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Homage Offered to the Great King
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JULY 9, 1908.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL, SOUTHWARK.
"And He shall live, and to Him shall be given of the gold of Sheba; prayer also shall be made for Him continually; and daily shall He be praised." Psalm 72:15.
[Another Sermon by Mr. Spurgeon upon the same verse is #717, Volume 12—PRAY FOR JESUS]
I BELIEVE we must refer the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy to the times of the latter-day Glory when Jesus Christ shall again appear upon the earth. Then "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." Then "they that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him; and His enemies shall lick the dust." It has been a great question as to whether Jesus Christ is to come again in Person or by His Spirit. Many passages of Scripture seem to point to His actual and Personal coming and, somehow or other, it does delight my soul to anticipate that Christ may yet come to the scene of His former battles and make it the scene of His future triumphs. I am rejoiced to think that His head, once crowned with thorns on earth, may on earth itself wear a crown of Glory and that His feet that were once wearied in His pilgrimage here with the flinty stones of Jerusalem may yet "stand on the Mount of Olives," while He ushers in "the day of the Lord in the valley of decision." And that His shoulders which once wore the purple robe in mockery may yet be visibly clothed with the royal attire of universal empire when "the Lord shall be King over all the earth."
I am somewhat confirmed in this conviction by the words of the text, "And He shall live." It does strike me that such a prophecy as that would not be necessary concerning Jesus Christ, either as God or Man, if it were not that He is again to visit the earth. It is quite certain that, as God, "He shall live," for God over all, blessed forever, only has in Himself immortality and it is quite impossible that the Godhead should ever expire while, as Man, Jesus Christ must live, for when the just are raised, they die no more, but have life eternal—and when they ascend up into Heaven, as Jesus has done, they have a life that God confers upon them which becomes as immortal as the very life of Deity itself! So that it does appear to me that neither in respect to His Manhood or His Godhead, would it have been necessary to say, "He shall live," unless we are to understand it in the same sense that we should read it if it was written of His first coming—He shall live as the God-Man. He shall live on earth as other men do. He shall live here below. And I do think that no exegesis can fully explain the passage unless we interpret it as to His actually living, residing here as very Man upon the earth once more.
Be that as it may, the text, we trust, has a fulfillment in your ears this night and has been, in a certain manner, fulfilled ever since the time when it was written, "to Him," to Christ Jesus, there is "given of the gold of Sheba." To Him prayer is also made and to Him praise continually ascends. Here are three things which are, throughout all time, even till the dawning of eternity, always to be bestowed on Christ! The first is the gift of property—the gold of Sheba. The second is the gift of prayer and the third is the gift of praise.
I. To commence with the first, I shall be allowed here to make some remarks with reference to THE PECUNIARY MATTERS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH because no man on earth will ever suspect me of making any personal allusion either to my own Church or congregation, or with regard to myself or any institution connected with this place of worship. In nothing have I to find fault with my Church and people! Let it go forth to Christendom at large that in their collections and contributions to the cause of God, they stand second to no Church beneath the blue sky. I have simply to tell them that such-and-such a thing is needed for sacred purposes—and forth comes their money. It is always
bestowed at the time it is required and, therefore, it cannot be suspected that in anything I say, there is the least allusion to them, except it be to their honor.
It is written that "to Him shall be given of the gold of Sheba." I think that this ought continually to be impressed upon the minds of all Christians. Since Jesus Christ is the Son of God and their Savior, and has given Himself for them, they are not their own, but are bought with a price. Their possessions as well as themselves are the absolute property of their Redeemer! They have, in fact, nothing whatever in their own private right. They have made over themselves to the Lord Jesus, to have and to hold them through life and even till death and forever and ever. They are not to call their own their purse, their lands, their houses, nor anything that they have—but to give up everything to their Lord. From the moment when He Himself comes to them and unfolds their interest in His Covenant, they are henceforth to consider themselves as His servants, as His children, "having nothing, yet possessing all things," because they have all things in Christ.
Were this well considered, my Friends, how much greater liberality should we find among Christians, especially in the support of Gospel ministers? When God sends an ambassador into the world, wherever He sends him, the people are bound to receive him in some kind of honor and respect. Jehovah Himself has said that the mouth of the ox that treads out the corn is by no means to be muzzled. But it is the disgrace of our denomination, as well as of many others, that not a few of the best of God's servants are toiling weekday after weekday and Sabbath after Sabbath upon a miserable pittance scarcely sufficient to maintain the family of a day-laborer! I thought, the other day, when reading Martin Luther's "Table Talk," that it was rather too bad for him to say what he did, but since then I have myself felt similar indignation when I have thought upon this subject. He said, "If I were God, and the world were to behave so wickedly to me as it does to Him, I would kick it all to atoms." I thought it was a dreadful thing to say, but I have myself been almost inclined to say that had I been the everlasting God and sent ambassadors down from Heaven, and had they been treated as they are now, I would have called every one of them back straightway and would have said, "Is that the way you despise My sent servants? Will you show them no honor? Will you do them despite as you have always done?" Yes, I thought, I would call them back, revoke their charters and say, "Henceforth I will send no more ambassadors." But, Beloved, ambassadors are not thus received by you and they ought not to be anywhere! God's servants should have what they require and it should always be said, "Christ lives, and to Him in the person of His ministers—is always given of the gold of Sheba."
It is a terrible thought to me that although God's Word says, "Owe no man anything," yet that the Church should be more in debt than any corporation in England! I do not think that the debts of all the people put together would equal the debts of professing Christians—debts which they have entered into often on account of religion. I would stand fast by the practice of owing no man anything and if I did not see the means of doing anything for my God, I would stop till I did. "Owe no man anything," is a Christian principle, and one that we are bound most decidedly and continually to observe. Therefore should the Churches be in debt? Why should there not be money to send forth missionaries abroad? It is just this—there is not enough of the love of Christ in the Church and there is not enough of preaching Christ— otherwise there would be more of Christian giving! Where Christ is exalted, there will be a willing, generous people.
I do not believe it is so much the fault of Christians that they have not given more to the cause of God, as it has been the fault of ministers that they have not more fully preached Jesus Christ. They have not extolled His name. They have kept back His Doctrines and put them in the background. This is why God has allowed His Church to become poor and suffered her funds to dwindle down. And it serves her right, for if she does not love her Husband, she ought to be poor! And if she does not extol Jesus, there ought to be no funds! But can you find a Christ-exalting people, among whom the Gospel is preached in all its fullness, whose necessities God does not supply? There may indeed be some cases where it is so, when God tries them for their good. But I believe, as a rule, that once let our pulpits have the clear Gospel sound in them. Once let the good old Doctrines of the Puritans come forth. Once let the Gospel be preached in all its fullness— none of your shams, for we have abundance of them—but the blessed Gospel of Christ! Once let this fidelity prevail and God will provide the funds, God will open the hearts of the people to pour the money into your coffers. The silver and the gold are His and the cattle on a thousand hills—and it is the fault of the Church herself that she has become poor! When God restores to her the language of Canaan. When Christ is exalted in His people's hearts and they can hear the sweet and savory notes of Jesus Christ preached, then they will say, "Can we refuse to do anything for such a Gospel as
this?" Half-hearted preachers beget half-hearted professors! A lukewarm Gospel has made people's hearts lukewarm! We must have a reform—a lasting reform by the help of God's Spirit—otherwise, who knows whereunto this bankruptcy of Christendom shall tend? And who can tell what shall eventually become of the Church? Once let Jesus be preached thoroughly, here, there and everywhere, and then "to Him shall be given of the gold of Sheba," and as much as ever His Church shall need shall be continually offered as a willing tribute!
Thus much, then, about money have I felt constrained to say, for I do believe that many of my Brothers are half ashamed to speak out about the temporal claims of religion. For myself, I always deem it one of the noblest things we can do to give to the cause of God. Everyone knows what value we attach even to some little flower given by the hand of a friend, and God loves the little gifts of His people. As one of our old divines says, "It is not the value of the gift so much as the intention of the giver that is prized. For we should keep an old cracked sixpence if given to us by a friend—not because we think much of the sixpence—that, perhaps, we would scarcely have stooped to pick up—but because a friend has given it to us and for his sake we never spend it or give it away." So the little that we give to God is of great esteem in His sight. Every little gift we give to Him is remembered and at last He will take us and say, "My child, on such-and-such a day you gave Me this." "Why, Lord, I scarcely thought of it! I found such a cause requiring help, and I assisted it." "Ah, My child! Here is your gift—I have stored it up here to show to you when you came to Me. Have I forgotten your little acts of affection? No, I have stored them up in the cabinet of My memory—they are tokens of your love to Me, even as you have had numberless tokens of My love to you." But what few memorials of your love some of you will have to look upon when you get there! You only give a trifle now and then—that is all. God grant that you may have the heart to give unto Jesus "of the gold of Sheba" in far greater abundance!
II. Then comes the second offering. The gold first, and THE PRAYER afterwards—not because the gold is the more valuable, but because, in some respects, gold, when it is given with a true heart, is the better test.
"Prayer also shall be made for Him continually." Notice those words again, "Prayer also shall be made for Him." Now we all know that prayer is continually made unto Jesus Christ. We are accustomed to address the Second Person of the Trinity as God in the form of prayer and, more frequently, prayer is made through Him when we address the First Person of the united Godhead through the mediation of the Son. But the Psalmist says, "Prayer also shall be made for Him." We can understand how Jesus Christ should pray for us but, at first, it does seem to stagger us that we should be allowed to pray forHim. That He should be our Intercessor, that He should bend His knees on our behalf and point to our names engraved on His breastplate is a Truth of God so frequently mentioned in Scripture that we receive it unhesitatingly. But for us to become intercessors forChrist, to bind the breastplate on our breast, to wave the censer on His behalf, to plead for Him, pray for Him and beg for Him—this does somewhat astonish us! And yet our surprise is due rather to the expression than the fact, for it is a thing we are doing every day. Prayer is made for Christ continually.
Let me tell you that you virtually pray for Christ, Beloved, whenever you pray for one of His people. Will you understand me if I say that Jesus Christ has gone through a great many editions? Every one of the Lord's people is but another copy of their blessed Master. They are, as it were, particles of Christ beaten out into humanity again—pieces of that mighty wedge of gold beaten out into plate afterwards. They are partakers of Christ's Nature, they are part of His fullness. And whenever we do a kindness to one of them, we do it unto Him. Whenever we pray for one of His servants, we pray for Christ! You prayed for that poor miserable looking penitent who was afraid to call himself a Christian, though he was so in deed and in truth. Do you know that you then prayed for Christ? You interceded for that simple-minded woman who did not know the way to Heaven and who asked you to put up a prayer to God that she might be taught. Do you know that you then prayed for Christ, for she was part of His flesh and blood and was afterwards brought into His family. Do you know that whenever you put up a petition, even for the weakest and most despised of His little ones, you are praying for Him? What a physician does to the remotest member of my body, is done to the entire frame. Whatever is done to any part of my flesh is done to myself. And when we pray for Christ's people, the members of His body, we are really praying for Christ.
We pray for Christ, also, when we pray for the spread of the Gospel and for the increase of His Kingdom. When we implore of God, at our Missionary Prayer Meetings, that all His mighty promises may be fulfilled—that the people may fall under Him as willing captives—that the idols may be hurled from their thrones—that the Mother of harlots and abominations may receive her sudden doom and the merchandise of her seven-hilled city cease forever—that
Mohammedanism and all false superstitions may be overturned—when we pray in the simple words which our Savior taught us, "Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, in earth, as it is in Heaven"—then we are praying for Christ in full sympathy with all saints, by whom prayer is made for Him continually! And, best of all, when we bend our knees and cry out for His Second Coming—when we beg of Him to cleave the skies and come to Judgment—or when, with other and more literal expectations, we ask Him to come and reign upon the earth and make His people kings and princes unto Him—when we ask the Ancient of Days to come and reign gloriously on earth with His ancients, then we are praying for Christ!
We ought to do so. Recollect, O Christian, in your prayers, whatever you forget, always to pray for your Redeemer! It is your privilege to have your name written in the list of those for whom He pleads and it is your honor to be allowed to plead for Him. Stop a moment—a worm pleading for God? The finite asking a blessing on the head of the Infinite? Less than nothing begging that the Eternal All may be blessed? Oh, were it not told you in Scripture, it would be blasphemy to attempt it! You may pray to Him with the most dread and solemn awe—and you may prostrate yourself at His feet. But to pray for Him, to beg on His behalf, how amazing this seems! For Jesus to take your petition to His Father gives a glory and a dignity to your very poorest prayer—but for you to turn petitioner to the King of kings on behalf of His own Son—do you not admire the condescension that permits that? I think I see you coming, poor, weak, helpless one, and God says, "For whom do you plead?" You say, "I plead for Jesus." "What? You, a poor beggar? What? You, full of sin, littleness, nothingness—do you plead for My eternal Son? Are you making supplication for Him?" Do you not, yourself, think it amazing that you should be allowed to ask for a blessing on His head? Yes, then never slight this privilege! Never forget it—with your prayer, continually mingle His name.
III. Now comes the last point and here we must be somewhat longer, for we shall have, we hope, more thoughts— "Daily shall He be PRAISED." Jesus is not only continually to have gold and prayer, but He is to have daily praise ascribed to Him. Let me go over the list of things which prove that Jesus Christ shall daily be praised.
First, I think, Jesus daily shall be praised as long as there is a Christian ministry. There have been professed ministers who have never exalted Christ at all. There have been some who took upon themselves the office for a morsel of bread, not being called by God—but has there ever been a time when there have not been faithful men of God? Has there ever been a season when God has not sent His Prophets throughout the land to speak in living words, from burning hearts and fervid souls, the very Word of God? No and there never shall be! If God should now put out those lights that shine in London or elsewhere—if He were now to say to the Churches, "Your candlesticks shall be removed out of their places, I will take those ministers away," by tomorrow He would send others! And if the enemy should come and cut off the heads of all those who now speak God's Word, would that be able to stop the perpetual thunders of the Gospel? No, for God would tomorrow find men who should rise up and even in the palaces of kings should yet dare to speak the name of God!
Men have thought they could put down the Gospel. They have used the rack and brought forth the stake, but what have they accomplished? They have but spread it more! All they have ever done to stop that mighty stream and bank it up has failed. It has retarded it a little while till, with overwhelming might, the stream has swept away the rock, dashed down the hillside and carried everything before it! They have attempted to amalgamate the Gospel with free will, carnal reason, natural philosophy and such-like doctrines of men, which would, if it were possible, frustrate the counsels of God. They have spoken ill of the Gospel, they have given hard names to those who preach it—but have they been able to stop it, or shall they? No, never, while there is a God, He shall have His Calvins and His Luthers! He shall have His Gills and His Scotts, He shall have His devoted servants who are not ashamed or afraid of the Gospel of Christ! There never shall come a day when the Church shall be bereft of mighty champions for the Truth, who shun not to declare the whole counsel of God, but continually, to the latest period of time, men shall be raised up to preach Free Grace in all its Sovereignty, in all its Omnipotence, in all its perseverance, in all its Immutability! Until the sun grows dim with age and the comets cease their mighty revolutions—till all nature does quake and totter with old age and, palsied with disease, does die away—the voice of the ministry must and shall be heard, "and daily shall He be praised."
Men cannot put out the light of Christianity! The pulpit is still the Thermopylae of Christendom and if there were but two godly ministers, they would stand in the pass and repulse a thousand, yes, ten thousand! All the hosts of mankind shall never vanquish the feeble band of Christ's followers, while He sends forth His ministers. On this we rely as a sure
word of prophecy, "Your teachers shall not be removed into a corner anymore." And we believe that, by this ministry, Christ shall be praised daily!
But suppose the pulpit were to fail? We still have other means whereby Jesus Christ's name would still be praised. The ordinances that He has instituted will always continue to perpetuate His praise. There are two Scriptural ordinances, in both of which Jesus Christ is very much praised. There is, first, that holy ordinance of Believers' Baptism in which Jesus Christ is much honored, for it has a special relation to Him. "Know you not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." When you descend into the pool at Baptism, you hear these sacred words pronounced, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." And you are especially reminded there that unless you have believed in Jesus with all your heart, you have no right to this sacred avowal of fellowship with Christ, but are sinning against God in so doing. The Scriptures have taught us that whoever dares to administer that ordinance to any but those who believe with their heart and profess with their mouth, dares to touch with sacrilegious hands, God's own institution, and is guilty of breaking down the hedges of the Church and throwing open to the world that which was never intended but for the Lord's own family! We solemnly admonish you to have an eye to Jesus Christ in that blessed ordinance! We bid you, before you come, to examine yourselves whether you are in the faith. And when you are there, we remind you that afterwards you are bound to live unto Christ—you have now passed the Rubicon of life—you have now come on the other side of the flood that divides the world from the Church! You have now, as it were, taken the veil and renounced the world—you are dead with Christ, you have been buried with Him by Baptism into death. By that very ordinance you honor the name of the Savior—and while that ordinance lasts, Jesus Christ shall be praised!
Nor less at the blessed Supper of the Lord shall the name of Jesus be praised. I think the moments we are nearest to Heaven are those we spend at the Lord's Table. I have sometimes looked at your faces, my Brothers and Sisters, at the Lord's Table, and if anyone wanted to see men's faces when they looked as if angels themselves were smiling in their eyes, such have your faces been when I have broken the bread and the wine has been passed to you! When those morsels have been in our lips, simple as the sign was—and when we have drunk the wine, simple and unceremonious as the whole affair was—what a sweet and holy influence it has had upon our hearts and how we did feel that we could praise God! I have thought, sometimes, that I could almost have leaped from the Table and have said, "Oh, let us praise the glorious Redeemer!" When we have seen Him on the Cross and beheld Him as our Substitute, we have felt our hearts were burning hot, that they could scarcely be held within our bodies and we wanted all to rise up and sing—
"All hail the power of Jesus' name! Let angels prostrate fall— Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of All!" Even if the pulpit is gone, there still remain these two ordinances in each of which Jesus Christ "shall be praised."
But suppose that these were to cease? Suppose it possible that we could not meet together in our public assemblies to celebrate these sweet memorials, or to hear the Word of God? Yet there is another opportunity for praising God—there is the family of Christians—and while there is a family on earth where Christ's name is named, it shall be daily praised. I trust there is no Christian here who has a house without a family altar. If I came into your house and heard that you had no fireplace in the winter time, I would certainly advise you to build one. And if I heard that any of you had not a family altar, I would say, "Go home and lay the first brick tonight—it will be a good thing if you do so, I am sure." We had some beautiful instances, last night, at our Church Meeting, of young persons who, even though their parents were not godly, boldly started family prayer in the house. And we heard, in many cases, that the parents felt that they had no objection, and never wished to have it stopped! After they have once had the incense smoking in their house, they do not want to have it put out. My Brothers and Sisters, I cannot make out how you Christians live who have not family prayer in your houses! When I step into a Christian's house in the morning and we have a passage of Scripture, and a little prayer to God, it seems to put the heart and mouth into play for the whole day—there is nothing like it! And when we sit and talk of what Jesus said and did, and suffered for us here below, as old Dyer says, it is like locking the heart up by
prayer in the morning and bolting the devil out! We cannot get on half as well when we have not had that prayer in the morning.
And then, how do you get through at night? I do not understand at all how you professing Christians can get through the day without prayer and have no family prayer at night. I would feel like the good man who stopped at an inn and when he heard there was no family prayer, said, "Get my horses out! I can't stay in a house where there is no family prayer!" It does seem to me terrible that you should go on without prayer, that there should be no morning and evening sacrifice. I cannot make out how you live without it. I could not. I cannot understand how your piety gets on, nor what it feeds upon. I think wherever there is a Christian family, there should be daily praise in it. And mark this and solemnly hear me tonight—I do not speak unadvisedly with my lips—you will find that where sons and daughters have turned out a curse to their parents, when they have been a shame and disgrace to their parents and those parents have been Christians, it might have been set down to this—that while the parents have been Christians, they were not Christians at home! They had not family prayer, they never reared a family altar. I believe nine out of ten of such cases can be explained in that way without in the least touching the text, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Well, supposing we had no family prayer. Suppose we had no ordinances in the house and the altar did not smoke there? Yet daily should Jesus Christ be praised, for still there would be our own hearts and we could praise Christ there. If they put us in prison and we could not speak to one another, we could still praise Him! Or if our tongues were dumb, there is a language of the heart which can be heard in Heaven. With stammering words, or with actions which speak louder than words, our hearts shall always praise Him! Beloved Brothers and Sisters, do you think you will ever have done praising Christ as long as you are alive? I knew a woman who said to me, "Sir, if Jesus Christ does save me, He shall never hear the last of it." I thought it was a good saying. And shall He ever hear the last of it from you, Beloved? The last of it? Never! When we lie dying, the last word we give Him on earth shall be praise—and the first word we begin in Heaven shall be instinct with praise. And while eternity lasts and immortality endures, we will ascribe praise, honor and blessing to Him forever! Can we who are pardoned rebels, liberated slaves—can we whose souls are quickened from the dead by His Spirit, whose sins are washed away by His precious blood—can we ever cease to praise Him? No! Surely the very stones would speak if our lips were silent, or our hearts refused to pay Him grateful homage! Daily, daily, daily, "Daily shall He be praised."—
"I'll praise Him while He lends me breath, And when my voice is lost in death, Praise shall employ my noblerpowers! My days of praise shall never be past, While life, and thought, and being last, Or immortality endures."
But, then, supposing the innumerable company of His redeemed could perish and their immortality were swallowed up in death, yet even then, Christ would be praised daily! If all of us had departed from the boundless sphere of being, look up yonder and see the mighty cohorts of cherubs and seraphs. Let men be gone and they shall praise Him! Let the troops of the glorified cease their notes and let no sweet melodies ever come from the lips of sainted men and women—yet the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels, who always chant His praise! There is an orchestra on high, the music of which shall never cease, even were mortals extinct and all the human race swept from existence—
"Immortal angels, bright and fair,
In countless armies shine!
At His right hand, with golden harps,
They offer songs Divine!"
Again, if angels were departed, still daily would He be praised, for are there not worlds on worlds, and systems on systems that could forever sing His praise?Yes! The ocean—that place of storms—would beat to His Glory! The winds would swell the notes of His praise with their ceaseless gales! The thunders would roll like drums in the march of the God of armies! The illimitable void of ether would become vocal with song and space itself would burst forth into one universal chorus, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!" And if these were gone— if creatures ceased to exist, He who always lives and reigns, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt, would
still be praised! Praised in Himself and glorious in Himself the Father would praise the Son and the Spirit would praise Him and, mutually blessing One Another, and rendering each Other beatified, still daily would He be praised!
Now, dear Friends, I am conscious that I have not been able to enter into this mighty subject, but here are three things which we, as Christians, are bound to give to Christ—the gold of Sheba, our prayers and our praises. It is for us to see what we have given to Him. I wish we could keep a little book to see what our gifts to Jesus Christ come to in a year. I am afraid, dearly Beloved, that with some of you it would be a very miserable amount. I would lend you a small piece of paper out of my waistcoat pocket to put it down on—and there would be room enough. But it is not so with some of you, I know. You often pray for Christ, you often praise Him and you are often ready to give Him "of the gold of Sheba." That is well, but let me tell you this one thing—there are none of you who need be afraid of praising Jesus Christ too much! We do sometimes praise men too much—we say so much in their favor, so much in their praise and then, afterwards, we find out they never deserved it. But I will be bondsman for my blessed Master tonight that you will never praise Him more than He deserves! If you like to speak of Him in the most unmeasured phrases. If you borrow all the tongues of men and angels and talk about Him forever. If you praise Him and call Him God. If you call Him the most perfect of men, if you style Him, The Wonderful, The Counselor, The Mighty God—you will never say too much of Him!
So, Christian, begin to praise Jesus Christ now. You need not be afraid that you will be too extravagant in the praise you bestow upon Him, for when your hair begins to be white with the sunlight of Heaven gleaming on it, you will find that you never said enough about Him. Let the hoary-headed patriarch speak. Now he comes near his end. He totters and stoops and lifts his eyes to Heaven, and says, "Praise Christ too much? I thought Him lovely when I first knew Him. I knew Him to be lovely a little afterwards, when He helped me along, and I lived to prove that He was most lovely. But now I have got still further and I can say, 'He is altogether lovely, and there is none to be compared with Him.' I thought at first that each sweet mercy demanded a fresh song and I did, sometimes, feel a glow of devotion to Him. I then thought I must praise Him more and dedicate myself more to His service. But now," he says, "could I give my body to be burned for Jesus, I feel that He deserves it! His love in times past, His manifold helpings, His continual unchangeableness render me devoted to Him forever." And, like the servant of whom we spoke on Monday night, the old Christian feels that he is ready to have his ear bored to the doorpost forever! He never wants to go away.
I have said this because many persons nowadays say, "Ah, So-and-So is young—he'll be sobered down, by-and-by." I am sure, Beloved, it is a great pity if he should be. There are very few people in the present day who need much sobering with regard to religion. There is not so much fear of religious enthusiasm as there is of religious torpor and sleep. I should like to see a few enthusiastic Christians—"not drunk with wine, wherein is excess—but filled with the Spirit." But what do men say? Why, "the man has got no moderation—he is mad!" A person, passing by here the other day, said to another, "You know who preaches there, don't you?" "No, I do not." "Why, everybody knows that fellow! Everybody goes to hear him, but, you know, he's rather touched in the brain." "Yes," said a friend of mine, "and I'll tell you another little thing, by way of a secret—he's rather touched in the heart, too—and that's better still." Well, Beloved, we do not mind what they say about our being "touched in the brain." We believe it is well to be "touched in the heart" too! We may be mad, but it is a sweet madness, it is a blessed delusion, it is a most excellent "touch." And we only pray that the Master may touch us all. "Touched in the brain!" Ah, we have precious need to be in these days, for the brains are wrong enough originally! "Touched in the brain!" Most decidedly we require it, for most men's brains are very far from what they should be. "Touched in the brain!" May God "touch" every man's brain and every man's heart! And the more we are touched of God, whether it is touched in the brain, or touched in the hand, or touched in the purse, or touched anywhere, it is always good so long as we are touched of God!
You know it was objected against David that he must not go and fight Goliath because his brother said he had come to see the battle in the pride of his heart. He did not stop to give an answer. The best answer he could give was to go and cut Goliath's head off and bring it back in triumph! So, many of you who are young in years and full of zeal, are advised not to do this and that and the other. Do not mind what they say! Go forth in the name of your God and you shall do great exploits. If the great and trained veterans are afraid of the battle, then raw and inexperienced recruits must stand in the forefront. While it is written, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have You ordained strength," let it be known and proclaimed, let it be thundered forth from the skies and let earth re-echo the sound that Christ must and shall be praised! If one class of ministers will not do it, another shall! What the learned will not do, the ignorant must! What the polite and refined cannot do, the rough and untutored must, for, verily, it must and shall be done! If those who stand up with all their boasted prestige among men cannot exalt Christ, He will raise up humble but devoted followers and by the weak things of the world, confound the mighty! Of old He raised up a shepherd to be a king, a herdsman to be a Prophet and a fisherman to be an Apostle! Those who dishonor Him shall be lightly esteemed—but those who honor Him, He will honor! Go, Christian, and exalt Christ! Love Him and exalt Him! Love your Master, talk about your Master, preach of your Master and, by the help of the Spirit, you shall yet come off more glorious than your foes, if not here, yet in that day "when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe."
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