“I want to make a man feel his sins before I dare tell him anything about Christ.”
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”—John 14:26
1. The Comforter – 12:48
2. The comfort – 23:52
3. The comforted – 27:56
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“No man can know Jesus Christ unless he is taught of God. There is no doctrine of the Bible which can be safely, thoroughly, and truly learned, except by the agency of the one authoritative teacher.”
“Oh! there is a voice in love, it speaks a language which is its own, it is an idiom and an accent which none can mimic; wisdom cannot imitate it; oratory cannot attain unto it; it is love alone which can reach the mourning heart; love is the only handkerchief which can wipe the mourner’s tears away. And is not the Holy Ghost a loving Comforter? Dost thou know, O saint, how much the Holy Spirit loves thee? Canst thou measure the love of the Spirit. Dost thou know how great is the affection of his soul towards thee? Go, measure heaven with thy span; go, weigh the mountains in the scales; go, take the ocean’s water, and number each drop; go, count the sand upon the sea’s wide shore; and when thou hast accomplished this, thou canst tell how much he loveth thee. He has loved thee long; he has loved thee well, he loved thee ever; and he still shall love thee. Surely he is the person to comfort thee, because he loves. Admit him, then, to your heart, O Christian, that he may comfort you in your distress.”
“Think not, O poor downcast child of God, because the scars of thine old sins have marred thy beauty, that he loves thee less because of that blemish. Oh, no! He loved thee when he foreknew thy sin; he loved thee with the knowledge of what the aggregate of thy wickedness would be; and he does not love thee less now. Come to him in all boldness of faith; tell him thou hast grieved him, and he will forget thy wandering, and will receive thee again; the kisses of his love shall be bestowed upon thee, and the arms of his grace shall embrace thee. He is faithful: trust him; he will never deceive you; trust him, he will never leave you.”
“The devil will sometimes come to men’s souls as a false comforter, and he will say to the soul, “What need is there to make all this ado about repentance? you are no worse than other people,” and he will try to make the soul believe that what is presumption is the real assurance of the Holy Ghost; thus he deceives many by false comfort. Ah, there have been many, like infants, destroyed by elixirs given to lull them to sleep; many have been ruined by the cry of “peace, peace,” when there is no peace, hearing gentle things when they ought to be stirred to the quick. Cleopatra’s asp was brought in a basket of flowers; and men’s ruin often lurks in fair and sweet speeches. But the Holy Ghost’s comfort is safe, and you may rest on it.”
“I have heard many fanatical persons say the Holy Spirit revealed this and that to them. Now that is very generally revealed nonsense. The Holy Ghost does not reveal anything fresh now. He brings old things to our remembrance. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have told you.” The canon of revelation is closed; there is no more to be added. God does not give a fresh revelation, but he rivets the old one. When it has been forgotten, and laid in the dusty chamber of our memory, he fetches it out and cleans the picture, but does not paint a new one. There are no new doctrines, but the old ones are often revived. It is not, I say, by any new revelation that the Spirit comforts. He does so by telling us old things over again; he brings a fresh lamp to manifest the treasures hidden in Scripture; he unlocks the strong chests in which the truth had long lain, and he points to secret chambers filled with untold riches; but he coins no more, for enough is done. Believer! there is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon for ever.”
“Doubt not his grace, because of thy tribulation, but believe that he loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.”
“Divide! divide!” There are two parties here—some who are the comforted, and others who are the comfortless ones—some who have received the consolation of the Holy Ghost, and some who have not. Now let us try and sift you, and see which is the chaff, and which is the wheat; and may God grant that some of the chaff may this night be transformed into his wheat.”
“Oh; if I could lay down nothing but the comforts of the gospel, ye would fly to them as flies do to honey. When ye come to be ill, ye send for the clergyman. Ah! you all want your minister then to come and give you consoling words. But if he be an honest man, he will not give some of you a particle of consolation. He will not commence pouring oil when the knife would be better. I want to make a man feel his sins before I dare tell him anything about Christ. I want to probe into his soul and make him feel that he is lost before I tell him anything about the purchased blessing. It is the ruin of many to tell them. “Now just believe on Christ, and that is all you have to do.” If, instead of dying they get better, they rise up whitewashed hypocrites—that is all. I have heard of a city missionary who kept a record of two thousand persons who were supposed to be on their death-bed, but recovered, and whom he should have put down as converted persons had they died, and how many do you think lived a Christian life afterwards out of the two-thousand! Not two! Positively he could only find one who was found to live afterwards in the fear of God. Is it not horrible that when men and women come to die, they should cry, “Comfort, comfort?” and that hence their friends conclude that they are children of God, while after all they have no right to consolation, but are intruders upon the enclosed grounds of the blessed God. O God! may these people ever be kept from having comfort when they have no right to it! Have you the other blessings? Have you had conviction of sin? Have you ever felt your guilt before God? Have your souls been humbled at Jesus’ feet? And have you been made to look to Calvary alone for your refuge? If not, you have no right to consolation. Do not take an atom of it. The Spirit is a Convincer before he is a Comforter; and you must have the other operations of the Holy Spirit, before you can derive anything from this.”
“Whosoever believeth in the name of Jesus Christ shall be saved.” Sin is no barrier: thy guilt is no obstacle. Whosoever—though he were as black as Satan, though he were filthy as a fiend—whosoever this night believes, shall have every sin forgiven, shall have every crime efface, shall have every iniquity blotted out; shall be saved in the Lord Jesus Christ, and shall stand in heaven safe and secure. That is the glorious gospel. God apply it home to your hearts, and give you faith in Jesus!”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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