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2985. Messages to Sinners and Saints

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Messages To Sinners And Saints

No. 2985-52:205. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, October 10, 1875, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, April 26, 1906.

For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: but you would not.” {Isa 30:15}

1. This message related to the invasion of the land of Judah by Sennacherib. The approach of the enormous hosts of the Assyrian king put almost the whole nation into a state of great alarm. They wanted to make an immediate alliance with the king of Egypt, and to ask that mighty monarch to send his forces to drive back the army of Sennacherib. But Isaiah the prophet was sent to warn them of the folly and sin of such an alliance, and to tell them that their strength was to sit still. They were to confide only in the Most High, and not to look for any other helper, but to cast themselves on the faithfulness of the God who had never failed them. If they did so, they would suffer no harm; but just in proportion as they turned away from the unseen Jehovah, and began to rely on an army of flesh, they would be sure to find trouble.

2. We might have supposed that these people would have gladly accepted the very cheering message. Surely it was a good thing for them not to have to go to war with the Assyrians, and not to need to despoil themselves and their temple in order to send gold to the king of Egypt; but simply to rest in God, who had promised to be a wall of fire all around them, and the glory in the midst of them. But, brethren, faith is an exotic in any heart where it is made to flourish; it does not grow there by nature, it must be planted by grace. All of us are idolaters by nature; we want something to look at, in our worship even though God has forbidden it to us in the strongest terms; and as for our life, we are always pining for the arm of flesh, wanting to rely on something tangible and visible. We cannot, except as God’s grace enables us to do so, cast ourselves absolutely on the unseen, and entrust ourselves to a God whose way we cannot trace. Yet, when his gracious Spirit teaches us this sacred art, it is well with us. The soul is elevated above gross materialism, above selfishness and self-confidence, above fear, alarm, and trepidation, and brought into a condition of strength, and power, and peace. This is what the text tells us, — that in returning and rest we shall be saved, and in quietness and confidence shall be our strength. Just as it was with God’s ancient people in the days of Sennacherib, so it is with us. This principle holds good all along, — the faith that relies on God will bring to us both salvation and strength.

3. I purpose to take my text out of its context, and to address two different classes of hearers, using one of the sentences of my text as a message concerning the salvation of sinners, and using another sentence as a message concerning the strength of saints.

4. I. First, then, here is A MESSAGE CONCERNING THE SALVATION OF SINNERS: “In returning and rest you shall be saved.”

5. Dealing first with the matter of returning to God, let me ask you a few questions. Have you played the prodigal? Have you gone far away from your father’s house. Have your joyful days all ended? Is your money all spent? Is your strength all but gone? Have your so-called “friends” forsaken you? Are you brought very low? Is there a mighty famine in the land, and have you begun to be in poverty? There is only one thing for you to do, and that is to return. There is nothing more required of you than that you should return to God, and rest in him. Returning, however, is your first business. I wish that you would say, as the prodigal in his hunger said, “I will arise and go to my father.” You will never get right until you get back to God. You cannot do without the God who made you. You may try to do so as much as you wish, but a creature apart from the Creator is nothing but vanity, a man apart from his Maker is in utter misery. You never will rest — it is impossible that you should do so, — until you rest on the Rock of ages; you will be continually tossed about and disquieted until you come there.

6. Possibly you say to me, “But how am I to return? How can I come back to God?” There is a way made for you. He has filled up the valleys, and cast down the mountains. Christ is the way of approach to the Father, and the only way, for no man comes to the Father except by him; but along that way innumerable pilgrims have travelled, and they have reached God through Jesus Christ. Behold before you the ladder which Jacob saw in his dream; the foot of it rests just where you are, but its top reaches to the covenant God in heaven. It is by the way of the person, and work, and merits of the incarnate Son of God that you must climb into his Father’s bosom. By the way of his shameful cross, by the way of his death, and burial, and resurrection, you must come back to God. Again I remind you that this is the only way; there is no other entrance to heaven, and to the heart of God.

7. “I know that,” one says, “yet I still feel as if I could not return.” Why not? “My sin lies heavy on me; I wish that I could shake it off, and then return.” Ah, my friend, that is not the way to return to God. If you were to come back to God having somehow gotten rid of your sin by your own efforts, you would come self-righteously and boastfully; but the right way to get back to him is the way the prodigal took when the first words he uttered were these, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to be called your son.” Come back to God with a full confession of your sin. Whisper, into his august but condescending ear the sad story of the many transgressions of the days that are past, — sins against his law, sins against his gospel, sins against the light, sins of ignorance, sins against himself, against his Son, and sins against his Spirit. Come back to God, laden with guilt, and full of woe; and confess all before him, through Jesus Christ his San, and forgiveness shall be yours, for it is written in his Word, “He who covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.”

8. “Indeed,” one says, “but that is my difficulty, for I observe that I am to forsake my sin as well as to confess it.” It is truly so, my hearer; if you will come back to God through Jesus Christ, who is the only way to the Father, he will enable you to forsake your sin. Before our Saviour’s birth, the angel said to Joseph, “You shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” The salvation which Jesus gives is salvation from unbelief, salvation from a seared conscience, salvation from pride, from lust, from malice, from envy, from evil of every kind. Which of your sins do you wish to keep? Is there one so fair that you have the desire to spare it? Come, brother, let us take these sins of yours, one by one, and let us ask the Lord to lend us the sword of divine justice, so that we may slay them, and hang them up before the Lord, for they are accursed things. Do not be tender of heart concerning any one of them, even though, like another Agag, it comes to you delicately, and says, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” Put the sword to the throat of every sin. Though each one should be like a prince, still, kill it, and hang it up on the cross. There stands the gibbet on which they hung your Lord; so hang up the traitor sins there, and let them all die. I think I hear you say, with good Dr. Watts, —

    ’Twas for my sins my dearest Lord
       Hung on the cursed tree,
    And groaned away a dying life
       For thee, my soul, for thee.
    Oh, how I hate those lusts of mine
       That crucified my God:
    Those sins that pierced and nail’d his flesh
       Fast to the fatal wood!
    Yes, my Redeemer, they shall die;
       My heart has so decreed:
    Nor will I spare the guilty things
       That made my Saviour bleed.

Remember that, if you do not kill them, they will kill you. Returning to God includes turning from sin. Do you think that the prodigal, when he came back to his father, brought his dice in one hand, and some other implement of sin in the other? He may come foul with the filth of the wine; he may come wretched through hunger and famine; but he must leave his riotous living, his wine cup, his debauchery in the far country; these cannot be tolerated in his father’s house. Neither can he receive the kiss of forgiveness until he has said, “Father, I have sinned”; and the fact that he stands before his father, separated from his former sins, proves that he has forsaken them.

9. “Well,” one says, “I still have another difficulty. I have confessed my sin to God, and I have resolved, by his grace, to forsake it; but how can I get rid of the guilt of my past sin?” I will tell you that soon; but, for the present, my text says, “Return.” In returning to God you shall be saved, and you may return to him now by simply trusting him. Come, man, the cause of all your sin is that you do not trust him. If you did trust him, you would obey him, and you would prove that happiness comes through obedience to him. You did not believe that this was true; and, therefore, you have gone away into disobedience under the mistaken notion that you could find greater happiness there. But even now, if you will believe, all things are possible for you. If you will do God the mere justice of believing that, in this quarrel between you and him, he is right, and you are wrong; if you will capitulate to him, yielding up your weapons of rebellion, and say, “It is all ended, good Lord; I believe that you are just, and true, and gracious; I do not know how you can be just, and yet pardon me; but, anyway, I come to you, and I rest myself on you. I dare not be your adversary any longer. Should you give me heaven itself, I could not be content with it unless I were reconciled to you, my God, my Creator, my Preserver, my Father, my All-in-all. My heart longs to come to you; I cannot rest until I am with you; I seek you with my whole soul”; — there lies the way of salvation. Indeed, dear heart, if what I have been saying for you is really true, your salvation is already assured, for he who longs after God is no more God’s adversary. God’s grace has already been operating on you, and it is even now drawing you to him, or else these ardent pangs of strong desire would never possess my soul.

10. Now turning to the second half of this portion of my text, let me speak of resting in the Lord, as well as returning to him, for his declaration is, “In returning and rest you shall be saved,” What you need, in returning to God, is to rest in him. Here is the answer to the question which we asked just now concerning your past sin. “Listen,” says God; “do not let your past sin keep you back from me, for I laid your sin on the shoulders of my Son. I allowed him to be scourged as though he had been the guilty one; I gave him up to the executioners as though he had been a malefactor. I even drew my own sword from its scabbard, and struck my well-beloved Son with it. While he was bearing your sin, I left him alone until he cried, in his anguish, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ I gave him up to endure the bitter pangs of death so that he might bear the wrath that was due to you. Now, then, since he has borne the punishment for all your sin, come to me, and rest in me.”

11. My dear hearers, I shall be very unhappy if, while I am preaching to you, some of you are not following me, and doing just what I am urging you to do. I am hoping that, while I am speaking, many of you are returning to your God, drawn by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit. If you are returning to him, and are still troubled by the memory of your past sin, rest in what God has done on behalf of just such sinners as you are. He has presented Christ to be a propitiation for sin. Therefore, rest in him. Say, however timidly you may utter the words, “I only trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and for all my guilt I rest my soul on him.” This it how you will be saved; — not by your working, not by your weeping, not even by your praying, but by resting on the Lord like this. It is true that you will work, and you will weep, and you will pray, and holy deeds will, I trust, be abundant, in your later life; but, in order to be saved, you simply have to come to Jesus, and to rest on Jesus. Can you not do that? If you cannot, I will tell you why. It is not because you are too weak, but because you are too strong. It is strength that keeps a man from resting; it is weariness that makes him recline. The more faint and feeble he is, the more readily does he lean on another. It is your strength that will destroy you; it is your supposed goodness that will ruin you; it is your own works that will be your destruction. Come now, and lean entirely and only on that almighty Saviour whose heart was pierced for you, and then it shall be well with you. After you are saved, you will labour for the Lord with a mighty God-given force; but just now, return to the Lord, and rest in him, for “in returning and rest you shall be saved.”

12. “Indeed; but my present state is so bad,” one says; “I should not so much trouble over my past sin, which I believe that God has forgiven; but I grieve over my present hardness of heart and distance from God,” Come along, my brother, come back to the Lord, for your heart will never get any softer through staying away from him. How many hundreds of times have I said from the pulpit that, if you cannot come to Christ with a broken heart, come to him for a broken heart; if you cannot come as you should, come in any way that you can, in order that you may be taught to come as you ought. It is quite true that your condition is bad; but, then Christ “did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Those open sores and bleeding wounds of yours only prove that you need the care and skill of a wise physician. Do not stay away from him until you are cured, but come to him to be cured, and come to him now. And when you do come to Jesus, just leave your case, past, present, and future, in his hands. Rest on him; say, “I believe that, just as he is able to forgive my past sin so he is able to remove my present hardness of heart, — to take away the heart of stone out of my flesh, and to give me a heart of flesh.”

13. “It is the future that troubles me,” says another. “I am anxious to return to the Lord, and to rest in him; but I am afraid that I shall sin in days to come. I cannot feel sure that I shall not go back to my old life, even if I try to leave it.” It is a good thing, my friend, when you understand that you can no longer trust in yourself, but that is the very reason why you should put your trust in One who can never fail you. Therefore, come to the Lord Jesus Christ, and rest in him concerning the future, as well as the past and the present. Did you never hear those words that Paul wrote to Timothy, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day”? This is what you have to do, then, commit yourself to Christ for all the future, with all its temptations and its trials, its sorrows and its sins, and rest there.

14. Here is salvation for the past, the present, and the future. Here is complete salvation, and the way to get it is to return to God, and rest in him. Oh, that the Holy Spirit would graciously lead many of you to do this! I feel that I must keep on preaching the gospel to you very simply. God forbid that I should ever try to bring before you any other theme, or even seek for goodly words in which to express that theme! No, I feel that I must keep on telling you —

    The old, old story
    Of Jesus and his love.

After this morning’s service, I looked on the corpse of a beloved friend, who was with us here a little while ago, and who died yesterday afternoon. As I knelt by his bed, with his mourning wife and brother, I could not help feeling that there was a loud call to me, from those silent lips, to keep on preaching Christ, and nothing else but Christ, as long as I live. My friend, who has been so suddenly called home, was in the very prime of life, and his death has quite stunned me. As I gazed at him, I could hardly believe that his lips were really silent, and that his eyes would never be opened any more in this world. If this summons had come for any of you who have not believed in Jesus, it would have been an even more bitter sorrow for us to know that you were dead in trespasses and sins when you were taken from us, and so must perish for ever and ever. Now, soul, will you have Christ as your Saviour, or will you not have him? If this were a thing which required hard tugging and toiling, it would be well worth the effort; but when the gospel message is simply, “Believe and live,” and when Christ is willing, if you will only trust him, to give you a force with which you shall be able to shape a new and nobler life, — a power divine by which you shall rise superior to sin, and be, in his good time, made like himself, will you refuse these great blessings? Will you despise the heavenly banquet, and stay outside, and famish? Then, if so, your blood will be on your own head; but may God, in his infinite mercy, prevent you from what would be spiritual suicide, and save you by his grace, and he shall have the praise for it world without end.

15. I have read of a great man who was once taken around the French galleys. He was an ambassador from a foreign country, and the French king wished to do him honour, so he told him that, when he went to the galleys, he might set free any one of the convicts whom he pleased. So the ambassador took the following method of finding out to whom he would give this free pardon. He began by asking the first man, “How did you get here?” The man said that he had done wrong, but that he had been entirely led into it by other people, and they were to blame more than he was. So the ambassador went on to another man, who said that he was perfectly innocent. He had never committed any crime at all, but he had been condemned through perjured witnesses, and so on. The ambassador found quite a number of “innocent” men of that kind; but, at last, he came to a man who frankly confessed that he deserved to be there. What had he done? Well, he had committed such crimes that he was ashamed to mention them; but, in answer to many questions, he did mention them, and he said, “I very richly deserve all that I have to suffer here, and I think myself happy that I was not condemned to die, for I well deserved it.” “Well,” said the ambassador, “you are evidently too bad a fellow to be here with all these ‘innocent’ men, so I shall give you a free pardon.” He had the right to give it to whomever he pleased, and he made his choice in that way; and when the Lord, who has the right to give pardon to whomever he pleases, gives it to anyone, if there is any choice, it generally is given to the man who feels that he does not deserve it, but admits that he deserves the wrath of God. “Ah!” says the Lord, “you are the man who shall receive the free pardon which you admit that you do not deserve.”

16. II. Now I want, for a little while, to speak to God’s people, and to give to them THE MESSAGE OF THE TEXT TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD: “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Oh beloved, what a blessed message this is!

17. This is true concerning all the trials and troubles of this mortal life: “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” I will suppose that you are passing through some business trouble. There are many tremors in the commercial world just now; perhaps they are causing some of you to shake and tremble. But if so, do not be too easily carried away by secondary matters, do not be either excited or depressed by them. Hold loosely all worldly things, but take a firm grip of the unseen God. You will get no good by fretting, and worrying, and hurrying. Be calm and quiet; for all will still be well with you if you are the Lord’s children. Perhaps your trial takes the form of personal sickness; if so, nothing can be better for you than quietness and confidence. The doctor will tell you that you will make a good patient if he can keep your mind quiet and restful. All the worrying in the world will not make you well, though worrying will help to keep you ill. You will be ill just as long as God appoints; but if anything could help to heal you, it would be quietness and confidence of heart. Have you lost a friend? Is there a great sorrow at home? Have you, in the cemetery, some loved one lying in a newly-made grave? Well, my brother, or my sister, you cannot bring the dear one back again, and you ought not to wish to do so. It is wise to submit to the inevitable; it is gracious to bow to the will of your ever-gracious God. You cannot do anything that will be so helpful to your own sorrowing spirit as to exercise quietness and confidence; it will indeed be your strength. Do you have what I think is a sorrow fully equal to that of bereavement? Do you have a loved one who suffers daily? Do you have one who seems, week after week, to be lying on the brink of the grave? Is that the kind of living cross that you have to carry? Well, brother, it is no use fretting over it, and it can do you no good to rebel against it. Let us not only submit to the will of the Lord, but let us ask him to grant us grace to acquiesce in it, for in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength. We often want to do too much, and we often really do too much, and so we spoil everything. We fret and we worry, but nothing good ever comes from all our fretting and worrying; but if we would learn to wait on the Lord, we should renew our strength; we should mount up with wings as eagles; we should run, and not be weary; we should walk, and not faint. I am addressing God’s tried children just now; and, whatever their condition may be, I press the message of the text on their most earnest consideration.

18. Fretting is weakening. Whoever gathered an atom of strength by fretting and fuming, plotting and planning, or doing this and that in haste and confusion? You must have noticed, in reading the Book of Genesis, what a great descent there was from Abraham to Jacob. What a grand man Abraham was! He was every inch a king; indeed, kings were only dwarfs in comparison with the patriarch, who was so great because he believed God. But look at Jacob, — a shifty, bargaining man, constantly cheating or being cheated. Jacob might be regarded by some people as by far the better man of business, — such a keen, shrewd man. Yes, he was a cunning man, and very crafty; but Abraham had that kind of wisdom which is better than craft and cunning. He was so trustful that he never thought of haggling and bargaining with his God as Jacob did. Quiet majesty is the characteristic of the man of faith, just as unquiet weakness is the characteristic of the unbeliever. May God make you strong, brothers and sisters in Christ, by taking from you the fret and the worry in which you have too long indulged, and by giving to you the quietness and confidence which shall be your strength for the future!

19. Moreover, fretting and worrying distract us, but quietness and confidence help us in many an emergency. I have known a merchant, who was losing money, to feel very agitated and restless. The perspiration was on his brow; and if he had gone on much longer in that way, he would have lost a great deal more money. But I have known that same man to pull up in an instant, slip aside into some quiet corner, breathe a brief, earnest prayer to God, and then go back to his post feeling “I am ready for any of you,” — cool, calm, quiet. While he was forgetting his God, he was distracted, and those around him were his masters; but when he had told the Lord about his troubles, he came back, not self-reliant, but God-reliant, which is a very different thing, and a much better thing. There he was, cool, calm, with all his wits about him, ready to meet those who, a little while before, would have been more than a match for him. Trust in God, beloved, for faith in him will keep your vision clear, and your judgment sound. Trust in God; and then in the day of stern conflict, there shall be no man’s arms that shall be so strong as yours. “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”

20. Besides this, quietness and confidence often prevent us from wasting our strength in efforts which must end in failure. Oh, the fussy efforts many of us have made! I know that I have; and I will make the confession. I have had various matters to put right, and I have tried, and tried, and tried, but all my trying has only made them get worse and worse. They are like our good sister’s thread, that was in a tangle, the other day, and she was in such a hurry to get it disentangled that she got it into a massive knot that no one in this world could untie. But another time when there was a tangle, she just took it calmly and quietly, and slipped this thread through here, and that thread through there, and it was all unsnarled very quickly. Her quietness helped her to see the way out of the difficulty; but we are often in such a hurry to get things done that it takes us three times as long to undo the mischief that we made in our hurry as it would have taken us if we had, in the first place, asked God to help us to do the thing properly.

21. I know that the grace of God is needed to bring us into this state of quietness and confidence; but, brothers and sisters in Christ, when you are brought into it, please stay in it, and to walk so close to God as never to lose the consciousness of it. I always admire the spirit which is characteristic of the Society of Friends. As a general rule, the spirit of the Quaker is calm, quiet, deliberate. That kind of spirit is not absolutely perfect; I can see something that is lacking from it. Still, that kind of spirit is a long way ahead of what is revealed by some of my friends whom I might easily name. I wish that we all had more of that spirit, — calm, quiet, self-possessed, or, rather, God-possessed. I believe that is the best spirit for preachers to have; we can do most by way of moving others when we ourselves are firmly fixed on a solid base. You need not fluster yourself, young man, in the way that you often do. You will not save souls by stamping your foot, and thumping your Bible, and shouting at the top of your voice. From the very bottom of your heart, in an earnest spirit, tell your hearers something that is worth their hearing, and pray God to put his blessing on it. You will find, even in preaching, that in confidence and quietness shall be your strength. Thunder is not lightning, and you may make a great noise, and yet not do much good; but if you calmly, yet earnestly, proclaim the truth, and with sober sense press it on men’s consciences, you may reasonably hope that God will send a blessing on your message.

22. I believe that the rule laid down in our text applies not only to the trials and troubles of life, but that it holds good with regard to many other matters. “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” when you are involved in discussion, and encounter opposition. Some of us are often obliged to bring out arguments in favour of what we believe to be the truth, and there is one thing at which I always aim when I take part in a discussion, and that is, never to let my opponent cause me to lose my temper. I know that, in proportion as I get excited and angry, I am losing strength. I must seek to overcome my adversary by the power of the truth; but, let him say what he wishes, I must not let him make me feel annoyed; for if he does, then to that extent he has conquered me. You may make this a rule in all your dealings with the ungodly. If you are a Christian woman, and your husband is unconverted, when he speaks to you in angry tones, do not answer him in the same way, but remember that “in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” If sometimes his words seem to stagger you, and you fear that you will fall, clutch at this precious truth, lay hold of Christ, rely on the almighty grace of God, but do not reply. Be quiet. You know the old proverb about “a still tongue.” I will turn it around, for I am not sure that “a still tongue makes a wise head,” but I am quite sure that a wise head makes a still tongue, especially in family matters. You Christian wives and Christian husbands may do a heap of mischief if, as you think, you get angry for Christ’s sake. It will be far better if, for Christ’s sake, you bear quietly and calmly all that you have to endure. You should do this also for the sake of the one who vexes you, for how do you know, oh wife, but that you may be the means of saving your unbelieving husband, and that you, oh husband, may be the means of bringing to Christ your unbelieving wife, by Christian quietness like what Christ himself revealed when he was on the earth? There is a woman here, — I do not know just where she is, but she is here, — and her husband has complained to me that she not only comes here twice on the Sabbath, but that she is also here at all the week-night services, neglecting her husband and family and home duties as no Christian woman ought to do. “Oh!” someone says, “I wonder who that woman is.” Well, there may be more than one to whom that description applies, and if the shoe fits you, I hope you will wear it; but please do not let your Christianity become a needless cause of offence to others. Do try to adapt your mode of life to those who are around you so that no unconverted person shall be able to say truthfully, “My life is made utterly miserable because my wife is a Christian,” or “because my husband is a Christian.” Try to make your husband twice as happy as he would be with an unconverted partner, and then, after a while, he will be obliged to say, “My wife is a strange woman to be so fond of going to listen to preaching; but, bless her! she does make our home a happy one; no one else would ever look after the children as she does.” If you are a Christian husband, you may win your wife; if you are a Christian father, you may win your child; or if you are a Christian child, you may win your father by that quietness and consistency of behaviour which shall count in the long run. “In quietness and in confidence” — not by bitterness of speech, not by “nagging” and wrangling, — but “in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”

23. Lastly, in all Christian labour, and in all Christian conflict, quietness and confidence will be our strength. When we go out seeking to win souls for the Lord Jesus Christ, let us not go as if we were poachers creeping on the sly on someone else’s ground to steal his game. No, my friends, “the earth is the Lord’s, and its fulness”; and when God calls us to go anywhere for him, let us not go as if we were trespassers, for every part of the earth belongs to Christ. When you go to that lodging-house to preach or speak to the occupants, do not go as if you had to ask permission to live; but deliver your message courageously, as becomes a man who is sent to be an ambassador for Christ. As for that ungodly man, whom you heard swear the other day, speak to him when a notable opportunity presents itself; not intrusively, but modestly, yet not slavishly as though you begged his pardon for talking to him in God’s name. We must take high ground here, — we who love the Lord, and whom he sends out on his missions of mercy, as he does send out every one of us who has heard the gospel call, for he has said, “Let him who hears say, ‘Come.’ ” Go then, and say to the people, “Come to Jesus”; and being sent to them by Christ, who is Lord of all, do not approach them on bended knee. Many years ago, the Emperor of China insisted that all ambassadors who approached his Majesty should crouch on the ground before him. One of our admirals happened to have a little business with him which would require a few gunboats in order to settle it; and when he had an interview with the Emperor, he told him that an Englishman would not crouch down before him. So, when you go into the world, — you young men especially, — do not go sneaking into the shop as though you were ashamed of your religion. If anyone has a reason to be ashamed, it is the man who does not have any religion. Make him feel that it is so; or, at any rate, do not let him make you feel that you have any reason to be ashamed that you are a Christian. If you were the son of a lord, I do not suppose that you would be anxious to conceal your pedigree, and afraid to have it known; so, if you are a child of God, do not wish to conceal that blessed fact. You need not be ostentatious in displaying your religion; but, at the same time, do not be slavishly afraid to confess that Christ is your Lord and Saviour. Speak out for God with a holy boldness, yet with due humility of spirit giving to him all the glory for the grace which he has bestowed on you.

24. Life’s labour will soon be over, and life’s warfare too. In due season, we shall die, unless our Lord shall return first. The appointed hour for every one of us is drawing near; what shall we do then? Why, then, beloved, trusting in Jesus, quietness and confidence will still be our strength. We shall not send our friends running to fetch a “priest” to perform some mysterious ceremony over us. Christ is all we need, and since we have him, we can die any day with perfect serenity. I love to see a Christian die a calm serene death. The idea of Bengel, the expositor, the author of “The Gnomon,” concerning death, always strikes me as being very beautiful. He said, “I do not think there ought to be any scene-making about death. We ought so to live, and so to die daily, that, when death comes, it will be only a part of life; — not a flourish of trumpets at the finish, but just a natural closing of the whole scene.” He also said, “I should like to die just as I might retire from this room when, being engaged with company, a message is brought to me saying that I am needed, and I go out quietly, and say nothing about it, and my friends presently discover that I have gone.” That was precisely how he died. Finishing the proof-sheets of the last page that he wrote of his exposition, he was suddenly gone from earth, and present with the Lord whom he loved. Oh blessed way of dying!

25. I have often told you what my dear old grandfather said, not long before he died. My uncle James began quoting to him that hymn by Dr. Watts, —

    Firm as the earth thy gospel stands,
       My Lord, my hope, my trust.

“Ah, James!” he said, “that verse will not do for me now, for the earth is not firm at all. I find it slipping away from beneath my feet; and now that I am about to depart, and to meet my God, I need something firmer than the earth to rest on. Yes, James,” he added, “I like the good old doctor better when he says, —

    Firm as his throne his promise stands,
       And he can well secure
    What I’ve committed to his hands,
       Till the decisive hour.

That is it, James,” he said; “there you have divine sovereignty, and sovereign grace. That kind of doctrine will do to rest your soul on, my son, both in life and in death.” Calmly uttering such words as those, full of restful confidence in the faithful, immutable God he had so long served, he closed his eyes, and went home, like a labouring man does when his day’s work is done, — just as you and I, beloved, will go home soon. I do not know how long we may remain here; some of you may go very soon, and so may I; it does not matter much when we do go as long as we are ready. When I said, the other day, “So-and-so has gone home,” a dear old friend said to me, “Where could he go better?” Ah, just so! where could he go better than go home to his father and his God? Well, I trust that, in those last days, we shall neither fret, nor worry, nor trouble, nor question, nor doubt, nor fear, but that in quietness and confidence shall be our strength. May the Lord grant that it may be so, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Support in Affliction — Sweetness Of Gracious Meditations” 746}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Patience and Resignation — ‘Not As I Will, But As Thou Wilt’ ” 699}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Extra Non-Tabernacle Hymns — To God Be The Glory” 1083}

The Christian, Privileges, Support in Affliction
746 — Sweetness Of Gracious Meditations
1 When languor and disease invade
      This trembling house of clay,
   ‘Tis sweet to look beyond the cage,
      And long to fly away.
2 Sweet to look inward and attend
      The whispers of his love;
   Sweet to look upward to the place
      Where Jesus pleads above.
3 Sweet to look back and see my name
      In life’s fair book set down;
   Sweet to look forward and behold
      Eternal joys my own.
4 Sweet to reflect how grace divine
      My sins on Jesus laid;
   Sweet to remember that his blood
      My debt of sufferings paid.
5 Sweet in his righteousness to stand,
      Which saves from second death;
   Sweet to experience, day by day,
      His Spirit’s quickening breath.
6 Sweet on his faithfulness to rest,
      Whose love can never end;
   Sweet on his covenant of grace,
      For all things to depend.
7 Sweet in the confidence of faith,
      To trust his firm decrees;
   Sweet to lie passive in his hand,
      And know no will but his.
8 Sweet to rejoice in lively hope,
      That, when my change shall come,
   Angels will hover round my bed,
      And waft my spirit home.
9 There shall my disimprison’d soul
      Behold him and adore;
   Be with his likeness satisfied,
      And grieve and sin no more.
10 Shall see him wear that very flesh
      On which my guilt was lain;
   His love intense, his merit fresh,
      As though but newly slain.
11 Soon, too, my slumbering dust shall hear
      The trumpet’s quickening sound;
   And by my Saviour’s power rebuilt
      At his right hand be found.
12 These eyes shall see him in that day,
      The God that died for me;
   And all my rising bones shall say,
      Lord, who is like to thee?
13 If such the sweetness of the stream,
      What must the fountain be,
   Where saints and angels draw their bliss
      Immediately from thee!
                  Augustus M. Toplady, 1780.

The Christian, Patience and Resignation
699 — “Not As I Will, But As Thou Wilt” <, or L.M.>
1 My God and Father! while I stray
   Far from my home, in life’s rough way,
   Oh! teach me from my heart to say,
      “Thy will be done!”
2 If thou shouldest call me to resign
   What most I prize — it ne’er was mine;
   I only yield thee what was thine:
      “Thy will be done!”
3 If but my fainting heart be blest
   With thy sweet Spirit for its guest,
   My God, to thee I leave the rest;
      “Thy will be done!”
4 Renew my will from day to day:
   Blend it with thine, and take away
   All that now makes it hard to say,
      “Thy will be done!”
5 Then when on earth I breathe no more
   The prayer oft mix’d with tears before,
   I’ll sing upon a happier shore,
      “Thy will be done!”
                     Charlotte Elliot, 1834.

Extra Non-Tabernacle Hymns
The Wonderful Story
1. Oh sweet is the story of Jesus,
   The wonderful Saviour of men,
   Who suffered and died for the sinner, —
   I’ll tell it again and again!
   Oh wonderful, wonderful story,
   The dearest that ever was told;
   I’ll repeat it in glory,
   The wonderful story,
   Where I shall his beauty behold.
2. He came from the brightest of glory;
   His blood as a ransom he gave,
   To purchase eternal redemption;
   And, oh he is mighty to save!
3. His mercy flows on like a river;
   His love is unmeasured and free;
   His grace is forever sufficient,
   It reaches and purifies me.
By Chas. H. Gabriel
No. 73, Sacred Songs And Solos
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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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