Sermon 1726. Buying Without Money
DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, JUNE 17, 1883,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"He that has no money; come, buy, and eat." Isaiah 55:1.
THERE is a semicolon in our translation, but we need not take notice of it. It should not be there, since the text is thesecond of two parallel sentences arranged according to the method of Hebrew poetry-
"Ho, everyone that thirsts, come you to the waters, And he that has no money, come, buy, and eat." We have before us the figureof a merchant selling his wares and crying like a chapman in the market, "Ho!" To attract attention he calls aloud, "Come!Come! Come!" three times; and he adds to this the cry of, "Buy! Buy!" Shall the Great King thus liken Himself to a traderin the market, earnest to dispose of His goods? It is even so and I, therefore, call upon you to admire the mercy of the Lord!In the 53rd and 54th chapters, this Divine Merchantman has been spreading out His wares. What treasures they are! Look atthe 53rd chapter-what do you see there?
Behold that Pearl of great price, the Lord Jesus Christ! Behold Him wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities!This is so costly a treasure that Heaven and earth could not match it! Where else could we find a Sacrifice for sin, a Justifierof many? This Anointed One of God, upon whom the chastisement of our peace was laid-who would not have Him to be his Savior?Surely with such a treasure to display, we ought not to cry long for buyers, for every truly wise man will exclaim, "Thisis what I need! Not only a Savior, but a great one! An atonement for sin is the one thing necessary for me." To this you areinvited in these words, "He that has no money, come, buy, and eat."
In the 54th chapter the Divine Merchantman sets forth the rare possession of His everlasting love. Read from verse seven,"For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. In a little wrath I hid My face from youfor a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the Lord your Redeemer. For the mountains shalldepart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the Covenant of My peace be removed,says the Lord that has mercy on you." What more can be set forth to win men's hearts? First, a full atonement and now, loveeverlasting, making a Covenant confirmed by oath! Should there be need, often, to cry, "Come and buy," when such celestialwares are displayed before us?
Added to this, we see a little further on, the blessing of heavenly edification. Notice the 11th verse-"I will lay your stoneswith fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires. And I will make your windows of agates, and your gates of carbuncles,and all your borders of pleasant stones." This is a rare building, is it not? There should be a quick market for such an arrayof choice things! Sapphires and agates-what more would you have? Here are all manner of precious stones and all of these givenfreely! The only terms are, "everything for nothing! Heaven for the asking!" All the treasures of God are freely bestowedupon the sons of men who are willing to accept them as gifts of Grace!
As if this were not enough, the Lord brings out a fourth blessing, namely, everlasting safety by faith-"In righteousness shallyou be established: you shall be far from oppression; for you shall not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come nearyou. No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shallcondemn." Security is worth infinitely more than gold! To be protected by Divine Wisdom from every possible harm is the portionof Believers in Jesus! To be saved and made safe forever-is not this worth worlds? Never was there a market like the Gospelmarket! And never were such wares spread out before the eyes of men as those which are here presented to you!
I shall, therefore, with the more hopefulness, speak to those who have not yet been buyers, and urge upon you the invitationof the text, "He that has no money, come, buy, and eat." In handling this text we shall notice, first, the description ofthe buyer, "He that has no money." Secondly, the selection of this particular buyer-why is he invited be-
yond all others? Thirdly, the invitation to purchase, "Come, buy, and eat." And fourthly, we shall add the assurance thatthis Gospel market is no deception, for these things are really to be had.
I. First, then, here is A DESCRIPTION of the buyer. I believe he is here this morning. I hope he will recognize his own portrait,though it is by no means a flattering one. It is the Truth of God itself, a photograph taken by the sunlight of Heaven. Itis the portrait of a poor, penniless, broken-down creature reduced to the extremity of need. Here it is-"He that has no money."Of course, by this is meant, among other things, the man who literally has no money. Among the Jews of our Lord's day thereexisted an idea that a man who had money was at a great advantage with regard to heavenly things, so that when the Lord said,"How difficult shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom," they exclaimed with wonder, "Who, then, can be saved?"as if they thought that if the rich could not be easily saved then none could be.
The Word of God contains nothing to encourage such a notion. The rich man is never extolled in the Old Testament, but he isoften spoken of most slightingly. It is the glory of the Messiah that "the poor have the Gospel preached to them," and itis the glory of the Gospel that it is freely provided by the bounty of God for the beggar on the dunghill! Let no man's heartfail him this day because he says, "Silver and gold have I none." Having nothing, you may yet possess all things! You areat no disadvantage in God's market because your pockets are empty-you may come penniless and bankrupt and receive the exceedingriches of His Grace!
But we understand the reference of the text to be mainly spiritual and so the portrait, here, is that of a man who has nospiritual money, no gold of goodness, no silver of sanctity-he it is that is invited to come and buy the wine and milk ofHeaven. His fancied stock of natural innocence is spent. At first he thought himself to be pure as the newly fallen snow,forgetting the question-"How can he be clean that is born of a woman?" They told him that he was made "a member of Christ,a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of Heaven" while he was yet a babe-and thus he was led to think that he hadstarted life's business with a respectable stock in trade.
He knows better now. He has seen this fancied goodness melt away like the mist of the morning. He has gone, like the prodigal,into the far country, and there he has wasted his substance till not a coin remains. If he searches himself through and through,he cannot find a relic of innocence. The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint-from the soles of his feet even to hishead, he is all wounds, bruises and putrefying sores. There is no health in him. Innocence is utterly gone, if it was everthere. He thought that he had accumulated some little savings of good works, but his imaginary righteousness turned out tobe counterfeit! Had he not been honest? Had he not been sober? Had he not attended a place of worship and repeated forms ofprayer? Did not all this make up a little fortune of righteousness?
He thought so, but then he was ignorant and deluded. He knows better now, for he has found out that all his righteousnessis base metal-he could not pass a penny's worth of it in the shop of his own conscience, much less in the market of Heaven.He knows that it would at once be detected and nailed to the counter. He finds that his silver is white metal of the basestsort and that his gold is a sham-he has not the face to offer it anywhere! Yes, he is so afraid of being seized by justiceas a counterfeiter that, like a wise man, he has hidden his sham righteousness in the earth and has run away from it. He isnow more afraid of his righteousness than of his unrighteousness! He would think it just as possible for him to be saved bycursing and swearing as by the merit of his own works!
His good works are an ill odor with his conscience, for he sees them to be defiled within and without with sin-a rottennessis in the bones of his righteousness and thus he is without merit of any sort. Look at his poverty-his original stock is goneand all his savings have melted away! He is in a still worse plight, for he is also too poor to get anything, the procuringpower is gone, for he has "no money." Now that he has come to his sober senses, he would repent, but he cannot find a tenderheart. He would believe, but he cannot find faith. He has no money-that is to say, nothing with which he can procure thosegood things which are necessary unto salvation and eternal life! He sees them all before him, like many a poor man who walksthe streets of London and sees just what he needs behind the glass of the shop window-but he puts his hand into his pocketand despairingly passes on, for he has no money.
As without money nothing is to be bought in the world's market, so is this poor man afraid that no blessing of Grace can everbe his because he has no good thing to offer, no righteousness to give in exchange. If God would sell him even a penny's worthof righteousness, he has not the penny to buy it! And if the Lord would pardon all his sins for one sixpenny worth of holiness,he has not so much as that to offer-he has no money! Moreover, his stock with which to trade is gone. Money makes money andhe that has a little to begin with may soon have more-but this man, having no stock to start
with-cannot hope to be rich towards God in and by himself. He cannot open the smallest shop, or sell the most trifling wares,for he has no money to start with.
Even the poorest will buy a few matches and hawk them about the streets, but this poor creature has "no money" and cannoteven invest a two-pence in goods. He has no power, even, to think aright, much less to act aright, so as to become pleasingto God. He is as much without strength as without merit. Not only is he without good, but he appears to himself to be withoutpower to get good. He is a broken trader who cannot, again, try his fortune, for he has "no money." He is worse than a commonbeggar, for he does not even know how to beg-"We know not what we should pray for as we ought." He even needs to be taughthow to beg! What a pass to come to!
There is your portrait, my poor Friend! Do you recognize it? I hope you do. I hear you say, "Yes, that is myself. I am withoutmoney." Then to you the word of this salvation is sent-"He that has no money, come, buy, and eat." "No money!" Then he cannotpay his old debts. His sins rise up before him, but he cannot make amends for them. What a long file is needed to hold therecord of his debts-it must be deep as the bottomless pit and high as Heaven! He owes 10,000 talents and has "nothing to pay."He has not a sliver-he has no money whatever! He is reduced to bankruptcy and cannot pay a farthing in the pound.
Moreover, he cannot meet his present expenses. Poor man! He must live. He must eat the Bread of Heaven and he must drink ofthe Water of Life-but he has nothing with which to procure these good things. His soul hungers, yes, even faints after theMercy of God, but he has no price with which to procure it. This day he would pluck his eyes out to be pleasing to God, buthe has nothing to offer which the Lord could accept. He is reduced to such beggary that, like the prodigal, he cries, "I perishwith hunger!" He cannot face the future. He hardly dares to think of it and yet the thought of it will come in. He remembersthe needs which will surround him on a dying bed and the terrible demands of the Resurrection Morning when the ringing trumpetshall introduce him to the dread Assize and he shall stand before his God to render his account.
He knows that he cannot answer Him for one sin in a thousand. He dreads the thought of the world to come! He has nothing withwhich to meet the demands of the eternal future. He has "no money"-nothing that will pass current in the Day of Judgment.He is brought to the last stage of spiritual destitution-poverty has come upon him like an armed man. This is a terrible plightto be in, yet I wish that every sinner here might be reduced to it, for when he is so reduced and brought low, Grace willcome in and the tide will turn! The only hope for a man who has "no money" must be outside himself. It is idle for him tolook into his own coffers-he must look away from himself-and his only chance in thus looking is to appeal to charity and pleadfor mercy's sake. He cannot buy-it is only God's mercy that talks about his buying-he must beg, he must entreat for love'ssake.
This is an essential part of spiritual poverty and I would that every unregenerate person knew that in him there dwells nogood thing-and that he were convinced that he must look out and look up for salvation-and that upon the ground of mercy sincehe cannot expect to obtain any blessing upon the footing of justice or as a matter of debt. This is the man who is calledto buy Heaven's wine and milk! Do you need a fuller picture of him? Look at the 21st verse of the 14th chapter of Luke's Gospel,where He that made the feast said, "Bring in here the poor and the maimed and the halt and the blind." This man is so poorthat he cannot buy bread, so maimed that he cannot run for it, so halt that he cannot stand up to receive it and so blindthat he cannot see it! Yet such a person we are to bring into the royal banquet of mercy!
If you would like another picture, turn to Revelation 3:17, 18-"You know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." This portrait was taken by John, whohad an eagle's eye, and saw deep into the inward misery of the heart. To the "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind,and naked," the Lord says, "I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, thatyou may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you maysee." Gospel riches are sent to remove our wretchedness and mercy to remove our misery! It is to these wretches, these blindbeggars, these naked vagrants, that the Gospel is sent!
This day I have to present the promise of God and the exhortation of mercy to those who have failed in life, who are downat the heel, broken and crushed. Oh, you utterly lost ones, to you is there opened a door of hope! The Lord has come intothe market and He bids you buy of Him without money and without price!
II. Now a minute or two upon the second point-THE SELECTION of the buyer. It is a strange choice and it leads to a singularinvitation-"He that has no money, come, buy, and eat." In the streets round about this Tabernacle, especially on a Saturdayevening, you may note the salesmen standing before their shops and crying out vociferously, "Buy! Buy! Buy!" No one can refuseto hear their noise, but if they knew that a person had no money, I think they would save their breath so far as he is concerned.They need ready-money customers and plenty of them. What would be the use of crying, "Buy! Buy!" to a man whose purse is empty?
Yet these are the very persons whom the Lord selects and to them He cries, "Come, buy, and eat." What is the reason? Well,first, these need mercy the most. Oh, poor Souls, when the Lord Jesus looks on you, He does not look at what you have, butat what you have not! He does not look at your excellences, but at your necessities! He is not looking out for a man's fullness,but for his emptiness! The Lord Jesus never gave Himself for our righteousness-He "gave Himself for our sins." Salvation isby Grace and it is presented to those who are lost, for they are the people whom it will suit- how should those who are notlost value salvation? I say that God selects the most poverty-stricken, first, because this character most needs His pityinglove! The greatness of your necessity is that which gives you a first call from the God of all Grace. Not merit, but demerit!Not desert of reward, but desert of wrath is the qualification for mercy!
Again, this character is chosen because he is such an one as will exhibit in his own person the power of Divine Grace. Ifthe Lord Jesus Christ takes one that is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked-and if He satisfies all his necessitiesby being riches for his wretchedness, comfort for his misery, wealth for his poverty, eyes for his blindness and raiment forhis nakedness, then all the world will see what a great Savior He is and how wonderfully His salvation meets the necessitiesof the case! If you and I were only little sinners, I do not see how Christ could be anything but a little Savior to us. Andif He only met our smaller needs, a small supply would suffice. Ah, Friends, it pleased the Father that in Him should allfullness dwell and He wills that this fullness should be seen!
When He takes a man whose needs are as large as the sea and as many as the sands on the shore, whose danger is deep as thebottomless pit and whose sin is black as Tophet's midnight-when He makes that man into a child of God and an heir of Heaven,ah, then all intelligences are amazed and cry out, "What a Savior is this! What precious blood is this! What a fullness thismust be which satisfies such immeasurable needs!" As it is one end of Christ's work to glorify Divine Grace, therefore Hecalls, first, upon those who have the most need, for in them His Grace will be best displayed.
Next, the Lord Jesus delights to make evident the freeness of His Grace. Now, if those were first called who have the moneyof merit, it might be imagined that they had paid their way. But if those are called who have no good thing in them, it isclear that Grace is free! When a poor wretch cannot do a stroke of work, or contribute a button to you, then your lodginghim must be of pure charity and nothing else. The Lord Jesus is very jealous of the freeness of His Grace. He will not leta sixpence of our merit cross His hand lest we should glory in our flesh and think that we have made Jesus rich. If you askme, yet again, why is he who has no money so expressly called, I would answer because he is the kind of man that will listen.The man who is needy is the man that will listen to the tidings of a full and free supply. It is the guilty man who lovesto hear of pardon! It is the bond-slave whose ears are charmed with the word, "redemption."
If you are no sinner, you will not care about a Savior. Only real sinners rejoice in a real atonement! The Lord sends theGospel to every creature under Heaven, but He knows, as we do, that the most of men will not regard it, for they fancy thatthey don't need it-but if there is one that has no merit or claim, he will listen with eagerness to the tidings of mercy!He that has no money is the man for Christ's money! He that is shivering in his nakedness will rejoice to be clothed! A wretchedsinner jumps at mercy like a hungry fish leaping at the bait. When a soul is empty, then it longs for the fullness of Christ,but not till then. Full souls quarrel over honeycombs-they are not sweet enough for them-but to the hungry man, even everybitter thing is sweet! A man who is conscious of sin will not quibble about the way of Grace, but if pardon is to be had,he will have it at once. Whoever may be silent, you will hear his voice crying aloud, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Let me add that such an empty, penniless soul, when he does get mercy, will prize it and praise it. He that has been shutup in the dark for years values the light of the sun. He that has been a prisoner for months-how happy he is when the prisondoors are opened and he is at liberty again! Let a man once get Christ, who has bitterly known and felt his need of Him, andhe will prize Him beyond all things and find his sole delight in Him! The impotent man at the beautiful gate of the Temple,when his ankles received strength, walked away and ran, yes, and leaped! He leaped, praising God,
before all the people! He could not do enough to show his delight and his gratitude! Oh, for a few leaping Christians! TheLord Jesus loves us to prize the mercy which cost Him so dearly. Shall He die on the Cross and give us blessings to treatwith contempt? No, no! We will love Him much because of His priceless gifts to us.
Therefore the Well-Beloved delights to invite those who manifestly have no merit and no spiritual power because He knows thatwhen they taste of His love, they will overflow with praise to His name forever and ever! You have heard of the old womanwho said that if ever she got to Heaven the Lord Jesus Christ should never hear the last of it? Many of us, by His Grace,are of that mind-we shall never praise the Lord sufficiently throughout eternity! If I do but once cross the golden thresholdand stand within the pearly gate, my heart, my soul, my tongue shall extol my Redeemer, world without end! This shall be theone and only contention among the birds of Paradise-who shall sing the most sweetly to the praise of infinite compassion!
None of us will yield the palm in that contest-we will see which can sink lowest in sense of obligation, which can rise highestin adoring love. Singers are needed for the celestial choirs and there are no voices so sweet as those which have known theforce of spiritual hunger and thirst! These take the alto notes and sing, "Glory to God in the highest." In any case, be thereason what it may, it is clear that there are special invitations issued for the royal feasts and these are all directedto those whose need has reached the extremity of distress. But I may not linger. How I wish that I knew how to preach! I longwith my whole heart to use great plainness of speech. I would not utter a single sentence which would seem to have the wisdomof words in it. I aim not at fine language, but only to get at poor sinners' hearts!
Oh that I could bring the sinner to his Savior! Extravagant oratory has been the curse of the Christian Church-it has hiddenthe Cross under roses and taken men's minds away from Christ. To strain after eloquence when preaching the Gospel is a sinworthy of eternal destruction! To point the sinner to Christ must be our only desire! Pray for me, Brothers and Sisters, asI go on, for I need aid from the Holy Spirit.
III. I have now, in the third place, to notice THE INVITATION. The man who has no money is to come, buy, and eat. It looksodd to tell a penniless man to come and buy, does it not? And yet what other words could be used? "Come and buy" has a meaningof its own not to be otherwise expressed. In buying there are three or four stages-and the first is desiring to have the thingwhich is exhibited. The man who buys has, first, the wish that the property in the article should be vested in himself. Willyou not desire that Christ, that forgiveness, that eternal life, that salvation should become yours? Do you not long for theLord to grant it to you?
Men in the streets, as I have said before, cry, "Buy! Buy!" because buying means business. They are not unwilling that peopleshould stop and look at their goods-they even ask them to walk in and see for themselves-but they aim at finding buyers andnot gazers! If a man were to come into the shop and turn over all the goods and never purchase anything, the tradesman wouldbegin to cry, "Buy! Buy!" with quite another accent, for he does not want a crowd to look at him-he wants people to buy fromhim! Many of you who are here this morning have only come to hear what the preacher has to say-and to criticize his styleand language. I pray you rise to something better than that! Come, and buy! Let us do business, this morning, for God andfor our own souls!
Do not waste the precious market day of the Sabbath. People come and go. They hear sermons, read books and all for a sortof amusement-they do not come to do business with the Lord. Look how they select striking sentences and cull sparkling anddelightful extracts and take notes of telling anecdotes! But all this is comparatively wasting time. "Come, buy! Buy! Buy!"Do you mean business? Then come and buy! Do not stand huckstering by the years together! Come to terms and make an end ofhesitation. If you have no desire, you will not buy, and I shall effect no sales. Again I cry, "Come, buy, and eat." Oh thatthe Spirit may work in you that strong desire without which no man will ever buy!
Alas, there are thousands who are always discussing knotty points, not because they have a wish to understand the Gospel,but because they do not care to come to serious dealings! Perhaps you have read the story of a governor of one of the AmericanStates who called at an hotel where there was a black waiter who was well known to hold Calvinistic opinions and was, therefore,made the butt for many a jest. So the Governor said to him, "Sam, you do not really believe that doctrine of election, doyou?" "Deed I do, Suh," he said. "Well, then," replied the Governor, "tell me whether I am elect or not." "Suh," said theNegro, "I did not know you were a candidate and I know nothing about a man's being elected if he has not put up for it."
Now, that is common sense! It is a business-like way of answering an absurd question. Certain people who are not even candidatesfor Heaven will yet shelter themselves behind wrong ideas of predestination-playing with the blessings of Grace instead ofdesiring them! Have you not seen a man with a pack stand at a door trying to sell a few trinkets to a servant? He does notmind half-an-hour's talk about his goods, but when, at last, he finds that the maid does not mean buying, see how he shutsup his boxes, folds up his packages and indignantly takes off, saying by his gestures, "I wish I had not wasted so much timeon you." It is just so with earnest preachers! They grow sick at heart when they see that men will not come to business. Theycry, "Who has believed our report?" and are anxious to carry their heavenly burden to another people. Oh, dear Hearers, letus not have to shake the dust off of our feet for a testimony against you! Oh, that you would hunger and thirst after Christand His salvation-and then we should soon do a trade with you!
"Buy!"-This means, next, to agree to terms, for there cannot be any purchasing, however much the buyer desires to buy andthe seller to sell, till they agree to terms. Now, our difficulty with God's goods is this-whereas ordinarily the buyer cannotbe brought up to the seller's price-in our case we cannot get men down to God's price. They will persist in offering somethingor other as a price. They talk to us thus-"I cannot be saved, for I do not see any good thing in myself. Sir, if I had a deepsense of need, then I could be saved." Or, "Sir, if I could pray better." Or, "Sir, if I had more repentance, or more love,I could then believe in Jesus."
Oh, yes, if you had a price in your hand, you would pay for Heaven's blessings, would you not? But then, you see, they arenot presented to you upon such terms! Price is out of the question! God's terms are that there shall be no terms of purchaseat all-you are to be nothing-and Jesus is to be your All in All. When you will come down to that, then take the goods-thebargain is made-Eternal Life is yours! The next thing in a purchase is that when the terms are carried out, the buyer appropriatesthe goods to himself. If I buy a thing, it is mine, and I take it into my possession. You do not see a man buy a thing andthen leave it behind him for the seller to do as he likes with it, do you?
In the things of God you are to appropriate the blessing to yourself. Put out the hand of faith and say, "Here is Christ fora sinner. I am a sinner and I take Christ to be my Savior. Here is washing for the filthy. I am filthy and I wash. Here isa robe of righteousness for the naked. I am naked, I take the raiment to be mine." Make Christ your own and He has made youHis own! Take the Lord by an appropriating act of faith to be yours forever and the bargain is struck! But the text says alittle more than that-it says, "Buy, and eat," as much as to say, "Make it yours in the most complete sense." If a man buysa loaf of bread it is his, but if he eats it, then all the lawyers in the world cannot dispute him out of it-he has it bya possession which is not only nine points of the law, but all the law!
When a poor soul has confidence enough to take Christ and to live upon Him as his own, saying, "This Christ is able to saveme. I take Him into me and I am saved," why, the devil, himself, cannot unsave him! What is to divide him from Christ? Thereis the bath and I wash in it and am clean! What then? Who can obliterate the fact that I have washed? The righteousness ofChrist is bestowed upon me and put on by me-who can tear off that glorious dress? Christ fed upon is ours beyond all question.No method of possession is more sure and safe than that of eating what you have bought. Feed, then, on Christ, the Bread ofHeaven, and though you are, in yourself, the poorest of the poor, yet He is yours forever and ever!
See, then, the blessed invitation-the whole of God's mercy in Christ-infinite love and boundless compassion are to be hadfor no price at all! They are freely given to every man who has no money with which to procure them! The height of love meetsthe depths of poverty and fills them up. He that has nothing is invited to have all things, for he is the person for whomthey were provided in the eternal purposes of God.
IV. I conclude now by saying a few things by way of ASSURANCE, to show that this is all real and true, and no make-believe.Every needy, thirsty soul may have, this day, all the Grace of God! Oh, if the Spirit of God makes him willing, he shall haveall the blessings of the Covenant of Grace to be his own forever and ever! This is no sham-there is an honest offer made toeveryone who is conscious of soul-poverty! For, first, it is not God's way to mock men. He has, Himself, declared, "I saidnot unto the seed of Jacob, seek you My face in vain." God has not said one thing in one place and another in another to contradictHimself!
He has not, in the Scriptures, bid men come to Him with the promise that He will not cast them out, all the while meaningof some of them that He will cast out! No, there are no exceptions made in the promises of God to empty sinners who come toHim! You must not dream of exceptions, which do not exist. Jesus says, "He that comes to Me, I will in no
wise cast out," and this includes all who come. I am speaking to some, this morning, who have come across the Atlantic andare not yet saved-you may have been careless and thoughtless all your lives-but if you come to Jesus Christ, this morning,He will not refuse you His salvation!
Many have come in from the country, today-oh, that this may become their spiritual birthday! Come to the Lord Jesus Christ,my Friend, and He will welcome you! He has never rejected one and He never will! He will not find pleasure in tantalizingyou. He is too good, too true to become a deceiver even to one poor lonely seeker! His Word of promise to you is true andreal-every word is full of meaning-sweeter meaning than you dream of! Grace shall be had by you at once if you will but takeit "without money and without price." Men mock men, but God never deludes. We may say of Him, "Your word is Truth."
Note that these mercies must be really meant to be given free to the poor because God is under no necessity to sell His benefits.He is not impoverished! He is so rich that none can add anything to His wealth. All things are His, therefore He must givefreely since it would be beneath His all-sufficiency to be chauffeuring for compensation, or demanding a price at a creature'shands. He means the penniless to have everything for nothing, since nothing can be imagined to be a price to Him! If a poortradesman began to give away his goods, you would say, "There is some trick about this." But when the Most High God, the possessorof Heaven and earth-WHO HAS EVERYTHING-freely gives to us, then there can be no design for His own advantage! His motive mustbe pure compassion!
There is no adequate price that we could bring to God for His mercy. How could there be? Would it be mercy if it could bebought? Grace is without price because it is priceless! You can buy gold if you will-there is some medium of exchange forthe purchase of every finite thing-but what medium of exchange could there be for the purchase of infinite blessings? Hugeheaps of such things as the native Africans call money would be of no value to us-and what self-righteous men call merit isutterly despicable to God! Is there any comparison between a man's giving all his wealth and the possession of eternal Glory?No comparison can be instituted between carnal and spiritual joys!
As you cannot bring any price, I pray you believe that God is honest when He declares that He will give you pardon of sinand all the blessings of His Grace without money and without price. You cannot have them otherwise! Believe that He meansyou to receive them by Grace! Remember that Jesus must be meant for sinners, for if sinners had not existed there never wouldhave been a Savior. When the Lord Jesus Christ set up in business to save, He must have known that there was no sphere forHis operations except among sinners and, therefore, He entered in His office with the view of saving sinners. If a doctorcomes into a town and there is nobody ill-and it is certain that nobody ever will be ill-he had better drive off somewhereelse! He will do most business where there is most sickness.
When Christ Jesus became a Soul-Physician, He had His eyes on the spiritually sick and on them, alone. They are the patientswho make up His practice and they, only. If, then, you are sick even unto death, put your case into the hands of Christ, forHe will heal you! Remember, too, that it must be true that God will give these blessings to men who have no merits-and willbestow them as gifts-because Jesus, Himself, is a Gift! Did anybody ever dream of buying Christ? Stand at the foot of theCross and say to yourself, "Could I ever have procured this vast display of love by any merit of my own? Could I have doneanything which could have merited that the Son of God should become Man and, being found in fashion as a man, He should diesuch a death as this for me?"
Salvation must be a gift, for Jesus is a Gift! Away with your sacraments, your ceremonies, your prayers, your alms, your goodworks! If these are made the brass penny with which you hope to buy such inestimable things as pardon, son-ship, Heaven-forgetit! Salvation is seen to be such when it is given to those who have no money of their own. Beside that, Christ is All in All.Men have no notion what Christ is when they talk of getting ready for Christ, or bringing something to Him. What would youbring to Christ? Everything is in Christ and, therefore, you cannot bring anything to Him. "Oh, but," you say, "I must comewith a broken heart." I tell you, no! You must go to Christ for a broken heart! "Oh, but I must come with a sense of need."I tell you that a true sense of need is His work in you! True repentance and a sense of need spring from His Grace-you mustget them from Him without money and without price.
"Ah, but I must be something." Say, rather, you must be nothing! We cannot drill this into men's brains! No, if we were touse steam power to work upon the mind, we could not get this thought fixed in their proud hearts! They will cling to merit!They must be something, feel something, say something, do something! Away with your somethings! Subside into nothingness!The Spirit of God brooded, of old, over chaos, so that order was clearly His work-and when the
mind seems to be all chaos and darkness, then the Spirit of God is sure to work-and the Lord's voice is heard, saying, "Letthere be light!" Go to the Lord Jesus just as you are! You will never be better-you may be worse! Go NOW, just as you are,to Jesus, and buy and eat without money, means, or merit!
One thing more I would say, and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ is blessedly free from all clogging conditions becauseall supposed conditions are supplied in Christ Jesus. We have heard of men advertising to give things away, but when you readthe advertisement, carefully, you find that you are to pay, after all. The Gospel is not so! Its freedom is real! Many a goodthing is to be had, but when you see how it is to be obtained, you say to yourself, "the conditions shut me out." But theconditions of Eternal Life shut no man out who needs to be saved and wills to be saved. Over the gate of Heaven is written,"Come, and welcome."
But you remind me that it says, "Buy," and you insist upon it that, therefore, you must pay. Not so! Salvation is alreadypaid for-all the paying has been done by Him who opened His veins to find the only price that is current in Heaven-the sin-atoningblood! If price may be spoken of-that price was all paid long before you were born- the purchasing work was done nearly 1,900years ago on Calvary's Cross! Jesus bowed His head and said, "It is finished." Will you add to that which is finished? Willyou tag on your rags to the Lord's glistering cloth of gold and add your base farthings to the infinite price which He pouredforth so lavishly at the foot of the Eternal Throne? Oh, don't do it!
To yoke you with Christ can never be! You and Christ together? An archangel and an ant would make a better pair than you yokedwith Christ! No, my Friend, sink, sink, sink-by a mighty descent sink to nothing-and let Jesus rise, rise, rise, till He fillsthe whole horizon of your thoughts and hopes, for then are you saved! Let us sing-
"'Tis done! The great transaction's done! I am my Lord's and He is mine! He drew me, and I followed on, Charmed to confessthe voice Divine."