A Sermon Delivered By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 4/23/2011*4/23/2011
And he said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature. He who believes and is baptised shall be saved;
but he who does not believe shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15,16)
For other sermons on this text:
(See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Mr 16:15")
(See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Mr 16:16")
1. Before our Lord gave his disciples this commission, he addressed them in tones of serious rebuke. You will observe that, appearing to the eleven as they sat eating, “he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because, they did not believe those who had seen him after he was risen.” So honourable an estimation did he set upon testimony; so marked a censure did he pronounce upon those who neglected it. The reprimand they received on such an occasion may well serve as a caution to us, for unbelief disqualifies the Christian for service. It is in proportion to our personal faith in the gospel that we become competent witnesses for the teaching of it to others. Each one of us who would receive credit for sincerity, must say with David, “I believed, therefore I have spoken,” or else a lack of faith within ourselves will effectively deprive our speech of all its power over our fellow men. There can be little doubt that one reason why Christianity is not so aggressive now as it once was, and does not exert everywhere the influence it had in apostolic times, is the feebleness of our faith in Christ as compared with the full assurance of faith exercised by the men of those days. In vain you hide a timid heart behind a modest face, when the attitude we should show, and the living force that should constrain us is a bold reliance upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and a deep conviction of the might of the truth which we are taught to deliver. Brethren, if there is to be a revival of religion it must begin at home. Our own souls must first of all be filled with holy faith and burning enthusiasm, and then we shall be strong to do exploits and to win provinces for the sceptre of King Jesus. Having thus made a note upon the context, I want you to refer to a parallel passage in Matthew. There we learn that in delivering this commission our Lord assigned a remarkable reason for it, and one that intimately concerned himself. “All power,” he said, “is given to ME in heaven and in earth, go YE therefore and teach all nations.” These words were adapted to strengthen the faith of his disciples, of whom it had been just observed that “some doubted.” Do you not see the point of this announcement? Jesus of Nazareth, being raised from the dead, tells his apostles that he is now vested with universal supremacy as the Son of man. Therefore he issues a decree of grace, calling on all people of every clime and kindred, to believe the gospel with a promise of personal salvation to each and everyone who believes. This is a mandate clothed with such authority and the duty of all men everywhere to repent is so imperative that those who do not believe are threatened with a certain penalty of damnation. He will have this royal ordinance published throughout the whole world; but he enjoins it on all the messengers that those who bear the tidings should be thoroughly impressed with the sovereignty of him who sends them. Let the words then ring in your ears, “Go therefore.” They sound like the music of that glad acclaim which hails the Redeemer installed with power, holding the insignia of power in his possession, exercising the full rights of legitimate power, and entrusting his disciples with a commission founded on that power, “Go into all the world.”
2. I have yet another remark before we proceed to the text. The commission we are about to deal with was the last which the Lord gave to his disciples before he was taken away from them. We prize greatly the last words of his departing servants, how shall we sufficiently value the parting words of our ascending Master? Injunctions that are left to us by those who have gone to glory have great weight upon our spirits; let obedient lovers of Christ see to it that they act according to the last will and testament, the last desire expressed by their risen Lord. I claim for my text particular attention from every disciple of Jesus, not indeed as if it were a mournful entreaty, but rather as a solemn charge. You remember Christ’s own parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.” Look at this as the last direction which Jesus gives to his stewards before “he went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.” It seems to me that just as when the mantle of Elijah fell upon Elisha, Elisha would have been much to blame if he had not caught it up, so when these words fell from our ascending Saviour before the clouds concealed him from the disciples’ sight, we ought to take them up with holy reverence. Since he has left them as his parting mantle they ought to be lovingly cherished and scrupulously obeyed.
3. Then we come to invite your earnest heed to the command which the Saviour gives here: “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” It was given to the apostles representatively. They represent the whole body of the faithful. This commission is given to every converted man and woman. I grant you there is a speciality to those gifted, and called to surrender themselves wholly to the work of the ministry, but their office in the visible church offers no excuse for the discharge of those functions that pertain to every member of the body of Christ in particular. It is the universal command of Christ to every believer: “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
4. I. In thinking over this command, let us first consider WHAT IT IS THAT WE HAVE TO CARRY TO EVERY CREATURE — THE GOSPEL.
5. There may be no need, my brethren, for me to tell you what the gospel is, but to complete our subject we must declare it. The “gospel,” which is to be told to “every creature,” it seems to me, is the great truth that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them”; and that he “has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” God has looked in pity upon sinful man. He has sent his Son to take upon himself the nature of man. His Son has come in the flesh, he has worked out a perfect righteousness by his obedient life. He has died upon the tree, the just for the unjust, that whoever trusts in him might be forgiven. Then the gospel’s point and barb comes — believe in him and be baptised, and you shall be saved; reject him, and your peril is imminent, for God declares it, you must be damned.
6. When we preach the gospel, then, we must declare to the sons of men that they are fallen, they are sinful, they are lost, but Christ has come to seek and to save those who were lost; that there is in Christ Jesus, who is now in heaven, all sufficient grace to meet each sinner’s need, that whoever believes in him shall be forgiven all his sins, and shall receive the Holy Spirit, by which he shall be helped to lead a new life, shall be preserved in holiness, and shall be brought safely to heaven. To preach the gospel is to preach Christ. It is not, as I believe, to preach any form of church government, or any special creed, although both of these may be needful for those who have heard and received the gospel. The first message we have to preach to every creature is that there is a Saviour: “Life for a look at the Crucified One, life at this moment,” for all who look to him. This is the gospel which we have to preach.
7. Now, what is meant by the word “preach?” I take its meaning in this place to be very extensive. Some can literally preach — that is, act as heralds, proclaiming the gospel as the town crier proclaims in the street the message which he is asked to cry aloud. The town crier is, in fact, the world’s preacher, and the preacher of the gospel is to be a crier, crying aloud and not sparing the truth of Christ. I do not believe that Christ tells us to go and play the orator to every creature. Such a command would be impractical for most of us, and useless for many of us. Of all the things that desecrate the Sabbath and grieve the Spirit, attempt at high flown oratory and gorgeous eloquence in preaching I believe are about the worst. Our business is just to proclaim the gospel simply and plainly to every creature. We do not actually preach the gospel to a man if we do not make him understand what we are talking about. If our language does not come down to his level, it may be the gospel, but it is not the gospel to him. The preacher should adopt language which shall be suitable for all his congregation — in preaching he should strive to instruct, to enforce, to explain, to expound, to plead and to bring home to every man’s heart and conscience, as in the sight of God, as far as his ability goes, the truth which beyond all argument or dispute has the seal and stamp of divine revelation.
8. Though all the members of a church cannot literally preach in this ordinary acceptance of the term, yet if this command is for all, then all must bear that testimony to the world in some other outspoken manner. Their preaching may be in various ways. Some must preach by their holy lives. Others must preach by their speaking to the ones and twos, like the Master at the well, who was as much preaching when he conversed with the woman of Samaria as when he addressed the multitude on the banks of the lake of Gennesaret, and uttered doctrine as sublime in that little village of Sychar as he proclaimed at the beautiful gate of the temple. Others must preach by distributing the truth printed for circulation; and this is a very noble service, especially when the pure word of life, the Bible itself, is sown broadcast in this and other lands. If we cannot speak with our own tongue, we must borrow other men’s tongues; and if we cannot write with our own pens, we must borrow other men’s pens; but we must do it in some way or other. The gist of this command is that we must make the gospel known to every creature by some means or other — throw it in his way, make him know that there is a gospel, and challenge his very curiosity to learn what it means. You cannot make him accept it, or believe it — that is God’s work — but you can and must make him know about it, and plead with him to receive it, and do not let it be your fault if he does not welcome it. Do all, as much as lies within you, to make every creature know what the gospel is, so that if he will not accept it still he shall have had the kingdom of God brought near to him. The responsibility of his accepting or rejecting it shall then be his business, and none of yours.
9. This, then, is the commission of Jesus Christ to his disciples — “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
10. Lest we should make a mistake about what I just now called the point and barb of the arrow, the force and pith of the gospel, Christ has put it in plain words, “He who believes and is baptised shall be saved.” That is to say, if a man would participate in the bounteous salvation which Christ has worked out, he must believe in Christ, he must trust Christ, he must believe Christ to be God’s appointed Saviour, and to be able to save him. He must act on that belief, and trust himself in the hands of Jesus, and if he does that he shall be saved.
11. Further, the text says he must be baptised. Not that there is any virtue whatever in baptism, but it is a small thing for Christ to expect that the man trusting to be saved by him should acknowledge and affirm his allegiance to him. He who wishes to have Christ as his Saviour should be prepared publicly to acknowledge that he is on Christ’s side. Baptism thus becomes the badge of discipleship, the outward token of inward faith, by which a man says to all who look on, “I confess myself to be dead to the world; I confess myself to be buried with Christ; I declare myself to be risen to newness of life in him; make what you will of it, and laugh at it as much as you like, yet in the faith of Jesus as my Lord, I have left everything else to follow him.” It is a point of obedience. Sometimes one has said in his heart, “What a pity it is that baptism should have been introduced into this place; it makes a block of wood into which men may drive their ritualistic hook.” But then the Son of God himself has put it here, and we cannot alter it. If it were not here I would not have put it here, but it is here, and being here, it is at your soul’s peril, man, to leave it out. I believe with all my heart that if you believe in Jesus Christ you will be saved, whether you are baptised or not, but I would not like to run the risk for I do not have that in my text. It is, “He who believes and is baptised shall be saved,” and I would take the two commands together, and obey my Master’s will throughout, and not leave out what did not suit my inclination, and accept only what did. I am bound to leave out neither of them, but to take the two together. With your heart you must believe, and with your mouth make confession, and if you do these sincerely you shall be saved.
12. II. Having, then, clearly before us what our work is — to publish and make plain to every creature the gospel of Jesus Christ — let us solemnly consider (for it is a very solemn business, being incumbent upon every professor of Christ here) WHAT THE EXTENT OF THIS COMMISSION IS.
13. Judging from the fact that there is no mention made of time, I gather that as long as there is a church in the world the obligation to preach the gospel will remain, and if that church should ever come to consist of only one or two, it must still, with all its might, go on promulgating the gospel of Jesus Christ. Preaching is to be for all time; and until Jesus Christ himself shall come, and the age shall close, the mission of the church is to go into all the world — all of you — and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
14. I will not, however, dwell upon that because it is not so much a practical point, but just notice that there is no limit to be placed concerning where this gospel is to be preached. It is to be preached in “all the world” — in Labrador, in Africa, where the Southern Cross shines high, or where Arcturus with his sons leads on the night; everywhere, in every place; no nation is to be left out because it is too degraded; no race is to be forgotten because it is too remote. The mission of the church, deals with the centre of Africa, with men who have never yet looked the pale man in the face. It deals with learned nations, as the acute and sceptical Hindu, and with the degraded tribes, as the Hottentot in his village, the Bechuana and the Bushman. There is to be no omission anywhere. Our great Commander’s marching orders to his troops are — “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
15. Even this is not so practical a point as the one I want to insist on. It is the duty of the church, according to this command, to make known the gospel to every creature. Anyone of you individually, of course, cannot make it known to every creature, but each one, at home and abroad, according to his sphere of action and his capacity, is to be striving at that. As soon as they can ever understand, you are to be ready with this gospel of Jesus Christ for them. The Sunday School does not need a direct text for its institution or foundation. It is a marvel that it was not instituted long before it was, for the very spirit of Sunday School work lies in the words here — “every creature.” You are not, in looking after the children, to include only some privileged classes and exclude the ragged and the depraved: the homeless street urchin is at least a “creature,” and you are as much bound to preach the gospel to him as to your own dear child, who is the object of your tenderest love. It is to every creature. Then the Christian church ought to aim at the rich. The rich need the gospel, perhaps, more than any other class in the community. They seldom hear it, and what they do hear about the gospel, is poor diluted stuff. Their sins are not often told them to the face, neither are they rebuked as the poor are. They are to be sought out by the church; and though it is difficult to get at them, yet we have not done our duty until we have done what we can for them. But the poor are to be looked after. Their poverty must never make us say that it is not worth while to teach them. It is the glory of the gospel that the poor should have the gospel preached to them. Rich and poor are both creatures, and therefore the church has its duty concerning both. The gospel ought to be preached to those who habitually assemble on the Sabbath. It is a pleasure to remember that there are so many who are willing to come and listen to the gospel, but the responsibility of the minister and the church does not end with those who voluntarily congregate within four walls. We are to preach the gospel to every creature, therefore to those who lie in bed on Sunday mornings, to those who read Sunday newspapers, to those who take their walks in the evening with listless indifference, to those who do not know, perhaps, what Christian worship means. You have not done what your Master has told you to do until you have reached them, and made them know, forced them to know, what the gospel is. He would be a poor sportsman who should sit in his house and expect the game to come to him. He who would have it must go outside for it, and he who would serve the Master must go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in.
16. I need not say here, brethren, that I hope the Christian church is now alive in looking after every class of society, but what I want to bring home personally to ourselves is just this, that we, as a church here, with so many advantages, so many in numbers, have at least a part in this command, and must extend our efforts to as many of “every creature” as we can. Oh! we cannot discharge the work for which God has put us here, until we have looked into these alleys, these lanes, these courts, these dark places, and have tried our best to take Jesus Christ’s gospel to every dweller there. I know you have your Sunday Schools, and I am thankful you are doing your work there, but do not confine your aspirations to that class. I know I have with this congregation work enough, still I am not bound to limit myself to any parish or to any locality, but if I can, to do good, as much as lies in me in all directions, and in all manner of places to make known the gospel to every creature. Have you been the means of the conversion of fifty? That is not “every creature,” press on. Were there not a hundred added to this church the other day? That is not “every creature.” There are millions yet to whom Christ is not known. Preach the gospel everywhere then.
17. The majesty of this command overwhelms one. Such a commission was never given before or since. Oh church of God! Your Lord has given you a work almost as immense as the creation of a world; indeed, it is a greater work than that; it is to recreate a world. What can you do in this? You can do nothing effectively, unless the Holy Spirit shall bless what you attempt to do. But that he will do, and if you do gird up your loins, and your heart is warm in this endeavour, you shall still be able to preach Jesus Christ to every creature under heaven.
18. I must not enlarge, for time flies too quickly. It will suffice if I have put that thought into your hearts, that to the servant girl and the duchess, the chimney sweep and the peer, the man in the poor house or in the palace, we must account ourselves debtors for Christ’s sake to present the gospel to them according to our ability, never limiting the sphere of our enterprise where an opportunity can be found to carry the gospel to every creature.
19. III. But now, thirdly, some of you will be asking the INDUCEMENTS TO ENLIST IN THIS SERVICE AND OBEY THIS COMMAND.
20. It shall be sufficient answer for many of you to say that the reason for preaching the gospel to every creature is, that God has said it. Oh, it was a grand shout — if it had been for a better purpose — when the hundreds of thousands gathered together listening to the burning eloquence of the hermit, when he asked them to charge home against the Saracens, and deliver the holy sepulchre and the sacred places from the infidel. Then the shout went up, “Deus vult,” “God wills it,” and in the strength of that belief, that God willed it, “a huge forest of spears was lifted up,” and ten thousand swords were unsheathed, and men dashed on to battle and to death in the first crusade. Oh! if the Christian church could only feel “Deus vult,” “God wills it,” that now, even in this year of grace, every creature should hear the gospel! I believe we have enough Christians here in London to make London hear the gospel. I mean, we have enough converted men and women, if all bestirred themselves, to make London ring from end to end, as Nineveh once did. One man awoke Nineveh with his monotonous cry, “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed.” Surely the thousands might yet be as firebrands in the midst of grain, if we were only in earnest about this great command, “Deus vult,” believer; God demands this of you, is this not enough?
21. But, if we seek arguments, let us remember that the preaching of the gospel is a delight to God everywhere. Papists tell us that the offering up of what they call a “sacrament,” is an acceptable oblation to God. They miss their mark. The preaching of Christ — that is the true oblation. God smells a sweet savour wherever the name of Jesus is properly proclaimed. Listen to these words, “We are to God a sweet savour of Christ as well in those who perish as in those who are saved.” Wherever Christ is preached, God is glad. He is honoured, Christ is honoured. Even if no result should come, (impossible supposition!) yet still the mere preaching of Christ is like the smell of evening incense which goes up to God, and he accepts it.
22. Moreover, remember that you are asked to preach to every creature, each of you, as far as you can, because it is by this means that the elect are to be gathered out from among the sons of men. You do not know who they are, therefore tell about Christ to everyone. You do not know who will accept it; you do not know whose heart will be broken by the divine hammer. It is yours to try the hammer of truth on the hard heart. You are not the discoverer of God’s chosen, but the gospel is, and when the gospel is preached it will attract to itself, by its own power, through the Holy Spirit, such as God has ordained to eternal life.
23. Brothers and sisters, I do urge you to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, for your own sakes, if there were no other reason. Depend upon it, your own spiritual vigour will be very much enhanced by your labours of love, and your zeal for the service of Christ. I have noticed that it is an invariable thermometer by which to gauge the spirituality of a man’s heart. Whether he is either doing or not doing something for Christ will tell upon his life and conversation. The tree is not only known by its fruit, concerning what kind of tree it is, but also concerning what its degree of life is. “If you keep his commands, and produce much fruit, you are disciples indeed,” but if there is only a little fruit shrivelled there on the topmost bough, scarcely worth the gathering, why then you are his disciples, but you can scarcely say that you are his disciples indeed.
24. Did you ever feel the joy of winning a soul for Christ? If so, you will need no better argument for attempting to spread the knowledge of his name among every creature. I tell you, there is no joy outside of heaven which excels it — the grasp of the hand of one who says, “By your means I was turned from darkness to light; rescued from drunkenness, or reclaimed perhaps from the grossest vices, to love and serve my Saviour”; to see your spiritual children around you, and to say, “Here I am, and these whom you have given to me.” Oh! the trials and griefs of life sit lightly upon a heart where the triumphs of grace are present. A man might well endure to stand and preach upon a burning fagot, if he could be sure that the burning of his body would secure the salvation of his congregation. For the sake of your own happiness, try to teach to others what the Lord has first taught to you.
25. I might multiply these reasons, but it will, perhaps, be best to come back to the first one of all — your Master wills it, and therefore preach his gospel to every creature. The day is coming when his gospel shall be known throughout the world. Many things have hindered it. Nights of darkness, years of oppression have lasted long, and the minds of men have been sitting in the valley of the shadow of death. But, as surely as God is God, better days are coming.
“The light that shines from Zion’s hill” shall gild the top of every
mountain. Every land shall yet behold the feet of those who bring
glad tidings, and who publish salvation. In spite of the prophecies
of certain men in these days, I still cling to the old faith of the
church, that there shall be a universal triumph of our holy faith,
before the world is even given up to the dissolving elements. The gods
of the heathen shall be shaken from their pedestals. The age shall
not end, until those things which men have worshipped shall be thrown
to the moles and to the bats. God will yet drag the prostitute of the
Seven Hills from her bloodstained throne, and make the kings of the
earth burn her as with fire. The day of the vengeance of our God for
martyrs’ blood shall yet come, and Christ will not end this conflict
until he has brought down the twoedged sword upon the very head of
his adversary, and has laid him prone in the dust. Have patience,
sirs; have patience! Things are progressing well enough just now. Our
hearts may well be encouraged. We have seen what God’s right hand has
done for freedom in our land. Even now the great pulse of time beats
heartily and soundly, and by God’s good grace and his gracious
overruling providence, it shall by and by be seen that —
The day of freedom dawns at length,
The Lord’s appointed day.
But, if it is ever to come, according to the past, it must come through the efforts of God’s children, for he always works by means, and will continue to do so. Get up, you servants of God, and do your duty diligently, perseveringly, continuing to preach the gospel to every creature, for you are workers together with God; you are God’s workmanship, his friends and fellow helpers. Oh! if you would wish to share the joy of those brighter ages; if you would with blissful eye look down the vista of time, and foresee the swords beaten into ploughshares, all prescient of the day when the oppressors’ thrones shall crumble in the dust — you cannot look with hopeful eye, with a strong nerve, on all this, unless you stretch out your hand and say, “I will have a share in that; I will have a share in it today; I will put my little ounce of power into the church; I will throw my little drachma of might into her mission, and try to tell to every creature the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
27. IV. But now, closing up this address, we have our work before us, and our God to help us, and we accept the challenge. Brothers and sisters, I call you together just as a master workman when he has a work to do calls together his comrades, and says, “Now, this is what we have to do WHAT POWERS DO WE HAVE TO WORK WITH AND HOW CAN WE DO IT?”
28. Those of us who are especially called to preach the gospel must take our part, and go on preaching it with all our might. Oh! it is a blessed employment, and angels might well envy us, that we have such an office committed to us as to preach the gospel. But, brethren, you must not lay all the labour or all the responsibility on one man. A one man ministry is, indeed, a curse to any church, if that is the only ministry of the church. All ministries must be used.
29. Are there not many of you who could preach? Let me earnestly entreat you if you can to do so. Let no man who has gifts keep them back. There are the streets, if you can find no other places, and let me say that there is no better work done in London than what is done in the streets by the open air services. There are some who hear the gospel there who never would have heard it if the twelve apostles had been preaching in any of our places of worship. Use your ability in other places if you can, but let every tongue that can speak do so.
30. But all do not have the ability to preach. We have some who can teach the young. Are all who can teach the young engaged in that work? Any night there are schools all around here where there will be twice as many children as the teachers present there can instruct. It is not so with any institution of ours, but there are dozens of schools around that are inefficient simply for lack of teachers. Our people are always engaged in their schools. I have always said, “Never mind what sect it is; if you can, go and teach there”; but I must say that over again, for I do not like to see these schools standing still for lack of teachers. It is a very happy thing to hear a sermon, but if you can teach children, it is not your duty to prefer your pleasure to your class.
31. Could not some of you do good in your own homes? Cottage meetings, parlour meetings, drawing room meetings — these are all means of usefulness. Have you tried them? “How many loaves do you have?” So said my Master. I want to count the loaves and tell my Master, and I am of the opinion that there are some loaves that have never been brought out of the baker’s basket yet, some opportunities that have never yet been put to his service. Search and see.
32. How much good could some of you do by writing letters to others concerning Christ? How many of you might do good by circulating the printed word — Bibles, and gospel tracts, and such sermons as will be most likely to profit certain people if they read them. To some of you, it may be, there is committed the talent of money. If you do not have the golden tongue, be thankful that you have the golden purse. Speak with that. You are as much bound to speak with that as others with the golden mouth. Whatever gift you may have, put it out at interest, like a good steward, for your Master. Some of you may not be able to speak or to give, but let your holiness, and every power you have, according to your ability and opportunity, contribute to the great result of the gospel being preached to every creature.
33. My joy and crown, my hope and my delight before God, are you in the Lord, when I can perceive an earnest heart in you, oh you, the people of my charge. There are some here of whom I am not ashamed to speak, whose piety is apostolic, whose generosity and zeal are like those of the early church; but there are others of whom we may well speak with hesitation, for if they are consecrated to Christ at all, the consecration seems to have taken very small effect. They are diligent enough in business, but as for fervency of spirit, where is that? In what respects can they be said to serve the Lord? Let each one begin to question himself, “What have I done to carry out the Master’s command?” and if you make up a sorrowful total, do not sit down and waste the time in vain regrets, but be humbled, and pray God that no man’s blood may be laid at your door. I do urge you — oh! how I would do it if my tongue had language such as I desire to possess! but let me urge you, every one of you, in the future to be exerting your full strength for him whose bloody sweat, and cross, and passion, have made you debtors to him for your very lives. By him who died on that tree, accursed for you, by him who went away to prepare a place for you, and who still stands pleading at God’s right hand with never ceasing zeal for you, I come in his name and at his command to entreat, to exhort you to spend and be spent to glorify his name among the sons of men. Examine yourself and see what you can do, and whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for the grave will soon open for you, and there is no work nor device in the grave where you are hastening. “Rise up, soldiers, and attack them!” was said in the day of battle, and I may still say it to every Christian. In these days, when popery gathers her might, and infidelity shoots out her poisoned arrows, let none of us be absent in the day of battle, lest the angels should say, as the angel of the Lord said, “Curse, Meroz, curse bitterly its inhabitants; because they did not come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” The best thing to do for truth and righteousness is to promote personal piety, and it will produce personal effort. We shall not bless the world by big schemes, mighty theories, gigantic plans. Little by little grows the coral reef on which afterwards gardens are to be planted. Little by little must the kingdom come, each man bringing his mite and laying it down at Jesus’ feet. So the light dawns. Beam by beam it comes. One by one come the arrows from the bow of the sun, and at last darkness flies. It is in the same way the everlasting morning must break. But let us be glad. If the work is slow it is sure. God will see the work accomplished, and when the morning comes the night shall not succeed it, but it shall scatter the darkness for ever. The sun of righteousness goes down no more. The day of the world’s morning shall not tarry. The time of her halcyon days shall come, when the light of the sun shall be as the light of seven days, and the Lord God shall dwell among men, and reveal his glory to the sons of men.
This last moment shall be just used for us to say that there are some
here whom we cannot tell to go and preach the gospel, for they do not
know it themselves; and to the wicked God says, “What have you to do
to declare my statutes?” To such we say, “Incline your ear and
listen. Jesus Christ has suffered so that sinners might not suffer.
He was God’s Son. He took the sins of believers. He was punished in
their place, and if you will trust him you shall be saved. Trust him,
sinner, trust him.” May the Holy Spirit persuade you, and give you
faith, and to the Lord Jesus shall be the glory, for ever and ever.
[Portion of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Romans 10]