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the same degree. Remember, every teacher is responsible for the souls of his class, every missionary for the souls of the people of his district, every ragged school teacher for the souls committed to his charge, and every tract dis tributor is responsible for his efforts to bring men to consider their state and condition before God. And then there are included besides the heads of familia - fathers and mothers, your children and servants should be your peculiar care. Oh, see that you go forth amongst them with the precious seed, and remember, that though you may be called upon to weep, you may have the privilege at length to rejoice. Many and many wayward sons have, in answer to the prayers of weeping parents, been at last softened and brought to repentance for sin and faith in Christ, as the glorious biographies of the saints show.
Once more we would observe, that suffering Christians may also find consolation in this text, and there are Christians that have peculiar sufferings for the gospel's sake. Go on suffering Christian with your testimony-Bear the toil, maintain the strife,”, “strengthened with the bread of life." O yes, let me encourage you to take the same comforts which have been administered to the former classes, as far as they suit your case, and you can take them, and see that you go on growing in grace and in the knowledge and love of the Saviour Jesus Christ.
Besides, too, there are your own besetting sins. You have much trouble to give them up. But right hand sins must be cut off, and right eye sins must be plucked out. “Lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset you and run the race, looking unto Jesus." Let me entreat of you, suffering Christian, tried Christian, to hold Christ in your mind, and see that you keep your eye fixed upon him. The trouble you have to bear will not last long. It will be all over soon; and, remember, " no cross, no crown," “ These light atflictions which are but for a moment, work out for you an ex. ceeding and eternal weight of glory.".
II. We observe that the sower shall not always weep, but he “shall double less come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
1. This is manifested when the ministers see the fruits of their labour. Oh, what blessed things are reserved for the ministers of religion if they are but faithful. They may be assured that they will have comforts fully commensurate with all their sorrows. Paul felt a great deal when he said to the converts under his ministry, “ Ye are our crown of rejoicing.". Oh, it is a great thing for the tried, the afflicted minister of Christ to be thus comforted. I care not how a minister may be sifted and tried, these comforts are more than a counterpoise, to think that he has been instrumental in bringing men to believe on the Son of God. It is true, the godly minister does not see all the fruits of his labours--and it would not be well that he should on earthbut he sees enough to make him full of joy. How frequently have we been comforted when one and another hath taken us by the hand and said, 0, Sir, on such and such a day, such a sermon was blessed to me.' During the summer months, this year, while passing through some provincial towns, on a preaching tour, I found one and another coming to me, and saying, “Blessed be God that I ever heard the gospel preached at your church." o, you know not the joy, the exultation of heart such testimonies produced. So much so, that your minister was obliged, on more than one occasion, to deal much in mental prayer, that God would keep him humble; and more than once found it necessary to escape from the public into the private room, to ask God to keep him humble. . O, these are blessed, glorious comforts, when we see our epistles known and read of all men. And then, too, when the minister hears of the dying testimony, when in the sick room and on the dying bed, there is a whisper of the time, place, and circumstance when the word was blessed. O, my dear friends, these are comfortable things; when you see a man dying and leaving the world behind him, and hear him declaring, "I was an enemy to the cross of Christ, I was a worldling, and heard you preach, was brought to Jesus, and now I am going to heaven.” And then look at the thousands we never hear anything at all about; and it is well, for we could not hear them, and should be exalted above measure. But when we get to yonder happy land all will be revealed.
2. The text will be more fully realized on the morning of the resurrection, when the faithful minister, the missionary, the ragged school teacher, the Sunday school teacher, the tract distributor, the district visitor, the head of the family will all be there, and every saved one, who has laboured for the salvation of his fellow-men, will stand at the feet of Jesus, surrounded with the fruits of their pious labours, and will say, “Here are we and the children whom thou hast given us." "They shall abtless come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them.
0, beloved hearers, this is a glorious harvest! We talk of the blessed harvest we have had, and we have had a blessed one this year, we cannot be too thankful for it. It is a most important thing to have a good harvestabundant and good-right in quantity and quality, and both have been right this year. But the spiritual harvest, brethren, is infinitely superior. O, ye minis. ters of religion, whose anxiety is, what is the amount of salary I can obtain ? what is to be the position I am to hold among my fellow-men what dignity am I to be honoured by? and where am I to sit and take my high and diga nified position ? O, you anxious ministers of religion, who are troubling your. selves about “promotion,” here is your promotion. If you want it be much in prayer. Come into your pulpits, well prepared with reading and study, and with the help of the Holy Ghost, throw your hearts and souls into your sermons, and people will come and hear-at least in England, in the present day, they will—for there is a blessed appetite for hearing the preached gospel just now-and the Holy Ghost will bless the word, and you will finally bring your hearers up as your sheaves, and present them at the foot of the throne.
It is a blessed sign of the times-lo! these great gatherings of people, to hear the preaching of the gospel ; but we want to hear of men coming into the pulpits, striving with God, that he may bless their sermons to the salvation of souls : I want this to be the grand result of these great and important assemblies. May it be the result of our assembly to night! My business is rather with you than with those outside the church. May the Lord bless this sermon to you to night! How many of you am I to bring with me to heaven How many of you here to night are now unsaved? If I were to ask you to hold up your hands, and you dare to do so, how many of them, I fear, would be held up! Oh, my God, why should this be so ? Come now, and believe on the Son of God, and be saved for ever, come to him and cast yourselves upon him, get into the life-boat, and all will be right. You will be united to Christ; and because he lives, ye shall live also. No matter what trouble is before you-cheer up; he will uphold you through it all ; and even in death itself. The most peculiar part of death is, that we must die alone; and no amount of love or money can find us company on that last journey. As the child once said to his mother, when the mother said, “ My child, can you die happy,” “O, yes, I can, mother, if you will go with me.” Oh! she could not go with the child. Oh! none can go with us, through the valley of the shadow of death; and yet if we really go alone we must be damned; but with Christ with us, all will be well. And what Jesus has begun he will finish. Jesus is the first and the last. He, who begins the work in thy soul, will carry it on to the culminating point of everlasting glory.
3. Look at the glorious harvest, which certainly and doubtless there will be for Christ. What a remarkable passage is that--" Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." O, think of the millions that will stand forth on the morning of the resurrection and glorify Christ, as the author and finisher of their redemption. Every successful minister, wherever he has laboured, North, South, East, and West, and in whatever period of the church militant's history, he may have flourished, will ascribe all glory to Jesus, as by him and his cross all the achievements were made ; and, on that glorious resurrection day, all the palms of vietory, all the crowns of glory will be laid prostrate by the universal redeemed multitude at the feet of the Saviour's throne; and, amidst rejoicing angels, the hallelujah chorus of the saved, will resound in constantly repeated strains through heaven's entire extent—“ Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
4. Then again the subject draws our attention to the hardest of the sporld. That is coming on, and 0, what a harvest that will be! Look at it; paintens have depicted it, in a very striking and awful manner, but they have not come up to the reality; poets have described it in the most fearful language, but they have not come to the full point of the awfully sublime theme; when the last day comes, men will be going on with their usual business, and there will be marrying and giving in marriage ; rich men will be trying to become richer; monarch will be trying to overreach monarch ; battles will be in the act of being fought; the whole world will be going on as usual, thinking of everything but Christ-everything but hell and heaven. Then something is seen in the heavens. There is a peal of extraordinary thunder, such as was neret heard before; and a flash of lightning will be seen, such as was never seen before. Everything is in motion, and one is speaking to another, and saying, what meaneth this? The man who lived for his gold, says, and is it come to this? Men of private crime, are seen with their paramours, and saying with utter consternation, Is it come to this ? Mere professors of religion too, are saying, Is it come to this? And all find it too late, and in madness will call to the rocks and to the mountains to cover them from the wrath of the Lamb, for the dream is ended, and an angel has put one foot upon the land, and one upon the sea, and is saying, “ Time is no more;" earth is over, seed time has ended, prepare for your harvest. Vanity of vanities--your gold, your pomp, your splendour, your dignity, your honours, public and private, your dominations and oppressions are now no more. The heavens are full of fame, and all the possessions of earth are being burned up-the harvest is come; and what a harvest to those who know not God! Oh! worldling, will you for this lose your soul? Oh, man of ambition and of pleasure, will you for these things lose your soul
Now, what application ought I to make of this subject? O, make it for yourselves. Young man, young woman, aged man, aged woman, may the Holy Ghost impress this sermon on your minds! We have cast about the seed; we have preached the gospel; we beg of you not to turn away from it, not to spurn it. We entreat of you, by the world's coming overthrow, by the certainty of eternal torments, by the value of the soul, by the misery of the lost soul, by the glories of heaven, by the salvation purchased by the Son of God, by the offer of full salvation, by all that the gospel contains-salvation without money and without price-Oh! "the Spirit and the Bride, say, Come, and whosoever will, let him come, and take life and salvation freely: By the blessings of a Christian's dying hour I entreat you—“Come and see," said one, “how a Christian can die." Do not you say, young man, the preacher is exciting, is alarming us. Remember what Louis XIV. said to Massillon, “When I hear other men, I am pleased, with them; but when I hear you, I am awfully displeased with myself." O, sinner, it is my solemn duty to startle you out of the dream, which you are in. You would not be displeased with the man, who, seeing your house on fire, should smash in every panel of your door, if he could not otherwise awaken you; and if, in worldly things you are so wise, let me entreat of you, not to be less so in those infinitely more im. portant things, which concern your immortal soul. If heaven be true, if salvation in Christ be true, and if the harvest we must reap be everlasting joy or everlasting woe, no ministry can be too earnest, too solemn. Do you know what an eminent tragedian once said to a Bishop of London ; when the Bishop asked him, how it was, that the actor could produce a greater effect upon his hearers than the preachers did ? “The reason,” said the tragedian, “is clear; we utter fiction, with all the earnestness of truth ; but you preachers preach eternal truths with all the indifference of fiction." ,"What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul!" My mission is not to please men, but to be an instrument in bringing sinners to Christ, so that I may meet them, all happy and glorious, on the great day. “Behold," says my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, “I stand at the door and knock; and if any man open to me, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me.'
The Lord bless the word for Christ's sake! Amen.
Recently published, a Volume of Sermons, by the Rev. H. Allen, M.A. selected from
BELOVED FRIENDS AND KINDRED IN CARIST,
The days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like months since I went up to the house of the Lord. My heart and my flesh are crying out for the assembly of the saints. Oh how I long to hear once more the solemn shout of the festal throng who with the voice of joy and praise keep holy day!
I am slowly rallying. My great struggle now is with weakness. I feel as if my frail bark had weathered a heavy storm which has made every timber creak. Do not attribute this illness to my having laboured too hard for my Master. For his dear sake, I would that I may yet be able to labour more. Such toils as might be hardly noticed in the camp for the service of one's country, would excite astonishment in the church for the service of our God.
And now, I entreat you for love's sake to continue in prayer for me. When yo find access to God, remember me. Mind it is not by the words of your mouth, nor yet by the cravings of your heart, but it is by the precious blood of Christ ye must draw nigh to God. And when ye find his sweet presence and are bedewed with his holy anointing, then pour out your souls before him, and make mention of me in your supplications.
Yours to love and serve in the Gospel, Clapham, Tuesday Evening, 26th October, 1858.
C. H. SPURGEON.
GOD'S BARRIERS AGAINST MAN'S SIN,
REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL, SOUTHWARK,
“Fear ye not me? saith the Lord; will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decreo, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof tong themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone."-Jeremiah v. 22, 23. The majesty of God, as displayed in creation and providence, ought to stir up our hearts in adoring wonder and melt them down in willing obedience to his commands. The Almighty power of Jehovah, so clearly manifest in the works of his hands, should constrain us, his creatures, to fear his name and prostrate ourselves in humble reverence before his throne. When we know that the sea, however tempestuous, is entirely submissive to the behests of God; that when he saith, “ Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further,” it dares not encroach—“the pride of its waves is stayed.” When we know that God bridles the tempest, though "nature rocks beneath his tread,” and curbs the boisterous storm-he ought to be fearedverily, he is a God before whom it is no dishonour for us to bow ourselves in the very dust. The contemplation of the marvellous works which he doth upon "the great and wide sea,” where he tosseth the waves to and fro, and yet keepeth them in their ordained courses, should draw forth our devoutest emotions, and I could almost say, inspire us with homage. Great art thou, O Lord God; greatly art thou to be praised; let the world which thou hast made, and all that therein is, declare thy glory! I can scarcely conceive a heart so callous that it feels no awe, or a human mind so dull and destitute of understanding, as fairly to view the tokens of God's omnipotent power, and then turn aside without some sense of the fitness of obedience. One might think the impression would be spontaneous in every breast, and if not, only let reason do her office, and by slower process every mind should yet be convinced. Let your eyes behold the stars; God alone can tell their numbers, yet he calls them all by names; by him they are marshalled in their spheres, and travel through the aerial universe just as he gives them charge; they are all his servants, who with cheerful haste perform the bidding of their Lord. You see how the stormy wind and tempest like slaves obey his will; and you know that the great pulse of ocean throbs and vibrates with its ebb and flow entirely under his control. Have these great things of God, these wondrous works of his, no lesson to teach us? Do they not while declaring his glory reveal our duty? Our poets, both the sacred and the uninspired, have feigned consciousness to those inanimate agents that they
might the more truthfully represent their honourable service. But if because we are rational and intelligent beings, we withhold our allegiance from our rightful Sovereign, then our privileges are a curse, and our glory is a shame. Alas, then the instincts of men very often guide them to act by impulse more wisely than they commonly do by a settled conviction. Where is the man that will not bend the knee in time of tempest? Where is the man that does not acknowledge God when he hears the terrible voice of his deep-toned thunder, and sees with alarm the shafts of his lightning fly abroad, cleaving the thick darkness of the atmosphere? In times of plague, famine, and pestilence, men are prone to take refuge in religion—they will make confession, like Pharoah, when he said, “I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked;", but like him, when the rain, and the hail, and the thunders have ceased," when the plagues are removed, then they sin yet more, and their hearts are hardened. Hence their sin becomes exceeding sinful, since they sin against truths which even nature itself teaches us are most just. We might learn, even without the written oracles of Scripture, that we ought to obey God, it our foolish hearts were not so darkened; thus unbelief of the Almighty Creator is a crime of the first magnitude. If it were a petty Sovereign against whom ye rebelled, it might be pardonable; if he were a man like yourselves, ye might expect that your faults would easily find forgiveness; but since he is the . God who reigns alone where clouds and darkness are round about him, the God to whom all nature is obedient, and whose high behests are obeyed both in heaven and in hell, it becomes a crime, the terrible character of which words cannot pourtray, that you should ever sin against a God so marvellously great. The greatness of God enhances the greatness of our sin. I believe this is one lesson which the prophet intended to teach us by the text. He asks us in the name of God, or rather, God asks us through him—"Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence?”
But while it is a lesson, I do not think it is the lesson of the text. There is something else which we are to learn from it. God here contrasts the obedience of the strong, the mighty, the untamed sea, with the rebellious character of his own people. “The sea," saith he, “obeys me; it never breaks its boundary; it never leapeth from its channel; it obeys me in all its movements. But man, poor puny man, the little creature whom I could crush as the moth, will not be obedient to me. The sea obeys me from shore to shore, without reluctance, and its ebbing floods, as they retire from its bed, each of them says to me, in the voices of the pebbles, O Lord, we are obedient to thee, for thou art our master.' But my people,” says God, "are a revolting and a rebellious people; they go astray from me.” And is it not, my brethren, a marvellous thing, that the whole earth is obedient to God, save man? Even the mighty Leviathan, who maketh the deep to be hoary, sinneth not against God, but his course is ordered according to his Almighty Master's decree. Stars, those wondrous masses of light, are easily directed by the very wish of God; clouds, though they seem erratic in their movement, have God for their pilot; " he maketh the clouds his chariot;" and the winds, though they seem restive beyond control, yet do they blow, or cease to blow just as God willeth. In heaven, on earth, even in the lower regions, I had almost said, we could scarcely find such a disobedience as that which is practised by man; at least, in heaven, there is a cheerful obedience; and in hell there is constrained submission to God, while on earth man makes the base exception, he is continually revolting and rebelling against his Maker.
Still there is another thought in the text, and this I shall endeavour to dilate upon. Let us read it again. "Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence?"-now here is the pith of the matter—"which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.” “The sea," says God, "is not only obedient, but it is rendered obedient by the restraint merely of sand." It is not the rock of adamant that restrains the sea one half so easily as just that little belt of sand and shingle which preserves the dry land from the inundations of the ocean. "The sea obeys me, and has for its only check the sand; and yet," says he, "my people, though they have restraints the strongest that reason could imagine, are a revolting and a rebellious people, and scarcely can my commands, my promises, my love, my judgment, my providence or my word restrain them from sin."