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Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1-Chapter 13-The Grace of God

February 27, 2015 5 comments

CHAPTER 13-THE GRACE OF GOD

For every Christian God is to he thanked. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (#Ro 1:8). “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (#Ro 6:17). Salvation is of grace both in its planning and working. God who made the plan also works the plan. And all is of grace, the unmerited and unmeritable favor of God. God is both the Architect and Builder of the house made of living stones. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (#1Pe 2:5). Christ said, “I will build My church.” If we may change the figure, God sets the Gospel table and also gives appetite for the bread of life. The Holy Spirit fills the Father’s house by compelling them to come in. This is not external compulsion, which would destroy human free agency, but an inward compulsion by which the sinner becomes willing. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth” (#Ps 110:3). And this willingness is the result of the Spirit conviction of sin and His revelation in the sinner of Christ as Saviour and Lord. In a word men believe through grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (#Eph 2:8). When Apollos came into Achaia, bearing letters of recommendation to the disciples there this was recorded: “And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace” (#Ac 18:27).

A man was once speaking of himself as a self-made man. One who heard him in his boasting, said, “It’s quite noble of you to say so. Most men would have blamed their luck, or their wives, or even laid the responsibility on the shoulders of the Creator.” It seems natural and easy for a man to worship his Maker, and therefore, the self-made man naturally worships himself. But every believer is a grace made man. Paul, as a Christian, delighted to say, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (#1Co 15:10). In an experience of grace, the Holy Spirit, by the convicting power of the word, gives the sinner a sight of self, and then relieves the resultant distress by giving him, through the Gospel, a sight of Christ. An old Puritan once cried out, “Oh, where had I been if I had not spied out Christ?”

DEFINITIONS OF GRACE

The Greek word “charis” occurs in the New Testament more than one hundred and fifty times and is usually translated “grace” in our English Bible. It is not easy to take a word employed so many times and with such a diversity of application and develop a doctrine that will be uniform and consistent. Moreover, all the truth about grace cannot be compressed into a single sentence. Grace is one of the Divine perfections or attributes in the nature of God which is exercised in the salvation of sinners. Great and good men have grappled with the subject of grace in an effort to define and describe it. May we prayerfully ponder some of them:

Dr. Dale: “Grace is love which passes beyond all claims to love.” Grace is not the sinner’s due; it is not something he earns; it is not something he can lay claim to.

Alexander Whyte: “Grace and love are essentially the same, only grace is love manifesting itself and operating under certain conditions, and adapting itself to certain circumstances. As, for example, love has no limit or law such as grace has. Love may exist between equals, or it may rise to those above us, or flow down to those in any way beneath us. But grace, from its nature, has only one direction it can take. Grace always flows down. Grace is love indeed, but it is love to creatures humbling itself. A king’s love to his equals, or to his own royal house, is love; but his love to his subjects is called grace. And thus it is that God’s love to sinners is always called grace.” This quotation deserves repeated readings.

Alexander Maclaren: “The word grace is a kind of shorthand for the whole sum of unmerited blessings which come to men through Jesus Christ. Primarily, it describes what we, for want of a better expression, have to call a ‘disposition’ in the Divine nature; and it means the unconditioned, undeserved, spontaneous, eternal, stooping, pardoning love of God. But there are no idle dispositions in God. They are always energizing, and so the word glides from meaning the disposition, to meaning the manifestations and activities of it, and the grace of our Lord is that love in exercise. And then, since the Divine energies are never fruitless, the word passes over further, to mean all the blessed things in the soul which are the consequences of the Promethean truth of God’s loving hand, the outcome in life of the inward bestowment which has its cause, its sole cause, in God’s ceaseless, unexhausted love, unmerited and free.” This quotation must be studied to get the most out of it.

Phillips: “Grace is something in God which is at the heart of all His redeeming activities, the downward stoop and reach of God, bending from the heights of His majesty, to touch and grasp our insignificance and poverty.”

In analyzing all these definitions and descriptions of grace, we find that the word is applied to three things in the Scriptures. First, God’s attitude or disposition of love and favor towards a sinner is grace. It is said that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (#Ge 6:8). God’s attitude towards him was a disposition of favor and love, and inasmuch as Noah was a sinner, that disposition of love was grace. Second, when God does something for the sinner’s good, that is grace. “By grace have ye been saved” (R. V.). Third, the effects or fruit of the inwrought grace in the believer is also called grace. The graces or virtues in the saints are produced by the grace of God working in them. The disposition of the Macedonians to give so liberally is called grace: “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia” (#2Co 8:1); and the money given for the poor saints at Jerusalem is also called grace: “For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” (#Ro 15:26). The changed lives of the people whom Barnabas saw at Antioch is called the grace of God. “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (#Ac 11:23).

“Grace is a charming sound,
Harmonious to the ear;
Heaven with the echo shall resound
And all the earth shall hear”

HOW TO BETTER UNDERSTAND GRACE

Perhaps the best way to understand the meaning of grace is to see how it is contrasted in the Bible with other things:

1. It is contrasted with law in its origin and nature. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (#Joh 1:17). Moses was the voice of law; Christ was the spokesman for grace. It is the nature of law to make demands; it is the nature of grace to bestow blessings. The law is a ministry of condemnation; grace is the ministry of forgiveness. The law puts man at a guilty distance from God; grace brings the sinner nigh to God. The law condemns the best man; grace saves the worst man. The law says, “Do and live;” grace says, “Believe and live.” The law demands righteousness; grace provides righteousness. The law curses; grace redeems from the curse. As long as a man is under the law he is lost; the only way to get out from under the law is through faith in Christ, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (#Ro 10:4). “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (#Ro 6:14).

2. Grace is contrasted with sin in its issue. Sin reigns unto death; grace reigns unto eternal life: “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (#Ro 5:21). Sin gets its damning power from the law: “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law” (#1Co 15:56); grace robs sin of its damning power by giving Christ for the satisfaction of the law: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (#1Co 15:57). The one and only source of real danger is from violated law; the one and only way of escape is through a satisfied law. Christ satisfied the law for His people, that the law might be satisfied with them. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (#Ro 8:2).

3. Grace is contrasted with works in the plan of salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (#Eph 2:8,9). Salvation is by the grace of the Creator rather than by works of the creature. Salvation by grace precludes the idea of any works either great or small, moral or ceremonial. Salvation by grace excludes boasting and gives all praise to God. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (#Ro 11:6). “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith” (#Ro 3:27).

“Grace first contrived the way
To save rebellious man;
And all the steps that grace display
Which drew the wondrous plan,”

4. Grace is contrasted with debt or obligation as to the moving cause of salvation. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (#Ro 4:4,5). The thought here is this: the man who draws wages for his work does not have any grace shown him, but a debt or obligation paid to him. There is no grace where a man gets what he deserves or earns. Grace excludes the principle of debt or obligation. Salvation by grace means that God is not obligated to save. If there is obligation to save then salvation is not by grace as the moving cause. It was grace in God, and not a debt He was under, that caused Him to provide salvation for sinners. Toplady well says: “The way to heaven lies not over a toll-bridge, but over a free-bridge; even the unmerited grace of God in Christ Jesus. Grace finds us beggars but leaves us debtors.”

“High as the heavens are raised
Above the ground we tread,
So far the riches of His grace
Our highest thoughts: exceed.”

GRACE IN THE TRINITY

All three persons in the Godhead are equally gracious towards sinners. The grace of the Father, Son, and Spirit are equal in degree and extent, but distinct in operation and administration.

1. The Father is the fountain of all grace. He proposed the fact and plan of grace. He formulated the covenant of grace, and devised the means “whereby His banished should not be expelled from Him.” He made choice by grace of the subjects of grace, and then in fulness of time sent His Son into the world to be the medium of grace. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (#Ga 4:4,5).

2. The eternal Son is the channel of grace. The only way the grace of God can reach the sinner is through the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (#Joh 1:17). Let no rejector of God’s Son think himself to be the beneficiary of God’s grace! His work reconciled Grace and Justice, as it is written, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (#Ps 85:10). John Bunyan, blissfully lost in the contemplation of the matchless grace of the Son of God, cried out in these words: “O Thou Son of the Blessed! Grace stripped Thee of Thy glory; grace brought Thee down from heaven; grace made Thee bear such burdens of sin, such burdens of curse as are unspeakable; grace was in Thy heart; grace came bubbling from Thy bleeding side; grace was in Thy tears; grace was in Thy prayers; grace streamed from Thy thorn crowned brow! Grace came forth with the nails that pierced Thee, with the thorns that pricked Thee! Oh, here the unsearchable riches of grace! Grace to make sinners happy! Grace to make angels wonder! Grace to make devils astonished!”

3. The Holy Spirit is the administrator of grace. Without the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit in conversion no sinner would ever become a beneficiary of grace. He takes of the things of Christ and gives them to the sinner. He quickens all the souls of the Father’s choice, and leads to Jesus Christ all the sheep for whom the dear Shepherd laid down His life. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (#Joh 10:11). He conquers the stoutest hearts, and cleanses the foulest spiritual leper. He opens sin blinded eyes and unstops sin closed ears. The blessed Holy Spirit reveals the grace of the Father and applies the grace of the Son.

“We may listen to the preacher,
God’s own truth be clearly shown;
But we need a greater teacher
From the everlasting throne;
Application is the work of God alone.”

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 1

February 26, 2015 2 comments

NEWMARKET, January 30, 1850.

MY DEAR FATHER, —

I am most happy and comfortable, I could not be more so whilst sojourning on earth, “like a pilgrim or a stranger, as all my fathers were.” There are but four boarders, and about twelve day-boys. I have a nice little mathematical class, and have quite as much time for study as I had before. I can get good religious conversations with Mr. Swindell, which is what I most need. Oh, how unprofitable has my past life been! Oh, that I should have been so long time blind to those celestial wonders, which now I can in a measure behold! Who can refrain from speaking of the marvelous love of Jesus which, I hope, has opened mine eyes! Now I see Him, I can firmly trust to Him for my eternal salvation. Yet soon I doubt again; then I am sorrowful; again faith appears, and I become confident of my interest in Him. I feel now as if I could do everything, and give up everything for Christ, and then I know it would be nothing in comparison with His love. I am hopeless of ever making anything like a return. How sweet is prayer! I would be always engaged in it. How beautiful is the Bible! I never loved it so before; it seems to me as necessary food. I feel that I have not one particle of spiritual life in me but what the Spirit placed there. I feel that I cannot live if He depart; I tremble and fear lest I should grieve Him. I dread lest sloth or pride should overcome me, and I should dishonor the gospel by neglect of prayer, or the Scriptures, or by sinning against God. Truly, that will be a happy place where we shall get rid of sin and this depraved corrupt nature. When I look at the horrible pit and the hole from which I have been digfed, I tremble lest I should fall into it, and yet rejoice that I am on the King’s highway. I hope you will forgive me for taking up so much space about, myself; but at present my thoughts are most about it.

From the Scriptures, is it not apparent that, immediately upon receiving the Lord Jesus, it is a part of duty openly to profess Him? I firmly believe and consider that baptism is the command of Christ, and shall not feel quite comfortable if I do not receive it. I am unworthy of such things, but so am I unworthy of Jesu’s love. I hope I have received the blessing of the one, and think I ought to take the other also.

My very best love to you and my dear Mother; I seem to love you more than ever, because you love my Lord Jesus. I hope yourself, dear Mother, Archer, Eliza, Emily, Louisa, and Lottie, are well; love to all…

May we all, after this fighting life is over, meet in —

“That Kingdom of immense delight,
Where health, and peace, and joy unite,
Where undeclining pleasures rise,
And every wish hath full supplies;”

and while you are here, may the blessings of the gospel abound toward you, and may we as a family be all devoted to the Lord! May all blessings be upon us, and may —

I ever remain,
Your dutiful and affectionate son,

CHAS. H. SPURGEON.

Salvation is of the Lord, Alone

February 23, 2015 3 comments

Spurgeon 1And next, we think that a doctrine that is sound must have right views of salvation as being of the Lord alone; unless we find in it everlasting, unchanging love, working out a salvation for a people “who were not a people,” but were made a people by special grace; unless we find discriminating love, others may say what they will — we cannot consider such a creed to be a form of sound words unless we discern redeeming mercy openly and boldly taught; unless we see final perseverance, and all those great and glorious truths which are the very bulwarks of our religion, others may embrace the doctrine as being a form of sound words, but we cannot, and we dare not. We love the old system of our forefathers; we love the old truths of Scripture, not because they are old, but because we cannot consider anything to be truth which doth not hold the scriptural view of salvation. Methinks Paul himself, in this very chapter, gives us a form of sound words, where he speaks of “God who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

The Letters of Charles Spurgeon

February 19, 2015 3 comments

THE LETTERS
OF
CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON
COLLECTED AND COLLATED
BY HIS SON
CHARLES SPURGEON

 

(I thought I would blog some of Spurgeon’s Letters, in order that the reader may see how many Christians wrote letters during his time and also to show the reader how much grace and knowledge Spurgeon was receiving from our Lord, after his conversion. I hope you enjoy).

The Wednesday Word: Just As I Am

February 18, 2015 2 comments

It is true that the highest motive we can have is to seek the glory of God. However, such a motive is not required to come to Christ. If it were, we would all be in trouble. In the beginning, we came to the Lord with selfish fears and concerns for our future and final destiny. It was all about us! But Jesus is wonderful for, even in the midst of our selfishness, He welcomed us. We were concerned neither for Him nor His glory. Nevertheless, in spite of our selfish approach to Him He saved us. Why? There’s but one answer, GRACE!

Let’s just say that the standard God demanded before we came to Him was that we had a perfect and pure motivation for His glory! Think about it, if we could have met that standard we would have been sinless, and sinless people have no need of a Saviour! The very thing that qualifies us for the Saviour is the fact that we are ‘dyed in the wool’ sinners. Each one of us, individually, has fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23, Romans 4:5).

So let’s say it again, having a heart that exclusively seeks God’s glory does not qualify us for Christ. In fact, we need to be careful not to replace the cross with a passion for His glory. A passion for His glory is an excellent thing, but it not the basis of our approach to God. As we grow in grace, we learn to seek God’s glory in all things (1 Chronicles 16:29; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Psalm 29:2). However, we dare not qualify ourselves to come to Him because we have learned to long for His glory. Longing for His glory is neither a pre-requisite nor a qualification for coming to Him.

We must free ourselves from the enslaving idea that we come to him with unselfish motives. Christ receives sinners, not people with good motives. If good motives saved us, who then could or would be saved? And while we are at it, let’s ask ourselves is anything we do, actually pure and free from tainted motives? There are people who will answer “yes” to that question, but they are deceiving themselves!

As we grow in grace, we continue as we began! In other words, we continue to go to Christ Jesus, just as we are, flawed motives and all, (Hebrews 4:16). At His throne, we receive mercy and grace to help in the time of need. We bring nothing to the throne of grace, not even good motives for being there. To qualify ourselves to be there, we don’t have to tell our High Priest what we desire to be, or what we ought to be, but what we are. We tell Him the honest truth about our condition at this very moment. We confess the impurity of our bad motives; the sin that we feel; the hardness of our hearts and all things contrary to His glory. He wants us to come to Him exactly as we are; He wants us to come knowing that we cannot make ourselves fit to be there. He wants us to know that He alone is our fitness and qualification.

Jesus receives sinners and only sinners! A number of years ago, some children were visiting a church service. The preacher was speaking on Luke 15:2, “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.” Afterwards, one of the children, an eight year old girl, went up to the pastor and said, “Excuse me, sir, but I didn’t know that my name was in the Bible.” He asked, “What’s your name?”

“Edith, sir.”

“No,” the kindly preacher smiled, “Edith is not in the Bible.”

“Yes, it is,” she replied. “I heard you say, ‘This man receiveth sinners and Edith with them.”

Bless her! This little girl had misheard the text, but she had applied its truth to her heart. May we also learn to apply the good news of our substitute to ourselves. We need to stop trying to improve in order to get Him to accept us. We need to learn to say “This man (Jesus) receives sinners, and receives me just as I am.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Motivated by Grace Alone

December 24, 2014 Leave a comment

The daughter of one of the attendees at The Gospel of Grace Conference in Yadgir , India

In attempts to help congregations grow in the Lord, it is easy for pastors to cross the line between grace and works. To my shame I have to admit that I’ve crossed that line oftentimes … and I’m not alone. Sometimes we pastors find ourselves trying to motivate our listeners by the Law and its demands instead of by the gospel. However, it takes no spirituality whatsoever to get behind the pulpit and demand change as we warn about bad habits and lax living. But, this is not gospel preaching!

For example, in our zeal to see God’s people grow in grace we can continually demand repentance. Yet, the doctrine of repentance, although vital, saves no one. Granted, no one is saved without it, but repentance is not the gospel. It is the gospel of Christ alone that is the power of God unto salvation, not the gospel plus our repentance (Romans 1:16).

Here’s the gospel truth, the Good News is neither a call nor a demand to repent. In fact, the gospel is not even a demand that we change our lives. Indeed, the gospel is not a demand to do anything. In the gospel, all demands were laid on Christ and He fulfilled them all.

So let’s say it again, nowhere in the scriptures do we discover that the gospel is about our repentance. Along these lines, Charles Spurgeon once said, “You must not expect that you will be perfect in ‘repentance’ before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. ‘Repentance’ is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself.”

(CHS Repentance unto Life: Sermon # 44, New Park Street Pulpit).

The gospel is not the story of what we must do, it is the story of what has already been done in history, by the Lord Jesus Christ. Far from being about us or anything we can do, the gospel is about the perfections of the doing and dying of Christ.

The gospel is not about how we behave, it is about Christ’s behaviour in our place and stead. The gospel is not even a demand that we give up worldliness. Indeed, there are no demands at all in the gospel.

One old time preacher put it like this, “The Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed.” He was right! But as preachers, it is easier, at times, for us to demand that the flock obey the Word rather than for us to preach the accomplishment and person of Christ. It’s easier to demand personal righteousness than to hold forth an invisible, alien righteousness that is ours by faith alone.

Nowhere, in scriptures, do we find the gospel presented to us as a duty or a call to reformation. So why is our preaching so full of demands and devoid of the gospel? Behavioural demands, unless bathed in the gospel are a toxic diet to feed the flock of God.

This gospel, by the Spirit, produces godly desires in its hearers and under its preaching God’s people become a grateful people who desire to follow and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

A special greeting goes out to Pastor Devadas who forwards the Wednesday Word to seventy pastors in his state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Also, a big welcome to the pastors and leaders from Karnataka who have signed up to receive these gospel messages.

Many thrilling things are happening both in Ireland and India. Will keep you posted.

Gospel Blessings

Miles

www.milesmckee.com 

Please feel free to forward, post and blog etc. the Wednesday Word (without changing the content of the actual message)

Thanks to those of you who by your giving and prayers make this ministry possible. You are a blessing!

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers-Prayer 18

December 18, 2014 1 comment

O, FOR MORE GRACE!

OUR Father, Thou dost hear us when we pray. Thou hast provided an advocate and intercessor in heaven now; we cannot come to Thee unless Thy Holy Spirit shall suggest desire, and help us while we plead. We would ask that the subject which caused such conflict to Paul may be beyond conflict with us; may we know the Christ and have Him to be our all in all. We would have the conflict about others, but may we be past it for ourselves. He is everything to us; more than all in Him we find. We do accept Thee, Lord Jesus, to be made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. We will not look out of Thee for anything, for everything is in Thee. Our sin is pardoned, our sinful nature is subdued; we have a perfect righteousness; we have an immortal life; we have a sure hope; we have an immovable foundation. Why should we look beyond Thee? Why should we look within to ourselves, knowing that Thou shalt be the only well from which we will draw the living water, the only foundation upon which we will be builded. We would thrust out new rootlets this day, and take fresh hold on the blessed soil in which grace has planted us.

O Savior, reveal Thyself anew, teach us a little more, help us to go a little deeper into the divine mystery. May we grip Thee and grasp Thee; may we suck out of Thee the nutriment of our spirit; may we be in Thee as a branch is in the stem, and may we bear fruit from Thee. Without Thee we can do nothing.

Forgive, we pray Thee, Thy servants, any wanderings during the past. If we have forgotten Thee, forget not us; if we have acted apart from Thee, forgive the act. Blot out the sin. Help us in the future to live only as we live in Thee, to speak, and even to think, as in union with our living Head. Take away from us all life which is contrary to the life of Christ; bring us into complete subjection in Him, until for us to live shall be Christ in every single act of life. May we walk humbly with God in joyful faith in the finished work of Christ.

Savior, look on Thy beloved ones, and give blessings according to our necessities. We cannot pray a prayer that would comprise all, but Thou canst, Great Intercessor, plead for each one, and get for each one of us the blessing wanted. Are we depressed? Give us stronger faith. Have we become worldly? Pardon this great offense and lead us more into spiritual things. Have we become joyous, but have forgotten the Source of Joy? Lord, sweeten and savor that joy with the sweet perfume of Thine own presence. Have we to preach, and do we feel weak? Oh! be our strength. Are we engaged in the Sunday-school, and have we seen little success? Lord, teach us how to teach; give us our boys and girls to be our spiritual reward. Are we sickly? Have we those that vex us because they are unholy and ungodly? This, indeed, is a terrible trial to many; Lord, help them, both in their personal sickness and in this great spiritual trouble. Have we dear ones whom we love with all our hearts, who pine before our eyes? Lord, have pity upon them and restore them, and give them patience to bear pain; and give us resignation to Thy will in this matter. Whatever the trial of Thy servants, make a way of escape that we may be able to bear it. Our great concern, however, is to grow in grace and to become like our Master. We struggle and we struggle, but how small our progress! Lord, help us in any matter in which we have felt defeated. If we have been betrayed through want of watchfulness, Lord forgive and help another time. If any of Thy servants have lost the brightness of their evidence, give them to come to Christ as sinners if they cannot come as saints. And if through Satan’s temptation any are sorely put to it even to keep their feet, hold them up; and if any have fallen, help them to say, “Rejoice not against me, O, mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise.”

Now look in great mercy upon those who are unconverted; Lord save them. Some are quite careless; Lord, they are dead; come and quicken them. We cannot see, but Thou canst. Oh! that some of the most obdurate and hardened might be softened by the touch of Thy Spirit this very day; and may others who are not careless, but who are even seeking after eternal life, but who are going the wrong way to work, may they be shown their error, may they be led in the way by Thee, may they look, and, looking, live. We know how many of them are wanting to be this and that before they take Christ to be all in all; may they cease their seeking by finding everything in Christ. As Thou art a prayer-hearing God, and a God of pardon, issue many a pardon from Thy heavenly court today, sealed with the Redeemer’s blood, signed with the Father’s name. Oh! today, Lord, ere men grow old in sin, ere they die in their sins, save them with an everlasting salvation.

God bless our country and our Sovereign; God bless this city; may there be no disquietude between the different orders of men — the employer and the employed; but may there be a general spirit of goodwill given to the people of this city, and do Thou prosper us.

Remember all people, especially the poor, the widows and the fatherless, and any that are depressed in spirit, whose depression tends to the failure of reason; the Lord restore them, and such as are dying. O Lord, let them not die without hope, and may Thy believing people learn to pass away without even tasting the bitterness of death. May they enter into rest, each one walking in his own uprightness.

Save this age from its own intellectual pride; give back the spirit of simple faith in Christ, for we desire His glory. “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers

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