Sermon 3422. A Call to the Depressed
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1914.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Shakeyourself from the dust, arise and sit down, O Jerusalem: loosen yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughterof Zion." Isaiah 52:2.
I SHALL not attempt at this time to decipher the history of the prophecy with which these words are associated. To the Hebrewnation they were big with counsel, bright with hope. Apart, however, from the connection in which it stands, this verse suppliesa pointed practical address of sterling value not to be limited by any private interpretation. Such a charge was well fittedfor Israel of old. Such counsel would be suitable to any Church in a low condition. Such advice is equally adapted to anyChristian who has fallen into a low state, who is groveling in the dust or among the ashes of Sodom. He is told to rise fromthe ground and sit down upon a throne, for Christ has made him a king and a priest. He is admonished to unbind all the cordsthat are upon him, that he may be free and happy in the Lord. To those of you, then, who have sunk into this distressing plight,my text contains a vigorous appeal! Let me try to interpret it. First of all, I notice the obvious fact-
I. SOME OF GOD'S TRUE PEOPLE ARE IN A VERY SAD CONDITION.
This is an important consideration to us just now. If just on the eve of battle a commander should discover that an epidemichas broken out among his troops, he will be extremely anxious that any available remedy shall be tried, for if the soldiersare sick, how can they be expected to behave well on the morrow? So it will sometimes happen that when we mean to serve ourMaster most, we are impeded in Church action by the prevalence of some spiritual disease among the members of the Church.Perhaps I may be the means, tonight, of finding out the sick ones, and indicating their symptoms, and-who can tell-perhapsthis very night, before you come to the Table, the blessed remedy may be applied, and at the Table, while you are feastingwith Christ, your souls may become perfectly restored!
Sometimes the children of God fall into a grievous state as to their faith and their assurance of their own interest in Christ.They doubt whether they are Christians at all, whether their experience is genuine, whether they ever did really repent witha truly broken heart, whether they have received the precious faith-the faith of God's elect. At such times they questionall their graces and they are not able to get a satisfactory answer from anyone. At the same time these people of God maybe so walking in outward consistency that everybody else thinks well of them. No one has any suspicion of them, but they grievouslysuspect themselves and are tormented with the fear that they have a name to live, and are dead. I have known at such timesthat there will come at the back of all this some terrible doubts about the substantial Truths of our faith. "What?" You say,"doubts about the Godhead-doubts about the Savior-doubts about the world to come?" Yes, yes, and to the true people of God!They will hate these doubts and, in their hearts they will still believe all the great fundamental and cardinal Truths-butyet will they be sore put to it and be frequently distressed. Thoughtful minds, and men of reading will have philosophicaldoubts buzzing about them like mosquitoes on a summer's day. Others who are ignorant of philosophy and, perhaps, it is wellthat they are, will be troubled with doubts of a rougher, coarser quality. Although they will not permit them so to dwellin their hearts so that they actually become unbelievers-yet they will be sorely distressed with questions which they cannotanswer, with enigmas which they know not how to solve, and with strange intertwistings of difficulty which they know not howto untie. Perhaps, too, at such a time as this, there will be over all and worse than all, a state of dreadful indifferencecreeping over them. They want to feel, but cannot feel. They would gladly wring tears of blood out of their eyes, but noteven an ordinary tear will drop. They want to be cut to pieces! They would welcome the most poignant sorrow, but they canonly say-
"If anything is felt, 'tis only pain, To feel I cannot feel."
In such cases, true Believers are sure to resort to the extraordinary use of the means of Grace. I mean they will add to theirordinary use, something more. Have you never been in such a state that the Bible has become uninteresting, or the only passagesof Scripture that seemed to strike you were dreadful threats concerning your Own coming doom, as you thought-not a word ofcomfort, not a syllable that makes glad your spirit? You have gone to prayer and the heavens have seemed to be brass! Andworse still, your own heart seemed to be brass, too, and you could not stir it up to anything like an intensity of desire.You did not wonder that you got no answer. You would have wondered if such a prayer as yours could be heard at all! Ah, andthen you have gone up to the assembly of God's people where at other times your heart has danced within you with holy joy!The minister was not changed. Perhaps at first you thought he was, but on more attentive bearing, you noticed that there wasthe same Truths of God and spoken in the same honest fashion, but you could not hear it as you once did. Clouds without rainand wells without water-all the ordinances seemed to be to you. And all the while, though you felt that you could not livelike this, and said-
"Dear Lord, and shall I always live, At this poor dying rate?"yet somehow or other you could not get out of it. You felt likeone manacled, as though a nightmare were upon you. You were distressed. You could not stir to break the spell! Your spiritcried out as best it could, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" But the worst ofit was that you did not feel that you were wretched enough, and you did not seem to cry enough! You were afraid you wouldsink into a terrible lethargy which would be the forerunner to a spiritual death altogether.
Well, my dear Friends, I should not wonder but you brought this very much upon yourselves. If you are in this state tonight,I would exhort you to question whether this is not the result of what you have often been warned of. Perhaps you slackenedprayer. Perhaps in your happier days you grieved the Holy Spirit just when you were most joyful and happy in His love. Itmay be that you grew worldly, or, perhaps, a long succession of little things, none of which you noticed at the time, havecontributed to swell the stream of your present distress. At any rate, whatever may be the cause of this state, I grieve thatyou are in it-grieve for my own sake, for your sake, for the sake of this Church-and for the sake of the world around you,for, my Brothers and Sisters, your testimony is, to a great extent, silenced and your strength to bear it weakened. That faceof yours, once so happy, was a living advertisement of the Gospel! Your cheerful temperament under trial was an invitationto sinners to come and find a like joy. But now you are distressed and you go mourning without the light of the sun. Whatcan you do while you abide in such a state as that? You are like the bruised reed out of which no music can come, or likethe smoking flax that yields no light, but only a dolorous and nauseous smoke. I am grieved that it should be so, becausewere you now to attempt a verbal testimony for Christ, it would be feeble and could not produce any great result. I rememberwhen I began to teach in the Sunday school. I was very young in Grace then, having said to the class of boys whom I was teachingthat Jesus Christ saved all those who believed in Him. One of the boys asked me the question, "Teacher, do you believe inHim?" I replied, "Yes, I hope I do." And he enquired again, "But are you not sure?" I had to look to myself to know what answerI should give. The lad was not content with my repeating, "I hope so." He would have it, "If you have believed in Christ,you are saved." And I felt at that time that I could not teach until I could say, "I know that it is so." I must be able tospeak of what I had tasted and handled of the good Word of Life! So, Brothers, you will find that you only perplex those whomyou gladly would persuade if, by your doubts, you provoke them to say, "How can you expect us to believe at our mouth whatyou hesitate to seal with the witness of your own heart?" Unless the joy of the Lord is your strength, your soul will breathea heavy atmosphere and your utterance will be checked, if it is not chokedby your misgivings! It is your confidence in Christand the peace it brings you, that helps you to speak to others as a true witness, because you are an experimental witnessof the power of true religion. Your verbal testimony, I say, is weakened-I fear to a very great extent by the fog and vaporof your scruples, the scruples of a conscience that droops and flags. It is sad to think that while you are looking to yourown soul in doubt whether you are saved or not, you have but little energy to spare in caring about the souls of others! Indeed,it is your first concern to see that you, yourself, are saved. Till that all-important matter is resolved, your zeal for yourneighbor's welfare is ill-timed. Why busy yourselves to keep other men's vineyards, while your own is left to be overgrownwith weeds? And then, my dear Friends, another melancholy aspect of this disability is that all this while you are a detrimenttoyour fellow Christians. It is hard enough to fight with Satan, but it is all the harder work for the army to have to carryso many sick folk with it, for it involves much more toil. You, whose faith is all but gone, are like the baggage of an army-youhinder the rapid march of the brave soldiers of the Cross! How you depress others that are around you! Once your voice wasthat of a brave hero and you encouraged the troops, but now you pine and cry, and make others hang their harps upon the willowsand learn the same doleful tune as your own! It is a sad thing. I do not condemn you, but I greatly pity you, and I also greatlypity the Church of God, and the cause of God, that it loses so much by you who ought, in gratitude to Christ, do so much forHim. Alas, that the people of God should be sunk into so mournful a condition!
II. THERE IS A SPECIAL EXPECTATION FOR THEM.
This is pressed in all earnest. Hear, it, oh, ailing Christian! "Shake yourself from the dust, arise and sit down, O Jerusalem:loosen yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion."
Now, my Brother, content not yourself any longer with the state into which you have fallen. May the Holy Spirit come to youand prompt you to strike. Strive to get out of this condition into one of happiness and strength. Let me try to encourageyou a little, and may God enable you to the utmost.
Remember, my dear Friend-suppose I am now talking to you, alone. I almost wish I could grip your hand and look you close inthe face-remember from where you have fallen. Think of the peaceful hours you once enjoyed. Oh, your stony heart was not alwaysso cold! The Word of God was not always so dry! The sanctuary was not always so unprofitable! You have wrestled and prevailed-youknow you have! You have pleaded with God and you have had the desire of your heart. You have communed with Christ and yoursoul has been like the chariots of Aminadab! And can you bear to think of this and not cry-
"Return, OHoly Dove, return, Sweet Messenger of rest!"?
Can you once have known these things and had the flavor of them in your mouth, without hungering and thirsting after themagain? Think of them and, perhaps, while you are musing upon the past, you may be helped by strong desires to return untothe place from which you went out.
Think of the danger you are in at present. Who are they that are most likely to fall into open sin? They are those who walkat a distance from Christ. If you live in close communion with Jesus, you shall so share of your Shepherd's company that youshall hear the wolf's howl, but you shall not be likely to feel his fangs. I believe that when any professor falls into afilthy sin, it is not the beginning, but the culmination of a process and growth in iniquity! The open sin comes at the heelsof a long succession of neglected prayers, of neglected worship of God in the family, a neglect of all communion with Christand negligence of every good thing. It is the fruit, not the seed of the evil, which poisons the air and excites the publiccontempt. Beware, then, O professor!-you who have lost the light of God's Countenance-beware! Beware, I pray you, of thatill-condition of soul which is the prolific parent of all distempers!
Remember, too, that there is real cause for apprehension that you never were safe. It is just possible that those doubts youfeel are no insinuations of Satan, but the suggestions of an enlightened conscience, or even the whispers of the Holy Spirit!Unless you are, indeed, a Christian, in all probability, unless you now turn to God, you will become the willing servitorof the Devil. Unless you now, with full purpose of heart, seek Christ, perhaps the time has come when you will turn aside,like Balaam, for reward, or perish in the gainsaying of Korah. In some of those shapes in which wicked men have perished,you may despondingly or presumptuously rush on to destruction and precipitate your final doom! Beware again, I say, O coldprofessor-in God's name, beware of trifling when you have so much reason to tremble!
My dear Friend, I would put another thought into your mind which may help you. Perhaps you may think it is rather hamperingthan helping you and tends more to depress than to deliver you. Remember how justly you might now be left to your own devices.You became carnally secure. You sinned away the light of God's Countenance. You grieved His Spirit. What if He were now tosay, "He is given unto idols, let him alone"? What if from this day the Spirit should no more strive with you? What if, afterall, though you have talked and preached to others, you yourself should be a castaway? I do but mention this to awaken you,my Brother, if you are insensible. You know how sometimes the surgeon fears that a man should sleep himself to death, andhe will even drive pins into him, or make him walk and drag him about thechamber so as to awaken him. I would say anything,however sharp, if I might but wake you out of your lethargy! I know you would welcome it and, in due time, thank me for theseverity of the operation.
But I shall refrain, for I think there is a better way than this. I want you to arise and shake yourself from the dust, mypoor desponding Friend, because if the worst is the worst and you are no Christian, no true Believer, yet, "Come now, letus reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as wool. Though they are red like crimson,they shall be white as snow." What if it has been all a mistake and you never ought to have made a profession? Remember JesusChrist receives sinners-come to Him now! I always find this the short way out of a long dreary road, a quick relief for acutemaladies, a ready antidote for doubts and fears. The Devil has been arguing with Christians for so many years that he understandsthe case against them a great deal better than any of us do, and if we begin to controvert with him, we shall soon find thatthat old hater of man will soon get the mastery over us! But if we say, "I give in, Satan-I give in. I am a sinner-the chiefof sinners-have you anything more to say? I give in, but I answer you with this-'The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleansesus from all sin. I believe in Him and my sins are, therefore, washed away!'" This is the high road to perfect comfort! I begyou, my dear Brother, to take it at once! Hear the Word of the Spirit, which says, "Repent, and do your first works." Thevery first works were repentance and faith, and so even begin again! Away to the Fountain filled with blood! Away to the Cross,and give that life-look once more! Away to the finished Substitutionary Sacrifice and beneath the crimson canopy of the Atonement,hide your guilty head! Oh, if you do this, your light shall break forth as the morning, and your glory as the noonday! TheLord help you to do this, now, and end the strife!
Let me also remind any Christian here who is full of doubt and with the bands of his neck tight upon him, that the blood hasnot changed its power to cleanse. If it cleansed you 20 years ago, it can cleanse you still! Remember, Jesus has not lostHis power to save, nor has He changed His Character for willingness to save to the uttermost-
"Jesussits onZion'shill, He receives poor sinners still." Come, then, to the unchanging Savior! You who have been treacherous-youwhose hearts have played the harlot to Christ-come back, for His love to you has not waned! "Return unto Me, O backslidingdaughter, says the Lord; for I am married unto you." The prodigal's heart may change towards his Father, but his Father'sheart never changes towards him. Return, then, for mercy waits you, and not judgment! He is God and not man, else you hadbeen consumed! Return tonight, for He will put away your sin like a cloud, and your transgressions like a thick cloud. Dulyacknowledge your wandering. Humble yourself because of your treachery and say, "My Father, You shall be the guide of my youth,"and you shall be restored perfectly, and your former joy shall come back to you!
Do I hear you say, "But I am not fit to come back to Christ, and have joy in Him at once"? Oh, Sir, were you fit at first?No! And you are not fit now, but come and welcome! Christ wants nothing from you! Come and trust Him and perfect salvationis yours. "Oh, but I cannot bear to look Him in the face, for I have lived so long without walking in His counsel." So muchthe more reason that you should not live another hour without Him! I charge you, my poor distressed Brother-I charge you,my troubled Sister-by the love that Christ has to you, come to Him now! Behold, He stands at the door and knocks! If you willopen to Him, though the house is not furnished, nor the table covered with a festival for Him as it should be, yet will Hecome in and sup with you, even with you, and you shall sup with Him tonight! I see no reason why the most desponding Christian,here, should not rejoice before he comes to the Table of the Lord! I do not know why the most barren among us should not bemade fruitful! This I do know, that we are not straitened in Him, we are not straitened in His willingness to bless, nor inHis ability to comfort! Oh, believe in Him, Christian! Believe Him. If you are not a Christian, cast yourself at His feet.He will not let you perish! Lay hold, if it is but of the hem of His garment and do not let Him go! Even now shake yourselffrom the dust and put on your beautiful garments.
III. A GLAD OBLIGATION HENCEFORTH RESTS UPON THEM.
I must close with this remark. I know there are many of God's people in the state I have been describing. I have the pain,sometimes, of trying to cheer them. I only hope that what I have said tonight may be blessed of God to them. I fully anticipateit. Here, then, is the practical point. " When you are converted, strengthen your Brothers and Sisters."
Look out for those who are in the same state as you have been in-and be very tender toward them. As you know their case, andhave traversed that howling desert, you will be able to direct them. I have described your case because Ifear that I havesometimes been on the verge of it myself. I have found recovery by a fresh resort to the love of Christ and a simple renewalof my trust in Him. I can, therefore, enter into your feelings and ask you to try the same remedy. After you have found theremedy to be a good one, it is but a small return, and certainly it is due from you, to tell others how you have been restored!
Some of you, Beloved, have never been thus carried into captivity. I pray God you never may be. There is no necessity forit, but let me entreat you to walk very tenderly with your God. We serve a jealous God. He will wink at many an act of insubordinationdone by His enemies, the one-tenth of which, if done by His favorite ones, His elect, His darlings-He will hide His face fromthem at once! "You, only, have I known of all the people of the earth, therefore I will punish you for your iniquities." SaysHe not, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten"? A sinner may go on wantonly unrebuked. He may add house to house and fieldto field, and he may think himself secure-God will deal with him in the next world. But the heir of Heaven is under a disciplineof Divine Love and God will deal with him in this world! And among the chastisements of departure from Christ will be theloss of comfort, the loss of power to do good and I know not what other affliction added thereunto in his soul or in his circumstance.Dear Brothers and Sisters, walk carefully, then- while you have the Light of God, walk in the Light! Oh, prize the sweet loveof Christ! Never, never let it go. Say unto your soul, when Christ is in your heart, "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,by the roes and by the hinds of the field, that you stir not up nor wake my Love until He pleases." Introduce no rival's love,and no worldliness! Fall into no inconsistencies, but pray for Grace that with holy jealousy you may still dwell in the Lightof God and find favor in His eyes.
And being thus kept near to God, and being strong in the power of His might, come and give back the strength to Him from whomyou derived it. Stand up for Christ! I believe we are never happier than when we have plenty to do. Idleness is the motherof vexation. A Christian who does but little for Christ, unless he is prevented from doing it by suffering, will, as a rule,be a miserable man or woman! You active Christians, active in body and nimble in spirit-you joyous Christians who walk inthe Light of God's Countenance-"work while it is day, for the night comes when no man can work." Let us pledge each othertonight that we will now seek the good of Zion. Members of this Church, none of you be unfaithful to the loyalty which youowe to Christ in this, the hour when we seek to press forward as one man in the battle of our Master! I would stand side byside with you to take my share-but what can one do if he works alone? My Brothers in office will not be backward, I know,but what can we do? Keep step with us, my Brothers and Sisters, in pleading for souls, in proclaiming the Gospel, in seekingto win the many to the knowledge of the Savior-and the Lord will bless us, even our own God will bless us! Shaking ourselvesfrom the dust, and breaking off the bands of our own sloth, God will come with His crown of benediction and place it on HisChurch's head! And when we get that coveted prize, let us hold it fast, that no man take it from us. Let us go forward asa Church in indissoluble union and in unwearied service, until He shall come whose, "Well done!" shall be our best reward!
The Lord bless you! And at His Table may the King's sweet spikenard give forth a delightful perfume to every spiritual heart.Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: PSALM 138; ISAIAH 55:1-11; ROMANS8:28-39.
Verse 1. I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods will I sing praise unto You. We cannot be too much occupiedin the praises of God. He rightly deserves all the thanksgivings we can bring to Him. It is the great engagement of Heaven.Let us begin the music here. If we would be heavenly-minded on earth, we must be filled with the praises of God! Notice howDavid resolves that in praising God it shall be done heartily. "I will praise You with my whole heart." If there is ever athing that ought to be done enthusiastically, it is the praising of God! I cannot bear to hear God's praises chirped out elegantlyby polite people-as if they were ashamed of what they were doing. Nor can I bear to see a mass of pipes and bellows left byitself to blow the praises of God by machinery-instead of men and women praising Him with their heart! Oh, how acceptableit must be to God to hear the heart speak! As for the tongue and voice, however sweet their sound, there is little in it.It is the heart! Soul music is the soul of music. "I will praise You with my whole heart." See how bold the Psalmist is aboutthis. "Before the gods," he says," will I do it. Before the angels, before the kings and great ones that think themselveslittle gods. I will speak to the honor of Jehovah's name. Yes, and in the idol temples, where their worshippers will be greatlyangry about it. I will praise You with my whole heart. Before the gods will I present praise unto You."
2. I will worship toward Your holy Temple. That was God's way of worship. In the old times there was the shrine of God-therewas the one altar which world render praise acceptable. David takes care to render praise to God in God's way. And that isa great principle in worship-to avoid will-worship and to endeavor to present sacrifices such as God prescribes. "I will worshiptoward the holy Temple." What blessed reasons are here given for praising. "I will praise You for Your loving kindness." Isnot that the grandest word in any language-loving kindness? It is a compound of perfect sweets to make up yet more perfectsweetness-kindness and love mixed together. A marvelous blend! Loving kindness gave the promise, but truth takes care to seeit fulfilled. "So will I praise Your name."
2. Andpraise Your name for Your loving kindness and for Your truth, for You have magnified Your Word. That is, "Your Wordof promise-Your Gospel which You have applied with power to my soul. You have made it to seem lustrous beyond anything elseI have ever seen of You, O my God! Therefore will I magnify You, because You have magnified Your Word."
2, 3. Above all Your name. In the day when I cried, You answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul Ah, thisis what ties a man to praise. Answered prayer is sure to lead us to adoring gratitude. Notice that he says that God answeredhim not by taking away his trouble, but by strengthening him! With strength in his soul. You see it does not matter whetherHe takes away the load, or strengthens the back to bear it. And that is often the method by which He answers His servants'cries. Not strength of body-perhaps he would have liked that-but strength of soul. And oh, when the soul in strong, bodilyweakness is but a very small drawback. No, the weakness of the body may sometimes tend to illustrate the more the greatnessof the power of God. Let us read that verse again, for some of us can set our seal to it. "In the day when I cried, You answeredme, and strengthened me with strength in my soul."
4, 5. All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD, when they hear the words of Your mouth. Yes, they shall sing inthe ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD. David was a king, and kings would learn from him. You and I arenot kings, but we may exercise a very beneficial influence in our own circle of acquaintances if we make bold to praise Godwhen others can hear us. Let us speak well of His name. Wherever we go, let us have a good word for our Master. When otherswant to know what sort of God we serve, may they gather it from our holy joy and exultant confidence at all times!
6. Though the LORD is high, yet has He respect unto the lowly; but the proud He knows afar off A glance of them is quite enoughfor Him. He has no wish to know any more about them, He so hates them! Nothing can separate God from a soul so much as pride.It is that which causes the rejection of the Gospel. Men will not have the humbling Gospel-the sinners' Gospel. They are toofine, too good, too lofty-and so they do not want God, neither does His soul desire them. "For the proud He knows afar off."
7. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me. He was a king but he had his trouble. A throne is not a placewherein we can shelter ourselves from trial. "Though I walk in the midst of trouble"-like a man that is to rush through afire-"yet I shall be safe," he says, "for You will revive me-give me new life. When it seems as if my life would be destroyed,You will quicken me again."
7, 8. You shall stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand shall save me. The LORD willperfect that which concerns me: Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever: forsake not the works of Your own hands. Note the confidentspirit that runs through all this. There is a childlike trust in God and there is a gladsome praise of God for what has beenalready received at his hands. Oh for more of this spirit-the spirit that makes music to the Lord for the past and trustsHim for the present and the future. Some more blessed words of comfort from-
Verse 1. Ho, everyone that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat: yes, come buywine and milk without money and without price. Remark the wonderful condescension of God, that though the gifts of His Graceare so precious that all the world could not buy them, yet He condescends to ask His creature to have those gifts. He stands,as it were, like One who has goods to sell, and He cries, "Ho! Such-and-such a passerby, turnhere: give ear in this way. Ho!Everyone that thirsts." If, then, there is any soul that wants God, O Soul, God desires you infinitely more than you desireHim! And He invites you to come to Him. Do not delay!
2. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfies not?Seeking happiness in athousand ways with much toil and trouble, but with bitter disappointment.
2. Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. God invites Hiscreature to listen to Him. "Do," He says "but lend Me your ear a little. Do but hearken diligently to what I have to tellyou." Oh, should not God's message of love command the attention of all mankind?
3. Incline your ear and come unto Me! Hear, and your soul shall live.Salvation does not come to men through the eye, but throughthe ear. Not what you see in the finery of the priest or the altar. That can do you no good. But listen to the Gospel. Itis by ear-gate that God's mercy comes triumphant into the soul of man. "Incline your ear and come unto Me. Hear and your soulshad live."
3. And I will make an Everlasting Covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Here God will strike hands with the sinnerand enter into a compact with him-a Covenant of Mercy and of Grace through Jesus Christ, the Savior!
4. Behold I have given Him for a witness to the people. To bear witness to men of what God is.
4. A leader and commander to the people.For Christ loves the people and He leads them rightly. He will lead them to Glory!
5. Behold, You shall calla nation that You knnownot, andnations that knownot You shallrun unto You because of the LORD, YourGod, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified You. The promise is to Christ! Today are these words fulfilled inour ears, for in calling these British Isles to know Christ, God has given to the Lord Jesus a people that knew Him not. Whatdid our forefathers know of Jesus when He was here below? And yet in this land He has multitudes of hearts that love His name!Oh, that God would give this whole house full of souls to Christ tonight! What a box it would make full ofjewels! Oh, thatthe gracious Father would bestow it on His Son!
6-11. Seek you the LORD while He may be found, call you upon Him while He is near Let the wicked forsake his way, and theunrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for He willabundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavensare higher than the earth, so the rain comes down, and the snow from Heaven, and returns not there, but waters the earth,and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater So shall My Word be that goesforth out of My mouth-it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosperin the thing whereto I sent it. Therefore, we are not at all afraid about the success of the preaching of the Gospel. Somewill be saved tonight wherever Jesus Christ is preached! My dear unsaved Hearer, will it be you? I pray it may be. May theLord grant that this may be the last night of your unregeneracy, and be your spiritual birth night! Some willbe saved! Willyoube of the number?
Verses 28-30. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called accordingto His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He mightbe the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them Healso justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified. No breaks between the links of this chain! Foreknowledge iswelded to the predestination-the predestination is infallibly linked with the calling! The calling with the justificationand the justification with the glorification. There is no hint given that there may be a flaw or break in the series. Geta hold of any one and you possess the whole! The called man is the predestinated man. Let him be sure of that. And the justifiedman shall be a glorified man. Let him have no doubt whatever about that.
31. What shall we say, then, to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? A great many, but they are all nothing.If God is for us, all they that are against us are not worth mentioning! They are ciphers. If He were on their side, thenthe One would swell the ciphers to the fullest, but if He is not there, we may put them all into the scale and reckon themas less than nothing!
32, 33. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us allthings? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?Who, indeed?
33, 34. It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns?No one can, for-
34. It is Christ that died. And so put our sins to death. 34. Yes, rather, that is risen again. And so has justified us.
34. Who is even at the right hand of God. And so has carried us into Heaven by His representing us there.
34. Who also makes intercession for us. Whose everlasting pleas, therefore, silences all the accusations of the devil!
35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,or peril, orsword?They have all been tried. In different ages of the world, the saints have undergone all these, and yet hasnever one of them been taken away from the love of Christ! They have not left off loving Him, nor has He left off loving them.They have been tried, I say.
36. As it is written. For Your sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. What is theresult of it?
37-39. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death,nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor anyother creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Halleluiah! Blessed beHis name!