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talk about Christianity, but when you see them at their homes where is their Christianity ? When you see them at their daily business where is their Christianity? They talk about Christianity, but when you hear their words and see their
, som kan tilin history, where is their Christianity? It is a lie from bezinning to end. Wili a lie save a man think you ? No, he shall go to the father of lies, to his own place. Repent, therefore, and be converted, lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the Prophet, “Behold ye despisers, and wonder, and perish.”
My beloved in the Lord, there is a word for you, too, “How are the dead raised up?" We know how the wicked will be, but how about you? You know very well, for I have told you as far as it can be known. Some persons say, “we do not know what will be in the world to come.” Well, certainly, not by experience. We have so much unhappiness here, so much infirmity in the body, so much distress in the mind, so much perplexity in the world, so much temptation from the devil, that it is very difficult even to conceive a condition where a person is altogether happy. I have sometimes thought, when I have watched a little child, full of love and mirth, grateful to a parent or a friend that has presented it, perbaps, a flower (like itself but not so fair) or perhaps a toy-I have seen the little creature, as it were, in a beaven upon earth. I have seen its beautiful countenance (for all children are beautiful) light up, its eyes glisten like stars, and smiles play about its ruby lips, and its little white teeth peeping between, and such a merry laugh from its happy heart; and I have thought, that is heaven on earth. Oh, the look of love and look of gratitude! I think a penny or a sixpence well laid out merely to get a smile from a child. Many a time a man might make himself comfortable for a minute or two if he would do that thing. It is cheaply bought. There is something so simple, so pure, so altogether lovely, in the ways of children, that I pity the man who cannot find a satisfaction in them. Yes, I have sometimes thought if we could form any notion of what a perfectly happy condition could be, you might see something of it in a little child; very healtby, very happy, very grateful; it unites for the moment all that is necessary to make happiness. But, oh, if it breaks the toy !-oh, if it snaps the flower !-ob, if it slips its foot and falls ! all its smiles are chased away, and down come the tears, like little diamonds, and drop upon its snowy breast! And there is the heaven dashed to pieces again! So I do not know where to look for happiness here. It is true, "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man what God hath prepared for them that love him." I cannot conceive how I shall feel when I am always happy. I am happy now, happier than most of you. But as to the resurrection, I cannot conceive how it will be, because it is a state of which I have never tasted. But we do know something of it. You can conceive something of a glorious body to look at, bright and shining as the sun. You can conceive of there being no such thing as pain, or infirmity, or ignorance. You can conceive, too, of being amongst those you love, and who love you, to feel that no man will have the face of a stranger towards you, nor the heart of hatred. You can enter into something of that, can't you? Pick out the nearest and dearest to your heart-your kinsman or kinswoman-be it wife or child, and think how you feel in the sweetest and dearest seasons of communion with them. Then carry that out, in thought, into full and enlarged enjoyment for ever and for ever ; and you will bave some faint conception of what will be the state of the blessed in the resurrection. Be sure that no one will be your enemy. Be sure that all who speak words of love before your face, will speak words of kindness behind your back. Be sure that all who say they love you, will feel they love you. Be sure there will never come unkindness, ingratitude, deceit, revenge, or any other foul thing, which makes this world so often like hell, and so unlike heaven. Think of that, and then “How are the dead raised up?” They are raised with bodies, such as we have seen in the transfiguration, to a condition where they shall sorrow no more, nor sigh any more; where there shall be no sickness, no pain, no death, and best of all, where there shall be no sin.
THE GREAT RESERVOIR.
REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”—Proverbs iv. 23. IF I should vainly attempt to fashion my discourse after lofty models, I should this morning compare the human heart to the ancient city of Thebes, out of whose hundred gates multitudes of warriors were wont to march. As was the city such were her armies, as was her inward strength, such were they who came forth of her. I might then urge the necessity of keeping the heart, because it is the metropolis of our manhood, the citadel and armoury of our humanity. Let the chief fortress surrender to the enemy, and the occupation of the rest must be an easy task. Let the principal stronghold be possessed by evil, the whole land must be overrun thereby. Instead, however, of doing this, I shall attempt what possibly I may be able to perform, by a humble metaphor and a simple figure, which will be easily understood; I shall endeavour to set forth the wise man's doctrine, that our life issues from the heart, and thus I shall labour to show the absolute necessity of keeping the heart with all diligence.
You have seen the great reservoirs provided by our water companies, from which the water which is to supply hundreds of streets and thousands of houses is kept. Now, the heart is just the reservoir of man, and our life is allowed to flow in its proper season. That life may flow through different pipes--the mouth, the hand, the eye; but still all the issues of hand, of eye, of lip, derive their source from the great fountain and central reservoir, the heart; and hence there is no difficulty in showing the great necessity that exists for keeping this reservoir, the heart, in a proper state and condition, since otherwise that which flows through the pipes must be tainted and corrupt. May the Holy Spirit now direct our meditations.
Mere moralists very often forget the heart, and deal exclusively with the lesser powers. Some of them say, “If a man's life be wrong it is better to alter the principles upon which his conduct is modelled: we had better adopt another scheme of living; society must be remodelled, so that man may have an opportunity for the display of virtues, and less temptation to indulge in vice.” It is as if, when the reservoir was filled with poisonous or polluted fluid, some sage counsellor should propose that all the piping had better be taken up, and fresh pipes laid down, 80 that the water might run through fresh channels; but who does not perceive that it would be all in vain, if the fountain-head were polluted, however goo: the channels. So in vain the rules by which men hope to fashion their lives; in vain the regimen by which we seek to constrain ourselves to the semblance of goodness, No. 179.
Penny Pulpit, No. 2,917.
unless the heart be right the very best scheme of life shall fall to the ground, and fail to effect its design. Others say, “ Well, if the life be wrong, it would be better to set the understanding right: you must inform man's judgment, educate him, teach him better, and when his head is well informed, then his life will be improved.” Now, understanding is, if I may use such a figure, the stop-cock which controls the emotions, lets them flow on, or stops them; and it is as if some very wise man, when a reservoir had been poisoned, proposed that there should be a new person employed to turn the water off or on, in hope that the whole difficulty would thus be obviated. If we followed his advice, if we found tlfe wisest man in the world to have the control of the fountain, Mr. Understanding would still be incapable of supplying us with healthy streams, until we had first of all purged the cistern whence they flowed. The Arminian divine, too, sometimes suggests another way of improving man's life. He deals with the will. He says, the will must first of all be conquered, and if the will be right, then everything will be in order. Now, will is like the great engine which forces the water out of the fountain-head along the pipes, so that it is made to flow into our dwellings. The learned counsellor proposes that there should be a new steam. engine employed to force the water along the pipes. "Il," says he, "we had the proper machinery for forcing the fluid, then all would be well." No, sir, if the stream be poisonous, you may have axles to turn on diamonds, and you may have a machine that is made of gold and a force as potent as Omnipotence, but even then you have not accomplished your purpose until you have cleansed the polluted fountain, and purged the issues of life which flow therefrom. The wise man in our text seems to say, “Beware of misapplying your energies, be careful to begin in the right place." It is very necessary the understanding should be right; it is quite needful the will should have its proper predominance; it is very necessary that you should keep every part of man in a healthy con. dition; but,” says he,“ if you want to promote true holiness, you mast begin with the heart, for out of it are the issues of life; and when you hare purged it, when you have made its waters pure and limpid, then shall the current flow and bless the inhabitants with clear water; but not till then.” Here let us pause and ask the solemn and vital question, “Is my heart right in the sight of God?” For unless the inner man has been renewed by the grace of God, through the Holy Spirit, our heart is full of rottenness, filth, and abominations. And if so, here must all our cleansing begin, if it be real and satisfactory. Unrenewed men, I beseech you ponder the words of an ancient Cristian which I here repeat in thine ear:-“ It is no matter what is the sign, though an angel, that hangs without, if the devil and sin dwell within. New trimmings upon an old garment will not make it new, only give it a new appearance; and truly it is no good husbandry to bestow a great deal of cost in mending up an old suit, that will soon drop to tatters and rags, when a little more might purchase a new one that is lasting. And is it not better to labour to get a new heart, that all thou dost may be accepted, and thou saved, than to lose all the pains thou takest in religion, and thyself also for want of it?”
Now, ye who love the Lord, let me take you to the reservoir of your heart, and let me urge upon you the great necessity of keeping the heart right, if you would have the streams of your life happy for yourselves and beneficial to others.
I. First, keep the heart full. However pure the water may be in the central reservoir, it will not be possible for the company to provide us with an abundant supply of water, unless the reservoir itself be full. An empty fountain will most assuredly beget empty pipes; and let the machinery be never so accurate, let everything else be well ordered, yet if that reservoir be dry, we may wait in rain
for any of the water that we require. Now, you know many people-(you are sure to meet with them in your own society, and your own circle ; for I know of no one so happy as to be without such acquaintances)-whose lives are just dry, good-for-nothing emptinesses. They never accomplish anything; they have no mental force; they have no moral power ; what they say, nobody thinks of noticing; what they do is scarcely ever imitated. We have known fathers whose moral force has been so despicable, that even their children have scarcely been able to imitate them. Though imitation was strong enough in them, yet have they unconsciously felt, even in their childhood, that their father was, after all, but a child like themselves, and had not grown to be a man. Do you not know many people, who if they were to espouse a cause, and it were entrusted to them, would most certainly pilot it to shipwreck. Failure would be the total result. You could not use them as clerks in your office, without feeling certain that your business would be nearly murdered. If you were to employ tliem to manage a concern for you, you would be sure they would manage to spend all the money, but could never produce a doit. If they were placed in comfortable circumstances for a few months, they would go on carelessly till all was gone. They are just the flats, preyed on by the sharpers in the world; they have no manly strength, no power at all. See these people in religion: it does not matter much what are their doctrinal sentiments, it is quite certain they will never affect the minds of others. Put them in the pulpit: they are the slaves of the deacons, or else they are over-ridden by the church; they never have an opinion of their own, cannot come out with a thing; they bave not the heart to say, “ Such a thing is, and I know it is.” These men just live on, but as far as any utility to the world is concerned, they might almost as well never have been created, except it were to be fed upon by otlier people. Now, some say that this is the fault of men's heads: “Such a one,” they say, “could not get on; he had a small head ; it was clean impossible for him to prosper, his head was small; he could not do anything ; he had not enough force.” Now, that may be true; but I know what was truer still-he had got a small heart and that heart was empty. For, mark you, a tuan's force in the world other things being equal, is just in the ratio of the force and strength of his heart. A full-hearted man is always a powerful man: if he be erroneous, then he is powerful for error; if the thing is in his heart, he is sure to make it notorious, even though it may be a downright falsehood. Let a man be never so ignorant, still if his heart be full of love to a cause, he becomes a powerful man for that object, because he has got heart-power, heart-force. A man may be deficient in many of the advantages of education, in many of those niceties which are so much looked upon in society; but once give him a good strong heart, that beats hard, and there is no mistake about his power. Let him have a heart that is right full up to the brim with an object, and that man will do the thing, or else he will die gloriously defeated, and will glory in his defeat. HEART 18 Power. It is the emptiness of men's hearts that makes them so feeble. Men do not feel what they are at. Now, the man in business that goes heart and soul into his business, is more likely to prosper than anybody else. That is the preacher we want, the man that has a full soul. Let him have a head-the more he knows the better; but, after all, give him a big heart; and when his heart beats, if his heart be full, it will, under God, either make the hearts of his congregation beat after him; or else make thein conscious that he is labouring hard to compel them to follow. Oh! if we had more heart in our Master's service, how much more labour we could endure. You are a Sunday-school teacher, young man, and you are complaining that you cannot get on in the Sunday school. Sir, the service-.pipe would give out plenty of water if the heart were full. Perhaps you do not love your work. Oh, strive to love your work more, and then when your heart is full, you will go on well
enough. “Oli," saith the preacher,, “I am weary of my work in preaching; I have little success; I find it a hard toil.” The answer to that question is, “ Your heart is not full of it, for if you loved preaching, you would breathe preaching, feed upon preaching, and find a compulsion upon you to follow preaching; and your heart being full of the thing, you would be happy in the employment. Oh for a heart that is full, and deep, and broad! Find the man that hath such a soul as that, and that is the man from whom the living waters shall flow, to make the world glad with their refreshing streams.
Learn, then, the necessity of keeping the heart full; and let the necessity make you ask this question-"But how can I keep my heart full ? How can my emotions be strong ? How can I keep my desires burning and my zeal inflamed ? Christian ! there is one text which will explain all this. All my springs are in thee,” said David. If thou hast all thy springs in God, thy heart will be full enough. If thou dost go to the foot of Calvary, there will thy heart be bathed in love and gratitude. If thou dost frequent the vale of retirement, and there talk with thy God, it is there that thy heart shall be full of calm resolve. If thou goest out with thy Master to the hill of Olivet, and dost with him look down upon a wicked Jerusalem, and weep over it with him, then will thy heart be full of love for never-dying souls. If thou dost continually draw thine impulse, thy life, the whole of thy being from the Holy Spirit, without whom thou canst do nothing and if thou dost live in close communion with Christ, there will be no fear of thy having a dry heart. He who lives without prayer-he who lives with little prayer-he who'seldom reads the Word-he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high-he will be the man whose heart will become dry and barren ; but he who calls in secret on his God-who spends much time in holy retirement—who delights to meditate on the words of the Most High -whose soul is given up to Christ—who delights in his fulness, rejoices in his all-sufficiency, prays for his second coming, and delights in the thought of his glorious advent-such a man, I say, must have an overflowing heart; and as his heart is, such will his life be. It will be a full life; it will be a lite that will speak from the sepulchre, and wake the echoes of the future. “ Keep thine heart with all diligence,” and entreat the Holy Spirit to keep it full; for, otherwise, the issues of thy life will be feeble, shallow, and superficial; and thou mayest as well not have lived at all.
2. Secondly, it would be of little use for our water companies to keep their reservoirs full
, if they did not also keep them pure. I remember to have read a complaint in the newspaper of a certain provincial town, that a tradesman had been frequently supplied with fish from the water company, large eels having crept down the pipe, and sometimes creatures a little more loathsome. We have known such a thing as water companies supplying us with solids when they ought to have given us nothing but pure crystal. Now, no one likes that. The reservoir should be kept pure and clean ; and unless the water comes from a pure spring, and is not impreg. nated with deleterious substances, however full the reservoir may be, the company will fail of satisfying or of benefitting its customers. Now it is essential for us to do with our hearts as the company must do with its reservoir. We must keep our hearts pure ; for if the heart be not pure, the life cannot be pure. It is quite impossible that it should be so. You see a man whose whole conversation is impure and unholy; when he speaks he lards his language with oaths ; his mind is low and grovelling; none but the things of unrighteousness are sweet to him, for he has no soul above the kennel and the dunghill. You meet with another man who understands enough to avoid violating the decencies of life ; but still, at the same time he likes filthiness; any low joke, anything that will in some way stir unholy thoughts is just the thing that he desires. For the ways of God he has no relish; in God's house he finds no pleasure, in his Word no delight. What is the cause of this ? Say some, it is because of his family connexions—because of the situation in which he stands—because of his early education, and all that. No, no; the simple answer to that is the answer we gave to the other enquiry; the heart is not right ; for, if the heart were pure, the life would be pure too. The unclean stream betrays the fountain. A valuable book of German parables, by old Christian Scriver, contains the following homely metaphor :-"A drink was brought to Gotthold, which tasted of the vessel in which it had been contained; and this led him to observe. We have here an emblem of our ihoughts, words, and works. Our heart is defiled by sin, and hence a taint of sinfulness cleaves unfortunately