No one precept contains all of a believers duty; but usually in Scripture, the precepts rise one above the other, like those stone steps by which the traveller in Egypt ascends to the pinnacle of the
A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, January 12, 1862, By Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. (1Pe 5:7)
1. No one precept contains all of a believers duty; but usually in Scripture, the precepts rise one above the other, like those stone steps by which the traveller in Egypt ascends to the pinnacle of the pyramid. You must first plant your feet firmly upon the preceding duty, before you shall be able fully to climb to the next command. Let me, then, call your attention to the precept which precedes my text: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time.” You know, beloved, that there are some selfish, carnal cares which we must not cast upon God; it would be an insult to him; it would be an act of infamy on our part if we should venture to ask for his assistance in them. Those are cares which would never molest us at all if we were obedient to the precept: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God.” This cuts off the head at once of many of those anxieties into which Christians sometimes fall. For instance, covetous cares—if I desire to get and grasp more than is absolutely necessary, so that I may hastily grow rich, I cannot on my knees ask God to carry this care for me, because he has not sent it. He has taught me to say, “Give us today our daily bread,” and he has given me a blessed example in Agur, so that I may pray, “Give me neither poverty nor riches;” but I cannot go on my knees before God, honestly, as a miser, and ask that he would enable me to add house to house, and field to field. But then, I never ought to indulge that care, and I never should endure it if I attended to the precept, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God.” There is, also, the care of ambition, when men desire to attain honours, eminence, and fame; to stand foremost, to be exalted upon the pinnacle, to be looked up to by all, and to be almost adored by some. But if we allow ambition to creep into our minds, we cannot go to God with it. It is a care which we dare not cast on God, for that would be to empty the filth of our house upon the altar of God’s sanctuary. But then, I say, it is a care which would never fret us, if our souls were lowly before the Lord.
2. There are those cares too, which we make for ourselves—those anxieties which anticipate the future—those foolish fears which are only created in our brain, and which vex the head, and then fret the heart—we cannot ask God to take those upon himself; cares which have no existence except in our own imagination, we can scarcely cast on God. But then, beloved, we would never have them if we “humbled ourselves under the mighty hand of God.” Then, in such a state of subjection to the divine will, and of resignation to the eternal purpose, our soul would be quiet and still, and our spirit would not agitate itself with frivolities which it has itself imagined, with fancies which have no origin except in its own imagination. Oh that you may have grace to obey the preceding command, and then I think, without any limitation, I may address you in the words of the text: “Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” I repeat, we cannot cast sinful cares on God; but then, obeying the precept, “Humble yourselves,” would uproot such vexations. He who is down, need fear no fall. He whose soul is even as a weaned child will fret and cry no more.
3. In addressing you this morning from so rich a text as this, I would rather pray that the Holy Spirit may deliver you from carefulness, than attempt to deliver you from it myself, for I am not even able to obey this precept myself, much less shall I enable you to do it. Only when the Spirit of God is upon the preacher can he cast his cares upon his God, and he is convinced by experience, that only as the Holy Spirit shall enable you, will you be able to do the same. However, so that our word may be the means of your comfort and of your strengthening, let us speak on this wise. First, for a few minutes, let us expound this disease of care, giving some description of it; secondly, let us reveal the blessed remedy of the text, endeavouring in God’s name, to apply it; and lastly, let us proclaim the sweet inducement of the second part of the sentence, in order that believers may be led to attempt the practising of the precept, “He cares for you.”
4. I. First, then, LET US ENDEAVOUR TO DESCRIBE THE DISEASE OF CARE.
5. The care mentioned in the text, even though it is exercised upon legitimate objects, (and in this it differs from the cares of which I spoke just now, which were cares concerning wrong objects;) care even when exercised upon legitimate objects if carried to excess, has in itself the nature of sin. This will be clear if you think for a moment that anything which is a transgression of God’s command is sin, and if there was no other command, the one in our text would involve us in iniquity if broken. But it is a precept earnestly repeated by our Saviour many times, it is one which the apostles have reiterated again and again, and one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression. Besides, the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting of ourselves into his place, to do for him what we dream he either cannot or will not do; we attempt to think of what we fancy he will forget; or we labour to take upon ourselves that burden which he either is not able or willing to carry for us. Now, this impertinence, this presumption, what if I say, this audacity, has in it the very nature of sin, to attempt to know better than God, to snatch from his hand the helm by which he guides affairs, to attempt to correct his charts, to remap his providence, this indeed is such an impertinence that as the guardian Scripture pushes back the intruder, it demands of him, “Are you also one of the King’s counsel? What are you doing here? He took no counsel with you when he made the heavens and the earth and balanced the clouds, and stretched out the skies like a tent to dwell in, how dare you come here and offer your advice to perfect wisdom, and aid to omnipotent strength?” There is in anxious care the very nature of sin.
6. But, further, these anxious cares very frequently lead to other sins, sometimes to overt acts of transgression. The tradesman who is not able to leave his business with God, may be tempted to indulge in the tricks of trade; indeed, he may not only be tempted, but he may be prevailed upon to put out an unholy hand with which to help himself. The professional or literary man, if he has no firm trust in providence, may lend his skill to indirect and unlawful ends; and each man if he have no other snare, will be tried with this—to forsake prayer and to forget the promise in order to trust in the wisdom of a friend, or in the natural sagacity of some mentor in whom he puts confidence. Now, this is forsaking the fountain to go to the broken cisterns, a crime which was laid against Israel of old, a wrath provoking iniquity. Even if it led to no other act except this sin of preferring the counsel of man to the direction of God, excessive anxiety would be reprobated and detested. But think, my brethren, of the many sins which our anxieties engender in our hearts. Our unbelief which makes us doubt our God, our lack of love which is proven by our distrust of love, our lack of hope which puts out our eyes so that we cannot see the clear shining after the rain. Think, my brethren, how we fret and mistrust and thus vex the Spirit of God, and often cause him to depart from us, so that our prayers are hindered, so that our example is marred, so that we give ourselves rather to self-seeking than to seeking God. All these things are sins, the grapes of Gomorrha which grow on the vines of our cares. These base born cares are the plentiful mothers of transgressions. Distrust is the egg out of which many a mischief is hatched; we indulge in these cares and think surely we are doing no wrong, whereas the indulgence in them is in itself a crime, and is also a tempter which guides us onward to the commission of other iniquities, for the man who is full of care is ripe for any sin, but he who has cast his care on God stands securely, neither shall the evil one be able to touch him.
7. Let us proceed further in uncovering this disease. As it is in itself sin, and the mother of sin, we note again that it brings misery, for where sin is, sorrow shall soon follow. He who would have his spirit bowed down even to the very earth, has only to fix his thoughts upon himself and his circumstances, instead of looking to God and his promises. Some of you are placed in a very happy position in life, but my dear brethren, you can make yourselves miserable if you please. Others of you are put in what the world considers unhappy circumstances, but if God enables you, you can be supremely blessed. Poverty does not necessarily involve sorrow, nor do riches by themselves bring peace or happiness. If any of you wish for misery you need not go out of your own house, there is no need to travel far for causes for discontent; you can be indulged with plenty and be poor; you can dwell in the midst of peace and be disturbed; you can possess the richest prosperity and still be afflicted. We, to a very great extent make our own position. God ordains providence, and either grace makes us happy, or sin racks us with pain. God does not make our misery; the cause of our trouble lies at our own door, not at his. Do you see that Christian there with the sparkling eye, and the light footstep, the man who is swift to run upon his Master’s errands? That man has many troubles, but when he wakes up in the morning if he retains remembrance of them, he bows his head and leaves them with his God: he goes home, and the day has had much of sorrow in it, but he shakes the weight from his own shoulder and leaves his burden upon God. That man, with all his troubles, is more blessed than that professor, who has very little to vex him except that he vexes himself, by making every little thing a ground for fretfulness, magnifying every small thing into a strange calamity, and by losing all patience, when all things do not suit his proud will and dainty taste. Oh brethren! it is a bad thing for Christians to be sad. Let them rejoice, “Rejoice in the Lord always,” but they never can as long as they indulge in anxious cares.
8. Besides this, these anxious cares do not only lead us into sin, and destroy our peace of mind, but they also weaken us for usefulness. When one has left all his cares at home, how well he can work for his Master, but when those cares tease us in the pulpit, it is hard preaching the gospel. When cares buzz in the ear, the music of grace is hard to hear. What would you say of your workman who should come to you in the morning with a heavy piece of family furniture upon his back. He calls himself your porter, he is about to carry your goods, and you see him going out of the door with your load, which is properly proportioned to his strength, but besides that he is carrying a heavy piece of his own upon his shoulders. You say to him, “My good man, what are you doing there?” “Oh sir, I am only loaded with household stuff.” I think you would say, “Well, but you are not fit to do my work which you are engaged to do. I do not employ you to carry your own load, I had you here to carry mine.” “But sir,” he says, “I am so weak, I cannot carry both.” “Then leave yours alone,” you say, “and carry mine.” Or to use another simile. There was a great king who once employed a merchant in his service as an ambassador to foreign courts. Now the merchant before he went away, said to the king, “My own business requires all my care, and though I am always willing to be your majesty’s servant, yet if I attend to your business as I ought, I am sure my own will be ruined.” “Well,” said the king, “you take care of my business, and I will take care of yours. Use your best endeavours, and I will answer for it that you shall be none the worse for the zeal which you take from yourself to give to me.” And so our God says to us, as his servants, “Do my work, and I will do yours. Serve me and I will serve you.” Like Peter,—Peter is fishing, Christ needs a pulpit to preach in. He borrows Peter’s boat, and preaches in it; well what about Peter’s fishing? Oh the Master will take care of that, for no sooner is the sermon done than he says, “Launch into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught,” and Peter gets more in ten minutes through having lent his boat to his Master, than he might have done in ten weeks, if he had been fishing on his own account. Leave your cares with God, and care for him,
Make you his service your delight,
Your wants shall be his care.
9. The subject would not be complete if I did not add that these carking cares, of whose guilt perhaps we think so little, do very great damage to our blessed and holy cause. Your sad and miserable countenances hinder souls who are anxious, and they present a ready excuse for souls who are careless. “Look,” they say, “look, that man is a Christian man, all the winters of a century have left their snow drifts on his forehead, and all the winds of ages seem to have ruffled his brow, he has no peace, no joy;—Who would be a Christian to be so miserable?” Thus the careless man he says will not have hell here, he will leave that for the future, while even anxious spirits say, “It cannot be that this religion is true, for if it were really true one would think it would be able to support its followers in the troubles of life. If God’s Word is true that God will sustain his people, then Christians would be sustained, and believers would be cheered and comforted; but I see that they are just as fretful as other men, just as impatient as they are, and that So-and-so, who makes a profession, is quite as weak, quite as easily bowed before the storm as that man who has no God in whom to trust, and no promises on which to lean.” Ah! let it not be said about you, oh Christian; do not open the enemy’s mouth to blaspheme; do not let the dragon find food through you who are of the seed of the woman, but rather try, casting your care on God, to disentangle yourself of all personal hindrances so that you may be avenged upon your Master’s adversaries as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. I close the description of this matter by saying that in the most frightful manner cares have brought many to the poisoned cup, the noose, and the knife, and hundreds to the madhouse. What makes the constant increase of our lunatic asylums; why is it that in almost every county in England new asylums have to be erected, wing after wing being added to these buildings in which the imbecile and the raving are confined? It is because we will carry what we have no business to carry—our own cares, and until there shall be a general keeping of the day of rest throughout England, and until there shall be a more general resting of our souls and all we have upon God, we must expect to hear of increasing suicides and increasing lunacies. As long as the present system of competition in business shall continue—and there seems no hope that it will ever cease, for rather the signs of the times forbode that the battle will grow sterner every day—it will become a more stern duty with each of us to cast our care on God, unless we would see reason reel, and would be howling maniacs in our cells. Oh, for your own sake and for your children’s sake, for Christ’s sake and for his Church’s sake, I beseech you do not spoil the fair house which God has built, do not cast out the lovely tenant, do not leave the temple of the Lord to be the prison house of madness. Away with evil cares if you wish to still be a man.
10. II. I shall now want your attention for the second part of the subject, THE BLESSED REMEDY TO BE APPLIED.
11. Someone must carry these cares. If I cannot do it myself, can I find anyone who will? My Father who is in heaven stands waiting to be my burden bearer. With broad shoulders, with omnipotence as his strength, he says, “My child, roll your burden upon your God.” Blessed privilege, dare I neglect it; can I be wicked enough to reject it and to bear my cares myself? Here is the blessed remedy, “Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you.”
12. Now in order to apply this remedy rather than to describe it, by the help of God’s Holy Spirit I will mention some of those fears, those cares which are legitimate enough in their objects, but which can only be relieved by leaving them with God. One of the first and most natural cares with which we are vexed is the care for daily bread. “I should be content” one says “with food and clothing; if I can only provide things honestly in the sight of all men, and see my family cared for, I shall then be happy.” “But” one says, “what shall I eat, what shall I drink, how shall I be clothed? without a job, having therefore no opportunity to earn my livelihood; without wealth, having therefore nothing to look upon by which I may be supported without labour; without friend or patron who might give me his generous assistance; what shall I do?” You are a Christian are you; you must use all diligence, that is your duty: but oh, if God shall help you, mingle no fretfulness with the diligence, no impatience with your suffering, and no distrust with your trials. No, remember what Jesus has said so sweetly to the point, “See the birds of the air: for they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they are? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take you thought for clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, neither do they spin: and yet I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Why, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, oh you of little faith? Therefore, take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, How shall we be clothed? (for after all these things the Gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Such a care as that I say is natural enough, and to bid a man to shake it off when he is in actual need is cruelly absurd, unless you have a sure consolation to offer him; but you can say, “Cast your trial upon God.” Use your most earnest endeavours, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God; if you cannot do one thing do another; if you cannot earn your bread as a gentleman, earn it as a poor man; if you cannot earn it by the sweat of your brains, do it by the sweat of your brow; do something for an honest living; sweep a crossing if you cannot do anything else, for if a man will not work neither let him eat; but having brought yourself to that, if still every door is shut, “Trust in the Lord and do good, so you shall dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.”
13. Business men, you do not worry about the necessaries of life, but are often tormented with the anxieties of large transactions and extended commerce. The failures of others, frequent bad debts, changes in the markets, monetary pressures, and sudden panics, cause a world of trouble. Through our fashion of credit in this age, it is very hard for a Christian to conduct business in the sober substantial fashion which a tender conscience would prefer. “Owe no man anything,”—if that could be interwoven into the system of trade, it would doubtlessly cure ten thousand ills which now grow out of that credit system, which seems to be unavoidable, but which I am sure involves many of the crimes which are committed, and very much of the care which racks business men. Well, through the present high pressure system of trade there is naturally much care. If any man here can say that he can go into his office having many in his employ, and never at all have care, I should think he must be a rare bird in the world, surely he might walk until he dropped with weariness before he would meet with another of the same genus. But if there is a brother here who has a business so extensive that he does not sleep at night, that he lies there tossing on his bed, thinking about this employee who may have robbed him, or about that vessel that is out at sea, or about the low prices of a certain commodity which has gone down since he ordered in a large quantity, and all those little things which all of you know—then I say, “Brother, hold hard here, what are you doing? What are you doing? Are you sure that in this you have used your best prudence and wisdom, and your best industry, and given it your best attention?” “Yes.” Well then, what more have you to do? Suppose you like to weep all night, will that keep your ship from going on the Goodwin sands? Suppose you could cry your eyes out, will that make a thief honest? Suppose you could fret yourself until you could not eat, would that raise the price of commodities? One would think if you were just to say, “Well, I have done all that is to be done, now I will leave it with God,” that you might go about your business and have the full use of your senses to attend to it. Whereas now, you fritter away your senses, and then commit blunders, and so multiply your troubles by that very fretfulness by which you hoped to remove them. There—let them alone! We say, “Leave well enough alone,” but I say, “Leave ill enough alone,” leave them both alone, and with your two hands, for you will need both hands to do it,—with the hand of prayer, “In everything by prayer and supplication, making known your needs to God,” and with the other hand, the hand of faith, trusting in God—lift your load right off from your own shoulders, and let the whole crushing weight be left with your eternal God, for “he will sustain you, he will never allow the righteous to be moved.”
14. Another anxiety of a personal kind which is very natural, and indeed very proper if it is not carried to excess, is the care of your children. Blessed be God for our children. We do not sympathise with those who look upon them as afflictions, for we believe them still to be a heritage of the Lord. But what anxieties they involve, how shall we bring them up, how shall they be provided for? Will they honour their parents or will they bring disgrace upon the name they bear? A child may be the greatest curse his parents ever had, while he may be their choicest comfort. “All these,” as an old Puritan said, “are doubtful blessings, and may be certain curses,” yet I will not have it that there is any doubt about their being blessings, as God sends them. A Christian parent must have care about his children, and all the more because he is a Christian, since he will not be satisfied with their getting on in business, he will never be content until his children walk in the truth. Mother, father, you have prayed for your children, you trust you have set them a holy example, you labour day by day to teach them the truth as it is in Jesus; you have travailed in birth for their souls until Christ is formed in them; it is well, now let your souls quietly expect the blessing, leave your offspring with God; cast your sons and daughters upon their father’s God; let no impatience intrude if they are not converted in your time, and let no distrust distract your mind if they should seem to undermine your hopes. I found yesterday with a few verses, which sound like the warblings of an American songstress; they exactly suit my subject, and in reading them in private they have touched my heart. Excuse me therefore, if though I never read a sermon, I should for once read a part of one.
“The Master has come over Jordan,”
Said Hannah, the mother, one day;
“He is healing the people who throng him,
With a touch of his finger, they say.
And now I shall carry the children,
Little Rachel, and Samuel, and John
I shall carry the baby, Esther,
For the Lord to look upon.”
The father looked at her kindly,
But he shook his head, and smiled:
“Now, who but a doting mother
Would think of a thing so wild?
If the children were tortured by demons,
Or dying of fever ’twere well;
Or had they the taint of the leper,
Like many in Israel.”
“No, do not hinder me, Nathan;
I feel such a burden of care:
If I carry it to the Master,
Perhaps I shall leave it there.
If he lay his hand on the children,
My heart will be lighter, I know:
For a blessing for ever and ever
Will follow them as they go.”
So, over the hills of Judah,
Along by the vine rows green,
With Esther asleep on her bosom,
And Rachel her brothers between
’Mong the people who hung on his teaching,
Or waited his touch and his word,
Through the row of proud Pharisees listening,
She pressed to the feet of the Lord.
“Now, why should’st you hinder the Master,”
Said Peter, “with children like these?
See not how, from morning till evening,
He teaches and heals disease?”
Then Christ said, “Forbid not the children,
Permit them to come to me!”
And he took in his arms little Esther,
And Rachel he set on his knee:
And the heavy heart of the mother
Was lifted all earth care above,
As he laid his hands on the brothers,
And blest them with tenderest love;
As he said of the babes in his bosom,
“Of such are the kingdom of heaven;”
And strength for all duty and trial
That hour to her spirit was given.
Do this and inherit the blessing.
15. But each Christian will in his time have personal troubles of a higher order, namely, spiritual cares. He is begotten again to a lively hope, but he fears that his faith will still die. He hopes he has some spark of spiritual joy, but there are dark and dreary nights which lower over him, and he fears that his lamp will die out in darkness. As yet he has been victorious, but he trembles lest he should one day fall by the hand of the enemy. Beloved, I beseech you; cast this care upon God for he cares for you. “I am persuaded that he who has begun a good work in you will carry it on and perfect it to the day of Christ.” He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord who has mercy on you.” “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you.” “No good thing will I withhold from those who walk uprightly.” “I give to my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Why, one might keep you all this morning, and this afternoon and evening too, repeating the precious promises of God, and we might close them all by saying,
What more can he say than to you he has said,
You who to Jesus for refuge have fled?
Away then with dark suspicions and anxieties! Is it care about past sin? “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, cleanses us from all sin.” Is it present temptation? “There has no temptation happened to you except such as is common to men: but God who is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it.” Is it future peril? Oh leave that with him, for neither “things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you begin to think always of yourself, you must be miserable. Why, it is Christ who makes you what you are before the eyes of God; look then to Jesus in order to find out what you are in God’s esteem. Soul, I say again look at Christ, and not at yourself. Never let anxieties about sanctification destroy your confidence of justification. What if you are a sinner! Christ died to save sinners. What if you are undeserving! “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Grace is free. The invitation is still open to you; rest the whole burden of your soul’s salvation where it must rest. Do not be an Uzza, lay no hasty hand upon the ark of the Lord; above all, do not be an Uzziah, do not attempt to offer sacrifices or usurp the priesthood, for Christ must stand for you, you cannot stand or do for yourself. Cast, then, your care on him, for he cares for you.
16. I shall need your patient attention two or three minutes more, while trying to apply this remedy, when I notice that there are many cares not of a personal but rather of an ecclesiastical character, which often insinuate themselves and plead for life, but which must nevertheless be put away. I am sorry to confess, that if I do not preach to anyone else this morning, I shall now be preaching to myself. There are cares about how God’s work is to be carried on. I know a foolish young man who lies awake many nights thinking about that, and who sometimes by day makes himself foolishly sad, because with large purposes of heart and with great designs in his soul he does not see the way by which they are to be carried out, and has not yet attained the faith which
Laughs at impossibilities,
And says, “It shall be done.”
If any of you are suffering from the same sad disease, let me exhort you from the words of Peter, to cast the care about God’s work upon God. He never sent us to warfare at our own expense; he never did require us to do his work; that he will attend to himself; and we ought to feel that if God does not enable us to do as much as we would, it is a blessed thing to be enabled and permitted to do as much as we can. If we think there are few men to work, or little means with which to work, we must not be fretful about where the means, or the men shall come from. We may properly pray, “Lord, send labourers,” and with equal propriety we may ask that he who has the silver and the gold, may give them for his own work; but after that we must cast our care on God. Then, if we get over that, there will be another anxiety,—one which frets me often enough—which is, the success of God’s work. Oh! when there are souls converted, how our heart leaps for joy; when the Church keeps continually increasing, how glad we are! But if there is even a little lull, we feel so sad; if we do not see God’s arm always bare, we are ready to lie down and say, “Lord, let me die, I am no better than my fathers.” When we are in a low state of body and heart too, that weakening sickness of unbelief, like the woman’s issue of blood, comes over us, and we feel that life is ebbing as success decreases. Now, this is a care we must cast on God. Husbandman, your Great Employer sent you out to sow the seed, but if no grain of it should ever come up, if you sowed the seed as he told you, and where he told you, he will never lay the blame of a defective harvest on you. It is ours to preach, but to convert souls is God’s; it is ours to labour, but the success depends alone on him. “Those who go through the valley of Baca make it a well,”—that is their business, to dig wells—“the rain also fills the pools,”—it is not their business to fill the wells; and the wells do not get full from the bottom as they do in our country, it is the rain that fills the pools,—the blessing comes from on high; and if we have dug the wells, and we have prayed six times, and as yet the rain has not descended, go again seven times, and the rain shall yet descend, and the pools shall be filled to the brim. Do not, therefore, let us have cares about success.
17. And sometimes there is another care, it is the care lest some little slip made by ourselves or others should give cause to the enemy to blaspheme. There are demons besides those in hell, there are some on earth; and some of these are too glad to find an opportunity, if there is a word that is ever so fitly spoken, to wrest it out of its context and make stock and trade for blasphemy out of it. It is an easy task and one which any fool can accomplish, but this world is full of fools who are glad to find dirt to eat, and then having eaten it themselves to cram it down others’ throats. One is sometimes afraid to walk for fear of breaking something in such a frail world as this; afraid to speak, lest we should say something which might open the enemy’s mouth. A careful jealousy is very good if it leads to caution, but very bad if it leads to a carking, weak anxiety. What have you and I to do with what the enemy may do? If the Lord does not chain the devil I am sure we cannot, and if he does not shut the mouths of liars, I do not know that we ought to wish he would; for if he lets them open their mouths, I have no doubt they are best open. Many a time, as Christ rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, the truth has ridden into the midst of Jerusalem in triumph on the back of its most despicable enemies. Beyond doubt, Christ has been lifted up even on the point of the spear, and the light of the gospel has beamed like a beacon from the stake where the martyr perished. Well, let us leave our enemies to do what they wish, and only stand fast for the Lord and cast our care on him.
18. And then, one is so afraid of being unfaithful at the last, lest the blood of souls should be on our skirts. Oh! that thought has dashed me on my forehead on the floor many, many times. This heavy burden crushes me into the most pitiable state, until the body sympathises with the mind so fully, that if you could see me with the tears running from my eyes, and the cold sweat oozing from my head, you would say, “What a creature is that to go forth and preach.” The thought of having all of you to address, and that I must be faithful or else your blood shall be required at my hands, is so awful a one that in private I never dare to think of it, for it utterly unmans me. But oh, blessed be God, if he has enabled us to do all we can by his Spirit, we must leave it there. We know that he will not ask more of us than he has given to us, and if he has helped us so far, his shall be the glory; but if we have failed, even that too shall be washed away through the precious blood, and with all his weight of responsibility the minister shall yet enter heaven and find a place among the sanctified.
19. III. I close my last point upon which only a word, of THE SWEET INDUCEMENT TO LEAVE YOUR BURDEN: “He cares for you.”
20. Believe in a universal providence, the Lord cares for ants and angels, for worms and for worlds; he cares for cherubim and for sparrows, for seraphim and for insects. Cast your care on him, he who calls the stars by their names, and leads them out by numbers, by their hosts. “Why you say oh Jacob, and think oh Israel, my way is passed over from God and he has utterly forgotten me?” Let his universal providence cheer you. Think next of his particular providence over all the saints. “Precious shall their blood be in his sight.” “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.” Let the fact that while he is the Saviour of all men, he is especially the Saviour of those who believe, let that cheer and comfort you, that special providence which watches over the chosen, “The angel of the Lord camps all around those who fear him.” And then, thirdly, let the thought of his special love to you be the very essence of your comfort. “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” God says, that as much to you, as he said it to any saint of old. “Do not fear, I am your shield, and your exceedingly great reward.” Oh! I wish beloved, that the Holy Spirit would make you feel the promise as being spoken to you; out of this vast assembly forget the rest and only think of yourself, for the promises are to you, meant for you. Oh! grasp them. It is not good to get into a habit of reading Scripture for the whole Church, read it for yourselves, and especially hear the Master say to you this morning, “Do not let your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me.” Think that you hear him say, “I have prayed for you so that your faith does not fail.” Think that you see him walking on the waters of your trouble, for he is there and he is saying, “Do not fear, it is I, do not be afraid.” Oh! those sweet words of Christ! Lord speak them to me; speak them to your poor sorrowing child over there; speak them to each one of us; speak them to us, and let us hear your voice and say, “Jesus whispers consolation, I cannot refuse it, I will sit under his shadow with great delight.”
21. Sinners, ungodly people here, you do not know God. I will send you away when I have said this one thing. What a blessed thing it is to be a Christian, to have someone who will take your cares for you! Why, you know you will have your cares whether you are Christians or not, you are sure to have troubles even in the world, but then you have no Christ to comfort you, no God to sustain you, no promise to cheer you; you have the darkness without the lamp, you have to die without the immortality to follow. Oh that you knew what a Christian is, and your mouths would be watering to know the Christian’s privilege. But I say to you, cast your sins upon Christ. Jesus Christ can take them. If you believe on him there is proof that he did take them of old, did carry them and suffered for them in his own person that you might go free. Oh may we each this morning, saint and sinner, come even to the cross, and to the throne of grace, and say “Lord, unload us of our burdens of guilt and care, and allow us now to go on our way rejoicing,” because God, all sufficient, has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
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).
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.