Spurgeon: Provoking Unjust Wars

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Imagine a conqueror’s deathbed…

He has been a man of blood from his youth up. Bred in the camp, his lips were early set to the bugle, and his hand, even in infancy, struck the drum. He had a martial spirit; he delighted in the fame and applause of men; he loved the dust of battle and the garment rolled in blood. He has lived a life of what men call glory. He has stormed cities, conquered countries, ravaged continents, overrun the world. See his banners hanging in the hall, and the marks of glory on his escutcheon. He is one of earth’s proudest warriors.

But now he comes to die, and when he lies down to expire, what shall invest his death with horror? It shall be his sin. Methinks I see the monarch dying; he lies in state; around him are his nobles and his councilors; but there is somewhat else there. Hard by his side there stands a spirit from Hades; it is a soul of a departed woman. She looks on him and says, “Monster! My husband was slain in battle through thy ambition: I was made a widow, and my helpless orphans and I were starved.” And she passes by. Her husband comes, and opening wide his bloody wounds, he cries, “Once I called you monarch; but, by thy vile covetousness thou didst provoke an unjust war. See here these wounds “I gained them in the siege. For thy sake I mounted first the scaling ladder; this foot stood upon the top of the wall, and I waved my sword in triumph, but in hell I lifted up my eyes in torment. Base wretch, thine ambition hurried me thither!” Turning his horrid eyes upon him, he passes by. Then up comes another, and another, and another yet: waking from their tombs, they stalk around his bed and haunt him; the dreary procession still marches on, looking at the dying tyrant. He shuts his eyes, but he feels the cold and bony hand upon his forehead; he quivers, for the sting of death is in his heart. “O Death!” says he; “to leave this large estate, this mighty realm, this pomp and power” this were somewhat; but to meet those men, those women, and those orphan children, face to face; to hear them saying; ‘Art thou become like one of us?’ while kings whom I have dethroned, and monarchs whom I have cast down shall rattle their chains in my ears, and say, ‘ you were our destroyer, but how art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are brought down as in a moment from thy glory and thy pride!’

There, you see, the sting of death would be the man’s sin. It would not sting him that he had to die, but that he had sinned, that he had been a bloody man, that his hands were red with whole sale murder –this would plague him indeed, for “the sting of death is sin.”

The Token

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There has been a war…

…and a wounded soldier comes home, and he goes to the home of a very wealthy family who have a son out in the army, and he inquires, “Is this the home of George, whom I left in the army?  He was my dear comrade. I have a letter.”

“Are you sure you have such a letter?” The man looks disreputable, and his garments are torn, and he is evidently very poor, but he replies,” Yes, I have the letter from your son.” He puts his hands into his pockets, and he cannot find it. The master of the house becomes very angry, and says, “It is of no use your coming here with this tale, you are deceiving me.” But the poor young man fumbles still in his pockets, until at last he brings it out.

…Yes, there is the token, the father knows the handwriting of his dear boy. The letter says, “Father, this is a choice companion of mine, and I want you, when he reaches home, to treat him kindly for my sake. Tell mother that anything she does for him shall be the same as if she had done it to her own boy.”

See how well he is now received at sight of that token?  It is even so when we present the blood-mark of Christ, we say to the Lord, “There is the token that we are Jesus’ friends,” –and the Lord does not then look at the rags in which our poor nature is arrayed, but he looks at the token of his own Son’s blood and accepts us for his sake. What surer and more suggestive token could we desire? For when we are cleansed in the blood of Jesus we are comely with his comeliness, and dear to the heart of God for his Son’s sake.

–Adapted from, C.H. Spurgeon

THE FOLLY, MISERY, GUILT, AND DANGER OF SECRET SINS

Taken and adapted from a sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, February 8, 1857, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
Written by, Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

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“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.”
—Psalm 19:12

I AM going after a certain class of men who have sins not unknown to themselves…

…but secret to their fellow creatures. Every now and then, we turn up a fair stone that lies upon the green earth of the professing church, surrounded with the healthiness of apparent goodness; and to our astonishment, we find beneath it all kinds of filthy insects and loathsome reptiles. In our disgust at such hypocrisy, we are driven to exclaim, “All men are liars; there are none in whom we can put any trust at all!” It is not fair to say so of all, but really, the discoveries that are made of the insincerity of our fellow-creatures are enough to make us despise our kind because they can go so far in appearances, yet have so little soundness of heart. To you, sirs, who sin secretly and yet make a profession: you break God’s covenants in the dark and wear a mask of goodness in the light—to you, sirs, who shut the doors and commit wickedness in secret—to you I shall speak this morning. O may God also be pleased to speak to you and make you pray this prayer: “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” I shall endeavor to urge upon all pretenders present to give up, to renounce, to detest, to hate, to abhor all their secret sins.

FIRST, THEN, THE FOLLY OF SECRET SINS.

Pretender, thou art fair to look upon—thy conduct outwardly upright, amiable, liberal, generous, and Christian. But thou dost indulge in some sin that the eye of man has not yet detected. Perhaps it is private drunkenness. Thou dost revile the drunkard when he staggers through the street; but thou canst thyself indulge in the same habit in private. It may be some other lust or vice. It is not for me just now to mention what it is. But, pretender, we say unto thee, “Thou art a fool to think of harboring a secret sin, and thou art a fool for this one reason: thy sin is not a secret sin. It is known and shall one day be revealed—perhaps very soon. Thy sin is not a secret: the eye of God hath seen it. Thou hast sinned before His face. Thou hast shut-to the door, drawn the curtains, and kept out the eye of the sun. But God’s eye pierceth through the darkness: the brick walls that surrounded thee were as transparent as glass to the eye of the Almighty. The darkness that did gird thee was as bright as the summer’s noon to the eye of Him Who beholdeth all things. Knowest thou not, O man, that “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13)?

As the priest ran his knife into the entrails of his victim, discovered the heart and liver and what else did lie within, so art thou, O man, seen by God, cut open by the Almighty. Thou hast no secret chamber where thou canst hide thyself. Thou hast no dark cellar where thou canst conceal thy soul. Dig deep, ay, deep as hell, but thou canst not find earth enough upon the globe to cover thy sin. If thou should heap the mountains on its grave, those mountains would tell the tale of what was buried in their bowels. If thou could cast thy sin into the sea, a thousand babbling waves would tell the secret out. There is no hiding it from God! Thy sin is photographed in high heaven. The deed, when it was done, was photographed upon the sky; and there it shall remain. Thou shalt see thyself one day revealed to the gazing eyes of all men—a hypocrite, a pretender who didst sin in fancied secret, observed in all thine acts by the all-seeing Jehovah. O what fools men are to think they can do anything in secret! This world is as the glass hives wherein bees sometimes work: we look down upon them, and we see all the operations of the little creatures. So God looks down and sees all our eyes are weak: we cannot look through the darkness. But His eye, like an orb of fire, penetrates the blackness, reads the thought of man, and sees his acts when he thinks himself most concealed. Oh, it is a thought enough to curb us from all sin if it were truly applied to us: “Thou God seest me” (Gen 16:13)!

Stop thief! Drop thou that which thou hast taken to thyself. God sees thee! No eye of detection of earth hath discovered thee, but God’s eyes are now looking through the clouds upon thee. Swearer! Scarce any for whom thou carest heard thy oath; but God heard it. It entered into the ears of the Lord God of Hosts. And [thee] who leads a filthy life and yet art a respectable merchant bearing among men a fair and goodly character: thy vices are all known, written in God’s book. He keeps a diary of all thine acts. What wilt thou think on that Day when a crowd shall be assembled, compared with which this immense multitude is but a drop of a bucket? God shall read out the story of thy secret life, and men and angels shall hear it! Certain I am there are none of us who would like to have all our secrets read, especially our secret thoughts. If I should select out of this congregation the most holy man, should bring him forward, and say, “Now, sir, I know all your thoughts and am about to tell them,” I am sure he would offer me the largest bribe that he could gather if I would be pleased to conceal at least some of them. “Tell,” he would say, “of my acts; of them I am not ashamed; but do not tell my thoughts and imaginations—of them I must ever stand ashamed before God.” What then, sinner, will be thy shame when thy privy lusts, thy closet transgressions, thy secret crimes shall be trumpeted from God’s throne, [and] published by His own mouth with a voice louder than a thousand thunders preached in the ears of an assembled world? What will be thy terror and confusion then, when all the deeds thou hast done shall be published in the face of the sun, in the ears of all mankind? O renounce the foolish hope of heresy; for thy sin is this day recorded and shall one day be advertised upon the walls of heaven.

IN THE NEXT PLACE, LET US NOTICE THE MISERY OF SECRET SINS.

Of all sinners, the man who makes a profession of religion and yet lives in iniquity is the most miserable. A downright wicked man who takes a glass in his hand and says, “I am a drunkard. I am not ashamed of it,” shall be unutterably miserable in worlds to come. But brief though it be, he has his hour of pleasure. A man who curses and swears and says, “That is my habit. I am a profane man,” and makes a profession of it, he has, at least, some peace in his soul. But the man who walks with God’s minister, who is united with God’s Church, who comes out before God’s people and unites with them, and then lives in sin—what a miserable existence he must have of it! Why, he has a worse existence than the mouse that is in the parlor, running out now and then to pick up the crumbs, and then back again to his hole. Such men must run out now and then to sin. Oh! How fearful they are to be discovered! One day, perhaps, their character turns up; with wonderful cunning, they manage to conceal and gloss it over. But the next day something else comes, and they live in constant fear, telling lie after lie to make the last lie appear truthful, adding deception to deception in order that they may not be discovered…

If I must be a wicked man, give me the life of a roistering sinner who sins before the face of day. But, if I must sin, let me not act as a hypocrite and a coward! Let me not profess to be God’s and spend my life for the devil. That way of cheating the devil is a thing that every honest sinner will be ashamed of. He will say, “Now, if I do serve [the devil], I will serve him out and out. I will have no sham about it. If I make a profession [of Christ], I will carry it out. But if I do not—if I live in sin—I am not going to gloss it over by cant and hypocrisy.” One thing that has hamstrung the Church and cut her very sinews in twain has been this most damnable hypocrisy. Oh! In how many places have we men whom you might praise to the very skies, if you could believe their words, but whom you might cast into the nethermost pit if you could see their secret actions! God forgive any of you who are so acting! I had almost said, “I can scarce forgive you.” I can forgive the man who riots openly and makes no profession of being better. But the man who fawns, cants, pretends, prays, and then lives in sin, that man I hate—I cannot bear him, I abhor him from my very soul. If he will turn from his ways, I will love him. But in his hypocrisy, he is to me the most loathsome of all creatures…A mere profession, my hearers, is but painted pageantry to go to hell in! It is like the plumes upon the hearse and the trappings upon the black horses that drag men to their graves, the funeral array of dead souls. Take heed above everything of a waxen profession that will not stand the sun. Take care of all that needs to have two faces to carry it out: be one thing or else the other. If you make up your mind to serve Satan, do not pretend to serve God! If you serve God, serve Him with all your heart. “No man can serve two masters” (Mat 6:24). Do not try it; do not endeavor to do it, for no life will be more miserable than that. Above all, beware of committing acts that it will be necessary to conceal…

Secret sins bring fevered eyes and sleepless nights until men burn out their consciences and become in very deed ripe for the pit. Hypocrisy is a hard game to play at: it is one deceiver against many observers; [certainly] it is a miserable trade that will earn at last, as its certain climax, a tremendous bankruptcy. Ah! Ye who have sinned without discovery, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23); and bethink you, it may find you out ere long. Sin, like murder, will come out. Men will even tell tales about themselves in their dreams. God has sometimes made men so pricked in their consciences that they have been obliged to stand forth and confess the story. Secret sinner! If thou wantest the foretaste of damnation upon earth, continue in thy secret sin! For no man is more miserable than he who sins secretly and yet tries to preserve a character. Yon stag, followed by the hungry hounds with open mouths, is far happier than the man who is followed by his sins. Yon bird, taken in the fowler’s net and laboring to escape, is far happier than he who hath weaved around himself a web of deception and labors to escape from it day by day by making the toils more thick and the web stronger. Oh! The misery of secret sins! Truly, one may pray, “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

BUT NOW…THE SOLEMN GUILT OF SECRET SIN.

Now, John, you do not think there is any evil in a thing unless somebody sees it, do you? You feel that it is a very great sin if your master finds you out in robbing the till; but there is no sin if he should not discover it—none at all! And you, sir, you fancy it to be very great sin to play a trick in trade, [if] you should be discovered and brought before the court. But to play a trick and never be discovered—that is all fair. “Do not say a word about it, Mr. Spurgeon! It is all business.” You must not touch business. Tricks that are not discovered, of course—you are not to find fault with them. The common measure of sin is the notoriety of it. But I do not believe in that. A sin is a sin, whether done in private or before the wide world…Do not measure sin by what other people say of it. Measure sin by what God says of it and [by] what your own conscience says of it…

Brethren, do not, I beseech you, incur the fearful guilt of secret sins. No man can sin a little in secret: it will certainly engender more sin. No man can be a hypocrite and yet be moderate in guilt. He will go from bad to worse and still proceed until his guilt shall be published. He shall be found to be the very worst and the most hardened of men. Take heed of the guilt of secret sin…“Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:24). I would…that I could make every man look to himself and find out his secret sin. Come, my hearer, what is it? Bring it forth to the daylight. Perhaps it will die in the light of the sun. These things love not to be discovered. Tell thine own conscience now what it is. Look it in the face! Confess it before God! And may He give thee grace to remove that sin and every other. Turn to Him with full purpose of heart. But know that thy guilt is guilt, [whether] discovered or undiscovered. If there be any difference, it is worse because it has been secret. God save us from the guilt of secret sin! “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

AND NOTE, NEXT, THE DANGER OF SECRET SIN.

One danger is that a man cannot commit a little sin in secret without being by-and-by betrayed into a public sin. You cannot, sir—though you may think you can—preserve a moderation in sin. If you commit one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier upon the Alps: the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone upon the grave today, the next day you will cast another, until the heap, reared stone by stone, shall become a very pyramid…Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle. “But I am going to have a little drink now and then; I am only going to be intoxicated once a week or so. Nobody will see it; I shall be in bed directly.” You will be drunk in the streets soon. “I am only just going to read one lascivious book; I will put it under the sofa-cover when any one comes in.” You will keep it in your library yet, sir. “I am only going into that company now and then.” You will go there every day—such is the bewitching character of it. You cannot help it. You may as well ask the lion to let you put your head into his mouth. You cannot regulate his jaws; neither can you regulate sin. Once go into it, you cannot tell when you will be destroyed…You may labor to conceal your vicious habit, but it will come out. You cannot help it. You keep your little pet sin at home, but mark this: when the door is ajar, the dog will be out in the street. Wrap him up in your bosom, put over him fold after fold of hypocrisy to keep him secret, and the wretch will be singing some day when you are in company…

A man who indulges in sin privately gets his forehead as hard as brass by degrees. The first time he sinned, the drops of sweat stood on his brow at the recollection of what he had done. The second time, no hot sweat [stood] on his brow, only an agitation of the muscle. The third time, there was the sly, sneaky look, but no agitation. The next time, he sinned a little further. And by degrees, he became the bold blasphemer of his God, who exclaimed, “Who am I that I should fear Jehovah, and who is He that I should serve Him?” Men go from bad to worse. Launch your boat in the current: it must go where the current takes it. Put yourself in the whirlwind: you are but a straw in the wind; you must go which way the wind carries you, for you cannot control yourself. The balloon can mount, but it cannot direct its course: it must go whichever way the wind blows. If you once mount into sin, there is no stopping. Take heed if you would not become the worst of characters! Take heed of the little sins: they, mounting one upon another, may at last heave you from the summit and destroy your soul forever. There is a great danger in secret sins.

But I have here some true Christians who indulge in secret sins. They say it is but a little one, and therefore do they spare it. Dear brethren, I speak to you, and I speak to myself when I say this: Let us destroy all our little secret sins. They are called “little”; and if they be, let us remember that it is the foxes, even the little foxes that spoil our vines (Song of Solomon 2:15). For our vines have tender shoots. Let us take heed of our little sins. A little sin, like a little pebble in the shoe, will make a traveler to heaven walk very wearily. Little sins, like little thieves, may open the door to greater ones outside. Christians, recollect that little sins will spoil your communion with Christ. Little sins, like little stains in silk, may damage the fine texture of fellowship. Little sins, like little irregularities in the machinery, may spoil the whole fabric of your religion. The one dead fly spoileth the whole pot of ointment. That one thistle may seed a continent with noxious weeds. Let us, brethren, kill our sins as often as we can find them. One said, “The heart is full of unclean birds; it is a cage of them.” “Ah, but,” said another divine, “you must not make that an apology, for a Christian’s business is to wring their necks.” And so it is: if there be evil things [in the heart], it is our business to kill them. Christians must not tolerate secret sins. We must not harbor traitors. It is high treason against the King of Heaven. Let us drag them out to light and offer them upon the altar, giving up the dearest of our secret sins at the will and bidding of God. There is a great danger in a little secret sin. Therefore avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it and shun it (Pro 4:15); and God give thee grace to overcome it.

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Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892): English Baptist preacher; his sermons fill 63 volumes and include 20–25 million words, the largest set of books by a single author in the history of Christianity; born at Kelvedon, Essex, England.

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Take heed of secret sins. They will undo thee if loved and maintained: one moth may spoil the garment; one leak drown the ship; a penknife stab will kill a man as well as a sword. So one sin may damn the soul.—Jeremiah Burroughs

Yet There is Room

Taken and adapted from, “Yet There is Room”
Written by C.H. Spurgeon

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Although there are still many sinners who seem to have no room for Christ…

yet there is plenty of room for sinners in the heart and love of Christ, and I am going to give them an earnest, tender, affectionate invitation to come to Christ while “yet there is room.” Ye who have hitherto been strangers to the grace of God, ye who, as yet, have never feasted at the gospel banquet, ye who have, until now, been content with this world’s frothy dainties, and have never tasted that which is substantial and satisfying for time and for eternity—to you, even to you, comes the message of our text, “yet there is room.”

My first question concerning the text is, where is there room? And the answer is, there is room in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, room for you to be washed and to be made clean. Vast multitudes have gone into that fountain black as the thickest night, and they have come up from the washing “whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). Innumerable offenses have there been washed away, but the fountain has lost none of its cleansing power, nor will it until the last elect soul has been washed therein, as Cowper (1731-1800) so confidently and so truly sings,

“Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,

Till all the ransom’d Church of God
Be saved to sin no more.”

It is our joy to be able to assure you that, in that blessed bath of cleansing, “yet there is room.”

There is room, too, in that chariot of love which carries the washed ones all the way to heaven—that chariot of which Solomon’s was a type, and of which we read, “he made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem” (Song of Solomon 3:10).

In this chariot there is room for millions more; if thou art washed in His precious blood, He who is greater than Solomon will take thee up, and carry thee on and over the rough and rugged road of this wilderness world, and conduct thee safely to His Father’s house above. Thou shalt travel joyously in the best of company; so, enter while there is room, sinner, and there is room now.

There is room, too, in the Father’s great family. He has adopted an innumerable multitude of those who once were children of wrath and servants of Satan. He has selected some of the vilest of the sons and daughters of Adam, but they are washed, they are cleansed, they are regenerate, and they have received the seal of their adoption into the family of God, and are joyously crying, “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15)—but there is room for millions more in that great family. Earthly fathers, as a general rule, have no room for strangers in their home; the house is crowded already with their own boys and girls, so they cannot receive other people’s children into their family. But there is still room in the great Father’s heart for all who will come unto Him by Jesus Christ His Son. All whom He has chosen unto eternal life have not yet believed in Jesus, and been “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:14). All whom He intends to save have not yet been brought to recognize Him as their Father and their God. So again I say that there is still room in the great Father’s heart for all who will come unto Him by Jesus Christ His Son.

There is room, too, in the church visible here below. We gladly welcome every new convert, and we say to each one,

“Come in, thou blessed of the Lord,
Stranger nor foe art thou;

We welcome thee with warm accord,
Our friend, our brother now.”

“The Lord knows them that are his” (2 Timothy 2:19), but all that are the Lord’s are not yet added to His visible church. Thousands of them still stray in the paths of sin, millions of them are as yet like jewels hidden away in the mire, or pearls lying many fathoms deep in the caverns of the sea. There is still room for more stars in the diadem that adorns the brows of the church on earth; there is still room for more golden candlesticks to give her light; room hath she still for many more children to be dandled on her knees, and to suck at her breasts. Use whatever metaphor we may, we can still say, in the words of our text, “yet there is room.”

There is room, too, in the ordinances of God’s house. There is room for thee, Christian brother or sister, in the liquid tomb which is the emblem of thy Savior’s grave; thou may be buried with Him by baptism into death, and rise from the baptistery in the likeness of His resurrection, thenceforth to walk with Him in newness of life (Rom 6:4-6). There is room for thee, too, at that communion table where, in eating bread and drinking wine, we spiritually eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood, and so prove that He dwells in us, and we dwell in Him.

There is room for thee at the children’s table; thou wilt not overcrowd us. We are not like the elder brother, who was jealous because the prodigal was welcomed back to his father’s house and his father’s table (Luke 15). We shall have none the less enjoyment, but all the more, if thou wilt come and join us at the feast of love; there is abundant room for thee there.

Better still, and more to thy soul’s solace, there is room for thee in heaven. The long procession has been streaming through the gates of pearl from the day when Abel, the proto-martyr, entered the heavenly city until this moment, while I am speaking to you. The last emancipated soul has just flapped its wings for joy, left its mortal cage behind, and entered into everlasting liberty. The redeemed from among men have been taking their appointed places before the throne, waving their palms, wearing their crowns, playing their golden harps, and singing their songs of victory—but there is still room in heaven for many more.

There are crowns there without heads to wear them, and harps without hands to play them, and mansions without tenants to inhabit them, and streets of gold that shall have something lacking until you have trodden them, if you are one of the Lord’s own people. There is room for multitudes, whom God has chosen, yet to come to swell the hallelujah chorus of the skies. It is very sweet even now, but it has not yet reached its full force and grandeur; it needs to have ten thousand times ten thousand voices added to the already mighty choir. And then the glorious chorus shall roll up to the throne of God louder than the noise of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! “For the Lord God omnipotent reigns” (Rev 19:7); and He shall reign forever and ever.

What a dreary message I should have to deliver if I had to tell you that there was no room! Let me give you one or two illustrations. In passing over some of the more difficult passes of the Alps, the traveler sees small habitations by the side of the road, marked “Refuge No. 1,” “Refuge No. 2,” and so on, up to the hospice on the summit, and then down the other side more refuges similarly marked. When the storm comes on and the wind and snow beat in the man’s face so that he cannot discover his road, and he sinks more than knee-deep in the drifts, it is a happy circumstance for him that, perhaps a little way ahead, there is a refuge where he and others in the like plight may find shelter till hospitable monks come and take them to the hospice, or send them on their way. Imagine that, one dark night, the snow is pouring down; the flakes fall so thickly that you cannot see a star; the wind howls among the Alps. And the poor traveler, nearly blinded, staggers up to the door of the refuge, but he sees outside of it a dozen or two other travelers all clustered together, nearly frozen to death, and they say to him, “The refuge is crammed; we can’t get in, so we must perish though we have reached the door of the refuge, for there is no room for us inside.”

Ah! But I have no such ill news as that to bring to you. Crowded as you are here, this great building has scarcely room enough to hold you; but the love of Christ is not so cramped that I need say to you, “There is no room here.” “Yet there is room.” All who are inside the refuge are but a small number compared with those who are yet to come; for, in later and brighter ages, of which this is but the dawn, we believe that conversion work will go on far more rapidly, and that the Lord’s elect will be brought to Him in much greater numbers than in these days. Whether it will be so or not, it is our joy to tell you that “yet there is room” in the great gospel refuge which the Lord of the way has so graciously provided for all who will enter it.

Here is another picture. There has been a wreck out there upon the coast. The ship has struck upon the rocks, and she is fast going to pieces. Some of the poor mariners are clinging to the mast; they have been hanging there for hours. Heavy seas have broken over them and they can hardly retain their hold. Some of the crew have already become exhausted and have fallen off into the deep, and the others, who are clinging for dear life, are almost frozen with cold. But see there! a rocket goes up; they believe that they have been perceived, and after a while, they see that the lifeboat is coming to their rescue. Perhaps the brave men give a cheer as they row with all their might to let the poor shipwrecked sailors know that there is help at hand.

As the lifeboat comes nearer, its captain cries, “Oh, what a lot of men! What can we do with so many? We will take as many of you as we can, but there is not room for all.” The men are helped off the wreck one after the other until they seem to fill the boat. Each man’s place has two crammed into it, but at last the captain says, “It’s no use; we can’t take any more. Our boat is so full that she’ll go down if we put in another man.” It’s all over with those poor souls that must be left behind; for before the gallant boat can make another trip, they must all have fallen into the trough of the sea and been lost.

But I have no such sad tale to tell you, for my Master’s gospel lifeboat has thus far taken in but few compared with those she will yet take. I know not how many she will hold; but this I know, that a multitude which no man can number shall be found within her (Rev 7:9), and amid songs of everlasting joy they shall all be safely landed on the blessed shore, where rocks and tempests will never again trouble them. The lifeboat is not yet full; there is still room in her for all who will trust in Jesus. Poor mariner, give up clinging to that wreck on the rocks! Poor sinner, give up clinging to thy works and to thy sins.

There is room in the gospel lifeboat for thee, and all who will put themselves under the care of the great Captain of salvation, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Grace by Force?

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“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),…”
–Eph. 2:4:5

When we see a casket wrenched open…

…the hinges torn away, or the clasp destroyed, we mark at once the hand of the Spoiler; but when we observe another casket deftly opened with a master-key, and the sparkling contents revealed, we note the hand of the Owner.

Conversion is not, as some suppose, a violent opening of the heart by grace, in which will, reason, and judgment are all ignored or crushed. This is too barbarous a method for him who comes not as a plunderer to his prey, but as a possessor to his treasure.

In conversion, the Lord who made the human heart deals with it according to its nature and constitution. His key insinuates itself into the locks; the will is not enslaved but enfranchised; the reason is not blinded but enlightened, and the whole of man is made to act with a glorious liberty which it never knew till it fell under the restraints of grace.

By C.H. Spurgeon

A Warning to Those who Follow Modern-day Prophets –such as Ellen G. White. A Sermon by Charles Spurgeon

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Is the truth that which I imagine to be revealed to me by some private communication?

Am I to fancy that I enjoy some special Revelation and am I to order my life by voices, dreams and impressions? Brothers and Sisters, fall not into this common delusion! God’s Word to us is in Holy Scripture. All the Truth that sanctifies men is in God’s Word! Do not listen to those who cry, “Lo here!” and, “Lo there!” I am plucked by the sleeve almost every day by crazy persons and pretenders who think that they have Revelations from God. One man tells me that God has sent a message to me by him—and I reply, “No, Sir, the Lord knows where I dwell and He is so near to me that He would not need to send to me by you.” Another man announces, in God’s name, a dogma which, on the face of it, is a lie against the Holy Spirit. He says the Spirit of God told him so-and-so, but we know that the Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself. If your imaginary Revelation is not according to this Word of God, it has no weight with us! And if it is according to this Word, it is no new thing!

Brothers and Sisters, this Bible is enough if the Lord does but use it and quicken it by His Spirit in our hearts. Truth is neither your opinion, nor mine—your message, nor mine! Jesus says, “Your Word is truth.” That which sanctifies men is not only truth, but it is the particular Truth of God which is revealed in God’s Word—“Your Word is truth.” What a blessing it is that all the Truth that is necessary to sanctify us is revealed in the Word of God, so that we have not to expend our energies upon discovering the Truth of God, but may, to our far greater profit, use Revealed Truth for its Divine ends and purposes! There will be no more Revelations—no more are needed! The Canon is fixed and complete—and he that adds to it shall have added to him the plagues that are written in this Book! What need of more when here is enough for every practical purpose? “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your Word is truth.

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(from: Our Lord’s Prayer for His People’s Sanctification, Sermon #1890, delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, March 7, 1866, C.H. Spurgeon) A Warning To Those Bringing Supposed New Revelation — Charles Spurgeon Eric T. Young  February 21, 2011

Do you trust the Captain?

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“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”   
–Acts 16:31
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Spurgeon tells of a story that took place during a severe storm at sea…

…it seemed that the ship could last but little longer, and that the precious cargo of human life would soon find their graves in the raging billows. The waves were already coming over the deck, and passengers were rushing hither and thither, wringing their hands and weeping, each one expecting every moment to be their last. In their midst sat a young man, who unconcernedly watched the mad waves as they dashed against the vessel. Some of the passengers asked him how he could be so calm in such an hour, when his life hung by a very slender cord; he replied, “I feel no fear whatever; why should I? My father is commanding the ship, and he knows what he is doing. I trust him –he will bring us through safely.”

Fellow-traveler, when danger, trouble, disaster, and reverses overtake you, will you trust the Lord Jesus to see you through? He is the captain who has never lost a soul who trusted in him. “…the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”  –John 6:37