Sermon 260. An Earnest Invitation
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, July 3rd, 1859, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they thatput their trust in him."-Psalm 2:12.
IT WILL NOT BE NEEDFUL for me this morning to be controversial in my discourse; for but two Sabbaths ago I addressed you fromthat text, "The mighty God," and endeavored with the utmost of my ability to prove that Christ must be "very God of very God,"-co-equaland co-eternal with his Father. Without, then, attempting to prove that, let us drive onward towards the practical issue;for, after all, practice is the end of preaching; or, if ye will have it, I will put itinto Herbert's words-
"Attend sermons, but prayers most,
Praying's the end of preaching."
And that too is in the text, for what lip can give the kiss of sincerity to the Son of God, save the lip of prayer. We driveonward, then, towards the practical conclusion May God the Holy Spirit assist us.
Now it has sometimes been disputed among most earnest and zealous ministers, which is the most likely means of bringing soulsto Christ; whether it is the thunder of the threatening, or the still small whisper of the promise. I have heard some ministerswho preferred the first; they have constantly dwelt upon the terrors of the law, and they have certainly, many of them, beeneminently useful; they have had Scripture for their warrant-"Knowing therefore the terror of theLord, we persuade men." With "terrible things in righteousness" declaring the just anger and judgment of God against sin,they have alarmed those who were sitting at ease in a graceless state, and have thus been the means in the hands of God, ofinducing them to flee from the wrath to come. Some, on the other hand, have rather decried the threatenings; and have dweltalmost entirely upon the promises. Like John their ministry has been full of love; they have constantly preached from suchtextsas this-"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as whiteas snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, andI will give you rest,"-and such like, Now, these also have been eminently useful; and they too have had Scriptural warrantin abundance, for thus spake Christ's apostles full often, and thus spake Jesus Christ himself, wooing with notes of mercy,andmelting with tones of love those whom the law's terrors would but have hardened in their sins. My text, however, seemsto be a happy combination of the two, and I take it, that the most successful ministry will combine both means of bringingmen to Christ. The text thunders with all the bolts of God-"Lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath iskindled but a little." But it does not end in thunder, there comes a sweet soft, reviving shower after the storm; "Blessedare allthey that put their trust in him."
This morning I shall endeavor to use both arguments, and shall divide my text thus:-First, the command, "Kiss the Son" secondly, the argument used, "lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way;" and thirdly, the benediction with which the text closes-"Blessed are all they that put their trust in him;" this benediction being a second reason why we should obey the commandment.
I. First, then, THE COMMAND-"Kiss the Son." This bears four interpretations. A kiss has divers meanings in it-progressivemeanings. I pray that we may be led by grace from step to step, so that we may understand the command in all its fullnessby putting it in practice.
1. In the first place, it is a kiss of reconciliation. The kiss is a token of enmity removed, of strife ended, and of peace established. You will remember that when Jacob met Esau,although the hearts of the brothers had been long estranged, and fear had dwelt in the breast of one, and revenge had kindledits fires in the heart of the other; when they met they were pacified towards each other and they fell upon each other's neck,and they kissed: it was the kiss ofreconciliation. Now, the very first work of grace in the heart is, for Christ to give the sinner the kiss of his affection,to prove his reconciliation to the sinner. Thus the father kissed his prodigal son when he returned. Before the feast wasspread, before the music and the dance began, the father fell upon his son's neck, and kissed him. On our part, however, itis our business to return that kiss; and as Jesus gives the reconciling kiss on God's behalf, it is ours to kiss the lip ofJesus, and to prove by that deed that we are "reconciled to God by the death of his Son." Sinner, thou hast hitherto beenan enemy of Christ's gospel. Thou hast hated his Sabbaths; thou hast neglected his Word; thou hast abhorred his commandmentsand cast his laws behind thy back; thou hast, as much as lieth in thee, opposed his kingdom; thou hast loved the wages ofsin, and the ways of iniquity better than the ways of Christ. What sayest thou? Does the Spirit now strive in thy heart? Then,Ibeseech thee, yield to his gracious influence, and now let thy quarrel be at an end. Cast down the weapons of thy rebellion;pull out the plumes of pride from thy helmet, and cast away the sword of thy rebellion. Be his enemy no longer; for, restassured, he willst to be thy friend. With arms outstretched, ready to receive thee, with eyes full of tears, weeping overthine obstinacy, and with bowels moved with compassion for thee, he speaks through my lips this morning, and he says, "KisstheSon;" be reconciled. This is the very message of the gospel-"The ministry of reconciliation." Thus speak we, as God hathcommanded us. "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." And is this a hard thing we ask of you, that you shouldbe at friendship with him who is your best friend? Is this a rigorous law, like the commands of Pharaoh to the children ofIsrael in Egypt, when he bids you simply strike hands with him who shed his blood for sinners? We ask you not to be friendsof death or hell; we beg you rather to dissolve your league with them; we pray that grace may lead you to forswear theircompany for ever, and be at peace with him who is incarnate love and infinite mercy. Sinners, why will ye resist him who onlylongs to save you? Why scorn him who loves you? Why trample on the blood that bought you, and reject the cross which is theonly hope of your salvation? "Kiss the Son."
"Bow the knee, and kiss the Son,
Come and welcome, sinner, come."
That is the first meaning of the text-the kiss of reconciliation. The Spirit of God must work a change in man's heart beforehe will be willing to give this kiss, and it is my heart's desire, that by the words which shall be uttered this morning,the Spirit may bow the obdurate heart, and lead you to give Christ the kiss of reconciliation this very day.
2. Again, the kiss of my text is a kiss of allegiance and homage. It is an Eastern custom for the subjects to kiss the feet of the king; nay, in some instances their homage is so abject thatthey kiss the dust beneath his feet, and the very steps of his throne. Now, Christ requires of every man who would be saved,that he shall yield to his government and his rule. There are some who are willing enough to be saved and take Christ to betheir priest:, but they arenot willing to give up their sins, not willing to obey his precepts, to walk in his ordinances, and keep his commandments.Now, salvation cannot be cut in twain. If you would have justification you must have sanctification too. If your sins arepardoned they must be abhorred; if ye are washed in the blood to take away the guilt of sin, you must be washed in the waterto take away the power of sin over your affections and life. Oh, sinners, the command is, "Kiss the Son," bow your knee, andcomeand own him to be a monarch, and say, "Other lords have had dominion over us; we have worshipped our lusts, our pleasures,our pride, our selfishness, but now will we submit ourselves to thine easy yoke. Take us and make us thine, for we are willingto be thy subjects-
"Oh, sovereign grace our hearts subdue;
We would be led in triumph too,
As willing captives to our Lord,
To sing the triumphs of his Word."
You must give him the kiss of fealty, of homage, and loyalty; and take him to be your king. And is this a hard thing? Is thisa rigorous commandment? Why look at Englishmen, how they spring to their feet and sing with enthusiasm-
"God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!"
And is it a hard thing for you and me to be bidden to cry, "God save King Jesus! Spread his kingdom! Let him reign, King ofkings and Lord of lords! Let him reign in our hearts?" Is it a hard thing to bow before his gentle sceptre? Is there any crueltyin the demand, that we should submit ourselves to the law of right, and rectitude, and justice, and love? "His ways are waysof pleasantness and all his paths are peace." "His commandments are not grievous." "Come unto me,"saith the Lord, "and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you;" it is not heavy; "take my yoke upon you, and learnof me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." O sinner, leave that black monarch; turnyour back upon the king of hell. May grace enable you now to flee away from him who deludes you to-day, and shall destroyyou for ever; and come ye to the Prince Immanuel, the Son of God, and now declare yourselves to be the willing subjects ofhis blessedkingdom. "Kiss the Son." It is the kiss of reconciliation and the kiss of homage.
3. Again, it is the kiss of worship. They that worshipped Baal kissed the calves. It wee the custom in the east for idolaters to kiss the god which they foolishlyadored. Now the commandment is that we should give to Christ divine worship. The Unitarian will not do this: he says, "Christis but a mere man;" he will not kiss the eternal Son of God. Then let him know that God will not alter his gospel to suithis heresy. If he rebelliously denies the Godhead ofChrist, he need not marvel if in the last day Christ shall say-"But those mine enemies, which would not that I shouldreign over them, bring hither and slay them before me," It is no marvel if he who rejects the Godhead of Christ should findthat he has built his house upon the sand, and when the rain descends, and the flood comes, his hope shall totter, and greatshall be the fall thereof. We are bidden to worship Christ, and O how pleasant is this command, to kiss him in adoration!It isthe highest joy of the Christian to worship Jesus. I know of no thrill of pleasure that can more rejoice the Christian'sbreast, and thrill his soul to music, than the song of-
"Worthy is he that once was slain,
The Prince of Peace that groan'd and died,
Worthy to rise, and live, and reign
At his Almighty Father's side."
Surely that shall be the very song of heaven, to sing "Worthy the Lamb," and yet again to shout louder still, "Worthy theLamb! worthy the Lamb! "Well, sinner, thou art bidden to do this-to acknowledge Christ thy God. "Kiss the Son;" go to himin prayer this very day cast thyself on thy knees and worship him; confess thy sin committed against him; lay hold of hisrighteousness; touch the hem of his garment adore him by thy faith, trusting in him; adore him by thyservice, living for him; adore him with thy lip, praising him; adore him with thy heart, loving him, and surrenderingthy whole being to him. God help thee in this way to "kiss the Son."
4. There is yet a fourth meaning, and I think this is the sweetest of all. "Kiss the Son." Ah. Mary Magdalene, I need theethis morning! Come hither, Mary, thou shalt explain my text. There was a woman who had much forgiven and she loved much, andas a consequence, loving much she desired much the company and the presence of the object of her affection. She came to thePharisee's house where he was feasting, but she was afraid to enter for she was a sinner; the Phariseewould repulse her, and tell her to go away. What did a harlot there in the house of a holy Pharisee? So she came to thedoor. as if she would peep in and just get a glimpse of him whom her soul loved. But there he lay upon the table, and happilyfor her, the Pharisee had slighted Christ, he had not put him at the head of the table, but at the end, and therefore hisfeet-laying backward as he declined-were close against the door. She came, and oh! she could not dare to look upon his head;she stood at his feet, behind him, weeping And as she wept, the tears flowed so plenteously that she washed his feet-whichthe Pharisee had forgotten to wash-with her tears. And then unbraiding her luxurious tresses, which had been the nets intowhich she had entangled her lovers, she began to wipe his feet with the hairs of her head. and stooping down she kissed hisfeet, and kissed them yet again. Poor sinner, thou that art full of guilt, if thou hast played the harlot, or if thou hastbeen a sinner in other ways, come, I beseech thee, to Jesus now. Look to him, believe in him,
"Trust in his blood, for it alone
Hath power sufficient to atone."
And this done, come thou and "kiss the Son"-kiss his feet with love. Oh, if he were here this morning, methinks I would kissthose feet again and again. And if any should enquire the reason, I would answer,
"Love I much? I've much forgiven,
I'm a miracle of grace."
Jesus, dost thou permit me to kiss thy feet with the kisses of affection? And may I pray like the spouse in the Canticles:"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine." May I so pray? Then, glory be to thy name,I will not be slow in praying it. If I may be so highly favored I will not lose the favor through negligence and coldnessof heart. Even now my soul gives the kiss of deep and sincere affection.
"Yes, I love thee and adore,
O for grace to love thee more."
"Kiss the Son." Do you see then the meaning of it? It is a kiss of reconciliation, a kiss of homage, a kiss of worship, anda kiss of affectionate gratitude. "Kiss the Son."
And what if in this great assembly there should be some soul that saith, "I will not kiss the Son, I owe him nothing, I willnot serve him, I will not be reconciled to him?" Ah! soul, there are tears for thee. Would God that all the people of Christwould weep for thee until thy heart were changed; for the terrible part of the text which we are to read belongs to thee,and ere long thou shalt know its fearful meaning. But may we not hope better things? Have we notsomewhere in this great hall some poor trembling penitent, who with the tear in his eye is saying, "Kiss him and be reconciledto him!-Oh that I might My fear is, sir, it I should try to draw near to Christ, he would say, "Get thee gone, I will havenought to do with thee; thou art too vile, too hardened; thou hast too long resisted the Word, too long despised my grace-getthee gone." No, soul, Jesus never said that yet, and he never will. Whatever are thy sins as long as thou art in thebody there is hope. However great thy guilt, however enormous thy transgression, if thou art now willing to be reconciled,God has made thee willing, and he would not have put the will if he did not intend to gratify it. There is nothing that cankeep thee from Christ if thou art willing to come. Christ casts out none that desire to be saved. There is in his heart enoughfor all that seek him, enough for each, enough for evermore. Oh! think not that Christ is ever slower than we are. We neverlove him before he loves us. If our heart loves him, his soul loved us long ago. and if we are now willing to be reconciledto him, let us rest assured that Jehovah's melting bowels yearn to clasp his Ephraims to his breast. May God bless this exhortationto every heart now present, and to him be the glory.
II. This brings us to the second part of the text. "kiss the Son"-and THE ARGUMENT is "Lest he be angry, and ye perish fromthe way, when his wrath is kindled but a little." read it-"Lest he be angry." And can he be angry? Is he not the Lamb of God? Can a Lamb be angry? Did not he weep over sinners? Can he be angry? Did not he die for sinners-can he be angry. Yes, and when he is angry, it is anger indeed. When he is angry itis anger that none can match.The most awful word I sometimes think in the whole Bible is that shriek of the lost. "Rocks, hide us! mountains, fallupon us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb." What a fearful conunction of terms-"the wrath of the Lamb?" Can you picture that dear face of his, those eyes that wept, those hands that bled,those lips that spoke such notes of love, such words of pity, and can you believe that one day those eyes shall know no tears,but shallflash with lightning; that those hands shall know no mercy, but shall grasp a rod of iron and break the wicked into pieceslike potter's vessels; and those feet shall know no errands of love, but he shall tread upon his enemies, and crush them,even as grapes are trodden by the wine-pressers, and the blood thereof shall stain his garments, and as he comes up from theirdestruction, they shall ask him, "Who is this that cometh?"-not from Calvary, not from Gethsemane, but "Who is this that comethfrom Edom"-the land of his enemies-"with dyed garments from Bozrah?"-the land of his stoutest foes-"this that is gloriousin his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?" And what shall be the answer? It is most terrible. Who is thisthat has trodden his enemies and crushed them?-"I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Why, Jesus, if thou hadst said, "Mighty to destroy," we might have understood thee; but "mighty to save!"-and so he is-thisgives theedge to the whole sentence, that when he shall destroy his enemies, he that is mighty to save will be mighty to crush,mighty to damn, mighty to devour, and rend his prey in pieces.
I know nothing, I repeat, more fearful than the thought that Christ will be angry, and that if we live and die finally impenitent,rejecting his mercy and despising his sacrifice we have good need to tremble at this sentence, "Kiss the Son lest he be angry."And now do you see again that if Christ once be angry, itmust be all over with our hopes or our rest? We will suppose now some poor girl who has stepped aside from the paths ofright. She has persevered in her iniquity despite many warnings. Friends rise up to help her, but they drop off one by one,for she becomes incorrigibly wicked. Others come to help her, but as often as they rise they fall again, for she sins, andsins, and sins again. There is, however, one who has oftentimes received her to his bosom, erring though she be-her father.Hesays, "Shall I forget the child I have begotten? Sinner she is, but she is still my child," and often as she sins andgoes away he will not reject her; he receives her to his house again; tainted and defiled, again he gives her the kiss offond affection. At last she perseveres in her iniquity, and goes to such a length, that one day in her desperate despair,some one says to her, why not seek a friend to deliver you in this your awful hour of distress and anguish on account of sin?"Oh," saysshe, "I have none left." "But there is your father; have you note father or a mother?" "Yes," says she, "but he is angry,and he will do nothing for me." Then her last door is shut, and her hope is over. What wonder that-
"Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurled-
Out of the world,"
she ends her life because her only helper is angry, and her hope is gone? Despair must seize her then, when her best, heronly helper is angry with her. Let me give you another picture,-a simpler one. There is a dove long gone out of Noah's ark:suppose that dove to have been flying many hours till its wing is weary Poor, poor dove! Across the shoreless sea it flies,and finds never a spot whereon its weary feet may rest. At last, it bethinks itself of the ark, it fliesthere, hoping there to find a shelter: but suppose it should see Noah standing looking through the window with crossbowto destroy it,-then where were its hope? Its only hope hath proved the gate of death. Now let it fold its wings and sink intothe black stream, and die with all the rest. Ah! sinner, these two are but faint pictures of the desperateness of your despairwhen once he is angry,-he who is the sinner's friend, the sinner's wooer, he of whom we sometimes say,-
"Jesus, lover of my soul."
When he is angry, where, where, oh where can sinners hide? When he is angry, when he takes a bow and fits an arrow to thestring, where is your shelter then?-where your defense and refuge? Sinners, "Kiss the Son," bow before him now, and receivehis grace; acknowledge his sway, lest he be angry with you, and for ever shut you up in black despair, for none can give youhope or joy when once he is angry.
And now mark the effects of Christ's anger, "And ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little." Let me giveyou a picture. Ye have seen the maid light the fire. At first it is the match, the spark, and there is a little kindling;a kindling but a little. What is that compared with the fire that is to succeed? Ye have heard of the prairie burning. Thetraveler hath lit his fire and dropped a spark-the fire is kindling but a little, and a small circle offlame is forming. Ye cannot judge what will be the mighty catastrophe when the sheet of flame shall seem to cover halfthe continent. And yet, mark you, our text says that "when God's wrath is kindled but a little" it is even then enough toutterly destroy the wicked, so that they "perish from the way." What a fearful thought it presents to us if we have but eyesto see it! It is like one of Martin's great pictures: it has more cloud in it than plain outline; it has in it great massesofblackness; there is only this little kindling, and there is the sinner destroyed. But what is that? Black, thick darknessfor ever. What must become of the sinner then, when the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone shall blow up Tophettill its flames reach above all thought, and till the fire burns, beneath, even to the lowest hell? His wrath is kindled buta little then. I find, however, Calvin, together with several other excellent commentators, give another interpretation tothis:-"In but a little," and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled very soon, or, "in but a little time." Soit may be well translated without any violence whatever to the original. God's anger kindles very speedily when once men haverejected him: when the period of their mercy is passed away, then comes the hour of their black despair, and his wrath iskindled in a little time. This should make each one of us think about our souls-the fact that God may take us away with astroke, and a great ransom cannot deliver us. We had, last Sabbath-day, a terrible picture of how soon God can take awaya man with a stroke. On our common, you will remember, at Clapham, a man sought shelter beneath a poplar tree, and in a momenta bolt fell from heaven and rent his body in pieces, and he died. I should not have marveled, if last night, when I was readingmy text by the glare of the lightning, thinking it over amidst the roarings of the thunder, if many such deaths had occurred.God can soon take us away. But this is the wonder, that men will visit that tree by which their fellow died, and go awayand be just as careless as they were before. You and I hear of sudden deaths, and yet we imagine we shall not die suddenly.We cannot think God's wrath will be kindled in a little time, and that he will take us away with a stroke. We get the ideathat we shall die in our nests, with a slow and gradual death, and have abundance of time for preparation. Oh, I beseech you,letno such delusion destroy your soul. "Kiss the Son now, lest he be angry in a little while, and ye perish from the way."Now bow before him and receive his grace.
However, I return to the old reading of the text, "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrathis kindled but a little." How terrible is the doom of the wicked! The little kindling of God's wrath kills them; what shallthe eternal burnings be? Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall abide with everlasting burnings?There is a land of thick darkness and despair where dwelleth the undying worm, which in itsceaseless folds doth crush the spirits of the damned. There is a fire quick burning, that drieth up the very marrow ofbody and soul, and yet destroyeth them not. There also is the pit that knoweth no bottom, the hopeless falling without a thoughtof ever coming to an end. There is a land where souls linger in eternal death, and yet they never die; crushed, but not annihilated;broken, but not destroyed; for ever, for ever, for ever, is the ceaseless wave which rolls its fresh tide of fire upona shore of agony, whose years are as countless as the sands of the sea. And shall it be your lot and mine to dwell forever with the howling spirits of the damned? Must these eyes weep the briny tear that cannot assuage thirst? Must these lipsbe parched with the infinite heat? Must this body be everlastingly tormented, and this soul, with all its powers, become alake of grief into which torrents of Almighty wrath shall roll ceaselessly with black and fiery streams? Oh, my God, and canthethought be uttered-there may be some in this hall this morning, who, ere long, shall be in hell? If you should see anarrow fitted to a string pointed in yon direction, would you think it a hard prophecy if I should say, that, ere long, thearrow would find its mark over yonder? "No," you would say, "it is but nature that it should go in the way in which it isdirected." But, sinners, some of you are this day fitted on the bow of sin. Sin is the string that impels you forward. Nay,more thanthis. Some of you are whistling onward towards death, despair, and hell. Sin is the path to hell, and you are travelingin it with lightning speed. Why need you think me harsh if I prophecy that you will get to the end ere long, and reap theharvest to your soul? Oh, "kiss the Son," I beseech you; for if ye kiss him not, if ye receive not his grace and mercy, perishye must; there is no hope for you; desperate, without remedy, your end must be, if ye will not yield your pride and submitto Jesus.Oh! what language shall I use? Here were a task for Desmosthenes, if he could rise from the dead, and be converted, andpreach with all his mighty eloquence, and exhort you to flee from the wrath to come. Here is a text that might exhaust theeloquence of the apostle Paul, while with tears running down his cheeks, he would plead with you to flee to Christ, and layhold upon his mercy. As for me, I cannot speak my soul out. Would that my heart could speak without my lips to tell out theagony Ifeel just now concerning your souls. Oh, why will ye die? "Why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Will you make your bedsin hell? Will you wrap yourselves about with flame for ever? Will you have the merriment of sin in this life, and then reapthe harvest of destruction in the world to come? Oh, men and brethren, I beseech you by the living God, by death, by eternity,by heaven, and by hell; I implore you, stop! stop! and "kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way." Oh! theterrors of the Lord! who shall speak them? Last night, we saw, as it were, the back parts of the terrible God, when hisskirts of light swept through the sky. He made clouds his chariot, and he did ride upon the wings of the wind. Sinners, canye stand before the God of thunder? Can ye war against the God of lightning? Will ye resist him, and despise his Son, andreject the offer of mercy, and dash yourselves upon his spear, and rush upon his sword? Oh, turn ye? turn ye now! Thus saiththeLord: "Consider your ways."
"Bow the knee, and kiss the Son;
Come, and welcome, sinner, come!"
III. And now give me your attention just a moment or two longer while with all earnestness I endeavor to preach for a littlewhile upon THE BENEDICTION WITH WHICH THE TEXT CLOSES: "Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." I have been beatingthe big drum of threatening, and now let us have the soft, sweet harp of David, of sweet, wooing benedictions. "Blessed areall they that put their trust in him." Dost thou put thy trust in him, my hearer? Beneath the wings ofGod we nestle, and we know of no security elsewhere. This is enough for us. Now the text says that those that trust inhim are blessed; and I would observe, first, that they are really blessed. It is no fiction, no imaginary blessing; it is a real blessedness which belongs to those that trust in God; a blessednessthat will stand the test of consideration, the test of life, and the trial of death; a blessedness into which we cannot plungetoo deeply, for it is none of it a dream, butall a reality.
Again, those that trust in him have not only a real blessedness, but they oftentimes have a conscious blessedness. They know what it is to be blessed in their troubles, for they are in their trials comforted, and they are blessedin their joys, for their joys are sanctified. They are blest and they know it, they sing about it and they rejoice in it.It is their joy to know that God's blessing is come to them not in words only but in very deed. They are blessed men andblessed women.
"They would not change their blest estate
For all the world calls good and great."
Then, further, they are not only really blessed, and consciously blessed, but they are increasingly blessed. Their blessedness grows. They do not go down hill as the wicked do, from bright hope to black despair. They do notdiminish in their delights, the river deepens as they wade into it. They are blessed when the first ray of heavenly lightstreams on their eye-balls; they are blessed when their eyes are opened wider still, to see more of the love of Christ; theyare blessed the more their experience widens and their knowledge deepens, and their love increases. They are blessed inthe hour of death, and, best of all, their blessedness increases to eternal blessedness,-the perfection of the saints at theright hand of God. "Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." Time fails me to enter into this blessed benediction,and therefore I pause and come back to my old work again of endeavoring to reach you by earnest entreaty, while I urge youto"kiss the Son."
Sinner, you are bidden to trust in Christ this morning. Come, this is your only hope. Remember, you may do a hundred things, but you will be none the better. You will be like the woman mentioned in Scripture,who spent all her money on physicians and was none the better, but rather grew worse. There is no hope for you but in Christ.Rest assured, that all the mercy of God is concentrated in the cross. I hear some talk about the uncovenanted mercies of God:thereare no such things. The mercies of God are all emptied out into the covenant; God hath put all his grace into the personof Christ, and you shall have none elsewhere. Trust, then, in Christ,-so you shall be blessed, but you shall be blessed nohowelse. Again, I urge you to "kiss the Son," and trust Christ, because this is the sure way. None have perished trusting in Christ. It shall not be said on earth, nor even in hell shall the blasphemy be uttered,that ever a soul perished thattrusted in Christ. "But suppose I am not one of God's elect," says one. But if you trust in Christ you are; and thereis no supposing about it. "But suppose Christ did not die for me." But, if you trust him, he did die for you. That fact isproved, and you are saved. Cast yourself simply on him; dare it; run the risk of it; venture on him, venture on him, (andthere is no risk.) You shall not find that you have been mistaken. Sometimes I feel anxiety and doubt about my own salvation,and theonly way I can get comfort is this: I go back to where I began, and say,-
"I the chief of sinners am;"
I go to my chamber, and once more confess that I am a wretch undone, without his sovereign grace, and I pray him to have mercyon me yet again. Depend on it, it is the only way to heaven, and it is a sure one. If you perish trusting in Christ, you willbe the first of the kind. Do you think God would allow any to say, "I trusted in Christ and yet he deceived me; I cast mysoul on him, and he was not strong enough to bear to me?" Oh, do not be afraid, I beseech you.
And I conclude now by noticing that this is an open salvation. Every soul in the world that feels its need of a Saviour, and that longs to be saved, may come to Christ. It Godhath convinced thee of sin, and brought thee to know thy need come, come away; come, come away! come now; trust now in Christ,and thou shalt now find that blessed are all they that trust in him. The door of mercy does not stand on the jar, it is wideopen. The gates of heaven are not merelyhanging on the latch, but they are wide open both night and day. Come, let us go together to that blessed house of mercy,and drive our wants away. The grace of Christ is like our street drinking fountains, open to every thirsty wanderer Thereis the cup, the cup of faith. Come and hold it here while the water freely flows and drink. There is no one can come up andsay it is not made for you; for you can say, "Oh, yes it is, I am a thirsty soul; it is meant for me." "Nay," says thedevil, "you are too wicked." No, but this is a free-drinking fountain. It does not say over the top of the fountain, "Nothieves to drink here." All that is wanted at the drinking fountain, is simply that you should be willing to drink, that youshould be thirsty and desire. Come, then,
"Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness he requireth,
Is to feel your need of him."
He has given you this; come and drink; drink freely. "The Spirit and the bride say come; and let him that heareth say come;and whosoever is athirst, let him come, and take the water of life freely."
[On account of the great length of this sermon when delivered, Mr. Spurgeon has been compelled to abridge it in the printedform.]