Sermon 3247. Unreasonable Reasons
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 1904.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"O you oflittle faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:31.
OUR Savior did not ask Peter that question for His own information. He could have told Peter much more about his unbelievingheart than Peter knew! The Savior was well acquainted with those springs from which the unbelief of Peter arose. He askedit, therefore, rather that Peter might make the enquiry of himself-that he might look into the matter and see how groundlesshis unbelief was-so that on the next occasion he might not fall into the same error. I believe it is sometimes a very greatcure for unbelief to look it in the face even while we are under it-and after we have escaped from it, it is still a preventivefor the future if we look back upon it and reason concerning it. Remember how David, in the 42nd Psalm, twice asked himself,"Why are you cast down, O my Soul? And why are you disquieted within me?" He was persuaded that the questioning of his unbeliefwould convict him of its folly. It only needs to be looked at closely to lose all its terror, to be robbed of its seemingfoundation and to be overcome!
I am afraid that most of us have, some time or other in our lives, been like sinking Peter and have cried, "Lord, save me,"not in tones of faith, but in the language of unbelief. And if so, it will be as good a thing for us as for Peter to hearthe Master say to us, tonight, "Why did you doubt? Why did you doubt? Was there any good reason for it? Was there any excusefor it? Did any good come of it? Why did you doubt?"And I hope, too, that after I have spoken to Believers in that way, Imay have a word for sinners-only for them I shall have to take liberties with the text and alter it into the present tense,saying to anyone who is desirous of peace in Christ, but who trembles and is afraid, "Why do you doubt? Why do you doubt?Why do you continue in this state of hesitancy and unbelief?"
I. First, then, I have to say TO THE CHILD OF GOD, "Why did you doubt?"
Some Christians appear to go from one form of doubt to another. Fears are with them perennial. They are plants that affectthe shade-they seldom open their golden cups to drink in the blessed Light of the Divine sun! Even the strongest Believersare, I fear, at times overcome with this disease. As King David, that matchless warrior, once waxed faint-the bravest servantsof God sometimes faint even in the day of battle-I will ask them, each one, to look back upon any seasons of doubts or faintings,whether they are numerous or few, and I will then say to each one, "Why did
Did you doubt the promise thinking it was not firm enough? It was a promise to meet your trial-did you distrust it? It wasthe promise of God-did you think, perhaps, that it was fallible and might be broken? It was a promise sent to you by InspiredApostles or Prophets, as the case might be-did you still think it was no better than the word of a man and might fall to theground? You have often placed great reliance upon the promises of those you love-could you not rely upon the promise of God?You have found man's promise sometimes true when you have trusted it-were you afraid that God's promise would not be true?Or was it that you had met with so many disappointments trusting in an arm of flesh that you thought the Lord to be altogethersuch as man is? Did you think that He was a man that He would lie, or the son of man that He would change His mind? Did youforget that Jesus Christ made the promises, Yes and Amen, in Himself to the Glory of God? Was that the reason? If so, howwicked it was to doubt the promise of God! How could you
Did your unbelief assail the promise in itself? Did you think your deliverance a matter of such difficulty that Omnipotencecould not accomplish it? Were you in such need that you supposed the stores of Heaven could not supply you? Were you of theirmind who said, "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" Or of his who exclaimed, "If the Lord would make windows in Heaven,might this thing be?" Did you conceive that anything was too hard for the Lord? That His arm was shortened, that He couldnot save, that His granaries were empty, that He could not feed you? Did you think that the river of God, which is full ofwater, was dried up? Did you conceive that the foundations wherein you dwelt were no longer of rock, but of crumbling sand?That your bread would not be given you and that your water would not be sure because God had failed? Beloved, if that thoughtlay at the bottom of your unbelief, was it not a baseless thing, indeed? What a slander upon God and upon God's almightiness,to think that He had promised what He could not perform! Whether it was His truthfulness or His power which your unbeliefattacked, it was equally a wanton and an unpardonable thing! God will pardon it, I know, but I mean that it was unpardonableto yourself, for surely you must now feel as if you could not forgive yourself for having doubted either the power or thetruthfulness of your God!
Where else did the unbelief lie? Had you something in your own experience which troubled you? Was there something which youremembered in the past of failure on God's part? I will ask you-though I do not want you to answer to anyone but just to whisperthe answer to yourself-Had there been a cause in some dark hour? Had He forsaken you? Had He proved as Ahithophel? Thoughyou had eaten with Him, did He lift up His heel against you? Did He turn a deaf ear to you when you sought Him in the hourof peril? Had He then been false after all? Was there something dark and mysterious to others, which to yourself was madeplain by the belief that the Lord had deceived you, that He had utterly failed and changed? Was it so? You repudiate withhorror the thought! Then, Beloved, "Why did, you doubt?" Since you already deny that the promise made you doubt, or that thePromiser was One whom you had cause to doubt-since you also must now confess that there was nothing in your experience thatcould have caused you to doubt because the past had all been a proof of the faithfulness of God, then-"Why did the doubt?"
The child that has always been fed by its father, to whom the father has always been kind, loving and tender, who then doubtswithout any sort of reason, is surely to be blamed. Dear child, what is wrong with you? Here is a beloved wife, we will say,and for many years she has been the joy of her husband. He has done all for her comfort that she could desire-yes, and oftenbefore she has expressed her desire! He has anticipated her needs and made her life very happy in her confidence in him. Andnow is she going to doubt him? "No," she says, "I would not do him that injustice. In all my life with him I have had no reasonto distrust him. Therefore I cannot wantonly throw away my confidence." Well, child of God, there was never husband so tenderto His spouse as your God has been to you! There was never one on earth, in any relationship, that has proved His faithfulnessto another as your Lord, your Bridegroom, has proved His faithfulness to you! If you will never doubt till you have causeto doubt Him, doubting will never trouble your spirit. But you have doubted Him and the question comes cuttingly to you, undersuch an aspect, "Why did you doubt?"
Was there something about the experience of others that led you into doubt and fear?We will imagine that you met with someolder person-someone who had long been a pilgrim on the road to Heaven-who took you aside and holding you as the ancient marinerdetained the wedding guest, said to you-"It is a fiction that God is true and you are a dupe if you trust Him, for I havegone on a pilgrimage, and though it was fair setting out, I found it foul along the road. And the promises I relied upon failedme. I came to them as wells in the desert, and found them dry. I looked up to them feeling that they were as sure as the sunshine,but they did not warm me. God had forgotten to be gracious and in His anger He had shut up the heart of His compassion." Haveyou met with such a being? I have seen many of God's people- my experience and observation have been rather wide-but I havenever met with one who has come to me to make an expose of his God and say, "I have been deceived by Him."
We have seen some of them on their dying beds. Now dying men sometimes let out tales, and tell truths unthought of before.They are not able to keep secrets then. I think I have known some of them, honest men, who at such times, close upon the bordersof eternity, could not have lied-they were not accustomed to do so at other times, but then I am sure the truth would havebeen imperative upon them had it not been so before-and they have declared that not one good thing had failed of all thatthe Lord God had promised. Their declaration was that they had found Him faithful and true. In six troubles He had been withthem, and in seven He had not forsaken them. Well, then, "Why did you doubt?" If there has been no story told you by another,and no information from those who have gone further on the road than you
have, which would lead you to distrust your God, why, oh, why, without any reason or cause whatever, "Why did you
Did you doubt because you thought the Covenant was an unworthy thing? You know it is "ordered in all things, and sure." Youhave learned from God's Word that it stands fast like the great mountains and abides like the eternal hills. You are not ofthese who think that God has entered into Covenant with His dear Son and yet will run back from it. You do not suspect thata Covenant which has been ratified as the Covenant of Grace has been, will ever come to an end. I am sure you do not! Why,then, did you doubt when there is a Covenant, a Divine Covenant, always standing?
Have you forgotten that the Covenant was sealed with an oath? God swore and because He could swear by no greater, He sworeby Himself! Will you look the fact in the face, that to doubt one promise in the Covenant amounts to an accusation of perjuryagainst the Most High? I tremble to think that such guilt may have lain upon my own soul and I desire to be cleansed fromthis high crime and misdemeanor of doubting my God. For who can imagine that God can lie when He swears that after havinglifted His hand to Heaven, and sworn by Himself, He can possibly draw back from a single Word which that oath confirms?
Then, to make assurance doubly sure, there comes in, over and above the oath, the blood! The blood of victims always ratifiedthe Covenant-and the blood of Jesus Christ has ratified the Covenant of Grace. What? Can you not trust the bleeding Son ofGod? His blood is on the promise and can that promise be a slighted thing, never to be redeemed by a God of Grace? Has Hegiven it and will He make it to become a dead letter and allow His enemies to throw it in His teeth and say, "He spoke, butHe did not fulfill! He promised, but He did not perform!"? Rather let us say-
"The Gospel bears my spirit up, A faithful and unchanging God Lays the foundation for my hope In oaths, in promises, and blood.""Why did you doubt?" In the sight of the Eternal Covenant, "Why did you doubt?" In the Presence of the Incarnate Son of Godbleeding on the Cross to make every promise sure, "Why did you doubt?"
Let me ask you another question. Do you remember that dear hour when Jesus first revealed Himself to you? He led you intothe wilderness and there He spoke to your heart and in a momentblotted out your sins like a cloud! Then your love to Him wasvery warm. You went after Him into to wilderness, forsaking all for His dear sake. In the memory of that early love when Hewas near to you, how can you doubt Him? Since that time He has helped you in all difficulties, borne you up in all dangersand has carried you all the days of old, so why did you doubt Him? You have laid your head upon His bosom, you have brokenbread with Him and dipped in the same dish with Him-and you have been as dear to Him as the ewe lamb in Nathan's parable wasto its owner-you have been His darling! You have had chaste fellowship with Him. You have been admitted into the secret placeof the Most High. There were times when you could tell others what a dear Savior and a blessed Lord He had been to you. Yes,there were "high days as holidays" to you, when your heart did dance at the sound of His name! Why did you doubt Him? Whathas He done, or what have you found out about Him that has led you into this state of heart? What has He done, or what haveyou heard of Him that could have brought you into such a condition that you should doubt the Lord your God?
Now I will suppose some of the answers that might be given to this question of Christ. I hear one say, "I doubted becauseI was in peculiar circumstances. I hardly think anybody ever was in a condition similar to mine. I felt as if I was made peculiarlythe target for the arrows of the Most High. I felt that I was the man that above all others had seen affliction." Well, butdo you think that these things were peculiar to God? Remember He had promised that He would deliver you and bring you through!He had said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Did that promise say, "except in a peculiar case"? Is there a caveatput at the end of such gracious words? "There may, however, arise some conditions in which this promise will not stand," yousay. You know it is not so! That promise, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you," has five negatives in it in the originaltext, sweeping away altogether all supposition that He could fail you! How could you say, "Mine was a peculiar case"? Peculiaras it is, Christ has suffered it-
"In every pang that rends the heart, The Man of Sorrows had a part."
You have not gone where Jesus has not gone! No, the way in which you have gone was first trodden by Him. In all your afflictionsHe was afflicted and, therefore we say to you, "Why did you doubt?" Your trial was peculiar to you, but not to Him!
"Oh, but," says another, "I doubted because the difficulty was a new one. It was so strong! I never before felt such perplexity.I never before experienced such a sensation of dismay!" But then your difficulty was not new to God. Had something happenedto you which God had not foreseen? Did you suppose you were in a condition in which God never intended you to be and did notforeknow that you would be? Had you then outstripped His Providence and outrun His love? Have you forgotten how the Psalmistputs it? "If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your hand leadme, and Your right hand shall hold me." Why, the Lord knew all about your case of old and provided for it! Then, "Why didyou doubt?"
"Oh, but," says one, "my case was so terribly trying-it consisted of a series of troubles-it involved such dire calamitiesand dangers." Still, what reason was there for doubt about that? Have you not heard that God's way is in the whirlwind, thatHis path is in the sea and that the clouds are the dust of His feet? If your way is through the desert, did not He lead Hispeople through a great wilderness, wherein there were fiery serpents and terrible drought? Did He not guard them in theirdesert march? Were you in such a perplexing condition that you were worse off than the children of Israel in the Red Sea orby the brooks of Arnon? Yet the Lord helped them, so why should He not help you? Surely your circumstances must have beena small matter with Him who speaks and it is done-who wills and it is finished!
"Ah, but I labor under such a sense of personal weakness." Just so, dear Brother, but is that a novelty? Did you not knowat the beginning that you were weakness, itself, but that the Eternal God faints not, neither is weary? If you had cause tosuspect Him of weakness, then there would be a reason for doubting Him-but to find out that you were weak was stale news,indeed, for you are weak as water and were always so! Did the Covenant run thus-that you were to fight the battle alone atyour own charges and carry yourself to Heaven? Was it not stated in another place that God, Jehovah-Jireh, would preserveHis people to the end? "Why did you doubt?" For a man to say, "I doubted because I was weak," is simply to give an unreasonablereason for perpetually doubting! If I doubt you, my Brother, because of something in myself, that is an absurd thing to do!I can only reasonably doubt you because of some failure in you/If I doubt because of some weakness in myself, I put the saddleon the wrong horse! I may be led to doubt and despair about myself-that is right enough, it is clear and logical-but to doubtGod because I am weak is fantastic and ridiculous! Oh, be rid of that, I pray you!
"But my doubt," says one, "arose from another reason. I lost so many friends, one after another They died or they desertedme." Well, was your faith dependent upon your friends? If so, it is little marvel that your faith failed you! Have you learnedthat wonderful 62nd Psalm which we call the "only" Psalm because it has the word, "only," so many times, beginning with it,indeed, though our translation has it, "Truly my soul waits upon God"? You know how David there says, "My Soul, wait you onlyupon God, for my expectation is from Him." If you built your hope on God, alone, and He was the one pillar of your confidence,what if God's Providence knocked away all those useless buttresses of yours-it could make no difference to the real strengthof your faith! If a man trusts in God andhis friends, he has no secure trust. He is like one that has one foot upon the rockand another on the quicksand. Betwixt two stools, we know what comes, even though the two stools are good ones. To trust inGod and to trust in friends is poor trusting! O Beloved, if our faith was what it should be, it would lean only upon the Lord,so that if we had none left to comfort us, we would still be able to say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Thereis no reason to doubt God because friends fail us.
"Still I must say," adds another, "that I was so tossed to and fro that I could not see my way." Oh, that was the reason,was it? I heard it said, the other day, when I needed to know a man's character and asked whether I could trust him, "Yes,you can trust him as far as you can see him"-and I knew what was meant by that! But is that what you mean about your God-thatyou can trust Him only as far as you can see Him? Oh, shame! Shame! Shame! And yet I am afraid that the rebuke might comehome to many of us. We need to see how He will deliver us before we rely upon Him. Now, of all the questions that ought tobe banished from the lips of a reasonable man, that should be silenced the soonest when we have to deal with an Almighty God!What have I to do with how God will deliver? He will do it somehow and that is enough for me! He will do it in the best manner.He will do it in the wisest manner. He will do it in the manner that will
bring the most Glory to His name and, in the end, most profit to His people! Therefore, let us be content to know that itwill be so and not ask, "How?" and begin to doubt the Eternal God! "Why did you doubt?"
I will put it in this way, Beloved. Did any of you ever get any good through doubting?Did you ever prosper because of it?Did doubt ever calm a sorrow? Did it ever allay a fear? Did that handkerchief ever wipe tears from your eyes? Did you everfind your distrust a staff to lean upon? Did your doubts improve your circumstances? When you have had suspicions of yourGod, have they ever filled your purse or put bread upon your table? If the rain were about to spoil your crops, did your doubtsand fears bring fine weather? If the skies were unpropitious and you needed rain, did your distrust ever make the clouds burstwith showers? Oh, you cannot say that it was ever so!
I will put it another way-Did your doubts ever glorify God? Did you ever influence a sinner in the right way by distrustingGod? Did you ever bring to Jesus Christ the slightest honor by pouring suspicion on His love? Has it not been all the otherway? Do you not think that you often grieve the Holy Spirit by doubting? Do you not think it very likely that Christ has takenit hard that His Beloved should doubt Him? I do not know anything that would cut me to the quick more than to be suspectedand not believed by those I love! We may go outside into the market and make a statement- and if strangers are suspicious,we are not surprised-but within the boundary of our own house, if our child or our wife should not be able to trust us, thatwould be the end to all the joys of the family!
Oh, how Christ's heart must be pierced when those He died for doubt Him! When those He has helped and succored, blessed andcaressed, made to sit under His shadow and eat of His fruit, yet, in the day of trial look somewhere else for help-run tobroken cisterns that hold no water, and will not come to Him, the Fountain of Living Waters! This is what, in the Old Testament,He calls playing the harlot! And though the term is harsh, yet since it is so constantly used in Scripture, I cannot helpreferring to it. He calls this sin a lack of spiritual chastity to Himself. It is a departure into a mental adultery whenthe soul goes gadding abroad to this and that person or thing for comfort-instead of keeping to her Lord. Drink waters outof your own cistern and let your soul be always ravished with His love! Let Him be as the loving hind and as the pleasantroe to you! Do not go after other lovers, for if you do, they will be a mockery to you and drive you back one day with bittertaunts! You will be compelled, at length, to say, "I will go and return unto my first Husband, for then it was better withme than now." Beloved, Jesus deserves our trust-let us give it to Him!
Our doubts and fears have often prevented Him showing us more of Himself. He has said, "I have told you of these earthly thingsthat are in My Kingdom and you believe Me not. How shall you believe Me if I tell you of heavenly things?" Our dear Lord hasmany things to say to us, but we cannot bear them yet because we are so unbelieving. But if we had more faith and rested likelittle children upon Him, He would tell us more and show us more! We might have been a long way further on the road if wehad not been hindered by unbelief. Of how many places might it not be said, "He could not do many mighty works there becauseof their unbelief?" Unbelief seems to hamper Omnipotence, to tie the hands of the Almighty! We do not know what losers wehave been by our unbelief. God grant, then, that as we turn this question over, it may breed repentance in our spirits! Andas we find how impossible it is to answer it, we may go and say, "Lord, we have no excuse to make. Only give us more of YourSpirit. We believe; help You our unbelief."
II. Now a few minutes may be spent in speaking, secondly, TO THOSE WHO DESIRE TO BELIEVE IN JESUS,
BUT FEEL THAT THEY CANNOT. To such, as I have already said, the question must be slightly altered. I will ask each one ofthem, "Why do you doubt?"
There once come into this place a young man who is now a minister of the Gospel. And he has told us how he became convertedto God. He sat over in the gallery yonder, in great distress of mind because he could not feel his sins enough. On that particularoccasion I said, "There is over in the gallery yonder a young man who feels that he is too great a sinner to be saved, thereforehe does not believe in Jesus." "Ah," my Friend said, "I thought to myself, 'I wish I was like that young man, I would liketo feel the greatness of my sin.'" But then in my sermon I went on to say, "There is another young man in that gallery whowould give his eyes to feel as the other one feels. They are a pair of fools," I said-"the one for believing that he is toogreat a sinner for an Omnipotent Savior to forgive-and the other for imagining that Christ needs his strength of feeling tofit him for salvation, as if Jesus could not save him just as he is."
If one is saying, "I cannot be saved because of the greatness of my sins," you call God a liar, for Jesus said, "All mannerof sin and of blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men." And there is that grand text, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseus from all sin." "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him," and He is able to save them now.There is no reason for your doubting, for every sin that it is possible for you to commit, it is possible for Christ to forgive!
But the other says, "My trouble is not that I feel I am a great sinner, but that I do not feel that I am a great sinner" Thenation has been entertained by some that there is a certain amount of feeling required before we are fit for Christ, and agood deal of preaching has gone to show that the sinner is to fit himself for Christ. I have read descriptions of the sinner'sfitness that really were true enough about those who were saved, but were most discouraging and unGospel-like if they hadreference to them who were not saved! Jesus Christ has come to seek and to save that which was lost. If you are lost, He hascome to save you! It is not merely those who feelthat they are lost-there are special promises for them- but those who areso lost that they do not even feel it! He even comes to give a sense of being lost to those who have no sense of it. And markyou, if Jesus waited till sinners of themselves felt their need of Him, He would never save one! It is as much His work tomake us feelour need as it is to supplyour need! Hart has well put it-
"True belief and true repentance
Every Grace that brings us nigh,
Come to Jesus Christ, and buy."
If you cannot come with a broken heart, come for a broken heart! If you are all bad and there is no good about you, not evena good feeling, yet still the Gospel says to you, and to every creature under Heaven, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, andyou shall be saved." "Still I must feel," says one. Yes, you wilfeel, and feel as you never felt before if you listen to thismessage. "Incline your ear, and come unto Me. Hear, and your soul shall live." Believe in the crucified Savior! Trust yourselfwith Him, for there is no salvation in any other! Salvation is not in your feelings, but in His work Salvation is not in lookingat the bites of the serpent, but in looking at the bronze serpent on the pole! Salvation is not in studying your leprosy,but in looking to the great High Priest who puts His hand on you and says, "I will, be you clean." Salvation is not in poringover your blindness, but in lifting up your face to Him who puts His finger on your sightless eyeballs and says, "See, forI have given you sight." Salvation is not in trying to untwist the grave clothes, but in obeying that glorious Voice thatsays, "Lazarus, come forth," even to one who has already lain three days in his grave! It is not youthat are to do the saving-itis Christ who is the Savior!
If you have any reason for doubting Christ, then doubt Him. But how can you doubt Him? Is He not able to save? He is the Sonof God! Do you believe this? Did He not die, "the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God"? Do you doubt the efficacyof His death? Can you stand at the foot of the Cross and hear Him cry, "It is finished," and then say, "That is not enoughfor me"? Do you think that to be incomplete which He says is finished? And when He has entered into His Father's Glory andsat down because He has forever completed the work of Atonement, would you bother Him? Would you take Him away from His restand say, "You have not finished the work-it is still incomplete"? Oh, say not so! If you should entertain such a thought,your unbelief would be reckless, indeed!
To me, (I speak it as in the Lord's sight), it seems this day as if I must trust Jesus and as if, racking my brain, I cannotthink of a reason for doubting the Son of God. Yet was I once as plentiful in doubts and fears as you are, poor Sinner! Iquibbled with Him about this and I quibbled with Him about that! And all the answer He gave me was to show me Himself andto say, "Look unto Me, and be you saved all the ends of the earth." I needed some ceremony, or some dream, or some strangefeeling, or some revelation-I knew not what I needed-but this I know, that I stood quibbling and quibbling, still, till Idoubt not I should have quibbled myself into Hell if at last I had not felt too wretched to continue in such a miserable business-andby His Grace, I just allowed myself to faint away into the arms of the Savior and to wake up saved! I gave up my quibbles.I gave up my good works, such as they were, wretched things! I gave up reliance upon feelings and reliance on prayer-and cameto rely only upon Him. And now, at this day, if He cannot save a poor sinner who trusts in Him, alone, I shall be damned!And if there is anything needed to save a soul except the precious blood and perfect righteousness of Jesus, I must be lost!Sinner, you have as much to trust in as I have, for I have not anything! I have not the weight of a grain of dust of meritof my own! I have not a rag! I have not a thread left of anything I can rely upon, except that dear Lord whom God has setforth to be "the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Why then doyou doubt?
Are God's Words, after all, false?Does He say, "Ho, everyone that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money,come, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price," and does He mean to
shut the door in your face when you do come? Does He say, "Whoever will, let Him take the water of life freely," and whenyou come, will He say to you, "I refuse you-I did not mean you"? Do you think that God's invitations are, after all, a hideousmockery at the woes of men? It cannot be! When He says, by the mouth of His servants, "Whoever will call upon the name ofthe Lord shall be saved," is it true or not? When He says, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved," is it true ornot? When He says, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord,and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon," is it true or not? If it is true, Why doyou doubt? Will you make God a liar? You will do so if you do not trust His promises!
Once more, O Sinner, to what end and purpose did Jesus come into the world to bleed and die if, after all, there is no forgivenessfor sinners, and if those that seek His face will be rejected? When men make a mockery of others, they do not often do itat vast expense. Do you think God has hung His Son upon the tree for mockery? That He has pierced Him with death-smarts-andall to laugh at sinners? "Ah, but I am such a great sinner." And do you think that Christ came into the world to be a littleSavior to little sinners? Is He a physician that can only heal cut fingers? Do you think that? He is the Son of God and sinseems to vanish in His august Presence! When I look at the needs of this city of London and see how many people there are,I am ready to ask, "How shall they all be fed? Where shall there be flocks and herds to supply them?" But if I go to the greatmarkets in the early morning and see the meat and other food there, I change my mind and enquire, "Wherever can there be peopleenough to eat all these provisions?" So, when I look at a sinner's sin, I say, "How can this ever be washed away?" But whenI look at the Savior's blood, I seem to say, "Sin is readily enough put away in such a fountain as this!" I change my toneand whereas I thought sin too great to be atoned for, I come to think the Atonement almost too great for human sin, if suchmight be! I cannot conceive it possible that God will find any difficulty in forgiving sin after such an Atonement has beenmade! "Why do you doubt?"
Now I will give you two great reasons for doubting and then I have done.
The first time I can recommend any sinner to doubt the Savior is when he finds a fellow sinner who has been to Jesus, hasrested in Him-and yet has perished. Now, set out upon this journey. Ask all God's people, one by one, and see if God has rejectedthem. Look at those you knew who were like yourself-perhaps they were drunks, perhaps they were swearers. Now that they havesought the Lord, see whether He has refused them. When you find that He has rejected one, then you will have reason to thinkthat He will reject you! Then you may reasonably doubt.
The other reason is this. Try Him, yourself, and if He rejects you, then you shall have cause for doubting. Go and throw yourselfat His door of mercy with this upon your heart, "I will perish here if I must perish." Go to His Cross and look up, and say,"Savior, Redeemer, Son of God, bleeding and dying-a guilty soul comes here and trusts itself with You." See if He will spurnyou! See if you are not saved! I challenge the whole earth! I challenge all Hell to find a single soul of woman born thatever came and humbly rested on the blood and righteousness of Christ and yet was lost! Such a thing has never been and nevershall be while the earth abides!
O poor Soul, then come away-come away to the Savior! I will go with you, for I love to go again and again and again, and bea beggar again at my Lord's door! Come, let us say together, "Jesus, we have guilt. We have no merit. We have no claim uponYou. We deserve to be cast into the lowest Hell. But by Your blood, by Your righteousness, have mercy upon us and save usnow. We desire to give up all our sins, to leave them behind us and to be obedient to all Your bidding. Save us, dear Savior,save us! Purge us with hyssop and we shall be clean! Wash us and we shall be whiter than snow."
If that prayer comes from any heart here, the Lord will answer it, indeed! May He bless you! Amen.