Sermon 1465B. The Royal Prerogative

(No. 1465B)

DELIVERED BY

C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

"See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal." Deuteronomy 32:39.

THERE is but one God-Jehovah is His name-the "I AM." That one God will not endure a rival. Why should He? He made all thingsand sustains all things. Should a creature that His own hands have made be set up in rivalry with Him? If it is a great manlike Nebuchadnezzar, if he says, "Behold this great Babylon which I have built," God will send him to eat grass among thebulls and make him to know that no man is great in the sight of God! What a provocation it must be to God to see men bowingdown before idols fashioned by their own hands! What a degradation to man that he should worship gold, or silver, or wood,or stone-and what a grievous dishonor to the great God of all! And it seems to me to be the worst of all dishonors when Godsees the image of His own dear Son made into an idol and men prostrate themselves to worship the representation of the Crosson which redemption was lifted on high!

This must touch His sacred soul and vex Him to the uttermost, for God is God, alone, and beside Him there is no other. Hewill not give His Glory to another, neither His praise to graven images. In the text before us the great Ego is seen. TheLord says, "I, even I." That Ego is so great that it fills all places and, therefore, there can be no room for another. "I,even I, am God, and there is no god with Me." "Besides Me," He says in another place, "there is none else." Oh, to have suchlofty thoughts of God that we can have no consideration for anything that would rob Him of the Glory which is so exclusivelyHis own! Gladly would we burn with a holy jealousy which abhors the idea of a rival god and casts the name of Baal out ofits mouth with utter loathing!

In the text the Lord claims the sovereign prerogative of life and death. He says, "I kill, and I make alive." It is He fromwhom we first of all receive our being. His hand kindles the torch of life and from Him comes the quenching of the flame.No angel's arm could save us from the grave, nor could a myriad of angels confine us there when once again He shall bid usrise. God kills and God makes alive. Royal personages have usually been very jealous of the prerogative of life and death,but our great God has it without bound or limit. He reigns supreme. "I kill," He says, "and I make alive." From the connectionin which the text stands, it is clear that the Lord alludes to the making of nations, or to the destroying of nations.

It was God that made Israel to be a people. It was God that cast out the Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites from being nationsbefore Him. It was God that raised up Chaldea and Babylon and then strengthened Persia to break Babylon in pieces and Greeceto destroy Persia-and Rome with iron feet to break down Greece-and when the time had come it was He who spoke to the cityof the seven hills and she, too, lost her royal power. Kingdoms and thrones belong to the Lord and the shields of the mightyare lifted on high or laid in the dust as He wills. Though they regard it not, there is a King of kings and Lord of lords-andwhen the long page of history shall be unrolled and men shall be able to see the end from the beginning with enlightened eyes-theyshall know that all through the ages the disregarded and neglected God, the unseen and even unthought of God, was still reigningevermore! Across the pages of earth's long record shall be written in right royal hand, "I kill, and I make alive." In ProvidenceGod is absolute, the blessed and only Potentate whose sovereign will knows no dispute.

At this time, however, I purpose to carry this great Truth of God away from the realm of Providence into the kingdom of Grace.We shall confine ourselves to that second sentence-"I wound, and I heal." On this Word we shall make three observations, thefirst being that none but the Lord can wound or heal. Secondly, that the Lord can wound and heal. And, thirdly, that the Lorddoes wound and heal-three thoughts which are closely connected and yet are marked by instructive shades of difference.

I. First, NONE BUT THE LORD CAN WOUND OR HEAL. To begin at the beginning-the Lord alone can spiritually wound. When we haveto deal with human hearts, our first effort has to be to wound them. Naturally, man thinks himself whole-hearted and in soundhealth, but he is not so. The great object of the Gospel ministry, at first, is to convince men of sin, to humble them beforeGod-in fact, to wound them, to cut them to the heart. But no man can wound without the Lord. I speak without any measure tomy utterance-no preacher can truly wound the human heart. He may speak very honestly and plainly. He may speak with deep pathosand true affection. He may wield, at times, the thunders of God and at other times the soft and gentle bands of love may bein his hands, but in no way can the preacher get at the heart of men unless his Master is with him.

Charm you ever so wisely, O wise man, the adder is deaf and it is in vain that you use your enchantments. As well convincethe wild winds, or convert the wayward waves, as hope to touch the human heart till God makes bare His arm! It is the HolySpirit's work to convince of sin and until He puts forth His power, the preacher may preach himself dumb with weariness andblind with weeping, but no result can possibly follow. And what is true of preachers is true of all the teachers in the Sundayschool, of all the earnest folk that go about to speak personally to men, yes, and of the most tender mother and the mostearnest father! There is no wounding the child's heart-there is no breaking it down into contrition by the most tender argumentsor the wisest counsels! You will come back and say as we have done many times, "Who has believed our report and to whom isthe arm of the Lord revealed?"

Yes, dear Friends, and the most solemn Truths of God which, in themselves have a natural tendency to wound the heart, neverthelesscannot do it apart from the work of God Himself. There is the Sword and, in itself, it is sharp and cutting, but no man canhandle it! The eternal arm must be revealed, or the hide of behemoth will not feel the weapon! A sword will cut through acoat of mail if a Coeur-de-Lion has the wielding of it-but not in a child's hand will it wound to killing. God must take theScripture in His hands and use it to the dividing of joints and marrow, or sinners will escape its power. Terrible Truthsthere are in the Bible which ought to make men shake, but they hear them and deny them-they even laugh at them and continuein sin!

Sweet truths there are which ought to make a rock shed tears, but you may tell of Gethsemane's bloody sweat and the five dearwounds of Him who was found guilty of excessive love and yet men will hear it and go their way, each man to his farm and tohis merchandise and forget it all. I grant you the Truths of God are powerful, but not until the mighty God applies them tothe heart and conscience! And in addition to the Truth of God, Providence itself may come and work upon the heart of men,but cause no wounding of the right sort. I have seen the ungodly brought to destitution and poverty by their extravagancesand brought to sickness and death's door by their lusts-and yet they have not been wounded.

They have seen the result of sin; they have even felt it in the marrow of their bones and yet the dogs have gone back to theirvomit. They have still clung to their idols and held to their abominations! The burnt child dreads the fire, but the burntsinner thrusts his hand into the flames again. We have seen men so sick that they have trembled at the thought of death andit has been supposed from what they said, that they were really impressed-and if they were restored to health would lead anotherlife-but, alas, we have seen them restored to health and sinning worse than before! The wicked breaks his bands asunder. Theycast their cords from them. All the terrors of Providence-bereavements, losses, sicknesses-all have failed with the unregenerate.Their stone heart has turned the edge of the plow which sought to break it up. Men have wearied all the agencies of Graceand Providence, but yet they have not been wounded! Their heart is stout as that of leviathan, "yes, as hard as a piece ofthe nether millstone." None can effectually wound the heart but God, alone.

Now, the same thing is true about the healing-none but the Lord can heal. Of course there is no need with regard to thosewho were never wounded. Nobody can heal such persons. I have known some preachers try to do that, though it has always seemedto me to be poor work to try to heal men who have never been wounded; to preach mercy to persons who think that they haveno sin; to preach Grace to men who dream that they have merits of their own. Christ did not do so! He said, "I came not tocall the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The whole have no need of a physician, but those that are sick." There is nohealing, then, for those who are not wounded-and equally there is no healing those who are wounded unless God lays His handsto their sore.

Have you ever met with spiritually wounded persons? If you have, if you are a Believer, your whole heart has gone out towardsthem and, drawing examples from your own experience and promises from the Word of God and sweet encouragements from Gospeldoctrine, you have labored to pour a healing balm into their bleeding wounds. But have you not often failed? No, apart fromthe Spirit of the living God, have you not always failed and must you not fail? Ah, dear Friends, it is one thing to talkof a wounded spirit, but it is quite another thing to feel a wounded spirit! And you may talk about healing, too, but it isquite another thing to receive the healing and quite another thing to apply it.

Let God cut a man with His great Sword as once He smote me, and I guarantee you that no ordinances will heal him! "No," saysa friend, "come and hear a sermon." He hears it, but the preaching makes him worse and he feels more sad than ever. I haveknown persons foolish enough to persuade such seekers to come to the Communion Table! They have only eaten and drunk condemnationto themselves! While they have been at the Table they have known themselves to be intruders and their hearts have bled morethan ever. You can easily pacify a man whose sense of sin is a mere pretense, just as you may soon heal the imitation wound-butit is not so with one who has the arrows of the Lord rankling within him-he needs Divine surgery!

As for the hypocritical penitent, give him outward sacraments and he believes that he is all right. But if God has woundedhim, all the sacraments under Heaven will never minister consolation to him. He must go to God for that, for only in ChristJesus can it be found. All the preachers, yes, and all the doctrines of the Bible, sound and true as the preachers may be,and inspired as the doctrines certainly are, will fail to comfort a bleeding soul until the eternal Lord shall bow Himselffrom His Throne in Heaven and bind up the broken in heart! I know it is so! Gospel Truth is sufficient, in itself, to comfortall that mourn, but it will comfort nobody so long as the natural unbelief of the heart remains.

Get a hold of a lacerated spirit, torn with unbelief and try what you can do. Say, "Trust in the Lord, my Friend," and hereplies, "I cannot trust." Tell him Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and he says he knows that, but he cannotget hold of it. Go on to tell him how the Lord receives the very chief of sinners. Do your duty with him, for whether youcan heal him or not, you are bound to set the Gospel before him-but you shall find that you have worked in vain if you havegone in your own strength and forgotten the prayerful spirit and the humble reliance which are so necessary to success. Godcan use you to heal a broken heart, but you cannot do it yourself!

Unconverted Hearer, look not to us as though we could do anything for you, but look only to Jesus! Ah, Friend, if I couldwound you and if I could heal you, it would do you no good! If I could convert every sinner here, of what use would the humanconversion be? Have you never heard of Mr. Rowland Hill being met, one evening, by a drunken man who staggered up to him andsaid, "Hallo, Mr. Hill, I am one of your converts!" "Ah," said Mr. Rowland Hill, "very likely, but you are none of God's converts,or else you would not be drunk."

Now, our converts, if they are our converts, will be very poor productions. If one man can convert you, another man can unconvertyou! That which is worked by the flesh can be undone by the flesh! "You must be born again. Except a man is born from above,he cannot see the kingdom of God." Unless there is a work of Grace in the soul which the will of man, the will of the flesh,blood, birth, education, teaching can never work-unless, I say, there is a supernatural power exercised upon us, we shallnever see the face of God at the last with acceptance! So there is the first Truth of God-God alone can wound and God alonecan heal.

II. And now, secondly, THE LORD CAN WOUND AND HE CAN HEAL. What a mercy this is and how comfortably it encourages the Christianto go about his work! The Lord can wound. He can pierce the most unlikely heart. Look at Saul of Tarsus. You would never havethought, when he was hurrying to Damascus to drag the saints to prison, that he would ever be humbled and made to cry out,"What will You have me do?" The Lord knew His man and just when he was on the brow of the hill and could see Damascus in theplain, and was ready to devour the saints, the Lord let fly an arrow! Down went one Saul of Tarsus, so wounded that it tookthree days to extract the arrow!

This was amazing, for Saul was like leviathan, of whom we read, "The sword of him that lays at him cannot hold: the spear,the dart, nor the habergeon"-yet the arrow of the Lord laid him low! The Lord can wound men in very unlikely places. I haveknown the arrow of conviction come home to a man who had not entered a place of worship for years. Such is the infinite Sovereigntyof God that He calls them a people that were not a people, and even those who sought Him not He seeks out. Yes, even in thehaunts of sin, a man is not safe from the arrows of God-I mean the arrows of God's

infinite Love! God can still touch the conscience. Leviathan, you know, is wrapped about with scales, "shut up together aswith a close seal," yet there is a weak point even in leviathan!

The cunning hunter knows how to find it out and though there are some men so skeptical, so atheistic, so obstinate, so profane,so abominable that nobody dares to come near them, yet have we known it-attribute it to the praise of Sovereign Grace-theLord has smitten even these with His great and strong Sword and afterwards He has healed them by His mighty Grace. Never despairof anybody! If salvation were man's work you might despair, but since it is God's work, despair of none! The wretch who isthe nearest approach to an incarnate devil may yet become as an angel of God! Such is the Grace of God that though men makea league with Death and a covenant with Hell, He can break their leagues and disannul their covenants, take the prey frombetween the jaws of the dragon and get to Himself renown! The Lord can wound, then.

He can wound some that have been sitting under the Gospel for years and have defied its power. My arrows have rattled againstyour harness and I have said, "It is all in vain," but I pray my Master, one of these days when I am drawing a bow at a venture,may be pleased to direct it between that joint of the harness which I feared did not exist- that little joint where the shoulderpiece does not fit close to the breastplate. I have feared that you were encased as in the scales of leviathan, of which weread, "One is so near to another that no air can come between them: they are joined one to another." Yet the Lord can sendin His arrow and make the proud heart feel the power of His glorious Truth! The most thoughtless, the most careless, the mostabandoned are still within range of the Lord's bow!

What a very sweet side of the Truth is the second part of it-namely, that He can heal. There are some awful cases of bleedingwounds! I wonder whether I have in this audience any souls desperately wounded? I have known the heart bleed as though itwould bleed to death beneath the sword of conviction. Some are driven to despair and have been ready to lay violent handsupon themselves in the bitterness of their souls. Let it ring out like a trumpet that these poor despairing ones may hearit-the Lord can heal! There is no case so desperate but what Jehovah-Jesus can recover it! Despair, you must let your captivesgo! Despondency, you must open your prison when Jesus comes! Has He not come forth from the Father on purpose that He mayloose the captives and say to the shackled ones, "Go free"?

The wounds which God gives are apt to fester. You remember how the Psalmist said, "My wounds stink and are corrupt"? Whenthere is bad blood, we have known men's wounds to become horrible and some souls who have had their conscience awakened havebecome a terror to themselves. "I cannot be saved," they say. "I cannot pray. How should such a wretch as I am ever pray?I cannot hope for mercy. It would be an astonishment to Heaven and Hell, too, if ever I found mercy." Listen to me and letyour heart believe it-you may certainly recover! God, who does all things and to whom nothing is impossible, can heal yourwounds though they reek with corruption! If you lie at Hell's gate; if you seem to be half in Topher already, His arm is strongenough to help you!

If you will look to Christ lifted up on the Cross, there is pardon, life, acceptance, joy and Heaven for you, even for you!He that wounded you will heal you! He that has broken you will bind you up! He that has killed you will make you alive! Letyour ears take in the gladsome message which I am bid to deliver you-"I wound, and I heal." Yet let me charge you not to lookfor a cure anywhere but to God in Christ Jesus! Shun the thought of being healed except the Lord shall heal you! I dread lesta wounded soul should go to a minister or to a priest, or to the most religious person in the world and think to get healingfrom man! Your wounds are meant to drive you to your God. Seek Him and no one else!

To your knees, now, in your private chamber, or if you have not one, get alone even in the street, for you can be alone ina crowd-but go to God with your bleeding heart! Tell Him, "I am a sinner. Lord, I am all but a damned sinner! I have beensuch an offender that I scarcely dare to hope, but I hear that You can heal me and give me comfort. Oh, for Jesus' sake bemerciful to me! I thank you that you have wounded me-it were better for me to be wounded than to be as indifferent and carelessas I used to be. But now, Lord, do not altogether break me to pieces and treat me as an enemy! My spirit fails unless Youcomfort me. Oh, look upon me!" If you cannot say as much as that, yet let your tears drop and look up, saying, "God be mercifulto me a sinner." Do but cry to Him and you shall find healing, for God can heal you and none else.

Away with those who dream that outward religiousness can do you good! Away, away with the deceivers who would tell you thatthey can give you pardon! No man living can absolve his fellow sinners-the pretense is the superlative of blasphemy! God isin Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. And He

has committed to us the Word of reconciliation and we are glad to proclaim that Word and point you to the Lord Jesus who isexalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins!

III. Now I come to my third and last point, and that is-THE LORD DOES WOUND AND DOES HEAL. I have

two things, here, tonight. I will only show them to you and have done. First, I have a bundle of arrows which I have seenshot at different times from the bow of God so as to wound men. I cannot shoot them at you just now, but I will show themto you. I have known Him shoot this arrow at a man-the arrow of continual gentleness. He has been very good to the sinnerand continued His kindness to him for years.

Augustine tells of one to whom God was so wonderfully kind and the man was so wonderfully bad, that at last he grew astonishedat God's goodness! And since the Lord continued to load him with benefits, he turned round and cried, "Most benignant God,I am ashamed of being Your enemy any longer. I confess my sin and repent of it." How I wish that that arrow would pierce yourhearts! It is one which readily penetrates a noble mind. The more gross and animal natures do not feel it, but where God hasleft some little spark of nobility, a man more readily feels, "I cannot go on and sin against a God so good." It is a verysharp arrow, but it is dipped in love and it wounds most sweetly.

Here is another-God is angry with the wicked every day. Oh, if that Truth of God would go home to some of you, "God is angrywith me, for I have broken His holy Law." Surely it would cut you to the quick! I do not like anybody to be angry with me,but oh, to have the Lord angry with me! How could I endure it? Dear Hearer, I hope you will feel the smart of this warning.It is very easy for you to hear it and for me to speak it, but if you once feel it, it will tear your heart and fill yourloins with agony!

Another arrow-"He that believes not is condemned already." You are not to be condemned at the last in the future-you are condemnedNOW! You are not in a state of probation-you have already been proven and you have failed-and you are walking this earth atthis moment as a condemned criminal! Ah, if that barbed iron were to enter your soul, it would wound you, indeed. Here isanother arrow-"The wicked shall be turned into Hell, with all the nations that forget God." "These shall go away into everlastingpunishment." Many have been playing with that arrow lately-it is a very sharp tool and he had best beware who toys with it!Let the Lord send it home and it will kill a man's proud hopes and vain presumptions as quickly as any arrow in the quiverof the Almighty!

Here is another-"You have destroyed yourself." Your present state of ruin and danger is your own fault! You have brought itupon yourself and you have nobody to blame but yourself that you are a lost man. Ah, that will rankle and pain the soul asthough a sword were in the bones! And here is another-"You are dead in sin. You have destroyed yourself, but you cannot saveyourself." I have seen a man get that into his flesh a little way and he has been livid with anger. He has bit his lips andsaid, "I will never hear that preacher again. Why, he made out my case to be hopeless!" The man is sure to come again. Heis like a great fish in a stream with a hook in his jaws. He will draw out a good deal of line and we will let him have it,but he must come to a stop before long with that solemn Truth of God to hold Him! He struggles hard but that sharp text isnot soon dislodged from the heart-"O Israel, you have destroyed yourself."

Thus I might continue to show you a sample of the weapons with which God wounds men. He has His two-edged sword, His spear,His arrows, His battle axe and weapons of war. You say, "I do not feel them." No, and I cannot make you feel them. I havetold you before that it is not my arm that can wield them! But when God is pleased to use any of these, the people fall underHim. "Well," says one, "I do not think that I shall be wounded." No, but I am glad you are in the battle, because when thearrows are flying they may strike you as well as anybody else! I have had to deal with wounded ones that I never reckonedupon seeing in such a condition.

Oh, what gashes have I seen in men that had been given to all sorts of fashionable sins and who had sneered at religion! Theyhave come here, at first, from the most miserable motives, but they have had to come again and weep and cry before the Lordwith broken hearts! You never know where bullets may find their mark! You who are the servants of Satan are on dangerous groundwhen you come near a faithful ministry. No, I will alter it-you are on blessed ground-where the slain of the Lord have beenmany and where the people of God are earnestly praying for you! I know at this moment they are putting up the prayer, "Lord,send the arrows home! Send the arrows home." Their prayers will prevail with God and He will bare His arm. There is no mistakeabout this matter-He "will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion."When He puts His arm to

the work, who shall stand against Him? He will do all His pleasure. Glory be to His blessed name, He can wound and He doeswound according to His eternal purpose!

Now I will hold up before you the bottle of balm. When a soul is wounded, the Lord applies His sacred surgery to the heart.He has healed some of us. The particular bottle of balm which He used in healing me is one which I know well and shall neverforget. This was the label, "Look unto Me and be you saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am God, and beside Me there isnone else." Why, do you know I was afraid of God until I heard that God was in Christ and that I was to look to God in Christand that the very God whom I dreaded would save me? That Revelation came home with Divine power to my soul! The preacher said,"Look. This is all that is needed." "There," he said, "a fool can look! A little child can look! A half idiot can look! Adying man can look!" "Look," he said, "and it is done."

Did I really understand him-that I was only to look to Christ dying on the Cross for me and see God making an Atonement formy sins in the Person of His Son-that I was only to look and I should live at once? It was even so and I did look! My burdenpassed away and from that hour I can say what Cowper has so sweetly said in the hymn-

"Ever since by faith I saw the stream

Your flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming lo ve has been my theme,

And shall be tiil I die."

Oh, what a bottle of balm that is-redeeming love! How sweetly it drops into the soul! The Lord shows the wounded man thatthough he is full of sin, He can put that sin away without any violation of Justice when the soul believes in Jesus! Now letthe balm drop a minute. "All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned everyone to his own way"- that fact gives us wounds.But now, "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all"-no balm of Gilead was ever so potent as that!

Poor guilty Sinner, if you will now trust Christ, your sin is yours no longer! It was laid 1,800years ago upon the back ofChrist, your great Surety! He was punished for it and He has cast it into the depths of the sea. You are forgiven, go in peace!Here is another drop of balm-When a man is wounded he feels that he cannot help himself-but then there comes in this preciousTruth-the Spirit of God can do it! God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son and that Spirit helps our infirmities so that,though we know not what we should pray for as we ought, that Spirit is waiting to help us to pray!

O you wounded ones, may the great Spirit show you at this time the Person of the dear Son of God-God and Man! May He showyou that Person wounded, covered with a bloody sweat and put to death! And may He sweetly whisper in your ear tonight, "Hewas your Substitute-He bore that you might never bear the wrath of God." Then you will say as you go out of this house, "Hecan heal, for He has healed me. He has made me leave my despair and even my doubts behind me. Now will I sing unto my Beloveda song-

' Jesus has become at length My salvation and my strength.'"

So have I preached to you nothing but God in Christ Jesus and I am glad to have Him to preach to you. Suppose that there isa bad young man here at this time who has left his home and run away from his father? He has done wrong, very wrong, and,instead of going to a tender loving father and saying, "Father, forgive me," he is afraid of punishment and, therefore, hehas run away. There is an advertisement for him in the paper, inviting him to come home. Now, what has he to do to be rightwith his father? This poor, wandering, wayward, lost boy has got among the very scum of London and he is being ruined andstarved to death. What must he do?

Boy, you must go home to your father! Go home to your father! He loves you; he is pining for you; he is grieved at heart aboutyou! Oh, if he saw you tonight, it would break his heart to see you in your rags! He wants you to come home! Do you not seethat it would be very foolish for that lad to say, "I shall get into an institution," or, "I shall try to earn money." Yourfather is rich, good, wise and kind-the best thing you can do is to go home to your father! Going home to your father, allwill be right.

Now, take up the parable. All of us have left our Father and have journeyed into a far country. We shall never get right,again, except by going back to Him from whom we have gone astray. And Jesus-God in Christ Jesus-is waiting to welcome us!He is grieving over us right now! We have only to go to Him, for He says that He will never cast out one that comes to Him."I do not know how He can receive me," says one. Well, go anyway and try Him! "I cannot pray."

You can pray, dear Friend. "But not properly." Do not try to pray properly. Pray your heart out, as you can, and ask to behelped.

I know that some poor souls are in such a state that they would be glad if we would write them out a prayer. I was talkingonly a little while ago to one in distress and he said to me, "Oh, Mr. Spurgeon, you do not know how ignorant we are and whenwe are under a sense of sin, you do not know how foolish we are. If you would sometimes put the very words into our mouthsit would do us good." And I thought he was right, because I find the Lord saying in Scripture, "Take with you words and say"-andHe tells them what to say. Come now, poor Soul, if you want to find God, let us pray a minute:

"O God, save us, for You alone can do it. Of Your great mercy heal our wounds, or else we must bleed to death. We cast ourselvesupon Your promise in Christ Jesus Your Son-grant us now Your salvation, we beseech You, for His sake! Amen."

PORTION OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON-Deuteronomy32:1-39. HYMNS FROM "OUR OWN HYMN BOOK"-187, 233, 235.

LETTER FROM MR. SPURGEON:

DEAR FRIENDS-I had intended to be home to preach on April 6, but as dear friends at home press me to make the rest longer,I have so far yielded as to wait here another week. And I now propose to be home on the 13th of April. My knees are stillfeeble, but in all other respects I feel fit to return. Moreover, I long to be preaching in my own pulpit among my own peopleand I must come home, though I somewhat dread the cold weather. Please pray for me, that I may have an active mind in a bodywhich will allow of its full exercise and that the blessing of God may rest on my future labors far more than on those ofpast years. I find that funds are coming in very slowly for the College and the Colportage has a pressing need. Earnest fellowworkers will only need to know this. Yours to serve in love for Jesus' sake,

C. H. SPURGEON,

Mentone, March 20, 1879

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