22 SEPTEMBER (PREACHED 23 SEPTEMBER 1855)
Repentance unto life
“Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18
suggested further reading: Luke 3:1–14
Can they be sincerely penitent, and then go and transgress again immediately, in the same way as they did before? How can we believe you if you transgress again and again, and do not forsake your sin? We know a tree by its fruit; and you who are penitent will bring forth works of repentance. I have often thought it was a very beautiful instance, showing the power of penitence which a pious minister once related. He had been preaching on penitence, and had in the course of his sermon spoken of the sin of stealing. On his way home a labourer came alongside of him, and the minister observed that he had something under his smock-frock. He told him he need not accompany him farther; but the man persisted. At last he said, “I have a spade under my arm which I stole up at that farm; I heard you preaching about the sin of stealing, and I must go and put it there again.” That was sincere penitence which caused him to go back and replace the stolen article. It was like those South Sea Islanders, of whom we read, who stole the missionaries’ articles of apparel and furniture, and everything out of their houses; but when they were savingly converted they brought them all back. But many of you say you repent, yet nothing comes of it; it is not worth the snap of the finger. People sincerely repent, they say, that they should have committed a robbery, or that they have kept a gambling-house; but they are very careful that all the proceeds shall be laid out to their hearts’ best comfort. True repentance will yield “works meet for repentance;” it will be practical repentance. Yet farther. You may know whether your repentance is practical by this test. Does it last or does it not?
for meditation: As with faith, repentance without works is dead. Jesus could tell that the repentance of Zacchaeus was practical and real (Luke 19:8–9).
sermon no. 44
23 SEPTEMBER (1860) Publications.
A blow at self-righteousness
“If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me; if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” Job 9:20
suggested further reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1–4
Let me just utter a solemn sentence which you may consider at your leisure. If you trust to your faith and to your repentance, you will be as much lost as if you trusted to your good works or trusted to your sins. The ground of your salvation is not faith, but Christ; it is not repentance, but Christ. If I trust my trust of Christ, I am lost. My business is to trust Christ; to rest on him; to depend, not on what the Spirit has done in me, but on what Christ did for me, when he hung upon the tree. Now be it known unto you, that when Christ died, he took the sins of all his people upon his head, and there and then they all ceased to be. At the moment when Christ died, the sins of all his redeemed were blotted out. He did then suffer all that they ought to have suffered; he paid all their debts; and their sins were actually and positively lifted that day from their shoulders to his shoulders, for “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” And now, if you believe in Jesus, there is not a sin remaining upon you, for your sin was laid on Christ; Christ was punished for your sins before they were committed, and as Kent says:
“Here’s pardon full for sin that’s past,
It matters not how black their cast;
And oh! my soul with wonder view,
For sins to come here’s pardon too.”
20 AUGUST (PREACHED 19 AUGUST 1860)
Christ’s first and last subject
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:47
suggested further reading: Philippians 3:1–14
If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company. “No,” say you, “No, sir, I cannot accompany you.” “Why, you used to swear!” “I cannot now.” “Well, but,” says he, “You and I are very near companions.” “Yes, I know we are, and I wish we were not. You are a deal of trouble to me every day. I wish I could be rid of you for ever.” “But,” says Old Self, “you used to drink very well.” “Yes, I know it. I know you did, indeed, Old Self. You could sing a song as merrily as any one. You were ringleader in all sorts of vice, but I am no relation of yours now. You are of the old Adam, and I of the new Adam. You are of your old father, the devil; but I have another—my Father, who is in heaven.” I tell you, brethren, there is no man in the world you will hate so much as your old self, and there will be nothing you will so much long to get rid of as that old man who once was dragging you down to hell, and who will try his hand at it over and over again every day you live, and who will accomplish it yet, unless that divine grace which has made you a new man shall keep you a new man even to the end. Good Rowland Hill, in his “Village Dialogues,” gives the Christian, whom he describes in the first part of the book, the name of Thomas Newman. Every man who goes to heaven must have the name of new-man. We must not expect to enter there unless we are created anew in Christ Jesus.
for meditation: In our testimonies we should own up to what we used to be, but in such a way that we also disown the people we used to be. Don’t be like the biography of a Christian which seems to glory in the sin of the past—reserve all the glory for your Saviour (1 Corinthians 15:9,10; 1 Timothy 1:13–17).
sermon no. 329
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (239). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
18 SEPTEMBER (1859)
Who can tell?
“Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?” Jonah 3:9
suggested further reading: Psalm 39
I remember many who have passed from the land of the living and have gone to another world—and some how suddenly, how rapidly! I have been startled at it often myself. I have seen some here on the Sabbath, and by the Tuesday or by the Thursday the message has come, “On what day can you bury such and such a one?” “Bury her!” “Yes, sir, bury her, she is gone;” and I have said, “How strange it seems that she should be dead who so lately was living in our midst!” Forty days is a long lease compared with that which you have any reason to conclude that God has bestowed on you. But what if it were forty years, how short a time even then. If you will but look with the eye of wisdom, how rapidly our years revolve. Are you not startled even now to see the withered leaf in your path? It was but yesterday that the fresh green buds were seen. It seems but a month ago since first we saw the wheat starting up from the ground, and now the harvest is over and gone and many of the birds have disappeared and the tints of autumn are succeeding the verdure of summer. Years seem but months now and months but days, and days pass so rapidly that they flit like shadows before us. O! men and women, if we could but measure life it is but a span, and in a time how short, how brief, every one of us must appear before his God. The shortness of time should help to arouse us.
for meditation: Time seems to speed up the older we get! In contrast the unbeliever will discover in eternity that time has ground to a terrible halt.
sermon no. 275
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (268). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
7 OCTOBER (1855)
“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:19: 20
suggested further reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5–11
The poor backslider is often the most forgotten. A member of the church has disgraced his profession; the church excommunicated him, and he was accounted “a heathen man and a publican.” I know of men of good standing in the gospel ministry, who, ten years ago, fell into sin; and that is thrown in our teeth to this very day. When you speak of them you are at once informed, “Why, ten years ago they did so-and-so.” Brethren, Christian men ought to be ashamed of themselves for taking notice of such things so long afterwards. True, we may use more caution in our dealings; but to reproach a fallen brother for what he did so long ago, is contrary to the spirit of John, who went after Peter, three days after he had denied his Master with oaths and curses. Nowadays it is the fashion, if a man falls, to have nothing to do with him. Men say, “he is a bad fellow; we will not go after him.” Beloved, suppose he is the worst; is not that the reason why you should go most after him? Suppose he never was a child of God—suppose he never knew the truth, is not that the greater reason why you should go after him? I do not understand your excessive pride, that won’t let you go after the chief of sinners. The worse the case, the more is the reason why we should go. But suppose the man is a child of God, and you have cast him off—remember, he is your brother; he is one with Christ as much as you are; he is justified, he has the same righteousness that you have; and if, when he has sinned, you despise him, in that you despise him you despise his Master. Take heed! You also may be tempted, and may one day fall.
for meditation: Discipline should not be lax or non-existent (1 Corinthians 5:1–2). But it is possible to go to the other extreme and overdo it.
sermon no. 45
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (287). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
19 FEBRUARY (1860)
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” John 14:27
suggested further reading: Ephesians 2:11–21
If you would maintain unbroken peace, take advice from God’s minister this morning, young though he be in years. Take advice, which he can warrant to be good, for it is Scriptural. If you would keep your peace continual and unbroken, look always to the sacrifice of Christ; never permit your eye to turn to anything but Jesus. When you repent, my hearer, still keep your eye on the cross; when you labour, labour in the strength of the crucified One. Everything you do, whether it be self-examination, fasting, meditation, or prayer, do all under the shadow of Jesus’ cross; or otherwise, no matter how you live, your peace will be but a sorry thing; you shall be full of disquiet and of sore trouble. Live near the cross and your peace shall be continual. Another piece of advice. Walk humbly with your God. Peace is a jewel; God puts it on your finger; be proud of it, and he will take it off again. Peace is a noble garment; boast of your dress, and God will take it away from you. Remember the hole of the pit whence you were digged, and the quarry of nature whence you were hewn; and when you have the bright crown of peace on your head, remember your black feet; nay, even when that crown is there, cover it and your face still with those two wings, the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. In this way shall your peace be maintained. And again, walk in holiness, avoid every appearance of evil. “Be not conformed to this world.” Stand up for truth and rectitude. Suffer not the maxims of men to sway your judgment. Seek the Holy Spirit that you may live like Christ, and live near to Christ, and your peace shall not be interrupted.
for meditation: The Christian has permanent peace with God (Romans 5:1). The ruling peace of Christ in the heart is not supposed to be an optional extra (Colossians 3:15).
sermon no. 300
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (57). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
12 JULY (1857)
A simple sermon for seeking souls
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
suggested further reading: Ecclesiastes 5:1–7
“I thought,” said somebody addressing me one day, “I thought when I was in the garden, surely Christ could take my sins away, just as easily as he could move the clouds. Do you know, sir, in a moment or two the cloud was all gone, and the sun was shining. Thought I to myself, the Lord is blotting out my sin.” Such a ridiculous thought as that, you say, cannot occur often. I tell you, it does, very frequently indeed. People suppose that the greatest nonsense in all the earth is a manifestation of divine grace in their hearts. Now, the only feeling I ever want to have is just this,—I want to feel that I am a sinner and that Christ is my Saviour. You may keep your visions, and ecstasies, and raptures, and dances to yourselves; the only feeling that I desire to have is deep repentance and humble faith; and if, poor sinner, you have got that, you are saved. Why, some of you believe that before you can be saved there must be a kind of electric shock, some very wonderful thing that is to go all through you from head to foot. Now hear this, “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: … That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart …. Thou shalt be saved.” What do you want with all this nonsense of dreams and supernatural thoughts? All that is wanted is, that as a guilty sinner, I should come and cast myself on Christ. That done, the soul is safe, and all the visions in the universe could not make it safer.
for meditation: “God be merciful to me a sinner” was Christ’s description of a man calling upon God and being justified (Luke 18:13,14). Any insistence on special experiences and strange happenings is an evidence of having departed from Christ, the head of the church (Colossians 2:18,19).
sermon no. 140
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (200). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
4 NOVEMBER (1860)
Tender words of terrible apprehension
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalm 9:17
suggested further reading: Ezekiel 8:5–18
How often do you forget his presence too! In the midst of a crowd, you are conscious every one of you of the presence of man, but perhaps this very moment you are ignoring the fact that God is here. In your shop on the morrow how carefully you will take heed that your conduct is circumspect if the eye of your fellow-man is observing you. But before the presence of God, with the Eternal eye upon you, you can presume to practice the paltry tricks of trade or to do that which you would not have revealed to mortals for all the world; careful to shut the door, and draw the curtain, and hide yourselves in secret from men; strangely forgetting that when the curtain is drawn and the door is shut, God is there still. No walls can shut him out; no darkness can conceal the deed from his eye; he is everywhere and sees us in all things. Why, my hearers, we are all guilty in this respect in a measure; we forget the actual presence and the overlooking eye of God. We talk as we dare not talk if we were thinking that he heard us. We act as we would not act if we were conscious that God was there. We indulge in thoughts which we should cast out if we could but bear in perpetual remembrance the abiding presence of God, the Judge of the whole earth. Forgetting God is so common a sin, that the believer himself needs to repent of it, and ask to have it forgiven, while the unbeliever may solemnly confess this to be his crying sin, a piece of guilt to which he dare not profess innocence.
for meditation: The Christian should make a positive effort to do everything to the satisfaction of his unseen but seeing Lord (Ephesians 6:5–7). This was the principle that Joseph adopted (Genesis 39:9).
sermon no. 344
---------------------5 DECEMBER (1858)
Compel them to come in
“Compel them to come in.” Luke 14:23
suggested further reading: John 3:31–36
I beseech you by him that liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, consider my master’s message which he instructs me now to address you. But do you spurn it? Do you still refuse it? Then I must change my tone a minute. I will not merely tell you the message, and invite you as I do with all earnestness, and sincere affection—I will go further. Sinner, in God’s name, I command you to repent and believe. Do you ask me my authority? I am an ambassador of heaven. My credentials, some of them secret, and in my own heart; and others of them open before you this day in the seals of my ministry, sitting and standing in this hall, where God has given me many souls for my hire. As God the everlasting one has given me a commission to preach his gospel, I command you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; not on my own authority, but on the authority of him who said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature;” and then he annexed this solemn sanction, “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Reject my message, and remember “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God.” An ambassador is not to stand below the man with whom he deals, for we stand higher. If the minister chooses to take his proper rank, girded with the omnipotence of God, and anointed with his holy unction, he is to command men, and speak with all authority compelling them to come in: “command, exhort, rebuke with all longsuffering.”
for meditation: Do we regard the Gospel as a take-it or leave-it option? The opposite of trusting in Christ is disobedience (Romans 1:5 and 16:26).
sermon no. 227
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (346). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
7 DECEMBER (1856)
Turn or burn
“If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.” Psalm 7:12
suggested further reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:5–12
God has a sword, and he will punish man on account of his iniquity. This evil generation has laboured to take away from God the sword of his justice; they have endeavoured to prove to themselves that God will “clear the guilty,” and will by no means “punish iniquity, transgression and sin.” Two hundred years ago the predominant strain of the pulpit was one of terror: it was like Mount Sinai, it thundered forth the dreadful wrath of God, and from the lips of a Baxter or a Bunyan, you heard most terrible sermons, full to the brim with warnings of judgment to come. Perhaps some of the Puritan fathers may have gone too far, and have given too great a prominence to the terrors of the Lord in their ministry: but the age in which we live has sought to forget those terrors altogether, and if we dare to tell men that God will punish them for their sins, it is charged upon us that we want to bully them into religion, and if we faithfully and honestly tell our hearers that sin must bring after it certain destruction, it is said that we are attempting to frighten them into goodness. Now we care not what men mockingly impute to us; we feel it our duty, when men sin, to tell them they shall be punished, and so long as the world will not give up its sin we feel we must not cease our warnings. But the cry of the age is, that God is merciful, that God is love. Who said he was not? But remember, it is equally true, God is just, severely and inflexibly just. He were not God, if he were not just; he could not be merciful if he were not just.
for meditation: The “meek and lowly” Lord Jesus Christ spoke often of judgment because of his care for the souls of men and his longing for them to repent and find rest (Matthew 11:20–30).
sermon no. 106
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (348). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
23 DECEMBER (1855)
The incarnation and birth of Christ
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2
suggested further reading: Hebrews 10:5–7
“Go,” saith the Father, “and thy Father’s blessing on thy head!” Then comes the unrobing. How do angels crowd around to see the Son of God take off his robes! He laid aside his crown; he said, “My father, I am Lord over all, blessed for ever, but I will lay my crown aside, and be as mortal men are.” He strips himself of his bright vest of glory; “Father,” he says, “I will wear a robe of clay, just such as men wear.” Then he takes off all those jewels wherewith he was glorified; he lays aside his starry mantles and robes of light, to dress himself in the simple garments of the peasant of Galilee. What a solemn disrobing that must have been! And next, can you picture the dismissal! The angels attend the Saviour through the streets, until they approach the doors; when an angel cries, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and let the king of glory through!” I think the angels must have wept when they lost the company of Jesus—when the Sun of heaven bereaved them of all its light. But they went after him. They descended with him; and when his spirit entered into flesh, and he became a babe, he was attended by that mighty host of angels, who after they had been with him to Bethlehem’s manger, and seen him safely laid on his mother’s breast, in their journey upwards appeared to the shepherds and told them that he was born king of the Jews. The Father sent him! Contemplate that subject. Let your soul get hold of it, and in every period of his life think that he suffered what the Father willed; that every step of his life was marked with the approval of the great I AM.
for meditation: When we think of the birth of the Son of God, our eyes are rightly focused on earth. But are we in danger of forgetting God the Father in heaven, the one who so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son (John 3:16)? May we remember to give “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14).
sermon no. 57
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (364). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
4 JULY (1858)
The sympathy of the two worlds
“There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10
suggested further reading: Luke 1:5–23
Our text tells us that the angels of God rejoice over repenting sinners. How is that? They are always as happy as they can be; how can they be any happier? The text does not say that they are any happier; but perhaps that they show their happiness more. A man may have a Sabbath every day, as he ought to if he is a Christian; and yet on the first day of the week he will let his Sabbatarianism come out plainly; for then the world shall see that he rests. “A merry heart hath a continual feast;” but then even the merry heart has some special days on which it feasts well. To the glorified, every day is a Sabbath, but of some it can be said, “and that Sabbath was an high day.” There are days when the angels sing more loudly than usual; they are always harping God’s praise, but sometimes the gathering hosts who have been flitting far through the universe, come home to their centre; and round the throne of God, standing in close ranks, marshalled not for battle but for music, on certain set and appointed days they chant the praises of the Son of God, “who loved us and gave himself for us.” And do you ask me when those days occur? I tell you, the birthday of every Christian is a sonnet day in heaven. There are Christmas days in paradise, where Christ’s high mass is kept, and Christ is glorified not because he was born in a manger, but because he is born in a broken heart. There are days—good days in heaven; days of poetry, red letter days, of overflowing adoration. And these are days when the shepherd brings home the lost sheep upon his shoulder, when the church has swept her house and found the lost piece of money.
for meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ keeps his angels informed about us (Luke 12:8,9). Have they received good news about you?
sermon no. 203
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (192). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
11 NOVEMBER (1855)
Healing for the wounded
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
suggested further reading: Isaiah 57:15–21
Poor sinner, breathe thy wish to him, let thy sigh come before him, for “he healeth the broken in heart.” There thou liest wounded on the plain. “Is there no physician?” thou criest; “Is there none?” Around thee lie thy fellow-sufferers, but they are as helpless as thyself. Thy mournful cry cometh back without an answer, and space alone hears thy groan. Ah! The battle-field of sin has one kind visitor; it is not abandoned to the vultures of remorse and despair. I hear footsteps approaching; they are the gentle footsteps of Jehovah. With a heart full of mercy, he is hasting to his repenting child. In his hands there are no thunders, in his eyes no anger, on his lips no threatening. See how he bows himself over the mangled heart! Hear how he speaks! “Come, now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” And if the patient dreads to look in the face of the mighty being who addresses him, the same loving mouth whispers, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my name’s sake.” See how he washes every wound with sacred water from the side of Jesus; mark how he spreads the ointment of forgiving grace, and binds around each wound the fair white linen, which is the righteousness of saints. Does the mourner faint under the operation? He puts medicine to his lips, exclaiming, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” Yes, it is true—most true—neither dream nor fiction, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” How condescending is the Lord of heaven, thus to visit poor forsaken man.
for meditation: Physical health is desirable, but short-lived; spiritual health is far more to be desired and will last for ever (3 John 2). We can live for a while with physical illness, but the unbeliever will die eternally with spiritual disease.
sermon no. 53
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (322). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
10 JANUARY (1858)
Paul’s sermon before Felix
“And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:25
suggested further reading: Acts 17:30–18:1
Felix, unhappy Felix! why is it that thou dost rise from thy judgment-seat? Is it that thou hast much business to do? Stop, Felix; let Paul speak to thee a minute longer. Thou hast business; but hast thou no business for thy soul? Stop, unhappy man! Art thou about again to be extortionate, again to make thy personal riches greater? Oh! stop: canst thou not spare another minute for thy poor soul? It is to live for ever: hast thou nought laid up for it—no hope in heaven, no blood of Christ, no pardon of sin, no sanctifying Spirit, no imputed righteousness? Ah! man, there will be a time when the business that seems so important to thee will prove to have been but a day-dream, a poor substitute for the solid realities thou hast forgotten. Dost thou reply, “Nay, the king has sent me an urgent commission; I must attend to Caesar.” Ah! Felix, but thou has a greater monarch than Caesar, there is one who is Emperor of heaven and Lord of earth: canst thou spare no time to attend to his commands? Before his presence Caesar is but a worm. Man! wilt thou obey the one, and wilt thou despise the other? Ah! no; I know what thou durst not say. Felix, thou art turning aside again to indulge in thy lascivious pleasures. Go, and Drusilla with thee! But stop! Darest thou do that, with that last word ringing in thy ears, “Judgment to come?” What! Wilt thou repeat that wanton dalliance that hath damned thee already, and wilt thou go again to stain thy hands in lust, and doubly damn thy spirit, after warnings heard and felt? O man! I could weep o’er thee.
for meditation: When you hear the Word of God preached, do you get impatient for the sermon to finish and forget about it as soon as you can? That can be a very dangerous habit. We need to act upon it there and then—receive, remember, repent (Revelation 3:3; Luke 8:18).
sermon no. 171
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (17). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
9 MARCH (PREACHED 8 MARCH 1857)
The leafless tree
“But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.” Isaiah 6:13
suggested further reading: Romans 11:11–24
“The race of Abraham shall endure for ever, and his seed as many generations.” But why is it that the Jewish race is preserved? We have our answer in the text: “The holy seed is the substance thereof.” There is something within a tree mysterious, hidden and unknown, which preserves life in it when everything outward tends to kill it. So in the Jewish race there is a secret element which keeps it alive. We know what it is; it is the ‘remnant according to the election of grace;’ in the worst of ages there has never been a day so black but there was a Hebrew found to hold the lamp of God. There has always been found a Jew who loved Jesus; and though the race now despise the great Redeemer, yet there are not a few of the Hebrew race who still love Jesus the Saviour of the uncircumcised, and bow before him. It is these few, this holy seed, that are the substance of the nation; and for their sake, through their prayers, because of God’s love to them, he still says of Israel to all nations, “Touch not these mine anointed, do my prophets no harm. These are the descendants of Abraham, my friend. I have sworn and will not repent; I will show kindness unto them for their father’s sake, and for the sake of the remnant I have chosen.” Let us think a little more of the Jews than we have been wont; let us pray oftener for them. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love her.” As truly as any great thing is done in this world for Christ’s kingdom, the Jews will have more to do with it than any of us have dreamed.
for meditation: Do you attach anything like the same priority to the Jews as God does (Romans 1:16; 2:9,10)? “How odd of God to choose the Jews” (William Norman Ewer)—but not as odd as those who choose a Jewish God and hate the Jews.
sermon no. 121
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (75). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
17 MARCH (1861)
“Serving the Lord with all humility.” Acts 20:19
suggested further reading: Philippians 2:3–11
Pride can shut the door in the face of Christ. Only let us take out our tablets and write down “God is for me, therefore let me be proud;” only let us say with Jehu, “Come, and I will show thee my zeal for the Lord of Hosts,” and God’s presence will soon depart from us, and Ichabod be written on the front of the house. And let me say to those of you who have already done much for Christ as evangelists, ministers, teachers, or what not, do not sit down and congratulate yourselves upon the past. Let us go home and think of all the mistakes we have made; all the errors we have committed, and all the follies into which we have been betrayed, and I think instead of self-congratulation we shall say, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Let us humble ourselves before God. You know there is a deal of difference between being humble and being humbled. He that will not be humble shall be humbled. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God and he shall lift you up, lest he leave you because you hold your head so high. And should I be addressing any here this morning who are very much exalted by the nobility of rank, who have what the poet calls “The pride of heraldry, the pomp of power,” be humble, I pray you. If any man would have friends, let him be humble. Humility never did any man any hurt. If you stoop down when you pass through a doorway, if it should be a high one, you will not be hurt by stooping; but if it should be a low one, you might have knocked your head if you had held it up.
for meditation: We have no end of sins to be ashamed of. Let us be proud only of the Gospel of our Saviour, who so humbled himself for our sakes. We ought to boast only of the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:17), otherwise boasting is groundless (Romans 3:27).
sermon no. 365
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (83). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
27 JULY (PREACHED 18 DECEMBER 1853)
The Father of lights
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17
suggested further reading: Revelation 21:22–22:5
The apostle, having thus introduced the sun as a figure to represent the Father of lights, finding that it did not bear the full resemblance of the invisible God, seems constrained to amend it by a remark that, unlike the sun, our Father has no turning or variableness. The sun has its daily variation; it rises at a different time each day, and it sets at various hours in the course of the year. It moves into other parts of the heavens. It is clouded at times, and eclipsed at times. It also has tropic; or, turning. It turns its chariot to the South, until, at the solstice, God bids it reverse its rein, and then it visits us once more. But God is superior to all figures or emblems. He is immutable. The sun changes, mountains crumble, the ocean shall be dried up, the stars shall wither from the vault of night; but God, and God alone, remains ever the same. Were I to enter into a full discourse on the subject of immutability, my time, if multiplied by a high number, would fail me. But reminding you that there is no change in His power, justice, knowledge, oath, threatening, or decree, I will confine myself to the fact that His love to us knows no variation. How often it is called unchangeable, everlasting love! He loves me now as much as he did when first he inscribed my name in his eternal book of election. He has not repented of his choice. He has not blotted out one of his chosen; there are no erasures in that book; all whose names are written in it are safe for ever.
for meditation: As part of creation the sun speaks of the character of God (Romans 1:20) but even at its brightest can only give a glimpse of his glory. Praise God for the Lord Jesus Christ, the true light (John 1:9) whose face, when transfigured, shone like the sun (Matthew 17:2); God the Son has made God the Father of light known to us (John 1:18).
1st sermon at new park St.
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (215). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
24 AUGUST (1856)
The comer’s conflict with Satan
“And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.” Luke 9:42
suggested further reading: 1 John 5:13–21
“There is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it.” “There,” says the devil, “the apostle did not say he could even pray for the man who has committed certain sins.” Then he reads that “sin against the Holy Ghost shall never be forgiven.” “There,” he says, “is your character: you have committed sin against the Holy Ghost, and you will never be pardoned.” Then he brings another passage: “Let him alone; Ephraim is joined unto idols.” “There,” says Satan, “you have had no liberty in prayer lately; God has let you alone; you are given unto idols; you are entirely destroyed;” and the cruel fiend howls his song of joy, and makes a merry dance over the thought that the poor soul is to be lost. But do not believe him, my dear friends. No man has committed the sin against the Holy Ghost as long as he has grace to repent; it is certain that no man can have committed that sin if he flies to Christ and believes on him. No believing soul can commit it; no penitent sinner ever has committed it. If a man be careless and thoughtless—if he can hear a terrible sermon and laugh it off, and put away his convictions—if he never feels any strivings of conscience, there is a fear that he may have committed that sin. But as long as you have any desires for Christ, you have no more committed that sin than you have flown up to the stars and swept cobwebs from the skies. As long as you have any sense of your guilt, any desire to be redeemed, you cannot have fallen into that sin; as a penitent you may still be saved, for if you had committed it, you could not be penitent.
for meditation: The devil is the father of lies, a murderer and sinner from the beginning (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8). His attempts to be a Bible expositor are never to be trusted (Luke 4:9,10).
sermon no. 100
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (243). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
sermon no. 1
8 JANUARY (1860)
The King’s highway opened and cleared
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
suggested further reading: Matthew 16:21–23
I remember a certain narrow and crooked lane in a certain country town, along which I was walking one day while I was seeking the Saviour. On a sudden the most fearful oaths that any of you can conceive rushed through my heart. I put my hand to my mouth to prevent the utterance. I had not, that I know of, ever heard those words; and I am certain that I had never used in my life from my youth up so much as one of them, for I had never been profane. But these things sorely beset me; for half an hour together the most fearful imprecations would dash through my brain. Oh, how I groaned and cried before God! That temptation passed away; but before many days it was renewed again; and when I was in prayer, or when I was reading the Bible, these blasphemous thoughts would pour in upon me more than at any other time. I consulted with an aged godly man about it. He said to me, “Oh, all this many of the people of God have proved before you. But,” said he, “do you hate these thoughts?” “I do,” I truly said. “Then,” said he, “they are not yours; serve them as the old parishes used to do with vagrants—whip them and send them on to their own parish. So,” said he, “do with them. Groan over them, repent of them, and send them on to the devil, the father of them, to whom they belong—for they are not yours.” Do you not recollect how John Bunyan hits off the picture? He says, when Christian was going through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, that one stepped up softly to him, and whispered blasphemous thoughts into his ear, so that poor Christian thought they were his own thoughts; but they were not his thoughts at all, but the injections of a blasphemous spirit.
for meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ heard things that were temptations to him, but he always resisted them and never sinned. As long as we hate and resist them, temptations remain temptations only—they become sins only when we enjoy them and give in to them.
sermon no. 293
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (14). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
sermon no. 128
20 APRIL (1856)
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4–6
suggested further reading: Hebrews 10:26–39
God preserves his children from falling away; but he keeps them by the use of means; and one of these is, the terrors of the law, showing them what would happen if they were to fall away. There is a deep precipice: what is the best way to keep any one from going down there? Why, to tell him that if he did he would inevitably be dashed to pieces. In some old castle there is a deep cellar where there is a vast amount of stale air and gas which would kill anybody who went down. What does the guide say? “If you go down you will never come up alive.” Who thinks of going down? The very fact of the guide telling us what the consequences would be, keeps us from it. Our friend puts away from us a cup of arsenic; he does not want us to drink it, but he says, “If you drink it, it will kill you.” Does he suppose for a moment that we should drink it? No; he tells us the consequence, and he is sure we will not do it. So God says, “My child, if you fall over this precipice you will be dashed to pieces.” What does the child do? He says, “Father, keep me; hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.” It leads the believer to greater dependence on God, to a holy fear and caution, because he knows that if he were to fall away he could not be renewed, and he stands far away from that great gulf, because he knows that if he were to fall into it there would be no salvation for him. It is calculated to excite fear; and this holy fear keeps the Christian from falling.
for meditation: God is the One who keeps us from falling (Jude 24), but he still tells us that we have some responsibility to keep ourselves in his love (Jude 21).
sermon no. 75
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (116). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
6 MAY (1860)
Terrible convictions and gentle drawings
“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” Psalm 32:3,4
suggested further reading: Acts 16:11–34
I have met with at least a score of persons who found Christ and then mourned their sins more afterwards than they did before. Their convictions have been more terrible after they have known their interest in Christ than they were at first. They have seen the evil after they have escaped from it; they had been plucked out of the miry clay, and their feet set on a rock, and then afterwards they have seen more fully the depth of that horrible pit out of which they have been snatched. It is not true that all who are saved suffer these convictions and terrors; there are a considerable number who are drawn by the cords of love and the bands of a man. There are some who, like Lydia, have their hearts opened not by the crowbar of conviction, but by the picklock of divine grace. Sweetly drawn, almost silently enchanted by the loveliness of Jesus, they say, “Draw me, and I will run after thee.” And now you ask me the question—“Why has God brought me to himself in this gentle manner?” Again I say—there are some questions better unanswered than answered; God knows best the reason why he does not give you these terrors; leave that question with him. But I may tell you an anecdote. There was a man once who had never felt these terrors, and he thought within himself—“I never can believe I am a Christian unless I do.” So he prayed to God that he might feel them, and he did feel them, and what do you think is his testimony? He says, “Never, never do that, for the result was fearful in the extreme.” If he had but known what he was asking for, he would not have asked for anything so foolish.
for meditation: The important thing is not how we are brought to Christ, but that we are brought to Christ. The wind sometimes blows fiercely; sometimes it blows gently (John 3:8). But we should not presume upon God’s kindness, forbearance and patience—they lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
sermon no. 313
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (133). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
sermon no. 47
22 OCTOBER (PREACHED 21 OCTOBER 1860)
The High Priest standing between the dead and the living
“And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Numbers 16:47, 48
suggested further reading: Hebrews 4:14–5:10
Jesus, the propitiator, is to be looked upon as the ordained one—called of God as was Aaron. Settled in eternity as being the predestined propitiation for sin, he came into the world as an ordained priest of God; receiving his ordination not from man, neither by man; but like Melchisedec, the priest of the most high God, without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, he is a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Stand back, sons of Korah, all of you who call yourselves priests. I can scarce imagine that any man in this world who takes to himself the title of a priest, unless he takes it in the sense in which all God’s people are priests,—I cannot imagine that a priest can enter heaven. I would not say a thing too stern or too severe; but I do most thoroughly believe that an assumption of the office of priest is so base an assumption of the priestly office of Christ, that I could as well conceive of a man being saved who called himself God, as conceive of a man being saved who called himself a priest; if he really means what he says, he has so trampled upon the priestly prerogative of Christ, that it seems to me he has touched the very crown jewels, and is guilty of a blasphemy, which, unless it be repented of, shall surely bring damnation on his head. Shake your garments, you ministers of Christ, from all priestly assumption; come out from among them; touch not the unclean thing. There are no priests now specially to minister among men. Jesus Christ and he only is the priest of his Church. He has made all of us priests and kings unto our God.
for meditation: Because the Christian has a Father in heaven, he is not to call any man his spiritual father on earth (Matthew 23:9); because the Christian has a great High Priest in heaven (1 Timothy 2:5), he is not to regard any man as his priest on earth. We are no longer living in Old Testament times!
sermon no. 341
Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (301). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.