The Savioub's Offer.
Christ died for us, and all we have to do is to accept Him. Christ said, "You take My life and I will take your sins." Don't you want to make this bargain 1 Death shall never have his hand on Christ again. And Christ says, My life is yours. Will you not have it? Is it not the height of madness for any one not to accept it? Christ laid down His life that you and I might live. Oh! out of gratitude ought we not to serve Him?
Living For Christ.
When I read the lives of some of the brave old Christians, godly men, striving for their Lord, it makes me feel quite ashamed of my own Christianity. Talk about Christianity now-a-days, just look at the life, look at the struggles, look at the burning anxiety for souls, of those men of old. They lived for Christ and His cause. Their motto was, "None but Christ; none but Christ!" Working, suffering, pains, trials, death itself,—nothing came amiss that was sent by the Master.
Can you, like these Christian heroes, take your stand by the bed of the sick and the dying, and comfort the bereaved, and hold up the downcast 1 If not, you are not one of Christ's servants. Oh ! speak for Him. Or if you cannot speak, you can pray, or you can sing,-~it does a sick one good to hear a sweet hymn. You must do something for Christ, if you would win the reward of diligent labour in His service. Young man,
what are you going to do for Christ 1 And what are you, young woman 1 Be up and doing; look up and see the great and blessed reward awaiting you. You will enjoy heaven if you serve Christ on earth. Think not of any reward here. Again I say, Look up, look beyond; and there you will find "an exceeding great reward."
The Devil's Children And God's Children.
Christ calls the Pharisees " children cf the deviL" Strong language that!" Ye are of your father the devil," He says;—very strong language, but it is the language of the Lord Jesus. The truth is, that it is only when we become born again that we can claim the title of God's children. But oh! He wants us to call Him Father, He loves the name of Father.
Three Classes Of Christians.
"Ask, and ye shall receive ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened." It is the Saviour who says so. And we find that in these words we have three classes of prayers—the asking, the seeking, and the knocking kind. So, also, you will find the church is divided into these three classes. The first class of Christians ask, but they don't look for any answer at all. They would be quite astonished if the answer did come. Then the second class of Christians are the seeking kind. They are better than the ashing kind. They want an answer, and keep looking for it. If their prayers are not answered they know it is not God's fault. When our prayers seem to be neglected, it may be that they are not in accordance with the will of God. If the Holy Spirit indites the prayer, it must be answered. He has access to the secret counsels of the Most High, and He knows what is in accordance with the Divine will, and will teach us what to ask for. The third class, and best of all, are the knocking Christians. They keep on praying. The door may seem to be made of granite, but it will soon be opened. If our God freely gave up His Son to die for us (and who would have dared to ask such a thing ?), surely He who has given us so much will not deny whatever is for our good.
Christians And The World.
'May God help His own people to shine brightly, to flash out of darkness, that men may take knowledge of us that we have heen with Jesus! But remember, the world hates the light. Christ was the light of the world, and the world extinguished it at Calvary. Now He has left His people to shine. "Ye are the light of the world." He has left us here to shine. He means us to be " living epistles, known and read of all men." The world is certain to watch, and to read you and me. If we are inconsistent, then you may be sure the world will take occasion to stumble at it. The world finds plenty of difficulties in the way; let us see that we Christians do not add more' stumblingblocks, by our un-Christlike walk. God help us to keep our lights burning, and to have them clear and brilliant.
Our Treasure In Heaven.
If you see a man's goods and furniture come down by the luggage train, you're pretty sure he'll be down by the next passenger train—he won't be long after: he'll follow his goods; don't be afraid of that. And so it is with heaven; if your treasure is on before you you'll be wanting to follow it too; you'll be glad to be on the road there as soon as possible.
Shut Up To The Lord.
A Very precious thought is contained in those words: "Neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon Thee." It is a good thing when the church gets shut up to the Lord only. Many a man and many a -woman have I seen shut up to this, and then the battle is sure to be turned, the victory is sure to come. I don't know that I ever really knew what it was to pray until the American war came on. Then the people learned how to pray. Mothers who knew not but that the next mail might bring them news that their boys were lying in death, wives who were trembling for their husbands, sisters who were in suspense for their brothers, fathers for their sons,—ah! they learned how to pray then. They learned to wiestle in agony with God for the conversion of their dear ones ere death might cut them down. And God heard many of those prayers, and a great many of the soldiers were converted.
Boldness In Prayer.
"when we come by prayer to God, burdened with temporal wants, let us leave them entirely in His hands; but when we ask for spiritual blessings for ourselves, our children, or those around us, let us come boldly and confidently, believing that He will grant it.
Profession Does Not Save.
Mere profession never saved any man. The devil is a great professor, and so was Judas, but they have gone down to darkness. We must have, possession as well as profession. Professing mother, where art thou? Have you ever spoken to your child about its soul 1 Be in earnest. Act out your convictions of truth and grace. Don't be stumblingblocks in the way of another's salvation.
The Present Curse Of Christianity.
I Do not have much hope of there being a reformation until we get a division between the Church and the world. If a man is for God, let him say so. If a man is for God, let him come out and be on God's
side; and if he is for the world, let him be in the world. This serving God and the world at the same time—this being on both sides at the same time—is just the curse of Christianity at the present time. It retards the progress of Christianity more than any other thing. "If any man will be My disciple, let him take up his cross, and come after Me," says Christ; and in another place He says, "Let him take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
"He that hath the Son hath life "—hath eternal life; and who could have such a thing and not know it? Observe the words: it is hath, not is going to have, or will have, but hath it, even now. Is it possible, then, you could have this wonderful gift of God, and yet not know it? Surely such a wonderful gift will show itself in our life and conversation and daily walk, "that all men may take knowledge of us, that we have been with Jesus." For a season, indeed, it is possible, yea, it often is the case, that we are in darkness, and know not this precious gift of God. But, assuredly, if we but seek Him, He will show us His face, and in the clear light of His countenance we shall be enabled to "read our title clear to mansions in the skies," to see our names written in the book of life.
All Christians Confessors.
Some people think they should be very careful about confessing Christ; that they should first keep still for a few years. But Christ said, "Go and teU what great things the Lord hath done for thee." The Christianity of the nineteenth century says, "Don't be in a hurry to confess Christ." But that is not what the Scriptures say. And in order to confess Christ aright it is necessary to sit humbly at the feet of Jesus. Even if any one were at a university or college,
or had been ordained, yet if he had not been in God's school of preparation, by sitting at the feet of Jesus, he would after all be only- as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Young converts should be early set to work, just the same as in the time of John Wesley, who promoted such a mighty reformation.
Should every believer be able and willing to offer up prayer aloud before others? Why should they not? Should not sisters pray for and with their brothers? Should not mothers pray for and with their children? "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Ability to offer up prayer aloud, in however humble a way, is generally a distinguishing peculiarity of those who are truly converted.
Backsliders, Come Home.
I Never saw a man that was really born of God, and born again, and born of the Spirit, that ever could find the world satisfy him afterward. I pity thee, backslider; but I want to tell you that the Lord Jesus pities you a good deal more than any one else can pity you. He knows how bitter your life is, He knows how dark your life is, and He wants you to come home. Oh, backslider, come home to-night. I have come with a loving message from your Father. He will receive you with joy and gladness, and He will say, as of him mentioned in Luke xv., "Bring out the best robe, and put it upon him, kill the fatted calf, put a ring on his hands and shoes on his feet, and let us rejoice and be glad: for the wanderer is come home, the dead is alive again." Oh, prodigal, come home. Backslider, say down in the depths of your heart, " I will come back now." Say, as the prodigal of old did, "I will arise and go to my Father," and He will receive you. I never heard of a backslider coming home but God received him. I never heard of a prodigal with his face toward home, but God was ready to receive him. Did you ever read of such? Never. I defy any man to say he ever knew a really honest backslider want to get home but God was willing to take Him in. And He takes you back just as you are. He will restore His love unto your heart, if you will only come.
The Everlasting Eest.
Oh, choose this day, will you go to the home God has prepared for His own people 1 Will you join the band that is marching heavenward 1 Will you enroll your name in the Lamb's book of life? Will you leave everything and "press towards the mark of the prize of our high calling 1" If you will, I tell you that eternal glory awaits you. A crown of liie will be yours. Jesus will receive you, and usher you into the mansion He has prepared for you. See heaven's gates open; the golden light is even now streaming down upon us! Will you not come, will you not all come? Who will dare to refuse? Oh, may God in heaven grant that you may be at last brought to His everlasting rest. "There remaineth a rest for the people of God." "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."
Three Steps To Perdition.
There are three steps to the lost world; let me give you their names. The first is Neglect. All a man has to do is to neglect salvation, and that will take him to the lost world. Some people say, "What have I done?" Why, if you merely neglect salvation you will be lost. I am on a swift river, and lying in the bottom of my little boat; all I have to do is to fold my arms, and the current will carry me out to sea. So all that a man has to do is to fold his arms in the current of life, and he will drift on and be lost.
The second step is Refusal. There are many who have got on the first step, Neglect. If I met you at the door, and pressed this question on you, you would say, "Not now, not now." But there are others of you who, if I said, "I want you to press into the kingdom of God," would politely refuse :—" I will not become a Christian now; I know I ought, but I won't now."
Then the last step is that of Despising salvation. Some of you have already got on the lower rung of the ladder. You despise Christ. I see some of you looking at me with scorn and contempt. You hate Christ, you hate Christianity, you hate the best people on earth and the best friends you have got; and if I were to offer you the Bible you would tear it up and put your foot upon it. Oh, despisers! you will soon be in another world. Make haste and repent, and turn to God! On which step of the ladder are you, my friend 1 —are you neglecting, or refusing, or despising God's salvation? Bear in mind that a great many are taken off from the first step; they die in neglect. A great many are taken away refusing. And a great many are taken when on the last step, despising salvation.
"wisdom Given By God. "if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." If any lack wisdom: I am afraid there are a great many of us who lack wisdom, and even the best of us at times will be in perplexity. There are moments in the life of us all when we seem in a fix: we just stand still, and say, "What shall I do 1 I don't know which is the best way." Leave it with God, He will Himself be our Teacher!
Pilgrims And Sojourners.
When Abraham once caught sight of the holy city with the eyes of his understanding, which were opened to see its glories, then it was that he "confessed that he was a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth, and that he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" He had no desire to stay here—heaven was his home—so much brighter, so much better than anything he could find here below. We must all feel we are but pilgrims and sojourners here, our home is above. Our feet are often weary and our hearts heavy; but never mind that, let us look forward to that "city which hath foundations." Weary we may be, and often are, but, blessed be God! there is a place of rest. "There is rest for the weary there."
Dead, Cold Formalism.
There is oue thing which I fear more than anything else, and that is the dead, cold formalism of the Church of God in the present day. Talk about the isms! Put them all together, and I do not fear the whole of them so much as dead, cold formalism. Talk about the false isms! There is none so dangerous as this dead, cold formalism which has come right into the heart of the Church. There are many, many of us just sleeping and slumbering while souls all around us are perishing!
Over The Precipice.
A Little story that went the round of the American press made a great impression upon me as a father. A father took his little child out into the field one Sabbath, and he lay down under a beautiful shady tree, it being a hot day. The little child ran about gathering wild flowers and little blades of grass, and coming to its father saying, "Pretty ! pretty!" At last the father fell asleep, and while he was sleeping the little child wandered away. When he awoke, his first thought was, "Where is my child 1" He looked all around, but he could not see him. He shouted at H
the top of his voice, but all he heard was the echo of his own words. Running to a little hill, he looked around and shouted again, still all he heard was the echo of his own voice. No response! Then going to a precipice at some distance, he looked down, and there upon the rocks and briars he saw the mangled form of his loved child. He rushed to the spot, took up the lifeless corpse and hugged it to his bosom, and accused himself of being the murderer of his own child. "While he was sleeping his child had wandered over the precipice.
I thought as I heard that, What a picture of the Church of God! How many fathers and mothers, how many Christian men and women are sleeping now while their children wander over the terrible precipice, a thousand times worse than that precipice, right into the bottomless pit of hell. Father, where is your boy to-night? It may be just out here in some publichouse; it may be reeling through the streets of London, drunk; it may be pressing downward to a drunkard's grave. How many fathers and mothers are there in London—yes, praying Christians too— whose children are wandering away while they are slumbering and sleeping! Is it not time that the Church of God should wake up and come to the help of the Lord as one man, and strive to beat back those dark waves of death that roll through our streets, bearing upon their bosom the noblest young men we have 1 Oh my God, wake up the Church! And let us trim our lights and go forth and work for Thy kingdom!
For a class of rough boys a young lady is the best teacher, to win them by love and by gentleness. Perchance one of those boys may become a Knox, a Whitfield, a Bunyan, a Newton, or a great reformer, whom God may raise up to shake the country. Many a rough boy is a hidden diamond that may glitter in theSaviour'scrown. Shall that crown lack those gems 1
What can young ladies do for Christ? Let them work in Sunday schools. Gather rough boys out of the dark lanes of the city, and tell them the story of Jesus and His love. Sing to them sweet gospel hymns, which shall touch them and attract.
The only way to keep up the spirit of union among Christians is to sink self; to sink that terrible self which comes up in each man when working for his own little party. And—I suppose some will turn pale when I say this—to sink proselytising. I would rather do anything than try to take a man away from the church where he ought to do his work. But the cry is, "Come out from the sects—come out from the sects." Where are they to go to 1 Into another sect? Any body of believers is a sect, call them by what name you will. Yet still the cry is "Come out, come out." I believe that to be a work of Satan. I want to give young converts advice. If you get a minister that preaches the word of God, stand by him. You won't gain anything by leaving him. Some persons may be so injudicious as to try to get away some of those young converts from the fold to which they belong. I beg of you as Christian brothers not to be guilty of anything of the kind. Let the spirit of union go on. The work is only just commenced, and all we want is to keep self out of sight, and our little denominations, and parties, and sects, and keep working for Christ. Sink sect! sink self! and exalt Christ: and then the work of God will go on. That is the true way to ksep the spirit of unity. Hold up Christ only, and the world cannot help being drawn to Him. "I," says He, "if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me."
Simplicity Of The Gospel.
When a man is born of the Spirit, then he will understand the word of God, and not before. You say, "If that is so, how am I to understand how to be saved}" I will tell you. When God puts salvation before a sinner, He puts it so plain that a man that runs can read, and a wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein. There are a great many things in the Bible which are dark and mysterious, but when it comes to the plan of salvation, God has put it so plain that any one can understand it if he will. You understand what it is to come; "Come unto Me," says He, "all ye that labour." You know what it is to take a gift; "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." That is taking a gift. You know what it is to believe in a man; well, "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." You know what it is to put trust and confidence in a man; now put your trust and confidence in the living God, and you are saved. You are saved by casting yourself unreservedly upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
No Hell, No Heaven.
Some tell us there is no hell, and some there is no heaven, and if I had to give up one, I would have to give up the other. The same Bible that tells us of heaven tells us of hell. The same Saviour that came down from heaven to tell us about heaven, told us about hell. He speaks about our escaping " the damnation of hell," and I am sure there is no one that has lived since that could tell us as much about it as Himself. If there is no hell, let us burn our Bibles. Why spend so much time studying the Bible? why spend so much time and so much money in building our churches? Let us turn our churches -into places of commerce or of amusement; let us eat and drink and be merry, for we will soon be gone if there is no hereafter. But if there be a heaven and a hell, then let us act as God would have us act. God was in earnest when He gave Christ to die for us. Christ was in earnest when he went to Calvary and suffered that terrible death—it was all to save us from that terrible hell!
God Barbing The Way To Hell.
Did you ever think that God has given His Son for you 1 Yes, He has laid Him, as it were, right across your path, that you might not go down to hell; and if you do go down to hell, you must go over the murdered body of God's Son, you must trample the blood of Christ under your feet! God so loved the world, that He gave Christ to die, that you and I might live. Oh! do not make light of that blessed Saviour. Do not have that scornful look upon your brow; but lift up your heart to God, and say, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" Eeceive the gift of God!
The Gospel Taking A Fresh Start.
I Believe there has never been a time, in our day at least, when work for Christ was more needed than at present; nor in our day a time when the Spirit of God was more poured out upon the world. There is not any part of Christendom where the work is not being carried on, and it looks very much as if the glad tidings were just going to take, as it were, a fresh start, and go round the globe. It is time for Christians to rise as one man. It is not only brains that are wanted, but the heart on fire; and when the heart is on fire, and filled with the Holy Spirit, and with the love of God, then God can use us and work through us.
Christians Known By Their Lives.
Professed child of God, Where art thou 1 Now take it home with you; take it to heart and ask, Where am 11 There are a great many In the Church who make one profession, and that is about all you hear of them; when they come to die you have to go andhunt up some musty old church records, to know whether they were Christians or not. God won't do that. I have an idea that when Daniel died, all the men in Babylon knew whom he served. There was no need for them to hunt up old books. His life told his story. What we want is men with a little courage to stand up for Christ. When Christianity wakes up, and every child that belongs to the Lord is willing to speak for Him, is willing to work for Him, and, if need be, willing to die for Him, then Christianity will advance, and we shall see the work of the Lord prosper.
All Seekers Finders.
I Want to speak to those that have no God, no hope, no Christ, no peace, no joy. I want to tell you how you can be saved if you will. If you really desire to pass from death to life, if you wish to become an heir of eternal life, if you wish to become a child of God, make up your mind now that you will seek the Kingdom of God. I tell you, upon the authority of God's Word, that if you seek the Kingdom of God you will find it. No man ever sought Christ, with a heart to find Him, who did not find Him.
Blindness Of Sinners.
One might offer a blind man many handsome things, but he could not admire their loveliness. I once heard of a blind man on whose eyes an operation was performed, whereby his sight was restored. "Oh !" said he to his friends, "you never told me of the beauty of the earth." "We did," they said, " but we were not able to tell you of all its beauty." So it is with those who preach to the unconverted. They cannot describe all the beauties of Christ; they can only do their best to let the blind ones know something of His loveliness. The gospel brings the blind into the light. Those who remain in darkness are themselves alone in fault; for the Great Physician is able and willing, nay, He is waiting, to restore them to everlasting light.
What shall we say about those Christians who go to balls, operas, and worldly parties?—Why, they are like Lot in Sodom. If they are really Christ's, they will have, as it were, to be burnt out of that state of sinful conformity to the world. For "the friendship of the world is enmity against God."
The Twofold Nature Of The Christian.
The Christian has two natures—the carnal and the spiritual; and there is a constant warfare going on between them. One of the greatest enemies the Christian has to contend against, in this warfare against sin, is himself; and if every one were to fight against their carnal nature as they should do, they would not have time to throw stones at other people. If Christians have no internal conflict with themselves, with the flesh and the carnal man, it is an ominous sign, either that they have gone back or have never been converted. If they go along with the world quite smoothly, and find nothing working against them or troubling them, it is a pretty sure sign they have never obtained the new nature and conversion of heart. Let us all strive to manifest in our lives the fruits of the Spirit, by which alone we can glorify God, and secure to ourselves much peace and love and joy.
Christian Courage And Perseverance.
Courage and perseverance are necess: ry on the part
t of Christian workers in their labours for the cause of
Christ, God repeatedly said to His chosen people, "Fear not," encouraging them to a sacred valour and intrepidity in His service. Three times in Joshua i., the Divine exhortation to that captain of the Lord's host is "Be of good courage." This is just what Moses wa3 in his day,—a man of good courage: as, for instance, when he stood before Pharaoh, he quailed not in the presence of the haughty Egyptian monarch, but delivered the unpalatable message with which he was entrusted, relying upon the protection and strength of the Most High.
On the other hand, Peter failed when, in his endeavour to walk upon the sea, he looked at the boisterous waves that raged around him, instead of looking simply to Christ; and, similarly, from want of keeping his eye fixed upon Christ, he was disconcerted by the interrogation of the servant maid in the palace of the high priest, " Surely thou also art one of them," and denied the impeachment with emphatic adjurations.
Let every Christian be strong in the Lord and of good courage; and, not dismayed by the opposition of the ungodly, carry the war into the enemy's camp, and penetrate with holy ardour and consecrated zeal into the thickest dens of vice and the lowest haunts of profligacy and intemperance, with the healing leaves of the gospel pf Christ, to reclaim evil-doers from the error of their ways. In the case of a hardened sinner in Chicago, it took four months of unremitting persuasion and appeal to bring him to Christ; but now he is most earnest in reclaiming others. What we most need is a renewed baptism of God's Holy Spirit.
Reading The Scriptures.
I Was a Christian many years before I found out the value of my Bible. I would just open it at random, and read a chapter as a task, and when that was over would lay it down with a sense of relief, and take up my newspaper. That was reading it as many do—as a duty. Oh! how little I knew then of the real enjoyment of studying the Scriptures!
Clogged By Sin.
I Once heard of two men in America who, under the influence of liquor, came down one night to where their boat was tied; they wanted to return home, so they got in and began to row. They pulled away hard all night, wondering why they never got to the other side of the bay. When the grey dawn of morning broke, behold, they had never loosed the mooring line or raised the anchor! And that's just the way with many who are striving to enter the kingdom of heaven. They cannot believe because they are tied to this world. Cut the cord! cut the cord! Set yourselves free from the clogging weight of earthly things, and you will soon voyage heavenward.
Trust In God.
"what a sweet word is that word "trust"! But there are some things we must not trust. The reason many are in darkness is because they trust in doctrines, in creeds, or ordinances, instead of in their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. A man said to me lately, that he could not trust himself. We are not required to do that, for our hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.
But there is no reason why we should not trust God. God is worthy of our trust; He is always faithful Our nearest friends may deceive us, but God never will. God will keep them in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on Him. We must be able to say with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."
If God cannot be trusted, whom can we trust? Unbelief is more than a misfortune; it is a dreadful sin. ' We must learn to trust, even where we can not see, and we must trust with all our heart. It must not be a half-hearted trust. The fruits of trusting are peace, joy, happiness, and mercy. Who would not trust God 1
A Device Of Satan.
Satan is down in the audience working while we are preaching. Satan says, "If you accept religion you will have to give up too much. Do not let that man get a power over you to-night. Do not believe that man. If you become a Christian you will have to give up so much."
Let me say—mark the words—God does not come here and ask any man to give up anything. The first thing God wants you to do is to take; and after you have taken the new life, and got a new nature, old things will pass away, and all things become new. I tried to stop swearing before I was converted, and the more I tried the worse I became. But one night when Jesus met me, I just received Him, and I have had no desire to swear since. It stopped itself—I got something better. The things I once loved I now hate; and the things I once hated I now love. There was a perfect change, a revolution in my life, when God revealed Himself to me; and since then His yoke is easy and His burden is light. God does not come down and say, "Young man, give up this and that;" but He says, " There is my Son, take Him."
Yes, there is the Gift; and there is not anything that God can give us that is worth more than the gift of eternal life. If you were allowed to choose yourself, would you not ask for eternal life 1 You would rather have that gift than any other; and that is the gift that God wants to bestow upon you. God says, "Here it is all in My Son. If you receive Him here, He will receive you yonder. If you reject Him here, He will reject you yonder." He came unto His own people, the Jews, and they would not have Him. "His own received Him not; but as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." Now, the moment you receive Christ you get power to serve Him; the moment you receive the Lord Jesus you get power to live for Him.
Christ Oxjr Delivbreb.
Christ is our Deliverer. The children of Israel were not only saved and redeemed from the bondage of the Egyptians, but they were also delivered, that they should not be led back again into bondage. Many are afraid to profess themselves Christians; they think they will not be able to hold on, and therefore shrink from making a profession. But Christ is able to keep you from falling; He is able to deliver you in the dark hour of trial and temptation, from every evil device of Satan, and from the snare of the fowler; and He will deliver you.
Hypocrites In The Church.
There is a class of people who say, "There are some men in the church that ought not to be there; therefore I do not purpose to go into the church." I am not asking you to come into the church—not but what I believe in churches;—but I am inviting you to the marriage supper of the Lamb. We want you to come to Christ first, then we will talk to you about the church.
But you say there are some hypocrites in it. So there are, and I can imagine you saying, "Yes, there is a man here in one of the churches that cheated me out of £5 a few years ago, and you are not going to find me in the company of hypocrites." Well, my friend, if you want to get out of the company of hypocrites you had better get out of the world as quickly as you can. One of the twelve apostles turned out to be a hypocrite, and there is no doubt there will be hypocrites in the church to the end of time. But " What is that to thee?" says Christ to Peter; "follow thou Me." We do not ask you to follow hypocrites, we ask you to follow Christ ; we do not ask you to believe in hypocrites, we ask you to believe in Christ.
Another thing, if you want to get out of the company of hypocrites you had better make haste and come to Christ. There will be no hypocrites at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Your excuse would sound strange there, would it not? We often hear men make it down here; but before Jehovah it would sound very strange for a man to say, "Lord, Thou didst invite me to be at the marriage supper of Thy Son, but I did not accept it because I knew there were some hypocrites that professed the gospel." Man will have no excuse when he comes to stand before God; his mouth will then be sealed.
Kings And Priests To God.
When Christ's work was done, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. God came out of the holy of holies, and man can now go in. He makes all His people in this dispensation kings and priests. Every one can come right into the presence of God himself. In the Jewish dispensation none but the high priest could enter into the holy of holies; but Christ's veil being rent, God came out and man can go in through the veil of His flesh. "Let us therefore draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
Christ Victor Over Death.
Christ burst asunder the bands of death. Death could not hold Him. I can imagine when they laid Him there in Joseph's sepulchre, if our eyes could but have beheld, we should have seen Death sitting over that sepulchre saying, " I have Him at last; He is my victim. He said He was the resurrection and the life. Now I have hold of Him in my cold embrace. Look at Him. There He is; He has had to pay tribute to me. Some thought He was never going to die. Some thought I would not get Him. But He is mine!" But look again! The glorious morning comes, and the Son of man bursts asunder the bands of death, and comes triumphant out of the sepulchre. We do not
worship a dead God, but a Saviour who still lives. Yes, He rose from the grave, and His disciples saw Him ascend. That is -what Paul calls gospel. Not only Christ's death and burial, but His ascension into heaven. He went up and took His seat at the right hand of God.
Pressure Of Business.
"I Prat thee have me excused," is, in effect, the language of many a man to the gospel invitation. "I have not time to attend to religious matters. I have got some very pressing business to-morrow to attend to, and I have to go home as quickly as possible to get my night's rest. You will have to excuse me." So also many a mother would say, "I have to keep at home and attend to the children, you will have to excuse me." "Very pressing business!" "have no time!" Thousands of men say they have not time for religion. But thanks be to God, it does not take time to secure salvation, it takes decision. But what have you done with all the time God has given you'! Your locks are turning grey, your eye is growing dim, and the temple of your body is coming down; what have you done with all those years 1 Is it true you have not time 1 What did you do with the 365 days last year? No time during all those 365 days! What have you done with all those hours during which you have not had time to accept of this invitation?
Men spend fifteen or twenty years to get an education, that they may go out to earn a living for this frail body, which is soon to be eaten up with worms, or five years to learn a trade that they may earn a living; and yet they have not five minutes wherein to seek their soul's salvation! You " have no time." Is it time 1 You know it is a lie! and if you still go unsaved it will not be because you have not time, but because you won't accept the gracious invitation. God says, "Seek first the kingdom." That is the first thing to do. Let the children sit up a little late; let your business be suspended for once. Supposing you do not get so much money to-morrow, yet get Christ; is not that worth more than money? Better for a man to be sure of salvation than to have the wealth of the world rolled to his feet. If you take my advice, then, you will just take time now, and just make up your mind now—that now the great question of eternity must be settled.
Jesus As A Friend.
Oh! come to Jesus aa a personal Friend! For twenty years have I made this a rule. Christ is just as habitually near, as personally present, to me as any other person living; and when I have any troubles, trials, and afflictions I go to Him with them. When I want counsel I go to Him; just as if I could talk face to face with Him. Twenty years ago God met me one night and took me to His bosom; and I would sooner, give up my life to-night than give up Christ, or that I should leave Him, or that He should leave me, and I should thus have no one to bear my burdens or tell my sorrows to. Why, He is worth more than all the world besides, and He will have compassion upon you as He had upon me. I tried for weeks to find a way to Him; and I just went and laid my burden upon Him, and then He revealed Himself to me; and I have ever since found Him a true and sympathizing Friend—just the Friend you need. I beseech you go right straight to Him.
No Bible In The Lost World.
There will be no Bible in the lost world, to be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path, to guide you to eternal mansions. You make light of the Bible now, you laugh at its teachings; but bear in mind, there will be no Bible there. You have a Bible here; had you not better take it now? had you not better read it? had you not better believe it? I have not any doubt, if a man had gone to Dives a week before he was taken away, he would have told him he did not believe in the Bible, he did not believe in a place of torment, he did not believe in a word of it. But did that change the fact? He found it out when it was too late; and there was no Bible there to help him out. And bear in mind, if you get into that lost world, there will be no minister to pray for you, no earnest sermons preached to you; it will be too late.
I am speaking, perhaps, to some young people that are in the Sabbath school, and who have a praying teacher. Bear in mind you will have no teacher there to weep over you, to pray for you, to plead with you to come to Christ. I may be speaking to some young man, and he has had some friend come and put his hand upon his shoulder, and ask him to come to Christ. You made light of that, young man; you laughed at him, and you cavilled at him. Bear in mind, there will be no friend to come and put his hand upon- your shoulder, and speak loving words to you there. "Son, remember." Do not laugh at such friends; it is God that sent their loving message to you. You laugh now at the church. There will be no church for you to attend in that world, no church bells to warn you of the Sabbath, no tolling of the bell for the death of some friend. It will be all too late then 1
Christians Safe For Ever.
Christians are not represented in Scripture as hoping for salvation. They do not hope for a thing they already have. If they are ever in darkness, in regard to temporal matters, their soul ought at least to be in light, for the soul of every true believer is safe.
Prayer And Praise.
I Do not say that God will always hear your prayers in the way you expect, but still you are to make your
requests known unto Him. In the Scriptures we are told of one form in which the answer assuredly will come. "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ our Lord." There's more in the Bible about praise than about prayer. The nearer we are to heaven, the more praise there will be in our hearts.
The Old-fashioned Gospel.
In the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians the apostle tells us what the gospel is. He says, "I declare unto you the gospel." And the first thing he states in the declaration to these Corinthians is this:— "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." This was the old-fashioned gospel. I hope we shall never get away from it. I do not want anything but the old, old story. Some people have itching ears for something new. But bear in mind there is no new gospel. Christ died for our sins. If He did not, how are we going to get rid of them? Would you insult the Almighty by offering the fruits of the body to atone for sin 1 If Christ did not die for our sins, what' is going to become of our souls? Paul puts Christ's death first; and then goes on to tell that Christ was buried, and that Christ rose again.
Jesus Weeping Over Jerusalem.
t Behold Jesus entering Jerusalem. It is His last visit to that city. He comes to Mount Olivet. He is under the shadow of the cross. The city bursts upon His view. Yonder is the Temple, He sees it in all its grandeur and glory. The people are shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" They are breaking off the palm branches, and taking off their garments, and spreading them before Him, still shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" and bowing down before Him. But He forgets it all Yes, even Calvary with all its sorrow He thinks not of. Gethsemane is there at the foot of the hill; but lie forgets it too.
As He looked upon the city which He loved, the great heart of the Son of God was moved with compassion, and He cried aloud, "0 Jerusalem! Jerusalem! which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not." Oh! look at Jesus weeping there over Jerusalem. What a wonderful city it might have been. How exalted to heaven it was! Oh! if they had only known the day of their visitation and rest, and had received their King instead of rejecting Him, what a blessing He would have been to them! And, poor backslider, behold the Lamb of God weeping over you, and crying to you to come to Him, and, receive shelter and refuge from the storm which has yet to sweep over this earth.
God's Casket Unlocked By Prayer.
God's best gifts, like valuable jewels, are kept under lock and key, and those who want them must, with fervent faith, importunately ask for them; for God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Praying For Temporal Blessings.
There is nothing God's people make so many mistakes in as in praying for temporal things. God's greatest saints have failed in this. Moses was a mighty man of prayer. He had often talked to God face to face; yet when he asked to be permitted to enter the goodly land it was denied, for God had something better in store for him. There was Elijah, a powerful man of prayer. He prayed, and God shut up the very heavens; and yet when he was in personal trouble he broke down like a little child, and prayed that he night die under the juniper tree. God did not hear * 1
that prayer. Again, Paul was a mighty man of prayer; and yet, when he prayed to have the thorn removed, God did not hear him. He had to learn the lesson, "My grace is sufficient for thee." Yet, even as a rich father will give his child anything he can, so will our Heavenly Father, if we will only let Him choose for us.
Despising Moses And Despising Christ.
In Hebrews x. 28, 29, we read, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace 1" To me these are very solemn words. I don't see how any one can hear these verses read and be content to remain unsaved. They " died without mercy." Oh! how much sorer still will be the punishment of those who live in this age with an open Bible, which tells how Christ died to redeem us, and make us heirs of heaven!
Christians Kept By God.
A Great many Christians are afraid that they will not hold on in the matter of their soul's salvation; but it is written, "Our life is hid with Christ in pod;" and again in Peter, "Kept by the power of C '" If it rested with us to keep our life, we should £ poor work of it. But we may rejoice to think i "our life is hid with Christ in God."
Rooted In Christ.
For this we need to be alone with Him daily; we should give one hour out of the twenty-four, and specially set it apart so as to get acquainted with God. How can we expect to get acquainted with Him if we never meet with Him? Many of you may say, "I haven't time." But you should take time to be thus alone with Christ; get up earlier in the morning for it. In our country a great wind will sometimes blow up many trees by the roots, it is because they are not strongly rooted in the place on which they grow; and so with us, if we are not rooted in Christ, we shall have little power to stand.
The Home-coming Of God's People.
When we are called by Jesus to arise and come home, it will be with joy. Oh, what a home-coming that will be! And this joy is before you, dear friends, who have been serving Him here below. He calls us, the Master calls us! Can we say we are seeking to stay 1 Would we wish to stay 1 No. When He calls, you will arise and meet Him with joy. You will rejoice to follow Him. Follow Him on the earth, and you will have to follow Him from the earth to heaven. Eejoice, then, rejoice! for "great is your reward in heaven." Praise God for this look-out He has given us into the future, and by it let us strengthen our hearts for the trials of this life!
The World Thirsting Afteb God.
In the first two verses of Isa. lv. there is mention made of water, bread, milk, and wine. Without water th're can be no life; bread gives strength; milk rowth; and we can have no joy or power unless we ^ ^ink the heavenly wine. The invitation given in this scripture to partake of the heavenly feast is universal. It is given to all who thirst for the water of life. All men do thirst, they thirst for worldly pleasures and happiness; but such things never haie satisfied, and never can satisfy, the thirst of their souls. The fact is that the world is thirsting for Christ, but knows it not. The devil deceives and blinds men; but they are nevertheless thirsting for the water of life.
The Power Of Prayer.
We should not limit the Holy One, for nothing is too hard for Him. I would rather know how to pray like David than to preach like Gabriel. Prayer moves the hand that moves the universe; and by the wielding of this powerful weapon some bedridden saint may accomplish more in the sick chamber than others in the full enjoyment of health, and who are better known.
The Damning Sin Of The World.
Some men seem to talk as if it was a great misfortune that they do not believe. But unbelief is the damning sin of the world. "When He, the Holy Ghost, is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me." That is the sin of the world; —" because they believe not on Me." Why, that is the very tree of sin, and the very root and fruit of sin. This is the tree that brings forth the bad fruit—the tree of unbelief. May God open your eyes to see that God is true, that you may be led to put your trust in Him!
The Curse Of Intemperance.
I STAND upon the teetotal platform, fair and square. I find that I can do a day's work without stimulants. A great many people say they must have wine to stimulate them. I say the best stimulus is the Word of God. During the American war a publican offered wine to a stalwart soldier, but the latter said no, he was a teetotaller. "But," said the publican, "you are in the army now, and you can't get on without it." The soldier brought out a grand old Bible from under his bosom, and said, "That's all the stimulus I want." It would be a glorious day for Britain if you could just banish strong drink. I have been told that it is too strong a word for me to call it "infernal," but I can't help it when I see the work it is doing. I believe the greatest curse that Great Britain has, is strong drink, and I wish that we could sweep it away; it is destroying so many young men that are the flower of the land. We are told that a hundred thousand men in the United Kingdom are drunkards. Only think of that! Imagine that army marching down, tramp—tramp—along the way to death! God's word says that "no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of heaven."
Faith Pleasing To God.
'The men who carried the paralytic believed that if they could only bring him to Jesus, they would not have to carry him back. Faith looks not at the mountains, but over them. There is nothing that pleases the Son of God so much as faith. If we cannot get a man to come to Christ, let us get a second to help us; and if that is not sufficient, let us get a third and a fourth. Christ was delighted with the faith of these four men, and rewarded them by granting their request.
The Bible Spiritually Discerned.
I Never met a sceptic or infidel who had read the Bible through. I heard a man say the other day to another, "Have you read such a book?" "Yes, I have." "What is your opinion of it?" "Well, I have only read it through once; I would not like to give my opinion without reading it more carefully." But men give their opinion about God's Book without reading it. They read a chapter here and there, and say, " Oh, the Book is so dark and mysterious;" and because they cannot understand it by reading a few chapters, they condemn the whole of it. The Word of God tells us plainly that the natural man cannot understand spiritual things. It is a spiritual book, and speaks of spiritual things, and a man must be born of the Spirit before he can understand the Bible. What seems very dark and mysterious to you now will all be light and clear when ye are born of the Spirit. I can remember some portions of Scripture that were very dark and mysterious to me when I was converted, but now they are very clear. I can remember things that ten years ago were very dark and mysterious, but as I have gone on I understand them better, and the more we know of God, and the more we study the Word, the plainer it will become.
No Temptation In Christ's Presence.
The land of Sodom was no place of temptation to Abram after he had been with the king of Salem (Melchizedek), the King of Peace; and so if we have met with Christ, the Prince of Peace, the world will not prove so tempting to us.
HOW TO LOVE THE LORD'S WORK.
If you study God's Word, I believe you'll get so full of it that you can't help but speak it out. The reason so many don't care to work for God is, that they are so empty they can't find anything to say. You can't bring water out of a dry well. In wr country we have two ways of getting water; the one is by pumping. Now many Christians .are like these pumps; you have to pump a long time before you get anything. The other kind of well is what they call artesian; they just dig down and down, till at last they come to the very fountain itself, down hundreds of feet below; then up springs the water into the air—they don't need any pumping then. I wish we could get Christians to be like artesian wells, ever springing up to eternal life.