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25. The Hope of Future Bliss — Psalm 17:15

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31. The Desire of the Soul in Spiritual Darkness — Isaiah 26:9

“With my soul have I desired thee in the night.”—Isaiah 26:9.

Main Points:
1. To confirmed Christians – 3:41
2. To newly awakened souls – 23:02

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We need clouds and darkness to exercise our faith; to cut off self-dependence, and make us put more faith in Christ, and less in evidence, less in experience, less in frames and feelings. The best of God’s Children—I repeat it again for the comfort of those who are suffering depression of spirits—have their nights.

Better to have a Christian’s days of sorrow, than a worldling’s days of mirth. Better to have a Christian’s sorrows than a worldling’s joys. Ah! happier to be chained in a dungeon with a Paul than reign in the palace with an Ahab. Better to be a child of God in poverty than a child of Satan in riches. Cheer up, then, thou downcast spirit, if this be thy trial. Remember that many saints have passed through the same; and the best and most eminent believers have had their nights.

I cannot understand how it is unless it is to be accounted for by the corruption of our spirit, that when everything goes well with us we are setting our affection first on this object and-then on another, and then on another; and that desire which is as insatiable as death and as deep as hell never rests satisfied. We are always wanting something, always desiring a yet-beyond. But if you place a Christian in trouble you will find that he does not want gold then—that he does not want carnal honour—then he wants his God.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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22. A Caution to the Presumptuous — 1 Corinthians 10:12

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”—1 Cor. 10:12

Main Points:
1. Find out the character – 4:10
2. Show the danger – 24:16
3. Give the counsel – 32:10


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It is sadly true, that even a Christian will grow by degrees so callous, that the sin which once startled him and made his blood run cold, does not alarm him in the least.

By degrees we get familiar with sin. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. The men who work in those huge vessels, the hammering of which causes immense noise, cannot at first sleep, for the continual din in their ears; but by-and-by, they, when they are used to it, think nothing of it. So with sin. First a little sin doth startle us. Soon we say, “Is it not a little one?” like Lot did of Zoar. Then there comes another, larger, and then another, until by degrees we begin to regard it as but a little ill; and then you know, there comes an unholy presumption, and we think we stand.

Christian, beware! when thou thinkest lightly of sin, then thou hast become presumptuous. Take heed, lest thou shouldst fall. Sin—a little thing! Is it not a poison! Who knows its deadliness? Sin—a little thing! Do not the little foxes spoil the vines? Sin—a little thing! Doth not the tiny coral insect build a rock that wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stones? Sin—a little thing! It girded his head with thorns that now is crowned with glory. Sin—a little thing! It made him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe, till he endured.
“All that incarnate God could bear, with strength enough, and none to spare.” It is not a little thing, sirs. Could you weigh it in the scales of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil. But alas! loose thoughts of sin often beget a presumptuous spirit, and we think we stand.

Oh, no! when we think that this world is but a narrow space; that time will soon be gone, and we shall be in the for-ever of eternity; when we consider we must be either in hell or in heaven throughout a never-ending state of immortality, how sirs, can we love too much? how can we set too high a value on the immortal soul? Can we ask too great a price for heaven? Can we think we do too much to serve that God who gave himself for our sins? Ah! no; and yet my friends, most of us do not sufficiently regard the value of religion. We cannot any of us estimate the soul rightly; we have nothing with which to compare it. Gold is sordid dust; diamonds are but small lumps of congealed air that can be made to melt away. We have nought with which to compare the soul; therefore we cannot tell its value. It is because we do not know this, that we presume.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


 

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21. Christ’s People – Imitators of Him — Acts 4:13

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
—Acts 4:13.

Main Points:
1. What a Christian should be – 3:44
2. When should Christians be this? – 21:54
3. Why should Christians imitate Christ? – 30:55
4. How can Christians imitate Him? – 38:15


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I do not, when I say that a believer should be a striking likeness of Jesus, suppose that any one Christian will perfectly exhibit all the features of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; yet my brethren, the fact that perfection is beyond our reach, should not diminish the ardour of our desire after it. The artist, when he paints, knows right well that he shall not be able to excel Apelles; but that does not discourage him; he uses his brush with all the greater pains, that he may at least in some humble measure resemble the great master. So the sculptor; though persuaded that he will not rival Praxiteles, will hew out the marble still, and seek to be as near the model as possible. Just so the Christian man; though he feels he never can mount to the height of complete excellence, and perceives that he never can on earth become the exact image of Christ, still holds it up before him, and measures his own deficiencies by the distance between himself and Jesus. This will he do, forgetting all he has attained, he will press forward, crying, Excelsior! going upwards still, desiring to be conformed more and more to the image of Christ Jesus.

But no one feature will give a portrait of a man; so the one virtue of boldness will never make you like Christ. There have been some who have been noble men, but have carried their courage to excess; they have thus been caricatures of Christ, and not portraits of him. We must amalgamate with our boldness the loveliness of Jesus’ disposition.

None have hurt thee, O Christianity, so much as those who profess to be thy followers. Who have made these wounds in this fair hand of Godliness? I say, the professor has done this, who has not lived up to his profession; the man, who with pretences, enters the fold, being nought but a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Such men, sirs, injure the gospel more than others: more than the laughing infidel; more than the sneering critic, doth the man hurt our cause, who professes to love it, but in his actions doth belie his love.

There is a wondrous power about the character of Christ, for the more you regard it the more you will be conformed to it.

Lastly, as the best advice I can give, seek more of the Spirit of God, for this is the way to become Christ-like. Vain are all your attempts to be like him till you have sought his Spirit. Take the cold iron, and attempt to weld it if you can into a certain shape. How fruitless the effort! Lay it on the anvil, seize the blacksmith’s hammer with all your might; let blow after blow fall upon it, and you shall have done nothing. Twist it, turn it, use all your implements, but you shall not be able to fashion it as you would. But put it in the fire, let it be softened and made malleable, then lay it on the anvil, and each stroke shall have a mighty effect, so that you may fashion it into any form you may desire. So take your heart, not cold as it is, not stony, as it is by nature, but put it into the furnace; there let it be molten, and after that it can be turned like wax to the seal, and fashioned into the image of Jesus Christ.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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14. The Victory of Faith — 1 John 5:4.

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”—1 John 5:4.

Main Points:
1. A great victory – 4:36
2. A great birth – 21:45
3. A great grace – 30:05


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Men usually swim with the stream like a dead fish; it is only the living fish that goes against it.

If we go to the house of God, and profess to love him, we love him everywhere; we take our religion with us into the shop, behind the counter; into our offices; we must have it everywhere, or else God knows it is not religion at all.

Ah! some of you, if you had a word spoken against you, would at once give up what religion you have; but the true-born child of God cares little for man’s opinion. “Ah,” says he, “let my bread fail me, let me be doomed to wander penniless the wide world o’er; yea, let me die: each drop of blood within these veins belongs to Christ, and I am ready to shed it for his name’s sake.”

Oh, believe me, Christians are not so much in danger when they are persecuted as when they are admired.

“No,” says the Christian, “my Father sent me into want, and in his own time he will fetch me out; but if I die here I will not use wrong means to escape. My Father put me here for my good, I will not grumble; if my bones must lie here—if my coffin is to be under these stones—if my tombstone shall be in the wall of my dungeon—here will I die, rather than so much as lift a finger to get out by unfair means.”

If you preach anything else except the new birth you will always get on well with your hearers; but if you insist that in order to enter heaven there must be a radical change, though this is the doctrine of the Scripture, it is so unpalateable to mankind in general that you will scarcely get them to listen.

If the Bible does not say we must be born again, then I give it up; but if it does then, sirs, do not distrust that truth on which your salvation hangs.

Sirs, it is not the cloak of religion that will do for you; it is a vital godliness you need; it is not a religious Sunday, it is a religious Monday; it is not a pious church, it is a pious closet; it is not a sacred place to kneel in, it is a holy place to stand in all daylong. There must be a change of heart, real, radical, vital, entire. And now, what say you? Has your faith overcome the world? Can you live above it? or do you love the world and the things thereof? If so, sirs, ye must go on your way and perish, each one of you, unless ye turn from that, and give your hearts to Christ. Oh! what say you, is Jesus worthy of your love? Are the things of eternity and heaven worth the things of time? Is it so sweet to be a worldling, that for that you can lie down in torment? Is it so good to be a sinner, that for this you can risk your soul’s eternal welfare? O, my friends, is it worth your while to run the risk of an eternity of woe for a hour of pleasure? Is a dance worth dancing in hell with howling fiends for ever? Is one dream, with a horrid waking, worth enjoying, when there are the glories of heaven for those who follow God? Oh! if my lips would let me speak to you, my heart would run over at my eyes, and I would weep myself away, until ye had pity on your own poor souls.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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13. Consolation Proportionate to Spiritual Sufferings — 2 Corinthians 1:5

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”— 2 Corinthians 1:5.

Main Points:
1. The sufferings to be expected – 3:42
2. The distinction to be noticed – 17:19
3. A proportion to be experienced – 25:32
4. The person to be honored – 33:54


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The following are select quotes from this sermon.
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If I had no trouble, I would not believe myself one of the family. If I never had a trial, I would not think myself an heir of heaven. Children of God must not, shall not, escape the rod. Earthly parents may spoil their children, but the heavenly Father ne’er shall his. “Whom he loveth he chasteneth,” and scourgeth every son whom he hath chosen.

Look upward, Dost thou see thy heavenly Father, a pure and holy being, spotless, just, perfect? Dost thou know that thou art one day to be like him? Thinkest thou that thou wilt easily come to be conformed to his image? Wilt thou not require much furnace work, much grinding in the mill of trouble, much breaking with the pestle in the mortar of affliction, much being broken under the wheels of agony? Thinkest thou it will be an easy thing for thy heart to become as pure as God is? Dost thou think thou canst so soon get rid of thy corruptions, and become perfect, even as thy Father which is in heaven is perfect?

Look around thee my brother; thou wilt see some good hearts, strong and valiant; thou wilt see some true souls, sincere and honest; thou wilt see some faithful lovers of Christ; but I tell thee O child of light, that where thou meetest one sincere man, thou wilt meet twenty hypocrites; where thou wilt find one that will lead thee to heaven, thou wilt find a score who would push thee to hell.

O Christian! the world is not thy friend. If it is, then thou art not God’s friend; for he who is the friend of the world is the enemy of God; and he who is despised of men, is often loved of Jehovah.

God always keep a pair of scales—in this side he puts his people’s trials and in that he puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy for as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, even so shall consolation abound by Christ. This is a matter of pure experience. Some of you do not know anything at all about it. You are not Christians, you are not born again, you are not converted; ye are unregenerate, and, therefore, ye have never realized this wonderful proportion between the sufferings and the consolations of a child of God. Oh! it is mysterious that, when the black clouds gather most, the light within us is always the brightest. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the heavenly captain is always closest to his crew. It is a blessed thing, when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of Christ.

Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles is this—then we have the closest dealings with God. I speak from heart knowledge and real experience. We never have such close dealings with God, as when we are in tribulation. When the barn is full, man can live without God; when the purse is bursting with gold, we somehow can do without so much prayer. But once take your gourds away, you want your God; once cleanse away the idols out of the house, then you must go and honor Jehovah.

There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for that is the way to be happy—to live near to God. So that while troubles abound, they drive us to God, and then consolations abound.

Instead of being distressed about thy trouble, rejoice in it; thou wilt then honor God, thou wilt glorify Christ, thou wilt bring sinners to Jesus, if thou wilt sing in the depths of trouble, for then they will say, “There must be something in religion after all, otherwise the man would not be so happy.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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