2637. The Place Of Prayer And Pardon

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No. 2637-45:409. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, June 1, 1882, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 1/24/2016*1/24/2016

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, August 27, 1899.

Whatever plague or sickness there is: then whatever prayer or supplication shall be made by any man, or by all your people Israel, when everyone shall know his own burden and his own grief, and shall spread out his hands in this house: then hear from heaven your dwelling-place, and forgive, and render to every man according to all his ways, whose heart you know (for only you know the hearts of the children of men). {2Ch 6:28-30}

1. The temple was intended to be the centre of prayer for all the children of Israel. Those who could do so, went up to it a certain number of times every year. Others, who were too far away to go, prayed with their window open towards Jerusalem; for the mercy seat was there, and beneath the wings of the overshadowing cherubim there dwelt that bright light of the Shekinah which was the indication of the presence of God in the midst of his people. It is not therefore to be amazed that, when Solomon dedicated to the Lord the temple which he had built, his great petition was that God would hear every prayer that should be offered in this place or toward that place. He wished the temple always to be for Israel the sign that God’s memorial is that he hears prayer. Solomon therefore presented a wonderfully comprehensive series of supplications, in which he appears to have included all the sorrowful conditions of the nation, and all the troubles that were likely to happen to the chosen people. But this part of his prayer, which we are now to consider, seems as though it were intended to gather up anything that the supplicant might possibly have left out. We always think that we are among the great things — that we are out on the deep seas — when we can get among the “whatevers.” “Whatever plague or sickness there is: then whatever prayer or supplication shall be made by any man, or by all your people Israel, …… then hear from heaven your dwelling-place, and forgive.” It is a kind of miscellaneous sentence, taking up all the stragglers, — the lots that are out of the catalogue, — those that could not be placed under any distinct heading; and they are here put under the general description of the “whatevers,” that whatever man, who should know his own burden and his own grief, and the plague of his own heart, should turn his eye and his prayer toward Jerusalem, and that God should then hear him, and forgive him.

2. We have no sacred place now, beloved friends, towards which we turn when we pray. The Ritualists talk a great deal about the importance of “the eastward position”; but I believe that any other position in the world, — westward, southward, or northward, — is just as good, and that we may pray to God with equal acceptance whichever way we turn. Cowper truly sings, —

    Jesus, where’er thy people meet,
    There they behold thy mercy seat:
    Where’er they seek thee, thou art found,
    And every place is hallow’d ground.

Yet we have a Temple into which they cannot enter who think the mere materialistic building is the all-important matter, just as we have an altar to which they have no right to approach as long as they are content with the visible and the external. Our Temple is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ: “In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” When we pray, we turn our faces towards him. He said to the Pharisees, “In this place is One greater than the temple”; and so he is. Though he is to us of the same use as the temple was to Israel, yet he is infinitely more precious and far greater than the temple; and whoever, whatever his trouble shall be, shall pray to God with his face towards Jesus, looking to the matchless wounds by which he has redeemed us, or the glorified person in which he represents us, and makes intercession for us before the throne of God on high, he shall be helped, he shall be forgiven, whatever his trouble or whatever his sin.

3. I. So, coming to the text, I shall have, first of all, to deal with the fact that EACH MAN HAS, OR WILL HAVE, SOME KIND OF GRIEF AND SORROW.

4. I may have some, in this congregation, who can say, “We have no grief; we have no trouble.” Well, if that is the case, I am not sure that I can congratulate you, though I am very glad when all God’s children are happy in the Lord, and can be glad and rejoice in his name. I pray that they may always do so, for I remember how Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Surely that was enough, yet he added, “and again I say, ‘Rejoice.’ ” You cannot be too happy in the Lord; and whenever you meet others who are of a doubtful or troubled spirit, do not imitate them, though, please do not despise them. They may be, on the whole, in a better spiritual state than you are, although they are not better than you are concerning their present difficulty. “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” and it is an excellent thing for a child of God to be happy and joyful in his Saviour. Yet I should not wonder, dear friend, that the day may come when you, whose eyes are bright, and whose steps are most energetic, will yet find that you shall have trouble in the flesh, and perhaps trouble in the spirit, too, even as it was with those to whom the apostle Peter wrote, “Though now for a season, if needs be, you are in heaviness through various temptations,” or trials. Not only do we have various trials, but we get into heaviness through them. It does happen to many of the best of God’s servants that they have their sorrow and grief. Just recently, I have seen several people who, I am persuaded, love the Lord, and the Lord loves them; they are very precious to him, — humble, gentle, gracious people; but they have come into deep trouble, or some heavy cloud rests on them. It is to them especially that I am now speaking.

5. Dear troubled friend, you may have a grief or sorrow that is not known to anyone but yourself. You would not like to reveal it to anyone, you would not whisper it in the ear of the dearest confidant that you have on earth. You keep it to yourself, and perhaps that is the very reason why it becomes so bitter to you. The relating of it to some Christian friend might be a real help to you. You know what a relief it is to be able to shed tears when you are in great anguish; if you can have a good cry, you can get over the trouble more easily; but, sometimes, you cannot find expression for the grief, and so the pent-up flame becomes more fierce than otherwise it would have been.

6. Well, there are children of God of that kind, just like Hannah, the woman of a sorrowful spirit, whose adversary severely vexed her to make her fret; and even when she went up to the house of the Lord, it was in bitterness of soul that she stood there, and prayed to the Most High. I do not think that she could have told anyone, except possibly her husband, what the great grief of her heart was; and, dear friend, if you have a grief that you cannot tell to any human being, let my text affectionately invite you to look towards Jesus, the Temple of this age, and tell the Lord all about your sorrow, and ask him to give you help in your time of need.

7. It may be that your trouble, though it is known to others, is misunderstood. It is a very grievous thing when the affliction of God’s people is misread, and misinterpreted, and others say, “Oh, nonsense! There is nothing in it”; or else they say, “You are only making a rod for your own back; you might help yourself if you liked, and get out of that sad state of mind.” You know how the exhortation to “make an effort” is often given when all possibility of effort from within has long since passed away; and it is a very grievous thing when those whom we love utterly misunderstand us. They seem to read our words backwards. So far from having any sympathy with us, they are not able to enter into our secret sorrow. Alas! for the child of God who is in that sad condition! But if you are troubled like this, — if you know the plague of your own heart, but no one else knows why you are so plagued, — if you feel your own burden, but no one else can see it, go to Jesus, and, tell him about your inward grief; open the door to your heart, and let him inspect all your being, and ask him for the gracious forgiveness which is the sweetest balm for your wounds, and then for a visitation of his blessed Spirit as the Comforter, so that your heart may rejoice and be glad, in him.

8. Possibly, dear friend, I may be speaking to you who have a grief which is not only unknown, or if known, is misunderstood, but to you who are lonesome in your sorrow. As far as you can tell, no one ever before went the way which you are now treading. When I have preached, sometimes, to the despondent and the despairing, I have been thankful when, afterwards, people have come to me, and said that my sermon was the first ray of comfort they had ever received. I therefore try to practise Mr. Wesley’s plan of firing low. He meant by it, speaking plainly, so as to hit the groundlings; but while I endorse that view of the expression, I mean also another, — not to shoot high, where only some soaring professors may be, but to fire low, where the poor and needy are lying on their faces before God. I want to preach so that those who are ready to perish may come to Christ, and that those who never had a hope before may begin to hope in him. My dear friend, if you are the only one who ever travelled along that rough road, and if you even think that you have no equal in your misery, but sit alone in your sorrow, yet you are told to turn your face towards Christ, your Temple, and whatever may be your case, to pour it all out before him; and as Jesus lives, he will hear and answer you, and you shall yet go your way in peace. I do not know what may be the details of your case. “The heart knows his own bitterness; and a stranger does not intermeddle with his joy.” There are depths and there are heights where we must be solitary. There are some griefs that we must keep to ourselves, just as there are some raptures and experiences of which, if we were to tell them, men would say that we were fanatics, and suspect that we were out of our mind. Do not be surprised, therefore, if you sometimes have to sail alone, as far as any human beings are concerned. If Christ is in the vessel with you, you cannot want any better company.

9. This grief of yours, my dear friend, may be connected with some sin, or if not actually so, you may think it is so. You may have lost the light of God’s countenance by some omission, or by walking at a distance from him. It may be that you have been negligent in prayer. Or, possibly, there may have been some sin of commission; perhaps you have yielded to temptation, and therefore it is that you are made to walk in the dark. Well, if it is so, do not let even that sad state prevent your coming to Jesus with your burden, for he has not only come to help us in our troubles, but to save us from our sins. “If any man sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins.” Do not, therefore, think that, when you have sinned, you are shut out from the Saviour. No, but there is “a fountain opened for the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness,” opened on purpose to cleanse them from sin and impurity. Paul wrote to the Galatians that our Lord Jesus Christ “gave himself for our sins,” on which passage, Martin Luther observes that Christ never gave himself for our righteousness. There was never enough of that to be worth his doing so, but he gave himself for our sins, that he might put them away from us for ever. Come, then, though a sense of guilt should put a sting into your sorrow which otherwise it would not possess; and though you may truly say, “I brought all this misery on myself, I know I did; I greatly played the fool, and now the mischief is done, and cannot be undone”; yet remember that there is One who can lift the load off your spirit, and say to you, “Go in peace; your sins, which are many, are all forgiven you.” Look towards the Temple, even to Christ in whom God dwells, and from whom God shines; tell him your grief, and you shall yet rejoice in the peace which he delights to bestow.

10. “Ah!” one says, “I am glad to hear this good news, for the sake of others; but my case is a particularly trying one, for I have been in this sad state of mind for many years.” Yes; and how long was that daughter of Abraham bowed down so that she could by no means straighten herself up? Was it not eighteen years; yet how long did it take Christ to make her straight? Why, not a moment! He spoke, and she became straight at once, and able to walk like other women. You remember, also, that the impotent man had been waiting at the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years, and the high doctrine folk of that day told him to keep on waiting at the pool; but when Jesus Christ came around that way, he did not tell him to wait for a minute, but he said, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk”; and he did so in an instant. You, poor troubled soul, need not continue to lie at the pool; you need not wait there for a single moment. Trust in Christ, who comes to you in all your inability, in all your sinfulness, in all your depression of spirit, and in all your despair, and who says to you, “Live. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no one else.” “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord: ‘though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ ” These are glorious words of grace; may the Lord speak them home to your heart even now! The devil himself cannot hold a man in captivity when once Christ gives him liberty. Though his feet are made firm in the stocks, and it is the dead hour of midnight, yet he shall begin to sing praises to God; and his fellow prisoners shall hear him when Jesus of Nazareth passes by, and gives him the gracious word which makes him free. Christ crucified is your only hope; therefore, turn your eyes to him; by faith, look to those dear wounds of his; from your innermost soul, breathe your penitent prayer to him, and he will grant you the desire of your heart, even life for evermore.

11. II. Secondly, IF WE HAVE A GRIEF OR SORROW, IT IS GOOD TO KNOW IT, for here Solomon speaks “of any man, or of all your people Israel, when everyone shall know his own burden and his own grief.”

12. In visiting the sick, recently, I have been struck with the different ways in which the children of men are afflicted. There is one of our beloved brethren who is covered with severe blains from head to foot. Another is dying in a critical condition through congestion of the lungs. There is another gradually melting away with consumption, while cancer is eating out the very life of yet another friend. Now, just as it is with the pangs of the body, so it is with the diseases of the mind and the soul. They are of various kinds; and though they may be arranged under different headings, there is no one spiritual burden or sorrow exactly like another; and, hence, it is good for every man to know his own burden and his own grief. My faults are not exactly the same as yours; and yours, probably, are not quite like mine; what greatly grieves me might never trouble you if you had it, while what worries and troubles you might be a thing which I could laugh at if it happened to me. We must never judge each other, nor may we wish to have other people’s sorrows and griefs, but we must try, as far as we can, to know every man his own burden and his own grief.

13. For, first, sometimes, to know your grief, is to get rid of it. It is the unknown that is often the most terrible. Belshazzar, when his knees knocked together, was frightened because he saw the part of the hand that wrote on the wall, but he did not see the form of the writer, nor could he tell what was written. It was the mystery of the thing that troubled him; and, sometimes, when you do not know what your trouble is, it is more of a trial to you than when you can get it into a definite form. It is a grand thing to be able to look at it, to measure it, to take stock of it, to write down, in black and white, what it is that is worrying you. If you do that, you will probably say to yourself, “How foolish I am to let this be a trouble for me at all!” and sometimes, on the other hand, you will find yourself foolish in another sense. After Christian and Hopeful had been locked up in the dungeon in Giant Despair’s Castle, for several days and nights, Christian said to his companion, “What a fool I am to lie like this in a stinking dungeon when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle.” We may find ourselves saying just the same thing; we shall look at our trouble until we shall exclaim, “Why, blessed be God, there is a promise in his Word which exactly handles this difficulty! God the Holy Spirit has left on record the message that is just adapted to this very trial; therefore, why do I lie moaning and groaning, in this dungeon, when I might at once walk out into gospel liberty?” So I say to you, beloved, seek to know what your burden or your grief really is, for it is the unknown that is usually fraught with terrors.

14. It is, too, the undiscovered, often, that is the most dangerous. As I have already said, our sorrows are often connected with our sins. It is a terrible thing to have a sin festering in your soul, and not to know it. If a man tells me that he has no sin, I ask him to look within, or even to look without on his own life; but if he thinks that he is perfect there, let him keep on looking within; and if he does not discover something evil there, it must be because an awful blindness has fallen over him. Often, there is sin connected with our trouble, and it is most important for us to see it and to know it. I think that it was St. Francis de Sales {a} who said that, among all those who came to him confessing their sins, not one ever confessed to being covetous; and it is a curious thing that, as a rule, no covetous man ever believes that he is covetous. Covetousness is a most deceitful thing; pray God to point it out to you if it is within your heart, lest it should destroy you. A man may be in such a state of soul that the scarlet fever of pride may be killing him, and yet, all the while, he may be thinking, “What a humble person I am!” For pride is another of the most deceptive sins. Every man should try to know what his own weakness is. Perhaps the very point where you think you are the strongest is the place where you are really the weakest; and the thing which does not trouble you in the least may, after all, be what ought to cause the greatest searching of heart. Pray to the Lord, each one of you, to cause you to know your own burden and your own grief.

15. Remember that, if there is sin mixed with our sorrow, it ought not only to be known, but to be so known as to be confessed. Oh, what a relief to the soul happens when you can confess your sin to the Lord! I would have you do it distinctly in the plainest words possible. Do not attempt to cloak the matter before God, for you cannot really hide anything from him. Remember how David, at last, prayed God to deliver him from bloodguiltiness. He was on the right road to getting rest in his soul when he could confess his great crime like that. I have heard of one who was a child of God, but he was grievously overtaken when in company, and he drank too much. He could not get any peace of mind for months until he said, “Lord, I was drunk”; and after he had put it in that way, he found forgiveness, and peace, and rest. No doubt, before that, he had said, “I am afraid I was a little imprudent,” or used some of those pretty phrases which people employ as a cloak for their wrong-doing, when they will not confess the evil in all its nakedness and deformity. Away with the fig leaves! God abhors them. It is he who must clothe you, and he will do so with the righteousness of his Son; but, if he is to accept you, there must be no attempt to palliate your guilt. Let sin be called sin; and in the presence of Christ, —

    “Sin doth like itself appear,”

and the sinner sees its heinousness, and learns to hate it. So, then, each man must know his own burden, and his own grief, and especially his own sin; so that he may confess it to God.

16. What does all this come to, then, dear brother, dear sister? You have, perhaps, been coming to see me, or to see one of the elders, about your trouble. We cannot help you much, though we will gladly do what we can for you; but, now, do try to make it clear to your own mind what all the trouble is about; get it down in black and white if you can, and then come with it to the Lord. There is, often, far too much indistinctness in our prayers. We really do not know what we are aiming at; and, consequently, we miss the mark. We do not have a clear idea what it is that we are seeking from the Lord, and therefore we do not get it. But if we really know our grief, and know our burden, and know our sin, and know the plague of our own heart, and then go before the Lord with it all, and say, “That is my trouble, Lord; I confess it before you with a broken heart and a contrite spirit”; it will not be long before the Lord in mercy shall give us peace.

17. III. Now, thirdly, and briefly, while it is good to know our grief, IT IS BETTER STILL TO PRAY ABOUT IT. I have been hammering away at this truth, but now I want to give a few blows right on the head of the nail.

18. Dear troubled friend, there is no relief for you like prayer; and if you are almost in despair, permit me to put the matter to you very gently; I will try to push in the thin end of the wedge first. Perhaps, if you go to God, and pray about your trouble, you will get deliverance from it. I say, “Perhaps.” Put it like that, to begin with. You cannot lose anything, can you, by praying to God? Suppose you go to the Lord with your grief, you cannot be any worse off than you are already, can you? You are now in such a sad condition, so much bowed down that, if you confess your sin and your sorrow at his dear feet, and leave them there, you cannot be in a sadder plight than you are now, can you? Well, then, say, with the poet, —

    I’ll to the gracious King approach,
       Whose sceptre pardon gives; Perhaps he may command my touch,
       And then the supplicant lives.
    Perhaps he will admit my plea,
       Perhaps will hear my prayer;
    But if I perish, I will pray,
       And perish only there.
    I can but perish if I go;
       I am resolved to try;
    For if I stay sway,
       I know I must for ever die.

It may be that the Lord will deliver you. There is many a man who has gone to God on the strength of a “may be,” and yet that “may be” has been enough to land him in heaven at last. You remember how all the people of Nineveh had nothing to rely on except that question of their king, “Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we do not perish?” That was a very tiny thread, “Who can tell?” But, relying on it, they went and humbled themselves before God, and we know what followed: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do to them; and he did not do it.” Sister, I would like to whisper that question in your ear, “Who can tell?” Brother, I would like to take your hand, and to say to you, “Come now, do not despair. Who can tell? It may be that the Lord will also be gracious to you. Go and cast yourself at his feet, and determine to lie there, and to perish there, if you must perish. But you shall not perish if you come to him.”

19. Remember, again, that there is One who is quite ready to give you a full hearing, whatever your trouble and your sin may be, for the Lord Jesus Christ already knows all about your trouble.

    Our fellow sufferer yet retains
       A fellow-feeling of our pains,
    And still remembers in the skies,
       His tears, and agonies, and cries.
    In every pang that rends the heart,
       The Man of Sorrows had a part;
    He sympathizes in our grief,
       And to the sufferer sends relief.

If you come to me, I shall try to sympathize with you as fully as I can; but, perhaps, I shall fail, for you may be so deep in the bog that I may never have gone quite as low down as that; but if you go to the Lord Jesus Christ, you never can be as deep in sorrow as he was when his agony forced from him great drops of blood, and his soul was “extremely sorrowful, even to death.” And, as for your sin, black as it is, it is not too black for him to remove. Bring out the sin that is more than a match for Christ, if you can. Remember his great declaration, “All kinds of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men.” Oh, it is you, poor woman, is it? Are you like the one of whom we were reading just now? Do you feel yourself as great a sinner as she was, or are you actually a woman of the very vilest class? And are your accusers near, who, if you were to deny your guilt, would stand up, and witness against you? Jesus says to you, “Go, and sin no more.” Oh poor sinful soul, go to Jesus even if you have all the sins that are unmentionable piled on you! And if you are a man who has committed as much sin as all the rest of the world put together, yet come along; my Lord, who bore on his shoulders the sin of the world, is fully able to put your sin away.

    If all the sins that men have done,
    In thought, or word, or deed,
    Since worlds were made, or time began,
    Were heaped on one poor sinner’s head, —

yet the blood of Jesus Christ could still blot them all out in a single moment, so that though they were sought for, they should never be found again. Oh, that you would only come, and trust the Lord Jesus Christ!

20. “Ah!” one says, “that is just my difficulty; I cannot trust him.” If you talk like that, you and I will fall out immediately. If you tell me that you cannot trust my father, I shall say, “My father is a man of truth and honour; he pays his debts, and he never lies; and I will not have you say, ‘I cannot trust him.’ ” But whatever you call my father, I shall not be half so indignant as when you tell me that you cannot trust my Saviour. Please tell me when he lied? When was he ever false? When did he ever fail? You say you cannot trust him? Why, I feel that, if I had all your souls in one, I could trust him with all of them; indeed, if I could get into this body of mine all the souls that God ever made, I would trust him with all of them, for I am persuaded that he never was trusted too much. You never yet could believe of Christ a thing so good that it was not true. Suppose that you believe that he can forgive you; he will do it. He will never let your belief go beyond what he will do. If you believe that he will wash you so that you shall be whiter than snow, he will do it. Faith and Christ often run a race, but Christ always wins; for, if faith flies like the wind, Christ flashes like the lightning, and he outstrips it. You cannot possibly believe too good a thing of him; just try now whether you can do so. Should not that truth tend to cheer you, poor downcast one?

21. The best thing that you can do is, to remember that there is an open door for every soul who lives. Then, draw near to God; there is no barrier in the way, and there is a blessed text, at the end of this Book, which says, “Whoever wills, let him take the water of life freely.” I saw a man once, in a court of justice, who was called up to the witness-box, but he could not press through the crowd. So the judge spoke to the usher, and the usher said to the people, “Let him come; let him come; let him come”; and after he had said that, there began to be a little narrow lane made for him, and so he squeezed his way up. Now there is a poor sinner over there, and there are a thousand demons between him and Christ; but when Christ says to them, “Let him come; let him come; let him come,” they must make a lane for him. When our Lord Jesus Christ was on the earth, on the great day of the feast, he stood and cried, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me, and drink.” Who will say to him, “Lord, I am that man; I am thirsty, and you say, ‘Let him come?’ ” If you say that, who is there to stop you from coming to him? Why, if the arch-fiend should stand right in your way, yet, if Jesus Christ says, “Let him come,” you shall come.

22. Did he not say, long ago, “Let there be light?” and the primeval darkness was gone in an instant. So, if the Lord says, “Let him come,” then everything that opposes you, and tries to keep you back, must be overthrown, for you shall come. Trust Jesus, dear friend; trust in the name of the Lord of love and mercy, who is looking on you, a poor, bruised, broken, manacled mass of misery. I beseech you, turn your eye towards Christ. Oh you poor smoking flax, if you do not have anything about you but just a smoke, and that smoke is not very sweet, yet Jesus Christ says that he will not quench you! Oh you poor bruised reed, out of which there can come no music as you are, I tell you that he will get music out of you yet! Only look to him, poor troubled one, for he knows how to bind up the broken in heart, and to heal their wounds, and to glorify himself by it. Oh, for another prayer, even though it would be your last! Breathe it. I know that Satan will try hard to stop you; he will say, “It is no use; you have been praying for months; you have been praying for years.” Indeed, but, this time, pray as you never prayed before. Perhaps you have been lifting up your eyes to a priest, or to a man, or to a doctrine, or to a creed; now just look right away to Jesus Christ. That is the way that prayer was heard in the olden days, when they looked toward the temple; and your prayer shall be heard when you look to the Saviour. “Oh, but just look at me!” you say. No, I do not want to look at you; I want you to look at Christ. “Oh, but, sir, I am dreadfully wicked! I confess it with shame.” Yes, and you are probably a hundred times worse than you think you are; you are a good-for-nothing kind of person; you are an out-of-the-way sinner; but that is the very reason why I want you to believe in him “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on those who are out of the way.”

23. I want you to look to him who came to earth on purpose so that he might wash these negros white, and take the spots out of these leopards, and make them to become like lambs. My Lord did not come into the world to be a doctor who only cures finger-aches and small complaints; he came to cleanse the lepers, to cast out demons, to raise the dead, — even Lazarus, who had begun to putrefy. Oh, he is such a glorious Saviour that I cannot speak his praises loudly enough, though speaking of him warms my own heart! My voice was hoarse when I began my sermon, and I thought I could hardly get through the discourse; but, with such a theme as this, I forget all weakness and pain. Yes, raise me even when I am dying, so that I may sit up in bed, and begin to praise him. There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Saviour. Come and measure the sinner, if you like, from head to foot, and all around; make him out to be an elephantine sinner, yet there is room for him in the ark Christ Jesus. There is room in the heart of Jesus for the vilest of the vile. Oh, that you would turn your eyes to him, and pray to him from your very heart, and trust in him with your whole soul!

24. I finish up by saying that those who do this shall find rest for their souls. Solomon’s petition was, that they should be forgiven: “Then hear from heaven your dwelling-place, and forgive.” Yes, and everything else that a sinner needs is ready for him when he comes to Christ. I do not know — I cannot tell — all that you need; but I do know that all you ever can need between here and heaven is laid up for you in Christ Jesus. I have used this illustration before. Here is a poor little babe that we have picked up off the street; what shall we do with him? What does this child need? Well, he needs washing; see how filthy he is, for he has been lying in the gutter. He needs food, poor little creature; see how emaciated he is. He needs proper clothes; look at his rags. I should have to keep on a long time, and you mothers who are listening to me might say, “He does not know much about what the babe needs.” But I will show you that I do, because in one single sentence I will tell you what that child needs; he needs his MOTHER; and when he gets his mother, he has everything. When his mother finds him, then he is provided for; and what you need, dear soul, is pardon, cleansing, clothing, training, sanctifying; but I will not go over it all, what you need is your SAVIOUR. You need Jesus; and if you get Jesus, you never shall have a need that is outside of Christ, you shall never have a necessity that is not comprised within the matchless circle of his unspeakable all-sufficiency. Oh, take Christ into your heart, and your fortune is made! You have all you need for time and for eternity, when once the Lord Jesus Christ is yours. Oh, that you would make a dash for this great blessing!

25. “I am afraid to come,” one says. Well, come all trembling and fearing; only come. “But I am afraid I shall be cast out if I do come.” Oh, but you must not indulge that fear, for he has said, “Whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” “But suppose I should not happen to be one of the right kind?” Come all the same, whether you are or not, for Christ will not cast you out if you only come to him. When a man is very hungry, if he takes bread that is not his own, and eats it, no one will ever take it away from him, for he has it too securely. So, if you come and take the Lord Jesus Christ into your very soul, there is no one who can take him away from you. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good”; and he who really feeds on him has received him so that he shall never lose him. Oh, that all who are strangers to him might do so even now. May the Lord bless you all, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 30” 30}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Public Worship, Prayer Meetings — The Throne Of Grace” 978}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Public Worship, Prayer Meetings — Holy Importunity” 981}

{a} St. Francis de Sales: (August 21, 1567-December 28, 1622) was a Bishop of Geneva and is honoured as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God. See Explorer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_de_Sales"

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 7:53-8:11}

7:53,8:1 And every man went to his own house. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

That is, just as every man went to his own house to rest, so Jesus found rest in secret prayer on the Mount of Olives. There is a very striking contrast here; it is a pity to have brought the dividing saw right through the middle of such charming consecutive sentences.

2. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him; and he sat down, and taught them.

That is always the posture in the East; the teachers sit, and the hearers stand. We may have to try that plan one of these days; it might be better for me, and also for you. There might be less drowsiness, perhaps, if the congregation had to stand to listen to the preacher’s message.

3, 4. And the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say to him, “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

They did this only to entangle the Saviour, — not because they wanted to learn anything from him, or to do this woman any good, or even to vindicate morality; but it was simply an effort to entrap him.

5, 6. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what do you say?” They said this, tempting him, so that they might have something to accuse him with.

They could accuse him either way. If he sanctioned their stoning the woman, they would charge him with violating the Roman law; but if he said that she should not be stoned, then they would say that he differed from Moses, and set aside the law of God.

6, 7. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he did not hear them. So when they continued asking him, he lifted himself up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

That sentence must have flashed like a drawn sword, keen as a razor, through the very midst of them. Here were men who had probably been living in abominable sin, yet they had brought this poor sinful woman to Jesus, and laid this accusation against her.

8. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

After he had fired that one red hot-shot, {b} he waited until it had produced its due effect.

9. And those who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the oldest, even to the last; and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

They left her alone with Jesus in the midst of the place that the guilty crowd had forsaken in silent shame.

10, 11. When Jesus had lifted himself up, and saw no one but the woman, he said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?” She said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.”

He condemned the sin, his own pure and holy life was the best condemnation of that; but, as for the sinner, he had not come to condemn, but to forgive. His own declaration was, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save those who were lost.”

{b} Hot-shot: Heated shot is the practice of heating round shot before firing from muzzle-loading cannons, for the purpose of setting fire to enemy warships, buildings, or equipment. The use of hot-shot dates back centuries and only ceased when vessels armoured with iron replaced wooden warships in the world’s navies. It was a powerful weapon against wooden warships, where fire was always a hazard. See Explorer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heated_shot"

Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 30
1 I will exalt thee, Lord of hosts,
   For thou’st exalted me;
   Since thou hast silenced Satan’s boasts,
   I’ll therefore boast in thee.
2 My sins had brought me near the grave,
   The grave of black despair;
   I look’d, but there was none to save
   Till I look’d up in prayer.
3 In answer to my piteous cries,
   From hell’s dark brink I’m brought:
   My Jesus saw me from the skies,
   And swift salvation wrought.
4 All through the night I wept full sore,
   But morning brought relief;
   That hand, which broke my bones before
   Then broke my bonds of grief.
5 My mourning he to dancing turns,
   For sackcloth joy he gives,
   A moment, Lord, thine anger burns,
   But long thy favour lives.
6 Sing with me, then, ye favour’d men,
   Who long have known his grace;
   With thanks recall the seasons when
   Ye also sought his face.
                  Charles H. Spurgeon, 1866.

Public Worship, Prayer Meetings
978 — The Throne Of Grace
1 Behold the throne of grace!
      The promise calls me near,
   There Jesus shows a smiling face,
      And waits to answer prayer.
2 That rich atoning blood,
      Which sprinkled round I see,
   Provides for those who come to God
      An all-prevailing plea.
3 My soul, ask what thou wilt,
      Thou canst not be too bold;
   Since his own blood for thee he spilt,
      What else can he withhold?
4 Beyond thy utmost wants
      His love and power can bless;
   To praying souls he always grants
      More than they can express.
5 Thine image, Lord, bestow,
      Thy presence and thy love;
   I ask to serve thee here below,
      And reign with thee above.
6 Teach me to live by faith,
      Conform my will to thine;
   Let me victorious be in death,
      And then in glory shine.
                        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.

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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