Charles Haddon Spurgeon


 “Come and see.” — John 1:39.

“Come and dine.” — John 21:12.


THE one text is in the beginning, and the other at the end of John’s gospel.

There is a mystery here. Here is typified a growth which it were well for us

to understand. “Come and see,” is for babes in grace: “Come and dine,” is

for strong men in Christ Jesus. We must notice the order. “Come and see,”

is the beginning of spiritual life, as it is the beginning of this gospel. “Come

and dine,” is a high after-privilege of the spiritual life, and a blessed result

of it. “Come and see,” this is the gospel’s cry to those outside its pale; it

has nothing to conceal, it wears no mask, it has no most holy place into

which entrance is forbidden; it has a “sanctum sanctorum,” but the way

into it is open. Open and above-board in all its doings, the Truth as it is in

Jesus bares its bosom secrets, and cries to every passer-by, “Come and

see.” The seals of the book are broken, the darkness is rolled away, the

vision is open, and with clarion note the invitation is issued “Come and

see.” Romanism may conceal its worship under the Latin tongue; difficult

phraseology and polished periods may hide from the multitude the teaching

of professed Protestants, but the true preacher of Christ declares, “I

determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him

crucified; and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of

man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” The

shutters of every window are turned back, the keys put into every lock, and

every door is thrown wide open. Investigation is courted upon every point;

the gospel stands at her door, and says, “Come in hither, come and see.”

You have this short sentence, “Come and see,” as, first of all, an

encouragement to enquirers. Many of you are like John’s disciples; they

had heard John preach, and they believed his Word, and when they saw

Christ to whom John pointed, they followed him, but not knowing him,

they followed him with a question upon the tip of their tongues; “Master,

where dwellest thou?” He said, “Come and see.” You also are anxious

to know Christ. You have heard his word preached by some of his

witnesses, and you want to know him personally for yourselves. You have

a pressing question to put to-night, and Jesus encourages you to ask, nay.

to come, and get your own answer with your own eye. “Come,” saith he,

“Come and see.”


There are three ways, I think, by which persons are to “Come and see.”

One is by observation. We ought to give attention to the teaching of the

gospel, to weigh it and prove it, if it he found false, to cast it away with

decision; but if it be found worthy of our attention, to hold it fast, and

never let it go. Many persons are careless; they will consider the last new

novel, or they have been clamoring to get the “Life of Julius Caesar,” to

see what the Emperor of the French can have to say upon that subject; but

concerning Christ crucified they have no curiosity. They frequent their

place of worship without feeling enough interest in the affair to ask

themselves why they go. They do not expect to understand what they hear,

or if they understand it, they care not whether the thing be true or not; it is

nothing to them that Jesus should die. Now, surely, a theme which involves

eternal consequences, a matter which deals with my immortal spirit, ought

not to be put into the background, and left to careless inadvertence. I

ought, at least, to give it something like the consideration which it claims at

my hands. But some look at it through coloured spectacles. They are

prejudiced against the gospel; they do observe it, they say, but their

observation is tinctured by themselves, and by their own character. Some

persons make up their minds as to what the gospel ought to be before they

try to find out what it is. They do not come to the Bible, nor to the hearing

of the Word in order to discover what truth is; but they sit down, and

dream, and fashion in their own minds just such a sort of concoction as

they imagine gospel truth should be, and everything which is contrary to

this they will kick against, like the foolish ox which kicks against the goad.

It would be no use for me, in astronomy, to make an hypothesis, and then

go out with a telescope, and say, “That star ought not to he where it is.

According to my theory, Jupiter ought not to have moved as he has

moved, and therefore I do not believe in Jupiter, nor in the stars, for I do

not like their goings on.” Who but madmen talk thus. I must always shape

my views to facts, and regarding the Bible as the great storehouse of facts,

I must take care that I go to it with a candid and unbiased judgment. May

God help me so to do. To find out what truth is, “Come and see,” but ask

God to open your eyes that you may behold the wondrous things which are

written in his law.


Does any one enquire how he can come and see in the matter of

observation? We invite you, dear friends, to a diligent reading of How

Scripture, as one means of seeing. The worst-read hook in England is that

Bible. People read a verse of it, or half a chapter in the morning, and think

they understand it. Suppose any one were to read a poet in that way. Let

the world’s favored poet, Shakspeare, be treated in such a style as that, and

what man could ever appreciate his beauties? If you get a poet, say

Cowper, you read “The Task” through. You do not think of snatching a

line or two here and there; if you did, you would be like the Greek pedant,

who carried a brick about as a specimen of a house which he had for sale.

If you read Young’s “Night Thoughts,” it is true that there almost every

line is noteworthy, and is as finished as a distinct proposition; but still he

who would appreciate the beauties of Young must read the “Night

Thoughts” through, or, at least, read a book at a time. Yet there are

thousands of you who never did read one of the gospels through, never

read one of the epistles through with a studious mind, desiring to catch the

drift, and to understand the sense; and do you dream you will ever know

what the Bible teaches by just recalling a portion here, and a portion there?

Impossible! Absurd! If you have any care to “Come and see,” read the

Bible in a common-sense way, and sit down with the determination that, as

far as the human mind can find out what God means, you will know what

he has revealed concerning his Son. I am not afraid of what the

consequences will be, if you do that. If, moreover, you seek the aid of the

Divine Spirit, your search cannot be in vain. You shall see Jesus, and

rejoice in his great salvation.


Then, next, I earnestly desire you to hear the gospel as well as read it, only

take care that what you hear is the gospel. It is very easy to find divines of

flowery speech, and flowing tongue, from whom, in a course of seven

years, you would probably learn nothing whatever of the doctrines of the

covenant of grace. It has been said, that if you were to hear a lecturer on

geology or astronomy deliver some twelve or thirteen lectures, you would

he able to pick up a pretty clear idea of the system of geology or

astronomy, which the lecturer meant to teach; but I avow and protest, and

will prove it by sermons printed by sundry authors, that you might hear

thirteen thousand sermons of some men without knowing what system of

Divinity they taught, if, indeed, they have any system of Divinity at all.

What do you go to God’s house for? Is it to have your ears tickled? Do

you go to the place of worship that you may admire the eloquence of man?

Go to your theater or your senate if this be your errand; such places are the

legitimate arena for display; but come not to God’s house for that. There

we should resort to learn to pray, we should come that we may, in the

words of our text, “see;” see ourselves, and better still, see the Lord Jesus.

This should be the first enquiry as we go up the steps into the place of

meeting; “Sirs, we would see Jesus;” and if Jesus is not to be seen there, no

matter how brilliant the display of fireworks with which the sermonizer

may indulge you; that is not the proper place in which to spend the

precious hours of the Sabbath day. We would see Jesus, we would know

what we must do to be saved. Observe then, observe carefully, keep your

eyes open, not only to the world of nature, but to the Book of God, and

the lives of his people, and thus “Come and see.”


Truly, enquirer, there is a better way of coming and seeing, and that is by

believing. If thou canst at once believe God’s Word, thou shalt see far

better than if thou art merely a seeker, and, surely, the revelation of God in

Christ, may well demand thine implicit faith. See how true others have

found it. If the proposition be, can Christ forgive sin? bear what others say

who can sing of pardon bought with blood, and of promises applied to

their souls with power breathing peace and pardon to their hearts, Do you

remember your mother? Do you recollect the glitter of her eye in death’s

dark hour? Do you remember how she bore her dying testimony, that all

that God had said concerning Christ was true, that he was able to save to

the uttermost them that come unto God by him? She was no woman given

to deception. If I remember rightly, you can say of her that she was a

common-sense, shrewd woman, not easily to he deceived, and yet in that

last article of death, when every sham comes crumbling down, and all that

is mere paint and tinsel is broken and dashed away, she found the solidity

of her hopes, and rejoiced therein. You have other friends. In business they

are not second-rate men; with regard to matters of common sense you

would trust them as well as any that you know; they are not hot-headed

and enthusiastic, likely to be carried away by a multitude, after some

harebrained prophet; and yet steadily and solemnly they tell you that Christ

has given them new hearts, and right spirits, that he has changed their lives,

that he has given them a peace and a joy they never knew before. They tell

you that they have answers to prayer, that whenever they spread their case

before God, their heavenly Father hears them, and sends them speedy

relief; they tell you that they find in religion a spring of moral action, such

as was never found in the mere precepts and teachings of law and

conscience. Now believe these men. If they were the worst men in the

neighborhood, if they were the felons and rogues of trade, I would

recommend you not to believe them, but since they are the best in the

world, and rank high in your esteem, at least trust them so far as to come

yourself to a candid observation of these things, and believe that at least

there is some truth in them. I would to God, dear friends, that you would

believe these things to be true concerning Christ’s ability to save, because

you have Cod’s Word for it, and if you ask me how I know it is God’s

Word, I can take you in vision to Nineveh. See the excavated cities, and

palaces, the winged bulls and lions buried in the rubbish, all which tell us

that that Book which spoke of them, when they were not discovered, must

have a high antiquity, and the volume which, written in the times of their

glory, yet told of their tremendous fall, must have had an inspiration in it,

not belonging to common books. The best proof of this inspiration is,

perhaps, to he found in this, that we know that God wrote another book,

the book of nature, and that as the two works of one author are quite sure

to exhibit some common points in which you may find out the author’s

idioms, so every student of nature and revelation has been able to say that

the two volumes bear marks of the same writer, and the more they have

studied both books, the more they have said, “We find the self-same God

in the one as in the other.” The God of nature is kind and good, so is the

God of revelation. The God of nature is the terrible God of the avalanche

and thunderbolt, the tempest and the whirlwind, and the God of this book

is terrible out of his holy place when he comes to judge the sons of men.

We find that the very same imprimatur to which is set upon the book of

nature, is also stamped upon the book of God. We should be glad therefore

if you could believe this, and believing this you would soon “come and

see;” for mark you, the best way of knowing about Christ is to try him, to

experience him, and since you want to know if he can forgive sins, trust

him to forgive yours. You want to know if he can change the human heart;

trust him to change yours. You long to know if there be a peace that

passeth all understanding, which will still the throbs of your guilty heart;

try him and see. You pant to learn if there be a joy which can gild your

darkest hours with sunlight, and make the dreary passage through the

shades of death to be full of life and hope; try him and see. We are not

afraid to stake all upon the trial. I will cheerfully be bondsman for my Lord

and Master. If there can be a soul that doth sincerely trust him, that shall

not find even in this life salvation, and in the world to come eternal joy,

then I am content to be deceived, or content to suffer the deceiver’s doom.

Beloved, if we only promised you something to be had in the next world,

you could not make the test at once; but that which we hold out to you is

present salvation. It is not some future joy merely, but present joy. Oh, if

you trust Jesus Christ, you shall “Come and see” that sin is mastered as

well as pardoned, that the guilty conscience is pacified for ever, and that

your joy and peace can begin this side the grave. Enquirer, “Come and

see.” Oh, pass not by; neglect not the exhibition of divine love and grace;

but “Come,” oh, “come and see.” May the Holy Spirit bring you for his

name’s sake.


Very hurriedly let me notice the next point. I think this invitation may be

well addressed to every beginner in the school of Christ, as well as to every

enquirer. We ought not to be satisfied with merely being saved. As soon as

ever we are saved, as we are the moment we believe in Christ, our next

business is to learn more of Christ. You want to know the doctrines, dear

friends. It is well to be thoroughly established in the faith. “Come and see:”

search the Scriptures; see what God has revealed, and be established in his

divine truth. Every precept as well as every doctrine cries to yell, “Come

and see.” Every promise says, “Come and see,” do not run short of

promises. It is bad when a man is out of money; and the Christian when he

is without a promise in his hand, is somewhat like a person without ready

money in his purse. Study the promises. “Come and see.” As to experience,

too, the Lord says, “Come and see.” Do not talk of Tabor’s height, as

though you could never climb it, From the top of it there comes a voice, “

Come and see.” Do not speak of Pisgah, as though your feet might never

tread its consecrated summit. The voice saith, “Come and see.” If there be

any point of communion, or height of fellowship as yet unreached by you,

there peals forth from its excellent glory the endearing exhortation, “Come

and see.” No bound is set about the mount of God; no fiery wall conceals

the secret of the Eternal. “The Spirit of the Lord is with them that fear him;

he will show them his covenant;” for all revelation cries with one voice,

“Come and see.”


Methinks, this is the cry of the gospel to every sinner, “Come and see.”

Perhaps it is easier to use the eye than any other organ except the ear. This

I know, it is more pleasing to use the eye than the ear. You can keep a set

of children as happy as the birds of the air, with a picture book, when they

would probably go to sleep if you were to talk to them. The eye has the

greatest power of conferring pleasure. Whether it conveys truth to the

heart more rapidly than the ear does, I cannot say. At any rate, it does so

most pleasingly, and for this reason among others Christ bids us to use the

eye. He hangs upon his cross before you, and cries, “Come and see;” and

he adds this promise, “Look unto me, and he ye saved, all ye ends of the



What is there to see? God made flesh. He that made the heavens, veiling

himself in manhood. Is not this something? God came down to thee, poor

sinner, that he might take thee up to himself. What is there to see? There is

the Son of God bleeding for human sin. His griefs are such that no tongue

can tell them, and no pen can write them; but they are not for himself, for

in him is no sin. “Come and see,” for if you see the griefs of Jesus, and take

them to he your trust, you shall he saved. “ Come and see.” Do you ask

what there is to see? This same Jesus rises from the tomb. He could not

have risen if he had not been God, or if he had not completed the great

work of his people’s redemption. He ascends; the clouds receive him; up

there in heaven he stands pleading for sinners, pleading for us, and “he is

able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing

he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” “Come and see.” “Come and



I am often asked, “Sir, how can I get faith?” I believe that faith comes from

Christ, and is his gift to sinners. Sit down in your chamber to-night when

you get home, you that want to believe, and just think over this,-God made

flesh! If you will think of that, I pray the Holy Ghost visit you, and then the

thought will strike you: “That is wonderful! Who could have dreamed of

it? God suffering instead of man, that the justice of God might he fully

satisfied, and the mercy of God might have full scope!” While you are

thinking of this wonder, and picturing the wounds, and looking to the

blood, and thinking that you almost hear the droppings of the blood upon

the Mount of Calvary, methinks you will, you scarce know how, find

yourself ready to sing-


                                                “I do believe-I will believe

                                                That Jesus died for me;

                                                And on the cross He shed His blood

                                                From sin to set me free.”


You cannot make yourself believe. Faith is the gift of God, and the work of

the Holy Spirit, but it comes through hearing, and hearing is principally

blessed to the working of faith, because it gives you a sight of Christ in

meditation, and, as some say, “seeing is believing.” Certainly such a sight

as hearing gives is often made the channel by which the soul believes in

Christ. “Come and see,” Oh thou wordling. Turn thine eyes hither, and see

the Savior die. Mayhap the spectacle will cool your hot blood, and drive

away your fever of worldliness and care. Oh! ye giddy, careless men and

women, look hither, and see your Redeemer bleed; possibly you may he

sobered by the sight. Oh young men and maidens, in your early youth,

since ye may soon feel the arrows of death, look here, and make your

immortality secure. Ye grey-headed ones who have lost your vigor, and

spent your strength in sin, yet may the Holy Ghost bring you: “Come and

see.” Oh, that there is mercy yet, “Come and see.” The great sight is not

withdrawn: it is no dissolving view that melts away: it is no burning bush

from which you are bidden to keep off by the words, “Draw not nigh

hither;” but here, over the cross, hangs the motto, and from the mount of

Calvary rings the silvery trumpet-note, “Come and see, Come and see.”


                        “There is life in a look at the Crucified One;

                        There is life at this moment for thee.”


II. The second text is, “COME AND DINE.” That is better; that is closer,

nearer, dearer, more substantial than “Come and see:” that may he done at

a distance, though “come” seems to invite us to make the distance less.

But, “Come and dine”-that implies the same table, the same meat; ay, and

sometimes it means to sit side by side, and lean our head upon the Savior’s

bosom. Here is nearness familiar and domestic-”Come and dine.”

Understand that while we nine sinners faith brings us into a justified state

by simply looking to Christ, though the soul has had no enjoyment of him;

but after believing, faith then assists us really to enjoy Christ. I know some

of you are wishing and expecting to enjoy Christ first, and believe him

afterwards. I would correct your error. You must take God’s mercies in

their order and season; and you will not find “Come and dine” in the first

chapter of John-there it is, “Come and see.” Believe Jesus first., and you

shall feed on him afterwards. Certain of you seem to me to be content to

believe Christ, and to say, “I am safe,” without wishing to know the

blessed enjoyment which is to be found in him. It should not he so. You are

not to he content with the first chapter of John; but go on to the last, and

he not satisfied so long as there is a “yet” beyond. If you have seen Christ;

if you have touched Christ; if you have put your finger into the print of the

nails, he not satisfied till you know the meaning of the text, “Except a man

eat my flesh and drink my blood, there is no life in him.” “Come and dine,”

then, implies greater enjoyment than “Come and see.” “Come and see”

gives peace, but “Come and dine” gives ecstasy, rapture-what shall I call

it? It gives heaven on earth, for it gives Christ. “Come amid dine” must he

experimentally understood before you can read the Book of Solomon’s

Song within profit. “Come and see” can read the evangelists; “Come and

see” can read many of the epistles; “Come and see” may wander

delightfully through the Book of Psalms; “Come and see” may enrich itself

with Proverbs; but the tree of life, which is in the midst of the garden-that

is, the Book of Canticles-is not to he eaten of except by those who have

heard the Master say, “Come and dine.” I would to God that all the Lord’s

people were not merely delivered from the chains of sin and washed in the

Savior’s blood, but brought into the banqueting-house, where waves the

banner of redeeming love. There is more enjoyment, then, in the one than

in the other, and there is also more nearness. When I first believed in Christ

I felt a distance between myself and him, and the only nearness that I could

get to was to lay my hand upon his head and confess my sin; but I hope

some of us, after a few years of believing, know what it is to sit at his feet

with Mary, to lean upon his bosom with John — ay, and to say with the

spouse, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is better

than wine.” O beloved, there is a nearness to Christ which the worldling

can only laugh at if he should hear us talk of it. Read “Rutherford’s

Letters,” and you get glimpse of what it is to dine with Christ. Turn to

“Hawker’s Morning and Evening Portions;” or even, if you will, wander

amidst the quaint rhymes and sweet poetry of dear George Herbert: there

you have “Come and dine” carried out in sweetest poesy. Olin, to get so

close to Christ, that you can sing with a modern hymn-writer-


                        “So near, so very near to God,

                        I cannot nearer be;

                        For in the person of His Son

                        I am as near as He!

                        So dear, so very dear to God,

                        I cannot dearer be;

                        The love wherewith He loves His Son

                        Such is His love to me!”


This is a high attainment, but rest not satisfied till you have gained it. Yet,

once more, “Come and dine” gives us a vision of union with Jesus, because

the only meat that we can eat when we dine with Christ is himself. We do

not provide the supper. When he dined on that occasion with his disciples,

Peter dragged a net full of fishes out of the sea; but when they came on

shore they found a fire ready kindled, and fish laid thereon, so that the fish

they ate did not come out of that sea by their net, at any rate. Christ found

the fish and lit the fire and found the bread, and then said, “Come and

dine.” Ah! and the fire that warms our heart when we have fellowship with

him comes from himself, and the fish that we eat is his own, and the wine

that we drink flows from his own heart. Oh, what union is this! It is a depth

that reason cannot fathom, that we eat the flesh and drink the blood of

Christ. Here we stand and look, and look, and look, and though the water

is clear as crystal, like the sea of glass before the throne of God, yet to the

bottom of it angelic ken can never reach. One with Jesus- by eternal union

one. What does this mean, believer?


                        “One when he died; one when he rose;

                        One when he triumphed o’er his foes;

                        One when in heaven he took his seat,

                        And angels sang of Hell’s defeat.”


Canst thou comprehend it?


                        “This covenant stands secure,

                        Though earth’s old columns bow;

                        The strong, the feeble, and the weak

                        Are one in Jesus now.”


                        “Oh, sacred union, firm and strong,

                        How great the grace, how sweet the song,

                        That worms of earth should ever he

                        One with incarnate Deity!”


And yet it is so; and he that has listened to the Savior’s voice, “Come and

dine,” knows it to he so, and rejoices therein.  In this also you find an

invitation to enjoy fellowship with the saints. You are not to eat your morsel

alone but in company. We sit down in heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, at

the marriage supper of the Lamb, and no small part of the hereafter bliss is connected

with the fellowship which exists amongst the saints in glory. So also with our present

feasting on the fat things full of marrow which Christ spreads before his chosen ones.

We enjoy the company as well as the feast, and find our happiness augmented

by the society of kindred minds. The Supper of the Lord is the table of

communion, not only with the Master, but also with all who love him in

sincerity and truth. One of the surest ways of introducing discord into the

midst of a Church is for the minister to starve the people. Hungry men are

sure to be quarrelsome, and, on the contrary, to unite a flock in closest

bonds of love, let the minister say, “Come and dine;” and then put before

them the finest of time wheat, honey out of the rock, and wine upon the

lees well refined. If you would have sweetest fellowship with each other,

live on Christ, enter into the banquetting house, sit beneath the banner of

love, and you will find that sacred commingling of spirit with spirit which

will prove that you are one in Christ Jesus. Christians may differ on a

variety of points, they may not see eye to eye on this thing and on that, but

they have all one spiritual appetite, and if we cannot all feel alike, we can

all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. Get nearer to

Christ and eat of his flesh and drink of his blood, and you will find yourself

linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the

same heavenly manna. We do not expect to see all Christians agreeing, but

we are sure that one of the most likely plans for cultivating a brotherly

spirit is to listen to Christ’s words, “Come and dine.”



We see in these words the source of strength for every Christian. To look

at Christ is to live, but for strength to serve him you must come and dine.

When our Lord had raised the daughter of Jairus, he commanded them to

give her meat so that she might be strengthened; and so he says to all of us,

“Come and dine.” We as need much food for the soul as for the body, and

unless we eat we shall be fainting by the way. Are there not many

Christians who allow themselves to suffer a great deal of unnecessary

weakness on account of neglecting this precept of the Master? I hold that

we are bound to lift up the feeble knees and drooping hands, and in order

to do this, we must live by faith on time Son of God, and listen to his voice

as he says, “Eat., oh my friends, yea, drink oh my beloved.” If you want to

be as Mr. Feeblemind, I can give you the receipt. Take only a small

modicum of spiritual food morning and night in your closets; neglect family

prayer; never attend a prayer. meeting; on no account speak about religious

matters during time week, go late to the house of God, and fall asleep

when you get there; as soon as you leave the place of worship talk about

the weather. Confine yourself to these rules for a few weeks, and you will

very soon he reduced low enough to allow Satan to attack you with every

chance of giving you a severe and dangerous fall. Doctors tell us that nowa-

days the classes of disease most prevalent are those which indicate a low

condition of the vital forces; and I think that we are suffering in the Church

from the same sort of maladies. You never hear of any one who is too

zealous, too rash in venturing himself for Christ. There was a time when

the Church had to censure her young converts because they courted

persecution and invited martyrdom, now we need to stir up the Church and

to urge on our people to more self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ. You

need never fear that any one will kill himself with over work; we must

rather lament that there seems so little exuberance of spirit and vital force

amongst Christians. We none of us need to put ourselves on low diet; on

the contrary, we ought to accumulate strength and urge every power to its

full dimension in the Master’s service. For this purpose, “Come and dine.”

All your strength depends upon union with Christ. Away from him you

must wither as a branch severed from the vine. Feeding on him, you will be

like the branch which is drinking up the sap from the parent stem; you will

he strong enough to bring forth fruit, and fill your post among the other

members of the one great band of Christians.


We can see, moreover, in these words, the foundation of the Christian’s

growth and progress in spiritual things. To see Christ is to begin the

Christian’s life, but to grow in grace we must “Come and dine.” The early

history of the first disciples is by no means satisfactory. They were

evidently only babes in spiritual things. How little they seemed to

comprehend the Savior’s mission; he likes to say, “Have I been so long

time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip?” They

misunderstood the nature of his kingdom, and were continually displaying a

carnal and selfish spirit. It is evident that the early dawn of spiritual life is

all they had then received. They had seen Jesus, they loved him and

followed him even unto trial and disgrace, but yet they were far from

possessing the spirit of Christ. Now after they had reached this stage of

living on Christ they became new men. It is no longer more sight, but an

inward appropriation of Christ Jesus by faith, and the consequences are

manifest; they are seen developing themselves under the blessed

outpouring of the Holy Ghost into workmen that needed not to he

ashamed. They endured hardness as good soldiers of the cross. They

fought a good fight, and they finished their course with joy. A higher order

of life is clearly theirs. they have risen in the scale of spiritual existence. A

clearer light shines around them, and they have manifestly grown in grace,

and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Beloved, we

long for your edification, we covet for you the best gifts, and therefore we

say, “Come and dine.” Many Christians remain stunted and dwarfed in

spiritual things, so as to present the same appearance year after year. No

upspringing of thought and feeling is manifest in them They exist but do

not grow. The reason is evident, they are not taking of Christ, and they

neglect to appropriate to themselves the blessing which he is waiting to

bestow. Why should you rest content with being in the tender green blade,

when you can go on and reach the ear and eventually the full corn in the

ear? I would that all God’s servants were more in earnest to develope that

good thing which has been implanted in them by the Holy Ghost. It is all

very well to keep other men’s vineyards, but you must not neglect your

own. Why should it ever he winter time in our hearts. We must have our

seed time, it is true, but oh for a spring time-yea, a summer season, which

shall give promise of an early harvest. Now, if you would ripen in grace

you must live near Christ-in his presence-basking in the sunshine of his

smiles. You must hold sweet communion with him. You must leave the

distant view of his face and come near, as did John, and pillow your head

on his breast. Then you will find yourself advancing in holiness, in love, in

faith, in hope-yea, in every godly gift. What a joy it is to see men daily

living on Christ.


You may watch them grow as you have watched the flowers and trees in

the gardens expanding under the genial showers and sunshine of the last

few weeks. It robs a deathbed of its terrors to see the aged Christian

rapidly preparing for glory, but I would rather the man grew before he was

about to he taken from us, so that we might be the better for his expanded.

graces, and enjoy his beauty of holiness a few years here on earth. We do

not grudge the saints in glory anything, but it would be a mercy to us if

Christians would try and get as much of perfection and maturity as possible

a few years sooner, so as to gladden our eyes with some bright blossoms,

as well as the sombre green blades. It is all very well the fresh verdure in

early spring, but I like also the russet hues of autumn, and the rich clusters

of the vintage, with the songs of the reaper and the shout of “harvest

home.” The golden grain is a goodly and pleasant thing to see, as the field

waves in the autumn breeze. So, also, I like to mark maturity in Christ’s

fields, as well as in the earthly ones. It is a glorious sight, an experienced

saint; a man who has been much with Jesus, and learned of him; who has

caught the Master’s spirit, and reflects it brightly to all around.


As the sun rises first on mountain-tops and gilds them with his light, and

presents one of the most charming sights to the eye of the traveler, so is it

one of the most delightful contemplations in the world to mark the glow of

the Spirit’s light on time head of some saint, who has risen up in spiritual

stature, like Saul, above his fellows, till, like some mighty alp, snowcapped,

he reflects first of all the beams of the Sun of righteousness, and

bears the sheen of his effulgence high aloft for all to see, and seeing it, to

glorify his father which is in heaven. That you may thus grow in grace,

listen to the Master’s voice-”Come and dine.”


We notice one more thought, and then must conclude.

Here is preparation for service. “Come and dine,” says the Master; but

before time feast is concluded, he says to Peter, “Feed my lambs;” and

again, “Feed my sheep;” further adding, “ Follow me.” All time strength

supplied by Christ is for service, and for use in his vineyard. When the

prophet Elijah found the cake baked on the coals, and the cruise of water

placed at his head, as he lay under the juniper tree, he had a commission to

go forty days and forty nights in the strength of it, journeying towards

Home, the mount of God. So also with us; we eat so as to be able to

expend our strength in the Master’s service. We come to the passover, and

eat of our paschal lamb with loins girt, and with our staff in our hand, so as

to start off at once when we have satisfied our spirits. Some Christians are

for living on Christ, but are not so anxious to live for Christ. Now I rejoice

to know that I can spend and be spent for the Lord, and I find in that labor

for Christ that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I never feel so

like to the Master as when I go about trying to do good. Heaven is the

place where saints feast most and work most. They sit down at the table of

our Lord, and they serve him day and night in his temple. They eat of

heavenly food and render perfect service. Now, earth should be a

preparation for heaven; come and dine, and then go and labor. Freely ye

receive, freely give; gather up all the fragments of your feast, and go and

canny it to Lazarus at the gate; yea, rather carry the loaves and fishes to

others, as did the disciples, when the Lord had multiplied their little store,

to satisfy the thousands who were famishing for want of food. We have yet

to learn more concerning the design of our Lord in giving us his grace. We

are not to hold the precious grains of truth like a mummy does the wheat,

for ages, without giving it a chance of growing. No, feed yourself, and then

go forth and bid others come and eat and drink; go out into the highways

and hedges, and compel them to come in, that there may he many more

rejoicing with you in the light and life of Christ. Why does the Lord send

down the rain upon the thirsty earth, and give the sunshine and the genial

refreshing breeze? Is it not that these may all help the fruits of the earth to

yield food for man and beast? Even so the Lord calls us in to enjoyment

and feasting, that we may afterwards go out to labor and service. My dear

hearers, I ever seek to see you fruitful in all good works, to do his will who

provides for us all things richly to enjoy. You are aware that herein is our

Father glorified; if we bring forth much fruit, so shall we he his disciples.

Eat, then; spare not; you are welcome to as much as you can consume, but

when you have eaten the fat, and drunk of the sweet, go and tell of it to

sinners round, that the starving may come and find “wine and milk, without

money and without price.” You are to preach the gospel to every creature

proclaim the good news of water from the rock Christ Jesus, which flows

in the midst of the world’s wilderness, so that all may drink and live. Tell

of the finest of the wheat on which you have feasted. Bid the prodigal leave

the husks which the swine do eat and return to the father’s house, there to

eat of the fatted calf, and feast at the parental board. Tell them there is

room in the Savior’s heart, and never cease till you can no longer speak,

proclaiming his matchless love and power, and his willingness to say to all,

“Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you

rest.” “Come and dine.”


I send you away, however, wishing to make the first part of the sermon the

more telling to most of you-” Come and see.” You are black, but blackness

does not blind the eye. Your righteousness is nothing better than filthy

rags, but the most ragged beggar may look. Our queer old proverb says,

“A cat may look at a king,” and the blackest sinner out of hell may look at

Christ and though he had sin well nigh as devilish as that of Lucifer, yet,

looking to Christ, all manner of sin and of iniquity shall be forgiven him.

Look, sinner-look! May the Holy Spirit now open that eye of thine, and

turn it to the Savior’s cross, and make thee live! May the best of heaven’s

blessings be yours to-night and in eternity! Amen and Amen



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