3100. Homage Offered To The Great King

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No. 3100-54:325. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, By C. H. Spurgeon, At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, July 9, 1908.

And he shall live, and to him shall be given gold of Sheba; prayer also shall be made for him continually; and he shall be praised daily. {Ps 72:15}

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 717, “Pray for Jesus” 708}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3100, “Homage Offered to the Great King” 3101}

   Exposition on Ps 72 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2451, “Blessed in Him” 2452 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ps 72 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3284, “Sequel to Divine Sovereignty, The” 3286 @@ "Exposition"}

1. I believe we must refer the ultimate fulfilment of this prophecy to the times of the latter-day glory, when Jesus Christ shall again appear on the earth. Then “he shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth”; then “those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.” It has been a great question concerning whether Jesus Christ is to come again in person or by his Spirit. Many passages of Scripture seem to point to his actual and personal coming, and, somehow or other, it does delight my soul to anticipate that Christ may yet come to the scene of his former battles, and make it the scene of his future triumphs. I am gladdened to think that the head, once crowned with thorns on earth, may on earth itself wear a crown of glory; and that the feet that were once wearied in his pilgrimage here with the flinty stones of Jerusalem may yet “stand on the Mount of Olives,” while he ushers in “the day of the Lord in the valley of decision”; and that the shoulders which once wore the purple robe in mockery may yet be visibly clothed with the royal attire of universal empire, when “the Lord shall be King over all the earth.” I am somewhat confirmed in this conviction by the words of the text, “And he shall live.” It does strike me that such a prophecy as that would not be necessary concerning Jesus Christ, either as God or man, if it were not that he is to visit the earth again. It is quite certain that, as God, “he shall live”; for God over all, blessed for ever, only has in himself immortality, and it is quite impossible that the Godhead ever should expire; while, as man, Jesus Christ must live; for when the just are raised, they die no more, but have eternal life; and when they ascend up into heaven, as Jesus has done, they have a life that God confers on them, which becomes as immortal as the very life of Deity itself. So that it does appear to me that neither in respect to his manhood or his Godhead, would it have been necessary to say, “He shall live,” unless we are to understand it in the same sense that we should read it if it was written concerning his first coming, — he shall live as the God-man, he shall live on earth as other men do, he shall live here below. And I do think that no exegesis can fully explain the passage unless we interpret it to be his actually living, residing here as very man on the earth once more.

2. Be that as it may, the text, we trust, has a fulfilment in your ears tonight, and has been in a certain way fulfilled ever since the time when it was written, “to him,” to Christ Jesus, there is “given the gold of Sheba” to him prayer is also made, and to him praise continually ascends. Here are three things which are, throughout all time, even until the dawning of eternity, always to be bestowed on Christ. The first is the gift of property, the gold of Sheba; the second is the gift of prayer; and the third is the gift of praise.

3. I. To begin with the first, I shall be allowed here to make some remarks with reference to THE MONETARY MATTERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, because no man on earth will ever suspect me of making any personal allusion either to my own church or congregation, or with regard to myself or any institution connected with this place of worship.

4. In nothing have I found fault with my church and people. Let it go out to Christendom at large that, in their collections and contributions for the cause of God, they stand second to no church beneath the blue sky. I simply have to tell them that such and such a thing is needed for sacred purposes, and out comes their money. It is always bestowed at the time it is required, and, therefore, it cannot be suspected that, in anything I say, there is the least allusion to them, except it is to their honour.

5. It is written that “to him shall be given the gold of Sheba.” I think that this ought to be continually impressed on the minds of all Christians. Since Jesus Christ is the Son of God and their Saviour, and has given himself for them, they are not their own, but are bought with a price; their possessions as well as themselves are the absolute property of their Redeemer; they have, in fact, nothing whatever in their own private right; they have signed over themselves to the Lord Jesus, to have and to hold them through life, and even until death, and for ever and ever. They are not to call their own their purse, their lands, their houses, nor anything that they have; but to give up everything to their Lord. From the moment when he himself comes to them, and unfolds their interest in his covenant, they are henceforth to consider themselves as his servants, as his children, “having nothing, yet possessing all things,” because they have all things in Christ.

6. Were this well considered, my friends, how much greater generosity should we find among Christians, especially in the support of gospel ministers! When God sends an ambassador into the world, wherever he sends him, the people are bound to receive him in some kind of honour and respect. Jehovah himself has said that the mouth of the ox that treads out the grain is by no means to be muzzled; but it is the disgrace of our denomination, as well as of many others, that not a few of the best of God’s servants are toiling weekday after weekday, and Sabbath after Sabbath, on a miserable pittance scarcely sufficient to maintain the family even of a day-labourer. I thought, the other day, when reading Martin Luther’s “Table Talk,” that it was rather too bad for him to say what he did, but since then I have myself felt similar indignation when I have thought this subject over. He said, “If I were God, and the world were to behave so wickedly towards me as it does to him, I would kick it all to pieces.” I thought it was a dreadful thing to say; but I myself have been almost inclined to say that, had I been the everlasting God, and sent ambassadors down from heaven, and had they been treated as they are now, I would have called every one of them back immediately, and would have said, “Is that the way you despise the servants I sent? Will you show them no honour? Will you do them despite as you have always done?” Yes, I thought, I would call them back, revoke their charters, and say, “Henceforth I will send no more ambassadors.” But, beloved, ambassadors are not received by you like this, and they ought not to be anywhere. God’s servants should have what they require, and it should always be said, “Christ lives, and to him — in the person of his ministers, — is always given the gold of Sheba.”

7. It is a terrible thought to me that, although God’s Word says, “Owe no man anything,” yet that the church should be more deeply in debt than any corporation in England. I do not think that the debts of all the people put together would equal the debts of professing Christians, — debts which they have entered into often on account of religion. I would stand firm by the practice of owing no man anything, and if I did not see the means of doing anything for my God, I would wait until I could. “Owe no man anything,” is a Christian principle, and one that we are bound most decidedly and continually to observe. Why should the Churches be in debt? Why should there not be money to send out missionaries abroad? It is just this, — there is not enough of the love of Christ in the church, and there is not enough of Christ-preaching; otherwise, there would be more of Christian giving. Where Christ is exalted, there will be a willing, generous people. I do not believe it is so much the fault of Christians that they have not given more to the cause of God, as it has been the fault of ministers that they have not more fully preached Jesus Christ. They have not extolled his name, but have kept back his doctrines, and put them in the background. This is why God has allowed his Church to become poor, and allowed her funds to dwindle down. And it serves her right; for if she does not love her Husband, she ought to be poor; and if she does not extol Jesus, there ought to be no funds. But can you find a Christ-exalting people, among whom the gospel is preached in all its fulness, whose needs God does not supply? There may indeed be some cases where it is so, when God tests them for their good. But I believe, as a rule, that once let our pulpits have the clear gospel sound in them; once let the good old doctrines of the Puritans come out; once let the gospel be preached in all its fulness, none of your shams, for we have an abundance of them, but the blessed gospel of Christ; once let this fidelity prevail, and God will provide the funds, God will open the hearts of the people to pour the money into your coffers. The silver and the gold are his, and the cattle on a thousand hills, and it is the fault of the Church herself that she has become poor. When God restores to her the language of Canaan, when Christ is exalted in his people’s hearts, and they can hear the sweet and savoury notes of Jesus Christ preached, then they will say, “Can we refuse to do anything for such a gospel as this?” Half-hearted preachers create half-hearted professors; a lukewarm gospel has made people’s hearts lukewarm. We must have a reform, — a lasting reform by the help of God’s Spirit; otherwise, who knows where this bankruptcy of Christendom shall end? And who can tell what shall eventually become of the Church? Once let Jesus be preached thoroughly, here, there, and everywhere, and then “to him shall be given the gold of Sheba,” and as much as ever his Church shall require shall be continually offered as a willing tribute.

8. So much then about money I have felt constrained to say, for I believe that many of my brethren are half-ashamed to speak out about the temporal claims of religion. For myself, I always deem it one of the noblest things we can do to give to the cause of God. Everyone knows what value we attach even to some little flower given by the hand of a friend, and God loves the little gifts of his people. As one of our old divines says, “It is not the value of the gift so much as the intention of the giver that is prized. For we should keep an old cracked sixpence if given to us by a friend; not because we think much of the sixpence, — that, perhaps, we would scarcely have stooped to pick up, — but because a friend has given it to us, and for his sake we never spend it or give it away.” So the littles that we give to God are of great esteem in his sight. Every little gift we give to him is remembered; and at last he will take us and say, “My child, on such and such a day you gave me this.” “Why, Lord, I scarcely thought of it! I found such a cause requiring help, and I assisted it.” “Ah, my child! there is your gift; I have stored it up here to show you when you came to me. Have I forgotten your little acts of affection? No; I have stored them up in the cabinet of my memory; they are tokens of your love to me, even as you have had countless tokens of my love to you.” But what a few memorials of your love some of you will have to look at when you get there! You only give a trifle now and then; that is all. May God grant that you may have the heart to give to Jesus “the gold of Sheba” in far greater abundance!

9. II. Then comes the second offering. The gold first, and THE PRAYER afterwards; not because the gold is the more valuable; but because, in some respects, gold when it is given with a true heart is the better test.

10. “Prayer also shall be made for him continually.” Notice those words again, “Prayer also shall be made for him.” Now we all know that prayer is continually made to Jesus Christ. We are accustomed to address the Second Person of the Trinity as God in the form of prayer, and more frequently prayer is made through him, when we address the First Person of the united Godhead through the mediation of the Son. But the psalmist says, “Prayer also shall be made for him.” We can understand how Jesus Christ should pray for us; but, at first, it does seem to stagger us that we should be allowed to pray for him. That he should be our Intercessor, that he should bend his knee on our behalf, and point to our names inscribed on his breast-plate, is a truth so frequently mentioned in Scripture that we receive it unhesitatingly; but for us to become intercessors for Christ, to bind the breast-plate on our breast, to wave the censer on his behalf, to plead for him, and pray for him, and beg for him, — this does somewhat astonish us. And yet our surprise is due rather to the expression than the fact, for it is a thing we are doing every day. Prayer is made for Christ continually.

11. Let me tell you that you virtually pray for Christ, beloved, whenever you pray for one of his people. Will you understand me if I say that Jesus Christ has gone through a great many editions? Every one of the Lord’s people is only another copy of their blessed Master. They are, as it were, particles of Christ beaten out into humanity again, pieces of that mighty wedge of gold beaten out into plate afterwards. They are partakers of Christ’s nature, they are part of his fulness; and whenever we do a kindness to one of them we do it to him; whenever we pray for one of his servants, we pray for Christ. You prayed for that poor miserable-looking penitent who was afraid to call himself a Christian, though he was so in deed and in truth. Do you know that you then prayed for Christ? You interceded for that simple-minded woman who did not know the way to heaven, and who asked you to raise a prayer to God so that she might be taught. Do you know that you then prayed for Christ, for she was part of his flesh and blood, and was afterwards brought into his family? Do you know that, whenever you raise a petition, even for the weakest and most despised of his little ones, you are praying for him? What a physician does to the remotest member of my body, is done to the entire body; whatever is done to any part of my flesh is done to me; and when we pray for Christ’s people, the members of his body, we are really praying for Christ.

12. We pray for Christ, also, when we pray for the spread of the gospel, and for the increase of his kingdom. When we implore God, at our missionary prayer meetings, that all his mighty promises may be fulfilled, — that the people may fall under him as willing captives, — that the idols may be hurled from their thrones, — that the Mother of prostitutes and abominations may receive her sudden doom, and the merchandise of her seven-hilled city cease for ever, — that Mohammedanism and all false superstitions may be overturned, — when we pray in the simple words which our Saviour taught us, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven,” — then we are praying for Christ in full sympathy with all saints, by whom prayer is made for him continually. And, best of all, when we bend our knees, and cry out for his second coming, — when we implore him to cleave the skies, and come to judgment, — or when, with other and more literal expectations, we ask him to come and reign on the earth, and make his people kings and princes to him, — when we ask the Ancient of days to come and reign on earth with his ancients gloriously, then we are praying for Christ.

13. We ought to do so. Remember, oh Christian! in your prayers, whatever you forget, always to pray for your Redeemer. It is your privilege to have your name written on the list of those for whom he pleads, and it is your honour to be allowed to plead for him. Stop for a moment — a worm pleading for God! The finite asking a blessing on the head of the Infinite! Less than nothing begging that the Eternal All may be blessed! Oh! if it were not told to you in Scripture, it would be blasphemy to attempt it. You may pray to him with the most dread and solemn awe; and you may prostrate yourself at his feet; but to pray for him, to beg on his behalf, how amazing this seems! For Jesus to take your petition to his Father gives a glory and a dignity to your very poorest prayer; but for you to turn petitioner to the King of kings on behalf of his own Son, — do you not admire the condescension that permits that? I think I see you coming, poor, weak, helpless one, and God says, “For whom do you plead?” You say, “I plead for Jesus.” “What, you! a poor beggar? What, you! full of sin, littleness, nothingness, — do you plead for my eternal Son? Are you making supplication for him?” Do you not, yourself, think it amazing that you should be allowed to ask for a blessing on his head? Indeed, then never slight this privilege; never forget it; but with your prayers continually mention his name.

14. III. Now comes the last point, and here we must be somewhat longer, for we shall have, we hope, more thoughts: “Daily he shall be PRAISED.” Jesus is not only continually to have gold and prayer, but he is to have praise daily ascribed to him. Let me go over the list of things which prove that Jesus Christ shall be praised daily.

15. First, I think, Jesus shall be praised daily as long as there is a Christian ministry. There have been professed ministers who have never exalted Christ at all; there have been some who took upon themselves the office for a morsel of bread, not being called to it; but has there ever been a time when there have not been faithful men of God? Has there ever been a time when God has not sent his prophets throughout the land to speak in living words, from burning hearts and fervid souls, the very Word of God? No; and there never shall be. If God should now put out those lights that shine in London or elsewhere, — if he were now to say to the churches, “Your lampstands shall be removed out of their places, I will take those ministers away,” by tomorrow he would send others. And if the enemy should come and cut off the heads of all those who now speak God’s Word, would that be able to stop the perpetual thunders of the gospel? No; for tomorrow God would find men who would rise up, and even in the palaces of kings would even dare to speak the name of God. Men have thought they could put down the gospel. They have used the rack, and brought out the stake; but what have they accomplished? They have only spread it more. All they have ever done to stop that mighty stream, and dam it up, has failed. It has held it back for a little while until, with overwhelming might, the stream has swept away the rock, dashed down the hill-side, and carried everything before it. They have attempted to amalgamate the gospel with free will, carnal reason, natural philosophy, and such-like doctrines of men, which would, if it were possible, frustrate the counsels of God; they have spoken badly of the gospel; they have given harsh names to those who preach it; but have they been able to stop it, or shall they? No, never, while there is a God, he shall have his Calvins and his Luthers, he shall have his Gills and his Scotts, he shall have his devoted servants who are not ashamed or afraid of the gospel of Christ. There never shall come a day when the Church shall be bereft of mighty champions for the truth, who do not shun to declare the whole counsel of God; but continually, to the latest period of time, men shall be raised up to preach free grace in all its sovereignty, in all its omnipotence, in all its perseverance, in all its immutability. Until the sun grows dim with age, and the planets cease their mighty revolutions, — until all nature quakes and totters with old age, and, palsied with disease, dies away, the voice of the ministry must and shall be heard, “and daily he shall be praised.” Men cannot put out the light of Christianity. The pulpit is still the Thermopylae {a} of Christendom; and if there were only two godly ministers, they would stand in the pass, and repulse a thousand, yes, ten thousand. All the hosts of mankind shall never vanquish the feeble band of Christ’s followers, while he sends out his ministers. On this we rely as a sure word of prophecy, “Your teachers shall not be removed into a corner any more”; and we believe that, by this ministry, Christ shall be praised daily.

16. But suppose the pulpit were to fail, we still have other means by which Jesus Christ’s name should still be praised. The ordinances that he has instituted will always continue to perpetuate his praise. There are two scriptural ordinances, in both of which Jesus Christ is very much praised. There is, first, that holy ordinance of believers’ baptism, in which Jesus Christ is much honoured, for it has a special relationship to him. “Do you not know, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” When you descend into the pool at baptism, you hear these sacred words pronounced, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”; and you are especially reminded there that, unless you have believed in Jesus with all your heart, you have no right to this sacred affirmation of fellowship with Christ, but are sinning against God in doing so. The Scriptures have taught us that whoever dares to administer that ordinance to any except those who believe with their heart, and profess with their mouth, dares to touch with sacrilegious hands God’s own institution, and is guilty of breaking down the hedges of the Church, and throwing open to the world what was only intended for the Lord’s own family. We solemnly admonish you to have an eye to Jesus Christ in that blessed ordinance; we tell you, before you come, to examine yourselves whether you are in the faith; and when you are there, we remind you that afterwards you are bound to live for Christ; you have now crossed the Rubicon {b} of life; you have now come to the other side of the flood that separates the world from the Church; you have now, as it were, taken the veil, and renounced the world; you are dead with Christ, you have been buried with him by baptism into death. By that very ordinance you honour the name of the Saviour; and while that ordinance lasts, Jesus Christ shall be praised. Nor less at the blessed supper of the Lord shall the name of Jesus be praised. I think the moments we are nearest to heaven are those we spend at the Lord’s table. I have sometimes looked into your faces, my brothers and sisters, at the Lord’s table; and if anyone wanted to see men’s faces when they looked as if angels themselves were smiling in their eyes, such have your faces been when I have broken the bread, and the wine has been passed to you. When those morsels have passed our lips, simple as the sign was, — and when we have drunk the wine, simple and unceremonious as the whole affair was, what a sweet and holy influence it has had on our hearts, and how we felt that we could praise God! I have thought, sometimes, that I could almost have leaped from the table, and have said, “Oh! let us praise the glorious Redeemer.” When we have seen him on the cross, and beheld him as our Substitute, we have felt our hearts were burning hot, that they could scarcely be held within our bodies, and we wanted everyone to stand up and sing, — 

   All hail the power of Jesus’ name!

      Let angels prostrate fall:

   Bring forth the royal diadem,

      And crown him Lord of all.

Even if the pulpit is gone, these two ordinances still remain in each of which Jesus Christ “shall be praised.”

17. But suppose that these were to cease; suppose it was possible that we could not meet together in our public assemblies to celebrate these sweet memorials, or to hear the Word of God; yet there is another opportunity for praising God, — there is the family of Christians; and while there is a family on earth where Christ’s name is named, it shall be daily praised. I trust there is no Christian man or woman here who has a house without a family altar. If I came into your house, and heard that you had no fire-place in the winter-time, I should certainly advise you to build one; and if I heard that any of you did not have a family altar, I should say, “Go home and lay the first brick tonight: it will be a good thing if you do so, I am sure.” We had some beautiful examples, last night, at our church meeting, of young people, who, even though their parents were not godly, boldly started family prayer in the house; and we heard, in many cases, that the parents felt that they had no objection, and never wished to have it stopped. After they have once had the incense smoking in their house, they do not want to have it put out. My brothers and sisters, I cannot figure out how you Christians live who do not have family prayer in your houses. When I step into a Christian’s house in the morning, and we have a passage of Scripture, and a little prayer to God, it seems to put the heart and mouth into play for the whole day; there is nothing like it. And when we sit and talk about what Jesus said and did, and suffered for us here below, as old Dyer says, it is like locking the heart up by prayer in the morning, and bolting the devil out. We cannot get on half so well when we have not had that prayer in the morning. And, then, how do you get through at night? I do not understand at all how you professing Christians can get through the day without prayer, and have no family prayer at night. I should feel like the good man, who stayed at an inn, and when he heard there was no family prayer, said, “Get my horses out! I cannot stay in a house where there is no family prayer.” It seems to me terrible that you should go on without prayer, that there should be no morning and evening sacrifice. I cannot figure out how you live without it. I could not. I cannot understand how your piety lives on, nor what it feeds on. I think, wherever there is a Christian family, there should be daily praise in it. And notice this, and solemnly hear me tonight, — and I do not speak unadvisedly with my lips, — you will find that, where sons and daughters have turned out to be a curse to their parents, when they have been a shame and disgrace to their parents, and those parents have been Christians, it might have been attributed to this; that while the parents have been Christians, they were not Christians at home; they did not have family prayer, they never had a family altar. I believe nine out of ten of such cases can be explained in that way without in the least mentioning the text, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

18. Well, supposing we had no family prayer, suppose we had no ordinances in the house, and the altar did not smoke there; yet Jesus Christ should be praised daily, for still there would be our own hearts, and we could praise Christ there. If they put us in prison, and we could not speak to each other, we could still praise him; or if our tongues were dumb, there is a language of the heart which can be heard in heaven. With stammering words, or with actions which speak louder than words, our hearts shall always praise him. Beloved brothers and sisters, do you think you will ever be finished praising Christ as long as you are alive? I knew a woman who said to me, “Sir, if Jesus Christ does save me, he shall never hear the end of it.” I thought it was a good saying. And shall he ever hear the end of it from you, beloved? The end of it! Never! When we lie dying, the last word we give him on earth shall be praise, and the first word we begin in heaven shall be full of praise; and while eternity lasts, and immortality endures, we will ascribe praise, honour, and blessing to him for ever. Can we who are pardoned rebels, liberated slaves, can we whose souls are quickened from the dead by his Spirit, whose sins are washed away by his precious blood, can we ever cease to praise him? Indeed; surely the very stones would speak if our lips were silent, or our hearts refused to pay him grateful homage. Daily, daily, daily, “Daily shall he be praised.”

   I’ll praise him while he lends me breath,

   And when my voice is lost in death,

      Praise shall employ my nobler powers;

   My days of praise shall ne’er be past,

   While life, and thought, and being last,

      Or immortality endures.

19. But, then, supposing the innumerable company of his redeemed could perish, and their immortality were swallowed up in death, yet even then, Christ would be praised daily! If all of us had departed from the boundless sphere of being, look up there, see the mighty cohorts of cherubs and seraphs. Let men be gone, and they shall praise him; let the troops of the gloried cease their notes, and let no sweet melodies ever come from the lips of sainted men and women; yet the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels, who always chant his praise. There is an orchestra on high, the music of which shall never cease, even were mortals extinct and all the human race swept out of existence.

   Immortal angels, bright and fair,

      In countless armies shine!

   At his right hand, with golden harps,

      They offer songs divine.

20. Again, if angels were departed, he would still be praised daily; for, are there not worlds on worlds, and systems on systems, that could sing his praise for ever? Yes! The ocean — that place of storms — would beat to his glory; the winds would swell the notes of his praise with their ceaseless gales; the thunders would roll like drums in the march of the God of armies; the illimitable void of ether would become vocal with song; and space itself would burst out into one universal chorus, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigns!” And if these were gone; if creatures ceased to exist, he who lives for ever and reigns, in whom all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, would still be praised; praised in himself, and glorious in himself; for the Father would praise the Son, and the Spirit would praise him, and mutually blessing each other, and rendering each other beatified, he would still be praised daily.

21. Now, dear friends, I am conscious that I have not been able to enter into this mighty subject; but here are three things which we, as Christians, are bound to give to Christ, — the gold of Sheba, our prayers, and our praises. It is for us just to see what we have given to him. I wish we could keep a little book to see what our gifts to Jesus Christ come to in a year. I am afraid, dearly beloved, that with some of you it would be a very miserable amount. I would lend you a small piece of paper out of my waistcoat pocket to write it down on, and that would be large enough. But it is not so with some of you, I know. You often pray for Christ, you often praise him, and you are often ready to give him “the gold of Sheba.” That is good; but let me tell you this one thing, none of you ever need to be afraid of praising Jesus Christ too much. We do sometimes praise men too much, we say so much in their favour, so much in their praise; and then, afterwards, we find out they never deserved it. But I will be bondsman for my blessed Master tonight that you will never praise him more than he deserves. If you like to speak of him in the most unmeasured phrases, if you borrow all the tongues of men and angels, and talk about him for ever; if you praise him, and call him God; if you call him the most perfect of men, if you call him the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, you will never say too much about him.

22. So, Christian, begin to praise Jesus Christ now. You need not be afraid that you will be too extravagant in the praise you bestow on him; for when your hair begins to be white with the sunlight of heaven gleaming on it, you will find that you never said enough about him. Let the hoary-headed patriarch speak. Now he comes near his end; he totters and stoops, and lifts his eye to heaven, and says, “Praise Christ too much! I thought him lovely when I first knew him; I knew him to be lovely a little afterwards, when he helped me along, and I lived to prove that he was most lovely; but now I have gotten further still, and I can say, ‘He is altogether lovely, and there is no one to be compared with him.’ I thought at first that each sweet mercy demanded a new song, and I did sometimes feel a glow of devotion to him; I then thought I must praise him more, and dedicate myself more to his service; and now,” he says, “I could give my body to be burned for Jesus, I feel that he deserves it. His love in times past, his many helpings, his continual unchangeableness, render me devoted to him for ever.” And, like the servant of whom we spoke on Monday night, the old Christian feels that he is ready to have his ear bored to the door-post for ever: he never wants to go away now. I have said this because many people nowadays say, “Ah! So-and-so is young; he will be sobered down eventually.” I am sure, beloved, it is a great pity if he would be. There are very few people in the present day who require much sobering with regard to religion. There is not so much fear of religious enthusiasm as there is of religious torpor and sleep. I should like to see a few enthusiastic Christians: “not drunk with wine, in which is excess, — but filled with the Spirit.” But what do men say? Why, “the man has no moderation: he is mad.” A person, passing by here the other day, said to another, “Do you know who preaches there?” “No, I do not.” “Why, everyone knows that fellow; everyone goes to hear him; but, you know, he is rather touched in the brain.” “Yes,” said a friend of mine, “and I will tell you another little thing, by way of a secret: he is rather touched in the heart, too; and that is even better.” Well, beloved, we do not mind what they say about our being “touched in the brain”; we believe it is good to be “touched in the heart” too! We may be mad, but it is a sweet madness, it is a blessed delusion, it is a most excellent “touch.” And we only pray that the Master may touch us all. “Touched in the brain!” Ah! we have precious need to be in these days, for the brains are wrong enough originally. “Touched in the brain!” Most decidedly we require it, for most men’s brains are very far from what they should be. “Touched in the brain!” May God “touch” every man’s brain, and every man’s heart! And the more we are touched by God, whether it is touched in the brain, or touched in the hand, or touched in the purse, or touched anywhere, it is always good as long as we are touched by God.

23. You know it was objected against David that he must not go and fight Goliath, because his brother said he had come to see the battle in the pride of his heart. He did not stop to give an answer. The best answer he could give was to go and cut Goliath’s head off, and bring it back in triumph. So, many of you, who are young in years, and full of zeal, are advised not to do this and that and the other. Do not care what they say. Go out, in the name of your God, and you shall do exploits. If the great and trained veterans are afraid of the battle, then raw and inexperienced recruits must stand in the forefront. While it is written, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have ordained strength,” let it be known and proclaimed, let it be thundered out from the skies, and let earth re-echo the sound, that Christ must and shall be praised. If one class of ministers will not do it, another shall; what the learned will not do, the ignorant must; what the polite and refined cannot do, the rough and untutored must; for, truly, it must and shall be done. If those who stand up with all their boasted prestige among men cannot exalt Christ, he will raise up humble but devoted followers, and by the weak things of the world confound the mighty. Of old he raised up a shepherd to be a king, a herdsman to be a prophet, and a fisherman to be an apostle. Those who dishonour him shall be lightly esteemed; but those who honour him he will honour. Go, Christian, and exalt Christ. Love him, and exalt him. Love your Master, talk about your Master, preach about your Master; and, by the help of the Spirit, you shall yet come off more glorious than your foes, if not here, yet in that day “when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all those who believe.”

{a} Thermopylae: The name of a narrow pass on the north-east coast of Greece between Thessaly and Locris, the scene of a battle in 480 B.C. in which a small Greek force temporarily withheld a Persian invasion; used transf. and fig. with reference to heroic resistance against strong opposition. OED.
{b} Rubicon: The ancient name of a small stream on the east coast of northern Italy, forming part of the southern boundary of Cisalpine Gaul; the crossing of it by Caesar marked the beginning of the war with Pompey. To cross or pass the Rubicon, to take a decisive or final step, esp. at the outset of some undertaking or enterprise. OED.

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