FORGIVENESS – Isaiah 43:23 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
—Isaiah 43:23.

Who are the recipients of mercy? Look…at the 22nd verse of the chapter from which our text is taken, and you will see, first, that they were prayerless people: “Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob.” These prayerless ones may have repeated many a form of prayer, but the breathing desire, the living words, have not come from their lips. Prayerless souls are Christless souls; for you can have no real fellowship with Christ, no communion with the Father, unless you approach his mercy-seat, and be often there; and yet if you are condemning yourselves, and lamenting that this has been your condition, you need not despair, for this mercy is for you.

Next, these persons were despisers of religion, for observe the language of the same verse:—“Thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.” As for the Sabbath-day, do not too many of you find it the most tiresome day in the week. You have to find some worldly amusement to make the hours of the Sabbath-day pass away with any comfort at all. But if you are now convinced of this sin, and are repenting of it, and desire to be delivered from its power, then God speaks to you this morning, and says, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake—return unto me, with unfeigned repentance, and I will have mercy upon you.”

Note, again, the character. They have been thankless persons. “Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings.” If a man has no more religion than that, if he has not a religion that will make him generous, he has no religion at all. and yet the Most High is willing to pardon thy sin in this thing, if thou art but unfeignedly penitent, and dost sue for forgiveness.

Yet, again, these people were a useless people. How many are there, even, perhaps among my hearers this morning, who have never honored God in their lives? What souls have you ever won to the Saviour? How has his name been magnified by you? Have you ever served him? Perhaps you have assisted in destroying the souls of those with whom you have been connected in life. You may look upon some souls who are going even now to damnation through your example. Even if it be so, my Master outhorises me to say again, “Thus saith the Lord, I, even I, am he that blotteth out my transgressions, and will not remember thy sins.”

Again, there are some who may be termed sanctuary sinners…the children of pious parents. O yes, the worst of sinners are sinners in Zion, because they sin against light and knowledge; they force their way to hell, as John Bunyan says, over the Cross of Christ; and the worst way to hell is to go by the cross to it. Do you tremble and shake for fear, and with a penitent heart desire forgiveness? If so, then I say again, in my Master’s name—who spake nothing but love and mercy to penitent sinners, who said, “Neither do I condemn thee”—Jehovah now declares “I, even I am be that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

Yet, once more, we have here men who had wearied God. You see the man who has been a professor of religion, and can look back twenty years ago, when he was a member of a Christian church; he was apparently walking in the fear of the Lord, and all men thought he had received the grace of God in truth; but he has turned aside into the paths of sin. Poor backslider, return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon thee; he will blot out all thy sins, and so blot them out that he will not remember them against thee any more for ever.

Some of you may say, “You…exclaim, “How can you talk to us in this way? We are a honest, moral, and upright people.” If so, then I have no gospel to preach to you. You may go elsewhere if you will, for you may get moral sermons in scores of chapels if you want them; but I am come in my Master’s name to preach to sinners, and so I will not say a word to you Pharisees except this—By so much as you think yourself righteous and holy, by so much shall ye be cast out of God’s presence at last.

The second point is, the deed of mercy. It is a deed of forgiveness, and in speaking of it, I shall speak first of its being a divine forgiveness. Divine pardon is the only forgiveness possible; for no one can remit sin but God only; but then it is the only pardon necessary.

It is surprising forgiveness. It is amazing to the poor sinner when first awakened to his sin and danger. It seems to be too good too be true, and he “wonders to feel his own hardness depart.” Unutterable mercy! There is no sinner out of hell so black but that God can wash him white.

Notice once more, that it is a present forgiveness. There are some who believe, or at least seem to imagine, that it is not possible to know whether our sins are forgiven in this life. But this will not satisfy the poor soul who is really seeking pardon, and is anxious to find it; and God has therefore blessedly told us, that he blotteth out our sin now; that he will do it at any moment the sinner believes. Jesus Christ bore our punishment, and God will never require at my hands the fulfilment of that law which Christ has honored in my stead. It is no more possible for a pardoned man to be lost than for Christ to be lost, because Christ is the sinner’s surety. Jehovah will never require my debt to be paid twice.

I cannot help noticing the completeness of this forgiveness. He has a book in which all your debts are written; but with the blood of Christ he crosses out the handwriting of ordinances which is there written against you. The bond is destroyed, and he will not demand payment for it again.

New, very briefly, the third thing—the reason for mercy. Hear what God says, “I am not about to forgive you for your own sake, but for my own sake.” “But, Lord, I shall not be thankful enough.” “I am not about to pardon you because of your gratitude, but for my name’s sake.” “But, Lord, if I am taken into thy church I can do very little for thy cause in future years, for I have spent my best days in the devil’s service, surely the impure dregs of my life cannot be sweet to thee, O God.” “I will not engage to forgive you for your sake, but for my own. I do not want you,” says God, “I can do as well without you as with you; the cattle upon a thousand hills are mine; and if I pleased I could create a whole race of men for my service, who should be as renowned as the greatest monarchs, or the most eloquent preachers, but I can do as well without them, as with them; and I forgive you therefore for my own sake.” Go then to Christ, poor sinner—naked, filthy, poor, wretched, vile, lost, dead, come as thou art, for there is nothing required in thee, except the need of him.

Now to conclude—the promise of mercy. “And will not remember thy sins.” He is Omnipotent…can he cease to remember? There are senses in which the expression is entirely accurate.

First of all, he will not exact punishment for them when we come before his judgment bar at last. Who then can bring to remembrance what God has forgotten?

The second meaning of this is, I will not remember thy sins to suspect thee. He loves them just as much as if they had never gone astray. He will employ them to preach his gospel; he will put them into the Sunday-school, and make them servants of his Son: for he says, “I will not remember thy sins.”

Again: he will not remember in his distribution of the recompense of the reward. He will give heaven to the chief of sinners as well as to the chief of saints…the malefactor who died on the cross is as much in the sight of God as the most moral person that ever lived. “He is able to save unto the uttermost.” “Whosoever cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.”

Oh, poor penitent if you perish, you will be the first penitent who ever did so. God give you his blessing, my dear friends, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

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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.

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.

Sweet Comfort For Feeble Saints -Matt 12:20 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.”
—Matt. 12:20.

You will generally find that those persons beloved by fame are men made of brass or iron, and cast in a rough mould. Fame caresseth Cæsar, because he ruled the earth with a rod of iron. Fame loves Luther, because he boldly and manfully defied the Pope of Rome, and with knit brow dared laugh at the thunders of the Vatican. Generally, you will find her chosing out the men of fire and mettle, who stood before their fellow-creatures fearless of them; men who were made of courage; who were consolidated lumps of fearlessness, and never knew what timidity might be.

[Fame] loves the rough granite peaks that defy the storm-cloud: she does not care for the more humble stone in the valley, on which the weary traveller resteth; she wants something bold and prominent; something that courts popularity; something that stands out before the world. She does not care for those who retreat in shade. Hence it is, my brethren, that the blessed Jesus, our adorable Master, has escaped fame. No one says much about Jesus, except his followers. He did not come to be a conqueror with his sword, nor a Mohammed with his fiery eloquence; but he came to speak with a “still small voice,”

First, we have before us a view of mortal frailty—bruised reed and smoking flax—two very suggestive metaphors, and very full of meaning. I should say that the brusied reed is an emblem of a sinner in the first stage of his conviction. The work of God’s Holy Spirit begins with bruising. In order to be saved, the fallow ground must be ploughed up; the hard heart must be broken; the rock must be split in sunder. The smoking flax I conceive to be a backsliding Christian; one who has been a burning and a shining light in his day, but by neglect of the means of grace, the withdrawal of God’s Spirit, and falling into sin, his light is almost gone out—not quite—it never can go out, for Christ saith, “I will not quench it;” but it becomes like a lamp when ill supplied with oil—almost useless.

What in the world is weaker than the bruised reed, or the smoking flax? Well, Christ says of them, “The smoking flax I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break.” Let me go in search of the weaklings. God hath his Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza’s gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; but the majority of his people are a timid, weak race. They are like the starlings that are frightened at every passer by; a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they fall before it; if trial comes, they are overwhelmed by it. Ah! dear friends, I know I have got hold of some of your hands now, and your hearts too; for you are saying, “Weak! Ah, that I am.

I know there are some very strong people here—I mean strong in their own ideas. They say, “Do you think that we go into sin, sir? Do you tell us that our hearts are corrupt? We do not believe any such thing; we are good, and pure, and upright; we have strength and might.” To you I am not preaching this morning; to you I am saying nothing; but take heed—your strength is vanity, your power is a delusion, your might is a lie.

No one would give the snap of a finger either for the bruised reed or smoking flax. Well, then, beloved, in our estimation there are many of us who are worthless things. What is the use of a bruised reed? Can a man lean upon it? Can a man strengthen himself therewith? And of what use is smoking flax? the midnight traveller cannot be lighted by it; the student cannot read by the flame of it. You are good for nothing, so are these things. But Christ will not throw you away because you are of no value. You do not know of what use you may be, and you cannot tell how Jesus Christ values you after all. Jesus Christ saith he will not quench the useless flax, nor break the worthless bruised reed; he has something for the useless and for the worthless ones. But mark you, I do not say this to excuse laziness—to excuse those that can do, but do not; that is a very different thing.

For I am sure you are, if God the Holy Ghost has really humbled you, just as offensive to your own souls, and just as offensive to God as a bruised reed would be among the pipes, or as smoking flax to the eyes and nose. I often think of dear old John Bunyan, when he said he wished God had made him a toad, or a frog, or a snake, or anything rather than a man, for he felt he was so offensive. There is nothing one half so worthy of abhorrence as the human heart. God spares from all eyes but his own that awful sight. Do you feel that you must be offensive in God’s sight—that you have so rebelled against him, so turned away from his commandments, that surely you must be obnoxious to him? If so, my text is yours.

Never mind, broken reed and smoking flax! Though thou art the scorn of man, and loathsome to thyself, yet Jesus saith to thee, “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Comfort! comfort! comfort! Despair not; for Jesus saith he will not quench the smoking flax, he will not break the bruised reed.

Both of these articles, however worthless they may be, may yet be of some service. You know the price of an article does not depend so much upon the value of the raw material as upon workmanship put upon it. Do not say you are good for nothing; you shall sing up in heaven yet. Do not say your are worthless; at last you shall stand before the throne among the blood-washed company, and shall sing God’s praise. How was that mass ignited? By a piece of smoking flax dropped by some traveller, fanned by the soft wind, till the whole prairie caught the flame. So one poor man, one ignorant man, one weak man, even one backsliding man, may be the means of the conversion of a whole nation.

Now I mount a step higher—to Divine Compassion. Ah! poor bruised reed, he will not break you; conviction shall be too strong; it shall be great enough to melt thee, and to make thee go to Jesu’s feet; but it shall not be strong enough to break thy heart altogether, so that thou shouldst die. So there is a backslider here this morning; he is like the smoking flax. You are smoking, and you think God will put you out.  Though you are smoking, you shall not die. Thy father calls thee. Hearken poor backslider! Come at once to him whose arms are ready to receive thee. When he says that he will not break the bruised reed, he means more; he means that he will nourish, that he will help, and strengthen, and support, and glorify—that he will execute his commission on it, and make it glorious for ever.

Backslider, Jesus Christ deals with thee; he does not put thee out; he blows gently; he says, “I will not quench thee;” he means, “I will be very tender, very cautious, very careful;” he will put on dry material, so that by-and-by a little spark shall come to a flame, and blaze up towards heaven, and great shall be the fire thereof.

If Christ lose one of his people, he would not be a whole Christ any longer. If the meanest of his children could be cast away, Christ would lack a part of his fulness; yea, Christ would be incomplete without his Church.

Now, to finish up, there is a Certain Victory. I shall be “more than conqueror through him that loved me.” Each feeble saint shall win the day; each man upon his crutches; each lame one; each one full of infirmity, sorrow, sickness, and weakness, shall gain the victory. Weak as thou art, God will temper the trial to thy weakness; he will make thy pain less, if thy strength be less; but thou shalt sing in heaven,” Victory! victory! victory!”

“I Change Not” – Malachi 3:6 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippet)

“I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”—Malachi. 3:6.

The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity. And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatary. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore

[H]e changes not in his essence. Man, especially as to his body, is always undergoing revolution. Very probably there is not a single particle in my body which was in it a few years ago. This frame has been worn away by activity, its atoms have been removed by friction, fresh particles of matter have in the mean time constantly accrued to my body, and so it has been replenished; but its substance is altered. The fabric of which this world is made is ever passing away; like a stream of water, drops are running away and others are following after, keeping the river still full, but always changing in its elements. But God is perpetually the same. He is not composed of any substance or material, but is spirit—pure, essential, and etherial spirit—and therefore he is immutable.

He changes not in his attributes. Take any one thing you can say of God now, and it may be said not only in the dark past, but in the bright future it shall always remain the same: “I am Jehovah, I change not.

God changes not in his plans. Why should he change? Ye worthless atoms of existence, ephemera of the day! ye creeping insects upon this bay-leaf of existence! ye may change your plans, but he shall never, never change his. Then has he told me that his plan is to save me? If so, I am safe.
“My name from the palms of his hands
. Eternity will not erase; Impress’d on his heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace.” 

God is unchanging in his promises. Believer! there was a delightful promise which you had yesterday; and this morning when you turned to the Bible the promise was not sweet. Do you know why? Do you think the promise had changed? Ah, no! You changed; that is where the matter lies. You had been eating some of the grapes of Sodom, and your mouth was thereby put out of taste, and you could not detect the sweetness. But there was the same honey there, depend upon it, the same preciousness

To some of you God is unchanging in his threatenings. Talk of decrees! I will tell you of a decree: “He that believeth not shall be damned” That is a decree, and a statute that can never change. Be as good as you please, be as moral as you can, be as honest as you will, walk as uprightly as you may,—there stands the unchangeable threatening: “He that believeth not shall be damned.”

God is unchanging in the objects of his love—not only in his love, but in the objects of it. If one dear saint of God had perished, so might all; if one of the covenant ones be lost, so may all be, and then there is no gospel promise true; but the Bible is a lie, and there is nothing in it worth my acceptance

I could no more think of a changing God, than I could of a round square, or any other absurdity. The thing seems so contrary, that I am obliged, when once I say God, to include the idea of an unchanging being.  Now, if he is a perfect being, he cannot change. Do you not see this? The fact of his being an infinite being at once quashes the thought of his being a changeable being.

[T]he persons to whom this unchangeable God is a benefit: God’s elect are here meant by “the sons of Jacob,”—those whom he, foreknew and fore-ordained to everlasting salvation. [P]ersons who enjoy peculiar rights and titles. 

[T]hese “sons of Jacob” were men of peculiar manifestations: [For Jacob t]here was a ladder. Then what a manifestation there was at Mahanaim, when the angels of God met him; and again at Peniel, when he wrestled with God, and saw him face to face

[T]hey are men of peculiar trials: Never was man more tried than Jacob, all through the one sin of cheating his brother. All through his life God chastised him. But I believe there are many who can sympathize with dear old Jacob. You do not understand what troubles mean; you have hardly sipped the cup of trouble; you have only had a drop or two, but Jesus drunk the dregs

They are men of peculiar character: There was Jacob’s faith. Do you know what it is to walk by faith, to live by faith, to get your temporary food by faith, to live on spiritual manna—all by faith? Is faith the rule of your life? if so, you are the “sons of Jacob.” Jacob was a man of prayer. Sirs, mark you, if you are living without prayer, you are living without Christ.

[T]he benefit which these “sons of jacob” receive from an unchanging God: We might have been consumed in hell. But there is a way of being consumed in this world; there is such a thing as being condemned before you die—“condemned already;” there is such a thing as being alive, and yet being absolutely dead. We might have been left to our own devices; and then where should we have been now? Yes, I am here, unconsumed, because the Lord changes not. Oh! if he had changed, we should have been consumed in a dozen ways; if the Lord had changed, you and I should have been consumed by ourselves; for after all, Mr. Self is the worst enemy a Christian has.

John Newton used to tell a whimsical story, and laugh at it too, of a good woman who said, in order to prove the doctrine of Election, “Ah! sir, the Lord must have loved me before I was born, or else he would not have seen anything in me to love afterwards

Remember God is the same, whatever is removed. Your friends may be disaffected, your ministers may be taken away, every thing may change; but God does not. Your brethren may change and cast out your name as vile: but God will love you still. Let your station in life change, and your property be gone; let your whole life be shaken, and you become weak and sickly; let everything flee away—there is one place where change cannot put his finger; there is one name on which mutability can never be written; there is one heart which never can alter; that heart is God’s—that name Love.