« ZurückWeiter »
law are under the curse.” “ By the works of the law shall no flesh living be justified.” “Believe and live,” is just the upsetting of every human notion. Cast thyself on Christ: trust in him. Have good works afterwards; but first of all trust in him that died upon the tree. This is the overturning of every opinion of man. And hence mortals will always fight against it, so long as the human heart is what it is. Oh! that we knew the gospel! Oh! that we felt the gospel! For it would be the upsetting of all self-righteousness, and the casting down of every high look, and of every proud thing.
II. And now, beloved, spare me a little time, while I try to show that whicu IS TRUE IN THE WORLD, IS TRUE IN THE HEART. Instead, however, of enlarging at full length upon the different topics, I shall make my last point the subject of examination.
Man is a little world, and what God does in the outer world, he does in the inner. If any of you would be saved, your hearts must be turned upside down. I will now appeal to you, and ask you whether you have ever felt this-whether you know the meaning of it?
In the first place, your judgment must be turned upside down. Cannot many of you say, that which you now believe to be the truth of God is very far opposed to your former carnal notions? Why, if anyone had told you, that you should be a believer in the distinguishing
doctrines of free and sovereign grace, you would have laughed him in the face. “What! I believe the doctrine of election? What! I ever hold the doctrine of particular redemption, or final perseverance? Pshaw! nonsense! It cannot be!" But now you do hold it, and the thing which you thought unreasonable and unjust, now seems to you to be for God's glory, and for man's eternal benefit. You can kiss the doctrine which once you despised, and you meekly receive it as sweeter than the droppings of honey from the honeycomb, though once you thought it to be as the very poison of asps, and gall, and worm wood. Yes, when grace enters the heart, there is a turning upside down of all our opinions; and the great truth of Jesus sits reigning on our soul.
Is there not, again, a total change of all your hopes? Why, your hopes used to be all for this world. If you could but get rich, if you could but be great and honoured, you would be happy! You looked forward to it. All you were expecting was a paradise this side the flood. And now where are your hopes?—not on earth; for where your treasure is, there must your heart be also. You are looking for a city that hands have not piled; your desires are heavenly, whereas they were gross and carnal once. Can ye say that? Oh! all ye members of this congregation, can ye say that your hopes and your desires are changed? Are ye looking upward, instead of downward? Are you looking to serve God on earth, and to enjoy him for ever? Or are you still content with thinking "What ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, and wherewithal ye shall be clothed?”
Again, it is a complete upsetting of all your pleasures. You loved the tavern once; you hate it now. You hated God's house once; it is now your much-loved habitation. The song, the Sunday newspaper, the lewd novel--all these were sweet to your taste; but you have burned the books that once enchanted you, and now the dusty Bible from the back of the shelf is taken down, and there it lies, wide open, upon the family table, and it is read both morn and night, much loved, much prized and delighted in. The Sabbath was once the dullest day of the week to you; you either loitered outside the door in your shirt-sleeves, if you were poor, or if you were rich you spent the day in your drawing-room, and had company in the evening: now, instead thereof, your company you find in the church of the living God, and you make the Lord's house the drawing-room where you entertain your friends. Your feast is no longer a banquet of wine, but a banquet of communion with Christ. There are some of you who once loved nothing better than the theatre, the low concert room, or the casino: over such places you now see a great black mark of the curse, and you never go there. You seek now the prayer meeting, the church meeting, the gathering of the righteous, the babi. tation of the Lord God of hosts.
It is marvellous how great a change the gospel makes in a man's house too. Why, it turns his house upside down. Look over the mantle-piece-- There is a vile daub of a picture there, or a wretched print, and the subject is worse than the style of the thing. But when the man follows Jesus he takes that down, and he gets a print of John Bunyan in his prison, or his wife standing before the magistrate, or a print of the apostle Paul preaching at Athens, or some good old subject representing something Biblical. There is a pack of cards and a cribbage
board in the cupboard; he turns them out, and instead he puts there perhaps the monthly magazine, or mayhap a few works of old divines, just here and there one of the publications of the Religious Tract Society, or a volume of a Commentary. Every thing is upside down there. The children say, Father is so altered.” They never knew such a thing. He used to come home sometimes drunk of a night, and the children used to run up stairs and be in bed before he came in; and now little Joha and little Sarah sit at the window and watch till he comes home; and they go toddling down the street to meet him, and he takes one in his arms, and the other by the hand, and brings them home with him. He used to teach them to sing "Begone, dull care," or something worse ; now he tells them of “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” or puts into their mouth some sweet song of old. A jolly set of companions he used to have come to see him, and a roaring party there used to be of them, on a Sunday afternoon; but that is all done with. The mother smiles upon her husband: she is a happy woman now; she knows that he will no longer disgrace himself by plunging into the vilest of society, and being seduced into the worst of sins. Now, if you could take a man's heart out, and put a new heart right into him, it would not be half so good, if it were another natural heart, as the change that God works, when he takes out the heart of stone, and puts in a heart of flesh
“ A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
Our dear Redeemer's throne,
Where Jesus reigns alone."
I put, then, the question to you again: Have you been turned upside down? How about your companions? You loved those the best who could swear the loudest, talk the fastest, and tell the greatest falsehoods: now you love those who can pray the most earnestly, and tell you the most of Jesus. Everything is changed with you. If you were to meet your old self going down the street, you would not know him, except by hearsay; you are no relation to him at all. Sometimes the old geutleman comes to your house, and he begins to tempt you to go back; but you tura him out of doors as soon as you can, and say, “Begone! I never got on so long as I knew you; I had a ragged coat to my back then, and I was always giving the publican all nıy money; I never went to God's house, but cursed my Maker, and added sin to sin, and tied a mill-stone round my neck. So away from me; I will have nothing to do with you; I have been buried with Christ, and I have risen with him. I am a new man in Christ Jesus, old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new."
I have some here, however, who belong to a different class of society, who could not indulge in any of these things; but ah! ladies and gentlemen, if you are ever converted, you must have as great a sweeping out as the poorest man that ever lived. There must be as true a turning upside down in the salvation of an earl, or a duke, or a lord, as in the salvation of a pauper or a peasant. There is as much sin in the higher ranks as in the lower, and sometimes more, because they have more light, more knowledge, more influence, and when they sin, they not only damn themselves, but others too. O you that are rich, have you had a change too? Have the frivolities of this world become sickening things to you? Do you turn away with loathing froin the common cant and conventionalism of high life? Have you forsaken it? and can you now say, “ Although I am in the world, yet am I not of it; its pomps and vanities I do eschew; its pride and its glory I trample under feet; these are nothing to me; I would follow my Master bearing his cross, through evil report and through good report?” If such be not the case, if you are not changed, remember, there are no exceptions; one truth is true for all -" Except ye be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom of heaven." And that amounts in substance to my text: except ye be thoroughly renewed, turned upside down, ye cannot be saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;" for he that believeth shall be sanctified and renewed-shall be saved at last-but he that believeth not must be cast away in the great day of God's account.
The Lord bless you; for Jesus' sake!
REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
"If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin."-Jolin xv. 22, The peculiar sin of the Jews, the sin which aggravated above everything their former iniquities, was their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. He had been very plainly described in the books of the prophets, and they who waited for him, such as Simeon and Anna, no sooner beheld him, even in his infant state, than they rejoiced to see him, and understood that God had sent forth his salvation. But because Jesus Christ did not answer the expectation of that evil generation, because he did not come arrayed in pomp and clothed with power, because he had not the outward garnishing of a prince and the honours of a king, they shut their eyes against him; he was “a root out of a dry ground.” he was "despised and they esteemed him not.” Nor did their sin stop there. Not content with denying his Messiahship, they were exceeding hot against him in their anger; they hunted him all his life, seeking his blood; nor were they content till their fiendish malice bad been fully glutted by sitting down at the foot of the cross, and watching the dying throes and the expiring agonies of their crucified Messiah. Though over the cross itself the words were written, “ Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,” yet they knew not their king, God's everlasting Son; and knowing him not, they crucified him, “ for had they known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Now, the sin of the Jews is every day repeated by the Gentiles; that which they did once, many have done every day. Are there not many of you now present this day, listening to my voice, who forget the Messiah? You do not troubke yourself to deny him; you would not degrade yourselves, in what is called a Christian country, by standing up to blaspheme his name. Perhaps you hold the right doctrine concerning him, and believe him to be the Son of God as well as the Son of Mary; but still you neglect his claims, and give him no honour, and do not accept him as worthy of your trust. He is not your Redeemer; you are not looking for his second advent, nor are you expecting to be saved through his blood; nay, even worse. ye are this day crucifying him; for know ye not, that as many as put away from them the gospel of Christ, do crucify the Lord afresh and open wide his wounds? As often as ye hear the Word preached and reject it, as often as ye are warned, and stifle the voice of your conscience, as often as ye are made to tremble, and yet say, “Go thy way for this time, when I have a more convenient season, I will send for thee," so often do you in effect grasp the hammer and the nail, and once more pierce the hand, and make the blood issue from the side. And there are other ways by which you wound him through his members. As often as ye despise his ministers, or cast stumbling blocks in the way of his servants, or impede his gospel by your evil example, or by your hard words seek to pervert the seeker from the way of truth, so often do you commit that great iniquity which brought the curse upon the Jew, and which hath doomed him to wander through the earth, until the day of the second advent, when he shall come, who
?, you would not listen nor regard us. God himself has your conscience, so that you have heard it. You have ur knees have knocked together, you have sat in your mighty Boanerges has thundered out the word, you have
angel's voice, “ Prepare to meet thy God-consider thy ways loop thou shalt die, and not live." And yet you have gone out Te forgotten what manner of men you were.
You have have done despite to the Spirit of grace; you have put les of your conscience; you have throttled those infant ning to cry in your heart; you have drowned those new-born
uringing up; you have put away from you everything that you have turned again to your own ways, and have once
mountains of sin, and in the valley of iniquity. Ah! my -11, for a moment, that in all this you have despised God. I oly Spirit would but apply this one solemn truth to your ving, this Hall of Music would be turned into a house of piace would become a Bochim, a place of weeping and lamen
despised God, to have trampled under foot the Son of Man, his cross, to have rej the wooings of his love and the ce! How solemn! Did you ever think of this before? You was but despising man; will ye now think of it as despising at has spoken to you. Ah! God is my witness, that oftentimes
with these eyes, and spoken to you with these lips. I have ut the winning. of your souls. Sometimes with rough words med to drive you to the cross, and at other times with weeping sought to weep you to my Redeemer; and sure I am, I did not an, but Jesus spoke through me, and inasmuch as ye did hear and went away and did forget, remember that Christ spoke to you. 2d, “ Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth;" d, “Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden;" 'twas he 'd, that if you neglected this great salvation you must perish; and way the warning and rejected the invitation, you have not despised e despised our Master; and woe unto yon, except ye repent, for 'tis to have despised the voice of him that speaketh from heaven. uw we must notice the second point, namely, that THE REJECTION OF AGGRAVATES MEN's six. Now, do not let me be misunderstood. I t persons who, having gone to the house of God, have been filled with , and at last they have been driven almost to despair, for Satan has m to forsake the house of God; for says he, “ The more you go, the crease your condemnation.” Now I believe that this is an error; we do pour condemnation by going to the house of God; we are far more crease it by stopping away; for in stopping away from the house of God
Jouble rejection of Christ; you reject him even with the outward mind, .s with the inward spirit; you neglect even the lying at the pool of
you are worse than the man who lay at the pool, but could not get in. not lie there, and therefore, neglecting the hearing of the Word of God, indeed incur a fearful doom; but if you go up to the house of God, sinseking a blessing, if you do not get comfort--if you do not find grace in us, siill, if you go there devoutly seeking it, your condemnation is not
thereby. Your sin is not aggravated merely by the hearing of the it by the wilful and wicked rejection of it when it is heard. The nian who sound of the gospel, and after having heard it, turns upon his heel
who, after liearing time after time, and being visibly affected, ind the pleasures of this wicked lite, to come in and choke the seed nin a tearful measure increase his guilt.
just notice why, in a two-fold measure, he does this. Because, gels a new sin altogether, thut he never had before, and beside that, s other sins. Bring me here a Hottentot, or a man from Kame who has never listened to the Word. That man may haya
gue of guilt except one; but that one I am sure he has v rejecting the gospel when it is preached to him. Bu spel, have an opportunity for committing a fresh sin; ou have added a fresh iniquity to all those others tha