Sermon 962. A Personal Application
DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, JANUARY 16, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"But now once in the end of the world has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Hebrews 9:26.
IN those good old times when preachers did not grow weary, though they discoursed for three hours at a stretch. And when congregationswere not given to slumber, even under such long discourses, the preacher had ample time not only to dilate upon the doctrineof his text, but to speak, also, upon what was then called "the improvement of the subject," namely, the practical and experimentalapplication of the Truths of God taught to the cases of his hearers. Nowadays when we are restricted to three-quarters ofan hour-not altogether to our loss or yours-there are occasions on which we feel our course so wide, and our time so narrow,that having found a good sea to sail upon, and objects of surpassing interest to attract our attention in the morning, weventure to resume the current of thought and follow up with the application in the evening.
Those of you who were present this morning, (See No. 911, "The Putting Away of Sin"), will not have forgotten the fullnessof the text. It seemed as though every word were on fire, for we were warmed and comforted by each word as it broke on ourears and appealed to our hearts. I am sure that God the Holy Spirit spoke to some of us. If we never heard Him before, wecertainly did then feel the power of His Presence in our souls. "Did not our hearts burn within us" while we meditated uponthe precious Truth contained in this passage of Holy Scripture? We saw very clearly God's way of putting away sin. We knewthat sin was the great obstacle which kept us from God, and we perceived how Jesus Christ, by making Himself a Sacrifice,had completely cast down and cleared off the separating wall, so that now we have access with boldness to this Grace whereinwe stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God! By His offering of Himself upon the tree, He put away sin once and forall on the behalf of those who trust in Him.
The application, then, which I proceed to take in hand is twofold-first, to some of you who are not converted, a few earnest,faithful, affectionate words. And, secondly, to you who have received Christ, and have also obtained power to become sonsof God, a little tender counsel.
I. First, A FEW WORDS TO THE UNCONVERTED. You perceive it is stated in the text that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in humanform, and put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Now, it will strike your reason that God would not have come upon earth,would not have left the royalties of Heaven if there had been some other way of putting away sin. Surely the eternal Fatherwould never have put His Only Begotten and Well-Beloved Son to such terrible pains and griefs if there had been any otherdoor of salvation for the lost sons of men. When Jesus said, "If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me," you may dependupon it that it would have passed if it had been possible for us to be saved by any other method. But, inasmuch as Jesus Christbowed His head to the stroke of His Father's sword, and poured out His soul unto death for us, we may rest assured that thereis no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.
Clearly then, my dear Hearers, it is your wisdom to give up every other confidence! What are you resting in at the presentmoment? Have you been saying in your soul, "I am the child of gracious parents. I have never gone into profanity or open sin.It must be all right with me"? Or, have you said in your heart, "I was christened in my infancy. I have been confirmed. Ihave paid due attention to the ceremonials of my Church, and therefore I am saved"? Or, have you said, "I have kept the Commandmentsfrom my youth up. I have neither wronged man nor blasphemed God"? I tell you solemnly that these grounds of confidence areutterly worthless!
If you could have been saved by your Baptism, do you think Christ would have died? If your good works could have opened thegates of Heaven for you, do you think that the Christ of God Himself would have bled for sinners? If it had been possiblefor your godly ancestry to have lifted you to the skies, do you suppose that Jesus Christ would have been
obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross? All other confidence which begins, proceeds, and ends with anything elsesave the Person and the work of Jesus will deceive you in the hour of death, and at the Day of Judgment. Therefore I say untoyou-do not for a moment entertain it-away with it! Away with it, confide in it no longer!
If I saw you trusting yourself upon a bridge which I knew would snap in the center when your weight came fairly upon it, Ishould not be unkind-I should but follow the instincts of humanity in warning you not to trust to it. And I do so warn younow that other refuge there is none, save in Jesus Christ. And if you seek another refuge you insult God, you do despite toJesus Christ, you cast yourself into a tenfold jeopardy-for he that believes not in Jesus Christ must be lost. Though youmay have a zeal towards God, and go about industriously to establish your own righteousness, yet you must be a castaway, becauseyou have not submitted yourself to the righteousness which is of God by faith.
I beseech you, then, dear Hearer, whoever you may be, whether you are a stranger among us or one who constantly frequentsthis assembly, shake off your false confidences, as Paul shook the viper from his hand into the fire, or else they will poisonyou. They will destroy you forever and forever! But come, O come, Sinners, as you are, to the Fountain filled with blood,and rest, all helpless as you are, rest on the Foundation which God has laid in Zion, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone,and he that builds upon it shall never be ashamed.
That seems to flow naturally as an inference from the doctrine of the Atonement. But then, secondly-if Jesus Christ, the Sonof God, in order to put away sin, must die a death so ignominious and painful, then depend upon it, sin is not so easy a thingto get rid of, nor is the penalty so easy to endure, as some would have us imagine. Sinner, when God laid our sins upon Christ,He did not spare Him. "He spared not His own Son." There was no point of the shame, the desertion, the darkness, the terrorof dire foreboding, or the weight of full punishment for sin which was withheld from the sufferings of Christ. Rather it seemsas if the Father, in vindication of unpitying Justice, heaped on our blessed Savior the full weight of all our transgressions,and exacted of Him the utmost chastisement and the uttermost retribution.
Ponder this and consider the question, Did God smite His Son, and shall He spare you? Did the curse fall on Christ, thoughHe was holy in His Nature, perfect in His Character, guileless in His Heart, and innocent in His Life-upon Him who had nosin but our sin upon Him? And shall God allow you, depraved, impenitent, willful, and graceless as you are, to go unpunished?God has shown His hatred of sin in the Cross of Jesus. Not Sodom on a blaze, nor the old world drowned with the flood, norPharaoh lost in the Red Sea, nor any one of the judgments of Heaven which appall us in their history, displays so much Hishorror against sin as the death of the Only Begotten.
There you see how, though sin entrenched itself in the Blessed and Beloved Body of Jesus Christ, yet the sword of vengeancewould find it out and smite it down. And shall your crimes evade notice or pass away like shadows that leave no trace behind?What? Can the avenging angel detect no spots on your hands, no blood on your skirts, no chain of evidence to convict you?Knowing, as you all do from observation, if not from experience, that the levity with which men defy the laws of Nature doesnot mitigate the pain that surely follows, that every vice reaps its own retribution, and that the end of a dissolute lifeis most commonly a desperate death, I marvel that any of you should despise your own mercies and court your own miseries!
But if any sin could be lightly passed over, how should your sin escape, when you add to it this sin of sins, by way of aggravation-thatyou make God a liar by not believing on His Son? Ah, my Hearer, let no ill deceive you. God's Word is true-every transgressionshall receive its just recompense of reward. He will by no means spare the guilty. Do not hope to die with the words uponyour lips, "God is merciful." I know He is, but He is also just, and to those who reject His Son there is no mercy-
"How they deserve the deepest Hell, That leave the joys abo ve! What claims of vengeance must they feel Who slight the bandsof love!"
You shall find it so. Either Christ must bear your sins for you, and you must see your sin punished in the wounds of Im-manuel,or you must feel them punished in yourself forever! O Soul, which shall it be? May God make the election for you, and mayyou be saved in Jesus Christ our Lord.
I wish I could speak so as to get to your heart, but the Lord alone can do that. I can only reach the ears. Will you, however,please notice the particular object for which Christ appeared? Perhaps that may touch your conscience. It was to put awaysin. Can you so think of this as to apprehend the breadth of purpose it involves? Is not such an undertaking
beyond the grasp of your minds? But try to spell it out. Does it not occur to you that there must have been a gathering togetherof all kinds of sin, and a concentration of all the forces of sin at that tremendous crisis? I think you have only to lookat the pictures as they are drawn by the four Evangelists to perceive the dark shadows of every species of human guilt.
Were not the vices that defile the heart of man, and the atrocities that distract society-those vile prejudices and bad passionswhich issue in the foulest crimes-all represented in the conspiracy to crucify Jesus of Nazareth? Tell me, if pride and infamy,jealousy and covetousness, treason and treachery, ribald mockery, and brutal cruelty, with a legion of other wicked spirits,did not make common cause against the Lord's Anointed? The mask of religion was worn by some, and the guise of patriotismwas assumed by others. To what intent was this? Why, it is told in one short sentence. When He came to put away sin, thensin was up in arms directly, and counsel and clamor from all grades of society made their voices heard, and their influencefelt, to put Him away.
Ah, you say, that only happened once. True, so far as the work of redemption is concerned. But how often is it repeated inthe experience of men who reject the Savior? The like concurrence of all sorts and forms of sin is found in the case of everyone of you who deliberately or wantonly hardens his heart against that great Sin-Bearer, that great Sin-Destroyer, our mostglorious Christ! Every evil disposition you harbor, every evil habit you indulge, every wicked practice you follow, leads,no, irresistibly drives you on to this goal-"Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him, crucify Him"-is the cry to which yourheart consents, to which your life gives sanction. I do but interpret the meaning of your unbelief. It must be so. For youare bent on upholding sin while Christ is bent on putting away sin-thus you set yourselves in opposition to Him.
And it is so. For it is the ordinary testimony of every converted man. Those of us who have the best opportunity of judgingcan bear witness that in the repentance which accompanies faith, the sense of guilt is felt much as though all sins were rolledinto one in the aggravated sin of unbelief. And it ought to be so-for our Lord Himself said, "When He (the Spirit of God)is come, He will reprove the world of sin, because they believe not on Me." Give heed, then, to this, my Hearer, whosoeveryou may be that now declines to yield to my Master. If ever you are born of the Spirit, you will plead guilty to this charge.Or if, God forbid, you die in your sins, the indictment framed against you, the verdict given, and the sentence passed willbe according to this judgment. You will be condemned because you believed not on the Son of God. The reason why at this momentyou love darkness rather than light is because your deeds are evil.
Let me remind every unconverted person here of the responsibility which presses upon him with regard to the great fact thatChrist is preached to him according to the manner in which he has been revealed to put away sin. That fact must affect youfor woe, if not for weal. Whatever may be its relation to those Hottentots and barbarians who have never heard the Gospel,it must affect you, because you have heard it, and the rule is that the ministry of the Cross of Christ, when addressed toyour understanding, must either prove a savor of life unto life or of death unto death.
Make no mistake about this. You never pass under the heart-searching ordeal of listening to a Gospel sermon without some moralconsequence. There is some result produced. You are either blessed by it, or hardened by it. Possibly you may think it isa most proper thing to come to a place of worship, and you feel relieved by having attended. Yes, but if your conscience wereawake you would understand the words of the Apostle, "See that you refuse not Him that speaks." "Turn not away from Him thatspeaks from Heaven." "He that despised Moses' Law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishmentsuppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trod under foot the Son of God?" "How shall we escape if we neglect so greatsalvation?"
If I live and die knowing the Gospel, and yet rejecting it, what can I say at God's bar? What excuse can I make for myself?I cannot plead ignorance. I must confess willful hardness of heart, which went so far that I preferred to risk damnation ratherthan accept salvation on God's terms. I had rather perish as God's enemy, so my unbelief says, than I would submit myselfand become God's friend. Oh, this is iniquity reaching to its highest altitude! I beseech you-ungodly Man, ungodly Woman-looksuch iniquity in the face, and think of its terrible issues!
Our text tells us that Christ has appeared once to put away sin, but remember, He is to come a second time! Unconverted Man,Woman, have you thought of that? You would not look at Christ when He came the first time, despised and rejected of men, butyou shall look at Him when at His second advent-
"The Lord shall come! A dreadful form,
With rainbow wreath, and robes of storm; On cherub wings, and wings of wind, Appointed Judge of all mankind."
You said it was nothing to you the first time, and you passed by. But you will find it something to you the second time. Whenthe trumpet sounds exceedingly loud and long. When the cerements of the grave are rent asunder. When the dead shall rise fromland and sea. When the Great White Throne shall be set, and all nations shall be gathered before it, and the Shepherd-Kingshall divide them as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats-you will find, then, that from that Throne you cannot escape!The Throne of Mercy you may despise-but the Throne of Judgment you will not be able to set at nothing!
Suppose the destined hour should transpire now-and it is but a little while before it shall overtake this giddy, thoughtlessworld. Overleap that brief interval for a moment. Let your imaginations transport you to-
"That tremendous day Whose coming none can tell,"
although with silent, sure, and rapid steps it is approaching us now. Think that you are standing in the crowd, and the booksare opened, and the eyes of fire have flashed upon you, and your life unveiled, with all your actions and their hidden springs,is being published to angels and to men-and your sentence is about to be pronounced.
No escape is possible! The rocks cannot hide you! The mountains cannot cover you! The eyes of Him who once wept will flashwith lightning, and the tongue that said, "Come unto Me, you weary," shall say, "Depart, you cursed," and the Face that wasonce so full of pity, shall suddenly be red with holy anger as He shall say, "I know you not! Depart from Me, you workersof iniquity!" And shall that be your portion?-
"Prevent, prevent it by Your Grace; Be You, O God, my hiding place, In this the accepted hour!"
My Hearer, shall this be your portion? Shall it be the portion of any man or woman now sitting in this House of Prayer? MayGod avert it by His eternal mercy! But I see not how it is to be avoided except you are led to fly to Christ. And the onlyopportunity you may ever have is this present opportunity, for, "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." Mayyou be led by the Spirit at this moment to come to Jesus, and so shall you find eternal salvation in
II. Turning now to another part of the congregation, let me spend a little time in ADDRESSING MYSELF TO THE MANY OF YOU whohave believed that Jesus is the Christ, to the saving of your souls. Beloved in the Lord, our sins are pardoned! We are acceptedin the Beloved. We have passed from the realm of fear into the kingdom of safety. We are no longer in the wilderness. We arecome to Canaan, to Mount Zion, to the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn. We hear no rumblings of Sinai's thunders,but the soft voice which speaks better things than the blood of Abel.
What shall we say as we see evidently set before us this great and unspeakable sacrifice, by which our Lord Jesus Christ putaway sin? I think our first exclamation should be, "Be gone, accursed Sin, that could have needed such a Sacrifice! That couldhave made it necessary for the Savior thus to suffer!" Repentance is always the companion of faith. They go hand in hand.Let no man speak evil of repentance. I have been grieved within my heart when I have heard some revivalists, by innuendo atleast, speak against repentance.
You will never enter Heaven without repentance. And if your faith does not lead you to hate sin, and do a great deal morethan merely change your mind-as these modern fanatics say-you will find it is a faith which will never estrange you from thecorruptions of the flesh, enamor you of the holiness of the Spirit, and conduct you to the Heaven of God's Presence. You musthate sin. You must perceive the evil of it. And you must turn from it and live, according to the instincts of the Divine Lifecommunicated, as well as according to the ordinances of the Divine Rule made known unto you-or else you are no child of God.
But where is true repentance to be had? It is never experienced by a man, except as he, by God's Grace, receives the cleansing,sanctifying power of the Savior's precious blood. To repent of sin because I know it has ruined me, or it will ruin me, islegal repentance, and needs to be repented of. But to be able to sing, as one of our hymn writers expresses it-
"My sins, my sins, my Savior! Their guilt I never knew,
Till with You in the desert, I near Your passion drew. I know they are forgiven, But still their pain to me, Is all the griefand anguish They laid, my Lord, on You."
That is repentance. To hate sin because it caused the brow of Christ to be girt with the crown of thorns, and the face ofChrist to be dishonored with the spittle, and the hands of Christ to be pierced with the nails-this is repentance-not becauseI am afraid of Hell! Not because sin brings pains and penalties with it, but because it made Jesus Christ to suffer for mesuch pangs unutterable.
My Brothers and Sisters, standing here by faith at the foot of the Cross, do we not feel more than ever the evil of sin? Ifwe do not, let this be our prayer, "Lord, help me this night as I come to Your table, to feel the bitterness of my sin, whichwas so bitter to You. Let me see its deadly character in Your death. Let me see its shame in Your shame. Let me perceive thenakedness which it brought upon me in Your nakedness. Let me discern the misery which it would have caused me forever in Yourmisery. And let me now declare revenge against my sin. And however dear any one sin may have been to me, let this be my solemnresolve, in the strength of the Holy Spirit-
"Whatever that idol is,
At once I'll tear it from its throne,
And worship only You."
Deep repentance will be a sweet help in coming to the Supper. The bitter herbs always made the Paschal lamb the sweeter, andthe pensive sadness of repentance will give zest and stimulant to the faith with which we feed upon the crucified Redeemer.
Still further, Beloved, what emotions of gratitude should this Truth of God inspire in your breasts! Ought it not to fillyour entire life with the fragrant incense of praise? "Your testimonies," we might well say with the Psalmist, "have I takenas a heritage forever. For they are the rejoicing of my heart." O that the flame of gratitude might kindle and glow in allyour musings! O that it might find constant expression in the deep humility and the sweet gentleness of all your works andways! Say, "What homage can I offer You, my Lord, at this good hour? Little can I render unto You for all Your benefits, butmuch do I owe You for Your love that passes knowledge. Your Word shall be my lamp. Your Precepts shall be my choice. YourStatutes shall be my songs.
"I will delight myself in Your Commandments. All who trespass against me, I will forgive for Your sake. Your saints I willlove. Your lambs I will feed. I will bear the infirmities of the weak, and not please myself. I will pray without ceasing.I will give thanks for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 'So will I'-did I say? Letme rather say, 'So would I.' Though the vows of God are upon me, I have not strength of myself to perform one vow. Yet Youknow, for You search all hearts, and this You know, for You know all things-I sincerely desire and earnestly covet the Spiritof holiness to consecrate myself unreservedly unto You."
There is yet another point to which I wish to have your particular attention, O you that believe in Jesus! We are told inthe text that once in the end of the world Christ appeared to put away sin. Now what is your conviction upon the subject?Did He put away sin or not? I anticipate the answer of every Believer here-"Of course He did! By His one offering He put awaysin forever." Beloved, why is it that some of you tonight are troubled about your sin? Now look back during the past week.Has there not been a great deal in your life that you have to mourn over? Do you live a single day in which you went to yourrest contented with the review of your character or your conduct? I must acknowledge I never spent such a day, and I am afraidI never shall till I get Home to Heaven.
Sins and sorrows multiplied pollute the days to my shame and my horror. But when I come to look to Jesus Christ my Lord, andtrust in Him, shall I feel dismayed on account of my sins? No! They are all forgiven! They are all forgiven! Yes, that particularsin-you know what it is-the one which has caused you so much trouble this week, is forgiven. There is no sin that you havefallen into, as a believer in Jesus, which can be laid to your charge. That bold speech of the Apostle makes a wide sweep-"Whoshall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" Observe, he does not say, "Any great things," but "anything"-any littlethings, anything, anything of any kind. Do you not know that though you have erred and strayed many times, and made yourselfto be ashamed, yet still, when you come to the-
"Fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel's veins," this Truth is sure-that "the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleansesus from all sin"?
Then every Believer here tonight is as clean in the sight of God as the snow which falls from Heaven. Come, then, let us shakeoff these fears. He who knows that his debt is paid would be foolish to be troubled about the debt. And he who knows his sinsare forgiven, may have, should have, ought to have, peace with God through Jesus Christ his Lord! My dear Brethren, God willhelp me, I hope, to live more and more in the atmosphere of peace with God. I do believe the devil often worries us when thereis no cause whatever for our being troubled. Sin is always to be hateful to us. We are always to loathe it. But when washedin the precious blood of Jesus we are to endeavor to realize that through His blood we are clean, and that, with His spotlessvesture on, we are holy as the Holy One.
Notwithstanding the depravity of our old Nature, and the workings of the flesh against which we strive, yet we are acceptedin the Beloved. We are justified by faith which is in Christ Jesus. Come, then, children of God, take your harps down fromthe willows and tune them to a rapturous strain! Magnify the Lord your Righteousness. This is the name whereby He shall becalled, The Lord our Righteousness-Jehovah Tsidkenu. His name shall be rapturous on our lips, and glorious in our ears fromthis time forth even forever and ever. He has appeared to put away sin, and it is put away! Let us, then, enjoy our rest.
I want the further attention of every Believer here to another particular. Beloved, we read in this text that Jesus Christ,in order to put away sin, has made a sacrifice of Himself. When that word "sacrifice" is used with such grand significancein reference to Christ, it looks almost like a disparagement of its high import to apply it in any reference to ourselves.Yet we have the mind of the Spirit in the words of the Apostle Paul, who has said, "I beseech you, therefore, Brethren, bythe mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonableservice." Ought we not, if Christ has made a sacrifice of Himself for us, to make a sacrifice of ourselves
He sacrificed Himself. I told you this morning that it was more than His wealth, more than His honor which He offered. Itwas HIMSELF. Every Christian should offer himself as sacrifice to Christ. They did so in the martyr age. They did so in thefirst young hour of the Church's enthusiasm when Apostolic zeal was fervent. But do we do so now? Talk of giving to the causeof God-why, very few of us give enough to sensibly impoverish ourselves by our giving. We are afraid of making a sacrificeof ourselves. In the service of God we generally take care not to injure ourselves by excessive exertions. Indeed, our friendsare always very careful to warn us against any risk of this kind! Men in business may work as many hours as they like, andas hard as they will to get money, and very seldom does any sagacious, prudent mentor shake his head and tell the young merchantthat he is laying out his strength too recklessly, and devoting his energies too vigorously in getting gain or acquiring afortune.
Oh, no! They would rather tell him to spread all his canvas and ply every sinew, especially when wind and tide are in hisfavor. But the minister of God-the servant of Christ-often has that judicious advice tendered to him, "Do yourself no harm.Be sure and not work too hard." "It was never intended," they say, "that anyone should risk his health, consume his spirits,or deny himself innocent recreation with an enthusiasm that far exceeds the line of duty," as if there were such a line, orit were possible to define it. Ah, well, if the love of his Master is in him, as a constraining power, then kindling withthe noble passion and laboring with a fiery zeal, he will resent such expostulations as Christ did that of Peter, when, replyingto his pitiful rebuke, "Pity yourself, Lord"-He said, "Get you behind Me, Satan! You are an offense unto Me: for you savornot the things that are of God, but those that are of men."
We are bound to sacrifice ourselves, yielding up the members of our bodies as instruments of righteousness unto God, and devotingthe faculties of our renewed minds that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. O my Brothersand Sisters! I have already said that I scarcely like this word, "sacrifice," because it involves nothing more than a reasonableservice. If we gave up all that we had and became beggars for Christ, it would display no such chivalrous spirit or magnanimousconduct after all! We should be gainers by the surrender.
With Christ in our hearts, the Light of Life and the Hope of Glory, we should be rich to all the intents of bliss. We cannotstoop as He stooped. We cannot be poor with such poverty as He knew, neither can we renounce such riches as He once possessed.But, at any rate, let us not be stingy in our consecration. Let us yield ourselves wholly and heartily to
Jesus Christ's work. Let us feel it to be our pleasure, our principle, our point of honor not to shrink from labor nor toshun sacrifice! Let us, rather, court labor and invite opportunities of suffering and occasions for the giving of ourselvesand of our substance to His cause. He was sacrificed for us, let us be a living sacrifice unto Him.
Did you notice that word "once"? The text says He once offered Himself a sacrifice-only ONCE-once and for all. Ah, well, Brethren,we may take that word and apply it to ourselves. We can only be sacrificed for Christ once. In this world, alone, shall wehave the opportunity of washing the saints' feet, of feeding the poor, of looking after the helpless and the ignorant. Thereis one thing for which Heaven itself might envy the poor sons of earth-that there are works to be done here which "Perfectsaints above, and holy angels cannot do."
We might almost wish ourselves back from Heaven if we could go there with any of our life's work undone. No! No. We wouldnot seek untimely rest, if there is another soul to win. If there is another dram of bitter shame for us to drink. If thereis another part of the sufferings of Christ for us to fulfill, we would wait until it is all done, and we can say, "I havefought the good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith." It is only once! It is only once! If you could onlyserve a friend once, you would like to do it well that time. You have only one life on earth, and oh, how short that may be!Waste not an hour! Spend none of its moments in wantonness or in selfishness, but let the whole of your strength, during thefew years of your pilgrimage, be given up to your Lord. Once was He a Sacrifice-only once-but that once thoroughly. Let usimitate Him.
This morning I also dwelt upon that word "appeared." Christ was not ashamed to appear as a Sacrifice for us in public, albeitdeep dishonor was heaped upon His holy name. And, therefore, I say to Believers here, let them not be ashamed to be publiclymade sacrifices for Christ, though some should wag their heads in rude contempt, and others shoot out the tongue with bitterjibes at them. Do I speak to any timid Believer here, any Nicodemus who has slunk away, and will not dare to come with anopen profession to the Table of the Lord tonight? O my dear Friend, Christ did not treat you so badly, and at the last, youhope, He will own your name among His followers. Do you own His name now?
"Oh," you say, "God's Church is so imperfect." And what are you? Are you better than they? Are you afraid that you would notlive up to your profession. Don't you know there is One who says, "My strength is sufficient for you"? The path of duty isthe path of safety. Be not ashamed to own your Lord, I pray you. Oh, it will come to pass one day that the highest honor willbe given to that man who never blushed to stand at the pillory, side by side with Christ-when He, who was once crucified,shall be crowned with glory and honor-and they shall be crowned with Him who were willing to bear the shame with Him!
"These are they," says He, "who were with Me in My humiliation in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Stand back,angels! Make way, seraphs! You have never been spit upon and scoffed at for Me as these have been. They shall be honored asprinces of the Blood. They shall sit upon My Throne, even as I have overcome, and am sitting down upon My Father's Throne."O Knights of the Cross, let shame never trouble you! Or if the crimson blush should rise to your face, be ashamed that youare ashamed! Be jealous of yourselves that you are not more bold to confess your Master's name! Christ once appeared and putaway sin by making a sacrifice of Himself-let us take care, then, constantly, to emulate the example of Him whom we cannottoo worthily admire.
I shall not detain you longer. I have said too little unless God has blessed it. I have said enough if He shall apply it.I beseech you, Brothers and Sisters, when you come to the Table, do not be satisfied with these outward signs. Think it nothingto eat the bread or to drink the wine. In fact, it is less than nothing and vanity, unless there is something more. The greatthing is for that bread to help you to think of the broken Body of your Lord, and for that cup to show you the agonies ofHis soul when He was exceeding sorrowful even unto death. Come here with the subject of this morning's sermon fresh upon yourhearts.
Come with the thoughts which it suggests this evening burning for fuller expressions in your lives. And as you sit beforethe Lord in the fellowship of His people, let this be your desire, "Lord, as You have given Yourself for me, let me know experimentallyall the blessings which Your blood has purchased. Bring me unto communion with Yourself. Permit me to put my fingers intothe prints of the nails, and thrust my hand into Your side tonight. Give me the cleansing, the purification, the sanctificationwhich Your blood can bestow, and help me from this day to be Yours, and Yours alone, till death shall take me to dwell withYou where You are, and till Your second coming shall make me to be like You, when I shall see You as You are. May God blessthese words to us for Jesus' sake. Amen.