DAVID’S DYING SONG -2 Sam 23:5 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”
—2 Samuel 23:5.

These be the last words of David. It is always blessed to hear the words of departing saints.

The Psalmist says he had sorrow in his house—“Although my house be not so with God.” What man is there of all our race, who, if he had to write his history, would not need to use a great many “althoughs?” David, though a man who had been raised from the sheepfold, a mighty warrior, a conqueror of giants, a king over a great nation, yet, had his “althoughs,” and the “although” which he had, was one in his own house. Civil war is always the fiercest—those are foes indeed who are of our own household. 

I think, perhaps David intended when he said “Although my house be not so with God, to speak partly of his affairs. [F]or you know the word “house” in Scripture often means our business, our affairs, our transactions. [B]eloved, there are some of us who can walk before our fellow-men conscious of innocence…[b]ut with all this conscious innocence—with all that dignity with which we stand before our fellows—when we go into God’s sight, how changed we are…we fall prostrate, and cry, “Unclean, unclean, unclean.” [W]e are obliged to confess, that honest as we may be, upright as we have been, just and holy before men, yet our house is “not so with God.”
But I imagine that the principal meaning of these words of David refers to his family—his children. David had many trials in his children. It has often been the lot of good men to have great troubles from their sons and daughters. Oh! happy is that family whom God hath blessed. But there are other houses where you will find the children are the trials of the parents. “Although my house be not so with God,” may many an anxious father say; and ye pious mothers might lift your streaming eyes to heaven, and say, “Although my house be not so with God.” But, Christian men! ye are not alone in this. If ye have family troubles, there are others who have borne the same. Remember Ephraim! Abraham himself had his Ishmael. Think of Eli.

First, let me say to you, my brethren, it is necessary that you should have an “although” in your lot, because if you had not, you know what you would do; you would build a very downy nest on earth, and there you would lie down in sleep; so God puts a thorn in your nest in order that you may sing. Trials are sent to wean you from the world; bitters are put into your drink, that ye may learn to live upon the dew of heaven: the food of earth is mingled with gall, that ye may only seek for true bread in the manna which droppeth from the sky. Your soul without trouble would be as the sea if it were without tide or motion; it would become foul and obnoxious.

But furthermore, recollect this, O thou who art tried in thy children—that prayer can remove thy troubles. Have you prayed long for your children without a result? Though the promise tarrieth, it will come. They shall be converted even after thy death; and though thy bones shall be put in the grave, and thy son may stand and curse thy memory for an hour, he shall not forget it in the cooler moments of his recollection, when he shall meditate alone. Then he shall think of thy prayers, thy tears, thy groans; he shall remember thine advice—it shall rise up, and if he live is sin, still thy words shall sound as one long voice from the realm of spirits, and either affright him in the midst of his revelry, or charm him heavenward, like angel’s whispers, saying, “Follow on to glory, where thy parent is who once did pray for thee.” So the Christian may say, “Although my house be not so with God now, it may be yet.”

But secondly: David had confidence in the covenant. Having done with his “Although,” he then puts in a blessed “yet” Oh! it is a “yet,” with jewels set: “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.”

First, David rejoiced in the covenant, because it divine in its origin. “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant.” God, the everlasting Father, has positively made a covenant with thee.

But notice its particular application. “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant.”

“Oh how sweet to view the flowing
Of Christ’s soul-redeeming blood,
With divine assurance knowing,
That he made my peace with God.”

You will hear persons say, “Well, I believe the doctrine of justification; I think that men are justified through faith.” Yes, but are you justified by faith? “I believe,” says another, “that we are sanctified by the Spirit.” Yes, all very well, but are you sanctified by the Spirit? Oh! how sweet it is to say, “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant. Rejoice, Christian; it is a personal covenant.

Furthermore, this covenant is not only divine in its origin, but it is everlasting in its duration. An everlasting gospel is the only one which I think worthy of an everlasting God. Some do not believe in the everlasting nature of God’s love to his people. They think that God begins to love his people when they begin to love him. [D]id you ever sing that verse in your meeting?—of course you have—

“O yes, I do love Jesus,
Because he first lov’d me.”

Well, then, if Jesus loved you before you loved him, why cannot you believe that he always did love you? Besides, how stupid it is to talk so, when you know God does not change. There is no such thing as time with him; there is no past with him. If you say, “he loves me now,” you have in fact said, “he loved me yesterday, and he will love me for ever.” There is nothing but now with God. Tell me that God has now pardoned my sins; it means, that he always has, for his acts are eternal acts. That is the greatest safeguard on earth—that I have something within me that never can be quenched; that I put on the regimentals of a service which I never must leave, which I cannot leave without having proved that I never was enlisted at all. Brother, what is there else? If we do not preach an everlasting gospel, the gospel is not worth twopence.

“I to the end shall endure
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
Are the glorified spirits in heaven.”

But notice the next word, for it is a sweet one, and we must not let one portion go. “It is ordered in all things.” “Order is heaven’s first law,” and God has not a disorderly covenant. He so arranged it, that justice should be fully satisfied, and yet mercy should be linked hand-in-hand with it…Jesus Christ came to confirm it…the Holy Spirit…sweetly applies it!

What dost thou want more than this? Dost thou need constraining grace? It is “ordered in all things.” Dost thou require more of the spirit of prayer? It is “ordered in all things.” Dost thou desire more faith? It is “ordered in all things.” Art thou afraid lest thou shouldst not hold out to the end? It is “ordered in all things.”

But now, to wind up our description of this covenant, it is sure. We cannot call anything “sure” on earth; the only place where we can write that word is on the covenant, which is “ordered in all things and sure.” Oh! if God were to put my salvation in my hands, I should be lost in ten minutes; but my salvation is not there—it is in Christ’s hands. [A]s a Christian I cannot destroy myself, for my life is wrapped up in the covenant: it is with Christ in heaven. Oh, glorious and precious covenant!

Now to close our meditation. The Psalmist had a satisfaction in his heart. “This is,” he said, all my salvation, and all my desire.” Bring up the moralist. He has been toiling and working in order to earn salvation. Are you confident that if you died you would enter into heaven? “Well, I have been as good as other people, and, I dare say, I shall be more religious before I die;” but he cannot answer our question. Bring up the religious man—I mean the merely outwardly religious man. Are you sure that if you were to die you would go to heaven? “Well, I regularly attend church or chapel, I cannot say that I make any pretensions to be able to say, ‘He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.’ ” Very well, you must go. So I might introduce a score of men, and there is not one of them who can say, “This is all my salvation.” They always want a little supplement, and most of you intend making that supplement a little while before you die.

Then, the Psalmist says, he has all his desire. There is nought that can fill the heart of man except the Trinity.

Just one word with my friends who do not agree with me in doctrine. [T]hose dear friends who cannor bear the thought of an everlasting covenant. Now, you cannot alter it, can you? If you do not like it, there it is. “God hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” And you must confess, when you read the Bible, that there are some very knotty passages for you. You might, perhaps, remove them out of your Bible; but then you cannot erase them out of divine verities. [T]ake the Bible as it stands, and if you do not see everlasting love there, there is some fault in your eyes. If you cannot see everlasting, eternal security, blood-bought righteousness, there, I am hopeless altogether of your conversion to the truth, while you read it with your present prejudices.

All the evidence you require is to feel your need of Christ. God enable you now to become his adopted children by faith in Jesus.

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THE TOMB OF JESUS – Matt. 28:6 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
—Matt. 28:6.

An invitation given. “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Surely ye need no argument to move your feet in the direction of the holy sepulchre; but still we will use the utmost power to draw your spirit thither. Come then, for ’tis the shrine of greatness, ’tis the resting-place of the man, the Restorer of our race, the Conqueror of death and hell.

Come with me, moreover, because it is the tomb of your best friend…yea, one who “sticketh closer than a brother.” Is not the place sanctified where one so well-beloved slept, although but for a moment? Come, for angels bid you. Angels said, “Come, see the place where our Lord lay.”

Come for it is a pure and healthy place. Fear not to enter that tomb.

There is yet one reason more why I would have thee visit this Royal sepulchre—because it is a quiet spot. I wish I could be at ease for a moment. I have become a man of the world; my brain is racked, my soul is tired. Oh! wouldst thou be quiet, Christian? Merchant, wouldst thou rest from thy toils? wouldst thou be calm for once! then come hither. It is in a pleasant garden, far from the hum of Jerusalem; the noise and din of business will not reach thee there; “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Attention requested. And first, mark that it is a costly tomb. It is a princely tomb: it was made of marble, cut in the side of a hill. Stand here, believer, and ask why Jesus had such a costly sepulchre. He was poor. Why, then, does he lie in a noble grave? We answer, for this reason: Christ was unhonourd till he had finished his sufferings; Christ’s body suffered contumely, shame, spitting, buffetting, and reproach, until he had completed his great work; he was trampled under foot, he was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; but the moment he had finished his undertaking, God said, “No more shall that body be disgraced; if it is to sleep, let it slumber in an honourable grave; if it is to rest, let nobles bury it; let Joseph, the councillor, and Nicodemus, the man of Sanhedrim, be present at the funeral; let the body be embalmed with precious spices, let it have honour; it has had enough of contumely, and shame, and reproach, and buffetting; let it now be treated with respect.”

But though it is a costly grave, it is a borrowed one. Yes, he was buried in another’s sepulchre. It was a borrowed tomb; and why? I take it not to dishonour Christ, but in order to show that as his sins were borrowed sins, so his burial was in a borrowed grave. Christ had no transgressions of his own; he took ours upon his head; he never committed a wrong, but he took all my sin, and all yours, if ye are believers. The grave, we observe, was cut in a rock. Why was this? The Rock of ages was buried in a rock—a Rock within a rock. But why? Christ’s sepulchre was cut in a rock. It was not cut in mould that might be worn away by the water, or might crumble and fall into decay. The sepulchre stands, I believe, entire to this day; if it does not naturally, it does spiritually. The same sepulchre which took the sins of Paul, shall take my iniquities into its bosom; for if I ever lose my guilt, it must roll off my shoulders into the sepulchre. It was cut in a rock, so that if a sinner were saved a thousand years ago, I too can be delivered, for it is a rocky sepulchre where sin was buried—it was a rocky sepulchre of marble where my crimes were laid for ever—buried never to have a resurrection.

You will mark, moreover, that tomb was one wherein no other man had ever lain. Christopher Ness says, “When Christ was born he lay in a virgin’s womb, and when he died he was placed in a virgin tomb; he slept where never man had slept before.” The reason was, that none might say that another person rose, for there never had been any other body there; thus a mistake of persons was impossible. Nor could it be said that some old prophet was interred in the place, and that Christ rose because he had touched his bones. You remember when Elisha was buried, and as they were burying a man, behold he touched the prophet’s bones, and arose. Christ touched no prophet’s bones, for none had ever slept there; it was a new chamber, where the Monarch of the earth did take his rest for three days and three nights.

We see the grave, but do you notice the grave-clothes, all wrapped and laid in their places, the napkin being folded up by itself? Wherefore are the grave-clothes wrapped up? The Jews said robbers had abstracted the body; but if so, surely they would have stolen the clothes; they would never have thought of wrapping them up and laying them down so carefully; they would be too much in haste to think of it. Why was it then? To manifest to us that Christ did not come out in a hurried manner. He slept till the last moment; then he awoke: he came not in haste. They shall not come out in haste, neither by flight, but at the appointed moment shall his people come to him. So at the precise hour, the decreed instant, Jesus Christ leisurely awoke, took off his cerements, left them all behind him, and came forth in his pure and naked innocence, perhaps to show us that as clothes are the offspring of sin—when sin was atoned for by Christ, he left all raiment behind him—for garments are the badges of guilt: if we had not been guilty we should never have needed them.

Emotion Excited. Now, if I had power, like a master, I would touch the strings of your hearts, and fetch a glorious tune of solemn music from them, for this is a deeply solemn place, into which I have conducted you.

First, I would bid you stand and see the place where the Lord lay with emotions of deep sorrow. I slew him—this right hand struck the dagger to his heart. My deeds slew Christ. Alas! I slew my best beloved: I killed him who loved me with an everlasting love. Ye eyes, why do ye refuse to weep when ye see Jesus’ body mangled and torn? Oh! give vent to your sorrow, Christians, for ye have good reason to do so. It seemed so sad a thing that Christ should have to die; and to me it often appears too great a price for Jesus Christ to purchase worms with his own blood. It seems too costly for him who is the prince of life and glory to let his fair limbs be tortured in agony; that the hands which carried mercies should be pierced with accursed nails; that the temples that were always clothed with love, should have cruel thorns driven through them. It appears too much. Oh! weep, Christian, and let your sorrow rise. Is not the price all but too great, that your Beloved should for you resign himself.

Now, Christian, change thy note a moment. “Come, see the place where the Lord lay,” with joy and gladness. He does not lie there now. Weep, when ye see the tomb of Christ, but rejoice because it is empty. Thy guilt hath murdered him, but his righteousness hath restored him. Oh! he hath burst the bonds of death…crushing death beneath his feet. Rejoice, O Christian, for he is not there—he is risen.

“Come, see the place where the Lord lay” with solemn awe, for you and I will have to lay there too. Do you ever try to picture to yourself the moment of your dissolution? My friends, there are some of you who seldom realize how old you are, how near you are to death. We can scarcely say “He is gone,” before the ransomed spirit takes its mansion near the throne. Come to Christ’s tomb then, for the silent vault must soon be your habitation. Come to Christ’s grave, for you must slumber there. And even you, ye sinners, for one moment I will ask you to come also, because ye must die as well as the rest of us. Your sins cannot keep you from the jaws of death. I say, sinner, I want thee to look at Christ’s sepulchre too, for when thou diest it may have done thee great good to think of it.

Instruction imparted. The first thing you perceive, if you stand by his empty tomb, is his divinity. There is no better proof of Christ’s divinity, than that startling resurrection of his, when he rose from the grave, by the glory of the Father.

A second doctrine here taught, well may charm thee, if the Holy Spirit apply it with power. Behold this empty tomb, O true believer: it is a sign of thine acquittal and thy full discharge. If Jesus had not paid the debt, he ne’er had risen from the grave. He would have lain there till this moment if he had not cancelled the entire debt, by satisfying eternal vengeance.

One more doctrine we learn, and with that we will conclude—the doctrine of the resurrection. Jesus rose, and as the Lord our Saviour rose, so all his followers must rise. Die I must…but at the blast of the archangel’s trumpet every separate atom of my body shall find its fellow…and the breath shall return. Thou wilt lose thy partner body a little while, but thou wilt be married again in heaven; soul and body shall again be united before the throne of God. The grave—what is it? It is the bath in which the Christian puts the clothes of his body to have them washed and cleansed.

Spend this afternoon, my beloved brethren, in meditating upon it, and very often go to Christ’s grave both to weep and to rejoice.

JOSEPH ATTACKED BY THE ARCHERS -Gen 49:23-24 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; from thence is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel.”
—Gen. 49:23, 24.

It must have been a fine sight to see the hoary-headed Jacob sitting up in his bed whilst he bestowed his parting benediction upon his twelve sons. [O]h! when he came to Joseph, his youngest son but one—when he looked on him, I picture that old man as the tears ran down his cheeks. He has only one more blessing to give; but surely this was the richest which he conferred on Joseph.

Joseph is dead, but the Lord has his Josephs now. There are some still who understand by experience—and that is the best kind of understanding—the meaning of this passage, “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”

First, then, we commence with the cruel attack. “The archers have sorely grieved him.” [T]here seems something more cowardly in the attack of the archer, than in that of the swordsman…the archer stands at a distance, hides himself in ambuscade, and, without your knowing it…they shoot the bow from a distance. The archers sorely grieved poor Joseph.

Joseph had to endure the archers of envy. Oh! how his father loved him! for in his fond affection, he made him a princely coat of many colours, and treated him better than the others—a natural but foolish way of showing his fondness. Therefore, his brethren hated him. [T]hey put him into a pit…They then sold him for the price of a slave, stripped him of his coat, and sent him naked, they knew not, and they cared not whither, so long as he might be out of their way, and no longer provoke their envy and their anger.

But blessed be God’s name, it is sweet to be informed that “his bow abode in strength.” None of you can be the people of God without provoking envy; and the better you are, the more you will be hated. The ripest fruit is most pecked by the birds, and the blossoms that, have been longest on the tree, are the most easily blown down by the wind. But fear not; you have nought to do with what man shall say of you. If God loves you, man will hate you; if God honors you, man will dishonor you.

But a worse trial than this was to overtake him. The archers of temptation shot at him. Sold to a master who soon discovered his value, Joseph was made the bailiff of the house, and the manager of the household. His wanton mistress fixed her adulterous love on him; and he, being continually in her presence, was perpetually, day by day, solicited by her to evil deeds. Constantly did he refuse still enduring a martyrdom at the slow fire of her enticements. Oh! there was a power indeed within that heart of his; there was an inconceivable might, which made him turn away with unutterable disgust, with fear and trembling, while he said, “How can I? how can I—God’s Joseph—how can I—other men might, but how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God.”

Then another host of archers assailed him: these were the archers of malicious calumny. Seeing that he would not yield to temptation, his mistress falsely accused him to her husband and his lord believing the voice of his wife, cast him into prison. It was a marvellous providence that he did not put him to death, for Potiphar, his master, was the chief of the slaughtermen. Oh! it is no easy thing to feel your character gone, to think that you are slandered, that things are said of you that are untrue. So shall it be always with those who preach God’s truth, and all the followers of Christ—they must all expect it; but blessed be God, they have not said worse things of us than they said of our Master. Ah! friends, some now present know this verse by heart, “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him.” Expect it; do not think it a strange thing; all God’s people must have it.

We have seen these archers shoot their flights of arrows; we will now go up the hill a little, behind a rock, to look at the shielded warrior and see how his courage is while the archers have sorely grieved him. What is he doing? “His bow abideth in strength.”

First, we notice that he has a bow himself, for we read that “his bow abode in strength.” Mark well his quietness. His bow “abideth.” It is not rattling, it is not always moving, but it abides, it is quite still; he takes no notice of the attack. The archers sorely grieved Joseph, but his bow was not turned against them, it abode in strength. He turned not his bow on them. Doth the sun stop in its course because of the officious cloud which veils it? Or doth the river stay because the willow dippeth its leaves into its waters? Ah! no; God’s universe moves on, and if men will oppose it, it heeds them not. It is as God hath made it; it is working together for good, and it shall not be stayed by the censure, nor moved on by the praise of man. Let your bows, my brethren, abide. Do not be in a hurry to set yourselves right. God will take care of you.

But we must not forget the next word. “His bow abode in strength.” Though his bow was quiet, it was not because it was broken. His chastity was his bow, and he did not lose that: his faith was his bow, and that did not yield, it did not break; his courage was his bow, and that did not fail him; his character, his honesty was his bow; not did he cast it away. Fear not, Christian. Let slander fly, let envy send forth its forked tongue, let it hiss at you, your bow shall abide in strength. Oh! shielded warrior, remain quiet, fear no ill; but, like the eagle in its lofty eyrie, look thou down upon the fowlers in the plain; turn thy bold eye upon them and say, “Shoot ye may, but your shots will not reach, half way to the pinnacle where I stand.

The third thing in our text is the secret strength. “The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” It was real potency, true muscle, real sinew, real nerve. It was not simply slight of hand—the power of moving his fingers very swiftly—but the arms of his hands were made strong. I should not like to have a combat with one of God’s Josephs. I should find their blows very heavy. But they are a patient generation, enduring ills without resenting them, suffering scorn without reviling the scoffer. O ye foes of God, ye think God’s people are despicable and powerless; but know that they have true strength from the omnipotence of their Father, a might substantial and divine.

[O]bserve that the strength of God’s Joseph is divine strength. If I had a stone to lift, to work my own salvation, without God’s help to do that, I must be lost, even though it were so little. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. “[T]he arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Marvellous condescension! Ye stars of glory, have ye ever witnessed such stoops of love? God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon the child’s hand, stretching his arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may be made strong!

This strength was covenant strength, for it is said, “The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Now, wherever you read of the God of Jacob in the Bible, you may know that that respects God’s covenant with Jacob. Christ made the covenant to pay a price, and God made the covenant that he should have the people. Christ has paid the price, and ratified the covenant, and I am quite sure that God will fulfil his part of it, by giving every elect vessel of mercy into the hands of Jesus.

[O]ur fourth point—a glorious parallel. “From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel.” Christ came into the world as a shepherd. As soon as he made his appearance, the Scribes and Pharisees said, “Ah! we have been the shepherds until this hour: now we shall be driven from our honours, we shall lose all our dignity, and our authority. It was the shepherds that hated him, because he took away their traffic, because he turned the buyers and sellers out of the temple, diminished their dignity and ignored their pretensions; therefore, they could not endure him. The Shepherd of Israel was despised, incarnate virtue was hated and abhorred; therefore, fear not Christians, take courage, for if your Master passed through it, surely you must.

To conclude: the text calls Christ the stone of Israel. He was a plebeian; he was of poor extraction; he was a man acquainted with sinners, who walked in poverty and meanness; hence the worldly-wise despised him. But when God shall gather together, in one, all things that are in heaven and that are in earth, then Christ shall be the glorious consummation of all things.

PAUL’S FIRST PRAYER – Acts 9:11 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“For, behold, he prayeth.”
—Acts 9:11.

God has many methods of quenching persecution. In two ways he usually accomplishes his end: sometimes by the confusion of the persecutor, and at others in a more blessed manner, by his conversion. [The latter] was the case with Saul. Christ met him, unhorsed him, threw him on the ground, and questioned him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” He then graciously removed his rebellious heart—gave him a new heart and a right spirit. Jesus from heaven descended, came in a vision to Ananias, and said, “Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.”

First, here was an announcement; “Go enquire for Saul of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth. It was the announcement of a fact which was noticed in heaven. Oh! it is a glorious fact that prayers are noticed in heaven. [W]herever there is a heart big with sorrow, wherever there is an eye suffused with tears, wherever there is a lip quivering with agony, wherever there is a deep groan, or a penetential sigh, the ear of Jehovah is wide open. Oh! poor sinner, of the blackest and vilest character, thy prayers are heard, and even now God hath said of thee, “Behold he prayeth.

Again; this was the announcement of a fact joyous to heaven. Our text is prefaced with “Behold,” for, doubtless, our Saviour himself regarded it with joy. Behold,” I have won the heart of my enemy; I have saved my persecutor; even now he is bending the knee at my footstool; “Behold, he prayeth. [V]erily I tell you, “there is joy in heaven among the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” They watch us till we pray, and when we pray, they say, “Behold, he prayeth.”

Then in the next place, this was an event most astonishing to men. Ananias lifted up both his hands in amazement. “O my Lord, I should have thought anybody would pray but that man! Is it possible!” Somehow God does choose the last men; he does not care for the diamond, but he picks up the pebble stones, for he is able, out of “stones, to raise up children unto Abraham. The conversion of Saul was a strange thing; but, beloved, was it stranger than that you and I should have been Christians?

The last thing I have to say here, is this—this fact was a novelty to Saul himself. Behold, he prayeth.” What! had he never prayed before? No, never. All he had ever done before went for nothing; it was not prayer. He had pronounced his magniloquent orations, but they were all good for nothing. He had prayed his long prayers for a pretence; it had all been a failure.

Secondly, we have here an argument. “For behold, he prayeth.” It was an, argument, first of all, for Ananias’ safety. Poor Ananias was afraid to go to Saul; he thought it was very much like stepping into a lion’s den. God says, “Behold, he prayeth.” “Well,” says Ananias, “that is enough for me. If he is a praying man, he will not hurt me; if he is a man of real devotion, I am safe.”

But more than this. Here was an argument for Paul’s sincerity. Secret prayer is one of the best tests of sincere religion. If Jesus had said to Ananias, “Behold, he preacheth,” Ananias would have said, “that he may do, and yet be a deceiver.” If he had said, “He is gone to a meeting of the church,” Ananias would have said, “He may enter there as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” But when he said, “Behold, he prayeth,” that was argument enough. Praying will make you leave off sinning, or sinning will make you leave of praying Prayer in the heart proves the reality of conversion.

But one more thought, and I will leave this subject. It was a proof of this man’s election, for you read directly afterwards, “Behold, he is a chosen vessel.” Some say, “How can I discover whether I am God’s elect? I am afraid I am not God’s elect.” Do you pray? If it can be said, “Behold, he prayeth,” it can also be said, “Behold he is a chosen vessel.” Have you faith? If so, you are elect.

Now for the application. First, allow me to address the children of God. Do you not see, my dear brethren, that the best mark of our being sons of God is to be found in our devotion? “Behold, he prayeth.” Well then, does it not follow as a natural consequence that the more we are found in prayer the brighter will our evidences be? O Christians, would you be happy? Be much in prayer. Would ye be victorious? Be much in prayer. Prayer is the ship which bringeth home the richest freight. It is the soil which yields the most abundant harvest. The reason we have not more true religion now, is because we have not more prayer. Oh! may God awaken us all, and stir us up to pray, for when we pray we shall be victorious.

And now my last word is to the ungodly. Oh, sirs! I could fain wish myself anywhere but here; for if it be solemn work to address the godly, how much more when I come to deal with you. We fear lest on the one hand we should so speak to you, as to make you trust in your own strength; while on the other hand, we tremble lest we should lull you into the sleep of sloth and security. O may the Holy Spirit enable us to keep the beacon fire blazing, to warn you of the rocks, shoals, and quicksands, which surround you, and may we ever guide you to Jesus, and not to free-will or creature merit. I want to do as God bids me, and if he tells me to speak to the dry bones and they shall live, I must do it, even if it does not please others; otherwise I should be condemned in my own conscience, and condemned of God.

Let me ask you, sirs, whether you have ever thought in what an awful state you are? You are far from God, and therefore God is angry with you; for “God is angry with the wicked every day” Oh sinner! lift thine eyes, and behold the frowning countenance of God, for he is angry with you. Sirs, if ye would escape eternal torments, if ye would be found amongst the numbers of the blessed, the road to heaven can only be found by prayer—by prayer to Jesus, by prayer for the Spirit, by supplication at his mercy-seat.

THE BIBLE -Hosea 8:12 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.
”—Hosea 8:12.

This is God’s complaint against Ephraim. It is no mean proof of his goodness, that he stoops to, rebuke his erring creatures. He might, if he pleased, wrap himself with night as with a garment; engrossed within his own being, swallowed up within himself, living alone and retired.

But it is not so, beloved. Our God is of another order. He notices every one of us. There is not a sparrow or a worm, but is found in his decrees. We see from our text that God looks upon man. [S]ee how when he observes the sin of man he does not dash him away and spurn him with his foot; he comes down from heaven to plead with his creatures. God has written to you the great things of his law, but they have been unto you as a strange thing.

First, then, concerning this book, who is the author? This volume is the writing of the living God: each letter was penned with an Almighty finger; each word in it dropped from the everlasting lips, each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit.

How do you know that God wrote the book? I might, tell you, if I pleased, that the grandeur of the style is above that of any mortal writing, and that all the poets who have ever existed, could not, with all their works united, give us such sublime poetry and such mighty language as is to be found in the Scriptures. I might insist upon it, that the subjects of which it treats are beyond the human intellect; that man could never have invented the grand doctrines of a Trinity in the Godhead; man could not have told us anything of the creation of the universe; he could never have been the author of the majestic idea of Providence, that all things are ordered according to the will of one great Supreme Being, and work together for good. I might enlarge upon its honesty, since it tells the faults of its writers; its unity, since it never belies itself; its master simplicity, that he who runs may read it; and I might mention a hundred more things, which would all prove to a demonstration, that the book is of God. But I come not here to prove it.

There may be some one here to-night who has come without faith, a man of reason, a free-thinker. With him I have no argument at all. I profess not to stand here as a controversialist, but as a preacher of things that I know and feel. But I too have been like him. I have sailed that perilous voyage; I have come safe to land. Ask me again to be an infidel! No; I have tried it; it was sweet at first, but bitter afterwards.

First, my friends, stand over this volume, and admire its authority. If these words were written by man, we might reject them; but oh, let me think the solemn thought—that this book is God’s handwriting, that these words are God’s.

Then, since God wrote it, mark its truthfulness. O Bible! it cannot be said of any other book, that it is perfect and pure; but of thee we can declare all wisdom is gathered up in thee, without a particle of folly. This is the judge that ends the strife where wit and reason fail. This is the book untainted by any error; but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth. I have heard minister’s alter God’s Bible, because they were afraid of it Have you never heard a man say, “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not,”—What does the Bible say? “shall be damned.” But that does not happen to be polite enough, so they say, “shall be condemned.” Gentlemen! pull the velvet out of your mouths; speak God’s word; we want none of your alterations. I have heard men in prayer, instead of saying, “Make your calling and election sure,” say, “Make your calling and salvation sure.” Pity they were not born when God lived, far—far back, that they might have taught God how to write. Oh ye who dislike certain portions of the Holy Writ, rest assured that your taste is corrupt. God wrote what you do not like; he wrote the truth. Oh! let us bend in reverence before it, for God inspired it.

Yet once more, before we leave this point, let us stop and consider the merciful nature of God, in having written us a Bible at all. Ah! he might have left us without it, to grope our dark way, as blind men seek the wall; he might have suffered us to wander on with the star of reason as our only guide.

If this be the Word of God, what will become of some of you who have not read it for the last month? “Month, sir! I have not read it for this year.” There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write “damnation” with your fingers. What will God say at last? “I wrote you a letter of mercy; did you read it?” “Wretch!” says God, “then thou deservest hell, if I sent thee a loving epistle and thou wouldst not even break the seal: what shall I do unto thee?”

Our second point is, the subjects on which the bible treats. The Bible treats of great things, and of great things only. Some people think it does not matter what doctrines you believe; that it is immaterial what church you attend; that all denominations are alike. Now, I believe that a man may be saved in any church…[b]ut when I say that, do you imagine that I think them all on a level? Are they all alike truthful? One sect says infant baptism is right, another says it is wrong, yet you say they are both right. I cannot see that. One teaches we are saved by free grace; another says that we are not, but are saved by free will; and yet you believe they are both right. I do not understand that.

Never say it doesn’t matter. It does matter. Whatever God has put here is of eminent importance: he would not have written a thing that was indifferent. By this I stand, by this I fall. Search and see but don’t say, “It does not matter” If God says a thing, it must always be of importance. But while all things in God’s Word are important, all are not equally important. There are certain fundamental and vital truths which must be believed, or otherwise no man would be saved. If you want to know what you must believe if ye would be saved, you will find the great things of God’s law between these two covers; they are all contained here.

But then, poor unregenerate soul, the Bible says, if thou art lost, thou art lost for ever; it tells thee, that if thou diest without Christ, without God, there is no hope for thee, that there is a place without a gleam of hope, where thou shalt read in burning letters, “Ye knew your duty, but ye did it not;” it tells you that ye shall be driven from his presence with a “depart ye cursed.”

Our last point is the treatment which the poor bible receives in this world. It is accounted a strange thing. What does that mean—the Bible accounted a strange thing? In the first place, it means that it is very strange to some people, because they never read it. Many of you will read a novel from beginning to end, and what have you got? A mouthful of froth when you have done.

Others there be who read the Bible, but when they read it, they say it is so horribly dry. You do not love the Bible, do you? “No, there is nothing in it which is interesting.” Ah! I thought so. But a little while ago I could not see anything in it. Do you know why? Blind men cannot see, can they? But when the Spirit touches the scales of the eyes they fall off, and when he puts eye-salve on, then the Bible becomes precious. If you have tried God’s word and proved it; if it is precious to your souls, then you are Christians; but those persons who despise the Bible, have “neither part nor lot in the matter.” If it is dry to you, you will be dry at last in hell.

Alas! alas! the worst case is to come. There are some people who hate the Bible, as well as despise it. In vain dost thou jeer and mock, for eternal verities are mightier than thy sophistries: nor can thy smart sayings alter the divine truth of a single word of this volume of Revelation.

Wise and foolish, babes and men, grey-headed sires, youths and maidens,—I speak to you, I plead with you, I beg of you respect your Bibles and search them out, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and these are they which testify of Christ.

THE VICTORY OF FAITH -1 John 5:4 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
—1 John 5:4.

First, the text speaks of a Great Victory—the victory of victories—the greatest of all. A tough battle, sirs, I warrant you. [W]ho, but a raw recruit to-day, puts on his regimentals, and foolishly imagines that one week of service will ensure a crown of glory. Nay, sirs, it is a life-long war—a fight needing the power of all these muscles, and this strong heart; a contest which shall want all our strength, if we are to be triumphant. This fight with the world is not one of main force, or physical might; if it were, we might soon win it; but it is all the more dangerous from the fact that it is a strife of mind, a contest of heart, a struggle of the spirit, a strife of the soul. Until you die, you will always have fresh appearances of the world to wrestle with. Let me just mention some of the forms in which the Christian overcomes the world.

He overcomes the world when it sets up itself as a legislator, wishing to teach him customs. [H]e who does not choose to go according to the fashion of the world, is under the ban of society. Most of you do just as everybody else does, and that is enough for you. If you see so-and-so do a dishonest thing in business, it is sufficient for you that everybody does it. If ye see that the majority of mankind have certain habits, ye succomb, ye yield. Ye think, I suppose, that to march to hell in crowds, will help to diminish the fierce heat of the burning of the bottomless pit, instead of remembering that the more faggots the fiercer will be the flame. Men usually swim with the stream like a dead fish; it is only the living fish that goes against it. [W]e care not what others do; custom to us is a cobweb; we count it folly to be singular; but when to be singular is to be right, we count it the proudest wisdom; we overcome the world; we trample on her customs; we walk as a distinct people, a separate race, a chosen generation, a peculiar people. If we go to the house of God, and profess to love him, we love him everywhere; we take our religion with us into the shop, behind the counter; into our offices; we must have it everywhere, or else God knows it is not religion at all.

What is then the behaviour of the Lord’s warrior, when he sees the world take up arms against him, and when he sees all earth, like an army, coming to chase him, and utterly destroy him? Does he yield? Does he yield? Does he bend? Does he cringe? Oh, no! Like Luther, he writes “Cedo nulli” on his banner—“I yield to none;” and he goes to war against the world, if the world goes to war against him. He counts all things but loss, that he may win Christ—that he may be found in him.

Well,” saith the world, “I will try another style,” and this believe me, is the most dangerous of all. Oh, believe me, Christians are not so much in danger when they are persecuted as when they are admired. When we stand upon the pinnacle of popularity, we may well tremble and fear. It is not in the cold wintry wind that I take off my coat of righteousness, and throw it away; it is when the sun comes, when the weather is warm, and the air balmy, that I unguardedly strip off my robes, and become naked. Good God! how many a man has been made naked by the love of this world. But the true child of God is never so; he is as safe when the world smiles, as when it frowns; he cares as little for her praise as for her dispraise.

Sometimes, again, the world turns jailer to a Christian. “Poor prisoner, I have a key that will let you out. You are in pecuniary difficulties; I will tell you how you may get free. Put that Mr. Conscience away.” No,” says the Christian, “my Father sent me into want, and in his own time he will fetch me out; but if I die here I will not use wrong means to escape. My Father put me here for my good, I will not grumble; if my bones must lie here—if my coffin is to be under these stones—if my tombstone shall be in the wall of my dungeon—here will I die, rather than so much as lift a finger to get out by unfair means.”

But my text speaks of a Great Birth. “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.” This new birth is the mysterious point in all religion. If you preach anything else except the new birth you will always get on well with your hearers; but if you insist that in order to enter heaven there must be a radical change, though this is the doctrine of the Scripture, it is so unpalateable to mankind in general that you will scarcely get them to listen.

What is it to be born again, then? Very briefly, to be born again is to undergo a change so mysterious, that human words cannot speak of it. As we cannot describe our first birth, so it is impossible for us to describe the second. But while it is so mysterious, it is a change which is known and felt. Whilst we are passing from death unto life, there is an experience which none but the child of God can really understand.

Let me tell you, moreover, that this change is a supernatural one. It is not one that a man performs upon himself. It is not leaving off drinking and becoming sober; it is not turning from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant; it is not veering round from a Dissenter to a Churchman, or a Churchman to a Dissenter. It is a vast deal more than that. It is a new principle infused which works in the heart, enters the very soul, and moves the entire man. Not a change of my name, but a renewal or my nature, so that I am not the man I used to be, but a new man in Christ Jesus.

[T]his new birth is an enduring change. [W]herever God has begun a good work he will carry it on even to the end; and that whom he once loves, he loves to the end. [I]f I am really born again, with that real supernatural change, I shall never fall away, I may fall into a sin, but I shall not fall finally.

To conclude. There is a Great Grace. The text says, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Christians do not triumph over the world by reason. Not at all. Reason is a very good thing, and nobody should find fault with it. Reason is a candle: but faith is a sun. I use my reason as a Christian man; I exercise it constantly: but when I come to real warfare, reason is a wooden sword; it breaks, it snaps; while faith, that sword of true Jerusalem metal, cuts to the dividing of soul and body.

Who are the men that do anything in the world? Are they not always men of faith? Take it even as natural faith. Who wins the battle? Why, the man who knows he will win it, and vows that he will be victor. Who never gets on in the world? The man who is always afraid to do a thing, for fear he cannot accomplish it. Who climbs the top of the Alps? The man who says, “I will do it, or I will die.” Let such a man make up his mind that he can do a thing, and he will do it, if it is within the range of possibility. Who have done great things? Not men of fear and trembling, men who are afraid; but men of faith. Leonidas fought in human faith as Joshua in divine. Xenophon trusted to his skill, and the sons of Matthias to their cause.” Faith is mightiest of the mighty. It is the monarch of the realms of the mind.

The want of faith makes a man despicable, it shrivels him up so small that he might live in a nutshell. Give him faith, and he is a leviathan that can dive into the depths of the sea; he is a war horse. Give us faith and we can do all things.

But before I have done, O that I may have a word with your souls. How many are there here who are born again? Some turn a deaf ear, and say, “It is all nonsense; we go to our place of worship regularly; put our hymn books and Bibles under our arm! and we are very religious sort of people.” Ah, soul! if I meet you at the bar of judgment, recollect I said—and said God’s word—“Except ye be born again ye shall not enter the kingdom on heaven.” Sirs, it is not the cloak of religion that will do for you; it is a vital godliness you need; it is not a religious Sunday, it is a religious Monday; it is not a pious church, it is a pious closet; it is not a sacred place to kneel in, it is a holy place to stand in all daylong. O, my friends, is it worth your while to run the risk of an eternity of woe for a hour of pleasure?

God send the truth home, and then we shall rejoice together, both he that soweth and he that reapeth, because God has given us the increase. God bless you! may you all be born again, and have that faith that overcometh the world!

CONSOLATION PROPORTIONATE TO SPIRITUAL SUFFERINGS -2 Cor 1:5 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”
—2 Corinthians, 1:5.

[B]lessed be God, we have consolation, we have joy in the Holy Ghost. We find it nowhere else. We have raked the earth through, but we have discovered ne’er a jewel; we have turned this dung-hill-world o’er and o’er a thousand times, and we have found nought that is precious; but here, in this Bible, here in the religion of the blessed Jesus, we, the sons of God, have found comfort and joy.

There are four things in my text to which I invite your attention.

Our first division then is, the sufferings to be expected. Jesus Christ himself said, “Count the cost.” He wished to have no disciple who was not prepared to go all the way—“to bear hardness as a good soldier.” it is not true that Christianity will shield a man from trouble; nor ought it to be so represented. In fact, we ought to speak of it in the other way. Soldier of Christ, if thou enlisteth, thou wilt have to do hard battle. If I had no trouble, I would not believe myself one of the family. If I never had a trial, I would not think myself a heir of heaven. Children of God must not, shall not, escape the rod. [I]f thou art a child of God, believe it, look for it, and when it comes, say, “Well suffering, I foresaw thee; thou art no stranger; I have looked for thee continually.” You cannot tell how much it will lighten your trials, if you await them with resignation. In fact, make it a wonder if you get through a day easily. If you remain a week without persecution, think it a remarkable thing; and if you should, perchance, live a month without heaving a sigh from your inmost heart, think it a miracle of miracles. Stand here a moment, my brother, and I will show thee four reasons wherefore thou must endure trial.

Look upward, Dost thou see thy heavenly Father, a pure and holy being, spotless, just, perfect? Dost thou know that thou art one day to be like him? Thinkest thou that thou wilt easily come to be conformed to his image? Lift up thine eye again; dost thou discern those bright spirits clad in white, purer than alabaster, more chaste, more fair than Parian marble? O ye noble army of martyrs, ye glorious hosts of the living God. Must ye swim through seas of blood, and shall I hope to ride to heaven wrapped in furs and ermine? Did ye fight and then reign, and must I reign without a battle.

Next, Christian, turn thine eyes downward. Dost thou know what foes thou hast beneath thy feet? There are hell and its lions against thee. Thou wast once a servant of Satan, and no king will willingly lose his subjects. He will always be at thee, for thine enemy, “like a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.”

Then, man of God, look around thee. Do not be asleep. Open thine eyes, and look around thee. Where art thou? Is that man a friend next to thee? No; thou art in an enemy’s country. This is a wicked world. I tell thee O child of light, that where thou meetest one sincere man, thou wilt meet twenty hypocrites; where thou wilt find one that will lead thee to heaven, thou wilt find a score who would push thee to hell. Thou art in a land of enemies, not of friends. O Christian! the world is not thy friend. If it is, then thou art not God’s friend; for he who is the friend of the world is the enemy of God; and he who is despised of men, is often loved of Jehovah.

But then, look within thee. There is a little world in here, which is quite enough to give us trouble. [F]or one moment, peep into the window of thine heart, to observe what is there. Sin is there—original sin and corruption; and, what is more, self is still within. Ah! if thou hadst no devil to tempt thee, thou wouldest tempt thyself; if there were no enemies to fight thee, thyself would be thy worst foe; if there were no world, still thyself would be bad enough; for “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” When the arrows fly fast, the shield of faith catches them all; and when the enemy is most angry, God is most pleased. So, for aught we care, the world may go on, the devil may revile, flesh may rise; “for we are more than conquerers through him that hath loved us.” Therefore, all honor be unto God alone. Expect suffering—this is our first point.

Now, secondly, there is a distinction to be noticed. Our sufferings are said to be the sufferings of Christ. Now, suffering in itself is not an evidence of Christianity. There are many people who have trials and troubles who are not children of God. [T]here is a distinction to be noticed. Are these sufferings the sufferings of Christ, or are they not? Take heed, beloved, that your sufferings are the sufferings of Christ; be sure they are not your own sufferings; for if they are, you will get no relief. It is only when they are the sufferings of Jesus that we may take comfort.

The trials of a true Christian are as much the sufferings of Christ, as the agonies of Calvary. they are the trials of Christ, if you suffer for Christ’s sake. If you are called to endure hardness for the sake of the truth, then those are the sufferings of Christ. Christian, thou fightest side by side with Jesus; Christ is with thee; every blow is a blow aimed at Christ; every slander is a slander on Christ; the battle is the Lord’s; the triumph is the Lord’s; therefore, still on to victory!

Our third point is, a proportion to be experienced. As the sufferings of Christ abound in us so the consolations of Christ abound. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy.

The first reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. There is nothing makes a man have a big heart like great trial. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. [F]or the lower we lie, the nearer to the ground we are—the more our troubles humble us—the more fit we are to receive comfort; and God always gives us comfort when we are most fit for it.

Then again, trouble exercises our graces, and the very exercise of our graces tends to make us more comfortable and happy. Where showers fall most, there the grass is greenest.

Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles is this—then we have the closest dealings with God. We never have such close dealings with God, as when we are in tribulation. When the barn is full, man can live without God. It is a fine day, and the child walks before its father; but there is a lion in the road, now he comes and takes his father’s hand. He could run half-a-mile before him when all was fine and fair; but once bring the lion, and it is “father! father!” as close as he can be. It is even so with the Christian. Let all be well, and he forgets God.

But if trials be weights, I will tell you of a happy secret. There is such a thing as making a weight lift you, if I have a weignt chained to me, it keeps me down; but give me pulleys and certain appliances, and I can make it lift me up. Yes, there is such a thing as making troubles raise me towards heaven. Blessed fact—as our troubles abound, our consolations also abound.

There is a person to be honoured. It is a fact that Christians can rejoice in deep distress; it is a truth, that put them in prison, and they still will sing. But to whom shall we give the honor? To whom shall the glory be given? Oh! to Jesus, to Jesus; for the text says it is all by Jesus.

I have a word with you who are expecting troubles, and are very sad because you are looking forward to them. Take the advice, of the common people, and “never cross a bridge till you get to it.” Follow my advice never bring your troubles nearer than they are, for they will be sure to come down upon you soon enough.

Then Christian in trouble, I have a word to say with thee. So my brother, thou art in trouble; thou art come into the waves of affliction, art thou? No strange thing, is it brother? Thou hast been there many times before. “Ah,” but sayest thou, “this is the worst I ever had. I have come up here this morning with a millstone round my neck; I have a mine of lead in my heart: I am miserable, I am unhappy, I am cast down exceedingly.” Well, but brother, as thy troubles abound, so shall thy consolation. Instead of being distressed about thy trouble, rejoice in it; thou wilt then honor God, thou wilt glorify Christ, thou wilt bring sinners to Jesus, if thou wilt sing in the depths of trouble.

Then one word with you who are almost driven to despair. [W]hat shalt thou do now? Do? why lie upon the sea of trouble, and float upon it; be still, and know that God is God, and thou wilt never perish. All thy kicking and struggling will sink thee deeper; but lie still, for behold the life-boat cometh.