SOVEREIGNTY AND SALVATION

 

                                    BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,

 

            AT NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL, SOUTHWARK.

 

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and

there is none else.” Isaiah 14:22.

 

SIX years ago, to-day, as near as possible at this very hour of the day, I

was “in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity,” but had yet, by

divine grace, been led to feel the bitterness of that bondage, and to cry out

by reason of the soreness of its slavery. Seeking rest, and finding none, I

stepped within the house of God, and sat there, afraid to look upward, lest

I should be utterly cut off, and lest his fierce wrath should consume me,

The minister rose in his pulpit, and, as I have done this morning, read this

text-”Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am

God, and there is none else.” I looked that moment; the grace of faith was

vouchsafed to me in the selfsame instant, and now I think I can say with

truth-

 

E’er since by faith I saw the stream

His flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme,

And shall be till I die.”

 

I shall never forget that day, while memory holds its places nor can I help

repeating this text, whenever I remember that hour when first I knew the

Lord. How strangely gracious! How wonderfully and marvellously kind,

that he who heard these words so little time ago for his own soul’s profit,

should now address you this morning as his hearers from the same text, in

the full and confident hope that some poor sinner within these walls may

hear the glad tidings of salvation for himself also, and may to day, on this

6th of January, be “turned from darkness to light, and from the power of

Satan unto God.”

 

If it were within the range of human capacity to conceive a time when God

dwelt alone, without his creatures, we should then have one of the grandest

and most stupendous ideas of God. There was a season when as yet the

sun had never run his race, nor commenced flinging his golden rays across

space, to gladden the earth. There was an era when no stars sparkled in the

firmament for there was no sea of azure in which they might float. There

was a time when all that we now behold of God’s great universe was yet

unborn, slumbering within the mind of God, as yet uncreate and nonexistent;

yet there was God, and he was; over all blessed for ever;” though

no seraphs hymned his praises, though no strong-winged cherubs flashed

like lightning to do his high behests, though he was without a retinue, yet

he sat as a king on his throne, the mighty God, for ever to be worshippedthe

Dread Supreme, in solemn silence dwelling by himself in vast

immensity, making of the placid clouds his canopy, and the light from his

own countenance forming the brightness of his glory. God was, and God

is. From the beginning God was God; ere worlds had beginning, he was

from everlasting to everlasting.” Now when it pleased him to create his

creatures, does it not strike you how infinitely those creatures must have

been below himself. If you are potters, and you fashion upon the wheel a

vessel, shall that piece of clay arrogate to itself equality with you! Nay, at

what distance will it be from you, because you have been in part its creator.

So when the Almighty formed his creatures, was it not consummate

impudence, that they should venture for a moment to compare themselves

with him? Yet that archtraitor, that leader of rebels, Satan, sought to climb

to the high throne of God, soon to find his aim too high, and hell itself not

low enough wherein to escape divine vengeance. He knows that God is

“God alone.” Since the world was created, man has imitated Satan; the

creature of a day, the ephemera of an hour, has sought to match itself with

the Eternal. Hence it has ever been one of the objects of the great Jehovah,

to teach mankind that be is God, and beside him there is none else. This is

the lesson he has been teaching the world since it went astray from him He

has been busying himself in breaking down the high places, in exalting the

valleys, in casting down imaginations and lofty looks, that all the world

might

 

“Know that the Lord is God alone,

He can create, and he destroy.”

 

This morning we shall attempt to show you, in the first place, how God has

been teaching this great lesson to the world-that he is God, and beside him

there is none else; and then, secondly, the special way in which he designs

to teach it in the matter of salvation,-”Look unto me, and be ye saved: for

I am God, and there is none else.”

 

I. First, then, HOW HAS GOD BEEN TEACHING THIS LESSON TO MANKIND?

We reply he has taught it first of all, to false gods, and to the idolaters who

have bowed before them. Man, in his wickedness and sin, has set up a

block of wood and stone to be his maker, and has bowed before it. He hath

fashioned for himself out of a goodly tree an image made unto the likeness

of mortal man, or of the fishes of the sea, or of creeping things of the earth,

and he has prostrated his body, and his soul too, before that creature of his

own hands, calling it God, while it had neither eyes to see, nor hands to

handle, nor ears to hear! But how hath God poured contempt on the

ancient gods of the heathen. Where are they now? Are they so much as

known? Where are those false deities before whom the multitudes of

Nineveh prostrated themselves? Ask the moles and the bats whose

companions they are, or ask the mounds beneath which they are buried; or

go where the idle gazer walketh through the museum, see them there as

curiosities, and smile to think that men should ever bow before such gods

as these. And where are the gods of Persia? Where are they? The fires are

quenched, and the fire-worshipper hath almost ceased out of the earth.

Where are the gods of Greece-those Gods adorned with poetry, and

hymned in the most sublime odes? Where are they? they are gone. Who

talks of them now, but as things that were of yore? Jupiter-doth anyone

bow before him? and who is he that adores Saturn? They are passed away,

and they are forgotten. And where are the gods of Rome? Doth Janus now

command the temple? or do the vestal virgins now feed their perpetual

fires? Are there any now that bow before these gods? No, they have lost

their thrones. And where are the gods of the South Sea Islands- those

bloody demons before whom wretched creatures prostrated their bodies?

They have well nigh become extinct. Ask the inhabitants of China and

Polynesia where are the gods before which they bowed? Ask, and echo

says ask, and ask again. They are cast down from their thrones they are

hurled from their pedestals, their chariots are broken, their sceptres are

burnt in the fire, their glories are departed, God hath gotten unto himself

the victory over false gods, and taught their worshippers that be is God,

and that beside him there is none else. Are there gods still worshipped, or

idols before which the nations bow themselves? Wait but a little while, and

ye shall see them fall. Cruel Juggernaut, whose ear still crushes in its

motion the foolish ones who throw themselves before it, shall yet be the

object of derision, and the most noted idols, such as Budha and Brahma,

and Vishnu, shall yet stoop themselves to the earth, and men shall tread

them down as mire in the streets; for God will teach all men that he is God,

and that there is none else.

 

Mark ye, yet again, how God has taught this truth to empires. Empires

have risen up, and have been the gods of the era; their kings and princes

have taken to themselves high titles, and have been worshipped by the

multitude, But ask the empires whether there is any besides God. Do you

not think you hear the boasting soliloquy of Babylon-”I sit as a queen, and

am no widow; I shall see no sorrow, I am god, and there is none beside

me?” And think ye not now, if ye walk over ruined Babylon, that ye will

meet ought save the solemn spirit of the Bible, standing like a prophet grey

with age and telling you that there is one God, and that beside him there is

none else? Go ye to Babylon, covered with its sand, the sand of its own

ruins; stand ye on the mounds of Nineveh, and let the voice come up-

”There is one God, and empires sink before him; there is only one

potentate, and the princes and kings of the earth with their dynasties and

thrones are shaken by the trampling of his foot.” Go, seat yourselves in the

temple of Greece; mark ye there what proud words Alexander once did

speak, but now where is he, and where his empire too? Sit on the ruined

arches of the bridge of Carthage; or walk ye through the desolated theatres

of Rome, and ye will hear a voice in the wild wind amid those ruins-”I am

God, and there is none else.” “O city, thou didst call thyself eternal. I have

made thee melt away like dew. Thou saidst ‘I sit on seven hills, and I shall

last for ever,’ I have made thee crumble, and thou art now a miserable and

contemptible place, compared with what thou wast. Thou wast once stone,

thou madest thyself marble. I have made thee stone again, and brought thee

low.” Oh! how has God taught monarchies and empires that have set

themselves up like new kingdoms of heaven, that he is God, and that there

is none else!

 

Again: how has he taught this great truth to monarchs! There are some

who have been most proud that have had to learn it in a way more hard

than others. Take for instance, Nebuchadnezzar. His crown is on his head,

his purple robe is over his shoulders; he walks through proud Babylon, and

says, “Is not this great Babylon which I have builded?” Do you see that

creature in the field there? It is a man. “A man?” say you; its hair has

grown like eagles’ feathers; and its nails like bird’s claws; it walketh on allfours,

and eateth grass, like an ox; it is driven out from men. That is the

monarch who said- “Is not this great Babylon that I have builded?” And

now he is restored to Babylon’s palace, that he may “bless the Most High

who is able to abase those that walk in pride.” I remember another

monarch. Look at Herod. He sits in the midst of his people, and he speaks.

Hear ye the impious shout? “It is the voice of God,” they cry, “and not the

voice of man.” The proud monarch gives not God the glory; he affects the

god and seems to shake the spheres, imagining himself divine. There is a

worm that creepeth into his body, and yet another, and another, and ere

that sun has set, he is eaten up of worms. Ah! monarch! thou thoughtest of

being a god, and worms have eaten thee! Thou hast thought of being more

than man; and what art thou? Less than man, for worms consume thee, and

thou art the prey of corruption. Thus God humbleth the proud, thus he

abaseth the mighty. We might give you instances from modern history; but

the death of a king is all-sufficient to teach this one lesson, if men would

but learn it. When kings die, and in funeral pomp are carried to the grave,

we are taught the lesson- “I am God, and beside me there is none else.”

When we hear of revolutions, and the shaking of empires-when we see old

dynasties tremble, and gray-haired monarchs driven from their thrones,

then it is that Jehovah seems to put his foot upon land and sea, and with his

hand uplifted cries-”Hear! ye inhabitants of the earth! Ye are but as

grasshoppers; ‘I am God, and beside me there is none else.’”

Again: our God has had much to do to teach this lesson to the wise men of

this world; for as rank, pomp, and power, have set themselves up in the

place of God, so has wisdom; and one of the greatest enemies of Deity has

always been the wisdom of man. The wisdom of man will not see God.

Professing themselves to be wise, wise men have become fools. But have

ye not noticed, in reading history, how God has abased the pride of

wisdom? In ages long gone by, be sent mighty minds into the world, who

devised systems of philosophy. “These systems,” they said, “will last for

ever.” -Their pupils thought them infallible, and therefore wrote their

sayings on enduring parchment, saying, “This book will last for ever;

succeeding generations of men will read it, and to the last man that book

shall be handed down as the epitome of wisdom “Ah! but,” said God, “that

book of yours shall be seen to be folly, ere another hundred years have

rolled away.” And so the mighty thoughts of Socrates, and the wisdom of

Solon, are utterly forgotten now; and could we hear them speak, the

veriest child in our school would laugh to think that he understandeth more

of philosophy than they. But when man has found the vanity of one system,

his eyes have sparkled at another, if Aristotle will not suffice, here is

Bacon, now I shall know everything: and he sets to work, and says that this

new philosophy is to last for ever. He lays his stones with fair colors, and

he thinks that every truth he piles up is a precious imperishable truth. But

alas! another century comes, and it is found to be “wood, hay, and

stubble.” A new sect of philosophers rise up, who refute their

predecessors. So too we have wise men in this day-wise securalists, and so

on, who fancy they have obtained the truth; but within another fifty yearsand

mark that word-this hair shall not be silvered over with grey, until the

last of that race shall have perished, and that man shall be thought a fool

that was ever connected with such a race; systems of infidelity pass away

like a dew-drop before the sun; for God says, “I am God, and beside me

there is none else.” This Bible is the stone that shall break in powder

philosophy; this is the mighty battering ram that shall dash all systems of

philosophy in pieces; this is the stone that a woman may yet hurl upon the

head of every Abimelech, and he shall be utterly destroyed. O Church of

God! fear not thou shalt do wonders; wise men shall be confounded, and

thou shalt know, and they too, that he is God, and that beside him there is

none else.

 

“Surely,” says one, “the church of God does not need to be taught this.”

Yes, we answer, she does; for of all beings, those whom God has made the

objects of his grace are perhaps the most apt to forget this cardinal truth,

that he is God, and that beside him there is none else. How did the church

in Canaan forget it, when they bowed before other gods, and therefore he

brought against them mighty kings and princes, and afflicted them sore.

How did Israel forget it! and he carried them away captive into Babylon.

And what Israel did in Canaan, and in Babylon, that we do now. We too,

too often forget that he is God, and beside him there is none else. Doth not

the Christian know what I mean, when I tell him this great fact? For hath

he not done it himself? In certain times prosperity has come upon him, soft

gales have blown his bark along, just where his wild will wished to steer;

and he has said within himself, “Now I have peace, now I have happiness,

now the object I wished for is within my grasp, now I will say, Sit down,

my soul, and take thy rest; eat, drink, and be merry; these things will well

content thee make thou these thy God, be thou blessed and happy.” But

have we not seen our God dash the goblet to the earth, spill the sweet

wine, and instead thereof fill it with gall? and as he has given it to us, he

has said-”Drink it, drink it: you have thought to find a God on earth, but

drain the cup and know its bitterness “When we have drunk it, nauseous

the draught was, and we have cried, “Ah! God, I will drink no more from

these things; thou art God, and beside thee there is none else.” And ah!

how often, too, have we devised schemes for the future, without asking

God’s permission? Men have said, like those foolish ones whom James

mentioned, “We will do such-and-such things on the morrow, we will buy

and sell and get gain.” whereas they knew not what was to be on the

morrow, for long ere the morrow came they were unable to buy and sell,

death had claimed them, and a small span of earth held all their frame. God

teaches his people every day by sickness, by affliction, by depression of

spirits, by the forsakings of God, by the loss of the Spirit for a season, by

the lackings of the joys of his countenance, that-he is God, and that beside

him there is none else. And we must not forget that there are some special

servants of God raised up to do great works, who in a peculiar manner

have to learn this lesson. Let a man for instance, be called to the great

work of preaching the gospel. He is successful; God helps him, thousands

wait at his feet, and multitudes hang upon his lips; as truly as that man is a

man, he will have a tendency to be exalted above measure, and too much

will he begin to look to himself, and too little to his God. Let men speak

who know, and what they know let them speak and they will say, “It is

true, it is most true.” If God gives us a special mission we generally begin

to take some honor and glory to ourselves. But in the review of the

eminent saints of God, have you never observed how God has made them

feel that he was God, and beside him there was none else; Poor Paul might

have thought himself a god; and been puffed up above measure, by reason

of the greatness of his revelation, had there not been a thorn in the flesh.

But Paul could feel that he was not a god, for he had a thorn in the flesh,

and gods could not have thorns in the flesh. Sometimes God teaches the

minister by denying him help on special occasions. We come up into our

pulpits, and say, “Oh! I wish I could have a good day to-day!” We begin to

labor we have been just as earnest in prayer, and just as indefatigable; but it

is like a blind horse turning round a mill, or like Samson with Delilah: we

shake our vain limbs with vast surprise, “make feeble flight,” and win no

victories. We are made to see that the Lord is God, and that beside him

there is none else. Very frequently God teaches this to the minister, by

leading him to see his own sinful nature. He will have such an insight into

his own wicked and abominable heart, that he will feel as he comes up the

pulpit stairs, that he does not deserve so much as to sit in his pew, much

less to preach to his fellows. Although we feel always joy in the declaration

of God’s Word, yet we have known what it is to totter on the pulpit steps,

under a sense that the chief of sinners should scarcely be allowed to preach

to others. Ah! beloved, I do not think he will be very successful as a

minister, who is not taken into the depths and blackness of his own soul,

and made to exclaim, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is

this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable

riches of Christ.” There is another antidote which God applies in the case

of ministers. If he does not deal with them personally, He raises up a host

of enemies that it may be seen that he is God, and God alone. An esteemed

friend sent me, yesterday, a valuable old MS. of one of George Whitfield’s

hymns which was sung on Kennington Common. It was a splendid hymn,

thoroughly Whitfieldian all through. It showed that his reliance was wholly

on the Lord, and that God was within him. What! will a man subject

himself to the calumnies of the multitude, will he toil and work day after

day unnecessarily, will he stand up Sabbath after Sabbath, and preach the

gospel, and have his name maligned and slandered, if he has not the grace

of God in him? For myself, I can say, that were it not that the love of

Christ constrained me, this hour might be the last that I should preach, so

far as the case of the thing is concerned. “Necessity is laid upon us, yea,

woe is unto us if we preach not the gospel.” But that opposition through

which God carries his servants, leads them to see at once that he is God,

and that there is none else. If every one applauded, if all were gratified, we

should think ourselves God; but, when they hiss and hoot, we turn to our

God, and cry,

 

“If on my face, for thy dear name,

Shame and reproach should be,

I’ll hail reproach and welcome shame

If thou’lt remember me.”

 

II. This brings us to the second portion of our discourse. Salvation is

God’s greatest work, and therefore, in his greatest work, he specially

teaches us this lesson-That he is God, and that beside him there is none

else. Our text tells US HOW HE TEACHES IT-He says, “Look unto me, and

be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” He shows us that he is God, and that

beside him there is none else, in three ways. First, by the person to whom

he directs us.-”Look unto me, and be ye saved.” Secondly, by the means he

tells us to use to obtain mercy:-”Look,” simply “Look.” And thirdly, by the

persons whom he calls to “look:” -”Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the

ends of the earth.”

 

1. First, to whom does God tell us to look for salvation? Oh! does it not

lower the pride of man, when we hear the Lord say, “Look unto me, and

be ye saved, all the ends of the earth?” It is not “Look to your priest, and

be ye saved:” if you did there would be another God, and beside him there

would be some one else. It is not “Look to yourself:” if so, then there

would be a being who might arrogate some of the praise of salvation. But

it is, “Look unto me.” How frequently you who are coming to Christ look

to yourselves. “Oh!” you say, “I do not repent enough.” That is looking to

yourself. “I do not believe enough.” That is looking to yourself. “I am too

unworthy.” That is looking to yourself “I cannot discover,” says another,

that I have any righteousness.” It is quite right to say that you have not

any righteousness; but it is quite wrong to look for any. It is “Look unto

me,” God will have you turn your eye off yourself and look unto him. The

hardest thing in the world is to turn a man’s eye off himself; as long as he

lives, he always has a predilection to turn his eyes inside and look at

himself, whereas, God says, “Look unto me.” From the Cross of Calvary,

where the bleeding hands of Jesus drop mercy, from the Garden of

Gethsemane, where the bleeding pores of the Savior sweat pardons, the cry

comes, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” From

Calvary’s summit, where Jesus cries, “It is finished,” I hear a shout, “Look,

and be saved.” But there comes a vile cry from our soul, “Nay, look to

yourself! look to yourself!” Ah, my bearer, look to yourself, and you will

be damned. That certainly will come of it. As long as you look to yourself

there is no hope for you. It is not a consideration of what you are, but a

consideration of what God is, and what Christ is, that can save you. It is

looking from yourself to Jesus. Oh! there be men that quite misunderstand

the gospel; they think that righteousness qualifies them to come to Christ;

whereas sin is the only qualification for a man to come to Jesus. Good old

Crisp says, “Righteousness keeps me from Christ: the whole have no need

of a physician, but they that are sick; sin makes me come to Jesus when sin

is felt, and in coming to Christ, the more sin I have, the more cause I have

to hope for mercy.” David said, and it was a strange thing too, “Have

mercy upon me, for mine iniquity is great.” But, David, why did you not

say that it was little? Because David knew, that the bigger his sins were,

the better reason for asking mercy. The more vile a man is, the more

eagerly I invite him to believe in Jesus. A sense of sin is all we have to look

for, as ministers. We preach to sinners; and let us know that a man will

take the title of sinner to himself, and we then say to him, “Look unto

Christ, and ye shall be saved.” “Look,” this is all he demands of thee, and

even this he gives thee. If thou lookest to thyself thou art damned; thou art

a vile miscreant, filled with loathsomeness, corrupt and corrupting others.

But look thou here! seest thou that man hanging on the cross? Dost thou

behold his agonized head drooping meekly down upon his breast? Dost

thou see that thorny crown, causing drops of blood to trickle down his

cheeks? Dost thou see his hands pierced and rent, and his blessed feet,

supporting the weight of his own frame, rent well nigh in twain with the

cruel nails? Sinner! dost thou hear him shriek, “Eloi, Eloi, lama

sabachthani?” Dost thou hear him cry, “It is finished?” Dost thou mark his

head hang down in death? Seest thou that side pierced with the spear, and

the body taken from the cross? Oh! come thou hither! Those hands were

nailed for thee; those feet gushed gore for thee; that side was opened wide

for thee; and if thou wantest to know how thou canst find mercy, there it

is! “Look!” “Look unto me!” Look no longer to Moses Look no longer to

Sinai. Come thou here and look to Calvary, to Calvary’s victim, and to

Joseph’s grave. And look thou yonder, to the man who near the throne sits

with his Father, crowned with light and immortality. “Look! sinner,” he

says, this morning, to you, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” It is in this

way God teaches that there is none beside him, because he makes us look

entirely to him, and utterly away from ourselves.

 

2. But the second thought is, the means of salvation. It is, “Look unto me

and be ye saved.” You have often observed, I am sure, that many people

are fond of an intricate worship-an involved religion-one they can hardly

understand. They cannot endure worship so simple as ours. Then they must

have a man dressed in white, and a man dressed in black; then they must

have what they call an altar and a chancel. After a little while that will not

suffice, and they must have flowerpots and candles. The clergyman then

becomes a priest, and he must have a variegated dress, with a cross on it.

So it goes on: what is simply a plate becomes a paten, and what was once a

cup becomes a chalice; and the more complicated the ceremonies are, the

better they like them. They like their minister to stand like a superior being.

The world likes a religion they cannot comprehend! But have you never

noticed how gloriously simple the Bible is? It will not have any of your

nonsense, it speaks plain, and nothing but plain things. “Look!” There is

not an unconverted man who likes this “Look unto Christ, and be ye

saved.” No, he comes to Christ like Naaman to Elijah; and when it is said,

“Go, wash in Jordan!” he replies “I verily thought he would come and put

his hand on the place, and call on the name of his God, but the idea of

telling me to wash in Jordan, what a ridiculous thing. Anybody could do

that!” If the prophet had bidden him do some great thing, would he not

have done it? Ah! certainly he would. And if, this morning, I could preach

that any one who walked from here to Bath without his shoes and

stockings or did some impossible thing, should be saved, you would start

off to-morrow morning, before breakfast. If it would take me seven years

to describe the way of salvation, I am sure you would all long to hear it. If

only one learned doctor could tell the way to heaven, how would he be run

after! And if it were in hard words with a few scraps of Latin and Greek, it

would be all the better. But it is a simple gospel that we have to preach. It

is only “Look!” “Ah!” you say, “is that the gospel? I shall not pay any

attention to that.” But why has God ordered you to do such a simple thing?

Just to take down your pride, and to show you that he is God, and that

beside him there is none else. Oh! mark how simple the way of salvation is.

It is, “Look, look, look!” -Four letters, and two of them alike! “Look unto

me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Some divines want a week

to tell you what you are to do to be saved: but God the Holy Ghost only

wants four letters to do it. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of

the earth.” How simple is that way of salvation! And, oh! how

instantaneous! It takes us some time to move our hand, but a look does not

require a moment. So a sinner believes in a moment, and the moment that

sinner believes and trusts in his crucified God for pardon, at once he

receives salvation in full through his blood. There may be one that came in

here this morning unjustified in his conscience, that will go out justified

rather than others. There may be some here, filthy sinners one moment,

pardoned the next. It is done in an instant. “Look! Look! Look!” And how

universal is it! Because wherever I am, however far off, it just says

“Look!” It does not say I am to see; it only says “Look!” If we look on a

thing in the dark we cannot see it, but we have done what we were told. So

if a sinner only looks to Jesus, he will save him; for Jesus in the dark is as

good as Jesus in the light, and Jesus when you cannot see him is as good as

Jesus when you can. It is only “look!” “Ah!” says one, “I have been trying

to see Jesus this year, but I have not seen him.” It does not say see him, but

took unto him!” And it says that they who looked were lightened. If there

is an obstacle before you, and you only look in the right direction, it is

sufficient. “Look unto me!” It is not seeing Christ so much as looking after

him. The will after Christ, the wish after Christ, the desire after Christ, the

trusting in Christ, the hanging on Christ, that is what is wanted. “Look!

Look! Look!” Ah! if the man bitten by the serpent had turned his sightless

eye-balls towards the brazen serpent, though he had not seen it, he would

still have had his life restored. It is looking, not seeing, that saves the

sinner.

 

We say again, how this humbles the man! There is a gentleman who says,

“Well if it had been a thousand pounds that would have saved me, I would

have thought nothing of it.” But your gold and silver is cankered; it is good

for nothing “Then am I to be saved just the same as my servant Betty?”

Yes, just the same, there is no other way of salvation for you. That is to

show man that Jehovah is God, and that beside him there is none else. The

wise man says, “If it had been to work the most wonderful problem, or to

solve the greatest mystery, I would have done it. May I not have some

mysterious gospel? May I not believe in some mysterious religion?” No, it

is “Look!” “What! am I to be saved just like that Ragged School-boy, who

can’t read his letters?” Yes, you must, or you will not be saved at all.

Another says, “I have been very moral and upright. I have observed all the

laws of the land, and if there is anything else to do, I will do it; I will eat

only fish on Fridays, and keep all the fasts of the church, if that will save

me.” No, sir, that will not save you; your good works are good for

nothing. “What! must I be saved in the same way as a harlot or a

drunkard?” Yes, sir, there is only one way of salvation for all. “He hath

concluded all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” He hath

passed a sentence of condemnation on all, that the free grace of God might

come upon many to salvation “Look! Look! Look!” This is the simple

method of salvation. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the

earth.”

 

But, lastly, mark how God has cut down the pride of man, and has exalted

himself by the persons whom he has called to look. “Look unto me and be

ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” When the Jew heard Isaiah say that,

“Ah!” he exclaimed “you ought to have said, Look unto me, O Jerusalem

and be saved. That would have been right. But those Gentile dogs are they

to look and be saved?” “Yes,” says God, I will show you, Jews, that

though I have given you many privileges, I will exalt others above you, I

can do as I will with my own.”

 

Now, who are the ends of the earth? Why, there are poor heathen nations

now that are very few degrees removed from brutes, uncivilized and

untaught, but if I might go and tread the desert, and find the Bushman in

his kraal, or go to the South seas, and find a Cannibal, I would say to the

Cannibal or the Bushman, “Look unto Jesus, and be ye saved all the ends

of the earth.” They are some of “the ends of the earth,” and the gospel is

sent as much to them, as to the polite Grecians, the refined Romans, or the

educated Britons. But I think “the ends of the earth “imply those who have

gone the farthest away from Christ. I say, drunkard, that means you! You

have been staggering back, till you have got right to the ends of the earth;

you have almost had delirium tremens, you cannot be much worse, there is

not a man breathing worse than you. Is there? Ah! but God, in order to

humble your pride, says to you, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” There is

another who lived a life of infamy and sin, until she has ruined herself, and

even Satan seems to sweep her out at the back door; but God says, “Look

unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Methinks I see one

trembling here, and saying, “Ah! I have not been one of these, sir, but I

have been something worse, for I have attended the house of God, and I

have stifled convictions, and put off all thoughts of Jesus, and now I think

he will never have mercy on me.” You are one of them. “Ends of the

earth!” So long as I find any who feel like that, I can tell them that they are

the ends of the earth.” “But,” says another, “I am so peculiar; if I did not

feel as I do, it would be all very well; but I feel that my case is a peculiar

one.” That is all right; they are a peculiar people. You will do. But another

one says, “There is nobody in the world like me; I do not think you will

find a being under the sun that has had so many calls, and put them all

away, and so many sins on his head; besides, I have guilt that I should not

like to confess to any living creature.” One of “the ends of the earth “again;

therefore all I have to do is to cry out, in the Master’s name, “Look unto

me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is

none else.” But thou sayest sin will not let thee look. I tell thee, sin will be

removed the moment thou dost look. “But I dare not; he will condemn me;

I fear to look” He will condemn thee more, if thou dost not look. Fear,

then, and look; but do not let thy fearing keep thee from looking. “But he

will cast me out.” Try him. “But I cannot see him.” I tell you, it is not

seeing, but looking. “But my eyes are so fixed on the earth, so earthly, so

worldly.” Ah! but, poor soul, he giveth power to look and live. He saith-

”Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

Take this, dear friends, for a new year’s text, both ye who love the Lord,

and ye who are only looking for the first time. Christian! in all thy troubles

through this year, look unto God and be saved. In all thy trials and

afflictions look unto Christ, and find deliverance. In all thine agony, poor

soul, in all thy repentance for thy guilt, look unto Christ, and find pardon.

This year remember to put thine eyes heavenward and thine heart

heavenward too. Remember this day, that thou find round thyself a golden

chain, and put one link of it in the staple in heaven. Look unto Christ; fear

not. There is no stumbling, when a man walks with his eyes up to Jesus. He

that looked at the stars fell into the ditch; but he that looks at Christ walks

safely. Keep your eyes up all the year long. “Look unto him, and be ye

saved,” and remember that “he is God, and beside him there is none else.”

And thou poor trembler, what sayest thou? Wilt thou begin the year by

looking unto him. You know how sinful you are this morning; you know

how filthy you are, and yet it is possible that before you open your pew

door, and get into the aisle, you will be as justified as the apostles before

the throne of God. It is possible that ere you- foot treads the threshold of

your door, you will have lost the burden that has been on your back, and

you will go on your way, singing, “I am forgiven, I am forgiven; I am a

miracle of grace; this day is my spiritual birthday.” Oh! that it might be

such to many of you, that at last I might say, “Here am I, and the children

thou hast given me.” Hear this convinced sinner! “This poor man cried, and

the Lord delivered him out of his distresses.” Oh! taste and see that the

Lord is good! Now believe on him; now cast thy guilty soul upon his

righteousness; now plunge thy black soul into the bath of his blood; now

put thy naked soul at the door of the wardrobe of his righteousness, now

seat thy famished soul at the feast of plenty! Now “look!” How simple

does it seem! And yet it is the hardest thing in the world to bring men to.

They never will do it, till constraining grace makes them. Yet there it is,

“Look!” Go thou away with that thought. “Look unto me, and be ye saved

all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

 

 

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