A Thought From Spurgeon about Mothers Day

Spurgeon once wrote this about his mother’s faithful example:

It was the custom, on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scripture to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading; there was a little piece of Alleine’s Alarm, or of Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted, and this was read with pointed observations made to each of us as we sat round the table; and the question was asked, how long it would be before we would think about our state, how long before we would seek the Lord. Then came a mother’s prayer, and some of the words of that prayer we shall never forget, even when our hair is grey. I remember, on one occasion, her praying thus: “Now Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.” That thought of a mother’s bearing swift witness against me, pierced my conscience, and stirred my heart.

Recollections of God Painful to the Wicked – A Sermon by Edward Payson

RECOLLECTIONS OF GOD PAINFUL TO THE WICKED.

I remembered God, and was troub1ed.”—PSALM LXXVII. 3.

EdwardPaysonGOD is a being, whom it is impossible to contemplate with indifference. His character is so interesting, our dependence on him is so complete, and his favor is so indispensably necessary to our happiness, that a distinct recollection of him must always excite either pleasing or painful emotions. We must view him with dread and anxiety, or with confidence and joy. Agreeably we find, that the recollection of God always produced one or the other of these effects upon the mind of the Psalmist. It was usually productive of delight. My soul, says he, shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. But sometimes the remembrance of God produced on his mind very different effects. An instance of this we have in the psalm before us. My soul refused to be comforted; I remembered God and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed; I am so troubled, that I cannot speak.

The account, which the Psalmist here gives of his experience, naturally leads to some very interesting inquiries and remarks; remarks, which will probably come home to the bosoms and feelings of almost every person present. There is, I presume scarcely an individual of mature age in this assembly, who cannot Say, with reference to some seasons of his life, I remembered God and was troubled. And there are, I trust, not a few present, who can say, my meditations on God in the night watches have been sweet. Now whence arises this difference? Why is the remembrance of God pleasant to some of us, and painful to others? Why is it sometimes pleasant, and at others painful, to the same individual? These are inquiries intimately connected with our happiness; for since it is impossible for any one to banish all recollection of God, and since the period is approaching, when he will be always present to our minds, it is highly necessary for our happiness, that we should be able, at all seasons, to remember him with pleasure.

I. In pursuing these inquiries, it may be necessary, in the first place, briefly to state what we mean by remembering God. We certainly mean something more than a transient recollection of the word, God, or of any other name, by which he is known. A person may hear or mention any of the names of God, many times in a day, without forming any distinct conceptions of his character, or of any part of it. He cannot, in this case, be said to remember God; for, properly speaking, it is only a word, which he remembers. But by remembering God, I mean, as the psalmist undoubtedly meant, recollecting those ideas, which the term God is used by the inspired writers to signify. When they use the word, they use it to denote an eternal, self-existent, infinitely wise, just, and good Being, who is the Creator and Upholder of all things, who is our Sovereign Lawgiver, and who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will; who is always present with us, who searches our hearts, who approves or disapproves our conduct, who loves holiness and cannot look on sin but with abhorrence, who has power to make us eternally happy or miserable, and who will hereafter exert that power in bestowing endless happiness on some persons, and dooming others to endless woe, according to their respective characters. Whenever a person has these ideas of God in his mind, when he feels convinced for the time, that there is such a being, and that he is what the Scriptures represent him to be, then he remembers God in the sense of the text.

II. The way is now prepared to inquire, why the recollection of such a being should ever be painful; or in other words, why any of God’s creatures should be troubled at the remembrance of him. It may easily be shown, that there is nothing in the divine character or government, which necessarily renders the remembrance of God productive of painful emotions. If there were, the remembrance of God would be painful to all his creatures, upon all occasions. But this is not the case. On the contrary, the remembrance of God Continue reading

Augustine on the Trinity

300px-Augustine_of_HippoThere are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and each is God, and at the same time all are one God; and each of them is a full substance, and at the same time all are one substance.  The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit; the Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son.  But the Father is the Father uniquely; the Son is the Son uniquely; and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit uniquely.  All three have the same eternity, the same immutability, the same majesty, and the same power.

Spurgeon Thursday

 THE SOWER

NO. 2842

A SERMON

INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, AUGUST 2, 1903.

DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON,

ON THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 6, 1888.

Behold, a sower went forth to sow.” Matthew 13:3.

spurgeon5THIS was a very important  event. I do not say that it was important  if you took the individual case, alone—but  if you took the multitudes  of cases in which it was also true, it was overwhelmingly important in the aggregate—“A sower went forth to sow.” Yes, Christ thinks it worthwhile to mention that a single sower went forth to sow, that a Christian man went out to address a meeting on a village green, or to conduct a Bible class, or to speak anywhere for the Lord! But when you think of the hundreds of preachers of the Gospel who go out to sow every Lord’s-Day and the myriads of teachers who go to instruct the children in our Sunday schools, it is, surely, in the aggregate, the most important event under Heaven! You may omit, O recording angel, the fact that a warrior went forth to fight—it  is far more important that you should record that “a sower went forth to sow.” You may even forget that  a man of science went into his laboratory and made a discovery, for no discovery can equal in importance the usual processes of farming. Do you hear the song of the harvest home? Do you see the loaded wagons follow one another  in a long line to the farmer’s barn? If so, remember that there would be no harvest home if the sower went not forth to sow! As the flail is falling upon the wheat, or the threshing machine is making the grain to leap from among the chaff and the miller’s wheels are grinding merrily, and the women are kneading the dough, and the bread is set upon the table and parents and children are fed to the full, do not forget that all this could never happen unless “a sower went forth to sow.” On this action hinges the very life of man! Bread, which is the staff of his life, would be broken and taken from him—and his life could not continue did not a sower still go forth to sow! This seems to me to prove that the event recorded in our text is of prime importance  and deserves to be chronicled there.

And, dear Friends, the spiritual sowing stands in the same relation to the spiritual world that the natural sowing occupies in the natural  world! It is a most important thing that we should continually go forth to preach the Gospel. It may seem to some people a small matter that I should occupy this pulpit and I shall not lay any undue importance upon that fact—yet eternity may not exhaust all that shall result from the preaching of the Gospel here—there may be souls, plucked like brands from the burning, saved with an everlasting salvation, lamps lit by the Holy Spirit that shall shine like stars in the firmament of God forever and ever! Who knows, O Teacher, when you labor even among the infants, what the result of your teaching may be? Good corn may grow in very small fields. God may bless your simple words to the babes that listen to them. How know you, Continue reading

Our Ambassadorship

How is it possible that thousands upon thousands of people are bored with the church and pass it by?  Why did it come about that the cinema really is often more interesting, more exciting, more human and gripping than the church?  Can that really be only the fault of others and not ours as well?  The church was different once.  It used to be that the questions of life and death were resolved and decided here.  Why is this no longer so?

It is because we ourselves have made the church, and keep on making it, into something which it is not.  It is because we talk too much about false, trivial human things and ideas in the church and too little about God.  It is because we make the church into a playground for all sorts of feelings of ours, instead of a place where God’s Word is obediently received and believed.  It is because we prefer quiet and edification to the holy restlessness of the powerful Lord God, because we keep thinking we have God in our power instead of allowing God to have power over us, instead of recognizing that God is truth and that over against God the whole world is in the wrong.  It is because we like too much to talk and think about a cozy, comfortable God instead of letting ourselves be disturbed and disquieted by the presence of God – because in the end we ourselves do not want to believe that God is really here among us, right now, demanding that we hand ourselves over, in life and death, in heart and soul and body.  And finally, it is because we pastors keep talking too much about passing things, perhaps about whatever we ourselves have thought out or experienced, instead of knowing that we are no more than messengers of the great truth of the eternal Christ.

Every empire in this world sends out its ambassadors.  Their job is to give visible expression throughout the world t0 the will and the might of their empire.  They are not meant to be anything other than representatives, in this way, of their home empire and their ruler.  The German ambassador or the French ambassador is supposed to be the quintessential German or French person.  This has nothing to do with him or her as a person, but concerns only the person’s mission.  And in order to carry out their mission, ambassadors are vested with all the authority of their empire.  They speak and act on behalf of their ruler.

And so the unseen Lord of the eternal kingdom and the church sends out ambassadors into this world, giving them a mission that is greater than that of any other, just as heaven is greater than earth, and eternity is greater than time.  And the authority that this Lord gives these ambassadors is that much greater than all the authorities in this world.  God’s eternal Word, God’s eternal judgment, God’s justice and God’s grace, God’s anger and God’s mercy, salvation and damnation, reconciliation through Christ – these words are placed in the hands of the ambassadors of Christ as the most sacred and precious of goods, which they are called to administer through the grace of God.  They will be required to give a full account to Christ the Lord, the Shepherd of shepherds, for every word they have spoken in his name in his church; as the shepherds of the flock, they will have to carry the blame and the responsibility.  This is the ultimate meaning of the pastoral ministry!

–          Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Summer 1933

The Wicked Through Pride Refuse to Seek God – A Sermon by Edward Payson

 

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God” – Psalm 10:4

 

EdwardPaysonIn this psalm we have a full length portrait of a careless, unawakened sinner, drawn by the unerring pencil of truth; and so perfect is the resemblance, that were it not for the blinding influence of sin, every such sinner would discover in it, as in a glass, his own image. Two of the features, which compose this portrait, are delineated in our text. The first is an unwillingness to seek after God. The second is pride, which causes that unwillingness. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God. In discoursing on this passage, we shall endeavor to show—that the wicked will not seek after God—and that it is the pride of their hearts, which prevents them from seeking him. It will be understood, that by the wicked, we here intend careless, unawakened sinners.

 

I. The wicked will not seek after God. The expression implies, not only that they do not seek after him, but that they will not. It is the settled, determined purpose of their hearts, not to seek him; and to this purpose they will obstinately and unalterably adhere, unless their wills are subdued by divine grace. With a view to illustrate and establish this truth, we observe

 

1. That the wicked will not seek after the knowledge of God. This the scriptures plainly assert. The wicked say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. It is also evident from the experience of all ages, that no careless, unawakened sinner, ever used any means, or made the smallest endeavors to acquire a knowledge of God. Our Savior explicitly declares, that all who seek, shall find. But the wicked do not find the knowledge of God; therefore they never seek it. They will not study the scriptures with a view to become acquainted with God. It is true, they sometimes read the scriptures; but they read them either in a formal, careless manner, or to quiet the remonstrances of conscience, or to find arguments in favor of some false system of religion, which may encourage them in sinful pursuits, and enable them to indulge delusive hopes of future happiness. They never look into the Bible with a sincere desire to find God there; nor study it with that humble, docile, childlike temper, without which it will ever be studied in vain. And while many thus read the scriptures with improper views, or wrong feelings, many also, there is reason to fear, scarcely read them at all. From week to week, and from year to year, their Bibles lie on the shelf unopened, while they know little more of their contents than of the Koran of Mahomet.

 

The wicked will not pray for the knowledge of God. It can never be said with truth of a wicked man, behold he prayeth. On the contrary, he invariably casts off fear, and restrains prayer before God. He may indeed, and, as we have already seen, often does, request God to depart from him, and like the evil spirits in our Savior’s time, he may cry, I beseech thee, torment me not. But never does he sincerely ask for divine instruction. Never does he cry after knowledge, or lift up his voice for understanding. If he did, he would infallibly obtain it; for every one that asketh, receiveth. Ye have not, says the apostle, because ye ask not.

 

The wicked will not improve those opportunities for acquiring the knowledge of God, which our public and private religious institutions afford. It is true that many of them attend frequently, perhaps constantly, on the instructions of the sanctuary; but it is equally true, that custom, curiosity, a regard to reputation, or a wish to pass away the time, and not a desire for divine knowledge, induces their attendance. That this is not an uncharitable supposition is apparent from their conduct. Often, while the most solemn and important truths are proclaimed in their hearing, their thoughts, like the fool’s eyes, are in the ends of the earth; and they literally hear as though they heard not. If at any time they listen more attentively to the preached word, it is not with a wish to understand, believe and obey it. Their whole aim in listening often appears to be, to find some real, Continue reading

One of Jonathan Edwards’ Last Prayers

Lucy Edwards, one of Jonathan’s children was with him as he lay dying of a fever he contracted from a small-pox inoculation shortly before.  She heard him say:

As to my children, you are now to be left fatherless, which I hope will be an inducement to you all to seek a Father who will never fail you.

Do we as fathers live a life that would induce our children to seek The Heavenly Father who will not fail them like we do? 

Men Tried and Found Defective – A Sermon by Edward Payson

Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” – Daniel 5:27

EdwardPaysonIn the preceding part of this chapter we are informed, that Belshazzar, king of Babylon, made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand. And while he tasted the wine, he commanded his servants to bring forth the golden vessels, which were taken out of the house of God at Jerusalem; and he, with his guests, drank wine in them, and praised the gods of gold and silver, of brass and iron, of wood and of stone. But while they were thus insulting the Majesty of heaven and earth, by consuming his bounty upon their lusts, and profaning the vessels of his sanctuary, in the same hour there came forth the fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the palace, and the king saw the part of the hand, which wrote. Though he knew not the awful import of the mysterious words thus written, his guilty conscience soon told him, that he had no reason to expect messages of mercy from the invisible world; and therefore his countenance was changed and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed and his knees smote one against another. Nor were his terrors without foundation; for after the hand was withdrawn, the words, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, were found written; words, which were thus interpreted by Daniel the prophet; MENE, God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it; TEKEL thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting; UPHARSIN, thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. The justness of this interpretation was confirmed by the event, for that same night was Belshazzar slain.

My friends, this story affords an instructive, admonitory lesson to us all; for though we have not, like Belshazzar, profaned the consecrated vessels of the Lord, or praised the gods of the heathen, who are vanity and a lie, yet we have in various ways insulted our Creator and provoked him to jealousy. We have often consumed his bounty upon our lusts; we have perverted those faculties, which ought to have been consecrated to his service; we have loved and served and idolized the world, and the God, in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways we have not glorified; and though the displeasure of offended heaven is not now suddenly and openly displayed, as it was in the days of Daniel; though no hand is now sent to write the sentence of condemnation on the walls of our houses, yet there is still an invisible witness, which continually records our actions; there is still a just and omniscient God, by whom these actions are weighed; it is still true that we shall receive of him a just recompense of reward, according to our works. Continue reading