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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 79

MENTONE, December 15, 1891.

MY DEAR SON, —

As I write I have sweet memories of your delightful companionship with me in this land of the sun. I seem to hear your pleasant voice even now. The Lord bless thee, my son, and thy spouse, and the little one.

I write this day joyfully because I feel better than for many a month. I am weak, but I have the hope that I have turned the cold comer and am turning to the warmer side of the hill. I am indeed a debtor to my Lord and to the prayers of His people, that I now live in the hope of a perfect restoration and in the expectation of future service.

AND YOUR MOTHER IS HERE. I know it is true for I see her, otherwise I could not believe it. And she is-well — she is splendid. I pray the Lord to guide you in your tried path. I think you must settle somewhere in. the Antipodes, because you could not bear the fogs of Old England. My hope is that some city will be grateful yet for your laborious and valuable services. You have yet a glorious work to do. The coming of a family about you points to a pastorate. God will open. a door into “a large place.” God’s own true benediction rest upon thee.

Your loving father,

C. H. SPURGEON.

If any man be saved, it is not because he purposed to be saved, but because God purposed to save him

Spurgeon 34. My text is even more explicit yet, for the eternal purpose is mentioned. The next thing the apostle says is this: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose.” Mark that word- “according to his own purpose.” Oh how some people wriggle over that word, as if they were worms on a fisherman’s hook! but there it stands, and cannot be got rid of. God saves his people “according to his purpose,” nay, “according to his own purpose.” My brethren and sisters, do you not see how all the merit and the power of the creature are shut out here, when you are saved, not according to your purpose or merit, but “according to his own purpose”? I shall not dwell on this; it is not exactly the object of this morning’s discourse to bring out in full the great mystery of electing love, but I will not for a moment keep back the truth. If any man be saved, it is not because he purposed to be saved, but because God purposed to save him. Have ye never read the Holy Spirit’s testimony: “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy”? The Savior said to his apostles what he in effect says also to us, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye might bring forth fruit.” Some hold one and some another view concerning the freedom of the will, but our Savior’s doctrine is, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” Ye will not come; your wills will never bring you; if ye do come, it is because grace inclined you. “No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” “Whosoever cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” is a great and precious general text, but it is quite consistent with the rest of the same verse- “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” Our text tells us that our salvation is “according to his own purpose.” It is a strange thing that men should be so angry against the purpose of God. We ourselves have a purpose; we permit our fellow creatures to have some will of their own, and especially in giving away their own goods; but my God is to be bound and fettered by men, and not permitted to do as he wills with his own. But be this known unto ye, O men that reply against God, that he giveth no account of his matters, but asks of you, “Can I not do as I will with mine own?” He ruleth in heaven, and in the armies of this lower world, and none can stay his hand or say unto him, “What doest thou?”

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

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 78

MENTONE, November 28, 1881.

MINE OWN DEAR SON, —

How your whole conduct delights me! You are quite able to judge for yourself, and yet you defer to your parents in all things. May your days, according to the promise, be long in the land.

I think the case is clear enough that you ought to settle, for a time at least, in Auckland, but still you see, we know but little of the facts and so I preferred to leave you to your own judgment. I know what that judgment will be. I believe the work before you will arouse all your energies — which is good; but I hope it will not tax them — which would be mischievous. It is a sphere worthy of you, and yet its excellence lies rather in what it may be than in what it is. All things considered, it is full of promise.

Do not come home. I should dearly love to see you, but how could we part with you again? Stay away till there is a call to come home. When the Lord wills it, it will be safer and will be better for us all. To come home in 1882 would be a journey for which there is no demand, at a time when you are needed elsewhere.

I have thought of you many times here, and especially while worshipping in the room at Les Grotres. How honored I am to have sons who preach the Gospel so fully. I would sooner this than be the progenitor of the twelve patriarchs.

Dear Son, may the Lord make you His workman wisely instructed in moulding upon the wheel a future empire, as yet plastic clay. Who knows what the Southern Colonies may become? Impress your Master’s image upon the molten wax, and seal New Zealand as the Lord’s for ever.

May your desires be fulfilled, and your expectations be exceeded.

Your loving father,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 77

June 5, 1878.

DEAR SON, —

Your letters give us all great delight, and the readers of The Sword and Trowel enthusiastically praise the delicious dishes which your dear mother prepares from your capital material. Keep on excelling where your father fails.’

If only you were here a look at my Australian son would make a day’s delight. Everybody seems interested in your goings on. How rejoiced, I am quite unable to tell you. I would give all glory to God, but I may also praise you for the excellent manner in which you have conducted yourself on all occasions, out of the pulpit as well as in it. Go on, dear son, as you have done, and my heart will have to bless the Lord daily at every remembrance of you.

I shall be glad soon to see you home, but still I should like you to see New Zealand. Mr. Sands thinks you would be a suitable successor to Dr. Culross, who is leaving Highbury, but the time which must intervene will, I think, render that of no avail. We will leave such engagements till your course can be more clearly foreseen.

We want zealous, cultured, sound ministers, and when one of these can be met with several churches will be after him. May our Lord clothe you with so much power that you may be very valiant in Israel!

Dear son, your love is very sweet to me. God keep you ever and bring you back to me.

Your loving father

Who again blesses you in the name of the Lord,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 76

November 23, 1877.

MY DEAR SON TOM, —

I have been greatly delighted with your letters and they have caused great joy all round; especially has your own dear mother been much cheered and comforted. Write all you can for her sake — though we all share the pleasure.

God has been very gracious to you in opening so many hearts and ears to you. May His grace abide with you that these golden opportunities may all be used to the best possible result. I am overwhelmed with your reception, accepting it as a token of the acceptance which my works have among the people. When I have you and Char at my side to preach the same great truths we shall by God’s grace make England know more of the Gospel’s power.

Char is working well at College and will, I trust, come forth thoroughly furnished. When you come home I hope that your practice in Australia will lessen your need of college training so that one year may suffice. Still every man regrets when in the field that he did not prepare better before he entered it. We shall see.

I hope you will stay while your welcome is warm, and while you are getting and doing good, and then come home a free man in all respects, free! mean from all entanglements, and buckle down to the work of the ministry here.

Receive your father’s best love and think LOTS of this letter, for I am so pressed for time that it means a good deal more than it appears upon the paper.

May our God bless you more and more and use you in His Kingdom to the utmost possible degree!

Your loving father,

C. H. SPURGEON.

It would require very great twisting, involving more than ingenuity, it would need dishonesty, to make out salvation by man out of this text

Spurgeon 11. The apostle in stating his doctrine in the following words, “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,” declares God to be the author of salvation,- “Who hath saved us and called us.” The whole tenor of the verse is towards a strong affirmation of Jonah’s doctrine, “that salvation is of the Lord.” It would require very great twisting, involving more than ingenuity, it would need dishonesty, to make out salvation by man out of this text; but to find salvation altogether of God in it is to perceive the truth which lies upon the very surface. No need for profound enquiry, the wayfaring man though a fool shall not err therein; for the text says as plainly as words can say, “God hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling.” The apostle, then, in order to bring forth the truth that salvation is of grace declares that it is of God, that it springs directly and entirely from him and from him only. Is not this according to the teaching of the Holy Spirit in other places, where he affirms over and over again that the alpha and omega of our salvation must be found not in ourselves but in our God? Our apostle in saying that God hath saved us refers to all the persons of the Divine Unity. The Father hath saved us. “God hath given to us eternal life.” 1 John 5:2. “The Father himself loveth you.” It was he whose gracious mind first conceived the thought of redeeming his chosen from the ruin of the fall; it was his mind which first planned the way of salvation by substitution; it was from his generous heart that the thought first sprang that Christ should suffer as the covenant head of his people, as saith the apostle, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6. From the bowels of divine compassion came the gift of the only begotten Son: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Father selected the persons who should receive an interest in the redemption of his Son, for these are described as “called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. The plan of salvation in all its details sprang from the Father’s wisdom and grace. The apostle did not, however, overlook the work of the Son. It is most certainly through the Son of God that we are saved, for is not his name Jesus, the Savior? Incarnate in the flesh, his holy life is the righteousness in which saints are arrayed; while his ignominious and painful death has filled the sacred hath of blood in which the sinner must be washed that he may be made clean. It is through the redemption, which is in Christ Jesus that the people of God become accepted in the Beloved. With one consent before the eternal throne they sing, “Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood, unto him be glory;” and they chant that hymn because he deserves the glory which they ascribe to him. It is the Son of God who is the Savior of men, and men are not the saviours of themselves.

Nor did the apostle, I am persuaded, forget that Third Person in the blessed Unity-the Holy Spirit. Who but the Holy Spirit first gives us power to understand the gospel? for “the carnal mind understandeth not the things that be of God.” Doth not the Holy Spirit influence our will, turning us from the obstinacy of our former rebellion to the obedience of the truth? Doth not the Holy Ghost renew us, creating us in Christ Jesus unto good works? Is it not by the Holy Spirit’s breath that we live in the spiritual life? Is he not to us instructor, comforter, quickener, is he not everything, in fact, through his active operations upon our mind? The Father, then, in planning, the Son in redeeming, the Spirit in applying the redemption must be spoken of as the one God “who hath saved us.”

Brethren, to say that we save ourselves is to utter a manifest absurdity. We are called in Scripture “a temple” -a holy temple in the Lord. But shall any one assert that the stones of the edifice were their own architect? Shall it be said that the stones of the building in which we are now assembled cut themselves into their present shape, and then spontaneously came together, and piled this spacious edifice? Should any one assert such a foolish thing, we should be disposed to doubt his sanity; much more may we suspect the spiritual sanity of any man who should venture to affirm that the great temple of the church of God designed and erected itself. No: we believe that God the Father was the architect, sketched the plan, supplies the materials, and will complete the work. Shall it also be said that those who are redeemed redeemed themselves? that slaves of Satan break their own fetters? Then why was a Redeemer needed at all? How should there be any need for Jesus to descend into the world to redeem those who could redeem themselves? Do you believe that the sheep of God, whom he has taken from between the jaws of the lion, could have rescued themselves? It were a strange thing if such were the case. Our Lord Jesus came not to do a work of supererogation, but if he came to save persons who might have saved themselves, he certainly came without a necessity for so doing. We cannot believe that Christ came, to do what the sinners might have done themselves. No. “He hath trodden the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with him,” and the redemption of his people shall give glory unto himself only. Shall it be asserted that those who were once dead have spiritually quickened themselves? Can the dead make themselves alive? Who shall assert that Lazarus, rotting in the grave, came forth to life of himself? If it be so said and so believed, then, nay, not even then, will we believe that the dead in sin have ever quickened themselves. Those who are saved by God the Holy Spirit are created anew according to Scripture; but who ever dreamed of creation creating itself? God spake the world out of nothing, but nothing did not aid in the creation of the universe Divine energy can do everything, but what can nothing do? Now if we have a new creation, there must have been a creator, and it is clear that not being then spiritually created, we could not have assisted in our own new creation, unless, indeed, death can assist life, and non-existence aid in creation. The carnal mind does not assist the Spirit of God in new creating a man, but altogether regeneration is the work of God the Holy Ghost, and the work of renewal is from his unassisted power. Father, Son, and Spirit we then adore, and putting these thoughts together, we would humbly prostrate ourselves at the foot of the throne of the august Majesty, and acknowledge that if saved he alone hath saved us, and unto him be the glory.

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

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 75

LONDON, August 30, 1877.

MINE OWN DEAR SON, —

We have all been delighted to hear of the arrival of the Lady J. at Melbourne, for we hope that it means that our Tom is all right. By this time you will have had enough sea, and when this reaches you I hope you will have found that “the barbarous people have showed you no little kindness.”

I have had a very loving and pressing invitation to come out, but how can I leave home? I shall have to write and decline for I am anchored here too fast, but I feel grateful for the loving invitation and wish that I could accept it.

Give them the Gospel. Study all you can, preach boldly and let your behavior be with great discretion, as indeed I am sure it will be.

You will be a man ere this reaches you: may the Lord give you full spiritual manhood. We shall try to keep your birthday and Charlie’s and I must invest something great in the way of presents for your majority. This must be placed round the neck of the farted calf when you return.

Char is to come into the College in September. He will have a little start of his brother: but he managed that at an early period, and I suppose you must put up with it. The Bolingbroke Chapel is paid for and will be a blessing, I hope. The people want their co-pastor back, and so do I.

You will, I trust, find the Lord open up ways and means for you to see the country and do good and get good. am all right: full of work and in pretty good force for doing it. The Lord bless thee, my son, and keep thee, and be ever thy guide. Live to Him, and you will be better than great. Thy father’s blessing rests upon thee.

Your ever loving father,

C. H. SPURGEON.

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