A CAUTION TO THE PRESUMPTUOUS – 1 Cor 10:12 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
—1 Cor. 10:12

I speak not against strong faith or full assurance; God giveth it to us; it is the holiest, happiest thing that a Christian can have, and there is no state so desirable as that of being able to say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.” It is not against that I speak, but I warn you against that evil thing, a false confidence and presumption which creepeth over a Christian, like the cold death-sleep on the mountain-top, from which, if he is not awakened, as God will see that he shall be, death will be the inevitable consequence. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

My first business shall be to find out The Character intended by the presumptuous man, the man who thinks he stands. The fanning must begin with the floor; the winnowing must try the wheat. So we are to winnow the church this morning to discover the presumptuous.

And first, a very common cause, is continued worldly prosperity. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity—if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune—if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar, if there were not a few clouds in the sky, some specks in our sunshine—if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream “we stand;” and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; stand we might, but like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy. We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank him for our depressions of spirit; we extol his name for the losses of our property; for we feel that had it not so happened to us, had he not chastened us every morning, and vexed us every evening, we might have become too secure.

Again, light thoughts of sin will engender presumption. It is sadly true, that even a Christian will grow by degrees so callous, that the sin which once startled him and made his blood run cold, does not alarm him in the least. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. “We have not fallen,” say we, “we only did such a little thing; we have not gone astray. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright in the main. We might have uttered one unholy word, but as for the most of our conversation, it was consistent.” Christian, beware! when thou thinkest lightly of sin, then thou hast become presumptuous. Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stones?

A third reason often is, low thoughts of the value of religion. We none of us value religion enough. Religious furor, as it is called, is laughed at everywhere; but I do not believe there is such a thing as religious furor at all. If a man could be so enthusiastic as to give his body to be burned at the stake, could he pour out his drops of blood and turn each drop into a life, and then let that life be slaughtered in perpetual martyrdom, he would not love his God too much. When we consider we must be either in hell or in heaven throughout a never-ending state of immortality, how sirs, can we love too much? how can we set too high a value on the immortal soul? Can we ask too great a price for heaven? Can we think we do too much to serve that God who gave himself for our sins? If Christians knew the value of their souls, if they estimated religion at its proper rate, they never would presume; but low thoughts of Christ, low thoughts of God, mean thoughts of our souls’ eternal state—these things tend to make us carelessly secure.

But again, this presumption often springs from ignorance of what we are, and where we stand. All our life long the Holy Spirit reveals to us the horrid abomination of our hearts. I know there are some here who do not think anything about it; they think they are good-hearted creatures. Good hearts, have you? Good hearts! Jeremiah had a better heart than you, yet he said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” There is such corruption in a Christian, that while he is a saint in his life, and justified through Christ, he seems a devil sometimes in imagination, and a demon in the wishes and corruptions of his soul.

But to finish this delineation of a presumptuous man—Pride is the most pregnant cause of presumption.

Sometimes it is pride of talent. How am I wrapped in grandeur!” And thus in his self-complacency he thinks he stands. Ah! those are the men that fall.

Others have the pride of grace. A man says, “I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall.” There are some…who think their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, else the bed of the brook shall soon be dry, and ye shall see the pebbles at the bottom.

Many are worse still; they think they shall not fall because of their privileges. “I take the sacrament, I have been baptized in an orthodox manner, as written in God’s word; I attend such and such a ministry; I am well fed; I am fat and flourishing in the courts of my God. If I were one of those starved creatures who hear a false gospel, possibly I might sin; but oh! our minister is the model of perfection; we are constantly fed and made fat; surely we shall stand.” Pride cometh before a fall; and a haughty spirit is the usher of destruction. Take heed; watch thy footsteps; for where pride creepeth in, it is the worm at the root of the gourd, causing it to wither and die.

The true Christian cannot possibly suffer a final fall, but he is very much disposed to a foul fall. Though the Christian shall not stumble so as to destroy his life, he may break his limb.

The Danger.  I must now try and give you the reason why a man who thinks he stands is more exposed to the danger of falling than any other. First, because such a man in the midst of temptation will be sure to be more or less careless. The man who thinks he is strong, is off his guard; he is not ready to parry the stroke of the evil one, and then the poignard entereth his soul.

Again, the man who thinks he stands will not be careful to keep out of the way of temptation, but rather will run into it. Presumptuous men will say they can go into sin, they are so full of moral strength; but when a man tells you he is so good, always read his words backwards, and understand him to mean that he is as bad as he can be.

Another reason is, that these strong men sometimes will not use the means of grace, and therefore they fall. know some professedly religious people who are accepted in some churhes as being true children of God, who yet make it a habit of stopping away from the house of God, because they conceive they are so advanced that they do not want it. These are your presumptuous men. They are not to be found at the Lord’s table, eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ, in the holy emblems of bread and wine. You do not see them in their closets; you do not find them searching the Scriptures with holy curiosity. They think they stand—they shall never be moved; they fancy that means are intended for weaker Christians; and leaving those means, they fall.

Once more, the man who is self-confident runs a fearful hazard, because God’s, Spirit always leaves the proud. The gracious Spirit delights to dwell in the low places. God loves humility. He who walks with fear and trembling, fearing lest he should go astray, that man the Spirit loves; but when once pride creeps in, and the man declares, “Now I am in no danger,” away goes the dove; it flies to heaven and will have nought to do with him.

The third point is The Counsel. I would, if my Lord would allow me, speak home to your souls, and so picture the danger of a presumptuous man, that I would make you all cry out to heaven that sooner might you die than presume.

First, take heed, because so many have fallen. Oh! do you want to be saved by fire, Christians? Would ye not rather enter heaven, singing songs of praises? Would ye not glorify him on earth, and then give your last testimony with, “Victory, victory, victory, unto him that loved us;” then shut your eyes on earth, and open them in heaven? If you would do so, presume not.

Once more, my brother, take heed, because a fall will so much damage the cause of Christ. Nothing has hurt religion one-half, or one thousandth part, so much as the fall of God’s people. Ah! when a true believer sins, how will the world point at him. I heard one man say, a little while ago, that he did not believe there was a true Christian living, because he had found out so many hypocrites. I reminded him that there could be no hypocrites if there were no genuine ones. No one would try to forge bank notes if there were no genuine ones. But let those who are so, take heed; let them always, in their conduct, have the ring of true gold.

Oh ye, my beloved, ye my brethren, think not that ye stand, lest ye should fall. Oh ye fellow heirs of everlasting life and glory, we are marching along through this weary pilgrimage; and I, whom God hath called to preach to you, would turn affectionately to you little ones, and say, take heed lest ye fall. My brother, stumble not. Oh, my brethren; be much more in prayer than ever. Spend more time in pious adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men’s souls. So live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of him; and when that happy day shall come when he whom you love shall say, “Come up higher,” let it be your happiness to hear him say, “Come my beloved, thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness that fadeth not away”.

Sirs, there are some of you who know ye have not believed in Christ. If ye were to die where ye now sit ye have no hope that ye would rise amongst the glorified in bliss. How many are there here who if their hearts could speak, must testify that they are without God, without Christ, and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel. I cannot reverse my Master’s order—he says, “believeth,” and then “baptised;” and he tells me that “he that believeth not shall be damned.” Oh, my hearers, your works cannot save you. Though I have spoken to Christians, and exhorted them to live in good works, I talk not so to you. I ask ye not to get the flower before ye have the seed. I will not bid you get the roof of your house before ye lay the foundation. Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved.

Oh, may God grant you grace to turn to him with full purpose of heart! Come, guilty sinner, come!

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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!

The Personality of the Holy Ghost – John 14:16-17 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)


“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever: even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
—John 14:16, 17.

First of all, we shall have some little instruction concerning the proper personality of the Holy Spirit. I am afraid that, though we do not know it, we have acquired the habit of regarding the Holy Ghost as an emanation flowing from the Father and the Son, but not as being actually a person himself. [H]is operations are so mysterious, his doings are so secret, his acts are so removed from everything that is of sense, and of the body, that I cannot so easily get the idea of his being a person; but a person he is.

The first proof we shall gather from the pool of holy baptism. “I baptize thee in the name,”—mark, “in the name,” not names,—“of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’

A second argument arises from the fact, that the Holy Ghost has actually made different appearances on earth. The Holy Ghost was seen as a dove, to mark his purity and his gentleness. You see that company of disciples gathered together in an upper room; they are waiting for some promised blessing, by-and-by it shall come. Hark! there is a sound as of a rushing mighty wind; it fills all the house where they are sitting; and astonished, they look around them, wondering what will come next. Soon a bright light appears, shining upon the heads of each: cloven tongues at fire sat upon them. An influence could not appear—an attribute could not appear: we cannot see attributes—we cannot behold influences.

Another proof is from the fact, that personal qualities are, in Scripture, ascribed to the Holy Ghost[;] understanding (1 Cor 2), will (12:11), power (Rom 15:13), acts and deeds (Gen 1). [W]e are told that “holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” [T]he Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Paul and Barnabas for the work.” The Holy Ghost caught away Philip after he had baptised thee unuch (sic). [T]he Holy Ghost said to Paul. “Thou shalt not go into that city, but shalt turn into another.

But is it not said in Scripture, and do we not feel it, dear brethren, that it is the Holy Ghost who regenerates the soul? And is it not the Holy Spirit who after that flame is kindled, still fans it with the breath of his mouth and keeps it alive? [C]an it be said that he does all these things, and yet is not a person? it may be said, but it must be said by fools; for he never can be a wise man who can consider that these things can be done by any other than a glorious person—a divine existence.

Certain feelings are ascribed to the Holy Ghost, which can only be understood upon the supposition that he is actually a person. the Holy Ghost can be grieved (Eph 4:30). [T]he Holy Ghost can be vexed (Is 63:10). [T]he Holy Ghost can be resisted (Acts 7:51). The Holy Ghost may be tempted (5:9). [I]t must be a person who can be grieved, vexed, or resisted.

[A]llow me now, most earnestly, to impress upon you the absolute necessity of being sound upon the doctrine of the Trinity. A gospel without a Trinity!—it is a pyramid built upon its apex. A gospel without the Trinity!—it is a rope of sand that cannot hold together. A gospel without the Trinity!—then, indeed, Satan can overturn it. But, give me a gospel with the Trinity, and the might of hell cannot prevail against it; no man can any more overthrow it, than a bubble could split a rock, or a feather break in halves a mountain.

Now for the second point—the united agency of the three persons in the work of our salvation. “I will pray,” says the Son. “I will send,” says the Father. “I will comfort,” says the Holy Ghost. [I]t is a glorious trio of Godlike ones, and the three declare, unitedly. “We will save man.” Do not then say, “I am grateful to the Son,”—so you ought to be, but God the Son no more saves you than God the Father. Do not imagine that God the Father is a great tyrant, and that God the Son had to die to make him merciful. It was not to make the Father’s love flow towards his people. Oh, no. One loves as much as the other; the three are conjoined in the great purpose of rescuing the elect from damnation.

But you must notice another thing in my text, which will show the blessed unity of the three…whatever the Son says, the Father listens to; whatever the Father promises, the Holy Ghost works; and whatever the Holy Ghost injects into the soul, that God the Father fulfils. So the three together mutually promise on one another’s behalf.

Our third point is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in believers. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost is a subject so profound, and so having to do with the inner man, that no soul will be able truly and really to comprehend what I say, unless it has been taught of God. If you cannot comprehend me, I am much afraid it is because you are not of Israelitish extraction; you are not a child of God nor an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven. That man is no Christian who is not the subject of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; he may talk well, he may understand theology and be a sound Calvinist; he will be the child of nature finely dressed, but not the living child.

“But ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Ah! you think you cannot tell whether you have the Holy Spirit or not. Can I tell whether I am alive or not? If I were touched by electricity, could I tell whether I was or not? [H]ow it pulls back the hand of the saint when he would touch the forbidden thing; how it prompts him to make a covenant with his eyes; how it binds his feet, lest they should fall in a slippery way; how it restrains his heart, and keeps him from temptation.

Now we have to close up with a brief remark on the reason why the world rejects the Holy Ghost. It is said, “Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” all in a carnal state are not able to procure themselves this divine influence. The unregenerate world of sinners despises the Holy Ghost. “because it seeth him not.” Yes, I believe this is the great secret why many laugh at the idea of the existence of the Holy Ghost—because they see him not. The doctor said there was no soul, and he asked, “Did you ever see a soul?” “No,” said the Christian. “Did you ever hear a soul?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a soul?” No.” “Did you ever taste a soul?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a soul?” “Yes,” said the man—“I feel I have one within me.” “Well,” said the doctor, “there are four senses against one: you have only one on your side.” “Very well,” said, the Christian, “Did you ever see a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever hear a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever taste a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a pain?” “Yes,” “And that is quite enough, I suppose, to prove there is a pain?” “Yes.” So the worldling says there is no Holy Ghost, because he cannot see it. Well, but we feel it. You say that is fanaticism, and that we never felt it. Suppose you tell me that honey is bitter, I reply, “No, I am sure you cannot have tasted it; taste it, and try” So with the Holy Ghost; if you did but feel his influence, you would no longer say there is no Holy Spirit, because you cannot see it. Are there not many things, even in nature, which we cannot see? Did you ever see the wind? Did ye ever see electricity?

Saints of the Lord! ye have this morning heard that God the Holy Ghost is a person; ye have had it proved to your souls. What follows from this? Why, it followeth how earnest ye should be in prayer to the Holy Spirit, as well as for the Holy Spirit. Let me say that this is an inference that you should lift up your prayers to the Holy Ghost; that you should cry earnestly unto him; for he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think. See this mass of people; what is to convert it?

Then to the ungodly, I have this one closing word to say. Ever be careful how you speak of the Holy Ghost. There is danger; there is a pit which our ignorance has covered by sand; tread carefully! you may be in it before the next hour. Ye may blaspheme the Father, and ye shall be damned for it, unless ye repent; ye may blaspheme the Son, and hell shall be your portion, unless ye are forgiven; but blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and thus saith the Lord, “There is no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in the world which is to come.”

Let us think of this; and let us not at any time trifle either with the words, or the acts, of God the Holy Ghost.

The Sin of Unbelief – 2 Kings 7:19 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippet)


“And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes but shalt not eat thereof.”—2 Kings 7:19.

For Elisha’s sake the Lord sent the promise that the next day, food which could not be obtained at any price, should be had at the cheapest possible rate—at the very gates of Samaria. However, the lord on whom the king leaned expressed his disbelief. We hear not that any of the common people, the plebeians, ever did so; but an aristocrat did it. Strange it is, that God has seldom chosen the great men of this world. High places and faith in Christ do seldom well agree.

This great man said, “Impossible!” and, with an insult to the prophet, he added, “If the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be.” His sin lay in the fact, that after repeated seals of Elisha’s ministry, he yet disbelieved the assurances uttered by the prophet on God’s behalf. Whereupon God pronounced his doom by the mouth of the man who had just now proclaimed the promise: “thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.”

His sin was unbelief.
Unbelief hath more phases than the moon, and more colors than the chameleon. At one time I see unbelief dressed out as an angel of light. It calls itself humility, and it saith, “I would not be presumptuous; I dare not think that God would pardon me; I am too great a sinner.” We call that humility, and thank God that our friend is in so good a condition. At other times we detect unbelief in the shape of a doubt of God’s immutability: “The Lord has loved me, but perhaps he will cast me off to-morrow. Sometimes this infidelity is embodied in a doubt of God’s power. We see every day new straits, we are involved in a net of difficulties, and we think “surely the Lord cannot deliver us.” But the most hideous of all is the traitor, in its true colours, blaspheming God, and madly denying his existence. Infidelity, deism, and atheism, are the ripe fruits of this pernicious tree; they are the most terrific eruptions of the volcano of unbelief.

Oh! sirs believe me, could ye roll all sins into one mass,—could you take murder, and blasphemy, and lust, adultery, and fornication, and everything that is vile, and unite them all into one vast globe of black corruption, they would not equal even then the sin of unbelief.

[Unbelief] is the parent of every other iniquity. There is no crime which unbelief will not beget. I think that the fall of man is very much owing to it.

[I]f there can be one sin more heinous than the unbelief of a sinner, it is the unbelief of a saint. But it is because my faith is weak, that I sin. Once take away faith, the reins are broken; and who can ride an unbroken steed without rein or bridle?

[U]nbelief not only begets, but fosters sin. [H]ow is it that when the sinner hears the tremendous threatenings of God’s justice, still he is hardened, and walks on in his evil ways? I will tell you; it is because unbelief of that threatening prevents it from having any effect upon him.

Methinks the tale of Calvary is enough to break a rock. Rocks did rend when they saw Jesus die. Methinks the tragedy of Golgotha is enough to make a flint gush with tears, and to make the most hardened wretch weep out his eyes in drops of penitential love; but yet we tell it you, and repeat it oft, but who weeps over it?

Unbelief disables a man for the performance of any good work. You shall never hear me say a word against morality; you shall never hear me say that honesty is not a good thing, or that sobriety is not a good thing; on the contrary, I would say they are commendable things; but I will tell you what I will say afterwards—these virtues may be current here below, but not above. If you have not something better than your own goodness, you will never get to heaven. All these things put together, without faith, do not please God. Virtues without faith are whitewashed sins. Obedience without faith, if it is possible, is a gilded disobedience. Not to believe, nullifies everything.

Faith fosters every virtue; unbelief murders every one. Thousands of prayers have been strangled in their infancy by unbelief.

[U]nbelief has been severely punished. By faith Noah escaped from the flood. By unbelief the rest were drowned. And, oh! do you not know that unbelief kept Moses and Aaron out of Canaan? Zechariah…doubted, and the angel struck him dumb.

[Unbelief] is the damning sin. There is one other sin for which Christ never made atonement. Mention every crime in the calendar of evil, and I will show you persons who have found forgiveness for it. But ask me whether the man who died in unbelief can be saved, and I reply there is no atonement for that man.

There is an atonement made for the unbelief of a Christian, because it is temporary; but the final unbelief—the unbelief with which men die—never was atoned for. You may turn over this whole Book, and you will find that there is no atonement for the man who died in unbelief; there is no mercy for him. Had he been guilty of every other sin, but believed, he would have been pardoned; but this is the damning exception—he had no faith.

Punishment
[T]he real reason why God’s people do not feed under a gospel ministry, is, because they have not faith. If you believed, if you did but hear one promise, that would be enough; if you only heard one good thing from the pulpit, here would be food for your soul, for it is not the quantity we hear, but the quantity we believe, that does us good—it is that which we receive into our hearts with true and lively faith, that is our profit.

[T]o the unconverted[:] A great work is going on in this chapel, but some of you do not know anything about it; you have no work going on in your hearts, and why? Because ye think it is impossible; ye think God is not at work. It is not the wrath now you have to fear, but the wrath to come; and there shall be a doom to come, when “ye shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat thereof.”

I beseech you lay these things to heart, and remember that if you are damned, it will be unbelief that damns you. If you are lost, it will be because ye believed not on Christ; and if you perish, this shall be the bitterest drop of gall—that ye did not trust in the Saviour.