be a fit companion for the “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief?”

23. His loneliness increased as his heaviest sorrows came over him. When he was in the garden of Gethsemane, he trod the wine-press all alone. I think I see our Savour, like the true man that he was, clinging a little to his companions: he says, “Peter, James, and John; the other eight may go away; — Judas has already gone; — they may rest there, at that end of the garden; you come with me, for I am about to be extremely sorrowful.” He takes them with him. Ah! but he feels that it would not do to have them with him while he struggles, for they would die if they were to see his face then. His was so terrible a countenance when his body was racked with pain, and his soul was bearing the load of our guilt, that they must inevitably have been struck with death if they had looked on that face of sorrow. What heavy drops of bloody sweat flowed from him in his agony! Still he clung to the three disciples, as if he wanted some companionship; but, oh! how sorrowful it was for him, when he came back, to find them all sleeping! Do you not think you see Jesus looking on his three slumbering disciples? There they lie! He goes to them three times, as if he sought some help from man, as if he had hoped that they would grieve with him, for that was all they could do in his grief. Thrice he goes to them, and the third time he says, “Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand who betrays me.” Surely, now they will rally around him. They do for a moment, for Peter, with his sword, strikes off the ear of Malchus; but, soon, “all his disciples forsook him and fled.” He is taken prisoner by the men with swords and staves. Oh earth, has he no friend? Oh heavens, have you no friend for Jesus? Where is Peter? He said, “Though all men shall be offended because of you, yet I will never be offended.” Where is John? He has fled; there is no one to be with Jesus; no one to help him; they take him before the council, but there is no one to declare his innocence; he stands up in the hall, but there is no one with him. Yes, there is one; but listen to him! He says, “I tell you, I do not know the man.” Soon, Peter is cursing and swearing almost before his Master’s face! And now he goes up to Calvary, and still there is no one with him, until, when he is hanging on the cross, those blessed women come to lift their sorrowful eyes up to their beloved Lord, and melt their hearts away in tears. And when the darkness gathered around, so that he could see no one, he was alone, alone, alone, in thick, impenetrable gloom. Hear him cry, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then he could cry, “I am treading the wine-press alone, and of the people there is no one with me.” When he was buried, no one slept in the grave with him; no other sprang from the same sepulchre on the resurrection morning. Ah, Christian! never associate anyone with Jesus in the work of redemption; but remember well that this stands out as a great cardinal truth, that Jesus has trodden the wine-press alone, and, therefore, he is ALL IN ALL.

24. IV. Now this brings us, having briefly passed over the other points, to SOME SWEET AND SALUTARY CONSIDERATIONS SUGGESTED by this most blessed and sacred subject.

25. The first inference is, there is no wine-press of divine wrath for you, oh believer, to tread! If Jesus trod the wine-press, and trod it alone, you shall never have to tread it. What mistakes Christians often make in this matter! You will hear one say, that such and such a good man was punished for his transgressions; and I have known believers to think that their afflictions were punishments sent from God on account of their sins. The thing is impossible; God has punished us, who are his people, once and for all in Christ, and he never will punish us again. He cannot do it, since he is a just God. Afflictions are chastisements from a Father’s hand, but they are not judicial punishments. Jesus has trodden the wine-press, and he has trodden it alone: so we cannot tread it. How often have you thought that God would make you feel the weight of some of your sins, that he would cause you to suffer for some of your guilt! Ah, no! Jesus says, “I have trodden the wine-press”; and if you had to tread it, if you had to suffer the smallest pang of punishment for your iniquities, Christ could no more say, “I have trodden the wine-press alone.” He has done it completely, and there is no punishment reserved for you. For you there are no flames of hell, for you no punishment, for you no rack; you are freely acquitted, you are fully discharged, nor can you ever be condemned again. Christ, once and for all, has trodden your sins beneath his feet; therefore, you never, never can be punished for them.

26. What do you say to this, you seekers after truth? It may be, you have heard the doctrine taught that Christ was punished for the sins of everyone, and yet that many people are punished for their own sins. You will never find peace or comfort in that doctrine; it is so untrue, so unjust to God, so unsafe for man. We are taught, from the Holy Scriptures, that God has made his Son to be the Substitute for all his people, and “has laid on him the iniquity of us all”; and not one of “us” — the people for whom Christ was punished — can ever ourselves be punished. If Jesus did really endure our punishment, we stand on this broad ground of unalterable justice, that God cannot, consistently with his nature (and he can do nothing inconsistent with it,) ever punish us any more. Oh rejoice, Christian brethren, that ours is a solid foundation! The elect — all who are united to Christ by a living faith — have been punished in Christ, and now they stand in him, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners”; no one can lay anything to their charge. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Glorious God! to you be praise, to us be shame, that we do not better love and more fully value this inestimable doctrine of substitution, and its necessary consequences of complete justification!

    Remember, Lord, that Jesus bled,
    That Jesus bow’d his dying head,
       And sweated bloody sweat:
    He bore thy wrath and curse for me
    In his own body on the tree,
       And more than paid my debt.
    Surely he hath my pardon bought,
    A perfect righteousness wrought out.
       His people to redeem:
    Oh that his righteousness might be
    By grace imputed now to me,
       As were my sins to him!

27. Another thought for you, oh child of God, is this! There are wine-presses of suffering, although not of punishment, which you will have to tread. But I want you to remember that you will not have to tread these wine-presses alone. Tell a little child to go down a lonely lane on a dark night, and the child says, “Mother, I do not want to go there.” “I will go with you,” says the mother. “Then I will go,” says the child; “I will go anywhere with you.” Ah, Christian! there are many dark lanes for you to go down; but you will not have to go there alone! There are many wine-presses, — not of God’s wrath, but of his chastening hand, — for you to tread; but you will not have to tread them alone. Oh, is this not a truth that ought to ravish our hearts? We shall never tread the wine-press alone. Minister, you go to your pulpit, but if God has sent you, you will never go alone; your Master’s feet are behind you, and your Master himself stands by you. Deacons, you sometimes have to steer the Church through rough waters; you need great wisdom, but there is an Arch-deacon with you; you shall not go to your labours alone. Sunday School teacher, you go to your class with earnestness, and you think you teach alone. Ah, no! there is another Teacher sitting by you, who can teach better than you can; for he teaches hearts, while you teach only heads; he teaches souls, while you only teach bodies; he will teach for you. Oh daughter of affliction, you who lie on your bed of languishing, you do not lie there alone! It is not an angel there that shades your head with his pure wing; but it is Jesus who stands and puts his pierced hand on your burning brow. You dying saint, you fear to die; but you shall not die alone.

28. Jesus turns Bed-maker for each one of his people; David says, “You will make all his bed in his sickness.”

    Jesus can make a dying bed
       Feel soft as downy pillows are,
    While on his breast I lean my head,
       And breathe my life out sweetly there.

29. What is your trial, Christian? “Oh, a dark one!” you say. It may be so, but his rod and his staff shall comfort you; his right hand shall guide you. What is your grief, Christian? “Ah, a deep one!” you say. But “when you pass through the waters,” Jesus whispers, “I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame scorch you.” In the old Pilgrim’s Progress I used to read in my grandfather’s house, I remember the picture of Hopeful in the river holding Christian up; and the engraver has done it very well. Hopeful has his arm around Christian, and lifts up his hands, and says, “Do not fear, brother, I feel the bottom.” That is just what Jesus does in our trials; he puts his arm around us, points up, and says, “Do not fear! the water may be deep, but the bottom is good.” And though the cold streams of trouble rush down the river, do not fear; Christ is with you passing through the river, you will not have to pass through it alone. He trod the wine-press for us; but we shall never have to tread it, it would be a bad day for us, beloved, if we had to tread it. Some of God’s people have tried to do a little for themselves, and tried to do it alone, but they have made a sorry mess of it. If we seek to do anything in our own strength, it is all over with us: but he who lives with Jesus, and asks him to be with him, shall find him with him in wine-presses, in Gethsemanes, and in Gabbathes; and if it were necessary that we should be crucified on Calvary, we should find Christ on Calvary crucified with us there. You will not, Christian, have to pass through the river without your Master. We remember an old tale of our boyhood, how poor Robinson Crusoe, wrecked on a foreign strand rejoiced when he saw the print of a man’s foot. So it is with the Christian in his trouble; he shall not despair in a desolate land, because there is the footprint of Christ Jesus on all our temptations and troubles. Go on rejoicing, Christian; you are in an inhabited country; your Jesus is with you in all your afflictions and in all your woes. You shall never have to tread the wine-press alone.

30. But, lastly, you servants of the living God, since Jesus trod the wine-press alone, I beseech you to bear with me while, for my Master’s sake, I tell you to give all things to him. He suffered alone; will you not love him alone? He trod the wine-press alone; will you not serve him? He purchased your redemption alone; will you not be his property, and his alone? Oh, have you given half of yourself to the world, and only half to your Master? Did the world ever bless you? Did the world redeem you? Was the world crucified for you? Did the world tread the wine-press for you? No; then do not give the world a portion of your heart. You have some dear relative whom you love with all your soul; but take heed, oh Christian, that still your heart is set most on your Lord! Did that friend tread the wine-press for you? Did that friend drink the gall for you? Did that friend suffer for you on the cross? No, then let Jesus stand first and foremost; let him sit King on the throne, and no one else except him. And when you daily go out to labour, take good heed that you do not labour for self, or pleasure, or any worldly object, but that you labour for Jesus. If the world says, “Come with me, and I will show you all kinds of delights,” reply, “Oh world! I cannot come; I never saw your foot in the wine-press.” Does lust invite you? Cry. “Oh lust! I cannot love you, for you never did sweat a drop of blood for me.” Yes, if all the world’s inhabitants should open wide their loving arms, to beseech you to come in and forsake your Lord, answer, “No, no; you did not tread the wine-press, and that is all I care about. Jesus trod the wine-press alone, and I will give myself entirely to him.” Half-hearted Christians, you who divide yourselves in two, giving one half to Christ and the other to lust, you are not the Lord’s; “you cannot serve God and mammon.” There can be only one Master and one Lord, because there was only one Redeemer, one Friend, one Governor, One whom we live on, for whom we would even dare to die; because there is only One who dared to die for us. Never, I beseech you, Christians, and I beseech myself also, — for I plead with myself when I plead with you, — never forget this, Jesus trod the wine-press alone; and always take care that you have him as the only King in your heart.

31. If you ask me tonight to paint redemption, I shall have to put only one figure in the picture. We may paint groups when we depict creation, for the morning stars sang together; we may paint groups when we picture the resurrection, for an angel rolled away the stone; but if we paint redemption, there can be only one figure, and that figure is “the Man Christ Jesus.” So, if you would have a painting in your heart, I ask you to paint no groups on the canvas of your soul; but ask God’s Holy Spirit to paint on it one name, one lovely Being, one adorable Personage, — Christ, who trod the wine-press alone. Queen Mary said that, when she died, they would find the word “Calais” written on her heart. Ah, Christian! live so that, when you die, all will know that the name “Jesus” is printed on your heart, for it is certain that your name is deeply cut on his very heart, and on his hands, and on his brow; it is written in precious blood. Give him, not only the best place in your heart, but all your heart; often sing, —

    Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
       Prone to leave the God I love, —
    Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
       Seal it for thy courts above!

32. Brothers and sisters, who will now come into close fellowship with your Lord at his table, may this one idea engross your mind, that it is, —

    None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
       Can do helpless sinners good.

33. And you despisers of the cross, oh, let me tell you that you are as grapes in the wine-press! If you die ungodly, unsaved, unrighteous, unforgiven, you must be cast into the great wine-vat of the wrath of God, hurled into hell with myriads of your fellows, like grapes fully ripe, cut off by the sickle of the angel; and the day shall be horrible when Christ shall tread on you in his fury, and trample on you in his hot displeasure. May God save you from being put in the wine-vat yourselves; may you be able to cast your sins in there instead, so that Christ may trample on them!

34. I cannot close my sermon without referring to the happy circumstance that, on this day, six years ago, I found deliverance myself from the bondage of Egypt, and rejoiced in the liberty by which Christ made me free. What if my Master would, by my lips, bring another soul to himself! What do you say, poor trembler? Did you hear the text of this morning? “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no one else.” {a} Did you hear that? Then hear it yet again. And have you looked? If not, oh, look now! Have you looked to him? If you have not seen him, still look, and you shall see him eventually. But look now! It is all he asks you to do, and even that he bestows on you. Look now, poor sinner: look now, for Christ’s sake, for your soul’s sake, for heaven’s sake, if you would escape the damnation of hell! Look, and that look shall save you! Catch only one glimpse of that dear head crowned with thorns; get only one glance from his sweet eyes, full of pity; catch only one glimpse of that smiling countenance, or, if you cannot look so high, see only the sole of his pierced foot, and you are saved; for still it is written, “They looked to him, and were enlightened.” “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth.”

{a} In preaching from these words in the morning, Mr. Spurgeon said, “Six years ago, today, as near as possible at this very hour of the day, I was ‘in the gall of bitterness of that bondage, and in the bond of iniquity,’ but yet had, by divine grace, been led to feel the bitterness of that bondage, and to cry out by reason of the severity of its slavery. Seeking rest and finding none, I stepped within the house of God, and sat there, afraid to look upward, lest I should be utterly cut off, and lest his fierce wrath should consume me. The minister rose in his pulpit, and, as I have done this morning, read this text, ‘Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no one else.’ I looked that moment: the grace of faith was bestowed on me in the very same instant; and now, I think, I can say with truth, —

          E’er since by faith I saw the stream
             His flowing wounds supply,
          Redeeming love has been my theme,
             And shall be till I die.

I shall never forget that day while memory holds its place; nor can I help repeating this text whenever I remember that hour when I first knew the Lord.” {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 60, “Sovereignty and Salvation.” 58}

Mr. Spurgeon’s very full and remarkable record of his experience before and after his conversion is given in Vol. I. of his Autobiography (Passmore and Alabaster).

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.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Privacy Policy

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390