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is gone.

On the other hand, if you are Christ's, then death is yours. His power over you

He has no right to detain you in his possession. In his hands you shall no more be the weak, but the strong; for your condition will be analogous to that, not of the criminal, but of the innocent, unjustly apprehended man, in the hands of the law. Over the innocent man the law has no power. All its authority, its sanctions, its penalties, are on his side. Its retributive inflictions cannot touch him; they may not injure one hair of his head. He is no longer theirs, but they are his. If wrongfully accused and imprisoned, he can demand as a right all the aids and appliances of justice to free his character from stain and his person from unrighteous restraint. Or if he himself be incapacitated from action, bis friends, if they can establish his innocence, may demand his person at the hands of the law-may insist on his instant liberation. And so, if "ye are Christ's," if, reconciled to God through his dear Son, the stain of guilt no longer rests upon you; then has death no longer any claim to your person, any right to retain you in his hold. It may be still your mysterious fate to submit for a little while to the universal penalty, to pass into the prison-house of the destroyer; but he to whom, body and soul you truly belong, will soon claim you as one who, like himself, cannot be "holden of death,” and who must, at his summons, be set free. Not one soul dear to Christ, will he permit to remain as death's prisoner, or to receive any injury at death's hands, Nay, the very dust of Christ's saints is dear to him. He guards their very graves with a deeper and tenderer care than that wherewith earthly affection watches over the spot where a loved one rests. And as the slightest memorial of one who has been taken from us is often prized and kept with fondest in. terest, so even the frail vesture with which the soul of one of Christ's redeemed was once clothed, is precious to his heart, and he will rescue it at last from the dust where it lies soiled and dishonoured, " Neither death nor life, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come”—no created power, no lapse of time, no material change or revolution-can remove you from the sight, or separate you from the omnipotent love of Jesus. At his omnific word, death and the grave shall one day yield up their unlawful captives; and then, when the grave has heard the voice of the Son of God, and death, his servant and yours, has delivered up, unscathed, unharmed-yea, more glorious and beautiful than when they fell for a while into his charge, the bodies of Christ's redeemed, when “this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality," then shall the believer discover the full and blessed import of the words, “Death is yours." Be this, then, let me say in conclusion, your comfort and strength

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amidst the passing hours of life, and when anticipating its inevitable close. If ye are Christ's in earnest heartfelt self-devotion, in the entire surrender of yourselves to him who hath redeemed you by his precious blood, then indeed " death is yours.” It may not be that, when he draws near to you, death shall be welcomed with rapture, or even regarded without shrinking and dread. At the best, his is never a sweet face, nor is it a sound to which mortal ear can listen calmly when his step is heard on the threshold, or his knock strikes the door. But if you are Christ's, there is that in your condition which may well mitigate the fear, as it will ultimately triumph over the power of death. Death comes at Christ's command to call the believer to himself; and grim and ghastly though be the look of the messenger, surely that may well be forgotten in the sweetness of the message he brings. Death comes to set the spirit free; and rude though be the hand that knocks off the fetters, and painful though be the process of liberation, what need the prisoner care for that, when it is to freedom, life, home, he is about to be emancipated ? Death strikes the hour of the soul's everlasting espousals, and though the sound may be a harsh one, what matters that? To common ear it may seem a death-knell, to the ear of faith it is a bridal peal. Now," may the fainting passing soul reflect, “now my Lord is coming, I go to meet him—to be with Jesus—to dwell with him in everlasting light and love-to be severed from him no more for ever. O death, lead thou me on!" Or, if frail nature should faint and fail in that awful hour, surely this may be its strong consolation, the thought that even in the article of dissolution, he to whom the soul belongs is near and close beside it, to sustain the fortitude of his servant, and shield him in the last alarms. “The night falls dark upon my spirit; I tremble to go forth into that awful mystery and gloom; help, Lord, for my spirit faileth,"—is this the cry of its passing anguish ? “ Fear not,” will be the sweet response that falls upon the inner ear_" Fear not, I am with thee; the night is far spent, the day is at hand; a little moment, and the shadows shall flee away for ever!"

“O death!” may not then the dying saint, rising into the magnanimity of his glorious faith, exclaim—“O death, I fear thee not; I am not thine, but thou art mine! Thanks be to God that giveth me the victory through Jesus Christ my Lord."

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RIGHTEOUS HATRED.

A Sermon

DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, AUGUST 8, 1858, BY THE

REV. C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.

“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.”—Psalm xcvii. 10.

Tue Christian religion is a golden chain with which the hands of men are fettered from all hatred. The spirit of Christ is love. Wherever he governs, love reigns as a necessary consequence. The Christian man is not allowed to hate any one. Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thy enemy; but I say unto you,” said Jesus, "Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.” The word “hate" must be cut out of the language of a Christian, except it be used with one meaning and intention only, and that, the meaning of my text. Thou hast no right, O Christian, to tolerate within thy bosom wrath, malice, anger, harshness, or uncharitableness, towards any creature that God's hands have made. When thou hatest the man's sins, thou art not to hate him, but to love the sinner, even as Christ loved sinners and came to seek and save them. When thou hatest a man's false doctrine, thou art still to love the man, and hate his doctrine even out of love to his soul, with an carnest desire that he may be reclaimed from his error, and brought into the way of truth. Thou hast no right to exercise thy hatred upon any creature, however fallen or debased, however much he may irritate thy temper, or injure thee in thy estate or reputation. Still hatred is a power of manhood, and we believe that all powers of manhood are to be exercised, and may every one of them be exercised as in the fear of God. It is possible to be angry, and yet sin not, and it is possible to hate, and yet not be guilty of sin, but be positively performing a duty. Christian man, thou mayest have hatred in thy heart, if thou wilt only allow it to run in one stream, then it shall not do mischief, but it shall even do good—“ Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.” As much as the revengeful man hates his enemy, so much hate thou evil. As much as contending despots in battle hate one another, and only seek an opportunity to meet each other face to face, so hate thou evil. As much as hell hateth heaven, and as much as heaven hateth hell, so much mayest thou hate evil. The whole of that passion which, when let loose in a wrong track, becomes as a fierce lion on its prey, thou mayest keep in leash, (like a noble lion, only destitute of ferocity) against any whom it should not hurt, and thou mayest let it slip against the enemies of the Lord thy God and do great exploits thereby. Tell me of a man who is never angry, that man has not any true zeal for God. We must sometimes be angry against sin. When we see evil, though not vindictive against the persons who commit it, yet angry against the evil we must be; we must hate wickedness always. Doth not David say, "I hate them with a perfect hatred yea, I count them mine enemies." We are to love our enemies, but we are to hate God's enemies. We are to love sinners, but we are to hate sin. As much as it is in the power of man to hate, so much are we to hate evil in every form and fashion.

The duty here enjoined is a general one to all God's people. We are to hate all evil—not some evils. It was said, you know, long ago, of certain professors, that they did

“Compound for sins they were inclined to

By damning those they had no mind to." And there are some, I dare say, at this day, who think others extremely guilty for committing iniquities which they do not care to commit, but they themselves commit other sins with which they deal very gently. (Christian, never take hold of sin, except with a gauntlet on thy hand; never go to it with the kid-glove of friendship; never talk delicately of it; but always hate it in every shape. If it come to thee as a little fox, take heed of it, for it will spoil the grapes; if it come to thee as a warring lion, seeking whom it may devour; or if it come with the hug of a bear, seeking by a pretended affection to entice thee into sin, smite it, for its hug is death, and its clasp destruction. Sin of every kind thou art to war with-of lip, of hand, of heart. Sin, however gilded over with profit, however varnished with the seemliness of morality, howerer much it may be complimented by the great, or however popular it may be with the multitude; thou art to hate it everywhere, in all its disguises, every day in the week, and in every place. War to the knife with sin! We are to draw the sword, and throw away the scabbard. With all thy hosts, O hell, with every brat of thy offspring, O Satan, we are to be at enmity. Not one sin are we to spare, but against the whole are we to proclaim an utter and entire war of extermination.

In endeavouring to address you upon this subject, I shall first of all begin with it at home: Christian man, hate all evil in thyself. And then, secondly, we will let it go abroad: Christian man, hate all evil in oiher people, wherever thou seest it.

I. First, then, CHRISTIAN MAN, HATE ALL EVIL IN THYSELF. I will strive now to excite thy hate against it, and then I will try to urge thee and assist thee to destroy it.

Thou hast good reason to hate all evil; greater reason than ever the most injured man could bring forward for the hatred of his enemies. Consider what evil has already done thee. Oh! what a world of mischief sin has brought into thy heart! Sin stopped up your eyes, so that you could not see the beauty of the Saviour; it thrust its finger into your ears, so that you could not hear the sweet invitations of Jesus: sin turned your feet into the way of evil, and filled your hands with filthiness; nay, worse than that, sin poured poison into the very fountain of your being; it tainted your heart, and made it “ deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” Oh! what a creature thou wast when sin had done its utmost with thee, before Divine grace began to mend thee! Thou wast an heir of wrath even as others; thou didst run with the multitude to do evil;” thy mouth was an “open sepulchre;” thou didst flatter with thy tongue, and there is nought that can be said of thy fellow-creature living in sin, that could not be said of thee. You must plead guilty to the charge, “such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Oh! you have good cause for hating sin when you look back to the rock whence ye were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye were digged. Such mischief did evil do you that your soul would have been everlastingly lost, had not omnipotent love interfered to redeem you. Christian, hate evil. It has been your murderer; it has put its dagger to your heart; it has thrust poison into your mouth; it has done you all the mischief that hell itself could do—mischief which would have wrought your eternal undoing, had not the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ prevented. Thou hast good reason, then, to hate sin.

Again, Christian, hate evil, for it would be unbecoming if thou didst not when thou considerest thy position in life. A Christian belongs to the blood royal of the universe. Beggars' children may run about the street with unkempt hair and shoeless feet; but should princes of the blood revel in uncleanness? We do not expect to see monarchs' children apparelled in rags; we do not expect to see them rolling themselves in the mire of the streets. And thou, Christian, thou art one of God's aristocracy, a prince of the blood of heaven, a friend of angels, yea, and a friend of God. Good reason hast thou to hate all evil. Why, man, thou art a Nazarite, dedicated to God. Now, to the Nazarite it was enjoined that not only he should not drink wine, but he was not even to eat the grape, nor might he so much as taste

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the bark of the vine, or anything whatsoever that grew upon it; he must neither touch nor handle it, or else he would be defiled. So is it with thee; thou art the Lord's Nazarite, set apart for himself. Avoid, then, every false way. Let the appearance of evil be kept from thee: it is beneath thy dignity to indulge in the sins which disgrace other men. Thou art not such as they are; thou art of a nobler race; thou hast sprung from the loins of the Son of God: is he not thine cverlasting Father, even he who is the Prince of Peace? I beseech thee, never demean thy royal lineage, nor let thy holy ancestry be stained. You are a peculiar people, a royal generation; wherefore, then, should ye stain your garments in the dust. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.”

Again, you have good reason to hate sin, because it weakens you. Go when you have committed a folly, retire to your chamber and fall upon your knees in prayer. Before the sin was committed, your prayer reached the ear of God and the blessings came down swift as the lightning-flash; but now your kness are weak, your heart refuses to desire, and your tongue refuses to express the faint desires you strive to reach. You attempt, but you fail; you groan, but heaven is shut against your cry; you weep, but your tear penetrates not so as to obtain an answer from the breast of God. There you are; you bring your wants before the throne, and you carry them away again. Prayer becomes a painful duty instead of a most gracious and excellent privilege. This is the result of sin. “Sin will make thee leave off praying, or else praying will make thee leave off sinning.”. Oh! thou canst never be strong in sin and strong in prayer. As long as thou indulgest in lust, or sin, or wantonness of any kind, thy power in prayer is taken away, and thy lips are shut when thou attemptest to approach thy God. Or if thou willest, try another exercise: after committing a sin, go into the world and seek to do good. Why, man, thou canst not do it; thou hast lost the power to cleanse others when thou art impure thyself. What! can I with filthy fingers wash the face of others? Shall I essay to plough another man's field while my own is lying fallow, and the tall, rank thistle and weed are overspreading it? I am powerless to do good until I have first cleansed my own vessel and made that pure. An unholy minister must be an unsuccessful one, and an unholy Christian must be an unfruitful

Unless thou desirest to have thy sinews loosed, to have the marrow of thy bones scorched from thee; unless thou willest that the sap of thy being should be dried up, I beseech thee, hate sin, for sin can debilitate and weaken thee so much that thou shalt drag along a miserable existence, the very skeleton of a soul, instead of flourishing in the ways of thy God. * Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.”

In the next place, you will find it extremely useful if, in order to get rid of sin, you are not content with merely restraining it, but always seeking to have it taken clean away by the Holy Spirit. You know, mere moralists restrain their sins, like a river that has locks and dykes: the water is kept from flowing, but then it gradually swells upward and upward, till by-and-bye it overflows with terrible fury. Now, don't be content with mere restraining grace; that will never purge you, for the sin may be there though it break not out. Pray to God that your sin may be taken away, and that though the remnant and the root thereof remain, though the channel be there, yet the stream may be dried up like the stream of the Euphrates before the presence of the Lord your God.

Again, ye have good reason to hate evil, for if you indulge in it you will have to smart for it. God will never kill his children; he has put his sword away; he sheathed that once for all in the breast of Christ, but he has a rod, and that rod sometimes he lays on with a very heavy hand, and maketh the whole body to tingle. The Lord will not be angry with his people so as to cast them off, but he will be so angry with them that they shall have to cry, “ Heal the bones that thou hast broken, and restore my soul, O Lord my God.” Ah! you that ever have backslidden, you know what it is to be well scourged; for when Christ's sheep run away from the shepherd he will not let them perish, but he will often allow the black dog to bring them back in his mouth; he will allow sore trouble and sharp affliction to lay hold upon them, so that they are cast down almost to the gates of hell. A Christian shall never be destroyed, but he shall almost be destroyed; his life shall not totally fail him, but he shall be so beaten and bruised that he shall scarcely know whether he has any life left in him at all. Hate sin, o Christian, unless thou desirest trouble. If thou wouldst strew thy path with thorns, and put nettles in thy death pillow, then live in sin; but if thou wouldst dwell in the heavenly places, hearing the everlasting chimes of Paradise ringing in thive own heart,

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