Staying the Course

                                                  I Timothy 4:1-13

                                                   June 23, 2019

                                                           

 

 

                                                Timothy Warned (vs. 1-5)

 

·         APOSTASY.But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some

shall fall away from the faith.” This was to be properly an apostasy, or

movement away from Christ from within the Church. Some who were

professed believers were to fall away from the faith. They were unworthily

to use their Christian position, Christian enlightenment and reputation,

against Christ. This was to take place in “later times,” not in the times

before the completion of the kingdom of God, but simply in times

subsequent to the time that then was, not all in one time but, as pointing to

more than one anti-Christian development, in times. This was explicitly

foretold, the prophecy being traced, not to the consciousness of the

apostle, but to the inspiration of the Spirit. The prophecy had already been

made known, but we may understand that it was still already witnessed in

the consciousness of the apostle. If the mystery of godliness was operating,

there was also, as announced in II Thessalonians, already operating the

mystery of iniquity.

 

·         HOW THE APOSTASY WAS TO BE BROUGHT ABOUT.

 

Ø      Source. “Giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” The

apostle points to the apostasy as having its origin from beneath. There is

the agency of those who are the tools of the devil. These are seducing

spirits, their object being TO LEAD AWAY FROM CHRIST! And they

are demons, hostile to souls, who give rise to soul-destroying doctrines. This

is the quarter from which the apostates are to draw their inspiration and their

faith. It has been remarked here how we cannot stand isolated. If we are

not influenced by the Holy Spirit, we must fall under the power of one or

other — for they are a plurality, and do not agree unless in their end — of

the deceiving spirits. If we do not give heed to the doctrine of God our

Savior — one and thoroughly consistent as well as sublime — we must

give heed to one or other of the doctrines of devils, many and inconsistent.

(To check the accuracy of this statement, just analyze  your attitude toward

this!  CY – 2019)

 

Ø      Instrumentality. “Through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded

in their own conscience as with a hot iron.” The evil spirits are to be

thought of as working in and through these heretical teachers. They are

hidden from our view and from the consciousness of the teachers

themselves; but there seems no reason to doubt that those who pay no

heed to the leadings of the Spirit of truth lay themselves open to be

possessed, in an ordinary way, by one or other of the spirits of falsehood

whose instruments they become. The heretical teachers are suitably

described as speakers of lies. They were to give forth as truth what were

lies — what did not agree with the nature of things, what did not agree

with the nature of God, with the facts of human nature, that for which they

were without evidence, and of which they had no clear conviction. They

were to be like men wearing a mask, laying claim to superior sanctity and

to show the way to sanctity, but only to conceal their own turpitude.(depravity;

wickedness).   For they were to be branded in their own conscience, branded

as criminals were branded, and branded where the marks of their crimes could

not be concealed from themselves.  (Are tattoos brands?  CY – 2019)

 

·         TWO POINTS IN THE HERETICAL TEACHING THAT WAS TO

BE THE PRECURSOR OF THE APOSTASY.

 

Ø      “Forbidding to marry, and

Ø      commanding to abstain from meats.”

 

This asceticism was already appearing in Essenism. The honorable, and even

exaggerated, estimate of marriage which was characteristic of the Jew, and of

the Pharisee as the typical Jew, found no favor with the Essene. Marriage was

to him an abomination.  Those Essenes, who lived together as members of an

order, and in whom the principles of the sect were carried to their logical

consequences, eschewed it altogether. To secure the continuance of their

brotherhood, they adopted children, whom they brought up in the doctrines

and practices of the community. (Does this not describe the dilemma that the

LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community] often used to encompass

any sexual orientations or gender identities that do not correspond to heterosexual

norms) Community?  CY – 2019)  There were others, however, who took a

different view. They accepted marriage as necessary for the preservation of the

race. Yet even with them it seems to have been regarded only as an inevitable

evil.  They fenced it off by stringent rules, demanding a three years’ probation,

and enjoining various purificatory rites. The conception of marriage as

quickening and educating the affections, and thus exalting and refining

human life, was wholly foreign to their minds. Woman was a, mere

instrument of temptation in their eyes, deceitful, faithless, selfish, jealous,

misled and misleading by her passions. But their ascetic tendencies did not

stop here. The Pharisee was very careful to observe the distinction of

meats lawful and unlawful, as laid down by the Mosaic code, and even

rendered those ordinances vexatious by minute definitions of his own. But

the Essene went far beyond him. He drank no wine, he did not touch

animal food. His meal consisted of a piece of bread and a single mess of

vegetables. Even this simple tare was prepared for him by special officers

consecrated for the purpose, that it might be free from all contamination.

(Now grocery stores have on their shelves examples of this!  CY – 2019)

Nay, so stringent were the rules of the order on this point, that, when an

Essene was excommunicated, he often died of starvation, being bound by

oath not to take food prepared by defiled hands, and thus being reduced to

eat the very grass of the field (Lightfoot). In Gnosticism, which came to its

full development after the apostle’s day, these points had great

prominence, being grounded in the idea of matter as being the principle of

evil. The same points come out very remarkably in Roman Catholicism. The

ordinance of marriage, which our Lord honored, is thus depreciated in a

decree of the Council of Trent: “Whosoever shall say that the married state

is to be preferred to a state of virginity or celibacy, and. that it is not better

and more blessed to remain in virginity or celibacy than to be joined in

marriage, let him be accursed.” In the same line superior sanctity, or special

merit, is connected with abstinence from meats. Thus the prophecy

received striking fulfillment.  (We ought to be very careful to what we

espouse in this life, working out our with fear and trembling.”  (Philippians

2:12 – CY – 2019)

 

·         REFUTATION OF THE SECOND POINT IN THE HERETICAL

TEACHING.

 

Ø      Position to which it is opposed.Which God created to be received with

thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth.” God has created

meats, and He has created them for the use of all. At the same time, it is

true that the purpose of creation is only fulfilled in the case of them that

believe and know the truth. They alone can appreciate the condition

attached to the use of meats, viz. receiving with thanksgiving. “A brutish

man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.”  (Psalm 92:6)

But those that have experience of the truth as believers are:

 

o        sensible of their mercies, and

o        give God thanks for them.

 

Ø      Substantiation.

 

o        Broad principle. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is

      to be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving.” This is one broad

      principle on which practice is to be based. “And God saw everything

      that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) 

      We must lay hold — against a false asceticism — of the essential

      goodness of whatever God has made for food. It may have to be

      refused on the ground of health, on the ground of moral discipline

      as expressed in I Corinthians 9:27, on the ground of benefit to others

      as expressed in (ibid. ch. 8:13. But apart from such considerations,

      to which only their due weight must be attached, a creature-comfort

      as good in itself has no unholiness to us, if the condition is fulfilled,

      viz. receiving with thanksgiving. It is a very important consideration,

      which we must not lose sight of in feeling the claims of abstinence,

      that by our creature-comforts God is seeking to make us glad,

      and to attach us to Himself in thankfulness.

 

o        Elucidation of the good creature of God having no unholiness to us.

“For it is sanctified through the Word of God and prayer.” By

conversing with God through His Word we rise above our own low

ideas and aims, and get into the region of His thoughts and purposes.

(Even though as the heavens are higher than the earth, are His ways

and thoughts higher than ours!  Isaiah 55:9 – CY – 2019)  We get at

the principles which are to regulate us, and the feelings which are to

animate us, in our daily life. We thereby connect God with our daily

life, and are prepared for sitting down to the meals of the day. But we

are to connect God more immediately with our meals by prayer. We

are to ask God, from whom our table mercies come, to bless us in the

use of them, and to accept our thankfulness for them. Here is a very

old form of grace before meat:  “Blessed be thou, O Lord, who hast

fed me from my youth, who givest food to all flesh. Fill our hearts with

joy and gladness, that, having always what sufficeth, we may abound

unto all good works, in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom be unto

thee honor, glory, and power, for ever and ever.” By such reasonable

acknowledgment of God before our food is it sanctified to us. We can

partake of it as a holy thing, as that which we have as a covenant

privilege. Nothing is said about the first point in the heretical teaching.

But it can be refuted on much the same ground. God has instituted

marriage for our happiness. The end of the institution is carried out

in the case of them that believe and know the truth, by their thanking

God for the happiness which is thus ministered to them. The married

life is made holy by being connected with the Word of God and

prayer.

 

 

 

The gospel was a faithful saying, and Paul did not alter and

improve his doctrine and teachings; he preaches the same gospel in his

earlier and later Epistles. He was a man of sober judgment and of

intellectual power, and no mere rhapsodist (a classical Greek professional performer

of epic poetry).  He says, “It is worthy of all acceptation” — by the scholar and

            the peasant, the Jew and the Gentile,  the bond and the free.

 

·         THE TOIL OF A TRUE FAITH. “Therefore we labor,” not simply

we teach” nor “formulate opinions.” That might be done with ease, like

philosophic teachers, in the garden and the porch. “We labor!” A word

involving pain and tears, as well as toil. The tendencies of the times are

against us. The corrupt taste of a degenerate age is against us. The cross is

to the Jew a stumbling-block, and to the Greek foolishness. We do not

please men, like the rhetoricians. We do not amuse men, like the sophists,

We labor in journeyings, in perils, in hunger, in stripes. Think of Paul’s

outcast condition, so far as his own countrymen were concerned. Think of

his relation to the Roman power — suspected of sedition; and accusations

of his fellow-countrymen, the Jews. At a time when Rome swarmed with

spies, he was laboring in the face of certain danger and death.

 

                                                v. 6

 

the good minister,”

under a particular aspect. He is one who makes the Divine words his

continual nourishment. As there are foods which are nutritive for the body,

so what is nutritive for the soul is what God says to us, especially about

Himself and His feelings toward us. These Divine words are words of faith,

or words which require faith for their apprehension. They are also words of

good doctrine, or words in which instruction is given. It is well that there

are infallible words for faith, and that we are not left to the unreliable

guidance of reason. It is upon these that teaching must be founded, if it can

be called good. The good minister is one who has his own soul nourished

in words which he cordially believes, and in which he is well instructed.

Paul had been the instructor of Timothy, and he testifies that his

instructions had hitherto been followed by him.

 

 

 

                                    A Young Teacher (v. 12)

 

“Let no man despise thy youth.” Apart from the direct reference of these

words to the Christian apostolate, they are appropriate to us all in the

season of youth. Spring-time is so different from autumn! Nature then is

full of promise. As in spring the buds are bursting, and the birds building,

and Nature’s flower-show preparing, and her orchestra tuning, still we

pause to think what may come. Locusts may eat up all green things; the hot

sirocco winds may wither the verdure, and the fruit of the vine may fail.

Still there is a blessed promise in early days. No sane man will be found to

despise youth in itself. As well despise the acorn because it is not an oak,

or the orange blossom because it has not fruited. The spirit of the text is

this:  Do not act so as to lead men to despise you.

 

·         MEN DESPISE MERE WORD-HEROISM. Be an example:

 

Ø      in word;

Ø      in conversation, which means citizenship;

Ø      in charity, which means every aspect of love to God and man;

Ø      in spirit, which means the atmosphere that surrounds your life;

Ø      in faith, which means vital obedience to the doctrines of the gospel; and,

Ø      in purity, the absence of which was the curse of Asia Minor and the cities of the East.

 

            Nothing gives greater power than conduct. “Character,” says Ossili, “is

            higher than intellect.”

 

·         MEN DESPISE THE TRIFLER AND THE IDLER. If the word and

the conversation be frivolous; as death and life are in the power of the

tongue; then the man who is the rattle-brain of society is not likely to be

the ornament of the Church or the admiration of the world. Men will, and

ought, to despise such. There may be a dignified youth as well as a

dignified age. It is not necessary to have a formal and unnatural decorum,

but it is necessary for those who speak on the high matters of religion to

show that they live in that world of solemn realities of which they speak.

 

 

 

                                    Saving Others (v. 16)

 

“For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

Not, of course, as providing the salvation or applying it; the first is done by

the Savior, the second by the Holy Spirit; but in working out the salvation

in making use of all Divine means and instrumentalities.

 

 

·         PERSONAL SALVATION. “Save thyself;” for in the heaven-voyage

the captain is not to be lost while the company and the crew are saved. In

this war the enemy is not to pick off the sentinels and the captains alone.

No; Divine grace is sufficient for pastor as well as for people; but it would

be a terrible thing — alas! not an unknown thing — that the minister who

has taught others, himself should be a castaway. Next follows:

 

·         THE SALVATION OF OTHERS. “Them that hear thee.” A simple

word, “hear.” The pulpit must not be the place for the airing of personal

crotchets, or the use of arrows and shafts of mere wit, or the discussion of

mere critical themes. “The things that ye have heard” are such as the

apostle defines — august and real, vital and eternal realities. To hear may

seem a light thing, and so it is if the message be light. But the true minister

does not tremble before his audience, any more than Paul did before Felix.

 

Ø      If the congregation be his patron, he may please them to secure his

      living;

Ø      if they are his Sanhedrim, he may be heard before them in test of

      his judgments;

Ø      if they are his guests, and not the Master’s, he may cater for a

            banquet suited to their tastes;

 

but if he is the minister of God to them for good, if woe is his if he preach

not the gospel, if he has the sacred responsibility of one who is put in trust

with the gospel, — then hearing is a solemn thing. On that may hang

character, influence, destiny.

 

Ø      He is not there as lord over God’s heritage.

Ø      He is not there to have dominion over their faith.

 

He appeals to reason, to conscience, and all that we mean by

heart and soul. But he does not create a gospel or propound some new

philosophyhe is to preach (ch. 2:5-6) “one God, and one

Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,” and yet Christ

Jesus the Lord; the God who was “manifest in the flesh, justified in the

Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world,

received up into glory” (ch. 3:16). And them that hear thee.”

Ours is a solemn relationship; but it may be a sweet and sublime one too.

In the far-away land we may greet each other as victors in the same war,

winners of the same race, companions on the same pilgrimage. Saved with

the ancient swords stored in the heavenly armory. Saved, with the great sea

behind us and Canaan in possession, with sweeter grapes than those of

Eshcol, and more triumphant strains of victory than those of Miriam. I say

it may be so with us, and with some who have heard and whispered the

sacred words to themselves as on the last pillow they went home to God.

The very sentence, “them that hear thee,” has in it all the pathos of the

past, as well as all the realism of the present. The lips that speak are only

these of man, but the message is the Word of Him who “would have all men

to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (ch. 2:4)  Is it true of

us, as we face each other, that we shall see one another again — yea, years to

come — and that these words may rise up against preacher, and hearers, or

both? Is it true that waiting angels will bear back the message, “This and

that man [woman, child] was born there”?  (Psalm 87:6)  The living Church of God is holy ground. Then truly we need no meretricious aids (apparently

attractive but in reality having no value) to make our ministry pleasant, or to

make the Church harmonize with the age. Eternity will reverse many of the verdicts of time. Much of our judgment now is touched and tarnished with the worldly ideal. The hour is coming when He who said, “Go... and speak in the temple... all the words of this life”  (Acts 5:20), will call us all alike into His presence; and then it will be seen and known before God and the holy angels whether we have both saved ourselves and them that heard us.

 

 

 

     

                  HASTENING LOT.

                                                    

                                                    DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,

 

               AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON,

         ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, APRIL 25TH, 1875.

 

“When the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot.”-Genesis 19:15.

 

II. Now I must turn to the second part of my subject, which is, that

SINNERS NEED TO BE HASTENED AS MUCH AS SAINTS DO, for sinners also

are very slow.

 

I thought, this afternoon, when my head was almost splitting with pain, and

I could not fix my thoughts upon my theme for this evening, “Oh, dear,

dear, dear, if these sinners were only sensible, preaching would be very

easy work, for all I should have to do would be just to set before them the

way of salvation, and they would at once walk in it!” But we have to rack

our brains, and to pour out our very heart in order to get you to attend to

your chief business, and to give heed to that which is for your lasting good.

Sometimes, our hearers say, “The preachers always tell us that same story,

and their sermons are not as polished as we should like them to be.” Ah,

but! if you would only believe in Jesus, and so be saved, we would polish

our sermons up for you. If you would only seek and find Jesus Christ as

your Savior, we would try to give you some eloquence then; but, so long

as you will not have Christ and resolve to remain as you are, the only thing

we can do is to keep on persuading, entreating, and even compelling you to

come in to the great gospel feast. We are obliged to put the old truth in

very much the same old way. It is not poetical work to be a Royal Humane

Society’s officer, seeking to pull drowning people out of the river; and

there is not much poetry about our work in trying to be the means of

saving your souls.

 

But what makes you men and women so slow to believe in the Lord Jesus

Christ which is the only way of salvation? Are you so fond of your sins that

you are not willing to give them up, or are you really so self-righteous that

you do not believe that you need to be saved? I think the most of you do

believe, in a way, that there is a hell, and that you will go there unless you

are converted, but you do not really believe it, you do not realize what it

means. You are very earnestly listening to me just now, but if somebody,

over there by the door, were to cry out because a piece of plaster had

dropped off the ceiling, how wide awake you would become compared

with what you are now when I am talking about your going to hell, and

being lost for ever. Somehow or other, there is a want of reality about you

when spiritual matters are being discussed. I fear that the same spirit is

getting into some good people’s prayers. We do not pray real prayers; at

least, not as real as they ought to be. I do try to preach to you as if I meant

it, and I would willingly lay down my life if, by doing so, I could save you;

yet you listen to me as if it were merely a very proper thing for me to

preach, and for you to hear, on Sunday, but as if you had nothing to do

with the gospel on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and

Saturday. You hear that the city in which you are dwelling is to be

destroyed. You do not tell the angel that the prophecy is a lie; but you sit

down so comfortably that it is clear that you do not believe it, or if you do,

you need to be pressed again, and again, and again, to act, as if it were

true. Just now, as you took your seat, you missed a diamond ring off your

finger, and you will not be at all comfortable until you get home, and see if

it is there. You are concerned about the loss of a ring, yet your souls are

lost, and you are quite unconcerned about them. This terrible truth does

not fret and worry you; I wish it would, so that you would say, “I will

never rest again till I know that I am saved through Jesus Christ the

Savior.” Surely, madness is bound up in the heart of sinners, or else they

would not need to, be hastened to escape.

 

“Well,” say some of you, “we intend to think about this matter.” I know

you do, and that thought of yours is Satan’s biggest net. He has a number

of nets of different sorts and sizes; some of them are only meant for eagles,

and he does not often use them, for there are not many eagles about, but he

has a big net which he uses for catching small birds. I picture the great

enemy of souls going out with his big net, and I fancy I can hear him

whistling with unholy glee at the thought of the many birds he will take in

it. This is the style of his temptation, — you are not to cavil at the truth,

you are not to be an avowed infidel, you are not to despise the Savior, you

are not to say that the salvation of your soul is an unimportant matter; but

you are to say to the minister, “Yes, sir, what you preach is all very true,

and I am glad you put it in the way that you do. I like earnest preaching; I

like to be told personally about my need of salvation, and I will attend to

the matter very soon; tomorrow, if possible. Oh, I just remember there is

something on that day which will be rather in the way; but, as soon as that

is over, I will give heed to what you say.” That is just what has happened a

long while with some of you, but you are no nearer the deciding point. A

gentleman in this neighborhood told me that he could not come to hear me

preach again. I asked him, “Why is that?” “Well,” he answered, “I only

came once, and then you pointed me out, and said, ‘There sits a grayheaded

old fool.’ At least, you said that a gray-headed old sinner is a grayheaded

old fool.” “Well,” I said, “I do not remember seeing you before; but

are you a grey-headed old sinner? Because, if you are, then you are the

other thing as well.” He just looked at me, and said nothing, and I have not

seen him since that time. I am afraid there are others here to whom I might

say just the same, and it would be true. They must be foolish, for they have

not done what they have admitted it would be wise for them to do. Again

and again, a man has said, “I will do it.” Now, sir, you are a fool to say, “I

will do it,” if it was a foolish thing; but if it was a wise thing, and you said,

“I will do it,” yet you have not done it, who are you?

 

Some of you are good arithmeticians; will you take your pencils, and work

out a sum for me? Here is a man of fifty years of age, and I want you to

calculate the probabilities of his ever being saved. He had an excellent early

training from a very godly father and mother, whose many prayers for him

he cannot forget, though he remained unsaved in spite of them all. He went

to a Sunday-school, and had a very gracious teacher, who set him a good

example, and was very earnest in pleading with him; but he would not

yield. As he grew up, he had many Christian friends, who wrote letters to

him, and used every possible opportunity to impress him. He resisted all

that, and for twenty years attended the ministry of a very earnest preacher.

There was a great revival, and many were saved, but he was not one of

them. Since then, he has been sitting under another very faithful minister of

God’s Word, and he has been impressed again and again. Put that down,

and figure it out if you can. He has been impressed fifty times, or a

hundred, perhaps a couple of hundred times, and he has got over all that;

what are the probabilities that he will ever be saved? To tell you the truth, I

greatly fear that the probability is that the man will be lost, that he never

will be converted, but will continue as he has been already despite every

instrumentality that has been employed on his behalf.

 

O you sinners, with such terrible probabilities against you, you do indeed

need to be hastened, and fain would we put our hands upon you, and urge

you to escape for your lives, and to do it now, for it is now or never with

some of you who are present here tonight! I have no doubt that, if we

could read the past history of some who are here, we should see abundant

reasons for urging them to immediate decision. I have already shown you

where these reasons would be found, and the probabilities against their

conversion. But, as to the future, happily, that is hidden from all of us. I am

no prophet, nor the son of a prophet; and, therefore, I shall not attempt to

utter a prediction; but you all must know that, out of some six thousand

persons assembled here, there is a great probability that we shall not all be

alive next Lord’s day. It is a certainty that we shall never all of us meet

here again, and the probability that some of us will have gone from this

earth before next Sabbath is very great. In the membership of this church, I

notice, as regularly as the year rolls round, that our death-list comes to

between fifty and seventy. There is usually one death a week or, if there

should happen to be one week in which a member of the church does not

die, there will be two or three in the week following. The average is one a

week; so that, if not out of this present assembly, yet out of the usual

congregation at this Tabernacle, it is a certainty that two will die in a week.

Two, in a week!

 

I wonder where the two victims for this week are; perhaps at home, dying

by degrees, with a good hope in Jesus Christ. Blessed be God if that is the

case; we will shout the harvest home as they are gathered in. Possibly, they

are lying at home sick, yet without hope. Let us pray for them if that is

their condition. Lord, help them to believe in Jesus Christ this very night;

ere they tread death’s awful road, O Lord, save them! But perhaps one out

of the two may be here, in good health, and unconverted. I am not saying

what is at all improbable, am I? It may be so, and if I knew that someone

here would die before next Sabbath day, I would beg him to stop after the

service, that I might give him a squeeze of the hand, and say to him, “My

dear friend, do not let this day go by without your looking to Christ and

committing your soul into his hands.” “Now, as I do not know who it is to

be, give me your hands, all of you, all round the building. I should like to

look you dear men and women in the face, and say to each one of you,

“Now, dear soul, do not live and die without the Savior. Do lay this matter

to heart. I am not an angel, but I am one who would fain do you good. If it

be right to believe in Jesus Christ the sooner you do it, the better; and if it

be right to love and serve God, the sooner you do it, the better. And if to

trust in Christ’s precious blood be the only safe course, the sooner you do

that, the better. May the eternal Spirit come, and lead you, even now, to

lay hold on Jesus Christ and find eternal life in him this very hour!”

Now, look me in the face, and say whether it shall be so or not. I will not

ask you to speak; there will be too much noise if you all do so. But, in your

heart, I ask you to say, will you, or will you not? This may be the turning

point, in your life’s history. There is a spot, under the dome of St. Paul’s

Cathedral, where there is a mark made by the chisel of a man, who fell

from the top, and was killed. There is also a mark, which angel eyes can

see, in that pew, or in that aisle, or up in that, gallery, where you have sat,

and said, “Not, tonight; I will decide to-morrow;” or where you have said,

“No, I will not have anything to do with Christ.” I wish that, instead of

such a mark as that, there could be a star let into the floor, which would

mean, “Here, a poor soul believed in Jesus.” I know a little Primitive

Methodist chapel in Colchester. I went to see it some time ago, and I went

into the very pew where I sat, as a boy fifteen years of age, and heard a

sermon from the text, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the

earth.” I should have liked to buy the seat, and take it home, for I love the

spot where Jesus met with me and saved me; and there are some of you

who feel like that concerning these pews. They are very sacred to you, and

always will be, for there you were born for God. Oh, that some of you

might be born here this very night! Some of you are in no need of

instruction; you need hastening. You do not need to be impressed

concerning the guilt of your sins so much as to be urged to give them up,

and to put your trust in Jesus Christ. You do not need to be brought to the

water so much as to be made to drink of it. There it is. Oh, that you would

open your mouths, and let the blessed stream flow in, for that is all that is

needed. Receive Christ; receive Christ now, by a simple act of faith, and he

will give you grace and strength to battle with your sins, and to make you

holy. Oh, that now, now, NOW, the great work may be done! I do not

suppose you can hear this clock tick; but when you get home, listen to

your odd clock on the stairs, or in your room, and it will say to you, “Now,

now, now, now.” I have sometimes thought that, in the night, I have heard

the clock say, “Now or never! Now or never! Now or never! Now or

never! Now or never!” You need not listen to me any longer, but listen to

that message from the clock. May the Holy Spirit speak to you through it,

and may you answer, “Now, even now, I will believe in Jesus Christ and be

saved.” May God bless you! May Christ save you! Amen

 

 

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