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pardon to that convicted felon, or he must suffer the penalty of the law. It is in the power of the sovereign to pardon the felon, but the man has been condemned by judge and by jury, the black cap has been put upon the judge's head, the sentence of death has been passed. And so with you and mel and here it is in the graphic statement of the Psalmist " Let the sighing of the prisoner come before THEE; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve Thou those that are appointed to die." "And here I insist upon it, that until we are brought under the condemning, killing power of the law, we are not in a state to wish even for the GOSPEL. 6 The law was our schoolmaster unto Christ"-" to bring us unto”-is not in the Greek.) The Apostle says—“The law was our schoolmaster unto Christ"that is, we were condemned, and wretched, and guilty-without a leg to stand on, till ONNIPOTENT GRACE brought us to our law-fulfiller-CHRIST is the law-giver and Christ is the law fulfiller. Now, what do you know about these things! A man cannot understand the life and liberty of the gospel who has not been condemned under the law. But I was speaking of that statement," when the commandment came.”—Now, may I illustrate this in simple English before you. We can understand a man in debt, and who has nothing to pay with. He is surrounded by innumerable creditors, and these creditors apply day after day for payment; and the poor man, pot knowing what to do, puts them off, promising to pay on such a day, at such a time--but still no payment is made-at last the sheriff's officer is sent, and full payment is demanded. That-(as I understand it)-is the experience of the Apostle spiritually—“but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”—And, depend ou it, till death and condemnation is felt and known in the soul there can be there will be, no cry for Christ and the gospel. It is Jesus, typified in His own parable, as " a certain Samaritan," who alone can pity and have compassion on the condemned sinner, healing the wounds, pouring in the oil and wine, setting him on his own beast and taking care of him.
Now, my hearers, before I finish, I must allude to the occasion that has brought me here this evening. I stand (as it were,) with a petition in my hand-the subject of this church-(which we open to-day), of its fire-and the other circumstances about it, were so fully stated by my predecessor in this pulpit, this morning, that I feel I can only say, do what you can in this good work. And while I ask you to give your pounds, your shillings, or your pence, on the occasion of the opening of this house of prayer, I would telegraph my petition up before God, that it may please Him not only to open His hand in a providential way, but that it may specially please Him to open many a heart to-night under the power of His own Spirit by the word, which, like a hammer, breaketh the rock in pieces. “Is not my word liké as a fire! saith the Lord ; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces." May we never forget this opening day, and may this house of prayer be a nursery for many, may the gospel be made to sound forth from this pulpit with power to the people assembled within the walls. I stand here a stranger to many in this large assemblage, and all but a stranger to the pastor of the church, not like the preacher in the morning as his old friend--but still I ask you to cheer his heart. All that has occurred on the spot where we are now gathered together has been a heavy trial to him--the desolation of the old church, and the expences of raising this new one, have been a cause of great anxiety--and not only so, but in the midst of all this—(I may quote the words spoken here in the morning)-he has been bowed down by severe domestic affliction and sorrow. Cheer then his heart -and 0! that he may in every sense come forth brightened by the fire, as well as those worshipping in this house-may a blessing be upon you, and may this gospel, which in weakness, and in fear, and in one sense)-in much trembling, I have endeavoured to preach to you, be blessed.
May the hand be opened and may the heavenly treasure be poured into many souls. Job says—“In whose hand is the soul," (that is, the life,) " of every living thing?" And may the “living things" that are assembled, (for the children of God are such,) realize the truth of the text and be satisfied. Look at the Master-I do not think I am straining it when I apply the term “ living things to the children of God, for what was said of the Head of THE CHURCH – what was declared to the highly honoured woman through whom Christ was to come into the world—“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the HIGHEST shall overshadow thee; therefore that HOLY THING which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” My hearers, it is a family name! While the eye of faith now pictures the stable in Bethlehem, and drops upon the spot where Christ was born-CHRIST the best gift of God to H18 people-I remember the stirring words of the prophet—"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders." That is the best and only sure governmentthere is no shifting there like our earthly governments like our own governinent in Downing Street-there is no change in the government that I am speaking of. He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written"KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” And this triumphant Christ, the babe that sat on the knees of that highly honoured female was termed by THE HOLY GHOST, “THAT HOLY THING!" And I am not, I think, straining the text, which forms the material that I am preaching on, when I say that His people are each a “ living thing,” and that God will satisfy " the desire of every living thing." And may such of you in this church as are now dead in sin be made to hear the VOICE-be made alive in CARIST Jesus !-"Living things ?"
I preached to some of you the other evening in the city on that striking passage in the Acts of the Apostles" They that were with me saw indeed the light and were afraid, but they heard not the voice of Him that spake to me." There was the light, and they saw it-and the voice, but they heard it not. And men in these days have got light! Look at the public cations and periodicals of the day. But where is the voice? Have you heard THE Voice, which brought life and liberty into the Apostle's soul ? Remember, my hearers, there is a moment coming when we shall rightly understand all these things, when there will be no opposition to the Gospel of our crucified Redeemer, when the grand secret will be discovered and known, when the books will be opened ; and you and I shall be there. We have gazed of late with admiring wonder upon that tremendous comet that has charioted his way through the heavens above us, and I have thought as I gazed of an evening in my quiet country home on that wonderful constellation-I have thought, I say-of another sight that is to be seenand then, (to quote the description of it which is given in God's word)“ When the son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.' What follows in that Scripture I referred to before. And in another passage, “ There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations.” 0! what a sight to see, and you and I shall be THERE. Now then, mark, life divine is given to the CHURCH. In that striking passage in the Colossians—"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Hidden there, it is all in CHRIST ; and God is the Keeper of your life--and again, "When Christ, our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with HIM IN GLORY.' Now that applies only to the church. I may quote the Dean of Bristol upon this Scripture. Our English version reads— * If ye then be risen with CHRIST,” but the authority I quote says it may be rendered—“SINCE ye are risen"—therefore it is only to the quickened church the word refers. There is no "if" in the covenant, and the Apostle is addressing a risen and a called people. “Since ye are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above." And I say to this congregation at Herne Hill, if you are risen ones—(for I cannot see into your hearts, that is a matter between God and your own consciences)—but if you are risen with Him-quickened by PREVENTING GRACE, then “ Your life is hid with Christ in God, and when Christ our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” And then follows~" Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.” And I in ist upon this, the rather, because I know well that the charge--the false charge against those who preach the glorious DOCTRINES of GRACE, is, that we do not insist on a practical walkbut I repeat it again—“Mortify therefore your members”—and this together with deadness to the world, and a feeling sense of guilt and sin is the test of GRACE within us of the life of God in the soul. The desire of the Christian is to walk in the fear of God. Is this Antinomian error! « Let God be true and every man a liar."
But I feel that the time is come for me to stop. It is a temptation to me to continue preaching, but in concluding let me read the verses which follow the text, they are so comforting to the child of God. “Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all
that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love Him: but all the wicked will He destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of The Lord : and let all flesh bless His Holy Name for ever and ever.'
In finishing, I would remind you of the morning text and of the triumph always of the minister of the Gospel. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.” That text is immediately followed by these striking words—and bear with me for a passing instant-"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish : to the one we are the savour of death unto death : and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things !" And now, mark the verse which concludes that chapter-"For we are not as many which corrupt”-(or as it is in the Greek, “deal deceitfully with")" the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ"-(or of Him)--and so on the authority of that tremendous word, I must be to-night made of God-to every man and woman now hearing me in Herne Hill Church-either "a savour of death unto death," or “a savour of life unto life"—and as it is written in another Epistle “But as we were allowed of God to be put in TRUST with the GOSPEL, even so we speak ; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”—Thus I desire to be made FAITHFUL in the pulpit. I feel that I stand here to-night a Trustee of the GOSPEL! and what, I ask, what would you think of a trustee in worldly things who was unfaithful and dishonest to his trust ? Would you not file a bill against him in the Court of Chancery! And what can be said of the man entrusted with the Gospel, commissioned to declare the will of God to the legatees, if he did not faithfully, honestly, and in the FEAR of God discharge the trust committed to his care, and preach Free Grace salvation-and declaring the finished work of the GOD-MAN, proclaiin peace and pardon to all God's people through the blood, and the love, and the victory of our all-conquering and sinner-saving CHRIST-0! that the HAND may now be opened and with our heart's desire fixed on the REDEEMER, may every “living thing" be “ satisfied"-satisfied with Christ as our ALL and in all.
My hearers, come forward and give towards the cost of this Church-and as I finish, listen to the text-" Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." May God command a blessing on the GOSPEL, for Jesus Christ's sake.
Recently Published, A Volume of Sermons selected from the Penny Pulpit, by the Rev. J. J. West,
bound in cloth, 58.
THE EVIL AND ITS REMEDY.
DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, NOVEMBER 14TH, 1858, BY THE
REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.
“The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great."—Ezekiel ix. 9.
“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”—1 Juhn i. 7. I shall have two texts this morning the evil and its remedy. “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great;" and " The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
We can learn nothing of the gospel, except by feeling its truths--no one truth of the gospel is ever truly known and really learned, until we have tested and tried and proved it, and its power has been exercised upon us. I have heard of a naturalist, who thought himself exceedingly wise with regard to the natural history of birds, and yet he had learned all he knew in his study, and hail never so much as seen a bird either flying through the air or sitting upon its perch. He was but a fool although he thought himself exceeding wise. And there are some men who like him think themselves great theologians; they might even pretend to take a doctor's degree in divinity; and yet, if we came to the root of the matter, and asked them whether they ever saw or felt any of these things of which they talked, they would have to say, “No; I know these things in the letter, but not in the spirit; I understand them as matter of theory, but not things of my own consciousness and experience." Be assured, that as the naturalist who was merely the student of other men's observations knew nothing, so the man who pretends to religion, but has never entered into the depths and power of its doctrines, or felt the influence of them upon his heart, knows nothing whatever, and all the knowledge he pretendeth to is but varnished ignorance. There are some sciences that may be learned by the head, but the science of Christ crucified can only be learned by the heart.
I have made use of this remark as the preface to my sermon, because I think it will be forced from each of our hearts before we have done, if the two truths which I shall consider this morning, shall come at all home to us with power. The first truth is the greatness of our sin. No man can know the greatness of sin till he hás felt it, for there is no measuring-rod for sin, except its condemnation in our own conscience, when the law of God speaks to us with a terror that may be felt, And as for the richness of the blood of Christ and its ability to wash us, of that also we can know nothing till we have ourselves heen washed, and have ourselves proved that the blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God hath cleansed us from all sin
1. I shall begin, then, with the first doctrine as it is contained in the ninth chapter of Ezekiel, the ninth verse,—“The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great." There are two great lessons which every man must learn, and learn by experience, before he can be a Christian. First, he must learn that sin is an exceeding great and evil thing; and he must learn also that the blood of Christ is an exceedingly precious thing, and is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto it. The former lesson we have before us. O may God, by his infinite spirit, by his great wisdom, teach it to some of us who never knew it before!
Some men imagine that the gospel was devised, in some way or other, to soften down the harshness of God towards sin. Ah! how mistaken the idea! There is no more harsh condemnation of sin anywhere than in the gospel. Ye shall go to Sinai, and ye shall there hear its thunders rolling; ye shall behold the flashing of its terrible lightnings, till, like Moses, ye shall exceedingly fear and quake, and come away declaring that sin must be a terrible thing, otherwise, the Holy One had never come upon Mount Paran with all these terrors round about him. But after that ye shall go to Calvary; there ye shall see no lightnings, and ye shall hear no thunders, but instead thereof, ye shall hear the groans of an expiring God, and ye shall behold the contortions and agonies of one who bore
“ All that Incarnate God could bear,
With strength enough, and none to spare." And then ye shall say, “Now, though I never fear nor quake, yet I know how exceedingly great a thing sin must be, since such a sacrifice was required to make an atonement for it. Oh! sinners; if ye come to the gospel, imagining that there ye shall find an apology for your sin, ye have indeed mistaken your way. Moses charges you with sin, and tells you that you are without excuse; but as for the gospel, it rends away from you every shadow of a covering; it leaves you without a cloak for your sin; it tells you that you have sinned wilfully against the Most High God—that ye have not an apology that ye can possibly make for all the iniquities that ye have committed against him; and so far in any way from smoothing over your sin, and telling you that you are a weak creature and, therefore could not help your sin, it charges upon you the very weakness of your nature, and makes that itself the most damning sin of all. If ye seek apologies, better look even into the face of Yoses, when it is clothed with all the majesty of the terrors of the law, than into the face of the gospel, for that is more terrible by far to him who seeks to cloak his sin.
Nor does the gospel in any way whatever give man a hope that the claims of the law will be in any way loosened. Some imagine that under the old dispensation God demanded great things of man-that he did bind upon man heavy burdens that were grievous to be borne-and they suppose that Christ came into the world to put upon the shoulders of men a lighter law, something which it would be more easy for them to obey—a law which they can more readily keep, or which if they break, would not come upon them with such terrible threatenings. Ah, not so. The gospel came not into the world to soften down the law. Till heaven and earth shall pass away, not one jot or tittle of the law shall fail. What God hath said to the sinner in the law, he saith to the sinner in the gospel. If he declareth that “the soul that sinneth it shall die,” the testimony of the gospel is not contrary to the testimony of the law. If he declares that whosoever breaketh the sacred law