A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, December 25, 1870, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 6/30/2011*6/30/2011
Where is he who is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his
star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:2)
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1. The incarnation of the Son of God was one of the greatest events in the history of the universe. Its actual occurrence was not, however, known to all mankind, but was specially revealed to the shepherds of Bethlehem and to certain wise men of the east. To shepherds — the illiterate, men little versed in human learning — the angels in choral song made known the birth of the Saviour, Christ the Lord, and they hurried to Bethlehem to see the great sight; while the Scribes, the writers of the law and expounders of it, knew nothing concerning the long promised birth of the Messiah. No angelic bands entered the assembly of the Sanhedrin and proclaimed that the Christ was born; and when the chief priests and Pharisees were met together, though they gathered around copies of the law to consider where Christ should be born, yet it was not known to them that he was actually come, nor do they seem to have taken more than a passing interest in the matter, though they might have known that then was the time spoken of by the prophets when the great Messiah should come. How mysterious are the ways of grace; the base things are chosen and the eminent are passed by! The advent of the Redeemer is revealed to the shepherds who kept their flocks of sheep by night, but not to the shepherds whose benighted sheep were left to stray. Admire the sovereignty of God in it.
2. The glad tidings were made known also to wise men, magi, students of the stars and of old prophetic books from the far off east. It would not be possible to tell how far off their native country lay; it may have been so distant that the journey occupied nearly all of the two years of which they spoke concerning the appearance of the star. Travelling was slow in those days, surrounded with difficulties and many dangers. They may have come from Persia, or India, or Tartary, or even from the mysterious land of Sinim, now known to us as China. If so, strange and uncouth must have been the speech of those who worshipped around the young Child at Bethlehem, yet he needed no interpreter to understand and accept their adoration. Why was the birth of the King of the Jews made known to these foreigners, and not to those nearer home? Why did the Lord select those who were so many hundreds of miles away, while the children of the kingdom, in whose very midst the Saviour was born, were so strangely ignorant of his presence? See here again another example of the sovereignty of God. Both in shepherds and in eastern magi gathering around the young Child, I see God dispensing his favours as he wills; and, as I see it, I exclaim, “I thank you, oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight.” In this we see again another example of God’s sovereign will; for as of old there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah the prophet, but to none of them was Elijah sent, except to the woman of Sarepta; so many there were who were called wise men among the Jews, but to none of them did the star appear; but it shone on Gentile eyes, and led a chosen company from the ends of the earth to bow at Emmanuel’s feet.
3. Sovereignty in these cases clothed itself in the robes of mercy. It was great mercy that regarded the low estate of the shepherds, and it was far reaching mercy which gathered from lands which lay in darkness a company of men made wise to salvation. Mercy wearing her resplendent jewels was present with divine sovereignty in the lowly abode of Bethlehem. Is it not a delightful thought, that around the cradle of the Saviour, as well as around his throne in the highest heaven, these two attributes meet? He makes himself known — and in this is mercy; but it is to those whom he has chosen — and by this he shows that he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion.
4. We will now endeavour to learn a practical lesson from the account of the wise men who came from the east to worship Christ. We may, if God the Holy Spirit shall teach us, gather such instruction as, may lead us also to become worshippers of the Saviour, and joyful believers in him.
5. Notice, first, their enquiry; may many of us become enquirers upon the same matter — “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” Notice, secondly, their encouragement — “We have seen his star.” Because they had seen his star they felt bold to ask, “Where is he?” And then, thirdly, their example — “We have come to worship him.”
6. I. THEIR ENQUIRY — “Where is he?”
Many things are evident in this question. It is clear that when the
wise men thus enquired, there was in their minds awakened
interest. The King of the Jews was born, but Herod did not ask,
“Where is he?” until his jealousy was aroused, and then he asked the
question in a malicious spirit. Christ was born at Bethlehem, near to
Jerusalem; yet throughout all the streets of the holy city there were
no enquirers, “Where is he?” He was to be the glory of Israel, and
yet in Israel there were few indeed who, like these wise men, asked
the question, “Where is he?” My dear hearers, I will believe that
there are some here this morning whom God intends to bless, and it
will be a very hopeful sign that he intends to do so, if there is an
awakened interest in your mind concerning the work and person of the
incarnate God. Those who anxiously desire to know of him, are only a
small company. Alas! when we preach most earnestly about him, and
tell of his sorrows as the atonement for human sin, we are compelled
to lament most bitterly the carelessness of mankind, and enquire
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by;
Is it nothing to you that Jesus should die?
He is despised and rejected by men, men see in him no beauty that they should desire him; but there are a chosen number who enquire diligently, and who come to receive him; to these he gives power to become the sons of God. It is a happy circumstance, therefore, when there is interest present. Interest is not always present in the things of Christ, even by our regular hearers. It gets to be a mere mechanical habit to attend public worship; you become accustomed to sit through such a part of the service, to stand and sing at such another time, and to listen to the preacher with an apparent attention during the discourse; but to be really interested, to long to know what it is all about, to know especially whether you have a part in it, whether Jesus came from heaven to save you, whether for you he was born of the virgin, to make such personal enquiries with deep anxiety, is far from being a general practice: oh that all who have ears to hear would hear in truth. Wherever the word is heard with solemn interest, it is a very encouraging sign. It was said of old, “They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces toward the place.” When a man listens with deep attention to the word of God, searches God’s book, and engages in thoughtful meditation with the view of understanding the gospel, we have much hope for him. When he feels that there is something weighty and important, something worth the knowing, in the gospel of Jesus, then we are encouraged to hope for good things for him.
8. But in the case of the wise men we see not only interest present, but belief affirmed. They said, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” They were, therefore, fully convinced that he was the King of the Jews, and had recently been born. As a preacher I feel it to be a great mercy that I have to deal generally with people who have some degree of belief concerning the things of God. Oh that we had more missions to those who have no kind of faith and no knowledge of Christ; and may the day come when everywhere Jesus Christ shall be known. But here at home with most of you we have something to begin with. You do believe something concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was born King of the Jews. Place much value on what you have already believed. I consider a great advantage for a young man to believe his Bible is true. There are some who have a hard fight to reach as far as that, for infidel training has warped their minds. It is not, of course, an advantage which will save you, for many go down to hell believing the Scriptures to be true, and so they accumulate guilt upon themselves from that very fact; but it is a fine vantage ground to occupy, to be assured that you have God’s word before you, and not to be troubled with questions about its inspiration and authenticity. Oh that you may go from that point of faith to another, and become a hearty believer in Jesus. These wise men were so far advanced that they had some leverage for a further increase in faith, for they believed that Christ was born, and born a King. Many who are not saved, still know that Jesus is the Son of God. We do not have to argue with you this morning to bring you out of (a) Socinianism — no, you believe Jesus to be the divine Saviour; nor have we to reason against doubts and scepticism concerning the atonement, for these do not perplex you. This is a great mercy. You certainly stand in the position of highly favoured people. I only trust you may have grace given to you to avail yourselves of the favourable position in which God has placed you. Value what you have already received. When a man’s eyes have long been closed in darkness, if the oculist gives him only a little light he is very thankful for it, he is hopeful that the eye is not destroyed, that perhaps by another operation further scales may be removed, and the full light may yet stream in upon the darkened eye. So, dear friend, be thankful for any light. Oh soul, so soon to pass into another world, so sure to be lost unless you have the divine light, so certain to be cast into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, be thankful for a spark of heavenly light; prize it, treasure it, be anxious about it so that it may come to something more, and who knows but yet the Lord will bless you with the fulness of his truth? When the great bridge across the Niagara River was made, the difficulty was to pass the first rope across the broad stream. I have read that it was accomplished by flying a kite, and allowing it to fall on the opposite bank. The kite carried across a piece of string, then to the string was tied a line, and to the line a rope, and to the rope a stronger rope, and by and by Niagara was spanned, and the bridge was finished. Even so by degrees God works. It is a fair sight to see in human hearts a little interest concerning divine things, a little desire after Christ, a feeble wish to know who he is and what he is, and whether he is available for the sinner’s case. This hunger will lead to a craving after more, and that craving will be followed by another, until at last the soul shall find her Lord and be satisfied in him. In the wise men’s case therefore we have, as I trust we have in some here, interest present, and a measure of belief affirmed.
9. Furthermore, in the case of the wise men, we see ignorance admitted. Wise men are never above asking questions, because they are wise men; so the magi asked, “Where is he?” People who have taken the name and degree of wise men, and are so esteemed, sometimes think it is beneath them to confess any degree of ignorance, but the really wise do not think so; they are too well instructed to be ignorant of their own ignorance. Many men might have been wise if they had only been aware that they were fools. The knowledge of our ignorance is the doorstep of the temple of knowledge. Some think they know, and therefore never know. If they had known that they were blind, they would soon have been made to see, but because they say, “We see,” therefore their blindness remains upon them. Beloved hearer, do you want to find a Saviour? Would you gladly have all your sins blotted out? Would you be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ? Then do not blush to enquire, admit that you do not know. How should you know if heaven does not teach you? How should any man attain the knowledge of divine things, unless it is given to him from above? We must all be taught by the Spirit of God, or be fools for ever. To know that we need to be taught by the Holy Spirit is one of the first lessons that the Holy Spirit himself teaches us. Admit that you need a guide, and diligently enquire for one. Cry to God to lead you, and he will be your instructor. Do not be high minded and self-sufficient. Ask for heavenly light, and you shall receive it. Is it not better to ask God to teach you, than to trust in your own unaided reason? Bow, then, the knee, confess your aptness to err, and say, “What I do not know, teach me.”
10. Notice, however, that the wise men were not content with admitting their ignorance, but in their case there was information sought for. I cannot tell where they began to ask. They thought it was most likely that Jesus would be known at the metropolitan city. Was he not the King of the Jews? Where would he be so certain to be known as at the capital? They went, therefore, to Jerusalem. Perhaps they asked the guards at the gate, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” and the guards laughed them to scorn, and replied, “We know of no king except Herod.” Then they met a loiterer in the streets, and to him they said, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” and he answered, “What do I care for such crazy questions? I am looking for a drinking companion.” They asked a merchant, but he sneered, and said, “Never mind kings, what will you buy, or what have you to sell?” “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” they said to a Sadducee, and he replied, “Do not be such fools as to talk in that fashion, or if you do, please call on my religious friend the Pharisee.” They passed a woman in the streets, and asked, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” but she said, “My child is sick at home, I have enough to do to think about my poor babe; I do not care who is born, or who may die besides.” When they went to the very highest quarters, they obtained very poor information, but they were not content until they had learned all that could be known. They did not know at first where the newly born King was, but they used every means to find him and asked information from all hands. It is delightful to see the holy eagerness of a soul which God has quickened; it cries, “I must be saved; I know something about the way of salvation, I am grateful for that, but I do not know all I want to know, and I cannot rest satisfied until I do. If beneath the canopy of heaven a Saviour is to be found, I will have him; if that book can teach me how to be saved, I will turn its pages day and night; if any book within my reach may help me, I will spare no midnight oil if I may only in the reading of it find Christ my Saviour. If there is one whose preaching has been blessed to the souls of others, I will hang on his words, if perhaps the word may be blessed to me, for I must have Christ: it is not I may or I may not have him, but I must have him; my hunger is great for this bread of heaven, my thirst insatiable for this water of life; tell me, Christians, tell me, wise men, tell me, good men, tell me any of you who can tell, where is he who is born King of the Jews? for I must have Christ, and I long to have him now.”
11. Notice further, that in reference to these wise men from the east, there was for their search after Christ a motive declared. “Where is he,” they said, “so that we may go and worship him?” Ah! soul, and if you wish to find Christ, let it be your motive that you may be saved by him, and that then henceforth and for ever you may live for his glory. When it comes to this, that you do not hear the gospel merely as a habit, but because you long to obtain its salvation, it will not be long before you will find it. When a man can say, “I am going up to the house of God this morning, and oh may God meet with me there,” he will not go there in vain for long. When a hearer can declare, “As soon as I take my seat in the congregation, my one thought is, ‘Lord, bless my soul today?’ ” he cannot be disappointed for long. Usually in going up to God’s house we get what we go for. Some come because it is the custom, some to meet a friend, some they scarcely know why; but when you know what you come for, the Lord who gave you the desire will gratify it. I was pleased with the word of a dear sister this morning when I came in at the back gate; she said to me, “My dear sir, my soul is very hungry this morning. May the Lord give you bread for me.” I believe that suitable food will be given. When a sinner is very hungry after Christ, Christ is very near to him. The worst of it is, many of you do not come to find Jesus, it is not him you are seeking for; if you were seeking him, he would soon appear to you. A young woman was asked during a revival, “How is it you have not found Christ?” “Sir,” she said, “I think it is because I have not looked for him.” It is so. No one shall be able to say at the last, “I looked for him, but I did not find him.” In all cases at the last, if Jesus Christ is not found, it must be because he has not been devoutly, earnestly, importunately sought, for his promise is, “Seek, and you shall find.” These wise men are a model for us in many things, and in this among the rest — that their motive was clear to themselves, and they affirmed it to others. May all of us seek Jesus so that we may worship him.
12. All through this search there was about the wise men an intense earnestness, which we would delight to see in any who as yet have not believed in Jesus. They were evidently not triflers. They came a long way, they underwent many fatigues, they spoke about finding the newly born King in a practical, common sense way; they were not put off with this rebuff or that; they desired to find him, and find him they would. It is most blessed to see the work of the Spirit in men’s hearts impelling them to long for the Saviour to be their Lord and King; and to long for him so much that they intend to have him, and will leave no stone unturned, by the Holy Spirit’s help, but what they will be able to say, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, and he is become our salvation.”
13. Am I at this moment speaking to anyone in particular? I trust I am. Some years ago there was a young man, who, upon such a morning much like this — cold, snowy, dark — entered a house of prayer, as you have done today. I thought as I came here, this morning, of that young man. I said to myself, “This morning is so very forbidding that I shall have a very small congregation, but perhaps among them there will be one like that young man.” To be plain with you, it comforted me to think that the morning when God blessed my soul, the preacher had a very small congregation, and it was cold and bitter, and therefore I said to myself this morning, “Why should I not go up merrily to my task, and preach if there should only be a dozen there?” for Jesus may intend to reveal himself to someone as he did to me, and that someone may be a soul winner, and the means of the salvation of tens of thousands in years to come. I wonder if that will occur to that young man over there, for I trust he has the enquiry of the wise men upon his lips. I trust he will not quench those desires which now burn within him, but rather may the spark be fanned to a flame, and may today witness his decision for Jesus. Oh, has the Lord looked on that young woman, or on that dear child, or on that aged man? I do not know who it may be, but I shall indeed bless God this morning, if the cry may be heard from many a lip, “Sir, what must I do to be saved? Where is he who is born King of the Jews?”
14. II. Having spoken of their enquiry, I shall now notice THEIR ENCOURAGEMENT. Something encouraged these wise men to seek Jesus. It was this, “We have seen his star.”
15. Now, most of you seekers after Christ have a great encouragement in the fact that you have heard his gospel; you live in a land where you have the Scriptures, where the ordinances of God’s house are freely dispensed. These are, as it were, Jesus Christ’s star; they are meant to lead you to himself. Here, observe, that to see his star was a great favour. It was not given to all the dwellers in the east or west to see his star. These men, therefore, were highly privileged. It is not given to all mankind to hear the gospel, Jesus is not preached in all our streets; his cross is not lifted high even in every place that is dedicated to his worship. You are highly favoured, oh my friend, if you have seen the star, the gospel, which points to Jesus.
16. To see the star involved these wise men in great responsibility. For, suppose they had seen his star and had not set out to worship him, they would have been far more guilty than others, who, not having received such an indication from heaven, would not have been able to ignore it. Oh, think of the responsibility of some of you, who in your childhood heard of a Saviour, for whom a mother has wept many tears; you know the truth, in the theory of it at any rate; you have the responsibility of having seen his star.
17. The wise men did not regard the favour of seeing the star as a matter to be rested in. They did not say, “We have seen his star, and that is enough.” Many say, “Well, we attend a place of worship regularly, is not that enough?” There are those who say, “We were baptised, baptism brought regeneration with it; we come to the sacrament, and do we not receive grace through it?” Poor souls! the star which leads to Christ they mistaken for Christ himself, and worship the star instead of the Lord. Oh may none of you ever be so foolish as to rest in outward ordinances! God will say to you, if you depend upon sacraments or upon public worship, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me. Who has required this at your hands, to tread my courts?” What does God care for outward forms and ceremonies? When I see men putting on white gowns, and scarfs and bands, and singing their prayers, and bowing and scraping, I wonder what kind of god it is they worship. Surely he must have more affinity with the gods of the heathen than with the great Jehovah who has made the heavens and the earth. Notice well the exceeding glory of Jehovah’s works on sea and land; behold the heavens and their countless hosts of stars, listen to the howling of the winds and the rush of the hurricane, think of him who makes the clouds his chariot, and rides on the wings of the wind, and then consider whether this infinite God is like that being to whom it is a matter of grave consequence whether a cup of wine is lifted in worship as high as a man’s hair or only as high as his nose! Oh foolish generation, to think that Jehovah is contained in your temples made with hands, and that he cares for your vestments, your processions, your postures, and your genuflections. You fight over your ritual, you argue about even to its jots and tittles. Surely you do not know the glorious Jehovah, if you think that these things yield any pleasure to him. Indeed, beloved, we desire to worship the Most High in all simplicity and earnestness of spirit, and never to stop in the outward form, lest we are foolish enough to think that to see the star is sufficient, and therefore fail to find the incarnate God.
18. Notice well that these wise men did not find satisfaction in what they had themselves done to reach the child. As we have observed, they may have come hundreds of miles, but they did not mention it; they did not sit down and say, “Well, we have journeyed across deserts, over hills, and across rivers, it is enough.” No, they must find the newly born King, nothing else would satisfy them. Do not say, dear hearer, “I have been praying now for months, I have been searching the Scriptures for weeks, to find the Saviour.” I am glad you have done so, but do not rest in it; you must get Christ, or else you perish after all your exertion and your trouble. You want Jesus, nothing more than Jesus, but nothing less than Jesus. Nor must you be satisfied with travelling in the way the star would lead you, you must reach HIM. Do not stop short of eternal life. Lay hold on it, not merely seek it and long for it, but lay hold on eternal life, and do not be content until it is an ascertained fact with you that Jesus Christ is yours.
19. I should like you to notice how these wise men were not satisfied with merely getting to Jerusalem. They might have said, “Ah! now we are in the land where the Child is born, we will be thankful and sit down.” No, but “Where is he?” He is born at Bethlehem. Well, they go to Bethlehem, but we do not find that when they reached that village they said, “This is a favoured place, we will sit down here.” Not at all, they wanted to know where the house was. They reached the house, and the star was over it. It was a fair sight to see the cottage with the star above it, and to think that the newly born King was there, but that did not satisfy them. No, they went right into the house; they did not rest until they saw the Child himself, and had worshipped him. I pray that you and I may always be so led by the Spirit of God that we may never put up with anything short of a real grasping of Christ, a believing sight of Christ as a Saviour, as our Saviour, as our Saviour even now. If there is one danger greater than another that the young seeker should strive against, it is the danger of stopping short of a hearty faith in Jesus Christ. While your heart is tender like wax, take care that no seal except the seal of Christ is set on you. Now that you are uneasy and uncomfortable, make this your vow, “I will not be comforted until Jesus comforts me.” It would be better for you never to be awakened than to be lulled to sleep by Satan — for a sleep that follows upon a partial conviction is generally a deeper slumber than any other that falls upon the sons of men. My soul, I charge you go to the blood of Christ, and be washed in it; go to the life of Christ, and let that life be in you, so that you are indeed God’s child; do not put up with suppositions, do not be satisfied with appearances and perhapses; do not rest anywhere until you have said — God having given you the faith to say it, “He loved me and gave himself for me, he is all my salvation and all my desire.” See, then, how these wise men were not made by the sight of the star to keep away from Christ, but they were encouraged by it to come to Christ, and be encouraged, dear seeker, this morning to come to Jesus by the fact that you are blessed with the gospel. You have an invitation given to you to come to Jesus, you have the motions of God’s Spirit upon your conscience, awakening you; oh come, come and welcome, and let this strange winter’s day be a day of brightness and of gladness for many a seeking soul.
I have turned my thoughts on this last point into verse, and I will
repeat the lines —
Oh where is Christ my King?
I languish for the sight,
Fain would I fall to worshipping,
For he’s my soul’s delight.
Himself, himself alone,
I seek no less, no more,
Or on his cross, or on his throne,
I’d equally adore.
The sages saw his star,
But rested not content,
The way was rough, the distance far,
Yet on that way they went.
And now my thoughts discern
The sign that Christ is nigh,
With love unquenchable I burn,
T’ enjoy his company.
No star nor heavenly sign
My soul’s desire can fill,
For him, my Lord, my King divine,
My soul is thirsting still.
21. III. And now we shall conclude, by considering THE EXAMPLE of these wise men. They came to Jesus, and in so doing, they did three things: they saw, they worshipped, they gave. Those are three things which every believer here may do this morning over again, and which every seeker should do for the first time.
22. First, they saw the young Child. I do not think they merely said, “There he is,” and so ended the matter, but they stood still and looked. Perhaps for some minutes they did not speak. About his very face I do not doubt there was a supernatural beauty. Whether there was a beauty to everyone’s eye I do not know, but to theirs there was assuredly a superhuman attraction. The incarnate God! They gazed with all their eyes. They looked, and looked, and looked again. They glanced at his mother, but they fixed their eyes on him. “They saw the young Child.” So, too, this morning let us think of Jesus with fixed and continuous thought. He is God, he is man, he is the substitute for sinners; he is willing to receive all who trust him. He will save, and save this morning, every one of us who will rely upon him. Think of him. If you are at home this afternoon, spend the time in thinking upon him. Bring him before your mind’s eye, consider and admire him. Is it not a wonder that God should enter into union with man and come to this world as an infant? He who made heaven and earth is nursed by a woman for us! For our redemption the Word was made flesh. This truth will create the brightest hope within your soul. If you follow that babe’s wondrous life until it ends at the cross, I trust you may there be able to give such a look at him that, just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, and those who looked were healed, so looking you may be healed of all your spiritual diseases. Although it is many a year since I first looked to him, I desire to look to Jesus again. The incarnate God! My eyes swim with tears to think that he who might have crushed me into hell for ever, becomes a young child for my sake! See him, all of you, and seeing, worship.
What did the wise men do next? They worshipped him. We cannot
properly worship a Christ whom we do not know. “To the unknown God”
is poor worship. But, oh, when you think of Jesus Christ, whose
goings forth were of old from everlasting, the eternally begotten Son
of the Father, and then see him coming here to be a man of the
substance of his mother, and know and understand why he came and what
he did when he came, then you fall down and worship him.
Son of God, to thee we bow,
Thou art Lord, and only thou;
Thou the woman’s promised seed;
Thou who didst for sinners bleed.
24. We worship Jesus. Our faith sees him go from the manger to the cross, and from the cross right up to the throne, and there where Jehovah dwells, amidst the insufferable glory of the divine presence stands the man, the very man who slept at Bethlehem in the manger; there he reigns as Lord of lords. Our souls worship him again. You are our Prophet, every word you say, Jesus, we believe and desire to follow: you are our Priest, your sacrifice has made us clean, we are washed in your blood; you are our King, command, we will obey, lead on, and we will follow: we worship you. We should spend much time in worshipping the Christ, and he should always have the highest place in our reverence.
After worshipping, the wise men presented their gifts. One opened
his chest of gold, and laid it at the feet of the newly born King.
Another presented frankincense — one of the precious products of the
country from which they came; and others laid myrrh at the Redeemer’s
feet; they gave all these to prove the truth of their worship. They
gave substantial offerings with no niggardly hand. And now, after you
have worshipped Christ in your soul, and seen him with the eye of
faith, I do not need to say to you give him yourself, give him your
heart, give him your substance. Why, you will not be able to help
doing it. He who really loves the Saviour in his heart, cannot help
devoting to him his life, his strength, his all. With some people,
when they give Christ anything, or do anything for him, it is
dreadfully forced work. They say, “The love of Christ ought to
constrain us.” I do not know that there is any such text as that in
the Bible, however. I do remember one text that runs thus — “The love
of Christ constrains us.” If it does not constrain us, it is because
it is not in us. It is not merely a thing which ought to be, it must
be. If any man loves Christ, he will very soon be finding out ways
and means of proving his love by his sacrifices. Go home, Mary, and
fetch the alabaster box, and pour the ointment on his head, and if
anyone says, “Why is this waste?” you will have a good reply, you
have had much forgiven you, and therefore you love much. If you have
gold, give it; if you have frankincense, give it; if you have myrrh,
give it to Jesus; and if you have none of these things, give him your
love, all your love, and that will be gold and spices all in one;
give him your tongue, speak of him; give him your hands, work for
him; give him your whole self. I know you will, for he loved you, and
gave himself for you. May the Lord bless you, and may this Christmas
Sunday morning be a very memorable day for many from the crowd
assembled here. I am surprised to see so vast a number present, and I
can only hope the blessing will be in proportion, for Jesus’ sake.
[Portion of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Matthew 2]
(a) Socinianism: A sect founded by Laelius and Faustus Socinus, two Italian theologians of the sixteenth century, who denied the divinity of Christ. OED.