Sermon 548. Forward! Forward! Forward!
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 18, 1863,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, Why cry you unto Me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." Exodus 14:15.
SPIRITUAL men, in their distresses, turn at once to prayer even as the stag when hunted takes to flight. Prayer is a never-failingresort. It is sure to bring a blessing with it. Even apart from the answer of our supplications, the very exercise of prayeris healthy to the man engaged in it. Far beit from me ever to say a word in disparagement of the holy, happy, heavenly exercise of prayer. But, Beloved, there aretimes when prayer is not enough-when prayer itself is out of season. You will think that a hard saying and say, "Who can bearit?" But my text is to thepoint. Moses prayed that God would deliver His people. But the Lord said to him, "Why cry you unto Me?" As much as to saythis is not the time for prayer, it is the time for action. "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." Whenwe have prayed over a matter to acertain degree, it then becomes sinful to tarry any longer. Our plain duty is to carry our desires into action, and havingasked God's guidance and having received Divine power from on high, to go at once to our duty without any longer deliberationor delay.
Brethren, a vigorous faith will often shut its eyes to difficulties. When faith looks upon a difficulty as being exceedinglygreat, then she turns to prayer. But, on the other hand, after having sought God's help and having received it, she frequentlylaughs at the impossibility and cries, "Itshall be done." and then, instead of betaking herself any longer to her knees, she boldly marches on, believing that thedifficulty will vanish before her, that the crooked will be made straight and the rough places plain. We are not to be alwayspraying over a difficulty. When wehave fairly committed it to God, we are to act upon the assurance that He has heard us.
Nor will such an action be the fruit of rashness for it is a solid and substantial fact that prayer does avail with God. Beloved,it strikes me that the advice which the Lord gave to Moses was such as He has given to the preacher tonight- and that themessage which Moses delivered to thechildren of Israel is a very fit one for me to deliver to you. Short, prompt, soldier-like, here is the whole of it-"Forward!Forward!" If you have been sitting down or tempted to go back-"Forward!" We have long been praying, let us tonight, "go forward."The one subjectwe shall take up and try to deliver to different classes of characters, is, "Thus says the Lord, you children of Israel,Forward!"
I. First, we will contemplate THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AS A FLOCK OF FUGITIVES. And in this light they give encouragement totrembling sinners flying from the curse of the Law and from the power of their sins. I think I see those poor Israelites crowdingtogether, all alarmed and afraid, whisperingto one another some such trembling words as these-"I saw them. I saw my old master on horseback riding after me. I lookedand I saw regiment upon regiment of warriors marching in long red lines." "I heard," says another, "the sound of their warmusic. I heard the clash oftheir spears. We cannot stand against them! We are only defenseless multitudes and they are the well-trained sons of Mizraim.Their swords will be drunk with our blood."
They huddled together as a company of doves seeking to escape the hawk. Alas! What can they do? They are crying to God andto Moses, thinking of this plan and devising another. And Moses himself, in some sort of alarm, is crying out to God for them-"Lord,help this people! They are in greatstraits. They are in frightful difficulties. The enemy says, 'I will pursue them. I will overtake them. I will divide thespoil. My lust shall be satisfied upon them.' Lord, what am I to do with this company?" Here comes the Divine answer, fullof wisdom and love-"Speak untothem and bid them go forward."
Now such is my message to the company of fugitives who are here tonight. You have been awakened. Your conscience has beenalarmed. You have begun to feel the terrors of the Law. You have heard the crack of the whip and felt it on your back. Youare trying to escape from your sins. You are not asyou used to be, a contented bondsman, but you pant to be delivered altogether from sin and its power and its guilt. Youhave been flying as best you could from sin. But the whole of your sins are after you and your conscience, with its quickear, can hear the sound of threateningjudgment. "Alas," your heart is saying, "unless God helps me, I shall be in Hell!" "Alas," says your judgment, "unless Godis merciful, I shall soon perish!" Every power of your manhood is now upon the alarm. The different parts of your heart aretalking to one another and they areall foreboding desperate mischief.
Now what shall I do for you? Shall I pray for you? Yes, that I will. Shall I bid you pray? Yes, that I may. And we may blendour prayers together-"God be merciful to us sinners! Lord save us, or we perish!" But I think while I am praying for you,I hear my Master saying, "Why cry you unto Me?
Tell them to go forward! Preach Christ to them instead of praying any longer or bidding them pray.
Deliver to them the message of the Gospel-"Forward, Sinner, forward to the Cross! Forward to the five wounds! Forward to thebloody sweat and to the crown of thorns! Go forward to the agonies of Gethsemane and to the death struggles of Golgotha. Forward!Forward to the place-
'Where the full Atonement's made, Where the utmost ransom's paid.'"
I know what you say. "Right before me rolls the great sea of God's wrath. I am surrounded with a dark, dark night and I seeno light but the sheen of these terrible waves of fire. If I go forward, God's eternal wrath is in the way." Forward, Sinner,whatever may obstruct the way! Let not Hellitself block up the road! Do you not know that when Jesus is your Leader, He will at once divide the Red sea of Jehovah'swrath? He did divide it! He went through it Himself when He suffered the wrath of God instead of you!
As you go forward, you shall find Almighty Justice standing up as a protecting wall on either hand and no longer rolling asa devouring flood. Forward in the way of faith in the Savior's name! And when you have passed through the dry bed of a seaonce deep and stormy, you shall look back and seethe deep sea swallowing up your sins and shall sing, "The depths have covered them, there is not one of them left." Forward,Sinner, forward! "Well," says one, "I will pray about it." Beware of substituting prayer for faith-faith is your present duty-Believeon the LordJesus Christ and you shall be saved. "I will think about it a little longer." Do no such thing! Thinking is a very poorsubstitute for believing. Forward! Forward at once and on the spot! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.
"But I am not fit to believe!" Forward, in God's name-forward! What have you to do with fitness? God commands you to believein His Son Jesus Christ. Forward is my message-I come not here to tamper with you-to deal with your "ifs" and "buts," andexcuses and perhapses. Hell isbehind you-you are shut up on the right hand and on the left by God's Providence, your own fears, and Divine Justice. Thereis but one way of safety and that is the way of faith. Forward, Sinner! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall besaved!
Why, some of you have been frittering away your time-weeks and months and years! You have been thinking about it, prayingabout it, reading about it, hoping about it, fearing about it-but never coming to Jesus just as you are. It is wrong-it isall wrong! God's command is neitherwork, nor feel, nor fear-it is simple and plain-BELIEVE! Forward! Trust a Savior's wounds. And in trusting there is life.In a look at Him you are saved! O, I wish I could get behind some of you and whisper a word in your ear, for I know what Satansays. He says, "Tarry,tarry, tarry!" Ah, he loves to have you in the place of breaking forth as children, that he may vex and torment you.
"Go back," he says, "go back!" Ah, I know he would like to have you at your cups again and in your old sins, but you cannotgo back if God has once brought you out of Egypt! I know what he whispers. He says, "It is of no use going forward. If youbelieve in Jesus," says he, "you will perish afterall." Back, you old Liar, back! God never did permit a man yet to walk in a path in which He commanded him to go and notto walk safely. Forward, Sinner, FORWARD! Christ is before you and Heaven in Him is before you. If you stay where you are,you shall die. If you go forward, youcan but die. And, therefore, take the captain's word tonight, for it is the word of the captain's King-"Speak unto the childrenof Israel that they go forward."
II. Secondly, we may view the great company who came out of Egypt as AN ARMY UNDER COMMAND. Therefore they must obey. Thecommand given to them is, "Forward! Forward! Forward!" Might the wise men have said in the host of Israel, "How can we goforward? That narrow beach leads down to the foamingbillow. Forward? What do you mean? We are altogether as dead men if we go forward! Would you have us swim? Do you know whereyou are? There are miles and miles of deep water and who knows the bottom of the sea? Forward? Absurd!-We shall lose the camelsand the sheep and thebaggage and our wealth and our children and our little ones-yes, and our own lives also."
But thus says the Lord, "Forward!" You came out of Egypt under Moses' command, will you play the rebel's part? If the Lordis your Captain, you must do absolutely what He bids you at any loss and at any cost. If He says, "Forward," and it is intothe Red Sea or into a gulf of fire, forward you mustgo. Now, Beloved, this presents us a picture of those who are savingly converted, who, on a sudden, meet with difficultiesin following Christ and run to their minister or to their friend, and say, "What are we to do?"
The Lord's message by me tonight to your anxious inquiry is this-"Forward!" It is a simple one-"Forward!" "Sir, I have justbegun to be a Christian, but if I continue in it, I shall lose my business. My calling is such that I cannot be honest init and serve my God faithfully withoutsinking all my capital and bringing myself and family to beggary. What ought I to do? Ought I not to give up my religion?"Forward! Forward! No matter what is before you. Forward! You are not fit to be a soldier of Christ unless you can count allcosts and still hold fast to theCross of Christ.
"Ah," says one, "but what is to become of my children, my family, my household?" Friend, I cannot tell you, but God can. Itis yours to trust them with Him, for the only command I have for you is, Forward! Forward! "But my husband says I shall nevercome into the house again! My father tells me hewill turn me out of doors." Be it so, no one pities you more than I do. But I dare not alter my message to your soul. Iam to bid you, Go forward! "Well," says one, "these are hard commands."
Yes, but the martyrs had harder still. Theirs was the stake, the gibbet, the rack. They must rot in prison. They must be draggedat the heels of the wild horse. But what is the command? "Forward.!" On went the goodly host through floods, through fires,through seas of blood. They never paused. Andif you would be worthy followers of them, you must do the same. The Master's message to you is, "Forward!" At the famouscharge of Balaclava, when the order was given to charge the batteries, what could that troop do but ride into the valley ofdeath? There they go! On, on, up tothe very cannons' mouths! The word of command must not be questioned but obeyed-
"Theirs not to make reply. Theirs not to reason why. Theirs but to do and die- Into the valley of death Rode the six hundred."
And you, if you are fit to be God's soldiers-if you are really His and filled with His Holy Spirit-you must do the same. Whatwould you think of our soldiers if, when they were bid to charge, they should say, "There is a ditch in the way." Jump init! "But there are soldiers in theway." Cut them to pieces! "But they have very sharp fixed bayonets." Fix yours, too! Push them at the bayonet's point anddrive them back. England expects every man to do his duty. What God commands must surely have a higher claim on men than whatEngland commands them to do!Comrades in arms, all my message to you is, "Forward! Forward!" If God has called you to honor and glory and immortalityand eternal life-if loss of business, comfort, honor, fame, friends. If relatives should threaten you, you must not be daunted-forHe who loves any ofthese more than Christ is not worthy of Him.
There are cowards of another sort with whom I must have a word. They do not like going forward. They would not lose by itif they did, but they feel a quivering sensation of nervousness come over them. And though they know their Master's commands,yet they say, "Well, I must think the matter over."Now suppose one instance-and I take only one of the sort-suppose you know it (as it certainly is, whether you know it ornot), to be your duty to be baptized? How often I have heard people say, "Well, yes, the Lord is my gracious Master and Iam His servant and I believeit is the duty of Believers to be baptized. But if the Lord ever reveals it to me, then I will do it"?
There is a soldier for you! He is not content to get the same orders as his fellow soldiers! No, he cries, "When the regimentis on the march, if the captain will come round to my tent and talk to me by myself, I will not mind going." Why, he deservesto be flogged as a deserter! I will not wishanything hard to my Christian Brothers and Sisters, but I do venture to prophesy that they will be beaten with many stripesif they talk in that way. "Ah," says one, "but the Lord must apply it to me." What for? The thing is clear enough withoutits being applied. If there isanything in the Bible which is plain at all, it is that he who believes in Christ should he buried with Him in Baptism.Then, if it is your clear duty, you ought to do it at once.
"Well, I will pray about it." And do you believe God will hear such a wicked prayer as that? If I tell my child that thereis something for him to do and he tells me, "Well, I will think about it." I shall let him know that I am not to be thus impudentlytrifled with. If I say to him, Now, mychild, do so-and-so. "Father, I will pray about it." Believe me, I shall not put up with such hypocritical rebellion! Itwill not do in one's own house, much less in the House of God. Are you to be permitted to trifle with positive precepts andthen to lay your sin upon God's back?I do not think so.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, if you have been sitting down timidly and saying, "Well, one of these days I will come out andown my Lord," instead of that, I am bid to command you on this point and on every other, if it is a plain duty, whether itis pleasant to the flesh or not, "Forward! Forward!Forward!" What are your marching orders? Does your Lord tell you to do it? Do it! Do the Scriptures bid you? Do it! It isnot yours to reason why any more than it is the soldier's. But as the seed of Israel marched right on, even though the seawas in their way, so mustyou-though death itself should be the result. "Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward."
III. We will change the topic once again and we will take a third view of it. Let us view these people as ON THE MARCH TOWARDSCANAAN. Many of you are on your way towards Heaven and the Lord's command to you is, "Forward! Forward!"
I would that I could sound that one word in the ears of many whom I believe to be the Lord's people but who have for a longtime settled upon their lees. There are some persons who cannot be persuaded to make an advance in the Divine life. The momentyou urge them to anything practical they callyou legal. They seem to consider themselves as inanimate clay ordained to lie passively in the hands of the Holy Spirit.But they forget that the Holy Spirit works in us, not to be idle and powerless, but to will and to do of God's good pleasure.They neither will, nor do, but talkabout the Spirit as though He were to will and to do everything for them.
To such who have been converted but have made no progress let me, in my Master's name, give clear utterance to that word,"Forward." Brothers and Sisters, you and I ought to go forward in knowledge. If I know no more of Scripture than I did tenyears ago, what have I done with my time? If I am nobetter instructed myself as a scribe in my Master's kingdom, of what use shall I be to others? If you have been in thisworld these years and yet doctrine has not become more clear, nor experience more plain it is time you should look about youand follow on to know the Lord. We donot keep boys at school year after year if they make no progress. And yet how many there are of professing Christians whoseem to have been stunted in their early profession so that they positively have not advanced in knowledge one iota beyondwhere they were ten or twenty yearsago? In this point, however, they are not so much to blame as in others.
"Forward," should be the motto as to our faith. You were doubting and fearing twenty years ago. If I recollect, when I wasbut a lad ten years ago, I heard you lament-
"It is a point I long to know, Oft it causes anxious thought." Have you not a better time than that now? Can you not sing-
"A debtor to mercy alone, Of Co venant mercy I sing; Nor fear with Your righteousness on, My person and offerings to bring- The terrors of Law and of God, With me can have nothing to do; My Savior's obedience and blood Hide all my transgressions from view."
I do not suppose you will altogether be rid of fears, but I do think your motto should be-"Forward!"-that your faith shouldbecome more constant and your doubts less frequent. Surely the venerable saint who has proved his Master a hundred times oughtto find his faith more strong thanthose of us who are but babes in the family! Ought we to be always limping, always hoping and trusting, doubting and fearing?Is it not time for us to use the strong muscles of the fully developed man-and, leaving all nursery carts-ought we not tostand upright withAbraham with a faith which staggers not because of unbelief? Forward, Christian, forward as to your faith!
May I not use the same word in reference to our fellowship with Christ? I am afraid most of us make no progress as to nearnessto Christ. Some of us, I am afraid, go backwards. We said, years ago, "Nearer, my God, to You, nearer to You." Are we nearer?Have we come closer to the wounds of Jesus? Dowe more frequently recline upon His bosom and sit at His feet? If not, I am commanded with Moses, "Speak unto the childrenof Israel, that they go forward."
Above all, have we made any progress as to work for our Master? Some, as they grow old, give up their work. I do not understandit! I must confess an inability of comprehending how any man who once preached the Gospel can ever leave his ministry whilehis strength lasts. If the Master has onceallotted you a field of labor, unless it is sheer inability, I cannot understand how you can ever cease to till the ground,or reap the sheaves. No, you will, if God has called you, want to do more and more and more for Jesus!
You will feel a growing thirst after precious souls-at least you ought to. You will be moved with greater yearnings of yourheart towards your fellow immortals and a higher zeal for the spread of your Master's kingdom. Christian men, when I thinkof some of you who have tasted that He isgracious, and are content with the taste. You who have been into the river of Jesus' love until you are up to the ankles,but are loath to wade into the deeper parts of the heavenly stream. When I think of some of you who are worshipping in theouter courts and have no ambition toenter into that which is within the veil. When I remember how some of you seem never to comprehend the resurrection life,nor what it is to be raised up together to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus-I do marvel at you that you thus stand backand in the name of God, whoseservant I am, I give you this motto-"Forward! Forward!"
Press onward in the Divine life! Forget the road already trod and onward urge your way. Cry for the Spirit of God! Ask formore unction, more power, more consciousness of the Divine indwelling and then take for the motto on your banner-"Forward!Forward! Forward!"
IV. In the fourth place, but with very great brevity, TO CHRISTIANS IN TROUBLE our text is applicable. The children of Israelwere in great straits. They were in a trial into which God had brought them. And it is an absolute certainty that if God bringsyou in, He will bring you out. He never didtake a saint where he must of necessity perish. The rocks of daily life rise on the right and on the left. The raging enemyis behind. The equally raging sea is before. What is to be done now? God's word is-"Forward!"
God shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace. In this vast assembly there may be several Christians who said to themselveslast Saturday night, "I will go up to the House of God and enquire at the hand of the man of God what the Lord will do forme." This is the answer to your enquiry. Youcannot help yourself-that is clear. Your trouble is none of your own finding-that you know. And your escape will not beof your own working-that you know, also. You have nothing now to do but to cast yourselves upon your God and go forward!
Beloved, it is a blessed thing to be absolutely stripped of creature comforts that you may be wholly clothed upon with theCreator. It is not pleasing to flesh and blood to be brought down to abject nothingness. But faith never is more happy thanwhen the strength of the mortal is altogetherdead-because then the immortal God comes in and clothes our weakness with His Omnipotence. If I might have any choice betweenhaving abundant wealth, or being brought to absolute dependence upon daily supplies. If in the latter case I could have greaterpower to exhibit and toexert faith in Christ, I must confess that I should prefer the mode of living which would give me most room to enjoy theluxury of depending upon my God.
I believe it is more happy and more Divine a life to live from hand to mouth, dependent upon the Providence of God and havingthe confidence to trust Him, than it is to have all the abundance of this world but to have nothing about which faith mayexercise itself. Often when our joys are thickabout us and we have ten thousand creature comforts, we are then naked and poor and miserable in spirituals. But when thecreature comforts fall as the leaves are falling from the trees in autumn, then it is that we have frequently the most joyand the most peace in God. "Give meback my sickbed," said a saint when he remembered what joy he had had upon it!
Theodoret, the martyr, said that his persecutors had done him an injury when they took him off the rack. "For," said he, "whileI was on the rack, God sent His angels to comfort me. And now you have taken me off, I am afraid I shall lose their heavenlypresence." Experimentally I have learned, dearFriends, that at the Red Sea of affliction we see most of the right arm of God. I am glad there was a Red Sea! I bless Godthat it had deep and foaming billows! I praise His name that there were fierce and cruel Egyptians-for if there had neverbeen that Red Sea, never wouldthe song of Moses and the shout of Miriam have been heard-"Sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously: the horseand his rider has He thrown into the sea."
Your tribulations will yet yield you music. All you have to do now is to honor God by going forward! Hold your peace and Godshall fight for you! "Be still and know that I am God." When the worst has come to the worst, that God-
"Who moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform, Will plant His footsteps in the sea, And ride upon the storm. Forward!Christian, forward!"
V. Let me not weary you, but I must, again, use my text in another manner-for the exhortation of all of you who are followersof my Lord and Master. THE ISRAELITES WERE UPON A DIVINE MISSION. They were going up to slay the Canaanites, Hivites, Jebusitesand Hittites. They must all be slainwith the sharp sword of Israel. But a difficulty rolls between them and their prey! The message, however, of God's captain,is still, "Forward! Forward!"
My Brothers and Sisters, let me specially address you who are associated in Church fellowship here. Some of you will rememberwhen I came up from the country. I remember better than you do, for I have hidden these things in my heart. A child, almosta babe, I came into your place of worship whichwas half empty, no, not one-sixth full. You may, some of you, remember that sermon when the youth preached of the faithfulnessof God and tried to magnify Divine Immutability. I believe the note of the charge that morning, was, "Forward!"
Hope was kindled in the breasts of many. The few there who were faithful to the cause hoped and believed that God had betterdays for them and we took heart. You will remember, some of you, when the people began to throng the aisles. Within threeor four Sundays, when the place was full, our crywas "Forward!" We had more Prayer Meetings, more earnestness every day! I recollect it was thought a strange thing to seesuch zeal! Then we wanted to enlarge the Chapel. And one Sunday evening, preaching from that text-"By faith the walls of Jerichofell down"-whencertain ones had objected to any alteration because it was a mere spasm, a mere excitement-the young lad from the countrywould soon be forgotten-I said concerning that wall at the back, "By faith this wall will fall down," for our motto was "Forward!"
We held a little meeting, raised the money at once-down went the wall-the place was enlarged. The enlargement was of no use,our motto was, "Forward!" God opened the doors of Exeter Hall to us. We went there. The place was crowded, multitudes of soulswere converted. The Churchincreased-did we stop? Our motto was "Forward!" The Surrey Hall was proposed to us, a larger structure. We went about itand we said, "This is too immense a place, too bold a venture."
I thought in my own mind, "The place will never be filled." You remember we still dared it, for our motto was "Forward!" Thencame a crushing blow, a terrible disaster which seemed to shatter us all and, most of all, the man who was called to takethe brunt of the battle. He was laid upon theground all broken-hearted and wretched by the catastrophe, but God suffered him not to lose heart! He rose from the dustof despondency. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him. His cry was "Forward!" And once again he stood among you and again thethousands gathered and on, on, on,from that time, "Forward!" has been the cry.
"We will build a tabernacle," said we. Thirty thousand pounds! We stood back. Where would it come from? "The silver and thegold are Mine," was the promise of God. Some bold hearts went on, for our motto was "Forward!" And we prayed and worked andbelieved and lo-we entered this spacioushouse without a debt and we worship in it, remembering that of our own we gave unto God and that this goodly structure isa proof of the power of faith. Our motto was still "Forward!"
The pastor took one or two young men to educate. He soon had a dozen. He asked your help, you helped him. He had a score.Some said it was too many. He had forty-before long fifty-now seventy. And still the cry is, "Forward! Forward!" What I wantto do tonight is just to stir your soulswith a little of the old enthusiasm, to scatter among you some coals of that holy fire which once set you in a blaze. "Forward!Forward!" is what we want! Brethren, we want to be doing more for Christ!
Compared with our congregation I believe we are doing much, but still not what we might do-not what we ought to do. Here isthis great city teeming with its multitudes and the proportion of evangelistic work which we take is far too small. "Forward!Forward!" At this time we have men ready topreach the Word. But we do not know where to find the room for them. There are rich men in this congregation and men inmiddling circumstances who might take a little room and pay the rent and let some young man come and preach in it and tryto raise a Church in a destituteneighborhood. Some of you might cry, "Forward!" and do that.
Others of you in the Providence of God live in poor neighborhoods and you may have a room which holds twenty, perhaps. Couldyou not let some one preach in it? Preaching is the great weapon of God for pulling down strongholds. It will pull down thelargest blocks of stone the enemy can piletogether. Preach the Gospel, the gates of Hell shake! Preach the Gospel, prodigals return! Preach the Gospel to every creature-itis the Master's mandate and it is the Master's power-"the power of God unto salvation unto everyone that believes."
I would I could make every member of this Church feel in earnest about doing good. Do you not long to win souls? Do you notdesire to spend and to be spent for your Master? I will venture to say that if you do not, you are not worthy of membershipwith such a Church as this! If no Divine zeal stirsyou. If no heavenly fire has fallen on your soul, you might find a more congenial place of rest among some dull and sluggishpeople who care not for God. As for my own soul, God knows how I yearn over souls-I work and if there is any man living whocan work more for God than Ido, I envy him his strength and endurance!
It is not twelve, nor thirteen, nor fourteen, or fifteen hours a day which will satisfy me in the service of my Master. Iwish I could be cut in pieces to preach His Gospel and that every drop of blood might tell it to my perishing fellow men.As I cannot do that, I do love to see my young menpreaching the Word of God. They are so many new mouths for me, so many tongues for some of you who have no power of speechfor your Master. They speak for you, if you have a share in their maintenance. But, oh, what I can do seems to be nothingbut contributing a drop, but takingout a cupful from the great see of the world's sorrow and the world's sin!
Do help me! Do help me, I pray you! Brethren, pray for us! If you can do nothing else, pray that the Spirit of God may restupon us in our preaching and in our efforts to extend His Kingdom-and may every one of you take a hand in this good work.I would sooner have half of you and have youall alive and earnest, than have the whole of you and have some of you a drag upon the wheels. If this Church does not serveGod-mark these words, I speak, I think, prophetically-God will make this House a hissing and write "Ichabod" upon these walls!
Never was a Church more favored than you have been! For more than two hundred years God has given you a succession of faithfulpastors. We have, each of us in our, lot strived to do our work. We have stood upon the walls of Zion and those who have gonebefore, at least, have not been foundunfaithful. And as God helps me, neither will I be unfaithful either to God's Truth or to the souls of men.
But if with such appliances-with such preaching of the Gospel and helped so marvelously-and so many of you great sinners savedfrom great sins, having had much forgiven. If you do not love much and serve much, O my God, let me not live to see the cursefall upon this Church! But atleast in my day let the blessing continue! Yes, and when this head sleeps among the clods of the valley, find them bettermen than we are to preach the Word and let this Church still be a star in Your right hand to shine amidst the thick darknessof the world!
Dear Friends, if you are not in earnest about this, I am. Oh, we must not let this opportunity pass! There is much which youcan do. I want you to help the heathen world, but I want you to begin with caring for this great heathen world of London.And if you can do nothing else, at least give usyour prayers.
VI. I have done when I shall say that soon you and I will stand on the brink of Jordan's river. The deep sea of death willroll before us. Trusting in Jesus, washed in His blood, hoping in His mercy we shall not fear the last solemn hour. We shallhear the angel say, "Forward!" We shall touch thechilly stream with our feet, the flood shall fly, and we shall go through the stream dry-shod. If the flood gathers andthe Jordan overflows its banks, still the Divine watchword, "Forward!" shall speed us on and we will enter Heaven's gatesamong the blood-washed throng and singunto Him who has enabled us to triumph gloriously in obedience to that command, "Forward! Forward!" God help you to go forwardand unto Him be praise forever and ever. Amen.