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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 84

September 29, 2016 Leave a comment

TO MR. JAMES WATTS

BOROUGH, August 25, 1854.

MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,—

I am astonished to find that fame has become so inveterate a fabricator of untruths, for I assure you that I had no more idea of coming to Cambridge on Wednesday than of being dead last week.

I have been, this week, to Tring, in Hertfordshire, on the border of Bucks. I have climbed the goodly hills, and seen the fair vale of Aylesbury below. In the morning, I startled the hare from her form, and at eve talked with the countless stars. I love the glades, and dells, the hills and vales, and I have had my fill of them. The week before, I was preaching at Ramsgate, and then tarried awhile at Margate, and came home by boat. Kent is indeed made to rejoice in her God, for in the parts I traversed, the harvest was luxuriant, and all seemed thankful.

The Crystal Palace is likewise a favorite haunt of mine; I shall rejoice to take your arm one day, and survey its beauties with you.

Now for the cause at New Park Street. We are getting on too fast. Our harvest is too rich for the barn. We have had one meeting to consider an enlargement, — quite unanimous, — meet again on Wednesday, and then a committee will be chosen immediately to provide larger accommodation. On Thursday evenings, people can scarcely find a vacant seat, — I should think not a dozen in the whole chapel. On Sabbath days the crowd is immense, and seat-holders cannot get into their seats; half-an hour before time, the aisles are a solid block, and many stand through the whole service, wedged in by their fellows, and prevented from escaping by the crowd outside, who seal up the doors, and fill the yard in front, and stand in throngs as far as the sound can reach. I refer mainly to the evening, although the morning is nearly the same.

Souls are being saved.! have more enquirers than I can attend to. From six to seven o’clock on Monday and Thursday evenings, I spend in my vestry; I give but brief interviews then, and have to send many away without being able to see them. The Lord is wondrous in praises. A friend has, in a letter, expressed his hope that my initials may be’ prophetic, —

C.- COMFORT.

H.- HAPPINESS.

S.- SATISFACTION.

I can truly say they are, for I have comfort in my soul, happiness in my work, and satisfaction with my glorious Lord. I am deeply in debt for your offer of hospitality; many thanks to you. My kindest regards to all my friends, and yours, especially your sons and daughters. I am sure it gives me delight to be remembered by them, and I hope it will not be long before I run down to see them. Hoping you will be blessed in going out, and coming in,

I am,

Yours truly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 83

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment

TO MR. JAMES LOW

BOROUGH, May 2, 1854.

MY DEAR SIR,

I sit down to communicate to you my thoughts and feelings with regard to a public recognition. I am sure I need not request your notice of my sentiments, for your usual good judgment is to me a rock of reliance. I can trust any matter with you, knowing that your kindness and wisdom will decide rightly.

I have a decided objection to any public ordination or recognition. I have, scores of times, most warmly expressed from the pulpit my abhorrence of such things, and have been not a little notorious as the opponent of a custom which has become a kind of iron law in the country. I am willing to retrace my steps if in error; but if I have been right, it will be no very honorable thing to belie my former loud outcries by submitting to it myself.

I object to ordinations and recognitions, as such Because I am a minister, and will never receive authority and commission from man; nor do I like that which has the shadow of such a thing about it. I detest the dogmas of apostolic succession, and dislike the revival of the doctrine by delegating power from minister to minister.

(2) I believe in the glorious principle of Independency. Every church has a right to choose its own minister; and if so, certainly it needs no assistance from others in appointing him to the office. You, yourselves, have chosen me; and what matters it if the whole world dislikes the choice? They cannot invalidate it; nor can they give it more force. It seems to me that other ministers have no more to do with me, as your minister, than the crown of France has with the crown of Britain. We axe allies, but we have no authority in each other’s territories. They axe my superiors in piety, and other personal matters; but, ex officio, no man is my superior. We have no apostles to send Titus to ordain. Prelatic power is gone. All we are brethren.

(3) If there be no authority inferred, what is the meaning of the ceremony? “It is customary.” Granted; rebut we are not all Ecclesiastical Conservatives; and, moreover, I know several instances where there has been none. Rev. W. Robinson, of Cambridge, agrees with me, I believe; and has not endured it himself. Rev. J. Smith had nothing of it, nor had Rev. Burton, of Cambridge, nor Rev. Wooster, of Landbeach, etc., etc.

Furthermore, I have seldom heard of an ordination service in which there was not something objectionable. There are dinners, and toasts, and things in that line. There is foolish and needless advice, or, if wise advice, unfit for public mention. I am ready to be advised by anyone, on any subject, in private; but I do not know how I could sit in public to be told:, as Mr. C. was told by Mr. S., that I must not spend more than my income; and (if married), that I must be a good husband, and not let the wife say that being a minister had lessened my affection, with all the absurd remarks on family and household matters. I do not know what sort of a homily I should get; but if I am to have it, let it be in my study; or if it be not a very, good one, I cannot promise to sit and hear it.

I trust, my dear Sir, that you will not imagine that I write warmly, for I am willing to submit; but it will be submission. I shall endure it as a selfmortification, in order that you may all be pleased. I would rather please you than myself; but still, I would have it understood by all the church that I endure it as a penance for their sake. I find the friends do not care much about it, and others have, like myself, a decided aversion. I am your servant; and whatever is for the good of the church, let it be done. My knowledge is little; I simply express my feelings, and leave it entirely with you.

A tea-meeting of members, with handbills, and notices in the papers, will be a real recognition; and if my God will make me useful, I am not afraid of being recognized by all good men. I write now to you as a kind and wise friend. You can use my communication as you think best; and believe me to be —

Yours, with the proroundest respect,

C. H. SPURGEON.

God gave us grace “before the world began”

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

Spurgeon8. Yet further, a period is mentioned and added- “before the world began.” Those last words seem to me for ever to lay prostrate all idea of anything of our own merits in saving ourselves, because it is here witnessed that God gave us grace “before the world began.” Where were you then? What hand had you in it “before the world began?” Why, fly back if you can in imagination to the ancient years when those venerable mountains, that elder birth of nature, were not yet formed; when world, and sun, and moon, and stars, were all in embryo in God’s great mind; when the unnavigated sea of space had never been disturbed by wing of seraph, and the awful silence of eternity had never been startled by the song of cherubim-when God dwelt alone. If you can conceive that time before all time, that vast eternity-it was then he gave us grace in Christ Jesus. What, O soul, hadst thou to do with that? Where were thy merits then? Where wast thou thyself? O thou small dust of the balance, thou insect of a day, where wert thou? See how Jehovah reigned, dispensing mercy as he would, and ordaining unto eternal life without taking counsel of man or angel, for neither man or angel then had an existence. That it might be all of grace he gave us grace before the world began.

I have honestly read out the doctrine of the text, and nothing more. If such is not the meaning of the text I do not know the meaning of it, and I cannot therefore tell you what it is, but I believe that I have given the natural and grammatical teaching of the text. If you do not like the doctrine why I cannot help it. I did not make the text, and if I have to expound it I must expound it honestly as it is in my Master’s Word, and I pray you to receive what he says whatever you may do with what I say.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Salvation Altogether by Grace (2 Timothy 1:9)- Delivered on Sunday Morning July 29th, 1866

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 82

September 15, 2016 Leave a comment

TO MR. JAMES LOW

To the Baptist Church of Christ worshipping in New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

75, DOVER ROAD, BOROUGH, April 28, 1854.

DEARLY BELOVED IN CHRIST JESUS, —

I have received your unanimous invitation, as con-rained in a resolution passed by you on the 19th instant, desiring me to accept the pastorate among you. No lengthened reply is required; there is but one answer to so loving and cordial an invitation. I ACCEPT IT.

I have not been perplexed as to what my reply should be, for many things constrain me thus to answer.

I sought not to come to you, for I was the minister of an obscure but affectionate people; I never solicited advancement. The first note of invitation from your deacons came quite unlooked-for, and I trembled at the idea of preaching in London. I could not understand how it had come about, and even now I am in the hands of our covenant God, whose wisdom directs all things. He shall choose for me; and so far as I can judge, this is His choice.

I feel it to be a high honor to be the Pastor of a people who can mention glorious names as my predecessors, and I entreat of you to remember me in prayer, that I may realize the solemn responsibility of my trust. Remember my youth and inexperience, and pray that these may not hinder my usefulness. I trust also that the remembrance of these will lead you to forgive mistakes I may make, or unguarded words I may utter.

Blessed be the name of the Most High, if He has called me to this office, He will support me in it — other-wise, how should a child, a youth, have the presumption thus to attempt the work which filled the heart and hands of Jesus?

Your kindness to me has been very great, and my heart is knit unto you. I fear not your steadfastness, I fear my own. The gospel, I believe, enables me to venture great things, and by faith I venture this. I ask your co-operation in every good work; in visiting the sick, in bringing in enquirers, and in mutual edification.

Oh, that I may be no injury to you, but a lasting benefit! I have no more to say, saving this, that if I have expressed myself in these few words in a manner unbecoming my youth and inexperience, you will not impute it to arrogance, but forgive my mistake.

And now, commending you to our covenant God, the Triune Jehovah, I am,

Yours to serve in the gospel,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Falling from Grace

September 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

The apostolic gospel we preach is a full gospel. Although eternal (Revelation 14:6), the gospel was declared fully in the person, doing, dying and rising again of Christ. Here’s a superb fact,…. there’s nothing in the apostolic gospel that should be out of it, and there’s nothing out of it that should be in it. It is as complete as it is perfect. However, the Galatian church had forgotten this truth. And what was the result? They fell from grace.

What was the problem with the Galatian church? Was it that they no longer believed Christ had been crucified? No! They believed that!

Was it that they no longer believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus? No! They believed that.

Was it that they no longer believed in the blood? No! They believed that.

They looked quite orthodox, but they had fallen from grace. How come? They fell from grace because they were adding a little law to the gospel. What a drastic error. In their case, they added circumcision, but they ought to have known that no law can save. The Law cannot give us acquittal of sins it can only condemn! The Law cannot bless, it can only curse. The Law cannot build, it can only tear down. The Law can show us our guilt, but it can’t remove it. The Law holds the key to the prison of condemnation. It puts us inside and securely locks the door. However, although it can lock us in, it has no key to let us out. Only the Gospel possesses that key. Only the Gospel can set the captive free (Luke 4:18)!

Yet today, just like the Galatians, many people insist on adding a little something to the Gospel. They quietly think, for example, that the Gospel is insufficient to rest upon. So what do they do? They add feelings to it. “I know I’m saved,” they say, “because I feel saved.” In doing so, they’ve subtly perverted the Gospel and have fallen from grace. Still others look for evidence of salvation by their works. If they can see enough good works in their life, then they have peace. But again, this is to fall from grace. They are not resting on Christ alone.

In reality, every addition to the Gospel is a perverted wicked subversion. Jesus is our exclusive resting place. We grace believers really mean it when we sing, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling!” We know and are certain that Jesus is our only and entire confidence.

Remember this, if we are resting on feelings for salvation, we have fallen from grace.

If we are resting on the fact that we have a good prayer life, we have fallen from grace.

If we are resting on the fact that we have come under conviction of sins, we have fallen from grace.

If we are resting on the fact that we have repented, we have fallen from grace.

Repentance, conviction, prayer and works are wonderful, but we dare not put our confidence in them. They constitute no part of our hope.

“On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

Christ is to be the sacred vessel in which the grace of God is to be presented to our thirsty lips

September 12, 2016 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 37. But the gift is bestowed through a medium, which glorifies Christ. It is written, “which was given us in Christ Jesus.” We ask to have mercy from the well-head of grace, but we ask not even to make the bucket in which it is to be brought to us; Christ is to be the sacred vessel in which the grace of God is to be presented to our thirsty lips. Now where is boasting? Why surely there it sits at the foot of the cross and sings, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Is it not grace and grace alone?

Charles H. Spurgeon- Salvation Altogether by Grace (2 Timothy 1:9)- Delivered on Sunday Morning July 29th, 1866

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 81

September 8, 2016 Leave a comment

TO MR. JAMES LOW

CAMBRIDGE, January 27, 1854.

MY DEAR SIR, —

I cannot help feeling intense gratification at the unanimity of the church at New Park Street in relation to their invitation to me. Had I been uncomfortable in my present situation, I should have felt unmixed pleasure at the prospect Providence seems to open up before me; but having a devoted and loving people, I feel I know not how.

One thing I know, namely, that I must soon be severed from them by necessity, for they do not raise sufficient to maintain me in comfort. Had they done so, I should have turned a deaf ear to any request to leave them, at least for the present. But now my Heavenly Father drives me forth from this little Garden of Eden; and whilst I see that I must go out, I leave it with reluctance, and tremble to tread the unknown land before me.

When I first ventured to preach at Waterbeach, I only accepted an invitation for three months, on the condition that if, in that time, I should see good reason for leaving, or they on their part should wish for it, I should be at liberty to cease supplying, or they should have the same power to request me to do so before the expiration of the time.

Now, with regard to a six months’ invitation from you, I have no objection to the length of time, but rather approve of the prudence of the church in wishing to have one so young as myself on an extended period of probation. But I write, after well weighing the matter, to say positively that I cannot, that I dare not, accept an unqualified invitation for so long a time. My objection is not to the length of time of probation, but it ill becomes a youth to promise to preach to a London congregation so long, until he knows them and they know him. I would engage to supply for three months of that time, and then, should the congregation fail, or the church disagree, I would reserve to myself liberty, without breach of engagement, to retire; and you could, on your part, have the right to dismiss me without seeming to treat me ill. Should I see no reason for so doing, and the church still retain their wish for me, I can remain the other three months, either with or without the formality of a further invitation; but even during that time (the second three months) I should not like to regard myself as a fixture, in case of ill success, but would only be a supply, liable to a fortnight’s dismissal or resignation.

Perhaps this is not business-like, — I do not know; but this is the course I should prefer, if it. would be agreeable to the church. Enthusiasm and popularity are often the crackling of thorns, and soon expire. I do not wish to be a hindrance if I cannot be a help.

With regard to coming at once, I think I must not. My own deacons must hint that I ought to finish the quarter here; though, by ought, they mean simply, “Pray do so, if you can.” This would be too long a delay. I wish to help them until they can get supplies, which is only to be done with great difficulty; and as I have given you four Sabbaths I hope you will allow me to give them four in return. I would give them the first and second Sabbaths in February, and two more in a month or six weeks’ time. I owe them much for their kindness, although they insist that the debt lies on their side. Some of them hope, and almost pray, that you may be tired in three months, so that I may be again sent back to them.

Thus, my dear Sir, I have honestly poured out my heart to you. You are too kind. You will excuse me if I err, for I wish to do right to you, to my people, and to all, as being not my own, but bought with a price.

I respect the honesty and boldness of the small minority, and only wonder that the number was not great. I pray God that, if He does not see fit that I should remain with you, the majority may be quite as much the other way at the end of six months, so that I may never divide you into parties.

Pecuniary matters I am well satisfied with. And now one thing is due to every minister, and I pray you to remind the. church of it, namely, that in private, as well as in public, they must all earnestly wrestle in prayer to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, that I may be sustained in the great work. I am, with the best wishes, for your health, and the greatest respect,

Yours truly,

C. H. SPURGEON.