Sermon 140. A Simple Sermon for Seeking Souls
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, July 12, 1857, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."-Romans 10:13.
IT has been said by an eminent divine that many of us in preaching the word suppose too great knowledge in our hearers. "Veryoften," says this divine, "there are in the congregation persons who are totally unacquainted with the great science of divinity.They are entire strangers to the whole system of grace and salvation." It is proper, then, that the preacher should addresshimself to his hearers sometimes as if they were totally ignorant of his message, and tell it tothem as a new thing, going over the whole of it as if he believed them to be ignorant of it; "For," says this good man,"it is better to suppose too little knowledge, and so to explain the thing clearly, to the meanest comprehension, than tosuppose too much, and thus to let the ignorant escape without a word of instruction."
Now, I think, I shall not this morning err in his point of view, for I shall assume that some of my congregation, at least,are totally unacquainted with the great plan of salvation. And you that know it well, and have tried its preciousness, willbear with me, I am sure, whilst I try in the simplest words that human lips can put together to tell out the story of howmen are lost, and how men are saved according to the words of my text by calling upon the name of the Lord.
Well then, we must begin at the beginning. And we must first tell our hearers, that inasmuch as our text talks of men beingsaved, it implies that men need saving, and we tell them that if men had been as God created them, they would have neededno saving. Adam in the garden wanted no salvation, he was perfect, pure, clean, holy, and acceptable before God. He was ourrepresentative, he stood as the representative for all the race, and when he touched the forbidden fruit,and ate of the tree of which God had said, "Thou shalt not eat thereof, or thou shalt surely die." When he so transgressedagainst God, he needed a Saviour and we, his offspring through his sin, are born into this world, each of us needing a Saviour.We, who are now present, must not however throw blame on Adam; no man was ever yet damned for Adam's sin alone. Children dyingin infancy are, without doubt, saved by sovereign grace through the atonement which is in Christ Jesus. No sooner do theyclose their eyes to earth than being innocent of any actual sin they at once open them on the bliss of heaven. But youand I are not children. We need not talk just now of Adam's sins. We have our own to a count for, and God knoweth they areenough. Holy Scripture tells us that we all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and conscience beareth witnessto the same truth. We have all broken the great commands of God, and in consequence thereof the just God is bound in justicetopunish us for the sins we have committed. Now, my brethren, it is because you and I have broken the divine law, and aresubject to the divine wrath, that we stand in need of mercy. Every one of us therefore-every one of us if we would be happy,if we would dwell in heaven with God for ever, must be saved.
But there is great confusion in the minds of men as to what being saved is. Allow me, then, just to say, that salvation meanstwo things. It means in the first place, our escaping from the punishment of sins committed; and it means in the next place,the escaping from the habit of sin, so that in future we shall not live as we have lived. The way in which God saves you istwofold: he finds man a sinner breaking his law, he says, "I forgive you, I will not punish you. Ihave punished Christ instead of you-you shall be saved." But that is only half the work. He says in the next place-"Man,I will not let you go on sinning as you have been wont to do; I will give you a new heart, which shall subdue your evil habits.So that whereas you have been the slave of sin, you shall be free to serve me. Come away, you are not going to serve thatblack master of yours any more, you must leave that demon, I will have you to be my child, my servant. Thou sayest, 'I cannotdoso.' Come, I will give thee grace to do it; I give thee grace to break off drunkenness, grace to renounce thy swearing,grace to give up Sabbath-breaking; I give thee grace to run in the ways of my commandments, and to find them to be a delightfulroad." Salvation, then, I say, consists of two things-deliverance on the one hand from the habit of living in enmity withGod; and, on the other hand, from the punishment annexed to transgression.
The great subject of this morning, which I shall attempt to dwell upon in very plain language; attempting no flights of oratorywhatever-is, how men may be saved. That is the one great question. Let them remember what to be saved is. It is to be madeChristians, to have new thoughts, new minds new hearts, and then, it is to have a new home for ever at God's right hand inbliss. How may they be saved? "What must I do to be saved?" is a cry springing from many lips here thismorning. The answer of my text is this-"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." I shall firsttry to explain the text a little-explanation. Secondly, I shall try to clear the text from some errors about salvation, which are very popular-that will be refutation. And then, thirdly, I shall press the usefulness of my text upon your minds: that will be exhortation. Explanation, refutation, exhortation, you will remember the points, and may God impressthem upon your minds!
I. First, then, EXPLANATION-What is here meant by calling upon the name of the Lord? And I tremble at this very moment, whenI try to explain my text, for I feel it is very easy to darken words without knowledge." Full many a time has a preacher renderedScripture dark by his explanations, instead of making it brighter. Many a preacher has been like a painted window, shuttingout the light, instead of admitting it. There is nothing whatever puzzles me more, and tries mymind more, than the answer to that simple question, What is faith? What is believing? What is calling upon the name ofthe Lord? In order to get the true sense of this, I turned to my concordance, and looked out the passages where the same wordis employed; and, so far as I can judge, I may state from the authority of Scripture, that the word "call" signifies worship,so that I might translate it thus-"Whosoever worships God shall be saved." But you must let me explain that word "worship"according to the Scripture signification of it which must be received, in order to explain the word "call."
To call upon the name of the Lord, in the first place, signifies to worship God. You will find in the book of Genesis that, "when men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, then began men to callupon the name of the Lord." That is they began to worship God, they builded altars in his name, they certified their beliefin the sacrifice that was to come, by offering a typical sacrifice upon the altar they had reared, they bowed their knee inprayer; they liftedtheir voice in sacred song, and cried, "Great is Jehovah, Creator, Preserver, let him be praised, world without end."Now, whosoever-whoever he may be in the wide, wide world, who is enabled by grace to worship God, in God's way, shall be saved.If you worship him by a Mediator, having faith in the atonement of the cross, if you worship him by humble prayer and heartypraise, your worship is a proof that you shall be saved. You could not thus worship, unless you had grace within your heart,andyour faith and grace are a proof that you shall have glory. Whosoever, then in lowly devotion, on the green sward, beneaththe wide-spreading branches of a tree, beneath the vault of God's heaven, or in God's house, or out of it-whosoever shallworship God with a pure heart fervently, looking for acceptance through the atonement of Christ, and meekly casting himselfupon the mercy of God, shall be saved. So stands the promise.
But lest any man should run away with a mistaken idea of what worship is, we must just explain a little further. The word"call," in holy Scripture meaning, signifies prayer. You remember the case of Elijah: when the prophets of Baal roughs to get rain from the false god, he said, "I will call uponGod"-that is to say, "I will pray to God that he may send the rain." Now, prayer is a sure sign of divine life within. Whosoeverprayeth to God through Christ, withsincere prayer shall be saved. Oh, I can remember how this text cheered me once. I felt the weight of sin, and I did notknow the Saviour. I thought God would blast me with his wrath, and smite me with his hot displeasure! From chapel to chapelI went to hear the word preached, but never a gospel sentence did I hear; but this one text just preserved me from what Ibelieve I should have been driven to-the commission of suicide through grief and sorrow. It was this sweet word-"Whosoevershallcall upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Well, I thought, I cannot believe on Christ as I could wish. I cannotfind pardon, but I know I call upon his name, I know I pray, ay, and pray with groans and tears and sighs day and night; andif I am ever lost, I will plead that promise-"Oh God thou saidst, he that calleth upon thy name shall be saved; I did call;wilt thou cast me away? I did plead thy promise; I did lift up my heart in prayer; canst thou be just, and yet damn the manwho didreally pray?" But mark that sweet thought: prayer is the certain forerunner of salvation. Sinner, thou canst not prayand perish; prayer and perishing are two things that never go together. I ask you not what your prayer is; it may be a groan,it may be a tear, a wordless prayer, or a prayer in broken English, ungrammatical and harsh to the ear: but if it be a prayerfrom the inmost heart, thou shalt be saved; or else this promise is a lie. As surely as thou prayest whoever thou mayest bewhatever thy past life, whatever the transgressions in which thou hast indulged, though they be the foulest which pollutemankind, yet if from thine heart thou hast learned to pray-
"Prayer is the breath of God in man
Returning whence it came"-
And thou canst not perish with God's breath in thee. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!"
But the word "call" signifies a little more, it signifies trust. A man cannot call upon the name of the Lord, unless he trusts in that name. We must have reliance upon the name of Christ,or else we have not called aright. Hear me, then, poor tried sinner; thou hast come here this morning sensible of thy guilt,awakened to thy danger; here is thy remedy. Christ Jesus the Son of God, became a man; he was "born of the virgin Mary, sufferedunder Pontius Pilate, wascrucified, dead and buried." He did this to save sinners such as thou art. Wilt thou believe this? Wilt thou trust thysoul to it? Wilt thou say "Sink or swim, Christ Jesus is my hope; and if I perish I will perish with my arms around his cross,crying-
'Nothing in my hands I bring
Simply to the cross I cling?'"
Poor soul, if thou canst do that, thou wilt be saved. Come, now, no good works of thine own are needed-no sacraments, allthat is asked of thee is this, and that he gives thee. Thou art nothing; wilt thou take Christ to be everything? Come, thouart black, wilt thou be washed? Wilt thou down on thy knees, and cry, "Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner, not for anythingI have done, or can do, but for his dear sake, whose blood streamed from his hands and feet, in whom aloneI trust?" Why sinner the solid pillars of the universe shall totter rather than thou shouldst perish; ay heaven shouldweep a vacant throne, and an extinguished Godhead, rather than the promise should be violated in any case in the world. Hethat trusteth in Christ, calling on his name, shall be saved.
But once more, and then I think I shall have given you the whole scripture meaning of this. Calling on the name of the Lordsignifies professing his name. You remember what Ananias said to Saul, afterwards called Paul, "arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling uponthe name of the Lord." Now, sinner if thou wouldst be obedient to Christ's word, Christ's word says, "He that believeth, andis immersed, shall be saved." Mark, I have translated theword. King James would not have it translated. I dare not be unfaithful to my knowledge of God's word. If it means sprinkle,let our brethren translate it "sprinkle." But they dare not do that; they know they have nothing in all classical languagethat would ever justify them in doing that, and they have not the impudence to attempt it. But I dare translate it-"He thatbelieveth, and is immersed, shall be saved." And though immersion is nothing, yet God requires of men who believe that theyshould be immersed, in order to make a profession of their belief. Immersion is nothing, I repeat, in salvation, it isthe profession of salvation; but God requires that every man that puts his trust in the Saviour should be immersed, as theSaviour was, in order to the fulfillment of righteousness. Jesus went meekly down from Jordan's shore, to be immersed beneaththe wares; and so let every believer be baptized in his name. Now some of you draw back from the thought of making a profession."No," you say, "we will believe and be secret Christians." Hear you this then-"If any man be ashamed of me, and of mywords in this generation; of him will I be ashamed, when I shall come in the glory of my Father, with all his holy angels."I will repeat a truism; not one of you in your lives ever knew a secret Christian, and I will prove it to demonstration. Forif you knew a man to be a Christian, it could not be a secret; for if it had been a secret how came you to know it? Then,as younever knew a secret Christian, you are not justified in believing there ever is such a one. You must come out and makea profession. What would Her Majesty think of her soldiers, if they should swear they were loyal and true, and were to say-"YourMajesty, we prefer not to wear these regimentals; let us wear the dress of civilians! We are right honest men and upright;but we do not care to stand in your ranks, acknowledged as your soldiers, we had rather slink into the enemy's camp, and intoyour camps too, and not wear anything that would mark us as being your soldiers!" Ah! some of you do the same with Christ.You are going to be secret Christians, are you, and slink into the devil's camp, and into Christ's camp, but acknowledgedby none? Well, ye must take the chance of it, if ye will be so; but I should not like to risk it. It is a solemn threatening,"of him will I be ashamed when I come in the glory of my Father, and all his holy angels with me!" It is a solemn thing, Isay,when Christ says, "Except a man take up his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple." Now, then, I claim of everysinner here whom God has awakened to feel his need of a Saviour, obedience to the command of Christ, in this point, as wellas in every other. Hear the way of salvation: worship, prayer, faith, profession. And the profession, if men would be obedient,if they would follow the Bible, must be done in Christ's way, by a baptism in water, in the name of the Father, of the Son,andof the Holy Ghost. God requireth this; and though men are saved without any baptism, and multitudes fly to heaven whoare never washed in the stream, though baptism is not saving, yet if men would be saved, they must not be disobedient. Andinasmuch as God gives a command, it is mine to enforce it. Jesus said, "Go and preach the gospel to every creature: he thatbelieveth, and is immersed, shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned."
Here, then, is the explanation of my text. No churchman here can object to my interpretation. The Church of England holdethdipping. It only saith, if children be weak they are to be sprinkled; and it is marvellous what a many weakly children therehave been born lately. I am astonished to find any of you alive, after finding that so much weakness has everywhere existed!The dear little ones are so tender, that a few drops suffice instead of the dipping which their ownchurch enforces. I would that all churchmen were better churchmen; if they would be more consistent with their own articlesof faith, they would be more consistent with Scripture, and if they were a little more consistent with some of the rubricsof their own church, they would be a little more consistent with themselves. If your children are weak, you can let them besprinkled; but if you are good churchmen you will immerse them, if they can bear it.
II. But now, the second point is REFUTATION. There are some popular errors with regard to salvation, which need to be curedby refutation. My text says, "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Now, one idea which conflicts with my text is this, that a priest or a minister is absolutely necessary to assist men in salvation. That idea is current in other places besides the Romish Church; there are many, alas! too many who make a dissenting ministeras much their priest as the Catholic makes his priest his helper. There are many who imagine that salvation cannot be accomplishedexcept in some undefinable and mysterious way-and the minister and the priest aremixed up with it. Hear ye then, if you had never seen a minister in your lives, if you had never heard the voice of thebishop of the church, or an elder thereof, yet if ye did call on the name of the Lord your salvation would be quite as surewithout one as with one. Men cannot call upon a God they do not know. The necessity of a preacher lies in telling what theway of salvation is, for how can they hear without a preacher, and how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?But thepreacher's office goes no further than just the telling of the message, and after we have told it, God, the Holy Spirit,must apply it; for further we cannot go. Oh, take care of priestcraft, take care of mancraft, of ministercraft, of clergycraft.All God's people are clergy, we are all God's cleros, all his clergy, if we have been anointed with the Holy Spirit, and are saved. There never ought to have been a distinctionbetween clergy and laity. We are all clergy who love the LordJesus Christ, and you are as much fit to preach the gospel, if God has given you the ability, and called you to the workby his Spirit as any man alive. No priestly hand, no hand of presbyterian-which means priest written large-no ordination ofmen is necessary; we stand upon the rights of manhood to speak what we believe, and next to that we stand upon the call ofGod's Spirit in the heart bidding us testify his truth. But, brethren, neither Paul, nor an angel from heaven, nor Apollos,norCephas can help you in salvation. It is not of man, neither by men, and neither Pope, nor Archbishop, nor bishop, norpriest, nor minister, nor any one hath any grace to give to others. We must each of us go ourselves to the fountain-head,pleading this promise-"Whosoever calleth on the name of the Lord Jesus, shall be saved." If I were shut up in the mines ofSiberia, where I could never hear the gospel, if I did call upon the name of Christ the road is just as straight without theminister aswith him, and the path to heaven is just as clear from the wilds of Africa, and from the dens of the prisonhouse and thedungeon, as it is from the sanctuary of God. Nevertheless for edification, all Christians love the ministry, though not forsalvation; though neither in priest nor preacher do they trust, yet the word of God is sweet to them, and beautiful on themountains are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of peace."
Another very common error is, that a good dream is a most splendid thing in order to save people. Some of you do not knowthe extent to which this error prevails. I happen to know it. It is received among many persons, that if you dream that yousee the Lord in the night you will be saved, and if you can see him on the cross, or if you think you see some angels, orif you dream that God says to you, "You are forgiven, all is well;" but if you do not have a very nice dreamyou cannot be saved. So some people think. Now, if it be so, the sooner we all begin to eat opium the better; becausethere is nothing that makes people dream so much as that, and the best advice I could give would be-let every minister distributeopium very largely, and then his people would all dream themselves into heaven. But, out upon that rubbish; there is nothingin it. Dreams, the disordered fabrics of a wild imagination; the totterings often of the fair pillars of a grand conception;how can they be the means of salvation? You know Rowland Hill's good answer; I must quote it, in default of a better.When a woman pleaded that she was saved because she dreamed, he said, "Well, my good woman, it is very nice to have good dreamswhen you are asleep; but I want to see how you act when you are awake; for if your conduct is not consistent in religion whenyou are awake I will not give a snap of the finger for your dreams." Ah, I do marvel that ever any person should go to suchadepth of ignorance as to tell me the stories that I have heard myself about dreams. Poor dear creatures, when they weresound asleep they saw the gates of heaven opened, and a white angel came and washed their sins away, and then they saw thatthey were pardoned; and since then they have never had a doubt or a fear. It is time that you should begin to doubt, thenvery good time that you should; for if that is all the hope you have, it is a poor one. Remember it is, "whosoever calls uponthename of God," not whosoever dreams about him. Dreams may do good. Sometimes people have been frightened out of their sensesin them; and they were better out of their senses than they were in, for they did more mischief when they were in their sensesthan they did when they were out; and the dreams did good in that sense. Some people, too, have become alarmed by dreams;but to trust to them is to trust to a shadow, to build your hopes on bubbles, scarcely needing a puff of wind to burst theminto nothingness. Oh! remember, you want no vision, no marvellous appearance. If you have had a vision or a dream, youneed not despise it; it may have benefitted you: but do not trust to it. But if you have had none, remember that is the merecalling upon God's name to which the promise is appended.
And now, once again, there are others, very good sort of people too, that have been laughing while I was talking about dreams,and now it is our turn to laugh at them. There are some people who think they must have some very wonderful kind of feelings,or else they cannot be saved; some most extraordinary thoughts such as they never had before, or else certainly they cannotbe saved. A woman once applied to me for admission to church-membership. So I asked her whether shehad ever had a change of heart. She said, "Oh yes sir, such a change as you know," she said, "I felt it across the chestso singular, sir; and when I was a praying one day I felt as if I did not know what was the matter with me, I felt so different.And when I went to the chapel, sir, one night, I came away and felt so different from what I felt before, so light." "Yes,"I said "light-headed, my dear soul, that is what you felt, but nothing more, I am afraid." The good woman was sincere enough;she thought it was all right with her, because something had affected her lungs, or in some way stirred her physical frame."No," I hear some of you say, "people cannot be so stupid as this." I assure you that if you could read the hearts of thispresent congregation, you would find there are hundreds here that have no better hope of heaven than that, for I am dealingwith a very popular objection just now. "I thought," said one addressing me one day, "I thought when I was in the garden,sureChrist could take my sins away, just as easily as he could move the clouds. Do you know, sir, in a moment or two the cloudwas all gone, and the sun was shining. Thought I to myself, the Lord is blotting out my sin." Such a ridiculous thought asthat, you say, cannot occur often. I tell you, it does, very frequently indeed. People get supposing that the veriest nonsensein all the earth is a manifestation of divine grace in their hearts, Now, the only feeling I ever want to have is just this,-Iwant to feel that I am a sinner and that Christ is my Saviour. You may keep your visions, and ecstasies and raptures,and dancings to yourselves; the only feeling that I desire to have is deep repentance and humble faith; and if, poor sinner,you have got that, you are saved. Why, some of you believe that before you can be saved there must be a kind of electric-shock,some very wonderful thing that is to go all through you from head to foot. Now hear this, "The word is nigh thee, in thy mouthand in thy heart. If thou dost with thy heart believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and with thy mouth dost confess, thou shaltbe saved." What do ye want with all this nonsense of dreams and supernatural thoughts? All that is wanted is, that as a guiltysinner I should come and cast myself on Christ. That done, the soul is safe, and all the visions in the universe could notmake it safer.
And now, I have one more error to try to rectify. Among very poor people-and I have visited some of them, and know what Isay to be true, and there are some here, and I will speak to them,-among the very poor and uneducated, there is a very currentidea that somehow or other salvation is connected with learning to read and write. You smile, perhaps, but I know it. Oftenhas a poor woman said, "Oh! sir, this is no good to poor ignorant creatures like us; there is no hopefor me, sir; I cannot read. Do you know, sir, I don't know a letter? I think if I could read a bit I might be saved; but,ignorant as I am, I do not know how I call: for I have got no understanding, sir." I have found this in the country districtstoo, among people who might learn to read if they liked. And there are none but can, unless they are lazy. And yet they sitdown in cold indifference about salvation, under the notion that the parson could be saved, for he reads a chapter so nicely;that the clerk could be saved, for he said "Amen" so well; that the squire could be saved, for he knew a great deal, andhad a vast many books in his library, but that they could not be saved, for they did not know anything, and that thereforeit was impossible. Now, have I one such poor creature here? I will speak plainly to you. My poor friend, you do not want toknow much to go to heaven. I would advise you to know as much as ever you can; do not be backward in trying to learn. Butin regardto going to heaven, the way is so plaint that "the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein." Do you feel thatyou have been guilty, that you have broken God's commandments that you have not kept his Sabbath, that you have taken hisname in vain that you have not loved your neighbor as yourself, nor your God with all your heart. Well, if you feel it, Christdied for such as you; he died upon the cross, and was punished in your stead, and he tells you to believe it. If you wanttohear more about it, come to the house of God and listen, and we will try to lead you to something else. But remember,all you want to know to get to heaven is the two things that begin with S.-Sin and Saviour. Do you feel your sin? Christ isyour Saviour trust to him pray to him; and as sure as you are here now, and I am talking to you, you will one day be in heaven.I will tell you two prayers to pray. First, pray this prayer,-"Lord, show me myself." That is an easy one for you. Lord, showmemyself, show me my heart, show me my guilt; show me my danger, Lord, show me myself. And, when you have prayed that prayer,and God has answered it, (and remember, he hears prayer) when he has answered it, and shown you yourself, here is anotherprayer for you,-"Lord, show me thyself: Show me thy work, thy love, thy mercy, thy cross, thy grace." Pray that, and those are about the only prayers you want topray, to get to heaven with,-"Lord, show me myself;" "Lord, show me thyself." You donot want to know much, then. You need not spell, to get to heaven; you need not be able to speak English, to get to heaven;the ignorant and rude are welcome to the cross of Christ and salvation.
Excuse my thus answering these popular errors; I answer them because they are popular, and popular among some who are present. O men and women, hear the word of God once more. "Whosoever shall call uponthe name of the Lord shall be saved." Man of eighty, child of eight, young man and maiden, rich, poor, literate, illiterate,to you is this preached in all its fullness and freeness, yea, to every creature under heaven "whosoever "( and that shutsout none,)"whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
III. And now I have nothing to do except to finish with EXHORTATION. My exhortation is, I intreat you by the name of God believethe message which this day I declare from God's word. Do not turn away from me because the message is simply delivered, donot reject it because I have chosen to preach it simply and plainly to the poor, but hearken again, "Whosoever calleth onthe name of the Lord shall be saved." I beseech you believe this. Does it seem hard to believe? Nothingis too hard for the Most High. Do you say, "I have been so guilty, I cannot think God will save me?" Hear Jehovah speak:"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high aremy thoughts above your thoughts, my ways above your ways." Do you say, "I am excluded. Surely, you cannot mean that he wouldcave me?" Hark you; it says, "Whosoever"-"whosoever" is a great wide door, and lets in big sinners. Oh, surely, if it says,"whosoever," you are not excluded if you call-there is the point.
And now come, I must plead with you, and I will use a few reasons to induce you to believe this truth. They shall be Scripturereasons May God bless them to you, sinner. If thou callest on Christ's name thou wilt be saved. I will tell thee first, thouwilt be saved because thou art elect. No man ever called on Christ's name yet who was not elected. That doctrine of election which puzzles many and frightens more,never need do so. If you believe, you are elect, ifyou call on the name of Christ you are elect, if you feel yourself to be a sinner, and put your trust in Christ you areelect. Now, the elect must be saved, for them there is no perdition. God has predestinated them unto eternal life, and theyshall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of Christ's hands. God does not choose men, and then cast them away;he does not elect them, and then cast them into the pit. Now, you are elect, you could not have called if you had not beenelectedyour election is the cause of your calling, and inasmuch as you have called, an do call upon the name of God, you areGod's elect. And from his book not death nor hell can ever erase your name. 'Tis an omnipotent decree. Jehovah's will be done!His chosen must be saved, though earth and hell oppose, his strong hand shall break their ranks, and lead his people through. You are one of these people. You shall at last stand before his throne, and see his smilingface in glory ever lasting,because you are elect.
Now, another reason. If thou callest upon the name of the Lord thou shalt be saved, because thou art redeemed. Christ has bought thee, and paid for thee, poured out the hottest of his heart's blood to buy thy ransom, split his heart,and riven it to splinters to buy thy soul from wrath. Thou art a bought one, thou knowest it not, but I see the blood-markon thy brow. If thou callest on his name though thou hast as yet no comfort, yet Christ has called thee his own.E'er since that day when he said "It is finished,"-Christ has said, "My delight is in him, for I have bought him withmy blood," and because thou art bought thou shalt never perish. Not one of Jesus' blood-bought ones was ever lost yet. Howl,howl, O hell, but howl thou canst not over the damnation of a redeemed soul. Out upon the horrid doctrine that men are boughtwith blood, and yet are damned, it is too diabolical for me to believe. I know that what the Saviour did he did, and if hedidredeem he did redeem, and those redeemed by him are positively redeemed from death and hell and wrath. I can never bringmy mind to the unrighteous idea that Christ was punished for a man, and that such a man will be punished again. I never couldsee how Christ could stand in a man's stead and be punished for him, and yet that man be punished again. No, inasmuch as thoucallest on God's name there is proof that Christ is thy ransom. Come, rejoice! If he was punished, God's justice cannot demanda double vengeance, first, at the bleeding Surety's hands and then again at thine. Come, soul put thine hand upon theSaviour's head, and say "Blest Jesus, thou wast punished for me." Oh, God, I am not afraid of thy vengeance. When my handis on the atonement, smite, but thou must smite me through thy Son. Smite, if thou wilt, but thou canst not for thou hastsmitten him, and sure thou wilt not smite again for the same offense. What! Did Christ at one tremendous draught of love,drink mydamnation dry? and shall I be damned after that? God forbid! What! shall God be unrighteous forget the Redeemer's workfor us and let the Saviour's blood be shed in vain? Not hell itself has ever indulged the thought which has only been worthyof the men who are traitors to God's truth. Ay, brethren, if ye call on Christ, if ye pray, if ye believe, ye may be quitesure of salvation, for ye are redeemed, and the redeemed must not perish.
Shall I tell you one more reason? Believe this truth: it must be true. For it ye call upon the name of God, "In my Father'shouse," says Christ, "there are many mansions," and there is one there for you. Christ has prepared a house and a crown, frombefore the foundation of the world, for all them that believe. Come! dost thou think Christ will prepare a house, and notcarry the inhabitant there? Will he make crowns, and then lose the heads that are to wear them! Godforbid! Turn thine eye towards heaven. There is a seat there that must be filled, and must be filled by thee; there isa crown there that must be worn, and must be worn by thee. Oh! be of good cheer: heavens preparation shall not be too abundant,he shall make room for those that believe, and because he hath made that room those that believe shall come there. Oh! I wouldto God I might know that some soul could lay hold on this promise! Where are you? Are you standing away among the crowdthere, or sitting here in the body of the hall or in the topmost gallery? Are you feeling your sins? Do you shed tearsin secret on account of them? Do you lament your iniquities? Oh! take his promise-"Whosoever (sweet whosoever!)-whosoevercalleth upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Say thus. The devil says it is of no use for you to call; you have beena drunkard. Tell him it says, "Whosoever," "Nay," says the evil spirit, "it is of no use for you, you have never been to heara sermon,or been in the house of God these last ten years." Tell him it says, "Whosoever." "No," says Satan, "remember the sinsof last night, and how you have come up to the MUSIC HALL stained with lust." Tell the devil it says. "Whosoever," and thatit is a foul falsehood of his, that you can call on God and yet be lost. No; tell him that-
"If all the sins that men have done
In thought, or word, or deed,
Since worlds were made or time begun,
Could meet on one poor head,
The blood of Jesus Christ alone
For all this guilt could well atone."
Oh lay this to thine heart. May God's Spirit do it! "Whosoever calleth upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."