DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, APRIL 17, 1859
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.
“Is it not a little one?” Genesis 19:20.
THESE words we shall take for a slogan, rather than a text in the ordinary acceptation of that term. I shall not this morning attempt to explain the context. It was the utterance of Lot when he pleaded for the salvation of Zoar. But I shall take it altogether away from the connection in which it stands and make use of it in another fashion. The great Father of Lies has multitudes of devices by which he seeks to ruin the souls of men. He uses false weights and false balances in order to deceive them. Sometimes he uses false times, declaring at one hour that it is too early to seek the Lord and at another that it is now too late. And he uses false quantities, for he will declare that great sins are but little and as for what he con- fesses to be little sins, he makes them afterwards to be nothing at all—mere peccadilloes, almost worthy of forgiveness in themselves! Many souls, I doubt not, have been caught in this trap and being snared thereby, have been destroyed. They have ventured into sin where they thought the stream was shallow and, fatally deceived by its depth, they have been swept away by the strength of the current to that waterfall which is the ruin of such vast multitudes of the souls of men!
It shall be my business this morning to answer this temptation and try to put a sword in your hands to resist the enemy when he shall come upon you with this cry—“Is it not a little one?” and tempt you into sin because he leads you to imagine that there is but very little harm in it. “Is it not a little one?”
With regard, then, to this temptation of Satan concerning the littleness of sin, I would make this first answer, the best of men have always been afraid of little sins. The holy martyrs of God have been ready to endure the most terrible torments rather than step so much as one inch aside from the road of truth and righteousness! Witness Daniel—when the king’s decree went forth that no man should worship God for such-and-such a time, nevertheless he prayed three times a day as before, with his window open towards Jerusalem, not fearing the king’s commandment. Why could he not have retired into an inner chamber? Why might he not have ceased from vocal prayer and have kept his petitions in his thought and in his heart? Would he not have been as well accepted as when he kneeled, as usual, with the window open so that all the world might see him? Ah, but Daniel judged that little as the offense might seem, he would rather suffer death at the jaws of the lion than he would by that little offense provoke the anger of his God, or lead men to blaspheme His holy name because His servant had been afraid to obey! Mark, too, the three holy children. They are asked by king Nebuchadnezzar simply to bend the knee and worship the golden image which he had set up. How slight the homage! One bend of the knee and all is done! Continue reading