Sermon 680. Have You Forgotten Him?
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, MARCH 11, 1866,
BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"I do remember my faults this day." Genesis 41:9.
No single power or faculty of man escaped damage at the Fall-while the affections were polluted, the will was made perverse,the judgment was shifted from its proper balance, and the memory lost much of its power and more of its integrity. Every observingmind will have noticed that naturallywe have a greater power for remembering evil than good. Very plain is this in your children. If you mention anything goodin their hearing you had need to say it many times and very plainly before they are likely to remember it. But if one illword shall casually meet their ear inthe street, it will not be long before you have the pain of hearing them repeat it.
Our memory is like theirs, only in proportion as it is developed this peculiarity is more manifest. We have a most convenientwarehouse for storing the merchandise of evil, but the priceless jewels of goodness are readily stolen from their case. Wehave a fireproof safe for worthless matters, andenclose the rarest gems in mere pasteboard cases. Our memory, like a strainer, often suffers the good wine to pass throughbut retains all the dregs. It holds the bad in an iron grasp and plays with good till it slips through the fingers. Our memories,like ourselves, have done thethings which they ought not to have done, and have left undone the things which they ought to have done-and there is nohealth in them.
Among other things, it is not always easy to remember our faults. We have special and particular reasons for not wishing tobe too often reminded of them. Few men care to keep their faults in the front room of the house. Underground, in the darkestcellar, and, if possible with the door locked andthe key lost-it is there we would like to conceal our faults from ourselves. If, however, the Grace of God has entered intoa man he will pray that he may remember his faults and he will ask Divine Grace that if he should forget any excellences whichhe once supposed he had,he may not forget his defects, his sins, his infirmities and his transgressions. He would have them constantly before himthat he may be humbled by them and led to seek pardon for them and help to overcome them.
I do not say that the butler in this case had any work of Divine Grace in his heart, but I shall use him as an illustrationand hope by using my watchman's rattle, to wake up some of your sleepy memories, for there are thieves about, and you arebeing robbed without knowing it! It will be a healthyresult to us all if we shall be compelled to say at the end of this sermon, "I do remember my faults this day."
In the first place this morning, using the butler as our illustration, we shall state his faults. Secondly, we shall considerthe circumstances which refreshed his memory. And, thirdly we shall show the good points in his remembrance.
I. We shall first call your attention to the BUTLER'S FAULTS, for his faults are ours, only ours are on a larger scale. "Ido remember my faults this day." His particular fault was that he had forgotten Joseph-having promised to remember him whenit should be well with him-he hadaltogether overlooked the circumstances which occurred in the prison. Instead he had been enjoying himself and leaving hisfriend to pine in obscurity.
Here, then, is the first fault-the butler had forgotten a friend. That is never a thing to be said to a man's praise. We oughtto write the deeds of friendship as much as possible in marble-and that man is unworthy of esteem who can readily forget favorsreceived. Joseph had done allthat he could to make the butler's sojourn in prison comfortable. It was hard, that so soon as the butler had escaped fromprison his friend Joseph had escaped his memory. Save us from men who can so easily forget!
But you and I have a Friend! We call Him very dear. We are accustomed to speak of Him in very rapturous terms. We declarethat no others have such a Friend as we have. We have made our boast that there is none other that deserves the name in comparisonwith Him whom we call our best Beloved. Andyet how many of us have forgotten Him?! His name we know, His nature we understand, His blessings we sometimes rejoice in-butfrequently His Divine Person, His blessed self-alas, how cold our love to Him! This fault will not strike the carnal mindas being a great one,but in proportion as our hearts are spiritual and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we shall feel it a great and grievoussin to have in any measure forgotten our best Friend.
The circumstances were these-the butler was in prison, and then this friend came to him and spoke comfortably to him. Do youremember when you were in prison? I never can forget when I was bound in fetters far harder, heavier, and more painful towear than fetters of iron. It was a darkdungeon, without a ray of light. There was no rest in it neither night nor day. A certain fearful looking for judgment andof fiery indignation haunted that gloomy cell. I struggled to be free, but the more I struggled the more hard did my bondagebecome. I was as one in the deepmire, who, by every struggle only sinks himself the more hopelessly in it.
Do you not remember? Oh, Believers, you have passed through the same experience! Your feet were in the stocks, you laid inthe innermost prison while the whip of the Law frequently fell upon your backs. The sentence of execution thundered in yourears and you trembled lest you should be draggedforth to your doom! Do you not remember it, the wormwood and the gall? Joseph came to the butler and said, "Why do you lookso sadly today?" In our case we have not forgotten how Jesus came to us and enquired into our state. With what tender accentsof sympathy did He address ourhearts!
He told us-and we could readily believe it-that He would not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed. We had notbeen accustomed to be addressed in this fashion, for the voice of Moses is far from musical, and his tones are very gratingto the ear. But when Jesus spoke itwas all soft and sweet. "Poor Sinner!" He said, as though He pitied rather than blamed. He looked upon us not with an eyesearching for iniquity, but with a heart which saw our calamity and which looked for the means to deliver us! Have you forgottenthose times of brokenness ofspirit when the only comfort which you knew was the name of Jesus? When the only stay for the hunger and thirst which werein your spirits was a morsel or two of His sweet love which He graciously cast to you to keep you by the way?
Do you remember your dream? The butler had a dream. Do you remember yours? It was more than a night dream- it was a day dreamwith a terrible interpretation appended to it in your mind. You dreamed of a vine, too, and you were the cluster, and youdreamed of the time when you should be castinto the winepress, and trod beneath the feet of almighty Wrath until your blood should fill the cup of Divine vengeanceeven to the brim! Do you remember that dream? How it haunted you, and seemed like some huge bird of prey with black wingsand horrid cries, fluttering over you asthough about to tear you in pieces?
I remember when day was night to me, and night was worse than night. "Then You scare me with dreams, and terrify me throughvisions," was the cry of Job, and such has been the lament of many and many a heart under the weight of sin. Oh, how guiltcan thunder in our ears! How the Word of God cangrow terrible and stern! "God is angry with you! God is angry with the wicked every day! It is appointed unto all men onceto die, and after death the judgment." In our terror we could see the rider on the pale horse and feel ourselves overtakenby him and struck down by the horses'hoofs! We saw ourselves cast into the pit of Hell and seemed to be falling, falling, falling, ever sinking from the angryglance of God and still as dreadfully near to it as before! That was our dream, and the interpretation, the only interpretationwhich seemed to fit it was this,"You will be banished from His Presence into eternal misery."
Beloved, do you remember when Jesus came with the interpretation of a very different kind, just as Joseph did to the butler?He interpreted to the butler that Pharaoh would lift him up and put him in his place again. And so Jesus came to us and toldus that we were condemned in ourselves but thatwe might not be condemned at the last. He told us that we had a sentence of death in ourselves because God intended neverto pass that sentence in the Court of Heaven and had, instead, passed it in the Court of our conscience.
He told us that God never kills with His Law in the heart without intending to make alive! That when He wounds He heals! Thatwhen He strips He means to clothe. We did not understand this. We thought that all this terrible dealing within our heartwas the prelude of everlasting judgment! But Heshowed us that as many as God loves He rebukes and chastens. That it is the way with Him to break up the clods with theplow before He casts in the golden seed-and to dig out deep foundations before He piles polished stones one upon another tomake a temple to His praise. Ah,I never shall forget when, at the foot of the Cross, I saw the interpretation of all my inward griefs when I looked up andsaw the flowing of my Savior's precious blood-and had the great riddle all solved.
My Brothers and Sisters, what a discovery was that when we learned the secret that we were to be saved not by what we wereor were to be, but saved by what Christ had done for us! The simplicity of the Cross is the grandest of all revelations. "Lookunto Me and be you saved, all you ends of theearth." Why it is as simple as the interpretation which Joseph gave to the dream! But in its simplicity lies a great partof its sweetness. How was it that I was such a fool as not to understand it before-that for every sinner who was truly a sinner,and had no righteousnessof his own- Jesus Christ is made righteousness and salvation? And that every sinner who confesses with a broken heart thathe deserves God's wrath, he may know that Jesus has suffered all God's wrath for him, and that therefore God is no longerangry with him-for all Hisanger has been spent upon the Person of Jesus Christ?!
How sweet it is to understand that all our soul's terrors and alarms are only meant to bring us to the Cross! That they arenot intended to make us look at ourselves, to search for comfort there-nor intended to set us upon paving a way to Heavenby our own exertions-but to lead us toJesus! Happy day! We see Jesus as the cluster crushed until the heart's blood flows and can, by faith, go in unto the King,with Jesus Christ's own precious blood and offer that, just as the butler stood before Pharaoh with the wine cup in his hand.I bear a cup filled not with myblood but His blood! Not the blood from me as a cluster of the vine of earth, but the blood of Jesus as a cluster of Heaven'sown vintage, pouring out its precious floods to make glad the heart of God and man. Here lies our fault-that we have forgottenall this-notforgotten the fact, but forgotten to love Him who gave us that soul-comforting, heart-cheering interpretation!
Beloved, when Jesus revealed Himself at first, our hearts were ready to leap out of our bodies for joy! Do you remember thetime you thought you could sing always and never stop? Nothing was too hard, no burden was too heavy for you then-for yoursoul was all on fire with love. But ah, sincethen, what a sad declension! You forgot your Joseph. You forgot your Friend who gave you this kind interpretation of yourdream!
Dear Friends, there was something which ought to have made the butler remember Joseph. When I read the story just now, itcame very vividly to my own mind. It was this-that there was another in prison at the same time with him-and what had becomeof him? The baker had been hanged! Andif the butler had chosen to walk out, he might have seen the relics of the body of his poor miserable companion-gibbetedto be fed upon by kites and carrion crows. That poor wretch had dreamed a dream, too, but the interpretation had been verydifferent.
When some of us look back to the time when we were in sin with others, and recollect that although we are here, the living,to praise the Redeemer's name, some of our old companions are-we shudder to think of it, but it is so-at this moment in Hell!How shall we praise the electingGrace which has made us to differ? It is a solemn thought that such differences should occur-
"Why were we made to hear His voice, And enter while there's room, When thousands make a wretched choice, And rather starvethan come?"
Some of you used to spend hour after hour in the public house, and you could blaspheme God's name. And while those whom youonce drank with are now drinking the cup of God's wrath, you, who were not one whit better than they-in some points even worse-arenow saved by Sovereign Grace.
Discriminating Grace should always give a high tone to our gratitude. He has not dealt thus with every people. Praise theLord! If you whom God has chosen, and whom Christ has specially and effectually called by Divine Grace from among others-ifyou do not remember Him, what shall I say toyou? Oh, dear Friends, how it should humble you and bow you down in the dust that after such remarkable, peculiar, distinguishinglove as that of which you have been the subjects, you should still forget your dear Friend, and fail in point of duty whereyou ought to have beenfaithful to Him!
We have not, however, quite done with the case of the butler and Joseph. The request which Joseph made of the butler was avery natural one. He said, "Think of me when it is well with you." He asked no hard, difficult, exacting favor, but simply,"Think of me, and speak to Pharaoh. You will havehis ear in moments when kings are most likely to be in good humor. You will wait upon him at his feasts-then, when it iswell with you and the time is come-put in a word for your poor friend who will be pining away in the damps of the dungeon."It was a very simplething, and I will be bound to say the butler said to him, "Oh, my dear fellow, I will not only do that, but I do not knowwhat I will not do for you! You shall be out of prison within a week and I will take good care that you have the fat of allthe land of Egypt, and I will seethat that Potiphar and his wife shall be severely punished for all the wrong they have done you."
But he did nothing of the kind. What the Savior asks of us, His servants, is most natural and most simple, and quite as muchfor our good as it is for His Glory. Among other things, He has said to all of you who love Him, "This do in remembrance ofMe." He has asked you to gather around His table,and break bread with His servants, and feast with Him. Some of you have never obeyed His command yet-you say you love Him-butyou forget Him. It was kind of Him to institute that blessed ordinance to help your memory.
It is doubly unkind of you that you not only forget Him but are not willing to use the means to have that frail memory ofyours refreshed. Moreover, of you who come to His Table He asks the favor to speak a good word for Him wherever you have anopportunity. During the last week have you spoken forJesus? He asks you to spread abroad the savor of His name-have you done so during the last month or not? He requests ofyou that as you are an heir with Him and a partaker of His kingdom, you will help Him to spread it-not by word of mouth only-butby your giftsand by your labors. What have you done?
Suppose that now the Lord Jesus Christ should occupy this pulpit instead of me, and stand here and spread His hands and showyou His wounds? Could you dare to look at Him? Might not some of you have crimsoned cheeks as you would have to confess, "Ah,Master, we have forgotten You. As to muchpractical service and honor of Your name, we have been quite as negligent as the butler was concerning Joseph." Well, Heis here in spirit, and He will soon be here in Person. Servants of the Master, be faithful to your Master! But oh, all youwho lean upon His bosom, and havefamiliar union with Him-I will not merely speak of faithfulness to you, but I charge you by your love, by the lilies, andby the animals of the field-see to it that you not forget your Beloved! Day by day, and hour by hour, feast Him with yourwine, with your milk, withthe choicest of your gifts, and the richest products of your souls! Labor for Him, live for Him, and be ready to die forHim who has done so much for you!
I have thus stated the butler's case, but I shall want to pause a minute or two over this head just to go into the reasonof his fault. Why was it that he did not remember Joseph? There is always a reason for everything, if we but try to find itout. He must have been swayed by one of threereasons. Perhaps the butler was naturally ungrateful. We do not know, but that may have been the case. He may have beena person who could receive unbounded favors without a due sense of obligation. I trust that is not our case in the fullestand most unmitigated sense-but Iam afraid we must all plead guilty in a measure. Were there ever such ungrateful ones as the saints of God? We treat noother friend so badly as we treat our Lord!
We love our parents. We feel gratitude towards friends who have assisted us in times of need. We are bound by very strongties to certain persons who were very greatly an assistance to us in a pinch. But our dear Savior-better than father and mother,fonder than the fondest friend, closerthan the most loving spouse-how ill we use Him! I am afraid, Brethren, we had better all of us say it is ingratitude here-weare basely ungrateful to Him. But let us not confess it as a matter of course-let us be ashamed to have such a thing to say!Let us feelthat it lowers us more than anything else could lower us-that it proves how total, how abject, how degrading must have beenthe Fall of Adam, that even the love of Jesus Christ shed abroad in hearts like ours in such a remarkable and plenteous mannercannot cure us of the baseand detestable vice of ingratitude!
Oh You dear One, can I look upon Your face, all covered with Your bloody sweat? Can I view You again all covered with thespittle from the mouths of Your enemies? Can I see You in Your thirst and anguish on the Cross and know that every pang wasfor me, and every woe for me-and not a groan orspasm of pain for Yourself, but all for love of me who was Your enemy-and can I, after that, forget You? Oh my Soul, loatheyourself that you should be ungrateful to Him!
Perhaps, however, worldly care choked the memory. The chief butler had a great deal to do-he had many under-servants, andhaving to wait in a palace much care was required. He who serves a despot like the king of Egypt must be very particular inhis service. It is very possible that thebutler was so busy with his work and his gains, and looking after his fellow servants and all that, that he forgot poorJoseph. Is it not very possible that this may be the case with us? We forget the Lord Jesus to whom we are bound by such tiesbecause our business is so large, ourfamily so numerous, our cares so pressing, our bills and bonds so urgent-and even, perhaps, our gains are so large!
There is as much power to divide the heart from Christ in gain as there is in loss. In fact, the sharpest edge of the world'ssword is prosperity. The back cut of adversity very seldom wounds as prosperity does. And yet, dear Friends, what are allthese cares that they should make us forget ourLord? I know not to what to compare us. Unto what shall I compare our folly? We are like children in the marketplace whohave their little plays and games, their pieces of broken crock and stick and stone and these take up all their thoughts.And they forget their dear mother who iscalling them. She has nourished these children, and day by day her heart cares for them, but they forget her.
They cannot live without her-they must go to her for all their necessities-the very garments on their backs are her workmanship,and the food that keeps life in their bodies she must find. But they are too busy, too busy with these little plays and toysand mere dirt and such things aschildren in the market will play with-too busy to think of her. Oh, it is base that it should be so, but we are sadly worldly.I am afraid John Bunyan's picture of the man with the muck-rake is not altogether unlike some of God's own children. Herewe are with the rake gropingover the dunghill, although above us stands the angel with the golden crown calling to us to look up from the dunghill andremember our lasting and enduring portion! But no, not we-that dunghill takes up so much of our time and thoughts that thecrown is forgotten!
Do not misunderstand me, I would not have you be negligent in business-neither reason nor Revelation require that-but oh,if you could remember the Savior in it all, and if you traded for His sake and worked for Him, and in the ordinary deeds oflife did all as unto the Lord ("whetheryou eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus")-then, truly, everything might remind you ofHim and both gain and loss, mercy and misery might only drive you nearer to His blessed bosom!
I am half ashamed to have to say one thing more. I am afraid that the butler forgot Joseph out ofpride because he had grownto be such a great man and Joseph was in prison. He was butler to the king. Now when he was in prison Joseph was his equal,and in some sense his superior for he waited onhim. But now my lord, the butler, has great interest at court and he wears splendid garments, and he is very great amonghis fellow servants. Joseph-Joseph smells of the dungeon! He is a jailbird, and quite beneath him. He knows not what Josephis to become-that all theglories of the land of Egypt are to be at Joseph's feet-but he is ashamed of Joseph.
I do not suppose this operates with many of you, but I have known it with some professed Believers. When they were littlein Israel, when they first professed to have found peace, oh, how they acknowledged Jesus! But they got on in the world andprospered-and then they could not worship amongthose poor people who were good enough for them once-they now drive to a more fashionable place of worship where the LordJesus is seldom heard of. They feel themselves bound to get into a higher class of society, as they call it, and the poordespised cause of Jesus isbeneath them, forgetting, as they foolishly do, that the day will come when Christ's cause shall be uppermost!
They forget that the world shall go down and the faithful followers of the Lord Jesus shall be peers and princes even in thisworld, and reign with Him-He being King of kings and Lord of lords-and they sitting upon His Throne and sharing in His royaldignity. I hope none of you haveforgotten Christ because of that. I do not know, though-I have my fears of some of you. I do know this, that many a workingman thinks more of Christ while he is so than he does when he rises above his fellows. We have heard of one who used to givemuch when he was poor, butwhen he grew rich he gave less, and he said, "when I had a shilling purse I had a guinea heart, and wished I could do muchmore for Christ. But now I have a guinea purse I find I have only a shilling heart, and I am for stinting and doing less."
Oh let it not be so! Shall it be that the more He gives the less we give, and the more He shows his love, the less we showour love? God forbid that we should do this, but by every tie of gratitude let us serve Him more and more each day! Therewas very great heinousness in this forgetfulness onthe part of the butler and he ought to have felt it. Perhaps the way for us to see our own fault is this. Suppose the butlerhad put himself in Joseph's place and said, "Now I wonder what Joseph thinks of my conduct? Suppose I were Joseph in prison,and I had done this favor tosomeone else? How should I feel with regard to his forgetfulness?"
My dear Friends, can you suppose yourselves in Jesus Christ's place? Suppose it possible that you could have died for another,and by your death could have saved him and made him the partaker of everlasting joys? What would you think of him if he treatedyou as you treat Jesus Christ? You wouldsay, "I am ashamed of him. I regret that ever I spent so much love on such a thankless person." Judge, then-judge your owncase! Again, he might have judged of the heinousness of his forgetfulness by considering his conduct as he would have consideredit at the first. Supposea prophet had told you, when you were first converted, that you would live as you have done? Could you have believed it?You would have said "Never! If the Lord Jesus Christ does but take my burden off my back and set me free, there is nothingwhich I will not do for Him. I will benone of your cold, dead professors, not I."
But you have been, dear Friends! You have been just as lukewarm as others. Judge of your sin as you would have judged of itat the first. Again, will you please to judge of it as you judge of other people? What do you think of other cold hearts?What do you think of other chilly professors, whoselives are lukewarm, and whose love knows no fervency? Judge yourselves by the same judgment. Put your spirit in the samescale and be humbled! Yes, let every one of us lay his mouth in the dust as we confess this day that we are verily guiltyconcerning the Lord Jesus. Let us allremember our faults this day.
II. The second point is this-WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES BROUGHT THE FAULT TO THE BUTLER'S MIND? The same circumstances which surroundus this morning. First, he met with a person in the same condition as that in which he once was. King Pharaoh had dreameda dream and wished for an interpretation.Joseph could interpret-and the butler remembered his fault.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, there are those in the world who are in the same state of mind as you were once in. They onceloved sin and hated God and were strangers and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. But in some of them there has beenthe mysterious working of the Holy Spirit and theyhave dreamed a dream. They are awakened, although not yet enlightened. Salvation is a riddle to them at present, and theywant the interpretation. Do you not remember how the Gospel was blessed to you? Do you not desire to send it to others? Ifyou cannot preach yourself, will younot help me in my life-work of training others to preach Jesus?
If I could bring before you this morning a score or two of anxious persons up from country villages and remote parts of ourown land, you would say, "Oh, let me tell them about the Savior, or let me help to send someone to them who will do so." Thatis just the effect I want to produce withoutusing that means. I want to make you remember your Lord Jesus-practically remember Him-by reminding you that there are personswho are now seeking Him, who are now panting after Him who have not yet heard the Gospel! They are longing for some heraldof peace to come tothem and proclaim the good news. By the love of souls, aid me in my great anxiety to supply the needs of the age with aministry called of God to preach His Truth.
The next thing that recalled the butler's thought was this-he saw that many means had been used to interpret Pharaoh's dream,but they had all failed. We read that Pharaoh sent for his wise men but they could not interpret his dream. You are in a similarcase. There are thousands in Englandwho are trying to minister to spiritual necessities- above all we have Popery in its double form-Romish and Anglican-doingits best to interpret the dream of the human heart. You know what a sad mess it makes of it-it gives a stone instead ofbread-brings to poor, needy, guilty man, anything but the Savior he wants.
Now, as you hear these foolish wise men all blundering over the dream, do you not think of the Joseph who could interpretit? And as you hear these men holding up baptismal regeneration and sacramental salvation, does not your tongue long to say,"O fools! O generation of simpletons! It is ChristJesus who is the great Interpreter-He alone can supply human necessities." Do you not feel a need, if you cannot go andpreach yourselves, to help others to do so? Will you remember Jesus Christ as you remember how many are perverting the Gospeland preaching anything ratherthan the merit of His Cross? Remember your Lord today and your faults concerning Him, but let your remembrance lead to futurediligence in His cause.
Then, again, if the butler could have known it, he had other motives for remembering Joseph. It was through Joseph that thewhole land of Egypt was blessed. Joseph comes out of prison, interprets the dream which God had given to the head of the State,and that interpretation preserved all Egypt,yes, and all other nations during seven years of drought! Only Joseph could do it. Oh Brothers and Sisters, you know thatit is only Jesus who is the balm of Gilead for the wounds of this poor dying world! You know that there is nothing which canbless our land, and all other lands,like the Cross of Jesus Christ! Have you forgotten your Savior? Have you allowed His Gospel to be by without preaching ityourselves or helping others to preach it? Have you suffered the precious Truth of God to be like Joseph, hidden in prison,when you might have helped to bringit out into open court that others might hear and know the sound which has made glad your own heart? Then, as you rememberEngland, the country of your love. As you remember other lands, which in proportion are dear to you, will you not think ofJesus today and do something for thepromotion of His cause?
Once more, surely the butler would have remembered Joseph had he known to what an exaltation Joseph would be brought. UnderGod it was all through the butler saying, "I remember Joseph," that Joseph came out of prison, that he stood before Pharaoh,that he rode in the second chariot, that theheralds cried before him, "Bow the knee!" and that Joseph, the poor prisoner, became governor over the land of Egypt! Christian,would you like to lift up the name of Jesus from obscurity into the throne of the human heart?
At this present moment throughout this world Jesus Christ is still the despised and rejected of men! He is still a root outof a dry ground to the mass of mankind, and the only way in which He can be exalted is by loving hearts telling of Him andhelping others to tell of Him. Think of the splendorwhich yet will surround our Lord Jesus! He shall come, Beloved, He shall come in the chariots of salvation! The day drawsnear when all things shall be put under Him. Kings shall yield their crowns to His superior sway and whole sheaves of scepters,plucked from tyrants' hands,shall be gathered beneath His arms-
"Look, you saints, the sight is glorious, See the 'Man of Sorrows' now? From the fight returned victorious, Every knee toHim shall bow."
You by testifying of Him are promoting the extension of His kingdom and doing the best that lies in you to gather togetherthe scattered who are to be the jewels of His crown. Surely the thought of His exaltation fires you with delight! The prospectof magnifying Him, of setting Him on high andhelping to adorn His head-or even to strew the path beneath His feet-must fill your soul with a celestial ardor! Do notforget Him, then, but let the fact that you are in this position today-that you can glorify Jesus, that you can bless theworld-let thisencourage you to remember your faults this day.
III. In the last place, I have a few things to say by way of COMMENDATION OF THE BUTLER'S REMEMBRANCE. It is a pity he forgotJoseph, but it is a great blessing that he did not always forget him. It is a sad thing that you and I should have done solittle-it is a mercy that there is time leftfor us to do more!
One of our dear friends said this morning-one of our beloved deacons-when I was asking him about some of the Churches he hasbeen to visit-places where we are forming new Churches-what he thought of the work which was going on. "Oh," he said, "itis such a glorious work, andGod is so marvelous in it that I wish I were younger that I might live to see more of it." He is not old, but he wishedhe were much younger that he might see God's gracious work going on for many years as it is now progressing through God'sGrace in our midst. Our College is amighty lever with which the Lord is working and if God's people knew more of it they would help it more.
I like the butler's remembrance, first of all, because it was very humbling to him. He had to say it to Pharaoh. Pharaoh wasangry and put his servant in prison. That was not a very pleasant thing for the butler to say to the king, "My Lord, you wereangry with me and put me in prison." But thoughit was a humbling thing, it was very necessary that he should say it and be reminded of it. Let us go before God with theconfession, "Lord, I was as base and vile as any. Your Cross saved me. I was an heir of wrath even as others. Jesus did allthis for me, blessed be His name, andI humble myself to think that I should so treacherously have forgotten Him who was so kind to me."
I commend his remembrance for another thing, namely, that it was so personal. "I do remember my faults this day." What capitalmemories we have for treasuring up other people's faults, for once, let us keep to ourselves. Let the confession begin withthe minister. "I do remember my faults thisday." This is not the place for me to tell you of them, though I dare say you see them without any telling of mine, butI do remember them. They make a long list. My Brethren in office-the deacons and elders-I have no charge against them, butI have no doubt they can allsay, "I do remember my faults this day."
You members of this Church, some old and gray, some young beginners, many of you parents and people in middle life-I supposethere is not one of you but what might say-"Yes, I do remember my faults this day." Let it go round. Do not let there be anexception to the case-let eachChristian, instead of thinking about others, make it a personal matter, "I do remember my faults this day." I could wishthat the unconverted here would join with us. Your fault-the great fault with you-is that you do not believe in Jesus Christ.You do not trust Himwith your souls, but are still strangers to Him. I wish you could say, now, you up in that gallery there, each one of you,"I do remember my faults this day." And the whole body of you down below the stairs, and you around the pulpit, "I do remembermy faults this day."
It is a good sign of true repentance when it is personal repentance. Every man must mourn apart, and every woman apart-thehusband apart, and the wife apart-the brother apart, and the sister apart. "I do remember my faults this day." The best partof it, perhaps, was the practicalnature of the confession. The moment he remembered his fault, he redressed it as far as he could. He could not make up tohis poor friend for the days he had been lying in prison, but he spoke to Pharaoh directly. That action was the means of bringingJoseph out.
Now, dear Friends, if you remember your faults to the Lord Jesus, may you have Grace not to fall into them again! If you havenot spoken for Him, speak today! If you have not given to His cause, give now! If you have not devoted yourselves as you oughtto have done to the promotion of His kingdom,do it now! Oh, Sinner, if you have not believed in Christ, may God the Holy Spirit lead you to believe now! It is of nouse remembering a debt if you do not pay it. And it is of no avail to remember a fault if you do not repent of it.
I have little by way of urging you as a congregation to do more in the service of the Master. Often I feel held back by thethought that you are doing so much, but oh, if we could do as much as possible, if every one of us felt pledged, for the Lord'scause and the Redeemer's kingdom, that thereshould be nothing within the range of possibility to mortal man that we would not attempt for such a King, for such a Lord,oh, then we should see blessed days!! You have had a zealous spirit. You still have it-but you need still more of it, andmay God send it to you!
We are helping to send the Gospel throughout all this country, and to different countries abroad as well. Do not hold backwhen God is blessing! Your parts help is still required-be not slow to render it. Do come forward with us and help us to magnifythe Savior's name till the ends of theearth shall know it, and all nations shall call Him blessed! The Lord bless these words for the sake of Jesus Christ ourLord. Amen.