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Declaring the Works of the Lord
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, OCTOBER 24, 1897.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, In connection with the dedication of the Jubilee House, which commemorated the completion of the beloved Pastor's 500hyear, June 19, 1884.
"I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord." Psalm 118:17.
I could not deal with all the text on the last occasion, so I return to it. May the Holy Spirit bedew the Word afresh, and make it a joy to meditate thereon!
I. MANY ARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD. Are not all things His workmanship, from the heights of Heaven down to the deep places of the earth? From the remotest star blazing in magnificence of light, down to the gnat which dances in the beams of the evening's sun, the Lord's hand is seen everywhere! The Lord has made all things—Creation is the work of His fingers. He continues to work all things according to the good pleasure of His will. Some of these works are plain and manifest to all. If men have eyes to see, they have only to open them and they may behold God working all around them—above, beneath and everywhere! Others of His works are secret and not discerned by the organs of the body. These things are only to be fully perceived by faith as to their inner meaning, even when in their historical outcome they are seen of men. The great work of accomplished Redemption was seen by those who lived in our Lord's day, in the offering of the great Sacrifice—yet they saw it not in truth. It is clearly seen by the eye of faith though centuries have rolled away, but the eye of sense saw it not, even when openly transacted. That other gracious work of God which is carried on within the soul is only to be known to the man who, himself, experiences it, though its results are manifest enough to others. So that there are works of God which will never be known to the mass of mankind except as His children testify concerning them. It should be with us a great objective of our existence to bear witness to these mysterious deeds of Grace! We ought to say, in the language of our Master, "To this end were we born, and for this cause came we into the world, that we should bear witness unto the Truth of God." We are to live to declare these works of the Lord!
Let me very briefly recount certain of those works of God which we can declare. I think that this term may apply in a certain sense to all God's works. For instance, I have said that Creation is open to every man's observation and that he, if he will, may see that God is there. Yet very many men do not perceive God to be the Author of Nature. They do not will to perceive Him and it is for you and for me, therefore, whenever we talk about the wisdom which is to be seen in Creation, most distinctly to refer the things which exist to the hand of the Lord. A scientific man does great service when he sanctifies his science by pointing out the traces of the Divine handiwork. While others see only the Creation, he goes further and sees the Creator. You and I may not rank with the scientific, but that need not hinder us from bearing our testimony to the Lord's working, for the naked eye suffices to cause wonder and adoration. When we gaze upon majestic scenery of mountain and sea, while others are entirely taken up with the beauty of the prospect, it is for us to say with Milton—
"These are Your glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! Yours this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; Yourself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sits above these heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these Your lowest works; yet these declare
Your goodness beyond thought and power Divine."
Thus we can preach the sermon of which the beautiful in Nature is the text! If men will not go "from Nature up to Nature's God"—as they never will till they first come down from God to nature—we, at least, can point the way. We can say to them, "We cannot suffer you to look on all these majestic works without telling you Who it is that in wisdom has made them all." Thus we shall, like the Psalmist, "declare the works of the Lord."
Think, next, of the work of God in Providence. If men would but observe it, the hand of God is clearly to be seen in human history, both in the great records of nations and in the little stories of private lives. He who will watch for Providences need not be long without spying them out. We can see evidences of design as clearly in the deeds of human life as we can in the works of Nature, but, often, men will not see them. Consequently, if you do see them, my Brother, declare them! Make the ungodly man see the hand of God, or, if you cannot make him see it, at least let him know that you see it and that surely the hand of God is in all the workings of Providence. Have you not some personal story to tell of how the Lord has interposed for your help? I will not insult you with the question, for, if you have led a Christian life for years, you must have many, many such records concerning the loving kindness of the Lord laid up in store in your memory! Bring these out, let them not lie, as on a moldy shelf, but bring them out and tell to others what God has done for you in the ordering of the ordinary or extraordinary events of your life. "Declare the works of the Lord."
Especially must you and I dwell emphatically and often upon the work of God in Redemption. Are we not too slow to talk about this marvel of all marvels—this greatest wonder of time and of eternity—that God came here in our flesh to suffer, bleed and die, that He might work out our redemption? All this is plainly written in the Word of God, but many men do not read the Bible. Then, let them see it and hear it! Be walking Bibles. Often tell "the old, old story of Jesus and His love." Do not wait till you can gather a great congregation—talk of it to your children, to your friends, to any with whom you are brought into contact by the Providence of God! "Declare the works of the Lord" which cluster around the Cross. Never angel had better news to bring than you have! Then play the angel whenever you can. Be the messenger of God in telling what He has done through the Redemption worked out by His only-begotten Son in His wondrous Sacrifice on Calvary.
And then, dear Friends, a further work of God which springs out of our redemption is that of regeneration—and we must also declare that. If men care little for the story of Creation, Providence, or Redemption, they care still less for the great mystery of Regeneration. They do not believe in it. Some of them, alas, hold it up to ridicule. Do not be ashamed to declare that work of the Lord and do it mainly by exhibiting the fruit of it in your life, but also by clearly narrating your own experience whenever you have a fitting opportunity. Oh, it is a wonderful thing to have been born twice, to have been "begotten, again, unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." It is a thing to be spoken of humbly, but yet most boldly, that we have passed from death unto life, that we have been brought out of the kingdom of Satan into the Kingdom of God's dear Son! I think that man who was born blind, to whom our Lord Jesus afterwards gave sight, if he had lived for many years and had mixed much in society, would have been sure, somehow, to turn the conversation round so that he might tell how he was once blind, but was afterwards made to see. I should not wonder if, sometimes, his friends and acquaintances were caused to smile because of the oft-told tale. They would say, one to another, "Before the evening is over, we shall hear once more the story of the Prophet who anointed his eyes with the clay and then bade him go and wash, and so caused him to find his sight! It does not matter what the subject under discussion may be, he will turn it around, somehow, and drag in his narrative of the miracle which always ends with, 'Whereas I was blind, now I see.'"
"Ah," he would say, "you were speaking about light. Do you know there was a time when I did not know what light was? I had never seen a ray of it, but there came a wondrous miracle worker, called Jesus, who opened my eyes." "You spoke about water, Sir, did you not? I remember the pool of Siloam, it was wonderful water to me, when I went, and washed and received my sight." "No," you say, "I was nottalking about water, I was speaking about the earth." And the man who had been blind says, "Oh, but I remember when I had clay put on my eyes, and yet that day, when I went and washed it off, was made the means of restoring me to sight!" I am sure that he would get that familiar story in somehow! Well, take care that you do the same, dear Brothers and Sisters. "Declare the works of the Lord," and tell what He did for you when you were regenerated by the Holy Spirit!
Since then, what a scene of wonders has opened up before our astonished gaze! I do not know which day of my life was most full of mercy since my spiritual birthday, but it does seem to me that the farther I go in the heavenly pilgrimage, the clearer is the light, the more charming the view, the sharper the lines of beauty, the more distinct the coloring and the brighter the approaching Glory. Yes, when God begins to work in us, there is no telling what is to come—it is always "better than before." The light shines more and more unto the perfect day. Therefore, tell more as you learn more, and publish more as you experience more, and go on forever telling what never can be fully told. If you only told the blessings of the past, there would be a lifelong story for you to tell, but as each day seems to exceed its fellow, as the days of Grace so swiftly follow one another, let your testimony continually become more courageous, more clear, more frequent as you tell others what God has done for you. "Declare the works of the Lord."
If I were to dwell at length upon these great subjects and then go on to mention everything that the Lord is doing for His Church and for the maintenance and spread of His eternal Truth, I would take up all the time with what I want to be only the preliminary to my discourse, so let us advance to my second point.
II. THESE WORKS OF THE LORD OUGHT TO BE DECLARED. There are always so many good and valid reasons for every one of God's commands that, though it ought to be obeyed even if no reason is given, yet it should be obeyed the more quickly when there are so many reasons clearly apparent to us. Why, then, should we declare the works of the Lord?
I answer, first, for God's Glory. This is man's chief end, "to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever." O saint, how can you glorify God better than by declaring His works? Will you begin, now, to adore the Lord? Suppose I were to lead you in an act of adoration, what would I say? How should I praise God, except by saying what God is, or what God does? We never bring anything to God from outside, but when we want to praise Him most, we fetch the jewels for His crown out of His own regalia. What would we say if we began to praise Him? "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy; and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" You see, it is all through the story of what He is and what He has done. This is the only way in which we can truly magnify the Lord, making Him great by mentioning the greatness which He already has! Therefore, Brothers and Sisters, since I am sure you would wish to pay your revenue of praise to the great King of Kings, be sure that you "declare the works of the Lord."
Do this, also, for the comfort of His people. What is there that can comfort God's saints like telling them what the Lord has done—His love in times past, His love to others of His people, His love to you? You will comfort many despondent ones if you tell them how you were brought low and the Lord helped you. One of the readiest and surest ways of lighting a candle for a child of God in the dark is to relate your own experience of the goodness of the Lord. Therefore, then, as you want to comfort God's people, be sure that you tell them what God has done for you.
Moreover, I know that you want to guide the anxious and how shall they be guided so well as by telling them what the Lord does? If you begin to tell them what they ought to do, you will only entangle them still more in the net, for what can these poor souls do to release themselves? Tell them what the Lord does for sinners—how He delivers them from the fowler's snare. Tell them what a mighty arm He has to pluck them out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay—and especially dwell upon the fact that He has brought you up out of that horrible pit and set your feet upon a Rock and established your goings. I feel sure that this personal testimony of yours will be one of the best means of leading poor troubled anxious ones to put their trust in God.
Moreover, dear Brothers and Sisters, tell what the Lord has done because it will be such a warning to the self-righteous. They think to go to Heaven as they are! They suppose themselves to be quite fit for the spiritual kingdom. Tell them that you have been born again. Declare to them what the Spirit of God worked in you when He made all things new and they will say to themselves, "We do not know anything about this matter, we never felt this change." And, believe me, the narration of the Holy Spirit's work in you and upon you will be more powerful to many of them than any words that I can put together! Your personal declaration of how the Lord takes away the heart of stone and gives the heart of flesh will induce many a man to say, "I am ignorant of all this, therefore what is to become of me?" And this anxiety will lead him to fly to Christ that he, also, may experience the new birth and himself be saved. Do not hesitate, then, to declare everywhere God's working in you and for you, that others may be led to rejoice in the same blessings of His Grace.
Besides, it gladdens the Church of God when any are heard declaring the works of the Lord. Have you not, dear Friends, often been comforted when a Brother, home from a foreign land, where he has been a missionary, has told you how God has blessed him to some heathen tribe so that it has turned to Christ? Why, as you heard his story, you felt that you, also, would like to be missionaries! And when God blessed you, my dear Sister, in your Sunday school class, tell others about the sweet joy you have had in seeing His Spirit working with your girls or boys! For then they, also, will want to enter upon some holy service for the Master. When a Church gets dull and cold—and it is very apt to do so at times— and a kind of ignoble despondency steals over the servants of God, come and tell what the Lord did in the ages past! Tell of the glorious things which He did in our fathers' days and in the old time before them! And then bring in a little of what you have, yourself, seen, how God has used you, a poor, weak, worthless instrument, to glorify Himself, for so you will put new life into these desponding ones and they will begin, again, to be of good courage.
"Well," says one, "I have not said much about what God has done for me. It is not because I do not know Him, but I have not thought it necessary to tell it." I think that no mercy of God ought to be stowed away in the cellar—everything that He does ought to be proclaimed! Last Tuesday I saw some 24 persons, whose names I was happy to give in to be proposed for Church membership, and I felt very happy and thankful, yet I said to myself as I went home, "I am not half as glad about these numerous conversions as I ought to be." Time was when if anybody had said to me when I began to preach, "You will sometimes see 40 converts in a day. Sometimes you shall go week after week and see a score coming forward each week," why, I should have said, "No, that is too much! I would die ofjoy if I ever saw that! Yet, by God's Grace, I have seen it again and again! Do you not think that God blesses us more than we praise Him and that, sometimes, if our success becomes a little less than usual, He might say to us," Well, I did use you, you know, yet you did not seem at all grateful for it. I did give you one soul and that soul was worth a thousand worlds, but you did not seem to think anything of it. I want you to appreciate the blessings I have given before I bestow any more upon you." Why, Sirs, a man might give his eyes to win a single soul, and be perfectly satisfied to go into Heaven blind, with that one soul at his right hand! Better by far to enter into life blind, halt, maimed, with some companions won for Christ, than to live here with all one's eyes and faculties, and be a barren soul and never bring a sinner to the Savior's feet.
Do let us, then, bless the Lord, praise Him and declare His wondrous works. If you do, somebody will say that you are an egotist. Whenever anybody says that of me, I feel that it is so true that I do not get angry about it, because if I am not egotistical when I tell what the Lord has done for me, and by me, I daresay that I am about some other matter and, therefore, if I do not deserve the cut of the whip for that, I do for something else! So I take it as a rebuke that I deserve some way or other. But I am not speaking with egotism any the more for that. When the Lord does a good thing in me, or for me, or by me, I will tell of it and I encourage you to do the same. If somebody says, "He talks about himself," answer, "Well, Paul was constantly doing the same thing." One of the humblest men who ever lived yet he was continually talking about himself. You see, he knew more about himself than he did of anybody else—and he knew more about what God had done for him than of what God had done for Apollos or Cephas. And he was quite right in giving that kind of evidence which, in his own case, would be most powerful with those who had seen him and known him—and who understood in very deed and of a truth that God had worked great wonders in him and by him!
So, then, we may continue to say that there are good reasons for declaring the works of God.
III. Now, thirdly, WHO OUGHT TO DECLARE THESE WORKS OF THE LORD?
Well, first, let those declare them who know them. I t is a wretched business to go up into a pulpit to declare God's works and to pray God the Holy Spirit to help you—and then to put your hand into your pocket and pull out somebody else's manuscript, which you have bought, to read it to the people! That borrowing or stealing of another man's testimony is not what the Psalmist means and I do not see how God can be expected to bless it. But when a man speaks out of the fullness of his own heart of what he has, himself, tasted, handled and felt, then is there power in the testimony! You know how pleased those quacks who sell medicine are when they can get a testimonial from somebody who says that he has been cured by their remedies. Whether or not the most of those testimonials that are published are manufactured at home, I cannot tell, but if they do get a genuine recommendation from some living person, testifying to the beneficial effect of their medicine, how they try to make it known everywhere! Well, surely, there is common sense in that, for men are convinced by the testimony of others.
It is for this reason that we who have experienced the working of God's Grace should bear our own personal testimony concerning what He has done for our soul. There is no man who can speak with power about the Grace of God unless he has felt its influence in his own heart—and personal witness-bearing is always effective. "I preached," said John Bunyan, "very often, like a man in chains to men in chains." He heard his own fetters rattle while he talked to others about the bondage of sin—and I am sure that he must have spoken in a most convincing way—but when he regained his liberty, then he spoke of that emancipation like one who had not a fetter left upon him—and his hearers began to believe in such freedom as he described and to ask how they could obtain the same! If you have really tasted that the Lord is gracious and you declare to others what you have experienced of His graciousness, some, at least, among your hearers will believe you. There will be the accent of conviction about your message and even if they do not believe you, then so much the greater will be their sin in remaining in unbelief after they have had the honest and hearty witness of a true man whose word they dare not question!
Think, dear Friends, if God does not get witnesses among those who have had their sins forgiven, from where are His witnesses to come? If you and I, who have had His love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, do not praise Him, who will do so? Are you going to leave this work to worldlings? Then it never will be done! Are you going to hand over the testimony of the preciousness of Jesus to any chance body who may come along? Oh, let it not be so, but say within yourself, "Surely, the very stones would rise and speak if I remained silent! And the timber out of the wall might cry against me if I did not tell what the Lord has done for my soul."
I have thus tried to set before you the works of the Lord which are to be declared, the reasons why we should declare them and the persons who should be engaged in this blessed business of declaring the works of the Lord.
IV. Now, in the fourth place, I want, with all my heart, to stir up your hearts and my own, also, to THE DUTY OF DECLARING GOD'S WORKS.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, as many of you as know the Lord, I pray you to declare His works and to be encouraged to do so because, first, it is a very simple duty. I wish that some preachers whom I know would think that it is so. When I have heard most elaborate discourses, or have known Brothers labor at their sermons day after day, I have wondered what their idea of true preaching could be! A minister said to me, some time ago, "I am disappointed with my people, for when I study very hard and prepare a sermon that takes me a whole fortnight to complete, they never seem to appreciate it. But the other day," he said, "I had been so busy that I just went into the pulpit and talked upon a very simple theme concerning Jesus and His love—just such a sermon as I would deliver if I were suddenly called up from my bed and bid to preach in my shirt sleeves—and my people greatly enjoyed that simple kind of talk!" "Well then," I replied, "if I were in your place, I would give them another discourse of the same sort! I should preach some more of those shirt-sleeve sermons, if they feed on them, and enjoy them."
The fact is, Brothers, it is possible to hammer a sermon so long as to get all the goodness out of it, just as men will beat a beefsteak till they have driven all the juice out of it and so give you nothing but a tough piece of leather! It is very possible to elaborate a sermon until you have worked all that is good out of it. Do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ meant that His ministers should go into the world and preach such masterly sermons that they should almost suffer from softening of the brain and I do not know what besides, because of the strain and struggle to get at what, according to my Bible, is very plain and simple? Is there not in all this a good deal of desire to shine and to seem to be somebody of importance? I believe it is so, but it ought not to be. The very philosophy of preaching is, to "declare the works of the Lord." I do believe that, often, our simplest language is the best we can use. I have some very rare flowers in my conservatory, but I must confess that I like a primrose or even a daisy as well as any of them. When you are teaching, my dear Friends, pluck your illustrations from the fields and the hedge rows, and they will be far better than those which are brought from distant lands and die on the road.
Is it not a very simple thing to tell what the Lord has done? Next time you try to preach a sermon, my young Friend, do just that—tell what the Lord Jesus Christ did and never mind how you do it! Tell as well as ever you can what Jesus Christ did, but do not think so much of how you tellit as of what you are to tell. Another time, make known what the Holy Spirit has done in you. "Why, I could tell that!" says one. Of course you could! And that is the very best kind of discourse. "Oh, but," says another, "we must take time for study!" Certainly, study God's Word with all your might, but there are parts of it which are so simple that they do not require any study—those parts which you, yourself, have tasted and handled and felt! The simpler and plainer your personal testimony concerning them is, the more likely will you be to do good by it. Come, then, Brothers, do not go sailing all over the seas to pick up some rarities to display in a great congregation, but when you get two or three people together, just tell them what you have experienced of the Grace of God in your own soul. You know that this is what I cannot tell. "What?" you ask, "is there something we know that you do not?" Yes, of course there is. I can tell what has been done in my own soul, but I cannot tell what has been done in yours. You have a portion of testimony for Christ which nobody but yourselves can give. This work of glorifying the Grace of God is a mosaic—I can put in my little pieces of stone or marble to form the pattern so far—but there is another part of that mosaic which nobody but yourselves can manufacture. It can be made out of the odds and ends of your spiritual experience, as you think them to be but insignificant and unimportant as they seem to be, they help to complete the whole design. Therefore, do not keep back that portion, I pray you, for you can now see what a simple duty it is for every child of God to declare the works of the Lord.
Then notice what a very manifest duty i t is that you should tell what God has done for you. Does this need any proof? Do you think that the Lord saved you that you might just be happy, keeping your joy within your own heart, ever feeding and fattening it? I do not think the Lord had such a narrow purpose as that in His mind when He saved you. Depend upon it, if God has given you a jewel to wear, it is that other eyes may be gladdened by the sight of it. He never lit the candle of His love for you to go and hide yourself in your room, shutting the door, and saying to yourself, "What a charming candle I have! What a beautiful light it gives! How I enjoy its brightness!" No, when the Lord gave you that candle, He intended it to give light to all in the house and He also meant that other candles might be lighted by it. "I had such a sweet experience the other day," one says. Did you? Then, do you not think it was given to you because another person needed it as much as you did and that, therefore, you are to go and tell others of it? There are some hearers who, if we preach the Doctrines of Grace, sit and suck them in—but if we try to bring sinners to Christ, they say, "We did not get fed tonight." And pray, who are you? Do you think that God sent His servant to do nothing but to feed you with a spoon? There are other things for the minister to do besides looking after you. I think, sometimes, it is our duty to leave the 99 and to go after the one that has gone astray—not so much to feed the people of God, as to search for such as are out of the way.
And I notice that the people of God are generally best fed when that is the case and they feel the most joy when the preacher is seeking the salvation of sinners! If you, my Friends, are not happy when that is being done, there is something wrong with you—you had better ask the Great Physician to give you a dose of heavenly medicine to cure you of that sad disease! You are spiritually out of order, for he who is in a right condition towards Christ loves the souls of men and delights in that teaching which God is likely to bless to their conversion. It is, therefore, a manifest duty for us to tell to others what the Lord has done for us, that they, also, may come and drink of the river of the Water of Life and never thirst again.
Notice, also, that this is a very profitable duty. I hardly know of anything that is more useful to a Christian than to tell others what the Lord has done for him. There is a lad in a school and he is getting on very well and he can only have another year's schooling. I have known this proposal made to his parents—let him become a kind of pupil-teacher—let him continue to learn and let him also begin to teach others. I was once in that condition, myself, and I can bear my testimony that I never learned so much, or learned so thoroughly, as when I had to teach others!
When I first began to preach, this was my usual way of working. I was up in the morning early, praying and reading the Word. Then all day I was either teaching or studying hard, but at five o'clock every evening, except Saturday, I started out to preach what I had learned during the day! I used to tell the people, simply and earnestly, what I had first received into my own mind and heart—and I found that I derived greater benefit by proclaiming to others what I had learned than if I had kept it all to myself. I do not believe that you can thoroughly know the Doctrines of Grace till you begin to teach them to other people. You will soon find that they will not receive them, and so you will learn the doctrine of man's natural depravity. You will speedily discover that your eloquence will not draw them to Christ and, in that way you will learn the Doctrine of Effectual Calling—that the Holy Spirit must, Himself, come and work upon them if they are to be saved! You will prove that some will reject Christ though you thought they were most likely to accept Him, and that others who you felt sure would refuse Him, will be the first to receive Him! There you have the great doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. You see, from your own observation, how the Lord has compassion upon whom He will have compassion and how He has mercy upon whom He will have mercy. You will never know the Truth of God in all its fullness till with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, you have attempted to inculcate it in the hearts of others. So it is a profitable duty to "declare the works of the Lord."
Moreover, it is a very pleasant duty to those who practice it. I can testify that it is one of the most delightful exercises in the world, to proclaim the loving kindness of the Lord. Old soldiers at Chelsea barracks, or old sailors at Greenwich, who could recollect Waterloo and Trafalgar, never tired of telling the familiar story. If you could have crept up behind them, when there were half-a-dozen people round, you would have found that they were talking about the battles they were in long years ago. They would be sure to linger over the details of their escapes and their heroic deeds, for it is a pleasure to old men thus to fight their battles over again! And, certainly, it must be a pleasure to Christians, who have experienced the wonderful working of God's Grace, to tell out that far sweeter story! It does seem to me that this ought to be our constant delight. There should be no need for me to have to come here and urge you to this happy task. Why, Brothers and Sisters, you ought to be like the Israelites when the Lord turned, again, the captivity of Zion—with them you should cry, "The Lord has done great things for us; whereof we are glad!" Tell it out among the heathen! Make it known unto the utmost ends of the earth that the Lord our God has given His own Son to die that we might be redeemed from wrath through Him. Be not silent, Beloved, but publish night and day the loving kindness of the Lord.
This ought also to be a constant duty with all who love the Lord. When we have once told the story, we ought to feel bound to tell it again and again and again. It is the man who has never spoken for Christ who never does speak for Him. He who has been silent is all too apt to continue silent. It is good for you young people, when you are newly-converted, to bear your testimony at the Church meeting. It often opens your mouths for Christ for the first time and I exhort you, when you begin in the workshop or the workroom as a believer in Jesus—when you begin Christian life anywhere— begin it not as if you were possessed of a deaf and dumb devil, but as if you first heard the voice of God and then speak out what He had said to you! I may be addressing some who are getting quite old who have not yet borne their testimony for Christ. O my dear Friends, wake up! You will have to be quick, or else your opportunity for testifying will be over. I could almost imagine that you would want to come back from Heaven to tell somebody about Jesus if you had not done it while you were here! Then do not think of going there till you have told all you can about your glorious Lord.
"But I cannot," says one. What can you not do? If you were to be cured of a dreadful disease, I am sure you would be able to tell somebody who the doctor was. And if, tonight, a thief were to break into your house and a policeman came and seized him, I am sure you would tell somebody tomorrow about what had occurred. "But," you say, "I am such a poor one at talking." I am not sorry to hear that—there are many who might be improved if they were like you in that respect. But, still, you can generally tell what happens and you can certainly tell what the Lord has done for you if you only seek the aid of the Holy Spirit. So, put away all that deadness and dullness of yours—rob God no longer of the Glory due unto His name, but tell what He has done for your soul.
Do you ask, "Whom shall I tell?" Well, good man, tell your wife if you have never yet spoken to her about these things. Christian woman, do you enquire, "Whom shall I tell?" Why, tell your husband and your children! You cannot have a better congregation than your own family. Are you in a factory? Tell your work mates about Jesus Christ. There was a Brother, worshipping with us, who went into a certain workshop and he very soon bore his testimony in such a fashion that his master and the three other men in the place were all converted—and now they are all members of this Church—and their wives, too! When the husbands had heard the Truth of God, themselves, they wanted to go home that they might tell it to their wives, and so they have all been brought in! And, lately, there has been a new workman brought into the shop who did not love the things of God and could not stand religion, but God has blessed our Brother to him, also. Tell it out then, tell it out, you who have been lately converted! Do not hide your light under a bushel. Imitate Brother Gwillim over yonder, and others in this place who are always glad to have a word with the anxious, after the service is over. Speak up for your Lord whenever you have the opportunity!
I believe that it is a great help in bringing people to decision when Mr. Moody asks those to stand up who wish to be prayed for. Anything that tends to separate you from the ungodly around you is good for you. Now, if you have given yourselves to Christ, tell it out, for, after our Lord takes you Home, you cannot go back to the world! When Caesar landed on a certain shore, he burned the boats behind him so that his men might know that they must conquer or perish. I advise you to do likewise—burn your boats by a clear and explicit declaration, "The Lord has worked this great change in me, by His Grace, and I am His servant henceforth and forever." May God bless you, dear Friends, every one, for Jesus Christ's sake! Amen
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